man! If this were the only objection to his argument, we should accept it with grateful thanks. But, whether or not we receive the teacher's doctrine, it is a pleasure to us again to declare our belief that a church, whose members were such men as he would be acceptable in the sight of heaven, whatever might be its creed.

The objections to the Bishop's reasoning are few and simple, not turning on any slight, and perhaps imaginary, weight of probability. They seem to us plain and conclusive, and directly fatal to every idea the author advances. In the first place, we have never known the mind, soul or intellect, by which ever name the power of consciousness be called, except as one, and not the greatest one, of the phenomena of our existence. And, therefore, when we know that death certainly terminates this existence, reason, with an iron law, proclaims that all perishes at once, and that death is, as it appears, a perfect privation of life to mind and body. When we look on the body of a slain beast or reptile, the mind, which has no option but to reason from analogy, cannot view it except carelessly as a thing that has perished. Like a Venice glass broken, it cannot be mended. This single fact, then, viz: that except as with the body we know nothing of the mind-is, in itself, when left to bare reason, a mountain of an argument on the side of mortality, compared to which the Bishop's subtle and air-drawn theories are but the down of a thistle.

If it were necessary to say more, which is not the case, we might add that, on a nearer view, the whole fabric of his reasoning becomes not only flimsy but shadowy in the extreme. As for the mind, it is known to be seated in the brain-a fact that is proven in many ways. Among others, that an injury to the brain deprives us of reason, exactly as an injury to the heart deranges the circulation of the blood, or an injury to the eye or ear deprives us of sight or hearing. When the brain is heated by fever, the mind wanders from its throne. The combatant who is struck on the head is stunned for the time, though the wound prove trifling. So well, indeed, is this now understood, that, in ordinary conversation, the terms brain and mind are used without distinc

tion. It is, therefore, absolutely nothing to say that the mind remains after any organ of sense has lost its action.

For, that it does so, no

more proves a separate existence of the mind, than the fact of the other senses remaining, should prove a separate existence of those senses. When a limb is taken off in battle, or otherwise, that limb is lost, but the owner retains the use of the remainder of his body. Why, then, should Mr. Butler have singled out the mind as being unhurt by such a loss, when the senses of sight, of hearing, of taste, and of touch, all remain in their pristine vigour? Every organ has been made, by the Great Machinist, of such exquisite construction, that any, the slightest, derangement of its parts will generally deprive it of its action, i. e. will deprive the owner of one of his senses. Now, if a proposition be true, the converse of that proposition is also true. Therefore, it is true that so long as the healthy and natural action of any organ continues, the sense of that organ remains to the owner of it. From which it follows that a man's retaining his mind after the loss of his hand, no more proves a separate existence of the mind from the body, than the fact of a man retaining the use of his hand after the loss of sight, proves a separate existence of the hand from the body. In short, if the successful amputation of a limb proves the immortality of the soul, so also is the same proven by paring the nails, and by the barber's operations on the hair and beard--a view of the subject which begins to border on the ridiculous, which is also the unseemly. We will only express our regret that the Bishop did not treat of this question, arising upon his theory, to wit: when one, from water on the brain, or a blow received on the skull, becomes an idiot for life, then is the soul still in the idiot's body or not?

Men differ in size and complexion, in law and custom, but there has never been discovered either main land, or little island in the farthest ocean, whose inhabitants held not the belief that, after this life, man goes to another world where life is eternal. It is a matter of surprise that Mr. Butler should have undertaken his futile task, since he, of all men, did not come by his belief through any nice chain of argument, but, as his life shows, was satisfied of the truth, while

yet so young he knew not a term in the art of logic. There is no such general mark of the human race as this belief in a future existence. Therefore, this belief is an instinct, which is not a thing of human creation, but a gift of Providence. In this instance, a gift which, in its very nature, is a promise.

In his first chapter, then, the author erred in that he dived to a great depth in search of what floats on the surface. Like any other diver, he grasped whatever came to his hand in the vast illimitable void, and when he rose, he brought with him only coral and pretty sea-weed.

Whatever may be the dictum of fashion, it is the part of candour to praise the diver's courage and strength, but not his success. Nashville, Tenn.

J. C. T.

The objections of our present Banking system considered,

together with a plan for a new one.

There have been many systems of banking proposed and adopted in this country, since the formation of its government, yet we have entirely failed to produce one possessing, in all its ramifications, those great principles of uniform benefit, which are so essential for such institutions. Something connected with their practical application, has always existed to neutralize their better parts, and to defeat the aims of their adoption. Banks, as now established, are a great source of power to those conducting them; and, if they happen to be unprincipled, can very easily be made instruments of oppression, instead of being a source of profit and assistance to the commercial and manufacturing portions of the community. They have too frequently proven to be arbitrary or self-willed, in their intercourse with the public; or are so loosely constructed in their organization, as to permit their managing powers to be made use of for the purpose of de

frauding the public, without leaving them the means of redress or restitution.

In some of our States, banks are required to deposit, in the hands of a State officer, dividend-paying stocks, to be used, if necessary, for the redemption of their issues. This plan is a good one, so far as it is applicable ; but its object being to reform only one of the abuses of banking, it fails to meet the radical difficulty, and to satisfy the entire wants of the community. If we desire a safe and profitable banking system, we must make such restrictions as will govern the whole of their departments. They should be less complicated in their ramifications, so as to be more easily understood by those having an interest in their existence. It has been found expedient to establish them in all commercial countries, for the purpose of assisting and augmenting trade and commerce, facilitating exchanges, meeting emergencies, making operations facile and inexpensive. The most desirable and valuable of their advantages, claimed to proceed from their existence, may be thus enumerated :

First. That they have a tendency to facilitate the commercial intercourse of States and individuals, by means of their paper issues being made use of as the circulating medium of the country, instead of gold and silver ; thus making the transmission of large sims of money more easy and safe, and increasing the real value of the precious metals, by making them a basis of circulation, instead of requiring them to serve in that capacity themselves; a necessity which would subject them to risk and loss, to waste, wear and abuse, to say nothing of the burdensomeness of carriage and transmission; and that they (the banks) have the means of increasing the active capital of a country, to the great advantage of its resources and industry. It is claimed, as a well-established fact, that those banks which possess good credit, can circulate a greater sum of their own issues, than the quantum of their actual capital in gold and silver. The real extent of this capacity has not been fully arrived at, but it has been generally conceded to be in the proportion of three to one. This faculty, it is claimed, is produced in various ways. First, because a great amount of notes are con.

tinued in circulation for an indefinite period, just in proportion to the confidence which each holder has that he can obtain for them, at any moment, gold and silver. Secondly, because every loan which a bank makes, is a credit to the borrower on its books, which amount it is ready to pay on demand, either in its own notes, or in gold and silver, as it may be required. But, generally, no actual payment is made in either; the borrower having, by his check or order, transferred his credit to another person, who, in his turn, may do the same, and thus continue the amount still in the hands of the bank, without there having been a dollar removed from its first repository; where the sum still remains, until it is removed or extinguished by a discount to some person who may wish to send it away by draft, or who owes the bank to an equal or larger amount. Thirdly.There is always a large amount of gold and silver in the vaults of the bank, exclusive of its own stock, which has been placed there by persons who are awaiting an opportunity to use it, either in their own business, or some other in which they can make a profit. These deposits are a great benefit to the operations of a bank, although they are liable to be redrawn at a moment's notice ; because, experience has shown that money much oftener changes owners than place, and that what is drawn out is generally so speedily replaced, as to authorize the counting of such deposits as an efficient fund, to be used in connection with the capital of the bank, to extend its loans far beyond its capital in gold and silver; and to answer all demands for coin, whether drawn out in consequence of its own loans, or from the occasional return of its notes. But all these advantages must rest entirely on the confidence which the community entertains in the resources and good management of the bank.

Again :-That banks have a tendency to impart stability to monetary affairs, and to produce a more correct standard of promptness in all business transactions, and thus make the credit system more of a benefit to trade and com

First.Because they possess the power of concentrating the productive capital of the country, with a view to its being re-distributed throughout the community in the


« ElőzőTovább »