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duced to animal suffering, all their ideas parke of the associations of their condition, and they should be prompted to acts not connial to drawing-room life, it should be reirded as a warning voice that humanity is traged and justice disregarded. We agree ith Thomas Carlyle, that "Social communities e things to be amended; and in all places ort of the pit itself, there is some admixture worth and good. Room for extenuation, for ity, for patience! And yet when the general sult has come to the length of perennial staration, arguments, extenuating logic, pity, and atience may be considered as drawing to a Ose." To meet these cases, and they have ver been and are still too common, personal ravery should be conserved, it perhaps was ever more wanted than now. Besides, brave en will bear insult and seek redress without ing stimulated to revenge. The coward ever can. It is not physical bravery and burage the times require to he cried down, but isdom, consistency, and resolution in directing , when other means fail that should be cried The spirit of modern social reformers has een sublimed into pusillanimity, while governjental regenerators have dwindled from lampdens, Buonarottis, Washingtons, and aines into political Laodiceans whom liberty as spit out of her mouth.
THEORY OF REGULAR GRADATION.
"In the beginning god created the heaven and the earth. * And on the seventh day god ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." -JEW BOOK.
WE stated, in No. 9, our conviction that matter was of itself "good and sufficient to produce all the varied, complicated, and beautiful phenomena of the universe," and the present article will embrace some of our reasons for such an opinion, drawn from facts made known by modern investigators, in reference to the origin of the earth and other bodies of our solar system. We mean the origin of their form only, for the matter of which they are composed we take to be eternal.
"In the beginning," then (of our investigation, not of the world), we run full butt against the "rock of christianity"—the widely diffused and notorious "Jew Book"-which, without preface or introduction, expressly declares that "god created the heaven and the earth." Many zealous believers assert that created means producing something out of nothing; but supposing it only to mean moulding or forming that which already existed, we are still at issue. The holy-ghost, "for 'tis his inditing," says, "the heaven and the earth" were made together: and the parsons The witty comment on pulpit popularity, tell us heaven is god's residence, and that amely, that "appreciation is condemnation," he has existed ever, "before time was." redolent with meaning applied to moral and From this it would appear that Christ's conolitical teaching. The finger of conventional dition, when he travelled all the way from ourtesy may point derisively to our doctrines, his celestial abode to benefit his ungrateful ut even in high quarters they are not without heir advocates. John Currie, whose genius nd eloquence often charmed the cold ear Unitarianism, one of the late poor-law commissioners for Warwickshire, stated in our wearing, that" after a close and calm philoophical review, modern civilization was the rogenitor, not of Roman or Grecian greats, but of dastardism. And so deeply had has truth been forced on the minds of Lord Brougham and other originators of the measure officially defended, that the great object of Le new poor-law was to drive men, in spite of theirselves, back to the first elements of hunan dignity and independence- unqualified stance to oppression." No argument ever alvanced so reconciled us to that inhuman nactment as this philosophical intention, that dress should rise up from the ruin of soCarty's wrongs.
We cannot stay to ornament our reasonings, bedeck with jewels the person of thought, to fortify our conclusions by further authorities. The views advanced, if correct, will stand alone, if erroneous it is fortunate ey are not further supported. Error is alays sufficiently dangerous by itself, and should ever be encouraged to keep company with ausible pretences. G. J. H.
inheritance upon earth, was by no means a novel one, since the devil had his hole long before the creation of the world, but the "holy-ghost & co." "not where to lay their heads," until six thousand years ago.
The time stated to have been occupied by the spiritual firm, it is scarcely necessary to say we demur to, for so completely does geology refute the assertion, that we look upon this portion of the delusion to be the first to be relinquished by the Christian simpletons who have been so long deceived with it.
And, lest we should be thought selfish or ambitious of fame for taking so decided a stand, we feel pleasure in acknowledging a coincidence of opinion on the part of many philosophers, amongst whom we may name Herschel, De la Beche, Maculloch, and, we believe, Dr. Pye Smith.
It is our opinion, that if we can show good reason for believing that the matter of which the earth is composed was once in a gaseous state, from which condition it subsequently changed to the solid, we now perceive it, we shall possess an important principle (which if not established, at least not to be refuted) on which to base our future arguments.
We shall now proceed to give authorities for our opinion, In Chambers's Information,
under the head "Nebula," is the following; revolutions, and from circumstances of a simi taken, we believe, from Sir J. Herschel's lar nature, though upon so much greater a 'Astronomy:" scale, may these revolutions have originated. The argument of De la Beche is an appro priate companion to the above, and will carry more weight, most probably, than our own He says, "There is so much grandeur and simplicity in the idea of the condensation of gaseous matter into those spheres or sphero ids which exist, not only in our solar system but also by myriads throughout the universe that we are irresistibly led to adopt some view of this kind, MORE PARTICULARLY as it wonh accord with the unity of design, so EVIDEN throughout the universe. Encke's comet, tha remarkable body of vapour, which revolve round the sun in about three and a half years proves, by its existence, that gaseous matter or vapour, of extraordinary tenuity, ma float around our great luminary in given times and in a given orbit, checked only by a resist ing medium of still more extraordinary tenu ity. There is, therefore, no argument, priori, against the hypothesis that the matte composing our globe may once have existed in gaseous state, and in that state have revolve round the sun. We might even go farther and consider with La Place, that our whol system is but a condensation into parts, doul less from design, of that matter which now con stitutes the sun, the planets and their satellt
"Within the bounds of what has been called the star-system, great numbers of bodies have been discovered, which, from their cloud-like appearance, are called Nebula. There is one of magnificent appearance in the girdle of the constellation Andromeda, and another still more splendid in the sword-hilt of Orion, both visible to the naked eye. Some of these objects are of most irregular form, stretching like a fragment of semi-pellucid membrane over the sky, with patches of brighter matter scattered irregularly throughout their extent. In others, the bright patches are of greater intensity, so as to have the decided appearance of gatherings of the matter towards a particular point. Others there are, in which tliese bright parts seem nearly disengaged from the surrounding thin matter, or only bedded on a slight background composed of it. In a fourth class, we see detached masses, approaching more or less to a spherical form, and with various measures of comparative brightness towards the centre, until they resemble a star with only a slight bur around it. It is a new and startling surmise of astronomers, that these are examples of a series of states in which nebulous matter exists, during a process forming it into solar systems MORE OR LESS ANALOGOUS TO OUR OWN-belated portions, so to speak, of the same soft and diffused-matter which rotated on an axis, and henc material, which, countless ages ago, was condensed into the defined bodies forming the remainder of our star-system! There is much, IT MUST BE OWNED, to support this hypothesis, startling as it is. The physical laws known to operate in our own solar system are in perfect harmony with it. ** And not only are the formation and movements of suns to be thus accounted for, but it has been shown that the same laws will explain how a whole planetary system may have been made up. **The two rings which surround Saturn appear an example of two exterior portions of that planet as yet not advanced from the intermediate state, but which may in time become additions to the number of his satellites. The zodiacal light may also be a residue, of extreme thinness, of the matter of which our system was formed. It might be supposed that this hypothesis, ingenious as it is, could scarcely be stretched to account for the formation of solar systems in which there are two suns revolving round each other. But this difficulty is easily overcome. It has been shown that the nebulous matter, in certain cases, may assume that arrangement. On the surface of a flowing stream, in which slight repulsions of water from the banks produce little eddies, how common is it to see two of those miniature whirlpools come within each other's influence, and then go on wheeling round each other: precisely in that manner do the two suns of a binary star carry on their
the fact that all the planets move in the sam
In this the middle of the nineteenth century, in this light-of-the-gospel country, when societies are circulating bibles by hundreds of thousands, when tract-societies are distributing their pamphlets by millions, where opulence, splendour, and power are at the direction of the clergy, a penny periodical is a cause of alarm, and prisons are tenanted that churches may he kept full.
the metals and certain of those substances. A an appearance of right, though it be with condensation of the particles of metallic vapours nothing better than a flimsy sophism. would cause them to lose their support among the particles of gaseous matter, and the action of gravity would tend to carry them towards the centre of the sphere; but as they could not pass beneath the point where the heat would again convert them into vapours, we should obtain an inner sphere on spheroid of metallic vapours, striving to condense, surmounted by a body of the non-metallic simple substances, which could readily exist, some even to the extreme superficies of the whole sphere or spheroid, at a greatly inferior temperature. We must not here neglect the action of gravity. It has been assumed, that the heat being sufficient to counteract this action to a certain amount, all terrestrial matter was gaseous. The struggle between these antagonist forces would be most powerful, for as the volume of gaseous fluids is inversely as the pressure to which they are exposed, the pressure upon the internal portions of the gaseous sphere or spheroid would be enormous, and therefore, when, from that radiation of heat which must take place into the cold planetary spaces, gravity came forcibly into action, liquids and solids would necessarily result from this cause alone, and particles of matter be squeezed together, even into liquids and solids, in the interior, which would retain a gaseous form on the surface at the same or higher tempera
The above quotations are sufficient for our purpose, but we may refer to that from the British Queen and Statesman, in No. 5, which tritely condenses the opinion sought to be illustrated. We shall reserve our remarks upon the above until our next. W. C.
SHALLOWNESS OF PERSECUTORS'
To suppress by the law's strong arm publica-
We ask, what need of this alarm? And we are told that there is none! Still, we repeat, there is every appearance of it, or why should those from whom no danger is to be apprehended be confined by locks and bolts and bars that would outmatch the strength of Hercules? But again we are assured that these measures are not resorted to in dread of the efficacy of Infidel arguments, nor from a sense of the insufficiency of orthodoxy to defend herself by her own strength. No! “The church is founded upon a rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The cavils of the sceptic and the sneers of the scoffer are unavailing against that which the almighty takes under his protection, and the shafts of infidelity must for ever recoil from christianity's impregnable citadel.
Let us try, then, say we; and that is a fair challenge. They will not accept it, but fly for protection behind the shield of the law; and to conceal the ignominy of their retreat, cry out, "who's afraid."
Until the fullest liberty of expression concerning the tenets of religion be allowed, we are entitled to declare that religion is unable to stand the test of discussion. With all the advantages possessed by the supporters of orthodoxy, let infidelity have but the opportunity of speaking orally and through the press, and not a day shall pass without witnessing a decline in the extent and resources of the empire of faith. This is our position; and we will now notice the attempt often made to dislodge us from it.
Persecutors, or, if they like the other name better, prosecutors, frequently endeavour to ward off the conclusion which we have stated above, by pleading somewhat after the following manner: "So long as you confine yourselves to grave argument, and serious research, we will not interfere with the expression of your thoughts; but when not content with this toleration, you have recourse to invective and ridicule, when you indulge in abuse and sarcasm of things esteemed most holy, outraged public feeling demands that you should be punished. Your reasonings are not feared; but your unrefined attacks upon our faith are apt to seduce the vulgar; and, therefore, for the sake of the morals of the community, your licentiousness must be checked."
This is wonderfully liberal! How over
whelming is gospel love! Sceptics may be deluged with vituperative epithets, by the champions of "the truth as it is in Jesus, "their characters may be assailed, they may be accused of the vilest motives, and the whole force of wit be expended to bring them and their most hallowed principles into contempt; and yet, if a sceptic let fall a strong expression, or with raillery, would shame men from the folly of their creeds, he is to be thrust into gaol. We have heard from the lips of persons, and read in works, purporting to be apologies for christianity, language as abusive as the English vocabulary will supply and sarcasm as withering as they could make it. Our feelings are not to be respected. It is not supposed that the sentiments we entertain and which we consider essential to the happiness of our fellow-creatures, principles for which we would make sacrifices of station and prosperity, are as dear to us as are the doctrines of a religionist to him. The opponents of sceptical philosophy may let fly the arrows of ridicule, but the same weapons we may not use in return. We are to be treated as though we had a hide like a hippopotamus, while they are to be handled as tenderly as lambs.
If to a dominant sect were conceded the right of punishing what they deemed coarse or sarcastic attacks upon their faith, in what Infidel production, however refined, would they not perceive the characteristics which, in their estimation, would entitle them to inflict their penalties. If argument were presented, they would not admit it. They would either shut their eyes or be blinded by prejudice, and because they would not or could not see grave ratiocination, would declare it was not there. Reasoning they would call vituperative declamation; statements of facts would appear nothing better than slanderous misrepresentations; and an exposure of folly they would denominate ridicule. They would only have to make a charge of blasphemy, say that it hurt their feelings, and then pounce upon the offender.
To give any set of men the privilege of deciding the manner in which their opinions shall be opposed, and at the same time to allow them to judge when the prescribed style is deviated from, is manifestly in itself unfair, because it bestows on one sect a favour which is denied to others. It is also absurd in the extreme. Of two contending persons, suppose one to say to the other, "I will engage in combat with you if you will fight as I tell you, and strike as I shall instruct you," just as reasonable are the terms offered by the valiant Christians. They are like the Irishman's reciprocity, all on one side. I know little of military tactics, yet I think I could win a battle if the hostile army would consent to put itself under my directions.
But suppose the opposition of serious argu
ment to the fundamentals of religion were per mitted; suppose orthodox tribunals, unoccupied by prejudice, were never to punish any but strong and sarcastic or vituperative expres sions, we nevertheless contend that they would be violating the inalienable rights of man. If, in the course of investigation, an individual comes to a conclusion that certain prevalent doctrines are absurd and pernicious; if he regards a book usually esteemed sacred, as so abounding with errors, and so replete with degrading and monstrous narrations, that its authorship might well be imputed to some such fabled being as the devil; inasmuch as these are his sincere convictions, he has the right to say so. If to his perceptions any tenets appear ridiculous, he ought to be permitted to place them in such a light as that their nonsense should become apparent to others. This would involve invective and ridicule. But both being essential to a development and declaration of individual im pressions of truth, the use of both cannot be prevented by any rule of right.
Strong language and ridicule are on many occasions perfectly consistent with propriety; and in our warfare with vice and error, we should often fail in duty, if we neglected these efficient means of destroying error and folly. They are more especially legitimate when employed against religion, because with the majority of people, religion has no more hold upon their minds than the fastening made by the solemnity with which pious absurdity enshrouds itself. Nonsense allied with gravity is sooner exploded by a little welldirected raillery, than by a thousand volumes of laboured abstract refutations. With the greater number of persons, religious belief is nothing more than a sentiment of awe connected with certain forms, ceremonies, books, and names, which feeling might have been formed with reference to any nursery tale, if the same means had been adopted as have been used to produce veneration for a certam book of stories. Profound argument scarcely touches this feeling, which mostly prevents the proper exercise of judgment; and, therefore, to make individuals susceptible of rational conviction, they must be made to look with less reverence upon the mystic veil which hides the absurdities of the object of their worship, and shuts out the light of truth.
To say that the course we are now defending is uncharitable, is to give a very different interpretation to the word charity, than the signification of it which sound sense sanctions. That conduct is most charitable which does the greatest good. Because people hug their delusions, it forms no part of benevolence to refrain from exposing the deception; and philanthropy disowns that milk-and-water kindness which would not couch a blind man to avoid giving the pain of the operation,
The feelings of unreasoning believers may be hurt by controversy; but, whether is the temporary uneasiness occasioned by the conflicts of opinions, or the stagnation which must inevitably ensue from a cessation of discussion, the greater evil? There are some men, as Thomas Paine says, who may be reasoned out of error, and there are others who must be shocked into thought. I wish the number was not so large of those in whom there is no chance of exciting mental activity, and whom it is next to impossible to arouse from the slumber of blind faith, except by placing something before them which will startle. We must, however, deal with the public mind as we find it; and we will, despite the persecution of power in this world, and the threats of priests with reference to the next, unflinchingly denounce sanctified imposture, and expose theological delusions. H. J.
[The following is inserted at the request of a corre-pondent, and is extracted from the New Moral World, vol. 1, no. 15, third enlarged series. The radical change which has taken place in the tactics of that paper since this article appeared in its columns will be sufficiently evident to its present readers, without any comment from us.]
ing order; and, by no means characterised by that dignity of demeanour and loftiness of sentiment which stamp the full value upon the acts and precepts of the free speaker. Yet this method of dark-enlightening-of diluting a little bit of truth with a considerable quantity of the superstition of the day, is the standard which is endeavoured to be set up as best calculated to clear away the mists of error, and of infusing truth into the public mind. Why do not these kind and considerate men attempt to fix up a screen to prevent the warm rays of the sun injuring the bodies of those who have passed the winter amidst the snows of polar regions?
As it is pleasant and cheering to be warmed by the sudden appearance of the god of day from behind a dense cloud, which has made the blood to run through our veins with a chilly coldness; so it is refreshing and delightful to have a stream of cloudless reason, flowing freely into the mind after passing from the withering influence of priestly superstitions. What is more calculated to chase away error than unalloyed truth? What is more certain to clear the mental world of the owls of ignorance, and the bats and phantoms of superstition, than unmixed material philosophy and
the true science of mind?
Who, that is in possession of the truth on any given question, is to decide which quantity of it the public mind is capable of bearing, and in what way he shall mete out the small periodical modicum, so as not to create a surfeit? The public mind is composed of individual minds as diversified as are the leaves of a forest: and is it because many stunted shrubs drag on a sickly existence, overshadowed by lofty trees, that the latter are to be deprived of more light and moisture than is sufficient for the debilitated constitutions of the former? Surely not. all who have the power and will help to waft intelligence through the land, and "give it with all their might." "Let their light so shine before men," &c., and we shall reap the good fruit in a rapid progress in the revolution of mind, which has taken such gigantic strides during the last few years.
"SPEAK OUT SIR."-Teacher in old Society. "S is a philosopher. He felt he could do more good by handling gently the prejudices of the people: by supplying the public mind with food according to its capacity; who, after reading his work, would take him to be the man which I take him to be? Men are not yet prepared for the truth. Our great literary men give as much of the truth as they think the people can bear." THUS writes my friend; and similar opinions are frequently expressed by many well-disposed, intelligent, but timid persons. To my mind there seems to be something implied in these expressions repugnant to the spirit of honesty. They require a sacrifice of that open-minded expression of what we are sincerely convinced is truth-a clog on that free expression of our sentiments and feelings, which characterises the truly honest man; an mbargo on our generous exertions to extend to our less-favoured neighbours the knowledge which was freely bestowed on us by our more talented predecessors and cotemporarics. Who are the great literary characters It may be useful to inquire to what class of who dole out knowledge by the drachm, in- men we are indebted for this railroad speed stead of giving it without measure? Are they in mental reformation: nearly the whole of those book-makers who "rack their brains the milk-and-water opponents of the political for lucre; or who, by the aid of the pub- and theological superstitions of " our anceslisher, aim to secure for themselves a niche in tors" have sunk into oblivion, and the traces the Temple of Fame? In either case the of their career are scarcely to be discovered; expression, without reserve, of unpopular whilst the bold and fearless attacks of Paine, truths would, generally, defeat the end pro- Palmer, Voltaire, Volney, Mirabeau, D'Holposed; which, it will be seen, is not the bach, Shelley, Owen, &c., still flourish in all benefit of the people, but of the scribe or the their pristine vigour; and are now by means orator-the candidate for the people's cash, of numerous cheap editions of their works, their loud huzzas, or both. To secure this with the aid of the great political agitations end, the line of conduct must be of the creep- of the last half century, exerting a very ag, crawling, cringing, succumbing, mystify-powerful influence in the enlightenment of wards rationality was not produced by the ad- the human mind. This great movement to