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ninds by false and servile fears is the gravest and greatest of all sins. This nust be done, either wilfully or through ignorance ; if wilfully, then the leed must be what we have described it,-if through ignorance, then they are 10t qualified to instruct their followers or devotees, and should at once be liscarded. If any priesthood, the Mahomedan or Pagan, be ignorant that cheir doctrines are false and delusive,-fables imposed upon the easy credulity of mankind (which they undoubtedly are),—then other priests may be equally 30, and they are together blind leaders of the blind. If they impose upon inankind knowingly, then their offence is greater against heaven and man, than any other of which human nature can be guilty. There have been very wicked men amongst even the Christian priesthood, yet we have no accounts of their miserable deaths ; nay, one who had experience amongst them bears witness, not only of their beastly intercourse amongst themselves, but relates that when they approach the confines of life, which should be their peaceful end, they take large draughts of laudanum to sooth and silence their painful qualms of conscience. Why have we not the awful deaths of the wicked priests ? Or why are these things hushed up in sealed silence?
Why is this system persevered in,-held in such high esteem? Is it not that fear is the great instrument of human oppression and degradation ? Language addressed to the imagination, glowing and ardent,-visible representations, most horrifying and terrific,-stories written under the influence of the most malignant and selfish inspiration, are brought to play upon the feelings and instincts of poor, humiliated, grovelling humanity. And yet, with all this unhallowed machinery at work, human nature will burst, and is now rending asunder the bonds of this soul-slavery—will elevate itself above this bruising and crushing of the brightest, the roblest production of the Divine Being,- the unchanging and eternal energy of the universe. It is acting in unison and harmony with this universal energy or being, that gives to man liberty, political, social and mental,-prosperity, such as he cannot at present even conceive,--and a happiness so lasting and comprehensive, that there is nothing resembling it in the records of his race. Poverty and toil are not for ever to be the doom of man. Suffering does not, cannot, merit or qualify for future rewards. He who seeks and values truths in realities,-dares to avow and publish them, and thus refines and elevates the human soul, his physical and mental being, most resembles and approximates to that all-energising power that upholds and preserves universal nature. In this resemblance and union, he can have nothing to fear and everything to hope. The future will be to him as the present. The universality of benevolence, disentangled from parrow, selfish, soul-destroying creeds, may become more comprehensive, pure, and enlightened ; but it will neither damn or be condemned. The love of truth is the love of universal being, and that universal being will never inflict unnecessary pain upon its own likeness, nor upon itself either in time or eternity.
Why then should man fear to die? He neither gave nor assumed to himself his own being; he comes into existence by an absolute decree,--an incontrollable fate ;---the material and mode of his being,—the elements of which he is compounded, his propensities, passions and feelings, whatever he is or may be, were and are given, to him, independent of himself. The institutions, manners, customs, ideas, and notions of society,—the dogmas of the priesthood, --the imaginings of philosophers;-have flowed in upon him like the first rays of light, or have clothed him in darkness, as in an impenetrable mantle. What he is, he must be, and what he must be, he is not, cannot be reset sible for. Society, from man's necessities, demands laws, but society is cred merciless and unjust; creates crimes and then punishes the criminal ;-create a God out of this frail, fallible mode of society; dresses him in its own erring attributes, and reciprocally models society after his image; thus ya dering in the dark mazes of error, like a world beyond the bounds of the universe, beyond either the laws of light, of gravitation, or of order.
Why then should man fear to die? Is it not that he is like a chik grovelling and groping in the dark? Egyptian darkness, a darkness, unhatunately for mankind, which may be felt; a superstitious, priestly darknes, that chills and benumbs the soul,-annihilates its noblest aspiration its highest attributes. And when man is thus prostrated before imaginary beings, he is trampled upon, despised, cast out of society made to believe that he is unworthy of earth, heaven, or hell. - Alas! por human nature, didst thou but know thyself, how thou wouldst cast off its spiritual yoke, with a burning but just indignation, and claim thy brother. hood with every thing or being that exists in the universe. Thou art a perticle,- a spark of this glorious universe —whatever is, or moves, or thirb concerns thee. Thou art the creature of this infinite womb, that conceite brings forth, and encircles all; which has neither height nor depth, nor length nor breadth. In this infinitude of being, thou actest and art acted upor: not a single pulse of universal nature beats, but vibrates through thy being And when sensation shall cease, thou wilt still be within that infinite womb. that gave thee birth. Millions of human beings have preceded thee ; million more will succeed thee. As a part of this great whole know thyself; be un versal in thy love of mankind; be free in soul, and thou wilt be truly a free man ; thou wilt neither conclemn nor be condemned. Endeavour to restore man to the harmony of nature, and to harmony with himself, and when the sentient being shall cease, thou wilt lay thee down in peace, for harmony and peace constitute the immutable order, the eternal law of the universe.
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WHAT'S THE USE OF A HOUSE OF LORDS ?
Ye see yon birkie, ca'd-a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that;
He's but a coof for a'that:
His riband, star, and a' tkat;
Burns. T has been said that the ancient Egyptians paid no religious worship to ny animals except those from which they derived some peculiar benefit, nd that their superstitious veneration for cats and crocodiles was founded upon this principle of gratitude for favours received. Perhaps this might have been the case, and if so, there was more reason in Egyptian piety, han there is in that modern political religion which glories in the adoraion of effete aristocracies. The incense offered up at the present day efore the shrine of Hereditary Rank, and the homage done to Hereditary Wisdom, can find no apology in the utility of the one or in the truthfulless of the other. In ages past, when titles of nobility always went torether with offices of importance and responsibility-when the bearers of high-sounding names had work to do in virtue of those names, there was a air plea for their existence, but, now a-days, dukes, and marquises, and viscounts, hold no offices as the consequence of their dignity, and the titles are merely empty words. They flatter the vanity of the possessor, exalt him in his own eyes and in the eyes of the ignorant above his true level, adding nothing to the wisdom of the wise, while they only make folly the more conspicuously foolish.
This is the historical, moral, and philosophical medium through which we should view the artificial rank of the titled class. It will then appear in its naked reality, stripped of its tinseled glitter and its ermined delusions. We shall then see how little solid worth there is in a factitious nobility, and learn to value it accordingly. We shall then see the absurdity of admitting men to a seat in the legislature of a nation, for no other reason than that their fathers had grand nick-names, and that they themselves enjoy a similar privilege. And having regarded Aristocracy in this light, we may very naturally begin to reflect on the political importance of the British peerage, and the constitutional advantages of an Upper House of Parliament. And we shall, then, perhaps, ask ourselves the simple question. • What's the use of a House of Lords ?' The answer to this is clear as the cloudless sun, when we consider who, and what the 'Lords' are, how small a portion of intelligence they infuse into legislative acts, and that their
debates are more noted for senile garrulity and childish bickerings, than for any other remarkable qualities. From young men just emancipated from the ill-observed rules and thoughtless dissipation of a University College, what wisdom can we expect? From older men, cut off by the exclusiveness of their order,' from sympathy with the mass of the people, and sitting as representatives of nothing but their own selfishness, with out a hope, a passion or a love' beyond the gratification of an egotistica pride, what lofty patriotism can we look for? Amongst the mob of super annuated dotards, and imbecile Do-nothings in that gaudy Asylum at West minster, where shall we find a spark of intellectual fire ? Where shall us hear an accent of pity for the suffering poor, the destitute and starring! Upon which of those wrinkled and sense-palled cheeks shall we see th: glowing love of liberty? And whose lips would cheer an utterance is favour of popular progress? How often, during a six months' sessions in there a debate in the House of Lords worthy of notice? How often do the Peers mutilate or reject Bills sanctioned by majorities in the Commons How often are we not sickened with bursts of bigotry from the episcopa bench? And how often does the 'somewhat volatile' Brougham conreri what should be serious into a farcical pantomime? Let these questions be answered honestly, and then who will not laugh at the Tory exclamatid --'thank God we have a House of Lords ??
The Times, in an article on the debate in the Lords on the Australian Colonies Bill towards the close of last session, made some rather caustie remarks respecting the general character of debates in their Lordsbips' House, and in particular, upon Lord Monteagle who is evidently taken as a specimen of pecrage talent. The passages we allude to were the following:
“It is to be regretted that a House, which contains all the elements for the very perfection of order should allow its debates to fall into that desultory, never-ending, still-beginning form, which is generally thougk! peculiar to the discussions of another sex, and the least rational part of that sex. Whatever capacity Lord Monteagle wishes to assume in the Legislature, his speech last night was more like the curtain lecture of some elderly gentleman's elderly wife than a regular argument in favour of the particular amendment which, for form's sake, he concluded with moring. I contained a great deal about Lord Grey's history and character, about his course of proceeding with regard to this bill and to other bills; indeed, it would be difficult to mention anything about Lord Grey or the colonies to which some allusion was not made ; but there was nothing in it which we have not heard already several times over; there was little which we had not heard the previous night; and we will venture to add, there was nothing which we shall not hear again."
It seems from this that even the Times thinks that a conclave of antique females might be substituted for an assembly of Peers without any loss of practical ability being felt by the country at large. For once we are not disposed to differ from the oracle. We doubt not that their Lordships' washerwomen would do the debating business in their Lordships' House quite as artistically as their Lordships' themselves, and we'll engage the speeches of the not-noble and unlearned Laundresses shall be as readable and as full of genius as any delivered by the spiritual and temporal nonentities who occasionally meet in St. Stephen's.
The notion that a House of Lords is necessary to maintain the balance
power in the constitution is a mistake-a delusive sham. It may mar I impede useful legislation, and by so doing may goad the people on to > verge of revolution, but it never can successfully oppose the determined Il of a united nation. The Reform Bill was carried in spite of the peer. e and its broad acres, and the People's Charter shall be." F. G.
THOUGHTS ON “ PROGRESS." Much that it is called progress, is not progress." There is change, but tle improvement. We run from one extreme to another. There is much Ik, but little work. We bluster about our rights, we sentimentalize out universal brotherhood; but we do little to obtain the one, and less wards arriving at the other. How is this? Is it because we see no medy for the evils under which we suffer? Is there a want of manliness -of intelligence-of energy-of lofty aspirations? No: We have all these hat may be called the raw material of progress, which requires but comining and shaping by some cunning artificer in human passions to render iem effective. It would be well for posterity, and for ourselves, if every an were his own artificer in these matters, and were to get sufficient nowledge to direct the cultivation of his ownintellect and moral sentiments, Vhat we have not, but ought to have, must have; such is the purpose that nould guide us if there is to be any change for good, any advancement on he right road. Each reformer, democrat, socialist, every aspiring spirit mong us, must look within, and condescend to find out whether he be Talking on this terrestrial globe of ours firmly on his feet, with a clear urpose and determination to brush aside all vexatious straws and fine pun cobwebs that may be liable to hinder him in his course or blind him n his purpose.
We talk of improving others, yet we neglect ourselves. Instead of a healthful example, we give words. Would you have men drink at the ountain of knowledge, of the rivers of thought, instead of the streams of polluting vice and sensuality, or of the stagnant pools of indifference ? Shew men you appreciate the purity, and acknowledge the worth, of knowledge and of thought, by drinking deeply yourselves. Let them see what influence the act exercises upon you. What excellence, what power, what profit, it bestows: then men will drink too, and without hesitation.
We wait indolently for the future, instead of marching manfully towards. it. We train not with so much care our offspring-“Men of the Future,” -as a gardener does his vine or rose-bush. We allow rank weeds to grow up and choke the tender flowers of humanity. We look upon ourselves as insignificant cyphers (excepting when we are told so) which are as nothing, but in the aggregate. Conventionality bas dared attempt to erase and hide the individuality that nature has written indelibly on our brows. Each man has a capacity which gives him his proper work to do: let him experiment till he find it; and then do it right earnestly. Every man has a mission to fulfil, if he dare resolutely seek it. Every man's life is a measure of good, or a measure of evil. Let him ponder lest he fill the evil measure. It can be done as easily by not doing, as by doing.
What is the true spirit of "Progress"? It is a faith in humanity; in the spirit of justice, the spirit of love, the spirit of purity, as the essences which man's nature has eternally striven to embody. It is a faith in man's yearnings after good and loathing of present evil. It is a noble chivalry