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I Tappan Presbuterlan Association i 


■ (Presented by HON. D. BETHUNE DUFFIELD. j 
I From Library of Rev. Geo. Ouffield, O.D. i 

\ 3 



I 605" 



• 9 










• • •••• 

• • • • 

•• tHlC WHOLE 











**THKonly work upon moral philotophy which has extensiTe circulation, 
and which if level to the comprehension of common readen, ii the Moral 
Fhiloftiphy of Vt, Paley' Tbii work, like all othen of the same author, is 
remarkable for in cleaniean, and the apposite and natural manner in which it 
iUimlratea prinoiplet. But it cannot be recommended without a warning to 
the reader to beware of being mbled by the principle upon which, as a founda- 
tion, Iho lystem ef ^D^ Paley ia built This is the principle of expediency. 
Dr. Paley taya, * whatever it expedient ia right* But, then, it ' muat be expedi- 
ent on the whole, at the long run, in all ita eflecta, collateral and remote, aa 
well M in those which are immediate and direct* Now, this is undoubtedly 
true, to a being capable of estimating all eflecta, direct and indirect, collateral 
and remotOi through all time, and upon all beinga,— and to such a one alone. 
No person can safely act upon this principle, in questions of right and wrong* 
but one who can take into view the boundless future. Now, it need not be 
proved that none but Ood has this perfect foreknowledge ; no one else can, 
therefore, safiily act upon the principle of expediency. 

" With Ihli exception and one or two others, the morality of Dr. Paley is the 
morality of Iho Gospel ; and he constantly enforces his principles by quotatkma 
IW)m tbanoo, and has been guided throughcut. by light borrowed from the 

Oospei," :••: : • 

Em«rton*i AppendixUS sipfmn't Political Clas9-BooL 


lONraitan seocrUlnn to ths Aot of Conj^reas, in the year 1836, by 

Uriah ITunt, 

In lh« umoe of the t^lsrk of th« Dlatrlcl Court of the Eaatem District of 


• •- ***■* 

aTaaioTYrao ay l. jounsom. 




Paley's Moral Philosophy is a standard book. It 

is found in every gentleman's library^ and is made use 

of as a text-book in many of our schools and colleges. It 

is a treatise above all others, the best adapted to general 

use ; both on account of its clearness of method and 

aptness of illustration, and also because it contains a 

rj code of ethics, more universal in its application than any 

4 other. In the language of an English reviewer, " It is 

^ * a masterly and inimitable work. — He had many points 

>i of resemblance to Socrates : the philosophy of both was 

common sense, and their study human nature.^' 

But it has undoubtedly its defects ; and such defects 
as youth should be apprised of when they sit down to 
store their minds with its contents. The present editor 
has long regretted that so much error should accompany 
80 good a book ; and has wished to see an edition of it 
published for schools without the objectionable matter. 

With these views, he gladly availed himself of the 
opportunity that seemed to be offered by the publication 
in London of a condensed edition by A. J. Valpy,M. A. ; 
stating in its advertisement, that the original work was 
condensed into about one half its bulk, ^^ where not only 
are all the arguments of Paley preserved in their native 
force, but even his very words, as often as they seem to 
convey his ideas in the best, because most concise man- 
ner.'' Having casually met with this work, he con- 
ceived the idea that to this compressed edition there 
might b^ a^ddd aritical notes exposing the errors of Dr. 



Paley : and that there still might be retained his own 
arguments in favor of his opinions. 

After this determination, in looking over the work, 
it was found that the English editor had frequently 
abridged the original phraseology so much as to destroy 
its perspicuity, especially for young minds. On this 
account the American editor has not hesitated to make 
numerous alterations in the text ; always being careful 
to make the reading nearer that adopted by Dr. Paley 

In order to render the work more proper for a "guide 
in morals," he has inserted, where it appeared necessary, 
notes selected from popular authors, which show the 
present received opinions concerning some important 
points in ethical science. He has also substituted for 
the chapter on the British constitution, a series of 
extracts from American writers, giving a short account 
of our own political government. 

The editor is sensible that it is but an humble busi- 
ness to employ the strictures of other men. But his 
object was to make the book useful ; and for this pur- 
pose, his own opinions would have but little weight in 
comparison with what may be expected from the writ- 
ings of popular authors. It may be proper to mention 
also, that for the sake of adhering to the original design 
of employing quotations, there are some minor points 
of objection that have not been treated of. But, as they 
are of little moment, the loss will hardly be noticed. 

For the purpose of adapting the work to the use of 
schools, the editor has carefully expunged every thing 
that might ofiend the eye of delicacy, or suggest in the 
minds of youth any improper feelings or thoughts. 
And for the same purpose, he has also furnished a series 
of questions for eixamination. 


Pze&ce of the American Editor 8 

Author's Prefiu^ .....•.•.. 9 



Chap. I. Befinition and use of the science ••• 17 

n. Law of honor •....• 18 

m. Law of the land 18 

TV. Law of God 10 

y. The moral sense 21 

Cnltnre of the moral fiunilties 84 

VI. Haman happiness •••• • 86 

VEL Virtue 44 

BOOK n. 


Cbap. L The question, Why is a man obliged 1 considered. ... 50 

n. The meaning of the word * Obligation' 61 

in. The question, Whf am I obliged to keep my word. . • . 63 

rV. The wiUof God : 63 

V. The Biirine benevolence. •••••. 64 

VI. UtiUty 66 

VIL The necessity of general rules.. ..••. ••• 68 

VUL On general consequences. ••.••••• 60 

EC Of right 61 

X. The division of rights • 62 

XI. The general rights of man. ..•..•.•••••.•••...••••• 66 

a2 5 

^ C0NTSKT8. 

BOOK in. 


Chap. I. On property 69 

n. The use of the institution of property ib. 

m. The history of property 71 

rV. In what the right of property is founded 72 

y. Promises 74 

VI. Contracts 82 

Vn. Contracts of sale ib. 

Vm. Contracts of hazard. 84 

IX. Contracts of loans of properly inconsumable • • . • 86 

X. Contracts of money-lending 86 

XL Contracts of labor — service 88 

Xn. Contracts of labor — commissions 91 

AilL Contracts of labor — ^partnership 92 

XIV. ContracU of labor — offices 93 

XV. Lies 94 

XVL Oaths 97 

XVn. Oaths in evidence, 103 

[Oaths of allegiance — Oath against bribery in the elec- 
tion of members of parliament — Oath against simony 
Oaths to observe local statutes — and, Subscriptions 
to articles of religion, are omitted.] 

xvm. Wills .• 104 


Chap. L Charity 109 

n. On treatment of dependants •••.••••.•.•••••• ib. 

HI. Slavery 110 

rV. Professional assistance Ill 

V. Pecuniary bounty^ •• •.* 112 

VL Besentment 117 

vn. Anger. 118 

vm. Bevenge. 119 

IX. Duelling.* •....*. 121 



CsAP. X. Litigatioii 1813 

XL Gratitude 124 

XII. Slander 126 



Chap. I. Use of marriage institutions » . • 127 

n. Polygamj 129 

in. Divorce. 130 

IV. Marriage 134 

V. Duty of parents 136 

YI. Rights of parents.......^ 142 

VIL Duty of children 143 



Chjlp. I. Rights of self-defence .•••..« 146 

n. Drunkenness 147- 

ni. Suicide 150 



Chap. I. Division of these duties 154 

n. Duty and efficacy of prayer, as seen hy the light of 

nature ib. 

m. Duty and efficacy of prayer, as represented in Scripture 157 

IV. Private prayer, family prayer, and public worship 159 

V. Forms of prayer in public worship 162 

VI. Use of sabbatical institutions 166 

Vn. Scripture account of sabbatical institutions. 168 

VUL By what acts of conmussion or omission the sabbath is 

violated • 177 

IX. Of zeverencing tiie Deity • • . . . 179 



Chap. I. Origin of civil government. 184 

n. How subjection to civil government is obtained 186 

8 C0KTE9T8. 

CuAr» XSL Doty of falnnknon to dvil government. • 189 

IV, Duty of civil obedience, as stated in the Christian 

Scriptnxes 197 

v. Civil liberty 201 

VL Difierent forms of government. • 308 

Vn. First principles of political constitutions 211 

Vni. Organization of the legislative power. •••»•......•••. 220 

IX. Organization of the executive power 223 

X. Powers and restrictions of the legislature ; 230 

XL Municipal law » 243 

XIX. Organization of the judicial power 248 

Xm. Administration of justice • . . . • 256 

XIY. Crimes and punishments 266 

XT. Religious establishments and toleration 276 

XYL War and militaiy establishments • 277 



IsT the treatises that I have met with on the subject of morals, I appear 
to myself to have remarked the follovtring imperfections ;— either that the 
principle was erroneous, or that it was indistinctly explained, or that the 
rules deduced from it were not sufficiently adapted to real life and to 
actual situations. The writings of Grotius, and the larger work of Puf- 
fendorff, are of too forensic a cast, too much mixed up with the civil law 
and with the jurisprudence of Grermany, to answer precisely the design 
of a system of ethics, — ^the direction of private consciences in the general 
conduct of human life. Perhaps, indeed, they are not to be regarded 
9a institutes of morality calculated to instruct an individual in his duty, so 
much as a species of law books and law authorities, suited to the practice 
of those courts of justice, whose decisions are regulated by general prin- 
ciples of natural equity, in conjunction with the maxims of the Roman 
code ; of which kind, I understand, there are many on the continent To 
which may be added, concerning both these authors, that they are more 
occupied in describing the rights and usages of independent communi- 
ties, than is necessary in a work which professes not to adjust the cor- 
respondence of nations, but to delineate the offices of domestic life. 
The profusion also of classical quotations, with which many of their 
pages abound, seems to me a fault from which it will not be easy to ex- 
cuse them. If these extracts be intended as decorations of style, the 
composition is overloaded with ornaments of one kind. To any thing 
more than ornament they can make no claim. To propose them as 
serious arguments, gravely to attempt to establish or fortify a moral duty 
by the testimony of a Greek or Roman poet, is to trifle with the attention 
of the reader, or rather to take it off from all just principles of reasoning 
in morals. 

Of our own writers in this branch of philosophy, I find none that I 

think perfecUy free from the three objections which I have stated. There 

ii likewise a fourth property observable almost in all of them, namely, 



that they divide too much the law of NatuTe fiom the precepts of Rev»* 
lation; aome authoni industriously declining the mention of Scripture 
authorities, as belonging to a different province, and others resenring 
them for a separate volume ; which appears to me mudi the same defect 
as if a commentator on the laws of England diould content himaelf with 
stating on each head the common law of the land, without taking any 
notice of acts of parliament; or should choose to give his readers the 
common law in one book, and the statute law in another. ' When the 
obligations of morality are taught,' says a pious and celebrated writer, 
' let the sanctions of Christianity never be forgotten : by which it will 
be shown that they giv€ strength and lustre to each other : religion will 
appear to be the voice of reason, and morality will be the will of God.'* 

The manner also in which modem writers have treated of subjects of 
morality is, in my judgment, liable to much exception. It has become 
of late a fashion to deliver moral institutes in strings or series of detached 
propositions, without subjoining a continued argument or regular disser- 
tation to any of them. This sententious apophthegmatising style, by 
crowding propositions and paragraphs too &st on the mind, and by car* 
lying the eye of the reader from subject to subject in too quick a suo^ 
cession, gains not a sufficient hold on the attention, to leave either the 
memory furnished or the understanding satisfied. However usefrd a 
syllabus of topics or a series of propositions may be in the hands of a 
lecturer^ or as a guide to a student, who is supposed to consult other 
books, or to institute on each subject researches of his own, the method 
is by no means convenient for ordinary readers ; because few. readers are 
such thinkers as to want only a hint to set their thoughts at work on ; or 
such as will pause and tarry at every proposition, till they have traced 
out its dependency, proof, relation, and consequences, before they permit 
themselves to step on to another. A respectable writer of this class* has 
comprised his doctrine of slavery in the three following prcqpositions : — 

' No one is bom a slave ; because every one is bom with all his origi- 
nal rights.' 

< No one can become a slave ; because no one, from being a person, 
can, in the language of the Roman law, becoxqe a thin^, or a subject of 

' The supposed property of the master in tho slave, theieibre, is matter 
of usurpation, not of right' 

It may be possible to deduce from these few adages, such a theory of 
the primitive rights of human nature, as will evince the illegality of 

* Preface to <Tbe Preceptor,' by Dr. Jobnson. 

t Di. Ferguson, autbor of < Institutes of Moral PhUosopby,* 1767. 


riATeiy ; bat surely an author requires too much of his reader, when he 
expects him to make these deductions for himself; or to supply, perhaps, 
from some remote. chapter of the same treatise, the several proofs and 
explanations which are necessary to render the meaning and truth of 
these assertions intelligible. 

There is a fault, the opposite of this, which some moralists who havii 
adopted a different, and I think a better plan of composition, have not 
always been careful to avoid ; namely, the dwelling on verbal and ele- 
mentary distinctions, with a labour and prolixity proportioned much 
more to the subtlety of the question, than to its value and importance in 
the prosecution of the subject. A writer on the law of nature,* whose 
explications in every part of philosophy, though always diffuse, are 
often very successful, has employed three long sections in endeavouring 
to prove that " permissions are not laws." The discussion of this con* 
troversy, however essential it might be to dialectic precision, was certainly 
not necessary to the progress of a work designed to describe the duties 
and obligations of civil Ufe. The reader becomes impatient when he is 
detained by disquisitions which have no other object than the settling of 
terms and phrases ; and, what is worse, they for whose use such books 
are chiefly intended, will not be persuaded to read them at all. 

I am led to propose these strictures, not by any propensity to depre- 
ciate the labours of my predecessors, much less to invite a comparison 
between the merits of their performances and my own ; but solely by 
the consideration, that when a writer offers a book to the public, on a snb- 
ject on which the public are already in possession of many others, he is 
bound by a kind of literary justice to inform his readers, distinctly and 
specifically, what it is he professes to supply, and what he expects to 
improve. The imperfections above enumerated are those which I have 
endeavoured to avoid or remedy. Of the execution the reader must 
judge ; but this was the design. 

Concerning the principle of morels, it would be premature to speak ) 
but concerning the manner of unfolding and explaining that principle, I 
have somewhat which I wish to be remarked. An experience of nine 
years in the office of a public tutor in one of the universities, and in thai 
department of education to which these chapters relate, afforded me fre- 
quent occasions to observe, that in discoursing to young minds on topics 
of morality, it required much more pains to make them perceive the diffi- 
culty than to understand tBe solution : that, unless the subject was so 
drawn up to a point as to exhibit the full force of an objection, or the 
exact place of a doubt, before any explanation was entered on, — in other 

• Pr. Rutherforth, author of " Institutes of Natural Law." 


words, unless some curiosity was excited before it was attempted to be 
satisfied, the labour of the teacher was lost When information was not 
desired, it was seldom, I found, retained. I have made this observation 
my guide in the following work : that is, on each occasion I have en- 
deavoured, before I suffered myself to proceed in the disquisition, to put 
the reader in complete possession of the question ; and to do it in the 
way that I thought most likely to stir up his own doubts and solicitude 
about it 

In pursuing the principle of morals through the detail of cases to which 
it is applicable, I have had in view to accommodate both the chmce of 
tile subjects and the manner of handling them, to the situations which 
arise in the life of an inhabitant of this country in these times. This 18 
the thing that I think to be principally wanting in former treatises ; and 
perhaps the chief advantage which will be found in mine. I have ex- 
amined no doubts, I have discussed no obscurities, I have encountered no 
errors, I have adverted to no controversies, but what I have seen actually 
to exist If some of the questions treated of appear to a more instructed 
reader minute or puerile, I desire such reader to be assured that I have 
found them occasions of difficulty to young minds ; and what I have oh* 
served in young minds, I should expect to meet with in all who approach 
these subjects for the first time. On each article of human duty, I have 
combined with the conclusions of reason the declarations of Scripture^ 
when they are to be had, as of co-ordinate authority, and as both termi' 
nating in the same sanctions. 

•In the manner of the work, I have endeavoured so to attemper the 
opposite plans above animadverted on, as that the reader may not accuse 
me either of too much haste, or too much delay. I have bestowed on each 
subject enough of dissertation to give a body and substance to the chap* 
ter in which it is treated of, as well as coherence and perspicuity : on 
the other hand, I have seldom, I hope, exercised the patience of the 
reader by the lengdi and prolixity of my essays, or disappointed their pa- 
tience at last by the tenuity and unimportance of the conclusion. 

There are two particulars in the following work, for which it may be 
thought necessary that I should offer some excuse ; the first of which is 
that I have scarcely ever referred to any other book ; or mentioned the 
name of the author whose thoughts, and sometimes, possibly, whose 
veiy expressions, I have adopted. My method of writing has constantly 
been this ; to extract what I could from my own stores and my own le' 
flections in the first place ; to put down that, and afterward to consult 
on each subject such readings as fell in my way ; which order, I am 
convidted, is the only one whereby any person can keep hia thought* 


from sliding into other men's trains. The effect of such a plan on the 
production itself will be, thAt> whilst some parts in matter or manner may 
be new, others will be little else than a repetition of the old. I make no 
pretensions to perfect originiUity : I claim to be something more than a 
mere compiler. Much, no doubt, is borrowed ; but the &ct is, that the 
notes for this work having been prepared for some years, and such things 
having been from time to time inserted in themjas appeared to me worth 
preserving, and such insertions made commonly without the name of the 
author from whom they were taken, I should, at this time, have found a 
difficulty in recovering those names with sufficient exactness to be able 
to render to every man his own. 

Nor, to speak the truth, did it appear to me worth while to repeat the 
search merely for this purpose. When authorities are relied on, names 
must be produced : when a discovery has been made in science, it may 
be unjust to borrow the invention without acknowledging the author. 
But in an argumentative treatise, and on a subject which allows no place 
for discovery or invention, properly so called ; and in which all that can 
belong to a writer is his mode of reasoning, or his judgment of proba* 
hilities ; I should have thought it superfluous, had it been easier to me 
than it was, to have interrupted my text, or crowded my n^argin with 
references to every author whose sentiments I have made use of. There 
is, however, one work to which I owe so much, that it would be ungiate- 
fril not to confess the obligation : I mean the writings of the late Abra- 
ham Tucker, Esq., part of which were published by himself, and the 
remainder since his death, under the title of < The Light of Nature, pur- 
sued by Edward Search, Esq.' I have found in this writer more original 
thinking and observation on the several subjects that he has taken in 
hand, than in any other, not to say, than in all others put together. His 
talent also for illustration is unrivalled. But his thoughts are diffused 
through a long, various, and irregular work. I shall account it no mean 
praise, if I have been sometimes able to dispose into method, to collect into 
heads and articles, or to exhibit in more compact and tangible masses, what, 
in that otherwise excellent performance, is spread over too much sur&ce. 

The next circumstance for which some apology may be expected, is 
the joining of moral and political philosophy together, or the addition of 
a book of politics to a system of ethics. Against this objection, if it be 
made one, I might defend myself by the example of many approved 
writers, who have treated de officii^ hominea et civis, or, as some choose 
to express it, ' of the rights and obligations of man, in his individual and 
social capacity,' in the same book. I might allege, also, that the part a 
member of the commonwealth shall take in political contentioQs, the 



vote he shall give, the counflels he shall approTe, the sapport he ehall 
afford, or the opposition he shall make, to any system of public measures, 
— ia as much a question of personal duty, as much concerns the con- 
science of the individual who deliberates, as the determination of any 
doubt which relates to the conduct of private Ufe : that consequently po« 
litical philosophy is, properly speaking, a continuation of moral philoso- 
phy, or rather indeed a part of it, supposing moral philosophy to have 
for its aim the information of the human conscience in every delibera- 
tion that is likely to come before it I might avail myself of these ex- 
cuses if I wanted them ; but the vindication on which I rely is the fol- 
lowing : — ^In stating the principle of morals, the reader will observe that 
I have employed some industry in explaining the theory, and showing 
the necessity of general rules ; without the full and constant considera- 
tion of which I am persuaded that no system of moral philosophy can 
be satisfactory or consistent This foundation being laid, or rather this 
habit being formed, the discussion of political subjects, to which, more 
than to almost any other, general rules are applicable, became clear and 
easy. Whereas, had these topics been assigfned to a distinct work, it 
would have been necessary to have repeated the same rudiments, to have 
established over again the same principles, as those which we had already 
exemplified, and rendered fiimiiiar to the reader, in the former parts of 
this. In a word, if there appear to any one too great a diversity, or too 
wide a distance, between the subjects treated of in the course of the pre- 
sent volume, let him be reminded, that the doctrine of general rules per- 
vades and connects the whole. 

It may not be improper, however, to admonish the reader, that, under 
the name of politics, he is not to look for those occasional controversies 
which the occurrences of the present day, or any temporary situation of 
public affairs, may excite ; and most of which, if not beneath the dignity, 
it is beside the purpose of a philosophical institution to advert to. He will 
perceive that the several disquisitions are framed with a reference to the con- 
dition of this country, and of this government : but it seemed to me to 
belong to the design of a work like the following, not so much to discuss 
each altercated point with the particularity of a political pamphlet on the 
subject, as to deliver those universal principles, and to exhibit that mode 
and train of reasoning in politics, by the due application of which every 
man might be enabled to attain to just conclusions of his own. I am 
not ignorant of an objection that has been advanced against all abstract 
speculations concerning the origin, principle, or limitation of civil author- 
ity ; namely, that such speculations possess little or no influence on the 
conduct either of the state or of the subject, of the governors or the 


governed; nor are attended with any usefhl consequenoes to either; 
that in times of tranquillity they are not wanted, in times of confusion 
they are never heard. This representation, however, in my opinion, is 
not just. Times of tumult, it is true, are not the times to learn ; but the 
choice which men make of their side and party, in the most critical occap 
flions of the commonwealth, may nevertheless depend on the lessons they 
have received, the books they have read, and the opinions they have im- 
bibed, in seasons of leisure and quietness. Some judicious persons, who 
were present at Geneva during the troubles which lately convulsed that 
city, thought they perceived, in the contentions there carrying on, the 
operation of that political theory, which the writings of Rousseau, and . 
the unbounded esteem in which these writings are holden by his coun- 
trymen, had diffused among the people. Throughout the political dis- 
putes that have within these few years taken place in Great Britain, in 
her sister-kingdom, and in her foreign dependencies, it was impossible 
not to observe, in the language of party, in the resolutions of public 
meetings, in debate, in conversation, in the general strain of those fugi- 
tive and diurnal addresses to the public which such occasions call forth, 
the prevalency of those ideas of civil authority which are displayed in 
the works of Mr. Locke. The credit of that great name, the courage 
and liberality of his principles, the skill and clearness with which his 
arguments are proposed, no less than the weight of the arguments them- 
selves, have given a reputation and currency to his opinions, of which I 
am persuaded, in any unsettled state of public affairs, the influence would 
be felt. As this is not a place for examining the truth or tendency of 
these doctrines, I would not be understood by what I have said to ex- 
press any judgment concerning either. I mean only to remark, that 
such doctrines are not without effect ; and that it is of practical import- 
ance to have the principles from which the obligation of social union, 
and the extent of civil obedience, are derived, rightly explained and 
well understood. Indeed, as fiur as I have observed, in political, beyond 
all other subjects, where men are without some fundamental and scien- 
tific principles to resort to, they are liable to have their understandings 
played on by cant phrases and unmeaning terms, of which eveiy party 
in every country possesses a vocabulary. We appear astonished when 
we see the multitude led away by sounds ; but we should remember that, 
if sounds work miracles, it is always on ignorance. The influence of 
names is in exact proportion to the want of knowledge. 

These are the observations with which I have judged it expedient 
to prepare the attention of my reader. Concerning the personal motives 
which engaged me in the following attempt, it is not necessary that I say 


much ; the nature of my academical situation, a great deal of leisuro 
■inoe my retixement from it, the recommendation of an honored and excel- 
lent friend, the authority of the venerable prelate* to whom these labours 
are inscribed, the not perceiving in what way I could employ my time or 
talents better, and my disapprobation in literaiy men of that iastidious 
indolence which sits still because it disdains to do little, were the consi- 
derations that directed my thoughts to this design. Nor have I repented 
of the undertaking. Whatever be the fate or reception of this work, it 
owes its author nothing ; in sickness and in health I have found in it 
that which can alone alleviate the one, or give enjoyment to the other, — 
occupation and engagement 

* Rt Rev. Edmund Law, D. D. Lord Bishop of Carlisle. 






Moral Philosophy, or Ethics, is the science which 
teaches men their duty, and the reasons for it. 

Its use is, to guard against the errors that may arise, either 
from defects in the ordinary rules of life, or from ignorance 
in their application. 

The ordinary rules of life are the Laws, 1. of Honor; 
2. of the Land ; 3. of God. 

[Oi these, the Laws of God, and the Laws of the Land, 
may be called essential rules of conduct. But the Laws of 
Honor cannot, with any propriety of language, receive that 
appellation. ** The law of honor consists of a set of maxims, 
written or understood, by which persons of a certain class 
either agree to regulate, or are expected to regulate their 
conduct. It is evident that the obligation of the law of ho- 
nor, as such, results exclusively from the agreement, tacit or 
expressed, of the parties concerned. It binds them, because 
they have agreed to be bound ; and for no other reason. He 
who does not choose to be ranked among the subjects of the 
law of honor, is under no obligation to obey its rules. These 
rules are precisely upon the same footing as the laws of free- 

1 What is Moral Philosophy, or Ethical 

2 What is the use of this science 1 

5 What are the ordinary rules of life 1 

4 May all these laws he called eaaential rules of conduct ? 
5^ Of what does the law of honor consists 1 

6 Why is any one hound hy the laws of honor ? 

7 Is any oae obliged to obey its rules ? 

b3 17 


masonry, or the regulations of a reading-room. He who 
does not choose to subscribe to the room, in the one case, 
or to promise conformity to masonic laws, in the other, is 
under no obligation to regard the rules of either."-— Zh/- 
mond's Essays on the Principles of Morality, Essay 1, 
Pt 2, chap. 4.] 


The Law of Honor is constructed by people of fashion, 
and is calculated for their use. 

Hence it regulates duties only betwixt equals in society, 
and omitting such as relate to inferiors in life, passes no cen- 
sure on acts hurtful to society, unless they interfere with the 
concerns carried on between such equals. And hence un- 
feeling conduct to domestics and dependants, and the non- 
payment of debts to tradesmen, are no offences in the code 
of Honor. 

Again, the Law of Honor, being constructed by persons 
in the pursuit of pleasure, and for the mutual convenience 
of such, passes no censure on acts connected with that pur- 
suit ; and is, in most instances, favorable to the licentious in- 
dulgence of the natural passions, and, disregarding the law of 
God, even ordains, as in the case of duelling, a kind of 


They, whom the Law of Honor does not affect, make the 
Law of the Land their rule of life ; and are content so long 
as they do or omit nothing for which some law can punish 

But such a rule is defective, because the law itself is 
doubly so; for it omits many duties, and permits many 

8 By ^irfiom is tho law of honor constitated 1 

9 What duties does it regulate 1 

10 What does it omit 1 

11 Does it censure all acts that are hurtful to society 1 

12 What kind of vices does it not consider as offences 1 

13 For whose convenience is the code of honor 1 

14 What follows from this fiusti 

15 Do its followers always hold it subordinate to the will of God 1 

16 With what are those content who make the law of the land their 
jfily mle of life 1 

17 Is that rule defective! Why 1 


I. It omits many duties, as not objects of compulsion. For 
as it never speaks but to command, and commands only 
where it can compel; voluntary duties, such as pie^ to 
God, bounty to the poor, &c. must necessarily be omitted, as 
beyond the reach of the law. 

II. It permits, or rather does not punish, many vices, be« 
cause they are incapable of positive description ; for in- 
stance, prodigality, disrespect to patrents, &c. For either it 
must define accurately the crime to be punished, or it must 
leave to the discretion of the magistrate the application of a 
vague description to the individual case ; and thus lead the 
way to the tyrannical abuse of power. In all cases, where 
the uncertain nature of the act defies a previously fixed de- 
scription, the law, in free states, chooses rather to leave men 
at liberty, than to invest the magistrates with a power so full 
of danger. 


Whoever expects to find in the Scriptures a specific solu- 
tion of every doubtful point of moral conduct, looks for more 
than he will meet with. Had it been otherwise, the volume 
would have been too bulky to be read, much less circulated ; 
and, in the language of St. John, the world itself would not 
have contained all the books necessary to be written. This 
will appear manifest from considering, that the laws of Eng- 
land alone, with its acts of parliament and decisions of the 
courts, occupy nearly one hundred folio volumes ; and yet 
in not one instance out of ten, when looking for a particular 
case, can you find one exactly in point ; to say nothing of 

18 What duties does the law of the land omit t 

19 What kind of duties are not objects of compulsion) 
80 Can there be law without compulsion 1 

21 What class of vices go unpunished by the laws of the land 1 

22 Mention a few examples. 

23 What are the only two methods that will lead to their punish- 

24 We have said that the first cannot be done. Would it be proper 
to trust to the discretion of the magistrate 1 Why 1 

25 Is it done in free states ? 

26 What is the consequence of not granting that power 1 

27 Can we find in the Scriptures a particular rule for every act of 
morality ! 

28 Why is that the case 1 

29 What evidence have we that particular rules would render the 
Scriptures too bulky 1 

20 pr;eliminabt considerations. book i» 

other numerous doubtfbl cases, on which the law neither 
does nor professes to state and thing positive. So far, then, 
from imitating the particularity of human laws, by which 
the bulk, not value, of the volume would have been increased ; 
the Scriptures teach morality by general rules, relating. to 
piety, justice, benevolence, and purity ; such, for instance, 
as to worship God in spirit and in truth ; to do as we would 
be done by ; to love our neighbor as ourself ; and, that pol-> 
lution arises, not from what goes into the mouth, but what 
comes out of the heart. 

These rules are illustrated hj fictitious examples, as in the 
parable of the good Samaritan ; or by real events, as in 
Christ's praise of the widow's mite ; or by answers to ques' 
Hons put to Christ or his disciples, as in the case of the 
young man who asked, " What lack I yet?" 

This plan of instruction is, in fact, the same that is pur- 
sued in the practical sciences ; where certain rules are laid 
down, and examples subjoined, not with a view to embrace 
every possible case, but merely to explain the principle, and 
to exhibit a specimen of its application. In the Scriptures, 
however, there is this difference ; that neither the rules nor 
examples are given methodically, but as occasion suggested 
the one or the other ; and thus both carry with them a feel- 
ing of vividness far superior to the coldness of a regular sys* 

Besides, as the Scriptures are addressed to persons not 
quite ignorant of the principles of natural justice, they do not 
so much teach new rules of morality, as enforce the practice 
of it by new and better motives. Thus, for instance, extor- 
tioners are condemned by the Scriptures, while the act of ex- 
tortion is supposed to be known, and consequently not de- 
fined there. 

Thus much has been said to prove, that, if the Scriptures 
be deficient, they are so from design ; and that they do not 
supersede the use of a science by which such deficiency can 
be best supplied* 

90 How is morality taught In the Scripturaa 1 

31 How are these rules illustrated 1 

32 How does the scriptural plan of instruction agree with that punaed 
in practical science 1 

33 Is there any difference between the two plans 1 

34 What is supposed in scriptural instruction ? 35 Give an example. 

36 What is the object of scriptural instruction 1 

37 Wnat has been intended by these remarks on the scriptures 1 



The father of Caius Toranius, having been proscribed by 
the triumvirate, concealed himself in a place known only to 
his son ; and by this son, who soon after came over to the 
interests of the triumvirate, he was -betrayed. The old man, 
mere anxious for his son's safety and advancement, than 
about his own danger, inquired of the officers who seized 
him, whether his son was well, and had done his duly as a 
soldier ? '* That son," said the officer, " so dear to thee, 
has betrayed thee ; and to him," striking the old man with 
a poniard, " thou owest thy death." The unhappy parent 
fell, affected not so much by his fate, as by the treachery of 
his child. 

If this story were related to a savage, uninfluenced by the 
modes of thinking and acting common to civilized life, would 
he feel that sentiment of disapprobation of young Toranius* 
conduct which a civilized being feels ? 

They who maintain the existence of a moral sense, or an 
instinctive love of virtue and hatred of vice, affirm that he 
would ; they who deny the existence of such a sense, assert 
that he would not. 

[" To those who are at all acquainted with the history of 
this dispute, it must appear evident that the question is here 
completely misstated ; and that in the whole of Dr. Paley's 
subsequent argument on the subject, he combats a phantom 
of his own imagination. Did it ever enter into the mind of 
the wildest theorist to imagine that the sense of seeing would 
enable a man brought up from the moment of his birth in 
utter darkness, to form a conception of light and colors ? 
But would it not be equally rash to conclude, from the ex- 
travagance of such a supposition, |^that of a savage as above,]] 
that the sense of seeing is not an original part of the human 

38 What is the intention of the author in chapter 6? Aim. To 
ascertain whether there is a natural moral sense or conscience. 

39 How does he commence the inquiry ? 

40 What answer would be given by those who believe that conscience 
is a part of our nature ? 

41 Who assert that he would not? 

42 Is Dr. Paley's supposition concerning the last two assertionB a pro- 
per statement of the case 1 

43 By what parallel question is the absurdity of Paley's atatement 

44 What is the point of Stewart^s argument ? 


frame ?" — Stewards Philosophy of the Active and Moral 
Powers of Man. Book ii. chap, ii.] 

Q" It is necessary, for the supposition above, that the sa- 
vage should understand, not merely what is meant by the 
simple relations of son and father, and all the consequences 
of the treachery of the son, but that he should know also the 
additional interest which the paternal and filial relation re- 
ceives from the whole intercourse of good offices from infancy 
to manhood. The author of our mere being is not all 
which a father, in such circumstances, is, — ^he is far better 
known and loved by us as the author of our happiness in 
childhood and youth, and the venerable friend of our maturer 
years." — Brownie Philosophy of the Human Mindj Lec' 
ture 75.] 

[]" In contending for the independence and originality of 
our moral feelings," says Dr. Brown, " I do not contend that 
we are capable of these feelings at a period in which we 
are incapable of forming any conception of the nature and 
consequences of actions : — that, for example, we must feel 
instant gratitude, to our mother or our nurse, for the first 
sustenance or first cares which we receive, before we are 
conscious of any thing but of our momentary pleasure or 
pain. We only assert, that when we are capable of under- 
standing the circumstances of actions, we then have feelings 
of moral approbation or disapprobation."-^7&. Lecture 79-3 

As the experiment with the savage before mentioned, has 
never been made, and is not likely, even if it were possible, 
to be made, the event can be decided from probable reason 

They who contend for the affirmative, say that we ap- 
prove of virtue, and condemn vice, on the instant and with- 
out deliberation, Unaffected by personal interest, and unable 
even to give a reason for such approbation ; and that as this 
feeling is universal, it can arise only from an instinctivo 
moral sense, 

46 What does Mr. Brown say is necessary fi>r Paley'a suppoaitioB ? 

46 If a person has this knowledge, can he be called a savage ? 

47 What follows from this fact ? 

48 What is not contended for, by the advocates of instinctive con- 
science ? 49 What do they assert 1 

50 In what manner should we he obliged to judge of the event, if the 
supposition was correct ? Why 1 
61 What reasons have they who woald eiiuiwer in the affirmatiye \ 


To this it has been replied, 1. That this feeling is not 
universal ; that there is scarcely a single vice, which is not 
countenanced in some age or country ; that, for instance, in 
one place aged parents are supported, in another destroyed 
by their children, under the same plea of affection ; that sui- 
cide was in Rome heroism, is in England felony ; that theft, 
which is punished here, was praised in Sparta ; that, in fine, 
many things reprobated by civilized nations are practised 
without reserve by savages. Nor is this difference confined 
to different nations ; even persons living in the same place 
view the same acts in a different light ; and their different 
opinions, depending on the accidental circumstances of sex, 
age, or station, cause some to consider forgiveness of injuries 
as magnanimity, while others deem it a meanness ; and so of 
other acts, which are approved and condemned according to 
ever varying fashion, unstamped with the steady hand and in- 
delible characters of universal nature, 

(^* But the historical facts which have been alleged to 
prove, that the moral judgment of mankind are entirely fac- 
titious, will be found, upon examination, to be either the 
effects of misrepresentation or to lead to a conclusion 
directly the reverse of what has been drawn from them : — 
proper allowance being made, 1. For the different circum- 
stances of mankind in different periods of society ; 2. For 
the diversity of their speculative opinions ; and, 3. For the 
different moral import of the same action, under different 
systems of external behavior." — Stewart* 8 Outline of Mo' 
red Philosophy. — Mr. Stewart also says, «* It is sufficient to 
refer, on the origin cf infanticide^ to Mr. Smith's Theory 
on Moral Sentiments ; and, on the alleged impiety among 
some rude tribes of children towards their parents, to Char- 
ron Sur la Sagesse^ and to an excellent note of Dr. Beattie's 
in his Essay on Fable and Romance."] 

[J* Again, the same action (if that can truly be called the 
same action, which is performed, perhaps, with very diffe- 
rent views or in different circumstances) is, as we might 

52 What reply has been given to these reasons 1 

63 What examples have heen adduced to substantiate the reply ? 

54 What differences are mentioned as found among those who may 
be supposed io associate together 1 

55 What does Mr. Stewart remark concerning the examples here 
mentioned 1 

56 What allowances does he require to be made 1 


naturally have supposed, capable of exciting in us different 
emotions, according to this dilBference of views or circum- 
stances. It may excite our approval in one case ; or, in an- 
other case, be so indifferent as to excite no emotion whatever ; 
and in another case, may excite in us the most vivid disap- 
probation. The action is nothing, but as it relates to the 
agent himself, having certain feelings, and placed in certain 
circumstances."— -firoMw'«PAt7o«opAy of the Human Mindj 
Lecture 73.] 

[*' There are many cases in which the result of actions is 
complicated by a mixture of good and evil, and in which 
we may fix upon the good, and may infer the intention in the 
agent of producing this good, which is a part of the mixed 
result; while others may fix on the partial evil, and conceive 
him to have had in view the production of that. The same 
actions, therefore, may be approved and disapproved in dif- 
ferent ages and countries, from the greater importance at- 
tached to the good or to the evil of such compound results, 
in relation to the general circumstances of society, or the in- 
fluence, perhaps, of political errors, as to the advantage or 
injury to society of these particular actions ; and in the 
same age, and the same country, different individuals may 
regard the same action with very different moral feelings, 
from the higher attention paid to certain partial results of it, 
and the different presumptions thence formed as to the benev- 
olent or injurious intentions of the agent. All this, it is 
evident, might take place without the slightest mutability of 
the principle of moral sentiments ; because, though the 
action which is estimated may seem to be the same in the 
cases in which it is approved or condemned, it is truly a 
different action which is so approved and condemned." — lb. 
Lecture 76.] 

[On this principle, theft might be approved in Sparta, 
because it led to those habits of vigilance and activity, which 
that warlike people supposed highly necessary; murder 

67 What two reasons may cause the same action at different times to 
excite in us different feelings of right and wrong 1 

68 How then must an action be esteemed 1 

69 Is the result of eveiy action always completely ^oo J or entirely 

60 What different views, might this occasion from diffisrent indivi- 
duals 1 

61 What would follow finm this 1 

62 Does this argue a changeableness of conscience 1 


might be looked upon in the primitive states of society as no* 
cessary, because the checks of law and magistrates were un- 
known. ^<In some countries honor is associated with 
suffering, and it is reckoned a favor to be killed with circum- 
stances of torture. Instances of this occur in the manners 
of some American nations, and in the pride which an Indian 
matron feels when placed on the funeral pile of her deceased 
husband.' In such cases an action may have to us all the 
external marks of extreme cruelty, while it proceeded from 
a disposition generous and affectionate.^ 

['* But one argument more. That a rule of virtue has been 
' slighted and condemned by the general fashion,^ is no sort 
of evidence that those who joined in this general fashion did 
not still know that it was a rule of virtue. There are many 
duties which, in the present day, are slighted by the general 
fashion, and yet no man will stand up and say they are not 
duties. * Suicide, in one age of the world, has been heroism, 
in another felony ;' but it is not every action that a man says 
is heroic that he believes is right. * Forgiveness of injuries 
and insults is accounted by one sort of people magnanimity, 
by another meanness ;' and yet they who thus vulgs^ly 
employ the word meanness do not imagine that forbearance 
and placability are really wrong. 

'* After all, the uniformity of human opinion respecting 
the great laws of morality is very remarkable. Sir James 
Mackintosh speaks of Grotius, who had cited poets, orators^ 
historians, &c. and says, ' He quotes them as witnesses, 
whose conspiring testimony, mightily strengthened and con- 
firmed by their discordance on almost every other subject, is 
a conclusive proof of the unanimity of the jvhole human 
race on the great rules of duty and fundamental principles of 
morals.' " — Zh/moncTs JEssays on the Principles of Morality. 
Es^ay 1. chap. 6.3 

2. Granting that some general decisions are made with- 
out deliberation on points of conduct, and those, too, without 
any inducements of interest on our part ; yet such apparent 
rapidity of judgment is no proof of the existence of an in- 

63 Grive a few examples which may be explained by this prindple. 

64 Is a general perpetration of a vice, any evidence that individual 
consciences do not condemn iti 

65 Mention a few examples. 

66 Is there in fact a great diversity of opinion respecting light and 

wrong ? • 

67 What b the second argument against the idea <tf a moral sense ^ 



sdncuve moral sense. Because, this phenomenon may be ea- 
sily accounted for, by remarking the facility with which the 
mind draws general conclusions from insulated facts ; and by 
noticing how readily the sentiment, which was the result of 
reflection as applied to the first case of a moral question, ac- 
quires the force of an habitual sentiment, when applied to a 
subsequent similar case. 

Of this continuance of a feeling, even when the reason for 
it has ceased, the example of the miser is remarkably in 
point; who, when in years, and without ties of blood or 
friendship, continues to add to his hoard, and although he 
may even be sensible of his folly, still carries on his pursuit 
with all tlie ardor of an incipient passion, or the dread of im- 
pending starvation. 

By such means, the custom of approving or disapproving 
certain actions commences: and the custom, once established, 
grows stronger and stronger by the various modes of social 
intercourse, such as censure and encouragements, the tenden- 
cy of books and conversation, ^. ; until the lesson of the 
child, repeated by the man and scarce forgotten in dotage, 
produces that uniformity of sentiment, which is felt by all, 
though traced by few during its progress of association to the 
real principle of imitation. 

Of the power of this principle the most conspicuous in- 
stance is afforded by children, in whom the propensity to 
imitate is, if any thing deserves the name, an instinct. By this 
very power, children learn first the words and then the ideas 
attached to the terms connected with the feelings of love and 
hatred, and of praise and censure, and thus exemplify, both 
in theory and practice, the generation of a moral sense. 

Q'* But it is admitted that our moral powers, like all our 
other powers, may be influenced by education, by passion, 
by habit, by association, and by political arrangement ; but 
by no circumstances can man be brought to view pure bebe- 
volence and deliberate malice with the same feelings, or to 
regard all the actions of voluntary agents with £e same 

68 What example is given to prove that conacience piooeeda fiom 
habit 1 

69 How is it said that the custom of approving certain actions is con- 
tinned ? 

70 To what ultimate principle is it ascribed ? 

71 What is said of imitation 1 

72 Do the advocates of th%moral sense admit that it may be influenced 1 

73 To what length in thU admission will they not go ? 


equal indifference." — Bewares Elements of Christian Ethics* 
Book ii. chap. 9.] 

Another objection to the system of moral instincts is, that 
its maxims do not bend to circumstances. Veracity, which 
seems to be, if any, a moral duty, is not in that system per- 
mitted to be violated, as it ought to be. For as the obligation 
of a promise depends on the circumstances under which it 
was made, it cannot be enforced, if it was unlawful at the 
time in which it was made, or if it has become so since, or 
if it was extorted. 

It has been further objected to the same system, that, if 
there existed an instinctive moral sense ; a clear idea also 
would have existed of the object connected with such in- 
stinct. For the instinct and object are of necessity insepara- 
ble, both in imagination and reality ; that is, if it were an 
instinct to approve an act, we should have (what we have 
not) a clear conception of such act. 

As the preceding argument, however, if true, would deny 
the existence of instinct even in brutes, it will hardly carry 
conviction, although it cannot easily be answered. 

^On this subject, Dr. Brown remarks, "I am astonished, 
that Paley should have stated this as an objection, to which 
' it is difficult to find an answer ;' since there is no objection 
to which the answer is more obvious. There is not a feel- 
ing of the mind however universal it may be, to the exist- 
ence of which, precisely the same objection might not be 
opposed. There is no part of the world, for example, in 
which the proportions of number and quantity are not felt to 
be the same. Four are to twenty as twenty to a hundred, 
wherever those numbers are distinctly conceived; but, 
though we come into the world capable of feeling the truth 
of this proportion, when the numbers themselves shall have 
been previously conceived by us, no one surely contends that 
it is necessary, for this capacity, that we should come into 
the world with an accurate knowledge of the particular num- 
bers." — Lee. 74.] But Dr. Paley continues, — 

It seems to me, either that there is no instinctive moral 

74 What other objection has been brought against moral instincts 1 

75 What virtue is adduced as example 1 

76 What is said to be the obligation of veracity 1 

77 What argument is brought from the nature of instincts 1 

78 What would this argument tend to 1 '^ 

79 How does Dr. Brown answer it ? 


sense* or if there is, it is not to be distinguished from habit ; 
and consequently it is unsafe to found on such uncertain 
data a system of ethics ; or to determine on the right or 
wrong of certain actions by appealing to impulses, which 
may or may not exist, instead of looking, as we ought, to 
the general tendency of such actions. 

[This is the conclusion to which Paley has arrived. 
But the opposite opinion is maintained by the generality of 
modern writers. It is but just to Dr. Paley to suppose that 
he was * combatting a phantom of his own imagination.' 
He probably considered the moral sense as a supposed in- 
fallible arbiter of action, while the true definition refers it 
only to the intention of the actor. We will subjoin a few 

P* Conscience is an original and inherent faculty in man* 
ana is universal in its operation. If any doubt had remained 
as to the existence of the morsd faculty, or conscience, as an 
original power in human nature, that doubt would be removed 
by the explicit testimony of the apostle, which I am about 
to quote. The passage which contains this testimony must 
have escaped the notice of Paley, otherwise he would not 
have hesitated, as he has done, in admitting that man is en- 
dowed with a moral capacity, <For when the Gentiles, 
which have not the law, do by nature the things contained 
in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto them* 
selves : which show the work of the law written in their 
hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their 
thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing one an- 
other.' " — Dewar'g Elements of Christian Ethics. Chap. 

[" The moral faculty is an original principle of our con- 
stitution, which is not resolvable into any other principle 
or principles more general than itself; in particular it is not 
resolvable into self-love or a prudential regard to our own 
interests." — Stewards Philosophy of the Active and Moral 
Powers of Man. Book ii. chap. 3. J 

[** In tracing our moral feelings to an original susceptibility 

80 What is Dr. Haley's conclusion relative to the point in debate 1 

81 Is this the opinion of other writers ? 

82 What probably occasioned this decision of Paley's 1 

83 Give Dr. Dewar's opinion. 

84 What Scripture does h# quote as authority 1 
86 What is Stewart's opinion 1 


of the mind, we may be considered as arriving at a principle 
like that which Dr. Hutcheson, after Lord Shaftesbury, has 
distinguished by the name of moral sense. The phrase mo^ 
ral sense, however, I consider as very unfortunate. But 
whether the feeling that attends the contemplation of certain 
actions admit of being more justly classed with our sensa- 
tions, or perceptions, or emotions ; there is still a suscepti- 
bility of this feeling, or set of feelings, original in the mind, 
and as essential to its very nature, as any other principle or 
function, which we regard as universally belonging to our 
mental constitution ; as truly essential to the mind, indeed, 
as any of those senses among which Dr. Hutcheson would fix 
its place." — Broum on the Human Mind. Lee. 82.] 

Aristotle presumes that nature intended that barbarians 
should be slaves ; and deduces from this maxim conclusions 
in favor of the slave-trade, which then prevailed ; and the 
same maxim is doubtless self-evident' to those who are now 
engaged in a similar traffic. 

Now in this example it is plain that the laws of custom 
have been mistaken for the order of nature ; and as nothing 
is so easy as to mistake a maxim, when in unison with the pre- 
judices of the maker; Dr. Paley argues that it is to be feared a 
system of morality, founded on instincts and impulses, would 
only find out excuses for established practices rather than 
reasons for correcting them. 

[This is another evidence that Dr. Paley mistook the nature 
and the intention of the moral faculty. It is not considered 
as establishing a system of practical morality by passing sen- 
tence upon each moral act in detail ; but merely enforcing 
general duties, and leaving our own understandings to decide 
what particular duties should be inferred from them. — See 

[** An action is (as a moral object) not the mere produc' 
tion of good or evil, but the intentional {production of good 
or evil. It has no moral meaning whatever, but as it is 
significant of the frame of minc^of the agent himself, willing 

- 86 What does Dr. Brown says that hit speculations lead to ? 

87 What is his opinion of the phrase moral «en«e 1 

88 What exain^ple does Dr. Paley bring to show that the laws of 
custom may be mistaken for the order of nature 1 

* 89 What principle does he deduce from this 1 

90 Would this be a correct deduction from acknowledging the moral 
faculty in its true nature 1 

91 What makes any action moral or immoral? 


and producing a particular rcBvlC^—Braum an the Human 
Mind, Lecture 79.1 

[*' The epithets rxght and wrongs virtaoui and vicious^ 
are applied sometimes to exttrnal actions^ and sometimes to 
the uUentiona of the agent. It was to obviate the confusion 
of ideas that arises from this ambiguity of language, that the 
distinction between absolute and relative rectitwie was in- 
troduced into ethics. And as the distinction is equally just 
and important, it will be proper to explain it particularly ; 
and point out its application to one or two questions which 
have been perplexed by that vagueness of expression which 
it is our object at present to correct. 

'* An action may be said to be absolutely rights when it is 
in every respect suitable to the circumstances in which the 
agent is placed. Or, in other words, when it is such as, 
with perfectly good intentions, under the guidance of an en* 
lightened and well-informed understanding, he would have 

** An action may be said to be relatively rights when the 
intenti(ms of the agent are sincerely good, whether his con* 
duct be suitable to his circumstances or not. 

*' According to these definitions, an action may be right 
in one sense, and wrong in another ; an ambiguity in lan- 
guage which, how obvious soever, has not aiways been 
attended to by the writers on morals. 

<* It is the relative rectitude of an action which determines • 
the moral desert of the agent ; but it is its absolute rectitude 
which determines its uiuity to his worldly interests and to 
the welfare of society."-~iS/eu^ar^'« Active and Moral Pow- 
ers of Man* Book iv. chap. 6. Also, Outlines of Moral 
Philosophy* Lecture 5.3 Dr. Paley proceeds in his argu- 
ment, which we will insert, although it appears to be foreign 
to otir subject 

Granting the existence of moral instincts ; what is their 
power t The power, it is said, of conscience, whose remorse 
the ill-doer feels. But if he does not feel that remorse, or if 

M To what SM tills tarma ri^ht and wnng, vtrtumt and vidpua ssp^ 

93 Wbat reoMdy has be«n med lor this ambigmty of laogaaga 1 
M Wheo it an actioD said to be abflutely right ? 

95 When is sn action said to be relati-vettf right? 

96 What ambiguity in language do these definitions oocatt<m1 

97 What kind of rectitude detennines the morai desert I 
9d What kind delenninaa the utility of an action 1 


he holds it light, when balanced against the pleasure^or plo* 
fit of a wicked act ; (on which point, the sinner who feels 
both the pleasure of the sin and the pain of remorse, is the 
best judge ;) the advocate for a moral instinct has no motive 
sufficiently high to offer. For should he say that such in- 
stincts are indications of God's will, and a presage of a fu- 
ture state ; we reply, he resorts to a rule and motive ulterior 
to instincts, and which the believer in the Scriptures arrives 
at by a surer road ; at least so long as the question remains 
unsettled whether there is an existence or not of instinctive 
maxims. This question is, therefore, in our system one of 
mere curiosity ; and left to those who are more inquisitive 
than ourselves about the natural history of man. 

[But Bishop Butler says, ** The practical reason of insist- 
ing much upon the natural authority of conscience, is, that 
it seems in a great measure overlooked by many, who are 
by no means the worse sort of men. It is thought sufficient 
to abstain from gross wickedness, and to be humane and 
kind to such as happen to come in their way. Whereas, 
in reality, the very constitution of our nature requires that 
we bring our whole conduct before this superior faculty; 
wait its determination ; enforce upon ourselves its authority ; 
and make it the business of our lives, (as it is absolutely the 
whole business of a moral agent,) to conform ourselves to it. 
The observation that man is thus, by his very nature, a law 
to himself, pursued to its just consequences, is of the utmost 
importance. Because, from it will follow, that though men 
should, through stupidity or speculative scepticism, be igno- 
rant of, or disbelieve any authority in the universe to punish 
a violation of this law ; yet, if there should be such autho- 
rity, they would be as really liable to punishment, as though 
they had been convinced beforehand, that such punishment 
would follow. Because it is not foreknowledge of the pu- 
nishment, which renders obnoxious to it ; but merely violat' 
ing a knoum obligation,** Preface to Sermons on Human 

[The object of Dr. Paley, in his preceding remarks, ap- 

99 In eonclasion, what does Dr. Paky tav of this qneaticni 1 

100 Has Bishop Butler the same opinion 1 

101 What would follow from determining that conaeienoe is a ]$w to 

102 What is it that renders ns liable to punishment 1 

103 What was the object of Dr. Paley in his reouiks on the monl 


pears to have been, to show that the moral faculty should 
not be our guide in regulating our duties. But nearly all 
modem moralists have come to a different conclusion.] 

[Dr. Dewar says, " This is the monitor which God has 
superadded to reason, which, while it shows us the essen- 
tial distinction betwefen what is right and wrong in ac- 
tions, between virtue and vice, reminds us of the high and 
glorious purposes for which our nature has been formed." — 
Elements of Christian Ethics. Book iii. chap. 2.] 

[Mr. Stewart says, ** Every being who is conscious of the 
distinction between right and wrong, carries about with him 
a law which he is bound to observe.*' And in support of 
this proposition, he has quoted passages from many authors. 
'-^Philosophy of Active and Moral Powers of Man. Book 
ii. chap. 6.]] 

[Mr. Dymond says, " With respect to the authority 
which properly belongs to conscience as a director of indi- 
vidual conduct, it appears manifest alike from reason and 
from Scripture, that it is great. When a man believes, upon 
due deliberation, that a certain action is right, that action is 
right to him. And this is true, whether the action be or be 
not required of mankind by the moral law. The fact that in 
his mind the sense of obligation attaches to the act, and that 
he has duly deliberated upon the accuracy of his judgment, 
makes the dictate of his conscience upon that subject an 
authoritative dictate. The individual is to be held guilty 
if he violates his conscience, — if he does one thing, while 
his sense of obligation is directed to its contrary. These 
principles respecting the authority of conscience are recog- 
nised in Scripture. ' One believeth that he may eat all 
things : another who is weak eateth herbs. One man es- 
teemeth one day above another ; another esteemeth every 
day alike.' Here then are differences, nay, contrarieties of 
conscientious judgments. And what are the parties direct- 
ed severally to do ? * Let every man be fully persuaded in 
his own mind ;' that is, let the full persuasion of his own 
xhind be every man's rule of action. Thus again : * I know 

104 Do other moralists ag^e with himi 

105 What does Dr. Dewar say is shown by conscience? 

106 What does Stewart say of our observing its dictates 1 
] 07 What does Mr. Dymond say of its authority ? 

108 What makes an action right in his opinion t 

109 What does he think makes a man guilty ? 

110 What two examples does he bring from scripture 1 


and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing 
unclean of itself ;* therefore absolutely speaking, it is lawful 
to eat all things : < but to him that esteemeth any thing to be 
unclean, to him it is unclean.' Rom. xiv. The question 
is not whether his judgment was correct, but what that judg- 
ment actually was." — Frin, of Morality, Essay 1. ch. 6.] 

I^Dr. Paley himself says in his sermons, " Conscience, 
our own conscience, is to be our guide in all things." — •* It 
is through the whisperings of conscience, that the spirit 
speaks. If men are wilfully deaf to their consciences, they 
cannot hear the spirit. If hearing, if being compelled to hear 
the remonstrances, of conscience, they nevertheless decide 
and resolve and determine to go against them ; then they 
grieve, then they defy, then they do despite to, the Spirit of 

QBut as Dr. Dewar says, " Though conscience is an original 
and inherent faculty in man, and universal in its operation, it 
requires, in order to discharge its office fully, to be enlightened 
by moral and religious truth. Our moral powers, like all our 
powers, may be influenced by education, by passion, by 
habit, by association, and by political arrangements. And 
it is not to be denied that this power of human nature is 
affected with the corruption of the race ; and that this cor- 
ruption shows itself by moral insensibility. Hence in the 
Scriptures, persons under the dominion of hardness and im- 
penitency of heart, are likened to the deaf adder that stop- 
peth her ear, which will not hearken to the voice of the 
charmer, charm he never so wisely ; and they are said to 
have the understanding darkened, being alienated from the 
life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of 
the blindness of their heart, and who are past feeling."— 
Elements of Christian Ethics, Book ii. chap. 9.3 

[But further, in the words of Mr. Stewart, ** A strong 
sense of duty will induce us to avail ourselves of all the 
talents we possess, and of all the information within our 
reach, to act agreeably to the rules of absolute rectitude. 
And if we fail in doing so, our negligence is criminal. Not^ 

111 Did Dr. Paley always hold to the same sentiments that he has ad- 
vocated here 1 

1 12 Can our moral powers be afifected by any circumstances 1 

1 1 3 What does Dr. Dewar say is rendered necessary by this 1 

1 14 Will not conscience, if it has its perfect work, correct itself in this 
respect 1 

115 If we do not fulfil this duty, what is the consequence t 



withstanding,* however, the truth and the importance of this 
doctrine, the genera] principle already stated remains incon- 
trovertible, that in every particular instance our duty con- 
sists in doing what appears to us to be right at the time ; 
and if, while we follow this rule, we should incur any blame, 
our demerit does not arise from acting according to an erro- 
neous judgment, but from our previous misemployment ot 
the means we possessed for correcting the errors to which 
our judgment is liable." — Philosophy of the Active and Mo- 
ral Powers. Book iv. chap. v. sec. 3. Outlines, Lecture 5.] 
("The business of ascertaining the rules of absolute recti- 
tude is the most important part of the science of ethics. ** In- 
deed without this study, the best dispositions of the heart, 
whether relating to ourselves or to others, may be in a great 
measure useless." This is the study which is to be pursued 
in the subsequent part of this work.] 


[Mr. Stewart gives the following as the difference between 
conscience and moral faculty. " Conscience refers to our 
own conduct alone ; whereas, the moral faculty is meant to 
express also the power by which we approve or disapprove 
of the conduct of others." — Active and Moral Powers of 
Man. Book iv. chap. 9. 

** The moral faculty, like the faculty of reason, (which 
forms the most essential of its elements,) requires care and 
cultivation for its developement ; and, like reason, it has a 
gradual progress, both in the case of individuals and of soci- 
eties." — lb. Book iv. chap. 5. sec. 4. 

" While God has so formed our nature as to be capable 
of admiring and practising virtue, he has intrusted the cul- 
ture of our moral powers to our own care ; and has reminded 
us that for our diligence in improving this noblest part of 
our stewardship, we are to give an account at his tribunal."-^ 
Dewar*s Christian Ethics, Book ii. chap. 9. 

There are several methods by which our consciences may 
be cultivated ; and, 

116 Where in sach circumstances would our g^ilt fall 1 

117 What then is the most important part of ethics 1 

118 How does the moral faculty differ from conscience 1 

119 Can the moral faculties he improved 1 

120 Is it our duty to improve themi 

121 What is the first means of training our moral faculties 1 


1. By the virtuous influence of others. The infant 
mind is formed by the care of our early instructors, and 
for a long time thinks and acts in consequence of the confi- 
dence it reposes in their superior judgment. All this is un- 
doubtedly agreeable to the design of nature ; and, indeed, if 
the case were otherwise, the business of the world could 
not possibly go on. For nothing can be plainer than that the 
multitude, condemned as they are to laborious employments, 
inconsistent with the cultivation of their mental faculties, are 
wholly incapable of forming their own opinions on the most 
important questions which can occupy the human mind." 
But the authority of this influence must not be too much re- 
lied upon. For, ''it is evident that as no system of educa- 
tion can be perfect, many prejudices must mingle with the 
most important and best ascertained trulh8,^*'—~Stewart* 

2. By a continual solicitude that our opinions and con- 
duct should conform to the principles of moral rectitude. 
'* Let any honest man," says Butler, " before he engages in 
any course of action, ask himself. Is this I am going to do, 
right, or is it wrong ; is it good, or is it evil ? I do not in 
the least doubt but that these questions would be answered 
agreeably to truth and virtue, by almost any fair man, in al- 
most any circumstances." 

3. The study of the Scriptures, and a firm adherence to 
the precepts they contain.* " Man in his present state," 
says Dick in his Philosophy of Religion, " can be directed 

] 22 Is this influence in accordance with the design of nature 1 

123 Is it necessary 1 Why 1 

124 Is this inflaence always on the side of virtael 

125 What is the second help in moral calture ? 

126 Would this disposition lead to truth 1 

127 What is the next great bielp in teaching us our duty 1 

* 7^o some, this article may seem as foreign to the subject But itn 
application where revelation is known is unavoidable. The intermediate 
truthn, of the being and government of God, the revelation of his will to 
mankind, and his wisdom and holiness in willing that which is right, i» 
considered, in this work, as assented to. We wish to state, however, in 
the language of Mr. Dick, ** That the laws of God are not the commands 
of an arbitrar^^ sovereign, but are founded on the nature of things, and on 
the relations which exist in the inteUigent cistern." And again, in the 
language of Dr. Dewar, " The law of God is the explicit announcement 
of the nature and extent of those obligations devolving upon men, which 
had previously existed, and would have existed though no such smnoance- 
ment bad been made,'' 


only by positive laws^ proceeding from the Almighty; 
whose comprehensive mind alone can trace all their con- 
sequences to the remotest corners of the universe, and 
through all the ages of eternity. These laws are contained 
in the Scriptures $ and we know, in point of fact, that in 
every country where these laws are either unknown, or not 
recognised, there is no fixed standard of morals ; and vice, in 
its various ramifications, almost universally prevails." 

4. <' Finally an habitual effort to cultivate a sense of the 
Divine presence, and an habitual desire to have the whole 
moral condition regulated by this impression."-^'* He who 
earnestly cultivates this purity within, feels that he requires 
continual watchfulness, and a constant direction of the mind 
to those truths and moral causes which are calculated to in- 
fluence his volitions. He feels further that he is in need of 
a might not his own in this high design ; but for this he 
knows also he can look, with humble confidence and hope, 
when, under a sense of moral weakness, he asks its power- 
ful aid." 

To these may be added the assistance which conscience 
may receive on particular occasions^ as Mr. Stewart says, 
'* from the exercise of reason ; especially when there appears 
to be an interference between different duties^ and where, 
of course, it seems necessary to sacrifice one duty to another ; 
and also, when the ends at which our duty prompts us to 
aim, are to be accomplished by means which require choice 
and deliberation."] 


«« Happy" is a relative term, and regards an individual as 
compared either with others or himself. In the one case the 
comparison is with the lot of man generally ; in the other 
with the individual's own previous or subsequent condition. 
Strictly speaking, that condition may be called happy, in 
which the aggregate of pleasure exceeds the amount of pain. 
The quarUity of such excess is the measure of the degree 

128 What is the itate of momb where the Scriptures are not the 

129 By what desire should we be actuated in all our doings 1 

130 What feelings would this occasion 1 

131 In what cases may the exercise of reason assist us 1 
183 How is the word ** happy" applied 1 

133 What condition may be called happy 1 


of happiness ; and the greatest quantity attainable by man 
is vhat we mean to express, when the phrase human happu 
ness is employed in our discourse. In this inquiry it is 
needless to enlarge on the dignity of man, of the superiority 
of the intellect over the body, of the delicacy and refinement 
of some pleasures, or of the grossness and sensuality of 
others ; because pleasures in fact differ only in degree, and 
not in kind ; and it is from a view of their intensity ^ or of 
their continuance, that every question respecting human hap- 
piness must receive its decision. It will be our business 
merely to show, i. What human happiness does not con- 
sist in ; and, ii. What it does consist in. 

1 . Happiness does not consist in the pleasures of sense ^ 
that is, gratification of animal appetites, admiration of works of 
art, and exercise in active sports. For, 1st, these pleasures are 
short-lived, especially the grosser kind ; and much more so 
when considered independently of the aid derived from prepa- 
ration and expectation. 2dly, they lose their charm by repe- 
tition ; for, as the nerves, by which we receive pleasurable 
sensations, lose their sensibility by frequent exercise ; in the 
same way the mind becomes indifi^erent to a gratification 
no longer new. Sdly, the eagerness for intense delights de- 
stroys the relish for others less intense ; and as such high 
gratifications occur seldom, tune must hang heavy on our 

From no delusion do men suffer so much as from the ex- 
pectation of intense pleasure. The very expectation spoils 
the anticipated delight. Even when the enjoyment does 
come, efforts are made to persuade ourselves of the reality 
of the pleasure, instead of our finding that the pleasure is 
produced without effort ; and the delight we aimed at is gene- 

134 What is meant by the phrase human hapfdne$$ ? 

136 Do pleasures really ^met in kind 1 

136 What two considerations must enter every question on happi- 

137 What does the aufhor propose to show ? 

138 What is his first remark on the negatiTe 1 

139 What does he call pleasures of sense 1 
180 What is the first reason ? 

140 What is the second reason 1 How so ! 

141 What is the third reason ? What follows from that 1 

142 What is said of the expectation of intense pleasure 1 

143 When enjoyment does come, how is it accompanied t 

144 Do we experience the delight we aimed at ? 



rally supplanted by the secret grief of having missed our aim. 
Besides, the habit of seeking powerful stimulants prevents 
the relish for less intense delights, whose variety and suc- 
cession alone supply the stream of continued happiness. 

They, whose whole business is the pursuit of pleasure, 
unrestrained by conscience or want of means, are still de- 
voured by ennui. With a restless passion for variety, they 
become fastidious in the choice of pleasure : and though 
languid in the enjoyment, are miserable under the want of it. 
Their pleasures soon reach their limits, from which they as 
soon decline, because the organs of perception cannot long 
remain on the stretch. And in the endeavor to compensate 
for the brevity of the pleasure by its frequency, more is lost 
than gained, through the fatigue of the faculties and the dimi- 
nution of sensibility ; which, as age advances, are felt the 
most by the voluptuary, who, teased by desires that can 
never be gratified, is tortured still more by the memory of 

gleasures fled never to return. Afler all, these pleasures 
ave some value ; and although the young are always too 
eager in their pursuit of them, the old are sometimes too 
studious of their ease to take that pains for them which they 
really deserve, 

2. Happiness does not consist in the absence of pain, 
bodily and mental, when that absence is accompanied by no 
kind of exertion. For such Flistless state, like the opposite 
restless state of the voluptuary, brings with it the same feel- 
ing of enntd ; and oppresses first the mind with imaginary 
evils, and afterwards the body with real ones. Hence the 
disappointment felt by those persons, who seek for happiness 
by a retirement from the bustle and glare of active life, to the 
leisure and tranquillity of a country house. Where the cause 
of uneasiness is known, by removing the cause, the uneasi- 
ness is cured. But where Xhe distress is imaginary, (and, for 

145 Whak kind of defighta oecMkm ooDtmued kappinesB 1 

146 How do oor mlkSpotiniMt afifect the leUah for them ? 

147 What k the geiieni feeimg of thoae whose pnifeaed pamdl is 

148 Whet k Slid of thebplennnsl Wh j k that the c«n 1 

149 Can theb bvevitj be compensated by their ficqnency t Whj t 
160 Are ph aan re B of thk kind really iratnckas ? 

151 How do the aged and the yoong difier in their punoit of thcml 
15S What k the aecondaaKitMii on the negative 1 

153 What ^Eeci has the afaKuce of exertion 1 

154 What diappointment does thk nooooBt fori 


the want of a real, imaginary distress is frequently substi- 
tuted, and felt as keenly as the real,) the cure, firom the igno- 
rance of the cause, becomes impracticable ; unless the at- 
tention of the party so suffering be turned firom the ima- 
ginary to a real pain. This is a method of mitigation 
employed by nature. For instance, a fit of the gout will some- 
times cure Uie spleen. In like manner, the active excitement 
of hope and fear leads men of liberal minds to gaming, and 
other spirit-stirring pursuits, to prevent the fatigue they would 
otherwise feel from the dead calm of passionless inaction. 

3. Happiness does not consist in an elevated station of 
life. For if aU superiority afforded pleasure, the greater the 
number over whom such superiority is found to be, the 
greater would be the quantity of happiness enjoyed. But 
superionty is a term of confined import, and relates only to 
a comparison amongst persons who deem themselves gene- 
rally equal. The shepherd is not pleased with his superior- 
ity as compared with his dog, nor the prince as compared 
with a peasant. Where no competition exists, the superior- 
ity is lost ; a fact little noticed by most men. But if the 
rustic can excel fellow-rustics, or the prince fellow-princes, 
in points where they respectively contend for mastery ; then, 
and only then, does the idea of superiority bring with it ac- 
tual satisfaction. Hence the pleasure of ambition is not 
confined, as generally thought, to men of high rank in life, 
but is in reality common to all conditions. The farrier, 
who is in the greatest request for his veterinary skill, pos- 
sesses the delight of distinction, as truly and substantially as 
the prime-minister does whose skill is required to settle the 
affairs of the nation. In either case, it is not the object of 
competition, but the consciousness of overcoming a rivaly 
that constitutes the pleasure of superiority. 

Philosophers smile at the contempt shown by the rich to 

165 What is said of imaginary distress 1 

156 What b the natural method of coring a trifling aihiientl 

157 What pursuits are accounted for on this principle 1 

158 What vi the third negative assertion 1 

169 What would be the result if dU superiority afibrded pleasnxel 

160 What is necessary to make superiority a pleasure ? 

161 What kind of superiority does yield satisfaction ? 

162 Where does this fact show Uie pleasures of amlMtion to bet 
Give an illustration. 

163 What do philosophers think of contempt eliown by therid^ OQQ- 
ceniing ambitious strifes among the poorl Why 1 


the petty rivalries of the poor ; which, after all, are quite as 
reasonable as the squabbles of the rich themselves, to whom 
and to the poor the pleasure of success is the same. 

That happiness, then, of the great, which depends on the 
pleasures of ambition, is not greater than the happiness of 
the vulgar. But whether the pursuits of ambition in any 
case can a source of happiness, is a question both irrelevant 
and doubtful. In those pursuits, the pleasure of success is 
exquisite ; but so also is the anxiety of pursuit, and the pain 
of disappointment if that should happen. But what is worse, 
the pleasure when obtained is short-lived. Rivals that are 
left behind are less regarded than those in view before ; a 
succession of new struggles is kept up as long as an oppo- 
nent remains ; and when there is none, the pleasure and the 
pursuit are both at an end. 

Happiness, then, doe^ not consist in the pleasures of 
sense, in the absence of pain, or in the pursuits of ambi- 

XI. We are now to consider in what happiness does con- 
sist. In lifot the great art is to know beforehand, what will 
please for a time and continue to please. But this fore- 
knowledge is difficult of attainment. Some pleasures, allur- 
ing at a distance, become, when possessed, insipid or short- 
lived ; while others start up unthought of. The necessity 
of this foreknowledge is the greater, because it is commonly 
impracticable to change, after an experiment has been tried ; 
and were the change more practicable, it would be unadvi- 
sable, as such shifting is unfavorable to the happiness of any 

Through the great variety of taste in man, arising from 
every (lifferent shade of original structure and accidental situ- 
ation, it is impossible to devise a plan of universal happiness. 
All that can be attempted is, to describe a mode of life, in 
which the majority will seem the happiest ; for though the 
apparent happiness is not the true indication of what is real, 
it is the best we can arrive at. 

164 Is there happiness in any ambition! 
166 OikwB some description of the parauit of it. 

166 What is the conclusion of this section of the chapter ? 

167 What is the great art in seeking for happiness ? 

168 Why is this foreknowledge difficult ? 

169 What increases the necessity of tibis knowledge 1 

170 Win any plan of happiness be adapted to all 1 Why 1 

171 What is our best criterion of happiness I 


With this maxim as the guide, happiness will be found to 
consist — 

1. In the exercise of the social affections. Good spirits 
are a proof of apparent, if not of real happiness. Now as 
they who lead a social life, surrounded by objects of affection, 
possess better spirits than they who pass a solitary life, it is 
fair to infer that they are more happy. In like manner, the 
exercise of social sympathies increases the sum of happiness 
by connecting the individual with the rest of mankind, 
through the refreshing medium of acts kindly done and grate- 
fully acknowledged. ^ 

2. In the employment of our faculties in some interesting 
distant object. No fulness of present pleasure can insure a 
continuance of happiness, unless the mind has something to 
look forward to. Hence we see alacrity of spirits in those 
men who are engaged in objects of engrossing interest ; and 
dejection in those, whose faculties have not been exerted at 
all, or have become exhausted from a too violent use of 
them. To avoid this insupportable vacuity of mind, re- 
course is had to practices destructive of health, fortune, or 
character ; and objects are sought for with trouble, which 
could without trouble be obtained. But though hope, by 
giving rise to continued exertions, is of so much importance 
as an ingredient in happiness ; care must be taken, else it 
may fret the mind into impatience, or destroy it by despair. 
To provide, then, ourselves with a succession of pleasurable 
engagements, there is need of judgment to choose the end 
adapted to our opportunities, and of imagination to transfer 
the idea of pleasure to the means used fpr obtaining that 
end. ; 

Hence the pleasures most valuable are those productive 
not of most intensity of fruition, but of activity in their 

172 What is first mentioned as necessaiy to happiness 1 

173 What proof have we that social^affections produce happiness ? 

174 What is next mentioned as necessary to happiness 1 

175 What "is necessary to insure the continuance of present happi* 

176 What is an illustration of thisi 

177 What does a vacuity of mind lead to ? 

178 Is it necessary to temper our hope ? Why 1 

179 What two things are necessary for our happiness ? 

180 What pleasures are most valuable 1 . 



Herein has the man, who is in earnest in his endeavors 
after a future state, the advantage over all the world. His 
pursuit is one of constant activity, and, unlike other pursuits, 
ends only with his life. Yet* even such a man must have 
many ends besides the far one. But all such other ends are 
only subordinate to and co-operate with the main object of 
his fondest and firmest hopes. 

Occupation is every thing. And it is the better as it is 
the more connected with our social state, with reference 
either to mankind or to individuals ; and as exhibited in stre- 
nuous endeavors to better in some way others or One's-self. 
But if faculties or opportunities be wanting to exert our- 
selves on a large scale or extensive sphere ; any engagement, 
however trifling, provided it be innocent, is better than none. 
For so long only as the mind is employed, it is happy. 
Misery is the inevitable result of a mind not fixed for the 
time being to one pursuit. 

8. In the prudent formation of habits. The grand secret 
in the art of human happiness is to set the hs^its so that 
every change may be for the better. But as whatever is ha- 
bitual is easy, and a return to an old habit after an occasional 
departure is also easy, those habits are the best, from which 
a deviation is an indulgence. To the habitually luxurious, 
dainties are of less worth than, is to the peasant his habitual 
homely fare ; from which when the latter deviates, he finds 
a feast ; while the former must be well entertained to escape 
disgust. They who sit at cards, and they who follow a 
plough, so long as both are intent on their respective em- 
ployments, are equally happy ; but to the card-player, in- 
terruption is a pain ; to the ploughman a pleasure ; and 
hence the Sabbath is a day of rest to one, of restlessness to 

181 How does this fact affect a man who lives for a future state 1 
Why is this the easel 

182 Can we suppose that any man lives solely for eternity ? 

183 Of what character are the other otgects of a good man ? 

184 What enhances the value of occupation ? 

185 What is the value of trifling engagements 1 

186 What circumstances will render us happy, and what miserable 1 

187 What is mentioned in the third place as necessary for hapfa 

188 How are such hahits set 1 What is this prudence called ? 

189 What habits are best 1 Whyl 

1 90 Give some illustrations, in the case of the peasant ;<»of the labor- 
er ;« -of one accustomed to retirement ;— of a reader of scientific works t 


the Other. He who has learned to live alone, enters into 
company with hilarity, and leaves it without regret ; while 
he who lives only in a crowd, enjoys in company only what 
the other does alone, habitual gratification. Remove, by H 
want of health or means, the one from his usual haunts, and 
he will find in solitude the horrors of melancholy ; while the 
other can find there all the charm of repose. The one, restless 
through the day, is happy only when asleep ; to the other, 
the day, being furnished with employment for every hour, 
is never too long ; or if unemjdoyed in body, be enjoys a 
kind of dreamy existence, with a mind at ease and hanker- 
ing after nothing. In like manner, he who has been accus- 
tomed to read works of science and depth of thought, finds 
in lighter literature a relaxation and relish which is unknown 
to the reader who, with the desire of novelty alone, is rather 
seeking amusement than actually amused. And the latter 
also, quickly exhausting the scanty stock of publications to' 
his taste, is left without objects of interest in the extensive 
field of intellectual enjoyment. 

Again, as far as money brings happiness, it is not the in- 
come, but its increase, which gives the pleasure. Two per- 
sons, one of whom begins with a large and ends with a 
small income, while the other begins with a small and ends 
with a large one, may, in the course of the same time, spend 
the same sum ; but their satisfaction will be different, de- 
pending on the fact whether they respectively began at the 
end of the ascending or descending scale. 

4. In the enjoyment of health. By health is here meant 
not only freedom from bodily ailments, but the possession of 
good spirits ; which, though dependent on the state of the 
body generally, are not usually included in the definition 
of that word. In this comprehensive sense, health is the one 
thing needful ; and no sacrifice of rank and fortune, business 
or amusement, will be considered too great for its attainment, 
by him who pursues his happiness in a rational manner. It 
is a pleasure independent of all others ; and of which we can 
only say that it is the gift of a benevolent Deity ; and seems 

191 How does money produce pleasiure % 

192 Give an illustration. 

193 -What is the fourth requisite for happiness ? 

194 What is meant by the health here spoken of? 

195 Is all this generally included in the idea of health ? 

196 What is said of this kind of health 1 


to constitute the sole happiness of many animals, which, like 
oysters, possess no visible means of enjoyment. 

From this view of happiness we may infer, what moral- 
ists have not proved : — 1. That happiness is pretty equally 
distributed in civil society ; 2. That vice has no advantage 
over virtue, even in this world. 


Virtue is the doing good to mankind in obedience to the 
will of God, and for the sake of everlasting happiness. 

In this definition, the *' good of mankind" is the subject; 
the *' will of God," the rule ; and ** everlasting happiness," 
the motive of virtue. 

rConceming the first part of this definition, Mr. Stewart says, 
"It has been supposed by some moralists that the obligation 
of all our moral duties arises entirely from their apprehended 
tendency to promote the happiness of society. Notwith- 
standing the various appearances in human nature, which 
seem at first view to favor this theory, it is liable to unsur- 
mountable objections."— Ow//£nc* of Moral FhUosophy, 
Part ii. chap. 2. sec. 2.]] 

[[Concerning the latter part of the definition. Dr. Brown 
says, '' Virtue he defines to be, ' the doing good to mankind, 
in obedience to the will of God, and for the sake of ever- 
lasting happiness.' The last part of the definition is the 
most important part of the whole. For, the knowledge of 
this everlasting happiness he supposes to be all which con- 
stitutes moral obligation ; meaning, by obligation, not any 
feeling of moral •love, but the influence of happiness as an 
object of physical desire, and of pain as an object of physi- 
cal aversion; one or other of which is to follow our 
obedience or disobedience to the command of the power 
who is the supreme dispenser of both. That part of 
the system of Dr. Paley, then, which makes the sole motive 
to virtue the happiness of the agent himself, is false." — Phi- 
loBophy of the Human Mind, Lecture 79.] 

197 What two inferences are deduced from the posifions advanced in 
this chapter ? 198 How does Dr. Paley define virtue 1 

199 What does he says is the subject of virtue 1 What the rule 1 
What the motive 1 

SCO Does Mr. Stewart agree with the first part of this definition 1 

201 What does Dr. Brown say is all the obligation which the latter 
port of the definition supposes 1 What does he say it lacks 1 

203 Does he think that this is according to truth 1 


[Mr. Stewart also says, " The system which makes vurtue a 
mere matter of prudence leads to consequences which suffi- 
ciently show that it is erroneous. Among others it leads us to 
conclude, 1 . That the disbelief of a future state absolves from 
all moral obligation, excepting in so far as we find virtue to 
be conducive to our present interest : 2. That a being inde- 
pendently and completely happy, cannot have any moral 
perceptions or any moral attributes." — Outlines of Moral 
Philosophy. Section 6.3 [For remarks on the rule im- 
plied in this definition, see the chapter on utility.") 

[" As to the motive,^* says a writer in Rees' Cyclopedia, 
** this is still more objectionable than the aiibject ; for it ex- 
cludes, not only the virtuous actions of those who do not 
believe in a future state, but even those which spring from a 
disinterested regard to the welfare of others, to the will of 
God, or to the dictates of conscience ; that is, when an ac- 
tion becomes the most virtuous, then, according to the defi- 
nition which Paley has adopted, it ceases to be virtuous."]] 

fThe following is Mr. Dymond's definition of virtue, 
** Virtue is conformity with the standard of rectitude; 
which standard consists primarily in ^e expressed will of 

Virtue has been divided into benevolence to propose 
good ends ; prudence to suggest the best means for their at- 
tainment ; fortitude to encounter the difficulties and dangers 
attending our undertaking; and temperance to bear down 
the opposing feelings from within. For instance, benevolence 
leads us to assist an orphan ; prudence teaches us how to 
assist him best ; fortitude enables us to bear the evils result- 
ing from such act of assistance ; and temperance keeps down 
every selfish consideration likely to interfere with the end 

Virtue has been also divided into prudence and benevo- 
lence ; the former, attentive to our own interest, the latter to 
that of our fellow creatures ; and both directed to the increase 
of universal happiness* 

203 What conclusioiui does Mr. Stewart aay the last part of the defi- 
nition leads to J 

204 What does another writer say that it ezdudeel What follows 
from thisi 

205 What is Mr. Dymond's definition of virtae 1 

206 How does Dr. Palsy say that virtue has been dividedl Give an 


The four Cardinal Virtues are, Prudence, Fortitude, Tem- 
perance, and Justice. 

But the division of Virtue, in modem times, is into duties : 
1. Piety, &,c, towards God : 2. Justice, &c. towards our fel- 
low-creatures : and, 3. Temperance, &c. towards ourselves. 


Man acts more from habit than reflection. On few points 
of moral conduct do men think at all ; on fewer still do they 
wait for the result of reflection. The opinion is generally 
determined by a sudden impulse, which is the result of pre- 
vious habits. This conduct, though apparently wrong, is 
really right, and the best suited to the weakness of human 
nature. In the rapid events of life there is little leisure for 
reflection : and were there more, he who reasons when he 
ought to act, is sure, in case of temptation, to reason wrong. 

But if man is thus passive under his habits, where, it is 
asked, is the exercise of virtue and the guilt of vice ? We 
answer, in the formation of such habits. 

Hence arises the necessity of doing or omitting many 
things for the sake of habit alone. For instance, a person 
in apparently great distress begs for charity. If we asked 
ourselves, whether the object be really deserving, whether 
charity so bestowed be not to encourage idleness, whether 
the money could not be better applied ; we should, perhaps, 
doubt of giving relief at all. But when we reflect that the 
distress exists, that the feeling of charity ought to be cul- 
tivated, that if it be not cultivated, selfishness will spring 
up ; when we consider all this, we will, if we are wise, 
do for our own sake what we would not do for the 
beggar's, and act generously rather than do violence to a 
habit so generally useful. Again, a man is in the habit 
of strict veracity. But an occasion occurs where a devia- 
tion from truth seems excusable for the sake of gratify* 

a07 VHiat ttPO called the four cardinal virtues t 
a08 What is the modem division of virtue t 

809 What is the great principle of human action t 

810 Whaik influence has the understanding generally on opinions f 
ail How then are they fonned ! 212 Is this right! Why t 
ai3 What question does this give rise to t How is it answered I 
a 14 What nile results firom this 1 Give an example. 

815 How would a good man act in such circumstances t 

816 Give another example. Why woold not indulgence be aQofiimbl 



ing others and himself. The lie he has to tell is harmless, 
and also amusing. Why then should he not indulge in it ? 
The answer is, it will destroy his previous habit of strict vera- 
city ; that similar occasions may return, where the tempta- 
tion is less, the mischief more ; and as his scruples will 
wear away by a few transgressions, (he habit of lying will 
be induced, and then yielded to whenever it suits his purpose. 

Hence, too, may be explained the nature of habitud vir- 
tue ; through the operation of which a man may perform 
various acts of virtue, although he may be uninfluenced by, 
or even ignorant of, the suoject, rule, or motive of virtue. 
How so ? it will be asked. Precisely, it will be replied, as 
a man may be a very good servant, without being conscious 
of studying at every turn his master's interest. But then he 
must for a length of time have been under the actual influ- 
ence of such motives ; and in that previous habit his present 
virtue consists. 

Man is, in truth, a bundle of habits. Every virtue and 
every vice, every modification of word, thought, and deed, 
can and does become a habit ; nor is there a quality or func- 
tion of the body or mind, that is not influenced by this great 
law of human nature. 

II. Christianity has not defined the precise quantity of 
virtue necessary for salvation. 

As all revelation must be transmitted through the ordinary 
vehicle of language, this objection will not require an an- 
swer, until it be shown that any form of words could ex- 
press this quantity ; or that a standard of moral conduct 
could exist, adapted to the capacities and circumstances of 
different men. It is enough for us to know from Scripture* 
that the rewards and punishments will be so fitted to every 
degree of virtue and vice, that none may labor in vain. It 
has been objected, that God acts unjustly in admitting one 
part into heaven, and condemning the other to hell, because 

217 What may be explained from what has been said 1 

218 What is hahitual virtae 1 How is it occasioned? 

219 What is man as it regards habits 1 

220 Has habit much influence over his body and mind 1 

221 What is our second general observation 1 

222 What two barriers hinder this from becoming an objection ? 

223 What can we learn from Scripture 1 

* Mark ix. 41. Luke xii. 47 ; xxi. 16. 2 Cor. ix. 6. 


there can be little to choose between the worst man received^ 
and the best man rejected. But may there not be as little to 
choose in their conditions ? 

This is not the place to anticipate the detail of Scripture 
morality. But the^ following positions may be here ad- 
vanced with safety : 

1. That a state of future happiness cannot be expected, 
except for conduct designedly or habitually prompted by 
regard to true virtue. For were it otherwise, the sanctions 
of morality and religion would possess neither use nor au* 

2. That a state of happiness cannot be expected by those 
who are in the habitual practice of committing one sin, or 
omitting one duty. 

Because, 1. every command of God is equally binding ; 
2. by such allowance every sin would in turn be committed 
with impunity ; and, 3. such laxity of morals is directly 
denounced by Scripture, where duties are recited* collective- 
ly, and vicest disjunctively ; thus proving that single virtues 
cannot gain, though single vices may lose, God's approba- 
tion. Nor can such expressions as *' charity shall cover a 
multitude of sins,"j: and, *' he who converteth a sinner, 
shall hide a multitude of 8ins,"|| be reasonably extended to 
sins committed habitually. 

3. That a state of mere unprofitableness will not go un- 

As this doctrine has been laid down expressly by Chiist 
in the parable of the talents, § all further reasoning is unne- 
cessary ; and it is only requisite to direct attention to the 
language adopted on the occasion, where the servant is cen- 
sured for being " slothful," and ordered to be '< cast out into 
outer darkness" as an '* unprofitable servant." 

324 What is the first general pontion of Scripture morality 1 
226 Why must that be the lactl 

226 What is the second general position 1 

227 What three reasons are given for this position ? 

228 Are there any texts which seem to fitvor a contrary opinion ? 
What is said of them ? 

229 What is the third general position of Scripture morality 1 

230 Who has taught this doctrinel Where 1 

• 2 Pet. i. 6. f 1 Cor. vi 9. ^1 Pet iv» 8. 

I Matt. xxY. 14. § James ▼. 20. 


ui. In every question of doubtful conduct, we are bound 
to take the safe side. 

Suppose, for instance, that it were doubtful, in the mind 
of a reasoner, whether suicide be lawful or not ; still a man 
ought not to commit it, because he can have no doubt that it 
is lawful to let it alone. This, it is replied, is only the pru" 
dent side of the question, and does not touch the legality of 
the act. We assert, on the contrary, that the act is not law- 
ful to the reasoner^ so long as he may have any doubts of 
its legality. This is the decision of St. Paul^ on a similar 
case ; and with that we may rest contended : — ** I know that 
there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him that esteemeth 
it unclean, to him it is unclean. Happy is he that condemn- 
eth not himself in that thin^ which he alloweth." 

231 What is the third general observation 1 Give an example. 
233 Whose decision have v^e upon such subjects 1 State it. 

* Rom. xiv. 14, and also 22, 23. 







The reasons assi^ed for this obligation, although Ta- 
rious, ultimately coincide, whether founded on '* right,'* or 
*• the fitness of things," or •* a conformity with reason and 
truth," or *• the promotion of public good," or, lastly, on 
*' obedience to God's will." The ultimate result in all cases 
is ** happiness." 

For, by ** the fitness of things" is meant their fitness to 
produce happiness ; by *' the reason of things" is meant the 
principle by which is formed a judgment of the power of 
things to produce happiness, and '* truth" is a result of this 
judgi^ient. Hence, what promotes general happiness is 
agreeable to the fitness of Uiings, to reason, and to truth. 
And, again, as '* the will of God" requires only what pro- 
motes general happiness, whatever leads to that end mast 
needs be "right; by which term is merely meant a con- 
formity with the rule of moral conduct, whatever that 
may be. 

[[On this subject Dr. Dewar has well said, ** The wiD of 
God does not create moral distinctions, but is the expression 
of distinctions which etenially and unchangeably exist ; and 
which are founded in his own nature." And again, **The 
distinctions of right and wrong are necessary, immutable, and 
founded in the nature of things." — Book iii. c^iap. 4.^ 

But it may be asked, why is a man obliged' to do what is 

1 What are tho seTwal answen to the qoestioa "why it a man 

% What maj be Mid of them aU! 

3 What is meant bj fitneaa of things 1 — the reason cf things I 

4 Mlial is agreeable to all these 1 

6 Does the will of God coincide with rale 1 Whjl 

6 What is the meaning of the tenn rt>A/ f 

Y What does Br. Dewar saj of the ^ of God? 

9 What doea he so J of the distinctions of right and wvHD^t 


right, or suited to the fitness of things, or to nature, reason, 
and truth, or to promote public good, or to obey the will of 
God ? 

To answer this question, it is necessary to inquire, 1. What 
is meant by saying that a man is obliged to perform any act ; 
and, 2. Why he is obliged to perform that act. And we 
will propose for example, the act of keeping hisl word. 


[An obligation is " that which constitutes legal or moral 
dut}'^, and which renders a person liable to coercion and pu- 
nishment for neglecting it." — Webster. ~\ 

A man is said to be obliged, when he is urged by a vio- 
lent motive which results from the command of another. 

The motive must be violent. For, if not, his acquiescence 
win be voluntary, and not compulsive ; and consequently, 
there will exist no obligation to perform the act in question. 

The act must be done at the command of another. For, if 
a man is actuated by the hope of a gratuity, he is not obliged, 
but induced or prevailed upon. 

But as no command can be effective unless accompanied 
by the hope of reward for obedience, or the fear of punish- 
ment for disobedience ; the obligation to do what is right is 
referred at once to the violent motives of expected pleasure 
or pain, which are to result from obedience or disobedience 
to the will of God. 

[On this subject Mr. Stewart says, "The notions of re- 
ward and punishment presuppose the notions of right and 
wrong. They are sanctions of virtue, or additional motives 
to the practice of it ; but they suppose the existence of some 
previous obligation. 

"It is absurd, therefore, to ask, why we are bound to 

9 After all the reasons that are given, what question may still be 

10 In order to answer this question, what two inquiries are nece»> 
saiy t 

11 How does Dr. Webster de6ne the word obligation ? 

12 When is a man said to be obliged 1 

13 Of what quality must that motive be? 

14 What is the result called when the motive is not violent ? 

15 For what reason must the act be done ? 

16 What do we say of it if there is an expectation of reward 1 

17 To what motives is the obligation referred ? Why? 

18 Vn^t does Mr. 8tewart say of these motives ? 


prftciise virtue ? The very notion of virtae implies the no- 
tion of obligation* Every being, who is conscious of the 
distinction between right and wrong, carries about with ^him 
a law which he is bound to observe ; notwithstanding he 
may be in total ignorance of a future state."— -Ou^/tne«. Part 
ii. chap. 1. sec. 6.3. 

From the preceding view of the question, it appears that 
when a man is said, in one case, to be induced to perform 
any act, and in another, to be *' obliged" to perform it, we 
do not suppose that he is impelled by different kinds of mo- 
tives ; but only if he is obliged, he is influenced by a strong 
inducement which results from the command of another. In 
like manner, an act of prudence differs from an act of obliga- 
tion only in a degree still further removed ; for in the former, 
we consider what we shall gain or lose in this world ; in the 
latter, we think of the pleasures and pains of the world to 



To the question, ** Why am I obliged to keep my word !" 
the answer will be, Because I am ** urged to do so by a 
violent motive," (namely, the expectation of future reward 
if I do, and of future punishment if I do not ;) and that ** this 
motive results from the command of another;" that is, of 

This recurrence to the hopes and fears of a faUae state as 
the grounds of moral obligation, has been and may be still 
objected to, but to no purpose ; unless the objectors can 
show that virtue leads always to happiness here, or at least 
to a greater share than its opposite vice ever attains. 

[Concerning these hopes and fears, a writer in Rees's 
Cyclopedia says, ** Here then we come to the ultimate, or 
(as we should prefer saying) the remotest obligation of vir- 

19 Doei he think one bound to do right, if he does not believe in a 
future state 1 Why 1 

80 Do we suppose the motives for inducement, and those for obliga* 
tion to be di£^nt in kind 1 How do they differ 1 

81 How does prudence lUffer from obli|(stion 1 
88 Why am I obliged to keep my word 1 

83 What is the motive 1 At yfthim (command is it 1 

84 Are these motives agreed to bv all 1 

86 In order to dispose of them* what must the ol^toni show 1 
8e What axe these hopes and fUr« eallt>d In R««s*8 Cyclopedia? 


tue ; and from this point we shall proceed, till it appears 
that the end of human existence will he hest answered hy 
resting at a somewhat nearer and equally stable ground of 
obligation. And we cannot forbear observing, that it will 
clearly appear, from carefully considering the laws of 'our 
mental frame and the circumstances of mankind, tficU the 
love of Gody of many and of duty, (in other words, the 
affections of piety and benevolence, and a regard to con- 
science,) should be our primary aim, since he will be most 
happy, in whom those principles exist with the greatest 
strength and vigor."] 

Since, then, we cannot dispense with the doctrine of a 
future state of rewards and punishments, as the ground of 
moral obligations, we have to inquire, 

1. If there be, in reality, such a state ; and, 

2. What actions will be rewarded, and what will be pu- 

Of these questions, the first relate to the evidences for 
the truth of the Christian religion ; the second to the detail 
of the code of Christian morality. Both questions are too 
much for one work ; and the first is, therefore, taken for 
granted in the present treatise. 


As the will of God is our rule, the whole business of 
Christian morality turns upon our knowledge of what that 
will is ; and that once known, our duty is known also. 

Now the will of God is known, 1. By the express words 
of Holy Writ ; and, 2. By such inferences as are drawn hy 
the light of nature from the works of God. 

When an ambassador has his instructions in his pocket, 
it would be strange if he did not look into ''them. When 
those instructions are clear and positive^ there is an end to 
all deliberation concerning his duty. In the same manner, 
the Scriptures, as far as they go, must be our rule of conduct. 

27 Should our actions be governed directly by them 1 

28 What should be ova primary aun in our duties ? 

29 What two great inquiries are necessaiy to form a code of mo- 
lality 1 

30 How is the first settled 1 — Of what does the second consist ? 
81 What is the whole business of forming a moral code 1 

32 What two means are there of knowing the will of (rod 1 

33 Give an example of the first method. What does it teach 1 



Thus religion, natural and revealed, go hand in hand ; and 
as the object of both is the same, to separate them is an 
absurdity ; since it matters not how we discover the will of 
God, if we only do discover it. Of the modem scheme of 
thus uniting ethics with Christianity, Hume and others have 
complained. But have the complainants been able to make 
any thing of morality without such union ? The ninth section 
of Hume's Treatise on the Principles of Morals contains the 
practical application of his system. Let any one read it, and 
say whether the motives there proposed are sufficiently 
" violent" to correct the bad passions of our nature. If not, 
the reader will see, with us, the necessity of stronger mo- 
tives. But this is not the present question. For if Chris- 
tianity be true, there is a state of future rewards and punish- 
ments ; and such motives cannot be neglected ; least of all 
by a Christian moralist, who should leave to those who re- 
ject the Scriptures, to build up, if they can, morality without 
their aid. 

Where the Scriptures are silent or dubious, we must resort 
to the light of nature. The method of discovering the will 
of God by the light of nature, is only to inquire into the 
tendency of any act to promote or diminish general happi- 
ness. For as this rule rests on the presumption that die 
Creator wishes the happiness of his creatures, such actions 
as promote such wishes must be agreeable to him ; and vice 

On this presumption our whole system rests. The rea- 
sons, therefore, on which it rests, must be explained. 


When God created mankind, he wished either their hap- 
piness or their misery, or he was unconcerned about bo^« 
Had he wished the misery of man, he would have made all 
the present sources of pleasure sources of pain. Had he 

34 What is mentioned as an absurdity 1 Why 1 

35 Do those moral treatises which discard the Scriptuies prove to be 

36 But can -a Christian moralist neglect them 1 

37 AVhen must we resort to the light of nature 1 

38 How shall we discover the will of Grod by that ? 

39 Upon what presumption does this rule rest 1 

40 What may be said to be the mind of the Creator when he made 

41 Soppose he had widied the misery of man 1 


been indijBferent to the happiness or misery of man, the capa- 
bilities for pleasure and pain must have been the result of 
accident ; for all design is, by the supposition, excluded. 
But as accident could not have fitted all objects to the senses, 
so that the one should impart and the other receive uniformly 
corresponding impressions, the supposition of accident must 
be excluded. Consequently, God must, when he created^ 
man, have wished his happiness, and made provision ac- 

Again, contrivance proves design ; and the tendency of 
the contrivance indicates the intention of the designer. The 
world abounds with contrivances directed to purposes of 
good. But though evil exists, it is not the design of the 
contrivance. Teeth are contrived for the purpose of eating, 
yet they ache ; but their aching is not the design of the con- 
trivance, but incidental to it. Even, for the sake of argument, 
we will admit it is a proof of defective contrivance. So, in 
the case of human instruments, a sickle is contrived to reap 
corn ; and though from its form it occasionally cuts the 
reaper's fingers, such is not the design of it, but an accident 
from its use. On the other hand, instruments of torture are 
contrived with the design of giving pain. Nothing similar 
to this is found in the works of God. No anatomist, for in- 
stance, ever discovered any organ in the body, whose design 
could be shown to be only the infliction of pain ; nor does he, 
if he meets with a part whose use he knows not, even sus- 
pect that its design is to annoy. Since, then, contri- 
vances indicate that God designed man's happiness, and as 
there are no proofs of any change in such design ; we must 
in reason believe in its continuance. 

Although a view of universal nature is apt to bewilder the 
mind, there is, however, always one bright spot in the pros- 
pect, on which the eye rests with complacency ; and thus a 

42 Suppose he had been indifferent 1 Is this reasonable ? 

43 What follows from rejecting these two suppositions ? 

44 What other argument is there 1 

45 What is the purpose of the divine contrivances 1 

46 Is evil one of their designs 1 Give an illustration. 

47 What is said of human instruments when intended for good, and 
when intended for torture? 

48 What is said of the anatomist 1 

49 What conclu^on follows from this 1 

50 Does the eye judge best when looking upon a whole prospect or 
on a single spot in it 1 What is compared to tlus ? 


single example will produce a conviction which many united 
would fail to effect. To me it seems that the benevolence 
of the Deity is more clearly seen in the pleasures of children 
than in any thing else. The pleasures of grown persons 
are the result of their own seeking, by the cultivation of 
talents aided by accidental circumstances ; but those of a 
Wealthy infant are so evidently furnished by the hand of on- 
other, that the sight of a child at play affords to me sensible 
evidence of the intentional benevolence of the Deity. 

Having thus proved that the Creator wished and still 
wishes the happiness of his creatures, we proceed to inves- 
tigate the rule built upon such fact, that '* the method of 
knowing God's will as shown by the light of nature, is to 
inquire into the tendency of any act to promote or diminish 
general happiness." 


Actions, then, are to be estimated by their tendency.* 
Whatever is expedient is right; and the utility of a moral 
rule constitutes its obligation. 

[Dr. Dewar remarks on this assertion, ** Though we ad- 
mit that utility be the rule by which the Deity conducts his 
government, it is a rule utterly unsuited to man. How can 
he, with his limited faculties, and with his comparative ig- 
norance of the nature and qualities of beings, and the ten- 
dency of actions, be capable of making expediency the law 
of his conduct ? It is only for Him who sees the end from 
the beginning, to know all the consequences of a single ac- 
tion, and to determine the way in which the good of that 

61 What example was most evident to Dr. Pakj ? 

65 What is proved from the foregoing t 
68 What nik is built upon this &ct1 
64 Hove are actions to be estimatedl 

66 What constitutes the obligation of a monl mk ? 
66 What does Dr. Devrar say of utility ! Why? 

* Actions in the abstract are right or vrrong, according to their ten- 
dency ; the agent is virtuous or vicious, according to his design. Thus, 
if the question be, AVhether to relieve common beggars be right or wrong, 
we inquire into the tendency of such a conduct to public advantage or 
inconvenience. If the question be. Whether, a man, remarkable for ciua 
sort of bounty, is virtuous for thai reason, we inquire into his '^"■■gnt 
whether his liberality springs fiom charity or tnaa ostentation. Our 
conoam is with actaons in the abstract 


universe which he has formed shall be secured."— Book iii. 
chap. 6.] 

[But Mr. Dymond well says, << It may easily be shown 
that regard to utility is recommended or enforced in the ex- 
pression of the divine will. . That will requires the exercise 
of pure and universal benevolence ; which benevolence is 
exercised in consulting the interests, the welfare, and the 
happiness of mankind. It is the use of reason to discover 
what is useful and expedient for these ends ; and to say that 
to consult utility is right, is almost the same to say it is 
right to exercise our understandings. It is obvious that in 
this view, a reference to expediency is consistent with the 
will of God ; and in conforming to it, so long as we hold it 
in subordination to his laws, we perform his will."] 

pt is plain that Dr. Paley, in this part of the work, really 
intended to teach that utility w^ subordinate to the Scrip- 
tures ; as in chapter iv. he says, *' Where the instructions are 
clear and positive, there is an end to all deliberation." 
Whether the same opinion is manifested in the succeeding 
part of his work is another question.3 

But to the maxim of utility, it may be objected, that 
many acts which are useful in themselves are decidedly not 
right. For instance, it might be useful that a possessor of a 
great estate, who abuses the influence of his property, should 
be murdered, and a better owner put in his place ; it might 
be useful to rob a miser, and to give his money to the poor, 
whose quantity of pleasure by such acquisition would be 
greater Uian the pain of the miser from his loss ; it might be 
useful to obtain political power through perjury, with the 
view to advance the good of the state. Must we, then, justify 
assassination, plunder, and perjury ,*on the ground of utility I 
or must we give up our principle that utility is right? 
Neither is necessary. The true answer is, that such acts, 

57 What does Mr. Dymond say to this rule ? 
68 What is required by the wiU of God 1 

59 How do we find what is expedient for these ends 1 

60 What foUows from this? 

61 Yirhat is his conclusion upon this subject ? 

62 Is not this the intention of Dr. Paley 1 

63 What objection may be urged against the doctrine of utility 1 
Give some examples. 

64 What question is asked from these examples I What is its true 
answer 1 


tfaough in appearance useful, are really not useful ; and on 
that account alone are wrong. 

The consequences of actions are twofold, particular and 
general. The former refers to the mischief produced by an 
action, taken singly ; the latter to the mischief produced by 
the violation of a rule generally useful. 

Thus, for instance, the particular mischief produced bj 
the murder would be the loss of life, as dear to a bad as to 
a good man ; while the general mischief produced, is the vio- 
lation of the law against murder. 

Hence, although in such murder the particular good might 
outweigh the particular evil, yet it would not be useful, be- 
cause it would produce a general mischief; and so of the 
cases of robbery and perjury above stated. 

But as this decision presupposes the necessity of ge- 
neral rules in morals, such necessity must be demonstrated. 


Acts of the same kind cannot be pardy permitted and 
partly forbidden. They must all be embraced under one ge- 
neral law ; and the evidence, which proves that the universal 
permission of them is injurious, is the ground of the law 
which forbids them all. 

Thus, in the case of the murder before spoken of, should 
the assassin say he killed the rich rascal, because he thought 
his life pernicious ; such a plea, if admitted in this case, must 
be admitted in all similar cases. And the consequence would 
be general mischief, by putting the life of any man in the 
power of his neighbor. 

The necessity, then, of general rules in human govern- 
ment is apparent. But must the Deity also regulate future 
rewards and punishments by general rulgs ? Yes. Because} 
as every government, whether human or divine, intends to 

6S How many claMes of consequences result from actions, and what 
aie they ? 66 Describe the particular. Describe the general. 

67 What is the particular bad consequence of murder 1 

68 What are its general mischieft ? 

69 Which class of consequences determines the morality of an act 1 

70 Upon what is this decision founded 1 

71 What is said of all acts that have a common tendency ? 

73 What follows from proving the pernicious efiects of permittixig all 
of them 1 Give an example. 

73 MHiat is rendered apparent by this I 

74 Will tills neoeasit^ extend to thie divine govemxoeiit ? MThy 1 


influence the conduct of reasonable beings ; if two similar 
acts be not similarly treated, the consequence of such neglect 
of general rules would be, that mankind would no longer 
know what to expect, or how to act. ^Rewards and punish- 
ments, distributea at random, might, like a blank or a prize iu 
a lottery, bring pain or pleasure for the moment ; but, from 
the uncertainty of the event, could produce no influence on 
the conduct. 

Hence, if there is to be a distribution of future rewards 
and punishments, such distribution must proceed on general 

But it will be said, that on this system of general con- 
sequences, the guilt of a bad action consists in the example ; 
and consequently, if the act be done in secrecy, since it fur- 
nishes no bad example, part of the guilt drops ofl*. In the case 
of suicide, for instance, if the act be done so that none can 
know or suspect it, the example can do no mischief; nor 
can a punishment for this deed be necessary merely to save a 
general rule from an exception. 

But such reasoning, if adopted, would introduce a rule the 
least to be endured ; namely, that secrecy can justify an act. 
Besides, there would be reason to fear that people would be 
disappearing perpetually. 

But before this plea of secrecy can be admitted, we ought 
to be satisfied respecting the following queries — 

1. Whether the Scriptures do not teach us that the most 
secret actions will be brought to light.* 

2. Whether such acts will not be the objects of future re- 
wards and punishments. 

3. Whether they will not, when brought to light, be 
treated, like other acts, by general rules. 

75 Without genera] rules, what would be the eflect of lewuds and 
punishments 1 What does this aigue 1 

76 What circumstances have been thought a palliative in oimel 
What is the example 1 

77 What principle would result from this reasoning 1 What else 
would it lead to 1 

78 How do the Scriptures affect this argument 1 [The pupil thould^ 
in all examples Uke this, be able to recite the passage^ 

79 Why will those acte be brought to light 1 How will they then 
be treated? 

* Bom. zL 16. I Cor. iv. 5. 



It has been said that the general consequences of an act 
may be known, by considering what the consequences would 
be if it were generally committed. But to this it has been 
objected, th^t the guilt of one act cannot justly be charged 
with the accumulated guilt of many similar acts. We reply, 
that the reason for prohibiting the act, and the measure of its 
guilt, is in proportion to the mischief which would arise by 
the general allowance of actions of the same sort. What- 
ever is expedient, is right. But then its expediency must be 
seen in all its ramifications, direct and f emote. By this habit 
of viewing the consequences of single acts, the intensity of 
crimes apparently insignificant is best seen, and the severity 
of laws, apparently inhuman, fully justified. 

For instance ; in coining or forgery, the particular mis- 
chief is the trifling loss of the sum to the person who received 
the counterfeit' money or forged paper ; the general mis- 
chief would be to abolish the use of money or of paper in 

In sheep or horse-stealing and burglary, the particular 
mischief is the loss of the sheep, or horse, or chattels, to its 
owner ; the general mischief would be the insecurity of any 
property necessarily exposed. 

In smuggling, the particular mischief is the trifling loss to 
the revenue from the duty unpaid; the general mischief 
would be the ruin of more honest traders in the same article 
who had paid the duty. 

In a captive's bresJ^ing his parole, the particular evil is 
his escape ; the general consequence of the act is the refusal 
of the indulgence of a parole to other captives. 

Hence, in many cases, the punishment for two diflerent 
commissions of a similar crime is the same, although the in- 
dividual injury done be not the same. For the general con- 

80 How may we estimate the general consequences of an act 1 

81 What objection has been brought against this 1 How is it an* 

82 In what respect must an action be expedient 1 

83 What will ^s habit of viewing consequences lead to 1 

84 Give the example in counterfeiting or forgery. In stealing, and in 
breaking into an uninhabited house. In smuggling. In parole break- 

85 What principle in human laws does this explain ? 


sequences may be the same from any two acts that differ 
only in degree. 

From the want of this distinction between a particular and 
a general consequence, the ancient moralists have been com- 
pelled to introduce a new rule of conduct, designated to pre" 
pon, or honestum ; by which they meant a measure of right 
distinct from utility. While the principle of utile corres- 
ponded to their notions of rectitude, they went by it ; but 
when that failed, they resorted to the other, honestum; and 
the only account they could give of the matter was, that acts 
similar to those detailed in chap. vi. might be useful ; but 
as they were not also honesta, they were not to be deemed 

There is a maxim in every body's mouth, and in most 
men's without meaning, **not to do evil, that good may 
come." The caution not to do a particular good through the 
violation of a general rule is salutary ; for the good would 
seldom balance the evil. But strictly speaking, if good 
comes, evil cannot, except as we have shown in the preceding 
views of particular and general consequences. To this it 
may be added, that if an act produces little effect as regards 
the many, so will the punishment of such act be little as re- 
gards the quantity of general misery. 


Right and obligation are reciprocal. Thus, if one man 
has a ** right" to an estate, others are ** obliged" to yield it 
up ; or if parents have a " right" to respect from their child- 
ren, the children are ** obliged" to pay it. 

Now as moral obligation depends on the will of God- 
•* right," the reciprocal to it, must depend on it also, and 
means, therefore, ** consistency with the will of God." 

Bat if "right" be only the will of God, how can we con- 
ceive that his acts, which are merely a manifestation of such 

86 What perplexity has been occasioned by the want of this distino- 

87 When was the rule of honestum brought in 1 

88 How did they: account for it 1 

89 What is said of the maxim, not to do evil that good may come 1 

90 What reflection b added to these remarks ? 

91 What is said of right and obligation 1 Illustrate. 

92 To what doctrine concerning riffht will this fact lead 1 

93 What question wiU this give rise to 1 How is it answered ? 



will, can be " wrong?" The answer is, that from the two prin- 
ciples, — that God wills the happiness of his creatures, and that 
his will is the measure of right, — we form in our minds cer- 
tain rules of right and wrong, which we habitually apply to 
aU acts, and finally even to those of the Deity himself; because 
at the time of the application we do not perceive that such 
rules are deduced from the Divine will itself. 

Right is a quality of persons or of acts ; of persons, as of 
a man who has a right to an estate, or of one who has not 
the right over his own life ; of acts, as of a state which has a 
right to punish murder by death, or of one which has not 
the right to punish a debtor by imprisonment. In the latter 
case, the definition which we gave above can be substituted 
directly for the term " right ;" as it is " right," or " consistent 
with the will of God," to punish murder with death. But 
when we speak of persons, the substitution is imperfect. 
Thus, in the expression, '* a man has a right to an estate," 
we can only mean, '* it is not inconsistent with the will of 
God" for such a man to have the estate in question. 


The rights, of persons are, i. Natural or adventitious; 
n. Alienable or inalienable ; iii. Perfect or imperfect. 

I. Natural rights are such as would belong to man not in 
a state of society ; adventitious are such as belong to man in 
a state of society. 

Natural rights are a man's right to life and liberty, to the 
use of his limbs and the produce of his labor, and to the en- 
joyment of air, light, and water ; for if any number of men 
were cast together on a desert land, they would all be entitled 
to these rights. 

Adventitious rights belong to a state of society which pos- 
sesses the right to make any and all laws for the regula- 
tion of such society ; none of which would exist iii a newly 
inhabited island. 

94 Of what is right a quality 1 

95 Explain it as a quality of persons. Of actions. 

96 When the term right is a quality of acts, what phrase may we use 
instead of it 1 

97 How must the phrase be varied when speaking of the rights of 
persons 1 

98 Of how many classes are the rights of persons ? 

99 What is the difference between natural and adventitious rights 1 
100 Grive a few examples of natural rights. Of adventitious rights. 


But how can adventitious rights be created by man, if 
right itself depends only on the will of God ? This question 
may be answered by appealing to the principle, that God 
wills the happiness of mankind. Consequently, acts, 
which lead to happiness in a social state, are right, although, 
as they do not produce the same efiect in a state not social, 
they would, out of civil society, be wrong. 

Hence, adventitious rights, made by men, are not less 
sacred than natural rights, ordained by God ; for both rest 
on the same foundation, — the will of the Creator. Hence, 
it would be no less sinful than it is illegal, to dispossess a 
man by violence of an estate for which he can show as a title 
the right of law ; although he cannot, as the twelve tribes 
could do, assert his claim to it as a gift from God. 

II, Rights are alienable or inalienable ; i. e. can or cannot 
be transferred from one person to another. 

The right possessed over things is alienable; over per- 
sons, inalienable. A man may transfer his cattle, for in- 
stance, to another, but not his wife. Thus, too, he may 
transfer his right to his own liberty, but not his ri^t over 
the liberty of other persons. 

in. Rights are perfect or imperfect. 

Perfect rights can be asserted by personal force, or the 
force of law ; imperfect cannot. For instance, a man may 
resist, by personal force or by the law, violence done in his 
own person, or in the destruction of bis house ; and can 
compel by law the restitution of an estate, or of portable 
goods, injuriously taken from him. On the other hand, im- 
perfect rights cannot be enforced. For instance, a poor man 
has a right to relief; yet if it be refused, he must not extort it. 
Children have a right to affection and care from their parents, 
and parents from their children ; yet if the rights be with- 
held on either side, they cannot be recovered compulsorily. 

But it may be asked, how can a person have a right to a 
thing, and yet want the right to use means to obtain it? 

101 What question naturally arises concerning adventitious rights? 
How is it answered 1 

102 What authority does this answer con&r upon adventitious rights? 

103 Give an example. 

104 What is the ^fierence between alienable and unalienable rights ? 

105 Give an example of their application. 

106 What is the difference between perfect and imperfect rights t 

107 Give an example of perfect rights. 106 Of imperfect rights* 
109 What difficull?^ attends the doctrine of imperfect rights 1 


The answer is by referring here, as elsewhere, to the princi- 
ple of the general rule, which forbids the use of force for the 
attainment of an object in itself indeterminate, through the 
fear of the consequence it would lead to, by the introduction 
of force in cases where no right existed. For instance, a 
candidate, the best qualified, has a right to success ; but as 
the qualifications are of an indeterminate nature, there must 
be some person to determine them before he can demand 
success by force. Now such person cannot be the candi- 
date himself, or any of his party, unless we extend the same 
allowance to other candidates. If we do that, all would re- 
sort to compulsion. In like manner, although the poor man 
has a right to relief, yet as the mode, time, and quantity of 
the relief are circumstances not ascertained, the relief must 
not be prosecuted by force. For to allow the poor to judge 
for themselves in such cases, would lead, as a consequence, 
to the general insecurity and loss of property. 

Where the right is imperfect, so is the obligation ; for the 
terms are, as shown before, reciprocal. 

Obligations are here called imperfect, because they are call' 
ed so by other writers. The term is, however, ill chosen ; for 
it leads to the notion, that there is less guilt in the violation 
of an imperfect obligation than of a perfect one ; which is a 
groundless opinion. For the degree of guilt is determined by 
circumstances unconnected with the distinction between a 
perfect and imperfect obligation ; that distinction being used 
merely to determine, whether violence may or may not be used 
to enforce the obligation. He who discourages a worthy 
candidate commits a greater crime than he who picks a 
pocket ; although, in the former case, he violates an imper- 
fect, but, in the latter, a perfect obligation. 

As positive precepts are often indeterminate, and as the in- 
determinateness of an obligation renders it imperfect, posi- 
tive precepts can merely produce an imperfect obligation ; 
and, contrariwise, negative precepts, being precise, consti- 
tute perfect obligations. The fifth commandment is posi- 
tive, and its duty is imperfect ; the sixth is negative, and its 

110 How is it solved 1 Illustrate by example. 

111 Of what kind is the obligation when the right is imperfect 1 

112 Is that a well chosen term 1 Why is it us^ 1 

1 13 What opinion does it lead to 1 Is that correct 1 Why ? 

114 What precepts produce imperfect obligations 1 Why ? 

115 Bo negative precepts have Uie same ejQfect ? Oive examples. 


duly perfect. Religion and virtue find their voluntary exer- 
cise among the former ; the laws of society compel the exer- 
cise of the latter. 


These rights, belonging collectively to the species^ are— 

1. To the fruits of the earth. 

The insensible parts of the creation are incapable of feel- 
ing hurt ; and as God has giv«n to man both the desire of 
food and the means of obtaining it ; he, of course, intended 
ns to use the fruits of the earth as food. 

2. To the flesh of animals. 

This is a different claim ; and, as a reason is necessary 
for depriving animals of their liberty and life, and for inflict- 
ing pain, to gratify the appetite ; it has been said,*— 1. That 
as brutes prey on each other, so man, a species of brute, 
only obeys the general law in preying on other brutes. 
2. That if animals were not destroyed by man, they would 
overrun the earth, and drive man from the occupation of it. 
But, first, the analogy between man and brutes is not cor- 
rect. Carnivorous brutes cannot liVie by other means, man 
can ; and, as in the case of the Hindoos, actually does live 
without tasting flesh of any kind. Secondly, the calculated 
increase of animals would not take place naturally ; since 
many are forced into existence for the express purpose of 
subsequent destruction. Besides, as in the case of fish, 
how is man's occupation of the earth endangered by their 
unlimited increase ? The only real defence of such a right 
is in the permission granted by God to Noah, in the words, 
« every moving thing shall be meat for you ; even as the 
green herb have I given you all things ;"— which last alone 
was included in the original grant to Adam, in the words— 
** every green herb shall be meat for you." But although 
this extension of the grant over the beasts of the earth, the 
fowls of the air, and fish of the sea, did not take place till 

116 What motives induce the fulfilment of either kind of obligations 1 

117 What is meant by general rights 1 

118 What is the first general right 1 How proved ? 

119 What is the second general right ? Is it evident ! 

120 What two reasons are given in vindication of it ? 

121 What is observed of the first reason 1 Of the second 1 

122 Where is our only permission of that right ! 

123 Was this given in the time of Adam 1 

F 2 


afler the flood, we are not told whether the antediluvians re- 
frained or not from the flesh of animals. Abel, we read, 
was a keeper of sheep ; but for what purpose, except for 
food, it is difficult to say, unless it were for sacrifices. If so, 
it is probable that Noah, with some other antediluvians, was 
scrupulous on this point, and consequently received a per- 
mission to do what he previously deemed sinful ; for God 
would not have given as a new grant, a permission to do 
what had been practised long before without dispute. But 
even such a permission to destroy will not warrant the liberty 
of studied or wanton cruelty to brutes. 

From reason, then, and revelation, it appears that God in- 
tended the fruits of the earth for man's support; but as he 
did not intend any waste or misapplication of those produc- 
tions, such acts are, like others more expressly mentioned, 
wrong, as contrary to God's will. Hence, the conversion 
of corn-fields into parks for deer, or covers for foxes ; the 
non-cultivation of lands by parties in possession, or the refu- 
sal to let them to those who will cultivate them ; the destruc- 
tion or waste of food with the view to increase the price of 
stocks on hand; the expending on superfluous dogs and 
horses the sustenance of man ; or the conversion of grain 
into ardent spirits. These, and, in short, all acts, by which 
the food of man is diminished either in quantity or quality, 
are sinful, as opposed to God's desire for the happiness of 
his creatures. 

This lesson Christ probably intended to inculcate, when 
he bade his disciples gather up the fragments, that nothing 
might be lost : and this lesson men ought to bear in mind, 
when scheming plans for their own individual advantage ; 
as they are apt to forget that it is their duty to obtain the 
greatest quantity of food from their estates, and that not to 
do so is a sin. 

From the same view of the intentions of the Deity, we 

124 Might it not be allowed without being incorporated with Scripture 
history 1 

125 With that supposition, what is the probable reason that the per- 
mission was given to Noah 1 

126 YIThat are we taught concerning the fruits of the earth 2 

127 What would oppose such intentions ? 

128 Give a few examples. 

129 What would be the nature of such acts 1 

130 What negligence would this lesson reprove 1 


prove that nothing ought to be exclusive property, that can 
be enjoyed in common. For example, two or more persons, 
thrown on a desert island, find an apple-tree loaded with 
fruit : each may take enough for his own immediate use, and 
every one plead the general intention of the Supreme Pro- 
prietor. But none can claim the whole tree ; for it must be 
previously shown that God intended the tree to be given to 
one or a few individuals. Now this intention can be proved 
only by showing that the fruit cannot be enjoyed with the 
same advantage when distributed to all, as when confined to 
one or a few. But this will be true only, when there is not 
enough for all, or where the article in question requires labor 
for its preservation and production. But where no such rea- 
son obtains, it is an usurpation of general right to confine the 
use to one or to a few.* 

If a medical spring, sufficient to supply all who wished 
to use it, were discovered on ground belonging to an indi- 
vidual ; the owner of the ground, and the discoverer of the 
spring, if it was found by laborious search, may merit 
compensation and reward ; but no human law would justify 
the owner in confining to himself the use of God's general 
gift. In like manner, all attempts to appropriate inexhausti- 
ble fisheries to individual nations is an encroachment on the 
general rights of man. 

On the same principle may be settled the contested ques- 
tion, whether the sea be free or not ? What is necessary 
for each nation's safety may be allowed, even to the extent 
of three leagues from the coast; a limit far beyond the 
reach of any implements of war, by which the safety of the 
coast might be endangered. 

3. The last universal right is the right of necessity ; that 
is, the right to use or destroy another's property, when it is 
necessary to do so for self-preservation. For instance, to 
take, without the leave, and against the consent of the owner, 
goods or chattels, when we are in danger of perishing 
through want of them ; a right to throw goods overboard to 
save a ship from sinking, or to pull down a house to stop the 

131 What seeiuB to be another intention of the Deity 1 

132 When can a reason be given to show that this is not his intention ? 

133 What is said of a medicinal spring 1 — of fisheries 1 — and of the 


1 34 What is the last universal right 1 

135 What is meant by that right 1 Give examples. 


progress of a fire. This right is founded on the principle, 
that the institutions relating to property were intended to 
benefit all, even if it should happen to be at the expense 
of a few ; and, consequently, Uie partial mischief result- 
ing from the violation of a general rule is overbalanced by 
the inunediate advantage. Restitution, however, is due, not 
to the full value of the property so destroyed, but to the value 
which it possessed at that time ; and as it was in danger of 
perishing, that value might be but little, 

186 On what is this right founded 1 

187 But what should always follow such destruction 1 
138 What amount of restitution would be due 1 





If you should see in a field of com a flock of pigeons, all 
of whom, save one, were engaged, not in choosing for them- 
selves the best food, but the worst, and reservingUhe best 
for that single pigeon, the weakest and perhaps the worst of 
the flock ; and if, while that single pigeon was devouring or 
wasting at pleasure, you should see, when another hungry 
and hardy pigeon touched a grain of the hoard, all the other 
pigeons fly on the intruder, and peck it to death ; you would 
then see nothing more than what is practised every day 
among men. In civilized society, many persons toil to find 
superfluities for one, sometimes the least deserving of his spe- 
cies ; and in the mean time get for themselves only the worst 
and smallest share, and quietly look on, while they see the 
fruits of their labor spent or spoiled by that single one or his 
minions. They will even join to hang a man, whose neces- 
sities may have led him to take the smallest particle from the 
hoard so unequally distributed. 


This institution, which, from the view just given of it, 
seems so unnatural, still possesses advantages enough to 
counterbalance its apparent absurdity. The principal advan- 
tages are the following. 

I. It increases the produce of the earth. 

In climates where the earth produces little without labor, 
no one would sow if all might reap. Hence, the spon- 
taneous productions of the earth, such as acorns, berries, 
game, and fish, would be the only food of its inhabitants ; 
and a handful of men would thus starve on waste lands, 

1 Illustrate the distribution of property by an example. 

2 How is the example applied 1 

3 What is said of the institution, seemingly so unnatural ? 

4 What is the first advantage 1 .Why so 1 * 

5 What would follow from not cultivating the earth 1 


which, if cultivated, would feed thousands. In soils natu- 
rally fertile, or on coasts where fish abound, and in climates 
where clothes are unnecessary, a large population may sub- 
sist without property in land ; but in less favored spots, the 
want of food arising from the want of institutions to secure 
property, leads people even to devour each other. 

II. It preserves the produce of the earth to maturity. 

If, under a system which is intended to be favorable to 
the security of property, we find the fruit of a tree which is 
exposed to depredation always plucked before it is ripe ; it 
is fair to infer that, where there is a community of property, 
com, if sown, would never be permitted to come to maturity, 
nor would lambs and calves grow up to sheep and cows ; 
because each would think he had better take what he could 
get, than leave it to another to enjoy. 

III. It prevents contests. 

Where there is not enough for all, and where no rules 
exist to settle the share of each, it is plain that contests 
alone can regulate the distribution. 

IV. It improves the conveniences of life. 

As each man is secure in the produce of his own labor, he 
is enabled to direct his attention to a particular art, and to ex« 
change the productions of that art for those of another. 
Thus is introduced the subdivision of labor, by which each 
man becomes a proficient in his own art, which he could not 
be, if his time were taken up by all the different occupations 
necessary to his subsistence. By this arrangement, articles 
of necessity and ornament are improved in their manufac- 
ture ; and as new wants are created, fresh exertions are made 
and remunerated ; so that they, who are the worst off where 
the laws of property prevail, are better off than the best are 
where all things are in common. 

6 Where would this state of things be not disadvantageous 1 

7 What has it led to in some situations I 

8 What is the second advantage 1 

9 By what example is this proved ? What inference from it 1 

10 What is the third advantage 1 

1 1 Would there be contests if there were no right to property 1 
19 What is the fourth advantage 1 

18 What preliminary step for that does it occasion ? 
14 What does the entire attention to one art occasion 1 
16 What is the result of this arrangement 1 

16 Then wbat^inion may we {orm concerning those who aze ssb* 
Ject to the institution of property 1 

CHAIP. m. HlSTOftY 0I» PROT^RTY. 71 

The great inequality of property which is found in civi- 
lized nations, abstractedly considered, is an evil ; but it is an 
evil which flows from a greater good ; and is to be rectified 
only when it is unconnected with such good. 


The first objects of property were the fruits a man gathered, 
and the animaJs he caught ; then the hut he built, and the 
tools and weapons he made ; and, subsequently, his flocks 
and herds. Even Abel, the second from Adam, was a keeper 
of sheep, which, with oxen, asses, and camels, composed 
the wealth of the patriarchs, as they now do that of the 
Arabs. The next object of property was probably a well of 
water ; which, in the countries of the east where the world 
was first peopled, was from its value a source of frequent 
contenlions ;* and to dig or discover one was deemed an act 
worthy of honorable record. Land, at present so important 
as to be alone called real property, was, when more plentiful, 
little thought of; but as the people increased, and tillage 
was resorted to, it rose in value. The first partition of an 
estate on record is that which took place between Abram 
and Lot; and the terms of it are the most simple : ** If thou 
wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right ; or if thou 
depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left." 

There are no traces of property in land in Caesar*s account 
of Britain ; little in the history of patriarchal times ; and none 
of it is found amongst the savages of America or of Australia. 
Even the ancient Scythians, who appropriated houses ^d 
cattle, are expressly said to have left their lands in common. 

Even for some time property in immovables was confined 
to temporary occupancy : for as soon as a man quitted his 
hut or cave, and the feeding ground of his cattle ; another en- 
tered on them by the same title as his predecessor. It is pro- 
bable that a permanent property in lands, not cultivated by 


17 Wliat is our final opinion of inequality of property 1 

18 Mention the first objects of property, one after another. 

19 What was the next object of proper^, and why was it mado sol 

50 What is said of land ? What is the first partition of land 1 

51 In what history are there no accounts of landed property 1 
22 What was the tenure of property in immovables originally 1 

* Gen. xxi. 25 ; xxvi. 18. 


the resident proprietor or his agents, was first settled by the 
laws of the people, or the will of the ruler alone. 


To explain the right of property in land, consistently with 
the law of nature, is no easy task : for as the land was once 
common to all, by what right could any part of it be taken 
by one person, to the exclusion of all others ? 

Many different and consequently unsatisfactory reasons 
have been given. 

One says that the right of the first possessor rested on the 
tacit consent given by his contemporaries to such possession, 
which consent, being once granted, could not be revoked by 
the relinquishing parties. 

But consent cannot be presumed from silence, where the 
party said to be consenting knows nothing of the matter in 
question. It is true, the parties in the neighborhood of the 
spot where such appropriation took place, might have con- 
sented : but that very consent is as much an infringement 
on the general rights of mankind as the occupancy of the in- 
dividual himself ; and cannot bind other portions of mankind 
who are ignorant of such transactions between the appropri- 
ator and his neighbors. 

Locke says, that the right to property rests on the nataral 
right of a man to the produce of his own labor ; for by cul- 
tivation consequent on the occupancy, the labor bestowed on 
the^ soil is so mixed up with it, that the man cannot be de- 
prived of one without the loss of the other which is mani- 
festly his own. 

But this reason will hold good only where the value of the 
labor gives nearly the whole value to the ground ; as in the 
case of a waste, which a man should pare, burn, and plough 
for the growth of corn not previously produced ; or where the 
labor confers the greatest part of the value, as in the case of 

23 How did such property first become permanent 1 

24 What is said of the right of property in connection with the law 
of nature? 

25 Has there ever been any explanation 1 

26 What is the first account of it ? 

27 What is said of this reason 1 

28 What reason is given by Locke 1 

29 When is this reason applicable 1 


game or fish, which, till caught, are of no value to anybody. 
But the right to possess, founded on the labor bestowed, can 
give no right to the possession of a tract of country as is 
claimed by discoverers, or to the fencing in of a piece of 
ground for a cattle pasture, or to hold in perpetuity even a 
farm when the cultivation and its effects shall have ceased. 

Another and better reason is, that, as God has provided 
the ground for all, he has given leave to any to take what he 
pleases, (if not previously possessed,) without any kind of 
consent from others. 

But this permission can apply only to so much as would 
yield the necessaries of life ; and not to any superfluous 
wealth which may be enjoyed by the individual, at the ex- 
pense of others, who, by such appropriation, may be pinched 
for food. 

Such are the reasons usually assigned; but were they 
perfectly unexceptionable, they would scarcely vindicate the 
present claim to a right of property in land, unless it were 
also shown that the possession did actually take place in 
some of the ways here supposed, and that justice has been 
done in every subsequent transmission. , For if one link in 
this evidence fail, no title posterior to such failure can be 
held to be good. 

The real foundation of our right is the law of the land. 
God intended the earth for man's use. This intention can- 
not be fulfilled without establishing property ; he therefore 
willed the institution of property. But such institution can- 
not be effected, if the law of the land does not regulate the 
distribution ; consequently it is " right," or consistent with 
the will of God, for any individual to possess as much as the 
law of the land gives him. And, consequently, as the right 
does not depend on the manner or justice of the original 
acquisition, nor its subsequent transmission ; so neither can it 
be taken away for any defect in the title which is not cogni- 
zable by law. 

30 Is it suited to every case 1 

31 What better reason has been given ] 

32 How far will this apply, and how far will it not ? 

33 How far will all these reasons affect our present claims 1 

34 What is the real foundation of our right in landed property 1 

35 In our argument for this, what do we suppose to be the intention 
of the Deity 1 

36 After supposing this, mention the train of reasoning that showa 
our right to be perfect 1 37 What foik>ws from this proof 1 



Nor does the owner's right depend on the expediency of 
the law. An estate on one side of a brook may descend to 
the eldest son, on the other side to all the children conjoint- 
ly. The claims of both inheritances are founded equally in 
law, though the expediency of the law itself cannot be the 
same in both cases. 

But it will be said, that as the right of property depends 
only on the law of the land, a man may rightfiilly keep 
whatever the law will not compel him to restore ; and by 
this rule, since, in some states, if a debt be not demanded for 
six years the law exonerates Uie debtor, he is not bound in 
duty to pay it ; or if a minor contracts a debt which the law 
will not compel him to pay, he is not only legally but mo- 
rally relieved from paying it. 

The answer in this and similar cases, is that no rule of 
law, intended for one purpose, is to be applied to another. 
For instance, this limitation of time was intended to protect 
men from demands so antiquated that the evidence of their 
discharge was probably lost. If then a man be ignorant or 
doubtful on this point, he may with strict justice plead in bar 
the legal limitation, but not, if he knows the debt to be undis- 
charged ; because in the one case he does, in the other does 
not, apply the law for the purpose for which it was intended. 
Again, in the case of the minor, the limitation of the law 
was intended to guard the inexperience of youth against im- 
positions. If, therefore, a minor has contracted a debt, 
which carries with it the suspicion of imposition on the part 
of the creditor, he may justly plead his minority ; but not 
so, if there be no such ground of objection. 

As property is the principal subject of " the determinate 
relative duties,*' it has been first discussed. From these 
we proceed to 


1. Whence the obligation to perform promises arises. 

2. In what sense promises are to be interpreted. 

3. In what cases promises are not binding. 

38 What effect upon the owner's right has the utility of the law ? 
Give examples. 

39 To what conclusion would thb lead at first thought ? Examples. 

40 What is the application of such laws? 

41 What arc the three subjects of debate in the article of promises % 


I. The advocates of a moral sense suppose the obligation 
to keep promises an innate sense : but, as this is disputed, 
vfe may easily deduce the necessity of the obligation from 
its utility. 

Men act from expectation, which is generally determined 
by the assurances of others. Unless, then, such assurances 
are certain, the conduct which they regulate must be uncer- 
tain also. To prevent, therefore, the dependence of conduct 
on chance, a confidence in promises is essential to social in- 
tercourse. But there would be no confidence in promises, 
unless men were obliged to perform them. The perform- 
ance, therefore, being essential to general happiness, becomes 
an obligation. 

But it has been said, that if promises were never kept, a 
general distrust would take place equally useful. But this 
has been said by those who do not perceive how much in 
every hour man must and does trust to others. On the 
strength of such confidence each man regulates his actions ; and 
the very dinner we eat depends on the trust we repose in the 
butcher to send the meat as ordered in, the cook to dress it, 
and the servant to put it on the table by a stated time. And 
Bo in the most important events of life, the intervention of 
promises and the necessity of keeping them, are really not 
greater than in these familiar occurrences, though the acci- 
dental circumstance of form causes them to appear so. 

[On this subject Mr. Dymond says, ** Doubtless fulfilment 
is expedient ; but there is a shorter and a safer road to truth. 
To promise and not to perform, is to deceive ; and deceit is 
peculiarly and especially comdemned by Christianity. A 
lie has been defined to be *a breach of promise ;' and since 
the Scriptures condemn lying, they condemn breaches of pro- 


II. In what sense promises are to be interpreted. 

Where a promise admits of more interpretations than one, 

42 Whence arises the obligation to perform promises ? 

43 What la the first proposition towards the proof of thisi What 

44 What does this show to be essential 1 And in what only way 
can it be obtained 1 

45 How may some suppose that expediency might lead to the con- 
trary 1 46 What answer may be given to lliis 1 

47 What does Dymond say of this obligation 1 

48 In what sense are promises to be interpreted 1 


it is to be perfonned " in the sense in which the promiser 
apprehended that the promisee received it." 

The sense which the promiser actually intended to act 
by^ cannot always govern the interpretation of an equivocal 
promise ; because, at that rate, the promiser might raise ex- 
pectations even intentionally, which he would not be under 
obligation to satisfy. Much less can it be the sense in 
which the promisee actually received the promise ; for then 
the promiser might be drawn into engagements which might 
never enter his mind. It must, therefore, be taken in the 
remaining sense, viz. that in which the promiser believed 
the promisee accepted it. It is evident that this last sense 
will always agree with the intention of the promiser, except 
where a collusion is intended through the equivocal nature 
of the words of the engagement. 

Temures promised the garrison of Sebastia, that if they 
would surrender, no blood should be shed. The garrison 
surrendered, and Temures buried them all alive. But al- 
though the agreement was kept literally, still as it was not 
kept in the sense in which Temures knew the garrison re- 
ceived it, he was guilty of a breach of promise. 

Since, then, the obligation to perform a promise depends 
on the expectation knowingly excited ; any act likewise, by 
which expectations are designedly raised, partakes of the 
nature of a direct promise, and creates a similar obligation 
for its due performance. He, for instance, who takes a poor 
child, and educates him to fill the situation of a child not 
poor, is bound to give him the means to fill such situation, 
as much as if he had directly promised to do so. And a 
minister of state, who by his complaisance raises in a de- 
pendant an expectation of patronage, is bound by such notice 
to provide for the dependant. 

On this principle rests the obligation of tacit promises. 

An intention may be declared either simply, or conjointly 
with an engagement to perform. In the former, the duty is 

49 Why not in the sense of the promiser's intended acts 1 Give 
examples. 60 Why not in the sense the promisee received it ? 
61 What is evident concerning the rule that we have given 1 
61 What is said about a mere act? Give examples. 
52 What are such acts called 1 

63 May an intention be declared in one manner only 1. 
54 What is said of a simple declaration ? 


satisfied, if you were sincere at the time, though the inten- 
tion be subsequently changed : in the latter, the power to 
change exists no longer.. But, in popular understanding, 
most declarations of present intention amount to absolute 
promises. If, therefore, there is a wish of reserving a liberty 
to change, such declarations should be qualified by such ex- 
pressions as, at present, if I do not alter, or the like. And, 
after all, a wanton change of intention, as it has excited some 
expectation, is always wrong. 

III. In what cases promises are not binding. 

1. Promises are not binding where the performance is im- 

This excuse for non-performance is valid only, if the im- 
possibility be unknown to the promiser when he makes the 
promise; otherwise, he is guilty of fraud in leading the pro- 
misee to expect what he, the promiser, knows cannot be 
performed ; as in the case of a father, who promises a mar- 
riage gift with his daughters, when he knows that his whole 
property is secretly mortgaged. In such cases, as the pro- 
mise cannot be performed in fact, the promiser must repair 
the loss done to the promisee from such non-performance. 
When the promiser himself occasions the impossibility, he 
is guilty of a direct breach of promise ; as, for instance, 
when a soldier maims himself to get discharged. 

2. Promises are not binding where the performance is un- 

1. Where the illegality is known. 

If, for instance, a person promises to murder another, or 
betray his interests ; as the performance would be an unlaw- 
ful act, the engagement is void from its commencement, in 
consequence of a prior engagement not to do such act. 
There may be guilt in making such promises, but there can 
be none in breaking them. And moreover, if in the interval 
between the promise and its performance^ any illegality 
presents itself, the promise ought to be broken. 

54 What is said of an engagement ? 

65 What is said of most declarations of present intention ? 

56 Is it right to change our intention when once made known 1 

57 What is the first case in which promises are not hinding 1 

58 What is said of this excuse 1 Give an example. 

59 Suppose the promiser himself occasions the impossibility 1 

60 What is the second case in which promises are not binding ? 

61 Give an example of a case where the illegality is known at the 
time of promise. 62 What is said of such cases ? 



2. Where the illegality is not known. 

If, for instance, a woman promises marriage ; but, previous 
to the marriage, discovers that her intended husband has al- 
ready a wife living, the promise becomes void : for, as it 
was given and received on the supposition that the perform- 
ance was lawful, the legality becomes a condition of the 
promise, and on its failure the obligation ceases. So ia the 
case of Herod's promise to his daughter-in-law, the promise 
was not unlawful, in the sense in which Herod intended it 
to be taken ; but the illegality attending its literal perform- 
ance discharged Herod from the obligation of such perform- 
ance in consequence of a superior previous obligation. 

The rule that promises are void when the performance is 
unlawful, extends also to imperfect obligations. (Book ii. 
chap, iii.) Thus, if a vote be promised to one candidate, 
and on the appearance of a better, it is found that the elec- 
tors are bound by oath to select the most deserving, the pre- 
vious obligation of the oath cancels the obligation of the pro- 

The specific performance of promises is a perfect obli- 
gation ; and some moralists have decided, that where a 
perfect and imperfect obligation clash, the imperfect must 
yield ; whereas, in such a case, the obligation which is prior 
in time ought to prevail. 

As the validity of a promise is destroyed by the unlawful- 
ness of its performance and not of the motives which led to 
it ; it frequently happens that the first condition of a con- 
tract is not obligatory, but the promised recompense is, if 
that first condition be fulfilled. Thus, the promised reward 
of a crime should be paid after the crime is committed ; for 
after the mischief has been once done, it is not increased by 
the payment -of the reward. Hence, if the motive be even 
criminal, the obligation is not canceled ; as in the case of a 
person, who, having promised to marry a woman after the 

63 Give an example, in which the illegality is unknown at the tune 
of promise. 

64 Why does the obligation cease in such cases ? 

65 What celebrated promise was of this kind, and what is said of it 1 

66 To what does this rule extend? Give an example. 

67 What if two obligations are contradictory 1 

68 What follows from the second rule of canceling promises ? Give 
an example. 

69 What is tKe obligation of a promise that is made with a criminal 
jmotive ? Give an example. 


death of his wife, then sick, refused, when the wife was 
dead, to fulfil the engagement ; — correctly, said a moralist, to 
Mrhom the case was referred ; but incorrecdy, on the princi- 
ples stated above. For, though the motives might be im- 
moral which led to the promise, its performance was law- 
ful, and therefore obligatory. 

A promise cannot be deemed unlawful where it produces, 
"when performed, no effect beyond what would have taken 
place had no such promise been made. Hence promises of 
secrecy ought not to be violated, although the public would 
derive advantage from the discovery. For, as the informa- 
tion would not have been imparted on any other condition, 
the public do not lose by the performance of the promise, 
any thing which they would have gained without it. 

3. Promises are not binding when they contradict a former 
promise. ■ 

Because the performance would be then unlawful. 

4. Promises are not binding before acceptance, i.e. before 
the promisee has knowledge of it. 

For the obligation to perform rests on the known expec- 
tation raised. But there can be no expectations, where 
there is no knowledge of the promise. Nor is the perform- 
ance obligatory, even if the promisee has obtained a know- 
ledge of the promise, but through the medium of a party not 
empowered to communicate it : for that which constitutes 
the essence of a promise is here wanting, an expectation 
raised voluntarily. 

5. Promises are not binding when they are released by 
the promisee. 

This is evident ; although it may not be evident who the 
promisee is. The doubt may however be solved by consi- 
dering that if a promise be given to A direct, for the benefit 
of B, then A is the promisee ; but if to A only indirectly, as 
a messenger to convey the promise to B, then B is the pro- 

70 What fulfilment of a promise is not unlawful, let the consequences 
be what they may 1 Mention a case. 

71 What is the third case in which promises are not binding 1 

72 What is the fourth case 1 Whyl 

73 But suppose the promisee has been informed of the promise 1 

74 What is the fifth case ia which promises are not binding ? 

75 What doubt may arise here 1 

76 How may it be solved 1 


Promises to one person for the benefit of another are not 
released by the death of the promisee ; for his death neither 
makes the performance impossible, nor implies his consent 
to release the promiser. 

6. Erroneous promises are not binding. 

1. TV here the error proceeds from the misrepresentation 
of the promisee. 

For instance, a beggar solicits charity by a story of distress, 
and a promise of relief is given. But previous to the per- 
formance of the promise, the distress is found to be ficti- 
tious. The promise is canceled. For it was given on the 
supposition of the truth of the story ; but that condition fail- 
ing, the promise ceases to be obligatory. In like manner, 
the business of an office has been represented to a person, 
and he makes a promise to undertake it ; but if the labor be 
greater than the promisee represented, the promiser is re- 

2. When the promise is given on a supposition not abso- 
lutely expressed, but understood both by the promiser and 
promisee ; and that supposition turns out to be false. 

For instance, if a father, hearing the news of his son's 
death, promises to make his nephew his heir, he is, on the 
news proving false, released from his promise ; because, as 
the nephew knew that the promise was in reality condi- 
tional though not so expressed, the ejcpectations raised were 
subject to a condition which formed an essential part of the 

In other cases, no errors on the part of thie promiser can 
cancel the engagement. For example, a vote is promised 
to one candidate ; afterwards another offers himself, whom 
the promiser would prefer ; but his vote must follow his pro- 
mise, ninless the last candidate is actually better. See 
page 78?] The error was on the part of the promiser, who 
must abide by his error : the promisee, who made no mis- 
take, must not suffer by it : as the promise was given with- 

77 What would be the obligation if the promisee in the fiiBt csfie 
should die! Whyl 

78 What is the sixth class of promises that are not binding 1 

79 What is the first kind of erroneous promises 1 

80 Why should they be canceled 1 Give examples. 

81 What is the second kind of erroneous promises ? 

82 Why are such promises not binding 1 Give examples. 

83 What if the error is only on the part of the promiser 1 Give 


out a condition, it cannot be affected by a subsequent event. 
Hence, if a man promises a certain fortune with his daugh- 
ter, he is bound to perform the promise, even though his 
means be less than he thought them to be when he made the 

The case, however, of erroneous promises is attended 
with this difficulty, that if every mistake be allowed, the 
rule becomes too loose ; but if the rule be drawn too tight, 
the result must be hardship and absurdity in its application. 

Whether promises whi(fli are extorted by fear are binding, 
has been long held as a doubtful point. For as the obliga- 
tion of all promises rests on the utility of mutual confidence, 
whatever tends to check that confidence is wrong ; but if, 
on the other hand, such confidence leads to general mischief, 
it ought not to be insisted on ; and it is in the balance of op- 
posite good and evil that the difficulty rests. For instance, 
a man, threatened with death, saves his life on his promise 
to give the threatener at a future day a sum of money. 
This safety is a good consequence of the confidence which 
is. placed by the promisee in the promiser. But the per- 
formance of promises thus extorted by fear, leads to a repe- 
tition of such acts of violence. This is a bad consequence. 
Between these two consequences moralists have to choose— 
a choice not yet decided on. QBut is this not settled by rule 
2, page 79 ?] 

In other cases, where a prisoner is suffered to go at large 
on promise of good behavior, such a promise is binding, not, 
as some moralists say, because the imprisonment is just, but 
because the utility of confidence in such promises is the 
same as the utility of confidence in the promises of persons 
at liberty. 

Promises to God are called vows. The obligation to 
keep them depends, not on the principle which regulates 
other promises, but on the want of reverence to the Deity, 
which want is indicated by their non-performance. 

The Scriptures give no encouragement to make vows, 
much less to break them when made. The few vows we 

84 What difficulty is attendant on this kind of promises 1 

85 What is thought of promises that are extorted by fear 1 

86 What is the argument for the affirmative 1 For the negative 1 

87 Apply these arguments to an example. 

88 What is a plainer case in extorted promises 1 

' 89 What are vows 1 And why should they be kept ? 
90 Is there Scriptural authority for vows T 

Contracts of < 


read of in the New Testament were religiously observed. 
Of Jephthah's vow, as commonly understood, the obligation 
was not binding ; because, by its performance, an act pre- 
viously unlawful was committed. 


A contract is a mutual promise. Therefore, the law which 
regulates promises regulates contracts also. 

Hence, as in promises the obligation is measured by the 
expectation raised voluntarily by the promiser; so in 
contracts, whatever is expected on one side, and known to 
be so expected on the oUier, is a condition essential to the 

The several kinds of contracts may be exhibited at one 
view, thus :— 



J r. 5 Inconsumable Property 

LK)an 01 ^ Money. 

T , J Commissions. 

Labor. ^ Partnerships. 



The rule which requires to be most strictly inculcated 
18, that the seller is bound to disclose the faults of what he 
offers for sale. 

To tell a direct falsehood in recommendation of our 
wares, is confessedly an immoral act. And from this we 
argue that concealing the truth, by not saying that they pos- 
sess the bad qualities which they do, is likewise an immoral 
act. Because, as the moral qualities of actions differ only 
in their motives and effects ; if the motives and effects be the 
same, the actions also are, morally speaking, the same. But 
as in these cases the motives are the same, viz. benefit to the 
seller from the higher price ; and the effects the same, viz. 
injury to the buyer from an inferior article, or at least not 

91 What ia a contract 1 — and by what law is it reg^iilated 1 

92 What should always be considered as a condition in a bargain 1 

93 Name the several kinds of contracts. 

94 What is an important rule of justice in contracts of sale 1 

95 From what do we deduce this fact 1 How do we prove it ? 


such as the representation warranted ; it is manifestly as 
much a fraud to magnify the qualities of wares, as to con- 
ceal their defects. 

The obligation is greater, and, if that is performed, the 
honesty greater also, to tell the truth, when the goods are 
such that the faults cannot be detected except by their use. 

From this charge of dishonesty are to be excepted sales of 
goods, where the silence of the seller implies some fault in 
the article ; as in the case of a horse sold without warranty, 
on which account it brought an abated price. 

Connected with this principle of dishonesty is the prac- 
tice of passing off bad money. For this act it has been 
pleaded, that, as it was received for good, it may be passed 
for good ; a plea similar to that given by a person, who 
having been robbed himself, reimbursed his loss by robbing 

When no monopoly or combination exists, the market 
price is always the fair price ; which may, therefore, be 
fairly demanded. Hence, to say provisions are at an un- 
reasonable price, is an absurdity ; for if the price were un- 
reasonable, none would give it. 

If a man asks for goods more than the market price, 
such a demand is deemed dishonest ; yet, as the goods are 
the man's own property, he may say he has a right to put 
what value he pleases on them. Still, as the very act of 
tendering goods for sale carries with it the implied condition 
of their being to be sold at the market price, and as he knows 
that customers enter his shop with that belief; he is bound 
to sell them at such a price, unless there be a specific un- 
derstanding between the parties of a contrary nature ; and in 
that case, any price may be asked without any imputation 
of dishonesty. 

If the article sold be accidentally destroyed or injured 
between the sale and delivery, the loss must fall on the party 

06 What renders the obligation more necessary 1 

97 In what cases is it not dishonest to be silent of faults 1 

98 What has been pleaded for passing- counterfeit money ? 

99 Is it a good plea 1 

100 How should we determine the price of a commodity 1 

101 Why may one suppose a higher demand is not dishonest 1 

102 How can you prove that it is dishonest 1 

103 When may a person ask a higher price than customary 1 

104 Afler a thing is sold, on whom must M\ any loss that may hap- 
pen to it ? 


who undertook the risk of its safe custody. For instance, 
if, after the purchase, the seller offers to deliver it, and the 
safe delivery forms a part of his responsibility ; on its 
failure, payment may be resisted or reclaimed. But if the 
buyer requests the seller to keep charge of the article, he 
takes the responsibility on his own shoulders, and cannot 
resist or reclaim payment, except for injury done wilfully. 

But in this, as in other cases, custom determines, if not 
more correctly, at least more effectually, than casuists can. 
Not that custom of itself possesses any authority to decide 
between right and wrong ; but only that the contracting par- 
ties are presumed to have in view all the tacit conditions of 
similar contracts. Hence, frequently, by custom alone can 
it be decided, at what moment the risk of the buyer ends, 
and that of the seller commences. 


By contracts of hazards are meant Gaming and Insu- 

Some say that one side in this kind of contracts ought not 
to have any advantage over the other ; but this is scarcely 
possible. For that perfect equality of skill and judgment, 
which this rule requires, is seldom, if ever, to be met with. 
Nor is it requisite, if practicable. For one party may, it ne 
pleases, give the whole stake, and of course ^part of it; or, 
in other words, he may assent to the natural inequality of the 
parties, and allow to his opponent an advantage in the chance 
of winning the whole. 

The proper restriction is, that neither side have an advan- 
tage unknown to the other. For though the event be still 
uncertain, such advantage has i& value ; and so much of the 
stake as that value amounts to, is taken from the other party 
without his knowledge or consent. Tf, for instance, in a 
game of whist, one party has greater skill ; the other knows 
that such a superiority is possible, and takes his measures 

106 Give an example for each side ? 

106 How are such cases generally determined 1 Why 1 

107 What are contracts of hazaid 1 

108 What has been thought of this kind of contracts 1 

109 Can that well happen 1 Why 1 

110 Is it actually necessary, if it could happen 1 Why t 

111 What is a proper restriction 1 Why 1 


accordingly. But if the superiority be not in skill, but in 
acts unknown to, a^d not even suspected by, the other, such 
as looking into his opponent's hand, or making concerted 
signals with his partner, the advantage is an act of disho- 
nesty, and the contract to pay the loss is void. And so in 
other cases where chance enters, all advantage obtained, ex- 
cept from sources which one party previous to the contract 
knew or suspected that the other might possess, vitiates the 
contract. Hence, in the case of insurances, where the under- 
writer enters on the risk, dependent solely on the represen- 
tations of the insured, if such representations be designedly 
incorrect, the policy becomes void ; because the insured has 
not, in fact, completed his part of the contract, which is to 
tell the whole truth. 


When the article lent is to be itself restored, as a book or 
horse, the loan is of property inconsumable ; in contradis- 
tinction to consumable property, when not the thing itself, 
but its value is to be returned, as money, or articles in their 
nature perishable. 

If the article which is lent be damaged, the loss of the da- 
mage will fall on the lender, provided such damage occur by 
using the article in the proper manner, for such purposes as 
the article was lent for ; because the lender contemplated 
the possibility of such damage previous to lending. But if 
the damage accrue by the negligence of the borrower in the 
use of the article lent, or in its misapplication to other and 
new purposes, the borrower must sustain the loss ; for here 
the lender neither knew nor suspected such misapplication 
of the loan. 

In the case of an estate or house lent on lease for a term 
of years, the increase or diminution of its value may be such 
as to make the rent a positive gain or loss either to the land- 

112 Give an example of honest and dishonest advanta^. 

113 Does this principle hold in all contracts of hazard 1 

1 14 How will it apply to insurances 1 
116. What is inconsumable property"? 

116 On whom must the damage of such property fall 1 

117 In what cases will the borrower be accountable for it 1 

118 What case may be stated, in which the value may be eventually 
increased or diminished ? 



lord or to the tenant. To ascertain to whom the advantage or 
disadvantage belongs, we must inquire if the alteration was 
expected by the parties. For if so, the hirer must take the 
consequences of benefit or loss ; if not, the owner. For in- 
stance, as the uncertainty of produce in successive seasons 
is expected by both parties, the hirer both receives the bene- 
fit of a good, and suffers the loss of a bad season. But if 
the loss be occasioned by an event, which the parties could 
neither foresee nor avert, as any convulsion of nature, or the 
irruption of an enemy, the loss shall fall on the owner ; who, 
in like manner, is to receive the benefit that might arise 
from similar unexpected changes. This determination rests 
on the reason that events foreseen form a part of the eon- 
tract ; but that with respect to events not foreseen, the con- 
tract is as if none had been made. 


The loan of money, like that of other property convertible 
into money, may be paid for. 

The objection to usury or interest, (for they formerly meant 
the same,) once prohibited by law in Christendom, arose 
from the Mosaic enactment ; ** Thou shalt not lend on usury 
to thy brother. To a stranger thou mayest lend." Deut. 
xxiii. 19, 20. But this prohibition is now supposed to be a 
part of the polity intended peculiarly for that nation, which 
was calculated to preserve in the same family its share of 
the property originally distributed to each tribe ; and it is 
therefore ranked in the same class with the law which required 
a man to marry his brother's widow if left childless, and with 
another law which enacted that in the year of jubilee, alien- 
ated estates should revert to the original proprietor. 

I'his interpretation is confirmed by the distinction made 
between the brother and 9 stranger ; a distinction which God 
would hardly have made, had he intended the law to be of 
universal application. 

The Roman law once allowed twelve per cent, as the rate 
of interest, but Justinian afterwards reduced it to four. In 

119 What is the rule of justice in such cases 1 Give an example* 

120 Why do we arrive at this determination 1 

121 What is thought of the law of Moses that prohibits interest 1 

122 How is this interpretation confirmed 1 

123 What have heen the rates per cent. 1 


the reign of Elizabeth, the first act which tolerated usury- 
restrained the rate to ten per cent., which, in the time of 
James I., was reduced to eight ; then, by Charles II. to six, 
and by Anne to five, on pain of forfeiture of treble the amount. 
[|In the United Stales the rate is generally six per cent., 
though in some states it is seven.] 

The policy of these regulations is to give the borrowers 
the power to obtain aid at a moderate rate, and to guard 
them against the extortions of avaricious money-lenders. 

Compound interest, though sometimes forbidden by law, 
is not contrary to natural equity; for if interest has been any 
time due, it is actually a sum lent. 

Whoever borrows money is bound to repay it ; and in 
order to effect such repayment, he is also bound to make 
every sacrifice of a pecuniary kind, by turning into money all 
available assets, lessening his family expenses, and employ- 
ing all the lawful means he can devise, the moment he per- 
ceives no reasonable prospect of satisfying his creditor with- 
out such sacrifice. Nor has the debtor the right to delay the 
repayment ; for by such delay the creditor depends on the 
uncertain contingency of the debtor's life ; a condition which 
neither party anticipated originally in the contract for the loan. 

The law which authorizes the imprisonment of an insol- 
vent debtor has been represented as a gratuitous cruelty, 
which benefits neither the creditor nor community. If the 
incarceration of the debtor were merely to satisfy the credi- 
tor's feelings of revenge, the motive and the act would be 
equally unjustifiable. But if it be viewed as a public punish- 
ment, its justice will be apparent. The frauds relating to 
insolvency are as necessary to be punished as frauds of 
other kinds. Nor is the obstinacy of debtors who will not 
pay their debts when they can, less deserving of punish- 
ment. The only question is, whether the power of imprison- 
ment should rest with the exasperated creditor. Now the 

124 What is the intention in making these rules ? 

125 Is compound interest lawful 1 

126 To what management is a borrower bound 7 

127 Has he the right of procrastination in payment 1 Why 1 

128 What has been thought of imprisoning debtors 7 

129 When is it wrong 1 When is it just 1 Why? 

130 Why should the power of punishment be in the hands of the cre- 

88 ki:lative duties. book rii. 

frauds are so various and versatile, that discretionaiy power 
alone can reach them ; nor will such power be effectually 
exercised, unless intrusted to the creditor alone. 

But as imprisonment is a punishment, and as punishment 
presupposes crime, the imprisonment for insolvency, w^hen 
such insolvency is the result of acts over which the debtor 
had not any or only a small control, is a manifest wrong ; 
and for a creditor, provoked by such loss, to relieve his own 
pain by inflicting a greater on the creditor, is inhuman. 

Any alteration of the law, which should distinguish be- 
tween fraudu'ent or non-fraudulent acts of insolvency, would 
be an improvement ; but a total repeal of the law would be a 
greater hardship to the needy than even its present rigor. 
For as the power to coerce is a kind of security to the credi- 
tor, the loss of that, as in the case of a repeal, must be sup- 
plied by some other security, which the needy, though honest, 
would be unable to give, and therefore would be deprived 
of the aid of the loan. Now as persons without capital must 
buy on credit before they can sell ; in the absence of loans, 
both he who has and he who wants the funds for trading 
would be unemployed. Hence, a greater evil would accrue 
from the sufferings of the niney-nine wanting a loan, than 
from those of the remaining hundredth, who, after having 
obtained a loan, becomes insolvent, and is then left to the 
vengeance of an exasperated creditor. 


In this country, service of citizens is voluntary and by 
contract. But as the contract involves many particulars as 
to work, food, treatment, and indulgences, as well as pecu- 
niary recompense ; only a few leading points are noticed in 
the contract, and the rest are left to the known custom in 
such cases. 

A servant is not bound to obey the unlawful commands of 

131 When iihould this act of punishment be resorted to 1 

132 What may be said of the law on this subject ? 

133 What would be the effect of repealing the law, and why 1 

134 What would be the general effect 7 

135 Does the contract for services embrace all the particulaiB of the 
bargain ? Why 1 

136 How are the omitted points determined 1 

137 What is « nAi^anf not bound to obey 1 


his master ; for the obligation depends on his promise ; but 
that does not extend to unlawful acts. Chap. v. § 3. 

Hence, the master's authority is no justification of a servant 
in doing wrong ; for the servant's own promise, on which 
that authority is founded, would be none. 

Clerks and apprentices ought to be employed only in 
the business which they were to learn. For, their hire is 
instruction ; and to deprive them of the opportunities of that, 
for the purposes of their employer, is to rob them of their 

The master is responsible for acts done by his servant in 
the ordinary course of employment ; for they are done under 
a general authority equivalent to a specific command. Thus 
a banker is responsible for money paid to his clerk, but not 
if paid to his footman ; because it is not the business of 
the latter to receive money for his master. So if a ser- 
vant be sent by his master to a shop to buy goods on credit, 
whatever goods he . may afterwards obtain for himself, so 
long as he is in the same service, the master is answerable 
for ; because the seller cannot tell whether the goods are, or 
are not, required for the master. 

In other cases, the law, rather than moral justice, ordains 
that the master be responsible for the acts of his servant, 
even when the servant is a free agent ; as, for instance, when 
an innkeeper's servant robs a guest, or a farrier's man lames 
a horse, or a coachman injures a passenger or passer-by ; 
the innkeeper, farrier, and coachman's master are respec- 
tively liable. 

Connected with the contract for service, is the duty of giv- 
ing a character to a servant ; in the performance of which, 
most persons through mistaken views of kindness do in truth 
act wrong. A character, if not true to the letter, is a fraud 
on the party who accepts it ; and the act is the more unge- 
nerous as the person who is deceived by it is a stranger. 
But to misrepresent secretly a person's character to others, 

138 If a servant does wrong for his master, is he justified by being 
commanded 1 Why 1 

139 How are clerks and apprentices to be employed ? Why 1 

140 When is the master responsible for his servant's acts 1 Why ? 

141 Give a few examples, with their reasons. 

142 To what extent does the law enact on such subjects 1 

143 What is our duty in the matter of giving characters 1 

144 How is considered the act of injuring a senrant's character 1 



with the view of retaining for one's own use the services of 
such employee, is cruel, immoral, and cowardly ; cruel, be- 
cause the injury is done without the power of remedy; 
immoral, because it destroys the motives to good conduct ; 
and cowardly, because a similar act in the case of equals, 
would by the law of honor expose the party offending to 
the loss of character or life. 

A master of a family is bound not to permit among his 
domestics any vices which he might restrain. This arises 
from our duty at all times to prevent misery, of which vice 
is the inevitable forerunner. This care of his household on 
the part of Abraham met with the approbation of God ;* and 
indeed no authority is so well adapted for this purpose, be- 
cause none operates on the subjects of it with an influence 
so direct. 

The language of the Christian Scriptures, touching the re- 
lative duties of masters and servants, breathes a spirit of libe- 
rality which has always been but little known in ages when 
servitude was slavery ; and which must have resulted from the 
habit of viewing both parties in a common relation to their 
Creator, and a common interest in a future state. ** Servants, 
be obedient to your masters, as unto Christ ; not with 
eye-service, as men-pleasers, but doing the will of God from 
the heart ; with good- will doing service as to the Lord, and 
not to men, knowing that whatsoever good thing any man 
doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he 
be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same thing unto 
them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master 
also is in heaven ; neither is there respect of persons with 
him."t Nor is the policy of this view less than its libC' 
rality; for by teaching servants to consider God as their pre- 
sent task-master and future re warder, a steady and cordial 
obedience is produced, in place of that constrained service 
which cannot be trusted out of sight, and is therefore well 
called eye-service ; while the exhortation to masters to con- 
sider themselves accountable, is equally seasonable. 

145 To what is the master morally bound ? Why is it thought so T 

146 What else confinns this opinion 1 

147 What are the scriptural directions to servants ? 

148 What directions to masters 1 

149 What may be thought of these directions ? Why 1 

* Gen. xviii. 9. j- Eph* H, 6— 9, 



He who undertakes another's business engages tacitly to 
employ on it the same care as if it were his own ; but he 
promises no more than this. If he has done so much, he 
has discharged his duty, even though it should afterwards 
appear that greater exertion would have benefited his em- 
ployer more. 

The chief difficulty of an agent is to decide whether he 
may or may not depart from his instructions, when the 
object of the commission presents to his mind a view differ- 
ent to that which he knew his employer had, when he, the 
agent, was charged to execute such commission. The lati- 
tude allowed must vary according to circumstances. For 
instance, an attorney, sent to complete the purchase of an 
estate at a certain price, finding the title defective, refuses 
to pay the money ; and properly so. On the other hand, an 
officer is ordered to perform a particular duty, which he is 
satisfied his commander would not have ordered, had he 
known the real state of affairs : yet he is bound to follow 
implicitly his instructions. 

What is trusted to an agent may be lost or damaged by 
accident when in his possession. If he receives no pay, 
he is not answerable for the loss : for he gives his labor for 
nothing, and cannot be expected to give security for nothing 
also. But if he receives any pay, the decision respecting 
his responsibility will rest on the apprehension of the par- 
ties respecting the terms of the engagement ; and this again 
is regulated by custom. For instance, whether a carrier be 
or be not liable for the loss of goods intrusted to him, when 
the loss is not imputed to any fault or neglect of his, is a 
question of custom alone. But if the carrier stipulates that 
he will not be accountable for goods of a certain description, 
he engages, in fact, to be accountable for all others of any 
other description ; because the limitation of one part is the 

150 What does an agent promise in his contract ? 

151 What may limit his exertions 1 

152 What is the chief difficulty ex|)erienced by an agent 1 

153 In such cases, is the judgment of the agent always trusted to 1 

154 GKve examples of both cases. 

155 How is an agent without pay to be affected by accidental injuries 
to his charge 1 

156 How is he to be affected if he is paid for his agency 1 Give 
some examples. 


non-limitation of others. On the other hand, any caution 
taken by the owner to guard against risk exonerates the 
carrier, by showing that the sender was aware of the risk, 
and that he took it on himself. 

Universally, unless a promise, either express or tacit, be 
proved against the agent, the loss must fall on the owner. 

The agent may accidentally suffer in person or purse by 
the business he undertakes ; still he can claim no compensa- 
tion for such loss. For if the danger was not foreseen, 
neither the agent nor his employer thought of such compen- 
sation, and consequently none is due. If it was foreseen, 
the business was undertaken with the knowledge of the risk, 
the remuneration was of course regulated with reference to 
such risk, and a part of the remuneration is in fact a com- 
pensation for the loss incurred. Of course, the loser can 
require nothing extra. 


On the subject of partnership, the only point of doubt is 
the division of profits, where one party contributes money, 
and the other labor. 

Rule. From the value of the partnership-^tock deduct 
the sum advanced ; and the remainder is the profit. Divide 
that between the two partners, in proportion of the interest 
of the money to the wages of the labor ; allowing such in- 
terest as money might fetch on the same security, and such 
wages as would be given for the same labor. But if there 
be no profit, then the moneyed partner loses his interest, and 
the working one his labor. If the original stock be dimi- 
nished, the working partner loses only his labor, whereas 
the moneyed partner loses his capital and interest ; but for this 
disadvantage, must be set off the chance of greater profit 
arising from the rate of interest in his favor. 

It is true, the proportion, in which the profits are to be 
divided, is generally expressed in the contract itself. But 
the agreements, to be equitable in such cases, must pursue 
the principle here laid down. 

All the partners are bound by the act of one ; for that one 
is supposed to be the agent of the others. 

167 What effect has a caution from the owner 1 

168 What is the general rule in agencies ? 

169 What claims has an agent for personal injury ? Why 1 
160 What ifl the moral rule for partnership ? 



In many offices, such as professorships, principals of 
schools, and managers of corporate bodies, there is a two- 
fold contract ; one has regard to the origin of the office, the 
Other to the electors to it. 

With regard to the origin, the officer is bound to do all 
that is appointed by the charter, deed of gift, or will of the 
founder. The contract with the electors, is to do all that 
has been customarily done by the person in office ; for such 
is the known expectation of the electors, and the officer 
elected must satisfy them, or previous to election, stipulate 
for their non-perfomance. 

The electors can excuse the officer from the performance 
of these customary duties only : for as their power cannot 
annul the positive injunctions of the original deed, so neither 
can they stipulate with the candidate for the non-perform- 
ance of those duties which such positive injunctions imply. 

It is difficult' and yet important, to know what offices 
may be performed by deputy. But the cases need only be 
stated where a deputy is not allowable. 

An office may not be discharged by deputy, 

1 . Where a particular confidence is placed in the judg- 
ment and conduct of the individual ; as a judge, commander- 
in-chief, or a guardian of property or persons. 

2. Where the custom hinders ; as in the case of tutors. 

3. Where the deputy cannot legally perform all the acts 
of the principal ; as for instance where he lacks the legal 

4. Where general mischief would result to the service 
from such substitution of the deputy for his principal ; as 
for example, the discouragement of military merit if superior 
officers in the army might employ substitutes. 

161 What kind of contract is made in the case of some offices % 
163 To what is the officer bound by the origin of the office 1 

163 To what is he bound by contract with the electors 1 Why 1 

164 How far can he be excused by the electors 1 Why 1 

165 What difficult and important question arises here 1 

166 What is the first case in which an office cannot be discharged by 
deputy 1 

167 Give the second, and an example. 

168 State the third, with its example. 

169 The fourth, and an example, 



A lie is a breach of promise ; for he who speaks seriously 
to another, tacitly promises to speak the truth ; because he 
knows the truth is expecled. 

Or, the obligation to veracity may rest on the ill conse- 
quences resulting from a breach of it. The ill consists in 
some specific injury to an individual, or the general injury 
to society, by the destruction of mutual confidence. Hence, 
a lie may in its tendency be mischievous, and therefore 
criminal, though harmless in its individual application. 

All falsehoods are not criminal. 

1 . Where no one is deceived ; as in parables, fables, tales, 
&c. where the speaker means to divert merely ; or in ser- 
vants denying their master; or an advocate asserting the jus- 
tice of his client's cause ; because in these and similar cases 
no confidence is destroyed, for none was reposed ; no pro- 
mise violated, for none was given to speak the truth. 

[Concerning the practice of requiring servants to ** deny" 
their masters, Mr. Dymond says, " This childish and sense- 
less custom has had many apologists, I suppose because 
many perceive that it is wrong. It is not always true that 
such a servant does not in strictness He: for, how well soever 
the folly may be understood by the gay world, some who 
knock at their doors have no other idea than that they may 
depend upon the servant's word. Of this the servant is 
sometimes conscious, and to these persons, therefore, he 
who denies his master, lies. An uninitiated servant suffers 
a shock to his moral principles when he is first required to 
tell these falsehoods. It diminishes his previous abhorrence 
of lying, and otherwise deteriorates his moral character. 
Even if no such ill consequences resulted from this foolish 
custom, there is this objection to it, which is short, but suf- 
ficient, — nothing can be said in its defence."] 

2. Where the person to whom you speak has no right to 
know the truth, or more properly, when little or no incon- 

170 What is a lie 1 Why 1 What follows from this 1 

171 For what other reason are we bound to speak the truth? 

172 What is the ill effect of lying 1 

173 Are all falsehoods criminal 1 

1 74 What is the first class that are hot? Why 1 

175 What does Mr. Dymond say of the practice of denying masters 1 

176 What is the second class that are not lies? Give examples. 


venience can arise from the want of confidence ; as, to tell a 
falsehood to a madman for his own advantage ; to a robber to 
conceal your property ; to an assassin to defeat or divert 
him from his purpose. For, here the inconvenience is only 
to individuals, which is balanced by the advantage gained by 
individuals also ; nor can any consequences generally hurt- 
ful be drawn from such insulated falsehoods. 

Hence, it is allowable to deceive an enemy by false colors, 
false intelligence, and other deceptions, in time of war but 
not during a truce; for in the latter period, confidence is, in 
the former is not, placed in the acts of either party. Hence, 
too, the immorality of falsehood in hoisting feigned signals 
of surrender or distress ; for, on the faith of such signals, 
one opponent, lays down the character of a foe for that of a 
friend, and supposes that the other has done so likewise. 
Here then is a deception during a period of apparent truce, and 
consequently it is wrong ; because the general consequences 
of such conduct would be to disbelieve such signals, and to 
increase the sum of the misery of towns besieged, or of 
ships in distress. 

On this article Dr. Dewar remarks, 

f " A rule thus founded on the principle of expediency, 
allows, or rather authorizes us, to utter falsehoods as often 
as we can induce ourselves to believe that little inconve- 
nience will result from the want of confidence. Can we con- 
ceive any maxim more anti-scriptural, or more immoral in ita 
tendency ? It is substituting as the rule of moral conduct, 
in room of the will of God, our own limited and partial 
views of the consequences of actions." And Mr. Dymond 
says, ** Such a doctrine would be equivalent to saying that 
we are at liberty to disobey the Divine laws when we think 
fit. And if I may tell a falsehood to a robber in order to 
save my property, I may commit parricide for the same pur- 
pose ; for lying and parricide are placed together and jointly 
condemned in the revelation from God." — 1 Tim. i- 
9, 10.] 

177 Why does nr. Paley think that they are not criminal 1 

178 What is allowed by the laws of war 1 What is not 1 

179 What is said of feigned signals of distress or surrender 1 

180 What does Dr. Dewar say that this principle of expediency will 
lead to 1 

181 What else does he remark of it 1 

182 What does Mr. Dymond say of it 1 


Some lies, harmless in their motive, may become mis- 
chievous in their effects, and consequently are to be 
avoided, as morally wrong ; such, for instance, are the false- 
hoods told by those persons who give exaggerated accounts of 
acts performed by themselves or others. Such falsehoods, 
if inoffensive in other points, are wrong, because they tend 
to produce in the speaker the habit of lying. Disregard to 
truth, shown by a person in matters of no importance, 
tends to destroy confidence in his veracity where his narra- 
tions are connected with the promotion of his own interests, 
or the depreciation of others. Now, since much of the 
pleasure, and all the benefit of conversation, depends on the 
existence of such confidence, the want of it will only serve 
to perplex the hearer, who is uncertain to what extent he 
ought or ought not to believe. 

Pious frauds, as they are improperly called, such as the 
forgery of new, and the interpolation or castration of old 
books, counterfeit miracles, and pretended inspirations, even 
if they should be done with a good design, are both foolish and 
immoral ; immoral, because they tend to destroy confidence 
in documents really genuine ; and foolish, because they 
miss the very object aimed at. Christianity has suffered more 
injury from this than from all other causes put together. 

As there may be falsehoods which are not lies, so there 
may be lies without the appearance of direct falsehood. Of 
this kind are prevarications, which are falsehoods in reality, 
though not in appearance, on account of being disguised under 
the ambiguity of language. But it is the wilful deceit that 
makes the lie ; and the deceit is wilful when the words are 
not true in the sense in which the hearer does and must 
take them, according to the custom of the language. 

A man may also act a lie, as by pointing to a wrong direc- 
tion, when asked the road ; or where a tradesman shuts up 
his windows to induce his creditors to believe that he is 

183 What is said of exaggeration 1 Why is it wrong 1 

184 What is said of disregard to truth in small matters'* 
186 What effect has it upon the hearer ? 

186 What b the character of pious frauds ? 

187 Why are they immoral 1 Why are they foolish ? 

188 Can there be a lie without a direct falsehood ? 

189 What makes the lie 1 And when is the deceit wilful 1 

190 What must the words of truth be according to 1 

191 How may a man act a lie ? Why 1 


abroad ; for to all moral purposes, speech and action are the 
same, the former being only a mode of the latter. 

There are also lies of omission. For instance, if an histo- 
rian of the reign of Charles I. wilfully suppresses evidence 
of that prince's despotic measures, he may be said to lie by 
omission ; for, by the very title of his book, he tacitly pro- 
mises to tell all the truth he knows of the events of that 


I. Forms of oaths, ii. Signification, iii. Lawfulness. 
rv. Obligation, v. What oaths do not bind. vi. How oaths 
are to be interpreted. 

1. The forms of oaths, like other religious ceremonies, 
have in all ages varied, consisting generally of certain words 
accompanied with a bodily action.* 

Amongst the Jews, the juror held up his right hand to- 
wards heaven. Hence, we find in the 144th Psalm, " Whose 
right hand is a right hand of falsehood." The same form 
is retained in Scotland still. An oath of fidelity was taken 
amongst the Jews by the servant putting his hand under the 
thigh of his lord, as Eliezer did to Abraham, Gen. xxiv. 2 ; 
whence, probably, is derived the form of doing homage, by 
putting the hands between the knees and within the hands 
of the liege ; as is done in some places. 

Amongst the Greeks and Romans, in private contracts, 
the parties took hold of each other's hand, whilst they 
swore to the performance ; or they touched the altar of the 
god by whose divinity they swore. But on more solemn 
occasions, they slew a victim ; and as the beast was struck 

192 What is the last-mentioned class of lies? Give an exAmpIe. 

193 What is the general fonn of oaths? 

194 What was the form among the Jews ? 

195 Is this practice continued among other nations ? 

196 What was the form among the Greeks and Romans ? 

* It is commonly thought that oaths are denominated corporal oaths 
from the hodily action which accompanies them, of laying the right 
hand on a book containing the four Gospels. This opinion, however, 
appears to be a mistake ; for the term is borrowed fi-om the ancient 
usage of touching, on these occasions, the corporate, or cloth which 
covered the consecrated elements. 



down with certain ceremonies, the parties were said, as in 
English, "to strike a bargain."* 

The forms of oaths differ in Christian coantries ; but in 
none do ihey convey either the meaning or sanctity of an 
oath worse than in this country and in England. Here the 
juror, after repeating the promise or affirmation which the 
oath is intended to strengthen, adds, ** So help me God.'* 
The force of this formula rests in the particle ao ; that is, on 
condition of my speaking the truth, or performing the pro- 
mise, may God help me ; otherwise, not. The juror, while 
he hears or repeats the words of the oath, holds his right 
hand on a Bible, or other book containing the four Gospels, 
and, at the conclusion of the oath, kisses the book : but this 
act seems to be done rather out of reverence to the book, 
than as forming a part of the oath. 

But it is not so much the form of the oath, as the levity 
with which it is administered, that has produced a general 
disregard to the sanctity of the obligation ; to say nothing of 
the multiplicity of frivolous oaths, especially those connected 
with the revenue. A pound of tea, for instance, cannot 
travel from the ship to the consumer without costing half a 
dozen oaths ; and the highest and lowest functionaries in the 
state are equally sworn into office. If some security be- 
yond a man's word be required, let the law annex, if it will, 
to direct falsehoods and indirect prevarications, penalties pro" 
portioned to their mischiefs ; but let it spare the solemnity 
of an oath. 

II. Whatever may be the form of an oath, its significa- 
tion is the same. God is called to witness, or to notice, what 
we swear ; and it is ** invoking his vengeance or renouncing 
his favor, if what we say be false, or what we promise be 
not performed." 

III. Quakers, Moravians, and many others refuse to swear 
at all, in obedience to Christ's prohibition, '* Swear not at 
all." Matt. V. 34. 

197 What is said of the fonns in this country ? 

198 On what word rests the strength of the oath ? 

199 What besides the form of the oath has occasioned a diareflard 
of it? 

200 How might the evil be remedied 1 

201 What is the signification of an oath ? 

202 Why do many refuse to swear ? 

• In Greek, Tt^yio' ogMv : in Latin, " ferire pactum." 


But this prohibition, it would seem, was not meant by 
Christ to extend to judicial oaths. 

For, the whole passage runs thus. ** Ye have heard that 
it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not 
forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine 
oaths. But I say unto you, swear not at all ; neither by 
heaven, for it is God's throne, nor by the earth, for it is 
his footstool ; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the 
Great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because 
thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your 
communication be yea, yea ; nay, nay : for whatsoever is 
more than these cometh of evil." 

And, 1. It does not appear that the Jews, in judicial 
oaths, ever swore *' by heaven," ** the earth," "Jerusalem," 
or " their heads ;" and, consequently, it is probable that 
judicial oaths were not alluded to here. 2. The prohibi- 
tion expressed by " not at all" is to be understood as in con- 
junction with, not separated from, the succeeding words, 
"heaven," "earth," "Jerusalem," and "head:" that is; 
Do not swear, says Christ, by any of these forms, for all 
are equally reprehensible. He seems to suppose that some 
made a distinction between swearing by the name of God, 
which is an oath forbidden in the Decalogue, and swearing 
by other oaths not forbidden there. In opposition to 
'^vhich, he tells them, that because all those things bear the 
same relation to God that his name does, to swear by any 
of them was in eflfect and substance to swear by him. For 
which reason he says, " Swear not at all,^^ that is, neither 
directly by God, nor indirectly by any thing related to 

3. Our Saviour himself did not make any objection to a 
judicial oath, when adjured by the living God to say 
whether he was the Christ or not. And St. Paul also calls 
an God to witness to the truth of his assertions, and thus in 
reality takes an oath : and lastly the author of the epistle to 
the Hebrews, vi. 16, speaks of the custom of swearing judi- 
cially, without any mark of disapprobation. 

203 Does Dr. Faley think that Christ's prohibition extended to judicial 
oaths 1 

204 What is his first reason 7 The second 7 

205 What does he think occasioned this prohibition 1 

206 What is the third reason 1 

« J 


The prohibition, then, was meant to apply not to judicial 
oaths, but to the practice of vain, wanton, and unauthorized 
swearing in common discourse. 

[To this Mr. Dymond replies, " From an investigation 
of the passage, it appears manifest that all swearing upon all 
occasions is prohibited. Yet the ordinary opinion, or rather 
perhaps the ordinary defence is, that the passage has no re 
ference to judicial oaths.— Dr. Paley explains " our Sa- 
viour's words to relate, not to judicial oaths, but to the practice 
of vain, wanton, and unauthorized swearing in common dis 
course." To this there is one conclusive answer. Our 
Saviour distinctly and specifically mentions, as the subject 
of his instructions, solemn oaths ; the whole prohibition 
sets out with a reference, not to conversational language but 
to solemn declarations on solemn occasions. - Oaths '^ to 
the Lord," are placed at the head of the passage ; and it is 
too manifest to be insisted upon, that solemn declarations, 
and not e very-day talk, were the subject of the prohibition. 

" It hath been said of old time. Thou shalt not forswear 
thyself." Why refer to what was said of old time ? For 
this reason assuredly ; to point out that the present requisi- 
tions were different from the former ; that what was prohi- 
bited now was different from what was prohibited before. 
And what was prohibited before ? Swearing falsely y^-^ 
swearing and not performing. What then could be prohi- 
bited now ? Swearing truly ^ — even, swearing and perform- 
ing : that is, swearing at all ; for it is manifest that if truth 
may not be attested by an oath, no oath may be taken. 
In acknowledging that this prefatory reference to the former 
law is, in my view, absolutely conclusive of our Christian 
duty, I would remark, as an extraordinary circumstance, that 
Dr. Paley, in citing the passage, omits this introduction and 
takes no notice of it in his argument. 

"Dr. Paley says that the high-priest examined our Sa- 
viour upon oath, * by the living God,' which oath he took. 
But what imaginable reason could there be for examining 

207 What is his concluding remark on this subject 1 

208 How does Mr. Dymond reply to this remark 1 

209 What does he say is manifest by the subject of the prohibition 1 

210 What inference does he draw from the commencement of the 
passage ? 

211 What is his reply to Dr. Paley *8 opinion of our Saviour's exami* 
nation upon oath ? 


him upon oath ? Who ever heard of calling upon a prisoner 
to swear that he was guilty ? Nothing was wanted but a 
simple declaration that he was the Son of God. With this 
view the proceeding was extremely natural. Finding that 
to the less urgent solicitation he made no reply, the high- 
priest proceeded to the more urgent. Schleusner expressly 
remarks upon the passage, that Sie works ' I adjure,' do not 
here mean ' I make to swear, or put upon oath,' but * I so- 
lemnly and in the name of God exhort and enjoin.' This is 
evidently the natural and the only natural meaning ; just as 
it was the natural meaning when the evil spirit said, * I ad- 
jure thee by the living God that thou torment me not.' 
The evil spirit surely did not administer an oath. 

** Paul says, * God is my witness that without ceasing I 
make mention of you always in my prayers.'* That the Al- 
mighty was witness to the subject of his prayers is most true ; 
but to state this truth is not to swear. Neither this language 
nor that which is indicated below contains the character- 
istics of an oath, according to Paley's definition, i. e. an 'in- 
vocation of God's vengeance.' Similar language, but in a 
more emphatic form, is employed in writing to the Co- 
rinthian converts. It appears from 2 Cor. ii., that Paul had 
resolved not again to go to Corinth in heaviness, lest he should 
make them sorry. And to assure them why he had made 
this resolution, he says, * I call God for a record upon my soul 
that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. 't The 
expression appears to me to be only an emphatical mode of 
saying, God is witness ; or, as the expression is sometimes 
employed in the present day, God knows that such was my 
endeavor or desire. 

** The next and last argument is founded upon silence. 
Will it then be contended that whatever an apostle mentions 
without reprobating he approves ? The same apostle speaks 
just in the same manner of the pagan games'; of running a 
race for prizes, and of * striving for the mastery.' Yet who 

212 With \?liat other text does he compare it ? 

213 What does he say concerning the supposed oaths taken by 

214 What does he say concerning 2 Cor. i. 231 

215 What are his remarks concerning Heb. vi. 16 1 

• Rom. i 9 See also 1 Thess. ii. 5, and Gal. i. 20. f ^ Cor. i, 28. 



would admit the ar^ment that because Paul did not then 
censure the games, he thought them right ? The existing 
customs both of swearing and of the games are adduced 
merely by way of illustration of the writer's subject."] 

IV. Oaths are nugatory, unless we believe that God will 
punish false swearing more severely than he will a common 
falsehood. And that he will do so, is probable, from consi- 
dering that, 

1 . Perjury is a more deliberate sin. The juror confesses to 
his belief in God and in the sanctions of religion ; and there- 
fore his perjury implies his contempt of God's knowledge, 
power, and justice. But with a common falsehood, is con- 
nected neither the belief of God's existence, nor contempt of 
his power. Hence its less culpability. 

2. Perjury violates a greater confidence. Men must trust 
one another ; and the highest security for veracity is an oath. 
Now, as the security of reputation, property, and even of 
life itself, is connected with dependence on oaths, the con- 
sequence of continued perjuries would be the loss or de- 
struction of the greatest interests on this side of the grave. 
A simple lie cannot do the same injury, because the same 
credit is not given to it. But it may be well to state that the 
affirmation of one who is unwilling to swear, is held equal to 
the oath of another person ; and in that case a lie partakes 
of the nature and guilt of perjury. 

v. Promissory oaths are not binding, when the promise 
itself without the oath would not be binding. 

VI. As oaths are intended for the security of the imposer, 
they must be interpreted and performed in the sense which 
the imposer intended; for, otherwise, they would be no 
security to him. Hence the meaning and reason of the rule, 
"jurare in animum imponentis." 

216 When are oaths nugatory 1 

217 What may be said of the sin of perjury 1 

218 Is this the case with a common falsehood ? 

219 What degree of confidence does perjury violate 1 

220 What may be the consequence of perjury 1 Why 1 

221 Has a lie the same effect 1 

222 When does a simple declaration become equal to an oath T 

223 When are promissory oaths not binding 1 

224 What must be the interpretation of an oath ? 



The witness swears *' to speak the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth." 

To conceal designedly a part of the truth which relates 
to the matter in question, is as much a violation of the oath> 
as to testify to a positive falsehood. For as there are two 
kinds of oaths relating to evidence, by one of which* the 
witness is required to answer truly to all questions asked; 
and by the otherf ** to tell the whole truth ;" it is evident 
that in the latter case, where there is no restraining to the 
question that shall be asked, i:he law intended the witness to 
tell the whole truth, even though he is not questioned to 
the extent of his knowledge. So that it is no excuse for 
not giving the court full information, to say, " Because it 
was never asked me." 

The only exception to this rule is, when the witness, by 
such full disclosure, would criminate himself; for, as the 
law compels no man to be his own accuser, the oath is im- 
posed with this tacit reservation. But such reservation 
extends only to cases where the law of the land permits 
such concealment of the truth. Hence, a delicacy with re- 
ference to the subject matter, or tenderness towards the per- 
son accused, are no pleas for concealment; for justice 
would thus be made to depend on the personal feelings of 
witnesses, rather than on the administration of the laws. 

A full disclosure is also required from a person admitted 
to give evidence against his accomplices ; because his im- 
munity from punishment depends on the tacit engagement to 
tell the whole truth. 

If answers be required to questions, respecting which the 
witness has doubts, as likely to affect himself or others, he 
ought to refer his doubts to the court. And as it is the bu- 

225 WhaX does a witness swear that he will do 1 

226 What effect has this upon designed concealment 1 Why 1 

227 What is the only exception to this rule 1 

228 Why is that an exception 1 

229 To what cases does this exception extend 1 

230 What in particular will it not excuse 1 Why 1 

231 What is its bearing in the case of evidence against accomplices 1 

232 What if a witness thinks a question irrelevant 1 

233 Why is the answer of the court any authority 1 

• Called technically voj'r dire, f Used in examinations in chief. 


fiiness of that to declare what the mind of the law is, its 
answer will be of sufficient authority to release the witness ; 
but only in cases where he believes that such release is not at 
variance with the intention of the person imposing the oath. 


The question is, Are wills a natural or adventitious right? 
or, in other words, Is the right to devise property founded 
on the law of nature, or on the law of the land ? 

As a man's labor is his own property, so is the produce 
of his labor; such as the utensils which he manufactures, 
the tent or hut that he builds, and the flocks or herds that he 
rears. And, as he may give such property away when alive, 
he may leave them at his death to whom he pleases ; because 
there is nothing to limit the continuance of the right, or to 
restrain the alienation of it. 

But property in land stands upon a diflTerent foundation. 
For the right to a spot of ground arises, in a state of nature, 
from the right to apply a part of what is common to all, to 
an individual's own wants and use ; and as the wants and use 
cease at death, so does the right cease also. Consequently 
in such state, the family of the first occupier have, in the 
right of possession, a preference not by inheritance ; but by 
becoming the first occupiers after him, and by succeeding to 
the same want and use. 

Again, as natural rights cannot, like rights created by law, 
expire at the end of a certain number of years ; if the testa- 
tor had a natural right to dispose of landed property for one 
moment after his death, he might direct the disposition of it 
for ever ; which would be absurd. 

The right, then, to will landed property is adventitious, or 
founded on the law of the land. And this inference is con- 
firmed by the fact, that in most countries the power to make 
wills has been given only by the laws of the state ; as by 
the laws of Solon at Athens, and at Rome by the twelve 

234 Is it so in all cases ? 

236 What is the question relative to wills 1 

236 What kind of property may a man leave to whom he pleases ? 

237 Does all property stand upon the same footing by ^e law of 
nature 1 Why is tMs the case 1 

238 What absurdity would follow from the natural right of willing 
landed property 1 

289 On what then is that right founded 1 How is that proved 1 


tables. And even in England, the prohibition against the 
divisal of land existed from the Conquest till near the close 
of the reign of Henry VIII., when the privilege was restored 
by law. 

No doubt, many beneficial purposes are attained by ex- 
tending the owner's power over his property beyond his 
life and beyond his natural right. It invites to industry, it 
encourages marriage, and it secures the dutifulness and de- 
pendency of children. 

As wills are the creatures of the law, so they have no 
power except from the law. Hence, if the will be informcdj 
it is the same as if it had never been made. By an informed 
will, I mean a will that lacks some formality that is required 
by the law, though no doubt is entertained of its meaning 
and authenticity. 

For instance, if a man devise his freehold estate to his 
sister's son, and if the will be not attested by witnesses, and 
the law requires that attestation ; then the heir-at-law is le- 
gally authorized to seize the estate, although aware of the 
testator's intention to cut him off; and the sister's son is 
morally bound to give up the estate, as soon as he finds this 
flaw in the will. For the intention of the testator can signify 
notliing unless he have a right to govern the descent of his 
estate. Now, as the right to convey is clogged with certain 
conditions, it is evident that if such conditions be not fulfilled, 
the right is virtually given up ; and the heir-at-law is placed 
only in the situation, where he would be if there had no 
will been made. For, the intended will is so much waste 
paper, from the defect of right in the person who made it. 
And as the retention of the estate by the sister's son would 
be contrary to law if the flaw were known to the legal heir, 
so it is against morality not to give it up, although the flaw 
be known only to the illegal possessor. Had wills been 
founded on natural rights, the decision in this case would 
have been just the reverse ; for, then the requirements of 

240 What are the advantages of wills 1 

241 What is meant by saying a will is informal 1 

242 Of what effect is such a will 1 Why 1 243 Give an example. 

244 Why must not the intention of the testator be followed 7 

245 How is this right lost % 

246 What is the consequence of such loss 1 

247 What rule of morality will this lead to 1 

248 Would this be the case if the devising of land was a natural 
right? Why? 


the law would seem rather to refuse its assistance to enforce 
the right of the devisee, than to deny or work any alteration 
in the right itself; and consequently, I should consider them 

["The transmission of property by hereditary descent, 
from the parent to his children, is the dictate of the natural 
afi*ection8 ; and Doctor Taylor holds it to be the general di- 
rection of Providence. And nature and policy have gene- 
rally concurred to introduce and maintain this primary rule 
of inheritance, in the laws and usages of all civilized nations. 
But the distribution among the children has varied greatly in 
different countries ; and no two nations seem to have agreed 
in the same precise course of hereditary descent ; and they 
have very rarely concurred, as we have done, in establishing 
the natural equality that seems to belong to lineal descend- 
ants standing in equal degree."— jKcti/'* Commentaries, vol. 
4, page 376.] 

In the disposal of property, the regard due to kindred 
not lineal, arises either from the presumed intention of the 
ancestor from whom we received our fortune, or from the 
expectations we have encouraged. The intention of the an- 
cestor is presumed with greater certainty, in proportion to 
the nearness of the relation. For instance, it may be pre- 
sumed to be a father's intention, that the inheritance which 
he lea7es for one son, should, if that son dies childless, 
remain a provision for the families of his other children. 
Whoever, therefore, gives to strangers what he has received 
from kindred, is guilty, not so much of unkindness to the 
parties not receiving, as of ingratitude to the party from 
whom the property came. Where a man has acquired pro- 
perty by his own exertions, and at the same time has re- 
frained from exciting the expectations of relations, he is 
perfectly at liberty to dispose of his property, uninfluenced 
by consanguinity and affinity ; for these are merely forms of 
speech, imposing no moral obligation to do any particular act. 

549 What is said of hereditary descent ? 

550 By what has this primary rule been sustained ? 

551 Has this distribution always been equal I 
S5S Is it the case in this country ? 

253 By what is occasioned the descent of property to those who are 
not lineal descendants 1 Give an example. 

264 What follows firom this view of the subject ? 

255 What right has a man in devi^ng property which he has ac- 
i|uirad Mmadf ? 


There is, howerer, one partknlar reason for piOTkHng for 
poor relations, which is, if we do not, no one else will. 

Q'* In this connUy we hare much statute regulation on the 
subj ect. There is no doubt that the testator may, if he pleases, 
devise all his estate to strangers, and disinherit his children. 
This is the English law, and the law in all the states, with 
the exception of Louisiana. Children are deemed to have 
sufficient security in the natural affection of parents, that this 
unlimited power of disposition will not be abused. If, how- 
ever, the testator has not given the estate to a competent de- 
visee, the heir takes, notwithstanding the testator may have 
clearly declared his intention to disinherit him. The estate 
must descend to the heirs, if it be not legally vested else- 
where." — Kenfs Commentaries y vol- 4. page 525-3 

To neglect to make a will is a culpable omission, when it 
occasions an equal distribution of what ought to be distri- 
buted unequally on account of the situations of the parties, or 
where it leaves an opening for litigation. 

As the right of succession is founded on law alone, so the 
claims of succession in cases where there is no will, must be 
regulated by law alone. 

These regulations ought to be guided by the duty and pre- 
sumed inclinations of the deceased. The law of descent, 
which is founded on the English statute of distributions, is 
sufficiently equitable. It assigns one-third to the widow, and 
two-thirds to the children ; in case of no children, one-half 
to the widow, and the other half to the next of kin : where 
neither widow nor lineal descendants survive, the whole to 
the next of kin, and to be equally divided amongst kindred 
of equal degree, without distinction of whole blood, and half- 
blood, or of consanguinity by the father's or mother's side. 

[^** In a majority of the states, the descent of real and of per- 
sonal property is to the same persons, and in the same propor- 
tions. Such a uniform rule in the descent of both real and 
personal property, gives simplicity and symmetry to the whole 
doctrine" of descent. The English statute of distributions , 

256 Has a man a right to disinherit his children 1 

257 When is it wrong to neglect making a will T 

258 How is saccession regulated if there is no will ? 

259 On what principle should the law he formed ? 

260 What is the English statute of distrihutions ? 


being founded in justice, and on the wisdom of ages, and 
fully and profoundly illustrated by a series of judicial de- 
cisions, was well selected, as the most suitable and judicious 
basis on which to establish our American law of descent and 
distribution." — KenVs Commentaries, vol. 2. page 427. 

261 What is Kent's remark concerning that statute! 

262 What was occasioned by these good qualities ? 





By charity is here intended, not bounty to the poor, nor, as 
St*. Paul means, benevolence in general ; but the promoting of 
the happiness of inferiors. 

Charity, in this sense, is the result of religion, or virtuous 
habits ; for while worldly interests regulate our behavior to 
superiors and equals, humanity alone can influence our con* 
duct to those beneath us. 

The happiness of inferiors may be promoted by, 1. the 
treatment of dependents ; 2. professional assistance ; 3. pecu* 
niary bounty. 


A party pursuing a journey together, find it for their interest 
that one should wait on the rest, a second seek out lodging, a 
third take charge of the horses and baggage, and a fourth bear 
the purse, and regulate the route ; not forgetting that they 
were equals at the commencement, and will be so at the end 
of the journey. In this case, he whose lot it is to direct the 
rest, finds himself bound to study the feelings of his fellow* 
travelers, by giving his commands mildly, and using their 
service discreetly. So in the journey of life, they whom 
the Creator has made dependents, ought to be treated with the 
consideration due to equals in the eye of God. 

Some think that the obligation from the inferior to the supe* 
rior is greater than contrariwise ; but this is a mistakel The 
rich man does not maintain his servants, tradesmen, tenants^ 
and laborers ; the truth is, that in one sense, they maintain 

S63 What is meant here by the term « charity 1" 
264 From what does this kind of charity spring 1 
2S5 By what is our behavior regulated in general ? 
366 What are the three principal methods of promoting the happiness 
of inferiors ! 
867 How may the subject be illustrated 7 
268 What treatment of dependents does this illustration teach t 
369 Is social obligation, from the rich or from the poor 7 



him. It is by their industry ths^t his food, house, dress, 
and luxuries, are obtained. It is not the estate, but the labor 
employed on it, that pays the rent. The proprietor merely 
distributes what others produce. 

Others, in extenuation of unkind conduct to inferiors, say, 
that kind usage is thrown away on persons of low estate ;^ 
that they are insensible of kindness, and incapable of grati- 
tude. But all men, high or low, have, and must have the 
same perception of the manner in which they are treated ; 
though all may not exhibit similar perceptions of gratitude, 
either in kind or degree. 

As we are bound to refrain from diminishing the sum of 
human happiness, we have no right to increase the uneasiness 
of domestics and dependents, by unnecessary occupations, or 
by ill treatment in deed or word, or by the refusal of harmless 


Servitude differs from slavery in this, that the servant con- 
tracts to work for his master, while the slave is, without such 
contract, compelled to labor ; but in both there is the same 
obligation on the part of the master, not to diminish, beyond 
absolute necessity, the sum of human happiness. 

Hence, as slavery may arise from, 1. crimes; 2. war; 
3. debt ; it must cease as soon as the crime is expiated, or the 
quarrel settled between the nations at war, or the creditor 
legally satisfied. 

But the slave-trade is not advocated on any of these princi- 
ples, and consequently it is morally wrong. 

Yet even if the purchase were defensible, the, trade is still 
chargeable, 1. with the crime of exciting the native slave- 
sellers to war and rapine for the purposes of trade ; and, 
2. with the cruel treatment shown to the slaves in their pass- 
age from Africa to America. 

870 What is another erroneous opinion 1 Why is it erroneous 1 

271 From what are we forbidden by the rule of not diminishing the 
sum of human happiness 1 

272 What is the difference between servitude and slavery ? 

273 What requirement resting on the master is conmion to them both '' 

274 What three causes may justly occasion slavery ? 
276 How long must it continue under each case 1 

276 On which of the three principles is the African slave-trade 1 What 
follows from this fact ? 

277 With what two crimes Lb it chargeable? 


But necessity, the name under which iniquity is ever 
attempted to be justified, has been pleaded for the continuance 
of the traffic. Yet it has not been shown that the land could 
not be cultivated in the slave-holding countries as it is else- 
where, by free labor alone. It could not, perhaps, be culti- 
vated so cheaply, but the difference of cost is a question of 
convenience ; not of such necessity, as can alone justify an 
act otherwise immoral. 

But it is said, that, although slavery existed in the very 
countries where Christianity was first promulgated, the Chris- 
tian Scriptures do not prohibit it. 

This is true ; but it is unjust to infer from this silence, that 
Christ deemed all the then existing institutions right, or that 
he forbade the worse to be bettered. 

Besides, Christianity purposely refrained from intermed- 
dling with any civil institutions, through the fear of impeding 
its progress; much more, when, as in the present instance, it 
might endanger its existence, by making it liable to the re- 
proach of exciting a servile war by preaching that slavery is 

With regard to slaves, their emancipation must be gradual, 
and accompanied with the diffusion of Christianity, under 
whose mild influence all parties will be prepared to see and 
correct the wickedness and folly of their present institutions. 
In this way the slavery of the Greeks and Romans, and sub- 
sequently that of the feudal times, disappeared. And we 
trust that as knowledge and religion are gradually extended/ 
they will banish what remains of this odious institution. 


This kind of charity can be exercised best by members of 
the legislature, and magistrates, or by persons of the medical, 
legal, and clerical professions. 

1. By members of the legislature, charity may be exerted 

278 What has been pleaded for the continuance of the traffic 1 

279 Is this excuse real ? 

880 What is said of the pecuniary advantage of the trade 1 

281 What palliation for the business has been adduced 1 

282 Is the inference drawn from this correct 1 

283 What is the probable reason that it was not prohibited 1 

284 In what manner should emancipation be conducted! 

285 From whom is professional aid to be expected 1 

286 How msgr members of the legislature exert their charity 1 


m endeaTOiing to remedy the abuses and imperfections con- 
nected with the administration of law generally; and especially 
of such particular laws as relate to the poor. To this last re- 
quisite erery goremment is bound ; and that the more, because 
the rich can take care of themselves. 

2. As magistrates, men of moderate means and education 
may, by interposing official authority and personal influence 
in behalf of the poor, place out the single talent intrusted to 
them to great account ; particularly when those who have the 
care of public relief, are led from interested motives, to dole 
it out too sparingly, or even to deny it altogether. 

8. By medical men, much good may be done at a little cost. 
Health, which is precious to all, is to the poor invaluable ; and 
may be restored by the timely application of drugs which cost 
little, and of advice which may be considered as costing no- 
thing when the patient is unable to pay for it- 

4. Much of the loss of money, time, and temper, produced 
by a law-suit, may be prevented amongst the poorer sort of 
litigants, by any man, who to a knowledge of law adds the 
wish to reconcile differences impartially. Counsel also given 
seasonably will ofien keep or extricate the uninformed oat of 
great difficulties. 

Lastly, as clergymen, the greatest good may be effi&cted by 
a judicious use of the means they possess of regulating the 
monl conduct, and satisfying the thoughts of the poor. 


I. The obligation to bestow relief upon the poor* 
Whether pity, or that feeling which prompts us to relieve 
misery, be an instinct or habit, is not material. It exists in 
fact ; and was doubtless intended by the Creator to remedy 
those inequalities of condition, which, as God foresaw, must 
follow every general rule for the distribution of proper^. 
But independent of this presumed intention of the Creator, 

587 To what la ereiy gOTemment boond 1 Why 1 

588 How may men of moderate fortune be very uaeftdl 

589 How may medical men do much good 1 

590 How may lawyers aaeUt the poor 1 

591 How may the poor be benefited by clergymen 1 
892 How may thia benefit be compared with othera ? 

293 What ia the subject of the first inquiry, as regards pecuniary 

294 Whatmay be said upon pity 1> 
895 Pnr urKj^t is it probably intended 1 


the poor have a claim for relief, founded on the law of nature ; 
for as all things were originally common, none could have a 
greater right than another to a particular possession. Hence, 
when a partition did take place for the public good, it must 
have taken place on the condition, that every one should have 
a sufficiency, as intended by the Creator. But as no fixed 
laws can anticipate every case of distress that may arise, these 
cases were supposed to be left to the bounty of those who 
were benefited by such previous partition. And, conse- 
quently, to deny the claims of such distress, is to act morally 
wrong, by opposing the will of that Creator, who has filled 
the world with plenteousness for the support and comfort of 
his creatures. 

On this duty the Christian Scriptures are more explicit than 
on almost any other. The forcible language of Christ, as ap- 
plied to the good at the day of judgment, establishes the obli- 
gation of bounty beyond controversy. " I was an hungered, 
and ye gave me meat ; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink ; 
I was a stranger, and ye took me in ; naked, and ye clothed 
me ; I was sick, and ye visited me ; I was in prison, and ye 
came unto me." Matt. xxv. 35. These words equally de- 
monstrate how important these duties are in the sight of God, 
and what effect they will have upon his decisions. 

The apostles also inculcate the same doctrine ; and their 
recommendations have probably given rise to those numerous 
public charities, which are founded in Christian countries, but 
not mentioned as existing elsewhere. To which may be 
added, as resulting from the gospel, a spirit of private libe* 
rality, and even a legal provision for the poor ; the last not 
so much as thought of amongst the most humane nations of 
antiquity. So great indeed was the effect produced on this 
very point by the promulgation of Christianity, that many, 
believing in the doctrine of a community of goods, sold all 
they possessed, and gave the produce to the apostles to dis- 
tribute amongst the poor. Acts iv 32. 

296 What claims have the poor from the law of nature 

297 How then, in justice, could a partition take place ? 

298 How could a sufficiency for every case be provided for ? 

299 What inference do we derive from this 1 

300 Do the Scriptures treat of this duty ? In what language? 

301 What is shown from this passage? 

302 What has resulted from these Scripture injunction9 

303 What effect had they on the first converts? 


This emidacty howerer, of the primitiTe Christiaiury 
sdthoagh it manifested a strong proof of their sincere zeal, is 
not to be considered as a precedent for onr imitation. For it 
was followed nowhere elsey and was nerer enjoined hy the 
Scriptnres ; and, besides, alUiongh it may be suited to a small 
society, it is quite impracticable in a large commonity. 

On the other hanct, the conduct of the apostles deserves 
oor unqualified approbation ; for, so £ur from taking adiran- 
tage of such confidence to enrich themselves, they were con- 
tent to transfer the custody and distribution of the fund to the 
deacons appointed for that purpose by the converts them- 
selves. Acts vi. 2. 

With regard to the habit of bounty, St. Paul recommends 
the bHng ehafUable upon a plan* ^* Upon the first day of 
the week, (or any other stated time,) let every one of you lay 
by in store, as God has prospered him." That is, we should 
appropriate to charitable purposes such sums as we ean 
spare, not from mere superfluities, but by acts of reasonable 

n. The manner of bestowing bounty. 
In all questions respecting the kind of charity, the sum is 
supposed to be the same, and the objects equally deserving. 
There are three methods of bestowing bounty. 

1. The best kind of charity is to bestow the amount in 
stated sums, and to a few individuals with whose circum- 
stances we are acquainted. A sum of money bestowed in 
this way will do more good than it will if it is doled out in 
driblets to many. By the first plan a permanent good may 
be efiected ; by the last, only a temporary evil can be avoided. 
Besides, a pension or annuity paid regularly, will {Produce 
greater happiness than the same sum given piecemeal, or paid 
irregulariy, by preventing not only much actual want, but 
what is scarcely less painful, the dread of it. 

2. Where the giver does not himself know of proper ob- 

304 b thiB conduct a precedent for us 1 Why 1 

305 What was the apostles' conduct on that occasion 1 

306 What is 8t Paul's direction for diaritable conduct? 

307 How may this direction be explained 1 

308 What is the second inquiry concemmg peouniaiy bounty 1 

309 In the succeeding questions on this subject, what shall we suppose 9 

310 How many kinds of charity may we recommend 1 

311 What is the first kind 1 Why is it the best 1 

312 What recommendation is attached to a pension or annuity ? 


jectsy the next best plan is to bestow the money on some 
public charity ; for, by this method, the benefaction will dif- 
fase more extensive benefit than it can do by any private and 
separate application. For instance, a few dollars given to an 
infirmary becomes the means of providing all that is requisite 
for the patient ; but will go but a little way, if given to the 
patient himself. 

3. The last and lowest exertion of benevolence is relief to 
beggars. But though indiscriminate charity of this kind is 
not a virtue, I would not approve of its indiscriminate omis- 
sion. For, some may be overtaken by distress for which all 
other relief would come too late, and may thus perish through 
our disregard of their real sufferings. Besides, such conduct 
is morally wrong ; — ^not so much from the act itself, as from 
the tendency it has to produce indifference to distress. 

There are other kinds of pecuniary charity, where much 
good may be done at a little cost ; as in times of scarcity, or 
severity of seasons, by the sale of articles of necessity at a 
price within the reach of the poor ; and by other expedients 
to meet temporary difficulties, which the occasions themselves 
will suggest. Again, the proprietors of estates may greatly 
increase the happiness of the poor, by employing them in 
various occupations, especially those connected wiUi the cul- 
tivation or improvement of the soil. If the profits of these 
undertakings do not repay the expense, the proprietors may 
fairly put the difference to the account of charity ; and if the 
loss can be spared, the consideration that the public has been 
benefited is sufficient to satisfy a man of benevolent inten- 

A question has been started, whether works of charity 
ought to be done secretly or not. It is true, secrecy has been 
enjoined by Christ, Matt. vi. 3. ; but the secrecy there in- 
tended is opposed to ostentation, and the injunction has 
reference rather to the motive than to the manner of the act, 
ver. 1, 2. Charity, to be meritorious, must spring from a 

313 What is'lhe next best plan 1 Why ib it a good plan ? 

314 What is the least laudable kind of benevolence 1 
316 Should it be entirely rejected 1 Why 1 

316 What bad effbct upon the rejector would the rejection canse 1 

317 What other kinds of chanly are commendable 1 

318 What chuitable plan may be adopted by the wealthy 1 

319 What IB the intention of the Scriptures as to secrecy in works r'' 
charity 1 320 What constitutes the merit of charity 1 


desire to please God, and not to gain the applause of men. 
Hence, if the motive be not ostentation, the act not only may, 
but ought to be public, when, by such publicity, the ends of 
the charitable object are more successfully attained. And 
this doctrine is supported by the exhortation to let our good 
works shine before men for Uie glory of our Father in heaven. 
Matt. V. 16. 

Since, then, the propriety of secrecy or publicity depends 
on the motive, the former must be adopted, when we cannot 
produce a good effect by our example ; the latter, when we 

III. The pretences by which men excuse themselves from 
acts of bounty. 

1. " That they have nothing to spare." But this will hold 
good only, when, after every effort of self-denial has been 
made, there remains barely enough for their necessities. 

2. " That Scripture charity does not mean pecuniary 
bounty." This is refuted by the language of St. James, ii. 15. 
'* If a brother or sister be nsiked and destitute of daily food, and 
one of you say, Depart in peace ; be ye warmed and Med ; 
notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are 
needful to the body ; what doth it profit ?" 

3. <* That in St. Paul's definition of charity, 1 Cor. xiii. 
almsgiving is not included." But the charity there intended 
is general benevolence. 

4. " That they pay for the support of the poor." But to 
such support, the poor have the same right as the objector 
himself has to the remainder of his property ; hence, such 
payment is no bounty. 

6. ** That they employ many poor persons." If such 
employment be given only for the benefit of the poor, and not 
for themselves, the plea is good ; otherwise, not. 

6. '< That the poor do not suffer so much as we imagine ; 

821 What laudable motive may there be for doing alms in public 1 
Where is the proof of it? 

322 What resolts from this view of the subject 1 

323 What is the third topic in this chapter 1 

324 What is the first excuse ? How is it answered ? 

325 What is the second excuse ? How is that answered 1 

326 State the third excuse, and its answer. 

327 Mention the fourth excuse, and its answer. 

328 What is the fifth excuse, and what remarks upon it T 

329 What is the sixth excuse, and its answer % 


because, from their state of habitual poverty, they have less 
acute feelings than the rich." But habit cannot destroy the 
sense of the pain of hunger and cold. But if it could, the 
question is not how unhappy any one is, but how much more 
happy we can make him. 

7. " That the poor are ungrateful.'* This is not true ; 
and if it were, our compliance with duty is not for the sake of 
their thanks. 

8. " That impositions are practised by the poor." If due 
inquiry be made, our merit is the same ; the deception may 
be in the representation, but the distress will probably be 

9. "That the poor should apply to the proper civil of- 
ficers." This is not always practicable; or if it is, the 
authorized public relief may not meet the nature of the case. 

10. " That alms-giving encourages idleness and vagrancy." 
Not if judiciously done. 

11. "That there are other charities which are nearer 
home, or more useful, or stand in greater need." This plea 
is good, if such greater claims be in fact attended to. 

Beside all these excuses, pride, or prudery, or delicacy, or 
love of ease, prevent one-half of the world from knowing 
what the other half suffer. 


Resentment is either passive anger or active revenge, or 
both together. By the former, is meant the pain felt on the 
receipt of an injury ; by the latter, the desire to inflict on 
the offender a pain greater than is required by the injury 
received. Although we cannot quell, we may stiU modify the 
principle of anger ; and more especially, we are able to sus- 
pend its effect. These two applications of the mind lead us 
to treat of anger and revenge separately. 

830 The seveiith excuse, and its answer. 

831 Give the eighUi excuse, and the remarks upon it 
332 The ninth, and remarks. 

833 State the tenth, and its answer. 

334 State the eleventh excuse, and remark upon it. 

336 Are there any other fainderances to charity 1 

336 How may resentment he disting^shed 1 

337 Define anger^ — ^Define revenge. 
838 What remarks upon the two 1 



Anger is sinful, when conceived on slight provocations, or 
when long continued. 

1. "Charity suffereth long, and is not easily provoked." 
" Let every man be slow to anger." See also Gal. v. 20. 
The Christian's duty is thus plainly marked out, not to take 
offence on slight grounds. 

2. ** Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." This 
precept is equally plain and positive as to our anger being 

But as these precepts presume that the passion of anger is 
in our power, and we know that a passive feeling is not, 
they must be understood as enjoining us, not so much to 
appease our wrath at the time, as to mollify our minds by 
habits of reflection so as to be less irritated by the receipt of 
an injury, and to be sooner pacified. 

Such sedatives of anger are furnished partly by philosophy 
and partly by religion. The former suggests reflections on 
the inutility of anger with reference to Uie act done, and the 
folly of dwelling on injuries, painful only in the recollection ; 
the latter suggests the fear, that if our oflfences before 
heaven are to excite the same implacable feelings of anger in 
God, as we show to the offences of our fellow creatures, our 
hopes of happiness will be slight indeed : while both con- 
spire in teaching us to put the most favorable construction 
on the motives of others, and the least stress on our own 
feelings, interests, and views ; to endeavor to ascertain what 
would have been the conduct of both parties had they 
changed places ; and to consider whether he, who seems to 
have done the wrong, but repented of it, be not in reality less 
to blame, than he, who having received the injury, will not 
forgive it; and to reflect on the indecency of extravagant 
anger, and how it renders us the sport of the bystanders ; 
and, finally, to determine whether, if there were just grounds 

889 When is anger sinful ? 

840 How is the first case shown 1 

841 What precept confirms the second 1 

342 What do these precepts suppose ? — Is it so entirely 1 

848 How then must they be understood 1 

844 What sedatives of anger are furnished by philosophy 1 

846 What are furnished by religion 1 •' 

846 Wliat are we taught by both 1 

CHAP. Yin. REVENGE. 119 

for the anger at its commencement, there can be any now to 
^^varrant its continuance. 


All pain inflicted on an offender, further than what may 
procure reparation to the injured, or promote the design of 
punishment, is so much revenge. 

There is no difficulty in knowing when we inflict pain ; 
and still less, when we do so through revenge. For if punish- 
ment alone be the object, we proceed with reluctance; if 
revenge, we afflict with pleasure. 

It is probable from the light of nature that a passion, 
ivhose object is to give pain, is disagreeable to the will of 
the Creator. -Other passions may produce pain by accident, 
this does so by design : and we think that the Creator has 
willed nothing to produce pain designedly. This probability 
becomes a certainty, if we credit the Christian Scriptures, 
where forgiveness, the opposite to revenge, is specially 

By comparing the language used in the following passages, 
it will be seen that revenge is forbidden in any shape ; and 
further, that we are even required to do good to our very 
enemies.* " If ye forgive men their trespasses, your hea- 
venly Father will also forgive you ; but if ye forgive not 
men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your 
trespasses.'* — *' And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him 
to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto 
him ; so, likewise, shall my heavenly Father do also unto 
you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother 
their trespasses." — ** Avenge not yourselves, but rather give 
place unto wrath ; for it is written, vengeance is mine ; I 
will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy 
hunger, feed him ; if he thirst, give him drink : for in so 
doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head." — ** For- 

347 What may be included in the idea of revenge 1 

348 How do we know whether we act for punishment or for revenge % 

349 What is probable from the light of nature 7 Why 1 

350 What confers certainty upon this opinion 1 

351 How far is this doctrine carried in Uie Scriptures 1 

352 Repeat some of the proofs. 

* Matt. vi. 14, 15 ; xviiL 34, 35. Rom. ziL 19, 20. CoL ill. 18. 
See also Ex. xxiii. 4. 


bearing one another, and forgiving one another ; if any man 
have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so 
also do ye," 

But the injunctions in favor of forgiveness do not inter- 
fere with the prosecution of public offences* From the lan- 
guage of Christy ^* If thy brother, who has trespassed agsuinat 
tfiee, neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an 
heathen man and a publican,"* it is plain that he assents to, 
and sanctions a proper discipline established in civil and reli- 
gions societies, for the restraint or punishment of criminals* 

But, if the magistrate be permitted to punish, so is likewise 
the prosecutor ; for the office of the latter is as necessary as 
that of the former. 

Nor, by parity of reason, are private persons prohibited 
from the correction of vice, provided they are provoked by 
the injury done to others, and uninfluenced by any feelings of 
a private pique towards the offenders. 

Thus, it is no breach of Christian charity to withdraw our- 
selves from persons, with a view to discountenance any con- 
duct that we deem immoral. This is authorized by St. Paul, 
1 Cor. V. 11. 

Although we are forbidden to resent an injury, we are not 
required to expose ourselves to a repetition of it; for this 
would be to encourage the acts of the offender to his own 

When a benefit can be conferred only upon one, or few ; if 
it is our duty to confer it on the most deserving, the choice 
must be made without reference to the person so chosen being 
a friend or foe : but if only a proper object, and not necessa- 
rily the most deserving, be required, then we are not bound 
to prefer a foe to a friend. 

Christ, who estimated virtues by their utility, lays the 
greatest stress on the virtue of forgiveness ; knowing that the 
private feuds which disturb the intercourse of life, and make 

S63 Are we then forbid to prosecute for crimes committed against us % 
354 How is the negative of this question proved ? 
855 What do we argue from the magistrate's being pennitted to pumsh 1 

356 What should be our motive in correcting vice ? 

357 How may we discountenance vice 1 What authority for thisi 

358 What is our duty when we wish to confer a benefit on one only ? 
369 How was the virtue of forgiveness esteemed by Christ 1 

• Matt. xviiL 17. ] 

up hsli its misery 9 owe their origin to the want of a forgiving 


Dueling, as a punishment, is absurd ; for it is an equal 
chance whether the punishment fall on the person offending, 
or on the one offended. Nor is it much better as a reparation, 
for it tends neither to undo the injury, nor to afford a com- 
pensation for the damage that is sustained. 

The truth is, it is not considered either as a punishment or 
as a reparation. But as the law of honor calls the man a 
coward, who submits patiently to an affront, the duel takes 
place not to satisfy the parties, but to prevent or wipe off this 

The unreasonableness of the rule is one thing ; the duty of 
the parties, while such a rule exists, is another. 

Then, the question is, whether a regard for our reputation 
is, or is not, sufficient to justify the taking away of one an- 
other's lives. It is not. For, 

1 . Murder is forbidden ; and life deliberately taken away, 
except by public authority, is murder. The value and secu- 
rity of lijfe make this rule necessary ; for any other would 
admit all the mischiefs arising from bloodshedding by private 

2. If divine laws are to be thus abrogated by human laws, 
all morality that is founded on the divine will is at end ; and 
fashion may, at one time or other, annul the obligation of 
every duty. 

'* But the sense of shame is insupportable." So is that 
of hunger. If, then, the former can extenuate murder, so 
can the latter: yet this finds no advocates, and neither should 
the other. 

Take away the chance of falling himself, and the duelist 

360 What may be said of dueling as a punishment 1 Why 1 

361 Is it any better as a reparation 1 Why ? 

362 Is it actually resorted to on either of these accounts 1 

363 How then is it occasioned 1 

364 Under what two considerations may it be treated 1 

365 What question shaU we discuss 1 How b it answered 1 

366 What is the first reason against dueling 1 

367 What will result from causing human regulations to set aside 
divine laws ? 

368 What excuse is offered ? And how answered 1 

369 What would render the duelist an assassin ? 



becomes the assassin ; add it, and even then, the dilTerence 
is only that fewer will adopt the practice. But a highway- 
man, who knows that the party whom he intends to rob is 
armed like himself, 'may plead the same extenuation ; yet his 
boldness affects not his criminality. 

In expostulating with the dnelist, I suppose that his adver- 
sary will fall, which, in my argument, is a fair supposition ; 
for if he has no right to kill, he has none to make the attempt. 
On the other hand, I do not urge the Christian principle of 
the forgiveness of injuries ; for on this point he may be guilt- 
less, and be acting only with a wish to save his honor. 

In this view of the question, the difference between the 
parties is none ; for both are influenced by the same law of 
honor, and both incur an equal hazard of committing murder. 

But as public opinion is not easily controlled by civil insti- 
tutions, the custom will continue, till some plan be found to 
take away the reproach of cowardice, attached to patience 
under insult and to a refusal to fight. 

The insufliciency of the law of the land to meet cases now^ 
settled by the law of honor, causes many to seek redress, 
attended even with the chance of death, rather than to subject 
themselves to the ridicule which is thrown on the sufferer by 
seeking compensation in a court of law. 

For the army or navy, where the law of honor is rigor- 
ously enforced,. a court of honor might be established, with 
power to award such submissions on the part of the offender, 
as a duel is intended to obtain: and it might become the 
fashion for others, not of those professions, to refer their 
quarrels to this tribunal. 


" If it be possible^ live peaceably with all men."* Whence 
it appears, that it is not always possible to do so. But it 

370 What difference is made by adding that chance 7 

371 Does this take away the criminality 1 Give an example. 

372 On what is the argument against dueling founded 1 Why 1 

373 Can we urge on the duelist the duty of forgiveness 1 Why 

374 Does this view of the question apply to one or both paities 1 
376 How can the custom be discontinued 1 

376 What has frequently caused this practice 1 

877 How might tins be remedied ? 

378 Is it always possible to live peaceably with others 1 

* Rom. xii. IS. 


A^ill be said, that Christ has enjoined us, << If an enemy smite 
thee on the right cheek, to turn to him the other also."* But 
this is rather a proverbial description of patience, than a 
positive rule of conduct, as may be inferred from the con- 
duct of Christ himself, who, when struck by a police-officer, 
thus rebukes the offender : '* If I have spoken evil, bear wit- 
ness of the evil ; but if well, why smitest thou me ?*'t 

A rule which forbade all opposition to injury, would have a 
tendency to give a license to insult ; because some would feel 
that they were bound by it, whilst others would despise it, 
and live in continual depredation on the conscientious. Hence 
St. Paul, who strongly felt and inculcated the necessity of 
forbearance and forgiveness, never requires an unresisting 
submission to every injury ; and the same apostle, who re- 
proved the litigiousness of the Corinthian converts,| took 
refuge in the laws of his country and in the privileges of a 
Roman citizen, from the violence of the Jew8,§ and from the 
injustice of the chief captain. || 

But if the injury, personal or public, be small, or the 
punishment likely to be disproportioned to the offence, then 
the Christian, because he is debarred of all vindictive mo* 
tives, is bound not to go to law. 

On the other hand, a lawsuit may be instituted on occa- 
sions of importance, — 1. To decide an uncertain right of 
consequence ; 2. To obtain reparation for some considerable 
damage ; and, 3. To prevent the repetition of the injury. 

But, as justice is the sole object, the means must be 
morally correct, and a process the most simple and direct 
must be adopted ; such as a reference to arbitration, or an 
agreement to settle the dispute by mutual concessions. Nor 

379 What injunction was given by the Savior 1 

380 How is that to be understood ? What authority ? 

381 What would be the tendency of a rule forbidding all opposition to 
injury 1 Whyl 

382 What was the conduct of St Paul 1 

383 In what cases is the Christian bound to refrain from going to lawl 

384 In what three cases is it allowable 1 

385 How should a prosecution be conducted 1 

386 What means may be adopted 1 

■ , 

* Matt. V. 39. -f John xviii. 23. ^ I Cor. vL 7, et seq. 

( Acts zxv* 11* I Acts xxiL 25. 


can either party morally have recourse to law, or prolong a 
suit, unless he thinks that his case is founded on right, and 
not dependent on the uncertainty of the decision ; nor has he 
a right to take any steps to distort or prevent evidence likely 
to make against himself. 

In criminal prosecutions, the private injury must be lost 
sight of, and the sufferer must feel as if he is only the official 
prosecutor, acting for the public welfare. But, in the same 
degree, he is bound to prosecute whenever the interests of the 
community require the punishment of the offender ; because 
it will not be done but through his instrumentality. 

In offences against the morals of society, where the prose- 
cution concerns the whole neighborhood, it is not binding on 
any one individual ; but there is merit, however, in his be- 
coming the prosecutor, if he so act on the ground of public 
good, and not to gratify some private pique merely. 

The character of an informer is undeservedly accounted 
odious. But when a good man can promote by his activity 
the observance of laws of general utihty, he will despise 
that unreasonable prejudice ; or show, by giving away his 
share of the penalty, that he is uninfluenced by the pecuniary 
reward. But when he takes advantage of enactments disre- 
garded because useless or obsolete, he acts morally wrong ; 
because he wilfully misapplies a rule to a case which the law 
did not intend to embrace, 


The mischief of ingratitude consists in its tendency to 
discourage voluntary beneflcence. Nor is the mischief small ; 
for much of the happiness of society depends on those offices 
of kindness, of which laws cannot compel the performance, 
and for which morality can suggest only £aint motives. 

Another reason for cultivating a grateful temper towards 

387 Of what are both parties disallowed? 

388 How should criminal proweutioiu be conducted 1 
.J8a» What else will dus feeling inculcate 1 Why? 

390 What may be said of offences against society at large? 

391 What may be said of an infonim'a character? 

392 "What effect will this have upon a good man.? 

393 When does the informer act wrong ? Why ? 

394 In what connste the mischief of ingratitude ? 
396 What may be said of this mischief? Why ? 
396 What is another reason for cultivating a grateful temper 1 

CBAP. xn. SLANDES. 125 

man, is in its tendency to produce a similar feeling towards 
God; and thus to become a source of one of the most exalted 

This duty is not, as sometimes supposed, omitted in the 
Christian Scriptures ; for the precept * to love God because 
he first loved us,' both acknowledges the existence of the 
principle of gratitude, and directs it also to its highest object. 

As there are no limits to the occasions and feelings of 
gratitude, so there can be none for the ways of expressing it. 

We are not, however, bound by a principle of gratitude to 
do any act morally wrong ; because the prohibition against 
such act is not only greater than the claim of gratitude, but 
also antecedent to it. But to plead a conscientious scruple 
for non-performance, when such does not really exist, is to 
add hypocrisy to ingratitude ; and to bring upon honest non- 
compliance the suspicion of being a dishonest one. 

To upbraid a man with the favors he has received, is un- 
generous ; but infinitely more so to require of him, in return 
for such favors, any mean and dishonest compliances. 


Speaking is really acting, but under another name. Now, 
as deeds are estimated according to our intentions, words 
must be tried by the same rule. The mischief is the same, 
though the means may difier. Hence, Christ declares (Matt. 
xii. 37) " by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy 
words thou shalt be condemned ;" that is, by words as well 
as deeds ; for both are equally capable of producing good and 

Slander is either malicious or inconsiderate. 

Malicious slander is the assertion of either truth or false- 
hood, with a view to do evil. 

Slander generally means the promulgation of a malicious 

397 Is gratitude inculcated in the Scriptures 1 

398 To what can we not be bound by feelings of gratitude ? Why 1 

399 How may this excuse be considered when groundless 1 

400 What may be said of upbraiding men widi the fi&vors they ha^e 
received 1 

401 What may speaking be considered in efiect 1 

402 What follows from this? 

403 What does our Savior say of speaking 1 Explanation. 

404 How is slander distinguished ? 

405 What is malicious slander 1 ' 

406 Give some explanation of the idea signified by <' slaa^r.** 



fblsehood ; bnt if the truth be told with a malicious view, tiiat 
i0 fltoder also, though its guilt m less than if unitod wiik 

By slander ought to be meant the production ot gratuitoua 
misehief* For if any feelings of self-interest intenere, te be 
attainea by a falsehood, the act is r fraud; if we serve our 
interest by truth, unless it is accompanied by some immoral 
act, such as breach of promise or betrayal of confidence, it is 
not criminal. 

Whether a person be affected directly by the scandal, or 
indirectly through another connected with him, the guilt must 
be measured by the misery intended to be produced ; and the 
disguises under which slander is concealed are only so many 
aggravations, as they indicate more deliberation and design. 

Inconsiderate slander is less criminal, although it may 
actually produce the same mischief. But at the same time, 
it is not free from guilt ; for, the offender cannot be exone- 
rated by the plea that he had no design to injure ; because he 
is bound to keep such a check on his words as to prevent 
even indirect mischief to others. 

Information given for the sole purpose of caution is not 

On the other hand, indiscriminate praise is the opposite 
extreme of slander ; and though it is apparently the excess 
of candor, it generally proceeds either from a frivolous under- 
standing, or a contempt for all moral distinctions. 

407 What shoald be intended by the use c^ the word ? Why ? 

408 How must we measure the guilt of slander 1 

409 What may be said of any disguise under which slander may be 
concealed? Why 7 

410 What is the guilt of inconsiderate slander 1 

41 1 Why is it criminal at all ? 

412 What is not slander 1 

413 What may be said of indiscriminate praise? 




The constitution of the sexes is the foundation of marriage. 

Collateral to the subject of marriage, are chastity, incest, 
polygamy, and divorce. 

Consequential to marriage, is the relation and reciprocal 
duty of parent and child. 


The use of marriage consists in its promoting the follow- 
ing beneficial effects : 

1.' The private comforts of individuals ; of the female sex 
especially. All, perhaps, are not interested in this reason ; 
but, as whatever adds to the happiness of the majority is 
binding on the whole, all are bound to abstain from any con- 
duct that would tend in its general consequence to the ob- 
struction of marriage. 

2. The preservation and education of the greatest number 
of children. 

3. The peace of society, by preventing the contention that 
would otherwise ensue amongst several men for the posses- 
sion of one woman. 

4. The improvement of society, by the formation of sepa- 
rate families, and by appointing one master over each. This 
authority has more influence than all civil authority put to- 

5. The additional security of the state, founded in the soli- 

414 What does the constitution of sexes lead to 1 

415 What subjects are collateral to niarriage 1 

416 What ethical subjects in consequence of marriage t 

417 What is the first beneficial efiect of marriage 1 

418 How will this reason efiect those who are not interested in it as 
concemB themselves individually 1 

419 What is the second beneficial effect 1 

420 What is the third 1 * 421 What is the fourth 1 

422 What effect has parental authority 1 

423 What is the fifth benefit ? 




citade of peraons for the welfare of their chfldreny and in their 
restriction to fixed habitations. 

6. The encouragement of industry. 

Of the utility of marriage, some ancient nations were more 
sensible than the modems are. The Spartans checked cell* 
bacy by penalties, and the Romans encouraged matrimony by 
conferring privileges upon persons who had three children. 
A man who had no child could not, by the Roman law» claim 
but the half of a legacy left to him. 

Marriage between brothers and sisters, and between any 
who usually live in the same family, may be said to be for- 
bidden by the law of nature. Restrictions which extend to 
remoter degrees of kindred than thus described, are founded 
only in the positive law which ordains them ; and, when so 
made, must be justified by their tendency to promote general 

[Ecclesiastical law, wherever it has had authority or in- 
fluence, has prohibited matrimony between near relations by 
blood or marriage.1 The Levitical law, from which these 
prohibitions were deduced, and also the Roman law, prohibit 
marriage between relations that are within three degrees of 
kindred, computing the generations, not from, but throagh 
the common ancestor, and accounting affinity the same as 

The Egyptians are said to have permitted the marriage of 
brothers and sisters ; but among the Athenians, although bro- 
thers and sisters of half blood on the father's side could 
marry, those on the mother's side could not. The same 
custom probably obtained in Chaldeain the time of Abraham ; 
for he and Sarah his wife stood in this relation to each other. 
'* And yet, indeed, she is my sister ; she is the daughter of 
my father, but not of my mother, and she became my wife." 
Gen. XX. 12. 

fin several of the United States, marriages within the Le- 
vitical degrees are made void by statute ; but in others, there 

424 The sixth ? 

426 What opinions had the ancients on the utility of marriage 1 

426 What marriages are forbidden by the law of nature 1 

427 On what are any other restrictions founded 1 

428 What prohibitions were made by the Levitical law 1 

429 What were allowed among ancieift nations ? 

480 What Ipflral provision is made in the United States upon the 

CHAP. n. POL Y6 AMY. 129 

18 either no law upon the subject, or the prohibition extends 
only to relations by blood in the lineal, (i. e. ascending and 
descending,) and to brothers and sisters.] 

The Roman law continued the prohibition to the descend- 
ants of brothers and sisters without limits. 


The equality* in the births of males and females intimates 
God's intention to assign one woman to each man ; for if one 
man possesses exclusively many women, many men must be 
deprived of their right to a partner. Besides, had God intended 
polygamy, he would, probably, have given Adam more than 
one wife. 

Polygamy, besides being at variance with nature's law and 
God^s apparent design, produces effects injurious to society, 
by giving rise to contests amongst the different wives of one 
husband, whose affections are thus distracted or lost. 

Besides, where polygamy prevailer, men become weak in 
body and depraved in mind ; wives are considered as mere 
conveniences to their husbands ; and children are ne^ected ;— 
€br it is plain that the same number of children can be better 
supported by the united exertions of many fathers, than by 
those of one alone. 

Whether polygamy was permitted by the Mosaic law is 
donbtful.t But, whether permitted or not, it was practised 
by the patriarchs both before that law and under it. The 
permission, if given, was probably given as an indulgence to 
prejudices, and not because it was morally correct. The 
practice appears to have been discontinued before the time of 
our Saviour, as there is no hint in the New Testament of its 

431 What general fact has a bearing upon polygamy ? 

432 What other iact may be considefed as intimating our Creator's will 
vj^an this subject 1 

433 What injury to society is produced by polygamy 1 

434 What injurious effects upon individuals is occasioned by it 1 

435 Was polygamy prohibited by the Mosaic law 1 

436 Why was it not prohibited in the Christian code? 

* This equality is not exact. The number of male in&nts exceeds that 
of females in the proportion of nineteen to eighteen, or thereabouts ; which 
excess provides for the greater consumption of males by war, seafaring, 
md other dangerous or unhealthy occupations. 

f Deut. xvii. 17; xxi. 16. 


As polygamy was forbidden by the Greek and Roman 
laws, it is probable, that it was tolerated merely in the eastern 
countries, and scarcely known elsewhere. Hence its omis- 
sion in the Christian coder which was promulgated in coun- 
tries more immediately influenced by Roman customs. The 
words of Christ* may be said to prohibit polygamy by im- 
plication. For as the guilt lies in marrying after putting 
away another, there is die same guilt in marrying witho\U 
putting away the first. And St. Paul, when speaking of 
marriage, always supposes it to signify the union of one man 
and one woman .t 

In nothing do countries differ so much as in their domestic 
arrangements. Polygamy, although now nearly universal in 
the East, is prohibited in all Christian countries. In Sweden 
it is visited with death. In England, and in the United 
States, the punishment is less severe ; but as it renders void 
the second marriage, it is a cruel fraud, because it cheats a 
woman out of her chastity and happiness together. 

The ancient Medes compelled a man in one canton to take 
seven wives, and each woman in another five husbands, ac- 
cording as war or other causes had thinned the male or female 
population respectively. 


By divorce is meant the dissolution of marriage at the will 
of either party. 

The power of divorce was given by law to the husband, 
amongst the Jews, Greeks, and Romans ; and is still exercised 
by the Turks and Persians ; Qand, under certain limitations, 
by the wife also, in England, and elsewhere.") The question 
is, does the law of nature admit such a right f 

As the duties which, by the law of nature, parents and 
children owe reciprocally to each other, cannot be fulfilled, 
except by the continued cohabitation of the parents ; divorce, 
because it is at variance with such obligations, is at variance 
with the law of nature also. 

487 Where is it prohibited, and where allowed ? 

438 What is the meaning of divorce ? 

439 Where haa it been allowed ? 

440 What k the question to be determined 1 

441 In what light is it placed by the relations of parents and ohildrea ? 

442 Setting these relations aside, does the law of nature forbid it 1 

* * Mstt. ziz, 9. t Rom* vu. 1, 3, 3. 

CHAP* in. DIVORCE. 131 

But if there be no children, the objections to divorce rest 
on grounds of general expediency alone ; for, 

1. Divorce is not necessarily excluded by a marriage con- 
tract ; for the contract may be so worded as to permit such 

2. Although a contract may naturally continue as long as 
the purpose for which it was made continues ; still, it wiU be 
difficult to show what purpose of the contract, (the care of 
children excepted,) should prevent a divorce. 

3. Nor can it be said that a contract for marriage is indis- 
soluble unless the parties can be placed in the same situation 
as they were previous to the contract ; for this law, if appli- 
cable to divorce, must be so to all other contracts, — a propo- 
sition requiring a proof not yet given. 

I confess that I am unable to assign any circumstance in 
the marriage contract itself, why it could not, like other mu- 
tual engagements, be dissoluble at the option of the parties. 
We must therefore seek elsewhere for the obligation to its 
forced continuance. And if it appears that it is supported on 
the grounds of general expediency, we cannot in principle 
pronounce it contrary to the law of nature ; and therefore 
must conclude that it ought, like other duties, to be fulfilled. 

Now the general utility of making the marriage contract 
indissoluble during the life of either party, may be proved 
from its tendency to preserve the happiness of the married 
state, through the advantage of a perpetuated common interest. 
For if a separation could take place at will, the wife, because 
she is likely to suffer most from such separation, would en- 
deavor to draw to herself a fund in order to guard against 
the evils of such anticipated divorce. This disunion of inte- 
rests would be followed by an alienation of affection, which 
would be detrimental to both parties. But if she be secured 
from the chance of a capricious separation, the same self- 
interest, which in the former case we said would lead to acts 
productive of misery to both, will lead her to an opposite line 
of conduct, which would be productive of mutual happiness. 

443 Give three reasons to show that it does not. 

444 Is there any circumstance in the marriage contract to prohibit 
divorce 1 

445 To what other principle shall we look for its settlement 1 

446 How is proved the general utility of hindering divorces 1 

447 How is this shown 1 


Again, an indissoluble contract tends to preserve the hap« 
piness of the married state, by inducing a necessity of mataal 
-compliance. A man and woman in love with each other do 
this insensibly. But where love is wanting, nothing 'WJH 
go half so far with the generality of people as this one intel- 
ligible reflection, that they must each make the best of their 
bargain. Therefore, through necessity they will promote the 
pleasure of each other ; and this will soon become a habit so 
easy and natural, that it wjU procure for them a repose and 
satisfaction sufficient for their happiness. Besides, as by the 
constitution of nature, love is not a durable passion, whatever 
attractions either party may have once seen in the other, will 
be impaired by possession. And, as the desire of novelty 
can be checked only by the known impossibility of obtaining 
the object, that check in this casd should be adopted for its 
utility; because it supplies to both sides, by a sense of obliga*' 
tion and mutual interest, what satiety has impaired of passiod 
and of personal attachment. 

Were the motives which bring the sexes together able to 
hold them so ; or could the woman, after a separation, be 
restored entirely to her former state ; the power of divorce^ 
if granted, would not be used, or could not be abused. Bat 
as, in the present constitution of society, the disadvantage 
must be generally on the woman's side, justice demands that 
some check be interposed, to prevent one half of married 
persons being made miserable by the caprice of the other. 

But it may be said, that divorces by mutual consent would 
not be exposed to the same evils ; but we must consider theL 
indelicate situation, and the prospect of misery, to which the 
dissenting party must be exposed, if the other has a right ta 
ask for her agreement to such a plan. 

The law of nature (or of the land, rather) admits a divorce 
as a remedy for some provable acts ; but not as a relief from 
imaginary grievances, such as dislike, temper, jealousy, and 
other sources of annoyance ; because such objections may 

448 What other proof is there ? How is it shown 1 

449 What other useful check does it occasion 1 

450 Why is that check necessary ? 

451 What circumstances would do away the abuse of divorce 1 

452 In the present constitution of society, what is demanded by 
justice 1 

453 What reply is there against divorce by mutual consent 1 

454 When does the law of nature admit of divorce 1 When does it 
not 1 Why I 


always be asserted by one party, and cannot be disproved by 
the other ; and the admission of them, as a plea for divorce, 
would destroy at once the marriage contract 

This consideration of the extent of the mischief which 
would result from a latitude in the power to dirorce, is the 
best answer to those persons who, like Milton, advocate the 
right to dissolve a marriage on the ground of mutual dislike. 
For, if it be said that the happiness of both would be best 
consulted by the dissolution of a connection disagreeable to 
both; it may be replied, that as the extension of the rule 
would produce more misery than its limitation can, the ge- 
neral consequence must not be sacrificed for the benefit of 
the individual exception. 

Although the Mosaic law permitted a Jew to put away his 
wife for slight causes, Christ has prohibited all divorces, ex- 
cept on the ground of adultery ;* a rule which, as it is given 
in explicit words, must be taken in its plain sense. 

With regard to any separation short of divorce, neither law 
nor reason forbid it ; for if there be no children to require the 
care of both parents, the parties are left to seek their own 
happiness by any act that is not immoral. Because, the pro- 
mise ' to keep together' (i. e. to live together) is both given 
and received, wi& the knowledge that a case of separation, 
or even of divorce, may occur, through the operation of the 
very law that imposed the oath. And St. Paul, who, while 
he permits a wife to depart from her husband,t orders her 
also to remain unmarried, thus distinguishes between a sepa- 
ration and divorce. 

\J* In some of the States, absolute divorce is confined to the 
single case of adultery ; but in the residue of the States, in- 
tolerable ill-usage, or wilful desertion, or unheard-of absence, 
or some of them, will authorize a decree for a divorce.*'— 
Kenfs Commentaries^ Lee. 27.] 

Those canonical disabilities which release parties from the 

455 What reply may be given to Milton, and thoee who think like 
himi Whyl 

456 What is the Scripture law upon this subject 1 

457 Can there be any other kind of separation 1 

468 Is there any Scripture authority for this 1 

469 What is the law of the States upon this subject! 

^ I _^ ■ ' ' ' >" ■|-T~W 

• M«tt. xix. 9. t 1 Cor.vii. 10 11. 


134 mEULTTYS DtmsS. BOOK ITT. FT* 3, 

marrias^e contract on the ground of some legal defect, are not 
dfssolations of an existing marriage, bot simply declaratiooB 
that there was in fact no marriage, in consequence of impedi- 
ments then subsisting : for as the parties are charged to make 
known such impediments, the contract is supposed to take 
effect only on the supposition that no such impediments 
exist ; and it is consequently dissolyed when they become 


In almost all countries marriage is made a religions cere* 
mony. Yet in its own nature, and apart from scriptural 
rules and regulations, it ira ciril contract merely. And even 
where the Jewish and Christian Scriptures hare been ap- 
pealed to as guides in legislation, marriage was not ordained 
to be celebrated as a religious rite in churches till the thir- 
teenth century after Christ. 

Formerly, the husband bought his wife from her family ; 
at present, the wife frequently buys the husband ; and by 
such alteration in fashion, she has obtained what she pre- 
viously wanted, the chance of that continued attention which 
her personal attractions could not always secure. 

Marriage is a contract on the part of the husband to love, 
comfort, honor, and keep his wife ; and on that of the wife, 
to obey, serve, love, honor, and keep her husband, in every 
change of bodily health and worldly wealth ; and both en- 
gage to keep only to one another during their joint lives. 

[** It is not necessary, by the common law, that a clergy- 
man should be present, to give validity to the marriage, 
though it is, doubtless, a very becoming practice, and suitable 
to the solemnity of the occasion. The consent of the parties 
may be declared before a magistrate, or simply before wit- 
nesses, or subsequently confeflsed or acknowledged ; or the 
marriage may even be inferred from their reputation as hus- 

460 What eiiect has canonical disabilities ? Why 1 

461 How has the marriage ceremony been generally esteemed? 

462 Is it so naturally ? 

463 How long has it been considered a religious rite 1 

464 What are the terms of the contract on the part of the husband 1 

465 What are the terms on the part of the wi& ? 

466 For how long is their engagement 1 

467 What are the common'laTO regulations concerning the contract ? 


band and wife. In several of the United States the com- 
mon law remains in force, but in some others there are 
statute provisions on the subject," — Kent^s Comment ariesj 
Lee. 26.] 

The peculiar feature in this contract is, that while the 
other obligations are similar, that of obedience is promised 
on the part of the wife alone. But, however contrary such 
a stipulation may' appear to the natural rights of the sexes, 
iivhom God has made equal in their respective stations, it is 
practically of great utility, because it prevents a contest for 
superiority. Besides, the wife's obedience is peremptorily 
enjoined by the Christian Scriptures ;* so much so, that it 
seems to extend to all acts except those which are in them- 
selves criminal. 

Although we cannot say that no one can conscientiously 
marry, who does not prefer the espoused to all other men or 
women in the world ; yet it is plain that whoever is con- 
scious that he dislikes the woman he is about to marry, 
or that he will not probably entertain a proper affection 
for her, is guilty, when he pronounces the marriage vow, 
of a deliberate prevarication. The same likewise of the 

The marriage vow is violated by any unnecessary conduct 
of one party which knowingly produces unhappiness in the 

['* No persons are capable of binding themselves in mar- 
riage, until they have arrived at the age of consent, which, 
by the common law of the land, is fixed at fourteen in males, 
and twelve in females. Nature has not fixed any precise 
period, and municipal laws must operate by fixed and rea- 
sonable rules,"— JTew^** Commentaries, Lee. 26.] 

468 Are these regulations adopted in all the States ? 

469 What is the peculiar feature of the marriage contract 1 

470 Why is this peculiarity useful 1 

471 Is there any other reason for iti 

472 To what extent is the scriptural injunction 1 

473 When would a man be guilty of prevarication in this business I 

474 When is the marriage vow violated ? 

475 To what age must the contracting parties have arrived 1 

476 Why has this regulation been made ? 

« . 

• Eph, V. 24. 1 Pet iU. 1—4. 


CHAP. T.— mrrr of parents. 

That Tirtoe which confines its exercise within the circle 
of a man's own family, is, it is said, only selfishness refined. 
And yet, it may be asked, Is not virtue the most valuable 
where it produces the most good ? and where can the most 
good be done so effectually as in our own circle ? Besides, 
while the happiness of each individual part is thus upheld, 
is not the happiness of the whole increased ? 

If, then, such a virtue be lightly esteemed, it must owe its 
inferior estimation to a view, not of its effects, but of its 
motives. Nor can it be denied that it is possible so to unite 
our children's interest with our own, as that we can often 
pursue both from the same motive. Where this is the case, 
the above charge of selfishness will be borne out ; especially 
if it can be shown that in the prosecution of such objects of 
common interests, important duties of another kind have 
been neglected. 

As regards the attention due to children, the act is indis- 
pensable ; but its motive is not often meritorious. Hence» 
though the attention to such duties does not raise a man in 
the scale of virtue, a neglect of them justly sinks him deep in 
disgrace ; because it exhibits his want, not only of parental 
affections, but also of moral principles to supply the place 
of them. 

Another reason why we do not esteem this duty any 
higher, is because virtue is prized, not when it produces 
more good, but when the most wanted; and in this case, 
there is no necessity for such a principle, because it is sup- 
plied by instinct, x et, as the mstinct may be checked or 
diverted by the wants of the parent himself, a sense of obli- 
gation is sometimes necessary to stimulate him to duty. And 
even where there would be the full exercise of parental affec- 
tion, a principle of duty may still be wanted to direct its 

477 What have Bome thought of the virtae which ai&ets merely our 

478 Should that kind of virtae he despised 1 

479 Why, then, has it been lightly esteemed 1 

480 What is said of the act of attention to one's children 1 What of 
the motive! 

481 What follows fi^m this view of the subject 1 

482 What acts of virtue do we most prize 1 

483 Is the sense of obligation to this duty ever necessary ? 


exertions so as to benefit rather than to injure his children. 
Universally, wherever a parentis conduct is directed by a 
sense of duty, there is so much virtue. 

Some moralists tell us, that parents are bound to do all 
they can for their children : but, at this rate, every expense 
ivhich might have been spared, or every profit omitted which 
might have been made, would be criminal. 

The duty of parents has, like other duties, its limits ; and 
its rules may be classed under the heads of maintenance, 
education, and a reasonable provision for the child's future 

I. Maintenance. The wants of children demand a main- 
tenance from some person ; and as none have a right to bur- 
den others with the consequences of their own acts, parents 
alone • are bound to that maintenance. Besides, the pro- 
vision prepared by nature in the mother, for the nourishment 
of the child, and also the instinct of affection on the part of 
the parents, indicates the intention of God as to binding the 
parties to maintain their offspring. 

Hence is seen the guilt of those, who, when alive, desert 
their children, or, previous to their death, neglect to lay up 
such provision for their support as they might have done by 
frugality, diligence, and a sacrifice of selfish enjoyments. 

Little as the Christian Scriptures concern themselves with 
maxims of a worldly-minded nature, yet on this point they 
are very explicit. *' If any provide not for his own, espe- 
cially those of his own household, he hath denied the faith, 
and is worse than an infidel."* 

II. Education. By this word is intended the preparation 
made in youth for the child's future life. 

Education is necessary to check habits of vice and to 
cherish those of virtue ; and without occupation, one result 
of education, a youth falls into mischief from mere idleness. 
For as in civilized society every thing is the effect of art, the 

484 What extravagant opinions are held by some moralists t 

486 What classification may be given to the duties of parents ? 

486 Why are parents bound to maintain their children 1 

487 Who are shown by this fact to be guilty 1 

488 What notice of the obligation is taken by the Scriptures 1 

489 What is meant by education 1 Why is it necessary 1 

490 What fault is nearly allied to the nonperformance of this duty ? 

• 1 Tim. V. 8. 
M 2 


child who is not taught some art, is of necessity useless, and 
consequently almost always mischievous; and therefore is 
little less injurious than a mad dog or a wild beast. 

Next to tiie evils of not educating, is the giving to youth a 
lazy and precarious calling, which unfits them for situations 
requiring personal restraint or continued mental exertion, and 
induces the habit of resorting to temporary expedients for 
support, instead of seeking permanent occupation. 

In lower life, parents fulfil their duty by educating their 
children to an honest handicraft calling ; but in the middle 
orders of society, children should either be prepared for a 
higher profession ; or both furnished with the means of living 
without one,^ and instructed in such liberal arts as will pre- 
vent them from becoming useless or mischievous members 
of society. 

HI. A reasonable provision for the child's welfare will be 
made by furnishing nim,-^l. With a situation suited to his 
fieiir expectations ; 2. With the means of supporting such a 
situation; and, 3. With a probable security for his moral 

The situation suited to the fair expectations of a child is 
one somewhat approaching that of his parents ; or similar to 
that provided by other parents of like condition for their 
children. On the other hand, it is equally fatal to the future 
happiness of children to educate them either above or below 
their fair expectations ; for in the one case, their hopes are 
directed to objects not attainable ; and in the other, their 
ideas being ill adapted to a change of fortune for the better, 
prevent their rational enjoyment of any good that may be 
thrown in their way.t 

491 What daties devolve upon parents in the lower classes 1 
49S What, upon parents in middle life ? 

493 What three things are necessary for the child's future welfiire? 

494 With what kind of a situation should he be furnished ? 

495 What will probably befall those children who are educated above 
then expectations t 

496 What, if educated below their expectations? 

* Amongst the Athenians, if the parent did not put his child into a 
way of ge^g a livelihood, the child was not bound to make provision 
for the parent when old and necessitous. 

f Aldiough the education must vary with the means of the parents, 
yet in aU cases the health and virtue of the child must be the first con- 
sideration. In respect of health, all out-door occupations are preferable 


But in thus indulging the reasonable expectations of the 
child, care must be taken that no sacrifice be made of what 
is due to exigences ; such as appearance and mode of living, 
commonly called decency. Of such exigences custom can 
best define the nature and limit ; and all that can be said here 
is, that, as custom has annexed to certain stations the enjoy- 
ment of certain pleasures, a young person who is withheld 
from sharing in them by a want of fortune, can scarcely be 
said to have a fair chance of happiness. Hence, in the dis- 
position of property at death, care should be taken to provide 
means to meet such exigences, to be regulated by a correct 
view of the difierent situations for which the children have 
been fitted, and the. various success they have met or are 
likely to meet with. 

From the few lucrative employments left to females of 
small means, daughters deserve the particular care of the 
parent ; and, as with diminished means, the chance of their 
marriage decreases, they have a right to expect a provision 
In their favor, even if it should occasion a decrease of the 
fortunes of the sons. 

But when these exigences have been provided for, the 
parent ought to satisfy such expectations of his children as 
arise from the custom of the country. 

When a provision for the exigences of a child has been 
made, the parent is at liberty to punish its previous improper 
conduct by any diminution of property ; for a bad child has 
no reason to expect, and hence no right to receive, the same 
kindness fi'om his father that a good one has. 

497 What care is necessary in the disposal of property at death ? 

498 What care for daughters is recommended 1 

499 What should follow afler provision for exigences 1 

500 What liberty has a parent after providing for the exigences of his 

to in-door; and active, to sedentaiy employments. In respect of virtue, 
aU dealings where the benefit to both parties is redprocal, are preferable 
to those where one man's gain is another's loss ; as gambling, speculations 
in the funds, or in goods. Trades, also, where the profits are dependent 
on our exertions, are better than fixed salaries, equal in amount to the 
profits ; for, in the former case, there is generaUy a pleasing mental acti- 
vity, which is wanting in the listlessness or sameness of the occupation 
afiixed to the latter. In respect of security, trades connected with the 
manual arts are better than those connected with merchandise ; and situ- 
ations which admit of early marriages are preferable to those that reqi?' 
a longer time for a larger establishment. 


The only case where a parent is justified in disinheriting 
a son, (and that not entirely,) is when the conduct of the son 
is such as to give the father reason to believe that if the son 
possessed property, he would waste it, as little controlled by 
reason, as if he were a perfect idiot. But even here, means 
ought to be provided for his support, in the shape of an 
annuity arising from property which he cannot alienate. 

In the distribution of property it has been said, that a pa- 
rent has a right to do what he will with his own. This ex- 
pression is true, if, by right, be meant a legal right ; but he 
possesses no moral right to disappoint the fair expectations 
of his children by any feelings of caprice alone ; for, if ail con- 
duct themselves equally well, all ought to be equally dear to 
him, though all may not equally possess the same power to 
gain his good graces, by playing on the weakness of his na- 
ture. To meet these future demands on his fortune, a parent 
is bound to regulate his present means with frugality ; and to 
be just before he is generous. But though the plea that cha- 
rity begins at home is good, up to ihe point where reason 
says, that to give to those who want, by taking from those 
who also want, is not adding to the stock of public happiness ; 
the same plea cannot be urged to justify parsimony, where a 
sufficiency has been already obtained. For, beyond that 
point, as the use of wealth decreases, so ought the desire of 
it to . diminish, even on the children's own account; whose 
chance of well-doing, so far from being increased, is lessened 
by such access of fortune. Of those who have died rich, few 
have begun with much ; and, in respect of enjoyment, self- 
love throws a charm about wealth gained by one's own exer- 
tions, that is wanting in property merely inherited from an- 

The last and most important duty of a parent is to secure 
the moral conduct of his child. The parent who believes 
that man is an accountable being, and observes that the acts 
of manhood are, to a certain degree, the results of youthful 
instruction, will feel himself bound to attend equally to a 

501 When may a parent disinherit a child ? 

602 What amends should be made in such cases t 

603 What is said of the expression " One may do what he will with 
his own 1" Whyl 

604 How should this affect a parent's expenses 1 

606 When will this cease to justify parsimony ? Why 1 

606 What is the most important duty of a parent 1 Remarks^ 


cbild's moral conduct and worldly welfai#; since the child's 
interest is concerned in the one means of happiness as well 
SU3 in the other; and both means are equally and almost 
exclusively in the parent's power. 

To attain this object, the most eiTectnal step is to inculcate 
tlie doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments ; and 
the doctrine will be inculcated most successfully by the pa- 
rent's visibly acting with a view to these consequences them- 
selves. Solemn exhortations, at variance with acts, will 
produce either no effect, or a mischievous one ; while reproofs 
and chidings, prompted by sudden provocation, discover more 
of anger than principle, and tend to create an aversion rather 
to the person forbidding, than to the thing forbidden. 

Next to being virtuous, the parent should endeavor to 
make his virtue appear amiable ; and thus induce a child to 
receive what would be loathed if presented in a repulsive 
form. For as youth are equally violent in their likings and 
dislikings, there is reason to fear that parsimony or piety, for 
instance, if insisted on too strongly, will be rejected as incon- 
sistent with the rational enjoyment of money and mirth ; and 
their place will be supplied by the opposite feelings of profu- 
sion and irreligion. 

Independent of the parent's own conduct, as forming a 
model for the child's^ imitation, attention should be paid to 
the peculiarities of the youth's disposition ; which may be 
improved by placing him where motives will present them- 
selves of self-correction, rather than of self-indulgence. 

Instead, therefore, of placing penurious tempers in trade, 
dissolute youths in the army, and crafty lads in the law, a 
parent ought to choose situations quite the reverse. And as 
education should give rather what the youth does not possess 
than what he does, I would choose a public or private edu- 
cation, according to the tendency of the pupil's character. 

It appears, that at public schools more literature and more 
vice is acquired, quick parts more cultivated, and slow ones; 
more neglected; while, under private tuition, though less 

607 What is the best means for this 1 

508 How should this be donel Give illustrations. 

609 With what other management should good example be attended 1 

610 What attention should be given to the dispositions of children 1 
Crive examples. 

511 How should our choice be affected concerning public or private 
education ? 


learning be attainedpit ia attained with more certainty ; and, 
therefore, the timid and indolent should be sent to the former, 
while the spirited and passionate should be restrained by the 


The rights of parents result from their duties. If the pa- 
rent is bound to attend to the welfare of his children, he has a 
right to demand their obedience to so much of his authority 
as may be requisite for the discharge of his sacred trust. But 
as the duties of the parent are the sole foundation of his right, 
80 his power cannot naturally extend beyond the exercise of 
such duties. 

Hence it follows that parents have not a right in the per- 
sons of their children, and cannot sell them, as they were 
allowed by the Roman law. Upon this, by the way, we may 
observe, that the children of slaves are not, by the law of na- 
ture, bom slaves ; for the masters can only possess what the 
slave has a right to part with, his own personal freedom. 

Nor can a parent, by virtue of his authority, require his 
children to do an immoral act ; nor even may he, for gratifying 
his own personal feelings, lead them into any act by which 
their happiness would be sacrificed. For as the authority is 
given with a view to increase, and not diminish the child's 
happiness, its exercise must be confined to the attainment 
of the former object alone. 

But as provision must be made sometimes for the future 
welfare of children before they can judge for themselves, pa- 
rents have a right to choose situations or professions for them. 

In questions of disputed authority between the parents, as 
the wife herself must obey the husband, so must the child 
obey rather the father's than the mother's commands. 

As the rights of the father result from his duties, it is imma- 
terial whether the father performs personally such duties, or 

Bl% From what do the rights of parents result 1 Illustrate. 

513 What do we learn fk>in this ? 

614 What is said of children of slaves ? Why 1 

515 What acts has a parent no right to command 1 Why t 

516 When has he right to choose professions for his children ? 

517 Suppose one parent command one thing, and the other parant 
Its opposite 1 

518 What are the rights bf a guardian or tutor 1 Why ? 

CBA1P. yil. BITTT OF CHtU>R£H; 143 

delegates them to another. Hence, a gaaidian or tutor has 
the same rights as the father has to the child's obedience. 


I. Until children have some notion of the difieienee of 
moral acts, they can have no duties ; but this excuse cannot 
be valid during the interval between the dawn and maturity 
of reason. And that is the time when it is necessary that 
they should be subjected to many restraints, and directed in 
the employment of their faculties, though such necessity may 
not be apparent to themselves. For this cause, their submis- 
sion during this period must be ready and implicit, unless 
they are commanded to do a criminal act 

II. As long as grown-up children remain yoluntarily mem- 
bers of the father's family, they are bound, besides the ge- 
neral duty of gratitude to their parents, to conduct themselves 
as they would towards any other person into whose family 
they might be admitted ; and not presume, on the strength of 
relationship, to be free ifrom the regulations of the family, or 
from aid in its support. 

III. After the children have left the father's family, the 
gratitude due to a parent differs only in degree from that due 
to any other benefactor ; and is the greater, in that respect, 
only as the kindness received from the hands of the parent 
is greater than what is received from any one else. 

With regard to the innumerable acts by which filial grati- 
tude may be shown, it is sufficient to observe, that declining 
years demand a continued exertion on the part of children, to 
promote the enjoyments and soften the anxieties of aged pa- 
rents; and, therefore, however irksome such a duty may 
seem to younger persons, it ought to be cheerfully performed, 
from the consideration that the infirmities of age can hope 

519 When are children without duties? 

520 When can there not be this plea ? 

521 What is said of that tune of life 1 

522 What follows from this 1 

523 Supposing grown-up sons and daughters remain in their fitther's 

624 What duties have children after they have grown up to ma nh ood, 
and have left their father's house 1 
535 By what acts may children show their gratitude 1 


to find no indulgence except in the piety and partiality of 


Since the chief points of difference between parents and 
children relate to .marriage, or to the choice of a profession, 
it is necessary to define the respectiye duties of the parties. 

A parent is bound to increase the happiness of his child. 
Hence, if it be the case that there is such an exclusive at- 
tachment between individuals of different sexes, that their 
union is necessary for their happiness ; or if a child has an 
unconquerable aversion to a particular profession ; the parent 
ou^ht not to urge his authority against the will of the child, 
and the child is not bound to obey it. Nor is the parent jus- 
tifiable in holding out any threats of present or future dis- 
pleasure for a non-compliance with his caprice. All that he 
can fairly do, is to represent correctly his view of the step to 
be taJcen, and to require of the child to give himself sach 
time for reflection as will enable him to see whether his pre- 
sent feelings are of a permanent nature or not ; and should 
the result of such reflection be only a confirmation of ihe 
child's previous resolution, the parent is bound to yield* 
And on the other hand, the child is bound to act fairly with 
his parent ; and to try faithfully whether time and reflection 
will not destroy his previous predilection ; and not enter upon 
the experiment with the design of obtaining his end at last, 
by means of a temporary compliance. 

A parent has no right to urge his child upon a marriage to 
which he is averse. This case differs from the other only 
in the intensity of the suffering, because it is easier to live 
without a person that we love than with one whom we hate. 
Add to this, such compulsion leads to prevarication in the 
promise of affection ; and all authority ceases, when obedi- 
ence becomes criminal. 

In all contests between parents and children, the parent 
should represent to the child the consequences of his con- 

626 What are the most 'eerious contentions between parents and 
children 1 

627 What is the duty of each party in case of exclusive attachment, 
on the part of the child, to a particular person ; and of an aversion to a 
particular profesdonl 

628 What should, and what should not a parent do in such cases 1 

629 And to what acts is the child bound ? 

630 May a parent urge his child to an unwilling marriage ? 

631 What may a parent do in such cases t 

CHAP. VII. Duty op children. 145 

duct. And this should be done with fidelity, and not with 
exaggeration, as is usual with some parents, who defeat their 
own end by losing all credit with their children. If the child 
be competent to judge for itself, the parent's right to inter- 
ference ceases with the necessity for its use. Hence, for 
instance, if a secret is confided to a child, the parent has no 
right to demand the disclosure of it. Neither can he require 
the violation of any trust reposed in him ; for as the son was 
expected to pursue his own judgment, so is he bound to do 
so, without the interference of the parent in any way. 

The duty of children to their parents, as ordained in the 
decalogue, is confirmed directly by Christ in many parts of 
the gospel. And it is recognised indirectly by his reproof 
of the casuistry of the Jews, who attempted to evade the 
positive duty of supporting their indigent parents, by pre- 
tending to devote to the service of God the sum which the 
parents were entitled to demand. 

By the Jewish law, disobedience to parents was an offence 
which the magistrate could punish with death.* And under 
the Christian dispensation, St. Paul enjoins children to be 
obedient to their parents, because ** it is right,"t or ** well- 
pleasing unto the Lord/'j: 

632 Has a parent any right to interfere wheie a trust has been rdpdsed 
In his child 1 Why 1 

533 Is a child bound to support his indigent parents? 

534 How did the Jews punish disobedience to parents ? 

535 What is the New Testament injunction upon the subject t 

• Dcut xxi. 18. t Eph. vi. 1. * CoL iiL «a. 





Strictly speaking, there are few duties or crimes which 
begin and end with a man's self. We have reserved, how- 
ever, to this head, — 1. The rights of self-defence; 2. The 
crime of drunkenness ; and, 3. The crime of suicide. 


It has been said, that in a state of nature, a man may de- 
fend a perfect right, however trifling, at any cost. But this 
is doubtful: because, 1. No general rule is worth sustaining 
at such an expense ; and, 2. It cannot tend to general happi- 
ness, that one man should lose a limb or his life, merely that 
another may save a little property. Still, as a perfect right 
depends on its value alone, and as it is impossible to ascer- 
tain when the value will justify the extremity of violence in 
its defence ; the person attacked must decide, as he best may, 
between the general consequence of yielding, and the parti- 
cular effect of resistance. 

But in civil society this right is, at all events, suspended. 
For there, either the property is protected against attacks, or, 
if it is destroyed, the law is at hand to grant reparation; and 
as, in either case, the party receives the assistance of the law, 
so is he bound to receive from that alone, the kind, as well 
as the measure, of the satisfaction he is to obtain. 

But if, instead of property, life be endangered, every de- 
fence, even to the destruction of the assailant, is justifiable. 
For it cannot be shown that a man is bound by the law o( 
nature to prefer another person's life to his own ; a maxim 
which even the expression of *'love thy neighbor as thyself," 

1 Do many duties and crimes belong exclusively to one's self 1 

2 What part of morals may, however, be classed under the held of 
duties to ourselves 1 

" 3 What has been the opinion of some on the defence of our rights ? 

4 Is there any doubt of thb 1 Why ? 

5 How is this extremity of right suspended in civil society 1 

6 Is there any doubt of our having a right to defend our tivea ? 

7 Why may we proceed to extremities in this case % 


does not require. And our living in civil society does not 
alter the case ; for the law, by the supposition, does not grant 
protection ; and it surely cannot make us reparation. The 
rule is of course restrained to extreme cases ; and when, 
after all other means of escape having been ineffectually tried, 
the question is at last whether ourselves or the other party 
must perish. This rule holds, whether the danger proceeds 
from an enemy, or from a maniac, or even from a drowning 
person dragging us after him into the water. 

The case which, next to the defence of life, would justify 
acts of extremity, is the defence of chastity ; for there the law 
can make no reparation. With the exception of these two 
cases, homicide is unjustifiable, unless when authorized by 
the law. A man may take upon himself the execution of the 
law, 1 . To prevent the commission of a crime against himself, 
which, if committed, would be punishable with death ; and, 
2. To put down riots or similar acts of hostility to the go- 
vernment. But as, in both cases, the individual is merely an 
agent of the law, he is bound by the rules of the law ; and, 
consequently, though he may kill a housebreaker at night, 
he must not do so in the day-time ;* nor can he fire on a mob 
till the riot act has first been read. 


By drunkenness is here meant habitual intemperance ; 
although the guilt and danger is applicable in a certain degree 
to each specific act of intoxication, because habit is only a 
repetition of single instances. 

The guilt of drunkenness is to be estimated from the ten- 
dency of its mischievous efiects. 1. It leads to acts or words 

8 Does living in civil society affect this right? Why 1 

9 In what cases only may we exercise this liberty 1 

10 To what other circumstances is this rule applicable 1 

1 1 What other defence may be pursued to the same extremity ! 

12 In all other cases how must we consider the taking of life 1 

13 When is homicide justifiable by the law 1 

14 In our inquiries, what shall wc mean by drunkenness ? 

15 In doing this, shall we say that any specific act of intemperance is 
not blameable 1 Why ? 

16 Repeat the six mischievous effects of intemperance. 

* This distinction, by a remarkable consent of legislation, is fou^d in 
the Uwi of Judea, Greece, and Rome. 


of anger or lewdness ; 2. It disqualifies men for the perform* 
ance of the duties of their station : 3. It leads to extravagance: 
4. It produces unhappiness to the drunkard's family : 5. It 
shortens life : and, lastly, it corrupts by example. 

But it may be said that the age and temperature of one 
drunkard may leave little to fear from the inflammation of anger 
or lust ; that the fortune of a second may not be injured by the 
expense ; a third may have no family ; and the constitution 
of a fourth may even defy the effects of drinking. Still, 
drunkenness is a social vice, and if an effect be produced by 
the drunkard's example, which would not be produced with- 
out it, his guilt is to be estimated by the mischievous effect 
of that example operating on persons who are less able, 
either from their means or constitution, to guard themselves 
against those evils from which he himself may be secure. 

Drunkenness is repeatedly forbidden by St. Paul,* aa 
inconsistent with the Christian profession. 

It has been a^iked, how far is a drunken maa responsible 
for his acts ? 

The answer is, if the man be so drunk as to lose ail con- 
sciousness, his guilt, as regards the mischief done, is no more 
than that of an insane man. He is, however, chargeaUe with 
the guilt of wilfully getting drunk ; and as the unintentional 
mischief was the result of the wililil drunkenness, or at least 
of drunkenness not wilfully avoided, the guilt of the drunkard 
is to be measured by the probability that such mischief would 
be the result of his drunkenness. Hence, the guilt of a 
drunken man's act of mischief, bears the same proportion to 
that of a sober man's similar act, that the probability of such 
^ct's being the result of drunkenness bears to absolute cer- 
tainty. AH acts, which are the certain effects of drunken- 
ness, attach nearly the same guilt when done by an intoxicated 
^lan, as when done by a man in his sober senses, 

17 What expostulations may be used against our condenuung dnmk-s 
f nness on account of these effects 1 

18 What answer may be giveq to such remarks 1 
^9 Is drunkenness forbidden in the Scriptures ? 
^0 What is an important question on tins subject ? 

21 Has the drunkard any guilt as it regards the mischief itself? 

22 Has he any guilt at all ? How is it measured t 

23 What results from this rulel 

♦ Rom. xiii. 13. 1 Cor, vi. 9, 10. Eph. v. 18. 1 Thess. v. 7, 8. 


If consciousness be only partially lost, the guilt of the 
drunken man is of a mixed nature. 

But as the ideas relating to proportional quantities are 
easier understood by adopting the language of arithmetic, let 
lis suppose the guilt of a sober man while in a state of per- 
fect consciousness, is the whole guilt. Then the guilt of the 
drunken man, who retains only half his consciousness, will 
be one half of the whole guilt. And then if it was known 
beforehand that the probability of the mischief was one half 
of the certainty, the guilt of getting drunk will be one half of 
the remainder ; so that, altogether, he is responsible m three* 
fourths of the whole guilt. 

As of all habits, drunkenness is the most insidious in its pro- 
gress, and becomes most powerful by indulgence ; it requires 
less prudence to resist it at first, than it does firmness to over- 
come it at last. The victory may, nevertheless, be gained by 
resolute efforts. And as inebriety is a social vice, and recurs 
chiefly at those intervals of time in which the man given to 
drink is likely to meet with boon companions ; one method 
of overcoming the habit, is to change place, situation, tbm- 
pany, or profession. For, sometimes, when the motive for 
intemperance ceases, the act itself will cease also. Or^ if 
the habit result from a desire to banish sorrow, the same 
remedies will be found equally efficacious, especially if 
backed by the resolution to abstain entirely from an indul- 
gence, which only increases the evils it pretends to cure. 
Such a rule is very often salutary. For, indefinite rules of ab- 
stemiousness are apt to yield to extraordinary occasions ; and 
such occasions are perpetually occurring. And if the rule be 
strict, the act of abstinence will be a less trial than that of 
breaking the rule : besides, if the rule to abstain be known to 
acquaintances, we are not exposed to their importunity to 
break it. 

There is a difference, no doubt, between convivial intem- 
perance and solitary sottishness ; but as the former generally 
leads eventually to the latter, the difference is rather in de- 
gree than in kind. 

24 Suppose the drunkard loses his reason but partially 1 

25 Explain this in arithmetical language. 

26 When is it easiest to avoid drunkenness 1 Why t 

27 May it he overcome afterwards ? How 1 

28 What resolution would be of service in such eatfes t 

29 Give a reason for this. 



CHAP, in.— SUlCIDfi. 

May not any man, if he pleases, take away his own life 
without guilt ? Certainly not, if the guilt of an act is to be 
measured by its general consequences. We know that par- 
ticular cases of suicide may arise, in which it is difficult to 
point out the individual mischief. But the same may be said 
of murder ; yet, as murder is not therefore excused, so neither 
can suicide be considered innocent on that ground alone. 

But if a man's life be useless to himself and to society, has 
he not a right to take away what is thus useless to all ? We 
reply, that no man, be his state ever so wretched to himself, 
is useless to society. Besides, the latitude of the rule is a 
proof of its inherent impropriety. For suppose it were lawful 
for one person to kill another when he should judge that «the 
life of the latter was useless ; would not a law of such latitude 
warrant indiscriminate murder, and thus show its inherent 
iniquity ? Now, as a similar rule on the subject of suicide 
would admit of equal extension, it is evident that the same 
impropriety would be attached to it. 

But may not a man commit suicide, when, of those whom 
he leaves behind, not one will lament for his death ? It is 
evident, that if a man regulates his determination by this rule^ 
his inquiry will be, not whether any will sorrow, but 
whether their sorrow will exceed that which he would suffer 
by continuing to live. This would iead to a comparison, 
concerning which the judgment will differ in a great degree 
according to the state of the spirits. Hence, the rule would 
become to men of hypochondriacal constitutions an unquali-? 
fied license to commit suicide, whenever their real or ima- 
ginary distresses would outweigh the dread of the pains of 
death. The absurdity of the rule is more apparent when we 
consider that it is for the use of those who are under the op- 
pression of some grievous uneasiness. And what effect can 
we look for from a rule which proposes to weigh our own 

30 Can we discover the individual mischief of every case of MBcidel- 

31 Will this excuse it ? 

32 What is the first question and answer 1 

33 What defect is ohservable in such a rule ? 

34 What is the second question 1 * 

35 What will be the inquiry of a man acting by this rule 1 

36 What would be the effect of this 1 

37 What else renders the rule more absiird 1 


experienced misery against the apprehended pain of anothejr; 
and that in so corrupt a balance as the party's own distem- 
pered imagination ? 

In like maner, every reason that can be assigned to justify an 
indiyidual act of suicide, will bring us to an indiscriminate tole- 
ration of it ; and is therefore objectionable on the ground of the 
general consequences which result from the permission of a 
single act. These are, 1. The loss of many lives, that might 
be useful ; 2. The affliction of many families, and the conster- 
nation of all, who could no longer rest secure in the motives 
of religion and morality against their friends' committing an 
act to which there are many excitements. There is also an- 
other consideration against suicide ; and that is, by continuing 
in the world, and by exercising those virtues which remain 
within our power, we retain the opportunity of meliorating 
our condition in a future state. This last reason^ it is true, 
does not prove suicide to be a crime ; but it holds out a mo- 
tive to dissuade us from it, which is the next step to proving 
its actual guilt ; [[for if it were not wrong, no such dissuasion 
\irould be necessary.] 

The preceding considerations apply to suicide in general. 
Besides, each case will be aggravated by circumstances pe- 
culiar to itself, from the duties deserted, and the claims de- 
frauded; from the misery direct or indirect inflicted on 
friends, and the reproach thrown on our calling ; together with 
the suspicion raised against the sincerity and efficacy of our 
religious and moral feelings. 

The common topics of " deserting our post," and " rushing 
uncalled into the presence of our Maker," are omitted ; not 
because they are common, fbr that would be rather a proof 
of their truth, but because they are easily answered. 

The question has been hitherto treated as one of natural 
religion, backed, however, with Uie belief in the existence of 
a future state ; a consideration indispensable in all reasonings 
on morality. As regards revealed religion, the question of 
suicide is nowhere directly touched on, nor can the prohibi- 

38 To what will all rules bring us 1 What follows from thisT 

39 What are the two evil consequences of its general toleration ? 

40 What is another objection against an individual act of suicide t 

41 Does this prove it to be a crime 1 

42 What aggravations may attend each case of suicide 1 

43 In what manner have we treated the subject so far T 

44 Do we find it exjHressly treated of in Scripture t 


tion against murder be applied to it. Sufficient has neverthe- 
less been left us in the Scriptures to enable us to draw strong 
presumptions against the act. For instance, such expressions 
as, '* Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,*' 
and '* Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the 
will of God, ye may receive the promise," speak so plainly 
the necessity of submission to su fleering, as to leave no doubt 
that the disciples of Ohrist are not at liberty to avoid such 
sufferings by self-destruction. For if such license had been 
intended, it is reasonable to suppose that, instead of consider- 
ing the chastening of the Lord as intimations of his lovf , 
some hint would have been given of the virtue of seeking, 
in voluntary death, a relief from the persecution of men. 

This view of the presumed intentions of the Christian 
Scriptures is supported by the conduct of the apostles them- 
selves. Persuaded of the existence of a future state, and sure 
of enjoying its happiness, they must, while suffering every 
kind of misery, have looked on death as a gain. Yet not one 
of them endeavored to hasten that period of enjoyment by 
suicide ; from which there is no motive that could have with- 
held them, so universally except an apprehension of the 
unlawfulness of the expedient. 

Such are the arguments by which a Christian moralist may 
disprove directly the lawfulness of suicide ; nor is it necessary 
to enter on reasons of a less direct kind, with the exception 
of one ; and that, as it is more imposing than the rest, de- 
mands a more specific answer. 

It has been said, then, that if a man has no right over his 
own life, the state can still less have a right over it : for as 
the state possesses only what the individual has a right to 
give, if the latter has no right over his own life, he has none 
to give to the state. Hence, the state can neither take away 
life for crimes, nor require the individual to expose his life 
in war, especially in offensive hostilities, where the right of 
self-defence cannot be pleaded ; and still less can the prodi* 
gality of life in battle be a virtue, if its preservation be a duty. 

45 Can we derive any information from them on the suhjeGt t 

46 What may we infer from some of its expressions 1 

47 How may we support this presumed intention of these passages 1 

48 What part of the apostles' conduct has a bearing on this subject 1 

49 What important assertion has been founded on the fiu:t that suicide 
is not lawful ? 

60 What is the argument in favor of that assertion ? 

CHAP. ni. SUICIDB. 153 

To this it may be replied, that the state does not claim the 
right over a man's life from any tacit or actual consent of the 
subject to part with what is his own ; but, as I may say, im^ 
mediately from the gift of God. As society finds such a 
power expedient for the promotion of general happiness, it 
presumes that God gave such a power, and intended it to be 
exercised ; a presumption, which alone constitutes not only 
this, but every other right. And, if similar reasons existed 
to show the expediency of suicide, its lawfulness would be at 
once proved from its presumed agreement with the will of 
God, But until it be shown that suicide can be as advan- 
tageous to the state as are capital punishments, or even a pro- 
digal waste of life in war, there is no room for granting to a 
man the power to take his own life, on the ground that the 
jstate has the permission to take it. 

^1 What rephr may be made to that argmnent 1 
62 Why can we suppose that society has that gift? 
53 To what conclusion do we coiqe, as it regaxds the aforesaid 





In one sense every duty is a duty towards God ; since it is 
his will alone that makes it a duty. But here only, those du- 
ties are meant, of which God is exclusively the object.' 

It is certainly possible that any kind of outward worship 
may be less acceptable to God, than that internal devotion 
which silently sees and admires the Creator's wisdom and 
benevolence ; looks to him as the giver of all good ; and re- 
sorts to him as a present help in every trouble. Yet the 
former (which though excelled, is not superseded by the 
latter) comprises the only duties of which the moralist can 
take any cognizance. 

Our external duties towards God consist of active worship 
and passive reverence. For example, on the Sabbath wor- 
ship will lead us to church, and reverence will induce us to 
refrain from traveling. 

Divine worship is made up of adoration, thanksgiving, and 
prayer ; the last of which, embracing in fact the two former, 
will form the subject of our present inquiry. 



In all ages and countries, when one man desires to obtain 
any thing of another, he betakes himself to entreaty. Now, 
as what is universal must be natural, it is fair to infer that God 
expects at least the same entreaty from man, that man requires 
from his fellow-men. And a similar remark is equally appli- 
cable to thanksgiving for a favor received. 

1 What is the ultimate object of all our duties ? 

2 What, in particular, are called duties towards God 1 

3 Which of these duties are treated of by the moralists 1 

4 Does this embrace the most acceptable acts of duty 1 

5 What are our external duties towards God 1 Illustrate. 

6 Of what is divine worship composed ? 

7 What is by general consent the best means for obtaining a favor 1 

8 What follows from this ? 


Prayer is also necessary for preserving in the minds of 
mankind a sense of God's agency, and of their own depend- 
ence upon him. 

But as no one can reasonably pray to a being from whom he 
expects to gain nothing, the duty of prayer must depend on 
the expectation of its efficacy. To this expectation, how- 
ever, it has been objected, that, if God is all-wise and all- 
good, he will give us what we need without our asking ; and 
if we ask what he knows we do not stand in need of, we can- 
not expect to obtain- it even by our prayers. To this it may 
be replied, that God may, consistently with his wisdom and 
goodness, grant to entreaty, what, without such entreaty, 
might with equal wisdom and goodness be withheld. But 
then the objector inquires, what is the virtue of prayer that 
can make that favor to be consistent with wisdom, which 
would not have been equally so without" it? Now, as in 
solving this doubt, consists the whole difficulty of the ques- 
4&on, the following probabilities are offered for consideration. 

1. A benefit obtained without asking,^is received without 
gratitude ; when, if it is granted to prayer, it is more apt, on 
that very account, to produce good effects on the one obliged. 
2. God may grant to entreaty, what without entreaty would 
be withheld, merely with the view of keeping alive in the 
mind of the supplicant a sense of dependance on the Deity. 
And, 3. There will be a natural tendency in a praying person 
to conform to the divine will ; and therefore the disuse of it 
would tend to the increase of moral depravity. 

But, after all, whether these or any other motives may 
influence the Deity to grant the petition, is not the question. 
It is sufficient that we have shown to the supplicant that 
there is no inherent absurdity in conceiving that God will 
grant to prayer what he would otherwise withhold. To in- 
quire further is not necessary for devotion, but rather incon- 
sistent with it. 

But though it is right that prayer should be offered to God, 
it must not be offered with the same views as when we 

9 For what else is prayer necessary T 

10 On what does the duty of prayer depend? 

1 1 What has been supposed of this expectation by some ? 

12 How may this objection be answered 1 

13 To what other inquiry may this reply give rise ? 

14 What is the first answer to it 1 The second ] The third 1 

15 What has been the object in using these three arguments ? 



address a fellow-creature ; ^iz. to acquaint him with oar 
wants, or to tease him by importunity, and to iead him to do 
either what he ought to have done before, or what he ooght 
not to do at all. 

Whatever may be the considerations which actuate the 
Deity to grant a favor to a suppliant, which he would with- 
hold from another who would not ask for it, and however 
inscrutable or inconceivable those considerations may be to 
man ; there is no doubt that such a difference in the conduct 
of God is not in the least at variance with the strict rectitude 
and expediency of the measure, if we aUow that he may see, 
in the various acts and feelings of the different individuals, 
enough to justify such a difierence in his own behavior 
towards them. 

The objection to prayer supposes, that an all-wise Being 
cannot be led to change his resolution in consequence m 
entreaties. But if wisdom consists in ejecting the most 
beneficial ends by the best means, it can be no part of perfect 
wisdom not to change, if the change produced by entreaties 
be itself one of those best means ; we say, one of those 
means, though the objection rests on the supposition, that 
there is only one mode of acting for the best ; a supposition 
not warranted by our knowledge of universal nature. In- 
deed, when we assert that God must act in a particular way, 
we use language that virtually detues free agency to Ood, 
by subjecting him to a necessity of abiding by only one 

But it is said that we have not in our experience, thd 
proof of the efficacy here ascribed to prayer. To this, it is 
replied, that prayer may be efficacious, though the experi- 
ence of such efficacy be obscure ; and it may be added, that 
it is inconsistent with true goodness, to disturb too much, in 
answer to prayer, the order of the second causes appointed 
in the universe. For if the efficacy were so observable that 

16 In what respects does prayer to God differ from entreaties to our 
fellow beings 1 

17 Does the Lord's answer to prayer affect his rectitude of purpose t 

18 What is supposed in the objection to prayer 1 

19 Is the supposition correct 1 

SO On what other supposition does the objection rest ? Is that correct t 

21 What objection is asserted to be founded on our experience ? 

22 May appeals to our experience on this subject be relied upon 1 

23 Would it be proper that answers to prayers should alwi^s btf 
observable 1 


it might be relied on beforehand, the consequence would be 
the manifest mischief of producing a careless reliance on 
prayers alone, instead of calling into exercise the other 
duties which man is required to fulfil. And all the checks 
to inordinate pleasure, founded at present on the dread of 
subsequent pain, would be destroyed, if prayer could infalli- 
bly remove the pain. Since, then, this ambiguity respecting 
the efficacy of prayer is necessary for the happiness of man, 
we have no right to ground the denial of such effects on the 
nonproduction of absolute proof. 

Other objections to prayer are directed, not against the use 
of it, but an alleged abuse, in consequence of the introduc- 
tion of improper subjects into forms of public and private 
worship. And, it has been said, that to pray for particular 
favors is to dictate to Divine Wisdom, and savors of pre- 
sumption ; and to intercede for other individuals or for 
nations, is to presume that their happiness depends upon our 
choice, and that the prosperity of communities hangs upon 
our interest with the Deity. But how ignorant soever we 
may be of the whole plan of God's moral government, the 
objector should know, that in, such prayers, we merely ask 
for one man to be made the instrument of another's happi- 
ness • an event in accordance with the general course of 
human affairs. Why, then, may not our happiness be made 
to depend in some cases on the prayers of others, as it really 
does on their acts ? As the caprice of one person can pro- 
duce the misery of many, why may not the prayers of one 
individual operate, through the power of God, to avert a 
calamity from multitudes ? 



The arguments hitherto adduced in favor of prayer are 
chiefly of a negative kind ; and merely go to prove from the 
light of nature, that the efficacy of prayer is not inconsistent 
with -the attributes of the Deity. The proof that they are 
actually efficacious must be obtained from the Scriptures 
alone ; where, with the positive command to pray, we are 

24 What would be the effect of iti 

25 Against what methode of prayer do some object 1 

26 What is remarked upon this objection 1 

27 What do our arguments in the proceeding chapter go to prove t 

28 Where only can we find arguments of a positive kind 1 



as positively informed of God's acceptance of prayer. But 
although without such assurances of acceptance we could 
have no motive to pray ; yet even they do not teach us to 
place such dependence on prayer, as to neglect other obliga- 
tions, or to expect, as evidence of the efficacy of prayer, the 
occurrence of events at variance with the order of human affairs. 
The Scriptures not only affirm the propriety of prayer in 
general, but furnish also precepts or examples, which justify 
some topics and modes of prayer that have been thought 
exceptionable. The texts applicable to this subject may be 
arranged under the five following heads. 

I. To prayer in general. •♦ Ask, and it shall be given you ; 
seek, and you shall find ;" — " If ye, being evil, know how to 
give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall 
your Father, which is in heaven, give good things to them 
that ask him ?" — " Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, 
that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all those things 
that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of 
man." — *' Serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient in tri- 
bulation, continuing instant in prayer,** — " Be careful for 
nothing, but in every thing, by prayer and siippliccUion, 
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto 
God." — " I will, therefore, that men pray every where, lift- 
ing up holy hands, without wrath and cioubting." — " Pray 
without ceasing.** Matt. vii. 7. 11. Luke xxi. 36. Rom. 
xii. 12. Phil. iv. 6. 1 Thess. v. 17. 1 Tim. ii. 8. 

II. Examples of prayer for particular favors by name. 
" For this thing I besought the Lord thrice that it might 
depart from me." — " Night and day praying exceedingly, 
that we might see your face, and perfect Uiat which is lack- 
ing in your faith." 2 Cor. xii. 8. 1 Thess. iii. 10. 

III. Directions to pray for natural or public blessings. 
" Fray for the peace of Jerusalem.** — " Ask ye of the Lord 
rain in the time of the latter rain ; so the Lord shall make 
bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one 
grass in the field." — «» I exhort, therefore, that first of all, 

29 Of what extent is the Scripture encouragement upon this 

30 How strong is Scripture proof in favor of prayer 1 

31 Under what heads may the texts be arranged ? 

32 Mention some relative to prayer in general. 

33 Mention some relative to particular fiivors. 
84 Some for public blessings. 


supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be 
made for all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority, 
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness, 
and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of 
God our Saviour." Ps. cxxii. 6. Zech. x. 1. 1 Tim. ii. 1 — 3. 

IV. Examples of intercession, and of exhortations to inter- 
cede for others. " And Moses besought the Lord his God, 
and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy 
people? Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy ser- 
vants. And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought 
to do unto his people." — " Peter, therefore, was kept in pri- 
son ; but prayer was made without ceasing of the church 
unto God for him.'*'' — " For God is my witness, that without 
ceasing / make mention of you always in my prayera.^^^- 
" No.w I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's 
sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive togethe 
w^lh me, in your prayers for «ic." — ** Confess your faults one 
to another, and pray one for another ^ that ye may be healed : 
the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." 
Ex. xxxii. 11. Acts xii. 5. Rom. i. 9 ; xv. 30. James v. 16. 

V. Declarations and examples authorising the repetition of 
unsuccessful pra3rer. '* And he spake a parable unto them to 
this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint."— 
" And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the 
third time, saying the same words.*^-^** For this thing, I 
besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me." 
Luke xviii. 1. Matt. xxvi. 44. 2 Cor. xii. 8. 

To the preceding texts of a positive nature, may be added 
the inference, drawn from Christ's dictation of a particular 
form of prayer, that such service was acceptable to God, and 
not without avail. 



As each of these services has its own peculiar use, tho 
exercise of one of them does not supersede the performance 
of the other two. 

85 Mention some intercessions. 

86 Mention some authority for repetition of unsuooessful prayer. 

87 What may be added to all this 1 

88 How many«methods of prayer do we treat of 1 

89 Will one supeiBede the peHbrmance of the other two t 


I. Private prayer is necessary, as the medKiiii of supplica- 
tion for private wants, since they cannot be madb the subject 
of public prayer. 

It is useful, as tending to produce more devout feelings 
than prayers in public ; for, when a man is withdrawn from 
surrounding objects, he has both leisure and inclination to 
ruminate on his own thoughts, words, and deeds. 

It is useful, because as it leads to thought and reflection, 
the petitioner more fully realizes the promises and threats of 
the Deity, and becomes conscious of the superlative import- 
ance of providing for his own future happiness. 

Lastly, private prayer is particularly recommended by the 
authority and example of Christ, as related in Matt. vi. 6, and 
xiv. 23. '* When thou pray est, enter into thy closet ; and 
when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy FeUher, which is 
in secret ; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward 
thee openly." — **And when he had sent the multitudes 
away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray." 

II. Family prayer. 

The peculiar utility of family piety consists in its influ- 
ence on the domestics and younger parts of a household, 
who are unable to express their thoughts in pr)vate prayer, 
and whose attention you cannot easily command in public 
worship. Besides, both children and servants are wont to 
attribute the attendance on public worship to other and 
meaner motives than a sense of duty towards God ; and 
therefore need a more forcible example of piety in the head 
of the family. Add to this, that as the forms and language 
of public worship are necessarily comprehensive, with a 
view to embrace the interests of many, they fail to excite that 
individual interest which arises from the sympathy of a 
domestic circle. 

III. Public worship. 

If worship be a duty, public worship is necessary ; be- 

40 What is the first advantage of private prayer 1 

41 What is the next advantage 1 Why 1 

42 What is the next advantage 1 

43 What other circumstance is favorable to iti 

44 What is the peculiar use of family piety 1 
46 What else seems to require it ? 


cause without it, the great mass of men would have no 
worship at all. Besides, without the establishment of reli- 
gious assemblies, there would be among the common people, 
an ignorance of the history and tenets of their religion, and 
a lack of exhortation to moral conduct ; which are now most 
effectually supplied by such assemblies ; where some know- 
ledge and memory of these subjects are imprinted on the 
most careless hearer, by the continual repetition of prayer 
and Scripture exhortation. 

But it will be ^ said, that if public worship imparts to an 
individual no information which he wants, and excites no 
feelings of devotion which private prayer or family worship 
does not as well supply, his attendance at such assemblies is 
not only useless, but even culpable, as occupying time that 
could be better employed. 

To this it may be replied, that as the consequence of such 
nonattendance would be the decay of public worship gene- 
rally, and of so much of the religion itself as is at present 
preserved by such attendance ; an individual is bound to 
refrain from absenting himself, lest the omission, harmless in 
his own case, may serve as an example for similar negligence 
not equally harmless in the case of others. The same con- 
sideration applies to the impropriety of absence, merely on 
the ground of objections to certain forms and expressions 
adopted by the church, for it is manifestly impossible to 
frame a form suited to the feelings of many, which shall not 
fall short in some points of the ideas of perfection entertained 
by a few. 

Independent of the direct necessity of public worship, 
considerable advantages are found to arise from the use of 
religious assemblies, through their tendency to cherish the 
kindest affections of our nature. 

For, sprung from the same stock, fellow-travelers on the 
same road to eternity, dependants on the same Power, and 
suppliants at the same throne of mercy ; with one interest to 

46 "Why is public worship necessary % 

47 What is afforded by religious assemblies 1 

48 What objection may grow out of these last reasons ? 

49 What may be replied to this objection 1 

60 What other reason for absence does this reply show to be im- 
proper 1 

51 Are there any social advantages in attending public worship? 



secure, one God to serve, and one judgment to expect ; men 
so situated must and do feel themselves, for the time ai leasti 
members of one large family. And again, the distinciions 
of civil life, which for six days in the week are claimed with- 
out yielding a single point, are ail forgotten on the seventh ; 
and the natural equality of man is then forced, by acta of 
joint worship, on the attention of the proudest. If ever the 
poor hold up their heads, it is at church ; if ever the rich 
view them with respect, it is there ; and both will be im* 
proved the oftener they meet in a place, where the great are 
taught humility, and the low exalted by a sense of the dig- 
nity of their nature. And thus, the frequent return of reli* 
gious meetings, while it helps to smooth the rugged passions 
of pride and envy, produces a tone of feeling at harmony 
with the gradations of society, by uniting in a common bond 
of benevolence the two extremes of rich and poor. 

The public worship of Christians is a duty of Divine 
appointment ; ** Where two or three are gathered together in 
my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt, xviii. 
20. And its neglect is censured by the apostle to the 
Hebrews, in language as applicable to the religious service 
of the present day as to the times of the primitive church 
itself. Besides, a Christian cannot think himself at liberty 
to reject a practice which is coeval with the institution of his 
creed, and adopted by every sect into which Christianity has 
been divided. 


As liturgies, or fixed forms of prayer, are neither enjoined 
nor forbidden in Scripture, they must rest their admission or 
rejection on the principle of expediency. 

The advantages of a liturgy are — 1. That it prevents the 
opprobrium thrown on religion by those absurd, extravagant, 
or impious addresses to God, which are very likely to be 
introduced by the folly or enthusiasm of some few, among' 
an order of men so numerous as the sacerdotal. 2. That it 

62 What are they? 

63 Is public worship a duty of divine appointment 1 

64 What is the only reason for admitting or rejecting forms of 
ptayet 1 

66 What is the first advantage of a liturgy 1 
66 What is the second! 


prevents the distractioii attendant on extemporary prayer; 
for as the congregation do not know the petition till they 
hear it, they know not, till heard, whether they can join in 
h; and while the ear and the mind are thus both directed to 
the matter of the prayer, the devotion of the hearer is sus- 
pended till the conclusion of each sentence. And besidesy 
before he can make the same request in his own heart for 
himself, the attention is called off to what succeeds ; and the 
expectation of the novelty with which he is gratified inter- 
feres with the proper business of the time and place. Hence, 
such a congregation, while listening to the prayers of a 
favorite minister, seem more like the audience of a favorite 
actor than as actors themselves in any exercise of devotion. 
Besides, as the very object of the religious assembly is to 
join in prayer, such object cannot be attained by leaving to 
one person to conceive and deliver a prayer, in which the 
eongregration, being ignorant of the subject matter, cannot 
possibly join. 

On the other hand, the disadvantages of a liturgy are— 

1. That forms of prayer composed for one age become, from 
the unavoidable change of language, unfit for another ; and, 

2. That the repetition of the same words produces weariness 
and inattention in the congregation. But these objections 
are, after all, unimportant, since the first can be overcome by 
occasional revisions of the language, and the second by the 
exercise of greater devotion ; or even both may be consi- 
dered as trifling, when compared with the greater disadvan- 
tages of extemporary prayer. 

The Lord's prayer is a precedent as well as a pattern, 
authorised by Christ ; and he also in this respect followed 
the example set by John the Baptist. Luke xi. 1. 

[Upon this subject, Mr. Dymond remarks, •' That there is 
no reason to suppose, from the Scriptures, that either Christ 
himself or his apostles ever used any fixed forms. If he had 
designed to authorise, and therefore to recommend their 
adoption, is it not probable that some indication of their 
having been employed would be presented ? But instead of 

67 What reasons to suppose so 1 

68 What is the first disadvantage of a liturgy? 

69 What is the second 1 

60 How may these disadvantages be overcome 1 

61 What is said of the Lord's prayer 1 

62 What does Mr Dymond remark upon this ? 


ibiBf we find that every prayer which is recorded in the 
Yolume was delivered extempore, upon the then occaaiont and 
ariainff ont of the then existing circumstances. 

** Yet, after all» the important question is not between 
preconcerted and extempore prayer as such ; but whether any 
prayer is proper and right, but that which is elicited by the 
influence of the Divine power. The inquiry into this 
solemn subject would lead us too wide from our general 
business. The truth, however, that ' we know not what to 
pray for as we ought,* is as truly applicable to extempore 
as to formal prayer. Words merely do not constitute 
prayer, whether they be prepared beforehand or conceived 
at the moment they are addressed. There is reason to 
believe that he only offers perfectly acceptable supplications, 
who offers them ' according to the will of God,* and ' of the 
ability which God giveth.' '* — Essays an the Principiea of 
Morality. Essay 2. chap. 1.] 

A public liturgy should be — 1. Compendious ; 2. Expres- 
sive of the Divine attributes ; 3. Recite only the wants which 
the congregation are likely to feel interested in ; and, 4. Con- 
tain the fewest controverted propositions possible. 

1. The liturgies of most churches might be abridged one 
half, and yet no distinct petition be omitted. But such bre- 
vity would interfere, if not with the design, at least with the 
utility of public worship. For, it is not to be supposed that 
the devotion of the congregation will be so active, that every 
part will be attended to by every hearer ; and as the atten- 
tion of most men is apt to wander and return at intervals, it 
must be recalled by a variety of expressions, so suited to the 
different conditions of men that even the most heedless may 
catch a portion of the spirit of devotion. On the other hand, 
the service must not be tedious, for that would beget in many 
a dislike for public worship, or a drowsy forgetfulness of it 
when present ; and in general would cause that indolence 
might nnd an excuse for nonattendance, and piety be discon- 
certed by impatience. 

The length and repetitions in the liturgy of the Episcopal 

eS What kind of prayer ia found in Scripture 1 

64 What frrther remarka does he make upon prayer 1 

65 What are the properties required in a public hturgy 1 

66 What effect would be occasioned by abridging the UturgiMl 

67 Why should liturgies not be longi 


Charch are the result of a union into one service of what 
was originally found in three. To remedy this evil, few, 
except those influenced by the dread of innovating in reli« 
gion, would be disposed to object to such omissions as the 
combination of several services must necessarily require. 
If, together with such omissions, the Collects, Epistles, and 
Gospels were compiled and selected with more regard to 
unity -of subject; and the choice of the Psalms and Lessons 
either left to the minister, or better accommodated to the 
capacity and to the instruction of the people ; the liturgy of 
the Episcopal Church would find but a few amongst friends 
disposed to blame its defects, and many even amongst other 
denominations ready to admire its beauties. With a style 
calm yet not cold, and affecting though sedate, it arrests the 
attention by the solemnity, and retains it by the variety in the 
service ; and the transitions from one office to another, being 
diversified like the scenes of a drama, produce the corres- 
ponding effect of excited feelings : and in the Litany, where 
there is a complete enumeration of wants and sufferings, a 
petitioner will find whatever he can desire or deprecate, 
expressed in language at once tender, simple, and effective. 

tx. That it is expressive of the Divine attributes. 

On this point no care can be too great. For, as the popu- 
lar notions of God are formed from the information obtained 
in religious assemblies, the error of one must lead to the 
error of many ; and as every theoretical opinion on such 
subjects leads to practical results, the purity or impurity of 
morals will be affected by the truth or corruption of the 
forms of public worship. 

III. That it recites such wants only as the people can feel 
an interest in. 

As all forms of prayer are intended to keep alive the spirit 
of devotion, and as such devotion must in some measure be 
connected with the individual interest of the devotee, there 
should be introduced no topic which may be likely to damp 
devotion» by an allusion to points in which any person is 

68 What is said of tho liturgy of the Episcopal Church ? 

69 What alterations does Dr. Paley propose 1 

70 What is said in commendation of it 1 

71 Why is it necessary that a liturgy should be expressive of the 
Divine attributes? 

79 Wbst is said of its embracing the individual wants of the people 1 


entirely lost sight of. Hence, the state prayers should, if 
necessary to be introduced, be few and short ; and all state 
style banished, as ill according with the nothingness of 
human greatness, of which every act, that carries Qie mind 
to God, presents the idea. 

IT. That it contains as few controverted propositions as 

While we allow to each church the right and even the ex- 
pediency of subscribing to its peculiar creed, we see not any 
reason that the tenets of that creed should be continually 
shown in the religious services of the congregation. ^ For 
the introduction of controverted points tends tp exclude 
some, and thus to interfere with the object of public wor- 
ship, and occasion an evil at least to them, and no advantage or 
satisfaction to the rest ; unless it be said that it is a sin to 
agree in religious exercises with those, from whom we differ 
in some religious opinions. If, however, a difference exists 
to an extent such as is found between the Trinitarians and 
Unitarians, there can be no compromise in their prayers, and 
secession is inevitable. All other questions not touching 
the essentials of religion, are best passed over in silence*; 
for if mooted, each sect will assert the truth of its peculiar 
tenets with polemic zeal ; and while both are guilty of the 
evils of schism, neither can show the expediency of exclud- 
ing any from their communion, by mixing up with divine 
worship, doctrines unconnected with the pure spirit of de- 


An assembly cannot be collected, unless the time of as- 
sembling be known beforehand. If required to be held 
frequently, it is best held at stated intervals ; and to prevent, 
at such intervals, the labor and business of one from inter- 
fering with the devotion of another, the day of assembling 
ought to be the same for all. So that, if public worship is a 
duty, it is equally a duty to set apart some periods to be uni- 
versally observed in the performance of it. But as the cele- 
bration of Divine service does not occupy the whole day, 

73 What is said of its embracing controverted propositions ? 

74 Are there any sectarian opinions which are necessary to be incor- 
porated in our prayers ? 

76 Why is it necessary to have a set time for religious meetings 1 
76 What is said concerning accounting the whole day aa sacred 1 


ihe portion unoccupied is a mere re^t from the daily business 
of life ; and, unless there is a Divine command for the 
Christian Sabbath, he who undertakes to defend the observ- 
ance of the entire day, as required by law in ChriMtian 
countries, must show the expediency of such observance, 
considered politically. 

First, then, such stated intervals of rest contribute ((roatly 
to the comfort of the laboring classes, as well by the positive 
relief to their bodies, as by the anticipation of proapective 
leisure ; the latter of which would be wanting entirely, if 
the relaxation were casual, even if it was more frequent than 
might be expected from the interested inhumanity of task- 
masters. Besides, an unexpected holiday comes unprovided 
with any duty or employment, and is therefore generally 
■pent so as to make it rather a source of pain than of ploaauro. 
Now, as the laboring classes form the great majority of niau" 
kind, the utility of the Sabbath in promoting general happi- 
ness is unquestionable ; and every man is morally bound, 
ivhatever may be his opinion respectinfj^ the origin of tho 
institution, to uphold the observance of it, for reasons even 
of political expediency. Nor is there any loss to the oom- 
munity by suon intermission of labor : for as in civilised 
countries there is rather a redundance than deficiency of ope- 
ratives, the addition of the seventh dav*s labor would ulti- 
mately have no other effect than to reduce the demand , so 
that the laborer would suffer both from the addition to his 
labor, and from the diminution of his wages. 

Secondly, persona of all ranks have, oy the intervention 
of Sunday, some leisure, and not more than is barely suffi- 
cient to perform both the outward and retired duties of reli- 
gion. True it is, that all do not so employ their leisure $ 
ut that is the fault of the persons, and not of the institution { 
and every one should be allowed the opportunity. 

Thirdly, such intermission gives a day of rest to the ani- 
mals eniployed by man ; a benefit expressly intended by the 
Divine Founder of the Jewish Sabbatn. 

It is true that none of the preceding reasons prove, why 
one particular day, or why one day in seven, rather than in 

77 What is tho flnit advantngo In making U a day of xwt T 

78 or what importance is this advantagol 

79 Does U\e community fmiTer any Iom by it 1 Why 1 

80 What la the aocond advantage of tho Sabbath 1 

81 What li tho thlnll 

88 What if said of all tho foregoing reasons 1 


six or eight, should be preferred. But as these points are 
arbitrary in their nature, and as they are already established ; 
our obligation applies to them as long as we allow the neces- 
sity of some day of rest, and do not render universal a belter 
plan than the one already in existence. 



This subject, as connected with Christian morality, turns 
on two points :— 

I. Does the institution of the Jewish Sabbath extend to 
Christians ? 

II. Has Christ, or have the apostles, sanctioned directly 
or indirectly the change of the Sabbath from the last to the 
first day of the week ? 

In treating of the first question, it is necessary to inquiro 
a little into both the origin and the duties of the Jewish Sal>- 
bath. With regard to the origin, it appears that although itiB 
said in Genesis that God blessed and sanctified the seventh 
day, because on that day he rested from the work of crea^ 
lion ; still it does net appear from the subsequent mention of 
the Sabbath, that this was the time of its first institution. 
For we learn that when the Israelites were fed with manna 
in the wilderness, '* that on the sixth day they gathered 1 
twice as much" as on the other days ; and that when ths 
rulers of the congregation told Moses of it, he replied, "This 
is that which the Lord hath said, To-morrow is the rest of 
the holy Sabbath unto the Lord ; and that which remaineth 
over, lay up for you, to be kept until the morning." This they 
did ; and on the next day, Moses said, ** Eat that to-day ; 
for to-day is a ScAbath unto the Lord; to-day ye shall not 
nnd it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it, but on the 
seventh day, which is the Sabbath, there shall be none.'* 
And when, in violation of that order, some had gone out to 
gather manna, and found none, we read that " the Lord said 
unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments 
and my laws ? See, /or that the Lord hcUh given you the 
Sabbath, therefore that he giveth you on the sixth day the 

83 What two questions on the subject of the Sabbath 1 

84 What inquiries are embraced in the £rst question ? 

86 What does Dr. Paley say of the origin of the institution 1 
86 What argument does he bring from the gathering of manna'' 


bread of two days : abide ye every man in his place. So 
the people rested on the seventh day." Exod. xvi. 

Shortly after this, it was introduced into the Decalogue, only 
in confirmation of a previous commandment. Now, in my 
opinion, the transaction in the wilderness just recited, was 
the actual institution of the Sabbath. For, had the Sabbath 
been instituted at the time of the creation, and had it conti 
nued from that time to the departure of the Jews from Egypt, 
it is strange that no mention of it, or even allusion to it, 
should be made, either in the history of the world before the 
call of Abraham, or in the lives' of the three Jewish patri- 
archs. Besides, neither in the passage of Exodus is any 
intinaation given that the Sabbath, then ordered to be 
observed, was the revival of any ancient institution which 
had fallen into neglect ; nor is any notice taken of such neg- 
lect on the part of the wicked of the earth in the time of 
Noah ; nor, lastly, do we read of any permission given to the 
Jews to dispense with the observance of such a law, during 
their captivity in Egypt, or on any other public emergency. 

Since then no mention is made of either the observance 
or non-observance of the Sabbath for a period of 2500 years, 
it is fair to infer that the institution was not known ; and that 
it is mentioned in Genesis only as a reason, which it was na- 
tural for the historian to give, why the seventh day alone was 
ordered to be kept holy. And it may be well to mention 
that the words do not assert that God then blessed and sanc- 
tified the seventh day, but that he blessed and sanctified it 
for thai reason. 

This interpretation is confirmed by the words of Ezekiel ; 
** Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of 
Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness, and I gave 
them my statutes ; — moreover, / gave them my Sabbaths^ to 
be a sign between me and them."* Nehemiah also seems to 
agree with Ezekiel in fixing the date of the institution of the 
Sabbath ; although it must be confessed, that less reliance can 
be placed on his testimony, from his inverting the real order 
of events. His words are, ** Thou earnest down from Mount 

87 Why does he think that the Sabbath was not instituted before 

88 What does he say of the passage in Genesis iL ? 

89 By what two prophets does he think his interpretation confirmed! 

* Ezek. XX, 10—12. 



8inai-'*-gave8t them commandments, and madest known unto 
them thy holy Sabbath, and gavest them bread from heaven."* 
Now, what else but *' first instituted" can be meant by 
•♦ given" in Ezekiel, and '• madest known" in Nehemiah ?' 

QAs for the alleged silence respecting the observance of the 
day, Dr. Dewar replies, *' This is, indeed, slender ground on 
which to found an argument ; and were it not maintained by 
a writer of Paley's respectability, the time bestowed in 
noticing it, would be idly employed. For, if there is no 
mention of the observance of the Sabbath during the patri- 
archal age, neither is it once mentioned in the histories of 
Joshua, the Judges, Samuel, and Saul; that is, during a 
period of about five hundred years. It needs not surprise 
us, that in the brief notices recorded of the persons who 
lived between Adam and Moses, there should have been so 
great a silence concerning the Sabbath, since we know that 
things occurred during that period of which the sacred histo- 
rian makes no mention. Are we not assured by the Apostle 
Jude, that Enoch prophesied of the second coming of our 
Lord with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment 
upon all ; while, but for the testimony of this apostle, the 
circumstance would have been altogether unknown to us ? 

*'We maintain however that there are allusions to the 
institution of the Sabbath, both in the sacred and profane 
history of the period in question. There is reference, as it 
appears to me, to the division of time into weeks by the 
Sabbatical institution, in the conduct of Noah while in the 
ark. See Genesis vlii. 10 — 12. where frequent mention is 
made of seven days. Nor is it less clear from a paragraph 
in the history of Jacob, that this division of time was viewed 
as a matter of course, and consequently, had been fixed pre- 
viously to the era at which*^hat patriarch lived. ' Fulfil her 
week,^ &c. Gen. .xxix. 27. The counting of time by weeks 
was common also among all ancient nations, — Indians, Syri- 
ans, Chaldeans, Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans, as 
well as every other people of whom we have any record. 
How can this authenticated fact be accounted for, but on the 
supposition that the Sabbath was instituted at the time 
referred to in the book of Genesis ?" 

90 What does Dr. Dewar remark concerning Dr. Paley's argument ? 

91 What does he account as allusions to the Sabbath ? 

• Neh. ix. 13—16. 


As it regards the origin -of the Sabbath being found in 
the sixteenth chapter of Exodus, Dewar goes on to say, — 
*' On the reading of this passage, the first thing that occurs 
to the mind is, not certainly that the Sabbath was a new 
institution with which the Jews were formerly unacquainted, 
but that the division of time into weeks was well known to 
them. Moses and the elders speak of the days of the week, 
and not of the days of the month. The next thing that 
strikes the unbiassed reader in this passage is, that the peo* 
pie, aware that the seventh day was the Sabbath, gathered 
of their own accord twice as much of the manna as they 
were wont • to gather ; lest, by deferring it till the morrow, 
they might break the rest of the Sabbath. This impression 
is strengthened, when we remember that they had been pre- 
viously commanded to gather daily of the manna only what 
was sufficient for the daily supply of themselves and fami- 
lies. In the address itself of Moses to the elders, it is evi- 
dently taken for granted that they were previously acquainted 
with the institution of the Sabbath. 

'* The other' passages quoted from Ezekiel and Nehemiah, 
are perfectly consistent with the views I have already given. 
The posterity of Abrahami were, indeed, laid under addi- 
tional obligations to give a willing obedience to the whole will 
of God ; and these obligations, arising from their redemp- 
tion from Egyptian bondage, might be adduced as so many 
supplementary motives to their walking in all the ordinances 
and commandments of God. In the same way that we are 
urged by the love of Christ, by the worth of his precious 
blood, and by all other Christian motives, to obey those laws 
which are binding on us as intelligent and accountable 
creatures ; and which we, and the whole human race, should 
be bound to obey, though there had been no discovery of the 
plan of redeeming mercy." See also Exodus xxxi. 16. 
Elements of Moral Philosophy. Book iv. chap. 12.] 

With regard to the duties connected with the Sabbath, we 
^nd that, not only Jews by birth and profession, but all who 
resided within the territories of the Jews, together with their 
slaves and cattle, were required to rest on that day, under 

92 What does Dr. Dewar say on the passage in Exodus zvi. 1 

93 How does he explain the passages in Ezekiel and Nehemiah 1 

94 What were the duties of the Sabbath among the Jews 1 


pain of death.* And besides, the Sabbath was to be solem- 
nised by a double sacrifice.t Also, holy convocations^ i. e. 
assemblies, probably for the purpose of public worship or 
religious instruction, were directed to be held on the seventh 
day, *' the Sabbath of rest.*']: So scrupulous, in fact, were 
the Jews in abstaining from every thing that could be deemed 
labor, that they neither dressed meat for their food, nor even 
walked more than a Sabbath-day's journey, which was about 
one mile. In the Maccabean wars they suffered themselves 
to be slain rather than violate the Sabbath by working in 
their own defence ; and though they had in the siege of 
Jerusalem so far overcome their scruples, as to defend them- 
selves when attacked, they still refrained from all military 
operations on that day. After the establishment of syna- 
gogues, (of whose origin nothing is known,) the people assem- 
bled on the Sabbath to hear the law read and explained, and 
probably for the exercise of public devotion. 

The Sabbath day was the seventh ; ana by the Jewish 
reckoning commenced at six o'clock on Friday evening and 
lasted till the same hour on Saturday. 

We now approach the main question, whether the com- 
mand, by which the Jewish Sabbath was instituted, extends 
equally to Christians. 

If the Sabbath was instituted at the creation, its observ- 
ance no doubt is binding on all who acknowledge the Scrip- 
tures ; but if the command was first promulgated in the 
wilderness, it was of course intended for the Jews alone, 
unless internal or external evidence prove that it was designed 
for others likewise. 

Now as the Sabbath is described in Exodu8§ and Ezekiein 
- as a sign expressly between God and the Israelites, it does 
not seem easy to understand how it could be a sign between 
God and other nations also. If it was not, its observance was 
designed to be peculiar to that people in the same manner 
as some other appointed seasons ; for example, the first and 

95 . What is the main question on this subject 1 

96 How will this question he afiected by detemiining the time of the 
institution of the Sabbath ? 

97 What confinnation of the latter opinion is adduced ? 

* Exod. zxxi. 16. f Num. xxxviiL 9. t Lev. xxiii. 3. 

i Exod. xJoL 16. I Exek. xx. 12. 


seventh days of unleavened bread, the feast of Tabernacles 
and of Pentecost ; all of which are recited with the Sabbath, 
in Exodus xxiii. 

QThe remarks last quoted from Dr. Dewar, relative to the 
love of Christ, apply equally as an answer to this argument. 
See page 171.] 

And further, if the command by which the Sabbath was in- 
stituted be binding on Christians, it must be equally so as to 
the day, the duties, and the penalty ; and this no one supports. 
We do not find that the Sabbath was enjoined by the apos- 
tles in Acts XV. 23 — 29, to be observed by the Gentile con- 
verts ; and St. Paul evidently considers it as a Jewish ritual 
only, and not binding on Christians, when he compares 
such commandments to the '* shadow of- things to come, 
whose body is Christ."* [But the Sabbaths St. Paul speaks 
of are the Jewish Sabbaths. The first day of the week, or 
Lord's day, is never called Sabbath in the New Testament.] 

But to this view of the question it may be objected, 
1. That the reason assigned in the fourth commandment for 
the observance of the seventh day as a Sabbath, namely, 
** because God rested on the seventh day from the work of the 
creation," pertains to all mankind ; and, 2. That the observ- 
ance being commanded in the Decalogue, is, lik^ the other 
laws of the same code, applicable to all. 

But, to the first objection it may be replied, that the 
reason assigned in Exodus, is at variance with the one given 
in the fifth chapter 15th verse of Deuteronomy; which is, 
'* that Israel was a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the 
Lord his God brought him out thence, through a mighty 
hand, and by a stretched-out arm." Hence, from such 
discrepancy, no conclusion could have been drawn, had not 
a passage existed capable of settling the question, by show- 
ing that God's rest from the creation is proposed as the 
reason of the institution, even where the institution itself is 

08 What is said of this argument 1 

99 What objection to the Sabbath being binding on Christians 1 

100 What is said of the observance of ^e Sabbath by the apostles ? 

101 What has been thought to be St. Paul's opinion 1 

102 What may be replied to this supposition! 

103 What two reasons are recited by Dr. Paley in favor of the 
institution of the Sabbath at the creation 1 

104 How does he endeavor to do away the first reason ? 

• CoL iL 16. 


■pokm of M peeoliar to the Jews : ** Wherefore the child- 
ren of Israel shall keep the Sabbath — ^for a perpetual coTe- 
Bant and a sign between me and them for ever ; for in six 
days the Lord made heaven and earth* and on the seventh 
day he rested and was refreshed."* From these passages, 
we can understand that different reasons were assigned to 
meet different circumstances ; for if a Jew asked why the 
•erenth day was sanctified rather than the sixth or eighdi, he 
was told because God rested from the creation on that day ; 
but if he asked why his slaves also must rest, he was told, 
because he, who had been once a slave, was now able to 
to take that rest which had been denied him in bondage ; 
and thus the institution became a sign both of God's rest 
from the creation, and of man's rest from servitude. 

But although in this view the extent of the obligation is 
not actually determined, still if the reason made it naturally 
right, or it had been mentioned with a view to the extent of 
the obligation ; we should submit to the conclusion that all 
who are concerned in it, are comprehended in the command. 
But as the Sabbatic rest is a specific law, the reason cannot 
apply any farther than as it explains the lawgiver's design ; 
which may be to account for the choice of the day, and not 
the extent of the obligation. 

With regard to the second objection, that since the other 
commandments in the Decalogue are binding on all, so must 
the fourth be ; we answer that, as the distinction between 
natural and positive duties was unknown in the earlier ages of 
the world, duties which are in fact limited in their nature 
are enumerated in Scripture as equally obligatory on all. 
Of such confusion of natural and positive duties, instances 
may be found in Ezekiel xviii. 5 — 9, and the Acts xv. 29. 

II. If the law which ordained the Sabbath, be binding on 
Jews alone, it becomes an important question, whether 
Christ or his apostles did either directly enjoin, or indirectly 
apmropriate, a certain day for the observance of Sabbatic duties. 

The practice of holding religious assemblies on the first day 

106 How does he dispose of the second 1 

106 What becomes an important question if we suppose that the ori- 
ginal Sabbath was binding on the Jews alone 1 

107 What practice was uniTenal in the early church 1 

* Exod. xzxi. 16, 17. 


of the week was so universal in the early Christian church, 
that it is fair to presume it originated in some precept of 
Christ or his apostles. It was on the first day of the week 
that Christ appeared to his disciples assembled after his 
resurrection \* and his second appearance was in like manner 
on the first day of the week following.! We read of the 
same custom in the Christian church of Troas, when Paul 
went there to preach ;| a fact, which, from the manner in 
which it is related, shows that the practice of the disciples 
coming together to break bread on the first day of the week 
had become established and familiar. St. Paul, too, enjoins 
the Corinthians *' on the first day of the week to lay by a 
store, as God hath prospered each man, so that there be no 
gathering when he came ;"§ a direction which afibrds a pro- 
bable proof, that such day was distinguished from the rest 
by some religious application of it. Lastly, as mention is 
made of the Lord's day in the Revelations, || it is plain, 
that since no other day was so called, it must mean the first 
day of the week ; and John's use of it shows that this dis- 
tinctive name was well known to the churches. 

But though the preceding arguments go to prove that the first ^ 
day of the week was appropriated to the holding of religious 
assemblies for the duties of devotion, still, in no passage of 
th6 New Testament is it even intimated that we are to cease 
from any labor beyond the time requisite for such^ assem- 
blies. But this reserve will appear only natural, when it is 
considered that the observance of a new Sabbath would have 
been impracticable in the primitive state of the church. Dur- 
ing Christ's personal ministry, his religion was preached to 
the Jews alone : but they had already one Sabbath, which 
they were obliged to keep, and did keep ; and to them a 
second would have been superfluous. On the other hand, 
although the Gentiles had no Sabbath, yet, as the earliest 
converts to Christianity were chiefly of the lower orders, 
their time was not their own ; and, consequently, it would 
have been useless to enjoin their observance of a day of rest, 

108 Give some examples. 

109 Do these arguments prove that there was no labor on that day 1 

110 AVhy was there no command to this effect 1 

• John XX. 19. t ^^^ ^^' 26' ♦ -^^'^ *^* ^» '''• 

§ 1 Cor. xvi. 2. II Rev. i. 10. 


which nnbelieying masters and even the state wonld have 
forbidden from motives of private or public interest ; espe- 
cially as the people already enjoyed ample rest in the recur- 
rence of numerous festivals. And to have insisted on such 
an institution, in defiance of public opinion, would have en- 
dangered, without necessity, the reception of the new reli- 
gion ; for the institution of a Sabbath is, in truth, so connected 
with civil life, and requires so much the support of civil 
law, that it can scarcely be made an ordinance of any reli- 
gion which is not the religion of the state. 

The opinions taht Christ and his apostles meant to retain 
the observance of the Jewish Sabbath, with a change only of 
the day ; and, (what is not actually improbable,) that the first 
day of the week was chosen in commemoration of the resur- 
rection, are both unsupported by the language of Scripture. 

The conclusion, then, (for we must follow wherever 
arguments lead,) is this ; that \he-a8sembling on the first day 
of the week for public worship and religious instruction, is 
an ordinance of Christ ; but to rest on that day from usual 
occupations longer than such religious duties require, is 
merely an ordinance of man ; binding, nevertheless, on the 
conscience, like other human laws, from its tendency to 
increase human happiness ; and acceptable, probably, to 
God, from its similarity to the institution given by himself to 
the Jews, for similar useful purposes. 

[But Dr. Dewar says, " I have proved that the Sabbath is 
of perpetual obligation^ And he makes the following reply 
to the question how it came to be changed from the last to 
the first day of the week. *' We must bear in mind the per- 
petual obligation rests upon that which constitutes the Sab- 
bathj and not on the day on which it is held. It was the 
Sabbath, and not the seventh day, that God blessed and sanc- 
tified. ♦ He rested the seventh day ; wherefore the Lord 
blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it ;* that is the sacred 
rest to be enjoyed on that day. That day might have been 
any one in the week, as well as the seventh, had it pleased 
God to appoint it. And although there was indeed a pro- 
Ill Have we any authority that Christ and his apostles meant to 
retain the duties of the Christian Sabbath 1 

112 What is Dr. Paley's final conclusion on the subject of the Sabbath ? 

113 Has Dr. Dewar this opinion 1 

114 In his remarks on the change of the day of its observance, what 
4q^ he say is necessary to be recoUecte4 ? 


piiety in selecting the last day of the week at the time God 
had just finished the work of the creation ; yet it is evident 
that God might at a subsequent period dissociate the Sabbath 
from this day, should circumstances arise to render it expe- 
dient. The transferrence of the Sabbath from the seventh to 
the first day of the week was for the best of reasons. It 
took place in consideration of its being the day on which the 
Saviour rose from the dead;— on which was finished that 
glorious work, in comparison of the greatness of which, the 
former creation should not be mentioned, nor come into 
mind. If it was expedient that the Sabbath should comme- 
morate the deliverance from Egypt, is it not meet that it 
should now be a memorial of that great redemption from sin 
and death, in which all mankind are alike interested ?''-— 
Dewar, Book iv. chap. 13. 

Dr. Dewar's proof that the Sabbath has been changed by 
divine authority from the last to the first day of the week, is 
the same as Paley, page 175.]] 



Since the obligation to observe the Sabbath arises from the 
public use of the institution and the authority of the aposto* 
lie practice, the manner of observing it ought to be that which 
best fulfils these uses, and conforms the nearest to that prac- 

The utility of the institution consists in its tendency, 
1. To facilitate the performance of public worship^; 2. To in- 
crease the sum of human happiness by regular returns of rest 
from toil ; and, 3. To give to persons, necessarily engaged 
six days of the week in worldly afi*airs, an opportunity to 
think of subjects connected with their eternal welfare. 

Although amongst the early Christians the first day of the 
week was chiefly devoted to religious assemblies, yet we 
learn from Irenaeus that the same day was reserved also for 
religious meditation. Wherefore, the Lord's day is violated, 
1. By all such employments as hinder attendance on public 

116 What does he suppose to be the reasons for iti 

116 What should be the manner of observing the Sabbath t 

117 What are the three uses of the institution 1 

118 How was the day spent by the early Christians 1 

119 By what three customs is the Lord's day violated 1 


worship, either entirely or in part, or do not leave time for 
Teligious leflections ; as the going of journeys, the paying or 
receiving of visits, or the employing of onr time at home in 
writing letters, settling accounts, or reading books which bear 
no relation to the business of religion : 2. By unnecessary 
encroachments on the rest of persons in our employ : 3. By 
indulgence in recreations, whose levity is at variance with the 
graver duties of the day ; as hunting, shooting, fishing, and 
other diversions. 

But it may be askecf, wherein consists the difference, for 
instance, between walking out with a staff or with a gun ; 
and between playing at cards, or in passing the day in idle- 
ness? To these, and a hundred similar questions, we 
reply, — that, if the observance of Sunday is to be retained 
at aU, it must be retained by such visible distinctions as will 
best preserve the feeling of respect for the sanctity of the 
day ; that, draw the line of distinction where you will, 
many actions which are situated on the confines of the line 
will differ very little, and yet lie on the opposite sides of it ; 
and that every trespass upon that reserve which public deoen- 
cy has established, breaks down the fence by which the day 
is separated to the service of religion. And, if gaming were 
always as harmless as it is generally the reverse, still it would 
be ill suited for the occupation of a Sunday, because it has a 
tendency to destroy, by the excitement of hopes and fears, 
that tranquil frame of mind, in which the duties and thoughts 
of religion should always both find and leave us. Besides, 
as by the indulgence of such every-day amusements, a suspi- 
cion is generated in the minds of others, that we have a 
secret contempt for the Christian faith ; and as an example 
is thus held out to those, who want some excuse, and are 
content with any, for a neglect of the institution ; we are 
bound to adhere to habits, though founded on custom merely, 
provided such habits actually prevent a moral mischief. 
Nor can the example of other countries, more lax in this 
respect, afford any apology for similar irregularities in our 
own ; because a practice tolerated elsewhere, does not give 
the same offence as where it is prohibited. 

120 Whi^t questions may arise from this ? 

121 What is the first answer to this question 1 

122 What is the second 1 The third? 

123 What effect may our example have 1 

184 Wh»t is said of any laxity in other countries 1 


[But rather than to depend solely upon the utUity of the 
institution, we wooid say with Dr. Dewar, ** If the Sabbath, 
as has been proved, is of moral and perpetual obligation, it 
is clear that all are bound to observe it according to the de« 
signs of the institution. Now there is in the commandment 
an express prohibition against all secular pursuits. Nor can 
any part of that seventh portion of our time which God com- 
mands us to devote to him, be given to any mere worldly 
avocation without a violation of the sanctity of the Sabbath ; 
and, consequently, without dishonor to the authority of 
heaven. Nor is it less manifest, that we are bound to abstain 
from all secular pleasures on the Sabbath ; and, as we regard 
the authority of heaven, to shun whatever has a direct ten- 
dency to divert our minds from the holy purposes of the 
day, and to unfit us for its exercises." — Dewar. Book iv. 
chap. 14.3 


As the sense of awe which Is felt by the mind when con- 
templating the Supreme Being, and which forms a great 
security against vice, is produced, in a great degree, by the 
habit of using expressions of reverence ; Ibo it is destroyed 
by the habit of using the familiar language of levity in 
which many indulge when speaking of the Deity or his 

God has forbidden, no matter for what reason, the vain 
mention of his name. Now, the mention is vain, when it 
serves no good purpose, or even when it is used on occa- 
liions unconnected with moral or religious duties. And 
though the Jews interpreted the commandment, as prohibit- 
ing the use of the word Jehovah alone, the name which 
God had given himself,* Christ has extended the command- 
ment to every thing associated with the idea of God.t 

125 What reason stronger than that of utility, have we for the observ* 
ance of the Sabbath ? 

126 Does this extend to the suspension of pleasures 1 

127 What may generate or destroy a reverence for the Deity 1 

128 What has God expressly forbidden 1 

129 When is the mention of it vain 1 

130 In what extent does this definition apply 1 

• Exod. vi. .3. t Matt. v. 36. 


The offence of profane swearing is aggravated when we 
consider that in t/, duty and decency are sacrificed to the 
slenderest temptation. It is a practice which the least reso- 
lution can correct ; and one would think there are no plea- 
sures in it which it would be a pain to lose. Besides, the 
habit of swearing is prejudicial to the character of the iodiri- 
dual, as it betrays a contempt of positive duties, or rather of 
those duties for which the reason is not so plain as the com- 
mand ; and this contempt affords proof of a disposition which 
is not influenced by the authority of revelation. 

A ridicule of the language, persons, and rites of religion 
falls under the spirit of the third commandment, as explained 
by Christ. Besides, such conduct is inconsistent with a 
religious frame of mind, which cannot view with pleasure 
the ridicule of objects in which it feels the deepest interest, 
and which indignantly rejects every attempt to entertain it 
with jests upon serious concerns. While the infidel laughs 
at the superstition, credulity, and fanaticism of the religion- 
ist, he does not see that the weakest devotee, who zealously 
aims at securing what he thinks to be eternal happiness here- 
after, is a more rational being than he who has no concern 
about a future state. For on this subject, indifierence is the 
very height of folly. 

Christianity is but ill defended by refusing to listen to the 
objections of its adversaries. But serious arguments are 
fair on all sides ; and whilst we would have no inquiry 
restrained by other laws than those of decency, we are en- 
titled to demand that Christianity be not made an arena for 
the display of mere raillery ; that the cause be tried on its 
own merits ; and that, without any appeals to the passions, 
or any attempts to pervert the judgment by sinister influ- 
ence, assent be gained by evidence conducted with logical 
precision, and with the sole desire to arrive at truth ; and 
that, whatever objections are started, they be put in such a 
shape as to invite inquiry, not evade it. If with these equi- 
table conditions, we compare the war that has been waged 

131 What is said of this offence ? 

132 What is implied by the habit 1 

133 How has the spirit of the third commandment been explained by 
the Saviour 1 

134 What may be said of the sneering infidel? 

136 How should objections to Christianity be treated ? 

186 What are we entitled to demand on behalf of Christianity 1 


against Christianity, its defenders have much to complain of, 
on the ground of their adversaries' conduct. For, by one 
unbeliever, all the follies of the popular creed of superstitious 
ages are assumed as the doctrines of Christ ; with the view 
to overturn the latter by mixing them up with the absurdi- 
ties of the former. By another, the vices of the sacerdotal 
order, their mutual dissensions and persecutions, and their 
encroachments upon civil and religious liberty, have been 
displayed, not with a view to guard the Christian laity 
against the repetition of clerical iniquity, but to lead the way 
to an insinuation that religion is a fable, imposed on the 
fears of a credulous people, and upheld by the fraud of a 
crafty priesthood. And yet, what has the character of the 
clergy to do with the truth of Christianity ? Ecclesiastics 
are but men ; and, endued with the passions of men, are 
like other men influenced less by the duties of a secluded 
profession than by the temptations of our common nature. 
A third has collected accounts of all the wars and massacres 
occasioned by religious zeal ; as if the views of Christians 
were a part of Christianity ; intolerance and extirpation pre- 
cepts of the Gospel ; and as if its spirit regulated the intrigues 
of state craft, or authorised the cruelties of superstition. By 
a fourth, the variety of popular religions, the rise and fall 
of hostile sects, the little reason with which creeds are 
formed, and the great rapidity with which they are forgotten ; 
the indifference with which the national religion is at one 
time received, and the zeal with which it is at another time 
opposed ; the bitterness with which men contend for tenets 
and rituals of whose meaning and origin they know nothing; 
and, lastly, the confidence with which the doctrines of 
Christ or Confucius, and the laws of Moses or Mahomet, 
are taught or rejected by nations, according as they live on 
the opposite banks of a river, and within or without the 
boundaries of a particular state, and sometimes by the very 
same people to whom the chance of a battle has given a 
change of masters and religion at the same moment ; these 
points are, I say, produced as proofs against the truth of 

137 Has this always been granted 1 

138 How has Christianity been treated by one ? 
* 139 How by another 1 

140 How may he be answered 1 

141 What has been the attack of a third 1 

142 What has been the attack of a fourth 1 



Christianity ; and, being set off with a vivacity of style, and 
aggravation of circumstances, they lead persons to class the 
Christian religion of the present day with the superstitions 
of the past. But this is to deal dishonestly with the subject 
and the world ; for the same representation might be given, 
whether Christianity be tirue or false. Besides, may not 
truth, as well as falsehood, be taken on credit ? and may not 
a religion be founded on evidence accessible to all who are 
competent to inquire, and yet be received on authority 
by persons who cannot go into all the details of the evi- 
dence ? 

But if the matter of such objections be reprehensible, still 
more so is the manner in which they are brought forward* 
Infidelity is served up in every alluring shape ; in verse and 
prose, in fable and history, in covert hints and bold ' asser- 
tions, in books of travels, philosophy, and natural history ; 
but seldom with sober argument or pains-taking examination. 
The coarse buffoonery and hoarse laugh of older scoffers, 
only because they are disgusting to modern delicacy, have 
given place to refined banter and playful wit. An eloquent 
writer, besides his more direct and fairer attacks on the Gos- 
pel history, has woven into his narrations a continued sneer on 
the Christian religion, its authors, and its patrons. But who 
can refute a sneer ? or who can scrutinise, one by one, the 
validity of the insinuations which crowd his pages ? or who 
can suspend curiosity, and stop to examine references and 
weigh reasons, for the truth or falsehood of every sly allu- 
sion or passing sarcasm to the disparagement of the Chris- 
tian's creed? and yet, these sneers, insinuations, and sar- 
casms, may root out the persuasion of Christianity from the 
mind of a thoughtless reader. 

Nor is this all. Even the poisoned arrows of obscenity 
have been directed against Christianity ; and doctrines the 
most pure have been profaned by a union with impure 
images ; and as lascivious ideas are the result of sensations 
the least under the control of reason, the imagination has 
been worked on to reject the authority and evidence of 
Christianity by the seasoning of ridicule with obscenity, by 
which it becomes doubly as strong as it naturally is. Neither 
is the crime and danger less, though the impurity of the 

143 What reply may be given to all these objections? 

144 How has infidelity been brought before tiLe public 1 

145 What remarks on this unfairness ? 


tliought be covered with the thin veil of language more 

Seriousness is not constraint of thought ; nor levity, free- 
dom ; and as in such inquiries, the most important to man^ 
truth alone is or ought to be the object, all must abhor such 
violations of correct reasoning ; to say nothing of the inde- 
cency, which can be tolerable only to those who can see 
little in the Christian religion, even supposing its leading 
doctrines to be true. But to such adversaries we would say, 
that the announcement of a future resurrection alone is of 
inestimable importance to mankind ; and well worthy all the 
accompaniments of religion. And, to the assertion that a 
future had b^en thought of before, without the Christian re- 
velation, we reply that it was discovered, like the system of 
Copernicus, by a happy guess ; that he alone discovers who 
proves ; and that, as no satisfactory proof could be given 
without the aid of miracles, — the annunciation of the certainty 
of such a state, duly attested by miracles, was an event 
which the wisest would be the first to hail, as a solution of 
every doubt, and as a termination to otherwise fruitless in- 
quiries. _^ * 

146 What may be remarked of seriousness and levity ? 

147 What may we say to those who lightly esteem Christianity 1 

148 What may be said concerning the knowledge of a future state 1 





Government at first was either patriarchal or military ; 
that is, of a parent over his family, or of a leader over his 

I. [Of patriarchal government J] Had men been bom 
mature and independent at once, paternal authority would 
never have existed. But as the wants of infancy demand the 
care, so its weakness gives rise to the control of parents ; 
and thus a single family exhibits the rudiments and outlines 
of a government, where one directs and others obey. And 
therefore, governmental authority was, no doubt, coeval with 
the race of man. 

To this, the first stage of government, [that is, of a parent 
over his young children,]] succeeds another, where more fami- 
lies than one are united by the ties of consanguinity ; and 
where all, though adults, look up to the same head under the 
influence of feelings of respect. Because as the beginning 
of obedience is not recollected, that habit seems to .the parties 
to be a law of nature ; and it cannot be abruptly withdrawn. 

But though in the course of time, the common head drops 
into the grave, yet the interests which bound the families 
together during the lifetime of the patriarch, cease not at his 
death. And hence, so far from a dissolution of the society 
taking place ; it is probable that the members of it, having 
felt the advantages of possessing such a head, would either 
formally fix on a successor, or silently permit the vacant place 
to be occupied by one whose services had been useful during 

1 What was government at first ? 

2 What is the foundation of patriarchal government 1 
8 When did it commence 1 

4 What kind of government is likely to succeed parental authority ? 

5 Would the death of the patriarch affect the common interests of the 
associated families 1 

6 What might be caused by the continuation of the common in« 


tlie lifetime of the deceased patriarch. Ori perhaps, the 
first ancestor, anticipating the mischievous ejects of dis- 
union, first prepared and then appointed a successor, to 
'^v'hose rule the other members of the family found it their 
interest to submit. 

A clan, thus formed of many families who were sprung 
from one stock, might fulfil all the purposes of civil union. 
And as branches continually slipped off to settle in distant 
lands, separate societies would be established, united still by 
various bonds ; such as marriage, mutual defence, con- 
quest, &;c. 

II. [Of military government.'] Respecting the origin of 
a. military government, it is easy to understand how, in the 
case of wars offensive or defensive, a leader might be cho- 
sen ; and how authority, given him for a single expedition, 
might be retained, at least, in the modified sense of influence, 
even in times of peace ; and how a temporary power may be 
converted into one for life by the management of various 
motives of action, suited to the different feeling of partizans. 

But how such a power, which has its origin in merit or 
management, should descend by inheritance, without any 
reference to the personal qualities of the successor, is a 
question not so easy for us to explain. It is probable, how- 
ever, that hereditary dominion has been introduced from the 
united operations of many causes ; such as the feeling of 
gratitude, by which a part of the respect due to the father is 
paid to the son ; the mutual jealousy of other rival competi- 
tors ; the support of adherents more interested in preserving 
than destroying the succession ; and the experience of facts, 
which went to prove that any rule of succession is better 
than none, and that the one most easy and certain is that of 
consanguinity. , 

This account of the supposed origin of government, is con- 
firmed by what we know of the condition of some un- 
civilized parts of the world ; and what we read of in the 
histories of earlier times^ Both conspire to show that 
nations are formed of single families, each under its own 

7 What might possibly be provided for by the first ancestor! 

8 How may originate a miUtary government 1 

9 What attendant of this power is it not so easy to explain 1 
10 What is a probable explanation! 

U By what are these suppositions confirmed 1 



head, and united only for purposes of mutual protection; 
but not possessing, (because not wanting,) a system of laws 
and government. For that would be perfectly useless to 
persons occupied with the care of subsistence merely, and 
free to seek it how and where they best could, at nature's 
hands alone. 

But if this is a correct view of the earlier stages of society, 
how shall we account for the existence of great empires in 
remote ages, and the rapidity with which Uiey rose from a 
state of comparative nothingness ? The fact is, that the 
formation of such extensive empires was facilitated by this 
very multitude of clans, unconnected with or hostile to each 
other. For when one tribe had by any means got the start 
of the rest, it could, as Kome in truth did, under the conduct 
of a skilful and daring chief, easily subdue by force or gain 
by alliance the weaker neighboring states, before they felt 
the necessity, or possessed the means, of confederating 
against the common foe. 

With regard to the conclusion to be drawn from the pre- 
ceding theory, it is fair to infer that the first form of civil 
government was a monarchy ; being merely the result of the 
principles which regulated single families, and armies, each 
under its own head. 



There is nothing in the history of man more surprising 
than the phenomenon of the almost universal subjugation of 
strength to weakness ; as shown in the fact of millions of 
robust men, in the full exercise of their personal faculties, 
waiting on the will of a child, a woman, or .a fool. But 
though it be an extreme case to suppose a vast empire under 
the subjection of a person the weakest in intellect or the 
most debased by vice ; still, as in governments even the 
most popular, the physical strength resides in the many, it is 
difficult to understand how a moral strength should exist in 

12 What was the dvil state of the primary nations ? 

13 How will this account agree with the formation of extensive 
empires ? 

14 What inference may he drawn from this theory ? 

15 What surprising phenomenon do we ohserve in political affidra? 

16 Can this remark be applied to popular governments ? Why ? 


the few, powerful enough to control the many. Nor is the 
difficulty solved by asserting that civil governments are up- 
held by standing armies ; for the question still is, how are 
these armies themselves, the masters over the many, made to 
obey the commands of the ruling few ? 

The fact is, that such submission is not the result of one, 
but of many causes ; each operating on different portions of 
the community, and thus producing a similarity of conduct 
from principles extremely various. 

These principles are — 1. Prejudice; 2. Reason; 3. Self- 

I. The prejudice which influences those who obey, is 
founded on long established customs. In monarchies and aris- 
tocracies, these customs operate in favor of particular persons ; 
in democracies, of particular institutions. And as the whole 
course of civil life is regulated by such prescriptions, the 
prejudice that is founded upon them, must needs take a deep 
root. All the demands, made by the privileged orders on 
the less fortunate part of society, rest, as many think, on 
prescription alone ; and to that law, when demands are con- 
tested, is the appeal made. Hence, persons learn to transfer 
to the government the same prejudices in favor of prescrip- 
tion, which they feel in the case of individuals ; and consider 
that the sovereign has a right to that obedience which has 
been given him of old, and that in demanding it he only 
claims what is justly his due. 

In hereditary monarchies, the prescriptive title is strength- 
ened still further by the introduction of a feeling of sacredness 
attached to the persons of princes. Of this feeling all 
princes have been quick to take advantage ; and by the 
assumption of titles, suited rather to the majesty of the 
Deity than to his self-called representatives on earth, and by 
the adoption of the religious ceremonies of investiture and 

17 Does not the fact of the government's employing standing annies 
solve the mystery? 

18 What does such submission result from 1 

19 What are the three prominent principles? 

20 By what means does prejudice assist rulers? 

21 How does it operate in monarchies and aristocracies 1 

22 How in republics ? 

23 Is this prejudice strong? Why? 

24 How is this illustrated ? 

26 How is this prescriptive title strengthened in monarchies ? 
26 What are the means that have been used ? 


eoronations, they have increased both their actual power and 
ideal importance. And so well has the folly of man kept 
pace with the impiety of the prince, that an emperor has 
been worshiped as a present God ; and even to this day, 
the Lama of Thibet is accounted the immortal God himself, 
the object at once of civil obedience and reli^ous adoration ; 
a singular instance of the facility with which human credu- 
lity may be abused, and of the extent to which it can be 
carried, when the object is to produce a reverence for a king, 
by working on the religious principles of mankind. 

II. They who obey from reason, are impelled to allegiance 
by perceiving the necessity of some government, the mischief 
of civil commotions, and the difficulty of resettling the state 
when it has been once disturbed. 

III. He, who obeys from self-interest, is careless of the 
general consequences of resistance ; but quite alive to that 
diminution of his individual ease and comforts which he 
would suffer by nonobedience. Or, even, if disposed to 
resist, he is restrained by the fear of fadling into a worse situ- 
tion than his present one, when arrayed singly against the 
powers that be, and uncertain of support from others. 

From this account of the principles which lead men to 
obey civil governments at all, governors may learn, 

1. That, as the physical strength resides in the governed, 
it is unwise to rouse a power, which, when once excited, can 
overturn the most deeply rooted dominion; and that as 
authority is founded on public opinion, that public opinion 
must be treated with respect, and managed with delicacy. 

2. That, as government owes its support to the fact of 
persons thinking that custom is right, every change of cus- 
tom diminishes the stability of the opinion of its power. 
And hence, slight evils ought to remain uncorrected for fear 
of disturbing antiquated prejudices; and even the charm, 
which the multitude feel in names, is not to .be despised. 

27 What have been the efiects of such expedients 1 

28 How does reason occasion sgme to obey ? 

29 What effect has self-interest upon some ? 

30 What caution is first suggested to rulers from the foregmng 
accounts ? 

31 What is the second caution? 

32 What follows from this caution ? Give an example. 


A knowledge of this feeling led some of Cromwell's party to 
advise his assumption of the title and ensigns of royalty, 
with a view to satisfy those, who would otherwise be offended 
a.t the novel name of Protector ; while a similar perception 
of the magic of a name led others to oppose the measure, 
through the fear that veneration paid to titles, would endan- 
ger the liberty of the commonwealth. 

3. That the government may be too secure. Although 
the greatest tyrants have been those, whose titles were the 
least questioned ; still, when they became too secure in the 
opinion of their rights, their lofty notions have received a 
check either by a partial deprivation of their power, or by an 
entire disruption of their authority. [The latter effect was 
seen in our revolution, which absolved us from all allegiance 
to Great Britain.] 

4. That as a want of communication amongst the dis- 
affected is one of the principal preservatives of civil autho- 
rity, every state ought to prevent its subjects from congre- 
gating in masses. Because, as such bodies are influenced 
by a similarity of interests on questions of religion or polity, 
they are wont to offer the most desperate resistance to 
authority ; since one and all feel, that subjected equally to 
oppression, they can break it only by united exertions. 
Hence, there is danger of collecting men into large towns or 
crowded districts, as is done for the purposes of trade in 
manufacturing countries. In such cases, the many soon 
learn the secret of their strength, and impart confidence to 
each other by assurances of mutual support ; while the pro- 
pinquity of habitation, and intercourse of employment, 
enable the passions and counsels of the combined parties to 
circulate with ease and rapidity ; so that the most dreadful 
uproars frequently arise from the slightest provocations. 
Such means are like a train that is laid, which needs only a 
spark to produce an explosion. 


The last chapter touched on the motives which lead to 
civil obedience ; the present relates to a different point, viz. 
the reasons which make that obedience a diUy, 

33 What is the third caution ? Illustrate. 

34 What is the fourth caution 1 Why ? Illustrate. 

35 What is the difference between the subject of this chapter, aixd that 
of the last? 


To prove civil obedience to be a moral duty, Locke and 
others have referred to a supposed compact between the 
citizen and the state, which, like other compacts, is binding 
on the parties ; and as the citizen has in such compact pro- 
mised fidelity, he is morally bound to keep his promise. 
This compact has been represented as twofold. 

1. Express, and entered into by the founders of the state, 
convened for the purpose of settling the terms of their poli- 
tical union. At that time, the whole body agreed to be 
bound' by the decisions of the majority ; which, either then 
or subsequently fixed some fundamental regulations, and then 
constituted a standing legislature, composed of one or more 
persons who were appointed according to their primary 
rules. To this legislature they deputed the power of mak- 
ing laws, to which, all, according to the original compact, 
were bound to conform. This transaction is sometimes 
called the social compact ; and the original resolutions com- 
pose what are called the fundamental laws of the constitu- 
tion^ which are appealed to as the ground for the preroga- 
tive of the rulers, and the birth-right of the people. 

2. Tacit, and adopted by all who succeeded the founders ; 
and who, by accepting the protection of the society, virta- 
ally consented to abide by its laws ; just, as, at present, he 
who enters a private society, tacitly engages to conform to 
its rules, since he knows that he is admitted only on such 

But this account of the matter is false in fact ; and, if it 
were true, it would not be admissible, as it leads to dan- 
gerous conclusions. 

No such compact was ever made ; for it could not have 
been made, without supposing, what is impossible, that 
savages could deliberate on topics which civil life alone sug- 
gested. But though no government began from this origind, 
some imitation of a social compact might have taken place at 
a revolution. In these United States, for instance, the people 


36 How have some proved that civil obedience is a moral duty ? 

37 What is the first kind of the supposed compact ? 

38 What are the conditions of this contract 1 

39 What is this transaction called ? 

40 What is the result of it? 

41 What is the second kind of the compact 1 

42 Is this account true ? 43 Why must it be false ? 
44 What may be a near imitation of such a compact ? 

4^ Give an example. 


did assemble to elect deputies for the express purpose of 
forming a constitution ; and the deputies so elected did frame 
a government, and erect a perpetual legislature, invested 
with the power of making laws, which should be binding on 
the very people by whom that legislature had been elected. 
Yet even here much was presumed to be already settled : 
for even the qualifications of voters, and the mode of electing 
the representatives, were modeled after the older forms of 
government. And as in our national origin, there was want- 
ing that from which every social union should set ofiT, and 
which alone makes the resolution of the society the act of 
each individual, viz. the willing consent of a// to be bound 
by the decision of the majority ; the compulsory obedience 
of the minority became an act of oppression on the part of 
the majority, and at variance with the equity requisite for a 
civil union. 

But, it is said, the existence of this original compact is 
merely assumed, with a view to explain the grounds of the 
relative duties of rulers and subjects. To this it is replied, 
that if the compact did not exist in reality, it can afford no 
foundation for real duties. But so far from this compact 
being considered as a fiction, it is constantly appealed to as a 
reality, whenever mention is made of the fundamental laws 
of the constitution, of the inherent rights of the prince or 
people, or of usages transcending the authority of the exist- 
ing legislature. And the object of such appeal is to show, 
that as certain rules were established when the government 
was first settled, and as all subsequent assemblies derive 
their rights only from the primitive one ; the former can in 
no wise exceed the limits which were prescribed to it by 
the latter. They say moreover, that the primitive members 
of the state differ from their successors in this alone, that 
the former bound themselves to obey the government by an 
express stipulation, whereas the allegiance of the latter, is 
tacitly confirmed by the performance of certain duties, in 

46 Why was it not a complete instance of the social compact 1 

47 What was wanting in our national origin 1 

48 Is it contended that there ever was actually such a compact ? 

49 But what is the idea of its existence when it is appealed to 1 

50 What is the object of the appeal 1 

61 How do those who appeal to it devolve its obligation upon the 
modems 1 


return for protection and the possession of certain privileges. 
But this argument crumbles under close examination. 

For in all stipulations, expressed or implied, the parties con^ 
cemed must not only possess the liberty of assent or refusal, 
but be conscious also of possessing such liberty. Now, so 
far from possessing this liberty either in fact or in idea, the 
subjects of modern states are not conscious even of the 
existence of any such stipulation with the government, by 
virtue of which they are free to choose whether they will or 
will not be bound by the acts of the legislature ; and while 
ignorant that a mutual promise of protection and obedience 
has been required and given, they do not, even for a moment, 
believe that the validity or authority of the la w~ depends on 
their recognition or assent. Now, as no arguments can 
excuse or supply this defect of a consciousness of liberty, all 
suppositions built on such defective principles must be erro- 
neous. Still less is it possible to reconcile, with any idea 
of stipulation, the practice of founding allegiance on the 
accidental circumstances of birth ; that is, of claiming as 
subjects those who are bom within the dominions of a parti" 
cular state. And, further, if the subject be bound only by 
the express stipulation of his progenitors, or his own tacit 
consent as expressed by his act of residence in the country ; 
how can we defend the right, which all sovereigns claim, of 
preventing their subjects from leaving the realm ? 

But, in truth, the whole question about the supposed social 
compact would merit little discussion, and less opposition, 
did it not lead to conclusions unfavorable to the happiness of 
society, by starting questions that ought not to be mooted, 
by perpetuating evils that ought to be abolished, and by giv- 
ing rise to constant changes of government. . 

1. For if a subsisting legislature derives all its authority 
only from inheriting certain powers granted by the primitive 
convention, and if those powers are limited by certain resolu- 
tions, supposed to have been framed by such an assembly ; 
not only may the deliberations of the legislature be embar- 
rassed, but even its authority endangered. For as it is 

52 Is this argument correct ? Why 1 

53 What reasons against it may be shown by foun^Bng s^egiance on 
circumstances of birth or residence 1 

54 Why is this theory worthy of discussion 1 

56 What is the first unfavorable conclusion that it would 1^ to ? 
56 Why would that conclusion be injurious 1 


impossible to determine the number or nature of such suppo- 
sititious fundamentals, any point may be agitated as one of 
them» and thus become the pretext for disputing law, when- 
ever it may suit our individual interest. 

2. If the subject owes obedience by virtue of a compact, 
he is compelled to abide by that form of government which 
he finds established, however inconvenient or absurd it may 
be. Because, by the law of contracts, no one can retreat 
from an engagement on the ground of the inconvenience of 
its performance. But if the social compact is not to follow 
the general law of contracts, it is an abuse of terms to call 
the relation between the state and subject by such a name ; 
and a mere waste of time to reason on such misnomers, 
which can lead only to misunderstanding. It is true that 
such a compact will justify the subject in resisting any 
encroachments made or designed by the state on his liberty ; 
but he can have no right to resist the established form of the 
government, and still less can he attempt to alter it without 
the assent of the governors. And as governors are not 
likely to assent to any diminution of their power, he will be 
morally obliged to submit to the despot under whom he may 
be living, if that despot, in exacting the most rigorous ser- 
vitude, still keeps within the terms of the agreement. When 
the state endeavors to step beyond the contract, the people 
may vindicate their rights by force ; but to impose any new 
limitations on the reigning power, and in opposition to it, 
would be an infraction of the original compact. 

3. If the duty of allegiance be founded on agreement, and 
if there be any analogy between the rules of the social 
compact and of contracts in general ; every violation of such 
agreement on the part of the rulers, would dissolve the 
government, precisely as other contracts are dissolved by a 
similar violation on one side. Now, as the terms of the ori- 
ginal compact exist nowhere positively, they can only be 
inferred ; and as different inferences may be drawn by diffe- 
rent parties from the same undefined view of the preroga- 
tives of the government, and of the rights of the people ; 
both eventually will, in vindication of their respective 

67 What is the second unfavorable conclusion from it ? 

68 Why would that follow? 

69 Why must the social compact follow the law of contracts ? 

60 Would this unfavorable conclusion follow in its fall extent 1 

61 What would be the probable result 1 



claims, be goilty of aggressions, to be settled only by an 
appeal to arms. And thus the peace of society will be dis- 
turbed, by the vindication of the plea that a violation of the 
social compact justifies its dissolution. 

Rejecting therefore the fiction or fact of a social compact, 
as unfounded in principle, and dangerous in application ; vre 
assign, as the only ground for civil obedience, the will of 
God, as collected from expediency. 

God wills the happiness of man. 

Now, civil society conduces to that end. 

But civil society requires that each member be bound to 
support the interest of the whole. 

Hence, if the interest of the whole be supported by obey- 
ing the established form of government, it is the will of God 
that each person obey such established form, so long as the 
interest of the whole requires it ; that is, so long as submis- 
sion brings to the whole fewer evils than resistance would. 

On this principle, unresisting submission and unjustifiable 
resistance are equally excluded. 

But it will be asked, who is to judge when the resistance 
is justifiable ? We answer, every man for himself. For, in 
contentions between the rulers and ruled, the parties admit 
of no umpire ; and the decision cannot be left to those, 
whose conduct has given rise to the question, and whose fate 
is too intimately concerned in the result. The danger of 
error and abuse is no objection to the rule of expediency ; 
for, 1. Every rule is equally liable to similar danger ; and, 
2. The application of this, as of other rules which bind the 
conscience, must depend on private judgment. In the exer- 
cise of his judgment, however, it matters not whether a man 
be influenced by his own reasons, or freely adopts those of 

The advantage of thus substituting expediency in the place 

63 What effect would such a compact have upon the peace of 
Mciety 1 

63 In what manner would it occasion that disturbance ? 

64 In adyocating civil obedience, what ground for it, better than the 
■ocial compact, do we assign for it ? 

66 What are the steps of argument by which we arrive at this con- 
clusion 1 

66 How fiur does this obligation extend ? 

67 In this case who shall be the judge of duty 1 Why 1 

68 Is there no objection to this rule on account of error or abuse 1 

69 What reasons have you for this assertion ? 


of compact, as the ground of civil obedience, will be best 
seen by considering, 

1. That it will be as much a duty to resist at one time, as 
to submit at another ; for there are times, when the society 
will gain more by resistance than by submission. 

2. That the right to resist does not depend on the griev- 
ance which is sustained or feared, but on the probable evils 
of resistance. Thus, at the revolution, because the probabi- 
lity of mischief was not so great as the likelihood of benefit, 
resistance was justifiable ; but it would not have been, if 
the greatest probability had been on the side of mischief. 

3. That when the government is once settled, no plea, 
founded on the injustice of its formation, can warrant resist- 
ance to it. Of all civil contests, few have been so fiitile, and 
none so furious, as those respecting a disputed succession. 
The allegiance of the subject is due, not to the person, but 
to the office of the ruler. 

4. That not every stretch of prerogative, abuse of power, 
or neglect of duty on the part of the chief magistrate, or of 
one or both branches of the legislature, will justify resistance, 
unless the general consequences of the individual wrong are 
likely to be greater than the evils of disturbance. Still, all 
such acts, however trifling in appearance, must be opposed 
and punished even beyond their apparent insignificance; 
because such readiness on the part of the people to take 
alarm, is the best security for the preservation of liberty, 
which is most surely undermined by those encroachments 
that are made without opposition, or opposed without eflect. 

5. That no law or custom will be so binding, that it need 
be continued when public benefit shall demand its discon- 
tinuance. The prerogative of the chief magistrate, the 
powers of the legislature, and the rights of the people, are 
only parts of so many laws enacted for expediency ; and 
may at any time be abrogated, if requisite for the public 
good. The falsely and foolishly called fundamental laws 
of the constitution, so far as perpetuity is concerned, have no 

70 What is the first advantage obtained by adopting this rulet 

71 What is the second advantage ? Example. 
73 What is the third advantage 1 Remarks. 

73 What is the fourth advantage ? 

74 Bat should we let pass unnoticed trifling errors in our rulers ? 
Why should we not 1 

75 What is the fifth advantage? 

76 What follows from this t 



place in our system. All the respect we hold due to such 
laws, is founded, not on their ancient institution, hut present 
worth ; and the unwillingness to alter them, can fairly rest 
only on the mischief which arises from frequent changes of 

6. That, as all civil obligation is resolved into expediency, 
the same act, done under two different forms of govemmenty 
is not to be viewed in the same light ; and the act of oppres- 
sion that would justify resistance in a free country, would not 
justify it in one that is not free. For as the expediency of 
resistance depends on the probability of success ; and as the 
probability of success in the latter country is less than in the 
former, the expediency of submission becomes greater in 
one case than in the other. Again, as it is expediency which 
constitutes the moral obligation to obey, the rights con- 
nected correlatively with such obligation must vary with the 
difference of expediency. Now, as the expediency of sub- 
mission is not the same, so the rights cannot be the same. 
In this way alone the subjects of different states possess dif- 
ferent civil rights. The duty of obedience is defined by 
different boundaries ; and the point of resistance is placed at 
different parts of the scale of suffering. Nor is there any 
need to apply the principle of the social compact, as some 
have done, to explain the ground of such difference in civil 
rights, or to enforce the duty of submission. 

7. That, as the interest of the whole society is binding on 
every part of it, no individual can pursue his private advantage 
to the injury of the community ; nor may any portion of the 
empire concert measures for their own benefit to the detri- 
ment of the sum of public prosperity. In the contest between 
England and the United States, an American, to justify 
resistance, ought to have satisfied himself, not only that the 
colonies would be benefited by their independence, but that 
America would gain more, than England could lose by the 
separation; or, at any rate, that the whole gain to both 
countries would be greater by the future freedom of the colo- 

77 What inference do we draw from it in the sixth place 1 What 
reasons for this ? 

78 What effect has the rule of expediency upon the rights of subjeciB 1 
What follows from this 1 

79 What principle do we found upon it in the seventh place 1 

80 How does Dr. Paley think that Americans ought to have Teasoned 
before the^* -'--' — ^ 'Seir independence of Great Britain 1 


nies, than the whole loss to both by their continued submis- 
sion. The same principle of calculation, by which the 
balance of advantages and disadvantages is ascertained, may 
be applied to all similar cases. And the conclusion arrived 
at will be, that in a competition of interests between a small 
colony and the mother country, the less must be sacrificed to 
the greater. But in proportion as the dependency increases 
its power, it has a right, founded on expediency, to have its 
interests viewed differently ; and to claim terms of confedera- 
tion equal to its importance in the ''general scale, and, if 
refused, to assert its independence. 



As regards the extent of our civil rights and obligations, 
Christianity leaves man where it found him ; that is, it affords 
neither argument nor objection to any conclusions upon the 
subject, that may be deduced from the law of nature. The 
only passages of the New Testament connected with this 
subject are in the Epistles of St. Paul and St. Peter. 

** Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers : for 
there is no power but of God; the powers that be, are 
ordained of God. Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, 
resisteth the ordinance of God ; and they that resist, shall 
receive to themselves damnation. For, rulers are not a 
terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be 
afraid of the power ? Do that which is good, and thou shalt 
have praise of the same ; for he is the minister of God to 
thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid ; 
for he beareth not the sword in vain ; for he is the minister 
of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth 
evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for 
wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For, for this cause, 
pay ye tribute also : for they are God's ministers, attending 
continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their 
dues ; tribute to whom tribute is due ; custom to whom custom, 
fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor." Rom. xxii. 1—7. 

** Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, for the 

81 What is his general conclusion as regards the rights of colonies 1 , 

82 What effect has Christianity upon our civil rights and duties 1 

83 What are the only two passages that have any bearing upon this 
subject ? Recite them. 




Lord's sake ; whether it be to the king, as supreme ; or onto 
governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the ponish- 
ment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them thai do well. 
For so is the will of God, that with welldoing ye may pat 
to silence the ignorance of foolish men ; as free, and not 
using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the 
servants of God." 1 Pet. ii. 13 — 18. 

These passages have usually been adduced as proofe o( 
the language of Scripture in favor of unlimited passive obe-* 
dience. But before such an interpretation can be admitted, 
it is necessary to examine the subject more at length. 

Upon the subject of civil obedience, there are two ques- 
tions ; the first, whether we are morally bound to obey 
government at all ; the second, to what extent ought obedience 
to be carried. This being the case, it is plain that if expres- 
sions which relate to one of these questions, be applied to 
the other, there is great danger of perverting their intentions. 
This distinction should be borne in mind, when interpreting 
the passages which we have quoted. 

They will be found to inculcate rather the duty of obedi- 
ence than to describe the extent of it : for while they enforce 
the obligation by the proper sanctions of Christianity, they 
neither enlarge nor contract the limits by which it is 
bounded. In like manner, the same apostles enjoin servants to 
be subject to their masters, children to obey their parents in all 
things, and wives to submit themselves unto their husbands ; 
yet no one doubts that the commands of masters, parents, 
and husbands, are often so immoderate, unjust, and incon- 
sistent with other obligations, that they both may and ought 
to be resisted. 

Hence, we are at liberty to infer, that unlimited passive civil 
obedience may lead, in some cases, to the imposition of com- 
mands equally immoderate and inconsistent with other obli- 
gations ; and that a resistance in like manner would be justi- 
fiable on the part of a people exposed to such commands. 

84 What have these passages been said to favor 1 
86 What two questions must we examine in order to form an opinion 
on this subject ? 

86 What is the object in dividing the subject into these two divisicmsl 

87 To which division should we suppose the Scriptures under consi- 
deration will apply ? 

88 What other duties are enjoined by Scripture in the same manner ? 
80 And what do we infer from that fact 1 


But many commentators have supposed that the first 
Christians privately cherished an opinion, that their conver- 
sion to Christianity entitled them to an exemption from the 
civil authority of the Roman power. And therefore to refute 
this error, St. Paul teaches the Christian convert to ohey the 
magistrate " for the Lord's sake ;" — ** not only for wrath, 
but for conscience' sake ;" — " that there is no power but of 
God :" that the powers that are in possession of the actual 
and necessary authority of civil government, ** are ordained 
of God," and, consequently, entitled to receive obedience 
from those who profess themselves the peculiar servants of 
God. St. Peter, likewise, briefly describing the office of 
"civil governors, the punishment of evil-doers, and the 
praise of them that do well," justly infers, from the use of 
government, the duty of subjection ; which duty, being as 
extensive as the reason on which it is founded, belongs to 
Christians no less than to the heathen members of the com- 
munity. If, then, the two apostles wrote with a view to this 
particular question, their words cannot fairly be transferred 
to a question totally different ; nor can the arguments which 
were used in teaching a primitive convert, who disputed the 
jurisdiction of the Roman government over a disciple of 
Christianity, be applied to him who acknowledges the 
general authority of the state over all its subjects, but doubts 
whether that authority be not, in some important branch of it, 
80 ill constituted or abused, as to warrant the endeavors of 
the people to bring about a reformation by force. It is true, 
that neither the Scriptures, nor any history of the early ages 
of the church, furnish direct proof of the existence of such 
disaffected sentiments amongst the primitive converts. 
They, however, supply some circumstances, which render 
probable the opinion, that extravagant notions of the political 
rights of Christians were entertained by many early prose- 
lytes to the religion. From the question proposed to Christ, 

90 What was probable the reason for St Paul's giving any instruc- 
tions on this subject ? 

91 What would follow if the two apostles were shown to haive written 
with a view to this particular question 1 

92 From what application would it debar the argument 1 

93 Are we certain that the primidve Christians had the opimons which 
were just now ascribed to them 1 

94 What circumstances render it probable 1 


•« Is it lawful to give tribate unto Caesar ?" it may be pre- 
sumed, that doubts had been started by the Jews concerning 
the lawfulness of submission to the Roman yoke ; and the 
accounts delivered by Josephus, of various insurrections of 
the Jews, excited on this pretence, confirm this presump- 
tion. Now, as the Christians were at first taken chiefly 
from the Jews, it is not to be wondered at, that a tenet, so 
flattering to the self-importance of those who embraced it, 
should have been communicated to the new institution. 
Again, the teachers of Christianity were wont to extol, 
amongst other privileges which their religion conferred on its 
professors, the ** liberty, in which Christ had made them 
free." This liberty, by which was merely intended a deli- 
verance from the dominion of sinful passions, the supersti- 
tion of the Gentile idolatry, and the encumbered ritual of the 
Jewish dispensation, might be interpreted by some to signify 
an emancipation from all restraint, imposed by any authority 
merely human. At least, they might be represented by their 
enemies as maintaining notions of this dangerous tendency. 
To some error or calumny of this kind, the words of St. 
Peter seem to allude : — *' For so is the will of God, that with 
well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish 
men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of 
maliciousness, (that is, sedition,) but as the servants of God." 
After so full an account of what seems to be the general 
design and doctrine of these much-agitated passages, little 
need be added in explanation of particular clauses. St. Paul 
has said, ** Whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the 
ordinance of God." This has been considered as an autho- 
rity for the most superstitious views of the regal character. 
But surely by such opinions, truth has been sacrificed to adu- 
lation ; for, 1. The expression is just as applicable to the 
elective magistrates of a pure republic as to an absolute here- 
ditary monarch ; and, 2. It is not the supreme magistrate 
individually ; but the officer, be he high or low, to whom 

96 What was extolled by the first teachers of Christianity ? 

96 How might this have been interpreted 1 

97 What passage renders this probable ? 

98 What has been said of the passage, " resisteth the ordinuioe of 
God ?" 

99 What two reasons prove this view to be wrong ? 


obedience is due. The divine right of kings is, like the 
divine right of constables, a right ratified by the Divine 
approbation, so long as obedience to their authority appears 
to be conducive to the common welfare. Princes are 
ordained of God only so far as his v^ill sanctions every law 
of society which promotes the happiness of man ; and thus, 
iKrithout any repugnancy to the words of St. Paul, they are 
hy St. Peter denominated the ** ordinance of man." 


Civil liberty is the not being restrained by any law, 
but what conduces in a greater degree to the public welfare. 

To do what we will is natural liberty ; to do what we will, 
consistently with the interests of the community, is civil 
liberty, and the only liberty desirable in civil society. 

To do what one likes is certainly pleasant ; but if all 
could indulge in this pleasure, (and if one may, all may ;) 
the liberty of each person would receive so many checks 
and obstacles from the liberty of others, that it would be 
much less than if all together with himself were subjected 
to equal laws. 

The boasted liberty of a state of nature is found only in 
flw>litude. In a state of society the liberty of each is in- 
creased by the restraint thrown on all ; because each gains 
more from the limitation of the freedom of others, than he 
loses from the diminution of his own. Natural liberty is 
like the right of common upon a waste ; civil liberty is like 
the right of the enjoyment of an enclosure. 

Since, then, the greater happiness of the many is the only 
ground for restraining the liberty of the individual, and as 
restraint is a positive evil ; it will be necesssary foi the 
legislature, before it inflicts that evil, to show that the private 
injury will be outweighed by some public good. And, if no 
such good is likely to result, the restraint ought not to be 

100 What is the divine right of kings? 

101 In what sense are- princes ordained of God 1 

102 What is civil liberty 1 

103 How does civil liberty differ from natural liberty? 

104 Is it expedient that we should always do as we please 1 
106 Where is found the liberty of the state of nature 1 

106 What effect has restraint on a community in a state of society? 

107 How is this proved and illustrated % 

108 What duty of the legislature follows from the preceding remaiks 1 


imposed ; or, if it has been imposed, it ought immediately to 
be withdrawn as soon as it is found that no actual good has 
been the result. Nor is it necessary that the subject should 
prove that there has evil actually resulted from it 

And also, because the amount of actual liberty is greater 
as the number and severity of restrictions either useless or 
partially useful are less, and vice versa ; it follows, that some 
liberty is possessed by every people ; perfect liberty, by 
none. And that, as it may be enjoyed under every form of 
government, and is never entirely lost under any ; all those 
phrases about a free people, or a nation of slaves, are intelli- 
gible only when taken in a comparative sense. 

Hence, also, we are enabled to apprehend the distinction 
between personal and civil liberty. A citizen of the freest 
republic in the world may be imprisoned for his crimes ; 
and, though his personal freedom be restrained by bolts and 
fetters, yet so long as his confinement is the effect of a bene- 
ficial public law, his civil libetty is not invaded. If, then, 
the coercion of a prison be compatible with a state of civil 
freedom, there must be the same compatibility in those more 
moderate constraints which government imposes on the will of 
the individual. It is not the rigor, but the inexpediency, of 
laws, which makes the execution of them tyrannical. 

There is another idea of civil liberty, which though neither 
80 simple nor so accurate as the former, agrees better with 
the common signification affixed to the term. This idea 
makes liberty to consist, not merely in an actual exemption 
from the constraint of useless and noxious laws, but in the 
security from the danger of having such hereafter imposed 
or exercised. Thus, in England, the act of parliament, in 
the reign of Henry VIII., which gave to the king's procla- 
mation the force of law, has properly been called a complete 
surrender of the liberty of the nation ; and would have been 
equally so, even if no proclamation had been issued in pur- 
suance of these new powers. The security was gone. 
Were it probable that the interests of the people would be aa 

109 What facts follow from this account ? 

110 Explain the difference between personal and civil liberty. 

111 What is justified by the example here cited ? 

112 What is tyranny in government 1 

1 18 What is the more general idea of civil liberty? 

114 Give an example. 

115 What would render despotism a free government 1 


studioasly consulted by a despotic prince as by a popular 
assembly, absolute despotism would be as free as the purest 

Various as appear to be the definitions given of civil liber- 
ty, yet do they in fact all agree ; for, as they all relate only 
to the dififerent guards by which civil liberty is to be pro* 
tected, they only present dififerent views of an object really 
one and the same. 

Thus, liberty is defined by one writer to consist in the 
right of the subject to be governed by no laws but those he 
has actually or virtually assented to ; another places liberty 
in the separation of the legislative and executive powers of 
the state ; a third, in being governed by laws, known, posi- 
tive, and inflexible ; a fourth, in taxation and representation 
being co-existent; a fifth, in the freedom and purity of elec- 
tion; and a sixth, in the control of the people over the 

To these and similar definitions, however, it may fairly 
be' objected, that they do not so much define civil liberty, as 
describe the preservatives of it. 

Truth cannot be destroyed by an incorrect definition, but 
propriety may be offended at it ; hence, any definition ought 
to be rejected, which makes essential to the idea of civil free- 
dom, what is unattainable in reality ; because it gives rise to 
expectations that cannot be gratified, and to complaints that 
no government can remove. 

That state is, in fact, the most free, where the best provi- 
sion is made for the ready enactment of salutary laws. 


(^** From the preceding chapters, we learn, that government 
of some sort springs out of society ; and that society cannot 
exist without it. It is the only security against foreign foes, 
and against the wrongs which the members of a society may 
do against each other ; and the only agency by which jus- 

116 Is there actually any disagreement in the various definitions of 
dvaUberty! Whyl 

117 Mention six difierent definitions. 

118 What fault have they aUI 

119 What definitions of it should we reject 1 Vfhj 1 

120 Where in &ct is the most liberty 1 

121 What have we learned from the preceding chapters ! 

122 What is the use of civil government ? 


lice cMi be administered." — Sullivan's Political dass" 

The person, or assembly, in whom the government is 
inTested, is called the sovereign^ or the supreme power of the 
state ; and, from its power to make laws, it is called also the 
legislature of the state. 

A government receives its denomination from the form of 
its legislature. 

Political writers enumerate three principal forms of govern- 
ment, of which, taken singly or in combination, all govern- 
ments are composed. These forms are, 

1. Despotism, or absolute monarchy, where the legislature 
is in a single person. 

2. An aristocracy, where the legislature is in a select 
assembly, the members of which either fill up by election 
the vacancies in their own body or succeed to their places 
in it by inheritance, tenure of certain lands, or in respect of 
some official riglit of qualification. 

3. A republic, or democracy, where the people at large, 
either collectively or by representation, constitute the legis- 

[** Montesquieu gives a better division of the simple forms, 
proceeding upon a more extensive view of human affairs, 
and juster notions of the nature and principles of law. That 
gre^t author divides the simple forms of government into />e5- 
potism, or government by one man whose will is the law ; 
Monarchy, or government by one man according to law ; 
Republic, which comprehends aristocracy and democracy ."*3 

[*' A despotism, is that form of government « in which a 
simple individuai, without any law, governs according to his 
own will and caprice.' An example of this kind of govern- 
ment may be found in Turkey, where the Sultan exercises all 

123 Who or what is called the soTereign of the state? 

124 What else is it called 1 Why 1 

125 From what does a goyemment receive its denomination ? 

126 How many forms of government are there 1 

127 Define despotism. 

128 What is an aristocracy ? 

129 What is a republic 1 

130 What is Montesquieu's division of the forms of government ? 

131 Define despotism; and give an example of it. 

* Seattle's Moral Philosophy, part iii. chap. ii. sect i. 


the powers of sovereignty, with respect to the general admio 
cistration of public affairs ; but, even there he is limited by 
certain customs and rules, as it respects private justice. 

**A monarchy J is that form of government in which a 
single individual governs; but according to established 
laws. The governments of Austria, Prussia, France, and 
England, are examples of this form of government. The 
limitations placed upon the monarch are, however, very 
different in degree : thus, the power of the Prussian monarch 
is very great, while that of the king of England is so small 
as scarcely to be felt. The latter acts through his ministers^ 
who are held responsible to the representatives of the people^ 
and can maintain their power only so long as they can satisfy 
public opinion. 

" A republic, is either an aristocracy or a democracy. An 
aristocracy,, is when the sovereign power is in the hands of 
only ^part of the people. This word is of Greek derivation. 
It is compounded of the adjective aristos, signifying best or 
wisest J and kratos, signifying power or strength; the whole 
word signifies that form of government in which a few of the 
wisest and best govern. An example of this kind of repub- 
lics may be found in Venice, Genoa, and the Dutch States, 
in all of which a part of the people, either absolutely or 
limitedly, exercised the authority. 

*' A democracy, is when the sovereign power is in the 
hands of the whole people. The term democracy is derived 
directly from the Greek word demos, signifying the people. 
Athens was formerly an example of this kind of republic, 
and was governed by primary assemblies of the people, a 
mode which could be adopted only where the people were 
chiefly citizens, and inhabitants of one capital city." — ManS' 
field's Political Grammar, "] 

The advantages ofmimarchy, are decision, secrecy, and 
despatch, and the military strength which results from these 
qualities ; the preventing by a known rule of succession all 
competition among the higher orders for the supreme power ; 

132 Define a monarchy, and give examples of it. 

133 Are the limitations of the monarchical power the same in all king^ 
doms and empires 1 

134 How many kinds of republics are there 1 

136 What is an aristocracy ; and where are examples of it 1 

136 Define democracy ; and give examples of it 

137 What are the advantages of monarchy 1 



and the ready supression of movementa arising from popular 

The mischiefs, or rather the dangers of monarchy^ are 
tyranny, expense, exaction, military domination; unneces- 
sary wars, waged to gratify the passions of an individual ; 
risk concerning the character of the reigning prince ; igno" 
ranee in the governors of the interests of the people ; a defi- 
ciency of salutary regulations ; and insecurity of person and 

The separate advantage of an aristocracy^ consists in the 
experience which a permanent council is expected to pos- 
sess ; and in the education of its members being directed with 
a view to the stations, which as heirs of rulers they are des' 
lined to occupy. 

The mischiefs of an aristocracy are in the dissensions of 
the rulers, who, from the want of a common superior, are 
kept under no control ; in the oppression of the lower orders 
by the privileges of the higher ; and in laws made for the 
interest of the law-maker alone. 

The advantages of a democracy, are liberty, or exemp' 
tion from needless restrictions ; equal laws ; regulations 
adapted to the circumstances of the people ; frugality ; aver- 
sion to war ; and the opportunities afforded to all men of 
bringing their abilities into notice for the service of the com- 

The evils of a democracy, are tumults, through the attempts 
of powerful citizens to gain the lead ; the difficulty of pro- 
pounding questions of state to the discussion of the people ; 
the disclosure of public counsels, and the delay of designs, 
retarded by the necessity of obtaining the consent of num- 

A mixed government is composed of two or more of the 
simple forms of government ; and in whatever proportion, 
each form enters into the constitution of such mixed govern- 
ment, in the same proportion are its benefits to be main- 
tained and cultivated, and its dangers to be provided against. 
For instance, a government may possess, in its regal part, 

138 What are the mischiefs or dangers of monarchy 1 
- 1^ What are the advantages of aristocracy 1 

140 What are the mischiefs of aristocracy 1 

141 What are the advantages of democracy 1 

142 What are the evils of a democracy 1 

148 What is a mixed government 1 What is said of it ? 


the secrecy and despatch of a monarchy ; and in its popular 
pari, the frugality and aversion to war of democracy. These 
advantages should be retained ; while on the other hand, 
there should be a vigilant watch against the monarchical 
properties of expense, mihtary domination, <&c. ; and the 
democratic concomitants of tumults, and needless delays. 
A mixed government is however sometimes exposed to an 
evil, from which the others are free ; thus, corruption of 
principle is sure to insinuate itself into a constitution that 
divides the supreme power between an executive magistrate 
and a popular council ; though it does not belong to the 
separate existence of either. 

An hereditary monarchy is universally to be preferred to 
an elective one, as shown by the experience of past and 
present ages. A crown is too splendid a prize to be con- 
ferred on merit ; as all consideration of the qualities of the 
competitors, is excluded by the passions or interest of the 
electors. Nothing is gained by a popular choice, worth the 
tumults which inseparably attend the election of a king. 
Add to this, that a king who owes his elevation to the event 
of a contest either martial or electoral, will be apt to regard 
on« part of his subjects as friends, and the other as foes. 
Besides, as plans of national reform are seldom brought to 
maturity in a single reign, a nation cannot attain«the prospe- 
rity of which it is capable, unless such plans be continued 
through a succession of reigns. Now, as the probability of 
such continuance is greater where each prince succeeds to 
the pursuits and system of his ancestor than if the crown, 
at every change, devolves on a stranger, whose first care will 
commonly be to pull down what his predecessor had built 
up ; the probability of such national improvement is in- 
creased, and the advantages of an hereditary monarchy are 
more fully felt. 

[On the other hand, it is said by Mr. Rawle, " The whole 
power which is conceded to an hereditary monarch, may be 
vested by a democratic republic in an elective magistrate, 

144 Illastrate the advantages of a mixed government. 

145 In such a case, wh&t evils are to be guarded against? 

146 Is there any evil peculiar to mixed governments % 

147 Which is to be preferred, an hereditary or elective monarchy 1 
Why 1 Is nothing gained ? 

148 What reasons as it regards partizans ? And national reform] 

149 Po any contradict this opinion ? 


and all the benefits derived from it, may be enjoyed without 
the dangers attending it. 

** If an hereditary monarch abuses his power, the relief of 
the people is by insurrection ; and thus between the ambition 
of princes on the one side, and the sense of injury on the 
other, the peace of the country is constantly endangered. 
If the monarch is elected for life, a young aspiring prince 
may continue the grievances of the state for a long time ; 
and unless there is an express power of deposing him, the 
choice of another in his place would involve the whole body 
in tumult and disorder. But the power of choosing another 
supreme magistrate at the end of a reasonable time, obviates 
these objections."—- FiCM? of the Constitution.'] 

Aristocracies are of two kinds : 1. Where the members of 
the nobility are invested with power in their collective capa- 
city alone ; but enjoy as individuals no authority or privilege 
beyond the rest of the community ; as in the case of Venice: 
2. Where the nobles are severally invested with great pcr- 
aonal power and immunities, and where the power of the 
senate is little more than the aggregated power of the indivi- 
duals who compose it ; as it was in the case of Poland. Of 
these two forms of government, the first is more tolerable 
than the last : for, though the members of a senate should be 
profligate enough, individually, to abuse the authority of 
their stations in the prosecution of private designs ; yet, as 
all have not the same end to gain, it would be difficult to 
obtain the consent of a majority to any act of individual 
oppression. Or, if the will were the same, the power is 
more confined ; for whether the tyranny reside in a single 
person or in a senate convened, the oppression of that one 
tyrant cannot be exercised so well at many places, and at 
the same time, as it may be carried on where a numerous 
nobility lord it over their respective vassals and dependants. 
Of all species of tyranny, this is the most odious ; for by it 
private life is more harassed than by the most vexatious 
laws. It is even more tormenting than the will of an arbi- 

160 What are Mr. Rawle's remaika upon this subject? 

161 How many kinds of aristocracy are there ? 
16S Describe the first kind ; and give examples. 

163 Describe the second kind ; and give an example. 

164 Which form is the besti Whyl 

155 Which is the most odious iqpecies of tyranny 1 Wny 1 


trary monarch ; because from his injustice the greatest part 
of his subjects are sheltered by their obscurity. 

Europe exhibits more than one example, where the 
people, provoked by the exactions of the nobles, have joined 
ivith the prince in the overthrow of the aristocracy, delibe- 
rately preferring the despotism of one to that of many. 
About the middle of the 17th century, the commons of Den- 
mark, weary of the continued oppressions, and exasperated 
by the recent insults of the nobility, formally offered unli- 
mited power to the king. The revolution in Sweden was 
brought about with the acquiescence, if not assistance, of the 
people ; from the prospect it afforded of deliverance from 
the old tyranny of their nobles. In England, the people 
beheld the depression of the barons, under the house of 
Tudor, with satisfaction, although they saw the crown 
acquired thereby a power which the constitution as esta- 
blished at that time was not likely to limit. The lesson 
taught by such events is, that a mixed government, which 
admits of a patrician order, ought to circumscribe the privi- 
leges of the nobility if it wishes its own preservation : for 
nothing so alienates the minds of the people, or prepares 
them for the practices of an enterprising prince or a factious 
demagogue, as the perception of abuses resulting from the 
existence of separate immunities. 

Amongst the inferior, but not inconsiderable advantages 
of a democracy y or of a constitution where the people share 
in the legislation, the following should be reckoned:—- 

1. The direction which it gives to the education and pur- 
suits of the superior orders of the community. The share 
which this has in forming the national character is very 
important. In countries where the gentry are excluded 
from all concern in the government, the only road to advance- 
ment is the profession of arms. But miserable as that coun- 
try must be, which constantly employs in military service a 
great proportion of any order of its subjects ; the individuals 
of the profession are not less so: for, from the want of 
higher .objects, they fall into habits of animal gratification, 
or devote themselves to the futile business and decorations 
of a court. But, where the effective portion of civil power 

156 What political convulsions have been common in Europe 1 

157 Mention some instances. 

158 What are we taught by these examples 1 Why 1 

159 Among the inferior advantages of democracy, what is the first? 

« 9. 


is possessed by a popular assembly, more serious pursuits, 
with purer morals and a more intellectual character, will 
engage the public esteem ; and faculties which qualify men 
for deliberation, and are the fruits of sober habits and conti- 
nued application, will be excited by the most spirit-stirring 
of inducements, the desire of political importance. 

2. Popular elections procure to the common people cour- 
tesy from their superiors. The contemptuous and overbear- 
ing insolence of the higher orders is greatly mitigated, where 
the people have something to give ; and the assiduity with 
which their favor is then sought, generates habits of conde- 
scension and respect. And as life is more embittered by 
affronts than by injuries, whatever tends to procure civility 
and to lessen the evils of inequality, deserves to be accounted 
among the most generous institutions of social life. 

8. The satisfaction which the people in free governments 
derive from the knowledge and discussion of public mea- 
sures. Such subjects excite just enough of interest to afford 
a moderate engagement to the thoughts, without rising to 
any painful degree of anxiety ; and thus reach the end and aim 
of all those amusements, which compose so much of the busi- 
ness of life : and as these topics excite universal curiosity, and 
are such as almost every man wishes to deliver his opinion 
about, they greatly promote, and even improve conversation, 
by supplying a substitute for amusements less innocent. 
Now, though the jealousy of despotic governments excludes 
all this, the loss, you say, is trifling, except to village politi- 
cians : but nothing is a trifle, which ministers to the harmless 
gratification of the multitude. 

It has been said that a republic is suited only to a small 
state ; for unless all the people of a large empire share in the 
representation, the government is not to them a republic ; 
that elections, where ihe constituents are numerous and 
widely dispersed, are managed by a few situated near the 
place of election ; because each voter considering his single 

160 What benefidal effect upon national character results irom this 
advantage ? 

161 What is the second advantage 1 

162 Why is this advantage of any importance 1 

163 What is the third advantage 1 

164 Why has this a beneficial influence 1 

165 What has been said by some concerning an extensive republic 1 

166 What five reasons have they given for these opinions ! 


suflfrage as unimportant, cares not to oppose the influence 
of such few ; that if the representation be contracted 
enoujorh to admit of orderly debate, the interest of the consti- 
tuent becomes too little, of the representative too great ; that 
it is difficult to maintain any connection between them ; that 
he who represents 20,000 is necessarily a stranger to the 
great body of his electors ; and that when a representative, 
so unknown to his constituents, finds the treasures and 
honors of the state at the disposal of a few, and himself one 
of the few, he will scarcely prefer his public duty to perso- 
nal aggrandisement, which the value of his vote will always 
purchase ; and, lastly, as all appeal to the people is pre- 
cluded by their own want of unanimity, the divisions and 
combinations of the representatives will be equally dan- 
gerous. But much of the weight of these objections is taken 
off by the contrivance of a federal republic ; which, leaving 
to. each smaller state its internal legislation, reserves to a 
convention of all the united states the adjustment of indivi- 
dual claims, together with the possession of the plenary 
powers usually granted to other governments, on points con- 
nected with the welfare of the whole community in their 
domestic and foreign relations. How far such a constitution 
is able to unite the liberty of a small commonwealth with the 
safety of a large empire ; or whether amongst co-ordinate 
powers, dissensions are not likely to arise, which, for want 
of a common superior, will proceed to fatal extremities ; are 
questions on which the records of the past are silent ; but 
are to be decided by the history of this country, where the 
experiment is now under trial on a large scale, 


|C7»This and five succeeding chapters are inserted instead 
of Paley's chapter on the British Constitution. 

SThe principles on which a government is formed 
conducted, compose what is caUed its constitution,* 

167 What is an answer to these objections ? 

168 What is the genius of that fonn of government 1 

169 Can we judge of its effects from former govemmeoits 1 

170 How are they to be decided 1 

171 What is the constitution of a government 1 

* Rawle on the Constitation. 




7 llf 


; rrr'-a- 

LVrT'K.Zir'' 'me- » pmijwr ff, 

■* X — r: : t: I » ^ 

• (■ ;ri: .!»'' t 

i ..irtT '"K '>nsri:iiLirjn: .i .iff ^^tHSfin^. 

rinv M • ■:'t:;i£'-'-i v .a. u:i i in::iinf-5it : nnr a tiiF dijr_ 
•T'-."., 'j^nm'fns^. la^'^'. .: 1'^'=' 'Him: mnnr. uimi^iff mir 
T/'tHi ri"' >::-'in:r .-.v--. .aa ,0213- .nv ie»v u^va? _tL di??r: 
>iry'i\ii;Mi > ::::i "ry.'i ne *^?uie 'MiieFiiDiiUfir hill jKWtj!* 
:r ..M»r - rif::v!ii 'yr!?Hi:u;ioii, -*«* -iiL'!i .isw^ -sir hf risssift£ 

»y>irT?^ •/! ijsiic? 4S- inr^tn^niTiiioniii- .^ tmitm TunsamniTfii 
vrii' •! niiV e niurrtiti j^ae uuires hill mrTuiuiiiL it Tiv ibf- 
j%r«»iju;. -r titiT^iffrrr nor? ronuucire n tiK^ jixxmimesE :HDi2 
siifn V ri iiL' rnnmuniiT. '^ 

>j~: ^ovr.'rmnunis nim*r Lesnciiic itb TtnimmiBiL jy !1» aes- 
tu'i Tr.'rnJinL'!*. nir )v nti nerc '.TriL jl Jjst rfimsosir^ g&keir 
rrn lui ^luti o iuv'« l roiKHinuiuiLo 

'"" If vriai r ronraoseiL^ 

7L 'V iniu I- vrrtteiLOi& lit irwifembJa." 

W'l" 8 tiiic 'iiB tiurr ^ 

- "M i liiH iitt^ .aae jt nrx irrwHrmmrait ^ 

f'-ki^j, f »wt*atr«a « P^ C]ht«»Jt««4- 

i Rawle. §Ibid^ 


The constitation of the United States, is probably the first 
code of governmental principles, that has received, previous 
to its force, the sanction of those who were to be ruled by it. 
And, in comparison with all others, as has been said by Mr. 
Rawle, ** The history of man does not present a more illus- 
trious monument of human invenUon, sound political princi- 
ples, and judicious combinations.*' 

We are therefore well authorized to make it the foundation 
of what remarks we have to offer upon the principles of 
government. And accordingly we shall endeavor to exem- 
plify our political views, by referring to that constitution so 
wisely adapted to the promotion of the common welfare and 
happiness of its subjects. 

But on this account our description of the organization and 
duties of a government must be preceded by a few prelimi- 
nary remarks. And, 

I. All government should hold its existence only by con- 
sent of the main body of the people. In the declaration of 
our independence, it is asserted that " governments derive 
their just powers from the consent of the governed ;" and 
<' it is the right of the people to alter or abolish'* them, 
whenever they suppose that their own safety or happiness 
depends upon such operations. Mr. Hamilton, in the Fede- 
ralist,* says, *' It has not a little contributed to the infirmi- 
ties of the existing federal system, [the old confederation^ 
that it never had a ratification by the people. — The fabric 
of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the 
consent of the people, i he streams of national power ought 
to fiow immediately from that pure original fountain of all legi- 
timate authority.*' In accordance with this principle, the pre- 
amble of our constitution begins with, •' We the people of the 
United States ;" and agreeably to the recommendation of the 
convention by which it was formed, it was ratified by •* con- 
ventions of delegates, chosen in each state by the people 

179 What is said of the constitution of the United States? 

180 How does it compare with others as respects its merits 1 

181 What advantage will be taken fi'om that in this treatise ? 

182 What will be necessary on this account? 

183 What is our first preliminary remark 1 

184 Has this been declared by our own country 1 

185 What other authority have we for this principle! 

186 Does the constitution of the United States recognize it? 

^^^^^^^^ -■- 1 I..B - - I ._ ■■ ^^ M ■ — ■ ■ 1 Bl 1 ■-— — — ^1^ 

• No. 22. 


thereof," for the gole purpose of expressing their will on this 
one subject. " All the ratifications commence with, We the 
delegates of the people thereof; and all terminate by making 
the ratifications in the name of their constituents the pea- 
ple.^^* Our constitution may therefore be said, not merely to 
escist by consent of the people, but to he formed by them in 
their sovereign capacity. 

II. Every government should be fundamentally democra- 
tic ; that is, the sovereign power should remain in the hands 
of the whole people, Mr. Dymond, an English writer, re-* 
marks, " It will not perhaps be disputed, that if the world 
were wise and good, the best form of government would be 
that of democracy in a very simple state. There is, there- 
fore, reason to suppose that other forms of government may 
gradually lapse away, as the condition of mankind, moral 
and intellectual, is improved. The public judgment is not 
only the proper, but almost the necessary eventual measure 
of political institutions. And it appears evident that as that 
judgment becomes enlightened, it will be exercised ; and 
that, as it is exercised, it will prevail. But, if public opinion 
does govern, it must govern by some agency through which 
public opinion is expressed ; and this expression can in no 
way so naturally be effected as by some modification of 
popular authority."! The people of the United States be-* 
Heve that their moral and intellectual character is adapted to 
popular authority ; and they accordingly claim it in the con- 
stitutions both of the general and of the state governments. 

This self-government is conducted'in several ways. In the 
first place, as inhabitants of townships, they may meet in 
one assembly, and transact any public business which they 
have not delegated by the constitution to civil ofiicers. The 
extent of powers conferred upon magistrates, is greater iQ 

187 With what words commence the ratifications of iti 

188 What then may be said of our constitution ? 

189 What is the second preliminary remark ? 

190 What are Mr. Djmond's remarks upon this doctrine 1 

191 By what does he say that public institutions should 1)6 regulated 1 

1 92 In what manner must public opinion govern 1 

193 By whom is this popular authority claimed 1 

194 What is the first method in which th}s political self-government 
operates 1 

• Mansfield's Pol, Gramm. § 461. f Dymond's Essay, iii. ch. 6, 


some states than in others. Where it is most retained by 
the people, the qualified voters dispose of township proper- 
ty, make assessments upon themselves for all money neces- 
sary for town purposes, make enactments relative to their 
public roads and buildings, appropriate a maintenance for 
the poor^ and decide on many other things concerning the 
common welfare^ In some places, all or nearly all of these 
prerogatives are, on account of the difficulty of acting in one 
assembly, transferred to a set of men, called toum officers, 
chosen for that purpose by the people themselves. 

In the next place, as citizens of a state, (the territory of 
which is too large for one meeting of the people^) they 
choose, with one or two exceptions, all their legislative and 
executive officers^ And whenever they see fit, " they have a 
right> in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their 
common good; and to apply to those invested with the 
powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other 
purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance."* 

In the next place, as members of the nation, they are en- 
titled by the constitution to choose, l^The members of the 
house of representatives by their own votes ;t 2. The senate 
through the medium of the state legislatures ;J and 3. The 
president by electors "appointed in such manner as the 
legislature may direct."§ So that in fact, both the legisla- 
tive and executive branches of the government are chosen 
by the whole people. And moreover, •if either of these 
branches deviates from the will of its constituents, the people 
at the next election have the power of supplying it with a 
new set of individuals, who will be more likely to act accord- 
ing to their will. 

III. Every democratic government should be a representa- 
tive government. " It has been reserved for modern times 

195 To what extent is the government of townships invested in the 
magistrates ? 

196 What is the next method of political self-government ? 

197 What is the next method of its operation 1 

198 What is the effect of these privileges 1 

199 Suppose that the rulers, when chosen, do not conform to the wishes 
of the majority of the people ? 

200 What is the thiird preliminary remark 1 

* Constitution of Pennsylvania. f U. S. Constitution, art i. sect. 1, 
4: Idem, art L sect 3. § Idem, art ii. sect 1. 


Thenever a republic occupies a large tract of conntryy 
Isable that it should be divided into smaller states, 
. should be sovereign in a municipal point of view, 
. which should hold a federative relation to each other in 
.iieir national or external affairs. It is by municipal laws 
that individuals are most affected ; and therefore it is highly 
requisite that they should be enacted by those who are 
thoroughly acquainted with the wants and feelings of the 
governed. This could not be the case, were there only a 
legislature for the whole nation. For in order to make that 
body small enough for purposes of business, each one must 
represent a large tract of country ; and of course cannot be 
supposed to know the circumstances of many local affairs. 
Nor can he have an acquaintance with all his constituents, 
by which alone he can be enabled to enter with interest into 
their feelings. 

Now although our state governments were not a subdivi- 
sion of the nation, (and of course the reasons we have just 
given were not thought of in their origination,) yet, it has 
been found by experience, that their separate independence, as 
long as they preserve the federal union, tends most happily to 
the benefits we have been speaking of. The continuance of 
this state of things is rendered certain by the lOth article of 
the amendments to the constitution of the United States, 
which says, *' The powers not delegated to the United States 
by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states^ are 
reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.'* 

Now the constitution has not invested congress with the 
power of making any laws which do not relate to national 
affairs, neither has it prohibited the states to manage the 
internal concerns of their respective communities. Hence, 
each state, by its own constitution, authorizes its legislature to 
enact, and enforce by proper judicial courts, all municipal 
and local laws which concern the rights of person and pro-* 
perty. And to preserve the national government, it is stated 

207 What is the fourth preliminary remark 1 

208 Why should these states he sovereign in municipal a^rs 1 

209 Why cannot the memhers of a national legislature enter Into the 
wants and feelings of the people ? 

210 Was our government organized to conform to this principle t 

211 Will this posture of afiairsremam? 

212 Wliat guaranty is there that the atatea shali exerciee the ttuni* 
cipal power 1 


in the 10th section of the constitation of the United States, 
that, *' no state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or con- 
federation ; grant letters of marque and reprisal ;" — " nor 
without the consent of the congress, lay any imposts or 
duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely 
necessary for excecuting its inspection laws ;" — *' nor lay 
any duty of tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of 
peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another 
state or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless ac- 
tually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not 
admit of delay/' 

Thus we have shown that a legitimate and beneficial go- 
vemment should be by consent of the governed ; that it 
should be democratic and representative ; and that, where 
the extent of territory is great, its municipal laws, for the 
purpose of a more perfect adaptation, should be enacted and 
enforced by local authorities. And we have shown also that 
our own American institutions are well adapted to these fun- 
damental principles of political rectitude. We will now 
proceed to exhibit what should be the organization, the func- 
tions, and the restrictions of a civil government designed for 
a free and enlightened people. 

And first, we state, as the most essential requisite to the 
government of a free people, that its authority should be 
divided into three great commensurate departments, which 
should be intrusted to different individuals. These branches 
are the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. With the 
legislative is vested the power of making laws ; with the 
executive, the business of putting them into operation ; and 
with ibe judicial, the duty of expounding them, and deciding 
their proper application. Mr. Madison, in speaking of this 
division, says, ** No political truth is certainly of greater 
intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more 
enlightened patrons of liberty."* 

813 What provision is there that they will not exercise national 

214 Recapitulate the principles we have been sustaining. 
S16 What have we shown concerning themi 

216 What is the most essential requisite to a free government ? 

217 What powers are invested in each of these 1 

218 Is this principle generally acceded to? 

• Federalist, No. 47. 


And the following reasons for it are given by Montesquieu : 
** When the legislative and executive powers are united in 
the same person or body, there can be no liberty ; because 
apprehensions may arise lest the same monarch or senate 
should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical 
manner." Again : ** Were the power of judging joined with 
the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be 
exposed to arbitrary control ; for the judge would then be the 
legislator,^^ and knowing the parties and interests that would 
be affected by his determinations, he might make particular 
laws for particular cases ; and be influenced in all his acts by 
liis partialities rather than by the fixed rules of justice. 
Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might 
behave with all the violence of an oppressor, ^^ Consequently, 
where the three powers are not properly separated, the will 
of those who govern must become despotic ; and it is wholly 
immaterial to the subject, whether he suffers under the de- 
spotism of one magistrate, or the tyranny of an assembly. 

In consonance with this great principle of precaution in 
favor of liberty, the constitution of the United States, as 
well as those of the several states, make provision for these 
separate, and distinct branches of government. In the con- 
stitution of the United States, we find that the first article 
vests all legislative powers therein granted, *' in a Congress 
of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and 
House of Representatives ;" the second article vests the execu- 
tive power '* in a President ;" and by the third, the judicial 
power is *^ vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior 
courts as the Congress may from time to time order and esta- 
blish." And it appears to be the intention of the constitu- 
tion that no individual connected with either of these depart* 
ments should be eligible to another; for it declares in the 
sixth section of the first article, that '* no person holding any 

219 Supposing the legislative and execative powers were united? 

220 What if the legislative and judicial powers were united ? 

221 What if the same person were the judge and the executive ? 

222 What follows from the preceding remarks ? 

223 Is this principle acknowledged in our institutions 1 

224* What is said of the first article in the constitution of the United 

225 What is said of the second article? The third 1 

226 What farther appears to he the intent of the constitution ? 

227 By what article is it shown; and what follows from that article t 


office under the United States shall be a member of either 
house during his continuance in office." And by conse- 
quence, if any congressman should accept of an office in the 
executive department or in the judiciary, he forfeits his seat 
in the legislature* In several of the states, it is expressly 
stipulated by constitution, that *' any person shall not exercise 
powers in more than one of them at the same time." 

But while it is necessary that the powers properly belonging 
to one of the departments, should not be directly administered 
by either of the other departments ; still it is equally as neces- 
sary, in order to preserve entire to each its peculiar rights 
and duties, that these departments should be so far connected 
and blended, as to give to each a constitutional control 
over the others.* Hence, in our constitution, the president 
has a right to negativet any bill, order, resolution, or vote, to 
which the concurrence of both houses is necessary, (except a 
question of adjournment ;) and to return the same, with his 
objections, to the house in which it originated. And in such 
cases, unless two-thirds of each house shall repass it, it can- 
not become a law. On the other hand, without the approba- 
tion of the senate,]: the president cannot appoint any of the 
executive officers. And again, to the judiciary, appertains 
the exclusive right of expounding the constitution ; and 
hence it h?^ authority to declare any unconstitutional act of 
congress to be void ; and because the constitution has given 
it power to decide, and has provided for no appeal from its 
decision, what it has determined to be unlg\vilil, the executive 
cannot perform. § 


** In republican governments, the legislative authority ne- 
cessarily predomina,tes. The remedy for this inconveniency 

228 Should these three departments be so separated as to have no in- 
fluence on each other 1 Why T 

229 How does our constitution provide for this neoeesaiy influence of 
the executive over the legislature ? 

990 How ibr legislative restrain! over the executive 1 

281 How for the judiciary limitation of the executive performances 1 

282 What is the predominant power in repubUcaa governments 1 

283 Qow should this be remedied in parti 


• Federalist, Nos. 48 and 61, f -^Jt 1, sec 7. 

4 Alt 2, sec 2, ^ Rawle on art 3« sec. 3, 


is, to divide the legislature into different branches ; and to 
render those branches, by different modes of election, and 
different principles of action, as little connected with each 
other, as the nature of their common functions, and their 
common dependence on the society, will admit." This di- 
vision is provided for by the constitution of the United States, 
which vests the legislative powers of government •* in a con- 
gress, which shall consist of a senate and house of repre- 
sentatives,"* whose joint assent is necessary to the enactment 
of any law. Similar branches exist in each of the states, 
excepting Vermont ; in which, however, there is an execu- 
tive council corresponding somewhat to a senate. 

Many speculative writers and theoretical politicians, have 
been struck with the simplicity of a legislature with a single 
assembly, and have concluded that more than one house was 
useless and expensive. But the division of the legislature 
into two separate and independent branches, is founded on 
such obvious principles of good policy, and is so strongly 
recommended by the unequivocal language of experience, 
that it has obtained the general approbation of all wise poli- 
ticians. The separation of the legislature into two houses, 
acting separately, and with co-ordinate powers, will undoubt- 
edly destroy the evil effects of sudden and strong excitement, 
and of any precipitate measures that may spring from passion, 
caprice, prejudice, personal influence, and party intrigue. A 
hasty decision is not so likely to arrive to the solemnities of 
a law, when it is to be arrested in its course, and made to 
undergo the deliberation, and probably the jealous and cri- 
tical revision, of another and a rival body of men, sitting in a 
different place, and under better advantages to avoid the pre- 
possessions and to correct the errors of the other branch.t 

One of these branches, which in our constitution is styled 
the House of Representatives, should be chosen directly by 
the people,]: and should be numerous enough to be acquainted 
with the interests and circumstances of every section of the 

234 How does our constitution provide for this? 

235 Have all politicians agreed to the expediency of this 1 

236 Is it generally acceded to ? 

237 What are the probable effects of such a separation 1 

238 Describe one of the branches of the legislature. 

♦ Art 1, sect 1. f Kent's Commentaries, Lee. 10. i Art 1, sect 2. 

T 2 


comninnity. And, in order to represent the varying wants 
of their constituents, they should he elected as often as con- 
sistent with the time necessary to obtain a proper degree of 
knowledge on legislative subjects. By the constitotion, a 
representative's term of office is fixed to two years.* And 
hence, that length of time is said to be the duratton- of one 
congress. The whole number of representatives is regulated 
by an apportionment among the several states, so that from 
each state, there shall be one representative so often as it 
contains a certain number of inhabitants ; (with the estimate 
of five slaves for three white men ;) and for this purpose 
there must be an enumeration of the inhabitants throughout 
the United States every ten years. It is provided that the 
number which shall be entitled to a representative shall not 
be less than 30,000 ; but congress may increase it after each 
census as they see fit, excepting that each state shall always 
be entitled to at least one.t 

But though the aggregate number of representatives allotted 
to each state is determined by the aggregate number of in- 
habitants ; yet the right of choosing the allotted number, is to 
be exercised by such part of the inhabitants as the state itself 
may direct. That is, this right shall be conferred on those 
who are privileged to vote for the lowest branch of the state 
legislature. Hence, in some states, the number of votes for 
a choice of a representative is less than in others. 

But as there is in all numerous representative assemblies, 
a propensity to yield to the impulse of violent passions, and 
to fluctuate with any sudden changes of opinion which may 
have taken place either in themselves or in their constituents ; 
and also to be seduced by factious leaders into intemperate 
and pernicious resolutions ;:|: one branch of the legislative 
assembly should be less numerous and more independent. 

239 How often should they be elected ; and how often are they 1 

240 How is the whole number of representatives regulated 1 
S41 How is the number of people known 1 

ii4i2 What is the present ratio of representation 1 
248 Who may vote for these representatives ? 
244 What is the consequence of diis regulation 1 
246 Should one branch of the legislature be as numerous as the other T 

* Art 1, sect. 2. 

t On the 2SJd of May, 1832, congress fixed the ratio of representation 
to one for 47,'^00 inhabitants. ^ Federalist, No. 62. 


Among the many methods of appointing the members of 
this branch of the legislature, that provided for in our oon-> 
stitution, viz. election by the legislature of each state, is 
undoubtedly the best for this country. ** It is recommended 
by the double advantage of favoring a select appointment, and 
of giving to the state governments such an agency in the 
formation of the general government, as preserves their 
authority and contributes to render them actual members of 
the great body.*** The number, which is two for each 
state, was at first the result ** of a spirit of amity, and of that 
mutnal deference and concession, which the peculiarity of 
our political situation at the time of forming our constitution 
rendered indispensable ;"t and it has been found in practice 
to produce no dangerous inconvenience. 

As it would be contrary to the genius of a republic to trust 
the entire executive power to the will of one man, it seems 
proper that this select body should be the one upon which a 
part of that power should devolve. This being the case, its 
members should enjoy public confidence at home and abroad. 
And for this purpose, it seems necessary that they should 
have the character of permanency ; so that there should be 
no fear of a sudden and total change of governmental mea* 
sures. It is therefore provided by the constitution, that 
although the time for which each senator is elected will ex- 
pire in six years, yet the times of their elections are so 
arranged that one third of them shall go out of ofiice every 
second year ; so that after every new election there is still a 
majority of former members. 


" There is an idea, which is not without its advocates, that 
a vigorous executive is inconsistent with the genius of re- 
publican government. The enlightened well-wishers to this 

246 What is the best method of electing the highest branch for this 
country ? 247 What is its recommendation ? 

248 What is the regulation as to the number of the senate ? 

249 How happened that to be adopted ? 

250 In what other power should they partake 1 Why 1 

251 What is necessary on this account 1 

252 How does the constitution provide for this 1 

253 What idea relative to a republican government has been held by 
some 1 Is it correct ? 

» - I I . I II. . . .11 M l I I J I I « . . ■ ■ ■ I ■ 

* Rawie, chap. iii. f Washington's Letter to Uie States. 


Species of government, must at least hope that the supposi- 
tion is destitute of foundation ;. since they can never admit 
its truth, without, at the same time, admitting the condemna- 
tion of their own principles. Energy in the executive is a 
leading character in the definition of good government. It is 
essential to the protection of the community against foreign 
attacks : it is not less essential to the steady administration of 
the laws ; to the protection of property against those irregular 
and high handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the 
ordinary course of justice ; to the security of liberty against 
the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of 
anarchy. Every man, the least conversant in Roman story, 
knows how often that republic was obliged to take refuge in 
the absolute power of a single man, under the formidable 
title of dictator^ as well against the intrigues of ambitious 
individuals who aspired to the tyranny and the seditions of 
whole classes of the community whose conduct threatened 
the existence of all governments as against the invasions of 
external enemies who menaced the conquest and destruction 
of Rome. 

** Taking it for granted, therefore, that all men of sense 
will agree in the necessity of an energetic executive, it will 
only remain to inquire, what are the ingredients which con- 
stitute this energy ? How far can they be combined with 
those other ingredients, which constitute safety in the 
republican sense ? 

**The ingredients which constitute energy in the execu- 
tive, are, unity, and duration. 

«• Those which constitute safety in the republican sense, are, 
a due dependence on the people ; and a due responsibility. 

*^ Those politicians and statesmen who have been the most 
celebrated for the soundness of their principles, and for the 
justness of their views, have declared in favor of a single 
executive, and a numerous legislature. They have, with great 

254 What is necessary to a good government I 

365 Why is it essential ? 

356 What example in ancient history shows its necessity 1 

257 What then shall we take for granted ? 

258 Concerning what shall we inquire ? 

259 What are necessary to executive energy 1 

260 What are necessary for republican safety 1 

261 What opinions on this subject have been held by the best politicians t 

262 How have th^y reasoned concerning the qualifications of the exe- 
Anrive and legislature I 


propriety, considered energy as the most necessary qua1ifi« 
cation of the former, and have regarded this as most applica- 
ble to power in a single hand ; while they have, with equal 
propriety, considered the latter as best adapted to deliberation 
and wisdom, and best calculated to conciliate the confidence 
of the people, and to secure their privileges and interests. 

^* That unity is conducive to energy, will not be disputed. 
Decision, activity, secrecy, and despatch, will generally 
characterize the proceedings of one man, in a much more 
eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number ; 
and in proportion as the number is increased, these qualities 
will be diminished."* 

^^ Duration in office, has been mentioned as the second 
requisite to the energy of the executive authority. This has 
relation to two objects : to the personal firmness of the 
chief magistrate in the employment of his constitutional 
powers, and to the stability of the system of administration 
which may have been adopted under his auspices. With 
regard to executive firmness, it must be evident, that the 
longer the duration in office, the greater will be the probabi- 
lity of obtaining so important an advantage. It is a general 
principle of human nature, that a man will be interested in 
whatever he possesses, in proportion to the firmness or pre- 
cariousness of the tenure by which he holds it ; will be less 
attached to what he holds by a momentary or uncertain title, 
than to what he enjoys by a title durable or certain ; and, 
of course, will be willing to risk more for the sake of the 
one than of the other. This remark is not less applicable to 
a political privilege, or honor, or trust, than to any article of 
ordinary property. The inference from it is, that a man 
acting in the capacity of chief magistrate, under a conscious- 
ness that, in a very short time, he must lay down his office ; 
will be apt to feel himself too little interested in it, to hazard 
any material censure or perplexity, from the independent 
exertion of his powers, or from encountering the ill humours, 
however transient, which may happen to prevail, either in a 

263 In what respects is unity conducive to energy 1 

264 What is the second requisite in the executive 1 

265 To what effects has that any relation ? 

266 How does it offi^ct the executive firmness 1 

267 On what principle do we form this opinion 1 

268 What inference do we draw from this principle? 

• Federaliit, No. 70. 



considerable part of the society itself, or even in a predomi- 
nant faction in the legislative body. If the case should only 
be, that he might lay it down, unless continued by a new 
choice ; and if he should be desirous of being continued, his 
wishes, conspiring with his fears, would tend still more 
powerfully to corrupt his integrity, or debase his fortitude. 
So that, in either case, feebleness and irresolution must be the 
characteristics of the station."* 

With regard to the stability of administration, '' there are 
some, who would be inclined to regard the servile pliancy 
of the executive to a prevailing current, either in the com- 
munity, or in the legislature, as its best recommendation. 
But such men entertain very crude notions, as well of the 
purposes for which government was instituted, as of the 
true means by which the public happiness may be promoted. 
The republican principle demands, that the deliberate sense 
of the community should govern the conduct of those to 
whom they intrust the management of their affairs ; but it 
does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden 
breeze of passion, or to every transient impulse which the 
people may receive from the arts of those men who flatter 
their prejudices to betray their interests. . 
^ When occasions present themselves, in which the interests 
of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it is the 
duty of the persons who are appointed the guardians of those 
rights, to withstand the temporary delusions, in order to give 
them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection. 
But more especially when those interests are disregarded by 
the humors of the legislature, (the will of the people being 
possibly contrary or neutral,) the executive ought to use his 
constitutional advantages for the continuation and advance- 
ment of the public welfare. Instances might be cited in 
which a conduct of this kind has saved the people from very 

269 What would be the effect if his continuance in office depended 
on a new election ? 

270 What may some think of the stability of administration? 

271 Are such opinions correct ? 

272 What is, and what is not demanded by the republican principle 1 

273 Should rulers always conform to the wishes of the people ? 

274 Should the executive always sanction the opinions of the legisla- 

275 "What is the voice of history on this subject ? 

• Federalist, No. 71. 


fatal consequences of their own mistakes, and has procured 
lasting monuments of their gratitude to the men who had 
courage and magnanimity enough to serve them at the peril 
of their displeasure."* 

We therefore arrive at the conclusion, that if his official 
term is short, he will act with reference to immediate and 
temporary popularity, rather than to the permanent welfare 
of the community ; he will hestow his offices upon those 
who will he tools for future aggrandizement ; and the whole 
train of his measures would manifest a corrupted integrity, 
an irresolution of design, and a feebleness of effort. 

On the other hand, as we have seen that executive advan- 
tages must be combined with " a due dependence on the 
people, and a due responsibility ;" his official term should not 
be so long as to impair the first of these requisites, or to set 
aside or lessen the last. It should ever be known, that there 
is but a short period before his administration will come 
under the review of the people, and its merits determined by 
the united voice of the nation. ** Four years" were judged 
by the formers of our constitution to be the duration which 
would contribute to the firmness of the executive on the one 
hand, and provide against any alarm for the public liberty on 
the other. 

As, in the course of these four years, a vacancy may hap- 
pen in the office of president, the constitution provides that 
there shall be a " vice president.^* And, that ** in case of the 
removal of the president from office, or of his death, resigna- 
tion, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the 
said office, the same shall devolve on the vice president ; and 
the congress may by law provide for the case of the removal, 
death, resignation, or inability, both of the president and vice 
president,t declaring what officer shall then act as president ; 

• Federalist, No. 71. 

f " This power has been executed by authorizing the president ^ro 
tempore of the senate to perform those functions. The president pro 

276 What will be the probable conduct of the executive, if his term 
of office is short 1 

277 Should his official term be very long ? Why 1 

278 What is the duration of the president's term of office 1 

279 Suppose the president should die, or resign, or become uiconqpe- 

280 What is the regulation of congress providing for the vacancy of 
both offices 1 


and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be 
removed, or a president shall be elected."* 

But the great difference between our ezecutive and that of 
the governments of the old world, is the manner in which 
the office is conferred. The president of the United States is 
elected by the people; whereas, the monarchs of Europe 
obtain their thrones by heirship.! 

tempore of the senate is chosen by the senate during the absence of the 
vice president, or when he executes the office of president ; and it has 
become usual for the vice president to retire from the senate a few days 
before the close of the session, in order that a president pro tempore may 
be chosen, to be ready to act on emergencies. If, however, there shoald 
happen to be vacancies in all these three respects, the speaker of the 
house of representatives is next empowered to assume the office of pre- 
sident ; and beyond this no provision is made. 

" If the vice president succeeds to the office of president, he continues 
in it till the expiration of the time for which the president was elected ; 
but if both those offices are vacant, it becomes the duty of the secretaiy 
of state to take measures for the election of a president 

'* Notification is to be given, as well to the executive of each state, as 
in one at least of the public newspapers printed in each state, that elect- 
ors of a president shall be appointed or chosen within thirty-four days 
next preceding the first Wednesday in the ensuing December ; unless 
there shall not be two months between the date of the notification and 
the first Wednesday in the ensuing December, in which case the election 
shall be postponed till the ensuing year. But if the term of the office of 
the president and vice president would have expired on the third of March 
next following such vacancies, no extra election is necessary ; as the regu- 
lar election will then take place on the same day which the secretary of 
state is otherwise directed to notify. For the office of both president and 
vice president is fixed to commence on the fourth of March, and the regu- 
lar election takes place on the first Wednesday of the preceding Decem- 
ber." JRavfle^s Vie-a of the Constitution^ chap, v, 

• Art. ii. sect 1. clause 5. 

f The second article of the constitution, together with the twelfth arti- 
cle in the amendment, declares that the president, together with the 
vice president, chosen for the same time, shall be elected as follows : 

** Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof 
may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators 
and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the congress ; 
but no senator or representative, or person holding an office of trust or 
profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector. 

281 What is the great difference between ^e president of this coontiy 
find the executives of others ? 

282 What is the mode of electing the president 1 

283 How many electors is each state entitled to 1 


The president is the only executive officer known to the 
constitution; and the only one responsible to the people. 
The duties, however, are obviously too numerous and various 
for one man ; hence, the constitution contemplated the crea- 
tion of inferior offices by congress, and the division of labor 
among subordinates. 

The appointment of these inferior officers, is a power 
necessary to, and a part of j the executive power ; for the 

'' The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by banot 
for president and vice president, one of whom at least shall not be an 
inhabitant of the same state with themselves ; they shall name in their 
ballots the person voted for as president, and in distinct ballots the person 
voted for as vice president, and they shall make distinct lists of sdl per- 
sons voted for as president, and of all persons voted for as vice president, 
and of the number of votes for each ; which list they shall sign and certify, 
and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, 
directed to the president of the senate. The president of the senate shall, 
in the presence of the senate and house of representatives, open all the 
certificates, and the votes shall then be counted ; the person naving the 
greatest number of votes for president shall be the president, if such num- 
ber be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no 
person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest 
numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those voted for as president, 
the house of representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the pre- 
eident. But in choosing the president,- the votes shall be taken by states, 
the representation from each state having one vote ; a quorum for this pur- 
pose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, 
and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the 
house of representatives shall not choose a president, whenever the right 
of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next 
following, then the vice pretddent shall act as president, as in the case of 
the death or other constitutional disability of the president. The person 
having the greatest number of votes as vice president shall be the vice 
president, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors 
appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest 
numbers on the Ust, the senate shaU choose the vice president; a 
quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of 
flenatore, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a 
choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of presi- 
dent, shall be eligible to that of vice president of the United States." 

284 What is their method of voting? 

285 What is the method of counting the votes? 

286 Suppose that no one has a majority, how is the president chosen ? 

287 How is the vice president chosen if no one has a majority of 
electoral votes 1 

288 Is the president to perform all the executive functions ? 

289 Why diould the president appoint these in&rior officers 7 



executive duties are necessarily to be performed by them* 
And it is evident that if they are not appointed by, and not 
responsible to, the executive, he cannot be accountable for 
the performance of their duties. 

But, in order to check a spirit of favoritism in the presi« 
dent, and to prevent the appointment of un£t characters, 
from state prejudice, from family connection, from personal 
attachment, or from a view to popularity ; the constitution 
declares that, *< He shall nominate, and by and toith the 
advice and consent of the senate^ shall appoint ambassadors, 
other public ministers and consuls, judges of the supreme 
court, and all other officers of the United States whose 
appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and 
which shall be established by law : but the congress may by 
law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they 
think proper in the president alone, in the courts of law, or 
in the heads of department. The president shall have power 
to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of 
the senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at 
the end of their next session."* 

At different times, congress has created four executive depart- 
ments ; viz. the departments of state, of the treasury, of war, 
and of the navy. Over each of these there is a presiding offi- 
cer,- called " the secretary," Besides these departments, there 
is the general post-office, over which is the " general post- 


Having finished our examination concerning the proper 
structure and organization of the law-making powers in a 
free government, we will now proceed to inquire what 
authorities should be vested in them, and what restrictions 
should be imposed upon them. 

This inquiry will be conducted on the principle that " a 
government ought to contain in itself every power that is 
requisite to the full accomplishment of the object committed 
to its care, and to the complete execution of the trusts for 

290 In this power of the president, what should be guarded against 1 

291 What is the provision of the constitution upon this subject? 

292 What executive departments have been created by congress ? 

293 On what principle should we conduct our inquiry concerning the 
authority and the restraints of government 1 

• Art. ii. sect. 2. clause I . 


which it is responsible. Hence, to determine the necessary 
powers of the government, it will be necessary to ascertain 
the objects of it. And, 

1. One of the primitive objects of civil society, is security 
against foreign danger. " The powers for this object ought 
to exist without limitation ; because it is impossible to fore- 
see or to define the extent and variety of national exigen- 
cies, and the correspondent extent and variety of the means 
which may be necessary to satisfy them."* These powers 
may be embraced under four heads ; viz. 1. To declare wars, 
and grant letters of marque and reprisal : 2. To raise and 
support armies ; and to provide and maintain a navy : 3. To 
provide for regulating and calling forth the militia: and, 
4. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises ; 
and to borrow money. 

1. "The right of using force or of making war, belongs 
to nations, so far as it is necessary for their defence, and the 
support of their rights."t But as the evils of war are cer- 
tain, and the results doubtful, both humanity and wisdom 
require that it should never be undertaken without the utmost 
precaution. This is not always the case in monarchies ; 
for as the king generally possesses this power, it is as oflen 
exercised for his own aggrandizement as for the good of the 
nation. In republics, on the contrary, the right to declare 
war is given to the representatives of the people ; who, wish- 
ing to act in conformity with public opinion, enter into war 
with more reluctance and deliberation. 

But, it frequently happens, that subjects of one govern- 
ment commit depredation upon those of another ; and yet not 
of so serious a nature as to justify a declaration of war. In 
such cases, the government of the injured party are autho- 
rized by the law of nations, to issue to particular citizens 
letters of marque and repriaala / " the latter signifying a 

294 What does this render necessary 1 ' 

295 What is the first mentioned object of political associations 1 

296 What may we remark concerning the powers for this object 1 

297 How may these powers be classified 1 

298 How should the power of making war be exercised ? 

299 Is this always done in monarchies 1 Why 1 

300 How is it managed in republics 1 

801 What means are sometimes adopted when foreign depredation 
has been slight ? 

* Federalist, No. 23, f Rawle, chap, ix. 


taking in return ; the former, passing a frontier y in order 
to Buch taking."* As such a commission is a species of 
war, (being an incomplete state of hostilities,) the power of 
granting it should be included with the power of declaring' 


2. Infolved in the power of declaring war, is the power 
of raising armies and equipping fleets. On this subject, 
the discretion of the national government should be unre- 
strained ; for it is impossible to foresee what amount of force 
may become necessary for the defence of the nation. Honr- 
ever, some, while they have allowed the propriety of this in 
time of war, have argued that the government ought not to 
be permitted to maintain standing armies in time of peace ; 
alleging that it is putting an engine into the hands of the 
government that may be used for usurpation. But this ob- 
jection loses its whole force when we recollect how easy it 
ifS to elude this provision by fabricating pretences of ap- 
proaching danger ; or even by provoking a foreign power to 
a threatening aspect which may be appeased by concession 
after forces may have been raised. On the other hand, we 
know that it is the practice of other nations to maintain stand- 
ing armies ; and accordingly a readiness for war on our own 
part, is not only necessary for self defence from any sudden 
attack, but may, by its anticipated preparations, actually 
deter an enemy from a hostile invasion. Still there should 
be some precaution against danger from standing armies ; and 
the best is undoubtedly that of limiting the term for which 
revenue may be appropriated to their support.]: This pre- 
caution has been prudently inserted in our constitution ; by 
which provision the legislature will be obliged, at short inter- 
vals of time, to come to a new resolution on the subject, 
and that in the face of their constituents.§ 

302 By whom should authority for such proceeduigs be given ? 

303 What follows from the power of declaring war ? 

304 How great should be the power of government on this subject 1 

305 What have been the opinions of some relative to standing 

306 Can this objection be applied so as to have any efifeot 1 

307 What argument in favor of standing armies 1 

308 How may we provide against any danger fh)m them 1 
809 What provision is adopted in our constitution 1 

* Duer's Outlines, part ii. chap. 1. f Art, i, sect 8. clause 11, 

i Federalist, No. 41. f Art i. sect 8. clause \% and 13, 


From the right of maintaining armies and navies, follows 
the power to make rules for the government and regulation 
of them.* 

3. But, besides those who are regularly retained on stipu- 
lated compensations to serve in the army or navy, there is 
another class of military power, which is called the militia. 
This consists of armed citizens divided into military bands, 
and instructed, at least in part, in the use of arms for the 
purposes of war ; and yet do not relinquish their civil occupa- 
tions, except while they are actually in the field. Of 
course, they are greatly inferior in military estimate to 
armies regularly trained ; but notwithstanding, as they em- 
brace a great part of the able-bodied men in the nation, the 
militia may be said to constitute one of the great bulwarks of 
the nation ; and noticing which tends to improve and sup- 
port it, should be neglected.t 

For the same reason that a government should have the 
power of providing and maintaining fleets and armies, it 
should also have full power to call forth the militia, when 
necessary to repel an invasion. Besides, in superintending 
the common defence, a government must not only provide 
for external attacks, but must also watch over the internal 
peace of the community. For, it cannot be denied that sedi- 
tions and insurrections are maladies, as inseparable from the 
body politic, as tumors and irruptions from the natural body. 
For such emergencies, there can be no remedy but force ; 
and hence we see that the government should have power to 
ose the militia when necessary to execute its laws or to 
suppress insurrection, as well as to repel invasions. 

If the militia are to be called into service, it is plain that, 
in order for them to discharge their duties with propriety, 
there should be a uniformity in organization and discipline. 
This desirable uniformity can be accomplished, only by con- 

310 What right must attend the power of maintaining aimies 1 

311 Is there any other military power besides the army and navy 1 

312 Describe the militia. In what estimate should we hold it 1 

313 Should the government have any power over it 1 

314 For what internal purposes may it be necessary to employ the 

315 Is such a requirement ever necessary ? 

316 What regulations are necessary for the militia? 

* Art i. sect viii. clause 14. f Rawle, chap. xii. 


SS4 BLXMxirrs or political xkowlsdgb. boos r% 

fiding the Tegulation of the militia to the direction of the 
national authority ;* which should provide for organizing, 
arming, and discipliningf it, and for governing such parte of 
it as may be employed in its service.^ 

4. TVumHon.— The duties of superintending the national 
defence, and of securing the public peace against foreign or 
domestic violence, cannot be performed without incurring 
expense. *' Money is with propriety considered as the vital 
principle of the body politic ; as that which sustains its life 
and motion, and enables it to perform its most essential fan&- 
tions. A complete power, therefore, to procure a regular and 
adequate supply of revenue, as far as the resources of the 
community will permit, may be regarded as an indispensable 
ingredient in every constitution. From a deficiency in this 
particular, one of two evils must ensue ; either the people 
must be subjected to continual plunder, as a substitute for a 
more eligible mode of supplying the public wants, or the 
government must sink into a faul atrophy, and in a short 
course of time perish.''§ This power is generally vested in 
a government under the appellation of taxation. 

The term taxes is generical, and embraces two kinds, viz. 
direct taxes, and indirect taxes. Direct taxes are capitation 
or poll taxes, and taxes upon land. They are imposed 
directly upon the person or property of the citizen, independ- 
ently of his will ; and cannot be avoided by non-consump- 
tion or expenditure. For instance, when a tax is once levied 
upon land, the whole anticipated amount is sure to the 
government. Indirect taxes are duties, imposts, or excises, 
imposed upon articles of consumption or on importations 
from foreign countries. Of course, the people are at liberty- 

317 How is this to be secured 1 

318 Is managing the afiairs of govemment expensive 1 

319 Then in what light may money be considered when applied to 
political purposes ? 

320 What power concerning it should the government possess t 

321 How many methods of taxing are there 1 

322 What is direct taxation ? Give an example. 

323 What are Indirect taxes ? Can any one avoid them 1 

* By the constitution of the United States, there is ** reserved to tiie 
states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of 
training Uie militia acconling to the discipline prescribed by congress.'' 

-f Art. 1, sect. vii. clause 15. 

t Alt. i. sect 7. clause 16. f Federalist, No. 30. 


to pay theim or not ; and may reduce the amount of their 
tax by reducing their consumption of the articles so taxed. 
Thus, the duty on wine will not affect me, if I do not make 
use of that article. 

There is a diversity of opinion whether direct or indirect 
taxation is most consistent with the proper administration of 
government. But there is no doubt that every government 
ought to have the power of adopting either or even both, 
when the exigencies of the nation demand it. 

The power of taxation has been treated of under the head of 
national defence, because, while vesting that power in con- 
gress, our constitution has specified that purpose as one of the 
leading objects. But military and naval defence is not the only 
object to which the jurisdiction of the government, in respect 
to revenue, must necessarily be empowered to extend. It 
must embrace a provision for the support of the national 
civil list ; for the payment of the national debts contracted, 
or that may be contracted ; and, in general, for all those 
objects which seem to be required for the general welfare. 

We therefore conclude that a government should *' have 
power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises,'* 
«o far as they may think necessary ** to pay the debts and 
provide for the common defence and general welfare."* 

Concomitant with the power of taxation, is that of '< bor- 
rowing money" on the credit of the nation ; and pledging 
future revenues for the payment of it. No government 
could subsist without this power. For there may arise exi- 
gencies, such as expenses of war, or failure of usual revenue, 
when the operations of the government could not be conti- 
nued without this resort.t 

n. It is highly necessary that the government should have 
power to regulate all intercourse with foreign nations. This 
power has reference, 1. To diplomatic intercourse; and, 
2. To foreign commerce. 

324 Why have we treated of taxation under the head of defence? 

325 Is defence the only object for taxation 1 

326 What else requires it ? 

327 What is the constitutional provision on this subject 1 

328 What other power is cognate with that of taxation 1 

329 What is the second class of governmental powers 1 

* Art L Met 8. dause 1. | Ibid, dause 2. 


1. DiphmaHe 'intercourse. This inclodes making trea- 
tiesy and sending and receiving ambaBsadora and other public 
ministers. '* In its general sense, we can be at no loss to 
understand the meaning of the word treaty. It is a compact 
entered into with a foreign power ; and it extends to all those 
matters which are generally the subjects of compact between 
independent nations. Such subjects are peace, alliance, 
commerce, neutrality, and others of a similar nature. To 
make treaties is an essential attribute of a nation. One 
which disabled itself from the power of making them, and the 
capacity of observing and enforcing them when made, would 
exclude itself from &e international equality which its own 
interests require it to preserve ; and thereby in many respects 
commit an injury on itself. In modem times, and among 
civilized nations, we have no instances of such absurdity.''* 

This power must then reside somewhere ; and the ques- 
tion is, where to deposite it. By comparing it with the exe- 
cutive and the legislative powers, we find *' that it is neither 
the one nor the other. It relates neither to the execution of 
the subsisting laws, nor to the enaction of new ones; and 
still less to an exertion of the common strength. Its objects 
are, contracts with foreign nations, which have the force of 
law, but derive it from the obligations of good faith. They 
are not rules prescribed by the sovereign to the subject, but 
agreements between sovereign and sovereign. The power in 
question seems, therefore, to form a distinct department, and 
to belong, properly, neither to the legislature nor to the exe- 
cutive."! It seldom happens in the negotiation of treaties, 
of whatever nature they may be, but that*perfect secrecy and 
immediate despatch are sometimes requisite. There are 
cases, when the most useful intelligence may be obtained, if 
the informant may rely upon the secrecy of the person 

330 What is signified by diplomatic intercourse 1 

331 Define the word treaty. 

332 What are the subjects of national contracts 1 

333 What would be the effect of withholding the treaty-making 
power from the government 1 

334 Should this power reside in the executive or in the legislature 1 

335 What are its objects ? 

336 What is generally necessary in the negotiation of treaties 1 

337 Give some illustrations. 

. * Rawle, chap. vii. -j- Federalist, No. 76. 


informed. And besides, great advantages may be lost by 
allowing to be known what would be our utmost concessions 
in case of emergency. Again, there are tides in national 
affairs, when by some unforeseen circumstance, the interven- 
tion of a day may occasion irreparable damage to the inte- 
rests of a negotiation. Indeed, secrecy and despatch are so 
essentially necessary in the management of foreign negotia- 
tions, tliat a constitution would be inexcusably defective if 
it contained no provision for them. Now, it is plain that 
these requisites are best secured by confiding the power to 
one man ; and hence, the executive seems to be pointed out 
as the most fit agent in the making of treaties. But secrecy 
and despatcb'are required only in the preliminary negotiations ; 
and after the conclusion of a treaty, it seems proper that it 
should receive, before it goes into operation, that assent of the 
legislative body which it seems to claim on account of its 
operation as a law of the land. 

** However proper or safe it may be in governments, where 
the executive magistrate is an hereditary monarch, to commit 
to him the entire power of making treaties, it would be 
utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an 
elective magistrate of four years duration. It has been justly 
remarked, than an hereditary monarch, though often the 
oppressor of his people, has personally too much at stake in 
the government, to be in any material danger of being cor- 
rupted by foreign powers : but that a man raised from the 
station of a private citizen to the rank of chief magistrate, 
possessed of but a moderate or slender fortune, and looking 
forward to a period not very remote, when he may probably 
be obliged to return to the station from which he was taken, 
may sometimes be under such temptations to sacrifice duty 
to interest, as would require superlative virtue to with- 
stand. An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the 
interests of the state for the acquisition of wealth. An ambi- 
tious man might make his own aggrandizement by the aid of 
foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents."* 

838 In what branch of the goyemment are these requisites best 

339 By what other body should the treaty be approved 1 Why 1 

840 Why may it be proper to intrust the treaty-making power to an 
hereditaiy monarch 1 

841 Why should it not be given to an elective magistrate ? 

* Federalist, lio. 70, 


•* The power in question accordingly constitutes a distinct 
department in the government of the United States.* It is 
formed from the association of one branch of the legislature 
with the executive power, and for this purpose, the constitu- 
tion invests the senate with the attributes of an executive coun- 
cil. The senate was selected for this purpose, because, from 
its smaller number, it may be more easily assembled ; and 
from its greater permanence, it is presumed to be governed by 
steadier and more systematic views of public policy, than 
the house of representatives. "t 

The power of sending and receiving ambassadors and 
other public ministers is consequent to the power of making 
treaties. As nations cannot treat together as two individuals, 
it is evident that they must hold their conferences, by means 
of delegates, generally called ministers. Of these there are 
three orders ; Ambassadors, Envoys or Plenipotentiaries^ 
and Ministers Resident or Charge d' Affairs, Besides these 
diplomatic ministers, there are agents' with commercial 
powers, styled Consuls, It seems proper that all ministers 
and consuls should be appointed by the treaty-making power, 
and should obey any instructions communicated by the exe- 

2. National government should have full control over' 
foreign commerce. This is necessary, in order that it may 
resort to national retaliation ; encourage domestic navigation 
and home manufacture ; obtain mercantile advantages for the 
community ; and raise a competent revenue for govern- 
ment expenses. As this power is evidently so essential to 
the declaring of war, enforcement of treaties, and levying of 
duties, it seems unnecessary to enlarge upon it in this place. 
It may be proper however to state, that it extends to the 

342 How is that power disposed of in the United States ? 

343 Why was the senate selected as one of the powers in this busi- 
ness 1 

3 14 What power is consequent to the treaty-making power ? 

345 How many orders of foreign ministers are there ? 

346 What other governmental agents in foreign countries 1 

347 By whom should foreign ministers and consuls he appointed ? 

348 Why is it necessary that the national government should have 
full control over foreign commerce 1 , 

349 To what minor particulars does this control extend 1 

* Constitution, art ii. sect. 3. clause 2. 
t Duer*s Outline, § 20&— 207. 


jurisdiction of seamen on board of ships belonging to any 
citizen of the state, and to laws relative to quarantine, pilot- 
a^e, and to wrecks of the seas.* 

An unavoidable incident to the power of regulating foreign 
commerce, is that of punishing offences committed on mo 
high seas. Piracy may 1be said to be an offence against 
all nations, and punishable by all ; and it is a received opinion 
that every nation has a right to attack and exterminate the 
perpetrators of so heinous a crime. This right, like its 
kindred rights, ought, as is provided in our constitution, to 
be vested in the national government. 

III. When a government is made up of several confederated 
states, the constitution must embrace another class of stipu- 
lations ; providing for the maintenance of harmony and 
proper intercourse among those states ; laying a proper re- 
straint upon the general government and the state govern- 
ments, so as to hinder any mutual interference of their re- 
spective authorities ; and stating what objects of general 
utility shall be confided to the national powers. 

As provisions of this sort must be regulated by circum- 
stances of time and place, there can be no specific rules given 
for them. Even in the formation of the constitution of the 
United States, there was a diversity of opinion among great 
and good men. And as those difierent opinions have conti- 
nually led to difierence of construction and interpretation, re- 
lative to national and state rights ; it would be unwise for the 
author, with his limited knowledge and experience, to under- 
take an elucidation of any point which involves these original 
principles of opposition. 

It may be well to state, however, that the constitution of 
the United States contains the following stipulations. 

1. For the maintenance of harmony and proper intercourse 
among the states. 

*< To regulate commerce among the several states, and 
with the Indian tribes : 

350 What power must necessarily attend this control T 

351 What stipulations are necessary for a republic made up of con- 
federated states ? 

361 How must these provisions be regrnlated 1 

352 What articles in our constitution relate to the preservation of 
harmony among the states 1 

• Duer, § 552. 




*' To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uni- 
form laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the 
United States : 

'* To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign 
coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures : 

** To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the se- 
curities and current coin of the United States : 

**• To establish post offices and post roads :* 

** Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the 
public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other 
state. And the congress may, by general laws, prescribe the 
manner in 'which such acts, records, and proceedings shall 
be proved, and the effect thereof:! 

'' The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privi- 
leges and immunities of citizens in the several states : 

" A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or 
other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in an- 
other state, shall on demand of the executive authority of the 
state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to 
the state having jurisdiction of the crime : 

" No person held to service or labor in one state under the 
laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of 
any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such ser- 
vice or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party 
to whom such service or labor may be due/'j: 

2. Restrictions of the powers of the national and of the 
state governments. 

There is reserved " to the states respectively the appoint' 
ment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia 
according to the discipline prescribed by congress :§ 

** The privileges of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be 
suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the 
public safety may require it: 

" No bill of attainder or ex-post facto law shall be passed : 

<* No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in 
proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed 
to be taken : 

353 What restrictions of powers are stipulated m the oonstitution 1 

• Art i. sect 8. clauses 3, 4> 6, 6, and 7. + Ait iv. sect 1, 

* A^ ,« .^t. 2. 4 Art L sect 8. clause 16. 



" No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from 
any state : 

•* No preference shall be given by any regulations of com- 
merce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of 
another : nor shall vessels bound to, or from one state, be 
obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another."* 

" No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confede- 
ration ; grant letters of marque and reprisal ; coin money ; 
emit bills of credit ; make any thing but gold and silver coin 
a tender in payment of debts ; pass any bill of attainder, 
ex-post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of con- 
tracts ; or grant any title of nobility' : 

'* No state shall, without the consent of the congress, lay 
any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what 
may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection 
laws ; and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by 
any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the 
treasury of the United States ; and all such laws shall be 
subject to the revision and control of the congress. 

*' No state shall, without the consent of the congress, lay 
any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of 
peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another 
state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless ac- 
tually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit 
of delay,"t 

"The constitution, and the laws of the United States 
which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties 
made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the 
United States, shall be the supreme law of the land ; and 
the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing 
in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary not- 

*• The senators and representatives before mentioned, and 
the members of the several state legislatures, and all execu- 
tive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of 
the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to 
support this constitution ; but no religious test shall ever be 
required as a qualification to any office or public trust under 
the United States."} 

'< Congress shall maj^e no law respecting an establishment 

* Sect ix. clauses 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. f Art i. sect 10. 

t Art vi. clauses 2 and 3. 



of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or 
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ; or the 
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition 
the gOTemment for a redress of grievances/'* 

** The congress shall have power to declare the punish- 
ment of treason ; but no attainder of treason shall work cor- 
ruption of blood, or forfeiture, except during the life of the 
person attainted.!*' 

** A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security 
of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear armst 
shall not be infringed, "j: 

" No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any 
house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war 
but in a manner prescribed by law."§ 

" The powers not delegated to the United States by the 
constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved 
to the states respectively, or to the people." || 

Under this head may be classed the article on amendments. 

** The congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall 
deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this consti- 
tution, or, on application of the legislatures of two-thirds of 
the several states, shall call a convention for proposing 
amendments, which, in either case, shaU be valid to all in- 
tents and purposes as part of this constitution, when ratified 
by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by 
conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other 
mode of ratification may be proposed by the congress ; pro- 
vided that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of 
its equal suffrage in the senate." 

3. Objects of general utility. 

" To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by 
securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the ex- 
clusive right to their respective writings and discoveries :"Tf 

** To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, 
over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, 
by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of con- 
press, become the seat of the government of the United 

354 What is the article on amendments ? 

365 What articles provide for objects of general utility 1 

* Amend, art 1. j- Art iii. sect iii. clause 3. t Amend, art iL 
§ Amend, art iii | Amend, art iz. ^ Art 1, sect 8. clause 8 


States ; and to exercise like authority orer all places pur^ 
chased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which 
the same shall be, for the erection pf forts, magazines, arse- 
nals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings : And, 

*♦ To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper 
for carrying into execution all the powers vested by this con- 
stitution in the government of the United States, or in any 
department or office thereof."* 

" New states may be admitted by the congress into this 
union : but no new state shall be formed or erected within 
the jurisdiction of any other state ; nor any state be formed 
by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, 
without the consent of the legislatures of the states concemed^ 
as well as of the congress. 

'* The congress shall have power to dispose of and make 
needM rules and regulations respecting the territory or other 
property belonging to the United States."t 

*' The United States shall guarantee to every state in this 
union a republican form of government, aiid shall protect 
each of them against invasion ; and on application of the 
legislature, or of the executive, (when the legislature cannot 
be convened,) against domestic violence.''^: 


The governmental powers that we have heretofore treated 
of, relate to national objects ; or such objects as embrace the 
general concerns of the nation. But besides these, there is a 
class of laws which more preeminently concern the people ; 
laws whose object is to secure to every individual of the com- 
munity, all his rights of person and of property. 

These laws are called civil or municipal laws ; civil, be- 
cause they relate to a civia, a member or citizen of any parti- 
cular community ; municipal, because they belong to a mti- 
nidpiumf a community dependant on another, but possess- 

356 Of what kind are the governmental powers that we have already 
treated oft 

357 What other class of laws is there 1 Are they of importance 1 

358 What are these laws called 1 

359 Why are they called civil laws 1 Why municipal laws 1 

* Art i. sect viiL clauses 17 and 18. 

f Art !▼. sect 3. t Art. iv. sect 4 


ing ihe right of enacting laws for the regnlation of its own 
policy. They were called '' mnnicipal," in compliance with 
common speech t hy Judge Blackstone ; because they may, 
with sufficient propriety, be applied to any one state or 
nation which is governed by the same laws and customs. 
In this country they receive the name with peculiar fitness, 
becanse they are almost entirely under the control of the 
individual states. 

The rights to be secured by municipal laws, are either 
absolute, being such as belong to individuals in a single or 
unconnected state ; or relative, being those which arise from 
civil and domestic relations. 

The absolute rights of individuals maybe resolved into 
the right of personal security, the right of personal liberty, 
and the right to acquire and enjoy property. These rights 
have been justly considered, and frequently declared, by the 
people of this country, to be natural, inherent, and unalienable. 
The effectual security and enjoyment of them depend upon the 
existence of civil liberty ; and that consists in being protected 
and governed by laws made, or assented to, by the represen- 
tatives of the people, and conducive to the general welfare.* 

These rights, on account of their importance, together 
with the most essential articles of civil liberty, have been in 
many constitutions defended from the infringement even of 
the government itself. This is done in a bill of rightSt 
where they are collected, digested, and declared, in a pre- 
cise and definite manner. 

The necessity, in our representative republics, of these 
declaratory codes, has been frequently questioned, inasmuch 
as the government, in all its parts, is the creature of the 
people, and every department of it is filled by their agents, 
duly chosen or appointed, according to their will, and made 
responsible for mal-administration. It may be observed, on 

360 Of how many classes are the rights which are to be secured by 
municipal laws 1 

361 Mention some of the most important absolute rights. 

862 What has been said of these 1 How are they secured 1 

863 Have people been tenacious of these rights 1 

864 How have they defended them from the infringement of rulers 1 
366 What reasons have been adduced to show that a bill of rights is 

not necessary 1 

* Kent's Com. sect 24. 


the one hand, that no gross violsftion of those absolute private 
rights, which are clearly understood and settled by the com- 
mon reason of mankind, is to be apprehended in the ordinary 
course of public affairs ; and as to extraordinary instances 
of faction and turbulence, and the corruption and violence 
which they necessarily engender, no parchment checks can 
be relied on as affording, under such circumstances, any 
effectual protection to public liberty. When the spirit of 
liberty has fled, and truth and justice are disregarded, 
private rights can easily be sacrificed under the forms of law. 
On the o&er hand, there is weight due to the consideration, 
that a bill of rights is of real efficacy in controlling the 
excesses of party spirit. It serves to guide and enlighten 
public opinion, and to render it more quick to detect, and 
more resolute to resist, attempts to disturb private rights. It 
requires more than ordinary hardness ^nd audacity of charac- 
ter, to trample down principles which our ancestors cul- 
tivated with reverence ; which we imbibed in our early edu- 
cation ; which recommend themselves to the judgment of the 
world by their truth and simplicity ; and which are con- 
stantly placed before the eyes of the people, accompanied 
with the imposing force and solemnity of a constitutional 

Bills of rights are part of the muniments of freemen, show- 
ing their title to security; and 'they<« become of increased 
value when placed under the protection of an independent 
judiciary, instituted as the appropriate guardian of private 
right. Care, however, is to be taken in the digest of these 
declaratory provisions, to confine the manual to a few plain 
and unexceptionable principles. We weaken greatly the 
force of them, if we incumber the constitution, and perhaps 
embarrass the future operations and more enlarged experi- 
ence of the legislature, with a catalogue of ethical and politi- 
cal aphorisms, any of which, may be reasonably questioned, 
or justly condemned.* 

But for the most part, the constitution invests the legisla- 
ture with power to ascertain the rights and duties of citizens ; 

866 What has been said in favor of retaining ihemi 

367 In what kind of government have they the most value 1 

368 What care is necessary in drawing them up 1 

369 Are all the rights of citizens ascertained and defended in the con- 
stitution itself 1 

* Kenf s Com. sect 24. 


and to enact laws for the preservation of those rights, and 
the falfilment of those duties. This appears to he the great 
e&d and object of civil government. Men wish to enjoy the 
benefits of a common union ; and for this purpose they enter 
into engagements to each other, by which they assume 
duties not obligatory by the laws of mere nature or religion. 
Each man promises to ful^ the duties of a citizen, which 
require him to contribute, as far as in him lies, to the peace 
and prosperity of the society. In order to secure the advan- 
tages of this union, it is necessary that the boundaries of 
civil right and wrong be ascertained, and that the rights 
should be enforced and the wrongs redressed. This must 
be done by the supreme power of the state, be that what it 
may ; and this is ihe object of that power in all its law-mak- 
ing operations. Accordingly, municipal law is '* a rule of 
conduct prescribed by the supreme power of the state, com- 
manding what is right and prohibiting what is wrong."^ 

Thai a law may answer the purpose of a complete rule of 
conduct, it is necessary that it should embrace several parti- 
culars. For this purpose every law may be said to consist 
of several parts : one, declaratory y whereby the rights to be 
observed, and the wrongs to be avoided, are clearly defined 
and laid down ; another, directory^ whereby the subject is 
instructed and enjoined to observe those rights, and to 
abstain from the commission of those wrongs ; a third, revne- 
dial, whereby a method is pointed out to recover a man^s 
private rights, or redress his private wrongs ; to which may 
be added a fourth, usually termed the sancHonj or vindicor 
tory branch of the law, whereby is signified what evil or 
penalty shall be incurred by such as commit any public 
wrongs, and transgress or neglect their duty.t 

It is evident that the law must be promulgated to the peo- 
ple who are to obey it. This may be done by universal 
tradition and long practice, which suppose a previous publi- 

870 What benefits appear neoessaiy to mankind ; and how are they 

871 What is the object of the law-making power 1 

872 What is municipal law ? 

873 What is necessaiy to a law to make it a complete rule of con- 
duct t What are its parts? 

874 How may the laws be promulgated ? 

• B' t Ibid, book 1. 


cation, as is the case of what is called the common law* 
It may he notified, viva voce^ hy officers appointed for that 
purpose, as is done with regard to proclamations, and such 
acts of the legislature as are appointed to be publicly read 
in churches and other assemblies. And, lastly, it may be 
notified by writing, printing, or the like ; which is the gene- 
ral course taken with all the acts of our government. Such 
a provision ought to be made for their publication, that by 
an ordinary care, and without taking up much time and 
thought, people may be able to know the pleasure of their 
governors. There is another circumstance, which is worse 
Sian the non-promulgation of a law ; and that is the making 
of laws *• ex post facto :" when after an action (indifferent 
in itself) is committed, the legislator then for the first time 
declares it to have been a crime, and inflicts a punishment 
upon the person who has committed it. All laws should be 
made to commence *' in futuro," and be notified before their 
commencement. When the laws or rules of conduct are 
properly notified or prescribed, it is the business of the sub- 
ject to be thoroughly acquainted with them ; for if ignorance 
of what he might know, were admitted as a legitimate ex- 
cuse, the laws would be of no effect, but might always be 
eluded with impunity. 

Each civil law may be divided into two branches ; the one 
distributive^ the other vindictive and pend. The distributive 
part is that which constitutes the rules and measures of 
things, whereby we know what belongs to us, and what to 
others ; so that we may not disturb or interrupt others in the 
enjoyment of their own, nor be interrupted by them ; and 
what each man may lawfully do or not do. The vindictive 
part, is that branch by which are determined the punishments 
to be inflicted on those who violate the laws. 

It is necessary that these two should be combined. For 
if a law say no more than " whatever you catch in your net 
in the sea, shall be yours," it is in vain ; for though another 
take from you what you have caught, it is still yours ; so 
that what the law defines to be yours, was yours before that 

375 How liberal should be the provision for their publication 1 

376 What is worse than the non-promulgation of a law 1 

377 After the law has been published is ignorance of it excusable i 

378 Into how many branches may a civil law be divided 1 

379 Describe the distributive part. The vindictive part. 

380 Why is it necessary that these two essentials be combined? 


law, and will be yours after it though possessed by another* 
A lawy Uierefore, is but an empty sound unless it determine 
the thing to be yours in such a sense as to forbid every body 
else from disturbing you in the possession of it. But such pro- 
hibition will be vain, unless there be a penalty annexed to it. 

A law, therefore, must contain both diese parts, that which 
prohibits and that which punishes. The first whereof, 
which is called distributive^ is prohibitory, and speaks to 
all ; the latter, called vindictive or pencd, is mandatory, and 
speaks only to the public officers. Whence it follows^ that 
to all civil laws there is annexed a penalty, either implicitly 
or explicitly ; for that is no law, which may be violated with 

As the determination of this penalty to particular individu- 
als and instances, belongs to the courts of justice, we will 
devote a little attention to the organization of that branch of 
civil government, before we treat of the application of law to 
the administration of justice. 


The manner of constituting the' judicial department seems 
to embrace three several objects.* 1. The mode of appointing 
the judges : 2. The tenure by which they are to hold their 
places : 3. The partition of the judiciary authority between 
dififerent courts, and the relations which these courts are to 
hold to each other. 

I. According to tlie true principle of representative go- 
vernment, And in order to secure to any department a will of 
its own^it seems accessary at first sight that every appoint- 
ment should come from the people, and through channels 
having no communication with each other. But in the con- 
stitution of the judiciary department, in particular, it might be 
inexpedient to insist rigorously on this principle ; first, be- 

381 Has a law any importance without a penalty ? 

382 Describe more particularly the intention of the two parts of a 

383 To whom belongs the infliction of the penalty 1 

384 In ascertaining the manner of constituting courts of justice, how 
many objects deserve attention 1 Name them. 

385 What at first right seems necessary to appointments 1 

386 Should that principle be rigorously attended to always t 

• Federalist, No. 78. 


cause peculiar qualifications being essential in the memben 
of that department, the primary consideration ought to be to 
select that mode of choice which best secures these qualifica-^ 
tions ; secondly, because the permanent tenure by which the 
appointments should be held in that department, must soon 
destroy all sense of dependence upon the authority which 
confers them."* 

What then is the best method of appointing the judges T 
The answer to this is evident when we look into the nature 
of their office. We see that '< their power is auxiliary to 
the executive authority, and in some degree partaking of its 
nature ;" for, *' the laws cannot be correctly executed unless 
there is somewhere resident a power to expound and apply 
them."t Hence, as the constitution provides,^: the judges 
should be appointed by the president in the same manner as 
his executive officers. 

It has been generally recommended that the number of 
judges be small. For the calm reflection and patient inquiry 
necessary for the solution of judicial questions are not con** 
genial with the passions, prejudices, and clamor of numbers. 
Besides, the shame of unjust decisions is more easily divided, 
where each shelters himself under another's example, and 
thinks his own character hid in the crowd. Hence, their 
number ought to be so few, as to make the conduct of all 
conspicuous; and each responsible in his own reputation for 
the opinion in which he concurs. In this choice of a num- 
ber however, the preference ought to be given to an even 
over an odd one, and of four to any other number ; ibr in 
this number there is enough to contain a variety of opinions, 
and not too many to destroy individual responsibility. Be* 
sides, nothing can be decided without a majority of three to 
one, a proportion not too great, when every fresh decision is 
to form a future precedent. And, lastly, if, from an equality 
of votes, there be no decision, although the parties may suf- 

887 Why should it not be followed in appointing judges ? 

888 "What is the nature of their power 1 

889 What do we conclude from this fact 1 

390 What does Dr, Paley recommend as to the number of the judges? 
On what account ? 

391 What particular number does he suggest 1 Why 1 

• Federalist, No. 51. f Rawle, ch. xx. i Art, ii.-8ecL «. clause 2. 


fer from such indecisiony the public safety is not endangered 
by a hasty precedent. 

There are two kinds of judicature ; one fixed, the other 
casual. In the former, the office of the judge remains in the 
same person ; in the latter, the office remains, but the person 
is changed. Although the permanent judge possesses the 
knowledge arising &om long experience, still, as he is 
known ^forehand, he is accessible to the parties, and may 
be acted on by the influence of hope or fear, to swerve from 
his duty. On the other hand, though the judge who is not 
permanent is not liable to be biassed, yet he has a defect in 
the want of that legal science which produces uniformity-and 
justice in judicial decisions. To obtdn, then, the advan- 
tages of botti without the inconveniences of either, the Ame- 
rican law determines that causes shall be tried by a jury of 
twelve casual judges, assisted by one fixed judge ; and 
while the latter imparts to the former the fruits of his legal 
knowledge, the jury, by their disinterestedness, can check 
any influence which may have been previously produced in the 
judge. If there were no jury, the judge might inflict injus- 
tice, from passion, prejudice, or self-interest ; if there were 
BO judge, injustice might be inflicted by the ignorance of the 
jury ; and against the evils of either plan, the present system 
ofiers the best security. 

From so excellent a mode of trial, every deviation ought 
to be watched with vigilance, and admitted with reluctance. 
Summary convictions before justices of the peace ; the juris- 
diction of courts Qf equity, and of conscience ; and all ex- 
tensions of the distinctions between questions of law and 
matters of fact; are so many infringements on this great 
charter of public safety. 

n. With regard to the tenure by which the judges are to 
hold their places ; there is to be considered their duration in 

89S How many kinds of judicature are there 1 Describe them. 

393 What are the advantages and disadvantages of a pennanent 

394 What are the advantages and disadvantages of one that is not 
pennanent 1 

395 What is our regnlatioQ for the employment of both 1 

396 What delect would arise firom having no judge 1 What fiom 
having nojuiy 1 

997 What are unwise deviations from this mode of trial t 


office, the precautions for their responsibility, and the proii* 
sions for their support.* 

1* The mode of appointment is of little consequence as 
to principle, if when it has been made, the magistrate is 
independent of the further favor of the appointing power.t 
This is highly necessary; for he is frequently called to 
judge between the ruler or his partizans, on the' one side, 
and the subjects on the other. Now it has been well said, 
'* that nothing will contribute so much to his firmness and 
independence as permanency in office,^'* And therefore we 
conclude that this quality should be an indispensable ingre- 
dient in his tenure ; and to it we look as to the citadel of the 
public justice and the public security. 

** The standard of good behamor for the continuance in 
office of the judicial magistracy, is certainly one of the most 
valuable of the modern improvements in the practice of go- 
vernment. In a monarchy, it is an excellent barrier to the 
despotism of the prince ; in a republic, it is a no less excel- 
lent barrier to the encroachments and oppressions of the 
representative body. And it is the best expedient which can 
be devised in any government, to secure a steady, upright^ 
and impartial administration of the laws."f 

And it is worthy of remark that permanency in the tenure 
of this office, and of this alone, is fraught with no danger to 
the commonwealth. For, ** the executive not only dispenses 
the honors, but holds the sword of the community ; the legis- 
lature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the 
rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to 
be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influ- 
ence over either the sword or the purse ; no direction either of 

398 Of what must we consider in determining the proper tenure of the 
judgeship ? 

399 What will take away any disadvantage that may attend the mods 
of appointment 1 

400 Why is the independence of the judge necessaiy 1 

401 What will hest secure this independence 1 

402 What may he styled a permanence in office 1 

403 Of what consequence is that standard when in monarchical 
goyemmentB 1 And when in a republic 1 

404 Does it threaten any danger to the commonwealth 1 

405 Why does it not in the judiciary, when we know that it does In 
the other departments 1 

^^ . - I - - - ' — .-^— — i-^ ■ ■■ — 

♦ Federalist, No. 78. f R*^^®* 2®^' * Federalist, No. 78. 


the strength or of the wealth of the society ; and can take no 
active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have 
neither force nor willj but merely judgment ^ and must ulti- 
mately depend upon the aid of the executive arm for the 
efficacious exercise even of this faculty. So that it is beyond 
comparison, the weakest of the three departments of power, 
and can never attack with success either of the other two.*'* 

But farther, ^* the complete independence of the courts of 
justice, is peculiarly essential in a limited constitution. By 
a limited constitution, is meant one which, like ours, con- 
tains certain specified exceptions to the legislative authority ; 
such, for instance as that it shall pass no bills of attainder, 
no ex-post facto laws, and the like. Limitations of this kind, 
can be preserved in practice no other way than through the 
medium of the courts of justice ; whose duty it must be to 
declare all acts, which are contrary to the manifest tenor of 
the constitution, void. This consideration will afford a strong 
argument for the permanent tenure of the judicial offices; 
since nothing will contribute so much as this to that inde- 
pendent spirit in the judges, which must be essential to the 
faithful performance of so arduous a duty.*'t 

2. As the judges should hold their office during good 
behavior, it is necessary that the constitution should contain 
a complete precaution that they act up to their responsibi- 
lity. The only provision that can be made on this point, 
consistently with the necessary independence of the judicial 
character, is the liability of impeachment. And this is 
declared in Art. ii. sect. 4. " The president, vice president, 
and all civil officers, [and a judge is a civil officer,] of the 
United States shall be removed from office on impeachment 
for, and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes 
and misdemeanors." 

There is one point connected with this part of the inquiry, 
which has created some dispute among politicians. It is 

406 What may be said of the power of the judiciary 1 

407 When is the independence of the judge most essential 1 

408 What is meant by a limited constitution 1 

409 How can its limitations be preserved ? 

410 What does the permanency of the judicial office render nece»- 
aary ? 411 What provision can be made upon Ais point? 

412 Is that provision in the constitution ? 

413 What disputed point is connected witli this part of the sabject 1 

• Federalist, No, 78. ^ Ibid. 


whether there should be a constitutional provision for remov- 
ing judges on account of inability. Those in favor of such 
a provision say, that a judge may become unfit for his duties, 
by reason of infirmity, old age, or otherwise without any 
fault of himself; and that as this would not render him a 
proper subject for impeachment, he might retain his office to 
the manifest detriment of the public. But it may be replied 
to this, that the mensuration of the faculties of the mind has 
no place in the catalogue of known arts ; and an attempt to 
fix the boundary between the regions of ability and those of 
inability, would much often er give scope to personal and 
party attachments and enmities, than advance the interests 
of justice, or the public good."* In every instance, except 
the case of insanity, the investigation must be vague and 
dangerous ; and the result, in a great degree, arbitrary. But 
for insanity, there is no need of any formal or express pro- 
vision ; for that, at any time may be safely pronounced a 
virtual disqualification. 

On the other hand, there are some who would take as 
they suppose a middle course ; and assert that on the attain-, 
ment of a certain age, (some say sixty, some say seventy,) 
the judge should no longer be legally competent for the 
ofilce. But by this act, they would drive irom the public 
service, men who have their faculties, not only in full vigor, 
but improved by time and experience. " The deliberating 
and comparing faculties generally preserve their strength 
much beyond that period in those men who survive it ; and 
when, in addition to these circumstances, we consider how 
few there are who outlive the season of intellectual vigor, 
and how improbable it is that any considerable proportion 
of the bench should be in such a situation at the same time, 
we shall be ready to conclude that limitations of this sort 
have little to recommend them."t 

There is another requisite, which forms a powerful check 
on the discretion of the judges. It is the publicity of its 

414 What has been said in favor of a provision for removing them on 
account of inability i 

416 What may be replied to this argument ? 

416 What would be the result of an investigation of this nature I 

417 What have some esteemed a middle ground 1 

418 What may be said of removal on account of a certain age 1 

• Federalist, No. 79. t ^^^' 



proceedings before a promiscuous concourse of bystanders, 
and the members of the law profession. In the presence of 
snch an assembly, where the impartial opinion of the intelli- 
gent bar will guide the less intelligent though equally impar- 
tial public, the judge will fear to indulge his dishonest 
wishes ; as in so doing he must encounter, what few can 
support, the censure of his equals and the reproaches of his 

8. A competent and a fixed provision for the support of the 
judges is of great importance. '' For in the general course 
of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts 
to a power over his will." But what precautions should be 
taken on this subject ? In some cases, permanent salaries 
have been established for the judges. But one may easily see 
that a provision to this effect is rendered inadmissible in a 
constitution, by the frequent fluctuations which take place 
in the value of money, and in the state of society. It is seen 
to be still more inexpedient, when we consider that every 
succeeding age is more and more luxurious and extravagant ; 
so that in process of time, that may be looked upon as ex- 
ceedingly penurious, which is abundantly competent now. ^ 
It seems the most prudent to leave it to the discretion of the 
legislature to vary, the amount of salary according to the 
variations of circumstances ; yet under certain restrictions, so 
as to put it out of the power of that body to change the condi- 
tion of an acting judge for the worse.* This is wisely con- 
trived in the constitution, which provides that ♦* the judges, 
both of the supreme and inferior courts shall, at stated times, 
receive for their services a compensation, which shall not be 
diminished during their continuance in office."t 

III. As to the partition of the judiciary authority between 
different courts, it is an established maxim that there must be 

419 What other check on the judges is requisite? 
.420 Is it of much effect? 

421 Why is it important that there should be a fixed support for the 

422 What precaution has been taken by some governments ? 

423 Is that method a wise one ? Why ? 

424 What is the most prudent regulation ? 

425 How does our constitution treat of it? 

426 In constituting several different courts, what is an established 
maxim ? Why is this necessary ? 

• Federalist, No. 79. f Art. ui. sect. 1. 


some tribuna], than which there can be no higher." This 
is necessary in order to ensure uniformity in the interpreta- 
tion and operations of the constitution and laws. Where 
there are many tribunals, there must be a diversity in the 
construction of the laws ; and if each of them is £nal, any 
obligation may be admitted in one section of the country, and 
denied in another. The existence of a court of the last 
resort, therefore, by whose final sentence all others are bound 
and concluded, is indispensable for the purposes of public jus- 
tice. This last resort may be differently constituted, but 
there must be some final mode of deciding. 

Different modes of final jurisdiction have been suggested. 
By some it is thought that the highest legislative body 
should be made the final court of error and appeal. But in 
the first place, this approaches too near to the violation of 
that rule which requires a separation of the departments of 
power. " From a body which had had even a partial agency 
in passing bad laws, we could rarely expect a disposition 
to temper and moderate them in the application. The same 
spirit which had operated in making them, would be too apt 
to influence their construction. Still less could it be ex- 
pected, that men who had infringed the constitution, in the 
character of legislators, would be disposed to repair the 
breach in that of judges. In the next place, every reason 
which recommends the tenure of good behavior for judicial 
offices, militates against placing the judiciary power, in the 
last resort, in a body of men chosen for a limited period."^ 

There are yet other reasons against it ; such as the un- 
avoidable suspension of legislative business ; the increased 
expense of supporting so large a body of men ; and the vio- 
lence and tumult inseparable from large assemblies, which 
are inconsistent with the patience, method, and attention, 
requisite in judicial investigation. 

«' These considerations teach us to applaud the wisdom of 
those states which have committed the judicial power in the 
last resort, not to a part of the legislature, but to distinct and 

427 What body have some supposed should be the final resort 1 
438 What is the first objection to that? Why 1 

429 What is the next objection 1 

430 What other two reasons are against it ? 

431 What are we taught by such considerations ? 

* Federalist, No. 81. 


independent bodies of men."* Such a body in each govern- 
ment is generally styled the Supreme Court, 

But in order to obviate the necessity of having recourse to 
the supreme court in every case of legal cognizance, and for 
the purpose of expediting the decision on the multitude of 
minor cases which are to be settled by the law ; it is expe- 
dient that many inferior courts should be constituted, and 
located in such a manner that each shall embrace but a small 
extent of territory. Under such an arrangement of the judi- 
ciary, the supreme court has original jurisdiction over but a 
few of the most important causes ; and in the rest, it has 
only appellate jurisdiction, as they must first be tried in an 
inferior court. 


[[As it regards the operation of the judiciary, our national 
courts have cognizance of cases that derive some peculiarity 
from the federal league of our republic. It does not fall within 
the scope of this work to specify them. 

The state courts adjudicate on most of the questions that 
are decided by municipal law. We will consider briefly 
what maxims ought to guide their proceedings. 

It is a principle in the English law, that an act of the legis- 
lature, delivered in clear and intelligible terms, cannot be 
questioned, or its authority controlled in any court of jus- 
tice. But this principle does not prevail in the United 
States ; though, if ther^ be no constitutional objection to a 
statute, it is with us as absolute and uncontrollable as laws 
flowing from the sovereign power, under any other form of 
government. But in this, and all other countries where 
there is a written constitution, designating the powers and 
duties of the legislative, as well as of the other departments 
of the government ; an act of the legislature is void if it is not 

432 Is one court sufficient for all legal decisions 1 

483 What then is necessary 1 

434 What jurisdiction have the different courts 1 

435 What cases are brought before our national courts ? 

436 What are brought before our state courts t 

437 Of what force are legislative acts in Great Britain ! 

438 Is this the case in the United States ? 

439 When is an act of the legislature of no account ? 

* Federalist, No. 81. 


agreeable to the constitution. The law with us must con- 
form, in the first place, to the constitution of the United 
States, and then to the subordinate constitution of its parti- 
cular state ; and if it infringes the provisions of either, it is so 
far Yoid. 

The judicial department is the proper power in the go- 
vernment to determine whether a statute is or is not consti- 
tutional. The interpretation or construction of the constitu- 
tion, is as much a judicial act, and requires the exercise of 
the same legal discretion, as the interpretation or construc- 
tion of a law. The courts of justice are in duty bound, to 
bring every law to the test of the constitution, and to regard 
the constitution, first of the United States, and then of Uieir 
own state, as the paramount or supreme law, to which every 
inferior or derivative power and regulation must conform. 
The constitution is tiie act of the people, speaking in their 
original character, and defining the permanent conditions of 
the isocial alliance ; and there can be no doubt that every act 
of the legislative power, contrary to the true intent and 
meaning of the constitution, is absolutely null and void.* 

To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater 
than his principal; that the servant is above his master; 
that the representatives of the people are superior to the peo- 
ple themselves ; that men, acting by virtue of powers, may 
do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what 
they forbid. The proper and peculiar province of the courts 
is the interpretation of the laws. A constitution is, in fact, 
and must be regarded by the judges as a fundamental law. 
It must therefore belong to them to ascertain its meaning, as 
well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the 
legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcil- 
able variance between the two, that which has the superior 
obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred : in 
other words, the constitution ought to be preferred to the 

440 To what must a law conform in order to be of force 1 

441 How can it be determined whether a statute is or is not constitu- 
tional 1 •"! 

442 Ought they always to do it 1 Why t 

443 What would be implied in the denial of this principle ? 

444 By what other argument can it be shown that judges should hav^ 
primary regard to the constitution! 


* Kent's Com.Lect. 20. 

\ -1 


statu lea ; the intention of the people, to the intention of their 

Nor does the conclusion by any means suppose a superi- 
ority of the judicial to the legislative power. It only sup- 
poses tliat the power of the people is superior to both ; and 
that where the will of the legislature declared in its statutes, 
stands in opposition to that of the people declared in the 
constitution, the judges ought to be governed by the latter, 
rather than the former. They ought to regulate their deci- 
sions by the fundamental laws, rather than by those which 
are not fundamental.* J 

But when a statute is not unconstitutional, the court must 
decide with reference to it. And here the chief inquiry is, 
how far, and for what reasons, it is expedient to conform to 
former decisions ; or whether it be necessary for judges to 
attend to any other consideration than the apparent and par- 
ticular equity of the case before them. 

Now, although to assert that precedents by one set of 
judges should be deemed incontrovertible in succeeding 
cases, would be to attribute to the sentence of those judges 
all the authority of a solemn act of the legislature ; yet gene- 
ral expediency requires that a series of precedents be not 
overthrown, unless there is a detection of manifest error or 
dishonesty in tlie judge or court by whom the-question was 
first decided. For, by this deference to prior decisions, there 
are two advantages; first, the judge is bound by certain 
rules ; and, second, the subject may know those rules be- 
forehand, and therefore know, how to act and what to expect. 
Were the judge left free to decide, uninfluenced by prece- 
dents, he would be intrusted with a power too dangerous to 
be given to any man. It would be opening the door to every 
kind of concealed partialities; which, as they cannot be 
destroyed, ought to be confined within positive bounds. It is 
in vain to say that impeachment is always at hand to punish 

445 Is then the judiciary superior to the legislature 1 

446 But suppose that the statute is constitutional I 

447 What then is to be mquired of concerning the courts ! 

448 What is our conclusion relative to precedents 1 

449 What two advantages are gained by such a procedure 1 

460 If precedents were of no account, what power would devolve 
upon the judge ? 

• Federalist, No. 78. 


abuses of judicial discretion ; for how can government pro- 
nounce a decision to be wrong, where there exists no ac- 
knowledged standard of what is right ? an event which must 
frequently occur, if prior decisions be not attended to. 

By adhering to precedents, not only is the danger of par- 
tiality diminished, but the people obtain an assurance of their 
rights, and a knowledge of their duties. And, as each man 
can expect only that decision in his case, which he knows 
others to have received in cases similar; and as such expec- 
tation can rest only on the existence of precedents, and the 
value set on them ; to remove the grounds of his expectation, 
by rejecting such precedents, is to entail on him the worst 
effect of slavery, an uncertainty in his rights and an igno- 
rance of his duty. The well-being of society further demands 
a uniformity of judicial proceedings ; for if they be not uni- 
form, (and they can be uniform only by adhering to prece- 
dents,) the event must be uncertain ; and' as the certainty of 
failure checks the spirit of litigation, so the uncertainty of 
non-failure will lead to law-suits, which the smallest chance 
of success is sufficient to encourage ; to say nothing of the 
intimidation which a dubious litigation holds out, favorable 
only to the strong in purse. Besides, though a decision may 
render justice to the parties, still the most important part 
of the judicial business remains, which is to put an end to 
future litigation, by so settling a doubt once raised, that no 
subsequent question can ever present itself similar to the 
parent one. Now this advantage can be attained only by 
considering such previous decision as a direction for future 
judges. Add to this, every departure from decisions long 
submitted to, shakes the stability of all legal title. For, 
instead of fixing a new, it is merely unfixing the old points ; 
since, if one race of judges be permitted to set aside the deci- 
sions of their predecessors, those who next- try the question, 
may as fairly set aside the decision last made. 

But though much is gained to the public by this adherence 
to precedent, two evils arise froni it: 1. In the hardship of 

451 Could it not be counteracted 1 

452 How do precedents furnish people with a knowledge of duty 1 

453 What effect upon litigation is occasioned by an adherence to pre- 
cedents 1 

454 What is the most important part of judicial business? 

455 How may this advantage be obtained 1 

45 C What eriis may arise from an adherence to precedents ? 


particular decisions : and 2. In the intricacy of the law, as a 
science. On the first of these evils, however, it may be 
observed, that the general utility of uniformity is of more 
importance than the injustice of a particular case ; and, on 
the second, that the intricacy of the law merely induces the 
necessity of the separate profession of advocates ; who, with- 
drawn from other pursuits, are thus enabled to obtain a 
knowledge of the law of precedent. We allow that this pro- 
fession is necessary ; for precedents should be known to the 
advocates as well as to the judge ; and as they must be the 
fruit of laborious research, they cannot be obtained by the 
great mass of the community. 

But thisleadsto another inquiry. And one revolving on this 
subject, may ask, why, since the maxims of natural justice are 
few and evident, do there arise so many doubts in their appli- 
cation ? If the principle of municipal law be simple, whence 
the difficulty of administering it ? Where the rules of moral 
conduct are clear, what room is there for litigation ? If a 
system of ethics, founded on reason and revelation, can be 
comprised within a pocket-volume, and the moralist can, as 
he pretends, describe in a few pages the rights and duties 
of mankind in their different relations to each other; what 
need of those codes of criminal and civil law, and mass of 
statutes and precedents, which require a long life to peruse 
even, much less to remember ? for, unless the laws of nature 
and morals are much less uniform and certain when applied to 
practice, than they appear to be in theory, it were better that 
every case were tried on its own merits, than to be fettered 
by precedents and authorities ; since the only use of them is 
to give, what it is said judicial proceedings would otherwise 
want, certainty and uniformity. 

To account, then, for the origin of so much litigation, 
despite the clearness of natural justice, it is to be remarked, — 

1. That in a theory of morals, it is supposed that the facts 

457 What may be remarked concerning the first 1 

458 What concerning the aecond 1 

459 Why is this profession necessary 1 

460 What questions are siiggeMed by revolving upon the sulject of 
jnrispradence 1 

461 What would one suppose would follow if jurisprudence were as 
certain as morality 1 

463 What is the first thing that accounts for so many sonnies of fitir 


are ascertained ; and not only so, but that even the motives 
are laid bare. While, in a court of justice, both facts and 
motives, previously unknown, are to be elicited from conflict- 
ing testimony and contending probabilities ; and it is because 
this inquiry is attended with so much perplexity, that there 
is sach a supply of doubt and litigation. Besides, the 
science of morality is to be considered rather as a direction 
to persons who are conscious of their own motives, and to 
whose consciousness the moralist can and does appeal ; than 
as a guide to a judge, whose decision must proceed on rules 
of evidence and calculations of credibility, witli which the 
moralist has no concern. 

2. Many cases occur, where the law of nature or of expe- 
diency, merely ordains that a general rule be adhered to, and 
that any one actually established be preserved ; but leaves to 
the law of the land to determine what rule, either introduced 
by an act of the legislature or established by common con- 
sent, shall be the guide of duty. Thus, while it ordains that 
the peace of a country is not to be disturbed by the want of 
laws to regulate inheritances, it states neither what those 
laws ought to be, nor even what is to constitute an inheri- 
tance ; points which it leaves to the law of the land to deter- 
mine, because it is unable to decide them itself. The only 
answer it returns to our inquiries is, that some certain and 
general rule must be laid down by public authority; be 
obeyed when laid down ; and that the quiet of the country 
be not disturbed by capricious innovations. This neutrality 
of the law of nature is found in nearly all questions relating 
to the acquisition of property ; and as recourse must be had 
to the law of the land, which is known from the statutes of 
the legislature and the precedents of the courts, the interpre- 
tations of such statutes and the search after such precedents 
becomes the business of professed lawyers. 

Besides, positive authorities are wanted to give precision 
to many things which are in their nature indeterminate, 

463 What is the object of ethical sdence 1 

464 What is the second reason for so much litigation 1 

465 Give an example. 

466 What is the only answer from the law of nature to our inquiries 
concerning civil conduct in many cases? 

467 How does this neutrality of the law of nature lead to litigation 1 

468 Why must positive authorities ever be superadded to the law of 
nature 1 Give an example. 


Thus, though nature has not determined one and the same pe- 
riod of time when a youth ceases to be a minor; stiU, it is ne- 
cessary for mutual security that a precise period be fixed ; and 
hence the law must determine, what nature has left indeter- 
minate respecting the period of nonage. Again, there are 
things, which are in their nature perfectly arbitrary ; and to 
which, certainty can be giren from positive regulations alone. 
Thus, by the law of nature, it is expedient that a limited 
time be assigned to a defendant to plead to the charge laid 
against him, and that the default of pleading within the given 
time be taken as a confession of the charge ; but the law of 
nature cannot define the days and months of fuch necessary 
time, and therefore they must be defined by law or custom 
alone ; and the same remark applies to all those proceedings 
which form what is called the practice of the courts. 

8. In a contract, whether express or implied, which in- 
volves a great many conditions, the parties expected that in 
the interpretation of such conditions they were to be guided 
by the custom of the country relative to such transactions ; 
and accordingly, when they wish to settle any doubt concern- 
ing them, the law of nature can refer only to such custom. 
But as the custom itself may, from various causes, be matter 
of dispute, the question respecting the contract can be decided 
only by litigation. 

4. In cases, where the engagements which a man enters 
into durinff life, continue Tas it is expedient they sometimes 
should do) after his deatn, it follows that occasionally the 
title to rights will depend on transactions that took place 
between the ancestors of the parties who respectively claim 
and resist such rights. Now, though the appeal to such an 
agreement is dictated by natural equity, as well as by muni- 
cipal law, still many doubts, to which the law of nature 
ailbrds no solution, may arise respecting the terms of such 
agreements and the credibility of the evidence by which they 
are to be supported ; and as that which' cannot be directly 
proved must chb left to indirect presumption, the question can 
be decided by a lawsuit alone ; where all the direct evidence 
will be produced, and all the indirect presumptions thorough- 
ly examined, by an impartial court. 

469 What other reamm for positive regulatioiis ? Give an example. 

470 What is the third reason given to acconnt for litigation? 

471 What reason is giren in the fourth place ? 
47) How do such drcuiastances lead to a law-suit? 


5. The quantity or extent of an injury, even when the 
author of it is known, is often dubious. Thus, though the 
law of nature cannot define the amount of injury done by an 
assault, or by scandal spoken or written, and consequently 
cannot settle the extent of reparation for such injuries, it still 
commands some reparation to be made ; and if the suffirer 
and aggressor cannot agree respecting the extent of such re- 
paration, recourse must be had to courts of law to put an end 
to such disagreement. 

6. Written laws, from the imperfection of language or the 
shortsightedness of man, must be frequently ambiguous. Hence 
doubts arise ra||>ecting their interpretation in cases which the 
legislature did not foresee, or, at least, did not accurately 
provide for. In such cases, if the law be construed accord- 
ing to the letter, it will be found to be defective ; if according 
to the spirit, it will give the judge a latitude of application 
fatal to liberty, by making the expounder of the law virtually 
its framer, and by introducing that uncertainty in the rules 
of adjudication which it is the very business of legislation 
to take away. In this dilemma, as it cannot be known 
beforehand what the decision will be, room is left for litiga- 
tion, from which alone a satisfactory result can be obtained. 

7. As the decision of a court on every new question is a 
precedent for future adjudications, not so much with refer- 
ence to the decision taken by itself, as in connection with 
the principles on which it is founded ; it is necessary for a 
judge to look both to and beyond the individual merits of the 
case, and to reflect whether the principle which he adopts can 
be applied equally well to any other cases which may admit 
of a comparison with the one before him. Without this ne- 
cessity, the decision of the cause might be easy ; but with 
it the court becomes embarrassed by doubts, which sub- 
sequent considerations, arising out of future litigation, can 
alone eventually solve. 

Finally, after all the certainty that points which are pre- 
viously doubtful can attain to, through the results of continued 
litigation; one principal source of legal controversy still 

473 What is the fifth reason given for the frequency of lawsuits ? 
Give an illustration. 

474 What is given as the sixth reason 1 How are lawsuits occa- 
sioned by this circumstance t 

475 What is given as the seventh reason for legal doubts ? 

476 How is the frequency of litigation accounted for, in the last place 1 


remains in the competition of opposite analogies. A doubtful 
point of a positive nature can seldom be mooted oftener than 
once. But new cases frequently arise which are similar, 
partly to one precedent, and partly to another; so that 
the analogy drawn from the principles of one decision 
is iff variance with the analogy drawn from the principles of 
the other. Now, as the skill of the advocates on either side, 
is employed in combining analogies apparently dissimilar, 
and separating those apparently similar ; so the sagacity of 
the judge is seen in his detection of the fallacies of both, and 
in his reconciliation of conflicting principles ; or, if that be 
impossible, in his perspicuity to see which ^ the weaker, 
and ought to yield. For instance, in the question connected 
with literary property, it was once argued in England, that 
the mental labor expended by an author on his production, is 
similar to the manual labor expended by an operative on his 
work ; and that as the produce of manual labor is the pro- 
perty of the operative, so the produce of mental labor ought 
to be the property of the author ; and as the operative is pro- 
tected in the enjoyment of his property by rights, exclusive, 
assignable, and perpetual, so is the author entitled to the 
same protection of his property by similar rights. To this 
it was replied, that la book is similar to the invention of a 
machine or a medicine ; and that as the law permits these to 
be copied, except where an exclusive sale is reserved by a 
patent to the inventor, it was fair to infer that a book, unless so 
reserved, may be copied likewise. The competition of these 
analogies constituted the difficulty of decision ; and the same 
may be said of the majority of cases found in the Reports ; 
although it must be confessed that the analogies there pro- 
duced are sometimes so entangled as not to be easily unra- 
veled, and so obscure as not even to be perceived. 

Doubtful points of law are, however, not so numerous as 
they are supposed to be ; and even in the few that are re- 
served for the decision of the judges, the uncertainty does 
not arise so much from the imperfection of the law, as from 
the means of human information. 

There is one particular in the judicial constitution of this 

477 What duty is devolved by this circumstance upon the judge? 
Give an illustration. 

478 But are doubtful points of law v6ry numerous t 

479 Is there any defect in the constitution of our judidaiy 1 What 
is it 1 Why ^ 


coantry, which does not carry with it that evidence of its 
propriety which recommends almost every other part of the 
system. It is the rule which requires unanimity in the ver- 
dict of a jury. For, to expect twelve men to agree on a 
point confessedly dubious, or to suppose that, if they differ^ 
any real unanimity can be the result of confining them until 
they all consent to the same verdict, shows more of a bar^ 
barous conceit of the dark ages, than of a policy so wise as 
to dictate the institution of the jury. Still, though the rule 
is so unreasonable, it is not often really detrimental. Indeed^ 
in criminal prosecutions, it operates in favor of the prisoner^ 
for if a juror n^ust surrender his opinion to that of others, he' 
will more readily resign it to acquit than condemn, [unless 
in times of high partjr feelings.] In civil suits, it adds 
weight to the direction of the judge : for when a disagree-' 
ment not likely to be easily reconciled takes place amongst 
the jurors, they will naturally close their disputes by a com- 
mon submission to the learning of the judge. On the other 
hand, in such forced unanimity there is less assurance of the 
correctness of. the verdict, than if the decision were left to » 
plurality, or to any fixed majority x)f voices ^ 


The end of human punishment is the prevention of crime, 
and not the retribution of so much pain for so much guilt ;r 
although the last is the plan which perfect justice would dic- 
tate, and is, therefore, the dispensation we expect from God. 
In what sense, or whether in any sense justice can be said to 
demand the punishment of offenders, I do not now inquire. 
But I assert that this demand is not the occasion of punish- 
ment ; for it is certain that the offence would not arrest the 
tiotice of the magistrate, if impunity were followed by no dan-^ 
ger to the commonwealth. But as the impunity- of an offender 
would lead him or others to repeat a similar offence, civil 
rulers have determined that human laws must inflict punish-^ 
ment as an example ; and punishments are resorted to, only 

480 Is that defect a source of much evil 1 Why 1 

481 How does it a£Eect our opinion of the correctness of the verdicts ? 

482 State the proper end oi human punishments. 

483 Does not justice require vengeance against an offender? 

484 How then do we determine that human laws do not panisfir 
ofifences on that account? 

485 Why have civil rulers instituted punishments 1 



for thai purpose. Now, as the severity of piinishment must 
be regulated by the necessity for its use, and as this necessi- 
ty depends on the utility of prevention ; crimes are properly 
punished, not according to the mischief done, but to the diffi- 
culty of preventing them. Thus, the stealing of goods 
privately out of a shop is an act not more criminal then steal- 
ing them out of a house ; yet, as the former theft is more 
difficult to be prevented than the latter, it should, under cer- 
tain circumstances, be punished with greater severity. The 
crime must be prevented somehow, and consequently all 
necessary means are justifiable ; no matter what their propor- 
tion may be to the guilt of the criminal. But as punish- 
ments are justifiable only because they are necessary, they 
must not be severe if milder means will answer the same 
purpose of prevention. Thus, the sanguinary laws against 
counterfeiting or clipping foreign gold coin, might be just, 
when prevention was difficult ; but when the detection of the 
fraud by weighing was introduced into general usage, the 
prevention became easy ; and the severity should now in 
part be done away with. On this principle may be ex- 
plained, what appears to be an absurdity in the penal laws 
of most countries ; namely, that a breach of trust is either 
not punished, or punished less than other frauds. Some 
have asked why should a violation of confidence, which 
increases the crime of peculation, mitigate the penalty ? It 
may be replied, that this lenity is strictly just : for a due 
caution in choosing the person to be intrusted ; in limiting 
the trust; and in demanding security; might prevent the 
mischief; and the law will not interpose to protect him who 
will not protect himself. But it will interpose, and does 
80 with severity, where no reasonable vigilance could prevent 
the crime. On the same principle, the stealing of sheep or 
horses in fields, or of cloth from bleaching-grounds, are 
punished with greater severity than other felonies ; not with 
reference to the greater moral turpitude of the acts, but be- 

486 What principle of punishment do we derive firom this reasoning 1 

487 Give an example, and account for it 

488 What opinion as to their mitigation do we derive from the same 
principle ? lUustrate. 

489 What apparent absurdity is explained upon this principle ? 

490 What question has been asked ; and how is it answered 1 

491 What other instances of severity are accounted for on the same 
principle ? 


cause such necessary exposure of the property, as it makes 
the prevention more dif&cult, justifies a greater punishment* 
In like manner a greater punishment is justified hy the diffi- 
culty of detection ; as in case of the writing incendiary 
letters, without any or with false signatures. 

But when we assert that human punishments are regulated 
less by the quantity of guilt, than by circumstances so varied 
that not only equal crimes undergo unequal punishment, 
but even a less crime the greater ; it is natural to inquire, 
why different measures of justice should be expected from 
God on the one hand, and from man on the other ? Why 
the rule, which befits the justice of God, should not be pur* 
sued by human laws ? The answer is, that a Being, who 
knows the very thoughts of his creatures and whose punish- 
ments none can escape, may conduct his moral government in 
the wisest way by punishing crimes according to their moral 
turpitude alone. But when the public safety is intrusted to 
men necessarily so deficient in power aAd knowledge, that 
the greatest offenders often escape, or, if discovered, are 
from the imperfection of law only slightly punished, a diffe- 
rent rule must be adopted ; and as the certainty of punish- 
ment which exists with God, justifies one rule on his part, 
so the uncertainty which exists with men, will justify 
another rule on their part. So that instead of proportioning 
the punishment to the guilt, which God can do, but man 
cannot, the latter can only compensate for the uncertainty by 
severity ; a rule which God, from his greater knowledge and 
power, need not adopt. 

\J*' There is, besides the prevention of crime, another object 
to be gained by punishment, which, though subordinate to 
the other, might perhaps still obtain greater notice from the 
legislator than it is wont to do, viz. restitution or compensa^ 
tion.* . Since what are called criminal actions are commonly 
injuries committed by one man upon another, it appears to 
be a very obvious dictate of reason that the injury should be 

492 What question arises from the preceding considerations 1 

493 How is the dilHculty removed 1 * 

494 What may be called a third object of punishment 1 

495 Is it a proper object 1 Give some illustrations. 

• " The law of nature commands that reparation be made.*' — Paley's 
Mor. and Pol. PhiL book 6. chap. 13. And this dictate of nature appears 
to have been recognised in the Mosaic law, in which compensation to the 
sufibring party is expressly required. 


repaired; that he, from whom the thief steals a parse 
should regain its value ; that he who is injured in his person 
or otherwise should receive such compensation as he may. 
When my house is broken into, and a hundred dollars' worth 
of property is carried off, it is but an imperfect satisfaction 
to roe that the robber will be punished. I ought to recover 
the value of my property. The magistrate in taking care of 
the general, should take care of the individual weal. 

" If in an improved state of penal affairs it should be found 
practicable to oblige ofl*ender8 to recompense by their labor 
those who had suffered by their crime, this advantage would 
attend, — that while it would probably involve considerable 
punishment, it would approve itself to the offender's mind 
as the demand of reason and of justice. This is no trifling 
consideration ; for in every species of coercion and punish-* 
inent, public or domestic, it is of consequence that the 
punished party should feel the justice and propriety of the 
measures which are adopted." — Dymondy Essay iii. ch. 12.]] 

There are two methods of administering penal justice :— 

1. Where the capital punishment Is stffized to a few 
offences, and invariably inflicted : 

2. Where capital punishment is aflixed to many kinds of 
offences, but inflicted only on a few examples of each kind* 

Of these methods, the last is adopted in England, where, 
out of ten sentenced to death, scarcely one is executed. 
And the reason given for the adoption of this method is, that 
by the selection of objects for capital punishment, such cir- 
cumstances may in each case be taken into consideration, as 
might be unknown or not so well known, before, as after 
conviction ; and therefore, though it is necessary to flx by 
law the limit to which punishment may be extended, still its 
mitigation may be safely intrusted to the discretion of the 
executive magistrate, who, it is supposed, will be influenced 
by the view of all the circumstances that go to prove the 
quantity and quality of the crime. Without such a power 
of mitigation,, some would escape who ought to suffer, and 
Others suffer who ought to escape. For, if death were affixed 

496 What improvement in general regulations is suggested ? 

497 What great recommendation has it 1 

498 What are the two methods of administering penal justice | 

499 Where is the second method preferred ? 

600 What reason is given for this preference 1 

601 What reason is given for the power of mitigation ? 


irrevocably to few ofTences only, crimes of the most heinous 
character might be perpetrated, which, because they are not 
included amongst those made capital, would escape the 
punishment due to their malignity ; and, what is worse, 
would be committed because it was known they would not 
endanger the offender's life. On the other hand, if to reach 
such cases, the penal laws be multiplied , and then executed 
invariably, punishments would become more sanguinary 
than necessity could justify, or public feeling endure. 

[|In the United States, there is a near approach to the Jirst 
method. As the editor of this work has his peculiar views 
on the subject of crimes and punishments, he could make no 
strictures on this chapter, witj^out objecting to the whole of 
it ; and on this account, it remains as in the original, with 
the exception of the omission of some passages that refer 
entirely to British customs.] 

The prerogative of pardon is properly reserved to the chief 
magistrate, as being too high a privilege to be intrusted to 
any inferior officer. Besides, the executive can best collect 
advice to regulate his conduct on such occasions, and is also 
the least likely to be influenced to abuse the privilege. 
Such a power ought, however, to be exercised with discre- 
tion, and never yielded to the solicitation either of pity or of 
party ; but it should be viewed as a judicial act, and the deli- 
beration of the executive should be conducted with the same 
impartiality as the court was expected to maintain at the 
trial of the •offender. For, whether the prisoner be guilty, 
and whether being guilty he ought to be executed, are 
equally questions of public justice ; and as the conviction 
should depend on nothing but guilt, so the execution should 
depend on nothing but the intrinsic merits of the case. 
These reflections show that the admission of extrinsic consi- 
derations in dispensing pardon, is a crime on the part of the 
authors and advisers of such unmerited partiality, similar to 
the corruption of a judge. 

The aggravations which ought to guide the magistrate in 
the selection of objects for punishment, are, 1. Repetition: 


502 Why would this be the case if only a few oSsaceB were pn- 

603 Why, if many were punished ? 

504 With whom should be the power of pardoning ? 

506 How should it be exercised 1 Why 1 

606 What agsnravations should guide the magistrate 1 


2. Croelty : and, 3. Combination. With regard to the first 
two, if ever rigor is necessary, it is so when crime has been 
repeated, or committed under circumstances of cruelty ; and, 
with respect to the third point, since numbers confer strength 
on offenders, there is more difficulty in defending the public 
against an association than against an individual ; and as this 
difficulty is the only justification of severity, a combination 
must be punished, where a single culprit might escape. 

In crimes, however, which are perpetrated by many, it is 
proper to separate, in the punishment, the ringleader from his 
followers, and the person who first did the act of mischief, 
from those not so prominent; not from any real difference in 
their guilt, but for the sake of showing the danger of taking 
the prominent part. 

In forming a penal code, injuries effected by terror and 
violence are the first which demand suppression ; because, 
1. Their extent is unlimited: 2. No private precaution 
can guard against them : and, 3. They render life as well 
as property insecure. These reasons will not apply to 
frauds which can proceed only to certain limits ; which may 
be prevented by circumspection, and which do not render life 
as well as property insecure; and therefore, the spirit of 
humanity has made only crimes of violence punishable with 

In estimating crimes of violence, regard should be had, 
not only to the mischief done, but to the alarm, to which the 
fear of such mischief and of a repetition of it, gives rise. 
Thus, in estimating the crime of breaking into a dwellings 
house by night, we are to consider not only the loss of pro* 
perty stolen or even intended to be stolen, but also that uni'^ 
versal dread of being disturbed in the silent and defenceless 
hours of sleep which must be felt if burglary is frequent. 
This circumstance occasions the difference between breaking 
into a house by night and by day, and hence are the different 
punishments for such offences in the Mosaic and most other 
codes of law. 

607 What is said of the first two? What of the third? 
508 What principle should be followed when crimes have been perpe^ 
trated by many 1 Why 1 

609 What crimes demand particular attention in penal codes ? Why \ 

610 Does the same necessity apply to frauds ? Why ? 

611 By what scale should crimes of violence be punished ? 

612 Give an example. 


Of injuries effected without force, the most noxious are, 
1. Forgeries: 2. Counterfeiting or clipping coin: and, 
3. Stealing letters in the course of conveyance ; since all of 
them interfere with the conveniences of life, and interrupt 
commercial prosperity. And although these crimes seem at 
first sight to affect property alone, they do not actually end 
there ; for if such offences become so frequent as to render 
the use of coin, or the circulation of bills, and the conveyance 
of letters, no longer safe, all trade must decline ; and then as 
the sources of subsistence will fail, the country must become 
deserted ; distress, arising from want of employment, would 
cause a depopulation, till solitude would overspread the land, 
and desolation stalk through untenanted cities and unculti- 
vated fields. Since, then, such would be the ultimate con- 
sequences of these crimes, it is plain that though no living 
creature be immediately destroyed by them, yet they do 
endanger human life ; and acts, which apparently efifect 
merely the loss of property or of slight- enjoyments, may 
eventually lay waste human existence. Hence, those who 
regard the Mosaic rule of ^ life for life' as the only justifiable 
measure of capital punishment, will find a greater resemblance 
than they probably fancied, between crimes which afiect the 
person and the purse ; and that frauds may, in their ultimate 
effects, be so frightful as to merit the utmost rigor. 

There seems, however, to be a substantial difierence be- 
tween forging bills or promissory notes, and forging legal 
instruments not commonly transferred frojffk one hand to 
another ; because, in the former case, credit is necessarily 
given to the signature alone, and without that credit there 
would be the loss of that general utility which is occasioned 
by the negotiation of property ; while, in the latter, all possi- 
bility of deceit might be precluded by due circumspection, 
without any sacrifice of the general good. This distinction 
is sufficient to prevent acts really different from being pu- 
nished, as they now are, with equal severity. 

Perjury is another crime of the same class and magnitude. 
For since, in all matters connected with the administration 
of justice, on questions of life, character, or property, con- 

613 What are the moHt noxious kinds of injuries that are effected 
without force 1 Why so ? 

614 Do such injuries affect nothing bat property 1 

616 What remarks does Dr. Paley make concerning forgeries t 

616 What is said of peijuiy 1 Why should it be severely punished} 


fidence is necessarily reposed in an oath ; the violation of 
that oath by an act of perjury, is fairly placed on a level with 
the worst of frauds, and ought to be exposed to an equal 

The obtaining of money by secret threats , deserves, from 
the difficulty of detection and the imputations to which it 
may lead, a punishment proportionably severe. 

The design of punishment as a preventive of crime is two- 
fold ; — reformation — and example. 

1. In the reformation of criminals, little comparatively 
speaking has ever been effected. From every species 
of punishment hitherto invented, malefactors have generally 
returned only hardened in crime. There is nothing that can 
so much shake the soul of a confirmed villain as the dread of 
death ; and it is probable that the horror of that situation 
may cause such a wrench in his feelings, as to produce, if he 
were reprieved at the moment of execution, such a remem- 
brance of his situation, as might prevent his relapsing into 
crime. But this experiment cannot be repeated often ; for 
if it were, it would lose its effect ; as no offender would 
despair of receiving such a reprieve until the last moment ; 
and the incentive to crime would consequently be increased 
by the increased chance of escaping the punishment most 

Of the reforming punishments, solitary confinement seems 
to promise the most success ; for, when the criminal is se- 
cluded from his .fellow-prisoners, among whom the worst are 
sure to corrupt the better; the criminal may wean himself 
from the love of his former precarious life, and, by reflecting 
on his past folly, effect a lasting alteration in his future con- 

As half the vices of low life owe their origin to an aver- 
sion to labor, punishments ought to be so contrived as to 
diminish this feeling, or to subdue it entirely. To effect 
this object, recourse has been had to two opposite expedi- 

517 What is said of obtaining money by secret threats? 

518 How may punishment prevent crime 1 

519 Has the designed reformation been generally secured ? 

520 Which species of punishment might prove effectual for this pur- 
pose 1 But what impossibility attends it 1 

621 What reforming punishments are probably the best 1 

522 What should be one of the contrivances of punishm^lt 1 

523 What has been tried for effecting this object ? 


ents ; the one, solitary confinement with hard labor ; the 
other, solitary confinement with nothing to do. By the 
former system, labor is made habitual ; by the latter, idle- 
ness is rendered insupportable; and the superiority gf either, 
depends on the question not yet decided, whether he who 
has been accustomed to work, or he who has been miserable 
from the want of it, will the most readily become indus- 
trious. But if labor be exacted, the whole or greater part of 
the prisoner's earning should be reserred for his use, and 
form a fund out of which alone he should be supported in 
prison; so that he may taste the advantage of industry 
together with the toil. And I think it would be well also if 
the period of his confinement should be measured, not by 
length of time, but by the quantity of work ; with a view to 
excite his industry, and make it more productive to him. 
But still the chief difidculty remains, how to dispose of him 
after his liberation. Since very few will employ a person 
released from a jail, and still fewer will consent to work with 
a. person so' disgraced ; and thus an ofifender is shut out of all 
honest employment, and compelled to resort again to crime 
for his support. But as it is incumbent on the state to provide 
maintenance for all who are willing to work, and yet abso* 
lately necessary to separate criminals as far as possible from 
each other ; whether some plan"*^ might not be adopted for the 
employment and dispersion of criminals, is a question left 
for those who are anxious to increase the happiness of all ; 
and especially of such as would, if they could, regain their 
lost place in society. 

No bodily punishment, however excruciating or long con^ 
tinned, is called torture^ unless its object be to kill by a 
lingering death, or to extort the discovery of some secret from 
the prisoner. Although in ancient times, the question by 

524 What does Dr. Paley recommend if the first-mentioned plan is 

625 What difiiculty yet remains ! What is said of it 1 
526 Is all bodily punishment called torture 1 

• The plan proposed by Paley is, that male prisoners should, when the 
term of their coxifinement had expired, be distributed in the country, 
detained within certain limits, and employed oil the public roads ; and 
females be remitted to the overseers of country parishes, to be there fur* 
nished with dwellings, and with the materials and implements of OGcq« 


torture was very common, its use has been wisely exploded 
in modem times, as well for its craelty as inefficacy. For 
if the sufferer be obstinate, he will sink under it whether 
innocent or guilty ; or if the desire of relief from insupport- 
able pain compel the prisoner to speak, one is as likely to 
say what is faJse against himself and others, as another is 
to confess the truth. It is plain that this ambiguity is fatal 
to the ends of justice ; and therefore its use becomes an act 
of gratuitous cruelty. 

2. Barbarous spectacles of human agony are justly found 
fault with, as tending to destroy our sympathy with the suf- 
ferings of our fellow-creatures, and even to counteract the de- 
sign of employing terror, by sinking the abhorrence of the crime 
in the commiseration of the criminal. But if a mode of exe- 
cution could be devised, which would increase the terror of 
the offenders without lacerating the feelings of the spectators, it 
would effect, what is now wanting, an increase in the scale 
of punishment, especially if reserved for the most atrocious 
crimes. To meet this view of the case, it has been proposed 
to cast murderers into a den of wild beasts, where they would 
perish in a manner dreadful to the imagination, yet concealed 
from view. 

Punishments called infamous ought to be confined to 
offences held in universal detestation. Such punishments 
may be employed with effect on offences in higher life, such 
as perjury or subornation of perjury, peculation, breach of 
trust, abuse of authority, or corruption in confidential or 
judicial offices ; where the more elevated the station of the 
criminal, the more conspicuous would be the triumph of 

The certainty of punishment is of more consequence than 
its severity. Persons intending to commit a crime think 
less of the severity of the sentence they shall undergo if 
detected, than of the chance of escaping altogether. Hence, 
a vigilant police, backed with the influence of pecuniary 

627 What is said of torture 1 

528 Is it proper that there should be barbarous spectacles of human 
agony 1 529 What farther is said of them 1 

630 What is said of infamous punishments 1 

631 What circumstance attending pimishment is of the most impor- 
tance 1 Why 1 

632 What does this principle teach us to be the best means for prevent- 
ing crime 1 


rewards to discover offenders, and an undeviating impartia- 
lity in executing the laws, will more completely suppress 
crime than any severity of punishment. Hence too the 
utility of facilitating convictions. Thus, in the case of coun- 
terfeiting coin, the crime could scarcely be checked by 
any severity, if the act of coining was necessary to be 
proved ; but when the possession of implements for coining 
is admitted as evidence of guilt, the difficulty of conviction 
is removed. From an ignorance of this principle, much 
harm is done to society by juries ; who frequently demand 
such proofs of guilt as the secrecy of the crime is unable to 
give ; and are unwilling to condemn, while there exists the 
slightest possibility of the prisoner's innocence. 

It is not, however, meant to say that juries should magnify 
suspicions into proofs, or weigh probabilities in gold accdea; 
but if the evidence be such as would safely decide doubts on 
ordinary occasions, to reject it as uncertain in the case of a 
criminal, from the fear of shedding innocent blood, is a con- 
duct, although natural to a mind studious of its own quiet, 
that it is not authorized by any considerations of rectitude or 
utility ; as it only encourages villany by diminishing the 
chance of conviction. 

The injudicious acquittals here complained of are defended 
by the maxim, that circumstantial evidence falls short of 
positive proof. This, as an unqualified assertion, is not 
true. A chain of circumstantial evidence is stronger than 
positive testimony taken by itself. Circumstances cannot 
lie ; a solitary witness may : and though the former may 
mislead, the instances of actual deception are fewer than 
where the latter has been mistaken unwittingly, or has wilful- 
ly perjured himself. Besides, in a chain of circumstantial 
evidence, if the charge be fabricated, so many false witnesses 
are required, and such skill to bring the scattered rays of 
their evidence to a focus ; while there is so little difficulty 
of detecting a deficient link, and so great a probability of 
betrayal by some slight and unforeseen inconsistency, that 
even the chance, much less the power, to impose on a court, 
is none when compared with direct proof. For that, being 
confined to the knowledge of a single person, and unco;inected 

633 What happens from an ignorance of this principle ? 

534 How much does Dr. Paley mean to imply here 1 

535 What maxim has led to injudicious acquittals ? 

536 Is this maxim true 1 Why not 1 


with collateral circumstances, cannot be confronted with 
opposing probabilities. 

Another maxim has been pressed into the service, ** that it 
is better for ten guilty persons to escape, than for one inno- 
cent man to suffer." But if by better be meant more expe* 
dient, the proposition can hardly be maintained. The secu- 
rity of life and property is protected chiefly by the dread of 
punishment ; nor can the misfortune of an individual, (for so 
may be called the sufierings or death of an innocent person,) 
be placed in competition with the general good. No person 
ought of course to be sacrificed knowingly : but when crimes 
can be reached only by adopting certain rules of adjudica- 
tiouf and giving credence to evidence seemingly satisfactory^ 
justice must not be deterred from following such rules and 
believing such evidence, through the mere chance of con- 
founding the innocent with the guilty ; and a person so suf- 
fering innocently must consider himself as a sacrifice for his 
country's good ; since by that which occasions his sufleringSf 
^e welfare of the community is maintained and upholden. 


[^A national religious establishment has but few advocates m 
this country. In the constitution of the United States, it is de- 
clared that ** Congress shall make no law respecting an esta-^ 
blishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'^ 
And the same spirit prevails in the respective state constitu-^ 
tions. But for those who wish to know Dr. Paley's opinion? 
on this matter we subjoin his summing up of his argument.^ 

The result of our examination of those general tendenciesy> 
by which every interference of civil government in mattenr 
of religion ought to be tried, is this : ^' That a comprehen-^ 
sive national religion, guarded by a few articles of peace^ 
and conformity, together with a legal provision for the clergy 
of that religion ; and with a complete toleration of all dis- 
senters from the established church, without any other limi-- 

537 What other maxim has had a similar ef^t ? 

638 Is that maxim correct 1 Why 1 

539 In what light should an innocent 8u£ferer be esteemed in stich' 
cases 1 Why ? 

640 Is there any prospect of a national religions establishment in Hbo 
United States? 

541 What is Dr. Paley's opinion relative to a national religion ? 

542 What does he say of tolerating dissenters 1 


tation or exception than what arises from the conjunction of 
dangerous political dispositions with certain religious tenets ; 
appears to be, not only the most just and liberal, but the 
-wisest and safest system which a state can adopt ; inasmuch 
as it unites the several perfections which a religious consti- 
tution ought to aim at — liberty of conscience, with means of 
instruction ; the progress of truth, with the peace of society ; 
the right of private judgment, with the care of the public 


Because the Christian Scriptures describe wars as crimes 
or punishments, some Christians have been led to believe 
that it is unlawful for them to bear arms. But they must 
remember that it may be necessary to the mutual benefit of 
individuals, for them to unite their forces and to resign them- 
selves to the guidance of a common will ; and yet that 
will may often be actuated by criminal motives, and directed 
to destructive purposes.* Hence, though war is ascribed in 
Scripture to lawless and malignant passions,! and though it 
is numbered amongst the direst calamities of a land, yet the 
profession of a soldier is no where condemned. And even 
in the reply of John the Baptist to the soldiers, ** Do violence 
to no man, neither accuse any man falsely, and be content 
with your wages,"{ we find only a caution not to indulge in 
the vices of their profession ; and so far from an Intimation, 
that to gain the kingdom of God they must renounce it 
altogether, the very precept, ** Be content with your wages," 
supposes their continuance in it. Nor can we discover in 
the history of Cornelius,§ the first Gentile convert to Chris- 
tianity, that his profession of a Roman soldier was objected 

543 Why does he think such an arrangement wise and just ? 

544 What has been the opinion of some Christians on the subject of 
warsi Why? 

545 What political principle does Dr. Paley propose^ as an argu- 
ment against their suppositions 1 

546 Is a soldier's Ufe condemned by Scripture ? 

647 What does Dr. Paley determine from the reply of John the Bap- 
tist to the soldiers 1 

* In this chapter, we shall first insert the reasonings and conclusions 
of Dr. Paley, and siterwards subjoin a few contrary opinions firom other 

f James iv. 1. i Luke iii. 14. § Acts x. 1. 

2 A 


to, or his continuance in it considered as inconsistent with 
his new character ; and though little stress may be laid on 
the fact, still it is worthy of notice, that Christ pronounced 
that memorable eulogy of a Roman centurion, " I have not 
found so great faith, no, not in Israel/'''^ 

It may be well to mention as a preliminary remark, that in 
applying the principles of morality to the afiairs of a nation, 
a difficulty presents itself, in finding that contrary to our 
principles, the particular consequence sometimes appears to 
exceed the value of the general rule. In the transactions of 
individuals, no private advantage, arising from the violation 
of a law, can compensate the general disadvantage of such 
violation ; but this maxim, in the case of nations, sometimes 
admits of doubt. Thus, though promises between indivi- 
duals ought to be kept as far as was intended by the parties, 
if that intention be lawful ; yet when the rigid adherence 
to a treaty would nearly destroy a nation, the magnitude of 
the particular evil leads us to doubt the obligation of the 
general rule. And these are doubts which moral philosophy 
cannot solve ; because as no rule of morality can be so rigid 
as not to admit of exceptions, cases of doubt must arise from 
the impossibility of previously comprising such exceptions 
within a genera] rule. She confesses that the obligation of 
every law depends upon its ultimate utility ; and that situa- 
tions may possibly arise, in which the general evil is out- 
weighed by the particular mischief. But, at the same time 
she recals to the consideration of the inquirer the almost 
inestimable importance of fidelity, whether personal or 
national. For instance, she cannot help suggesting, that if 
treaties are to be held no longer binding than suits the con- 
venience of either party, a general distrust will arise respect- 
ing the faith to be put in any treaty, and mankind be thus 
shut out from almost the only method of preventing or put- 
ting an end to war. And that although if a case presents 
itself, where destruction, or something like it, would be the 
result of a rigid adherence to a treaty, yet the happiness that 

648 What from the history of Cornelius 1 And the centurion 1 
549 What difficulty is found in applying the principles of morality to 
the affiurs of nations 1 650 Give an illustration. 

551 What is the extent of moral philosophy on such subjects 1 

552 What however does she suggest relative to treaties 1 

* Luke, vii, 9. 


can be procured to a single nation, however respectable it 
may be when compared with any other single nation, must 
bear an inconsiderable proportion to the happiness of the 
vhole human race. 

As between individuals it is impossible to ascertain every 
duty by an immediate reference to public utility, not only 
because such reference is oftentimes too remote for the direc- 
tion of private consciences, but because a multitude of cases 
arise, in which it is indifferent to the general interest by 
what rule men act, though it be absolutely necessary that 
they act by some known rule ; and as certain positive 
constitutions are therefore established in every society, 
which, when established, become as obligatory as the origi- 
nal principles of natural justice themselves ; so, likewise, it 
is between independent communities. Together with those 
maxims of universal equity common to states and to indivi- 
duals, and by which the conduct of both ought to be 
adjusted ; there exists amongst nations a system of artificial 
jurisprudence, under the name of ** the law of nations." In 
this code are found the rules, which determine the right to 
newly-discovered countries ; those which relate to the pro- 
tection of fugitives, the privileges of ambassadors, the rights 
of neutrality, the distance from shore to which the immuni- 
ties of neutral ships extend, the distinction between free and 
contraband goods, and a variety of subjects of the same kind. 
Of these laws, and indeed of the principal part of what is 
called the jus gentium^ it may be observed, liiat they derive 
their force, not from their internal justice, for many of them 
are arbitrary; nor yet from the authority by which they 
were established, for the greater part have grown insensibly 
into usage, without any public compact or even a known origi- 
nal ; but simply from the general utility of conforming to some 
rules, where nothing but regulations previously known can 
prevent disputes and their destructive consequences. For 
instance, the sovereignty of newly-discovered countries is 
given to the prince or state, whose subject makes the disco- 
very ; and it is usual for the discoverer to take possession of 

653 Is it always easy to ascertain duty by reference to utility 1 
554 Why is this the case ? And how is the effect obviated ! 

655 What positive regulations have been adopted by independent 
communities 1 

656 What is contained in the code of the law of nations 1 

657 What is said of these laws 1 

658 Illustrate by explaining the right to newly-discovered countrieff, 


them in the name of his sovereigii at home, by displaying 
his flag on the desert coast. Now, nothing can be less con- 
sonant to reason, than the right which such discovery and 
idle ceremony confer on the country of the discoverer. Yet 
the claims to newly-discovered countries can hardly be set- 
tled between diflerent nations, without some positive rule ; 
and as such claims, if left unsettled, would prove sources of 
rumous contentions, the rule proposed, however arbitrary it 
may be, becomes when acquiesced in, a precept of natural 
justice, because it is founded on general utility : and a prince, 
who should dispute this rule, and by such dispute disturb 
the tranquillity of nations, and lay the foundation of future 
disturbances, would be little less criminal, than he who 
breaks the public peace by a violation of engagements to 
which he had himself consented, or by an attack on those 
naUonal rights which are founded immediately in the law of 
nature and in the first perceptions of equity. 

War may be considered with a view to its causes and to its 

The justifying causes of war are, deliberate invasions of 
right, and the necessity of maintaining such a balance of power 
amongst neighboring nations, as that no single state, or con- 
tederacy of states may be strong enough to overwhelm the 
rest. Ihe objects of a just war are, precaution, defence, or 
reparation. In fact, every just war is a defensive war, as it 
supposes an injury perpetrated, attempted, or feared. 

The insufficient causes or unjusttfiable motives of war 
are the family alliances, or the personal quarrels of princes ,• 
the in ernal disputes that are taking place in other nations 
the extension of territory or of trade ; or the weakness of a 
neighboring or rival state. 

There are two lessons of rational and sober policy, which 
if It were possible to inculcate them into, the counsels of 
princes, would exclude many of the motives of war. 

559 Is that principle founded in reason ^ 

fifi? 1^}^^ '^'^ w ^ *^°"^ u^ °(.^ P™^« ^^° ^o»W disturb this rule ? 
561 Under what heads should we conduct our considerations on 
"'ar ! 

662 What are the justifying causes of war ? 
563 What are the objects of a just war ? 
tit ^** ^ necessary to constitute a just war? 
565 What are the insufficient causes of war f 

intr^^uc^^?"* "^"'^ '^''"^'^ ''^ ^'°°^ '^^ ^^'««°"^ ^^ P^^y that are 


The first is, that the true glory of a prince consists, not in 
his extent of territory, but in his producing the greatest 
quantity of happiness in it. The enlargement of territory 
by conquest is not only an unjustifiable ground of war; but 
even, if obtained, frequently not desirable ; for the larger the 
territory, the wider the frontier to defend ; more claims to 
vindicate ; more enemies to encounter at home and abroad ; 
more establishments to keep up, and more taxes to pay. 
But if no part of the country of the victors or the vanquished 
be benefited, (and in such forced unions there is neither secu- 
rity to the one nor enjoyment to the other,) the empire can 
but appear to be enriched or strengthened, when in fact every 
part is poorer and weaker. Or were it true that the empire 
is ennobled by such exploits, the splendor of renown is pur- 
chased too dear, when the glory which is obtained by 
enslaving one country does not add to the happiness of the 
other, but rather impoverishes it. Triumphs of this kind, as 
they are miscalled by flattery, ought to be objects of execra- 
tion rather to mankind at large, and even to the victors them- 

There are, however, two cases where an extension of terri- 
tory may be useful to both parties. 

1. Where an empire reaches thereby to its natural limits. 
Thus the British Channel is the natural limit to England and 
France respectively. Hence, if France possessed any part 
of England, or England any part of France, the mutual 
recovery of what belongs naturally to both would be, not a 
just cause perhaps of war, but a proper use of victory. 

2. Where there exist several contiguous states, too small 
to defend themselves individually against powerful neighbors, 
the purposes of confederation may be better effected by con- 
quest than by voluntary union. Thus, the valor and fortune 
of an enterprising prince, who by the destruction of the 
heptarchy united England into one monarchy, benefited alike 
the victors and vanquished, by giving that strength to the 
whole which it wanted in its parts, and thus preventing each 
member of the heptarchy from becoming a prey to foreign 

567 What is the first lesson 1 

568 How is it explained as it regards enlargement of territory 1 

569 What is said of any renown that may be obtained in that way 1 

570 What is the' first case in which an empire may extend its limits 1 
Give an example, 

571 What 18 the other easel Give examples. 



enemies. So the union of England and Scotland, which 
converted two quarrelsome neighbors into friends, would 
have been a happy conclusion to hostilities, had the event 
been the result of a war, and not, as it really was, of amica- 
ble convention ; because it happened at a time, when, by the 
meeting of the two royal families of France and Spain in one 
race, it became no longer safe for England and Scotland to 
remain separate. 

With the exception of these two cases, namely the obtain- 
ing of natural boundaries, and the including under the same 
government those who are liable to a common danger, a third 
can scarcely be adduced to prove that the extension of empire 
is useful even to the conquerors. 

The second rule of political prudence, so far as it relates 
to war, is ** never to pursue national hOhor as distinct from 
national interest,'*^ 

We confess that it is oflen necessary to assert the honor of 
a nation for the sake of its interest ; for concessions which 
betray weakness, though they may be on trifling points, 
invite greater demands and more serious attacks. But we 
say, that when points of honor are likely to lead to war, they 
must be estimated with reference to their utility, and not by 
themselves. " The dignity of his crown," ** the honor of 
his flag," and ** the glory of his arms," are very imposing 
terms in the mouth of a prince ; but the desires they give 
rise to are insatiable. For in kings the pursuit of honor, un- 
restrained by prudence, becomes a madness ; which gather- 
ing force in its progress, is checked by neither difflculties 
nor danger, and forgets or despises all those considerations 
of general tranquillity, which are the very object of the appeal 
to arms, and to which victory is merely instrumental. The 
pursuit of interest, on the other hand, is a sober principle, 
which computes the costs and consequences of war, and stops 
in time ; and even, when not regulated by the universal 
maxims of relative justice, is much less dangerous, because 
more temperate, than the other. 

572 Are there any other circumstances when it would be justifiable to 
extend an empire by conquest 1 

573 What is the second rule of political prudence ? 

574 Remarks about asserting the honor of a nation. 

575 How must such points of honor be actually estimated ? 

576 What is said of the pursuit of honor 1 And of interest I 


II. The conduct of war. If the cause of war be justifiable, 
all the means which are necessary to the end, are justifiable 
also. On this principle we defend those extremities to 
which the violence of war usually proceeds : for since the 
contest is hy force between parties who acknowlege no um- 
pire, and excludes every supposition that would limit the 
operation of that force, it can terminate only in the destruc- 
tion of the life against which it is directed. The licence of 
war does not, however, authorise acts not conducing to the 
termination of hostilities. Hence all cruelty that serves 
only to exasperate the feelings without leading to the submis- 
sion of the enemy, such as the slaughter or torture of cap- 
tives, the demolition of public buildings, or of works fit 
neither for annoyance nor defence, is prohibited by the prac- 
tice of civilized nations and the law of nature, as having no 
tendency to accomplish the object of war, and as containing 
that which in peace and war is equally unjustifiable,— -gra- 
tuitous mischief. 

Other restrictions are imposed on the conduct of the 
belligerents by the laws of war ; which as they form a part 
of the law of nations, found their authority upon the same 
principle with the rest of that code, namely upon the fact of 
their being established, no matter when or by whom ; and 
on the general utility which results from their observance. 
And as the regard which is paid to them must be universal or 
none, the whole mischief that ensues from their neglect will 
be justly chargeable on the party first disregarding them. 
For instance, by the laws of war, poison and assassination 
are prohibited. But if it be lawful to kill an enemy at all, it 
would seem by the law of nature as fair to do so by poison 
as by the sword ; by the secret assassin as by open assault. 
For if it be said, that the enemy may guard himself against 
one species of attack but not the other, it may be answered 
that we have the same right to destroy the defence of a party 
as the party himself. Still, if we follow the violation of the 
international law through all its bad consequences, we shall 

577 What must follow if we allow that war is justifiable 1 

578 What then must we defend 1 Why 1 

579 How far will our defence extend 1 Give examples. 
680 What is said of the laws of war? 

581 Illustrate the difference between them and the laws of nature. 

582 What will be our opinion after following out the effects of violat- 
ing the laws of war 1 


find that the mutual licence which such attempts would give 
for retaliation, would so fill each party with suspicion, that 
the calamities of war would be aggravated tenfold without 
necessity, and without even the slightest advantage to either 
side. Hence, we may fairly reprobate such expedients even 
by the law of nature, as so many mischievous transgressions 
of social laws, actually conducing to the general good. 

The two limitations, then, by which the licence of war is 
confined, are, 1. Not to commit any acts of hostility, except 
such as lead to a speedy termination of the contest : and, 
2. To respect the regulations of international law, by which 
the calamities of war are mitigated without impairing the 
power and safety of the belligerents. 

Long experience seems to have taught European nations, 
that a standing army alone can be opposed successfully to a 
standing anny, at least where the numbers approach at all to 
an equality. The first standing army after the fall of the 
Roman legion was formed by Charles VII. in France, in the 
15th century ; and the general adoption of the system by 
other states affords the best proof of the superiority it was 
considered to possess. The truth is, the closeness, regula- 
rity, and quickness of their movements ; the instantaneous, 
and almost mechanical obedience to orders ; the sense of 
personal honor and the familiarity with danger, which belong 
to a disciplined and veteran soldiery, give such firmness and 
intrepidity to their approach, sych weight and execution to 
their attack, as are not to be withstood by the loose ranks of 
newly-levied troops, liable by their inexperience to be thrown 
into confusion, and in whom fear is constantly augmented 
by novelty and surprise. It is possible that a militia, with a 
great excess of numbers, and a ready supply of recruits, may- 
sustain a defensive or a flying war against regular troops : 
it is also true that any service, which keeps soldiers for a 
while together, and inures them by degrees to action, trans- 
forms them in effect into a standing army. But on this plan 
almost a whole nation is required to repel an invader. 
Besides, a people so unprepared must always have the seat, 
and with it the miseries, of war at home, from their inability 
to carry their operations into a foreign country. 

583 By what two limitations is the licence of war confined 1 
684 By what kind of anny is a war best conducted 1 

585 What is said of the advantages of it 1 

586 What is said of a militia 1 


From this superiority of a standing army, it follows, that 
it is unsafe for a nation to disband its regular troops, while 
neighboring nations retain theirs. 

But even on the ground of economy, a standing army 
ought to be kept up ; as it provides the best for the public 
service at the smallest expense, at least, if any large force be 
requisite at all. For not only are low employments incom- 
patible with the duties of a soldier, but even the profession 
of a soldier unfits men for other occupations. It is better 
that, of three peasants, one should be a soldier, and the other 
two remain to till the ground, than that all three should mix 
the business of a camp with that of a farmer ; for in one case 
the country obtains one complete soldier, and two indus- 
trious husbandmen ; but in the other it receives three raw 
militia-men, who are also three idle peasants. Besides, as 
the emergencies of war wait not for seasons, if no standiing 
army be ready for immediate service, the reaper must leave 
the field in harvest, and the ploughman in seed-time ; and 
thus the food of a whole year may perish for the want of 
one month's labor. A standing army is therefore more 
efiectual and cheaper than a militia, because it possesses 
more power, and takes less from productive industry. 

There is yet another distinction between a standing army 
and a militia, which is deserving attentive consideration. 
When the state relies, for its defence, on a militia, it is ne- 
cessary that arms be put into the hands of the people at 
large. The militia itself must be numerous, in proportion 
to the inferiority of its discipline, and the defects of its con- 
stitution. Moreover, as in such a militia, they who have 
served a certain time are replaced by fresh draughts, a greater 
number will be instructed in the use of arms, and will have 
been occasionally embodied together, than are actually em- 
ployed. Now, what are the effects of this general diffusion 
of the military character ? It appears doubtful, whether any 
government can be long secure, where the people are 
acquainted with the use of arms, and accustomed to resort to 
them. Every faction will find itself at the head of an army, 
every disgust will excite commotion, and every commotion 

587 What is the conclusion relative to standing armies ? 

.588 Is it economical to support them 1 Why 1 

689 What other reason is there for a standing army 1 

590 What danger may follow from arming a militia ? 


become a civil war. Nothing, perhaps, can govern a nation 
of armed citizens but that which governs an army, despotism, 
I do not mean that a regular government would become des- 
potic by training up its subjects to the exercise of arms, but 
that it would, ere long, be forced to give way to despotism 
in some other shape ; and that the country would be liable 
to what is even worse than a settled despotism, — to perpe- 
tual revolutions, and the successive tyranny of governors, 
rendered cruel and jealous by the danger and instability of 
their situation. 

The same purposes of strength and efficacy, which naake 
a standing army necessary at all, make it necessary in mixed 
governments that this army should be under the direction 
of the prince ; for, however well a popular council may be 
qualified for the offices of legislation, it is altogether unfit for 
the conduct of war ; in which, success usually depends on 
vigor and enterprise ; on secrecy, despatch, and unanimity ; 
and a quick perception of opportunities, and the power of 
seizing every opportunity immediately. 

It is likewise necessary that the obedience of an army be 
as prompt as possible ; and as the most prompt obedience is 
that of will, the head of the government ought to possess the 
appointment and promotion of the officers : for a plan is most 
likely to be executed with zeal and fidelity, when the party 
who issues the order, can choose the instruments and reward 
their services. Besides, if in a mixed government the power 
to officer the army were placed in the democratic part of the 
constitution, it would so overbalance all regal prerogative, 
that little would remain of monarchy but the name, and even 
that, probably, would not continue long. 

But all these advantages of a standing army are not unac- 
companied with danger ; for separated as soldiers are from 
their fellow-subjects, and linked to each other by habits of 
society, and dependent as they feel themselves to be on the 
head of the government, they present an aspect little favor- 
able to public liberty. 

591 What would be necessary for the government of an armed nation 1 

692 Who should have charge of the army ? Why 1 

693 What should be the obedience of an army 1 

694 How can that be obtained 1 Why 1 

696 Does any danger arise from standing armies 1 Why 1 


The danger, however, may be diminished by maintaining 
as much alliance of interest, and as much intercourse of sen- 
timent, between the military part of the nation and the other 
orders of the people, as are consistent with the discipline of 
an army. Hence, if the officers of the army, on whose dis- 
position towards the commonwealth a great deal may depend, 
be taken from the principal families of the country, and en- 
couraged to establish families of their own ; and admitted to 
seats in the senate, to hereditary distinctions, and to all 
honors and privileges compatible with their profession, they 
will obtain such a share in the general rights of the people, 
and be so engaged on the side of public liberty, as to afford 
a reasonable security that they cannot be brought, by any 
promises of personal aggrandisement, to assist in the execu- 
tion of measures to enslave their posterity, their kindred, and 
their country. 

[[The following remarks are taken from Dymond's Essay 
on Morality. 

"It may properly be a subject of wonder, that the argu- 
ments which are brought to justify a custom such as war, 
receive so little investigation. It must be a studious ingenu- 
ity of mischief wliich could devise a practice more calamitous 
or horrible ; and yet it is a practice of which it rarely occurs 
to us to inquire into the necessity, or to ask whether it can- 
not be, or ought not to be, avoided. In one truth, however, 
all will acquiesce, that the arguments in favor of such a 
practice should be unanswerably strong. 

"It is some satisfaction to be able to give, on a question 
of this nature, the testimony of some great minds against the 
lawfulness of war, opposed, as these testimonies are, to the 
general prejudice and the general practice of the world. It 
has been observed by Beccaria, that ' it is the fate of great 
truths to glow only like a flash of lightning amid the dark 
clouds in which error has enveloped the universe ;' and if 
our testimonies are few or transient, it matters not, so that 
their light be the light of truth. And there are testimonies 
delivered in the calm of reflection, by acute and enlightened 
men, which may reasonably be allowed at least so much 

696 How may that danger be diminished 1 

697 What principle should be followed as regards officers 1 

698 When we meet with arguments in favor of war, what may be 
wondered at ? What remarks upon this lack of investigation ? 

599 What satisfaction have we upon this subject I 


weight as to free the present inquiry from the charge of be- 
ing wild or visionary. Christianity indeed needs no such 
auxiliaries ; but if they induce an examination of her duties, 
a wise man will not wish them to be disregarded. 

•• • They who defend war,' says Erasmus, * must defend 
the dispositions which lead to war ; and these dispositions 
are absolutely forbidden by the gospel. Since the time that 
JesQS Christ said, put up thy sword into its scabbard, Chris" 
tiana ought not to go to war. Christ suffered Peter to fall 
into an error in this matter, on purpose that, when He had 
put up Peter's sword, it might remain no longer a doubt that 
war was prohibited^ which, before that order, had been consi- 
dered as allowable.' — * Wickliffe seems to have thought 
that it was wrong to take away the life of man on any 
account, and that war was utterly unlawful.'* — ' I am per- 
suaded,' says the Bishop of Llandaff, * that when the spirit 
of Christianity shall exert its proper influence, war will cease 
throughout trie whole Christian world, ^^ — * War,' says the 
game acute prelate, ' has practices and principles peculiar to 
itself, which but ill quadrate with the rule of moral rectitude, 
and are quite abhorrent from the benignity of Christianity.* 
A living writer of eminence bears this remarkable testimony : 
* There is but one community of Christians in the world, 
and that unhappily of all communities one of the smallest, 
enlightened enough to understand the prohibition of war by 
our divine Master, in its plain, literal and undeniable sense : 
and conscientious enough to obey it, subduing the very 
instinct of nature to obedience.' "J Dr. Vicessimus Knox 
speaks in language equally specific : — ' Morality and reli- 
gion forbid war, in its motives, conduct, and consequences.' 

** Those who have attended to the mode in which the mo- 
ral law is instituted in the expressions of the will of God, 
will have no difficulty in supposing that it contains no speci- 
fie prohibition of war. Accordingly if we be asked for such 
a prohibition, in the manner in which Thou shall not kill is 
directed to murder, we willingly answer that no such prohibi- 
tion exists ; and it is not necessary to the argument. Even 

600 Repeat the testimonies of some great minds against war ? 

601 What is said relative to scriptiiral prohibition of war 1 

602 What answer follows from this fact? 

603 Is a specific prohibition necessary ? Why not 1 

Priestly. | Life of Bishop Watson. % Southey's Hist, of Brazil. 


those who would require such a prohibition are themselves 
satisfied respecting the obligation of many negative duties on 
which there has been no specific decision in the New Testa- 
ment. They believe that suicide is not lawful : yet Chris- 
tianity never forbade it. It can be shown, indeed, by impli- 
cation and inference^ that suicide could not have been 
allowed ; and with this they are satisfied. Yet there is, pro- 
bably, in the Christian Scriptures not a twentieth part of as 
much indirect evidence against the lawfulness of suicide, as 
there is against the lawfitlness of war. To those who re- 
quire such a command as Thou shall not engage in war, it 
is therefore sufficient to reply, that they require that which, 
upon this and upon many other subjects, Christianity has 
not seen fit to give. 

** But we ask the advocate of war, whether he discovers 
in the writings of the apostles or of the evangelists, any 
thing that indicates tliey approved of war. Do the tenor and 
spirit of their writings bear any congruity with it ? Are not 
their spirit and tenor entirely discordant with it ? We are 
entided to renew the observation, that the pacific nature of 
the apostolic writings proves presumptively, that the writers 
disallowed war. That could not be allowed by them as sanc- 
tioned by Christianity which outraged all the principles that 
they inculcated. 

** War is not often directly noticed in the writings of the 
apostles. When it is noticed, it is condemned, just in that 
way in which we should suppose any thing would be con- 
demned that was notoriously opposed to the whole system, 
just as murder is condemned at the present day. Who can 
find in modern books, that murder is formally censured ? 
We may find censures of its motives, of its circumstances, 
of its degrees of atrocity ; but the act itself no one thinks of 
censuring,, because every one knows that it is wicked. Set- 
ting statutes aside, I doubt whether, if an Otaheitan should 
choose to argue that Christians allow murder because he can- 
not find it formally prohibited in their writings, we should 
not be at a loss to find direct evidence against him. And it 
arises, perhaps, from the same causes, that a formal prohibi- 
tion of war is not to be found in the writings of the apostles, 

604 What reference is made to saidde 1 

605 What may be asked in oar turn 1 

606 In what manner is war condemned in the Scriptures 1 

607 How is this illustrated by comparison with murder 1 

2 H 


I do not believe they imagined that Christianity wonid 
ever be charged with allowing it. They write, as if the 
idea of such a charge never occurred to them. They did 
Beverthelesa virtually forbid it ; unless any one shall say that 
they disallowed the passions which occasion war, but did 
not disallow war itself; that Christianity prohibits tiie cause, 
bat permits the effect ; which is much the same as to say, 
that a law which forbade the administering arsenic did not 
forbid poisoning. 

** But it is not from general principles alone that the law 
of Christianity respecting war may be deduced. * Te have 
heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth 
for a tooth : but / say unto you, that ye resist not evil ; but 
whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him 
the other also.' ' Ye have heard that it hath been said. Thou 
shah love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy: but /say 
unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do 
good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite- 
fully use you and persecute you ; for if ye love them which 
love you, what reward have ye ?' 

** Of the precepts from the mount, the most obvious charac- 
teristic is greater moral excellence and superior purity. 
They are directed, not so immediately to the external regu- 
lation of the conduct, as to the restraint and purification of 
the affections. The tendency of the discourse is to attach 
guilt, not to action only, but also to thought* It has been 
said, * Thou shalt not kill ; and whosoever shall kill shall be 
in danger of the judgment ; but / say unto you, that whoso- 
ever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in 
danger of the judgment.** Our lawgiver attaches guilt to 
some of the violent feelings, such as resentment, hatred, 
revenge; and by doing this, we contend that he attaches 
guilt to war. War cannot be carried on without those pas- 
sions which he prohibits. Our argument therefore is syllo- 
gistical : War cannot be allowed if that which is necessary 
to war is prohibited. This indeed is precisely the argument 

608 How may their prohibition be shown and illustrated 1 

609 Repeat tome texts that actually forbid war. 

610 What is said of the precepts contained in the sermon on the 
mount 1 

611 In what manner does otir Saviour attach guilt to war 1 

• Matt V. 21, 22 


of Erasmus : — * They who defend war must defend the dis- 
positions which lead to war ; and these dispositions are 
absolutely forbidden.^ 

" It is however objected, that the prohibitions * resist not 
evil,' &c. are figurative ; and that they do not mean that no 
injury is to be punished, and no outrage to be repelled. It 
has been asked, with complacent exultation. What would 
these advocates of peace say to him who struck them on the 
right cheek? would they turn to him the other? What 
would these patient moralists say to him who robbed them 
of a coat? would they give a cloak also? What would 
these philanthropists say to him who asked them to lend a 
hundred dollars ? would they not turn away ? This is argth 
mentum ad hominem : one example among the many of that 
low and dishonest mode of intellectual warfare which con- 
sists in exciting the feelings, instead of convincing the under- 
standing. It is, however, some satisfaction that the motive 
to the adoption of this mode of warfare is itself an indication 
of a bad cause ; for what honest reasoner would produce 
only a laugh, if he were able to produce conviction. 

" We willingly grant that not all the precepts from the 
mount were designed to be literally obeyed in the intercourse 
of life. But what then ? To show that their meaning is not 
literal, is not to show that they do not forbid war. We ask, 
in our turn. What is the meaning of the precepts ? What is 
the meaning of * Resist not evil ?' Does it mean to allow 
bombardment, devastation, slaughter ? If it does not mean 
to allow all this, it does not mean to allow war. What again 
do the objectors say is the meaning of * love your enemies V 
or of ' do good to them that hate you V Does it mean * ruin 
their commerce,' — * sink their fleets,' — * plunder their cities,' 
* shoot through their hearts ?' If the precept does not mean 
to allow all this, it does not mean to allow war. It is there- 
fore not at all necessary here to discuss the precise significa- 
tion of some of the precepts from the mount, or to define 
what limits Christianity may admit in their application, 
since, whatever exceptions she may allow, it is manifest 
what she does not allow : for if we give to our objectors 

612 What has been said of the prohibitioii " Resist not. evil V* 

613 What may be said of this method of treating a subject 1 

614 What is granted by the opponents of war concerning such pre- 
cepts 1 

615 What do they ask in their torn 1 


'whatever license of interpretation they may desire, they can- 
not, without virtually rejecting the precepts, so interpret 
them as to make them allow war. 

" Of the injunctions that are contrasted with * eye for eye, 
and tooth for tooth,' the entire scope and purpose is the sup-^ 
pression of the violent passions, and the inculcation of for- 
bearance, and forgiveness, and benevolence, and love. They 
forbid not specifically the act, but the spirit of war ; and this 
method of prohibition Christ ordinarily employed. He did 
not often condemn the individual doctrines or customs of the 
a(re, however false, or however vicious ; but he condenmed 
the passions by which only vice could exist, and inculcated 
the truth which dismissed every error. And this method 
was undoubtedly wise. In the gradual alterations of human 
wickedness, many new species of profligacy might arise 
which the world had not yet practised : in the gradual vicis- 
situdes of human error, many new fallacies might obtain, 
which the world had not yet held : and how were these 
errors and these crimes to be opposed, but by the inculca- 
tion of principles that were applicable to every crime and 
every error? Principles which define not always what is 
wrong, but which tell us what always is right. 

" The narrative of the centurion who came to Jesus at 
Capernaum to solicit him to heal his servant has furnished one 
argument in favor of war. It is said that Christ found no fault 
with the centurion's profession ; that if he had disallowed 
the military character, he would have taken this opportunity 
of censuring it ; and that, instead of such censure, he highly 
commended the officer, and said of him, * I have not found so 
great faith, no, not in Israel.'* 

'' An obvious weakness in this argument is this ; that it is 
founded, not upon an approval, but upon silence. Appro- 
bation is indeed expressed, but it is directed not to his arms 
but to his * faith ;' and those who will read the narrative will 
find that no occasion was given for noticing his profession. 

616 What do they suppose is actually forbidden by thofle injonctioiis 1 

617 How does this method agree with that generally adopted by 
Christ 1 

618 What is said of it? 

619 What is said against the argument derived from the silence of 
Christ conceming the profession of the centurion 1 

• Matt viii. 10. 


He came to Christ not as a military officer, but simply as a 
deserving man. A censure of his profession mighty un- 
doubtedly, have been pronounced, but it would have been a 
gratuitous censure, a censure that did not naturally arise out 
of the case. 

** But how happens it that Christ did not notice the centu- 
rion's religion ? He was surely an idolater. And is there 
not as good reason for maintaining that Christ approved 
idolatry because he did not condemn it, as that he approved 
war because he did not condemn it ? Reasoning from ana- 
logy, we should conclude that idolatry was likely to have 
been noticed rather than war : and it is therefore peculiarly 
and singularly unapt to bring forward the silence respecting 
war, as an evidence of its lawfulness. 

'^ A similar argument is advanced from the case of Corne- 
lius, to .whom Peter was sent from Joppa ; of which it is 
said, that although the gospel was imparted to Cornelius by 
the especial direction of heaven, yet we do not find that he 
therefore quitted his profession, or that it was considered 
inconsistent with his new character. The objection applies 
to this argument as to the last, that it is built upon silence ; 
that it is simply negative. We do not find that he quitted 
the service : I might answer, neither do we find that he con- 
tinued in it. We only know nothing of the matter : and .the 
evidence is therefore so much less than proof, as silence is 
less than approbation. 

** It has been said, again, that when soldiers came to John 
the Baptist to inquire of him what they should do, he did not 
direct Uiem to leave the service, but to be content with their 
wages. This, also, is at best but a negative evidence. It 
does not prove that the military profession was wropg, and 
it certainly does not prove that it was right. But, in truth, 
if it asserted the latter, Christians have, as I conceive, no- 
thing to do with it : for I think that we need not inquire 
what John allowed, or what he forbade. He confesisedly be- 

620 What other argument against supposing this silence to be an 
evidence of the lawfulness of war 1 

621 What is said of the argument derived from the ease of Cornelius 1 

622 What is said of the fact that John did not direct the soldiers to 
leave their profession 1 

623 Suppose that it proved the profession was lawful to them at that 

^ 2b2 


longed to that system which required * an eye for an eye« 
and a tooth for a tooth :' And although it could be proved 
(which it cannot be) that he allowed wars, he acted not in-^ 
consistently with his own dispensation ; and with that dis- 
pensation we have no business. Yet, if any one still insists 
upon the authority of John, I would refer him for an answer 
to Christ himself. What authority He attached to John on 
questions relating to His own dispensation may be learned 
from this, < The least in the kingdom of heaven is greater 
than he.' ** 

** The opinions of the earliest professors of Christianity upon 
the lawfulness of war are of importance, because they who 
lived nearest to the time of its founder were the most likely 
to be informed of his intentions and his will, and to practice 
them without those adulterations which we know have been 
introduced by the lapse of ages. 

'* During a considerable period af\er the death of Christ, it is 
certain, then, that his followers believed he had forbidden 
war ; and that, in consequence of this belief, many of them 
refused to engage in it whatever were the consequence, 
whether reproach, or imprisonment, or death. These facts 
are indisputable : ' It is as easie,' says a learned writer of 
the seventeenth century, * to obscure the sun at mid-day, as 
to deny that the primitive Christians renounced all revenge 
and war.* Christ and his apostles delivered general pre- 
cepts for the regulation of our conduct. It was necessary 
for their successors to apply them to their practice in life. 
And to what did they apply the pacific precepts which had 
been delivered? They applied them to war: they were 
assured that the precepts absolutely forbade it. This belief 
they derived from those very precepts on which we have 
insisted : they referred expressly to the same passages in the 
New Testament, and from the authority and'obligation of 
those passages, they refused to bear arms. A few examples 
from their history will show with what undoubting confidence 
they believed in the unlawfulness of war, and how much 
they were willing to suffer in the cause of peace. 

624 What is said of John's ministerial character] 
^36 Why will the opinions of the primitive Christians be of any con- 
sequence ? 

.686 What do we know concerning their opinions 1 
627 Hrtw ia if «^d that they imbibed such notional 


** Maximilian, as it is related in the acts of Ruinart, was 
brought before the tribunal to be enrolled as a soldier. On 
the proconsul's asking his name, Maximilian replied, ' I am 
a Christian, and cannot fight.* It was however ordered that 
he should be enrolled, but he refused to serve, still alleging 
that he was a Christian. He was immediately told that 
there was no alternative between bearing arms and being put 
to death. But his fidelity was not to be shaken : * I can- 
not fight,* said he, * if I die.' He continued steadfast to 
his principles, and was consigned to the executioner. 

*•* The primitive Christians not only refused to be enlisted 
in the army, but when they embraced Christianity while 
already enlisted, they abandoned the profession at what- 
ever cost. Marcellus was a centurion in the legion called 
Trajana. While holding this commission he became a 
Christian ; and believing in common with his fellow Chris- 
tians, that war was no longer permitted to him, he threw 
down his belt at the head of his legion, declaring that he had 
become a Christian, and that he would serve no longer. He 
was committed to prison ; but he was still faithful to Chris- 
tianity. * It is not lawful,' said he, * for a Christian to 
bear arms for any earthly consideration :' and he was in 
consequence put to death. Almost immediately afterward, 
Cassian, who was notary to the same legion, gave up his office. 
He steadfastly maintained the sentiments of Marcellus, and 
like him was consigned to the executioner. Martin, of whom 
80 much is said by Sulpicius Severus, was bred to the pro- 
fession of arms, which, on his acceptance of Christianity, he 
abandoned. To Julian the apostate, the only reason that 
we find he gave for his conduct was "this : * I am a Chris- 
tian, and therefore I cannot fight.' 

** These were not the sentiments, and this was not the con- 
duct, of isolated individuals, who might be actuated by indivi- 
dual opinion, or by their private interpretations of the duties 
of Christianity. Their principles were the principles of the 
body. They were recognised and defended by the Chris- 
tian writers their contemporaries. Justin Martyr and Tatian 
talk of soldiers and Christians as distinct characters ; and 
Tatian says, that the Christians declined even military com- 

629 Mention the example of Maximilian. 

629 Give some other examples. 

630 Were these sentiments general among the primitive ChristianB? 
681 What author!^ have we for believing so 1 


mands. Clemens of Alexandria calls his Christian contem- 
poraries the ' followers of peace ;' and expressly tells us 
that the * followers of peace used none of the implements of 
war.* Lactantius, another early Christian, says expressly, 

* It can never be lawful for a righteous man to go to war.* 
About the end of the second century, Celsus, one of the 
opponents of Christianity, charged the Christians tmth refua- 
ing to bear arms even in case of necessity. Origen, the 
defender of the Christians, does not think of denying the 
fact ; he admits the refusal, and justifies it, because war was 
unlawful. Even after Christianity had spread over almost 
the whole of the known world, TertuUian, in speaking of a 
part of the Roman armies, including more than one third oti 
the standing legions of Rome, distinctly informs us that 

* not a Christian could be found among them.' 

'*If it be possible, a still stronger evidence of the primitive 
belief is contained in the circumstance, that some of the 
Christian authors declared thcU the refusal of the Christians 
to bear arms was a fulfilment of ancient prophecy. The pe- 
culiar strength of this evidence consists in this, that the fact 
of a refusal to bear arms is assumed as notorious and un- 
questioned. Irenaeus, who lived about the year 180, affirms 
that the prophecy of Isaiah, which declared that men should 
turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into 
pruninghooks, had been fulfilled in his time; 'for the 
Christians,' says he, * have changed their swords and their 
lances into instruments of peace, and they know not how to 
fight,* Justin Martyr, his contemporary, writes, * That 
the prophecy is fulfilled you have good reason to believe, for 
we, who in times past killed one another, do not now fight 
with our enemies,* TertuUian, who lived later, says, 

* You must confess that the prophecy has been accom- 
plished, as far as the practice of every individual is eon* 
cemed to whom it is applicable.' 

" It is therefore indisputable, that the Christians who lived 
nearest to the time of our Saviour, believed with undoubting 
confidence, that he had unequivocally forbidden war; that 
they openly avowed this belief ; and that, in support of it, 
^^ey were willing to sacrifice, and did sacrifice, their fortunes 

^ their lives. 

. xrrx. .4. jg g^^ ^£ y^jj, j^ppgjj ^ prophecy 1 

our geuQ^l coiMluaion relative to the first Christiana 1 


'< It is common with those who justify defensive war to 
identify the question with that of individual self-defence ; but 
the questions are practically dissimilar ; so that if we had a 
right to kill a man in self-defence, very few wars would be 
shown to be lawful. Of the wars which are prosecuted, 
some are simply wars of aggression ; some are for the main- 
tenance of a balance of power ; some are in assertion of 
technical rights; and some undoubtedly to repel invasion. 
The last are perhaps the fewest; and of these only it can be 
said that they bear any analogy whatever to the case which 
is supposed ; and even in these the analogy is seldom com- 
plete. It has rarely indeed happened that wars have been 
undertaken simply for the preservation of life, and that no 
other alternative has remained to a people than to kill or to 
be killed. And let it be remembered, that unless this alter- 
native alone remains, the case of individual self-defence is 
irrelevant : it applies not, practically, to the subject. 

"But indeed you cannot in practice make distinctions, even 
moderately accurate, between defensive war and war for 
other purposes. What is the testimony of experience? 
When nations are mutually ex^isperated, and armies are 
levied, and battles are fought, does not every one know that 
"With whatever motives of defence one party may have begun 
the contest, both, in turn, become aggressors ? In the fury 
of slaughter, soldiers do not attend, they cannot attend, to 
questions of aggression. Their business is destruction, and 
their business they will perform. If the army of defence 
obtains success, it soon becomes an army of aggression. 
Having repelled the invader, it begins to punish him. If a 
War has once begun, it is vain to think of distinctions of 
aggressions and defence. Moralists may talk of distinctions, 
but soldiers will make none ; and none can be made ; it is 
without the limits of possibility. 

" Indeed, some of the definitions of defensive or oijust war 
which are proposed by moralists, indicate how impossible \X 
is to eonfine warfare within any assignable limits. * The 
objects of just war,' says Paley, * are precaution, defence 

634 On what principle do some justify defensive war 1 

635 Are the questions of defensive war and self defence the samel 

636 For what purpose are wars generally prosecuted ? 

637 What is necessary to make the questions of defensive 
■fllf defence similar 1 

638 What is the voice of experience on this subject 1 


or reparation.* — ' Every juMt war supposes 3d injury per- 
petraiei), aiiempted, or feared.* 

'* 1 shall acknowledge, thai if these be justifying motires to 
war, I see Tery liiile purpose in talking of morality upon the 
BuhjecL It is in vain to expatiate on moral obligatioas, if 
we are at liberty to tledare war whenever an ' injury is 
feared i' an injury, without limit to its insignificance I a 
fear, williout Blipulalion for its reasonableacss ! The judges, 
also, of the reasonableness of fuar, are to be they who are 
under itD inllucnce i and who so likely to judge amiss as 
those who are afraid ! Sounder philosophy than this has 
lolJ us, that ' he who has to reason upon his duty when the 
temptation to transgress it is before him, is almost euro to 
reason himself into an error.' 

'* If these are the proper standards of just war, there will 
be little dilliculty in proving any war to be just, except indeed 
that of simple aggression ; and by the rules of this mora- 
lily^ the aggressor is difficult of discovery p for he whom we 
elioose to ' fear,' may say that he had previous ' fear' of 
w, and that his * fear' prompted the hostile symptoms 
which made us ' fear' agaTn. The truth is that to attempt 
to make any distinctions upon the subject is vain. War must 
be wholly forbidden, or allowed without restricUon to de- 
fence ; for no delinitions of lawful and unlawful war will be, 
or can be attended to. If the principles of Christianily, in 
any case, or for any purpose, allow armies to meet and to 
slaughter one another, her principles will never conduct us 
to tlie period which prophecy has assured us they shall pro- 
duce. There is no hope of an eradicadon of war but by an 
absolute and total abandonment of it."— 2h/mond'» Prind- 
plea of Morality. Essay iii. chap. 19 

039 What does Mr. Dymond Bay of Dr. Faley's aefinition of delba> 

640 What would be the effect of makiag these defioilioiu the utaodud 

64 1 What is Dymoad'a concluBioii reUtive to wu of any kind ? 






,^ AKY, English and Latin, designed for the use of 

Schools ; by Thomas Morell, D. D,, carefully corrected 

and improved from the last London quarto edition; 

by John Carey, L. L. D. Pages 1028. — 8vo. 

The universal approbation of this Dictionary, is ah incontestible evi- 
dence of its ftuperiority over any other, for the use of schools, academies 
and colleges. The price is so moderate, in proportion to the demand 
and quantity of matter it contains, that it is decidedly one of the cheapest 
books extant. 

for the use of Students ; by John H. WilUts and Seth 
Smith, in one vol. Svo. Pages 470. 

<* The authors (Messrs. Willits and Smith) certainly deserve the grati* 
tude well as the patronage of the public, for producing a work so well 
suited to the wants of the community. There is no book in the English 
hmguage, with which the writer of this paragraph is acquainted, which 
contains, in the same space, such a perspicuous and practical exhibition 
of the principles of natural philosophy. There is none so well adapted 
to the use of our academies and higher schools, and especially to tha 
wants of our young engineers. Although inquiries are prosecuted and 
subjects examined which frequently involve calculations, yet these are 
conducted in the simplest fonn, by appropriate diagrams and common 
arithmetical processes, instead of Uie more abstruse methods adopted in 
other works. On this account the general reader will also find it a book 
capable of exciting his interest, and fixing his attention on the beautiful 
and sublime phenomena that surrouiul us on every side. 

" It is to be hoped that the reproach which is so often justly oast upon 

' our general readers, that the most frivolous tale, or the m^st paltry novel 

will not be one week published before it has its hundreds of readers, 

while a work of sterling merit may issue from the press unnoticed and 

unread, will not long prevail.'' — JPouIsotCs Am, Daily Adv» 

JACK HALYARD, or the Virtuous Family ; by WilUam 

S. Cardell. 

We, the subscribers, teachers, have examined, with close atteation, 
the Story of Jack Halyard ; or the Virtuous Family ;'' and feel a pleasure 




hi tcknowledgiDK our obligatioiiB to Ui« aildior of thu interMtiiig moAm 
For the purpoaet designed, this pablic«tio& is not. In our opinion, aur- 
passed by any one thai has fallen under our notice. 

As a work of fiction, probably no other poesesses so much of the exccJ* 
lenoe of truth. The characters are portrayed with a master hand, and 
what greatly enhances its practical value, their merit is of the imitabie 
kifwl. The manner in which it ftstens on the minds of the young ; 
the Taried instruction it conveys, and the love of virtue which it i» calcu-> 
lated to inspira, with the beautiful simplicity of the style in which its 
sentiments are expressed, render it a work of superior exeellence^ a 
class book in schools. 

/face Pierce, Jacob Pierce^ Enoch Lexne, 

Simon JBarttow, J. Irvine Mtchcochf Seth Smith, 
John H* want; JBishop Davenport, Joe, It, Chandler. 

THE UNIVERSAL CLASS BOOK, being a Selection 
of Pieces in prose and verse; designed for the use of 
the Higher Classes in Schools ; bj Thomas Hughs. 

Univenal Claai Book. — We have been politely favoured with a copy 
if a work thus entitled, prepared by Mr. Thomas Hughs, and just issued 
tj Mr. Uriah Hunt, of tiiis city. The work embraces selections of prose 
and verse, and is designed for the use of the higher classes in schools. 
There are many compilations of this charater, yet we never met with one 
better adapted to the design, or more consonant with our views of what 
such % work should be. The compiler is evidently a man of taste, 
i "and his publication deserves extensive encouragement We are pleawed 
' to see among the names of the authors from whom he has quoted, many 
of our best reputed American writers, such as Irving, Brown, Hopkin- 
son, Channing, Greenwood, Binney, Bryant, and Percival. Among 
patriotic readers, the choice extracts from these few cannot frdl to win 
approbation. Wo cordially recommend this "Class Book" to public 
notice. — U> S» Gazette. 

THE SAILOR BOY, or the Virtuous Family; by 
William S. Cardell, prepared as a guide to Frencn 
translation, with notes to assist in the construction, and 
to display a comparison of the French and English 
Idioms; by A. Napoleon Girault, professor of the 
French Language in the High-school of Philadelphia. 

THE HAPPY FAMILY, or Scenes of American Life, 
designed for well instructed children of seven years 
old and upwards ; by Wm. S. Cardell. " Worth makes 
the man.** — ^This is a very interesting little volume. 

THE PRACTICAL TEACHER ; being an easy and 
rational introduction to Arithmetic, designed for be- 
ginners of every age, adapted to every mode of in- 
struction, and particularly the monitorial, by Thomp 
son Randolph.