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How do you know this ? What is your ground of certitude ? they smile, allude gently to reason, and continue their exposition."*
These remarks will, perhaps, be of service in explaining how it is that Mr. Emerson is so continually extolling man's religious feelings, and yet, by viewing them philosophically, so completely destroying all their influence. He may pretend to have discovered, by the power of reason, the mode of the soul's communication with the Deity, and the nature of spiritual action; but we receive all such explanations as those he has afforded, only as so many proofs of his own rashness, in endeavouring to penetrate mysteries which, for the wisest purposes, God has placed beyond man's comprehension in this mortal state. The fact that there is a communication with the unseen world, and that we are not creatures bowed down to sense alone, we firmly believe, both on the warrant of reason and revelation, but that we can ever arrive at a know. ledge of this communication we state, on the authority oftwo thousand years' experience to be impossible. The philosophy of phenomena we may learn, but the nature of noumena is beyond our comprehension. That there are final causes, all experimental philosophy in the present day convinces us. What, for instance, is electricity? But the nature of final causes is wisely hid from us. The solemn mystery of the Holy Spirit's operation on the soul, we are to receive as an un. donbted truth, but we cannot say how this regeneration takes place. * The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth.” And we are rather disposed to rejoice in this, because we believe that the very explanation would lessen the importance of the fact. Had not reli. rion been revealed, it would not exercise its present benign and omnipotent sway.
There are in Emerson's Essays many thoughts of an elevating tendency. We hope we shall have an opportunity, shortly, of recurring to them ; but there are grand errors throughout all his writings, based upon the principles we have endeavoured to explain, which go far to nullify the good. Amid the force of his eloquence-vehement, rugged, and majestic-there is yet a lack of truthfulness to the feelings of the soul that will destroy its influence, and consign it to oblivion.
THERE are more Peace Societies now in existence than men commonly imagine, though they do not all bear that rame, or openly avow their pacific intentions. Every mutual improvement association, every literary and scientific institution, every debating society, every school, wherein right principles are taught, or studious tastes acquired, or history unveiled, or present truth promoted, is in itself a Peace Society, indirect, indeed, in its application, but directly powerful in its effect.
• Leue's History of Philosophy.-Knight.
To the great increase of these and similar institutions, to the consequent spread of right learning amongst the masses, and to the reciprocal and simultaneous influence exercised by the masses upon the few who govern them, do we owe the efforts which are now making by some, and being responded to by others, for the maintenance and continuance of universal peace. The Anti-Corn-Law League, when it advocates, and the House of Commons, when it passes, measures which offer a direct premium for peace to all the nations of the earth, are surely, for the time of their so doing, Peace Societies. War is found to have an opposite effect upon civilised and uncivilised states; it destroys the population of the latter, but it gives a direct stimulus to the trade of the former, raises wages, promotes matrimony, and eventually increases population. With an increased population, the civilised country has increased means of production, but she seeks in vain for the increased demand which should meet her increased produce. Peace, on the other hand, whilst she allows the population and production of civilised states to go on gradually increasing, does at the same time permit missionaries and right-minded colonists to carry on the work of civilisation in foreign lands, to instruct and improve the savage, to increase the numbers of his tribe, by inculcating better modes of life, to make him gradually desirous of using the productions of the mother country, and at the same time capable of producing, in his turn, some. thing which the mother country may take in exchange for her commodities. These more enlightened views, these improved habits, these additional comforts, are so many inducements to the savage to continue in the paths of peace, so that we may regard our missionaries and colonists, when engaged in a work of this nature, as being, in fact, a peace society. The members of the public press, whose aggregated labours do set the conduct of rulers truly before the people, and exhibit continually, to the public eye, the exigencies of nations, the true sources of their greatness, the advantages of their union, the calamities to be expected from their discord;—the historians, who describe the wars which have been, and the horrors resulting therefrom ;-the poets, who sing of a nature wherein all is harmonious ;-the philosophers, who cannot find out discord in the works of God ;-the ministers of the gospel, who preach “ peace on earth, goodwill towards men;" all these combine to operate on the public mind, and form, indeed, one cordial peace society. Nor have their several labours been without effect. Daily does the national and universal aversion to war increase. War and glory are less frequently associated in men's minds; and, though the scenes and monuments of by-gone fights remain to plead powerfully for the “pomp and pride and circumstance of war," yet increased knowledge and greater enlightenment remind us of its horrors also ; whilst the spread of literary tastes, and an increased knowledge of political economy, show us that peace conduces to our interest and our comfort. But the peace societies, avowedly acting under that name, are actuated by no considerations of temporal interest or personal comfort, which, indeed, are but insecure foundations for the great temple of peace. They take their stand upon the high ground, that war is morally and religiously wrong; they appeal to sense, to nature, to revelation, to God; they call upon man to remem
ber that his days are few in the land, and bid him beware how he perils or takes that life, which was never given merely for the purposes of death. If, say they—if murder be a crime which law may punish with death, if the duellist be a fitting object of contempt to his fellowman, how much more culpable must be that wholesale butchery at which the law connives, and that thirst for military glory which is only an amplification of the duellist's idea of honour? If the individual be forbidden to determine or execute, for himself, the law which the state has made, upon what principle of reasoning does a nation presume to explain and carry into effect that law, which is confessedly the law, not of one, but of all nations ? Such are the grounds on which the peace societies now take their stand; such are the reasonings which have induced them to advocate national arbitration as opposed to national bloodshed. That peace is more advantageous on all accounts than war, is to them a secondary consideration. They advocate peace, because it is in accordance with their sense of duty, with their interpretation of religion. In London, in Manchester, in Huddersfield, in Plymouth, in Boston, in Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, and Worcester, and in many parts of Scotland, they have met to pass resolutions, and forward addresses to their brethren in the wide lands and rich cities of the west. They call upon the Anglo-Saxon race,—that race so favoured of Providence,-to remember its high destiny, and fulfil its mighty, its
cred obligations. They bid it consider that, if its destiny be to go farh over the whole earth, it should accomplish that destiny with the plonghshare rather than the sword; they warn it that such a destiny man in nowise be accomplished by dissension amongst its members; that it owes peace, in return for the blessing which it enjoys, in return for the religion which has been preached to it; and that it owes peace to a world which has groaned in travail for four thousand years, to produce those blessings, and to behold the triumph of that faith. That many influential and learned persons have joined and approved these societies is happily true; but that some prejudice still exists against them, is unhappily but too certain. But the great body of the nation will not sympathise with those who deem men cowards if they have the courage to be peaceful ;—who call the concealment of truth, a lie, and at the same time regard the utterance of it as hypocrisy ;-—who rave continually against cant, chiefly because themselves have never experienced that warmth of feeling, the exposition of which, in others, is so offensive to their lukewarmness, because it so reproves their want of real. Too long has the term “Quaker” been one of reproach; too long have scorn, and calumn, and ridicule, been heaped, with all the malevolence of true cowardice, upon a body whose peaceful disposition permitted all to revile it with impunity. But peace will have its turn of power; nor may that day be far distant, when the nations of the earth shall rejoice in the appellation of the “ Society of Friends."
Literary and Socientífic Institutions.
AMONGST the many advantages which these societies extend to their members, we know of none greater, or more worthy of attention, than the privilege of attending different classes for the acquirement of foreign languages, or for studying any art or science, upon the payment of a very small subscription. The benefits of mutual study, in stirring up emulation amongst, and gradually imparting confidence to, the members, are too well known, and too generally acknowledged, to need any comment from us; but we cannot refrain from calling the attention of our readers to a plan formed by the members of the Western Institution, or at least by such of them as belong to the French class, for purchasing French books by mutual subscription. Our own libraries are so lamentably deficient in foreign literature,-containing, indeed, little more than a few translations of popular French or German novels, that we are only too glad to see the members of this Institution availing themselves of the opportunities afforded them by their union, to purchase such works as the experience of their French master shall recommend for their perusal.
We would call attention, also, to the very excellent lectures on the Old Composers, now in process of delivery by Mr. Lincoln, whose illustrations of Mozart and Haydn, at the Western and Southwark Institutions, have afforded us more pleasure than many more expensive and ostentatious concerts. He is assisted by several excellent vocalists ; and his own remarks are so generally judicious, correct, and comprehensive, as to afford his hearers a very excellent idea of the style and beauties of those great compositions which have been seldom equalled, and never surpassed.
CITY OF LONDON INSTITUTION. On Wednesday, the 4th ultimo, George Thompson, Esq., delivered his first lecture on British India, to the members of this institution. He commenced by speaking highly of steam navigation, to which he owed the inestimable pleasure, not merely of a journey to India, but also of seeing Malta, Gibraltar, Alexandria, the Nile, the Desert, the Red Sea, and Mount Sinai, in the short space of a month. The approach to Calcutta, up the Hooghly, was most beautiful; the wide-spreading banian, the feathered palm, the gaudy bungalow of the rich European resident, the spires, domes, and colonnades of the city, all forming a magnificent picture. Nor was the view less interesting on the “Strand," a fine road on the left bank of the river, whereon, as in Hyde Park, the élite of the European and native population regularly took their evening promenade. The astonishing variety of vehicles then and there exhibited, would furnish matter for a book, in proof of which, he quoted an article from the “ Calcutta Review," upon the carriages of the city. He would, however, turn rapidly from the contemplation of the external beauties of Calcutta, so justly termed the city of palaces, to the consideration of the character and condition of its native population. He had, before his journey to India, taken a deep interest in the welfare of its people, and delivered many lectures upon the best means of redressing the grievances under which they suffered ;-many of which lectures had been translated into the Bengalee tongue, and circulated amongst the Hindoos; so that his name was well-known
to them, and he himself was sure of being welcomed to Calcutta. Soon after his arrival in the city, he received an invitation to attend a meeting of a Society for the promulgation of useful knowledge, composed entirely of Hindoos, principally Brahmins, who had received an English education in the various excellent institutions of the city. At this meeting, a paper was read “On the Evidences of the Design and Goodness of God, displayed in the Anatomical Structure of the Human Frame," the whole of which was remarkable for its truth and eloquence. A discussion followed ; and he was then introduced, and requested to address the meeting, which he did at considerable length. He was subsequently introduced to the Rev. Crishna Mohun Bannajee, who had once been a Brahmin, but, having been converted by the Rev. Mr. Duff, was now a clergyman of the Established Church. This gentleman had written a work on Brahminism, which he described as being in a very tottering state,-the people having no longer any respect for its laws, though they feared openly to cast off its yoke. He (the lecturer) had dined at this gentleman's house, and there seen his wife, a Hindoo lady, divested of the prejudices and freed frem the thraldom which had so long subjugated her countrywomen, clothed in European garb, and presiding at the head of her table, after the manner of an English lady of equal rank. He trusted that another century would see her countrywomen equally free, happy, and useful. His numerous meetings with his Hindoo friends led, at length, to the formation of the British India Society; the first rule of which, by admitting people of all ranks into its privileges, proved how completely the educated Hindoos, its founders and supporters, had shaken off the prejudices of caste which had so long debased them. This Society still existed, and employed itself in reporting grievances to the government, and pointing out means for their redress; an end to which Sir Henry Hardinge, by furthering the cause of native education and native employment, had lent his constant and best assistance ;-a line of conduct which alone could pay off the great debt owed by this country to the vast regions under her control, for the slaughter and degradation of their children. De
Mr. Thompson commenced his second lecture by detailing the reasons of his journey to Delhi. He had received a request from the Great Mogul, that he would bring the grievances of that potentate under the cousideration of the East India Company. It seemed that in the year 1803 a treaty had been entered into by Shah Allum, grandfather of the present ruler of Delhi, by which he ceded to them the territory of Bengal ; and, in return, received a guarantee of a certain annual income. This income had been in a great measure withheld, either ignorantly or culpably, but he (the lecturer) had now the happiness of informing his audience, that the East India Company had recognised the claims of the Great Mogul, and had allowed him an adequate compensation. The journey to Delhi (1100 miles from Calcutta) was accomplished in palanquins, on the shoulders of men. He had three palanquins, besides a teakwood frame for his boxes. There were eight bearers to each palanquin, nine to the luggage, and one to bear a torch. The pace was from three to four miles an hour; the time for travelling was between 5 p. m. and 6 a. m.; and the stages were ten miles long; so that, in the course of his journey to Delhi, he came in contact with 3690 natives, 2640 of whom where the personal carriers of himself and friends. The bearers are provided beforehand, through the whole route, by the post-office authorities; and the traveller rests during the day at buildings called “dawk bungalows," which are from thirty to five and thirty miles distant from each other. Three servants are in charge of each bungalow, and supply the traveller with eggs, chickens, butter, milk, rice, and flour ; tea and sugar being generally carried by him. The charge for the use of these buildings is about two shillings per day, and a book is kept at each, wherein the traveller enters his name, and the particulars of his journey, with any complaints which he may have to make; and this book is