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at Leeds in particular, because several inhabitants of that town have enabled themselves to give certain information on the subject. It is stated in the ninth Number of the Economist, "that a deputation was appointed by the township of Leeds, 1819, to visit Mr. Owen's establishment at New Lanark, and there to exainine into the practical results; that this deputation consisted of Mr. Cawood, a gentleman who then filled the office of Churchwarden; Mr. Oastler, an aged and benevolent character, and a principal leader among the resident Methodists at Leeds; and Mr. Baines, the proprietor of the Leeds Mercury, who is a member of a congregation of Dissenters called Independents; that one of these gentlemen was known, if any thing, to be rather unfavourable to the system he was appointed to examine, and neither of the two others had any bias in its favour; and that, of different political principles and various religious persuasions, they were well qualified from their previous habits and pursuits to take a cool and impartial view of the establishment, and to form an accurate judgment upon its merits: that they returned from the examination to Leeds, full of admiration of scenes of which they had been unable to form any previous conception, and especially of the system of training and educating the children, and the happy effects which

noblemen of various ranks; all of whom, as well as their teachers, were actuated by one common desire of improvement and anxiety to realize the expectations of their director, whom they loved and reverenced. He proceeded always upon the important principle, that the pleasure of doing well, if it has been enjoyed by the young mind, will be found a stimulus sufficiently strong to excite to great and continued exertion; and that a child so brought up will always prefer doing well to doing ill."

If these several reports are, in the main, statements of facts, they are facts which point to sacred duties and blessed effects; and it can no longer be a question, in what way man can do the greatest good to man. In anticipating the use that may and that must sooner or later be made of them, and its bright results, we seem to have escaped from a dark and chilling clime, till reminded, that even now a dense cloud of prejudice and illiberality hangs over us, beneath which bigotry or selfism would still be seen, binding up every mind of man in the trammels of established creeds, and, to make the work sure, placing every infant mind under the absolute controul of the clergy.



Exeter, November 9, 1821. T has happened to the Sacred Scrip

arose from it." The Economist adds, tures, in some instances, to be

"I have had the pleasure of reading Mr. Cawood's private journal, and I do not remember having been ever more deeply affected than by the delight with which that gentleman suffers the feelings of a benevolent heart to run over, as it were, in expressions of affectionate love and admiration of the children, and of blessings on their innocent and endearing deportment."

It is also stated, in the same Number," that the Translator of the two published reports of Mr. Fellenberg's institution at Hofwyl, visited it in the summer of 1819, and observed, that the conduct, morals and behaviour of each new pupil were almost immediately brought to the standard of those previously trained to the rules, habits and intentions of Mr. Fellenberg. In the seminary for the rich there were about 100 pupils of several nations, among whom were princes and

interpreted in a different manner from any other writings, by straining the sense of strong expressions to a greater height and a more universal extent than they were intended to imply. This observation is suggested by considering the passage, quoted by the Apostle Paul, Rom. iii. 10, 11, 12, with great propriety to his subject, from Psa. xiv. 1, 2, 3. In this passage the Psalmist speaks of the Jews, among whom, he says, "There is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back, they are altogether become filthy, there is none that doeth good, no not one."

However true and just the description is, as to the times and persons of whom it is given, yet, I presume, it

could not be intended as a description of the character of all mankind at any time or under any dispensation. The manner in which some of these characters is expressed, "there is none righteous, no not one, there is none that understandeth and seeketh after God,” is at first view so general, that persons who have adopted the worst opinion of human nature, and would represent it in its most depraved state, may from hence take occasion to say, that this is absolutely asserted to the full extent of the words, which are universal and without restriction.

But before such an opinion of the whole human race, by nature, can be justly deduced from such a passage of Scripture, it should be considered, whether such general expressions are not frequently found among all writers in a relaxed sense. Such there certainly are, which we understand accordingly, without any difficulty. Is it not then possible this may be the case, nay, will it not be found the probable sense of this very passage? The Psalmist does not speak of human nature itself, or of all mankind as naturally corrupt and utterly indisposed to all good, and continually inclined to evil; but of the habits of wickedness which men had contracted by their own evil-doings. This is not to be understood of every man then living, as if there were none righteous, no not a single individual. For in the very Psalm from which these passages are taken, in which David, in such strong colours, describes the wickedness of some, he, at the same time, speaks of the good and virtuous who were then in the nation, in opposition to these vicious persons. "There were they" (the workers of iniquity) "in great fear; for God is in the generation of the righteous." Here the righteous are opposed to the wicked, which shews that there were men at that time, and in that nation, to whom the latter character did not belong.

The next part of the description, "There is none that understandeth, that seeketh after God," in the same manner does not imply any more than that there were but, comparatively, few that did so. It cannot be supposed a universal character of all men, without exception, in all ages. The Divine Being having revealed himself to the Jews, that revelation, as well as the

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works of God, certainly engaged some of them to seek after God and understand his will. Many also among the Gentiles were not without their inquiries after the Supreme Cause and Superintending Power of the universe. And although they were not so successful in their researches into the nature and perfections of the Divine Being, as to attain a true understanding and just conceptions of God and the glory due unto his name, but idolatry and superstition in all their forms grew to their greatest excess, and universally prevailed, yet it appears from the writings of their greatest and best men, that God was the subject of their serious and diligent inquiries; and some of them had so far understood the subject as to speak of the Divine existence and character in the most just and sublime manner. And, which is to their great honour, men of the most illustrious genius and in the highest civil stations in Greece and Rome, when they retired from the forum to their beautiful villas, employed their time in rational and ingenious conversations upon this topic; upon the nature, works and providence of God; the laws of nature; the duty, destination and hope of man; and the like important inquiries.

The next part of the sentence, "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable," being not such absolute charac ters of evil as the other, need not be taken notice of; but what follows is of the same exclusive nature of all degrees of good as the two first. Now this expression, "There is none that doeth good, no not one," is not, I apprehend, intended to set forth the nature of man as utterly averse to all good, and destitute of all principle and disposition to do good in any instance, nor to assert that not one single person among the race of men doeth good. The Scriptures allow and suppose that there are men who do good, who perform acts of kindness and beneficence, of virtue and goodness, and that from good principles and dispositions. And experience will testify that it cannot be said universally, "there is none that doeth good, no not one."

The truth, therefore, appears to be, that this character, as well as the former, is not levelled at human na

ture in general as its portrait, nor at the Jewish nation in the series of their history, nor at the Gentile world, though aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. And though the accounts, deplorable as they are, might be truly given concerning many of the Jewish and Gentile nations, and even of Christian nations too, yet never without some particular exceptions. And, indeed, when, in any age of the world, such universal characters of vice are drawn by the sacred writers, or by any writers, they generally refer not to all living, but to a certain great number of profane persons appearing openly in such times and places.

The very drawing of such characters implies a very great sense of the infamy of them in the breast of him who draws them, who is, at least, supposed himself to be an exception; and not only an exception, but, by the detestation he expresses of this monstrous depravation, to be a real example of the contrary virtues.

In the account the Apostle Paul has given of the vices of the Heathens, in the first chapter, no one can suppose that he meant to charge every man under the light of nature, with all that black catalogue of heinous sins; or that there were not in his esteem, instances of persons among them innocent of every one of them, and even commendable for all the contrary virtues. And in producing these characters of Jews from Jewish writers, he, doubtless, (I cannot doubt it myself,) intended the same exceptions.

All that I have endeavoured at, is to represent what appears to me the genuine sense and extent of such descriptions as these in Scripture, that to whomsoever they may be truly applied, (as, alas they are too often just to far greater numbers at all times than charity and virtue would wish,) yet they are not to be taken for the genuine and natural portrait of human nature, and the universal character of all men, even in very corrupt times and nations.

To found general doctrines concerning human nature, the work of God, from such descriptions of the cha racter of the great multitude of vicious persons, is injurious to the Divine Being who formed us, the source of gloomy thoughts which terrify many

good and virtuous minds, and is deviating from the true meaning and scope of the sacred writers. In general the estimation and judgment of the characters of all particular persons are in the hands of God, who will impute to no man any evil but what he is truly guilty of who sees, distinctly, the various degrees of virtue and vice which are in every mind and life, and who will not depreciate or overlook the least good that is cultivated and practised by any of his rational creatures.

It is repugnant to the feelings of every well-disposed mind, to form the most shocking ideas of the character of its nature. The honour of that should be consulted for the honour of its great Author; and though it be found stained with great impurity, yet, let it ever be held a sacred truth, that its depravation is wilful, and arises not from the necessity and impulse of its divine formation, but from the voluntary abuse and perversion of its faculties.


SIR, Bristol, Nov. 1, 1821.

Wok of Job was written by MoWAS long of opinion that the ses; the arguments of many former writers appeared to me almost conclusive upon that head. I have been lately reconsidering the subject, and think there are many strong reasons to support the conclusion, that it was not produced earlier than the Babylonish captivity. One of the chief of these is, the machinery which is employed as an introduction to the whole. By the most judicious interpreters, this is admitted to be allegorical; the allegory, however, must be derived from the notions entertained by the writer, or the age in which the events are supposed to have taken place, upon such subjects. Now it appears to me, that if Moses had been either the writer or the compiler of this purely theistical and Unitarian poem, and had known, or believed in the existence of such a powerful agent of evil as Satan is here represented to be, he would certainly have introduced him, by name, in the account he has given us of the introduction of sin into the world: this would, surely, have been more intelligible than putting language into the mouth of an animal who never had the power of

speech. What Moses meant, we have no means of knowing but from the language he has used; and it is certain that he has not given the slightest intimation that the tempter was some superior being concealed under the form of a serpent. The term Satan is a mere Hebrew word, and signifies an adversary, an enemy, or accuser: the first time it occurs in the Bible is 1 Chron. xxi. 1, where he is said to tempt David to number the people; the second and third times are in the book of Job; the fourth time is Psalm cix. 6, where the enemies of that prince are represented as saying, "Set thou a wicked man over him, and let Satan" (an adversary) “stand at his right hand." The only remaining places in which this word occurs in the Old Testament are in the first and second verses of the third chapter of the prophecy of Zechariah. The late period in which this word was used among the Jews, is an argument against the book of Job being written by Moses; and, in connexion with the manner in which it occurs in the prophecy of Zechariah, which was delivered after the return of the Jews to their own land, a presumptive argu, ment that the said book was not written before the Babylonish capti vity, and as it made a part of Ezra's canon, the most probable supposition is, that it was produced during that period,

It is, however, very possible, that the introductory and concluding chapters may have been added by some writer, soon after the return from the Babylonish captivity, or during its continuance; and that all the rest of this venerable poem may be as old, or even older than the age of Moses. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the writings of learned Jews to know if any of them have adopted this opi. nion. If you should insert these brief thoughts in your valuable work, perhaps some of your correspondents will endeavour to throw some light upon the subject,-should that be the case it will be very acceptable to



ALTHOUGH 1 think with your correspondent S., (XVI. 596— 599,) that such questions as those of Liberty and Necessity are not very

proper for a popular work, I am inclined, with your permission, to sug gest a mode of defending the freedom of human agency, which, if not conclusive, is perhaps not wholly absurd. I think it may be admitted, that the doctrine of Necessity should not be affirmed, except its truth could be made absolutely certain; because it will hardly be denied, that bad consequences may be the result of its admission. It is plainly contrary to the received opinions of mankind, and to those opinions which, I think, have been the basis of the belief of all mankind in a future state. The dissolution of the body of a man was as obvious to the senses of all men in all ages, as it is to us now; and there could appear to be no sensible difference between such a dissolution and that of the body of any other animal. How came it then, that an universal belief pervaded all nations, ages, tongues and people, that for man, and man only, there would be a future state? Only, I think, because man was supposed to be the master of his own actions, and that his conduct, whether good or bad, was the result of avoidable determinations. Now, the belief of all mankind, concerning subjects of their own consciousness, is surely entitled to most weighty consideration. It is in vain to compare this opinion to that of men concerning the rising, setting and motion of the sun, since that notion applies not to consciousness, and is a similar error to that of a man who thinks the trees move when he is sailing down a river. If it should hereafter be discovered that food does not nourish men, I shall then think that a parallel case is found; for men have always believed that food nourishes them; and when they are found to hate erred in this, I will admit that they may have erred in their notions of liberty, of which they have ever thought themselves conscious. Having made these remarks, I proceed to state the way in which I think the freedom of human agency may be defended, always bearing in mind, that I think it reasonable, on such a question, to demand that probabilities, on this side, should be

met only with certainties on the other side, from the consideration of possi, ble consequences.

Reason is conversant only with

facts, and without facts she can do nothing. In her purest and most conclusive exercise, on mathematical truth, facts are her sine quâ non. With the liberty of human agency, therefore, reason has nothing to do previously to the establishment of the facts of the case. Whence do we collect evidence of the existence of this liberty? Only by consciousness. If, therefore, it exist, it is a mere fact, in the establishment or overthrow of which reason has nothing to do. Othello's occupation is gone. As to the evidence of this freedom, as a fact, to each individual his own consciousness is the first and best evidence, and then the testimony of others, as to their consciousness. Look at this testimony. Is it not nearly universal? The feeling of remorse in men, in all ages, is conclusive. We do not feel remorse because we catch a cold or a fever, though such as are fond of life may feel sorrow on such an occasion; but who does not know that remorse and sorrow are two very different feelings? It is of the essence of remorse that he who feels it thinks that a different determination, concerning certain actions, was in his power; and I think every one who reflects upon the nature of remorse must admit this. Dr. Priestley seems to admit that even Necessarians, from former association, feel remorse, but suggests, that a pure Necessarian, acting up to his principles, would feel none; but all his remarks shew, that, even in his opinion, no speculations can destroy the feeling of remorse. So strong and so universal is the consciousness of freedom!

I am well aware of the subtile argument of Jonathan Edwards, that every present volition must either be determined by the existing motives, or by a previous volition; going back in an indissoluble chain of connexion to the first volition. But until we know something more of the human mind, this cannot be admitted to be a demonstration. For why should any volition be determined by motives? The mind in determining is not destitute of consideration; but that motives determine it, and not its own agency in the survey of many considerations, ought to be proved. I reject the term motives, as applied to the considerations under the survey of the human

mind. Motive is something that moves; and to apply it to the considerations in the view of the human mind in action, is to take the very matter in dispute for granted. The imagination immediately plays tricks with the word, and converts the motive into the agent. In point of fact, does not this argument of Mr. Edwards' (far the most powerful assertor of Necessity) take for granted, that we are able to analyze all the operations of the human mind? If it do, I think it is not entitled to our confidence; and he thought it demonstration, as he entitled the chapter containing it, the impossibility of Free Will. Now it is evident that this assertion implies no less than that we know that it is impossible for God to create a free agent. Do we, indeed, know this?

Now nothing seems more clear to me than this, that it has been the belief of the freedom of human aetions, that has laid the foundation of the belief of a future state in every age and country; and that this belief alone preserves the expectation of such a state amongst mankind. I say this with the highest respect for the characters and talents of such as are advocates for the opposite doctrine, and leave the reasoning to the judgment of the reader.


P. S. I do not perceive that the Edinburgh definition of Cause and Effect, as quoted in your last Number, [XVI. 700,] by Dr. Morell, at all affects the subject in dispute; it is, besides, rather a definition of the manner how we obtain the evidence of the existence of Cause and Effect, than of what constitutes Cause and Effect. The dispute about what we call Liberty and Necessity is not at all a merely verbal dispute; but one concerning a most momentous distinction. If the conduct of man be the certain result of his bodily and mental constitution and circumstances, of which he is not the author, the doctrine of Philosophical Necessity is true; if otherwise, it is false. Is this a mere verbal question? I confess, I can conceive of no question that was ever agitated by man, less entitled to the character of a play upon words than this is.

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