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more honesty in doing so. Her readers would, at least, have been forewarned, and might, in consequence, have declined her further companionship. As it is, their suspicions are allayed by the absence of direct denial, and the inexperienced are thus allured, until the systematic avoidance of allusion to the miracu. lous portions of Jewish history awakens their surprise, and leads them more attentively to examine the thread of her narrative. Instantly that they do so the spell is dissolved, and they feel indignant at the delusion attempted. The scripture history is brought down to the level of ordinary life. The Divine mission of Moses, the miracles he wrought in the presence of Pharaoh, the passage of the Red Sea, and the interpositions of Jehovah in the wanderings of the Israelites, are passed over as pure fables. So complete is this negation, that the reader of these volumes might close them without being aware that such things had ever been alleged. And all this is done with an affectation of philosophy and deep thought, which puts the unwary off their guard. Some points of the character of Moses are indeed ably sketched ; his solitary musings in the desert, his patriotic aspirations on behalf of his people, the wisdom with which he conducted them from bondage, and the promptitude and presence of mind with which he adapted his plans to their varying moods and circumstances, are dwelt on with masterly skill. But throughout the whole, Moses is simply the sage and patriot. His thoughts are those of earth, elevated, it is true, above his fellows, but utterly wanting the authority of a special mission, or any distinct and continuous reference to an overruling Deity. But this is not all. Referring to the giving of the Law, Miss Martineau tells us, there is no evidence to decide the locality, because the premises can never be fixed,' and then adds, with a disingenuousness discreditable alike to her learning and her candor :
While every body believes the general fact of the leading of the Hebrews to this region, in order to prepare them for their future nationality, no one can say how much of the details is strictly historical, and how much legendary. The numbers and dates of the narrative are regarded by all the learned, I believe, as untenable; as given, after the Hebrew manner, in the large, and in established terms, understood by Hebrew hearers, but altogether misleading to those who would take them as literally as if they had been assigned after, instead of before, the origin of true history. Learned men, who are up to the mark of historical science in our day, know that the Hebrews and their followers could not have amounted to two millions of people when they left Egypt, and that the 'forty years' and 'forty days' assigned to a variety of transactions is not to be taken literally, nor was ever meant to be so.'—Ib. p. 241. So far from the transactions referred to not being viewed as literal, it is the common faith of Christendom, sustained by the most profound thinkers of our race, that, without such a hypothesis, the history is unintelligible, the character of Moses open to fatal crimination, and the very teachings of our Lord involved in ambiguity and doubt. And then, as to the numbers specified, we are perfectly astonished at the cool dogmatism of Miss Martineau. Who the learned men' may be to whom she refers we know not; but of this we are assured, that the highest authorities establish, beyond reasonable doubt, the literal accuracy of the Mosaic statement. The alleged number of the Israelites, so far from being incredible, is horne out by well attested facts, and is in keeping with the theory of the most profound writers on population. The coolness with which such assertions are made, recoils with terrible effect on herself; disproving either her competency to the question discussed, or betokening a foregone conclusion.
The Mosaic institutions are, of course, in Miss Martineau's view, a mere transcript of those of Egypt, accommodated to the circumstances and prejudices of the Israelites. Moses was compelled by their debasement to abandon his design of esta. blishing a pure theocracy, and being reduced to the necessity of instituting a ritual religion, naturally looked to Egypt for his pattern. 'After a long and terrible conflict, he surrendered his highest hopes for the people, and pursued a lower aim. He gave them a ritual, Egyptian in its forms, and seasons, and associations, but with Jehovah alone for its object. This theory is consistently followed throughout, and we are told, therefore, that 'the serpent in Eden is, in the history, a mere serpent, altogether Egyptian in its conception, and bearing no relation whatever to the evil being with which superstition afterwards connected it. Moses no where hints at such a notion as that of an express author of evil.' We are well aware of the authorities which may be pleaded in support of this theory, and are not disposed to deny that there are circumstances which give it an air of plausibility. The authorities, however, with very few exceptions, belong to a class whose inquiries commence with a denial of what is supernatural, whilst the analogies relied on are susceptible of another, and, as we believe, far more consistent and satisfactory solution. That there should be resemblances, more or less distinct, between some of the laws of Moses and those of Egypt, is far from surprising, and proves nothing to the point. The real question is, which theory best accounts for the ritual as a whole,—that which deems him a mere human legislator, copying from and improving what he had seen in Egypt, or that which admits the interposition of a Divine intelligence, adapting its institutions to the capacities, and knowledge,
and wants of a people? Ou the former hypothesis, a few facts obtain partial explanation, while on the latter, a beautiful light is thrown over the whole, which gives them a consistency and completeness not otherwise attainable.
In keeping with the temper expressed in these views, the distinctive doctrine of Christianity, God manifest in the flesh,' is repudiated as a heathen fable :
We bad seen,' says Miss Martineau, in Egypt, and in the Greek philosophy which was thence derived, ages before the time of Christ, those allegorical fables of Osiris and his nature and offices, of the descent of the Supreme on earth in a fleshly form, and the deifying or sanctifi. cation of intercessors which were unhappily, but very naturally, connected with the simple teachings of Christ by the Platonising converts of vari. ous countries, at an early period, and which to this day deform and vitiate the gospel in countries which vet keep clear of the open idolatries of the Greek and Latin churches.'— Vol. iii. p. 127.
We deeply regret the error which this statement betokens, and though Miss Martineau will probably regard us as narrowminded and intolerant, we must say, that to reject the incarnation and atonement of the Redeemer, under whatever hypothesis, is, in our judgment, to discard the only hope of a lapsed and perishing world. We are not aware of any bitterness of feeling, certainly we are free from personal prejudice, but our conviction is such, that were we to relinquish our confidence in these truths, we should reject revelation as a lie, and surrender ourselves to the bitterness of despair.
Another most serious error pervading these volumes, is the pantheism which breathes throughout them. Judaism, Ma. hometanism, and Christianity, are but forms, mere outward symbols, beneath each and all of which, acceptable worship may alike be rendered to God. And this too, not in a sup. posable case only, where the Jew and the Mahometan have not had an opportunity of acquainting themselves with the Christian faith, but where that faith has been examined and deliberately rejected :
Those,' says our author, 'who are intimate with the minds of edu. cated and conscientious Jews are aware that such cannot be converted to Christianity : that the very foundation of their faith cannot support that superstructure : that there can be, to them, no reason why they should change, and every conceivable reason why they should not. They well know that it is only the ill-grounded Jew who can be converted; the weak, the ignorant, or the needy and immoral.”—Ib. p. 112.
Miss Martineau is singularly perspicacious in detecting the superstitions of Christians, and she cannot well say too much respecting the debasement of those in Palestine; yet, with strange inconsistency, the Jews of Jerusalem are said to have a noble faith,' from which she deems it worse than folly to attempt to withdraw them. But enough of this. We are weary of our task. What we have said will sufficiently indicate our opinion of these volumes. We have written in sorrow, and dismiss the work with a deliberate conviction, that it is one of the most pernicious, as it is, certainly, one of the most insidious, productions of the day. What is pleasing and instructive, is infinitely outweighed by the distorted views, antireligious prejudices, and rank scepticism, which are so prodigally scattered throughout.
Art. VII.-1. Preliminary Address of the Council of the People's
League to their Countrymen of the British Empire. 2. Plan of Organization of the People's League. London: Aylott
and Jones. 1818. 3. Public Opinion; or, Safe Revolution through Self-Representation.
By Hewett Cottrell Watson. London: Effingham Wilson, 1848. 4. A Voice for the Millions : Reasons for Appealing to the Middle
Classes on Behalf of their Unenfranchised Brethren. By a Norwich
Operative. London: Houlston and Stoneman. 5. Electoral Districts : or, the Apportionment of the Representation of
The Country on the Basis of its Population, being an Inquiry into the
1848. 6. Germany: Her Resources, Government, Union of Customs and
Power, under Frederick William the Fourth; with a Preliminary
By John Macgregor, M.P. London: Whittaker and Co. 1848. 7. Democracy and its Mission. Translated from the French of M.
Guizot, late Prime Minister of France. London : Effingham Wil.
son. 1848. OBSERVANT and thoughtful men trembled for their country in the months of March and April in 1848. They said to each other with grave faces and low voices, “if something is not done there will be barricades in the streets. By-and-bye they began to form the two organizations we are now to consider, and which we deem the most hopeful signs of the times, the People's League for Manhood Suffrage, and the People's Party for Parliamentary Reform.
'A friendly conference,' we quote the preliminary address of the council, of reformers, from all parts of the kingdom, having been held in Herbert's Hotel, Palace Yard, on the 3rd and 4th of May, about three hundred gentlemen unanimously formed themselves into a society to obtain UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE.* Details essential to the exercise of this right they agreed to leave open for future consideration, because they would not, by giving them undue importance, place any obstacle in the way of a cordial union with every reformer favourable to the enfranchisement of every man. Believing straightforwardness to be the dictate of wisdom as well as of duty, they would not, for the sake of securing support, adopt any vague generality, nor any suffrage more conciliatory to existing prejudices. A suffrage based on property they would not adopt, because they desire the enfranchisement of the reason and conscience of all men. The suf. frage is the means by which alone the governed can be protected from the seltishness of their governors, and the protection ought to be co-extensive with the danger, and is most needed by the classes who are most exposed to it--the most numerous and productive classes.
This conference decided, with equal unanimity, that all the means used by the People's League should be peaceful and constitutional. Desiring to make reason and conscience free in politics, they rely upon the might of the truth, published in love, for success, and have not a doubt of the triumph of their cause, by the power of arguments and facts adapted to obtain the assent of the understandings, and the approbation of the consciences, of their countrymen.'
We wish to submit to our readers the reasons which compel us to believe, that the responsibilities of patriotism require of us similar labours. By a simultaneous elevation of the people of nearly all Europe, the outbursting after a dreary winter of a political spring time, our brethren of France, Italy, and Germany, have won for themselves fuller rights, and nobler liberties, than were ever before enjoyed by their forefathers. But our countrymen, while sharing their joy, find themselves made liable by a sudden and an undiscussed act of parliament, to be transported as felons for life, if they use the liberty of the mind, won for them by old martyrs, and if they practise the freedom of speech to which they were born.
Moreover, there are signs of tendencies in the government, not merely to gag the lips of liberty, but to seek pretexts for
• We regret the use of this phrase. It does not express what is meant, and gives rise, moreover, to a host of prejudices, which ought and might be avoided. A Manhood or resident suffrage is intended, and it would be infinitely preferable, therefore, to use either of these term.-ED.