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cate for the Ballot would venture to propose, Now, though such cases may be, we deny nor could it be enforced, compulsory secret that they are either general or numerous. voting in all cases), or adopt some other We appeal to our readers, as buyers, if they artifice to secure the fulfilment of a promise? treasure up the politics of their merchants This is both easy and possible, and under it -if they even know them ? Is it the the whole effects of the Ballot would be excellence of his wares or bis political opinfrittered away, while all the arguments ions that leads them to his shop? The stateagainst its adoption would remain in greater ment is ridiculous. Equally so is it that of force. It is preposterous, therefore, to sup- a landlord dispossessing an industrious tenpose that the Ballot will cure the body ant to replace him with an idle partizan of politic of its loathsome disease; at the ut- his own. Landlords are too "wide awake" most it will only prevent its outbreak in one to their own interests to do so. But to give particular shape.
our opponerts every advantage, let us supThese remarks are directed against the pose such cases to be general:-I am a cusmechanical working of the new system; let tomer, and have an undoubted right to give us suppose (and that is granting much) that my castom wherever I please. As well means would be found to counteract all these arraign the plea of private friendship, church artifices, would the Ballot therefore prevent membership, or general acquaintanceship;bribery and intimidation? I answer, em- as well might the fraudulent dealer say to phatically,—No! We have still the un- government, — “Do not prosecute me for answerable proposition that the Ballot will mixing chicory with coffee, it will affect my not cure the moral sin of bribery. There dealings with those who do not buy coffee will still exist base inen willing to bribe and from me!”—as the Radical (let us suppose) to be bribed. What is the object of bribing exclaim—“Let my politics be concealed, it a man? Is it to induce him to become Tory will affect my dealings with those who are or Liberal in his sentiments ? No; he is not Radicals!” bribed or threatened for his vote alone. He There is another advantage claimed for may declaim for seven years, in all the flow- the Ballot by its admirers. It is asserted, ing periods of ultra-Radicalism or bigoted electors are now bribed and threatened for Toryism, but let him at the polling booth their votes, and that under the proposed register his vote at the bidding of his pur- system they will be relieved from the tyranny chaser, and the hireling's fee is earned." In of following their landlord or their purchaser open voting it is acts or neutrality that are to the polling booths. We have already bought; in secret voting it would be words taken as our standing point the fact that and opinions. The purchase money would the Ballot will not eradicate evil from the thus be paid for cheers and speeches, argu- heart of man. It must, therefore, follow ments and declamations, in favour of the that man will still be ready to bribe and buying candidate, and those know little of willing to be bribed. For what? For their human nature who assert that, at the last words and promises. The “poor but honest” hour, the base hypocrite would forget him- elector, who is now, it is said, compelled to self and his purchaser, his secret receipts, record his vote at the threats or bidding of open declamations, and hopes of future re- his taskmaster, will assuredly be as much wards-remember only his country, and vote compelled to give his promise then. Yet he for the man of his concealed respect. Such goes to the ballot box and votes for another a one has no principle to guide him, and it candidate, and our opponents applaud his is only more likely, from constant iteration, falsehood and hypocrisy, instead of condemnbis professed opinions would become his real ing the weakness and the crime which leads
him either to vote or promise, save according There is another, and a somewhat more to his own judgment. The bribed or intiworthy class, to whom the advocates for the midated are now attacked for their vote; but Ballot allege it would grant relief. It is under the Ballot, their words, their actions, anjust, they say, to demand of struggling their companions, the papers they subscribe shopkeepers or farmers the open avowal of to, will all be noted, and zealously recorded their votes, when it may entail on them against them, and the same dire consequences oppression, heavy losses, and ultimate ruin. I will follow from an incautious word or a sus
picious print, as are now said to follow their words and declared opinions as they from an upright vote. Is not the second now are for their votes? On the other hand, · tyranny greater than the first?
were the representation reformed, and these As the prevention of bribery is the chief men deprived of the franchise, as they ought argument quoted for the adoption of the to be, there would be no necessity to resort Ballot, would it not be well to inquire how and to the Ballot. In the one case, it would be where it is most prevalent? It is well known inefficient; in the other, it is unnecessary. that there has never been a member unseated Under the present suffrage, it is not applicfor bribery in Scotland, and even in Ireland able or suitable; under our extended suffrage, elections are conducted in comparative parity it would be useless and unnecessary. Are to those of England. How is it that in the we, then, for such a system of recording our latter country the evil is so prevalent? I votes, to discard the manly avowal of our believe that in England the corresponding political opinions, preferring to exercise an class to the Scottish voters-the ten-pound- important right as if we were ashamed to be ers, are every whit as honest and independent. seen doing it? We are told, men love The solution is to be found in two grievous darkness because their deeds are evil;” what oversights in the English Reform Bill. The must Radicalism be, when its avowal is first is in the small boroughs. There are sought to be concealed from every eye? many returning two members, with consti- I am surprised the admirers of the Ballot tuencies below 300, and the majority are do not remind us that it was in use in below 900; few returning only one member, Athens that most democratic state of many three or four. In Ireland also, one antiquity. But they must feel ashamed of borough with 71 electors returns a member the anecdote by which its existence is made for itself, and there are fourteen towns with known. It must be familiar to every one, constituencies below 250. In Scotland, the and contains a more profound argument lowest burghal constituency is Wigton, with against the Ballot than whole pages of 400 electors, the next has 650, while the theory. Aristides, surnamed The Just, who only two towns returning two members have conquered at Marathon, and fought at Salamis respectively 6,230 and 15,335 electors. Now, —who, in an age fruitful of heroes, was when we find one country so pre-eminently one of the most eminent—whose integrity free from bribery, and the other so corrupted and justice were proverbial, and to whose by it; and when we also find such discre- talent and courage Greece was mainly inpancies in the representations—would not debted for the defeat of the Persians—he was the disfranchisement of these small towns, banished from the country he had so worthily or their union into larger aggregates of elec- served, by the votes of 6,000 of his fellowtors, be a readier and a better cure for this citizens, declared by “ Ostracism," or Ballot. disease than the Ballot, which leaves it Such are the results of the Ballot in its full raging in all its violence, and can only pre- operation. What it was then, it has contend to hide its ravages from the eye?
tinued to be. Had the votes been declared The second oversight is the class of elec- openly and in face of day, such an act of tors left in possession of the franchise. The ingratitude as the banishment of this good majority of electors in English boroughs, as well as great man would never have been even in these small ones-are not (to coin a related by the historian. Were the Ballot new word) bribable. They are honest, in force, our tried and faithful statesmen, independent men. Most of them would who will not descend to flatter the “mob” declare their political sentiments were the (as distinct from the people), would be reBallot in operation to-morrow, and they do jected in favour of the demagogue of the not demand nor require its protection. But day. it is the freemen, who can turn the scale at In conclusion, I feel confident that the a contested election, and who are ever ready majority of the readers of the Controver.. to sell their votes to the highest bidder. sialist will agree with me in declaring that Let us suppose the Ballot in force, and the the Ballot is neither expedient nor desirable, representation unreformed, would not these but would entail greater evils than it prefreemen be as ready to become bribed for tends to cure.
H. C. F.
IS SECULARISM CONSONANT WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF SOCIAL
The necessity of prelimination in a dis- ( means, you must become acquainted with, cussion of this character is superseded by its and intimately know those who are its provast importance and manifold claims upon fessors and practisers. It is at best an the thoughtfulness of every nation standing ambiguity, involving the profoundest truths, in the scale of civilization, and bearing on and contradicting the first principles of its unfurled banner the divine aspiration rationality, natural and revealed theology, • Onward!”—especially on the thoughtful- and at the same time belying all the better ness of that nation of nations in whose midst aspirations of our common humanity. Secularism is propounded by men assuming It being necessary that Secularism should the authority of philosophy, and the garb of be clearly defined in this debate, we venture wide-world benevolence, as the mighty pana- a definition, and shall then proceed to view cea for the myriad soul-yearnings, spirit- it from several great stand-points, bearing wants and giant woes of universal humanity on the negative answer to this question. —on the deep and earnest thought of that Secularism is a theory which denies riot community whose true greatness and glory only the existence but the necessity of a has sprung from the indwelling, soul-rerew- revealed, i. e., written religion, which we ing, peace and purity restoring code of morals, maintain Christianity really is; while on the and standard of practical religion, we call other hand it affirms or assumes this much, Christianity! Reader, if Christianity be any- that it is man's greatest wisdom and highest thing short of the most profound and impious happiness to make the best of this world, delusion, secularism is the meanest offspring forgetting, or endeavouring to forget, the “to of moral obliquity and infidelity the Chris- come” of immortality-the eternity which tian world has known! If the Bible is the awaits every one of us. voice of Divinity, and Christianity a divine Secularism is the direct and absolute embodiment, Secularism, in the true, social, antithesis of the great apostle's soul-arousand religious acceptation of the term, is an ing, philosophic, and christian exhortation, embodied blasphemy.
Set your affections on things above, not In opening this debate, we would say, in on things on the earth.” Secularism denies the clearest terms possible, all personality the great axiom of christian philosophy, the shall be studiously avoided—that the known deep truth of which ages proclaim and all teachers of Secularism shall neither be named, ultimate human experience fully corroborates nor even their writings referred to, notwith- -" The foolishness of God is wiser than standing the great advantage we might men; and the weakness of God is stronger thereby gain. The reason is obvious, since than men.” in a debate of this character we ought to Secularism teaches us to abandon the analyze principles, search out palpable data, oracles of the Deity, and to bow at the proand bring some important point to light, fane shrine of vaunting and error - bound though it be for the ten thousandth time; human reason, and rashly to abandon our concerning which we may exclaim, mid all feeble but effectual faith in “eternal things," the doubt and gloom which envelop us as
to embrace the shadows of this evanescent beings of religious aspirations and spiritual world, and thus in the act of highest presympathies,—“Here will I hold!'
sumption to set God at nought and defy his Notwithstanding the noise which Secular- vengeance. ism has made in society, it is the most To any christian mind in doubt concerninadequately defined thing known. In fact, ing the bare possibilities of social good under if you would learn what Secularism is and Secularism, this palpable antagonism—this bold opposition of erring reason to the “ truth tion, has grasped her outstretched hand in of God,” would at once and for ever set the everlasting reunion. True, some vast relics matter at rest, even though failing to com- of defunct dynasties and powers some half prehend the particular error of the system. century ago were brought to light, when, to He would“ hold here,” it is an absolute im- the surprise of all Christendom, the so-called possibility, arising from the very constitution fact of the fictitious character of the Bible of things, that any system so opposed to that was fully announced to the world! But the which I count and feel in the secret depths triumph was short-very short--these unof my soul to be my highest treasure can, entombed tablets, like science, added their in its present influence and final results, alle- testimony to the majesty of biblical truth, viate the mighty woes, or establish the happi- and silenced the shout of infidel pseudoness of the aggregate of my fellow creatures. triumph! True, many have toiled as though
No christian man can be a secularist. for the laurels of immortal fame, or the Secularism is not even consonant with the nepenthe of Elysium, to show how history teachings of the ancient pagan philosophers and its evidence establish the mythical cha-even the Shasters and Coran, with all racter of Jesus Christ, and the sublime their error, point at its folly. Paganism gospels as beautiful forgeries, alias, splendid and idolatry declare it false, inasmuch as lies! But confusion has followed all such they, though in different ways and under attempts; it being shown most clearly, by many forms, proclaim and manifest the want such men as Chalmers, Wbately, &c., that of the Divine presence, which Secularism, to the same reasoning would go to prove that its eternal shame, denies, and seeks to Cæsar and Napoleon never walked this earth, smother in the vanities of time, on the border or that this article was actually written of the tomb, at the gate of eternity! by the man in the moon!
We hare, of course, to meet in this debate Probably modern Secularism has some new secularists, and ultimately to answer their science, mystic tablet, or hitherto unknown arguments, and to maintain our position history, true and valid. 1855 may bring under their attacks. Of course, as they great facts to light! Reader, I can join in reject the Bible, they will consider arguments a smile at the expense of Secularism. Yet, from it of the least weight, and doubtless how stupendous is the folly of reasoning, most easy to be answered. We shall not, there- sapient man! fore, confine ourselves to the sacred word, but The greatest, because the most conclusive rather take other ground nearer the entrench- and unanswerable argument which can be ments of Secularism-somewhat, be it known, brought to bear upon this question is, that in the neighbourhood of their secret mines. while Secularism as a theory pretends to
Before so doing, we shall call upon them advance the moral wellbeing and social hapto prove the rationality of their conduct in piness of mankind, it rejects the only means rejecting the Bible; also to state precisely by which that grand result can possibly be the various grounds of such, to us, suicidal established and perpetuated, either in the folly! Surely we may anticipate but doubt- heart of individual man or universal society. ful success in this awful undertaking, since The statement that Christianity is the Secularism has been toiling for ages at the only power under heaven which can reform proof of this point, and has not as yet estab- and purify the deep and agitated heart of lished one argument invalidating the truth mankind, and thus to the greatest possible of scripture, the deity of Jesus, or the cha- extent secure the real happiness of society, racter of his apostles.
according to the degree of such divine and True, science has been made to atter some redemptive influence upon the hidden life of opposing facts, in years gone by, concerning men limited indeed as all true happiness geology and astronomy, which did disturb a must ever be where sin exists is a statefew good souls reposing on their evidences ment which admits not the shadow of doubt, and inward experiences of eternal truth! But, if history, sacred and profane-if experience, since then, science has broken from such whose facts are the most indisputable data impious restraint, and with mighty power if reason, which, in her own limited sphere, is bas borne her testimony against Secularism; side by side with divine revelation-if true and, beholding the Divine iinprint in revela- philosophy, moral and metaphysical, and the intense out-goings and soul-intuitions, more latitudinarianism of secularism, as it regards or less, of every heart;if these teach and the Son of God. What can be said of those demonstrate any one grand fact, it is that who profess to be able to prove, and believe, stated in our foregoing proposition. Reader, that Jesus of Nazareth was an impostor, there is, by this mode of arguing, an awful assuming deity to himself, and imposing degree of profanity necessarily brought to upon wayward humanity a practical recognilight, on the part of those who profess them- tion of his assumption ;—what, we ask, can selves to be supremely anxious for the re- be said of those who, in the denial of Christ's formation, salvation, and moral well-being of essential and absolute deity, accuse him of mankind, who nevertheless, calmly and with the directest falsehood and purest hypocrisy daring courage, attempt to destroy, not the —who do, nevertheless, hold him forth to best means which the aggregate wisdom of the gaze of men as a being of high moral all ages has at length brought to light, but, excellence and sublime character, while be it remembered, the profound, the mighty, at the same time, according to their own the sublime, and perfect scheme of miracle testimony, and at the fallible bar of their working mercy, which emanated from the own erring reason, he stands accused of Divine mind, as the only means for man's falsehood and hypocrisy? There was far restoration to God and truth, to love and more consistency in the conduct of the virtue, and thus to partial happiness on earth, ancient Pharisees, who, on hearing Jesus and perfected bliss in Paradise!
affirm most distinctly his deity, directly We are fully aware that many who pro- manifested their unbelief by attempting to fess Secularism attempt to take a neutral stone him, than in the secularist who, having ground as it regards the sacred word, and pronounced him an impostor, forthwith prates its momentous truths, and instead of totally about his moral glory and matchless characdenying the truth of scripture, to make clear ter. We maintain that Secularism is opposed way for Secularism, represent the matter-of- to consistency of belief, and the integrity of fact character of the Bible to be so dubious, reason; and as to its neutrality concerning as not to warrant their perfect credence the Bible, neither conscience nor reason in, and the consequent practice of, its soul admit it, but pronounce it false and untenreforming revelations. But we submit it to able; and that, when secularists eulogize the the candid judgment of our readers, where is “ Man of Sorrows,” and his moral excellence, the consistency of the conduct of those who they betray their own folly, and publish to cannot reject the Bible conscientiously, fear- the world the existence of that awful repaging lest its awful truths be found fully nance of the depraved heart towards truth realized by them in the light of eternity; and holiness which has closed the gate of who, as highest wisdom on their part, do Paradise upon thousands. nevertheless virtually abandon it, and teach If biblical light and christian philosophy men so to do, by upholding a system which expose the grand errors of Secularism, so gives the lie to its most palpable revelations? also do reason and the deepest sympathies of To the point. One of the most evident truths our common humanity; to these two other of scripture is the certainty of a future state points we now turn, viewing them in their of immortal being; and another, closely linked mutual relationships to the grand fact that to it, is the probationary and preparatory man is a religious being, according to the character of this life in connection with that constitution of his nature, and that the to come.
How manifest is the folly of those highest amount of social and individual hapwho cannot deny the two allied truths, but piness consists in the cultivation of his rewho, notwithstanding, live totally regardless ligious character, his loftiest aspirations of them, and affirm their conduct to be wise towards truth and holiness as they centre in and productive of the highest happiness. the deity, and his deepest sympathies with Byron himself, opposed as he was to the that which is spiritual, perfect, and eternal! searching truth of revelation, admitted the Now, Secularism, in its fundamental prinwisdom of those who embraced Christianity, ciples, is altogether opposed to the religious even though it should be found hereafter a life, culture, and happiness of which we here splendid delusion.
speak; so much so, that it rather treats We are aware, too, of the inconsistent ! man as being incapable of such religious life.