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The spirit of the age is Steam ; its sets ancient things; it whirls along philosophy is material : it pretends the space of its own creations, but if to the moral, but the one is only the it comes to create, it comes to devour. end, the other the means, though What, then, is this strange and mysend and means go together. Mind, terious being? Steam is but its type, then, is a machine ; the principle of its representative; but what is the esmachinery is that of packing up and sential principle in itself; what is its pushing out. We must do the shape, its form, its colour, its identity ? same. We must enter on new routes; Is it a circle, is it a chain ? This is we must proportion time and space of no consequence; circles and chains by curtailing them of their old pro- bind up all things; nothing stops portions, for a new race and a new short, nothing stands still: the death rivalry are before us. Society has of the animal gives birth to the veits states, its stages, its stations, like getable, that of the vegetable to the our railroads ; so has knowledge, so animal; the mineral stands apart, has civilisation ; because, what is but the mountain wears down, and society but the expression of those thus the great law goes on, and old forms which such knowledge and ci- things give way to new. What, vilisation have impressed on it ? then, we repeat, is this strange and These forms now speak for them- mysterious being that now surrounds selves; the signs of the times are no us,—what is its shape, its form, its hieroglyphics; those who read may colour? Is it like the monster, or run, those who run may read. We Minotaur, or Saturn gazing at but must do both; we must keep pack- devouring its own offspring? Is it a ing up our new faculties, we must great giant or a great genius, from push on in a new direction, - no use- whose grasp we cannot escape ? Is less luggage or lumber in the way, it like the bird in the Arab story, none of those old ties that once in- hovering o'er us with sable wing, but peded us,

,- no looking behind, or resting we know not where? These even around, but on, on we must go, are all idle questions. When we for we cannot back.

cannot explain facts, we go to figures. What, then, is this new and mighty

Steam is like mind; we can guess power that propels us,-- what this no nearer. Mind is like the earth; new principle that marks our age ? it goes round and round; its spirit is Are we to call it by a new name?

Mens agitat molem." Are we to say that mind and matter If Mind, then, is like the earth, are submitting to new laws, as if they there's no end of it; for circles havé had formed new connexions ? Steam no end ; and if our new steam is like may explain this ; but how? It's a our new mind, we must of course asnew fact, a new fiat, a new destiny; sign it the same property. Be it so; it throws us into a new state, it up- let us assimilate them; let us grant

go

every where.

VOL. XXIV. NO. CXXXIX.

B

we

that both obey similar laws, but let us not grant more than they deserve. In talking of the modern “ march of intellect," seem to think that men's brains, if not actually changed for a new substance, are at least moved by a new power, or that even the carth in going round the sun has altered its pace. This, however, not being the case, anatomists having clearly shewn us that not a single atom was added to the one, and astronomers finding that all goes on just as usual with the other, we may be quite at ease on these points, and be satisfied with the old. Now, we do not pretend to say that this has any right to make us stop, or slacken in our career; but still we pretend to say that it has a right to check our presumption. If the earth does not go quicker round the sun, at least we go quicker on its surface; and if this earth is nothing more than earth, still we can dig deeper and soar higher. This is something; to many it is a great comfort ; and to those who think with Solomon, there's nothing new under the sun, and that stars, insects, and flowers, were just as well made in his time as now, if such is the case, of course perfect novelty must be perfect nonsense, and perfect knowledge nearly the same ; but still Solomon knew very well, that if mind had no new elements it had new compounds, and that these we could turn to a new and better account. This we can do,--this is all we can do; but this is quite enough for our present condition; there's no necessi. ty for more ; no necessity for enlisting any more elements either into our own composition or that of the earth ; but instead of calling steam the fifth on the list, to call it a product of the old four. Davy tells us that most of our agents can be reduced to mere simples; and Solomon, a much higher philosopher, though in another way, showed us that the works of nature could be referred to a few laws. If this is not enough for us, our own experience (the best philosopher of all) may show it; and if this is not enough, we must only look higher than all. God has given us this earth to make the most of, as he has given us mind. He says there are the elements, mix up the compounds. He has given it to us to typify our being; he has

given it to us to explore. He tells us we are parts and portions of each other; for there is a world without and a world within--ever bound, ever in accordance, ever beating in the bosoms of each. We must therefore go on; we must soar, we must dig, we must delve. If mind is a machine, it moves on by its own momentum; and if it now takes a new course, we must follow, although frailty still marks it alongside.

It's an age, then, of new impulse and discovery,—an age when the wheels of this old world and old time seem to rush on like those of our new engines -- an age that tells us there are other agents and instruments to work with than what man has hitherto employed, -an age that brings rushes, and gushes from deep and hurried streams, or those that come down from loftier and calmer shrines. Whether it be in thought, action, or feeling, -whether it be in the busy crowd, whose wave bears us along, and whose type we still are --whether it be in the closet, where we open out our better lights, and drink in purer skies,-whether we see it in that new order of feelings which society is now taking, the new list of acquirements it enters into, and the new and general affluence of intellect which now surrounds us; but in all the change is manifest, obvious, striking, palpable, direct, - not one of those slight changes by which epochs seem hitherto to have slided into each other, but a bold rush, as it were, to make up for long-lost ground, and where every thing seems altering even in the last quarter.

It's an age, then, as I have said, of new discovery; for in this one word are implied most of its characteristics. But this is not enough for us to know,-it is not enough for us to lump up all in one term what other ages may lay claim to as well as ours; we must see how these characteristics are otherwise affecting us; we must mark the influence they possess or are likely to retain. In all ages new discoveries have produced new doctrines, and new doctrines have produced new doubts. Doubts, says Aristotle, are the beginning of truth, and therefore truth, even in his time, was the great end sought for, though so seldom attained ; but it almost seems reserved for our time to

gy, &c.

shew the strange mixture which these -electricity, magnetism, meteorolonew discoveries, new doctrines, and

Look at the new lights new doubts unfold, the strange pro

which physiology presents. Man portions that cach seems mixed up in, has been called a microcosm, and this and the strange conflicts which Truth is saying much. We have as yet no and Error, thus meeting face to face, great key to unlock those secret can contend in.

chambers where the great laws of Now, in marking the philosophy his nature are revealed ; we are still of the age, we think this is the main fumbling at the door. Many agents point to attend to. We all know lie behind ; steam is one: it is only the rate at which we are proceeding; one, but it is a great one. It seems we all know that the brevet rank in a new interrogator of those laws, a the “ march of intellect” is open to new interpreter of them ; it interroevery one ; but we do not all know

gates on its own account, it works for —at least we have not time to think its own sake, it asks no questions of of the results, because we are all deeper mysteries than what its own treading down each other, and be- depths reveal; but on it goes with its cause this march has become a whirl: spirit to conquer and to claim. Let to stop this is perhaps impossible, us observe, then, its course, let us but to direct it in right paths is not watch its movements; it is the ex80; and the only way of attempting pression of our new state; it comes this is to look fairly at our position, up from the old bowels of the old to move a little out of the crowd, land ; it fills our whole atmosphere; whirl, and smoke, and just see what it comes like a woman in labour to the age is doing for us in other bring forth her new offspring ; it ways.

comes in a voice of thunder, and bids if Mind is like the earth, and that us search and see what it can do ; it man on the last day of creation arose tells us, if we do not explore it will from it, it is, of course, to the earth explode ; it tells us, like its enorwe must look to ascertain how far the mous machines, that there must be spirit of discovery is applicable, and outlets every where,—that knowhow far its ways and means unfold ledge is man's birthright, and that, of improving those faculties with like the air of heaven, it must be which we are invested. In this we free. seem now arrived at a new stage ; It's an age, then, of new eclucation, but every stage tells us we must ad- --an age when the brain, like a manvance on to the next. This is all ufactory, is worked into new proright. We must do so; but as to ducts by new processes, and where the benefit derived, this must depend from a given quantity of raw maon the pace. We must explore, then, terial we expect a given quantity of this world; we must seek it in all its refinement. But what is the nature ways; it will not do, like our fore- of this work ? what are the results ? fathers, to be merely looking to sur- Where are intellectual stimuli now face, and clearing away old forests sought for? In the tillage of the and marshes. We must cultivate it earth we employ a better chymistry ; anew; we must seek new depths, manures are sought for applicable to new strata, new productions, for we different soils, and we think that ferknow not what they may bring forth. tility is the result of some fixed prinIf improved agriculture has produced ciple applicable to each. Not so in such new wealth in one way, what the education of the day: here it may not improved education do in seems nothing is fixed. We seem to another? and if cultivation so affects think that locomotion is every thing, soil, and even climate, may not - that by this alone one idea will our whole character be affected by generate another, by pushing it on, such developement ? llow do we or that by something like an electric know the intimacy of that connexion shock something will be got out of subsisting between the laws of mind the concussion. This is our new and matter? What progress have school — our school of mechanics and we made in that science which tells materialists--the school of short cuts ns that they are so adapted to each and steel pens to cut railroads in other ? Look at the new views our brains. But this is a dark which our new sciences unfold to us school, with all its boasts; it may

be

permitted for a time to make up for ture as a principle. Others go diftardy progress, and Penny Magazines ferently to work; they are for the may be instruments of pennyworths useful, the positive, the exact. They of good; but it cannot last, -the age say, What is the use of so and so, undistrusts itself. Something better is less it contributes to so and so? They called for. We must search deeper; think there is a direct mathematical we must soar loftier ; we must have ratio between the ugly and the useful, something beyond the smart, and the as the others say there is one between clever, and the talented. What is the beautiful and the benevolent. education unless based on religion ? We are therefore on the cross-roads : Is this basis narrow or confined ? we know not what other position to What is more expansive in its prin- assign us, for these classes are all ciples than Christianity, or has placed contrasted with each other, and this Europe, or has placed England, so seems the only way to judge of it. ahead of the world since its Reform- Why, then, merely call it an Age ation? We must look to hearts as of Transition ?" Every age is such, well as heads; we must seek the font every age is a successive stage of light, of better feelings, the source of higher because a stage of knowledge; but principles. Is this saying that we here, bursting from opposite quarters, are to stand still ? Far from it. we scarcely know the light from the We must move on. There is a pro- dark. If steam clouds our skies, it gressive principle in society, and ever clears our mind ; and if the great will be, unless, like the barbarian, we shadow of change which it typifies shut out those brighter lights from seems looming in the mists of fuwhich our own are reflected. But if turity, we see lights bursting through we include these, better feelings will it by which all may perhaps be excome; these feelings will vary, from plained. This, however, is but matnew aspects and movements of so- ter of conjecture. We are still in ciety, and these in their turn will re- the twilight; and though the stars of act on us; so that our progress, in- the last age are getting dim, yet they stead of being checked, will ever still twinkle now and then in the advance.

firmament, as if to tell us what is But it's an age of other lights and coming on as well as what is going other colours,-an age of beauty, yet

off. With these stars we were once deformity,--an age of darkness, and dazzled ; we looked up to them like yet of brightness. Steam, iron, smoke, the constellation of Atlas: we knew egoism, doubt, and distrust, are all that minor luminaries were eclipsed, alike in colour. We look black and though perhaps equally deserving ; blue at each other; the age is re- yet we felt proud, and looked up to flected in our faces, our feelings, our them as mariners look up in storms. works; and yet nothing looks bright- These times, however, are fled; other er, they say, than the dawn that

times come.

Travellers tell us we seems to break. But when is this can only see these stars from moundawn to arrive? We are still out on tain-tops or deep pits; but soon all the cross-roads looking for it,--still will be new light, all a new level, in that twilight where the stars are because all a new atmosphere, where retreating one by one, but where the cach can see for themselves. day is not yet distinct. Truth, like The age of names, therefore, is golight, may perhaps be too strong, ing by—at least that of the old ones. the rays must be refracted, and clouds Name is a great thing in the world, intervene; but still truth must ex- - the locum tenens of Fame, but still pand. We must seek it,-we must not the thing itself. Fame sits on have new lights to invest it, new lofty summits, and if strongly encolours to shew it forth. How is trenched may hold out. We may this to be done ? Does the age tell look up to these, and be still proud us? The age is divided every way, of them ; we may gaze on them as and the new and the old schools are the old Greeks did on their old temat strife. Some think that truth is ples, and hallow and worship what duller than fiction, that by burnish- they contain. But when knowledge, ing the latter with new livery we talent, virtue, glory, &c., have all armake it brighter than ever, and that rived at that state where each claims there is just as much truth in a pic- a share—at least where each claim

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