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reappear in the conditions of daily “ Were I but capable," he adds, life, or in superstitious observances. “ of interpreting to the world oneThere would be neither scope, nor half of the great thoughts and noble depth, nor progress in human life, feelings which are buried in her if the intellect of human beings grave, I should be the medium of a were for ever wrapped in the tight- greater benefit to it than is ever est swaddling-clothes which meta- likely to arise from anything that I physicians and analysts can prepare. can write, unprompted and unasThe poetry of life is perpetually sisted by her all but unrivalled bursting out, and neither in the wisdom." affairs of this world nor the next We know the spirit in which can the spirit of man be restricted Mill, from education and his whole from believing and hoping and ima- system of thought, approached the gining more than it can either see or subject of religious belief. All his know. Religion has been in all self-love, his philosophy, and his ages, races, and climates, a univer- manhood, were staked upon a firm sal instinct of mankind. It is the superiority to prejudice, the premaster-passion of the human race; sumed necessity of making analysis it has been the basis of laws, of the test of truth, and of ruthlessly government, of customs and insti- excluding from belief everything tutions ; it has torn and lacerated which does not stand that test. society in all its forms; it has been But of all the lessons contained in the curse and consolation of man- this biography, nothing stands out kind. We may denounce its par more prominently than this, the inticular manifestations, but that the adequacy of an analytic training spirit of man cleaves to the world and habit of mind to secure accuracy to come is as true as that he stands of judgment even in the most ordierect in this.
nary affairs of life. To adopt this Religion was crushed out of Mr system of dogmatic unbelief—the Mill from his cradle by an artificial theory that because nothing more process. Here is the form which is demonstrable about God and the its irrepressible spirit assumed in next world by process of ratiocinaafter-life. Writing after the death tion than about the conditions of of his wife he says—“Her memory life in another planet, therefore reis to me a religion, and her appro- ligion must be disowned, and the bation the standard by which, sum- world be forbidden to hope or beming up as it does all worthi- lieve, to worship or revere—is to ness, I endeavour to regulate my exclude from the domain of human life.” “Because I know that she consciousness all the tradition, the would have wished it, I endeavour experience, and the aspirations of to make the best of what life I have mankind. If the notions of proleft, and to work on for her pur- gress propounded by this new school poses with such diminished strength of philosophy are fairly estimated, as can be derived from thoughts of it will be found that such progress her and communion with her mem- advances in a circle, and that ory.” And in other of his pub- (having regard to the disruption lished works he says—“I venture to of faith and all social and sexual prophesy, that if mankind continue relations) it would bring us back to improve, their spiritual history to a state of savage independfor ages to come will be the progres- ence and dark despair, which it has sive working out of her thoughts, taken ages to supersede by social and realisation of her conceptions." subordination and conscious hope. Every opinion and social institution thought fitted him to be a great which civilised life has found ne- philosopher, but who refused to cessary, and which involve the duty stifle the religious craving, and reof the individual to society, are at- coiled from that intrepid infidelity tacked in the interests of the rights which is held up for admiration. and liberty of inan. The disinte- His acceptance of a worthless heap grating force of such philosophy of received opinions" is attributed to upon society resembles the dissolv- “timidity of conscience, combined ing influence which Mill himself with original sensitiveness of temdescribes so forcibly of the habit of perament." It led him, says Mr analysis upon the mind. It is a Mill, to believe that the Church dissolvent of society, of hope, faith, of England had known everything and virtue. Demonstrable or not from the first ; that all the truths by analysis or syllogisms, the doc- used to assail the Church and orthotrines, however learnt, or imparted doxy are really expressed in the to mankind, that man is made in Thirty-nine Articles. It has driven the image of his Creator, is destined other gifted men, he adds, into Roto immortality, and has within him manism—it has produced an enora spiritual consciousness which is mous waste of intellectual power. capable of contact with and subjec And then, with almost querulous tion to the laws of a spiritual life impatience, he exclaims, that there at present only partially and ob- seems to be a need in many minds scurely disclosed to us, are doc- of a firmer support than they can trines which commend themselves find in the independent conclusions to men of reasonable culture as of their own judgments. The well as to the untaught instincts gradual efforts of countless ages of of mankind, and which the intelli- men, slowly feeling after more of gence as well as the devotion of the Divine Presence, and finding it, human beings has, in the course represent, in the words of an eloof ages, sanctioned and believed. quent writer, far more faithfully The love of metaphysics which is than Mr Mill's over-confident coninborn in some of the nations of the clusions, the onward march of world, cannot, having regard to the human thought and experience. universal wants and instincts of The history, the conscience, and human nature, supersede or success the experience of the human race, fully conflict with the sense of reli- tell it that its relations to its Creagion with which other races, and tor have a firm experimental basis on especially the Semitic, are instinct, which to rest. No one, however and with which the whole world refined or however untutored, can has been permeated as part of the escape the inward control of conessential elements of human life. science, or the external influence Mill says of his father that the “ of that power which makes for approach of death did not cause righteousness," which prescribes " the smallest wavering (as in so conduct, and gives or withholds strong and firm a mind, it was im- personal happiness and inward possible that it should) in his con- peace. The sense of those relavictions upon the subject of reli- tions is universal ; it has been the gion.” That is not the way in very life of nations and indiviwhich mankind at large can treat duals; it calls forth the whole the subject. Mr Maurice himself power of the race, and alone of all is referred to by Mr Mill as a man the notions that have possessed manwhose mental powers and system of kind is capable of illuminating the future or stimulating real progress. the hands of men and women of far There is an innate force and power inferior talent, but with a little of in it that will compel men to belief that penetration and shrewdness and reverence; and unless tradition which had been sacrificed in him. and historic revelation are accepted, It excluded the instinctive knowthe inward craving which remains ledge of his fellows, and all sense of is hard to satisfy. Education, cul- the providence of God. The gap ture, and reasoning may purify and which his philosophy makes in all strengthen that sense ; but if it is that human nature requires to feed attempted to expel or deaden it, at upon, resembles the rent which such the critical moments of personal or training makes in a man's capacity. national life it is sure to reappear; It deniolishes the home, it dese or its innate power is shown by the crates religion, it destroys society. enormous structure of mystical or And as for intellect and learning, it supernatural belief which it will contracts the intelligence and consupport. The spread of Mr Mill's fines the sympathies. The sum of sceptical atheism has been followed human knowledge and wisdom is by a perfect “simoom of sacerdotal derived from the growing experiusurpation.” The spirit of undue dis- ence of what the human spirit has belief stimulates the spirit of credu felt and suffered and endured, as lity and emotional observances. The well as from the productions of sentiment of religion is obviously human reason. The power which an inextinguishable ; and those who inveterate habit of analysis gives is attempt to discard it from our schools, not to be despised, but it cannot or crush and baffle it in society, will displace the power of practical exfind that their efforts hereafter as perience, of intuitive insight into heretofore result in an access of character, of a well-balanced mind superstition, a tightening of formu- in a well-ordered body, of firm laries, and the spread of sensuous ser- faith, and of the habitual strengthvices. These are the defences and ening of judgment and conscience outward coverings behind which the by the light of the best which others religious sentiment intrenches itself have said and thought. The infant from the withering influence of the prodigy which came forth fully atheistical spirit. Religion is mys- armed from his father's arsenal, terious, but it is a fact; and its op- contributed in his later years his ponents find their overwhelming share to the knowledge and advanceobstacles in human nature itself. ment of mankind. But when we
If all wisdom were the result of are asked to revere in him a new hard reasoning, only to be reached leader of thought, a man whose by the vigorous use of that wonder views are to be accepted as a new ful analytic apparatus with which religion, we say that they are the James Mill equipped his son, the product of a man who dealt with world might then be ruled by philo- ideas, words, and images which he sophers. The use of this Autobio had no means of verifying, except graphy is, that it shows not merely at second hand; between whom and the dissolvent influence of such an the world a great gulf was fixed; equipment upon a man's moral and whose mind and life were out of spiritual being, but also the enormous harmony, from his earliest infancy, loss of power which it involves with any condition of life ever yet Mill's training helped to make him a heard of or experienced. Sincerity man of science, but it unfitted him is stamped upon every page of this for life, and rendered him a child in Autobiography. The motive for writing it is undeniably public- angels or slaves, according as he is spirited. It conciliates more of demonstrating their fitness for “libkindly feeling and sympathy than erty," or the effects of the slavery its author in his lifetime ever in which he says they have so long spired, except from a devoted band endured. In other words, he too of almost fanatical worshippers, who often made his facts square with probably imbibed from him the his theory, instead of reversing the earliest ideas which they ever pos- operation. sessed, before the critical faculty Such is the man whom freehad been duly formed within them thinkers and youthful Radicals deby the light of increasing know- lighted to honour as the regeneraledge. But the book proves, beyond tor of the world. He was neither all doubt, that the life of the philo- in advance nor in the rear of his age, sopher was an anomaly; that his but simply never belonged to it. intellectual, and even his moral The few people and institutions being, was a thing of unnatural which he knew, he clung to with growth; and that though a master superstitious veneration; the rest of logic and the possessor of power belonged to a world which he ful and highly trained reasoning viewed through the haze of his faculties, he was bred and remained own conceptions. His life had in such thorough isolation from the no playful childhood, no ripenworld and the society which he was ing manhood, and no experienced intended to regenerate, that he was old age. At fourteen he was turned helplessly dependent upon others out of his father's workshop, finished for a correct view of the facts of and complete. The father had fullife. The audacity with which his filled the purpose which he had startling theories were propounded, pursued with unrelenting rigour. was equalled by the contempt with The son lived on to accomplish the which he overlooked the most father's purposes in the world of obvious and fatal objections. He science and abstract thought, and demonstrated that in order to to demonstrate by his life and all limit population, legal restrictions the painful deficiencies of his charshould be placed upon marriage ; acter and capacities, that, although but he forgot the possibility of by forced development an athlete illegitimate children. The philo- may be made in mental as well as sophy, as usual, went no further muscular power, insulted nature will than the institution. And in his adjust the balance by the losses social theories, men and women are which it inflicts.
NOTE RELATING TO THE STORY OF “THE MISSING BILLS — AN UN
SOLVED MYSTERY," PUBLISHED IN OUR NUMBER FOR NOVEMBER 1873.
Having found ourselves quite enough asked, it seems, by those unable to send a separate reply to whom he allowed to question him every correspondent who has desired on the subject, whether he could be further information concerning this certain that he was awake, and his story, we subjoin, for the benefit of replies were always distinctly in the our readers generally, the substance affirmative. This, we know, will of such replies as we would have hardly satisfy some people, who desired to send. Our numerous would deny other people senses at correspondents on this subject may, all, when those senses presume to we think, be separated into three reveal anything which is at variance divisions :- 1. Those who are satis- with certain crotchets. The obfied that there was nothing super- jections are a complete justification natural in the occurrences at all, of the silence which Mr Lathom and who rather reproach us for pub- and Mr Waddington agreed to mainlishing the case without a protest tain immediately after the events. against its being credible as nar- The second division appear to rated. 2. Those who would like to forget that there no longer exist have more particulars concerning means of probing the testimony, exthe apparitions; some, apparently cept so far as some of the questions in a sceptical spirit, desiring to in- now asked were anticipated in family stitute a cross-examination of the conversations. We can't say how witnesses, while others are mani- far Mr Lathom may have kicked festly anxious for minor details of the packet along the floor, or a matter in which they feel deep whether he may not have first eninterest. 3. Those who, entirely countered it at some distance from accepting the narrative as it stands, the spot where his visitant vanished. desire us to say whether such and We don't know what he had for such a point may not have been supper, or whether he supped at inadvertently omitted, as that point all. He certainly did not chew alone is wanting to bring the story opium in his later days, and it is into harmony with what happened extremely unlikely that he ever did to their grandmothers or other mem- so: correspondents who speak of bers of their families.
this “ well known Eastern practice" To the first class, who contend should consider that the habits of that if Mr Lathom had not dreamed Australia and of China are very a dream there would have been no dissimilar, although both countries pother about the matter, and who are in the East. There is not the desire us to say honestly whether it slightest ground for supposing that isn't certain that the young man the bills so mysteriously discovered, nad a dream-perhaps remarkable, after a certain number of months or but still simply a dream,-we can days, turned to tinder or rags; and only reply that Mr Lathom himself, certainly Mr Lathom, as he grew who is certainly the best evidence old and rich, expressed not the on this point, would never for a slightest apprehension that he had moment allow that he had been de received an uncanny loan, repayceived by a dream. He was often ment of which was likely to be