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prevalency of commercial competition, the system of private property, and the debasing influence of false religions.* They look with commiseration upon men, regarding them as wanderers from the paths of nature and truth, and they ardently wish “to reclaim them from the error of their ways."| Believing that no religion can be true but that which is in accordance with nature, or founded on demonstrable facts, they reject all those systems of spurious theology which originated in an age of ignorance and barbarism, when monkish darkness triumphed over the prostrate energies of man, and when mind was shorn of its noblest honours, by the malignant influence of superstition. They consider all such systems hurtful instead of being advantageous. They believe that instead of enlightening the human intellect and stimulating it to investigate its most important interests, they do little more than bewilder it in a chaos of vapid and baseless speculation. Whatever appears to them to be good in any doctrinal or preceptive system they embrace, and whatever appears to be false they reject. Their fundamental doctrine is the formation of character as before described, and their religion consists in the unrestricted exercise of their benevolent feelings.

But socialism is not merely a speculative system, it also assumes a practical form. Its founder proposes plans for the renovation of degraded humanity, and the more enlarged production and equalized distribution of wealth. Society, by acting on these plans-by abolishing the narrow principle of individualism, and adopting the opposite one of mutual co-operation, would vastly increase its productive power, and the new arrangements proposed by Mr. Owen would secure to each individual à portion of the wealth thus created adequate to his maintenance in health and comfort.

The advantages which would accrue to the population from such a system are incalculably great. The

* Owen's Six Lectures, pp. 14, 32. + Ibid. p. 41.

| Vid Taylor's Diegeses. Higgins' Celtic Druids and Anacalypsis. § Owen's Six Lectures, p. 110.

causes of vice and suffering would be removed, and as a consequence their effects would proportionably cease. Society would no longer exhibit those glaring inequalities of condition observable at present. There would not be a proud and pampered class of aristocrats, bloated with the most fantastic ideas of their dignity and grandeur, to trample on the rights and liberties of their fellows; nor would there be any poor to repine at their own lot, orenvy the condition of their more fortunate brethren. Each would labour to produce his due proportion of wealth, and all would enjoy the advantages of co-operative measures. Thus, kindness and affection would thrill through every bosom, and waves of delighted sensibility undulate from heart to heart.

This system is in accordance with nature, because it is capable of affording man a degree of felicity commensurate with his power of enjoyment. The whole constitution of nature declares that man was intended to be happy. The ear is fitted to receive sound, and there is the chorus of the universe to regale it. The eye is adapted to receive light, and the human being so organized as to be capable of experiencing pleasure upon beholding a beauteous prospect; and many bright and lovely landscapes are pencilled on the ample bosom of nature, on which the poet's eye delights to linger," and which, when seen, excite the most pleasing emotions. The organs of touch, taste, and smell, possess susceptibilities to action, and there are agencies in nature capable of exciting them so as to enlarge the sum of human happiness. In short, nature is a mighty storehouse, from whence our intellectual, moral, and corporeal wants may be supplied.

To whatever department of inanimate nature we turn our attention, we behold little but scenes of loveliness and grandeur. This terraqueous globe, which, (to use the language of a French poet,) “human vanity hath divided into climates and regions," appears to be stocked with a diversity of wonders. The river rolls along in silent pomp, pouring its majestic volume of waters through a world of forests, forming at once the emblem of human life, the talisman of poetry, the dispenser of happiness, and the parent of vegetation. The mountain rears its gigantic bosom towards the clouds, gathers round its summit the vapours of heaven, and scans the vale below with an air of superiority. The forest, attired in the efflorescence of summer, mocks the sunlight to which it is almost impervious. The fields are garnished with the richest verdure, the flowers enamelled with the most gorgeous colours, the landscape, varied with hill and dale, lake and woodland, the world an immense repository of beauty. Nor is the magnificence of nature confined to this earth. Beautiful and glorious as our globe is, it dwindles into a mere speck when contrasted with those suns and worlds which sparkle on the bosom of the midnight heaven. In the wide fields of immensity Jupiter travels his course and Uranus walks his round. There planets roll and systems rise in endless gradations of magnificence: whilst the galaxy-the manufactory of worlds, moves around with solemn but unobtrusive grandeur. What cultivated intellect can behold the splendours of midnight scenery with apathy? What philosopher can reflect on the dimensions, densities, and velocities of the heavenly bodies without experiencing the purest delight?. Do not these phenomena declare the beauty, the dignity, and the grandeur of the universe ?

But in the midst of all this magnificence we find one race of beings degraded and unhappy. lord of the creation, “ the paragon of animals,” the being “who is in form and movement so press and admirable,” who is “ in action so like an angel, in apprehension so like a god,” is frequently found in a state of moral and physical indigence, a prey to the worst evils that can lay desolate the heart. Though the earth has an immense productive power, equal, yea more than equal, to the supply of his wants, yet his corporeal desires often remain unsatisfied. The sources of knowledge lie scattered around him in boundless profusion, but he remains comparatively ignorant. Though we have laws innumerable embodied in our codes of criminal and political jurisprudence for the proper regulation of the affairs of the commonwealth and the repression of crime-though we have many thousands of well-paid

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priests, whose labours were originally intended to promote morality, yet moral turpitude prevails to a frightful extent; the calendars in our courts of justice are lengthy and well filled, and the legislature of the country is embarrassed. Why are these things so? Because our politico-economical arrangements are defective, and because society, having the power to train up the rising generation in knowledge, virtue, and happiness, neglects to fulfil its natural obligations.

But, thank heaven, the reign of superstition, tyranny, and falsehood, is drawing to a close.Coming events cast their shadows before," and the shadows of the coming change already hover around us. The beams of truth have begun to irradiate the world, and soon their benign influence will dissipate the mists which have been gathering for ages on the human understanding. Knowledge will then shine forth pre-eminently lovely, and socialism will teach mankind that, to perform a kind office for a fellow-being—to smooth the rugged pathway of life, so that it may be more easily trodden by him, is more truly honourable than to sit an enthroned despot, or be the conqueror of nations.

FRAGMENTS ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF DIFFERENT

NATIONS.

DANCING.

Definition. DANCE, or dancing, as at present practised, may be defined an agreeable motion of the body, adjusted by art to the measures or tones of instruments, or of the voice. But, according to what some reckon more agreeable to the true genius of the art, dancing is the art of expressing the sentiments of the mind, or of the passions, by measured steps, or bounds, that are made in cadence, by regulated motions of the body, and by graceful gestures; all performed to the sound of musical instruments or of voice.- Encyclopædia Britannica, article on dancing.

Probable Origin of the Custom. “Dancing is looked on by philosophers at the present day with contempt; but I have no doubt that the dance was among the ancients esteemed of much greater importance than has been suspected. It was generally accompanied with both music and poetry, and the original intention was to keep in recollection the sacred mythoses before the invention of writing; and surely nothing could be better contrived for this purpose. All early sacred books were poetical. For the same purpose, festivals equally accompanied with dancing, and poetry set to music and sung to the dancing, were established to keep in recollection victories or other celebrated events. When this view is taken of those apparently frivolous acts, how surprisingly are they changed! Instead of sciences contemptible and demoralising, as they became after the art of writing was made public, we see that, when under the supervision of the first priesthood, they were originally most important, and must have been the firmest supports to patriotism, morality, and every generous virtue. We now see why they were patronised by the Socrateses and Pythagorases of antiquity."-Anacalypsis, by Godfrey Higgins, vol. ii., b. v., c. iv., s. 16, p. 424.

I some time ago made an observation on the attachment of Pythagoras and the ancients to music. I have no doubt that music was closely connected with religion. All the ancient unwritten mysteries (and all mysteries were once unwritten), were originally preserved in rhythm or metre, and set to music, or preserved by or contained in music. Rhythm, metre, and music, were all invented for the purpose

of aiding the memory-of assisting it more correctly to retain the sacred numbers. For many generations after the

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