Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

advertisements as the committee may direct to be inserted in the public newspapers. 2. At all meetings of the Union, the president, by virtue of his office, takes the chair, and states the business for which the meeting is convened. In his absence, the vice-president takes the chair, and in the absence of both a chairman is elected. 3. No person has a right to vote at any meeting of the Union who has not qualified as a member before the chair has been taken. 4. No person, who is not a member, is entitled to speak at any meeting of the Union, without the consent of a majority of the members present. 5. No motion can be put or debated at any meeting of the Union, unless it be delivered to the chairman in writing, signed by a mover and seconder, and unless twenty members at the least be present. 6. The proceedings of the Union at its annual and other meetings, as well as the names of all the members, are registered by the secretary in a book kept for that purpose, which is open at all convenient hours to the inspection of any member of the Union.

SECTION III.--THE CoMMITTEE. 1. The committee consists of the president, the vice-president, secretary and treasurer, and twenty other members of the Union, all chosen, as before directed, at the annual meeting of the Union. 2. The committee has no power to add to its own number; it is competent to the Union only to supply any vacancies that may take place in the committee, and to add to its numbers if it be deemed necessary. 3. The committee is to transact all business relating to the objects of the Union; and to convene, at a notice of at least three days, public meetings of the Union, whenever it may deem such a measure expedient, the annual meeting alone excepted, of which seven days' notice must be given. 4. The committee meets, in pursuance of a summons signed and issued by the secretary, at least once a fortnight, in an apartment engaged for that purpose. 5. The president of the Union, by virtue of his office, takes the chair at all meetings of the committee; in his absence the vice-president takes the chair, and in the absence of both a chairman is elected. 6. The proceedings of the committee, as well as the names of its members, are registered by the secretary in a book kept for that purpose, which is open at all convenient hours to the inspection of any member of the Union. 7. No business can be transacted in the committee, unless five members at the least be present. 8. Should any member of the committee absent himself without leave from its meetings on three occasions successively, he shall be deemed thereupon to have forfeited his seat in the committee, unless such absence have been caused by illness, or by his having been detained elsewhere by indispensable business. SECTION IV.-SUB-CoMMITTEES.

1. Sub-committees of two or three individuals are elected by the committee from amongst members of the Union, for the purpose of watching over the interests of the institution in different parts of the district; of increasing the number of the members, collecting subscriptions, circulating information, and executing such other lawful offices as the committee may require them to perform.

2. The members of such sub-committees attend the meetings of the committee, when summoned for that purpose by the secretary; and they are expressly forbidden from choosing any officers, or doing any acts in a separate capacity, or in any other capacity than that of the agents of the committee. Their names are registered in the proceedings of the committee, which are open at all convenient hours to the inspection of any member of the Union.

SECTION V.—FINANCE.

1. A subscription book, in which all the sums received, and a disbursement book, in which the items of expenditure, are set down, are kept by the treasurer, and are open at all convenient hours to the inspection of any member of the Union.

2. All orders for the payment of money are addressed to the treasurer, signed by the president or vice-president, and countersigned by the secretary ; and without such order no money can be paid out of the funds of the Union.

3. The three auditors elected at the annual meeting are thereby disqualified from being, as long as they hold that office, members of the committee, or of any sub-committee. They examine the state of the finances of the Union every half year, and draw up and sign reports on the same, which they are to present personally at the next ensuing meeting of the Union.

4. The auditors are authorized to require and to receive all the accounts, vouchers, and documents of every description, relating to the income and expenditure of the Union.

SECTION VI.—GENERAI, REGULATION. 1. The Union of holds no correspondence, either collectively or by means of any of its committees, sub-committees, officers, or members, with any other society; it does not appoint or employ any committee, delegates, or representatives to meet or communicate with any other society, or with any committee, delegates, or representatives of such society; it has no branch societies of any description, and it does not

[graphic]

require or allow its members to take any oath or subscribe any declaration with reference to the purposes of this institution. The members of the Union are, however, strictly bound to pay the closest attention to such public reports as they can obtain of the proceedings of other Unions, in order to act in harmony with them as far as possible, and thus by means of an extensive combination of opinion, strongly and firmly expressed, to exercise a salutary and decisive influence upon all questions which concern the well-being of the community.

Such is the plan which we venture to propose to our fellow citizens, for the construction and government of political Unions throughout the empire. It is to be understood that, although the law does not permit such societies to communicate with each other by means of delegates, it does not prevent them from employing officers under that name for the purpose of communicating with the king, or with the king's government, or with members of parliament. In conclusion we shall only add, that no time is to be lost in organizing these institutions, as they are the most efficacious instruments that can possibly be devised for giving to public opinion all the weight that legitimately belongs to it. We need not recommend to the people the observance of tranquillity and firmness in their operations: that injunction has been already given to them by their patriot sovereign, in language at once so encouraging and so truly paternal, that we are confident it will be universally obeyed, as scrupulously as if it were the written law of the land. “The anxiety,” said his Majesty, when proroguing parliament, “which has been so generally manifested by my people for the accomplishment of a constitutional reform in the Commons House of Parliament will, I trust, be regulated by a due sense of the necessity of order and moderation in their proceedings.”—We trust so too.

ART. IV.-1. Thoughts on the Structure of the Globe; and the Scriptural History of the Earth and of Mankind, compared with the Cosmogonies, Chronologies, and Original Traditions of Ancient Nations; an Abstract and Review of several Modern Systems; with an attempt to explain, philosophically, the Mosaical Account of the Creation and Deluge, and to deduce from this last Event the Causes of the actual Structure of the Earth. In a Series of Letters. By Philip Howard, Esq. London: 4to. pp. 602. 2. The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science; eachibiting the Present State and Progress of Knowledge in Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, Comparative Anatomy, Chemistry, Meteorology, Physical Natural Agents, and the Antiquities and Languages of the Indians of this Continent. Vol. I. No. 1. Conducted by G. W. Featherstonhaugh, Esq. Philadelphia: H. Porter. 1831.

THE first of these publications has been for some years before the world; it was fully noticed by our predecessors in this journal; but it contains so much excellent matter, worthy of attention at

the present moment, when geology and the Scriptures seem to be too generally considered as irreconcileably opposed to each other, that we deem it right to take the present opportunity of reminding our readers of its existence. It may be said to have grown out of two letters, which were originally published by the author in French, in answer to the objections of his friend, the Marquis de Montegny, with whom he travelled through Switzerland. It is delightful to observe the unaffected piety which pervades every one of its pages, and the constancy with which religion is seen in it walking hand in hand with science. In later times, a descendant of the same author, Mr. Henry Howard, of Corby, has performed a similar office for the cause of civil freedom, and has shown that charity to all mankind, and an inviolable attachment to the fundamental principles of our constitution, form an essential part of the creed which he professes. Thus religion is benefitted by being made popular, and liberty is exalted by being directed to seek its best reward in the sanctuaries of religion. With respect to scientific researches, we are no longer in those dark ages, when the passage in Scripture relating to the stoppage of the sun in its course, was supposed to forbid any further inquiry into the solar system. During the last and present century, philosophy has made improvements of the most important kind in the manner of conducting its investigations. Rejecting wild and unfounded hypotheses, however specious, it has confined itself strictly to properly examined facts, arising out of repeated experiments, and has admitted nothing as ascertained which a rigorous logic could not deduce from well founded premises. Its success has proved the soundness of the rule, and the discoveries which have been made in astronomy and chemistry, and their dependent arts, might seem to have established this mode of proceeding in all other scientific enquiries. But there are minds so morbid as to require stronger excitement than can be produced by common place facts, or so visionary as to be incapable of that continued and patient attention which experiment demands. These, leaving the only legitimate mode of philosophizing, commit themselves to the mare magnum of mysticism, and delude themselves with fanciful theories which lead to no practical results. For such degrees of disease we have no disposition to prescribe: the subjects of such lamented aberration must accomplish their fated course through all the absurdities in which empiricism delights, till they have each produced something termed a system; which, like the meteor of a pestilential marsh, must rise, glitter, and then sink to appear no more. It need scarcely be called to the recollection of the reader, that these writers have been met by the first scientific and literary characters of the day, by whom their fragile fabrics have been remorselessly demolished. It is no part of our design to examine all these attempts, nor recal to a temporary existence what the better feeling of the public has consigned to the tomb of the Capulets. We will content ourselves with a very hasty sketch of their chief opinions, and proceed to the works before us. . The first and leading principle which pervades this philosophy, (if indeed such it must be called), is to exclude the Deity from the works of creation, and to prove that the idea of such a Being arises from an abstraction of natural phenomena; that all the revolutions of the celestial bodies are produced by innate motion, which, according to them, forms a necessary and inseparable attribute of matter; that the world is eternal and self existent; that all the changes it has undergone have proceeded from causes which are still in action; that all animal nature was produced, not by the fiat of an Almighty power, but from living fibres, which possessed innately a power of developing themselves, not according to any regular and fixed law, but according to the position in which they happen to be placed ; and that all idea of spirit (a principle distinct from matter) is derived from some tradition misunderstood, or from the cunning of legislators who invented these dogmas, or systematized the superstitions of the vulgar, in order to possess more unlimited power over the fears of their followers. * That we may not seem to amuse ourselves by fighting with shadows, we need only refer them to some French, German, and English physiologists, in whose writings they will find the wildest of these dreams assume the respectable name of philosophy. In our youth, we were taught that the adaptation of means to ends, that the fitness which exists between the wants of animals and their power of supplying these wants, were great and distinguishing marks of wisdom and design; that every animal, however small, not only possessed organization of the most wonderful kind, but was most admirably fitted for the place it was intended to occupy; that animals of the carnivorous kind were endowed with strength or sagacity, or both ; that those which were likely to be a prey to others were endowed with cunning to elude, or swiftness to escape from their persecutors; and that those of the graminivorous kind, with a peculiar instinct, avoided every herb and substance in the smallest degree injurious to their existence. Further, in our simplicity we thought that nature presented talons to the eagle, and claws and teeth to the lion, with a view to the situation for which they were intended; and that wings were given to birds to enable them to fly, and fins to fish, in order that they might be the better adapted to their liquid element. But we have changed all that: we are now instructed that birds acquire their wings by flying, fish their fins by swimming, and eagles and lions their talons and claws by preying upon other animals.--And whereas we believed that these myriads of animals were called into existence by the fiat of the Creator, a simpler philosophy informs us that the Deity never troubles himself about the matter, but, like the God of the Epicureans, removed from all active interference, he leaves the whole work of creation to chance, acting upon a few living filaments, which develope themselves at their leisure, and in such a manner

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »