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participating in the advance of the new doctrine . Both common labour and Christianity—for who will say that the work of Christianity is yet accomplished—will benefit from the eloquence with which he rebukes the attempt to keep facts out of sight in the investigations of science ; the narrow application of Christian precept in treating the poor " merely as poor , " and " not raising them into men ; " the premature triumph over the so-called failure of the so-called experiments in Socialism on the continent : —
" There may be other Phaetons besides Louis Blanc . There may be a principle which sets up a hundred different coaches to run along that same road and commits each to a driver , sometimes not much more experienced , always with much less benevolent intentions than the derided member of the Paris Provisional Government . People may have their own tastes . I would rather be driven in that chariot or any other by Louis Blanc than by Moses and Son . In plain language , if the year of revolutions produced poor fruits , I cannot yet perceive that the year of reactions has produced any better . If the supporters of co-operation made some strange plunges believe the
and some tremendous downfalls , I progress to perdition under your competitive system is sufficiently steady and rapid to gratify the most fervent wishes of those who seek for the destruction of order , and , above all , of those who would make England a by-word among the nations . Thousands and tens of thousands of tailors , needlewomen , bootmakers , dock-workers , Spitalfields ' weavers , are saying to us , ' Hold your tongue , gentlemen , about Louis Blanc and French revolutionists . Be silent in the name of common sense , if not of common modesty , till you have settled your accounts with us , till you have proved that your everlasting law of society does not mean a law of mutual destruction .
This is a brave and chivalrous championship . The writer objects to the systems in the form of which the doctrine of common-labour has been hitherto advocated , and would fasten attention upon the principle . Co-operation , he says , is the order of nature and of society ; that is the distinction between him and socialists of the recognized sects . We may declare our perfect agreement in his tenet . Common-labour is a principle acting more extensively than that of competition , though by an accident of Adam Smith ' s mind or studies it has
received far less attention . " I assume that to be the only condition of society , " he says , " which they , " the secular Socialists , " make the condition of it" ; and he summons the church to the great enterprise of vivifying the doctrine : — " As long as our Christianity is content with what you call humble aims , that is to say , as long as it is willing to be regarded merely as the dogma of an established sect , which is not to interfere with the movements of human society at all , which is to leave it to regulate itself upon the most selfish , tyrannical , hateful maxims , and only to prevent the sufferers from disturbing its
movements ; so long the most vague dreams of the fancy , which have a show of freedom , or the most terrible denpotism , which has a show of government , will be preferred to it . And if these vague dreams of the fancy should be able , through any strange combination of circumstances , to ally ttiemselveswith thatold despotism , if the first , can hoi row from the lant a look of substance , and the last cmi receive back in exchange a semhlance of liberty , Hie li' - which if made up of these incongruous elements may he fora while powerful , though not powerful enough , « s I think , 'o defy the direct simple Mammon worship . But the hour of struggle will be a leartul one !"
The ground is taken . Not only is the principle of common-labour recognized by the leading political oeconomist of the day , John Stuart Mill , and treated with ampler development in his latest edition , but it is recognized as a principle of Christianity by some of the ablest men in the Church of England . Indeed the two writers whom we have mentioned are not the first in the field , though others will not grudge our saying that they are the most distinguished . Nor be the credit withdrawn
from John Minter Morgan for showing the share which a Christian Church is bound , by the force of its principles , to take in this social movement . The sanction of distinguished members in a body so discreet , so accomplished , so pledged to the interests of order , will not only establish a position for the new doctrine in political ( economy , but will also help to allay the ludicrous fears which the discussion of it has excited—as if it would suddenly upturn the system of society , and put an end to the * enenriew of industry .
How little it can do either ia easily declared in answering the questions—What is the doctrine of co-operation , and what is its contradistinction from competition ? The distinction is this : competition is the striving of many labourers to obtain , each individually , a larger share of a given quantity of produce ; each to that end keeping his own counsel to himself ; not consulting with the rest in the distribution of labour , but directing his industry solely by glimpses of motives through the disguises intended to
circumvent him in the common strife . ( Economists of the old school hold that , in the hurly-burly and struggle , industry is stimulated , so that in the end the gross quantity of produce is large . Common-labour is the striving of a given number of labourers , on a common understanding of requirements and capacities , to produce a larger quantity of produce for all , by the best distribution of industry and the aptest combination of means . This is the ceconomical bugbear . Men have shrunk from it , as once they shrank from free trade . They were told __ . . „ . m
that it was to undo all that competition had done . But that day of ignorance and timidity is past . The revolutions of the Continent , the convictions of immense multitudes in France and Germany , have forced the doctrine on the notice of the world : its discussion is accepted by the highest and the best in our own country ; the models for the Christian public have come forward to discuss it in all candour and kindness with those who belong to other faiths . Common counsel cannot but fructify in common benefit .
MRS . GRUNDY AND THE PUBLIC PRESS . " The land where girt with friends or foes A man may speak the thing he will . " So sings Tennyson of England . Yes , a man may speak the thing he will , but will he ? In the face of friends or foes he is brave enough to do so , but not in the face of his superstitions : John Bull will brave his foes , but seldom his customers .
Every religion has its attendant shadows- — superstitions . Beside our healthy , moral , social respect for Public Opinion , there is a queasy , miserable superstition , to which too many bow . We have a Juggernaut in England , whose married name is Grundy . Beneath the crushing wheels of that irresistible car we do not , indeed , cast our bodies—but we cast our consciences . To save our " respectability" we sacrifice our convictions ; for is it not to sacrifice them when we dare not speak them above a whisper ?
Friends of the header who share our convictions have warned us , in all friendliness , " to be too bold . " They delight in our plain-speaking as far as they are concerned , but they are afraid of " the public . " The shadow of Mrs . Grundy chills their hopes . They would not have us proclaim other principles ; they would have us use " guarded " language—in other words , they would have us compromise : the very thing of all others we repudiate ! It is the vice of our age . Our
want of faith makes us scrupulous in observances . Thousands go to church , not because they are devout , not because they believe , but because they must " set an example . " Is that an example ? Thousands believe there is something rotten in our society , yet they dare not say so boldly : they insinuate it , they point to its effects , they rake up the ghastly horrors of Competition as illustrated by
Moses and Son , and yet they will not avow their conviction as to the real source of the misery , because it " might disturb society . " Let society be disturbed ! Society is decaying from within , and will soon become a chaos if it be not reanimated by the lifeblood of convictions . The only true health of society lies in faith . Unless there be a doctrine which men believe in , and act
upon because they believe , society will soon become impossible . But what faith ? What doctrine ? Ay , friends , there is the question : a terrible one ! The solution of it will call for all men ' s wisdom , for all men ' s earnestness ; and the solution , sooner or later , must be given , or we die I But do you for an instant suppose that this will come if all men hold back their thoughts—if , alarmed at the " tendency" of their ideas , they only dare to insinuate them and state them in " guarded * ' language ? Do you imagine that we can get at the truth while all men are afraid of uttering what they believe ?
So long as the Grundy superstition remains there is no hope . Mrs . Grundy means " respectability , " and that means " customers . " If a man avows convictions alarming to Mrs . Grundy , his customers leave him ; his wares may be good , all his dealings honest , his life irreproachable ; but he has a taint of " Socialism , " and ought to starve . If a journal avows convictions its subscribers desert it . There is scarcely a journal in the kingdom wherein the writers speak out frankly what they believe ; but they intimate it , and try how far they can " venture with safety . " There are writers in the Times , the Morning Chronicle , the Daily News , Eraser ' s Magazine , and occasionally in the Quarterlies , adopting the principle of Common-work ,
the principle which is the basis of all Communistic and Associative schemes . The greatest of modern political economists , John Stuart Mill , and several of the most distinguished members of the Church , are , in this sense , Communists . One illustrious ornament of the Church is understood to be the author of the " Tracts on Christian Socialism " just commenced . Now , where there exists such grave dissension , where the fundamental constitution of society is under discussion , surely it becomes imperative on all men that they speak out , ? Times . % !__ . « £ «»!»• «» 1 > £ . a 1 * ia 4-l > n ltacia f \ f all finmi i iTitiio ^!
-speak plainly , and speak earnestly are too serious to permit of coquetry with Mrs . Grundy . If she is " shocked " at our ideas , we may regret her pain , but cannot , for her sake , pause . What is stirring in the souls of Englishmen must have a voice , and it shall be our resolute endeavour to get it a hearing . Come what may , we are prepared for all . The truth , such as to our souls it appears , must and shall be spoken . It may not be a profitable " investment , " use the language of one of our correspondents : it must be profitable work Tacitus has named those times felicitous wherein a
" man may speak the thing he will , " " rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet . " Such times are ours , and we will speak !
There is no learned man but will confess he hath much profited by reading controversies , his senses awakened , and his judgment sharpened . If , then , it be profitable for him to read , why should it not , at least , be tolerable for his adversary to write . —Milton .
THE NEW MARRIAGE BILL . Sin , —Considerable anxiety is now manifested for the result of the third reading of Mr . Stuart Wortley ' s Marriage Bill . True it is that the second reading was carried by a majority of 52 . Yet , during the recess the most extraordinary exertions have been resorted to to crush the bill ere it reaches the House of Lords .
Mr . Fox Maule has a notice to prevent the bill from extending to Scotland . Mr . Houndell Palmer has declared he will oppose it at every stage to the utmost . The member for the city of Oxford and also the members for the University have declared the same ; and although the University of Cambridge is divided on the subject , yet the members for the University are most bitter in opposition to this very just bill .
Mr . Sheil , it will be recollected , made the bold assertion , " that all Scotland was against the bill to aman , " and which was just as true as some other parts of his declamation . Strange if the Kirk of Scotland—the descendants of the brave old Covenanters—are now in favour of that u black prelacy " against which they struggled and shed their best blood ! And if this even should be true , or even partly true , as regards the Kirk of Scotland , it cannot possibly extend to the great body of " seceders , " which is now assuming a consequence in Scotland similar to what the Dissenters have in England .
The great arguments of the opponents to this bill are now fairly given up . It is nowhere proven that ' the marriage of a man with his wife ' s sister is contrary to the law of God . " The asserters of this monstrous falsehood now seem ashamed of themselves ; they have been dared a hundred times to Sroduce such a command from either the Old or the few Testament , but they have failed to do so . Their next great hold on men ' s minds was , that such a marriage ' was contrary to the religion of the Jews . " But the Chief Rabbi in England , the learned Dr . Adler , denies this altogether , and says " that from all ages the marriage of a man with his deceased wife ' sister" was considered a most praiseworthy
marriage , and that the usual period of mourning was shortened accordingly , " The argument is , therefore , entirely stripped of its religious covering , and can only now be discussed as a great " social" question . Mankind , now-a-days , will not consent to be governed by the canons of the
¦> me ILtifoet . [ Saturday , ¦—_^——— ' " i
dtotttr Cmraril .
Leader (1850-1860), April 6, 1850, page 36, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1839/page/12/