« AnteriorContinuar »
Co Correspondents. On the first page in last number, readers will have found twowords which will have set them a-wondering, as to the writer's meaning. When the printer's proof-sheet was sent me to correct I found (a few lines from the bottom of the page) “ fitting iron-shafts and nerer-tiring wheels against heart-strings and sinews.”—and changed the word “fitting" to pitting-according to the writer's copy. In his haste, however, the printer fixed on the word “flitting" for correction, half-a-dozen lines higher up the page; and thus produced the strange union of words which now appears—“Chimeras pitting about the Utopian!!!" If this latter “ pitting" be read Aitting and“ fitting (lower down) be read pitting, all will be right. I cannot express my mortification at the occurrence of these errors; but I hope I have now provided against their recurrence.
“Publicola," W. F. T. Kew Green ; J. C. W.-Their poetry is respectfully declined.
“ Bethnal Green Mutual Instruction Society;" Caius Gracchus; R. S. Archer; T. Taylor, Hackney Road.—Their letters expressing approval of a Progress Union, are received, and valued, but publication does not seem necessary.
G. WelSt-His favour was received: obliged by his good wishes. I fear the person named will not stand fire.
J. C. W., Leeds.— The Law of Primogeniture,' is that custom-for I do not know that there is any statute for it—whereby the eldest son succeeds to the father's title and real estate: that is, the estate in land, houses, &c. The · Law of Entail prevents the father from selling the estate without the consent of the next heir--as in the case of the Duke of Buckingham, lately who could not give his creditors their claim, until his heir, the Marquis of Chandos, consented that the family estate should be sold. These laws are oppressive, not only because they enable the nobility to get deeply into debt with comparative safety; but because they render it necessary that army, navy, church, places, &c., should be kept up that the younger sons of the landlords should be quartered upon them for a maintenance.
Seventeen,' Gower-street.— Faggot votes' are votes made by landlords, for carrying elections—by giving a pretended right of freehold to some of their tenants. These votes, in homely English, were characterised as being of no more value than a faggot—the name for a bundle of rotten sticks, in some parts of England.
W. M., S. T., and other friends in Yorkshire and Lancashire, are respectfully informed that
LITERARY INSTITUTION, JOHN STREET. MARCH 3. Real character of Moses, and the March 10. Columbus, and the discovery of design of his institutions.
America. 17. Real character of Mabommed, and
24. Cortez, and the Conquest of
21. Washington, and the Indepen-
dence of America.
19. Life and Genius of Voltaire. MAY 12. William Tell, and the Deliverance
Lectures, in London, for the ensuing Week
At 7, Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square. “On Government, and
how to create a good one."--Robert Owen.
“ Moral Philosophy.”—Dr. Cantor. At a quarter to 9, Finsbury Hall, 66, Bunhill
Yard, City Road. Popular Physiology-B. E. Wheeler.
Meeting of the Elocution Class.
THINKINGS, FROM RALPH WALDO EMERSON. CONSISTENCY.—A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, and philosophers, and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall.' Out upon your guarded lips ! Sew them up with packthread, do ; else, if you would be a man, speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon. balls, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said to-day. Ah, then, exclaim the aged ladies, you shall be sure to be misunderstood. Misunderstood! It is a right fool's word. Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.
CHRIST AND CHRISTIANITY.—Jesus Christ belonged to the true race of prophets. He saw with open eye the mystery of the soul—drawn by its severe harmony, ravished with its beauty, he lived in it, and had his being there. Alone in all history, he estimated the greatness of man. One man was true to what is in you and in me. He saw that God incarnates himself in man, and evermore goes forth anew to take possession of his world. He said, in this jubilee of sublime emotion, “I am divine -through me, God acts ; through me. Would you see God, see me ; or see thee, when thou also thinkest as I now think.” But what a distortion did his doctrine and memory suffer in the same, in the next, and the following ages ! There is no doctrine of the Reason which will bear to be taught by the understanding. The understanding caught this high chant from the poet's lips, and said, in the next age, “This was Jehovah come down out of heaven-I will kill you, if you say he was a man.' The idioms of his language, and the figures of his rhetoric, have usurped the place of his truth ; and churches are not built on his principles but on his tropes. Christianity became a Mythus, as the poetic teaching of Greece and of Egypt, before. He spoke of miracles; for he felt that man's life was a miracle, and all that man doth, and he knew that this daily miracle shines, as the man is diviner. But the very word miracle, as pronounced by Christian churches, gives a false impression, it is a monster. It is not one with the blowing clover and the falling rain.
GOD AND SPIRIT.–Of that ineffable essence which we call spirit, he that thinks most will say least. We can foresee God in the coarse and, as it were, distant phenomena of matter ; but when we try to define and describe himself, both language and thought desert us, and we are as helpless as fools and savages. That essence refuses to be recorded in propositions ; but when man has worshipped him intellectually, the noblest ministry of nature is to stand as the apparition of God. It is the great organ through which the universal spirit speaks to the individual, and strives to lead back the individual to it.
TRUTH.—God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which yon please—you can never have both. Between these, as a pendulum, man oscillates ever. He in whom the love of repose predominates, will accept the first creed, the first philosophy, the first political party he meets,-most likely his father's. He gets rest, commodity, and reputation ; but he shuts the door of truth. He in whom the love of truth predominates, will keep himself aloof from all moorings and afloat. He will abstain from dogmatism, and recognise all the opposite negations between which, as walls, his being is swung. He submits to the inconvenience of suspense and imperfect opinion, but he is a candidate for truth, as the other is not, and respects the highest law of his being.
NATURE'S MORAL TEACHINGS. –The moral influence of Nature upon every individual is that amount of which it illustrates to him. Who can estimate this? Who can guess how much firmness the sea-beaten rock has taught the fisherman? how much tranquillity has been reflected to man from the azure sky, over whose unspotted deeps the winds for evermore drive the flocks of stormy clouds, and leave no wrinkle or stain? how much industry, and providence, and affection, we have caught from the pantomime of brutes ? What a searching preacher of self-command is the varying phenomenon of Health !
A NIGHT THOUGHT.
And Darkness enfoldeth a weary world ;
And swift through the air are the lightnings hurled.
And Fancy weaveth her visions bright;
imber thus 'twined in a web of delight :
The table of Surfeit for wasteful pride ; And pampered Debauch rich carpets treadeth,
While shivering Poverty starves outside : In yon rag-ratched but a maiden weepeth,
Gaunt misery blackeneth her sunken eyesThe chill of Death o'er her lean form creepeth,
And now in her last sleep calm she lies ! Shall this last for ever? my heart enquireth ;
For ever such scenes must they darken earth? Ay, till man fulfil what Truth desireth
Till man has created man's own new-birth. Oh, joy ! when the day-dawn of Justice beameth!
When brotherhood smileth over the world! When Poverty's tear no longer streameth,
And the banner of War is for ever upfurled. FRANK GRANT.
A LAY OF LOVE.
Her glory-robe of flowers;
Green leaves, and silver showers;
In beauty smile above;
And we, sweet, we have love!
On Misery's bosom nurst;
For branded-brows, Cain-cursed!
Ever about us be;
There's love for you and me!
Where Love's dear name is sold;
For all their world of Gold!
Yet have we from above
Do we not live and love!
May mingle tears and sorrow!
To-day, with smiles, to-morrow!
The greenness from Life's Tree; But ever 'mid the warring storm
Thy nest shall sheltered be!
Smiling, the waves above;
And beacon'st me with Love!
Half what I've found in thee; But tho' nought to the world, dear, Thou'rt all the world to me!
THE WISH REPAIRED.
“ Depend upon it, if you are not noble in the present age, in no age would you have been so."
JOIIN ALFRED LANGFORD.
CRITICAL EXEGESIS OF GOSPEL HISTORY,
ON THE BASIS OF STRAUSS's 'LEBEN JESU.' A SERIES OP EIGHT DISCOURSES: DELIVERED AT THE LITERARY INSTITUTION. JOHN
STREET. TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD, AND AT THE HALL OF SCIENCE, CITY ROAD. ON
BY THOMAS COOPER,
(Continued from last number.) . 2. Lepers--from the tendency of the climate of Palestine to produce cutaneous disorders-might be expected to figure among the sufferers related to have been relieved by Christ. The narrative of the ten lepers, in Luke (17 c. 12 v.) is too indistinctly given to be singled out for criticism. The ten diseased men do not ask to be cured: they merely say “ Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" Nor does Luke relate that Jesus said more to them than “Go, shew yourselves to the priests." Their cure, in the journey, is affirmed; the return, and “giving him thanks," of one, a Samaritan; and the declaration of Jesus respecting this one, that his faith had made him whole. But the narrative is too uncircumstantial, to bear dissection. Not so, with another narrative: that of the cleansing of one leper, which is given by the first three evangelists. (Matt. 8 c. 1 v.
Mark 1 c. 40 v. Luke 5 c. 12 v.)
Luke 5 c. 12 v.) Matthew places his cure immediately after the delivery of the Sermon on the Mount: Mark and Luke, at some period not precisely marked, at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee. A leper comes towards Jesus, falls on his knees, and entreats that he may be cleansed ; Jesus effects the cure by a touch and the declaration of his will—“I will, be thou clean ;” and then directs the leper to present himself to the priest, &c.
Again, we ask, who are the witnesses? We do not positively know who wrote the gospels to which the names of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are usually prefixed. And supposing that we had undoubted evidence that they were the writers—they do not tell us that they beheld the performance of this cure. Nay, a phrase of Luke, seems to indicate that he did not behold it. “It came to pass when he was in a certain city" (ch. 5 v. 12) our translators have rendered it; but the Greek is (literally translated) in one of the cities—a most uncertain phrase, which shows that the writer is relating something by hearsay: unless, the advocates for plenary inspiration, will contend that Luke might have witnessed the miracle, but forgot the name of the place!
Let no one complain that this is hypercriticism. We are told that the Miracles' prove a Divine Revelation; and, again, we ask what proves this miracle? It is not substantiated by such testimony as would be accounted evidence, if we had read it in this shape in any other book—though there it might be perfectly valueless, even if fully attested-while here it is of such declared import that our salvation is affirmed to depend on the belief of it, among other · miraculous cures. It is not substantiated; and, therefore, to us, who have never witnessed a departure from the Laws of Nature, it could be allowed to be possible only by the operation of some great natural curative power resident in the body and will of Jesus of Nazareth. But there is nothing in the annals of animal magnetism to equal such a cure, or in any degree resembling it. We hear of the almost instantaneous relief of rheumatic and nervous disorders in our own day: we know some of the witnesses : we can summon their testimony. But it is a widely different story to be told that a leper-nay, one “full of leprosy,” according to Luke-a person having the most obstinate and malignant of diseases of the skin ; one in whom there is a thorough derangement of the animal fluids ; one whose skin is corroded by this malady—was, by a touch and a sentence, instantly made pure and healthy. We feel that we re in the realm of legend, again; and the mythical sources of the story are evident. Thus remarks Strauss:
“ In the fabulous region of oriental and more particularly of Jewish legend, the sudden appearance and disappearance of leprosy presents itself the first thing. When Jehovah endowed Moses, as a preparation for his mission into Egypt, with the power of working all kinds of signs, amongst other tokens of this gift he commanded him to put his hand into his bosom, and when he drew it out again, it was covered with leprosy: again he was commanded to put it into his bosom, and on drawing it out a second time it was once more clean (Exod. iv. 6, 7.). Subsequently, on account of an attempt at rebellion against Moses, his sister Miriam was suddenly stricken with leprosy, but on the intercession of Moses was soon healed (Num. xii. 10.). Above all, among the miracles of the prophet Elisha the cure of a leper plays an important part, and to this event Jesus himself refers (Luke iv. 27.). The Syrian General Naaman, who suffered from leprosy, appliedto the Israelitish prophet for his aid ; the latter sent to him the direction to wash seven times in the river Jordan, and on Naaman's observance of this prescription the leprosy actually disappeared, but was subsequently transferred by the prophet to his deceitful servant Gehazi (2 Kings v.). I know not what we ought to need beyond these Old Testament narratives to account for the origin of the evangelical anecdotes. What the first Goel was empowered to do in the fulfilment of Jehovah's commission, the second