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MONTHLY REPOSITORY , FOR 1835 .
The True Spirit Of Reform.
THE TRUE SPIRIT OF REFORM .
It is evident that what Wordsworth calls ' the mighty stream of tendency / is flowing in the direction of Political Reform , with a force and steadiness which cannot be resisted . The mistakes of the late Administration could not divert its current ; and the present Government , thrown up like a breakwater in its course , will only serve for a while to measure its calm rapidity , and then be washed away . There is more in this state of things than meets the eye of those very superficial persons who are fancying themselves the arbiters of the nation ' s destiny and the directors of its energies ; more than enters into the comprehension of the bustling champions of ? contending parties . Every reflective mind must have noticed the almost total absence from
Parliamentary debates and political publications , of statesmanlike and philosophical views of the condition of society , the moral influences which are acting upon it most powerfully and extensively , and the changes which may be expected to result from their agency . And yet there are not wanting abundant materials for this noble and useful species of speculation , without which , we are but groping along in the dark , trying in succession the
nostrums of empirics , or clinging with the tenacity of fear to the customs of our forefathers . We should rejoice to see this subject thoroughly discussed ; the phenomena classed ; the principles indicated ; and , which might then be done , the future predicted . The ablest intellect our country , or the world can boast of , would be well employed upon it . Would we could stimulate such a mind to the undertaking . The few slight thoughts we have now to offer may serve as hints to our readers , of its importance and
interest . The popular exertions which obtained the Reform Act , and the craving which exists for further legislative reforms , are only symptoms on the surface , prominent ones though they be , of a moral power which lies much deeper . The Whigs did not create the desire , nor can the Tories repress it . The tricks of party have been , and will be , powerless in this matter . There is a spirit at work too potent for its petty spells , and baffling all its short-sighted calculations .
Whatever of ridicule may have been made to attach to such phrases as the € march of intellect / the ' schoolmaster abroad , '
No . 97 . B
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1835, page unpag, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2641/page/1/