24 MARCH 1866, Page 20

The Future of the Haman Race. By W. Ellis. (S.nith

and Elder).—

This is a thoughtful and well reasoned volume, by a utilitarian theorist. Mr. Ellis says that he is unlearned, and that his appeal is to the un- learned. The only indication of the former fact is that he uses the term "prebend" for the holder of the office. We suppose that it is on account of the latter consideration that he explains, at rather unneces- sary length, that the future is not so hidden as we are apt to think, and that our knowledge of it is based on the experience of the past. From this experience he finds that social well-being depends upon conduct, and that conduct depends upon knowledge. Suffering and crime arise from ignorance—ignorance of the laws that govern life. The future of the human race, then, will be comfortable exactly in proportion to the amount and quality of education given in the present. Child-neglect, therefore, on the part of parents or the State, is equal in criminality to assassination. This is Mr. Ellis's argument, which he enforces with close reasoning and groat felicity of illustration. In the course of his inquiry into the influences for good or evil which are at work in the world, he explains why he omits religion. He thinks that there is a growing tendency to make " religions doctrines and conduct" and "doctrines and conduct favourable to well-being" con- vertible terms, and he prefers the latter phrase. Mr. Ellis is evidently a man who has the well-being of his fellow-creatures warmly at heart, and has been prejudiced against Christianity by the conduct of the theologians who stop the educational way; he will find in time that the same spirit which has transformed the ancient world, is alone capable of producing that golden future to which he is looking forward with enthusiastic hopes—based on science and education.