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documents among their friends and neigh-
the best possible use of them for the
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
WHATEVER scenes may be ripening for future development upon the continent of Europe, none have as yet actually occurred which particularly demand our notice. We postpone therefore, for the present, any remarks upon the general aspect of European politics, though there are several pending questions of great importance upon which we hope for some authentic information before the session of parliament closes; especially as relates to the part which our government has taken, or may take, in reference to Greece, Russia, Turkey, and Portugal.
Turning westward, to America, there is a subject which at this moment excites much interest in that country, though it has not been thought of sufficient importance to be noticed by our journals;-we allude to the efforts in progress for expelling the North-American Indians still further into the wilderness. The conduct of our Western kinsmen towards their Indian neighbours has never been the brightest page of their history; but we scarcely know of any project more unjustifiable than the attempt now in progress by the Union, in its corporate capacity, at the instance of one of its members, Georgia, to drive beyond the Mississippi the Cherokees; who are not only a harmless people, but, as our readers may see by an able address of one of their chiefs in another page of our present Number, are rapidly advancing in civilization, religion, and all that can strengthen and adorn a State. They are dwelling peaceably and prosperously upon the frontier allotments ceded to them by treaty in lieu of the vast forest inhabited by their fathers: whereas, if forced to relinquish their present habitations, and to seek refuge in the wilderness, they will rapidly melt away, as so many of the aborigines have already done before the aggressions of the White victor, and be heard of no more. religion we rejoice to state, that Christian To the honour of Missionaries in this, as in so many other instances, have been found the friends and protectors of the oppressed; and, we need scarcely add, have, in consequence, been accounted worthy to incur the reproaches of their oppressors. The secretary of war of the United States complains of the effects of education among the Indians, on account of its giving them a taste for the accumulation of property, "peculiar to a state of civilization;" and he affirms, that the Missionaries who have reclaimed these barbarous tribes from their roving preda
tory habits, are actuated by base interested motives; and oppose their dispersion lest they themselves should lose their own "comfortable establishments puted either to our European missionaries, them. The last crime we should have imamong and Judsons of America, was inordinately or to the Brainerds and Eliots, the Fisks coveting "comfortable establishments! We conjure the friends of humanity and religion throughout America, to combine tively small remnant of the original natives as one man in behalf of the now comparawould learn their own strength, that moral of their far-extended territories. If they strength which, when duly and perseveringly exerted, must sooner or later bear down interested opposition, they may witness an instance of it, and in a similar case, at this moment, in their once mother country. Dr. Philip, who went out to spised Christian Missionary, saw there the the Cape of Good Hope a weak and dewrongs of the oppressed aborigines under tian colony: he returned home to plead the unequal laws of a professedly Christheir cause; he found access to beneitself; and he has now gone back to the volent senators, and to the government their liberties in his hand, an ample unscene of his mission with the charter of stinted charter, from which even the true nature of liberty; for it abolishes, if United States themselves may learn the we are rightly informed, all civil distincState, of whatever blood or colour: thus tions among the free subjects of the same compacting all the members of the comDr. Philip, and other humane and Chrismonwealth into one united body. What Hottentot or Caffre-(we emphatically tian men, have achieved for the oppressed mention Dr. Philip as the prime agent in this work of mercy, but without meaning and to his Majesty's government which other gentlemen who have conducted, to derogate from the gratitude due to the has completed,it)-what these individuals, strong in moral power and religious principle, have effected in one quarter, others, gracious providence of God, may effect in with the same arms, and relying upon the others. For instance, let the friends of our two great religious societies connected with Newfoundland fearlessly take up the cause of the much-injured aborigines of religious bodies connected with the Westthat island; and, still more, let all the Indies unshrinkingly devote themselves to obtain the legal abolition of that horrible
View of Public Affairs.
system which grinds down the great mass of the objects of their benevolence; and we cannot doubt what will be the issue. And, even independently of the result, the labour itself will be no slight reward; nor will their efforts be less blessed for the souls of their afflicted fellow-creatures, because they had also the feelings of men and Christians for their temporal wrongs and sufferings.
Having thus adverted to our slave colonies, we rejoice to state, that in one of them, Trinidad, his Majesty's government has issued an order relative to the free Coloured population, more simple, important, and effective, than we could almost have ventured at once to hope for. It places all freemen of African descent the footing of equal rights with their White neighbours, thus abolishing those tyrannical restrictions which made even liberty itself often little better than a But this law extends as yet only to one island; whereas Jamaica, Barbadoes, and the other islands, need it not less than Trinidad; and though in this favoured spot the freeman is now really as well as nominally free, yet even here, and at the Cape of Good Hope also, the slave is still a slave; and slavery is slavery, whether in the Mauritius or at the Cape, on the South-American continent or in the West-India islands. Let not then the friends of religion and humanity relax their efforts: our government, we would trust, wish to ascertain and to effect what is right, but public opinion must arm them with the power.
The proceedings in parliament have embraced a variety of topics; a few only of which we can now touch upon. Some of them we purpose to notice more fully hereafter. Mr. O'Connell is declared incapable of sitting in parliament under the new act, without being re-elected. The revenue for the past year rather exceeds the estimates: no alteration in the system of taxation is intended to be made this session. Some animated debates have taken place on the silk trade and other subjects connected with commerce and manufactures, including the corn laws. These questions have been the more difficult to consider with calm attention at the present moment, owing to the extreme distress of several classes of manufacturers; but we think that government has acted wisely in refusing to impose prohibitory duties on foreign goods; a measure which, however humanely it may sound, especially at a time of temporary pressure, would not in the end be either politic or humane. We are not so well satisfied as to the policy or humanity of refusing to look further into the corn laws, If we allow Lyons to sell silk in London, we see not why in justice Spitalfields should not carry its wares to buy corn in Dantzie, or wherever else it pleases, to support its starving population. The subject requires, and must receive, much further considera
tion. Our chief fear is that the land-
Among the beneficial measures in pro-
easy task for the government and legislature indolently to enact a code of pau perism for Ireland, instead of girding themselves to a course of far more laborious and self-denying policy. They have fairly to ask and to answer the following important inquiries: First, are the poor every where, both in Great Britain and Ireland, inclined to work diligently, and to live providently, in order to better their own condition? and if in any instances they are not so, how may they be best elevated to this virtuous, religious, and honourable standard of character? Secondly, if so inclined, are they always sufficiently enlightened to know how best to attain their object; and if not, how may they be better instructed? And, thirdly, when thus inclined, and thus enlightened, what are the causes, within the scope of legislative remedy, which, unknown perhaps to themselves, impede the due effect of their industry and providence? This last particular is of great importance; for certain it is, that an honest, diligent, and frugal labourer, or mechanic, may be subjected to insufficient wages, scanty food, and numerous privations, by circumstances not within his own control, but which a wise legislature may be fully competent to obviate. It is the duty of parliament to inves
tigatet his subject, and to legislate accordingly, at whatever temporary sacrifice. In lightened system of political economy is a country thickly peopled like ours, an enof indispensable importance to secure, even to the most praiseworthy members diligence and good conduct. If, for exof the community, the due effect of their ample, the present distresses of our maof the individual, arose merely from unanufacturers, when not caused by the fault voidable fluctuations or providential visitations, no party would deserve blame; but if, as we are persuaded, powerful leleviate the calamity, is it not a public crime gislative remedies might be framed to alif they are neglected? We might offer present. One principle, not to mention many illustrations, but we forbear for the policy;-the largest possible mutual interothers, ought to run throughout all our change of all articles, at the will of the possessor, in the spirit of the Scripture maxim, Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, so do you unto them. What beneficial effects would not this one Divine precept produce, if applied to every branch of legislation; to trade, commerce, bour, colonization, slavery! manufactures, the fruits of the earth, la
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Communications have been received from A. B. C.; C.; JUSTITIA; K.; J. S. SCHOOLMASTER; IGNORANTIS; M. B.; CLERICUS; J. A.; OXONIENSIS; N.; I. M.W. R. S.; A CONSTANT READER; T. W.; C. L.; R. H.; L. C.; W. A. B.; CHARLES; W. A. S.; PROCUL; M. R.; and are under consideration.
We are happy to learn, from the Committee for the Gipseys, that our insertion of their interesting appeal has so greatly benefited their cause. donations to Societies, but we readily acknowledge on their behalf an anonymous We cannot insert lists of gift of 201., with the initials G.-C.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
IT is quite unnecessary for us to say one word in presenting to our readers the interesting addresses at the Annual Meeting of this most important of all our religious institutions. Truly the progress and beneficial effects of this invaluable Society, which has now completed a quarter of a century of duration, have been exceeding abundant above all that we could have asked or thought a few years since. May it flourish and increase, till its great work is accomplished!
The Reporter for this month, in replying most convincingly and powerfully to the British Critic, furnishes much interesting and important intelligence relative to the Slave Colonies, and particularly as respects their moral and religious condition, and the lamentable supineness, to say the least, of our own Church and the Societies connected with it, to mitigate the evil. We rejoice to learn that our own former statements, and those of Mr. Riland and the Reporter, have not been without effect; and that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has sent out a peremptory order to encourage marriage amongst their slaves; which is but the commencement of an entirely amended course of regulation. It seems to be now generally admitted by the friends of the Society, that almost all their former well-meant and oft-repeated regulations proved little better than waste paper on their arrival in Barbadoes. We shall rejoice to find that they are now fully prepared both to legislate to the full extent of their solemn obligations, and to see that their intentions are carried into effect.
ESSAY ON SUPERSTITION.
It is, however, important to re-
mark, that it is not a state of abso-
The brain continues its unwearied action during sleep; but many of its intellectual manifestations are laid aside, or are so obscured by this state as not to be cognisable. It should seem, that as an intellectual organ it was more liable to exhaustion, than as merely corporeal agent; and that, therefore, sleep had been provided
more particularly for the repose of the intellectual brain: and this opinion is supported by the fact, that fatigue is induced much earlier when bodily exertion is accompanied by mental effort or emotion; more especially if that emotion be of a depressing character. A consequence of this law is, that in sleep the brain ceases to be the servant of the mind, or spiritual principle, and is no longer obedient to the will. For, as wakefulness may be defined to be a state of the brain in which the exercise of its functions is submitted to the will, with a consciousness of such submission; so sleep is the opposite state, during which there is a suspension of all possible intellectual action; and the entire brainular function is no longer under the influence of the will, nor in any way subjected to its controul.
Thus sleep is provided for the restoration of the nervous system; and in its most healthy form is of a light character, easily disturbed; the organ immediately upon awakening entering upon the full tide of its functions. The reason is obvious, and shews the infinite wisdom of that Creative Power, which has surrounded us with wonders. During sleep, man is in a defenceless state; and if it were not easily disturbed, he would not be aware of the approach of danger; nor in an instant capable of taking the necessary precautionary measures of escape or defence. This is easily seen by watching the heavy slumber of an oppressed brain, and the sudden wakening, not to the energy of action, but to dulness and stupidity of perception, and to generally feeble or perverted manifestations. This repose of the brain is often incomplete; and then, though the organ be wholly or partially abstracted from the influence of the will, it nevertheless continues a certain kind of action, without the guidance and direction of the judgment: unrefreshing sleep is the result; and its subject rises in the
morning wearied, with enfeebled powers of the body, and with greatly diminished capacity for the manifestations of mind.
The arrival of sleep may be evaded for a considerable time, by various stimuli; but, after a certain interval, longer or shorter according to the idiosyncracy of the individual, nature claims her prerogative: her voice will be heard; and the invasion of sleep becomes irresistible. But when it takes place under such circumstances, it is generally oppressive, and does not recruit exhausted power, since the brain has been irritated by previous excitants; and when itself, or any of the organs with which it stands connected, are in a state of irritation, quiet sleep is not to be expected. As the invasion of sleep may thus be warded off for a considerable time by the agency of various stimuli; so a state of morbid vigilance may be produced by certain conditions of the brain, and by various other exciting causes. Thus, acute irritation of the brain, even when attended by power on the part of the constitution, will produce it. Opium exhibited for this purpose will occasion it. In the opposite state of the system, in which excitation is produced without power to support it, the degree of nervous irritability will be such as to render sleep impossible, till calm has been obtained; and the same effects will be produced by the agency of green tea, coffee, and other stimulants. Now it is quite impossible that these causes, to which many others might be added, can all agree in the possession of one common property, by which wakefulness is produced; or that the vigilance so created can admit of a similar treatment. But if not, the brain may be variously irritated by different disturbing causes: and these causes may operate effects upon its physiological function with which we are at present unacquainted; because we know not the manner in which the connection between the brain and its