« AnteriorContinuar »
Art. 1.-Questions in Political Eco- of the extracts are beautiful, and when
nomy, Politics, Morals, Metaphy- he intermingles his own remarks, (ive sics, Polite Literature, and other wish he had done so more frequently Branches of knowledge ; for Dis- and more largely,) he shews a sound cussion in Literary Societies, or for judgment, a rich imagination and a Private Study. With Remarks un- refined taste. der each Question, Original and The title of the “ Questions” exSelected. By the Author of “Essays plains their object. To that object on the Formation and Publication of they are altogether answerable. They Opinions.” Crown 8vo. pp. 414. will be highly serviceable to young Hunter. 1823.
men who are accustomed to associate WHIS unknown Author's former for intellectual improvement, and they
work, of which we gave so full will not be uninteresting to general an account, (XVII. 553 and 625,) readers who wish to review their stuprepared us for expecting under the dies, to trace the progress of mental above title a valuable addition to mo. philosophy, and to see the argument dern literature, and we have not been
on all the great questions that occupy disappointed. He now appears before the highest understandings exhibited us as a compiler, and though he does in a condensed form. not surprise us by the extent of his
We cannot better explain or in. reading, he wins our confidence by his deed recommend the “Questions” familiarity with the best authors. His than by giving one entire, as a specireferences are always pertinent, some
“ Ques. xliv. Is it true, that as the Boundaries of Science are enlarged the Empire of Imagination is diminished ?
“ In the progress of society, a number of illusions, superstitions, and erroneous associations, which formerly produced a wonderful effect on the mind, and became powerful instruments in the hands of the orator and the poet, necessarily lose their influence. As things become better, known, there is less room for the play of the imagination. Hence it is said the world has grown less poetical. In the words of Voltaire :
". Op a banni les demons et les fées,
Sous la raison les graces étouffées,
Ah! croyez moi, l'erreur a son mérite.' “Philosophy,' says a very able writer in the Edinburgh Review, which has led to the exact investigation of causes, has robbed the world of much of its sublimity: and by preventing us from believing much, and from wondering at any thing, has taken away balf our enthusiasm, and more than half our admiration.' Vol. XXI. p. 25.
« « It cannot be concealed,' says another modern critic, “that the progress of knowledge and refinement has a tendency to circumscribe the limits of the imagina. tion, and to clip the wings of poetry. The province of the imagination is principally visionary, the unknown and undefined : the understanding restores things to their natural boundaries, and strips them of their fanciful pretensions. Hence i he history of religious and poetical enthusiasm is much the same; and both have receired å sensible shock from the progress of experimental philosophy. It is the underved and uncommon, that gives birth and scope to the imagination : we can only fancy what we do not know. As in looking into the mazes of a tangled wood, we fill then with what shapes we please, with ravenous bcasts, with caverns rast, and drear enchantments, so, in our ignorance of the world about us, we make gods or derils of the first object we see, and set no bounds to the wilful suggestions of our hopes aud fears,
« And visions as poetic eyes avow,
Hang on each leaf, and cling to erery bough.' “ See Hazlitt's Lectures on the English Poets, p. 18.
Review.- Questions in Political Economy.
« On the other hand, the discoveries of Soience, particularly those of astronomy, have opened fresh fields for the imagination, and have added in various ways to the beauty and sublimity of natural objects. So at least thought Akenside when he wrote the following lines :
" "Nor erer yet
The smiling rainbow's vermeil tinctured hues,
Involves the orient.' « The following passage, from the same author, owes all its sublimity to modern discoveries :
" The high-born soul
Nor yel arriv'd in sight of mortal things.' " In the discussion of this subject, there is one consideration, which has been generally overlooked. It is evident, that as civilization advances, as the boundaries of science are enlarged, as the world grows older, there is a wider and wider field opening for imaginatiou in the past. Every day is adding to the page of history, and Time is perpetually covering year after year, and ceutury after century, with his visionary hues and sombre colouring, with the moss and ivy of association. Past events are gathering round them that power of awakening thought and feeling, which must ever belong to what is separated from us by the food of ages. Here, then, imagination has a continually increasing empire, a territory in which she may always • reign and revel.' Our fiuest poets have accordingly resorted to it for some of their most splendid passages, and it inay be fairly doubted whether modern poetry has not gained more from this single source, than she has lost by the dispersion of thosc powerful superstitions, which have fled the light of science,
“¢ As Etna's fires grow dim before the light of day.' “ Where is the superstition, that could afford a fiver range to the imagination than the following ?
«• The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
Of the snow-shining mountains.-Beautiful!
When I was wandering, -upon such a night
I stood within the Coliseum's wall,
LORD BYRON'S MANFRED,
Art. II.-An Analytical Investiga- brew idiom expressing a long time in
tion of the Scriptural Claims of the reference to the action or event desDevil.
cribed. Hence, he concludes, (pp. (Concluded from p. 660.)
229, 230,) that “ when it is said that
Jesus fasted forty days and forty MR
[R. SCOTT devotes the Xth, nights, we are not to understand by
XIth, and XIIth Lectures to the expression that he literally went the consideration of our Lord's Temp- without every kind of food during tation in the Wilderness. With the that time, or that he was miraculously literal historic sense of this part of the supported without eating and drink gospels, he rejects also the hypothesis ing, since this is not intimated in the of its relating either a visionary pre- narration by either of the Evangelists; figuration or a symbolic representation but that in the exercise of his ministry of the trials and difficulties of Christ's in the wilderness, being a long time ministry, and maintains that it is a without a sufficiency of nourishing detail of mental conflicts, “ the na- food, he began to feel its effects on a tural suggestions of a mind like our constitution which does not appear to own.” He acknowledges, however, have been robust, but experiencing that this interpretation is not free from the uneasy and irritating sensations of objections.
hunger.” "The Lecturer makes some very just Lectures XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. and observations upon our Lord's being XVII. relate to the Demons and Demowithout food in the wilderness for niacal possessions of the New Testaforty days. He shews that the wilder- ment. The author produces evidence ness was not an inaccessible or wholly to shew that the gods of the Heathens barren country; that fasting did not were deified men and women, many always denote in Jewish language a of whom were designated by the term total abstinence from food; and that demons and worshiped under that the expression forty days was a He- name: that centuries before the misReview.-Scott's Lectures on the Devil.
723 sion of Christ, the Heathens believed vicious courses, and then making use of that the departed souls of good men pernicious means to counteract their efbecame good demons, and the de- fects; or by giving way to violent pas. parted souls of wicked men became sions ; or by indulging in enthusiastic wicked demons: that these ghosts of notions of every kind, religious enthusiasm the wicked, called demons, were re
not excepted ; and also by what is termed
natural causes. The human system, if garded as the authors of many of the most distressing analadies and calami- description given us by medical writers
we may judge from analysis, or from the ties with which men were afflicted, by of that age, and of the present, does not entering into their bodies and taking appear to have undergone any change possession of their whole frame : and since the time of our Lord. Man was that the Jews adopted these and other then formed of the same component parts opinions, though in opposition to as he now is. Similar causes, therefore, their Scriptures, from the Heathens, allowing for difference of climate, and a during their long captivity in Babylon, diversity in the manner of living, the and subsequently in the Platonic school habits, the pursuits, and the occupations of Alexandria. "He further represents Knowing these things to be facts, we are
of men, must produce similar diseases. that the most learned and skilful prac. not required in the Scriptures to believe titioners of those times disbelieved, what contradicts our senses or our expecontroverted and disproved these ab- rience ; nor are we to regulate our faith surd and superstitious ideas, and that by the credulity or superstitious notions the medical practitioners of the pre- of others concerning this or any other sent day can trace the several causes disease, in this or any other age. I have in which these diseases, anciently at- already endeavoured to account, and I tributed to the possession of the hu- hope satisfactorily, for our Lord and his anan frame by evil demons, originate: apostles making use of the popular lanwhence he infers that in the tiines of guage, concerning certain diseases which our Lord and his apostles, there were they removed : their compliance in this no actual possessions by denions or respect, does not render it necessary for devils, but then, as well as now, each
us to believe an absurdity, nor to credit and all of those disorders termed de- All things are possible with God. True;
an impossibility. Some of you may reply, moniacal, proceeded from a great va- but goodness and benevolence are essenriety of causes, but all of them con- tially necessary to the perfection of his nected with the diseased state of the nature and character ; malignity, thereanimal economy. Pp. 308, 309. fore, can form no part of his moral go
The critical examination of the case vernment. These unclean spirits, these of the Gadarene Demoniac, in the ghosts of deceased wicked men, called by XIVth Lecture, is inasterly. The re- Jews and Heathens, demons, cannot be marks upon his supposed worship of employed by him to inflict diseases on Jesus, (pp. 318-324,) are deserving these demons, in thus entering into men,
mankind, because the avowed design of of particular attention. In the following valuable passage, the reader lignant. And malign in its consequences
was universally acknowledged to be mawill see a fair specimen of this part must that system of religion be, which is of the work:
founded on the employment, or, at least, “ From the preceding examination of the permission, which amounts to the the actions and language of this Gadarene same thing, of a powerful, evil, malicious maniac, it appears that his was a species spirit, to act as the “implacable enemy, of insanity which is not uncommon in tempter, and tormentor of the humau our own times. And if the Devil were race;' or to allow bis coadjutors or agents the author of this afflicting malady then, to indulge themselves in the malicious as many of his believers assert, why is pleasure of making whom they possessed he not so nuro? Or, if these evil spirits, partakers of their torments.”
Such a these departed ghosts of wicked men, system is calculated, from the horror called demons, occasioned this aberration and dreadful agitation it produces in of the human mind, in all its stages, in some minds, to become an abundant the time of our Lord, why do they not source of mental derangement. Its tencause it now? The various degrees of dency does not bespeak it to be the glad mental derangement are now occasioned tidings of the gospel, nor to be peace on by some disorganization of the animal earth, or good will to men. Can it be economy, produced either by an intem- glad tidings to men to be told that their perate use of strong, and particularly of Creator employs a powerful, malevolent, spirituous liquors; or by eagerly pursuing and implacable enemy to seduce them
from the path of duty; and if they per. even were it granted that any partimit themselves to be seduced, they are cular theory must be supported at all to be doomed by him to an eternity of hazards. torments in hell? I state not the melan
The Lecturer does not in our judgcholy tendency of this system upon my ment state the case fully when he own opinion or authority, but on the authority, and as the opinion of one who represents the Ephesian Exorcists must be considered as an impartial judge (Acts xix. 19) as burning, rather than in this case, Dr. Joseph Mason Cox ;* selling their books because they taught who belonged, from his childhood till his practices which were in opposition to death, to that class of Christians usually the principles and precepts of the denominated Particular, or Calvinistic, Christian religion (p. 428). These Baptists. In his practical treatise on in- books were recipes for conjuring, sanity, he observes, My experience has 'Epécia ypaypata, spells or charms, furnished many unhappy instances, in and the converted magicians destroyed which the misplaced, injudicious zeal of them because they were the known preachers has induced hypochondriasis ; instruments of imposture, fraud and in others, insanity of the most incurable species and moping melancholy often ter- robbery, which are contrary to the minated by suicide. Professors of this principles and precepts of all religions. deseription, with the very best intentions,
Having concluded the investigation too frequently make po allowance for the of the various passages of Scripture peculiarity of natural disposition, and that refer to the Devil, the author impute to serious conviction and celestial proceeds in Lectures XVIII. XIX. XX. intiuence what more properly belongs to XXI. and XXII. to explain the language incipient disease, or the agency of certain of the Bible, considered as referring, moral and physical causes. Nothing is under the English terin Hell, to a more calculated to depress hope and in- place of future punishment. He disduce despondency, thau the indiscriminate practice of minutely describing, in the
eusses at large the meaning of the most glowing colours, the effects and words Sheol, Hades and Gehenna. consequences of sin, the horrors of hell, He proves, we think, that Sheol, and the sufferings of the damned ; dwell- which in our version of the Old Testaing on the judgments, more than on the ment is often rendered Hell, would mercy, and the goodness, of the Deity. be more truly translated, at least in And I remember to have heard Dr. Ma. the majority of instances, by the word sont deeply lament this tendency in what
grave. he termed the terrors of the gospel.'
The following bold criticism would Pp. 332-336.
be more intelligible at Portsmouth We wish the author had suppressed than at some other places : the passage, pp. 424–426, in which he treats almost with levity the state in which we find Sheol, is Jonah ii. 3,
“ The next instance in point of time ment in Acts xix. 12, that " bandker
where the prophet says, that he prayed to chiefs or aprons" from the body of
God out of the belly of Sheol, i. e. Hell, Paul possessed a healing virtue. Mr. according to our translators; but Grare, Evanson has, we know, denounced according to Archbishop Newcome. Jonah the passage as spurious ; but it is we is speaking of his great deliverance by think unwarrantable and dangerous to the kind providence of God, who, when apply the pruning-knife ad libitum to be was nearly overwhelmed and sinking the Scriptures, and upon a supposed in a tempestuous sea, provided for his incongruity or improbability to dis- escape from a watery grave, by another regard and set aside the united testi
ship, whose crew seeing his danger, went mony of all MSS. and all versions.
to his relief, and rescued him when he In this case, there appears to us to
was in the very jaws of death, “from be no necessity for such a proceeding, he had risen on the waves and descended
corruption,' nnw, shacath, the grare : with them, he had been down to the
bottoms of the mountains; the earth, • “ Physician to the long-established with her bars, was about him for ever. Asylum for Lunatics, at the Fish Ponds, Ver. 6. While thus in the midst of the near Bristol."
waves ; now on the top of the mountain +" Who belonged to the same class of of the sea, and now at the bottom; from Christians, and was grandfather to Dr. this bed of death, this belly of Sheol, Cox, and his predecessor in that well. he cried unto the Lord, who heard him. conducted establishment."
Ver. 2. When taken from this perilous