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leading men of the present time; and as it assuredly was by most of the leading men of the revolutionary times, which have hardly gone by in a neighbouring country. The French physiologists have exported to this country their fashions of thinking and disputing. An exclusive contemplation of physical causes, an over-reliance on experimental deduction, a depreciation of moral evidence, an abusive extension of Lord Bacon's principles, a study of nature that leaves out nature's God, appears to characterize too strongly the course of study to which the general mind is at present industriously directed and impelled. The "march of intellect" is a stunning phrase, that hardly permits the voice of pious foreboding to be heard. A study and instruction which terminate in extending our acquaintance with the capacities and properties of matter, and find their principal inducement and reward in the increase of corporeal gratification, or which, at least, are entirely terrestrial and temporary in their objects, do not only not lead to the consummation devoutly to be wished by every true patriot and lover of the soul, but afford a very dubious pledge and promise of real intellectual advancement among the mass of our population. If the value of mental attainments is to be estimated with reference to their proper


end and purpose, the knowledge of Scripture divinity, and of the duties which flow from that knowledge, are surely to be preferred to a proficiency in sciences, which only propose to lay nature more widely under contribution to sense and appetite. By which observations it is far from being intended to treat with disrespect inquiries into nature's operations, but to insist upon the danger of giving them an engrossing influence, to the exclusion of better things. Take two persons of ordinary average capacity from the humbler path of life; put the one under the exclusive process of instruction in physical philosophy, according to the improved modern method of accelerating knowledge among what are called the operative classes; and let the other be taught from the Bible to judge of himself, in his relations to God and his fellows; let him be taught duly to feel the worth of his soul, the extent of his accountability, his natural corruption, and the true spiritual grounds of his hope and trust; and let this be all he learns, or, at least, his great and engrossing study, and it will be soon manifested which of these two persons, by the enlargement of his understanding and the general invigoration of his reasoning powers, reflects the greater credit on the means taken to improve him in a word, which turns out the

more sensible man, in the general and popular view of that character.

The subject is not an agreeable one. It is painful to stand in opposition to any scheme ostensibly formed for the promotion of general intelligence; but still, in delineating the characteristics of any of the great operations now in action for the improvement of our fellow-beings, it is difficult to avoid dwelling a little longer upon certain tendencies, which naturally arise out of arrangements as captivating in their sound as they are comprehensive in their consequences. As in the natural body, particular determinations, strong impulses, and a partial distribution of organic action, are the occasions of disease; so in the social system certain morbid phenomena indicate the presence of disturbing influences, and a disproportionate direction of its energies. Society seems to shake either with fever or fear, while the whole faculty are assembled about her in clamorous consultation, with their formidable apparatus of laxatives, alteratives, and restoratives, so as to render it altogether doubtful whether she is to die of disease or the curative process. Where matter is held up as the great object and end of inquiry, and sense and experiment arrogate an ascendency so prevailing as to throw into disrepute all other tests of truth, or

guides to knowledge, sober men rationally take alarm. They cannot, perhaps, distinctly designate, or decisively demonstrate, the danger which they apprehend; but they feel an inquietude in the contemplation of the new aspect of popular instruction, akin to that which the expression of certain countenances usually excites. Something, too, there is in particular physiognomies which alarm only by their similitude to those which have been observed to belong to certain authors of mischief and misery; and these are often safer documents to go upon than inferences grounded on more legitimate reasoning.

From the general tone of conversation and style of expression on this subject, it does not appear as if the heart were the soil in which the seeds of these new products were to be sown, or that truth, as it has been revealed to us, were to have its ascendency acknowledged in this catholic scheme of refinement. And yet, without this ascendancy fully acknowledged, it may be doubted whether all the teaching in the world will do any thing but stuff the minds of the labouring classes with the beggarly refuse of atheistical philosophy and revolutionary politics, warp them out of their proper places, propagate conceit and discontent, inflame the presumptu ousness of pride, and arm the powers of male

volence. There is a blessed condition annexed by divine promise to holy teaching, and to holy teaching only,-" all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children."

The expedients now in operation, or in preparation, may be variously viewed. To some they afford a subject of calculation, in what ratio the brain may be made productive, under a given stimulus; others are satisfied with a vague impression, that any impulse given to the human mind must necessarily propel it in a course of advancement: and that it is only to create a talking, reading, and disputing population, to secure the progress of the cause of truth. Some look with complacency upon a state of mental fermentation, as involving the elements of political change, the seeds of a new produce of ideas, and the generation of a new strength in the country; while others anticipate moral perplexity and mischief from this plebeian philosophy, deeming it safer that those who subsist by manual labour should take at least their spiritual learning from authorized instructors, than that they should be left to rove at large in a region overspread with contagious error.

Whatever ground there may be for any of

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