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had predominance in other ages and in other states, but, for the England of the nineteenth century, commerce has the greatest charms. By its help, she proposes to carry her arts, her learning, her religion, to the uttermost parts of the earth; she recognises in it the incarnate spirit of freedom, the genius before whose power the chains of idleness and exclusiveness shall be as green bands : surely he will admit that freedom of thought, and will, and action, should distinguish the votaries of commerce from all other men. Not that I would allude to free trade in the general acceptation of the term; with that I have no present concern, but would rather consider the relations which traders have established amongst themselves, for the carrying on of trade. I might, if time were allowed me, dilate upon the advantages which the independent trader has over the joint-stock company ; advantages arising from the free exercise of his experience and his energy. But Adam Smith has already decided this point against the joint-stock company; nor, in considering trade, ought we to consider the only pecuniary part of its transactions. Trade has higher objects than the mere acquisition of money. No, there is no relation of life more complicated than that of commerce ; so, there is none which offers greater temptations to err. The tradesman and merchant may daily, nay hourly, defraud their fellow-men, without hazarding their reputation in the slightest degree. It seems, indeed, that man's trading propensities were given him as a means towards his moral training, that he might shine in his resistance to temptation. But is it just to expect the advantages of trade without incurring its perils ? Is it just to delegate authority in these matters to bodies of men, who are liable to still greater temptation, because they are not personally responsible to man ? Lord Coke tells us that jointstock companies have no soul ; Mr. Commissioner Fonblanque tells us that they have no conscience ; Blackstone calls them irresponsible bodies; the French lawyers call them sociétés anonymes, that is, societies whose members you cannot punish. What, then, can we expect from bodies possessing neither soul or conscience, and not amenable to mental shame or corporal penalty ? The history of jointstock companies supplies the answer. Surely, if it be incumbent upon us to preserve our individuality in literary, or religious, or political matters, it is still more necessary to preserve it in the transactions of trade, which require so much energy, so much experience, so much firmness of character, so much purity of soul. But if a change be necessary, it cannot be brought about by any legislative enactment. To enjoin individuality of thought, will, and action, by law, would be to crush individuality entirely. Time and liberal education alone will remedy the evil; free schools and a free press will make free writers, statesmen, preachers, traders, merchants. And we, also, in our separate spheres, may, by practice rather than precept, preach the great doctrine of individuality, the glorious creed that the mind of man should wear no chain. The planet revolves on its fixed course; we can calculate its deviations, and ascertain the compensating power which will restore it to its paths ; but man is born for progress, not for revolution. The stars return on their courses, but he does not return; the universe is the same for ever, but the elements of change are within him ; his path is onward always, and bounded only by eternity itself.

Inquiries and Correspondence.

Ipswich, May 14th, 1846. “DEAR SIR,—The following essay was read on Monday evening last, at a Young Men's Mutual-Improvement Society, recently formed in this town, and possessing but about twenty members. The two oldest are infidels, including the composer of this essay, who is a young man about twenty-six or from that to thirty years of age, of considerable ability and extensive information. One of the youngest of its members delivered an essay on · The Comparative Merits of Christianity and Atheism.' This was intended to be a reply, though, as you will see, it partakes not much of the nature of a reply ; however, such as it is, it has been delivered, and has created considerable ex. citement. I have managed to obtain the essay for one evening, and have taken this copy, which I believe is correct, though badly written. I now send it to you, and let me beg of you to give it your earliest and most serious attention, for, to be candid, it has made me rather uneasy,-some of the many objections I am not able to meet. Dear Sir, to gain your attention, I would fling in all my merits. I have been a subscriber from the commencement, but in that I am the party benefited, so I throw myself upon your goodness and the interest you have ever manifested to youth..

“I have enclosed five stamps to defray the expense of postage. Should you require remuneration, please state it.* “In haste, I am, yours obediently,

“M. B. I." The foregoing letter will speak for itself. We are sure our readers will require from us no apology for noticing the lecture it alludes to. It is enough for us that some young men have been perplexed and bewildered by the metaphysical conjuration of this youthful lecturer. It will be our sincere endeavour to solve their difficulties, and our great happiness if we succeed in affording them mental satisfaction. We will not now stop to administer the deserved castigation to the young infidel, who, with the presumption that invariably accompanies gross ignorance, holds up to ridicule a truth held sacred by the most stupendous intellects,--that shall be presently dealt to him by a pen far abler than our own. At present we will proceed to expose the suicidal nature of the reasonings he so valorously holds forth, trusting to furnish him with an argumentum ad hominem that will silence him for some time to come.

The arguments which he urges with such confidence against “the theologians," as he terms them, he has probably derived from a work published by Watson, of Paternoster-row, entitled, “A Discussion on the Existence of Deity, between the Rev. Origen Batchelor and Robert Dale Owen,” the son of the founder of Socialism. The reasonings put

• We do not, of course, require any remuneration from our correspondent.

forth by Mr. Oren are mainly taken from "Hume's Dialogues on Natural Religien,“ in which latter they are presented in far too abstruse and philosophical a manner to be understood or appreciated by the general reader. W. Owen has endeavoured to popularise Hume's arguments, and to present them in their purely theological aspect; and the lecturer, whose essay we are commenting upon, dimly understanding some few points, has absurdly applied them to Paley's well-known, but ill-understood, illustration of the watch. We recognised the positions he has advanced against this illustration as old acquaintances, so badly and imperfectly stated, however, that, while we cannot give him credit for his originality, we are unable even to award to him any very great amount of verbal accuracy; so entirely has he failed to perceive that they not merely apply to theological doctrines, but equally to the every day affairs of life, in which we apprehend he is a decided believer. And now let us see how he states the proposition he proposes to discuss. The true question we would premise is, Does the unirerse present to us eridences of a designing Intelligence? The following, however, is our lecturer's lucid explanation of this simple proposition :

"Are the works of creation produced by some material substance, or a combination of certain material substances which may be called the vital principles, which, seizing upon vitalisable matter, converts it into organisations, such as the contingent circumstances enable it? Or, is the phenomena of life the result of the influx of spirit communicated only by an intelligent power, who designs its body and its circumstances?"

We would seriously recommend our lecturer to study a few more philosophical treatises before he again discourses upon topics like the present one. Such a perfect jumble of nonsense we never perused. What on earth does he mean by “ material substances producing organisation”? Does he not know that what we call matter, and material substance, is nothing but the result of organisation that matter is known to us only as an effect produced by some extrinsic cause, and is nothing more than the sensation produced through the medium of the five senses? He does not know it; and he is, consequently, guilty, in his very definition, of the absurdity of stating that matter, whose very existence depended upon our senses, existed before those senses were in being; nay more, that seizing upon some hocus pocus, which he terms vitalisable matter, it of itself produced those senses ! Such is the positive side of the argument which he states he is about to maintain, and we only wished he had kept to his promise. A reward to a very large amount has been recently offered to any mathematical scholar who shall succeed in squaring the circle. We would have guaranteed a still larger amount to our lecturer if he would have shown us how a material substance could produce an organisation. No, no! He falls on to the negative side immediately, and, without waiting to prove his position. he commences an attack on Paley, which we will now examine, and with this must close our remarks in the present number. In all honesty and fairness, he is bound to quote an author correctly. If he has read “ Paley S alud Theology” with proper attention, he must be fully aware that doing gross injustice to the argument; and if he has not read tl,

Inquiries and Correspondence.

Ipswich, May 14th, 1846. “ DEAR SIR,—The following essay was read on Monday evening last, at a Young Men's Mutual Improvement Society, recently formed in this town, and possessing but about twenty members. The two oldest are infidels, including the composer of this essay, who is a young man about twenty-six or from that to thirty years of age, of considerable ability and extensive information. One of the youngest of its members delivered an essay on · The Comparative Merits of Christianity and Atheism.' This was intended to be a reply, though, as you will see, it partakes not much of the nature of a reply; however, such as it is, it has been delivered, and has created considerable excitement. I have managed to obtain the essay for one evening, and have taken this copy, which I believe is correct, though badly written. I now send it to you, and let me beg of you to give it your earliest and most serious attention, for, to be candid, it has made me rather uneasy,—some of the many objections I am not able to meet. Dear Sir, to gain your attention, I would fling in all my merits. I have been a subscriber from the commencement, but in that I am the party benefited, so I throw myself upon your goodness and the interest you have ever manifested to youth,

“I have enclosed five stamps to defray the expense of postage. Should you require remuneration, please state it.* “In haste, I am, yours obediently,

“M. B. I." The foregoing letter will speak for itself. We are sure our readers will require from us no apology for noticing the lecture it alludes to. It is enough for us that some young men have been perplexed and bewildered by the metaphysical conjuration of this youthful lecturer. It will be our sincere endeavour to solve their difficulties, and our great happiness if we succeed in affording them mental satisfaction. We will not now stop to administer the deserved castigation to the young infidel, who, with the presumption that invariably accompanies gross ignorance, holds up to ridicule a truth held sacred by the most stupendous intellects,—that shall be presently dealt to him by a pen far abler than our own. At present we will proceed to expose the suicidal nature of the reasonings he so valorously holds forth, trusting to furnish him with an argumentum ad hominem that will silence him for some time to come.

The arguments which he urges with such confidence against “the theologians," as he terms them, he has probably derived from a work published by Watson, of Paternoster-row, entitled, “A Discussion on the Existence of Deity, between the Rev. Origen Batchelor and Robert Dale Owen," the son of the founder of Socialism. The reasonings put

. We do not, of course, require any remuneration from our correspondent.

forth by Mr. Owen are mainly taken from “Hume's Dialogues on Natural Religion,” in which latter they are presented in far too abstruse and philosophical a manner to be understood or appreciated by the general reader. Mr. Owen has endeavoured to popularise Hume's arguments, and to present them in their purely theological aspect; and the lecturer, whose essay we are commenting upon, dimly understanding some few points, has absurdly applied them to Paley's well-known, but ill-understood, illustration of the watch. We recognised the positions he has advanced against this illustration as old acquaintances, so badly and imperfectly stated, however, that, while we cannot give him credit for his originality, we are unable even to award to him any very great amount of verbal accuracy; so entirely has he failed to perceive that they not merely apply to theological doctrines, but equally to the every-day affairs of life, in which we apprehend he is a decided believer. And now let us see how he states the proposition he proposes to discuss. The true question we would premise is, Does the universe present to us evidences of a designing Intelligence? The following, however, is our lecturer's lucid explanation of this simple proposition :

“Are the works of creation produced by some material substance, or a combination of certain material substances which may be called the vital principles, which, seizing upon vitalisable matter, converts it into organisations, such as the contingent circumstances enable it? or, is the phenomena of life the result of the influx of spirit communicated only by an intelligent power, who designs its body and its circumstances :".

We would seriously recommend our lecturer to study a few more philosophical treatises before he again discourses upon topics like the present one. Such a perfect jumble of nonsense we never perused. What on earth does he mean by “ material substances producing organisation"? Does he not know that what we call matter, and material substance, is nothing but the result of organisation that matter is known to us only as an effect produced by some extrinsic cause, and is nothing more than the sensation produced through the medium of the five senses? He does not know it; and he is, consequently, guilty, in his very definition, of the absurdity of stating that matter, whose very existence depended upon our senses, existed before those senses were in being; nay more, that seizing upon some hocus pocus, which he terms vitalisable matter, it of itself produced those senses ! Such is the positive side of the argument which he states he is about to maintain, and we only wished he had kept to his promise. A reward to a very large amount has been recently offered to any mathematical scholar who shall succeed in squaring the circle. We would have guaranteed a still larger amount to our lecturer if he would have shown us how a material substance could produce an organisation. No, no! He falls on to the negative side immediately, and, without waiting to prove his position, he commences an attack on Paley, which we will now examine, and with this must close our remarks in the present number. In all honesty and fairness, he is bound to quote an author correctly. If he has read “ Paley's Natural Theology” with proper attention, he must be fully aware that he is doing gross injustice to the argument; and if he has not read it, which

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