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THE RED INDIAN.
Now the battle has begun :
Ere the deep surge bides the sun !
With bloody intent to chase
Or, to cancel the untamed race?
And pressed the Indian's hand;
And settled on our land.
Our wigwams to remove
• Is this the White-man's love ?
Our mighty warriors dread!
And the earth of our kindred dead.
All fondness shall flee away ;
His bosom shall press the clay !
So did the warrior rave,
CRITICAL EXEGESIS OF GOSPEL HISTORY,
ON THE BASIS OF STRAUSS'S LEBEN JESU.'
BY THOMAS COOPER,
II. THE BAPTISM AND TEMPTATION OF JESUS. Why would you disturb the faith of any in those points of belief which it has been so long customary to regard as sacred in the land of our birth ? What good can you expect to do by your attempts,--and what good have any done who have made the same attempts before you? Are you not afraid you will rather do harm than good? Do you not perceive it to be dangerous to shake people's belief in established principles ? Are you not likely to shake their attachment to morality while doing that, and so effect an injury which can never be repaired ?
These are serious questions which I can readily suppose to be in the minds of thinking, earnest, and conscientious hearers ; and I am not disposed to treat them lightly. I think that such objections deserve the most serious consideration, and from me they shall have it.
What good has been done, and what good can be done by disturbing the faith of any one in points of belief, which it has long been customary to hold sacred? I answer-if the good is not immediately seen, it is always most surely done, by separating Truth from fable; and by shewing that the Truth is not dependent on the fable, but is infinitely more glorious and worshipful when divested of it. If the legends of the Four Gospels, (such as the miraculous conception of the Virgin Mary, and the annunciation of the Birth of Christ by the choralassembly of the angels, or by the star that guided the Wise Men from the East and went and 'stood over where the young child was ') be of a character equally fanciful and foreign to fact with the legends of old Egypt, India, and Greece—what strength can the understanding receive by prostrating itself to the imagination in the one case, any more than in the other ? The lessons of every truly great philosopher in the past, as well as of our Bacon and Locke and Reid and Brown and Dugald Stewart, in modern times, are thrown away, if we do not learn by their teachings to subject the imagination to the reason, and to cast off resolutely, though with deep consideration, a slavish belief in what is clearly imaginary-when we have clearly discerned to be so.
Did a reverence for the fables of the past guide the founders of any great system of Truth discovered in modern times? Did Harvey, the discoverer of the circulation of blood, take for his guides the blundering fables of the old physicians ? Was he not on the contrary, assailed with malevolence and persecution as a rash innovator and a dangerous disturber of the system of medicine established by the practice of physicians through hundreds of years ? And yet who doubts the circulation of the blood now? and who doubts that the first necessary step of a physician in a serious disorder is to feel the pulse and ascertain the state of the circulation of the vital fluid ? “Laissez-faire !'—the indolent, and the fearful, and the interested, cried then, as they cry now with regard to the fables in the Gospels- Let it alone!--people have been cured according to the old system of medicine, although many have been killed : let it alone! what good do your new-fangled discoveries do? We have the same chance to be killed or cured as our forefathers had ! · Laissez-faire ! cry the people who are fearful of thinking about legends in religion-fearful of suspecting that there can be any. 'Let it alone!'-Our forefathers believed in the miraculous conception, and in the miraculous star, and all that; and, so far as we can find, they were many of them better and nobler men than the majority of men now-a-days. Just so: but the question is whether their belief in the miraculous conception and the miraculous star, and the stories of angels and devils in the four Gospels, had any influence in making them good and noble men, or whether they would not have been much better and nobler men without such a belief.
This brings us to the more important question we supposed to be hinted in the minds of some hearers, at the outset: 'Is it not dangerous to shake people's belief in established principles ? Are you not likely to shake their attachment to morality while doing that, and to effect an injury which can never be repaired ?'
I shall not answer here as some may suppose I should. I tell you, with the deepest sense of my own responsibility—that I do see danger, and that I am fearful of shaking the attachment of any young mind, especially, to morality. And under a deep impression of this responsibility, I am sure you will bear me witness, I have always spoken in this place and elsewhere. There is no thinking man who has mixed with the mass of the people but knows how closely many of them,-more especially those who have been all their lives under the guidance of priests of one sect or other,connect morality with a belief in the whole Bible, ay, every line of it, as divinely and unerringly inspired. Their simple and earnest hearts ask, at once, when you throw doubt upon any part of it-'Where is our rule of life, then 2-what have we to depend upon as an unerring guide, if we give
up the full and entire faith in this, that we have been taught to be necessary to our salvation ? If this book be not entirely true, what certainty have we for the foundations" of morality,—and why should we care how we live ? " Let us eat and drink," as the book says, “ for to-morrow we die."
It is true that these are the questions chiefly of the peasantry in the agricultural districts, and of the uneducated or sectarianly-educated in towns :—while in the manufacturing districts thousands of men whose haggard frames and pale and thoughtful faces tell you that starvation has coerced them into self-education, assert the dignity of reason and tell you that they no longer look for the sanctions of morality in the legends of an old book; but in the utility of acts—and in the influence which every thought they cherish, and every word they speak, and every deed they perform, has upon the happiness of themselves and upon the rest of mankind.
It is this great doctrine of utility as the grand sanction of morality which I have ever sought to set before you. I am not speaking, now, to uneducated persons. Hundreds of you have long used your reason too well, to dread the destruction of morality by the annihilation of a belief in legends. But for the welfare of those who have been less sternly disciplined, the utmost caution ought to be used. Our duty to each other demands that Truth be so advocated as to prevent the Liberty of the Mind from degenerating into licentiousness. Once let the love and worship of moral beauty be lost in the Mind, and all is lost: the character of a man will be worthless then : his own selfish gratification will be his rule; and he will care neither who starves, who weeps, who cries out in agony, nor who sinks in shame, so long as that vile gratification can be had.
But come, now, tell me, while you think, and think deeply, what principle of morality have we shaken in presenting to you the fact of the contradiction between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke ?-or, to begin earlier -by unfolding the fact that we know not, for a certainty, whether Matthew or Luke wrote these gospels? What intelligent and sincere man can possibly become less moral, by discovering the legendary nature of the stories concerning the birth and childhood of the great and good Jesus of Nazareth, related in the gospels which bear the names of Matthew and Luke ? If you feel, with me, that truth and uprightness, goodness and kindness, are still deeply attractive to your heart and mind, notwithstanding your conviction of the mythical nature and origin of these earlier parts of the Gospel records, let us pursue our enquiry-with the same spirit of earnest and candid investigation, that, I hope, has hitherto characterised our review. Premising that we are again to be aided by the great German analyst, I enter on the next stage of our enquiry.- Whether, and how far, the Gospel accounts of the Baptism and Temptation of Jesus are to be regarded as true or legendary ?
We are thrown into the mythical element again when we open the story of the birth of John the Baptist, as given by Luke. The barrenness of Elizabeth, the apparition and prediction of the angel Gabriel, the sudden dumbness and as sudden recovery of Zacharias, the naming of the child, the journey of Mary to the house of her cousin Elizabeth, the leaping of the babe in Elizabeth's womb, with the songs' of Mary and Zacharias, -all bear such evident marks of legend, that we need not stay to distinguish them more minutely. Parts of the histories of the birth of Ishmael, Isaac, Samuel and Samson, are here remodelled, and woven intoone marvellous narrative; and the hymn of Mary is but a partial copy of Hannah's song of praise. (Compare Luke, i. ch. 47 y. with 1 Samuel, ii. ch. 1v. Luke
49 v. with Samuel, 2 v. Luke, 51 v. with Samuel, 3 and 4 vs. Luke, 52 v. with Samuel, 8 v. Luke, 53 v. with Samuel, 5, v.) From a story so manifestly formed upon the pattern of more ancient legends, we can derive no confidence for regarding as historical facts, the statements that John the Baptist was only half a year older than Jesus; that the two mothers were related; or that any intimacy subsisted between the two families. Indeed the contrary rather will be found substantiated in the course of our critical investigations.
( 7o be continued.)
TESTIMONY TO THE VALUE OF MESMERISM. WHEN a discovery which is of inestimable value to mankind, is scouted by the prejudiced and self-interested, it becomes every one, however humble in position or circumstances, who is convinced of its truth, to bear his conscientious testimony to it. I feel it to be a duty to state, thus publicly, that the practice of mesmerism was recommended to me, by Drs. Elliotson and Ashburner, in the case of my beloved wife, who has undergone many long periods of affliction; and that, in her case, I have had the most indubitable proofs of its efficacy. I cannot report anything in the shape of a ‘miraculous cure'; but I have daily proofs of the power of mesmerism to assuage pain and dispel nervous suffering, and to give relief and increased strength to a frame worn and weakened by years of affliction.
I must candidly confess that I felt so strongly sceptical as to the possi. bility of affecting the human system beneficially, by pointing with the fingers towards the eyes, until they closed, -and afterwards making passes with the hand,—that I entered on the operation, nearly two years ago, with unwillingness--nay, I may say with repugnance, from the persuasion or prejudice, that all this was little better than trifling. And had not my conversations with the two eminent medical men above-named, rendered me deeply sensible of their strong native intelligence, their profound scientific skill, and their high culture as it regards general knowledge,-I should, certainly, have treated their recommendations with little respect. But I felt myself to be but a child, on many subjects, while conversing with them; and I began, at length, to be sensible that it would, therefore, be the most condemnable arrogance in me, to slight their judgment on matters pertaining to the very profession to which they had devoted their lives, and in which they were so distinguished. As a mesmerist, I began, now, to be in earnest; and I have continued to mesmerize daily-unless from home, or too unwell—for several months past.
My operation is, simply, as follows. I commence (standing by my re. clining patient) by laying the palm of my right hand on her foreheadtaking it off, five or six times, and applying it again, until about so many minutes have passed. I then point, with the fingers divided in the middle of the hand, towards the eyes, until they close-which they did, at first, in the course of ten or fifteen minutes, but now, often in three minutes, and sometimes even in one minute. I then make slow passes with the open hand-at first, from the top of the forehead to the throat, but, at length, to the feet. The patient, if I am well, and my nerves at ease, falls into a refreshing slumber; but if I am under nervous irritability, or in ill health, the sleep is only imperfect-that is to say, the patient does not become unconscious.
When the magnetism has been attended to at a certain hour in the afternoon, for several days regularly, and the slumber been as regularly induced, my wife sensibly increases in strength, and pain is little feltthough no medicine be taken. Whenever the mesmerism is unavoidably neglected, pain and weakness return—which no medicine ever yet prescribed for her, can do more than imperfectly relieve.
That some persons possess greater mesmeric power than others, is certain. In the January number of the 'Zoist,' (a publication edited by Dr. Elliotson,) there is a list of ten cures performed by Mr. Capern, of Tiverton, so wondrous, that nothing in the history of what is called · Miracle' surpasses them. I select four, out of the list, with the wish to draw atten. tion to Mesmerism as a fact--and I do this the more determinedly, since a large portion of the Public Press of this country, and a clique of physicians and reverends, are evidently doing all in their power to suppress information on this most important subject :
“George Candy, lime burner, Ellmore, Tiverton, aged 55 years, was subject, from his twentieth year, to frequent attacks of rheuinatism, suffering much pain and often disabled from following his occupation. On one of those occasions he had been three weeks on crutches, when he happened accidentally to meet with Mr. Capern, near a public house above a quarter of a mile from his own residence. He requested Mr. Capern to try whether he could do him any good. Mr. C. consented, and went with bim into the parlour of the public house, and commenced the usual passes. He felt some immediate relief whilst this was being done, and, as he was proceeding homewards, he recovered suddenly the full use of his limbs, and was able to walk with ease and comfort to his own house, carrying his crutches in triumph over his shoulders. He contracted a cold in consequence of imprudent exposure, and had a return of the pain in his ancles, and was entirely confined to his bed for five or six weeks, unable to lift a limb owing to the great suffering caused by the least motion. He was under constant medical treatment, but experienced little or no relief from the remedies employed. His bill for medicines and attendances amounted to £5 14s. At the end of the period named, he again bad rocourse to Mr. Capern, and, after several operations, his health was entirely restored, and he has never had a return of the complaint since, with the exception of a slight pain in the knee, immediately removed by a few passes from Mr. Capern. He is now quite well, and to all appearance a hale, healthy, and exceedingly active man. It is nearly three years since the first cure was effected, and about four or five months since he was the second time relieved."
“Mrs. Mary Tapp, aged 60, was afflicted upwards of fifteen years with violent pains in the head, and severe rheumatic pains in the arms, hips, and thighs. During the whole of this period, she was never entirely free from pain. She was often unable to obtain any rest at night, in consequence of her sufferings, which were, at times, so severe as to oblige her to leave her bed, and endeavour to find relief in motion or change of position. She was rendered altogether incapable of any laborious exertion, and was unable to take any active part in the management of her farm-yard. Sometimes, for weeks together, she suffered so much that she was unable to comb her hair or lace her stays with: out assistance. Happening to be accidentally at Mr. Capern's on some business when one of Mr. C's. patients was being mesmerised, and seeing the great relief afforded by the passes, she was induced to ask Mr. Capern to try what he could do for her. She had very little expectation of receiving benefit from his exertions, since, from her advanced age and the long duration of her sufferings, she had been led to look upon her case as hopeless. The first operation was followed by the almost entire disappearance of the pain in the limbs. She did not see Mr. Capern again until after an interval of some weeks, when, by the passes being made over the head, the pains in that part were almost entirely removed. Afterwards she was mesmerised three or four times, the passes being continued about ten or twelve minutes each time. She now considers herself cured. She takes the active management of the farm-yard, performing the operation of milking her cows, which for many years she was totally unable to do. She works and suffers no inconvenience from the exertion. There is still a certain degree of stiffness in the fin. gers and elbow-joint on the side which was principally affected. At most times, she is entirely free from pain, and although, when the weather is unfavourable, her old complaint does now and then return, the attacks are so slight that they do not interfere with