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Tue violent political partisans of him to form an undue estimate of their education might be offended even power and province. with the word objection; as if to offer What is the effect of this ? Gean objection were to set yourself nerally-self-confidence, a feeling against education, and to shew your- either good or evil-purified, it is self to be an enemy of knowledge. good, and a necessary part of goodIf they were philosophers, they would unpurified, it is immoral. But sesee that such sensitiveness shews a condly and specifically, the effect is misunderstanding of the magnitude confidence in those particular powers, of the subject, and of the constitution -an effect not necessarily ill either, of the world. For education is a but more easily ill, and more diffigreat, a boundless power; and no cult to guard. For moral self-confisuch power can be set in motion dence is purified by morality, which among men, whose faculties are dis- is in the power of every one, but inordered, and whose will is mixed, tellectual self-confidence is purified without producing, greatly and con- only by the very highest instruction, spicuously, both good and evil. which is necessarily reserved for very
The objections to education, urged few. by many enlightened men, are, that Intellectual self-confidence thus it tends to produce danger to reli- produced by intellectual cultivation, gion, and danger to the state. Ob is, in the first place, confidence in the serve, that the education spoken of powers of the human mind generalby them is essentially and pre-emi- ly; then, in those of the human being nently-intellectual. True, that the himself. It has been seen in the last education of Scotland has been some- age of the history of the human mind, thing more-religious-not a gift of what confidence in the sufficiency of the state, however that might assist, the human faculties generally may be but emanating from, and dependant in result. We have seen that the evil on, its Church, laid on it by deep per- caused thereby bas been tremendous. secutions. But without peculiar cir- To extend the same confidence to cumstances which may give it this orders hitherto uninstructed, is, uncharacter, or considering it without less guarded against, to extend to this character, which is the proper them the possibility, perhaps the way of learning its own nature, Edu- probability, of the same result,- to cation is intellectual. It is a cultiva- make them partakers in the proud tion of man's intellectual faculties, of error of self-misled philosophy, to his understanding, and his powers of carry down into their privacy of life, reasoning. It has, therefore, a tend their humble security and their ob, ency to raise in him a very high opi- scure peace, the dazzling illusions niou of those faculties, and to induce and ambitious falsehoods, which hu
VOL. XXVII. NO, CLXI.
man wit, at its height of power, armed obligations, only not perceiving that against itself with its brightest wea- there are innumerable lesser obligapons, taught in mysteries, and am- tions with which he does not complest in resources, has been able to ply. But let there, for such a man's muster to its own destruction. calamity, prevail in the society any
The intellectual self-confidence of kind of immoral opinion, sprung, as the individual mind tends to similar has been averred, from the confieffects. Necessarily so; because the dence of the human mind in itself, human mind at large is only the as- and then such a man will be found semblage, or collection of single more than all others, unless some minds; and speaking of it, we mean very strong individual peculiarity, or only to speak comprehensively of bias, hold him back from it, predissome common manifestation of the posed to embrace that pernicious majority of minds, which manifest- opinion. We are looking here to the ation, when the mind we speak of is lower orders. In the highest instructhat of an age, is always the more de- tion, individual intellectual self-contermined and vehement through the fidence is frequently the parent or power of sympathy. Therefore, a finder out of dangerous opinions. In disposition due to the circumstances its lower degrees, it usually waits, of the times,-a disorder, if it besuch, but is not unwilling to be misled.
-breaks out with more force than is But why should the opinion produe to the action of these circum- duced by the self-confidence of the stances on the single mind, like one human intellect, be irreligious, imin the physical world, which, while moral, adverse to political establish“ it is hung in the sick air,” is also ment? For two reasons, which are infectious from touch to touch, and such as to make the consequences from breath to breath.
nearly universal. First, many of the Whatever, therefore, is manifested reasons and doctrines of religion, maconspicuously, comprehensively, and ny of the reasons of morality, many of with great power, in the mind of an the reasons of political obedience, are age, as the effect of any cause acting unfathomable to the human intellect, on the mind of the age---say confi- at least such as it is at present with dence in the powers of the human the great majority of the cultivated mind--that will, in degree, be mani- orders of the most enlightened nafested as the effect of the same cause, tions. There are difficulties in the acting on the single mind, within the philosophy of the world, to the height single mind. If that effect be to the of which it has not yet attained. Now, one irreligion, immorality, and poli. the human mind, confident in its own tical license, to the other it will be sufficiency, will not, cannot, believe irreligion, immorality, and political what it cannot understand. It relicense.
ceives not, because it cannot pierce, Now, the effect of individual intel penetrate, explore, and expound the lectual self-confidence appears to be dogmatic mysteries of religion ; it has morally good or ill, just as it is de- no faith in any secrets behind the veil termined. Thus, it is easy to con which it cannot lift. It denies moralceive such confidence, even when ity, because its law, too, is laid in undue, and undirected, remaining depths of its own mysterious nature, within moral limits. That a man, which its own research has not yet through it, should be harsh and arro. laid bare, and possibly never will. gant, rash, overbearing, untractable, It is unwilling even to hearken often refractory to direction and control, to the still small voice of conscience, and most wilful in all his habits, is, in for it is like the voice of the unknown truth, what must be called an immo God. It refuses political obedience, ral effect, since it is a state of mind because it has conceived but one reacontrary to that which a perfect son for obedience, namely, the intemoral discipline tends to produce. rest of the individual in the welfare Nevertheless, it is conceivable that it of the whole; and yet it finds institushould still remain, so to speak, with- tions challenging obedience, some of in the limits of morality. Because which have sprung up in imagination, such a man may still bow down be- some in passion, some out of the subfore the Moral Law, revering its siding conflict of the blindest forces; sanctions, conforming to its greater but it does not discern what hand led
out of the tumult and wrath of fight- up to it. For it is among them, in ing interests, and disposed out of the first place, that this hardened and many contending elements, insti- defying philosophical pride shews ittutions, laws, and a political order self, and that it begins to make its which the very condition it requires, discoveries. But we instinctively namely, individual good in the com- resist the conclusion, that we are not mon welfare. This good is under to cultivate our faculties. We seem abatement, through the moral evil forfeiting our birth-right, our nature, and corruption resting upon man if we give it up. Thus, then, we are kind; the unconquerable necessity led, if there be that tendency in culof which abatement, except by the tivation which has been said, to en. diminution of the moral evil and cor- quire what may counteract it. We ruption in which it lies, it least of all are led to this by a hopeful feeling, distinguishes and admits.
that there is such a counteraction, Secondly, religion, morality, polity, and that it will and does predominate. are all bonds upon human will Now the basis of this hope seems to at least, since that will is corrupt they be of two kinds ; in the nature of the are so-to fallen man they are soma human mind, and in the nature of the stern, awful, often rigid subjugation. world. Of the mind, which is not Can he like this? He hates it. There mere intellect, but a mixed being, in boils up in him, therefore, a will which sensibility of affection, imaagainst these authorities, exciting and gination, and conscience, have place impelling his understanding to find with intellect. This mind is so coninvalidating flaws in their constitu- stituted, then, that it rests not in intion. That the understanding should tellect; if any power is given to the thus obey the impulse of the will, growth and developement of its other that it should seem to lead, where it powers, these may and will counteris only propelled,—that belief should act any injurious tendency lodged in be moulded by inclination, is nothing the intellect. For instance, a great new. It happens to all every day part of a man's happiness is in his it has happened from the beginning domestic affections, but it is easily of the aberration of our spirit. The and quickly evident to him that the highly cultivated, they whose wit is first condition of the enjoyment,wellmore subtle in self-deception, may nigh of the existence of these affecnot propose to themselves to find tions, is morality. Conjugal love is out reasons, but there is no doubt gone without the law of its own virtue. that any inclination pressing upon What is the happiness of a father in the thoughts continually will influ. a profligate son? Let him be what ence them, unknown to the conscious- he will in judging of himself, he beness of the mind through which they comes moral in judging of his child. pass; whereas grosser minds, grosser Where is domestic peace, without in feeling, grosser in thought, als domestic moral order? Here, then, though intellectually cultivated, will is compulsion from the affections to say openly and with their lips—“let reverence the moral law. Again, us break asunder their bands, and grant that there is in our minds, some cast their cords from us."
principle not easily treated of, that We think the consequences now draws us to religion. Is it not counshortly described of cultivation of the teracted by others not strictly reliintellectual faculties, is real, and may gious ? Does not conscience, the go to any extent. Its consequences moral sense, if this be really deep were, and are, in France. They are and tender, call us towards Him, innow here, in certain divisions of the cline us to seek and believe in Him, educated, and the present partial lite. who, if he be, is, in the unfathomable rary corruption of the half-educated. necessity of his being, the eternal inThis, then, is an argument against finite law of Holy Right? Will not a education; and if there were nothing moral spirit, oppressed with the imto set against it, a decisive argument. moralities of the only intelligent being But that it is not decisive would ap- it knows-itself,-rejoice to think pear probable from this, that the same that there is one Being in whom this argument is one against the cultiva. miserable depravation of good does tion of all orders, of those who have not mingle with the capacity of good, leisure for study and give themselves which is pure and unsullied ? It