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ders the mind only so much the more susceptible of imaginative exciteDepts. Torpor, it is true, has to a great extent been dispelled from the European social system ; but who shall say in what manner, or to what purposes, the returning powers of life shall be employed? In now looking upon the populace of the civilized world, such as the revestionary excitements of the last fifty years have made it, one might fancy to see a creature of gigantic proportions just rousing itself, after a long trance, and preparing to move and act among the living. But, what shall be its deeds, and what its temper? The most opposite expectations might be made to appear reasonable. Every thing favorale may be hoped for ;-whatever is appalling may be feared. At rast we may affirm that the belief entertained by some, that great agistions may not again produce great excesses, or that egregious delusmos may not once more, even on the illuminated field of European afairs, draw after them, as in other ages, myriads of votaries, rests upon bo solid grounds of experience or philosophy, and will be adopted only by those who judge of human nature from partial or transient aspects, of who think that the frivolous incidents of yesterday and to-day afford a sufficient sample of all time.

But a persuasion of this sort, founded on the spread of intelligence, whether secular or religious, seems faulty in another manner-namely, in attributing to knowledge, of either kind, more influence than it is actually found to exert over the passions and imagination of the bulk of mankind. Education does indeed produce, in full, its proper effect to moderate the emotions, and as a preservative against delusion, in cold, arid, and calculating spirits ; and it exerts also, in a good degree, the same sort of salutary influence over even the most turbulent or susceptible minds, up to that critical moment when the ordinary counterpoise of reason is overborne, and when some paramount motive gains ascenden7. This sudden overthrow of restraining principles,—an overthrow to which sanguine and imaginative temperaments are always liable, is not often duly allowed for, when it is attempted to forecast the course of buman affairs. We form our estimate of moral causes according to that rate of power at which we observe them now to be moving, but fail to anticipate what they shall become, perhaps the next instant, that is to say, when existing restraints of usage or feeling have been burst asun

pp. 11–14. The author's observations on the rise of the malign emotions, show as usual, that he has looked narrowly into the human heart, and acquainted himself with its most secret and subtle movements. The following passage is an example to this effect :

* The same is true of all forms of the irascible emotions, and which derer go beyond their purpose, and especially can never pass into dispositions, without vitiating the character. Each single instance of excessive excitement contributes, shall we say, the whole amount of its excess to the formation of a habit of the same class ; and then these habits-emotions parted from their occasions, soon run into some sort of perversion, or become misdirected. Unoccupied desire strays from its

der.

path, and attaches itself perniciously to whatever objects it may me İt is thus that human nature subsides into the most corrupted states. certain mode of feeling is generated, of the utter unreasonableness which the mind is dimly conscious, and to rid itself of the uneasy sen of being absurd, rushes on towards sentiments still more preposteroi that by their aid it may quite surround itself with false impressions, a lose all recollection of calm truths. As there is an intoxication of t animal appetites, so is there an intoxication of the malign passions ; aj. perhaps if we could completely analyze some extreme instance of da and atrocious hatred,- hatred when it constitutes the fixed condition the soul, we should find that the miserable being has become what he by the impulse of a perpetual endeavor to drown self-reproach and in ward contempt, in deeper and deeper draughts of the cup of poison.

Up to that point where the subordinate principles of our nature be come transmuted into permanent qualities, imparting a character to th mind, it is easy to discern their reason and propriety as constituents the physical and moral life : nor can we fail to perceive that each i attended with a provision for restraining it within due limits. Thus i is, as we have said, that while the machinery of animal life is impellet by the sense of pleasure which is attached to the brief activity of the appetites, an admonitory uneasiness attends the excessive indulgence ol protracted excitement of them. Consistently with this same regard to ulterior purposes, the irascible emotions in their native state, are denied any attendant pleasurable sense ; or at most so small an element of pleasure belongs to them, that the pain consequent upon their excess or their continuance is always paramount. The dash of gratification, if there be any, does but give momentary life to the rising energy, and then

passes off.

The irascible passions can be allowed to bave respect to nothing beyond the preservation of life, or of its enjoyments, in those unforeseen occasions when no other means but an instantaneous exertion of more than the ordinary force, both of body and mind, and especially of the latter, could avail for the purpose of defense :-anger is the safeguard of beings not housed, like the tortoise, within an impenetrable crust; and if man had been born cased in iron, or were an ethereal substance, he would probably have been furnished with no passionate resentments, Nevertheless every good purpose of such emotions has been anwered when the faculties have received that degree and kind of stimulus which the exigency of the moment demanded; and their continuance must be always (if it were nothing worse) a waste and a perversion of power ; since the conservative ends they may seem to have in view are far more certainly secured by other means when the sudden peril is gone by Malign dispositions and vindictive habits are, shall we say, miserable incumbrances of the mind; as if a man would sustain the load of bulky armor, night and day, and carry shield and lance, though probably he will not encounter a foe once in the year. The checks of opinion, the motives of mutual interest, and at last the provisions of law, and the arm of the body politic, are in readiness to defend us from every aggression, those only excepted which must be repelled at the instant they are made, or not at all.' pp. 23–25.

i

The explanation given of the gratification of consummated repenge is truly ingenious, and perhaps consistent with a remark rich he had before made, viz., that the irascible emotions, in their native state, have, if any pleasure at all is attached to them, stil a paramount degree of pain, arising from their excess or their continuance.

• There is, however, an instance that may seem to be at variance with our assumptions; and it is one which should be fairly looked at. Oi what sort then is the pleasure of consummated revenge; and whence does it spring ?--or must we trace it to the original constitution of the erd? To answer such a question, we should go back to the elements of the moral sense. Let it then be remembered that this sense, indispersable as it is to rational agency and to responsibility, implies, not only a consciousness of pleasure in the view of what is good, benign, ad generous ; but an equal and correspondent feeling (necessarily painfal) towards the opposite qualities, whether of single actions or of character. We cannot so much as form a conception of a moral sense that should possess one of these faculties apart from the other :

:-as well suppose

the

eye to be percipient of light, but unconscious of darkness. The

power of approval is a nullity, if it do not involve a power of disapproval and disgust. What sort of languid and vague instinct were it, which, though capable of high delight in the contemplation of virtue and beneficence, should look listlessly and without emotion upon the infiction of wanton torture, or upon acts of injustice, fraud, or impurity ? We may indeed imagine a world into which no evils and no

iscords or deformities should gain admission ; but it is impossible to conceive of sentient beings endowed with faculties of pleasure, such as should involve no power of suffering. Whoever would be capable of exalted happiness

, must undergo the possibility of misery, equally intense ; or if the power of enjoyment be greater than the power of suffering, the whole amount of the difference is just so much torpor, or so much relaxation. A sense or faculty may indeed be numbed or paralyzed ; but although such damage should secure an exemption from pain, no one would boast of it as a natural perfection.

The sense of fitness, whence arises our acquiescence in retributive proceedings, as well penal as remunerative, implies, an uneasiness not to be dismissed, or even an intense consciousness of pain, so long as mented punishment is diverted, or delayed, or its ultimate arrival is held in doubt. Few emotions, perhaps none, are more racking than that which attends the indeterminate delay of righteous retribution. And ben, as every faculty of pleasure involves a liability to pain, so does a sudden release from pain, mental or bodily, bring with it a sensation which

, if we must hesitate to call it pleasure, it will be hard to designate at all. Thus the extreme uneasiness that attends the delay of retribution, is, when at length relieved by the infliction of due punishment

, followed by an emotion (very transient in benignant minds) which, if it may not be called pleasurable, must remain undescribed. We have only to add that, as the exaggerations of self-love render the common desire of retribution intense--shall we say intolerable, is self

ness.

be the sufferer, so, and in the same degree, will the pleasurable se of relief be enhanced, when, after a doubtful delay, ample retribu! alights on its victim.—The continuance, or the brief duration of malign gratification might well be taken as a gauge of the nobility baseness of the mind that entertains it. If a generous spirit admits all any such emotion, it will refuse to give it lodgment longer thai moment, and will gladly return to sentiments of compassion and forgi

On the contrary, a mind, by disposition and habit rancorous, rives from an achieved revenge a sweetness not soon spent, and wh is resorted to

year

after year as a cordial.' pp. 27–29. We are cheered in view of the progress of society, through t influence of the pure ethics of the bible; though the lively pictu which the author draws, seems, in a degree, inconsistent with th previous assumption already noticed, of a possible speedy re-a pearance of a virulent fanaticism.

• The time perhaps shall come-nay we devoutly expect it, whent the universal diffusion of a sound and pure ethics—the ethics of th Bible, no room shall be left, no need shall be felt for the chastening is fluence which hitherto the imagination has exerted over the ferociou dispositions of mankind. Yes, an age shall come, when the gods an heroes of history shall hasten to those shades of everlasting forgetfulnes which have closed upon their patrons—the gods and beroes of mytho logy. In the same day the charm of fiction shall be dissolved, and the gaudiness of false sentiment, in all kinds, shall be looked at with the cold contempt which now we bestow upon the follies of false worship Then too, the romance (as well practical as literary) of this nineteenth century shall be bound in the bundle that contains the decayed and childish fables of olden times, and both together shall be consigned, without heed or regret, to sheer oblivion.

The slow but sure progress of society brings with it many substilutions of this sort, in which a less rational principle of action gives way to one that is more so. At the present moment we occupy just that midway position which, while it allows us to gaze with idle curiosity upon the blood-stained stage of chivalry, and upon the deluged fields of lawless ambition, quite forbids that any such modes of conduct should find a place among us as living realities. We are too wise and virtuous to give indulgence to that to which we largely give our admiration! May not yet another step or two be taken on the path of reason, and then we shall cease even to admire that which we have long ceased to tolerate ?

So already it has actually happened in relation to those malign and sanguinary religious excitements which a few centuries ago kindled entire communities, and inflamed kings and mendicants, nobles and serfs, priests and wantons, abstracted monks and the dissolute rabble, with one purpose of sacred ambition. Though we now peruse with wonder and curiosity the story (for example) of the Crusades, there are very sew readers in the present day--perhaps hardly one, who can rouse up a sympathy with that vehement feeling which was the paramount motive

of the enterprise. Only let us strip the history of the crusades of all its elements of martial and secular glory, and the simple religious residue -the proper fanaticism of the drama, would scarcely touch any modern imagination. How much more is this true of those horrid crusades of which the internal enemies of the Church of Rome have, at different times, been the victims! All feeling of alliance with the illusions that gave impulse to such abhorrent intestine wars has (do we assume too much?) utterly passed away, nor could by any means be rekindled ; and the two emotions of pity for the sufferers, and of detestation of the actors in the scenes of fratricide, are the only sentiments which the narrative can call up. Yet there was a time when men-born of women, and fashioned like ourselves-yes, and men softened by education, and not uninformed by Christianity--saints and doctors, delicate recluses, and unearthly contemplatists—men who slept only three hours in the twenty-four, and prayed six or ten—when such men gave all the passion of their souls, and all the eloquence of their lips, to the work of hunting thousands of their fellows innocent and helpless, into the greedy fires of the Church !

Thus it appears that the very order of sentiment which once was allowed and lauded as magnanimous, and even divine, we have learned to regard as either purely ridiculous, or as abominable. A like reprobation inevitably awaits (if mankind is really advancing on the road of virtue) every mode of feeling which, being essentially malevolent, draws specious colors from the imagination. That which is true and just, in conduct and character, must at length supplant whatever, if stripped of its decorations, is loathsome or absurd. So certainly as the calm reason of christianity spreads itself through the world, will the ground fall in beneath the gorgeous but tottering edifice of spurious imaginative virtue. Let but the irresistible process go on a little further

, and it will become as impracticable to uphold in credit the still extant opinion which admits of honor without justice or purity, and of magtanimity without benevolence, and of that thirst of glory which is sheer selfishness, as it would be now, after the mechanic arts have reached an onthought-of perfection, to keep in use the cumbrous handmachines of the last century.' pp. 48–50.

In the section of his book which treats of fanaticism as the offspring of enthusiam, our author reduces the general characteristics of the spurious, malign religion which animates the bosom of the fanatic

, to three capital articles. 1. A deference to malignant,

power. 2. A rancorous contempt, or detestation of the mass of mankind, as religiously cursed or abominable. 3. The belief of corrupt favoritism on the part of invisible powers, towards a sect or particular class of men. These are common to all the kinds of fanaticism afterwards enumerated and described. They aze, perhaps, its essential and universal elements. The author is careful

, as it became him, to discriminate between a belief in malign

, invisible powers, such as the scriptures and reason authorize, and an imputation of malignancy to the Supreme Power, or de

17

invisible

Vol. VI.

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