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SIR

without ringing, but, at the end of that locity of lightning, and arrived in the my short time, the bell would be rung a bell-ringer's room. This was the last lang second time, for five minutes more. I act I had power to accomplish. I

could not calculate time. A minute leant against the wall, motionless and de and an hour were of equal duration. deprived of thought, in which posture

I feared to rise, lest the five minutes my companions found me, when, in tuant should have elapsed, and the ringing the course of a couple of hours, they na be again commenced, in which case returned to their occupation.

I should be crushed, before I could They were shocked, as well they escape, against the walls or frame- might, at the figure before them. The work of the bell. I therefore still con- wind of the bell had excoriated my tinued to lie down, cautiously shifting face, and my dim and stupified eyes myself, however, with a careful glid- were fixed with a lack-lustre gaze in ing, so that my eye no longer looked my raw eye-lids. My hands were torn

into the hollow. This was of itself a and bleeding ; my hair dishevelled ; Little considerable relief. The cessation of and my clothes tattered. They spoke in the noise had, in a great measure, the to me, but I gave no answer. They

effect of stupifying me, for my atten- shook me, but I remained insensible.

tion, being no longer occupied by the They then became alarmed, and hastás chimeras I had conjured up, began to tened to remove me. He who had first el flag. All that now distressed me was gone up with me in the forenoon, met

the constant expectation of the second them as they carried me through the de ringing, for which, however, I settled church-yard, and through him, who

myself with a kind of stupid resolu- was shocked at having, in some meation. I closed my eyes, and clenched sure, occasioned the accident, the cause my teeth as firmly as if they were of my misfortune was discovered. I screwed in a vice. "At last the dread- was put to bed at home, and remained ed moment came, and the first swing for three days delirious, but gradually of the bell extorted a groan from me, recovered my senses. You may be as they say the most resolute victim sure the bell formed a prominent topic screams at the sight of the rack, to of my ravings, and if I heard a peal, which he is for a second time destined. they were instantly increased to the After this, however, I lay silent and utmost violence. Even when the delethargic, without a thought. Wrapt lirium abated, my sleep was continuin the defensive armour of stupidity, ally disturbed by imagined ringings, I defied the bell and its intonations. and my dreams were haunted by the When it ceased, I was roused a little fancies which almost maddened me by the hope of escape. I did not, how- while in the steeple. My friends reever, decide on this step hastily, but, moved me to a house in the country, putting up my hand with the utmost which was sufficiently distant from any caution, I touched the rim. Though place of worship, to save me from the the ringing had ceased, it still was apprehensions of hearing the churchtremulous from the sound, and shook going bell; for what Alexander Selunder my hand, which instantly re- kirk, in Cowper’s poem, complained of coiled as from an electric jar. A quar as a misfortune, was then to me as a ter of an hour probably elapsed before blessing. Here I recovered ; but, even I again dared to make the experiment, long after recovery, if a gale wafted and then I found it at rest. I deter- the notes of a peal towards me, I starte mined to lose no time, fearing that I ed with nervous apprehension. I felt might have lain then already too long, a Mahometan hatred to all the bell and that the bell for evening service tribe, and envied the subjects of the would catch me. This dread stimula- Commander of the Faithful the sonoted me, and I slipped out with the ut, rous voice of their Muezzin. Time most rapidity, and arose.

I stood, I cured this, as it does the most of our suppose, for a minute, looking with follies; but, even at the present day, if, silly wonder on the place of my im- by chance, my nerves be unstrung, prisonment, penetrated with joy at

some particular tones of the cathedral escaping, but then rushed down the bell have power to surprise me into a stony and irregular stair with the ve- momentary start.

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ON COPLESTONE'S INQUIRY INTO THE DOCTRINES OF NECESSITY AND

PREDESTINATION.

*

LETTER II.

T. CHRISTOPHER North, Esq. DEAR SIR, -Having endeavoured to tions are not restrained by the moshew that philosophical necessity is in- tives which commonly act as restraints consistent with activity, the next step upon the evil propensities of mankind. of the Rev. Inquirer is to try to prove Now, how do we estimate the moral it to be destructive of morality. “ It value of a good action, or the fitness cannot be denied (he goes on to ob- for punishment of an apparently bad serve,) that in the habitual judgment one? We inqulre whether or not it was of all mankind, the moral quality of performed under a state of absolutely actions depends upon the freedom of forcible compulsion, fear, or ignorance

. the agent." Praise and blame, reward We first make this inquiry, merely and punishment, uniformly imply that because, if the causes of compulsion, we think the party who is the object fear, or ignorance can be otherwise reof them might have acted otherwise; moved, punishment becomes unnecesand as soon as it is discovered that he sary. For as pain, and the appreacted under compulsion, we no longer hension of pain are applied medicinalmeasure the action by the standard of ly to controll that will which is found duty. It is in fact the first excuse to be permanently uncontrollable by which a culprit makes, if he can, that other motives, so it is, of course, rehis will had no share in the deed. quisite to ascertain that the will has The deed may, it is true, though pro- become inveterately diseased before the ceeding from ignorance, or from an stimulus of punishment is applied; extraneous power, still lie culpable to and this is done precisely upon

the a certain degree—if that ignorance principles which lead a surgeon to apwere not inevitable, or if the person ply a plaister to a green wound, or elecplaced himself voluntarily in that state tricity to a contracted sinew: nor does of subjection which deprived him of the judge who pronounces sentence, choice. But still our judgments in think of inquiring whether the dethese matters, all have respect to one pravity of the will of the culprit, is a principle that man is not accountable necessary depravity, and could not have for what was not in his own power.” been otherwise, any more than the

This statement, I must take the surgeon would of inquiring whether liberty of saying, is extremely loosely the disease he cures could have been, worded. The emphatic terms are em or could not have been avoided. The ployed without any prior definition of same reasoning equally applies to vothe precise meaning intended to be luntary ignorance, or to wilfully subconveyed by them, and the whole pas, jecting oneself to extraneous power. sage is consequently so completely The depraved will, which chuses ignoequivocal, that neither Libertarian nor rance or subjection to improper power, Necessitarian need hesitate to assent to must be cured or neutralized by the it, as it stands. The question is, what counteracting motives of fear and sort of freedom is requisite to deter- shame. mine the quality of actions ? What It is in obedience to this rule that sort of compulsion is destructive of those crimes which confessedly spring responsibility? What is the rational from ignorance and ill education, and meaning of the word blame, and which are as inevitable, and as much what the philosophy of punishment ? the creatures of necessity as a life of Punishment is the application of the ill example and wicked instruction can fear of pain, naturally inherent in make them, are for the good of society men, as a motive to controul the will punished equally with those commitof those, whose tendencies to bad ac ted by men of more enlarged minds

* Soldiers are punished for cowardict on strict necessitarian principles. The certainty of ignominious death is a stroager motive to stand, than the risk of honourable death is to run away.

T

om nial of the necessary influence of mo

and liberal education. If we pity the dom of his will. The infliction of ignorant malefactor more, it is because punishment must render the chusing the unavoidable tendency to crime is, of this evil exertion of Freewill more in him, brought more directly and difficult-or it must not. If it does, certainly into view, and because we this is to admit that the motive in also see that in him punishment must question has some power to neutralise probably be less efficacious, and be re- according to its strength, that perfect quired again and again, and with in- freedom of will which is contended

creasing severity. The mind of a cri- for. If this be so, it is utterly inconT!minal who possesses knowledge, and ceiveable how the mind which is ne11 who, of course, has a larger store of cessarily biased to one side of an al 13 motives, good and bad, is generally ternative, can by possibility chuse the fet curable by punishment. . Whilst his other side, unless some opposite mo1 evil propensities are held in abeyance tive of equal force exert a similar in

by fear, his mind reposes upon its fluence towards the other side, and a better tendencies, which consequent- thus restore that balance which is ne

ly gain strength as the others fade. cessary to the display of Freewill. If The ignorant reprobate may be kept it does not render the chusing more

by fear from mischief for a time, une difficult-if it be said, that the mind 1981 til the impression wears off. But he yields to the motive only of Freewill, di has no better knowledge-no more and may from the same Freewill with de enlightened affections to cultivate, and undiminished ease, set it at defiance El punishment is to him merely what and act in opposition to it--then this o the heated wires of the cage are to is saying, that there is always inherof the the ravenous cat. It is also to be ob- ent in the mind an unvarying and test served, that the crimes of an intele complete power to act, not only with

lectual man, are for the most part; out, but against motives. If this be si caused only by complicated and singu- so, I ask, where then can be the utilia larly unfortunate combinations of cir- ty either of punishment, or any kind cumstances, which, when once inter- of discipline? For according to this s

ssuprupted, are less likely to be renewed. position, the object is as likely to act

It has been always, and, as it seems wrong if it is applied, as he is likely zaś to me, most strangely, a favourite idea to act right if it is omitted, and he is and of the advocates of Freewill, that their as likely to do either of these things

theory is necessary for the explanation as the contrary, having an absolute, of punishment, and for the hypothesis unalterable, and complete power to do of this life being a state of trial. Yet either or any of them. Nor is it adit is difficult, if not impossible, to con- missible to say that-although he has ceive what sort of freedom other than the power, he is not so likely to exert the freedom to do what we will, can be it, as to refrain from exerting it-for requisite to justify punishment, or to wherein does the likelihood lie? If afford room for moral discipline. In motives have not a certain, and necesfact, Philosophical Freewill is perfecte sary influence on the ultimate decily incompatible with both. The de- sions of the mind, then they have an

uncertain and contingent influence, tives on conduct, is essential to the (if influence it can be called,) which libertarian system. But the system may be either submitted to or not; of punishment is an attempt to influ- and it is impossible to predict when ence the conduct by means of the mo- it shall, and when it shall not be tives of a fear of pain and of shame, submitted to, the powers of chusing and it is only upon the supposition, either side of an alternative being althat these motives have a certain and ways equal, according to the doctrine necessary tendency to bring about a of Freewill. If an appeal be made given line of conduct, that pain can be to experience, that where no evireasonably inflicted. Nor does it help dent, powerful, contradictory motives the advocates of liberty out of their intervene, punishment is, in fact, gedifficulty, to say, as some of them nerally followed by reformation ; this have done, that though punishment is only putting one of the strongest certainly produces a tendency to a arguments, for the probability of a better line of conduct, yet the object necessary influence being exerted over still has the power to overcome that the will, inasmuch as constant setendency, by an exertion of the free- quence is all we have to prove even

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the doctrine of Cause and Effect; which Why, that men are free to do as they is one of the principal foundations of please. That they may freely, and human reasoning. The source of the without any counteracting compulsion, notion of Freewill being necessary to choose, in accordance with their view justify punishment, is probably to be of a matter, and act according to that found in the still more common notion choice. This is all that Necessitarians of punishment, as being merely vindic- contend for, and all that seems necestive. We are, for the most part, early sary for human happiness; but this is possessed with a confused idea that not philosophical free-will. Ask any there exists some essential, and natu- of these “ unreflecting,” testifiers, if ral connection between crime and pu- they possess some such power as that nishment, independently of any future of making themselves choose what they or present good to be attained by the don't choose, if they choose to do so, infliction. Now when the word “crime” with a power of choosing to choose is defined—viz: to be that voluntary against their choice, should that vagahuman action which is the cause of ry come into their head. Define to suffering either to others, or to the them metaphysical liberty, in the most agent himself, or to both, the doctrine intelligible way that it admits of ; ask of vindictive punishment turns out them if they recognize this in themto be merely this-an assertion that, selves, and mark what replication they because a man has been the means shall make. In fact, the unreflecting through which suffering has been ex of all rauks of society, every day, act perienced by others, or by himself, and reason upon the principles of phitherefore he shall experience more losophical necessity, though without suffering. To say that because some knowing it. Ask the “young Hope-> pain has occurred, therefore more pain ful” of low life, why he prefers going ought to occur, is a dictum, which, in

to sea, to being a tailor; and he tells itself, carries no proof of its truth. The you“ he can't help it.” Ask the acwherefore remains to be shewn. To complished Maria, why she won't marrender the assertion at all rational, we ry Joseph Surface, whom all respect, must answer, either, that this is a but prefers his profligate brother, and means of lessening the amount of suf- she tells you“ she can't help it.” The fering on the whole or, that God freedom they recognize, is a freehas so willed it, for reasons above our dom from actual and sensible compulcomprehension.

sion; the necessary bias of the will itIn his second discourse, (the text of self, they universally admit

. Instead which is Deut. viii. 5,) Dr Coplestone of the advocates of philosophical neattempts to point out the compatibility cessity admitting that “Mankind act

, of a general controlling Providence with speak, and think, as if the will was free free-will. During the course of his according to the metaphysical notions argument, the following passage oc of free-will”- the very advocates of curs :-" The only argument brought free-will themselves do not admit it, in against it, is borrowed from the diffi- practice and effect. They would ineculty of accounting for evil as mixed vitably send to Bedlam any man who with God's creation, and of conceiving should act as he might sometimes be free-will in his creatures. But diffi- expected to act, if their system were culties can never be listened to against true. Suppose Dr Coplestone the evidence of facts. The fact of the offer a starving porter a guinea to carexistence of evil no one denies; and ry a letter twenty yards, to the postthe existence of free-will is, by the con- office, and the

man refused and put his current unreflecting testimony of all refusal upon free-will, would not the mankind, admitted to be a fact, oppo- reverend doctor conclude him to be sed only by the metaphysical objections mad? So habitually do we rely upon of a few. That all mankind act, speak, the certain influence of motive, that and think, as if the will were free, is where an unexpected act occurs que admitted by these few themselves.. immediately refer it to some hidden This is “unreflecting testimony” with reason in the mind of the agent; and a witness! If we inquire rigidly into if there does not appear to be room for these two assertions, we shall find, I any, we pronounce it insanity. It anbelieve, that they are directly opposite swers no end to say, that though men to the truth. What does this general never knowingly choose to act as if they “ unreflecting testiinony,” (as the reverend gentleman terms it) testify? and choose. This

is a strange kind of were insane, yet they are free so to act

were to

e free freedom of choice. We may as well ad- of motives, or else it is not to be relied

E mit the necessary influence of motives, upon at all. Thus, if a dice-player casts Tariko as admit that men are compelled to act a given number thrice running, it either altri according to motive, under pain of be- proves the existence of some necessary El actul ing denounced idiotical or mad. He cause for that number being cast, rathat lone who is banished from Scotland, is free ther than another; or it is admitted iltas to go or stay, excepting—that, if he that the fourth cast is not more likely EDDEN' I stays, he will be hanged.

to be the given number, than any other For the existence of Evil, Dr Cople- possible number. Equally inconsistent zing

, s stone very naturally attempts to ac is the notion of any power in the mind wife count, by supposing mankind to be in of choosing against motives. Either dan å state of trial. The word trial, how- the mind must have two methods or Dey be ever, is ambiguous; nor has the reveu modes of exercising choice, which is chose rend doctor given any very accurate improbable; or, the choosing against e, dall explanation of what he means by it. motives must be done in the same way La band This is of little consequence. Whether as in choosing in accordance with molibri it means that man is then going through tives ;-that is to say, the mind must ai Hakis a certain process, by which the expe- have a power of rendering to itself the enerience of certain sorts of pain is to pro- unattractive side of a question appakami duce a specific change in the consti- rently the attractive one, which is more -ct, dia tütion of the mind, or whether is improbable. It seems absolutely inconitti e meant by it an ordeal or test, by which ceivable that the mind should know

to call forth and ascertain the quantum ingly choose that which it naturally is of inherent virtue and vice- it is still dislikes, without feeling pain; and if

more capable of rational explanation, the effort be painful, freedom is imperEr be upon necessitarian principles, than up- fect, because we naturally are impelled pa on any other. Under the first significa- to avoid pain. If it be said we have a ition, if we allow the connection of free power of choosing to resist this Tinat cause and effect in the mind, as in other impulse ; then, I reply, we must have

things ; -and suppose that the appli- a prior free choice, choosing that see Blinds cation of certain motives or mental sti cond choice, as it also would be pain

muli, must have necessary and specific ful; and so on, ad infinitum. With effects

upon the character, then, by the respect to any supposeable power of discipline of misfortune and evil, cer the mind to render that which at first -hibo da tain changes may be brought about, was unattractive apparently attractive,

which may, for aught we know, be un the possession of such power seems to attainable by any other means. But be negatived by the fact of the painful with an uncontroulable and incompre

conflict which takes place when oppohensible free-will, what purpose could sing motives are nearly balanced-a such

a process answer? The repetition thing which could not be under such of any line of conduct is no more to be a power. certainly expected according to this sys The words of the text which Dr Com tem, than the

repetition of a series of plestone has chosen for his third distones on the Æolian harp. We have course, are remarkably striking. “Him, no more data for knowing how free being delivered by the determinate will may act on the next occasion, than counsel and fore-knowledge of God, how the wind may blow on the next ye have taken, and by wicked hands, occasion. The second signification is, have crucified and slain." -Acts ii. for the reasons already stated, evidentó 23. In setting out on his forlorn hope ly as little reconcileable with the hypo- of reconciling free-will with this deterthesis of free-will, as the first. The minate counseland declared fore-knowadvocates of free-will are always liable ledge, the reverend author has very to this dilemma. Either the exertion properly begun with some observations of free choice is equally easy on each on the improper use of the words “ side of an alternative, under any circum- tainty, possible, contingent,” &c. In stances, or it is not. If it is not, then the tenor of all these observations, I the will is not free; and if it is, then cannot, however, agree. “ One examthere is an equal chance for every suc ple,” says Dr Coplestone, “ has alreacessive exertion being wrong, as well as dy been produced in the word “ right. For in this case, experience tainty," which properly relates to the either proves too much, or nothing. It mind which thinks, and is improperly either

proves the necessary influence transferred to the object about which Vol. X.

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