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are sure to elevate the minds of the more youthful portion of an audience, and a'ouse them to a sense of the value of a life well spent. This virtuous emulation for present usefulness, is above all necessary in a country like ours, in which there are often strong symptoms of all national virtue and devout religion running into a cash payment.
The wise and eloquent W. J. Fox, said, in an addresss lately delivered in Lincashire, “ The country is badly educated, both as to the amount and quality of the instruction. It is difficult so say which is the worst. There are half a million of children of teachable age that have no tuition whatever-not even the limited instruction of the Sunday-school. It has been calculated that only one out of thirty has a fair opportunity of learning to read, and only one out of forty of learning to write; and when they are taught, the eharacter of the instruction is too often perverted by the school being made only a recruiting shop for the church or chapel.” To the reflective mind the fact stated by Mr. Fox is indeed a sad one; the more sad when we consider the connection between ignorance and crime, as stated on the same occasion. What an anomaly that, as a nation, we should think it necessary to minimize education and maximize crime! But if only one in thirty have the chance of learning to read and write, after all our recent bustle about national education and voluntary education-how deplorable must have been the state of our country thirty years ago! How much such a fact has a tendency to make one forgiving towards the brutalized and unfortunate members of society! That fact alone must make a high-minded and humane judge pause before he sentences juvenile or ignorant adult criminals to severe bodily punishment. Still all is not lost; there is a virtuous leaning in this much reviled human nature, that cannot always be smothered, though often misdirected. We require an adult as well as an infant education; we must not let the unfurrowed field, that now grows thistles and briars, be sown with hemlock and poisonous herbs. Neither must we allow the wastes to remain for ever uncultivated.
Your Letters to Young Men, are mainly valuable as an auxiliary to adult education : there are many passages in them that tempt quotation and remark; but space forbids. I hope you will open the general question of an advanced and practical education for the young men in the pages of your journal. Not the education of the church or chapel; but an education fitted for healthy and independent thinkers: such an education will tend to ensure a full development of mental treasures; and the gathering up of the rich and varied stores of wisdom and thought, that lay scattered by the hand of Genius over every age and every clime.
I am, dear sir,
Yours faithfully, Mr. Thomas Cooper.
SAMUEL M. Kypp.
Letters to Lords Spiritual.
To the Right Reverend, the Lord Harry of Exeter. MY DEAR BISHOP,-A happy new year to you-a year to your own heart-a good stirring year of church strife and mischief! You must have lamented the discontinuance of my little epistles in the Plain Speaker ; and it has grieved me, in no small degree, I assure you, that our affectionate correspondence should be interrupted.
Ah, my dear bishop, there is nobody like you. You never change. You are always, either doing or being done. This fellow Gorham is goring you still! What of that ? Whether he loses or wins his case before the Privy Council, it will waken up glorious sport for you! If there be a majority of heretics there stupid enough to decide against you, it will only make you more resolute; for like every man of true mettle, you are always more desperate, when resisted. And if they confirm Fust's judgment, and declare you are right,—my stars! what a whip hand it will give you over that sleepy Sumner of Canterbury !
Receive the gratitude of our order, dear bishop! It is so sweetly edifying to us, to see you evermore earnestly contending for the faith.' Of course, we see that you only are right in this Gorham case. An infant, which does not know right from wrong, nor its right hand from its left, is most assuredly made regenerate, by a few drops of water being sprinkled in its face at the church font. It was the heir of hell before ; but just then it becomes the heir of heaven. How shocking, that an Archbishop of Canterbury should doubt this! Alas, for the orthodoxy of the church, if it were left to him to fix it, and you were no longer alive!
Your brother of London, too, how it must grieve your pious heart to hear of his carnal philosophizings. Who could have expected that he would have talked such very common sense about the causes of the cholera ? Why he talked no more spiritually than those earthly scavengers, the Sanitary Commissioners! It must have been a deep source of consolation to you, however, to learn that there was one man after your own heart, even in Blomfield's own diocese. I mean, the Islington clergyman, who declared to us the real cause of the cholera : namely the omission from the new florin, or two shilling piece, of “ By the Grace of God," after the Queen's name. Shall I tell you, my dear bishop, how it is whispered in town that you gave the Islington clergyman the hint? I don't expect you to tell whether it was so; but I, for one, have my thoughts. In a word, my dear old fellow,-I hold that there is but one head in the whole of our church sagacious enough to make such a discovery, and that head wears a nightcap in the palace at Exeter.
Talking of whispers : they say, too, that you are about to take for your chaplain, the truly enlightened and deeply pious clergyman who recently imitated Bonner, and burned the hand of the jade who had been sentenced to death, in order to bring her to repentance. If the report be premature, I can only say, my dear bishop, it is the decided opinion of all who love you that you ought to take this precious divine under your peculiar patronage. Really, you should have especial care of such a rare gem of orthodoxy in this age of heretic counterfeits. He might become to us a second Philpotts-if you, to our affliction, should be removed to your final reward.
Just another word, and I have done. There is another rumour, not very agreeable to your friends. The clergyman who was disgraced in a law court for "nem. con. or pro. con. or some other con.,' as the man calls it in the play-You did not pull his gown over his ears soon enough; but, as evil-minded people say-evinced a disposition to protect him. But never mind these ill-natured remarks. Of course, you were right. You ought, like a true and gentle-hearted shepherd, to be tender in trifling cases. And what a trifle it is for a clergyman to be living in open adultery, compared with the sin of this Gorham-a fellow who denies your doctrine of baptism ;-or that other fellow, Shore, who had the assurance to preach in a place you had not consecrated!
I am, my beloved bishop,
*** Correspondents will please address, “THOMAS COOPER, 5, Park Row, Knightsbridge, London." T. J.-Yes; I shall have pleasure in giving the weekly list of Lectures, delivered at any popu
lar Institution in London-if the Secretaries will forward to me the necessary information. W. L. requests that I will give notice of my own appointments in London, and of the
subjects of discourse, during the present month. They are as follows: January 6. (Sunday evening at 7), Hall of Science, City Road. “ Gospel History: the Trans
figuration," &c. 7. (Monday evening at 8!), Finsbury Hall, Bunhill Row. “ Life and Genius of Sir William
Jones." 9. (Wednesday evening at 8), Mechanics' Institute, Gould Square. “The Wrongs of Ireland.” 13. (Sunday evening at 7), Literary Institution, John-street. “ The English Commonwealth,
to the Execution of Charles Ist." 14. (Monday evening at 8!), Finsbury Hall, Bunhill Row. “Life and Character of Sir Isaac
Newton." 16. (Wednesday evening at 8), Mechanics' Institute, Gould Square. “ Raleigh, and the Age
of Elizabeth." 20. (Sunday evening at 7), Hall of Science, City Road. “Gospel History: the Crucifixion," &c. 23. (Wednesday evening at 8), Mechanics’ Institute Gould Square.“ Life and Genius of
Sir William Jones." 27. (Sunday evening at 7), Literary Institution, John-street. “The English Commonwealth :
Government by the Council of State and Parliament: the Protectorate and Character of
Oliver Cromwell." 28. (Monday evening at 8), Temperance Hall, Broadway, Westminster. “ The Wrongs of
Ireland.” 30. (Wednesday evening at 8), Mechanics’ Institute, Gould Square. “Life and Character of
Sir Isaac Newton.”
Bright spirit of another life, arise !
And bear me with thee where thy fancy flies
Through unknown forests to the tower, where lies
Through grove and valley, under summer skies.
Bring Una with thee, and bring him, sweet bard,
Let fearless Holiness still be the guard
With all thy magic grace, tales yet untold
WHO ARE THE TRULY VALUABLE IN SOCIETY.-The value set upon a member of society, should be, not according to the fineness or intensity of his feelings, to the acuteness of his sensibility, or his readiness to weer for, or deplore the misery he may meet with in the world; but in proportion to the sacrifices which he is ready to make, and to the knowledge and talents which he is able and willing to contribute towards removing this misery. To benefit mankind is a much more difficult task than some seem to imagine; it is not quite so easy as to make a display of amiable sensibility: the first requires long study and painful abstinence from the various alluring pleasures by which we are surrounded ; the second in most cases demands only a little acting, and even when sincere, is utterly useless to the public.-Westminster Review, No. 3.
CRITICAL EXEGESIS OF GOSPEL HISTORY,
ON THE BASIS OF STRAUSS'S LEBEN JESU.' A SERIES OF EIGHT DISCOURSES; DELIVERED AT THE LITERARY INSTITUTION, JOHN
STREET, TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD, AND AT THE HALL OF SCIENCE, CITY ROAD,
BY THOMAS COOPER,
1. THE BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD OF JESUS. [All who are afraid of thinking, and who dread that the People should think, on the most important of all subjects, will censure me for the publication of these discourses. Let none of these, however, misrepresent my motives. I yield to none in fervent admiration and love for the character of Christ. Under all changes of opinion, his moral beauty has ever kept its throne in my heart and mind, as the most worshipful of all portraitures of goodness. I seek to multiply, not to lessen, the number of his true disciples. Deeply convinced that the rapid growth of enquiry, and the spread of scientific information, among the great body of the People, are destroying all beliet in what is evidently legendary, I am anxious to aid the freservation, in some minds at least, of continued and purified attachment to the substance of Christianity, while its shadows are being dispelled. I know no higher teaching than Christ's : I acknowledge none. But his religion no longer commends itself to me by mysterious or miraculous sanctions. I hold it to be the most perfect version of the Religion of Humanity; and for that reason, desire to see it divested of all legendary incrustations that inay prevent its reception with sincere and earnest thinkers. The great work of Strauss assisted me much in coming to a clear and determinate conclusion respecting the source of the corruptions in the real history of Christ; and with a view to help others who might experience similar difficulties to mine, I delivered these discourses. The reader must be informed, however, that since I had very few written notes, these papers will contain the thoughts, rather than the words, addressed to my audiences in London.-T. C.]
"WIIERE did it come from?' 'Who made it?' 'Who wrote it?'— These are questions in the mouth of every man which not only excite no wonder, but are held to be natural marks of human intelligence. Men who can view, for the first time, some natural product, such as a metal or a fruit, unlike any metal or fruit found in their own clime, and never feel a spark of desire to know where it came from, are accounted but a kind of incurious idiots by enquiring people. A highly-wrought piece of mechanism it is usual to receive with the query of 'Who made it?"--at least by an intelligent beholder; and if the looker-on merely exclaims, “Well, how wonderful! and passes away, we usually set him down either as very indolent or very simple. In becoming acquainted with a book which we prize highly when we learn its contents, the question of Who wrote it?' is so natural, that a man would be accounted a strange sort of reader if he did not ask it. And inasmuch as the more valuable a man esteems a book to be, the more eagerly he is expected to ask that question, so we expect him to be proportionately diligent and persevering in sifting the question if it be disputed.
Nay! There is one book, or collection of books, which hundreds and thousands of men regard as the most valuable of all books, and concerning the authorship of which it is demanded that these rules of human judgment be reversed. For labouring to ascertain the real authorship of any other valuable book, such as the 'Letters of Junius,' for instance; for disproving that any inferior composition, such as "Titus Andronicus' can be the work of Shakspere, and for shewing that it ought to be excluded from the volume which bears his immortal name—a literary toiler is deemed meritorious. But to produce an essay on the authorship of the Four Gospels, without closing your work in the orthodox style, by setting them
down as the authentic penmanship of Matthew, the publican, who became one of the twelve Apostles; Mark, the hearer of Peter; Luke, the physician, and companion of Paul; and John the beloved disciple—is certain to ruin a man's reputation for piety; while every youth who might read the book, and happen to tell a clergyman of it, would be received with a look of consternation, and an assurance that it was almost as dangerous as dealing with the devil!
Now, what is the common-sense inference to be drawn from this clerical dread of sincere enquiry into Christian history-enquiry which, if pursued respecting any other proposition presented to the mind would be held praiseworthy? If the evidence be so pellucidly clear—if every link in the concatenation of evidence be so perfectly welded-why should there be this dread that anybody should look at it? and why has the evidence been collected and published, if we are not to consider it? Do not men either stultify themselves by affirming the certainty of the evidence while they warn people of the dreadful danger of examining it-or, otherwise, manifest their own consciousness that the "evidence,' upon real inquiry will be found somewhat unworthy of the name?
Never having heard an honest and a sensible reason why the New Testament history, either as it regards its authorship or its facts, should not be judged like other books—that is, fairly, wisely, sincerely, and earnestly
-I propose to enter with you, to-night, on an examination of the Four Gospels. The examination, to be as complete as I wish it to be, and as I believe it must be to answer any useful purpose, cannot be concluded until the lapse of many weeks. That portion of the history, so called, which professes to relate the birth and childhood of the great and good Jesus of Nazareth, will form the limits of our enquiry to-night. But I cannot enter, even on this introductory portion of the professed history, without a few words—and they shall be few--respecting the evidence for the authorship of the Four Gospels.
1. Papias, who lived in the middle of the second century, asserts (accordto a passage quoted by Eusebius, from a work now lost—the same Eusebius being Bishop of Cesarea in A.D. 315) that Matthew the apostle wrote doya of Christ—that is to say, 'words or sayings. This writing was made by Matthew, in Hebrew, Papias says. Jerome, and other Fathers, in after times, assert that our Gospel of Matthew is a translation of this book; but there is no evidence for it—nor does the description of words or sayings of Christ properly characterise our Gospel of Matthew, since it professes to relate Christ's life and death and resurrection. Justin Martyr, who died in A.D. 166, and several other Fathers, give precepts and narratives corresponding more or less with passages in Matthew; but the name of Matthew is not mentioned. Justin Martyr uses the words ‘gospels, or-memoirs of the Apostles;' but some of the phrases he quotes are not found in any of our gospels. Celsus says that the disciples of Jesus wrote his history, and speaks of the divergence of their accounts of his resurrection; but as far as we know his writings through Origen, he does not name any author of a gospel.
2. Mark, according to the same Papias (quoted by Eusebius), wrote down the discourses and actions of Jesus from his recollections of what was taught him by Peter. But our Mark's gospel is distinguished by a professed order of time and circumstance; and so far from being an original work, it is evidently no more than a compilation-sometimes abridged, and now and then with a dramatic effect added--from Matthew and Luke,