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and proceedings , would expand into useful , exalting , and consistent sentiments—are distorted into or contaminated with injurious and degrading feelings and passions . ,.. „• , Instead of an intelligent and dignified consciousness of real goodness , divested of all assumption or offensiveness of any kind by the knowledge that we did not make ourselves nor any of our acquirements , except to a certain extent as secondary or caused agents , —we have pride , and vanity , and presumption , and self-righteousness , growing , under the distorting influence of the false fundamental idea , out of the same natural tendencies as , under the influence of enlightened intelligence , would have produced the former elevating attributes .
Instead of being able to adopt effectual means to remove ignorance and to prevent the existence of vice and crime , as true intelligence would enable us to do , we are made by this false notion to create and maintain the very causes which necessarily produce and perpetuate those evils , while vainly endeavouring to repress them by such means as our irrationalized intellect can alone suggest , and which means are themselves most commonly both unjust and
injurious . Instead of charity and forbearance toward those who have had the misfortune to be made inferior and criminal by the irrational ideas and proceedings of society ( characters which would not be caused to exist but for the false fundamental idea and the individual and social mal-arrangements and mal-practices which it produces ) , and a deep interest in the welfare and happiness of all , uncontaminated by ill-will or unkindness of any kind towards any human
being—which would be the natural and consistent development of our inherent tendencies to sympathy , benevolence , and justice , under the influence of correct ideas and practices—we have benevolence itself , under the influence of the false fundamental idea , impelling us to punish and treat unkindly those who are not what we would wish them to be , and we have all the kindly feelings of our nature stultified and often almost entirely repressed by hatred , anger , revenge , and every species of illwill , unkindness , and cruelty . love
By the false fundamental idea our natural of truth is made to strengthen our adherence to false notions and doctrines , which , through this idea and its effects upon our minds , we are made to believe to be true;—our love of goodness is made to attach us tenaciously to that which is injurious and evil , but which we mistakenly imagine to be beneficial and good ;—our love of justice , to make us adhere to injustice and cruelty , under the supposition that we are doing that which is just and right ; for , reasoning from this false idea , we think it good , and just , and useful to add to the sufferings of those who have been made inferior and criminal by blaming them , despising them , and injuring and punishing them in all manner of wavs .
And even the religious sentiment , which , rationally directed , would be a most potent stimulus to every species of excellence , is converted by the influence of this fatal idea into a most powerful incentive to evil ; for , the more zealously religious or intensely devoted to truth and goodness we are , while misled by this false notion , and , in consequence , mistaking the false for the true , and the bad for the good , upon subjects of vital importance , the more powerfully are we impelled to persist in wrong-thinking , wrong-feeling , and wrongdoing , —in bigotry , intolerance , and persecutionand in ideas and feelings which , even in these times , make many regret that the days of inquisitions , martyrdoms , and religious murders and massacres are passed away .
Our intellectual faculties , perplexed and confused by this false fundamental notion , are rendered incompetent to guide us ( as , when not so irrationalized , they will do ) to the acquisition of correct knowledge of our own nature of the causes of internal and external good and evil , and of the means of removing the evil and attaining the good . How can we understand our nature while we retain a notion so directly contrary to fact , and , in consequence , can only observe humanity in ourselves and others through the distorting medium of a false fundamental idea , and can only find it perverted and deteriorated by the
direct and indirect influence of that idea by the immediate effects of the idea itself , and by the effects of all the injurious influences which have hitherto been pcmiittert and made to operate upon all through the error and blindness necessarily attendant upon that false fundamental notion ? How can we intelligently investigate the causes of good and evil to man , while we imui » ino that he makes himself or his qualities , &c . ? How , while in consequence of this mistake , Ave blindly permit the real causes of evil to remain in full activity , and adopt only tho futile and irrational expedients of a crude imagination , can it be otherwise than that the evil should continue to abound in
defiance of all our exertions to repress it ? To illustrate these statements with examples , or to gomori ! minutely into detail , would too much extend this letter ; but the experience of the observant and reflective will readily supply them with proofs of the truth of what has been asserted ; and enough has
been stated to indicate the excessive injuriousness of the fatal mistake by which the human race have hitherto been irrationalized and forced into incessant counteraction of all the highest tendencies of their nature , and of the happiness which they are constantly impelled to pursue , and have been caused to shake society into the chaos of conflicting ideas , feelings , interests , and proceedings , which hitherto and at this day it has been and is . In another letter I will endeavour to explain how the principle of truth—the reverse of the false fundamental idea—will lead mankind direct to the attainment of universal wisdom , excellence , and happiness , in the midst of a superabundance of every kind of wealth and happy circumstances that rational beings can desire . Henry Tbavis , M . D .
THE SUNDAY CLOSING OF THE POST OFFICE . Stokesley , July 14 , 1850 . Dear Sir , —I am one of a numerous class who regard keeping holy one day in the seven as a wise policy in every people , and a great privilege to the working classes . It is something to have one day in the week which a human being can call his own , however much the two demons of Monopoly and Competition may claim the remaining six . But I am sorry that the growing feeling in favour of a better observance of the Sabbath should be marred by men who substitute Superstition for Religion , and of rather than
wish to make Sunday a day penance of rest . I have recently been travelling a good deal in the counties of York , Durham , and Northumberland ; and , as the nature of my employment brought me in contact with some thousands of the people both in the upper and lower walks of life , an opportunity was thus afforded me of judging of public feeling on the recent prohibition of despatching and delivering letters and newspapers on the first day of the week , the Christian ' s Sabbath . Everywhere , withfewexceptions , I found the greatest indignation expressed towards the saints , as the sectaries are sarcastically called , and efforts were being devised by which the public might be protected from the petty persecution or " the unco
guid . " Some wanted to know why the Government , if they are so very particular about Sunday , drill the soldiers on that day . Others , why the squires and clergy ride their horses , or are drawn to church in their carriages . Some thought it very hard to snatch , as it were , the newspaper from their hands because it was Sunday , and thought they might be worse employed than in reading or writing letters . I , too , have felt the closing of the Post-office as a serious inconvenience . Last Monday I was to have met a gentleman from London in Newcastle-upon-Tyne , and for that purpose left Stokesley at two o ' clock in the morning of the day specified , and with some exertion reached . Newcastle by noon . But to
my surprise the gentleman was not there , and after waiting a day longer , a letter which should have have reached me on the Sunday at Stokesley , and was forwarded after me to Newcastle , reached me with the information that my friend was confined to his room with a severe illness ; whilst another letter , received at the same time , informed me that I was wanted on business in the West Riding of Yorkshire , so that I had to retrace my steps , or pay money for railway fare which otherwise I need not have paid ; in plain
terms , I was put to serious anxiety and inconvenience , and about thirty shillings out of pocket , all occasioned by the stoppage of my letters on that single Sunday . Now , Mr . Editor , as I am a poor man , with a wife and four children to support by my own industry ; and as I am one of that unfortunate class who , instead of having any provision made for the day of sickness , or the period of old age , never had a fair chance in my life of keeping my Dr . and Cr . accounts equal , notwithstanding all the industry , frugality , and
energy which I could bring to bear on my business ; in fact , Sir , I cannot afford to lose this ( to me ) heavy sum ; and as the object of such pious people as those who will not read or write letters on a Sunday , cannot be to pick my pocket of thirty shillings intentionally ( what a nice dress ± could get my wife for that amount !) , I hope some of them will be just and honest enough to send me a post-office order for the sum I have named . Yours , very truly , George Tweddell .
NEWMAN'S PHASES OF FAITH . July 23 , 1850 . SiU > The Athenaum for Juno 1 contained a notice of Newman ' s Phases of Faith , so remarkably deficient in truth and candour ' , that I addressed the following letter to the editor in answer thcieto . lie has not , however , inserted it , and sufficient time has elapsed to show that he does not intend to do so . Yet , for the vindication of free thought in the person of Mr . Newman , I should be glad that my letter should appear somewhere . " Will you allow it a place in your valuable journal ? Yours respectfully , S . D . C .
TO THE EDITOR OP THE ATI ! ENMtt'M . Islington , June 1-, 1850 . Tho Athenteutn for June 1 ( No . 1179 , p . 583 ) contains the following passages , in a notice of Mr . F .
W . Newman ' s recently published Phases of Faith : ^ . " In the progress from phase to phase Mr . Newman's work has a strong resemblance to Mr . Henning ' s ; and though he never once alludes to the volume of the preceding enquirer , this resemblanc e of the two arguments is so striking that we cannot divest ourselves of the impression that the one is the groundwork of the other . The Christian Theism into which Mr . Henning emerged is also identical , or nearly so , with the spiritualism of Mr . Newman . The reader of Henning will scarcely find a n ew fact or thought in Newman—we doubt whether such a coincidence is likely to be considered accidental . "
Will you permit me to point out some of the differences between Mr . Newman ' s work and the Enquiry into the Origin of Christianity of Mr . Hennell ( the misprint of whose name I see is corrected in the last Athenceum ) , which is , I conclude , the work you allude to ? 1 . Mr . Newman ' s Phases of Faith has this essential peculiarity : it is not a system but an autobiography . The author presents his criticisms in the order in which they occurred to himself ; the only unity of the book is that of his own mind . Mr . Hennell ' s Enquiry , on the contrary , shows nothing of this gradual ' * progress from phase to phase . " It is a systematized account of the results of thought : the author ' s process of arriving at them not being described .
2 . The first 105 pages of Mr . Newman s book are occupied exclusively with thoughts on Church Government and the doctrines of Baptismal Regeneration , the Trinity , Atonement , and Eternal Punishments . Of all these Mr . Hennell says nothing whatever . He appears to set out from a Unitarian stand-point , and his book is solely directed to the subject of the New Testament and the prophecies supposed to refer to it . And his *• Christian Theism" carries on the subject with " reflections on the direction which the religious sentiments of men may be expected to take after their relinquishment of their belief in miraculous revelations . " ( See preface . )
3 . Of the remaining 129 pages of Mr . Newman's book , about half is devoted to the same subjects as Mr . H . ' s Enquiry ; and where the ^ two writers are discussing the same topics , they do very frequently arrive at the same results . But a large number of these results have been arrived at by many others , both public and private , before and since ; and often demonstrably without aid from previous records . It might be desirable that each enquirer should , when
recording his progress , state precisely how much was suggested to him by others , and how much occurred to him independently ; and it is possible that Mr . Newman may have been assisted by more books than those to which he distinctly refers , as , for instance , when he says , " To another broad fact I had been astonishingly blind , though the truth of it flashed upon me as soon as I heard it named . " ( P . 180 . ) But to class the absence of such full reference in so
brief a record as wilful plagiarism is surely ungenerous , if not unjust . It may also be remarked that Mr . Newman and Mr . Hennell frequently attach very different degrees of prominence to the same points . The discrepancies of the Two Genealogies , which Mr . H ., even in his elaborate work , passes with a brief statement , possessed for Mr . Newman a serious importance . Mr . Hennell ' s theory of the Resurrection is not even alluded to in Newman ' s work , and many similar variations may be observed . 4 . Mr . Newman's remarks on the Christian Evidences are interspersed throughout with criticisms on the early books of the Old Testament , on which Mr . Hennell does not enter .
5 . Finally , Mr . N . ' s disquisitions on the moral and social bearings of the whole question indicate a very different temperament , both religious and intellectual , from Mr . Hennell's . Without disparaging the latter in any way , it may be safely asserted that Mr . Newman ' s spiritual nature is far deeper and richer ; and that while Mr . H . ' s work is chiefly a work of theology alone , Mr . Newman's is a contribution to the Literature of Religion . S . D . C .
RIGHT OF THE SUFFRAGE . Aberdeen , July 18 , 1850 . Sir , —If your whole space is not occupied with more important matter , allow me to reply in *• Open Council " to the remarks of A . Gurney and H . R . My notion of right , or a right to anything , is simply this : —If , by enjoying certain privileges , I do no injustice to any one , then I have a right to those privileges . I do not call the frunchisc an absolute right , for the qualifications of sanity and good conduct are always argued for by the advocates of universal
suffrage ; nor do I call it a natural right—for man in a wild and isolated state would not require it . But I call it a civil right , or a political right , because it is as a member of civilized society , as one of the body politic , that I require it . It is because I am obliged to obey the laws of the country in which I live , and because I am compelled to pay for tho execution of those laws , that I demand a voice in the making of them . Wo have a House of Commons , and , as one of the common people , I have a right to be represented in that House . What injustice would be done to any
422 ® # * ¦ ***>* ¥ ? [ Saturday ,
Leader (1850-1860), July 27, 1850, page 422, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1848/page/14/