Skip to main content

Full text of "Papers and Addresses of Martin B. Anderson, LL. D."

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/| 

: i ' ^ 

/\ : ' ■ . t \ : 




®lf ;e ^nJijer3S0n !@00h3$ 



Martin B. Anuekson, LL. D. 

Edited by Professor William C. Morey, Ph. D. 

3 vols. lamo. Pricu, $3.50. 




A. C. Kendrick, D. D., LL. D. 
lamo, 295 pp. Price, $1 50. 

American Baptist Publication Society 








" Vet I argue not 
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot 
Of heart or hofe : but still bear uf and steer 
Right onward " 

— Milton 






■J J JrfVrf ^ '* ^ ^ -> SA ' 

, . w ^ • 

J " >» J 

•;t \vv. v.-. I. ") 


j '■ ■ ■ ■*. ' -Batons 
i ^L_ --■■•* L 


Copyright 1895 by the 
American Baptist Publication Society 

• • • * m 

• • • 

,: •■.; 

• • 

• • • 
• • •• 

• • • • * 

• • • «• » • 

• • • • • • 

• -•• ••• • 

• •• ►• ••• •, 
' • * • •• • ••. » , 



I. The Origin and Political Life of the En- 
glish Race 3 

Published in " The Christian Review," January, 1850 

II. Language as a Means of Classifying Man, . 36 

Published in " The Christian Review,'' July, 1859 

III. Sir William Hamilton's Lectures 74 

Published in " The Christian Review,'' January, i860 

IV. Growth and Relation of the Sciences, . . 99 

Published in " The Christian Review," April, i86a 

V. The Arabian Philosophy, 127 

Publuihed in " The Christian Review," October, 1862 

VI. Christianity AND THE Common Law, . . . .171 

Read before the American Social Science Association, Sara- 
toga, September i6, 1S79 

O I. Alexander Von Humboldt, 203 

.^ Delivered at the Humboldt Centennial Anniversary, Roches- 

fT ter, September 14, 1869 

CO II' Professor Morse and the Electric Tele- 
Q GRAPH, 214 

' • I Delivered at the Morse Memorial Meeting, Rochester, April 

^ 26, 1872 

^ V 


III. Pauperism and Organized Charity, .... 220 

From a paper published in the " Eighth Annual Report of the 
New York State Board of Charities," 1875 

IV. Means of Relief from Foreign Paupers, . .241 

Read before the Conference of State Boards of Charities, Sara- 
toga, September, 1876 

V. Political Economy and its Ethical Rela- 
tions, 258 

Response to a toast at the Adam Smith Centennial Dinner, 
New York, December 12, 1876 

VI. Currency Legislation 270 

Address before the Free Trade Club, New York, January 
z6, 1879 






IN this day of revolutions, when a total recon- 
struction of human society and government is 
fiercely called for by reformers who act on the 
assumption that there has been no God in the past, 
and that whatever is is necessarily wrong, it may 
be well for us to turn our attention to those laws 
of growth by which the Supreme Being indicates 
his will in the affairs of nations. The experience 
of the past in history is but the revelation of God's 
will. Whatever system of polity is constructed in 
bold disregard of the normal development of the 
political life of a given nation contains within itself 
the germs of disorder and decay. . . 

We belong to a widespread and ancient race, and 
it may be interesting and important for us to ascer- 
tain as far as possible our moral and intellectual 
position in the world's history. Every nation and 
every race has such a position in the moral geog- 
raphy and chronology of the world, and the impor- 
tance of this position is the measure of the signifi- 
cance and value of its history. History is not 
necessarily valuable as describing the actions of 
beings who have borne the human form, but as it 
marks the means and the relative rapidity of human 


development, of human progress. The tribe of 
Semitic slaves fleeing from the avenging sword of 
the Egyptian to the desert valleys of Mount Sinai 
is of more importance to the world than all the arts 
and learning of the kingdom of the Pharaohs, for 
they were to be the depositaries of that wonderful 
Hebrew book which has made such a mark on the 
progress of the human race. The destruction of 
one Swiss canton or one New England State would 
be a greater loss to the world than that of whole 
nations of Siberians or Tartars. 

There are historical races as well as historical 
men. The hope of our world hangs, humanly 
speaking, on a very small portion of its vast popu- 
lation. This portion consists of those races whose 
moral position is in advance of the rest of mankind. 
On their fidelity in the discharge of their trust 
depends the character of the future. God guides 
these races. He uses them for his high and holy 
purposes. He sends a Moses and a fiery pillar and 
a cloud to lead the Hebrews from bondage to free- 
dom, for he has a work for them to perform. He 
trains them to obedience and civil order by a forty 
years* sojourn in the wilderness. He sends them 
seers with light from heaven ; and even in their 
terrible punishments for degeneracy and sin, when 
with a mark set upon them they become a byword 
and a hissing and a shaking of the head to the 
nations, they bear in their inflexible enthusiasm 
and power of endurance the impress of the arch- 
angel ruined. God gave intellectual acuteness and 
the delicate sense of beauty to the Greeks, "the 
vision and the faculty divine," that they might show 
to all the world that neither beauty embodied in the 


choicest forms of plastic art, nor poetry such as 
flowed in the liquid numbers of the Ionic ballad, 
"the tale of Troy divine," or swept over the solemn 
harp of -^schylus, or poured forth in stormy dithy- 
rambics from the deep-throated Pindar, nor elo- 
quence such as "shook the arsenal," nor philosophy 
such as Socrates brought from heaven and Plato 
fkught beneath the plane trees of the Academy, was 
powerful enough so to train and educate a race that 
it could impregnate the world with the germs of 
moral order and progress. God gave Rome to be 
the legislator of the ancient world, that the power 
of organization and law without a basis in the law 
of revelation might be tried in their utmost perfec- 
tion, that the capacity of a military aristocracy with 
its arms of iron might be tried to resist the ten- 
dency to disintegration in ancient society, without 
a moral power to change the heart and introduce 
the pulses of a new life into the veins of the dying 
nations. It is foreign to our purpose even to allude 
to more of the historical races of earth — to the 
theocracy of Egypt, to the priestly and military 
castes of the East, to the recently disinterred 
monuments of Assyrian glory. 

Belonging as we do by our lineage to the Teu- 
tonic stock, and consequently, in the ordinary sense 
of the term, to the modern world, we often speak 
of ourselves as of modern origin, as if our blood 
and institutions were of yesterday. Though the 
English nation, properly speaking, had its rise when 
the standard of the " white horse " was unrolled by 
the Saxon and Norse pirates on the shores of 
Britain ; still, as an integral portion of that great 
tribe of peoples stretching from the Ganges to 


Iceland, we are ancient. Our ancestors were not 
separated by an impassable gulf from the **gray 
fathers " of the Old World. We are not destitute 
of the evidence of a remote past. "We are of 
earth's first blood, and our language is the title- 
deed of our descent." Our noble mother-tongue 
received its "form and pressure'* and drew the 
springs of its life from the high plains of Western 
Asia. Every sentence we utter tells the compara- 
tive philologist that the fathers of the stern Romans 
and of the elegant Greeks were our fathers also, 
and that the swarthy Brahmin of the Ganges and 
the fire-worshiper of the land of Zoroaster belong 
to the same wide-extended family of nations. A 
nation or a race has a life as well as an individual 
man, and all its history is the development and 
modification in various ways of that kind of mental 
activity and moral character that makes this life 
distinct and peculiar. 

Our national life has been drawn from that 
combination of Saxon and other Teutonic ele- 
ments known by the name of Anglo-Saxon. 
Let us dwell for a moment upon the circum- 
stances under which it was at first developed. We 
may suppose that the primary cause of the last 
great German migration to Great Britain was the 
extended movement of nations which followed the 
irruption of the Huns into Europe. The German 
warriors who had for so many centuries withstood 
the power of Rome, who under Arminius had cut in 
pieces the legions of Varus, divided, defeated, and 
disheartened, were swept on in the whirlwind of the 
Hunnic cavalry, and compelled to relinquish their 
ancient seats by the general displacement of the 


nations which followed. They were in part forced 
to seek a retreat beyond the sea, and eagerly fol- 
lowed the standards of Hengist and Cerdic, of Ella 
and Edda, to the island where their descendants 
were destined to play such a part in the drama of his- 
tory. The mighty heart of Rome had nearly ceased 
to beat, and the life-blood of her power was no 
longer sent to the extremities. The hour of her 
final agony was drawing nigh, hastened on by the 
hordes of Genseric and Attila. 

It was in all parts of Europe a time of confusion 
and turmoil, but it witnessed the birth of the modern 
world. The Burgundians and the Visigoths had en- 
camped in southern Gaul under the administration 
of the patrician -^tius. The Ripuarian and Salian 
Franks were gathering their tribes on the western 
banks of the Rhine, soon under Clovis to smite 
down the Romans at Soissons and the Visigoths at 
Vougle, and lay the foundations of the empire of St. 
Louis and Napoleon. The very year before the 
landing of the Saxons in Britain — if we may trust 
the uncertain chronology of this dark and turbulent 
period — the great question had been decided on the 
plains between the Seine and the Marne, whether 
the Mongol or the German should give law to the 
forming empires of western Europe. Attila, the 
" Scourge of God,'* was met at Chalons, and in that 
dreadful battle, whose story is invested with such 
horror by the poets and chroniclers of the time, 
was driven back finally from the West. The century 
during which — if we follow the chroniclers — the 
Saxons were effecting the conquest of Britain, was 
rendered memorable in the Eastern Empire by the 
reign of Justinian, the codification of the Roman 


law, and the short-lived triumphs of Belisarius and 
Narses. It was an age of movement and disorder 
and apparent confusion. But in the midst of these 
chaotic elements we can now see the workings of 
Providence. These masses of barbarian life were 
soon to arrange themselves into strata of races, and 
harden and crystallize into the crust of modern 

It is foreign to our present purpose to enter into 
an ethnographical examination of the number and 
relative proportion of the elements which have con- 
tributed to form the English race. It is enough for 
our present purpose to state what will be admitted 
by all, that the mixture of elements which we are 
accustomed to call by the name of Anglo-Saxon, is 
that which has given character to, or dominated all 
others. It has overlaid the Celtic below it, and ab- 
sorbed the Norman above it, while it has pervaded 
and given character to everything that is dis- 
tinctive in English social life, polity, language, and 
literature. The ancient Britons have given very 
little of the form and pressure to English law, gov- 
ernment, or character. We suppose, though con- 
trary to the general opinion, that large numbers of 
the Celtic inhabitants were enslaved in the centuries 
of war between them and the Saxons and Danes, 
and formed at a later period the body of theows in 
Saxon times, and the serfs that cultivated the feudal 
acres under the successors of the Conqueror, the 
villains regardant and villains in gross ^ described by 
Littleton, and still later the poorer tenants-at-will 
and the holders of small farms by servile tenure. 
The Norman-French army of William, in connection 
with the few wealthy Saxon families who managed 


by timely submission to save their estates, formed 
the old feudal nobility and gentry, and are to this 
day represented by the more ancient noble and 
gentle English families. If we may credit the 
account of William of Malmsbury, the Normans 
were superior to the Anglo-Saxons in education and 
in the cultivation of the arts of civilized life. Having 
been placed by the events of the Conquest in the 
position of lords of the land, freed from all appre- 
hension of want and from the necessity of labor so 
long as the ascendency of their own race should 
continue, they necessarily were soldiers and poli- 
ticians. The high places in the church too, were 
filled by those of the dominant race, whose cupidity 
or ambition could be thus gratified. 

The Normans, thus holding the soil of England 
by conquest, and consequently all offices of emolu- 
ment and honor and trust, gained power by the ex- 
ercise of their faculties, and for a time outstripped 
the ruder Saxons in the march of civilization and 
improvement. They formed what, in the language 
of Burke, may be called " the Corinthian capitals of 
society." They have given tone to the order which 
they founded ; and as in the process of time men of 
talent have fought and forced their way from other 
races into the ranks of the English nobility, they 
have become imbued with the old Norman traditions, 
and have become partakers of the spirit of those 
fierce barons who received the titles to their broad 
acres from the sword of the Conqueror. Though 
much that is great and worthy in the English annals 
is connected with this race, it cannot be denied that 
they have been in every age, as a whole, the oppres 
sors of the people. They have had interests apart 


from the body of the nation. They have been a 
foreign element in the State. The spirit of caste, 
their landed estates, their hereditary privileges, have 
placed them under the most powerful temptations to 
be recreant to the cause of progress and freedom. 
Whoever from their ranks espouses heartily and 
efficiently the cause of the people, is so far false to 
his order and to his own family interest. Every step 
of real advance on the part of the masses of the Eng- 
lish population renders the hold of the nobles upon 
their privileges less strong. 

Beneath these Corinthian capitals of English so- 
ciety stand the plain shafts of the columns of Eng- 
lish power, the middle classes, those who form the 
rank and file of the nation, the substantial citizens 
and merchants in the towns, and the yeomanry in 
the country. These are the representatives of the 
Anglo-Saxon portion of the population. This class 
has, in every age, been the depositary of those 
privileges and principles, those aspirations after lib- 
erty, and that jealousy of oppression, that are birth- 
rights and characteristics of the " true-bom English- 
man." This portion of the English people has 
infused its spirit into the lower orders, who are the 
descendants of the old servile part of the population, 
and have continually assisted them in forcing their 
way upward, and in claiming their proper influence 
in society and government. These men, interme- 
diate between the highest and lowest strata of Eng- 
lish society, have formed the House of Commons. 
They consolidated the Reformation. They smote 
down Charles I. and Laud. They carried the 
Petition of Right. They formed the armies of 
Cromwell. They expelled the Stuarts. They have 


emancipated the Catholics, they have passed the 
Reform Bill, and repealed the Corn Laws. We 
do not mean to intimate that members of the aris- 
tocratic order have not contributed, more or less, 
to all these objects, but the great body of the no- 
bility has been their opponent. 

Doubtless the distinction of races in England 
has been made to account for too many facts by 
such men as Michelet and Thierry, and we are not 
unaware that historical generalizations, like all 
others, contain in them an element of error, inas- 
much as they are inadequate statements of specific 
facts in the same degree that they are general. 
Individual exceptions to these statements occur 
spontaneously to the minds of all persons at all 
familiar with English history. Still, we believe that 
an accurate classification of all the known facts will 
sustain the views which we have given. English 
historians do not, for obvious reasons, wish to give 
prominence to the facts which show that the dis- 
tinction of orders and privileges in their constitution 
had its origin in a barbaric conquest in which justice 
and mercy were alike disregarded. Nevertheless, 
we should remember that the person who in modern 
times most successfully directed attention to this 
view of the distinctions in English society was a 
high Tory and a profoundly learned black-letter 
scholar — the Wizard of the North, the author of 
" Ivanhoe." Thierry, who acknowledges Scott as 
his master, has given for his views an array of au- 
thorities more copious than any other historian of that 
period ; and we are not aware that any formal refu- 
tation of the general views of Thierry has been 
attempted, further than what may be implied in the 


suggestion of modifications where the French love of 
generalization has carried him too far. It should be 
borne in mind also, that the statements which we 
make have reference to the English part of England, 
exclusive of any discussion of the influence of that 
portion of the Celtic inhabitants who made their 
strongholds in the mountains of Wales and Cum- 

In the process of centuries, these two strata of 
population have nearly changed places. The shrink- 
ing and fearful commoners, who were summoned 
ad consentiendtimf merely as a form, who debated on 
matters of State in constant peril of their ears or 
the dungeons of the Tower, have become the great 
power in the State. The lords, once the great 
hereditary council of a monarch nearly absolute, 
now find their chief duty to consist in feeble 
attempts to clog the action of the lower house, or 
in quietly registering its decrees. In spite of all 
its ancient glories, the House of Peers has become 
a mere nullity in the majestic presence of the 
Commons of Great Britain. Whatever may be said 
of the amalgamation of the Norman and Saxon 
races in England, no one can deny that their spirit 
and traditions are severally retained by the nobility 
and commonalty of the present day. The watch- 
words, the feelings, the inner life of these two 
classes are as really Norman and Saxon as they 
were in the days of William Rufus or Richard 
Plantagenet. The life of races outlives centuries 
of revolution, of progress, and change. 

Again, the colonies of England have gone forth 
mainly from the Anglo-Saxon portion of her people. 
The nobility and gentry have had in general no 


motive for leaving permanently their native country, 
and until lately the ancient servile portion wanted 
the means and the enterprise to emigrate. This 
naturally leads us to speak of ourselves as a part 
of the English race. We are too much accustomed 
to speak of our countrymen as a separate people 
from those of the mother-land. But, however we 
may be separated from her by the broad Atlantic, 
and distinguished by a part of our religious and 
political institutions, we cannot forget that not only 
our language and literature, but all the essential 
foundations of our social and political fabric, belong 
not so much to us as to the race of which we form 
a part. Moreover, our institutions and national 
character have been drawn pre-eminently from that 
element which makes up the great middle class of 
English society. 

The struggle between the Puritans and Cavaliers 
was, in its leading features, marked by the original 
distinction between Saxon and Norman. While we 
admit that there were individual instances in which 
this distinction will not hold, we still believe that 
the great body of the supporters of Charles I. and 
Laud were representatives either in blood or spirit 
of the old Norman families. It is true that the 
lowest portion of the peasantry followed in general 
the opinions of the landed gentry and nobility, 
whose tenants they were, with a sort of mechanical 
stupidity, and were good Protestants under Edward 
VI. and good Catholics under Mary. But this was 
by no means true of the best portion of the middle 
class. The stronghold of Protestantism at the 
Reformation, and of Puritanism during the Com- 
monwealth, was among those who formed the 




middle stratum of the English population, the 
sturdy descendants of the Anglo-Saxons, at an 
equal remove from degradation on the one hand 
and effeminate refinement on the other. It was 
from this portion of the English people that the 
great mass of the colonists of America sprang, and 
though other races have mingled freely with them, 
they have given the stamp to our national life and 
character. The American colonists, then, as a body 
have sprung from the heart of the English nation, 
not from the highest nor from the lowest portion in 
point of rank, but from those who have been the 
originators and guardians of all that is noble in 
the career of England. The United States is 
another England, relieved from the crushing weight 
of an aristocracy and a State hierarchy on the one 
hand, and from the servile and degraded poor who 
lie at the base of the social fabric on the other. 
We are sprung from the best blood of the race, the 
solid, hardy, liberty-loving Anglo-Saxons, having a 
slight intermixture of the Norman and Celtic, to 
give life and mobility to the less showy but more 
manly and vigorous original stock. 

We have no sympathy with that false patriotism 
that affects to consider it disgraceful to owe the 
foundation of our literature and character and 
political institutions to the noble land of our fathers. 
Our national recollections, our great ideas, are a 
common inheritance that has not been divided 
among the heirs. Our fathers sat in the Witena- 
gemote of Alfred. They fought with Harold at 
Hastings, and rallied in the ranks of the retainers 
of the Barons at Runnymede. They charged the 
French knights with their clouds of clothyard 


arrows at Agincourt ; they followed Richard of the 
lion heart to the land of the Saviour, and formed 
the mailed bands that planted the cross of St. 
George on the towers of Acre and Joppa and 
Ascalon. They laughed over the satire of Piers 
Ploughman and the Mirror for Magistrates, and 
followed with childish delight the journey of the 
Canterbury Pilgrims with Chaucer. They read with 
solemn joy the quaint pages of Wycliffe's Bible, 
and listened with young enthusiasm to the " wood 
notes wild " of the Swan of Avon. It was for the 
ancient and imdoubted privileges of Englishmen 
that our fathers contended unto blood during the 
colonial and revolutionary period. The old customs 
brought from the woods of Germany and incorpo- 
rated into the English common law are administered 
by every justice of the peace from Maine to Georgia. 
The decisions of Westminster Hall are cited as 
authority on the circuits of our Western forests and 
in the august assembly of the judges of the Supreme 
Court of the United States. 

This race is substantially one wherever it has 
been planted. Its influence and character may for 
general purposes be considered as uniform, however 
it may temporarily have been affected by the admix- 
ture of foreign elements. This race too has spread 
over the world, and has carried with it everywhere 
its own peculiar life and power. 

Such is this English race. We have now to ask, 
what has it done in the past and what may we 
expect from it in the future ? An answer to this 
question would involve the development of its 
political, intellectual, and moral life — its govern- 
ment, its literature, and its religion. But at present 


we propose to limit our remarks to the first of these 
three topics. 

It has been pretty generally admitted that in the 
science and practice of State building the English 
are in advance of all other men. This we might 
take for granted ; but it may be made to appear 
with additional distinctness if we can ascertain some 
of the elements, aside from the inherent power of 
the race, that have kept alive that system of laws 
and polity which has been the foundation of free 
States wherever it has been planted. What then 
is the inner life, the germ of that political organism 
which the race has carried with it in all its wander- 
ings from Australia to Oregon, and which has 
everywhere been fruitful of freedom and blessing ? 
Much has been written on the Constitutions of 
England and of the United States which does not 
touch the peculiar principle that forms their distin- 
guishing characteristic. This principle, for the sake 
of brevity, we shall call the confedcratioji of distinct 
local governments. It was to a certain extent com- 
mon to all the Teutonic tribes, and was founded on 
the feeling of personal independence which marked 
those fierce barbarians that conquered Rome. This 
led them to be jealous of centralization, and to 
adopt a government that provided in the highest 
degree for the security of personal rights. 

So far as our knowledge of the German and 
Scandinavian tribes in early times extends, we 
everywhere find traces of local governments spring- 
ing from the will and power of the people of the 
district governed. This local or rather personal 
government of small bodies of men, was the diflFer- 
ential element, the ** original monad " of Teutonic 


political society. These distinct governments were 
formed primarily not with reference to the State, 
but with reference to the convenience and liberty 
of the individual man ; and general governments or 
States were integrations from this differential ele- 
ment. It has been the habit of most English his- 
torians and lawyers, in accordance with the notion 
that the king is the fountain of justice, to represent 
all local courts to have received their power from 
the central government of the State, in which, to 
adopt the language of Blackstone, " as in a general 
reservoir, all the executive authority of the law was 
lodged, and from which justice was dispersed to 
every part of the nation by distinct yet communi- 
cating ducts and channels." Blackstone uses these 
words when, following the monkish chronicler In- 
gulphus, he attributes to Alfred the division of 
England into counties and hundreds. Now it is 
clear that these territorial subdivisions existed 
wherever the Teutonic nations have been planted, 
and moreover that in every case the power of the 
crown has originally been drawn from the local or- 
ganization — instead of the contrary process. 

Among the Scandinavians the integral commu- 
nity was the ^^ hcerady' or hundred — or perhaps the 
quarters, or tithings, which existed within the 
hcerad. Among the old Swedes the chief man of 
the hcerad was called the ^^ heradzhoffding.'' When 
this office became vacant, the " laghman^' or head 
of the shire, in which larger division the hcerad was 
included, summoned a meeting of the men of the 
hundred, who chose twelve men, who with the lagh- 
man were to elect three persons from the hundred, 
one of whom was to be the heradzhoffding. This 


boy's Caesar tells him that all Gaul is divided into 
three parts, occupied respectively by the Aquitani, 
Celti, and Belgae. It tells him in another place 
that the Belgae were Germans ; and the general idea 
of scholars, until the beginning of the present cen- 
tury, was that the Aquitani or Basques, south of the 
Garonne, though speaking a special dialect, were a 
part of the great Celtic stock. This was the opinion 
of the celebrated Edward Lluyd, and it was from him 
quite extensively adopted. Although a grammar 
of the Enskara was published in Mexico in 1607, 
and another by the Jesuit Larramendi in 1729, yet 
little was known of the language by scholars until 
the publication of the " Mithridates," by Adelung. 
This at once showed the language to be unrelated 
to any of the European tongues, except by some 
remote grammatical analogies to the Finnic, Hun- 
garian, and American languages. Subsequent anal- 
ysis of the local geographical names of Spain re- 
vealed to W. Von Humboldt the identity of the 
Enskara and the ancient Iberian tongue, and gave 
evidence of original occupancy by the Basques of a 
large part of the Spanish Peninsula, and also unmis- 
takable traces of an extension of the stock into the 
adjacent countries in the south of Europe. Early 
ethnological investigators met with insuperable 
difficulties in admitting the correctness of Caesar's 
designation of the Belgae as Germans. The Belgic 
language of Gaul, whatever it was, had been super- 
seded by the Latin and French, and it had left no 
literature. The Belgae of Britain were clearly 
Celtic. In this dilemma Pritchard made a minute 
analysis of all the old geographical names of the 
region, connecting them with the people by the per- 


sonal appellatives preserved by the ancient his- 
torians and geographers, and especially by Caesar. 
The result was unmistakable evidence that the body 
of the Belgae, with the exception of some intrusive 
German tribes, must have been Celtic, speaking a 
language, probably, varying from the other portions 
of Celtic Gaul, as Welsh varies from Gaelic. 

Although the Gauls laid aside their mother tongue 
with a facility which perhaps finds no parallel in 
history, and adopted the Latin, we find throughout 
their territory fragments of their ancient speech 
similar to those which identified the Belgae of Caesar 
with their Celtic neighbors. Among the inhabitants 
of Lower Brittany we find still extant a Celtic lan- 
guage with a considerable amount of popular liter- 
ature, collections of which have been made by Vil- 
lemarque. This illustrates the tenacity of language, 
even in the country most commonly cited as an 
example of the unreliable nature of philological 
marks in classifying tribes of men. The sHght 
influence of Norse and German elements in the lan- 
guage of France is explained by the fact that the 
Germans came into Gaul as conquerors, few in 
numbers and without a literature. The best au- 
thorities estimate the army of Clovis as low as six 
thousand men. Other and separate German tribes 
spread themselves gradually among a people pos- 
sessing already a rich literature, fixed organization, 
and the assimilating force of Christianity. The 
Franks spoke the Tudesque, for a time, among 
themselves ; but becoming Christians and being 
compelled, like the Normans in England, to use the 
language of the majority, they left but a partial 
deposit of their vocabulary in the F'rench tongue. 


This deposit, however, is largely traceable in personal 
names, political distinctions, and provincial dialects. 
That portion of Gaul which was really German in 
the time of Caesar — the watershed facing the Lower 
Rhine — is German still in blood and to a great 
extent in language. The Normans came to Neustria 
with a Scandinavian speech, but they were sea-rob- 
bers and few in number, and of necessity intermar- 
ried with the Gallo-Roman population, among which 
they settled by treaty, rather than by conquest. 
The people of the Channel Islands are Norse ; the 
names of towns and families are, to some extent, 
Norse. William the Bastard understood Norse. The 
language was spoken at Bayeux some time after the 
battle of Hastings. The philology of Normandy, 
when it shall be minutely explored, will undoubtedly 
reveal more fragments of the dialect of these early 
filibusters than we at present are aware of. Here, 
as almost everywhere, the majority ruled in the 
matter of languages, and the children spoke what 
they heard from their mothers. 

The great work of M. De Chevaillet, " Origine et 
Formation de la Langue Franqaise^' just completed, 
adds immensely to the estimate hitherto made of 
the amount of Celtic and Gothic elements in the 
French language. This learned and elaborate work 
proves that in taking on the Latin language, in its 
earlier or later forms, the Celts and Germans have 
left a large deposit of their words in the new forma- 
tion, and that these fossil-remains of the tongues 
supposed to be extinct would enable us, even in the 
absence of history, to connect the modern French 
with the fierce and patriotic antagonists of Caesar, 
and the barbarous Franks who gave their name to 


the magnificent domain of Charlemagne, St. Louis, 
and Napoleon. 

The Celtic has ceased to be spoken in England 
proper, and the fact is often cited as a proof of the 
failure of language to mark blood. But when we 
examine the family and geographical names of Eng- 
land, we find constant evidence of the past and 
present existence of a Celtic element. The German 
incursions were from the east, and the Celtic blood 
and names regularly increase as we go westward. 
We find remnants of the ancient language just where 
history and deduction would lead us to expect the 
most of ancient blood. Moreover, the class of com- 
mon Celtic words retained in the English is just 
such as we should expect from the relations estab- 
lished between a conquering and a conquered people. 
The list of Celtic words in modern English which 
are not common to the Indo-European languages, 
collected by Garnett, refers almost entirely to servile 
occupations. In Cornwall the English has over- 
come the Cornish within the last hundred years, 
but Cornish words are spread over the whole dis- 
trict and population of Cornwall. Even the common 
distich regarding names, 

7>r, Val, and Pen, 

Mark the names of the Cornish men, 

is a proof of the fact. 

The Celtic race was considered to stand apart 
from the whole body of the Indo-European stock 
until the publication of Dr. Pritchard's "Eastern 
Origin of the Celtic Nations," which was announced 
in 181 3, but was not published till several years 


later. This gave a new impulse to Celtic ethnog- 
raphy, which has been followed up by Bopp, Pictet, 
and Meyer, with such success, that the affiliation of 
the aborigines of France and the British Islands 
with the great Aryan family is almost universally 
admitted. The only substantial question still at 
issue is the period at which the Celts broke off 
from the common stock. That there is a connec- 
tion all admit. Even their mythology is so clearly 
Aryan that Lappenberg has, with good reason, 
called the Druids the " Brahmins of the North." 
It is found, however, that the relation of the Celtic 
to the general Aryan family is by no means so close 
as that of the other members to each other. Their 
geographical position indicates an earlier migration 
westward than can be affirmed of any other members 
of the family. Minute examination of Celtic phi- 
lology accords remarkably with this supposition. 
Though a certain amount of affinity between the 
families in question is clearly proved, it is only by 
extending the limits of the Indo-European family 
that the Celtic can be included within it. The Celtic 
languages seem to be a transition stock between 
the agglutinated and the syllabic tongues proper. 
As compared with the other members of the class, 
it is represented to have, among others, the follow- 
ing peculiarities : 

I. Its declension of nouns is exceedingly scanty. 
In the Irish alone there is found a form for the 
dative plural in ^/^//cos=foot, cos-3ihh=pedt6us. 
•* Beyond this," says Latham, "there is nothing else 
whatever in the way of case" as found in the other 
tongues of the class. Even " this isolated form in 
question is not found in Welsh and Breton." 


2, The Celtic differs from the Indo-European 
class, in the agglutinate character of its verbal in- 

3. It differs by the system of initial mutations. 
The system of transmutation of initial conso- 
nants, says Dr. Charles Meyer, is "the peculiarity 
of the Celtic, by which that language is distin- 
guished from all others." We have seen that the 
Celtic tongues are deficient in case-endings. This 
deficiency is made up by a change in the ini- 
tial letter of the noun, according to its relation to 
other words in a sentence. These changes follow 
according to a certain law, in which the euphonic 
and grammatical changes seem, to a certain extent, 
to coalesce with each other and form one consol- 
idated system. 

We have given these illustrations of the Celtic 
grammatical system, to show with what complete- 
ness both the similarities and differences be- 
tween the Celtic and other members of the Indo- 
European family of tongues coincide with the actual 
facts of history and geography. Traces of a de- 
posit of Celtic speech which are found in Germany, 
Spain, and Northern Italy, show that, historically, 
it antedated other tongues in the occupancy of 
Western Europe, as much as the partial develop- 
ment of its inflectional system shows it to have pre- 
ceded them in the time of its separation from the 
parent stock. 

An hypothesis, suggested originally by Arndt, 
but identified with the name of Rask, who first 
fully developed it, deserves a passing notice in this 
connection. It was found that certain fragmentary 
peoples were scattered over Europe, whose languages 


could not be classified with any existing European 
tongues. These are the Lapps, Fins, Esthonians, 
Basques, and Skipetar or Albanians. The three 
first-named peoples, though differing physically to a 
considerable extent, were found to agree so en- 
tirely in their language, that they are considered 
ethnologically one stock. Taking this as a hint, 
Rask developed the idea that a body of people dis- 
connected in stock and language from the Indo- 
European families were the aboriginal inhabitants 
of Europe, and that possibly these discontinuous 
areas or islands of speech were the outcropping 
peaks of a primitive linguistic and tribal formation. 
This pregnant philological hint has led the way to 
a series of investigations into the contents of an- 
cient barrows and burial places, resulting in a criti- 
cal classification of weapons of war, utensils, and 
skulls, in the light and under the guidance of this 
single idea. The labors of Castren and others 
have connected the Finnic race with the inhabi- 
tants of northern Siberia. Gyarmarthi had long be- 
fore this pointed out the affinities between the Fin- 
nish and the Magyar languages. Subsequent in- 
vestigation has affiliated the Hungarian with the 
speech of the Vougouls and Ostiacks north of the 
Caspian sea. Students of the Basque have not, 
so far as we know, shown an affinity between it and 
the Finnish, beyond a remarkable similarity in its 
grammatical structure, which, like that of the 
American languages, is highly agglutinate or poly- 
synthetic. The Skipetar have been probably iden- 
tified with the ancient Epirotes, but their language, 
supposed by some to be Indo-European, still waits 
for its permanent classification. Whatever may be 


the ultimate fate of the Finnic hypothesis, it has 
given an impulse and direction to ethnological in- 
quiry, in all its departments, which has already 
wrought out most brilliant results. Set forth and 
illustrated by a philologist whose genius has rarely 
if ever been surpassed, it may justly be claimed as 
a practical contribution of philology to ethnological 

We have already exceeded our proper limits. 
We trust, however, that sufficient proofs have been 
given to beget the conviction in a scientific mind 
that comparative philology, so far from being of 
" no value " in ethnological classification, holds in 
fact a relation to inquiries into the physical history 
of man, similar to that which paleontological studies 
sustain to physical geology. 





FOR learning, acuteness, and vigor, in their hap- 
piest combination, few men have equaled, and 
still fewer have surpassed. Sir William Hamilton. . . 
We believe his knowledge, in extent and exactness, to 
have been equal, if not superior, to that of any man of 
his time. He was distinguished for his legal learning 
while at the bar. His acquaintance with anatomy 
and physiology was worthy of a professional natu- 
ralist. He introduced into Great Britian a new era 
in the history of education and learned schools. 
His analysis of the evidence bearing on the author- 
ship of the ^* EpistolcB Obscurormn Virorurriy' is a 
model, both for its acuteness and historical learn- 

As a critic, and expositor of philosophical sys- 
tems, it may be questioned if the world has fur- 
nished his equal. He was pre-eminently a master 
in criticism ; and from the predominance of the crit- 
ical and dialectic over the inductive and construct- 
ive tendencies in his mental constitution, it has 
seemed to us that he just falls short of taking a 
place among the greatest philosophers of the world. 
In the exposure of pretension, and the detection of 
false claims to learning or discovery, he was search- 
ing and merciless, and showed a zeal amounting to 
absolute fierceness. . . The polemic character of 



most of Hamilton's works may have given rise to 
many of those extreme statements which require 
modification in order to be adopted for scientific 
truth. His power as a critic has doubtless deterred 
his contemporaries from expressing their dissent 
from his views, and deprived him of the benefit 
which such criticism would have conferred. The 
brilliancy of his genius and the extent of his learn- 
ing have so impressed, and even oppressed, the minds 
of his pupils and followers, that it seems impossible 
for their mental activity to deviate from the grooves 
which the great master has plowed for them. 

The philosophical system of Hamilton, must be 
gathered from a careful reading of his complete 
works, and a careful comparison of the various por- 
tions of them with each other, having reference 
always to the circumstances of the writer, and the 
points of view from which at successive periods he 
looked at the subjects discussed. It is just to say 
that, in spirit and intention, he adopts the cautious 
and reverent method of the great founder of Scot- 
tish philosophy, Thomas Reid. The system of Reid 
he has clarified and supplemented. He has reduced 
it to logical order, fixed its foundations and vindi- 
cated its claims, with such learning and power that 
he has become the second founder of Scottish philos- 
ophy. He has done for it a work greater than that 
achieved for the Newtonian physics by the exhaust- 
ive analysis of Laplace. Where Hamilton has 
swerved from a cautious and sound method, we 
trace the influence of the system and terminology 
of Kant, which early obtained a powerful hold upon 
his mind. Connected with this, we see the effect 
of an excessive trust in the processes and results of 


formal logic, and a tendency to apply it to subject- 
matter, which, transcending the limits of human 
knowledge, is incapable of sharp and distinct defi- 
nition. His marvelous capacity for abstract thought, 
by which he was able to deal with the highest gen- 
eralizations and the subtlest distinctions as if they 
were physical entities in time and space, led him at 
times to confound concepts and singular terms with 
one another. 

We may best set before our readers the merits of 
Hamilton by sketching in outline his Philosophy of 
Perception, giving incidental hints of its points of 
difference from antecedent and contemporary sys- 
tems, and making such few criticisms as our limits 
will permit. We take this course the more willingly, 
as this is the department in which he most excelled, 
and because all sound thinking in every department 
of philosophy, must depend upon sound views of 
this, the starting point and basis of all. The pri- 
mordial facts of consciousness are in reality simple 
and obvious. But various considerations, both phys- 
ical and mental, have conspired, in the history of 
speculation, to obscure or set them aside. Let us 
glance at a portion of them. 

The fundamental antithesis between the conscious 
ego, which knows, and the forms of matter which 
are known, as well as between God and the universe 
of matter, was impressed upon the Greek philoso- 
phers at the very dawn of distinct psychological 
and theological investigation. The forces of mind, 
whether finite or infinite, were found in relation to 
matter. The question regarding the mode of that 
relation, the effects of which were everywhere 
seen, was naturally mooted. That the relation 



of God to the world could be immediate, in its 
creation or preservation, hardly seems to have en- 
tered the Greek mind. The same difficulties have 
beset modem thinkers, and the mere statement and 
explanation of the various theories of this relation 
would fill a volume. 

A similar difficulty occurred when the attempt 
was made to explain how the mind of man gets a 
knowledge of the outward and material. Very 
early it seems to have been assumed that mind 
could know only by actually enveloping or permeat- 
ing the object of its knowledge. Obviously, this 
process could take place only on the condition that 
some shadowy film of exceedingly attenuated mate- 
rial, or some matterless appearance, phantasm, or 
form, came into relation to the mind, and mingled 
with or was enveloped in its very substance. Gen- 
eralized, this assumed notion took the form of the 
maxim, which most philosophers, ancient and mod- 
ern, have taken for granted without proof, "that the 
relation of knowledge involves an analogy, in the 
mode of existence, between the knowing subject 
and the thing actually known." Matter as solid or 
extended, is as sharply as possible distinguished 
from mind in the mode of its existence. Separated 
from mind, in the words of John Norris, by the 
"whole diameter of being,*' it can be known, if the 
above assumption be true, only through some vicari- 
ous entity or mode of existence, representing, but 
not really or numerically identical with, the material 
body known. 

Regarding the manner in which these films or 
forms or modalities — which were supposed to be the 
only actual, direct, and really present objects of the 



mind's knowledge — were generated, two broadly con- 
trasted schools soon came to exist, destined to con- 
tinue, either absolutely or partially distinct, in all sub- 
sequent speculation down to the present time. One 
school supposed that the forms of external things 
actually in contact with, or in relation to the mind, 
were generated by impact of a body upon the senses ; 
this impact, in some way, produced a copy of the 
body itself ; this copy became the property of the 
mind and represented to it the outward object, 
which itself remained unknown, except as the puta- 
tive generator of the form or image enveloped or 
permeated by the mind. Roughly speaking, this 
school is represented by Aristotle. Though Ham- 
ilton hazards the assertion that he was a "natural 
realist,'* it is evident that the great body of his 
pupils and followers were not; and, besides, the 
assertion is inconsistent with other essential parts 
of his system. Throughout the middle ages, modi- 
fications of thia notion were prevalent, under the 
authority of the great philosopher's name. 

The other school, which may be designated as 
the Platonic, posited the existence of patterns, or 
forms of all material things, antecedent to, and in 
dependent of, the material creation. These were 
supposed to be in every human mind, but out of 
consciousness — they having been brought into this 
world from an anterior and more spiritual mode of 
existence, where they had been acquired by direct 
intercourse with the immortal gods. The world of 
sense was supposed to be formed after the models 
of these substantial and perfect forms ; but, from 
the nature of matter, material objects were thought 
to be shadowy and imperfect resemblances of the pre- 



existing pattern, and to be changing, unsteady, and 
unreal. When these objects in the physical world 
came into relation to the senses, they were supposed 
to call into consciousness, with more or less distinct- 
ness, the reminiscence of the substantial forms of 
the world of real being. Laying aside the doctrine 
of pre-exist ence as inconsistent with revelation, this 
theory of knowledge was widely adopted by Chris- 
tian writers, and has retained its powerful hold of 
the human mind in the speculation of every subse- 
quent age. 

These two theories of the origin of knowledge, 
intermingled with each other and modified in a 
thousand ways, have never been utterly lost sight 
of. Generally speaking, in modern times, necessary 
concepts have been assigned an origin in some way 
accordant with the Platonic, and contingent knowl- 
edge, with the Peripatetic system. In the majority 
of cases, the object of thought actually in relation 
with the mind has been conceived to be somewhat 
numerically distinct from the mind. The polemic 
of Locke against the existence of " innate ideas," 
in the sense in which he understood Descartes and 
his followers to affirm their existence, showed the 
absurdity of supposing ideas or forms of thought to 
exist in the mind anterior to any action of the in- 
tellect upon the material given through the senses. 
The a priori elements in the mind are now gener- 
ally spoken of as regulative principles of the mind's ac- 
tivity, inherent in its constitution, known intuitively, 
when the soul becomes observant of its own pro- 
cesses upon the subject-matter given in sense. 

Though the theory of forms existing in the mind, 
numerically distinct from it, had vanished from the 


field of strictly metaphysical inquiry, it still held a 
precarious and doubtful empire in the philosophy of 
perception. It was to the work of laying the ghosts 
of these defunct theories of human knowledge, that 
Hamilton addressed himself. Reid had begun the 
work before him, but had not comprehended the 
subtlest form of that representative hypothesis which 
he designed to destroy. It survived his attacks, 
while the theory of consciousness adopted by him 
and his disciple Stewart — which referred our knowl- 
edge of the objective and the subjective elements 
given in the act of perception to different faculties of 
the mind — left the theory of immediate knowledge, 
which they desired to establish, open to attack and 
even subjected its authors to the charge of holding 
one form of the representative theory. Brown, 
whose brilliant, acute, but incautious mind had 
seized upon this interpretation of the psychology of 
Reid and Stewart, boldly laid the foundations of a 
new idealism, which needed nothing but the intrepid 
logic of some Fichte or Hume to bring it into light. 
Brown, by his flippant treatment of the great mas- 
ters of Scottish thought and his meretricious rhet- 
oric, disgusted the more thoughtful and sober of his 
contemporaries. It was in his criticism of Brown's 
Lectures, which was published in the " Edinburgh 
Review," in 1830, that Hamilton first enounced 
those views on the philosophy of perception, which, 
taken in connection with his criticism of Cousin, 
constitute his title to the position of a great phi- 

His first object was to correct the faulty analysis 
by which Reid and Stewart were logically compelled 
to admit that all knowledge is subjective, and that 



matter cannot come within the sphere of conscious- 
ness. Their analysis of consciousness into a special 
faculty of the mind — conversant alone with mental 
states, exclusive of those objective material realities 
which limit and determine its activity — was almost 
a justification of the interpretation of their doctrines 
made by Brown, as well as of the charge of logical 
inconsequence and shallowness, which had been 
brought against the Scotch philosophy by conti- 
nental writers. Hamilton then, by an examination of 
questions involved in the origin of empirical knowl- 
edge, and a careful induction and classification of 
the various theories of that origin which had been 
adopted, drew out a scheme involving all forms of 
the doctrine of representative perception which the 
nature of the conditions rendered possible, and gave 
quotations from Reid's works showing that that 
philosopher had intended to reject all representative 
theories of knowledge. He admits that Reid had 
failed to understand and characterize that form of 
the representative hypothesis which makes the re- 
presenting entity in perception to be, not a semi- 
material image, or an immaterial form existing in 
the substance of the mind, but a modification of the 
mind itself, superinduced by the material object, but 
non-existent out of consciousness. By reason of 
Reid's failure to recognize this subtlest form of the 
representative hypothesis, Hamilton admits also that 
Reid had been in fault, and had laid himself open to 
misinterpretation. But that Reid, in spirit and in- 
tention, was a natural realist, in the sense that he 
proceeds to explain, Hamilton insists most earnestly. 
Laying aside some ambiguous and inconsistent state- 
ments, to which we shall allude as we proceed, Ham- 


is where it manifests itself. When it manifests it- 
self as knowing, at the point of contact with the out- 
ward world, he would accept the deliverance of con- 
sciousness in its integrity. Upon this he takes his 
stand, and discusses the mode in which some physi- 
ologists have attempted to set aside the authority 
of consciousness, only that he may show its inade- 
quacy and failure. This doctrine, which may seem 
to some readers of Hamilton to be novel, is the old, 
and it may almost be said, general theory. We have 
lying before us a series of citations from ancient 
and modern authors, which, taken in connection 
with those referred to by Hamilton, presents a for- 
midable array of theologians, metaphysicians, and 
physiologists, all coinciding in our author's interpre- 
tation of the affirmations of consciousness in per- 

Another element in his system is the recognition 
of the several senses as being so many modifica- 
tions of the single sense of touch. This doctrine, 
as old as Democritus, will be readily admitted. 
Coenesthesis, or the vague common feeling of exist- 
ence, must be the basis of all distinct and special- 
ized sensation. As we examine the animal kingdom, 
in its stages of progress from the lower animals to- 
ward man, we find a constantly increasing differen- 
tiation of the nervous matter, the organ of this 
common feeling, into nerve-fibres and special senses, 
all of them reducible to the common element, touch. 
The optic nerve is specialized to touch light ; the 
auditory nerv^e, to touch the vibrations of the sound- 
wave; the olfactory nerve, to touch odoriferous 
properties. Each of these senses has this in com- 
mon with the others, and with touch, namely, that 



it is fitted to come into direct and immediate rela- 
tion with the peculiar objects it was designed to 

This simple analysis gives us the basis for the 
limitations, under which we speak of immediate 
knowledge in perception. The mind has an intui- 
tive and direct knowledge of the sound-wave, but 
not of the bell or gong which sets the sound-wave 
in motion. Its knowledge of the cause of the in- 
tuitively known effect is indirect or inferential. The 
same may be said of odors. The only serious dif- 
ficulty in this analysis occurs in the case of vision, 
and this is rather seeming than real. Every one 
knows that the eye has no natural power of itself 
to become cognizant of bodies. The most unedu- 
cated person recognizes light as a physical medium, 
distinct from the body which reflects it on the one 
hand, and from the eye on the other. Every one 
is aware that what the eye immediately knows, or 
what actually comes into relation with it, is light. 
The question how light causes us to know the ob- 
jects from which it is reflected, is one that it is im- 
possible to answer. But however this may be, it is 
a question of physics, rather than of psychology. 
Assuming that in vision we come into immediate 
relation to light of different colors, it follows that, 
as we become cognizant of the variously colored 
patches of light which differently constituted bodies 
reflect, we know these showers of reflected rays, or 
patches of color, as distinctly separate from each 
other. Each reflecting surface is, by the laws of 
light, discriminated by means of the spots of dif- 
ferent colored light on the retina, the meeting of 
the different colors forming the outlines of the figure. 



Thus it comes to pass, that we see figures of two 
dimensions, in relative size and form, directly and 
intuitively described and limited, in the various 
colored rays which actually touch the eye. . . 

With these explanations, it is evident that the 
standing examples which are brought forward to 
prove the deceptive character of the sense of sight, 
and thereby to disprove natural realism, have no 
relevancy whatever. I look at a stick thrust diag- 
onally into water. It appears to me bent — not be- 
cause my sense deceives me, but because it does 
not. My sense advises me of the exact conditions 
under which the light comes into relation with it. 
A seaman sees a ship or a headland looming up in 
a fog, but he never attributes the phenomenon to 
the deceptive action of the sense, but to the fog. 

Thus we see that the root of all actual knowl- 
edge is found in the intuitions of the sense, affirm- 
ing that the object of these intuitions actually exists 
and that it holds a direct and immediate relation 
to the organism. All other knowledge is indirect 
and inferential ; and however certain and real it may 
be, it becomes such through the agency of physical 
media f which themselves are the objects of intuitive 
apprehension. These general distinctions, requisite 
as limitations of a doctrine of natural realism, are 
set forth by Hamilton through the analysis of the 
qualities of matter into primary, secondary, and 

We prefer to present the subject as we have, 
for the purpose of simplicity and clearness. The 
analysis of the qualities of body made by Ham- 
ilton displays, in a high degree, his acuteness in 
making distinctions ; but it seems to us to give a 


less clear idea of the necessary limitations of natural 
realism, than the simple division of knowledge into 
that which is direct, intuitive and immediate, on the 
one hand, and that which is mediate, inferential or 
indirect, on the other. The distinction between 
these two kinds of knowledge is obvious, it being 
substantially the same as that commonly given by 
psychologists who distinguish between direct and 
acquired preceptions. The analysis of the qualities 
of body into primary, secondary, and secundo-pri- 
mary, — besides being extremely complicated in re- 
sult, and difficult of application, — is in great part, if 
not entirely, conversant with facts and modes be- 
longing to physics, rather than to psychology. To 
call sound a quality of a vibrating body, is in any 
legitimate sense of the term a misnomer, and tends 
to confuse the mind, inasmuch as it puts into the 
same class, and gives the same name, to the objects 
of mediate and immediate knowledge. Indeed, 
Hamilton himself, in one of his supplementary dis- 
sertations, admits the impropriety of this applica- 
tion of the term. If we mistake not, the classifica- 
tion of light, sound, and odor, as qualities of body, 
was originally determined by confused notions of 
the physical conditions to which they were due. In 
inquiries of this nature, nothing tends more strongly 
to confusion and error than the equivocal use of 
terms, and the failure to mark sharply the distinc- 
tion between psychology and physics. 

We may be permitted to draw attention, in pass- 
ing, to the statements of our author, regarding what 
he calls "the purely subjective character of the sec- 
ondary qualities, as apprehended." To illustrate the 
case, we will suppose an odor, or sound-wave, to 


be perceived. He tells us that in these cases there 
is "an objective quality supposed, but not per- 
ceived" ; that a "subject-object is the only object 
of the cognition " ; that the apprehensions of the 
secondary qualities are "sensations, not percep- 
tions." These passages, taken in their obvious 
meaning, affirm that in knowing sounds or odors, 
there is no non-ego discriminated from the ego at 
all ; hence, also, that our knowledge of them is 
purely subjective — a mode of mind only, which 
gives us no affirmation whatever of an external real- 
ity. If there is no discrimination of an external ob- 
ject from the knowing subject, there is no means of 
discriminating the mental processes under discussion 
from acts of imagination. He affirms, however, that 
from these purely subjective affections, their causes, 
which he calls secondary qualities, "are inferred 
and conceived as possible." Now, these subjective 
sensations cannot become signs, such as will compel 
us to infer an external, material cause, unless they 
are accompanied, at the same instant, by a percep- 
tion — vague and indistinct it may be, but still a per- 
ception — of an external object, actively affecting 
the organism. We say of strong light, that it 
strikes the eye. In so saying, we describe the sudden 
collision of an external object with the organ. The 
action of a sound-wave upon the ear is often so in- 
tense as to destroy the tympanum. It strikes the 
organ, and is perceived to be external to the organ- 
ism as really as the rain which beats upon a trav- 
eler's face in a storm. Place a vial of ammonia 
beneath the nostrils, and we are as really percipient 
of a non-ego as if pricked by a bundle of needles. 
Without doubt, in coming into relation with these 



attenuated forms of matter, our perception of the 
object becomes more and more indistinct, as sounds 
become faint, or the odorous particles reaching the 
nerve or the rays of light impinging on a given 
surface of the retina become fewer. But we be- 
lieve that, so long as there is a sensible affection of 
the nerves, there is a perception of an external ob- 
ject, distinct in proportion to the intensity of the 
external conditions that are present to the organ. 
There are physical limits to the susceptibility of 
our nerves with respect to the more attenuated 
forms of matter ; but within those limits, and when- 
ever the nerves are sensibly affected, we believe 
that some degree of knowledge of the external 
impinging object really takes place. Very many 
questions are suggested by this discussion regard- 
ing the physical constitution of what are called " im- 
ponderable " substances ; but, though they have a 
certain relation to the subject in hand, it is not a 
vital one and we pass them by. 

From the nature of the results at which our 
author arrives regarding presentative knowledge in 
perception, it follows, as a matter of course, that 
memory and imagination must be conversant with 
representations, as opposed to presentative intui- 
tions. As memory and imagination rest on the 
basis of intuitions of which the mind has had ex- 
perience in the past, the representations only of 
these intuitions can be present to the mind. 

We are able from what has been said, to form 
a definite notion of the real distinction between 
sensation and perception. In the philosophy of 
Reid and Stewart, these were represented as sepa- 
rate, very much according to the theory of the Carr 


tesians. Sensation was not considered as an act 
coexistent with perception, but as merely the ante- 
cedent occasion upon which an idea was caused to 
appear in the mind. In accordance with the views 
here given, it will be seen that sensation and per- 
ception are names for the bodily and mental sides 
of the same indivisible process. Mind and body 
actually come into relation with the things known, 
at the same moment of time. The bodily side, or 
the mental side, may predominate in a given case ; 
but so long as there is no lesion, or compression of 
the nerves, so as to produce numbness or fainting, 
neither of the two elements can be reduced to 
zero ; they must coexist. Regarding the compara- 
tive potency of these coexistent activities of mind 
and body, which we call sensation and perception. 
Sir Williarfi enounces the law, that the distinct- 
ness of each is in an inverse ratio to that of the 
other. . . 

But we must leave the discussion of details, 
however interesting to the student of these topics, 
and proceed to the examination of some few state- 
ments, definitions, and conclusions of Hamilton, 
that seem to us inconsistent with that doctrine of 
perception which in general he sets forth with such 
marvelous vigor and clearness. 

In the first place, let us inquire into the purport 
of our author's doctrine of the relativity of knowl- 
edge. The statement that all our knowledge is 
relative, is repeated in so many forms that we may 
suppose it to be a cardinal point in his system. 
One quotation will suffice : " Our whole knowledge 
of mind and matter, is then, as we have said, only 
relative ; of existence, absolutely and in itself, we 


know nothing." Now, there are some difficulties 
which strike the mind at once, in reading this pas- 
sage. If we are. told that we can have no knowl- 
edge of any object which does not come within the 
sphere of our several faculties, we can easily under- 
stand what is meant. We cannot know light, unless 
it touches the eye, nor the aerial vibrations which 
produce the effect we call sound, unless they touch 
or come into relation with the ear. Moreover, we 
understand that only so much of any given object 
can be known as comes into relation to the facul- 
ties. A cannon ball lies before me. It comes into 
certain relations to my mind ; but these are few and 
unimportant, in comparison with the relations 
which it might present to the mind of a chemist 
like Faraday or Liebig. My knowledge, though par- 
tial compared with theirs, is just as real and just as 
positive. God exists in all possible relations to all 
possible objects ; hence, we say his knowledge is 
absolute, or complete. But my knowledge of that 
which comes into relation to my mind is real, though 
extremely partial in amount. Consequently, I 
know something real of the cannon ball that lies 
before me. 

We shall find further information on this subject, 
when we ask the meaning of the assertion so con- 
stantly iterated by Hamilton, that of "matter in 
itself," or of "existence in itself," we know abso- 
lutely nothing. Does he mean to affirm that I 
"know nothing" of the cannon ball, "in itself"? 
My consciousness affirms that I do know something 
of the actual ball, " in itself." Though he uses 
the most general terms, such as " matter " and "ex- 
istence" in his formulas, we have a right to as- 


sume that whatever is affirmed or denied of the 
class " matter, " or " existence," is affirmed or de- 
nied of all the things included under the class. 
Now, the cannon ball is "matter,*' and has "exist- 
ence." Moreover, I cannot separate it from itself, 
even in thought. It cannot exist " in itself," and 
out of itself, at the same time. Hence, if I do not 
know the ball actually, directly, presentatively, and 
"in itself," I do not know it at all, and natural 
realism is swallowed up with the denial. Again, 
if we suppose our author to represent by the phrases 
" matter in itself," or " the cannon ball in itself," 
its inner physical constitution, or the form of its 
ultimate atoms, we can admit our ignorance on that 
point, without being compelled to acknowledge 
that we know absolutely nothing of the piece of 
matter in question. Between the completed knowl- 
edge of the Almighty concerning the constitution 
and mode of existence of the cannon ball, and the 
limited knowledge which I possess, there is a vast 
difference. But it does not follow from this that I 
have no knowledge at all. I do know something 
of its constitution and mode of existence, and can 
confidently discriminate it from wood, or stone, or 
lead. We are driven to the conclusion that in 
adopting the phrase " matter in itself," and "things 
in themselves," and affirming our ignorance of 
what they denote, Hamilton may be justly charged 
with using them in the Kantian sense. All know 
that the phrases were used by Kant to set forth a 
system of purely subjective knowledge, and that in 
his system their meaning is unequivocal, and holds 
a vital relation to a consistent terminology, which 
in all its parts is absolutely exclusive of anything 



like natural realism. That Sir William has thus 
been drawn into the outer currents, at least, of the 
maelstrom of the Kantian dialectic, will further ap- 
pear, when we examine his use of the terms " phe- 
nomenon*' and " quality,'* as correlative and anti- 
thetical to the phrase "matter in itself." 

In his second Dissertation, appended to the 
" Philosophy of the Conditioned," he writes as 
follows : " Of things absolutely, or in themselves, 
be they external, be they internal, we know nothing, 
or know them as incognizable, and we become aware 
of their incomprehensible existence only as this is 
indirectly and accidentally revealed to us through 
certain qualities, related to our faculties of knowl- 
edge. . . All that we know is, therefore, phe- 
nomenal — phenomenal of the unknown." In his 
seventh lecture, he says : " It is only in its qual- 
ities, only in its effects, in its relative or phenom- 
enal existence, that it [matter] is cognizable or con- 
ceivable, and it is only by a law of thought, which 
compels us to think something absolute and un- 
known as the basis or condition of the relative and 
known, that this something obtains a kind of in- 
comprehensible reality to us." 

These forms of expression are almost identical 
with those of Kant bearing on the same subject, 
and distinctly grounded in a system of representa- 
tionism of the most unequivocal character. In con- 
nection with the first passage quoted, Hamilton 
cites the following sentence from Kant as illustra- 
tive and confirmatory of his own views : " In per- 
ception, everything is known in conformity to the 
constitution of our own faculty." This passage, as 
every one familiar with the system will see, is a 


recognition of the idea fundamental in Kant, that 
phenomena in perception are mere representations 
in the mind of the unknown noumenay or things in 
themselves ; and that these phenomena are products 
of an unrelated, formless content in the sense which 
when modified by the subjective laws of thought, 
elaborated into ideas, are no longer exact represen- 
tations of the external realities as they actually ex- 
ist. The outward world, as it really exists, is thus 
represented by phenomena, which ex hypothesi not 
only have their existence apart from the reality, but 
have been themselves modified and changed from 
their original character by the plastic agency of the 
subjective mental forces. Hamilton seems to have 
been so far misled by the terminology and influence 
of the great German, as to recognize as true that 
false analysis which, in the process of sensible per- 
ception, separates in time or space the phenomenon 
from the matter which actually is^ and whose actual 
presence to the mind is the phenomenon. 

This false analysis assumes it to be possible for 
the mind to know, in the intuitions of sense and in- 
tellect combined, a phenomenon or quality, with- 
out knowing, at the same instant and in the same 
mode, the material substance which appears and ex- 
ists in such or such a relation to the mind. Now, 
quality in respect to matter, is merely a term nam- 
ing a given relation of a real object to the mind. 
The word phenomenon, in physical science, denotes 
a fact to be explained or reduced to law ; in the 
philosophy of perception, it properly denotes any 
given part of a material object which is in direct 
relation to our faculties. Apart from the thing 
which is^ and is in relation to the mind, phenomena 


or qualities have no existence, except as abstract 
concepts in the thought — the entia rationis of the 
schools. But, in the Kantian sense, the term phe- 
nomenon, when used relatively to sensible percep- 
tion, denotes an impression made upon the senses, 
after it has been manipulated by the forms of the 
sensibility and the categories of the understanding. 
After this process, it becomes the permanent posses- 
sion of the intellect ; and so it is to be distinguished 
broadly from the "thing in itself," or noumenon, 
which is assumed always to remain in a sort of lofty 
isolation as the unknown cause of the phenomenon, 
which itself has been modified and elaborated, till it 
has lost its right to be taken as a copy of its un- 
known original. We would repudiate, term and thing, 
this shadowy Teutonic "phenomenon," as nothing 
more nor less than the intelligible " species " of the 
schoolmen, and as involving in itself the germ of 
that idealism which the logic of Fichte developed, 
and of that pan-egoism which, alternated with pan- 
theism, Mr. Emerson deals out in infinitesimal doses 
to his bewildered and admiring disciples. 

When Hamilton addresses himself definitely to 
the exposition of natural realism, we find nothing of 
this illegitimate terminology. But when he comes 
to deal with the continental absolutists, who affirm 
the omniscience of the human intellect, he seems 
ready to sacrifice even that real knowledge of real 
things which he has so powerfully vindicated to the 
human mind, if thereby he may the more effectu- 
ally crush and grind to powder that pretentious 
absolutism which with lofty scorn he delivers over 
to shame and everlasting contempt. In the battle 
of the giants, which he waged with Cousin and 


Schelling, he seized the weapons which Kant had 
forged. They are dangerous and deceitful weapons 
to the advocate of natural realism. The powerful 
subjectivism of Kant is a logical whole, crystallized 
into a terminology marvelous for adaptation to its 
purposes, and for the coherence of its parts. It has 
no points of agreement with an inductive philosophy 
of consciousness, nor will it be tampered with by 
coy suitors. It must be taken as a whole, or not 
at all. 

We have limited ourselves to Hamilton's psychol- 
ogy, and we must avoid the attractive field of his 
metaphysics, with the simple record of the impres- 
sion that in these deviations from the consistent 
holding and advocacy of natural realism will be 
found the weakest points of his, in the main, un- 
answerable argument against the absolutists of the 
Continent. Just here, also, we venture to predict, 
will his enthusiastic and unquestioning disciples be 
likely to fail in their attempts to follow out and ap- 
ply the system of their master. The best results 
of Hamilton's reply to the absolutists may be re- 
tained — the limitations of human knowledge stated 
and proximately defined — without reducing that 
knowledge to zero, and leaving as the ultimate pro- 
duct of finite thinking a system of philosophical 
know-nothingism, or a body of postulates forever 
swinging pendulum-like between opposite contra- 

As we know matter, appearing, extended, modified, 
existing in such or such relations to our organisms, 
so we know mind. Our knowledge of it is not con- 
fined to mere concepts, which have no real exist- 
ence out of our thought, called phenomena or modes 


or qualities ; but we have a direct and immediate 
knowledge of mind as acting, knowing, suffering, 
as self-approving or self-condemning. Our knowl- 
edge of the constitution of mind is very limited, but 
we know from the fundamental antithesis of con- 
sciousness that it is not matter. We know matter 
as extended, hard, heavy, as of this or that form ; so 
in like manner we know mind as willing, suffering, 
knowing, judging. By the knowledge which we 
thus acquire, we are able to discriminate and classify 
material facts and mental facts, and may thus form a 
real science of matter and a real science of mind. 
Our knowledge is partial, but no man may say that 
it is not real. Making all proper allowances for 
human weakness, ignorance, and error, every man 
knows something of mind and something of matter, 
as each actually is. The terminology of Kant re- 
garding mind, names a system which denies im- 
mediate knowledge of self, as well as of the not- 
self ; hence his consistency, when he affirms that 
we know nothing of " mind in itself," but only phe- 
nomena, of which the ego is an unknown noumenotiy 
or, in fact, a mere logical concept or tie, connecting 
the fugitive phenomena with each other. But Sir 
William's natural realism affirms and requires a pre- 
sentative knowledge of self, as the correlative condi- 
tioning element of the presentative and immediate 
knowledge of matter. We admit that this mode of 
expression is not peculiar to Kant or Hamilton, but 
is found in nearly all the English treatises of psy- 
chology as well. The idea which underlies it, is 
one of the remnants of the "logical realism" of the 
middle ages, which supposes the existence of a 
material substance, which is neither hard nor soft, 




extended, shaped, heavy, or colored — a something 
indescribable, in which qualities inhere, or, in simple 
English, in which they are stuck, like so many 
quills in a porcupine. It is one of the continually 
recurring instances wherein a logical entity is con- 
founded with a real existence in space and time. It 
has had its latest apotheosis in the identification of 
thought and being in the intellectual monstrosities 
of Hegel. 

A natural realism which admits the immediate 
consciousness of self, and not-self, in both mode and 
substance at the same time, furnishes the only solid 
foundation of evidence in physics, morals, and reli- 
gion. With all our reverence for the genius and 
learning of Hamilton, we cannot follow him one 
inch away from the foundations which he himself 
has laid. His natural realism we can accept with 
thankfulness ; but that continental subjectivism with 
which he has sought to unite it, we would reject 
without reserve or condition. 

In conclusion, we may be permitted to express 
the conviction, which a somewhat extended study of 
the works of Hamilton has impressed upon us, that 
for a gymnastic exercise of the mind, for a stimulus 
to vigorous thinking, for exact definition and breadth 
of view, they are unsurpassed in the literature of 
philosophy. He who differs in opinion from Ham- 
ilton, will find his best preparation for criticism in 
giving his days and nights to the study of the works 
from whose conclusions he may record his dissent. 
It is not too much to say, that since the death of 
Immanuel Kant no greater name has adorned the 
commonwealth of letters. 




WHOEVER attempts to make an exhaustive 
analysis of the method of physical inquiry, 
will find himself brought into relation with the pro- 
foundest questions in the science of mind. The 
line which separates the philosophy of matter from 
the philosophy of mind, is exceedingly difficult to 
define. These two great departments meet and in- 
osculate at so many points, that the study of each 
compels a recognition of the other. Mind can only 
be studied in its relation to the world of matter. 
Matter can be studied only in its relations with 
mind. The laws of both must be recognized and 
understood by the man who would study either suc- 
cessfully. Slowly but surely the human mind in 
its progress through the ages has come to recog- 
nize the truth, that the fundamental method which 
controls the investigations of physical science is 
alike applicable to all the sciences. So clearly does 
this principle manifest itself, that when we have 
given to us the prevailing method of inquiry 
adopted by an individual or nation in either of the 
great domains of nature, we can with a good de- 
gree of certainty predict that a similar method will 
hold sway in every other. The metaphysical 
subjectivism of Schelling and Hegel in Germany, 
generated a brilliant but audacious system of nat- 





ural history and physics, which assumed to be in- 
dependent of fact, claiming to be founded in neces- 
sary ideas. The unquestioning allegiance to fact 
which penetrates and vitalizes the Novum Or- 
ganofiy illustrated and immortalized in the cautious 
and reverent induction of Newton, has impressed 
itself upon the mass of the philosophers and theo- 
logians of Great Britain. In our own country a 
rational cosmology springs by a natural process 
from the same method which could produce a 
rational psychology. . . 

We are met at the outset of this discussion by a 
question regarding the restrictions proper to be 
given to the application of the term " science." It 
cannot be denied that a tendency exists to limit its 
application to those departments of human knowl- 
edge which are conversant with material facts and 
processes, and the quantitative laws which express 
and measure their activity. 

The rapid growth and impressive results of the 
material sciences within a few years, have given 
currency to the idea that there are no facts suffi- 
ciently definite and important to be molded into a 
scientific system, except such as can be subjected 
to weight and measure. 

Against this tendency we beg leave to enter our 
protest. A fact of mind is as real as a fact of 
matter. A law of mind is as definite and fixed as a 
law of matter. The imperial will of Napoleon was 
as much a force as the powder which carried his 
cannon balls into the ranks of his enemies at Aus- 
terlitz or Marengo. Our loves and our hates, our 
hopes and our fears, triumph over the forces of 
nature. The agency of thought converts them into 



untiring slaves of human benevolence, avarice, or 
ambition. Thought, volition, conscience, are facts 
capable of description, analysis, and orderly ar- 
rangement, and form one of the grandest spheres 
of human inquiry. The whole range of the know- 
able, in the worlds of matter and of mind, may be 
made the objects of legitimate science. 

It is requisite for us to distinguish carefully be- 
tween science and knowledge. There is a vast ac- 
cumulation of knowledge in the " Natural History *' 
of Pliny, but very little science. Observations 
almost without number, on storms, trade winds, 
and currents, have been accumulating in the log- 
books of ships which for the last two centuries have 
sailed over the ocean ; but they added little to the 
science of physical geography till they were taken 
in hand by scientific men, analyzed, classified, and 
reduced to system and law. Scientific facts are 
not science. Thunder and lightning have accom- 
panied the summer shower in all time, but no 
science of electricity was evolved till Franklin sent 
skyward the kite. The strata of the earth's crust 
have been open to view for ages ; fossil shells and 
skeletons have excited the wonder of the passing 
traveler, but the science of geology is hardly half a 
century old. Allied to this distinction between 
science and knowledge, is the distinction to be 
made among scientific men. The great mass of so- 
called scientific men are not really such, but are 
mere collectors of facts, which comprehensive minds 
combine and digest into system and order. The 
world is full of men who abound in the knowl- 
edge of scientific facts ; but the men of science in a 
given age are as rare as great statesmen or soldiers. 


The question, What is science ? naturally arises 
here. Science is the arrangement of a series of 
facts or principles, according to a fundamental and 
uniform law or idea. The law of such an arrange- 
ment may vary with the nature of the subject- 
matter. In deductive science, of which mathe- 
matics is an example, the subject-matter is concepts 
or definitions ; the law of arrangement is that of 
premise and conclusion ; and the process of growth 
is that by which all possible consequences are 
drawn out of postulates and definitions. 

In the sciences of fact, the law of arrangement 
may vary with circumstances ; or the same facts 
may be arranged in reference to different laws. 
The law of classification may be physical composi- 
tion, cause and effect, similarity of form, or unity 
in time and place. The process by which we pass 
from particular facts to general laws or classes, is 
called "induction." The basis on which such re- 
ductions of particular facts to classes and laws 
rests, is the actual existence among thoughts and 
things of order and system which have originated 
in the divine mind, and have determined the fact, 
mode, and succession of their creation. It follows, 
then, that scientific inquiry, in the broad and gen- 
eral sense of the terms, is the discovery and regis- 
tration of the plan of the Almighty in the creation 
and goverjiment of the universe of matter and mind. 

If science is the discovery and registration of 
the plan of God in the universe of matter and 
mind, we have before us the elements for deter- 
mining the proper application of the niuch abused 
term, " law." There is a tendency to use this term 
in some vague way, as synonymous with " efficient 


formal logic, and a tendency to apply it to subject- 
matter, which, transcending the limits of human 
knowledge, is incapable of sharp and distinct defi- 
nition. His marvelous capacity for abstract thought, 
by which he was able to deal with the highest gen- 
eralizations and the subtlest distinctions as if they 
were physical entities in time and space, led him at 
times to confound concepts and singular terms with 
one another. 

We may best set before our readers the merits of 
Hamilton by sketching in outline his Philosophy of 
Perception, giving incidental hints of its points of 
difference from antecedent and contemporary sys- 
tems, and making such few criticisms as our limits 
will permit. We take this course the more willingly, 
as this is the department in which he most excelled, 
and because all sound thinking in every department 
of philosophy, must depend upon sound views of 
this, the starting point and basis of all. The pri- 
mordial facts of consciousness are in reality simple 
and obvious. But various considerations, both phys- 
ical and mental, have conspired, in the history of 
speculation, to obscure or set them aside. Let us 
glance at a portion of them. 

The fundamental antithesis between the conscious 
ego, which knows, and the forms of matter which 
are known, as well as between God and the universe 
of matter, was impressed upon the Greek philoso- 
phers at the very dawn of distinct psychological 
and theological investigation. The forces of mind, 
whether finite or infinite, were found in relation to 
matter. The question regarding the mode of that 
relation, the effects of which were everywhere 
seen, was naturally mooted. That the relation 


absence of specific experience. Upon this view are 
founded all those ambitious attempts to construct 
a priori the details of the sciences of fact. The 
laws of matter are discovered, not deduced from a 
priori principles. God's ideas in nature can never 
be discovered by man, except by a laborious and 
reverent study of God's actual works. His plan can 
never be known by man until he has seen fit to in- 
carnate it in things appreciable by human faculties. 
" A clever man," aptly remarks Sir John Herschel, 
"shut up alone, might reason out for himself all 
the truths of mathematics, by proceeding from the 
simple notions of space and number, of which he 
cannot divest himself without ceasing to think. But 
he could never tell, by any effort of reasoning, what 
would become of a lump of sugar if immersed in 
water, or what impression would be produced on his 
eye by mixing the colors of yellow and blue." The 
assumption, moreover, of the universality of laws of 
whose action we have no further knowledge than 
we derive from the limited extent of our experience, 
which we make in all induction, is justified only by 
our faith in the uniformity of the Creator's plan, 
having its origin in his wisdom and goodness. Every 
induction in physical inquiry is illogical, in the ab- 
sence of this concession of the universality of the 
Creator's plan. We legitimately infer the universal 
from the particular, by tacitly assuming the exist- 
ence and universality of the creative thought. 

" Induction," says Mill, "is the process by which 
we conclude, that what is true of certain individuals 
of a class is true of the whole class," — whether they 
have all come within the purview of our own, or 
any other man's experience, or not, — " or, that what 


is true at certain times will be true under similar 
circumstances at all times." The actual existence 
and universality of an intelligent plan in the universe, 
is the suppressed premise in every process of induc- 
tion. The discovery and verification of laws, and 
the legitimacy of the inductive process, all take for 
granted the existence of the Infinite mind. 

In regard to the world of mind, it may be said 
that "law" is a name for the modes in which its 
processes actually take place, so far as its necessary 
or constitutive elements are concerned. So far as 
the moral and volitionary processes, strictly speak- 
ing, are concerned, "law" is the name for the mode 
in which they ought to take place. The differential 
element of mind, that which separates it from the 
whole world of physical existence, is pre-eminently 
freedom. In physics, we find the Creator's idea and 
plan in what actually takes place ; in the world of 
volitionary action, we seek for them in the impera- 
tive decisions of right. 

Scientific inquiry must from its nature commence 
with the very elements of all knowledge. It must 
go from the simple to the complex, from the specific 
to the generic, and from the known to the unknown. 
We cannot go back to the beginnings of thought in 
childhood, for the dawning light of intelligence 
leaves no trace on the memory. We must seek 
these elements of knowledge in the mature man. 

Let us suppose such a mature person to take into 
his hands a piece of iron ; he knows it at once as 
something distinct from his organism, something not 
himself. In knowing the iron as not himself, he 
must recognize himself as existing, and exercising 
that knowledge ; he affirms at the same instant that 


the iron is not himself, and that he himself is not 
the iron. Here we have an affirmation in conscious- 
ness of the radical antithesis between what thinks 
in man, and the external world of inert or active 
matter. Again, he takes in hand a piece of marble ; 
he finds the discrimination between himself and the 
marble occurring as in the first-named instance, but 
with a difference in the nature of the knowledge re- 
ceived. Comparing these two discriminations and 
knowledges with each other, through the common 
factor self, or what thinks, he finds a third discrim- 
ination between the iron and the marble. Repeat- 
ing this process indefinitely, he increases his knowl- 
edges in the same proportion. As he applies his dif- 
ferent senses to the same object, he gets a new 
knowledge of it with each application ; his knowl-. 
edges soon become numerous and complex. We sup- 
pose him supplied with language, and in order to 
distinguish his knowledges one from another, he 
must give them names, as a herdsman distinguishes 
his sheep or horses. He soon finds that many of 
these knowledges are similar, and for convenience 
he collects these under a like sign or name. 

Without carrying these illustrations farther, it 
will be seen that we have arrived at these general 
truths : (i) That the root of all knowledge is the 
discrimination of what thinks^ or the self, from the 
various objects of the external world. (2) That by 
means of this original knowledge we are able to 
compare these knowledges with each other, to dis- 
tinguish them by their appropriate marks, and by 
means of language to give them names. (3) That 
by finding things similar we are able to put them in 
classes, and give them common names. (4) We 



have found that however numerous and complex the 
knowledges are which we acquire, the self, or know- 
ing mind, remains the same. It is ever the constant 
quantity or element in the midst of the endless 
variety of external objects with which it comes 
into relation. (5) In every new acquisition of the 
knowledge of material things we find the uniformly 
renewed affirmation, that this constant unvarying 
element, or what knows and thinks, is not only dis- 
tinct from matter, or what is known, but also, that 
whatever matter may be, it is in its constitution 
antithetical to what thinks. (6) We find in the 
primeval and constantly repeated facts of conscious- 
ness, the two grand but antithetical modes of exist- 
ence which in common language we designate as 
matter and mmd, (7) We are so constituted by the 
Creator that these gifts of consciousness, these ele- 
mentary principles of knowing, must be admitted, 
accepted, and held for true — or thought and knowl- 
edge are impossible. From these fixed points we 
must take our departure and bearings in all our 
voyages of exploration over the vast ocean of the 

Let us now trace a little more in detail the pro- 
cess by which we go onward from the vague begin- 
nings of knowing and thinking, to specific and de- 
finite science. We will commence with the world 
of mind. The mind knows itself. This knowledge, 
though partial, is immediate, trustworthy, and real. 
Though the mind always acts in a more or less in- 
timate relation with the world of organized or un- 
organized matter, we can turn our attention to the 
thinking subject and its processes, and subject them 
to observation and analysis. Looking at the process 


of knowing, we find the mind limited in its present 
state by a physical organization, so that we come 
into relation with the world of matter only in certain 
definite modes, which we call " sense-perceptions." 
These are all specific differentiations of the funda- 
mental sense, touch. The eye is adjusted to touch 
light ; the ear is adjusted to touch the sound-wave ; 
the olfactory organs detect the subtle and attenu- 
ated effluvia which we call odor ; the tongue discrim- 
inates sapid bodies. All of these are evidently 
mere modalities of touch. All knowledge of matter 
is obtained, therefore, by the sense of touch in 
one or the other of its modes. These modes 
are the "senses." Though these modes of know- 
ing have among themselves specific differences, 
they show a general agreement. Hence all action 
of the mind through the senses has been included 
under the common name, perception. Following a 
similar analysis through all the various activities of 
the mind in knowing, feeling, and willing, — classify- 
ing together those which are similar, and describing 
and naming their characteristic likenesses and spe- 
cific differences, — we find the science of psychology 
growing up under our hands. 

Out of this as a root, we find several other 
branches of inquiry naturally maturing themselves. 
One or two illustrations will suffice for our purpose. 
We all are conscious, when we act in a certain way, 
of a peculiar and imperative emotion which gives 
us the notion of right and wrong. We feel that we 
ought to do some things and ought not to do others. 
Paley asks, " Why am I bound to keep my word } " 
One man answers this question by saying that it is 
because such a course will conduce to the interest 

:HJi ^U: 



i:-: r....ii;! 

... .\.-i. 


«,H» Ul.Ll 

..:r, -,1^1 

■.11.; ; 

Lli C 1 

,1 lllill^S. 


iL IM .iImi 

^ :t :..iLi 

U.I ..illlil 


«liilll »l! 
J, 111.' .\l 
.C .,1 U..1 

of the inuivi 
the ui)ii:^rici'-n inn: 
Another -.[ti; iiih'.v 
obiigatiun :a -Juirifi 
asked, '.vhiini:-:: .'jiiii 
call constiiini,'; .' I 
mighcy's '.viU .^r^iiii 
soul, breakJoi^ vul in ■i>.-;;:;i':i .imi ulUiiii.ilunis ;is 
keen and cn;>hj.::.; ±> '.h^: ii-iiinin^.-, nL Ikmvi'U ; ni- 
ls it a mere uii.-ni:',\-.l .v.'iijA'.iii'.l tiL f.>iiii>.iUiks ami 
associatioHi iiid iiabi:-* ? 'I'hv; *.Aaiuiii,iUi>ii nl' lln'.se 
questions a;u[ au.-.weis, tlnj =v[i.iKHiiiu nl llie per 
tinent ami true Irom the iiiek:vuiit aiul l.iUu, aiul 
arranging the resiili in an unleii) ami ft)sleiiialii: 
form, is the si'iem-e i>I tlieiiii:lii;al elhi.s, uy tlie 
philosophy of morals. The tlelaileii c.\aiiiiiialiuji ui 
human actions ami iilili^aliiin.i in i>.-lL-iL'iiie tu llii,'ir 
being right and wrung lor a iiuual ln'iiij; In jK.-ifnciii, 
and arrangenioiit of llieiii in a ,s).-.Ii.'Iji a.■^ .liilii-s and 
rights, resolving touijjle.vilie.s aji.l i.iiiinioi; i.iiilia- 
dictions, forms ihe siicim.- nl niui.ilily, i.i raMiisliy. 

Extending similar oljsei vaiiuii.s icgaiiljii,;; Ininiaii 
duty to the social relaliuiis ul nn'ii, lu.jiiiriLS aiise 
concerning the organi/.aliiui, iIji' hkI'I-S i'l'i' dnlies 
of the Stale. ' inijniika Jnrin the hdeiue of 

The application ol iJie auUi.jiity of lJi« i 

individuals is regulated ljy rule;. 'I In- \iniiv uS r 

by which the exei.iilivc autli"jn 

guided in its goveiniut', aUinn, i 

inal law. 'J hu iheoiy of llie i-.. 

rules is tin: siicim ul U:gist.tUi.' 

conversant wiili [in iuliiipieLalion i 

of these rule.-), i.^ tin acieiii-e of j^j ' 


It is foreign to our purpose to do more than 
furnish a specimen of the manner in which the facts 
and forces of mind expand, under the eye of obser- 
vation and analysis, into broad and magnificent fields 
of scientific thought. Bearing in mind the illustra- 
tions already given of the elementary processes 
which lie at the basis of our knowledge of matter, 
let us now trace some of the steps by which we pass 
from the vague and indefinite beginnings of com- 
mon material knowledge, to those complete and 
orderly results which we call physical science, or 
sometimes natural philosophy. 

In our first observations of bodies we find them 
in two states, that of rest and motion. We ask the 
origin of our idea of the cause of motion, and we 
find it in the expenditure of muscular effort neces- 
sary for us to exert in order to produce it. This 
effort we call force^ and we give that name to every 
thing which produces motion. We find by experi- 
ence, that the great forces of nature are always in 
a state of activity. But when acting in opposition 
to each other, their natural effect, motion, is coun- 
teracted, and the equilibrium thus produced is rest. 
All rest of bodies is due to these counteracting 
forces. We find that all masses of matter exist 
necessarily in one of these two conditions — rest 
or motion — depending on the fact whether the 
forces which are ever acting in and through them 
are in equilibrium or not. We have here the basis 
for a broad distinction between the condition of 
masses of matter, as existing in one or the other of 
these elementary states. That part of mechanics 
which is conversant with the conditions of matter 
or body at rest, is called statics. That part conver- 



sant with bodies in motion, receives the name of 
dynamics. Those forms of matter which are liquid 
and aeriform, may be considered as varying from 
solids, by greater or less degrees of cohesion among 
their parts. Consequently, they are subject to the 
same laws and methods of analysis. In addition to 
the statics and dynamics of solids, we have there- 
fore those of fluid and gaseous bodies. The statics 
and dynamics of aeriform bodies are discussed and 
included under the general term pneumatics. In 
the case of liquids, the laws of their motion and 
rest are classified under the terms respectively of 
hydrostatics and hydrodynamics. We may re- 
mark in passing, and by way of illustration, that 
questions regarding arches, strength of structures in 
architecture, whether of ships, of buildings, of the 
pressure of water under various heights of a column, 
or "head," the expansive force of steam or explosive 
gases, belong to the statical branch of mechanical 
science ; while the motion of projectiles in gunnery, 
the flowing of water, and the motion of expansion 
in steam or gases, are questions belonging to gen- 
eral dynamics. 

All the fundamental principles upon which the 
science of mechanics depends, are summed up in 
what are known as the three laws of motion. These 
laws are ordinarily expressed in the following form : 

1. "When a body moves, not acted upon by any 
other force, it will go on perpetually in a straight 
line and with a uniform velocity." 

2. "When a body in motion is acted upon by a 
force in a direction transverse to its motion, the re- 
sult is that there is combined with the motion with 
which the body is thrown, another motion exactly 



the same as that which the same force would have 
communicated to a body at rest." 

3. "When a force of the nature of pressure pro- 
duces motion, the velocity produced is proportioned 
to the force, other things being equal." 

These laws are established by experiment ; and 
from them, by the aid of mathematical formulas and 
processes, are drawn out the whole system of me- 
chanical philosophy, theoretically considered. The 
practical modifications of the strictly theoretical 
principles, which are required by friction of materi- 
als, and the resistance of media like air, are them- 
selves determined by experiment, and become an 
important element in the practical application of 
mechanical principles. The mode in which these 
laws of motion are proved, and the countless appli- 
cations and illustrations of them, which the manifold 
phenomena of force and motion afford, constitute 
the broad field of physics. 

The application of these laws to the phenomena 
of the celestial motions, identifying them in kind 
with those due to gravity on earth, and referring 
them to the same cause, form the science of phys- 
ical astronomy. The observation and notation of 
the appearances and motions of the heavenly bodies 
as they are revealed to the eye, are descriptive as- 
tronomy. This precedes physical astronomy in 
point of time, and is necessary to verify and legiti- 
mate to the worlds beyond us the applicability of 
those laws of motion which are observed in small 
masses of matter on our earth. The range, com- 
plexity, and invariableness of the action of these 
laws among the heavenly bodies, form the sublimest 
realm of inquiry in the domain of the material and 


sensible universe. The human mind reels and 
staggers in the attempt to comprehend and repre- 
sent the stupendous mechanics of the Almighty. . . 

Here we may be permitted to make a few re- 
marks upon the relation of the mathematical sciences 
to physical inquiry. "It is," says Sir John Herschel, 
" a character of all the higher laws of nature to as- 
sume the form of precise quantitative statement." 
Hence one of the first requisites for scientific obser- 
vation is, to increase the capacity of the senses to 
measure every description of quantity by carefully 
adjusted machinery. We must also fix accurately 
certain standards of weight and measure, which shall 
become a common unit with which all quantities can 
be compared. All branches of general physics, as- 
tronomy, crystallography, and chemistry, are emi- 
nently sciences of quantity. 

Now the fact that gravity varies directly as the 
quantity of matter and inversely as the square of 
the distance, is learned by observation and experi- 
ment. The fundamental facts of physics are not 
reached by comparing concepts of the mind which 
we cannot but believe to be true, as in mathematics ; 
consequently, the two sciences stand apart in their 
foundations and methods, and must never for a mo- 
ment be confounded. 

When it was seen that sound is due to the dis- 
turbance of the air, sending an oscillatory or wave 
motion in all the directions occupied by the medium, 
it became evident that these oscillations must follow 
the law of waves produced by dropping a stone into 
tranquil water, diminishing in force as they recede 
from the center of action. This analogy suggests 
the application to the phenomena of sound of the 


theory of elastic bodies in general. It was found 
that the assumption that the intensity of sound 
varies at different distances by the same proportion 
that obtains between the radii and surface of a 
sphere, harmonized both with the general laws of 
elastic bodies, and with the approximate measure- 
ments of its intensity by instruments. 

The facts of light, whether the emission theory 
or the undulatory theory was assumed true, were 
found by similar methods to harmonize with the 
same law. The same law was found applicable to 
other imponderable agents, and these forces in gen- 
eral are held to vary in intensity, inversely as the 
square of the distance. After this relation was 
found to hold true as a general fact, the mathemat- 
ical laws of the sphere and spherical cone could be 
used in all calculations regarding the intensity of 
sound, light, and heat, as if these were due to the ac- 
tion of material radii of a sphere or cone proceed- 
ing from a center with their ends touching the 
spherical surface, and spreading over it with a thin- 
ness increasing with the length of the radii and the 
extent of the assumed spherical surface, each in- 
creasing by a common law. 

We may illustrate still further this relation be- 
tween mathematics as the science of quantitative 
ideas, and the sciences which rest on observation of 
facts, by the well-known method in which Newton 
established the universality of the law of gravita- 
tion, (i) In the outset he had given him the ob- 
servations of descriptive astronomers as to the rate 
of the moon's motion in her orbit. (2) He had the 
discovery of Kepler, that the moon's orbit is an 
ellipse. (3) He had given him by measurement, 


the length of a meridian of the earth, which enabled 
him by the law of the parallax to calculate the ap- 
proximate distance of the moon from the earth. (4) 
He had also given him the fact that all bodies at 
short distances from the earth were attracted to it 
by a force sensibly constant. 

The questions which occurred to his mind, wait- 
ing for an answer, were these : (i) Can the hypoth- 
esis, that the force which holds the heavenly bodies 
in their orbits varies as the square of the distance, 
be proved ? This hypothesis had also occurred, as 
Newton himself admits, to Hooke, Wren, and Hal- 
ley, but they had failed to verify it by calculations. 
(2) Is this force identical with that of gravity on the 
earth's surface ? Analogy would seem to indicate 
that these questions might be answered in the 
affirmative. The hypotheses seemed reasonable 
enough, but are they actually true as matters of fact ? 
All the mathematical or metaphysical reasoning 
possible, all the fine analogies and harmonies that 
ever entered the head of Pythagoras or Schclling, 
would not give the ghost of a reply that would 
satisfy, or ought to satisfy, a scientific mind. But 
if mathematics could not of itself, and from its un- 
assisted resources, answer the questions, it could 
help the inquirer to put nature to the torture, and 
compel her to answer yes or no. 

Supposing the moon at any given time to have a 
projectile force impressed upon it in the direction 
of a tangent to its orbit, carrying it forward at a 
rapidity, say, of thirty-eight miles a minute, would 
the mass of the earth, acting constantly by its grav- 
ity and with that force diminishing inversely as the 
square of the distance, draw the moon toward itself 


in such a way that it would describe an ellipse by 
its motion ? This calculation was made, assuming 
the hypotheses adopted in the outset to be true. 
The result of the calculation was found to agree 
with the path and time of the moon's orbit as 
actually observed. Applying similar calculations 
to the observed elements of other planetary orbits, 
the same results were found. It explained the tides 
also, and the irregularities of planetary motion. 
Found to be true in these emphatic instances, the 
induction was held to be complete. The law of the 
celestial motions was established, and astronomy 
passed from infancy to manhood by a single bound. 
The theory has since been extended to other systems 
than ours, by observations on binary stars ; it has 
been shown to harmonize in the minutest points 
with the vast accumulations of observed irregulari- 
ties in celestial motions. But the induction was 
complete, when, with quickened pulse and quivering 
hand, the great discoverer first looked upon the re- 
sults of his calculations on the orbit of the moon. 
We have given this illustration to show the nature 
of the relation between pure mathematics and in- 
ductive processes. Mathematics is essential to phys- 
ics; but it is distinct from it, as is the world of 
thought from the world of matter. Not less im- 
pressive is the power of mathematical analysis in 
other branches of physical science. A ray of light, 
when it enters water, is bent or refracted by a cer- 
tain and invariable law. This law, mathematically 
expressed, is the index of refraction. Each of the 
different colored rays in the spectrum has a dif- 
ferent index of refraction. A globular drop of 
water decomposes light like a prism. The rainbow 


is seen only when the sun shines into drops of rain 
or spray. Here are a series of facts that would 
give rise to a reasonable hypothesis of the cause of 
the rainbow. But how are we to subject this hypo- 
thesis to a scientific test ? Obviously by calcula- 
ting the effect on the eye of a myriad of little globes 
of water bathed in the sunlight, and each furnishing 
its tiny but manifold fringes of radiance and beauty. 

The scientific investigator begins with these ele- 
mentary and obvious facts, and by his powerful cal- 
culus, compels the single drop of water to reveal the 
marvels of the bow of promise. He constructs the 
primary, secondary, and tertiary bow, determines 
the distance between them, and even gives us the 
radius of the curve which these resplendent arches 
describe on the blue of the firmament. He demon- 
strates the harmony of his hypothesis with the uni- 
versal laws which govern the reflection and refrac- 
tion of light in any medium whatever. He makes 
his thought the possession of all who may take the 
trouble to read and understand his formulas. No 
college student who has labored through the dif- 
ferentiations and integrations which establish on a 
scientific basis the theory of the rainbow, will ever 
forget the impression made on his mind. Years may 
pass away, the processes may fade into vagueness 
or be forgotten, yet the impressions of power and 
beauty and all-pervading law which then dawned 
on his mind, will be lived over in all their fresh- 
ness with every vision of that " sacred sign in the 
heavens." It will be to him one of those "thoughts 
that wake to perish never." 

The physical sciences which we have thus far con- 
sidered, have been conversant with masses of mat- 


ter, or the integral and similar parts of which the 
masses are by aggregation made up. That science 
which has to do with the component elements of 
these parts themselves, is chemistry. 

Chemically considered, bodies fall in the first place 
into two classes, simple and compound — the term 
simple being only provisionally applied to those sub- 
stances which resist all known chemical re-agents. 
Compound bodies are held together, as the phe- 
nomena of decomposition proves, by an attraction 
mutual in its action and resulting in a statical equi- 
librium. Chemical decomposition is the destruction 
of this statical equilibrium, by bringing into action 
other forces which rend the compound body apart, 
forming a new combination or a new equilibrium. 
Practically, there is a chemical statics and dynamics, 
but they are due to the action of subtler forces than 
gravity, elasticity, or friction. It is with the control 
of these forces and the examination of the laws of 
their action, that chemistry is conversant. It has 
to do with whatever determines, modifies, or sus- 
pends the action of these forces. It describes the 
various properties of the combinations which result. 
It takes account of all conditions requisite to the 
excitation of chemical action, whether heat, cold, 
time, rest, agitation, pressure, light, electricity, or 
magnetism. Although, since the time of Lavoisier, 
chemistry has been a science of number, weight, and 
measure, its laws do not admit of that kind of quan- 
titative expression which renders possible mathe- 
matical deductions ; nor do its laws admit of the im- 
posing generality of statement as do other branches 
of physics. Hence a general acquaintance with its 
laws and facts may be acquired, without that intense 


and painful concentration of thought, or that com- 
prehension of abstract terms and complicated pro- 
cesses, which render physics and astronomy the 
horror and opprobrium of indolent college students. 
Its "wonderful and sudden transformations," to use 
the language of another, " the violent activity often 
assumed by substances usually considered inert and 
sluggish, and above all the insight it gives into the 
nature of innumerable operations which we see daily 
carried on around us, have contributed to render it 
the most popular, as well as one of the most useful 
of the sciences." 

The doctrine of latent heat, with its consequences, 
especially that bearing on the scientific theory of 
the steam engine; the atomic theory of Dalton, 
leading to the law of definite proportions for the 
combination of gases as well as solids and liquids ; 
the discovery of the relation of chemical affinity 
with voltaic electricity ; the analyses of the consti- 
tutive elements of plants and animal tissues; the 
establishment of the relations between the chemical 
composition and form of crystalline bodies — have 
marked the steps of progress which have placed 
chemistry among the most important and imposing 
of the physical sciences. 

Allusion to chemical analysis, leads us to note 
the growing up of the sciences of mineralogy and 
geology. At first, mineralogy consisted in a loose 
description of the color and external characters of 
bodies composing the crust of the earth. Soon at- 
tention was given to their chemical composition, 
and this furnished the law of classification in the 
science. Afterward, the relation between this chem- 
ical composition and crystalline form was, to a con- 


siderable extent, found to be fixed and definite. The 
tendency to crystalline form was found universal, 
and minerals were classified by their fundamental 
forms ; and all the manifold and partially developed 
states in which they are actually found in nature, 
were reduced, by cleavage and the application of a 
few mathematical diagrams and formulas, to the six 
primary classes or forms which include all the crys- 
talline substances in nature. 

From the examination of the minute portions of 
the earth's constituent elements, men naturally 
passed to an examination of the order of formation, 
and laws of superposition of the large masses. 
Mineralogy had indeed formed the natural prepara- 
tion for this higher science. As the edges of the 
earth's strata are elevated by mountain ridges, or 
exposed by deep abrasions, they are seen to be 
separate and distinct from each other and suscept- 
ible of classification into formations. When these 
are not continuous, they may, either by similar 
lithological structure and composition or by similar 
organic remains, be identified with each other. 
These formations occupy a fixed relation in the 
earth's crust, and one which naturally suggests the 
order of time in which they were deposited. In all 
these formations, except the lower in natural place, 
there are distributed marks of organic life, generally 
in a petrified state. 

These fossil remains, as they are called, are so ar- 
ranged in the earth's crust that they indicate dif- 
ferent epochs of vegetable and animal life, as hav- 
ing succeeded each other on our earth, proceeding 
by gradations from the lowest to the highest forms. 
Though these gradations are by no means absolutely 


regular, they justify us in the conclusion that animal 
and vegetable existences, greatly different from 
those of the present time, have flourished on our 
globe, under their appropriate conditions of life. 
The study of fossil plants and fossil animals has 
thrown the strongest and clearest light on all ques- 
tions connected with recent zoology and botany. 
The gigantic plants of the coal period, studied in 
their relations to the conditions of soil and at- 
mosphere in which they grew, show the enormous 
changes which external circumstances can make in 
the same or allied botanical species. 

He who would penetrate into all those secrets of 
nature which affect the acclimatization, hybridiza- 
tion, modification, and nutrition of plants, must be- 
gin his studies in fossil botany, and give days and 
nights to the examination of that gigantic flora whose 
remains have formed the coal fields of the geolog- 
ical explorer. A similar train of remark would be 
applicable to the relation of fossil remains to exist- 
ing species in the animal creation. It has been the 
study of the fossil fauna which has given, during the 
last half-century, such an impulse to comparative 
and morphological zoology. 

These fossils form a sort of rude chronology of 
our planet's history, and give the elements by which 
the stages of the earth's development, under the 
forming thought of the Creator, can be reconstructed 
and described. The identification of the forces 
which are now in action on the earth with those 
which in past eras have uplifted mountains and sub- 
merged continents, has given a breadth and com- 
prehension to geological generalization and a uni- 
versality to its laws, which bring them within the 



same range as those of physical astronomy. The 
closeness of the connection of geology with econom- 
ical results in agriculture and mining, and the wide- 
spread and obvious nature of some of its phe- 
nomena, render it one of the most elevating and 
practically useful of the sciences. 

We have already gone too far for our readers' 
patience in the attempt to sketch the fields of in- 
quiry open to the mind of man. It has been to 
little purpose, if some glimpses have not been given 
of the intimate connection of all the parts of this 
vast realm with each other. The several sciences of 
mind and matter so grow out of each other, and in- 
terlace in so many thousand ways, that it is diffi- 
cult, except by a merely arbitrary line, to distinguish 
their respective domains. All the sciences of mind 
are so many outgrowths of a simple analysis of the 
indivisible consciousness of man. The doctrine of 
the correlation of physical forces even threatens to 
break down the distinctions among the active agents 
in nature, and resolve them all into a single force 
under a variety of transformations. It may now be 
said, without exaggeration, that no man can become 
profoundly versed in any one of the sciences, with- 
out some acquaintance with the laws which control 
all the cognate branches of inquiry. As we push 
observation and thought, we find the isolated and 
apparently unrelated facts with which knowledge 
begins resolving themselves into those which are 
more general, and the laws by which their appear- 
ance is regulated becoming absorbed in those of 
still broader range, till with bold confidence we reach 
out our hands to seize the secret of the universe 
and its Almighty Creator. But as we grasp at the 


boon which seems within our reach, it rebounds to 
the distance, and the humbling facts of our finite 
capacity for knowledge, and the infinite complexity 
and extent of the universe, dash our hopes and we 
bow in philosophical, if not religious awe, in the 
presence of the secret things which belong to the 

The seeming paradox, that the wider our sweep 
of knowledge the more we are impressed with the 
limits of our capacity, contains a real trut h of human 
experience. . . Our powers of knowing are limited 
by the minuteness, as well as the vastness of the 
objects of perception. Our knowledge practically 
oscillates between the infinitely great and the in- 
finitely small. The eye aided by the microscope 
possibly reaches no nearer the ultimate elements of 
things, than our senses approach the comprehension 
of the infinite whole, in the opposite direction. All 
speculations regarding the nature of the ultimate 
constitution of matter have failed. The Daltonian 
law of definite proportions seems to favor the theory 
of Newton, that it is composed of solid atoms of a 
definite shape. The phenomena of crystallography 
seem also to favor this view; but the hypothesis 
cannot be verified, and many facts of molecular ac- 
tion refuse to be included within it. It may be 
safely said, that the internal and ultimate constitu- 
tion of matter, is as far from our knowledge now as 
it was in the time of Newton. 

Akin to these speculations have been those which 
have sought as their end the discovery of the secret 
cause of animal life. The vital principle has been 
supposed identical with one after another of the 
forces of nature, but no such identification has been 


established. A natural cause for the diversities in 
species among plants and animals, has been sought 
with zeal. The hypothesis of transmutation of one 
species into another, by the joint action of internal 
forces and external conditions of life, apart from 
creative agency, has been defended with earnestness 
and ability ; but no crucial experiment showing the 
possibility of such a change has ever been produced. 
All merely scientific explanations of the origin of 
man or animals on our earth, or of the planets in the 
firmament, have as yet failed. The facts upon which 
such inquiries depend seem to lie beyond the limits 
of human knowledge. The nebular hypothesis is 
encumbered with physical difficulties ; and though, 
like the similar one of transmutation of species, we 
are not at liberty to say that it cannot be true, no 
man can prove that it actually is true, or remove the 
violent assumptions which it involves. 

In fact, what is called explanation is simply refer- 
ring a fact or body of facts to a more general fact 
or law. When Davy showed that voltaic electricity 
would rend apart the metallic bases from common 
alkalies, he simply showed that what were before 
considered simple substances, were in reality com- 
pound, and that the force which held these elements 
in statical equilibrium, was the same with that which 
flashes in the lightning and points the needle to the 
pole. He taught us more than we knew before, 
regarding the extent and modes of electric action, 
and of the elements which composed the alkalies. 
But of the ultimate constitution of the electric fluid, 
and those new simple substances which he proved 
to exist, he revealed very little. The broader our 
induction of physical causes, the grander the sweep 


of our recognition of the presence of physical law, 
the more intense and emphatic becomes the soul's 
demand for a cause of causes, for a mind to whose 
unresting, unhasting agency, all modes of material 
activity are due. Starting out from the admitted 
and fundamental principles of any human science, 
a point is soon reached in which problems arise too 
great in number and complexity of elements and 
conditions for human solution. 

From this law of limitation no class of thinkers 
can claim exemption. The metaphysician is vexed 
with his antinomies regarding freedom and neces- 
sity, and the passage in thought from the finite to 
the infinite. The philologist has his ever-recurring 
and never-explained difficulty about the relative 
priority of thought and language. The mathemati- 
cian has his paradoxes touching infinitesimal analy- 
sis, and is haunted by ghosts innumerable of departed 
quantities too thin and vapory to be held in the 
meshes of curve or formula. The politician must 
meet and quell by unseemly compromises the ever- 
outcropping and ever-unsettled feud between public 
law and the individual conscience, between personal 
well-being and freedom and what is imperatively 
demanded as the condition for maintaining a con- 
tinuous and energetic State life. The naturalist has 
his vexed questions on origins, the distinction be- 
tween mineral and vegetable, plant and animal, in- 
stinct and reason. Everywhere we find solid and 
unquestionable knowledge in close relation to the 
chaos of darkness and mystery. 

The line which separates the region of positive 
knowledge from that of obscurity and doubt is 
never sharply defined. It is enough for us that, 


though the knowledge permitted to us is limited and 
partial, it is trustworthy and real, vastly greater in 
extent than any man can explore, and always adapted 
to man's needs by that great law of uses and adjust- 
ments, which reveals the thought and goodness of 
Him by whom and in whom all things consist. 



NO person who follows back the stream of philo- 
sophic thought from the present time through 
the Middle Ages to its proximate sources in the pro- 
lific intellect of the Greeks, can fail to notice the 
profound impression made upon the European mind 
by the Saracenic literature which crossed the Pyre- 
nees from Spain. . . 

Wherever we can trace the beginning of the sci- 
entific discussion of the mental faculties, we find the 
determining impulse in that dii ection to have been 
given by man's moral wants and religious aspira- 
tions. It is these which start the great problems of 
life and being that so imperatively demand attention 
and solution. While the remark of Beausobre, that 
** heresies in religion have been founded on previous 
philosophies," contains in it a partial truth ; that of 
Stahl, that " a people's philosophy has its root in their 
theology," embodies one much more radical and pro- 
found. . . Philosophy and religion act and re-act 
upon each other with extraordinary power, alternately 
manifesting themselves as cause and consequence. 
But even in these alternations of energy and passiv- 
ity, a profound analysis will discover that some affir- 
mation or denial concerning God and duty has con- 
trolled and pervaded alike the philosopher and 
the seer. 



To these general considerations the Arabs form 
no exception. The advocates of the doctrine that 
there are essential and specific differences of mental 
constitution in different human races, have affirmed 
that the Semitic tribes are incapable of generating 
philosophical conceptions, and that their mental ac- 
tivity in everything relating to the soul is limited 
to the acceptance and propagation of religious dog- 
mas embodied in lyrics or prophecy. Although we 
shall see hereafter that the Arabic thought was 
finally molded into Greek forms, there is clear evi- 
dence of philosophic activity, at least in the germ, 
before the practical contact of the Greek and Arabic 
minds. The same general relation existed between 
the Greek and the Arabic mind as between that of 
the Greeks and the Roman, Celtic, Slavonic and 
Teutonic peoples. Like the Non-Hellenic Euro- 
peans, the Arabs derived from the Greeks their 
forms of thinking, and the basis of their developed 

It is not improper to say that there is no 
monument of abstract thought attributable to the 
Arabs, previous to the time of Mohammed. The 
Arabs estimate so lightly the knowledge of their 
ancestors before the advent of the prophet, that they 
designate the antecedent period as "the time of 
ignorance." In the first years of propagandism, 
the ferocious fanaticism of the conquering Sara- 
cens left them neither time nor disposition for 
the processes of philosophy. But no sooner had 
their new creed become established, than some in- 
dependent and thoughtful minds sought for a foun- 
dation, in the nature of things, for the doctrines of 
the Koran. These efforts led to the formation of 


religious sects and schools of instruction, which 
sought to defend their various dogmas by dialectic 
weapons, and to ground them upon general views 
of human nature. 

These philosophical tentatives generally took the 
form of heresies and dissent from the reigning re- 
ligious faith. Among the first of these was the 
sect of the " Kadrites," or the partisans of freewill. 
In opposition to the natural interpretation of the 
Koran, they believed in man's entire ability to con- 
trol and determine his own actions, whether good or 
bad. They denied predestination, and placed the 
human soul beyond the control of any objective 
influence whatever. To these were opposed the 
"Djabarites," or the partisans of absolute fatalism. 
This sect denied to man all power to act freely ; and 
affirmed that all his activity was due to external con- 
straints. So far as the theory of the will was con- 
cerned, this school was quite in harmony with the 
orthodox belief derived from the Koran. But there 
was taught in connection with this, the doctrine that 
God could not be placed in any category of being, 
and could be described by no attributes, qualities, or 
modes — views analogous to those held by Scotus 
Erigena. In opposition to the last-named doctrine, 
there arose the school of the " Cifatites," or parti- 
sans of the attributes, who interpreted literally the 
words of the Koran descriptive of the Almighty, and 
pushed their conclusions to the extreme of anthro- 

At Bassora, about the first quarter of the eighth 
century, there arose another school, called the 
" Motazales," or Dissenters. This school attempted 
by an eclectic process to reduce to system the opin- 


ions of the various Mohammedan sects, and especi- 
ally those of the Kadrites, or partisans of free- 
will. Though subsequently subdivided by many 
shades of opinion, these dissenters agreed generally 
in denying the existence of divine attributes, as dis- 
tinct from the divine essence, seeking thus to mod- 
ify the coarse representations of the mode of the 
divine existence given in the Koran ; and especially 
to illustrate and establish the doctrine of the unity 
of God. They strenuously maintained the freedom 
of the human will, affirming that man actually cre- 
ates the good and evil by which he is affected. By 
reason of their adhesion to these two doctrines, the 
unity of God and the freedom of the human will, 
the Motazales styled themselves the partisans of 
unity and justice, assuming that the unity of God 
and the justice of his government were called into 
doubt by the vulgar Mohammedan creed. De Sacy, 
in his " Exposition of the Religion of the Druses,** 
says, that the Motazales held that "all the knowl- 
edge requisite to salvation, is accessible to man by 
the light of reason, independently of the Koran, or 
any positive revelation.** They naturally employed 
dialectic processes in defending their opinions against 
the literal orthodox on the one hand, and the extreme 
heretics on the other, between whom they sought to 
hold an intermediate position. This dialectic method 
of treating the doctrines of the Koran, either in the 
way of explanation, attack, or defense, was called 
the " science of the word," and it grew up into some- 
thing very similiar to the scholastic theology of the 
Christians in the Middle Ages. Among the Sara- 
cens, as among the Christians, a similar method of 
investigation and statement was adopted by the 


holders of views extremely diverse from each 

These general remarks will give some idea of the 
condition of the Moslem mind at the accession of 
the Abbassides to the throne of the Caliphs, in the 
latter half of the eighth century. They show that 
the Arabians had already been exercised in dialectic 
subtleties, and had entered upon metaphysical dis- 
cussions which prepared their minds to receive the 
Greek philosophical culture, and to cast their sec- 
tarian debates into still more abstract forms. 

The Arabs derived their first knowledge of Greek 
literature from the Syriac and Chaldean Christians. 
The Caliph Al Mamoun was especially noted for 
his efforts to increase the influence of Greek culture 
among his subjects. In the first instance, transla- 
tions from the Greek into Arabic were confined to 
works on medicine, physics, and astronomy. But 
these sciences among the Greeks were treated with 
so little division of labor, and were so much affected 
by strictly metaphysical methods and processes that 
the Arabs were soon introduced to all the subtleties 
of the Greek philosophers. 

Aristotle became, by way of eminence, their 
guide, and this position he seems always to have 
retained. The Arabic translations of Aristotle ap- 
pear to have been mainly the work of Christian 
writers, and especially of the Nestorians, who fre- 
quented the courts of the Caliphs in considerable 
numbers as teachers and physicians. Many of these 
works were rendered into Arabic from Syriac ver- 
sions, which had been made at an earlier period. 
Whether made from the Greek directly or from Syr- 
iac versions, these works appear to have been trans- 


lated into Arabic with a good degree of care and ex- 
actness, having been subjected to repeated correc- 
tions and revisions. Many historians of philosophy, 
however, have followed Brucker and Bayle in repre- 
senting them as grossly inadequate and incorrect. 
But the great Jewish Orientalist, Munck, the author 
of the articles on Arabic Philosophers in the ^^ Die- 
tionnaire des Sciences PhilosophiqueSy' has formed 
of them a much more favorable opinion. Referring 
to Brucker's statement, Munck speaks as follows : 
***The Refutation of the Sophists' appears in our 
manuscript in four different versions. The exami- 
nation of the critical apparatus which this precious 
manuscript alone furnishes, is sufficient to convince 
us that the Arabs possessed translations made with 
the most scrupulous exactness, and that the authors 
who, without having seen these translations, have 
spoken of them as barbarous and absurd, were in a 
profound error. These authors have founded their 
judgment upon bad Latin versions, made, not from 
the Arabic, but from translations of the Arabic into 

The most noted of the early translators of Aris- 
totle were a Nestorian physician named Honain Ben- 
Ishik and his son. They lived at Bagdad, in the 
latter part of the ninth century. Early in the tenth 
century, other celebrated translators revised these 
versions, or made new ones, and added to them the 
commentaries of Porphyry, Alexander of Aphrodi- 
sia, Themistius, and John Philoponus. 

It was through these commentators that the 
Arabs first became acquainted with Plato. Al- 
though Plato's works do not seem to have been 
much studied among them, an Arabian author of 


the thirteenth century, who wrote a " Dictionary of 
Philosophers," speaks under the article "Plato," of 
Arabic versions of the " Republic," the " Laws," 
and the " Timaeus " ; and under the article " Soc- 
rates," the same author cites long passages from the 
" Crito " and the " Phaedon." It is quite evident, 
however, that the exact knowledge of the Arabs 
regarding Greek philosophy, was limited to Aris- 
totle and his commentators. 

Of Greek writers on the natural sciences, their 
knowledge was somewhat more extended, includ- 
ing the Elements of Euclid, the works of Ptolemy, 
Hippocrates, Galen, and Dioscorides. In these 
writers the Arabs found their masters ; and all 
their subsequent scientific attainments were founded 
in the study of their works. Contrary to the gen- 
eral opinion, Renan insists that their claim to origi- 
nality in physical science is very slight, and not in 
any way superior to that which they can claim in 
respect to metaphysics. 

The knowledge of the works of Aristotle soon 
spread into all the schools, and they were eag- 
erly studied by all the religious sects, not, how- 
ever, without exciting the suspicions of the more 
orthodox followers of the Prophet. De Sacy quotes 
an Arabic historian who laments that "the doc- 
trines of the philosophers have given rise to the 
most fearful evils among the Mohammedans, phi- 
losophy having served to augment the errors of 
heretics, and to add to their impiety an increase of 
impiety." Notwithstanding the suspicion thrown 
upon the followers of Aristotle, his works were 
eagerly studied, and the opinions and psychological 
analyses of the great master were made available by 



all the heretics and sectaries among the Arabs in 
the defense and propagation of their tenets. They 
soon commenced the task of commenting on Aris- 
totle's works after the method of the Alexandrians 
and later Greeks, whose writings had become known 
to them. They gave to him the epithet of " the 
philosopher " by way of eminence, after the manner 
of the Christian writers of the Middle Ages. Though 
not slavishly adopted as an authority by all, he ex- 
ercised a general dictatorship over the form and 
method of their investigations and reasonings. 

The intellectual development of the Arabs mani- 
fested itself in the main at two centers — at the 
courts of the Eastern Caliphs on the one hand, 
and in Spain on the other. The Eastern writers 
preceded the Western in point of time, and the sup- 
pression of free thought in the schools of Bagdad 
and Bassora by Mohammedan bigotry gave addi- 
tional vigor to the philosophical development of the 
Mohammedans in Spain. The most celebrated of 
the Arabian philosophers in the East were Al 
Kendi, who flourished in the ninth century ; Al 
Farabi, who lived in the tenth century, known espe- 
cially for his works on logic ; and the more widely 
celebrated Ibn-Sina, or Avicenna. The last-named 
writer was of Persian origin, and was born a. d. 
980, and died a. d. 1037. He occupied a repre- 
sentative position among the Eastern Saracens, 
similar to that of Averrhoes in the West. It is 
around these two celebrated names, occupying re- 
spectively similar positions in the Orient and Occi- 
dent, that our sketch of Saracenic thought will 
naturally gather. They were both followers of 
Aristotle, and hence similar in their general views. 


Avicenna is best known in popular history as a 
physician. His "Canon of Medicine" was for cen- 
turies considered the text-book for the European 
medical student. As a philosopher he is not 
thought to have made any important additions to 
the views of Aristotle and his Neo-Platonic com- 
mentators. In his religious opinions he professed 
to follow the Koran, and was clear in his affirma- 
tion of the individuality of the soul ; but for reasons 
which we shall hereafter notice, he fell under the 
suspicion of heresy, and was made the object of 
attack by the skeptic Gazali, or Algazel, who wrote, 
or professed to write, in the interests of the ortho- 
dox Mohammedan faith. 

In the minds of the Arabian philosophers who at 
all adhered to the popular faith, there seems to 
have been a constant collision between the strict 
monotheism of the Koran and the dualistic system 
of Aristotle. The Mohammedan and Aristotelian 
doctrines of the soul were also at variance with 
each other. The Greek philosopher believing in 
the eternity of matter, his views could not be har- 
monized with the Hebrew doctrine of creation, 
which had been incorporated into the Koran. He 
was by no means clear in his exposition of the rela- 
tion which his "pure energy'* or "form,** without 
matter, sustained to the material universe ; and 
consequently left in confusion, or shrouded in cos- 
mological speculation, his entire doctrine of God. 
The Aristotelian notion of the division of the soul 
into intelligible and sensible parts, but one of which 
was appropriated to human individuality, could 
hardly be reconciled with that personal existence of 
the soul so emphatically affirmed in the Koran. 


With the Arabian philosophers of the Middle Ages, 
the task of reconciling the doctrines of the Stagirite 
with the Koran was not an easy one. The doctrine 
of creation by a personal God, universally held by 
Christian philosophers, owes its origin to the Bible. 
This view borrowed by Mohammed from the Jews 
and Christians with whom he came in contact, 
stands out clearly in the Koran. This doctrine, 
and that of the unity of God and the spiritual per- 
sonality of man, are the great truths which gave 
power to the system of Mohammed. The Greek 
philosopher, with all his breadth and power of intel- 
lect, never reached these elevated and simple con- 

There are two hypotheses concerning the crea- 
tion of man and the physical universe, radically 
different from each other, which may be respect- 
ively designated as Mosaic and heathen. The one 
supposes a Creator, free, personal, omnipotent, with 
a constitution and attributes definite and deter- 
mined, having a constant providence over the uni- 
verse, holding in himself the complete causality of 
all things objective to himself, including the sub- 
stantial, personal, and immortal soul of man. The 
other hypothesis involves the idea of the eternity 
of matter, the denial of creation, a belief in the 
evolution of the world from formless matter by in- 
herent dynamic forces — God being but a name for 
the sum of the activities of the universe, undeter- 
mined and undistinguished by consciousness, free- 
dom, or personality. The resulting doctrine of the 
human soul makes it a mere segment of the activi- 
ties of the universe, separated from the sum of 
being in general by no real divisions — its individu- 


ality being a formal and transitory mode of uni- 
versal life to be absorbed, at the dissolution of the 
body, into the indistinguishable totality of universal 
being. How far Aristotle emancipated himself 
from this general drift of heathenism, it is not our 
purpose to inquire. It is clear that he never rose 
above the tendencies of his time, and that his doc- 
trine of God and of the soul was radically inade- 
quate and pantheistic. 

Avicenna assumed with Aristotle the eternity of 
matter, but taught that the work of the Creator 
was simply to mold and fashion this eternally exist- 
ent matter into forms of order and beauty. Adopt- 
ing the Aristotelian terminology, which distinguished 
between the ^* matter" and "form" of material ob- 
jects, he described the Creator as the " Giver of 
Forms," but encumbered this comparatively sim- 
ple idea of creation, with reminiscences of Oriental 
pantheism, like those preserved in the Jewish Ca- 
bala, and the emanation-hypotheses of the Alexan- 
drian Platonists and the Gnostics. Omitting, for 
the present, any discussion of these hypotheses, 
which were common to all the Arabian Aristote- 
lians, it is sufficient to say that the Mosaic doctrine 
of the creation as expressed in the Koran seems to 
have retained a stronger hold of the mind of Avi- 
cenna than is generally made manifest in the writ- 
ings of the Saracen philosophers of the Spanish 
school. It is plain that he made an attempt to 
harmonize the doctrine of the Koran with that 
which he received from other sources, whether 
Greek or Oriental. 

In order to ascertain the doctrine of Avicenna 
regarding the soul, we must glance at that of Aris- 


totle. At the basis of this great thinker's system 
lay the distinction between "power" and "act," 
between potential and actual existence. Aristotle 
applied this distinction to all things, man included ; 
and in man, to thought itself. In analogy with this 
distinction, he supposed the existence of two in- 
tellects, active and passive — an intelligible and sen- 
sible soul. The sensible soul receives impressions 
of external things by virtue of its similarity to them 
in the mode of its existence, on the ancient princi- 
ple, simile simili cognoscitur. The intelligible soul 
receives into itself the pure "form " from the sensi- 
ble soul, disengaged from the material vehicle which 
contained it in the sense. It is the organ for the 
reception and manipulation of ideas — the locus prin- 
cipionim — the faculty to which are due all the 
higher functions and activities of the rational being. 
This only is immortal. But whether this organ was 
held to be personal, that is to belong to the indi- 
vidual man, or was considered as a common " light 
of all our seeing," has given rise to much contro- 
versy. Omitting further discussion until we notice 
the similar opinions of Averrhoes, we will simply 
recount the deductions made by Avicenna from his 
interpretation of his master. These deductions 
were three-fold : 

1. The active intellect has its existence anterior 
to the act of individual thought, since it is the 
necessary condition of all thought — thinking being 
impossible until its presence is actually made 

2. The active intellect is independent of the in- 
dividual, and does not make a part of the essence 
of one's personal being. 


3. The active intellect, existing independently 
of the soul of the individual man, is the same in all. 

By these deductions he was supposed by his con- 
temporaries to weaken, if not to destroy, the hope 
of immortality, holding that everything which per- 
tains to the individual, and which constitutes the 
personality of man, belonged to the sensible soul, 
which, according to Aristotle, pertained solely to 
the physical organization, and perished with the 
body. It is evident that however much respect was 
felt or feigned for the Koran by the Arabian phi- 
losophers, they did not limit their speculations by 
any regard to its letter. 

It was natural that in the interests of Moham- 
medan orthodoxy, other and antagonistic specula- 
tions of an apologetic character should arise. 
Accordingly a school of thinkers, half sacerdotal and 
half philosophical, was formed, of which Gazali, or 
Algazel, was the leading spirit. His aim was to 
overthrow the influence of the metaphysicians, by 
showing their views to be self-destructive, and thus 
to prove the necessity of relying for the discovery 
of truth on the divine communications made to 
Mohammed. Algazel was born a. d. 1038, and 
was educated at Bagdad. He is chiefly important 
in the history of Saracen speculation as a philo- 
sophical skeptic. He belongs to the same class with 
Huet in France, and Glanville in England. He 
has somewhat in common with the distinguished 
Mansel of our own time. He represents himself 
as having gone through an examination of all the 
schools of philosophy, in the hope of attaining stable 
convictions. This course of study, however, re- 
sulted in complete skepticism. He doubted the 


gifts of the senses, or he thought them not certi- 
fied by intelligence. He doubted the results of in- 
telligence, because it could not prove the reality 
and certitude of its own principles. From this con- 
dition of doubt, he was led to adopt the mystical 
doctrines of the Persian Soofis, which had been in- 
corporated into the ideas of some of the many 
Mohammedan sects. In the mysticism and ecstacy 
of the Soofis, he appears to have reached intellect- 
ual quiet, but as a writer on their doctrines he 
seems to have made little mark. 

After becoming an adherent of the mystical party 
among his countrymen, Algazel addressed himself 
to the work of neutralizing the influence of the 
philosophers, on the ground that they had weak- 
ened and corrupted the faith of his countrymen. 
For this purpose he wrote two treatises, the one 
entitled " Tendencies of the Philosophers," and the 
other, " Mutual Refutation." After announcing his 
general design in the preface to his first book, he 
added very sensibly that it would be impossible for 
him to accomplish his purpose of refuting the phi- 
losophers, until their views had been expounded and 
their underlying principles developed. After hav- 
ing finished his first and preliminary work, he un- 
dertook the task of refutation, which he effected by 
setting in orderly opposition the conflicting argu- 
ments of the various writers on the same subjects, 
showing thus the futility of philosophy as a means 
of obtaining fixed and practical convictions as guides 
in life. 

The criticism of Algazel was directed to some 
twenty points of physics and metaphysics on which 
the philosophers had laid down conflicting state- 


ments, and on which he regarded their conclusions 
as untrustworthy and dangerous. The following is 
a portion of the analysis of the work given by 
Munck : (i) The philosophers have failed to estab- 
lish their doctrine of the eternity of matter, and the 
inherent and necessary permanence of the material 
world. (2) He deemed them wrong in asserting 
God to be a mere plastic worker in eternally exist- 
ing and uncreated matter. (3) He also denied that 
by philosophy they had proved the existence of such 
a plastic worker at all. (4) He denied that they 
could establish the unity of God, or show the falsity 
of the Aristotelian dualism. (5) He accused them 
of error in denying that God manifests himself un- 
der finite conditions and relations. (6) He also 
accused them of error in the affirmation that the 
First Existence or Absolute Being is an abstract 
entity only, incapable of being put into any cate- 
gory of thought or existence, or of being compared 
with, or distinguished from, any other being.. (7) 
He claimed that they failed to prove God incor- 
poreal. (8) He asserted that they failed to show 
that the world had a cause, and that consequently 
they were chargeable with atheism. (9) He affirmed 
that their system denied to God the knowledge of 
particular things, or of his own existence. (10) He 
denied their theory of causation, and charged them 
with error in affirming that the so-called laws of 
nature were necessary in their action. (11) He de- 
nied their power to demonstrate the spiritual exist- 
ence of the soul, or its immortality. (12) He 
charged them with error in denying the resurrec- 
tion and the future state of rewards and punish- 


We omit his objections to the reigning theories 
on physics and cosmology. It is clear from what 
we have here given, that Algazel was a shrewd 
and able critic, with great capacity to detect the 
weakness of the human understanding, as well as 
the defects of those baseless a priori hypotheses 
which formed so much of the subject-matter of an- 
cient philosophy. He illustrates also the natural 
sympathy between the apparently opposite poles 
of human thought, skepticism and mysticism. It 
is interesting to meet with illustrations of universal 
principles in minds widely separated from each other 
in respect to time, culture, and conditions. Mysti- 
cism and skepticism each has a tendency to generate 
the other. George Fox and his immediate follow- 
ers undervalued the objective and positive elements 
of the Christian faith, and rested in an internal 
mystical illumination, distinguishable by no positive 
marks or tests from the workings of their own con- 
sciousness. Succeeding generations of the Friends, 
surrounded by the influence of this mystical culture, 
have furnished much more than their natural share 
of recruits to the ranks of the rationalists and 
skeptics. Large numbers of persons in our own 
country, educated in skeptical methods, who have 
passed through all the phases of religious and phi- 
losophical doubt and denial, have passed at a bound 
to the opposite extremes of religious and philosoph- 
ical mysticism. It is worthy of remark that, dur- 
ing the time of the intensest skeptical activity that 
our own country has ever witnessed, the mystical 
writings of Behmen and the early Friends, of Mad- 
ame Guyon and Fenelon, were in great demand. 
Spinoza, a philosophical mystic, whose mind had 


been nourished in the mystical theories of the rab- 
bins and the Cabala, became the high priest of the 
German school who resolved the Gospel histories 
into personified ideas, and sapped the foundation of 
all objective certainty and evidence. We often see 
the same mind at one period absolutely rioting in 
doubt and denial of all sacred things, and at an- 
other adopting with enthusiastic faith the dog- 
mas of transubstantiation and the immaculate con- 

One of the most remarkable points in the crit- 
icisms of Algazel is found in his discussion of the 
law of causality. In it he has anticipated nearly 
the entire doctrine of Hume on the same subject. 
But this anticipation only proves that skeptical ten- 
dencies in all ages naturally lead to similar results. 
Although his reasoning on this subject is analogous 
to that of Hume, the use which he makes of it is 
quite different. Denying the actual relation of cause 
and effect between things, and denying all power of 
one substance or event over another, he attributes 
all real causation in the universe to the immediate 
action of the Divine Will. His doctrine presents 
a striking analogy to the Cartesian hypothesis of 
" occasional causes " and " Divine assistance." We 
condense his reasonings and illustrations, as given 
by Munck, under the following heads : (i) When 
two events happen in constant relation and order, it 
by no means follows that one is the cause of the 
other. The relation is one of association, not of 
cause and effect. He thus keenly illustrates this 
proposition : A person born blind, who should see 
for one day only, and who knew nothing of the na- 
ture of light, would suppose that he saw the objects 


themselves by their own impression upon his organs, 
and would take no account of the rays of light which 
are the real object or medium of vision. (2) When 
one admits the action of certain causes by a law of 
nature, so called, it by no means follows .necessarily, 
that the effect under the same circumstances and. 
upon the same objects must always be the same. 
For example, cotton, without ceasing to be cotton, 
might take on, by the will of God, some quality by 
which it could resist the action of fire. In fact, 
what philosophers call the law of nature, or the law 
of causality, is simply a name for what takes place 
uniformly by the action of the Divine Will. We 
admit the relation between such events to be fixed 
and uniform, because God in his foreknowledge, 
determining that things should remain always thus, 
has given us the consciousness or belief of that 
fact. But there can be no law of nature which is 
immutable in itself, or which limits the freedom of 
the Creator. 

Algazel is charged with having written these 
books in the interests of religion, without himself 
believing in the system which he defended. Renan 
tells us that Moses of Narbonne, in his preface to 
the Hebrew version of the work we are noticing, de- 
clares that Algazel wrote a little volume for some 
chosen friends, in which he set aside his own argu- 
ments against the philosophers. Ibn-Tofail makes 
similar statements in a more circumstantial manner. 
We may suppose that, like all other skeptics, he saw 
that in denying the validity of sensible knowledge 
and the authority of consciousness, he in reality de- 
nied nothing ; that he who attempts to overthrow 
all the bases of human belief leaves all things rela- 


tively where he found them. The mass of men can 
never doubt the certainty of the common facts of 
daily life, and if a skeptic leaves the evidence of a 
supernatural order upon the same foundation, he in 
reality accomplishes nothing, but makes a show of 
sharp reasoning which can produce no conviction. 

The practical effect, however, of the able works 
of Algazel seems to have been such as to give a 
deathblow to philosophical speculation. at the courts 
of the Eastern Caliphs. Recoiling before bigotry 
and opposition at the East, it arose with new expan- 
siveness and vigor on the soil of Spain, where the 
Saracenic dominion had already been fully estab- 
lished. There is so much of uniformity in the 
methods and results of Arabian speculators, and 
they follow so closely in the steps of each other 
and of Aristotle, that it would be wearisome to 
speak of them in detail. We pass over, without 
notice, the names of many distinguished men among 
the Arabs in Spain. We confine ourselves to a 
sketch of the opinions and influence of Ibn-Roshd, 
or Averrhoes. 

This great man's writings form the culminating 
point of philosophical culture among the Saracens. 
He seems to have gathered up into his own mind, 
and spread out in his writings the entire results of 
Arabic thought and investigation. A statement of 
his methods and opinions will cover the principal 
remaining ground of our sketch of Moslem philo- 
sophical development. It was mainly through the 
writings of Averrhoes that the Christians of the 
Middle Ages came into connection with the thinking 
of their enemies across the Pyenees. The study 
of his writings undoubtedly did much to excite 


thought and investigation in Christendom, and to 
promote a taste for a knowledge of the ancient 
philosophers in their original garb. The impression 
which he made upon the European mind was power- 
ful. His opinions became mingled with the theology 
of the schools, and called forth in their refutation 
the ablest minds of the Christian church. Though 
spoken of at first with respect, his name was finally 
mingled with the legendary history of the Middle 
Ages as the grand exemplar and representative of 
scoffing, blasphemy, and universal unbelief. It is 
this close connection which existed between the 
works of Averrhoes and the scholastic theology and 
apologetics, that gives so much of interest in the 
mind of the Christian scholar to the views and 
opinions of this distinguished philosopher. 

Ibn-Roshd, known in history as Averrhoes, was 
born in the first quarter of the twelfth century, at 
Cordova in Spain. He was descended from a family 
celebrated as magistrates in a State where, as in all 
Mohammedan countries, the theologian and lawyer 
were combined in the same person. The best au- 
thorities place his birth in the year 1 120. He lived 
during the height of the Moslem power and civiliza- 
tion in Spain, and after the decline of philosophical 
culture among the Saracens in the East. His edu- 
cation was begun by a severe training in the theology 
and jurisprudence which had been drawn out of the 
Koran. Although remarkable for his proficiency in 
the knowledge of the Koran and the commentaries 
and legal decisions by which it had been supple- 
mented, he pushed his studies far beyond, including 
in them the whole range of the knowledge of his 
time, whether drawn from native or Greek sources. 


Special attention w^ls devoted to medicine, mathe- 
matics, the philosophy of Aristotle, and his Xei>-' 
Platonic commentators. Like his father and grand- 
father, he served as a kadi, or magistrate, and ap- 
pears to have been engaged in a diplomatic mission 
of some sort in Morocco. Though he arrived at 
great distinction among his countrymen, he fell into 
disgrace at the court of the sultan, Almanzor, was 
deprived of his political honors, and banished to the 
village of Lucena, near Cordova. Whether his 
banishment was due to some prejudice which he had 
incurred with a despotic court, or to the opposition 
which was excited against him for his philosophical 
opinions, it is not easy to say. Possibly both causes 
may have combined in producing the result. J^y 
the intercession of powerful friends he was soon 
released and returned once more to Africa, where 
he soon after died, in 1 198. 

It may not be improper, in deference to the end 
which we have in view, to cast a glance at the in- 
tellectual and moral forces which agitated liurope 
during the period of the life of Averrhoes. The 
twelfth century must be admitted to have been a 
period of intense intellectual activity, notwithstand- 
ing the inconsistency of this view with the vulgar 
estimate of that period. Although there was little 
intercommunication in the modern sense of the 
term, there was a rapid circulation of ideas, for the 
age had ideas to circulate. The rush of large bodies 
of young men to the universities from all parts of 
Christendom, and a similar impulse for a similar 
purpose among the Saracens ; the Crusades, and 
the vast upheaval of thought and emotion in which 
they originated, and in which they resulted ; the 


bitter conflicts regarding the limits respectively of 
civil and ecclesiastical power ; the sudden influx into 
Spain of all the best results of Oriental and Hellenic 
thought from the courts of the Asiatic Caliphs, 
could not fail to form an intellectual atmosphere 
stimulating thought and passion to a degree of 
which we are likely to form a most inadequate con- 

During the last three-quarters of the twelfth cen- 
tury the seeds of ideas, events, systems, laws, and 
nationalities were germinating and quickening into 
life. Abelard, the knight-errant of scholastic think- 
ing, was drawing his crowds of eager listeners, 
while he demolished with his facile dialectic the 
consecrated realism of his old master and the church, 
or gave form and substance to the doubts and ques- 
tionings of the age in his " Sic et Non^ Bernard 
of Clairvaux, positive, mystic, and realist, was 
thundering on behalf of threatened obedience and 
orthodoxy, and organizing that system for the com- 
pression of thought within the Roman Church, 
which culminated in the crusades against the Wal- 
denses, and made possible in later times the tortures 
of Torquemada. Peter of Clugny was defending 
the Christian faith against Jew and Saracen, whose 
unholy activity of thought was even then felt and 
feared more than the spear or scimitar of the 
Moslem warrior. Peter the Lombard, was elaborat- 
ing at Paris his four " Books of Sentences," des- 
tined for generations to shape and determine the 
theological and metaphysical activity of European 

During this period Aben-Ezra "the Wise," re- 
vived the exegesis of the Hebrew Scriptures in 



Spain ; and David Kimchi prepared his Hebrew 
grammar and lexicon. Jewish scholars, physicians, 
and bankers were scattered over Europe, bearing 
with them everywhere the intellectual spoils of the 
rabbins, the Greeks, and the Arabs. England, 
under the Norman kings, was becoming a consolid- 
ated monarchy, already excited by the collisions be- 
tween the temporal and eccleciastical power. The 
Constitutions of Clarendon had decided the dispute 
against the church, and established the predominance 
of civil over canon law. Arnold of Brescia, with a 
foresight which the present condition of Italy more 
than vindicates, labored to save Rome from the 
temporal control of the papacy, and to restore to 
the church apostolic freedom, and to the city the 
old franchises of the republic. During this period 
the sacramental system of the Roman Church was 
developed amid strong opposition. The Waldenses 
made their protests against the corruptions of the 
hierarchy, and, like the Saracens of the East, were 
made the object of a bloody and exterminating war. 
During this period Gratian made his collection of 
ancient canons, giving currency anew to the forged 
Decretals of Isidore, laying in fraud the basis of 
the papal supremacy. During this period the Pan- 
dects of Justinian were discovered at Amalfi, and 
that intense impulse given to the study of the 
Roman law which collected at Bologna students 
from all parts of Europe. In this period the war 
of the Hohenstaufen emperors regarding Investi- 
tures, was carried on. Guelph and Ghibeline were 
arrayed against each other in Italy ; and the Holy 
Roman Empire was set in deadly array over against 
the Holy Roman Church. By literature and arms 


that long strife was begun, which in our time, under 
the alias of the " Roman question," has baffled 
alike the statesmanship of Cavour, and the physical 
power of Napoleon. Toward the East all eyes were 
turned, where Barbarossa, " the Xerxes of the Middle 
Ages," Philip Augustus, and Cceur de Lion, were 
contending with the genius of Saladin, and the still 
fresh enthusiasm of the Moslem. 

It is not strange that in such an age, when all the 
fundamental principles of life and society were cast- 
ing off the old, and taking on the new — when the 
two mightiest moral forces of earth were measuring 
their strength in deadly conflict for the control of 
the world — that the young Saracen, Averrhoes, 
should have found his great natural powers excited 
to the intensest activity, and furnished with the 
largest career. Although little is known of the 
details of his early life, we may safely assume that 
his celebrity in the pursuits peculiar to the Spanish 
Arabs was well founded. It is a remarkable fact, 
that of his personal history so little is known. The 
persecutions which rose against the philosophers 
soon after his death, almost entirely obliterated the 
name and memory of the great commentator from 
the Arabic literature and mind. In the excitement 
of this reaction whole libraries of philosophical 
writings were destroyed. This bigotry and fanati- 
cism affected both princes and people, and left the 
greatest names which illustrate the Saracenic annals 
to be saved from oblivion by Jewish and Christian 
historians alone. The burning of works on philos- 
ophy is said to have been one means adopted by 
the usurper, Almanzor, to secure popularity among 
his subjects. Renan quotes the following passage 



from an Arabic writer: "It is well known how 
Almanzor conceived the idea of destroying, within 
his States, all works treating of logic and philos- 
ophy, giving orders that all books of this sort 
which could be found should be publicly burned. 
It is known also how he sought to abolish the study 
of the sciences by persecuting men who were de- 
voted to their pursuit, punishing severely those con- 
\ricted of possessing scientific works, or of hiding 
them in their libraries." It is evident that the 
philosophical culture of the Mohammedans, either 
in the East or West, was but a passing phenomenon 
which never affected the mass of the people, nor 
could be made consonant with the genius of their 
religious system. 

In giving a sketch of the opinions of Averrhoes, 
as a specimen and resumption of the philosophical 
achievements of his countrymen, it is proper that 
allusion be made to the works of a literary and 
scientific character which occupied his life, and have 
been transmitted to us by their contents or titles. 
We give the following sketch on the authority of 
Renan. Upon philosophy, in the ancient sense of 
that term, there are attributed to him twenty-nine 
different treatises. Among these may be named 
his celebrated refutation of Algazel, a work concern- 
ing "the material intellect," an abridgment of 
Logic, Prolegomena to Philosophy, a commentary 
on the Republic of Plato, and another on a treatise 
on the intellect by Alexander of Aphrodisia. Among 
them are five treatises on theology, nine different 
treatises on jurisprudence, including three volumes 
of cases decided in the courts and a complete course 
of Mohammedan legal study; three works on as- 


tronomy, including an abridgment of the Almagest, 
and a treatise on the motions of the celestial spheres, 
two works on grammar, and seventeen on medicine. 
The suspicion under which Averrhoes fell, of being 
false to the national faith, and the general destruc- 
tion of works on philosophy by Almanzor, have al- 
ready been alluded to as accounting for the feeble 
impression made by the great commentator on the 
generations of his countrymen succeeding his own. 
His memory and works received no better treat- 
ment from the Spanish conquerors of the Saracens. 
Spanish bigotry devoted Arabian literature to indis- 
criminate destruction. Eighty thousand manu- 
scripts are said to have been burned by the di- 
rection of Cardinal Ximenes, in the streets of Gren- 
ada alone. It has thus come to pass that Arabic 
copies of the metaphysical works of Averrhoes are 
exceedingly scarce. But two libraries in Europe, ac- 
cording to Renan, the Laurentian Library at Flor- 
ence and that of the Escurial in Spain, possess ex- 
emplars of the Arabic text of any portion of his 
philosophical writings. The Arabic texts of his 
medical works are less rare. But Hebrew versions 
of all his works, made by the Spanish Jews, exist in 
great abundance. It is from these Hebrew versions 
that most of the Latin translations, which are so 
numerous, have been made. From these versions, 
made at second-hand from the Hebrew, most his- 
torians of philosophy have formed their estimates 
of Arabic translations of Greek authors. Accord- 
ing to Renan, no part of the Arabic text of Aver- 
rhoes has ever been printed. Two small works of 
his in Hebrew versions have been published, one at 
Trent in 1 560, and another at Leipsic. Down to 


the end of the sixteenth century, Latin translations 
of the whole or parts of his works were frequently 

In making clear the opinions of Averrhoes we 
pass of necessity over a track similar to that which 
introduced our remarks upon Avicenna. Averrhoes 
entered into his predecessor's labors, adopted the 
same masters and combated similar theological 
views. He did not present himself as the founder 
of a system. He was imbued with that extreme 
reverence for the authority of Aristotle so univer- 
sal in his time. In his treatise on the " Generation 
of Animals," he says of Aristotle, that "he occu- 
pies the highest elevation to which any man in any 
age has been able to arrive. It is to him that the 
Almighty makes allusion when he says in the Koran 
'this superiority God gives to whom he will.'" 
His faith in the genius of the Greek philosopher 
was as exclusive as it was absolute. Never assum- 
ing to present a new system, he always takes the 
humble place of commentator upon the works of 
the great master. But even in so doing there was 
place found for a certain degree of originality. A 
multitude of points in Aristotle's works are left ob- 
scure, or his conclusions merely hinted at. These 
the commentators have essayed to explain or to sup- 
plement. In so doing they have made distinct and 
original essays on the topics in hand. In this way 
much original thought was demanded, which gave 
free play to the mental activity of the commentator. 
These discussions, which often stand apart, inde- 
pendent of the opinions of Aristotle, when collected 
and analyzed form a body of original doctrine which 
characterize the distinct opinions of each writer, 


and determine his place in the history of specula- 
tion. It is in this way only that Averrhoes can be 
ranked among original writers upon philosophy. 

The apologetic theology of the time was especi- 
ally active in its opposition to the errors of the 
various sects, and especially to the views of the 
philosophers who sought to establish and popular- 
ize the doctrines of Aristotle. It maintained, against 
the Aristotelian dualism, the creation of matter, the 
existence of a free, personal God, separate from the 
world which he had created, though continually act- 
ing upon it. It exaggerated the fatalism of the 
Koran by affirming that every kind and mode of ex- 
istence and activity, whether negative or positive, 
was immediately the work of God. Even the soul 
of man and the physical universe it held alike to 
be merely protracted volitions of the infinite mind. 
It denied the reality of physical causation in nature, 
affirming God to be the sole being in- whom the at- 
tribute of power really exists. The representatives 
of this scholastic Mohammedan theology were the 
natural enemies of the philosophers. It was against 
them and their system that the philosophical writ- 
ings of Averrhoes were directed. While comment- 
ing on the works of Aristotle, he covertly carried 
on a vigorous polemic against the theologians. The 
doctrine of Averrhoes was a bold and vigorous in- 
terpretation and development of Aristotle and his 
later Greek commentators. So far as his views 
were positive, they gathered themselves around the 
illustration and defense of the Peripatetic doctrine 
of "the eternity of matter " and the separate organ- 
ization of the "intelligible" and "sensible soul." 

In his commentary on the twelfth book of the 


metaphysics of Aristotle, Averrhoes speaks as fol- 
lows : " There are two opposite opinions upon the 
origin of beings, making allowance for some varieties 
of hypothesis intermediate between them. The 
one is the theory of development ; the other that 
of creation. The partisans of development hold 
that generation is merely the drawing out of one 
being from another — a change of form in the same 
substance. The active principle in this process has 
no function but to draw out an endless procession 
of beings, and by these varying forms to distinguish 
them from each other. It is evident from this that 
its functions are those only of a moving force. The 
partisans of creation affirm that the active principle 
or being can create actually and completely without 
the necessity of pre-existing matter. This is the 
opinion of the * Motecallemin * [scholastic theo- 
logians] of our religion and of the Christians — 
John Philoponus, for example — who pretend that 
the possibility of creation resides of necessity in 
the agent alone." 

Averrhoes then proceeds to specify two varieties 
of the theory of development. After saying that 
both of these varieties are in accord as to the belief 
that generation is nothing but a transmutation of 
substance already existing, and that nothing is en- 
gendered, except from something similar to itself, 
he proceeds to define the first of them, evidently 
referring to the views of Avicenna. In this variety, 
he says in substance, the active principle creates 
first the "form " or type, and then impresses it upon 
the " matter " already existing. On this principle, 
the part of the Creator is that of the " Giver of 
Forms." This notion of Avicenna seems to have 



been adopted with a view to a partial introduction 
into his philosophical system of the doctrine of cre- 
ation held among his countrymen. Aristotle, as 
interpreted by Averrhoes, reduced creation, or rather 
generation, to a mere movement which struck out 
the "form," and united it with "matter" in the 
same indivisible act. This movement was merely 
that necessary process by which the new substance 
generated passed over from the potential to the ac- 
tual state. Averrhoes disdained making any con- 
cessions to the beliefs or prejudices of his country- 
men. He adopted with boldness and even exagger- 
ated the doctrine of Aristotle on the creation and 
the constitution of the soul. 

We condense from Renan the following exposition 
of his mode of applying to details his hypothesis of 
creation. Generation is nothing but a movement ; 
all movements suppose a something moved. This 
unique something, this universal potentiality, is the 
" first matter." It is endowed with receptivity, 
but has no positive quality whatever, being equally 
fitted to take on the most contrary forms and mod- 
ifications. This " first matter " is not susceptible 
of any characteristic name or definition. It is 
nothing but simple possibility. Every substance 
is thus eternal by its matter, or its possibility of be- 
ing. To say that a substance has passed from 
non-existence into being, is to say that it possesses 
a capacity which it never had. The matter of sub- 
stances has never been engendered, and is therefore 
incorruptible. The series of generations of being 
is infinite, a parte ante and a parte post ; all that is 
possible to be will pass into actual existence. 
Otherwise there will be a cessation of activity in 


the universe. Hence in eternity there will be no 
difference between that which is potential and that 
which is actual. Order will not precede disorder, 
nor will disorder precede order. Movement will 
not precede repose, nor repose precede movement. 
Movement is eternal and continuous, for all move- 
ment has its cause in a preceding movement. 
Time does not exist otherwise than by move- 
ment. We do not measure time, except by the 
change of state which we observe in ourselves. 
If the movement of the universe should cease, we 
should cease to measure time, that is to say, we 
should lose all perception of the succession of life 
and existence. We measure time in sleep only by 
the movements of our imagination. When the 
sleep is very profound, and we cease to be conscious 
of the movement of the imagination, we cease to 
be conscious of the movement of time. Move- 
ment alone constitutes the " before " and " after " 
in duration. Thus without movement there would 
be no successive revolutions of being, or in other 
words, there would be non-existence. 

From this it results that the mover or moving 
force does not act freely, as the " Motecallemin '* 
contend. Avicenna, who made to them so many 
concessions, imagined his classification of existence 
into the possible and the necessary. He put the 
world in the category of the possible, and supposed 
that it could have been different from what it 
actually is. But how can we call that possible or 
contingent of which the cause is necessary in its 
action ? " The world could not be greater or less, 
than it is. . . God does not take cognizance of par- 
ticular events, but only of the general laws of the 




universe. He is occupied with species and classes 
to the exclusion of the individual. If he took cog- 
nizance of individual acts and beings, there would 
be perpetual change or innovation in his being. 
Again, if God governs the world immediately, the 
evil of the universe must be held as his immediate 
work. . . The only reverential idea of God is that 
which reduces his providence to being the general 
reason of things. On this hypothesis, all that is 
good in the world is attributable to him, since he 
has produced it. Evil, on the contrary, is not his 
work, but is the fatal consequence of matter hav- 
ing contradicted his designs." 

So far Averrhoes seems to have been a faithful 
and intelligent interpreter of the views of Aristotle, 
as expressed in the first and seventh books of the 
Physics, and the twelfth book of the Metaphysics. 
An indeterminate element, " matter," and determi- 
native, limiting and conditioning element, " form," 
lie at the basis of the whole Peripatetic system. 
This is equally true in reference to the worlds of 
both matter and mind. It is evident that to Aver- 
rhoes and Aristotle, God was but a name for the gen- 
eral order or reason of things. The fundamental 
elements of personality and creative power did not 
enter into this conception, matter and form being 
alike uncreated. This ceaseless and orderly move- 
ment, which they recognized in the universe, was 
similar to that which in modern times has been 
personified by those who would exclude a personal 
God from the universe, under the names of 
"nature" and "law." Their "first matter," or 
universal potentiality, seems, from their use of the 
terms, to have been little else than a concept of 


the mind. Their " form '* was but a name for the 
vital and organic forces which limit and differen- 
tiate the various classes of organized existences. 
At bottom their notions seem to have been panthe- 
istic. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that 
they looked upon all parts of the universe of exist- 
ence as really identical in nature, as a boundless 
ocean upon whose surface there rolled eternally the 
ever oscillating and shifting waves of individuality. 
The simplicity of our conception of that invisible 
and organizing force which controls the physical 
universe, makes it extremely difficult to form an 
adequate idea of the complicated hypotheses which 
represented, among the ancients and especially in 
the East, the meagre amount of their physical and 
astronomical knowledge. On the basis of some 
vague statements of Aristotle concerning the na- 
ture of the heavenly bodies, as living beings subor- 
dinated to each other in a sort of hierarchy, 
Averrhoes developed the idea of a vast and compli- 
cated system of intelligences who occupied the im- 
mense chasm between the " first mover " and the 
world. The heavens, according to Averrhoes, con- 
stitute a living being, composed of many orbs, rep- 
resenting the members essential to life, in which 
the "first mover" represents the heart, from which 
life rays out to all the other members. Each orb 
has its own intellect which is its "form," in the 
Aristotelian sense of the word, as the rational soul 
is the " form " of man. These intelligences hier- 
archically subordinated, constitute the chain of 
forces which propagate movement from the first 
sphere to this. Desire is the motive force by which 
they are all influenced, each seeking after some- 


thing better than its own state. Their movement 
is unceasing, for the appetite for the better condi- 
tion is constant in its exercise. Their intellects 
are always in action, and exercise themselves with- 
out fatigue and without imagination or sensibility. 
These intelligences are self-conscious, and have 
knowledge of all that takes place in the inferior 
spheres. The First Intelligence consequently, has 
knowledge of all that passes in the universe. 
"The government of the universe," says Aver- 
rhoes, " resembles the government of a city where 
everything moves out from the same center, but 
where everything is not the immediate work of the 
sovereign.'* He conceived and described an inter- 
mediate ministry for the abstract and invisible 
"prime mover," in order to bring him into relations 
with the universe. This ministry was made up of 
a series of analogues, images, and manifestations 
of that power which was itself sealed up in the 
depths of absolute existence. It is thus that a few 
vague and indefinite statements, in a passage of 
the Metaphysics of Aristotle, of perhaps doubtful 
authenticity, have, in the hands of the Arabs, 
become a complete theory of the universe, inge- 
niously bound together in all its parts and holding 
a close relation to their entire scientific system. 
It forms in fact the most distinctively Oriental por 
tion of the Arabic philosophy, and connects it with 
the Cabala, Sabeism, and the innumerable sects of 
Gnostics which vexed and corrupted the Oriental 
Christian churches. The sublime mechanical 
hypothesis of Newton so profoundly penetrates our 
view of the universe, that all the conceptions of an- 
tiquity and of the Middle Ages appear like dreams. 


As the theory of the planetary intelligences 
adopted by Averrhoes is an amplified commentary 
of some passages in the twelfth book of the Meta- 
physics, so his theory of the intellect is in like 
manner an expansion of the views of Aristotle 
given in the De Anima^ modified and supplemented 
by the Oriental mysticism and subtlety which so 
deeply affected the Arabic mind. We quote the 
following passage from the third book of this re- 
markable work : 

" As every nature contains two principles, the 
one material (in which lie all things potentially), 
the other formal and efficient (as art stands related 
to the material substance), so of necessity must the 
same differences exist also in the soul. The nature 
of the passive intellect consists in becoming all 
things, that of the active in causing all things, act- 
ing analogously to light, which causes to exist in actu- 
ality the colors which before existed potentially. 
This intellect is separace, impassive, and unmixed, 
being in its essence active. For always the active 
is held in higher esteem than the passive, and the 
principium than matter. . . And being separated it 
is simple and absolute, and this only is immortal 
and eternal. And we do not remember [its pre- 
existent acts] because it is impassive ; but the pas- 
sive intellect is perishable, and without the active 
puts forth no act of intelligence.*' 

This passage from Aristotle is the basis of the 
theory of the intellect adopted by the entire range 
of Arabian philosophers properly so called. We 
have already alluded to its influence upon the mind 
of Avicenna, and it reappears in an exaggerated 
form in the work of Averrhoes. It is easy to see 


what consequences are to be drawn from this state- 
ment of Aristotle, by one who accepted it as an 
authority not to be questioned. If the receptive or 
passive intellect is that only which pertains to the 
personality of man, and which perishes with the 
body, all foundation for a distinct personal existence 
in the future life is swept away. If the active intel- 
lect comes from without, and furnishes the universal 
elements in thought, which by their necessity must 
be the same in all, the conclusion would be a very 
natural one that this objective intellect in which 
these universal elements reside, must be a unique 
and identical 'substance, manifesting itself only as 
it comes to the surface in the mental activity of in- 
dividual human organizations, whose thinking it 
completes and renders possible. From this point 
of view the receptive capacity of the mind is but 
an attribute of man's physical organization. The 
active intellect is but the outcropping of the com- 
mon intellectual life of the universe temporarily 
limited and conditioned by the animal organization. 
The higher processes of thinking are but waves of 
an all-enveloping atmosphere of being. 

It has been justly said that this doctrine is very 
little in harmony with the general spirit of Aristotle's 
system. It only shows that his system, like that 
of many human thinkers, fails in harmony and con- 
sistency among its parts. The doctrine of the in- 
dividuality of the human soul can hardly be said to 
have been clearly conceived or expressed by any of 
the ancient philosophers. The >ou(; of Anaxagoras 
was the spiritual principle of the universe. Aris- 
totle is supposed with good reason to have adopted 
from him this idea. AH the Alexandrian school 


taught the procession or emanation of individual 
intelligences from the universal intelligence. The 
realism which manifests itself so obtrusively among 
the Fathers of the Christian church was owing to . 
their failure to apprehend what is alike the ultimate 
deliverance of the human consciousness and the 
teaching of revelation — the distinct individuality of 
the human soul. This failure to apprehend the 
unity and individuality of the soul given in con- 
sciousness, was probably the prevailing error of 
philosophers, strictly so called, up to the time of 
the revival of letters. Any one familiar in any 
degree with the scholastic theologians, knows how 
constantly and how earnestly they struggled to 
harmonize the individualism of the sacred oracles 
with the philosophy which they accepted with such 
undoubting trust. Even Thomas Aquinas made 
the individuality of the soul to depend upon its or- 
ganization into a material body. The Peripatetic 
theory of the soul as it appears in the writings of 
the ancient and mediaeval commentators, exhibits 
with greater or less clearness the following points : 

1. The distinction of the two intellects, active 
and passive. 

2. The incorruptibility of the active, and the 
perishable nature of the passive intellect. 

3. The conception of the active intellect, as 
something external to the human personality, and 
as the light of all intelligence. 

4. The unity and identity of the active intellect, 
wherever manifested. 

5. The identification of the active intellect with 
the highest of the intelligences which constitute 
and control the heavenly bodies, and fill up the 


chasm between the absolute, supreme intelligence 
and the world. 

Upon the first two of these points the thought 
of Aristotle is clear ; upon the third there seems to 
be comparatively little question. The two last- 
named are more doubtful, but there are many of 
his commentators who, by reconciliation of conflict- 
ing statements, and induction of passages from 
different works, have made out for them a reason- 
able claim to be considered the doctrine of the great 
master. The immediate disciples of Aristotle oc- 
cupied themselves mainly with that part of the Peri- 
patetic psychology which had to do with the physical 
organization and the senses. At a later period, 
under the influence of the Neo-Platonic school, 
Alexander and others laid hold of the notions of 
Aristotle contained in the third book of the De 
AnUna, It was this which gave the first impulse 
to that earnest study which this book received 
during the whole period of the Middle Ages. Alex- 
ander was followed in this respect by most of the 
Greek commentators who succeeded him. In all 
these the part played by the active intellect is ex- 
aggerated, and the tendency to represent the doc- 
trine of Aristotle to be a denial of human indi- 
viduality constantly increases. 

It is in developing certain portions to the exclu- 
sion of others, that the Arabs have changed the 
aspect of the Peripatetic philosophy. They seem 
to have given the preference to those parts which 
are rather incidental to the system considered as a 
whole, and marked by an unusual obscurity. We 
have seen what this course resulted in, when applied 
to the isolated cosmological hypotheses of the 


twelfth book of the Metaphysics. A similar ten- 
dency toward the logical development of vague and 
incomplete statements affects the Arabian commen- 
taries on the De Anima, In the opinion of 
Averrhoes, the active intellect had an objective 
existence, and the act of knowledge took place by 
the concurrent action of this, with the subjective 
or passive intellect. The passive intellect Averrhoes 
held to be personal, material, perishable, inasmuch 
as it had to do with the variable and contingent, 
and what pertained to the specific individuality of 
each man. The active intellect, on the contrary, he 
held to be in its existence entirely separate from 
any individual man, exempt from all mixture with 
matter. The personality of consciousness was even 
less clearly apprehended by the Arabs than by the 
ancients generally. The unity of the universal 
mind struck them with far greater force than the 
conscious individuality and manifold variety of the 
reason developed in, and belonging to, the human 
soul. Assuming that all parts of the universe were 
so many living beings, having each a similar organ- 
ization of matter and form, they considered human 
thought in its ensemble as the resultant of objective 
and superior forces, as a general phenomenon of the 
universe, unspecialized and unappropriated to the 
individual. As everywhere in the infancy of ab- 
stract thought, little attention was given to the 
analysis of facts ; vague ontological speculations 
were preferred to the sober and limited teaching of 
psychological experience. 

There is a remarkable similarity between the 
statements of Averrhoes and those of Coleridge, 
Cousin, and the German pantheists. " Reason," says 



Cousin, "is literally a revelation, a necessary and 
universal revelation, which is wanting to no man, 
and which enlightens every man on his coming into 
the world. Reason is the necessary mediator be 
tween God and man, the Logos of Pythagoras and 
Plato, the word made flesh which serves as the in- 
terpreter of God and the teacher of man, divine 
and human at the same time. . . Every man thinks, 
every man therefore thinks God, if we may so ex- 
press it. . . Everywhere present, he (God) returns 
as it were to himself in the consciousness of man, 
of which he indirectly constitutes the mechanism 
and phenomenal triplicity by the reflection of his 
own nature and of the substantial of which he is 
the absolute identity." 

In the first volume of "The Friend," Coleridge 
says: "I should have no objection to define the 
reason, with Jacobi and his HemsterhiuSy as the 
organ bearing the same relation to spiritual objects, 
the universal, the eternal, the necessary, as the eye 
bears to material and contingent phenomena. But 
then, it must be added, that it is an organ identical 
with its appropriate objects. Thus God, the soul, 
eternal truth, etc., are the objects of reason ; but 
they are themselves reason." A similar notion is 
involved in the following passage from Malebranche : 
" Man is finite, but the reason he consults is in- 
finite. . . But if it be true that reason, whereof all 
men participate, be universal and infinite ; if it be 
true that it is immutable and necessary ; it is cer- 
tain that it differs not from that of God himself. . . 
This reason, therefore, is not distinct from him 
[God], but is coeternal and consubstantial with him." 

It is clear that these statements of modern meta- 


physicians would lead to conclusions quite as 
troublesome as those which have been drawn from 
Aristotle by the Arabian commentators. It is not 
strange that modern thinkers holding such opinions 
and striving to harmonize them with the actual facts 
of mind, should make a similar attempt on behalf 
of Aristotle and his Alexandrian and Arabian com- 
mentators, and find in the intellectus agens nothing 
but a faculty of the soul conversant with the regula- 
tive, constitutive, and universal elements of thought. 
This attempt has actually been made, but we need 
to beware of projecting modern opinions into an- 
cient forms of expression. Our object should be 
to seek what the ancient writers in their early essays 
in mental analysis really arrived at and believed — 
to get their errors as well as their truths. The pan- 
theistic tendency naturally takes on similar modes 
of expression in ancient and modern times. Those 
who find in the definitions of the "reason," in the 
passages quoted, an adequate analysis of the actual 
constitution of the human soul, can hardly refuse to 
accept the more bold, clear, and consistent state- 
ments of Averrhoes. 

The real individuality of our entire rational being 
is the most radical, obtrusive, and constantly affirmed 
fact of human consciousness. To deny or extenu- 
ate this affirmation is to destroy or weaken all the 
foundations of morality and religion. Any philo- 
sophical system which fails to take account of this 
fundamental fact carries error on its very front. 
We cannot relieve Averrhoes from the absurdities 
of his doctrine by identifying it with later state- 
ments of similar views. His constant affirmations 
of the externality of the active intellect to man, 


that the immortality of the soul is merely the con- 
tinuous existence of our race, which never disap- 
pears from the earth, are conclusive regarding the 
class of thinkers to which he belongs. With him 
man is but a form in which the universal force, life 
or intellect, which appears in different modes and 
potencies in all parts of the universe, manifests 
itself and becomes self-conscious. With him indi- 
viduality is temporary and phenomenal only. It is 
a segment of the universal intellect common to all 
intelligent beings exercising the function of thought 
through a single material organization. 

It would be improper to conclude this rapid sketch 
without an allusion to the doctrine of "union" be- 
tween the sensible soul and the active intellect, 
which was so constantly discussed by the Saracenic 

They supposed it possible for the individual ele- 
ment in man to arrive at an intimate union with this 
universal intelligence, or to a sort of identification 
with it. They supposed that the active intellect 
exercised upon the receptive soul two distinct func- 
tions : one was to enable it to perceive the intel- 
ligible ; the other was to draw it upward to a union 
with the universal intellect. Arrived at that state, 
man becomes like God, and comprehends all things, 
by the universal reason which he has appropriated. 
The mode in which this union is affected was a sub- 
ject of constant discussion. Some supposed it to 
be brought about by ascetic observances. Others 
supposed the same result could be obtained by mys- 
tical contemplation, and the exclusion from the 
thoughts of all ideas connected with the senses. It 
is this doctrine of the absorption of the soul into 


the universal intelligence by ascetic observances or 
contemplation, or both combined, which shows the 
connection of the Saracen philosophers with the 
mystical sects of India and Persia. 

Averrhoes taught a different doctrine of union. 
Rejecting the asceticism and mysticism of many 
of his contemporaries, he taught that the union of 
the individual soul with the universal intellect was 
effected by " science." It is accomplished when, by 
contemplation and study, a man has drawn aside the 
veil of things, and finds himself face to face with 
transcendental truth. The end of human life is to 
make the superior part of the soul triumph over 
sensation ; when this is accomplished paradise is at- 
tained. But this happiness is rare, and reserved 
only to great men. By this doctrine of union, 
Averrhoes seems to have understood little else than 
the becoming cognizant of the great fundamental 
principle of his system — the oneness of the human 
intellect, so called, with the universal soul. This 
appears to have been the drawing aside of the veil 
of things, and standing face to face with transcend- 
ental truth. In the constant and uniform activity 
of nature he saw but so many manifestations of 
the same force which generated the thoughts of his 
own soul. It was the consciousness of this that 
" science " accomplished for him. The union be- 
tween the sensible and intellectual was complete 
when he came to identify his own individuality with 
the universal sum of being. 

The thought which impresses itself most strongly 
upon the mind, in reviewing the doctrines of the 
Alexandrian and Arabic commentators upon Aris- 
totle, is the substantial similarity of their processes 



and results with those of the modern schools of 
pantheistic philosophers. We have the same neglect 
or denial of the facts of consciousness, and the same 
a priori methods in physics. We have similar re- 
sults regarding the certainty of knowledge, the 
foundations of morality, and revealed religion. Pan- 
theism, so far from being the last word of philos- 
ophy, as is the boast of its modern professors, is 
found to be the mere alphabet of abstract thought, 
and to belong to the infancy rather than to the man- 
hood of philosophical culture. 



THE moral code of a people is, speaking gener- 
ally, derived from one or all of the following 
sources: (i) From divine revelation or what is be- 
lieved to be such ; (2) from the aggregate of the 
moral judgments of the community, as expressed 
in moral treatises, or in proverbs or fables ; or (3) 
from what common and long-continued experience 
has wrought into customs supposed to be obligatory 
or useful. In an ideal state of things, this moral 
code would be in harmony with absolute right. But 
practically, no human society attains to such a con- 
dition ; hence there are always two standards of 
action, the ideal and the actual. In a community 
which is in a state of moral progress, the tendency 
is toward a conformity of the actual with the ideal. 
The penalties for the violation of the moral code 
are in general: (i) The consciousness of ill-desert 
and self-condemnation on the part of him who 
offends against it; (2) the concentration against 
such an offender of an outraged public opinion; 
(3) the fear of divine retribution either in this life 
or the life to come. However severe these penal- 
ties may be, they are not and cannot be described, 
defined, or fixed by civil enactments, nor enforced 
by civil officers through physical pains and penal- 



ties. It is only in a vague and metaphorical sense 
that the term law is used in regard to morals. The 
uniformly acting force to which we give the name 
law in this case, is simply the constantly recurring 
" ought " or " ought not " of the conscience. As an 
expression of the will of Him who constituted the 
mind, it may be called a command. But it is not, 
either in the mode of its expression or in the fixed 
and objective nature of its penalties, analogous to 
the civil law. 

The civil law, on the other hand, covers that por- 
tion of human obligations which it is possible or 
legitimate to sanction by physical pains and penal- 
ties. It consists of a body of rules enacted by 
the State, designed to mark out courses of action 
to the obedient, and to limit and determine the 
action of executive and judicial officers in the appli- 
cation of its penalties to the disobedient. The laws 
among civilized peoples comprise: (i) written com- 
mands formally issued by the legislative authority, 
with definite penalties announced ; and (2) judicial 
decisions by which these commands are interpreted, 
harmonized, or supplemented. These decisions, in 
order to be laws, must be liable to enforcement by 
pains and penalties similar to those written com- 
mands on which they are founded. 

This pretorial or judicial legislation last named 
is built up in general : (i) By giving legal authority 
and sanctions to prevailing customs having their 
origin in religion, race peculiarities, or external 
physical conditions ; or (2) from the adoption, by 
the judicial body, of the oral or written opinions of 
men whose judgments from any cause may have 
come to have weight sufficient to justify their ac- 


ceptance ; or (3) from the adoption by the judiciary 
of the doctrines and provisions of celebrated for- 
eign codes, which have acquired authority by time 
or by their intrinsic excellence ; or (4) from the 
adoption from time to time of maxims and princi- 
ples from the code of morals commonly received 
in the nation, but hitherto unexpressed in positive 

As all these sources of civil law are related, in a 
greater or less degree, to the average moral opin- 
ions of the people governed, it is evident that law 
and its sources, in the moral life of any nation, act 
and re-act on each other. There is a tendency on 
the part of the law to affect the moral judgment 
and moral action of the governed ; and there is a 
still stronger tendency on the part of an existing 
moral code to become incorporated into the body of 
the civil law. The two systems always tend to ap- 
proach each other. If the morality of the law is 
in any considerable degree above public moral opin- 
ion, its requirements will be evaded or executed 
with difficulty. If, on the other hand, the public 
morality is above that of the law, there will be a 
constant, and in the end a successful effort to elevate 
the tone of the law, or to give it additional severity 
in execution. In countries despotically governed, 
the movement which tends to assimilate the public 
and private law to public moral opinion will be in- 
direct and slow. In governments where the appeal 
to public opinion is direct and frequent, the adjust- 
ment between the practical public conscience and 
the civil law is likely to be rapid and easily effected. 

In countries where, as is common, the great ma- 
jority of the people have accepted a given religious 


faith, that faith will influence most powerfully for 
good or evil the moral code which they accept 
and practice. Moreover, as all accretions to a na- 
tion's laws, either through statutes or judicial agency, 
must be drawn ultimately from its code of morals, 
it is evident that all efforts for legal reform which 
are likely to be permanent, must begin and be car- 
ried forward by corresponding efforts to elevate the 
standard and practice of personal morality. 

It will be seen, however, that though there is a 
close relation between a nation's moral code and its 
civil law, they are always to be discriminated from 
each other. Customs and moral precepts, however 
much they may be respected, and however widely 
they may be diffused, are not law until they have 
been incorporated into some statute or have been 
recognized as binding by some authoritative judicial 
body, so that their observance can be enforced by 
physical pains and penalties. Many writers speak- 
ing of the common law, or the Lex non scripta, as 
distinguished from statute law, which is designated 
as the Lex scripta, convey the impression that in 
our country and England there exists a body of cus- 
tomary or common law outside of both statutes and 
authoritative legal decisions. It is true that in all 
trades and forms of business there are manifold 
usages which have existed time out of mind. But 
neither these nor any particular or general precepts 
of morality are law, nor can become law, until they 
are formally decided to be such by some authorized 
and regularly constituted judicial body. 

Still more clearly is the relation of morals to law 
illustrated in equity jurisprudence. Grotius says, 
" cequitas est virtus voluntatis correctrix ejus quo lex 


propter universalitatem deficit.^' Schlegel defines 
equity as "the law qualified by historical circum- 
stances." Mr. Charles Butler says that it "arises 
from the inability of human foresight to establish 
any rule which, however salutary in general, is not, 
in some particular case, evidently unjust and op- 
pressive." It is evidently impossible that any single 
statute or code can embrace all the infinite variety 
of human discords and relations, or can provide for 
all possible contingencies in the definition of any 
particular class of rights and wrongs. Hence some 
contrivance to meet those cases, in which the appli- 
cation of existing laws would in the manifold com- 
plication of human affairs work evident injustice, 
must in every rational system of jurisprudence be 

It is evident that in this correctional system, 
which is called equity jurisprudence, the judge must 
be limited in his decisions by rules and principles 
drawn immediately and directly from the common 
moral code or system of the nation lying outside 
of, and apart from, the strict letter of the law. 
When such moral principles have once been incor- 
porated into decisions, they soon, by being classi- 
fied, pass into equitable rules, become guides for 
future magistrates, and within their proper sphere 
of application have the authority of law. Equity 
may be viewed as the direct conversion of moral 
precepts and judgments into legal decisions by the 
authority of a court. These moral principles may 
be drawn from the ordinary current moral code of 
the people ; or from the writings of men who have 
given special attention to conflict of duties and 
cases of conscience, such as writers on ethics, casu- 


istry, or canon law, or from foreign codes and com- 
mentaries thereon, such as the Roman law and its 
expositors. Judge Story says : " From the moment 
when principles of decisions came to be acted on in 
chancery, the Roman law furnished abundant ma- 
terial to erect a superstructure at once solid, con- 
venient, and lofty, adapted to human wants and 
enriched by the aid of human wisdom, experience, 
and learning." 

The fact that the early English chancellors were 
clergymen specially versed in the canon law and 
casuistry, illustrates the immediate nature of the 
process through which moral rules were, by equity 
courts, changed into law with physical penalties 
attached. Spelman says that, down to the twenty- 
sixth year of Henry VIIL, seven priests were made 
viceroys ; twelve were made justiciars ; and one 
hundred and sixty were made chancellors. Down 
to that time also all masters of rolls were taken from 
the clergy. From the nature of the case the cor- 
rectional judgments in English practice must have 
been at first vague and unsystematic ; but the thought 
of centuries has reduced the principles of judgment 
to orders and classes, which, though refined and 
complicated, are reasonably fixed and certain. 

Casuistry in the hands of priests, and equity in 
the hands of men like Lord Eldon, have acquired a 
bad reputation. But we suppose that treatises on 
practical ethics and chancery law can each show a 
body of fixed and definite principles. -We suppose 
that the decisions, which have grown up in the lapse 
of time, are sufficiently definite to guide the equity 
judge in his labors, by ways nearly as clear and 
simple as those which statutes and decisions mark 


out for the courts of law. We must, of course, 
leave it to professional lawyers to decide whether 
Lord Bacon's ideal of a law court and the rules 
which should guide it, can be realized in equity 
courts and equity jurisprudence : etefiim optima est 
lex qiccz minimum reliquit arbitrio judicis ; optimus 
judex qui minim^um sibi. 

We will now consider how these general principles 
are illustrated in the actual growth of Roman and 
English law, with the view of ascertaining, if pos- 
sible, the actual relation in which Christian morality 
and doctrine stand to the English and American 
common law at the present time. 

An alien sojourning in Rome, the sovereign 
government of whose country had no treaty of 
alliance with the Roman people, "had no rights 
which the Roman tribunals could enforce.'* This 
unsocial maxim obtained in the Roman law from the 
earliest times to a late period of the republic. When 
a nation was conquered by Roman arms, the people 
were not made Roman citizens ; nor, on the other 
hand, were they stripped of all rights. Generally 
they were permitted to retain their ancient forms of 
government as far as was consistent with subjection 
to the Roman power. It was an admitted principle 
that " the law of Rome itself should not be applied, 
unless the law peculiar to the particular region shall 
afford no solution of the legal difficulty." Hence 
it followed that, in controversies between Romans 
and provincials, or between provincials belonging to 
different subject nations, there was no law or court 
available. To provide for such contingencies, which 
became more and more numerous as the Roman 
imperium extended, a new magistrate was created 


called the prcetor peregrinuSy in distinction from 
the prcBtor urbamis who presided over the ad- 
ministration of justice to Roman citizens. This 
prcetor peregrinus dispensed justice in cases arising, 
(i) between Roman citizens and provincials, (2) be- 
tween citizens of different subject provinces, whose 
residences might be in these provinces themselves 
or at Rome. The duties of these magistrates led 
them to seek out similarities and analogies between 
the laws and customs of different States and estab- 
lish general principles founded in universal justice, 
in order to facilitate their somewhat novel and 
difficult tasks. The decisions of these praetors, and 
the principles which they set forth in their edicts, 
gradually grew into a coherent system, representing 
a far more pure and elevated code of morality than 
did the severe, technical, and semi-barbarous laws 
administered by the prcBtor urbanus. This system 
of law was called y«.y omnitim gentium y or by abbre- 
viation jtis gentiufHy in contradistinction from the 
law of Rome proper, which was called, from its 
being the peculiar code of the Roman citizen, the 
jus civile, 

TYiQ jus gentium was ultimately administered by 
all the executive and judicial officers of the republic 
and empire throughout the Roman world, in all 
cases to which it was applicable ; and it ultimately 
became so incorporated with the jus civile that the 
distinction between the two systems came to denote 
a difference in their respective sources, rather than 
in their dignity, authority, or the classes of persons 
to which they were applicable. The union of the 
jus gentium with the body of the old jus civile^ 
effected the absorption into the Roman law of the 


common moral doctrines existing in all the provinces 
of the empire. 

After the introduction of this universal element 
into the Roman law it came, by the influence of 
Greek speculation, to be called jus fiaturale^ on the 
ground that it was common to all and revealed to 
man by natural reason and conscience. By the 
definition of the Institutes it is made to include the 
instincts and appetites of animals. But this ex- 
tended application of the term naturalis is thought 
to have been a speculative notion of Ulpian, and it 
seems to have had no practical influence on the de- 
velopment and application of legal principles. From 
the time of Cicero to that of Constantine, the 
Roman law was constantly and powerfully influenced 
by the Stoic and Academic philosophy ; and they 
were the main moral sources of those doctrines of 
universal justice which were silently and quietly 
passing into the body of the civil law, through their 
incorporation into judicial decisions, imperial re- 
scripts, and constitutions, where they were made 
" compulsory by public authority." It has always 
seemed to me that scanty justice has been done to 
the Greek elements in Roman law. It was the in- 
fusion of catholic morality, due mainly to the 
schools of Greek philosophy, which liberalized the 
Roman law, gave breadth to its doctrines, and made 
it a code for the civilized world. 

After the introduction of Christianity and its 
adoption as the State religion, its morality and 
doctrines took the place previously occupied by the 
speculations of the Porch and the Academy. 
Claims, not altogether unfounded, have been made 
that Christianity elevated the moral thought of the 


heathen philosophers through the whole period from 
Augustus to Constantine, and that its principles 
passed, by a sort of capillary attraction, from the 
humble Christian communities through the whole 
Vange of the age's thinking. Upon this point, 
however, the evidence is inadequate. It is enough 
to say that after the time of Constantine the evi- 
dence is abundant showing the influence of Chris- 
tian morality upon Roman law. The brilliant little 
monograph of Troplong traces the existence and 
character of this influence in detail, with abundant 
citations in proof of his positions. Legar6, a most 
competent authority, makes the following statement 
in his brilliant essay on the " Origin and Influence 
of Roman Legislation" : "From his [Constantine's] 
accession, Christianity became the jus gentium of 
Europe, or the basis of its jus gentium, according to 
the definitions of the civilians themselves." 

This influence is seen with special clearness in the 
Theodosian code, which is founded upon the consti- 
tutions of the Christian emperors. The influence of 
Christianity is seen also in the legalization of Sunday 
observance ; in the prohibition of the brutal sports 
of the amphitheatres, of the selling of children, and of 
infanticide ; in the mitigation of the patria potestas, 
which made children subject to the father for his 
life ; in the emancipation of woman ; in the gradual 
softening of the state of slavery by the introduc- 
tion of the colonat ; in the provision for the poor. 
Legar^ thus speaks of the reforms of Justinian : 
"His reforms are a perpetual sacrifice of law to 
equity ; of science to policy or feeling ; of jus civile 
\.o jus gentium; of the privileges of the citizens to the 
rights of man ; of the pride and prejudices of Rome 


to the genius of humanity, consecrated by the relig- 
ion of Christ. There are those who seem to im- 
agine that the civil law has existed, as a science, 
only since Justinian published it in the form of a 
code. The very reverse is the fact. The civil law 
lost so many of its peculiarities by his unsparing 
reforms that it may be said more properly to have 
ceased to exist at that time — to have been com- 
pletely transmuted into the law of nature and the 
universal equity of cultivated nations to which it 
had been, for a long time, gradually approximating. 
It is this extraordinary change that is brought be- 
fore us in a sudden and striking contrast by collat- 
ing the text of Gains with that of Justinian — the 
Institutes of the Roman law, strictly so called, and 
the Institutes of that law purged of almost all that 
was Roman, which has since become, in the hands of 
Domat and Pothier, of Voet and Vinnius, the 'writ- 
ten reason * of Christendom." 

Since the publication of the great work of Sa- 
vigny on the " History of the Roman Law during 
the Middle Ages," no intelligent scholar has ac- 
cepted the notion, once so prevalent, that the Roman 
law ceased to be a living force from the fall of the 
empire until the discovery of the celebrated manu- 
script of the Pandects at Amalfi. Receiving a 
Christian stamp from Theodosius and Justinian, it 
was the code of the Greek empire till the downfall 
of Constantinople. It was also the written law, to 
a greater or. less extent, of that vast number of 
municipalities which, with various fortunes and 
mutations, survived the barbarian invasions, and 
retained their vitality and organization until the 
complete formation of the State system ol Europe 



transferred their powers and franchises to the mon- 
arch, the Diet, the States-general, and the Parlia- 
ment. During all this period the clergy formed a 
constituent part of the municipal magistracy. The 
morality, which the law as administered in the 
mediaeval municipalities continually absorbed into 
itself, was that of the time. It was Christian in 
its general features, though often grievously cor- 

The simple traditional codes of the German tribes 
were formed under the moral guidance of a rude 
heathenism. But they were not reduced to writing 
until the introduction of Christianity. A careful 
examination of these codes reveals a singular ad- 
mixture of laws with exhortations to moral and 
religious duties, which do not seem to be legisla- 
tion, properly so called, but homilies. The laws 
proper have relation to the duties of the clergy, 
monks, and nuns ; to religious observances and doc- 
trines ; to diplomacy and administration. In the 
homiletic portions above referred to, quotations are 
made from Scripture, and throughout the codes the 
influence of Christian ideas is manifest to the most 
superficial observer. But while ecclesiastical enact- 
ments prescribing religious observances and doc- 
trines are strangely intermingled with civil and 
criminal law, there is no trace of the recognition of 
the Jewish or Christian Scriptures as forming, in 
any real sense, a constituent part of any one of the 
barbarian codes, apart from those passages which 
are quoted or imitated in the laws themselves and 
which are made binding by physical penalties. Even 
where the Jewish law affecting specific crimes is 
quoted, it would seem to be done for no defined 


legal purpose. In the same documents and for the 
same crimes, laws are given which prescribe proc- 
esses and penalties entirely different from the Jew- 
ish. This, as well as other considerations which 
will occur to every one in any degree familiar with 
barbarian law, leads to the general conclusion that 
while, for the barbarian codes, Christianity and 
Judaism were alike prolific sources of legal ideas 
and principles, neither system was recognized to be 
law, propria vigore, in the sense of Sir Matthew 
Hale's dictum ; nor in the sense in which the 
Pentateuch among the Jews or the Koran among 
the Mohammedans was an authoritative code of 
public and private law. This will be found to be 
the case even in the Visigoth laws, in which cler- 
ical influence was the most predominant. 

After the development of the canon law into a 
system, and the claims of the clerical order to be 
governed by its provisions were admitted, a new 
element was introduced into the legal system of 
Europe. Generally speaking, it said that 
three systems of law were administered in most 
countries of continental Europe at the same time 
and in the same locality. The Romanized popula- 
tion in the cities was governed by those fragments 
of the Roman law which survived all changes and 
modifications of the civil order due to the barbarian 
conquests. The barbarians recognized the author- 
ity of their traditional codes, which, though modi- 
fied by the influence of the priesthood who had 
reduced them to writing, still retained the rude 
character which rendered them unfit for any so- 
ciety which had attained civilization. The clergy 
were responsible to the canon law and its episco- 


pal administrators. This code may be described as 
the ecclesiastical echo of the Roman civil law. It 
was marked by the same despotic tendencies ; its 
* mode of trial was inquisitorial ; it assumed that the 
power of legislation, administration, and execution 
resided in the pope and his represenatives. " What 
pleases the prince has the force of law," was a prin- 
ciple common to both codes ; it furnished the maga- 
zine of forces through which the clerical order con- 
stantly sought to appropriate the entire control of 
mediaeval society. The clergy as the only scholars 
in an age of ignorance, united in themselves the 
knowledge and influence of the clerical and legal 
professions. They were the natural expounders of 
canons, and were the only masters of the sources 
of information on questions arising under the 
Roman civil code. They were the confessors and 
conscience-keepers of the barbarian kings. They 
wielded an overpowering influence in all national 
and local councils, and were generally present as 
assessors in all courts for the administration of jus- 
tice. William of Malmesbury's pithy statement, 
" nullus clericus nisi causidicuSy' was almost uni- 
versally true. In such a state of things, the intro- 
duction of Christian notions and ideas into all civil 
administration would have been rapid, had it not 
been hindered by the rude and semi-barbarous cus- 
toms of the tribes that were the supreme rulers of 

The main source from which morality was ab- 
sorbed into the law was the canons. It is just to 
say that the civilizing force of the Roman jurispru- 
dence came into modern Europe, to a great ex- 
tent, through the clergy and the canon law. It 


should be borne in mind, however, that the canon 
law, as a code, was never adopted as a whole by 
any European nation, not even by the States of 
the Church. In all concordats, the negotiations 
have turned upon the extent to which the canon 
law should be adopted in civil administration. One 
fundamental object of the papal see in its diplomacy 
has been to secure the introduction of a greater and 
greater amount of the provisions, doctrines, and 
principles of the canon law into the civil codes, so 
that they might be enforced by physical pains and 
penalties through the civil arm. 

In no country were the secular and ecclesiastical 
administrations more completely confounded than in 
England. Christianized by missionaries direct from 
Rome, the administration of the law was under con- 
trol of the papacy when in other European countries 
clergy and laity were resisting the encroachments 
of the Roman see. As a result of the control held 
by the clergy over the civil authorities, both in leg- 
islation and the administration of justice, they were 
not anxious for separate jurisdiction. Clerical influ- 
ence in England is especially shown by the intro- 
duction of wills and of written titles to landed 
property, and the use of the oath in the Anglo- 
Saxon system of practice. By reason of their ex- 
treme docility in the hands of the clergy, the Saxon 
kingdoms avoided the evil of a separate legal system 
for the Church and the State. 

At the Norman conquest, the influence of Lan- 
franc brought about a partial exemption of the cler- 
ical order from the jurisdiction of the civil courts, 
and secured a distinct foothold for the canon law of 
Rome, which had just assumed the proportion and 


dignity of a code ; and he put forth its claims to be 
the world's rule of life. But notwithstanding the 
concessions made to Lanfranc, to whom William 
was indebted for the papal endorsement of his raid 
upon England, William sternly maintained the su- 
premacy of the civil authority. The blunt refusal 
of the Conqueror to do homage as a vassal to Hilde- 
brand ; the long contest between Anselm and Wil- 
liam Rufus and Henry I., regarding the feudal rela- 
tions of the archbishop to the sovereign, and the 
control of the landed property of the see of Canter- 
bury ; the Constitutions of Clarendon ; the statute 
de viris religiosisy ordinarily known as the statute 
of mortmain ; the fictitious actions for " recoveries " 
contrived by the clergy to evade the action of this 
last-named statute; all show the continuous vigor 
with which Norman sovereigns and Norman barons 
carried on the contest for the supremacy of the 
civil over the canon law. The curious old chronicle 
of Jocelin of Brakelonde illustrates the power of 
this opposition in the courts of law. The old monk 
bitterly complains that the knights of the assize 
refuse to admit their written titles to lands drawn 
with all the technicalities and exactness of the cler- 
ical lawyers of the time, as against the claims of the 
heirs-at-law of a deceased person who had conveyed 
lands to the monastery. The knights declared the 
land to belong to the heirs-at-law, and gruffly an- 
swered the monks that they cared nothing for their 
secret conveyances and charters. The land in ques- 
tion had belonged to the deceased and his ances- 
tors, time out of mind, and now it belonged to the 
dead man's heirs in spite of all documents to the 
contrary. The angry refusal of the barons at 


Merton to change or replace a doctrine of the com- 
mon law by one drawn from the canons, was in fact 
not so much a judgment against the change proposed 
in the law, as it was the development of a prejudice 
against the source from which it was drawn. It 
was merely one out of many indications of the 
rigid determination of king and people to defend the 
customary and statute law of England against the 
encroachments of the clerical power and the clerical 
code, and thereby to preserve in a measure their 
independence of the papal see. Though the clergy 
were permitted to be tried by the canon law, an 
appeal to the king's courts was always possible ; 
and the commands of the pope could not be pub- 
licly promulgated without permission given by the 
civil government. 

In the light of this constant jealousy of the en- 
croachments of the clerical order, we are to exam- 
ine the purport of the celebrated doctrine of Sir 
Matthew Hale, "that Christianity is parcel of the 
common law." It may be proper to say that no 
custom, usage, or principle can legitimately be 
made a part of a judicial decision, until it is 
proved to be ancient, commonly received, and 
not inconsistent with the plain natural rules of jus- 
tice. Sir Matthew Hale himself says : " When I 
call those parts of our laws leges non scriptCBy I do 
not mean as if all those laws were only oral, or 
communicated from the former ages to the latter 
merely by word. For all these laws have their sev- 
eral monuments in writing, whereby they are trans- 
mitted from one age to another, and without which 
they would soon lose all kind of certainty. They 
are for the most part extant in records or pleas, 



proceedings, and judgments, in books of reports 
and judicial decisions, in tractates of learned men's 
arguments and opinions, preserved from ancient 
times and still extant in writing." Therefore we 
accept a judicial opinion or the statement of a 
learned lawyer as an authoritative declaration of 
what already exists as unwritten law, whether in 
the range of former decisions, or established cus- 
tom, or universal opinion. 

We are now prepared to subject this dictum of 
Hale, that Christianity is a part of common law, to 
the test which he himself has laid down. 

I. Was the body of the Christian Scriptures 
ever, in any intelligible sense, a part of the law of 
England ? If so, it must have been a criminal of- 
fense to violate their injunctions or deny their doc- 
trines, apart from any established laws of the realm, 
expressed in judicial decisions or acts of Parlia- 
ment. In point of fact, however, a vastly greater 
number of men have been punished by the laws of 
England, because of their acceptance and practice 
of scriptural teaching than for denying or failing to 
practise it. Up to a late period, it was held that a 
church establishment was just as much a part of a 
government as a court of justice. The laws by 
which such establishments were protected were 
civil laws, which defined the offenses which they 
forbade with great exactness, and affixed such pen- 
alties thereto as the makers of them saw fit. But, 
from the time of the earliest Saxon conquest to the 
present day, there is no trace of legislation or cus- 
tom which adopted the Christian or Jewish Script- 
ures, or even the body of the canon law, as in 
themselves binding, and as such to be enforced by 


physical pains and penalties. Doctrines and moral 
notions, founded in the Christian Scriptures or tra- 
dition, or in the canon law, have been made the basis 
or source of civil enactments ; but neither of these 
have, in and of themselves, been recognized as law 
by England or any other Christian State. We 
deny, positively, that there is any custom or usage 
upon which such universal declarative decision 
could be founded. Indeed, such a supposition is 
manifestly absurd. 

2. Let us examine the legal history of the dictum 
as it appears in law books and decisions. The old- 
est common law authority to which reference is 
made in laying down the maxim, is a report in the 
" Year Books " (anno thirty-four Henry VI., pages 
38-41), of an argument of a case in which Hum- 
phrey Bohun brought a writ of ^' quare impedit'* 
against John Broughton, Bishop of Lincoln, to re- 
cover the plaintiff's right of presentation to a 
church living. The question arose as to the bear- 
ing of the ecclesiastical law of the realm upon the 
civil rights respectively of Bohun and the bishop. 
Prisot, who appears as judge, says in substance, that 
the rights of the parties are to be ascertained by a 
reference to the ecclesiastical and the common law, 
respectively, as to their bearing on the case. His 
words are as follows : '^A tielx Leis que Us de Saint 
Eglise ont en ancien scripture, covient a nous a don- 
ner credence ; car ceo \esf\ Common Ley sur quel touts 
manns Leis sont fondes, . . Nous sumus obliges 
de conustre lour Ley de St. Eglise, et semblement Us 
sont obliges de conustre nostre Ley'' ["To such 
laws as they of the Holy Church have in ancient 
writings, it is fit that we should give credence, for 


this is common law upon which all kinds of laws 
are founded. . . We are obliged to recognize their 
Holy Church law, and equally they are under obli- 
gation to recognize our law."] 

Now, in this case, it seems plain that the magis- 
trate was referring to ecclesiastical use, in order to 
determine what should be the decision of a law- 
court in a litigation in which the rights of parties, 
lay and clerical, were involved. What he refers to 
as that upon which all laws are founded is common 
and universal custom, represented in this case by 
the civil and ecclesiastical usages, and laws bearing 
on the property involved in the right of presenta- 
tion to a church living, which, as the plaintiff alleged, 
had been unlawfully usurped by the bishop and 
given by him to a clergyman. The '^ancien script- 
urcj' to which Prisot refers, is plainly the eccle- 
siastical law of the realm, which defined the extent 
of a bishop's right to present a clergyman to a living 
when the lay patron had failed to exercise his right. 
The words, ^^ anciefi scripture'' cannot refer to the 
Old or New Testament, for the simple reason that 
advowsons and property in church livings were not" 
known to Moses and the prophets, nor to Christ 
and his apostles. Simon Magus affords the only 
precedent in Scripture for a transaction of this sort. 
According to the appendix of "Jefferson's Re- 
ports," the next statement which involves anything 
like the dictum in question, occurs in a passage 
from a book known as " Finch's Law,*' published 
in 1613, which reads as follows: "To such laws of 
the church as have warrant in Holy Scripture our 
. law giveth credence." For authority Finch refers 
to Prisot, in the case already cited. He converts 


^^ ancien scripture'' or canon law, into " Holy Script- 
ure," and puts the duty upon common-law courts 
of deciding how far English ecclesiastical law is in 
accordance with Holy Scriptures, which is a total 
misapprehension of the sense of the " Year Books." 
We may remark, in passing, that Jefferson con- 
founds the author of " Finch's Law," the book which 
he quotes, with Heneage Finch, Lord Nottingham, 
who was made Chancellor in the reign of Charles 
the Second. The author of " Finch's Law " was Sir 
Henry Finch, a sergeant-at-law and reader in Grey's 
Inn. He was the father of the somewhat noto- 
rious John Finch, speaker of the Long Parliament, 
and Lord Keeper under Charles L " Finch's Law " 
was a text-book in high repute, until the publication 
of Blackstone's " Commentaries." 

In 1758, Justice Wingate quoted the words of 
Finch, and decided them to be common law, citing 
Prisot also as authority. In 1765, Sheppard states 
the principle in the words of Finch, and cites 
Finch and Wingate as authority. The next de- 
cision, in order of time, is that of Sir Matthew 
Hale, who affirms that " Christianity is parcel of 
the laws of England." Blackstone, in his "Com- 
mentaries," repeats the maxim in the words of 
Hale, excepting that he substitutes the word 
"part'* for "parcel." In 1780, the corporation of 
London passed a by-law inflicting a heavy fine on a 
freeman, who being elected to the office of sheriff 
refused to serve. They then elected a dissenter, 
who could not serve unless he partook of the eucha- 
rist according to the rites of the Church of Eng- 
land. This he refused, and the sheriff elect was 
sued for the fine which this refusal involved, and 


was condemned to pay it by the lower courts. The 
case came by appeal before the House of Lords. 
The decision of the lower courts was reversed and 
Lord Mansfield pronounced the opinion of the 
Law Lords. In it he says : " The essential prin- 
ciples of natural religion are a part of the common 
law ; the essential principles of revealed religion 
are a part of the common law — so that any person 
reviling or subverting or ridiculing them may be 
prosecuted at common law." He further adds, 
that, "there never was a single instance, from 
the Saxon times down to our own, in which a 
man was punished for erroneous opinions concern- 
ing rites or modes of worship, but upon some posi- 
tive law. . . For atheism, blasphemy, and revil- 
ing the Christian religion, there have been instances 
of persons prosecuted and punished upon the com- 
mon law." Lord Campbell, in a note upon the pas- 
sage quoted, says : " This I think is the true sense 
of the often repeated maxim, that Christianity is 
part and parcel of common law." ^ 

It is clear from this that both of these judges 
deny that the common law gives the magistrate any 
power to punish a man for denying the doctrines or 
refusing to follow the precepts of Christianity as 
such. If this were not the case it would compel 
a court to ascertain what the "essential principles " 
of Christianity really are ; and to decide upon such 
a question, would involve the framing and estab- 
lishing of some system of doctrine and practice to 
be recognized as constituting the " essential prin- 
ciples of Christianity." Lord Mansfield's decision 

^— ^■^^^— ^ I M ■ ■ III I »■ 11 ■ ■■■■ ■— ■■■■■ ^ 

1" Lives of the Chief Justices," Vol. II., p. 390. 


is, then, that the maxim signifies only that blas- 
phemy and reviling Christianity were offenses in- 
dictable at common law. The question now arises 
whether blasphemy was punished as an offense 
against the peace and good order of society, or as an 
offense against Christianity. It seems to me that 
blasphemy is in reality punished as an outrage 
against public decency, tending to produce civil dis- 
order and breaches of the public peace. The mo- 
ment the magistrate undertakes to punish sins 
against God which are not recognized by the law as 
crimes against civil society, he passes into the do- 
main of conscience and becomes a persecutor. 

American decisions bearing on the maxim under 
discussion, seem to follow mainly the track of Lord 
Mansfield. We will give a few of these that seem 
to be representative in their character. 

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in the case 
of Updegraff vs. The Commonwealth, says : " So 
that we are compelled to admit that, although 
Christianity be part of the common law of the 
State, yet it is in this qualified sense : that its di- 
vine origin and truth are admitted, and therefore it 
is not to be maliciously and openly reviled and 
blasphemed against, to the annoyance of believers, 
or the injury of the public." 1 

In the case of Andrew vs. The New York Bible 
and Prayer Book Society, the Court speaks as 
follows : " The maxim that Christianity is part and 
parcel of the common law has been frequently re- 
peated by judges and text-writers, but few have 
chosen to examine its truths, or attempted to ex- 

* Eleventh " Serg. and Rawle,' ' p. 374. 



plain its meaning.** Referring to the passages 
already quoted from Lord Mansfield and Lord Camp- 
bell, the Court goes on to say : " Its true and only 
sense is, that the law will not permit the essential 
truths of revealed religion to be ridiculed and reviled. 
In other words that blasphemy is an indictable offense 
at common law. The truth of the maxim, in this 
very partial and limited sense, may be admitted. 
But if we attempt to extend its application we 
shall find ourselves obliged to confess that it is un- 
meaning or untrue. If Christianity is a municipal 
law in the proper sense of the term, as it must be 
if a part of the common law, every person is liable 
to be punished by the civil power who refuses to 
embrace its doctrines and follow its precepts. And 
if it must be conceded that in this sense the maxim 
is untrue, it ceases to be intelligible, since a law 
without a sanction is an absurdity in logic and a 
nullity in fact." ^ 

Judge Cooley, one of the Justices of the Su- 
preme Court of Michigan, says : " It is frequently 
said that Christianity is part of the law of the land. 
In a certain sense, and for certain purposes, this is 
true. But the law does not attempt to enforce the 
precepts of Christianity on the ground of their 
sacred character or divine origin. Some of these 
precepts are universally recognized as being inca- 
pable of enforcement by human laws, notwithstand- 
ing they are of continual and universal obligation. 
Christianity therefore is not a part of the law of 
the land, in the sense that would entitle the courts 
to take notice of and base their judgments upon 

1 Fourth " Sandford's Reports," pp. 180-184. 


it, except so far as they should find its precepts 
had been incorporated in, and thus become a com- 
ponent part of the law."i 

Judge Clayton, of Delaware, says : [The common 
law] " adapted itself to the religion of the country 
just so far as was necessary for the peace and safety 
of civil institutions ; but it took cognizance of of- 
fenses against God only where, by their inevitable 
effects, they became offenses against man and his 
temporal security. It is a current phrase among the 
special pleaders, that the * almanac is a part of the 
law of the land.' By this is meant that the courts 
will judicially notice the days of the week, month, 
and other things properly belonging to an almanac, 
without pleading or proving them. In the same 
sense it is sometimes said that the lex parliamen- 
taria is a part of the law of the land. So too, we 
apprehend, every court in a civilized country is bound 
to notice in the same way . . . what is the prevail- 
ing religion of the people. . . It will be seen, that 
in our judgment, by the constitution and laws of 
Delaware, the Christian religion is part of those 
laws, so far that blasphemy against it is punishable, 
while the people prefer it as their religion and no 
longer." ' 

Chief Justice Kent, in the case of Ruggles vs. 
The People, after citing various English authorities, 
to the effect that blasphemy was punishable at com- 
mon law, says that " reviling is still an offense be- 
cause it tends to corrupt the morals of the people 
and destroy good order. Such offenses have always 
been considered independent of any religious estab- 

^ " Constitutional Limitations/ ' p. 467, 
* Second " Harrington's Reports," p. 553, 


lishment or the rights of the church. They are 
treated as affecting the essential interests of civil 
society." * 

Justice Story, in the case of Vidal vs, Girard's 
executors, says : " We are compelled to admit that, 
although Christianity be a part of the common law 
of the State, yet it is so in this qualified sense, that 
its divine origin and truth are admitted, and there- 
fore it is not to be maliciously reviled and blas- 
phemed against, to the annoyance of believers and 
the injury of the people." « 

Chief Justice Kent, in a debate in the constitu- 
tional convention of 1821, remarked: "That to 
maliciously revile it [Christianity] is a public griev- 
ance, and as much so as any other public outrage 
upon common decency and decorum." « 

Judge Allen, in the case of Lindenmuller vs. The 
People, discussing the desecration of Sunday and 
the statute forbidding it, says : " The act complained 
of here compels no religious observance, and of- 
fenses against it are punishable, not as sins against 
God, but as injurious to and having a malignant 
influence on society. It rests upon the same foun- 
dation as a multitude of other laws upon our statute 
books, such as those against gambling, lotteries, 
keeping disorderly houses, polygamy, etc." 

We have given these quotations as setting forth 
the present state of opinion among judicial authori- 
ties on the maxim under discussion. In view of 
the facts, reasonings, and authorities which we have 
thus far given, we are justified in setting forth cer- 
tain general conclusions : 
t — » 

* Second " Howard,' ' p. 128. ' Eighth " Johnson,'* p. 293. 
' Report of New York State Convention of 1821, 


1. When the total code of a country has a relig- 
ious origin and sanction, as was originally the case 
among the Romans, the Jews, and the Mohammed- 
ans, it is due to the fact that the people have ac- 
cepted the religious system which they hold, as a 
body of civil law also. Thenceforth, the religious 
system is enforced upon their belief and practice by 
physical pains and penalties, and it becomes, in ad- 
dition to its religious use and character, to all in- 
tents and purposes a body of civil law, differing 
from ordinary civil codes in its purely religious origin 
and in its confusion of the functions of the relig- 
ious organization and the State — of things divine and 
human, of the jus sacrum and the jus civile, 

2. In all such cases, the civil and human ele- 
ments involved in the system have a tendency to 
come out in the legal administration, to segregate 
themselves from the religious portion, and to grow 
into a system distinctively political and civil. This 
is illustrated by the absorption of the Roman jus 
civilcy essentially religious and priestly in its char- 
acter, into the jus gentium^ whose basis was the 
average moral code of the Roman empire, elevated 
and purified by the reasoned ethical systems of the 
Greek philosophers and subsequently by the maxims 
and spirit of Christianity. The bulky volumes of 
the Talmud and the numerous decisions . and com- 
mentaries explaining the Koran — each of which con- 
tains a body of legal notions differing essentially 
from the original texts of Moses and Mohammed — 
are also illustrations of the principle here stated. 

3. When a code has a purely civil origin it must, 
of necessity, embody with more or less complete- 
ness and accuracy, the average moral opinions of the 


nation which adopts it or submits to it. In its de- 
velopment and differentiation, such a code will tend 
constantly to represent the processes of elevation 
and degradation in the practical morality of the peo- 
ple governed. Laws being the outgrowth of the 
prevalent morality, changes in them not only reveal 
the changes in moral belief and practice, but they 
diffuse and accelerate these changes as well. Civil 
law and morality in any nation act and react upon 
each other. 

4. Where a civil code and a religious system, 
distinct in origin, exist side by side, the religious 
system becomes legally established only through 
statutes affixing civil sanctions and penalties to the 
neglect or denial of certain definite and specified 
portions of the creed and rites of the system estab- 
lished. The portion of such religious system thus 
adopted, then becomes a part of the civil code and 
differs from, other laws only in its subject-matter and 
origin. This statement is illustrated by the fact 
that in England, all ecclesiastical causes arising 
in the establishment are ultimately tried before lay 
courts, and that all clerical discipline involving eject- 
ment from a cure of souls is, in fact if not in name, 
a matter of civil administration. The Articles of 
Religion, the Liturgy and Rubrics, so far as the 
English establishment is concerned, are simply acts 
of Parliament upon which a Jew, a Romanist, or an 
atheist may acquire the right to vote. 

The subject of negotiation, in all concordats be- 
tween the papal see and the States in which the 
Roman Catholic religion is established, has been 
in the main to determine the extent to which the 
canon law shall be adopted by the State and enforced 


by physical pains and penalties. So much of the 
canon law as had been at any time adopted and 
enforced became, by that act, a part of the nation's 
civil code, differing from it only in its character and 

5. In no country in Christendom has the body 
of the Christian Scriptures been adopted as law to 
be enforced by physical penalties. Certain rights 
and dogmas founded on tradition, or upon the Script- 
ures, or both, have been made a part of the civil 
law in all Christian countries where a church has 
been established at all. It is in this absorption of 
ecclesiastical rules and principles into the body of 
constitutional and municipal law that an establish- 
ment consists. 

6. We see that the first introduction of the 
maxim under discussion was due to a misunder- 
standing of the " Year Books," and has never been 
practically sanctioned, in its natural and literal sense, 
by any English or American court. The common 
law has never furnished the ground for persecution, 
but such persecution has always been inflicted by 
positive statutory enactment. The common law has 
taken account of Christianity, for the purpose of 
punishing blasphemy and malicious ridicule of Chris- 
tian doctrines and rites. The common law has rec- 
ognized these as crimes against the State, and not 
as sins against God. 

7. The principle upon which blasphemy is pun- 
ished would oblige a common law court to protect 
the worship and regard the sentiments of Moham- 
medans or Hindus, if their forms of religion were to 
be widely prevalent in a community over which it 
had jurisdiction. This protection, of course, could 


be given only to the extent that their rites and wor 
ship did not infringe upon the laws of natural mo- 
rality and justice. 

8. Every code of morality is intimately con- 
nected with the system of religion from which it 
springs, and in which it finds a sanction. As every 
civil code, in its formation and growth, adopts the 
moral code of the people for which it furnishes rules 
of government, so the common law of England and 
the United States has absorbed, and is still absorb- 
ing unto itself, the moral principles of Christianity. 
Hence the Christian system is the moral source of 
an undetermined but very large part of our common, 
as well as of our statute law. In this sense, Chris- 
tianity has contributed enormously to the common 
law, as it has to the code of Justinian, and the legal 
systems of all Christendom. 

Unless taken with the limitations here suggested, 
the maxim under discussion is comparatively mean- 
ingless. In the form in which it is commonly 
stated, it is calculated to confuse the mind and mis- 
lead the judgment of those unable to supply in 
thought the requisite limitations. Taken in its lit- 
eral meaning, it recognizes no distinction between 
civil law and the sources from which the law may 
have been derived. It takes no account of the dis- 
tinction between civil laws made compulsory by 
physical penalties, and the obligations of morality 
and religion whose penalties are subjective to the 
individual offender. Literally understood, the maxim 
contains a dangerous principle, liable to be used *m 
justification of judicial decisions which may infringe 
upon real liberty of conscience. 






WE have met to record our profound appreciation 
of the services to science and to mankind 
rendered by the great naturalist to whom Germany 
gave birth a hundred years ago to-day. 

Since then what changes have passed over hu- 
man society and human thought ! At that time 
Frederick the Great was at the height of his power 
and renown, and Prussia had just assumed that com- 
manding position which in our own day has enabled 
her almost to realize the German patriot's longing for 
a united Fatherland. Maria Theresa still ruled Aus- 
tria and its dependencies. France bore the out- 
ward semblance of glory and strength, but was in 
reality preparing, under the weak and profligate Louis 
XV., for all the convulsions of the Revolution. 
England under Clive had laid the foundations of her 
Indian empire, and was just trying her hand in tax- 
ing her American colonies. These in turn were 
organizing those forces of growth and resistance 
which have made them the peer of the great powers 
of the old world. Feudal Europe had not yet felt 
the shock of our own and the French Revolution. 

In science, the contrast with the present was not 
less strongly marked. The Newtonian theory had 
but just taken undisputed possession of Europe. 



The laws of physical optics had not been verified, 
and many of them had not been suggested as 
hypotheses. Geology, as a science, was virtually 
unknown. Werner and others were developing the 
elementary distinctions of mineral masses, but it 
was not till Humboldt had reached manhood that 
the relations of fossils to the relative age and con- 
nections of strata were scientifically studied. Gal- 
vanism, and its pregnant relation to chemical and 
electrical action, had not been discovered. Chem- 
istry was in its infancy. Animal and vegetable 
morphology as they are now understood, existed 
only in the minds of a few solitary thinkers, like 
Goethe and Oken, Cuvier and Geoffroy St. Hilaire. 
Botany and astronomy were the only sciences of ob- 
servation which may be said to have taken on a 
permanent form. Though the system of Jussieu 
had not been published, it had been exemplified in 
the Royal Gardens at Versailles. Humboldt's 
teachers and fellow-students were in great part the 
creators of the sciences which they cultivated and 
taught. As a consequence all natural investigation 
was through labor in details. The work of differ- 
entiation was so absorbing and so necessary, that 
comparatively little attention could be given to 
those broad and fundamental relations, analogies, 
and laws which unite all the sciences into that har- 
monious and beautiful whole which the Platonists 
designate as "the one in the many." Manifold 
were the workers who, in widely separated quarries, 
were hewing stones for the Temple of Science ; 
but very few among them all were able to see " with 
prophetic eye " the places which each and all were 
to occupy in the completed structure. 


There are two great classes into which scientific 
men naturally fall. The first consists of those who 
with praiseworthy diligence collect facts, make ex- 
periments, and form subordinate classifications. 
The second is made up from those few great minds 
who are pre-eminently comprehensive and architec- 
tonic, who discover far-reaching laws and analogies 
among facts and principles standing widely apart 
from each other, who are able to combine the vast 
body of ascertained truth into a coherent order 
which represents the all-embracing thought of the 
Creator. These are the legislators of science, who 
stand apart from common men with the world's 
great poets, artists, and statesmen. Among these 
Humboldt occupied a distinguished place. 

The condition of scientific inquiry, when he en- 
tered upon active life, was such that the labor of 
this class of thinkers was pre-eminently in demand. 
With a kind of prophetic sagacity he saw in this 
disorganized and dislocated condition of science his 
own career and vocation. His education, taking 
place during a period of such rapid development of 
scientific knowledge and thought, made him inti- 
mately familiar with the history of discovery. He 
had constantly seen the manifold instances in which 
new sciences had grown out of investigations 
apparently most foreign from their subject-matter 
and processes. The whole history of modern 
science had passed under his own eye ; and it has 
been wisely said " that no conception can be under- 
stood except through its history." It was his inti- 
mate knowledge of the incidents and processes of 
the growth of science that so well fitted him for the 
great work of his life. 



P'rom his first entrance upon scientific pursuits 
he set before himself consciously the task of effect- 
ing an organization of the total results of modern 
physical experiment and discovery into one grand 
and coherent system. All his special studies and 
vast scientific observations were ancillary to this one 
purpose. While ranging over earth and scientific 
literature in pursuit of the special and exact knowl- 
edge of particular sciences, his mind was always 
fixed upon those vast generalizations and far-reach- 
ing analogies which after maturing in his mind for 
more than half a century were given to the world 
in his "Cosmos." In the preface to this work, 
after alluding to the varied scientific attainments on 
which so much of his life had been spent, he adds 
the following significant and characteristic state- 
ment : "The actual object of my studies, neverthe- 
less, has been of a higher character. The princi- 
pal impulse by which I was directed, was the ear- 
nest endeavor to comprehend the phenomena of 
physical objects in their general connection, and to 
represent nature as one great whole, moved and 
animated by internal forces." I believe that in this 
paragraph we have the key to Humboldt's scien- 
tific character. Let us glance for a moment at the 
processes by which he was able measurably to ac- 
complish so magnificent a purpose. 

His training was as broad and thorough as the 
task which he set before his mind. Carefully edu- 
cated at home in the elements of learning, he after- 
ward enjoyed the best advantages of university 
education which his country afforded. So far was 
the future naturalist from neglecting literature, that 
his first literary attempt was a dissertation on a 


subject of Greek antiquities. At Gottingen he 
studied philology under the celebrated Heyne, the 
editor of Pindar and Homer, and natural history 
under Blumenbach, the father of ethnology. After 
some hesitation regarding a profession, he engaged 
in the study of mining, under the auspices of Wer- 
ner at Frieburg. Subsequently, he was for five 
years in governmental employ, as a superintendent 
of mining. During this period he explored most of 
the mining districts of Germany, and afterward 
made similar explorations in other European coun- 
tries. Shortly after this he received permission to 
join a scientific expedition projected by the French 
Directory. The unsettled state of the French 
government, however, defeated this design, and he 
joined the young French botanist, Bonpland, in a 
tour through Spain. Here he was received with 
honor, and favored by the Spanish Government 
with extraordinary facilities for exploration in all its 
colonies in America He embarked on his expedi- 
tion to this continent in 1 799. The succeeding five 
years were spent in scientific explorations in North 
and South America. After his return to Europe, 
he resided in Paris, with occasional absences on 
diplomatic service, for nearly twenty years. During 
this time he was employed in the classification and 
description of the facts and illustrative collections 
acquired during his travels in America. In 1829, 
under the patronage of the Emperor of Russia, he 
organized and directed a scientific exploration of 
the Russian dominions in Central and Northern 
Asia. The numerous volumes, drawings, maps, and 
charts, describing his travels, studies, and experi- 
ments, during the more active period of his life, 


I cannot refer to in detail. His later years were 
passed in his native city of Berlin, engaged in the 
preparation of his most widely known work, the 
"Cosmos.'* It is through this work and his "As- 
pects of Nature," that he has been made most 
familiar to English readers of the present genera- 

The question naturally suggests itself, upon what 
special grounds does the vast reputation of Hum- 
boldt rest ? 

In the first place, his scientific attainments for 
breadth and exactness combined, probably ap- 
proached the utmost limits of human capacity. 
His knowledge of languages and literature, both 
ancient and modern, would also have given him a 
high place among literary scholars. This fa- 
miliarity with literature gave him that capacity for 
bringing all the observations on nature scattered 
through ancient and modern writers to bear upon 
every subject of his own observation or study, 
which so pre-eminently distinguished him. His re- 
markable treatise on mediaeval geography is an ex- 
ample in point. 

Again, he was the first great scientific explorer. 
Other travelers from Herodotus down, have ob- 
served and described much that was new, strange, 
and full of interest, to which the world has gladly 
listened. But Humboldt first illustrated the neces- 
sity of mastering the best results of all science 
and literature as a preparation for travel and obser- 
vation. Up to his time, knowledge of foreign and 
barbarous countries was due mainly to the crude 
and inadequate reports of sailors and merchants. 
He was the pioneer among the brilliant throng of 


explorers who illumine the annals of modern 
science. The vast additions to scientific knowledge 
which he accumulated in his travels, prove the sa- 
gacity of Carlyle's remark " that the mind sees 
what it brings means of seeing : to Newton and to 
Newton's dog ' Diamond ' what a different pair of 
universes ! " 

He was, moreover, the father of the science of 
physical geography, in the broad sense of the term. 
Comparative climatology, as represented in iso- 
thermal lines in their bearing on all departments of 
natural history ; the division of the earth's surface 
into botanical and zoological provinces ; the recog- 
nition of the relation of the internal heat of the 
earth's mass to volcanoes and mountain ranges, 
which in the hands of Van Bach and Lyell formed 
the basis of dynamic geology ; the fixation of a vast 
number of points on the earth's surface by accurate 
astronomical observations ; the establishment of the 
relation between the "conditions of life" and the 
growth, dispersion and varieties of plants and ani- 
mals ; the observation and statement of the con- 
nection between the forces of external nature and 
the development of political societies, and their in- 
crease in wealth and civilization — are all due, in a 
greater or less degree, to Humboldt. In studying 
the great "Physical Atlas" of Berghaus and John- 
ston, it has seemed to me that scarcely a page or map 
fails to furnish some monument of the great natural- 
ist's observation or thought. While studying the 
earth as a whole, he never lost sight of its cosmical 
relations, and always regarded its phenomena as rep- 
resentative of those uncounted bodies and systems 
which range the awful depth of the celestial spaces. 


Finally, though great as an observer and almost 
unrivaled for his contributions to knowledge, his 
work as an organizer of science and of scientific in- 
quiry deserves the most distinguished honor. As 
we have already hinted, the work to which he con- 
sciously gave his life, was the interpretation to his 
own and all coming time of the relations, and inter- 
dependencies of all physical truth — showing the 
sciences to be branches from one common root, fed 
by a common vitalizing sap, parts of one all-em- 
bracing thought, pervaded by common laws, and 
subject in their formation and growth to the limita- 
tions of a uniform method. He stands among the 
foremost of those " many-sided " men who have so 
conceived and stated the fundamental principles of 
all physical knowledge that a general scientific edu- 
cation has been made possible to man. The mass of 
details in the subject-matter of special sciences has 
become so vast and complicated, that without these 
constructive generalizations no human mind could 
comprehend their significance or scope. His labors 
have so developed the " one in the many " that the 
"plan" of the universe of matter can be grasped in 
outline by an ordinary mind in the time properly 
devoted to a liberal education. This worthy and 
manly thought burned in his mind from youth to 
old age. It was a constant inspiration in his years 
of dangerous wandering over the swamps of the 
Orinoco, the Cordilleras and the Andes, and the 
dreary steppes of Tartary. It grew constantly in 
breadth and clearness with advancing years, till so 
far as human power would permit, it was realized 
in his green and beautiful old age. Borrowing a 
word from the language of his early study and love, 


he called his work " Cosmos '* — order, beauty, pro- 
portion. This was the thought which under the 
name of the "eternal archetype," ineffable in per- 
fection and beauty, floated before the mind of Plato, 
and as the ^^ philosophia prima,'' haunted the imagi- 
nation but eluded the grasp of Francis Bacon. For 
the " regeneration of our intellectual system," says 
Comte, " it is necessary that the sciences, consid- 
ered as branches from one trunk, should yield us as 
a whole their chief method and most important re- 
sults. The specialties of science . . . can never of 
themselves renovate our system of education." 

Specialists have criticized the " Cosmos," perhaps 
justly, in its details. Others have pointed out de- 
ficiencies in the realization of the ideal. But the 
author's admirers can listen calmly to these criti- 
cisms, however just, with the firm belief that com- 
parative failure in such an attempt does not detract 
from the title to greatness. How few departments 
of natural science can be historically treated with- 
out doing homage to the great man whose birth we 
at this time commemorate ! The impression which 
he has made is of such a character that it cannot be 
essentially affected by time. His observations of 
nature are so exact that they cannot be superseded. 
His travels are now the best authorities for consul- 
tation on the countries which he explored. New 
phenomena may be observed, but what Humboldt 
saw and described, he saw and described exactly. 
His theories are in general so cautiously and so 
solidly constructed, that very few of them have been 
outgrown by advancing inquiry. He is the Aris- 
totle of modern physical science. 

The scientific world does well at this time to call 


up in grateful and admiring remembrance the mind 
and the works of this great German. From the 
banks of the Neva to the Golden Gate of the Pacific, 
from the palm-clad tropics to the land of the mid- 
night sun, his name and fame are on the tongues of 
admiring eulogists. This homage springs not from 
the sycophants who flutter in the train of political 
power, but from the " sceptred sovrans " of human 
thought. While the kings, nobles, and statesmen 
with whom Humboldt was contemporary are dead 
and forgotten, his memory is as green as the mount- 
ain pine and his reputation as solid as the Alps ; 
for he lived not for himself, but for others. His 
life and work took hold of the moral and intellect- 
ual interests of man. 

We English-speaking Americans, join with our 
German-speaking fellow-citizens in this festival. 
Humboldt was a man as well as a German, and 
he was an honor to manhood. We join in this 
commemoration, and we claim the privilege to do 
so, because we are a part of that vast German peo- 
ple which has made an impression so tremendous, 
and at the same time so beneficent, upon the world's 
life. The language in which I speak to you to-night, 
though strangely modified in the lapse of centuries 
since our fathers crossed the German Ocean, is still, 
in the eye of the scholar, a Teutonic tongue. We 
are, then, brothers in a common reverence for a 
mighty name in the annals of science. We are 
brothers in a common manhood, in a common 
blood. We are brothers in a common allegiance to 
our glorious republic. For its life you fought by 
our side in the times that tried men's souls. This 
magnificent heritage of liberty and law is yours and 



it is ours. Your own patriotic poet, Arndt, has 
sung that the German's fatherland is not 

In Prussia's or in Swabia*s land, 

Nor where the Rhine's rich vintage streams, 
Nor where the northern sea-gull screams ; 
But where the German accent rings. 

There is the German fatherland. 




WE have come together to render our respectful 
homage to the name and memory of one of 
the great benefactors of humanity. We join with 
the sisterhood of American cities in a simultaneous 
recognition of the genius, labor, and thought which 
have made the name of Morse known and honored 
throughout the world. Still more, we would make 
this an occasion of recording our obligations to 
those silent thinkers — almost unknown outside of 
the annals of science — whose achievements made 
the invention of the telegraph possible and prac- 

Almost from the time of Franklin the idea of 
making electricity useful for the transmission of in- 
telligence floated before the minds of men. Le 
Sage in 1774, Lomond in 1787, and Reusser in 
1794, constructed instruments by which thought 
was communicated through wires of great length. 
But the discovery of Volta, in 1800, of the pile 
which bears his name, gave a new impulse in this 
direction. In 18 19, Professor Oersted made his 
great discovery of the action of the electric cur- 
rent upon the magnetic needle. This was soon 
succeeded by the discovery of electro-magnetism by 


Arago and Ampere in Paris, and Seebeck in Ber- 
lin. The world was then furnished with the three 
conditions for the construction of the electric tele- 
graph in its present form. The Voltaic battery, 
the deflection of the magnetic needle by electricity, 
and the magnetization of soft iron during the pas- 
sage of an electric current, are the three great 
factors in scientific progress upon which the inven- 
tion of the telegraph depended. 

From 1830, when the suggestion of the employ- 
ment of these discoveries for telegraphic purposes was 
suggested by Ampere, the minds of men of science in 
all civilized countries seemed simultaneously directed 
to the means by which these discoveries might be 
made available for the conveyance of intelligence. 
In all scientific centers in Europe and America suc- 
cess, more or less complete, followed these efforts. 
This is not the place to discuss the vexed question 
of precedency between Cook and Wheatstone, 
Steinheil and Morse, in the actual invention of the 
telegraphic apparatus. The honor of successful 
endeavor belongs to them all, but to no one of them 
does the world owe a greater debt of honor than to 
our own countryman. His invention has been 
found so cheap, so simple, so easy of manipulation, 
that it has been more widely adopted than any 
other. The honors and emoluments which foreign 
nations have bestowed upon Morse are proof 
enough of the distinguished place which he holds 
among the inventors of the telegraphic instrument. 
It is not necessary to Morse's fame that the repu- 
tation of his fellow-inventors should be under- 
valued. In honoring him we honor them. It would 
be injustice to his memory did we omit to mention 


those who at the same time were laboring at the 
solution of the problem. 

There are three classes of agents who have con- 
spired in giving to man the control of the tele- 
graph. In the first class, we should place those 
students of science, who, in the pursuit of truth 
for its own sake, brought to light those laws and 
forces upon which the whole working of the instru- 
ment depends. In the second class, we place those 
indefatigable inventors whose patient thought and 
persistent experiment perfected the mechanism 
which made the laws and forces of electricity avail- 
able to the service of man. In the third class, we 
place those men whose foresight, administrative ca- 
pacity, and capital organized the telegraph lines 
into a system, made them a financial success, and 
brought them within the reach of the whole 
brotherhood of man. In each of these classes of 
workers our countrymen have borne a distinguished 

The science of electricity was born on our soil ; 
and names worthy to be associated with that of 
Franklin have never been wanting in the annals of 
American science. The name of Morse alone is 
our title to a pre-eminent position in the second 
class named. In the capacity to organize and ad- 
minister associated capital, our countrymen yield 
the palm to none. What in other lands has been 
the work of government has among us been accom- 
plished by private enterprise, and with such suc- 
cess that the highest foreign authorities admit that 
in our country " the telegraph system is far more 
complete and extensive than in the old world.'* In 
this work of perfecting the organization and admin- 


istration of the telegraphic system, our own city and 
our own State have taken a most important part. 
The names of Hiram Sibley and Cyrus W. Field 
are enough to establish our claim. Had the At- 
lantic cable failed, as once seemed likely, we were 
ready to grasp the honors and rewards of an over- 
land line to Europe and Asia, which would have 
been sure of success. 

In looking over the history of this great inven- 
tion, we are impressed with the unity of scientific 
labors and practical ends. When Galvani was specu- 
lating in his laboratory on the twitching muscles of 
a dead frog, when Oersted was experimenting with 
electric currents passing over magnetic needles, 
when Ampere was watching the effect of electric 
action upon soft iron, they would have been 
laughed to scorn had they claimed to be the most 
practical men of their age. But, in fact, they were 
doing more for the material interests of man than 
all the bankers, merchants, and manufacturers of 
that day. It is ever thus, thoughts go before 
things. The discovery of forces and laws must pre- 
cede mechanical invention. -Science must always 
clear the path for successful art. The Glasgow pro- 
fessor, Adam Smith, by his speculations upon the 
wealth of nations, wrought a vaster and more 
beneficial result than the statesmen of his age, pro- 
lific as was that age in great men. The philoso- 
phers and lawyers who elaborated by ages of 
thought the magnificent fabric of the Roman law 
were thinkers and speculators, but they shaped by 
their speculations the whole foundations of juris- 
prudence for the civilized world. 

We also see that no great discovery or invention 



comes by accident. Divine Providence presides over 
the growth of art, science, and civilization. Science 
had reached such a state at the close of the eight- 
eenth century that a thousand thinkers were hot 
with action over the facts and laws which were the 
conditions precedent of the telegraph. Though the 
great men whose names we recall at this time had 
failed in their efforts, the work which they sought 
to do would have been done. Had neither Morse, 
nor Wheatstone, nor Steinheil invented the tele- 
graphic instrument, it would inevitably have come 
to light in their generation. The doubt and obscu- 
rity which hang over all great discoveries and in- 
ventions are not due to the misrepresentation and 
ambition of men, but to the fact that all great 
movements in science and art are conditioned by 
what has preceded them, and spring from the ag- 
gregate intelligence and common thought of the 
greatest minds of an age. God's purposes never 
depend on the genius or power of any one man. 

Thus speaking, we do not detract from the honor 
due to the genius of any one whom we have named. 
He must be a very able man who in this age of 
mental activity makes an appreciable impression on 
the profession or line of inquiry which he adopts as 
the channel of his thought. The fact that Morse's 
name is linked forever with an invention world-wide 
in its application and immeasurable in its benefi- 
cence, is enough for his fame, enough for his im- 

If material wealth is so dependent on the devel- 
opment of scientific laws and the increase and diffu- 
sion of knowledge among men, we see the necessity 
of an alliance close and intimate between the men 


of capital and the men of ideas. For if the knowl- 
edge of the facts and laws of material science is 
necessary to the accumulation of capital, a knowl- 
edge of the facts and laws of the moral and politi- 
cal sciences is necessary to its preservation. The 
prevalence of unsound moral, political, and eco- 
nomical ideas among the population of Paris has 
made that city in our day as unsafe as Mexico for 
the residence of a capitalist or the investment of his 
funds. Even now the sceptre of the International 
Society casts its grim shadow over the civilized 
world. Let some moral or economic heresy take 
possession of a people, and the savings of genera- 
tions will evaporate like the feathery snowflakes 
beneath an April sun. 

Nor can these blessings and safeguards be secured 
by the mere elements of knowledge such as may be 
learned in the common school. Great reservoirs of 
knowledge must be maintained. Investigators must 
be supported and rewarded. Knowledge must be 
increased as well as diffused. It is no accidental co- 
incidence that Galvani and Volta, Oersted, Ampere 
and Arago, Wheatstone and Morse were each and 
all professors connected with institutions of learn- 
ing. Have not science and learning then some 
claims upon the colossal fortunes which their vo- 
taries have made possible ? 





ALL legislation regarding pauperism should have 
in view the reduction of its amount as well as 
the relief of that already existing. It becomes a 
matter of great moment to determine how far 
modes of relieving paupers, public or private, tend 
to increase the evil. . . Private charity to the 
unfortunate is, indeed, a duty. The unfortunate and 
deserving poor will be always with us, and the exer- 
cise of charity is not only a necessity for the suf- 
fering poor, but a valuable discipline of character 
on the part of those who bestow it. In times of 
war, famine, commercial distress, or pestilence, 
charity on a large scale must be exercised. Even 
in the most prosperous communities, there is 
always a considerable number of persons who pre- 
sent appeals to both public and private benevolence 
which cannot, and ought not, to be overlooked. 
The same general principles which make it a duty 
of the State to maintain almshouses, make it the 
duty of the State, within certain narrow and well- 
defined limits, to render assistance to the unfortu- 
nate in their own homes. While this duty is quite 
generally admitted, it is not so well understood 
that it is just as much a duty to give alms wisely 
as it is to give them at all. 


Some few writers, however, have taken the 
ground that all legal provision for the poor, of what- 
ever kind, should be abolished. This view was 
adopted by Dr. Chalmers as the only remedy for 
the enormous evils which had grown up under the 
English poor-laws. He was a strenuous advocate 
of the old Scotch system of providing for the poor 
by voluntary collections in the parish churches, to 
be disbursed by the clergy and elders of the estab- 
lishment. But Dr. Chalmers, in his own time, failed 
to carry conviction to the public mind ; and the 
conclusive facts and arguments of Dr. Alison, with 
the Report of the Poor-Law Commission, led to 
the enactment of a system of relief by legal taxa- 
tion for the whole of Scotland. It seems clear 
that, in the absence of an established church and 
an organization of the whole territory into parishes, 
no adequate relief for suffering could be secured 
without the intervention of the civil authorities. 
Where an established church exists, the duty of 
caring for the poor devolves upon the officers of 
the parish ; and this merely changes the form of ad- 
ministration, but does not, in any material degree, 
affect its spirit. If, however, there were no parish 
assessments for the poor, the charitably disposed 
alone — almost universally a minority of the popu- 
lation — would have to bear the entire burden ; and 
parishes which embrace the more dissipated and 
degraded of the population, would soon find the 
voluntary expense of providing for the poor greater 
than they could possibly bear. 

Cherbuliez, a French writer upon the subject, 
adopts, from an economical point of view, the 
theory of Dr. Chalmers. But France, also, has es- 


tablishcd churches and a great number of wealthy 
institutions which have come down from the me- 
diaeval period, the outgrowth of private benefac- 
tions, for the care of the unfortunate classes. The 
administration of many of these is such that it is 
accompanied by all the evils attributed to legal 
charity, without the remedial power which always 
resides in the State, when there is sufficient intelli- 
gence to employ it. 

In a country like ours, without an established 
church, if every religious denomination were to 
provide for its own poor members, it would dis- 
tribute the burden, morally binding upon all, with 
great inequality. The unfortunate classes, also, not 
connected with any religious body, would either be 
in danger of suffering from want of care, or be se- 
riously demoralized by receiving assistance from 
various organizations at the same time. In the 
present state of our society it seems clear that legal 
provision for charitable purposes ought to be made. 

It hence becomes a matter of the highest impor- 
tance that this relief, whether furnished by indi- 
viduals or the State, be so administered as not only 
to ameliorate present suffering, but also to reduce 
the number of those who require aid. The sick 
man who is cured in a hospital is rendered able to 
care for himself. Pauper children trained in orphan 
asylums, or in well-regulated families, in a little 
time cease to be paupers, and come to be productive 
members of society. Under certain conditions the 
principles here illustrated may be applied to the 
poor at large. Pauperism is a disease of the body- 
politic, and every effort should be made to prevent 
its becoming chronic or contagious. 


Special investigations have proved beyond ques- 
tion, that the great mass of our pauperism is hered- 
itary. The fecundity of the pauper class, in spite 
of all those natural conditions which would seem 
likely to increase the death-rate among them, is 
something frightful. Frequently three generations 
of paupers have been found in one almshouse. 
Nothing is more unfounded than the common idea 
that the inmates of our poor-houses in general are 
the victims of unavoidable misfortune. Of those 
who have reached adult age, and are not idiotic, 
probably more than two-thirds of those supported 
by the State, at a cost of nearly 1^3,000,000 a year, 
are paupers by their own criminal acts. And worse 
than all, this voluntary degradation tends by a nat- 
ural law to reproduce itself. This atavism of pov- 
erty and crime, unless broken in upon by the sepa- 
ration of children from their parents and their ab- 
sorption into the healthy portion of the community, 
will go on in an increasing ratio for all time. 

A large proportion of those who are thus main- 
tained wholly or in part by charity have been trained 
to the system under conditions and circumstances 
foreign to our country and institutions. In all the 
countries of Europe the class of population that is a 
pauper class by inheritance is especially marked and 
easily recognized. The characteristics which make 
them such, have been inherited from a long line of 
ancestors, which often may be traced back for cen- 
turies with a tolerable degree of certainty. It may 
be instructive to glance at some of the conditions 
which have produced this state of things in the old 
world, and which we have reason to fear may come 
to exist in the new. 


Italy is pre-eminently a country of brigands and 
beggars, and they have a common origin. In the 
later periods of the Roman republic, the custom 
was introduced of furnishing corn, paid for from 
the public treasury, to the poorer classes of Roman 
citizens. At first they were required to pay a por- 
tion of the market value for what they received. It 
eventually came to be furnished free of cost. On 
the accession of Julius Caesar to the supreme power, 
three hundred and twenty thousand Roman resi- 
dents received gratuitously a certain quantity of 
corn every month. These laws had been, in a great 
degree, introduced by successive aspirants to power 
for the purpose of securing votes. Those in the 
neighboring country who possessed the right of 
suffrage, were induced to leave their farms and 
flock to Rome, in order to live without severe labor 
by becoming recipients of the public bounty. 
Though various attempts were made in Rome to 
reduce the expenditure for this purpose, the general 
policy became permanent, and continued till the 
downfall of the Western empire. The practice was 
introduced into Constantinople by Constantine, and 
prevailed in Alexandria also. We have reason to 
suppose that the example of these great cities was 
more or less imitated by the other great munici- 
palities of the Empire. 

Besides this, the relation of client and patron in 
Rome introduced another form of the same vicious 
practice, which, from the fact that the dole of food 
given to the beneficiary was placed in a little 
basket provided for the purpose, took the name of 
sportula. Clients were in the habit of testifying 
their respect for their patron by escorting him to 


places of public resort when he went abroad. These 
courtesies he acknowledged by inviting some of the 
number to partake of the evening meal. Subse- 
quently, the custom of bestowing on each client a 
portion of food, on every visit to the atrium of his 
patron, was substituted ; and this again was changed 
to giving away to each a small sum of money as a 
reward for the part taken in helping to sustain the 
pomp of their patron. This practice, alluded to 
with reprobation by Juvenal, was also a part of the 
system by which the poorer citizens were subsidized 
with a view of adding to the pomp and show of the 

The evils resulting from these modes of distribut- 
ing legal charity were foreseen by thoughtful men 
at that time. Cicero remarks, " The practice was 
agreeable to the people to whom it insured an 
abundance of food without the necessity of work. 
But it was calculated to exhaust the treasury and 
make the people live in idleness." Public games 
and gladiatorial shows were provided, free of ex- 
pense to the people, for a similar reason. " Bread 
and the circus " {panon et circcnses) became the cry 
of the demoralized populace, and every administra- 
tion, however despotic, was obliged to yield to the 
demand. The self-reliance and personal dignity of 
the citizen were thus destroyed, and, with them, the 
vigor of the Roman State departed. 

In like manner the largesses given to the people 
of Athens, from the public revenue, to enable thftim 
to attend, free of expense, upcm theatrical represen- 
tations and frequent public festivals, wrought a de- 
moralization in the Athenian citizen analogous to 
that which was produced among the Romans by the 


distribution of corn. The "theoric fund," so called, 
absorbed so large a part of the public revenue that 
it diminished the power of the Athenians to carry 
on the war against Philip ; while an extravagant 
fondness for the amusements and festivals which 
the fund provided, led the Athenians to turn a deaf 
ear to the exhortations of Demosthenes, urging 
them to engage in foreign military service against 
this most dangerous and powerful enemy of the 

The fundamental principles upon which these 
largesses were given, were the same both at Rome 
and at Athens. The proceeds of taxation upon 
property were given to the poorer classes of citizens 
in the shape of a kind of "out-door relief,'* which 
resulted in demoraliaation and idleness, the decay 
of patriotism, and the disposition to make amuse- 
ment the chief end of life. 

During the period of persecution the early Chris- 
tians were subject to extraordinary sufferings. 
They were drawn as a body from the poorer class 
of the people, and were obliged, in their persecu- 
tion, to make common cause with each other. 
The duty of caring for the distressed among their 
number was earnestly enforced and discharged with 
alacrity. As wealth increased among them, large 
amounts of property were put into the hands of the 
clergy for the purposes of charity, both in the shape 
of periodical contributions and permanent endow- 
ments. After Christianity became the religion of 
the State, the wealth consecrated to the care of the 
poor rapidly increased. The income from this prop- 
erty was absorbed in ransoming prisoners likely to 
be sold as slaves, and in caring for the immense 


numbers whose means of living were destroyed by 
the numerous incursions of the barbarians. 

A large portion of the poorer class of the popu- 
lation had also been in slavery. When this was 
abolished, they were thrown upon their own re- 
sources, before the habit of self-reliance and fore- 
sight requisite to provide for their own wants in 
time of confusion and disorder had been fully 
formed. In this state of things the resources of 
private charity were strained to the utmost and of 
necessity a large portion of the population could 
be saved from starvation only by charity. 

It is difficult to estimate adequately the disorder, 
confusion, and poverty of the long period from the 
overthrow of the Roman Empire to the establish- 
ment of the State system of modern Europe. The 
common people were alternately slaves, colonic and 
serfs. When they became free laborers, their com- 
pensation was barely sufficient to keep them above 
the starvation point. In times of pestilence, 
famine, and war, the number thrown upon charity 
must have been largely in excess of that in any 
modern society in proportion to the population. 

The great mass of the laboring population were 
affected by the ignorance, vice, and want of self- 
respect incident to a more or less pronounced servile 
condition. The churches and the monasteries were 
the channels through which the benevolence of the 
wealthy was distributed for the relief of suffering. 
The almoners of the public benevolence thought 
only of the task before them, and the accumulation 
of the means of relieving suffering. Economical 
laws were unthought of. When European society 
gradually settled down into a coherent organization, 



when labor was better protected and rewarded, and 
the means of subsistence were put withm the reach 
of the laboring classes, the habits, generated in the 
preceding centuries, of receiving relief through the 
channels of benevplence remained. The ignorant, 
the idle, the vicious, were only too ready to live 
upon the public bounty after it had ceased to be 
necessary ; and a great pauper class was formed 
throughout Europe from the residuum of ancient 
and mediaeval servitude. The institutions of be- 
nevolence, founded and enriched during those ages 
in which the state of society rendered them neces- 
sary, remained, with income largely increased long 
after the special necessity for their existence had 
passed away. The doles given out at the monas- 
teries and through the various benevolent agencies, 
contributed powerfully to perpetuate the pauperism 
which they were originally designed to relieve. As 
the Italian beggar of to-day has a pedigree that 
runs back to the time of the Gracchi, so the de- 
graded paupers which generation after genera- 
tion fill the English poor-houses are the lineal de- 
scendants of Saxon thralls and Norman villeins. 

Political progress has wrought their personal free- 
dom ; but the weak and the ignorant among them 
yet retain the stamp of their far-off origin, and the 
habits which were engendered in their forefathers, 
who thronged the doors of the monasteries to re- 
ceive the proceeds of unwisely directed Christian 
charity, still cling to their descendants. Emigra- 
tion has brought numbers of the pauper class from 
various foreign countries to our own shores ; and, 
although better opportunities for obtaining a liveli- 
hood and the influence of new scenes and condi- 


tions have lifted a large proportion of them into a 
higher sphere of existence, there yet remain among 
us large numbers, unchanged in character and tend- 
encies. They can be recognized by any thoughtful 
visitor to the homes of the poor in our cities, and 
among the crowds who resort to the offices of the 
superintendents of the poor as eager applicants for 
out-door relief. 

In England, as early as 1 349, beggary and vaga- 
bondage received the attention of Parliament. The 
Ordinance of Laborers of that year provides that 
" none shall under colour of pity or alms give any- 
thing to such which may labor, or presume to fa- 
vor them in their sloth ; so that thereby they may 
be compelled to labor for their necessary living." 
A similar act passed in 1376, is referred to by 
Eden in his " History of the Poor." From this it 
is evident that long before the suppression of the 
monasteries, pauperism and mendicancy had be- 
come dangerous and oppressive. The abolition of 
villeinage was the immediate occasion of these acts ; 
and the subsequent suppression of the monastic es- 
tablishments only threw upon the public those who 
had been partially assisted by the monasteries, 
which, in systematically feeding beggars, had unwit- 
tingly fed beggary itself, and helped to spread the 
disease which legislation now in vain attempted to 
eradicate. . . The evil was so deeply rooted that no 
merely penal remedies could reach it. As a con- 
sequence, the poor-law system was adopted in the 
reign of Elizabeth. Its provisions were, on the 
whole, wise ; but through faulty administration and 
unwise compassion, the principle of out-door relief 
was so expanded in its application, that it came to 



reach a large segment of the agricultural popula- 

In times of sickness or special scarcity they 
came, as a matter of course, to depend upon the 
regular parish allowances. They began to look for- 
ward to relief thus afforded or to the almshouse, as 
the regular concomitant of old age. The self-respect 
of the English peasantry broke down. They lost 
all habits of accumulation. They married reck- 
lessly, trusting to the parish to maintain their chil- 
dren, if they were unable to do so themselves. 
They were subjected to physical and moral degra- 
dation. The poor-rates kept on increasing until they 
threatened to absorb the entire rental of many dis- 

This state of things has been attributed by En- 
glish economists to the great expansion of out-door 
relief. Although they have failed to take account 
adequately of many causes which combined to pro- 
duce this unfortunate social condition, it is clear 
that out-door relief, so widely distributed that it car- 
ried with it no disgrace and came to be a part of 
the agricultural laborer's legitimate means of sup- 
port, was among the most efficient influences 
which make the condition of the agricultural laborer 
so disgraceful to the Christianity and civilization of 

The legislative reforms, introduced under the in- 
fluence of the Poor-Law Commission, have done 
much to remedy the evils here alluded to, but the 
class of persons described still remains. The 
problem of pauperism in England still awaits solu- 
tion. . . 

In order to draw attention to possible abuses in 


the administration of charity, it may not be im- 
proper to give a few hints in the way of application 
of the principles immediately or remotely involved 
in the preceding discussion. 

It is clear that all official persons chargeable with 
the care of the poor should be experienced and in- 
telligent. The work of caring for the poor should, 
so far as possible, be removed from the domain of 
party politics. In no part of public administration 
are intelligence and experience of greater value. 
It is, therefore, of the highest importance that 
good and able men in charge of the poor be re- 
tained in their offices independently of the ordinary 
changes in political parties. Frequent changes in 
superintendence always prevent efficient administra- 
tion of existing laws, and render impossible the ac- 
cumulation of practical experience, without which 
the best laws fail to secure the end for which they 
were enacted. Charitable relief should be admin- 
istered only to those who will really be benefited 
thereby. The greatest possible care should be 
exercised that neither public nor private charity be 
so given as to furnish the means of vicious indul- 
gence, or encourage continuous improvidence and 
idleness. This makes necessary frequent visita- 
tion at their own homes of those aided, and a care- 
ful scrutiny into their resources, habits, and capac- 
ities for labor. . . 

It should be borne in mind that there are among 
our destitute poor all possible varieties of char- 
acter, the virtuous and vicious, the industrious 
and the indolent. We find the hardened and de- 
ceitful " dead beats," and the decent and honest ; 
those who are deserving of the severest reproba- 


tion, and others who should be met with tender 
compassion and respectful sympathy. No iron rule 
ought to be applied. There should be an adjust- 
ment of general principles to particular cases, 
which careful visitation and skillful and often pro- 
longed inquiry alone can enable us to accomplish. 

Many ignorant people are not familiar with the 
working of our savings bank system, and are con- 
sequently too timid to trust their earnings in such 
institutions. There is no duty more binding upon 
the State, than so to frame and execute laws con- 
cerning such organizations that the savings thus 
entrusted to them shall never be put in peril. 
When once the habit of saving has been formed, 
it tends to grow stronger, to generate habits of 
forethought and prevent useless expenditure. The 
cumulative nature of interest might be explained 
and impressed upon the minds of the poor. Many 
such persons pass through life without reaching the 
idea that their savings may be made to earn money 
as really as their labor. Relief extended in the 
way of practical information and wise counsel, is 
often vastly more valuable than gifts of food, cloth- 
ing, or money. 

The skepticism of the benevolent regarding the 
worthiness of those upon whom charity is bestowed 
keeps back very much from the truly destitute. 
This skepticism will pass away when it is known 
that the character and necessities of each person 
aided are subject to intelligent scrutiny. Every 
person who by reasonable foresight, economy, and 
industry is able to provide for himself and fails to 
do so is a dishonest man. If he has not sufficient 
sense of duty to induce him to provide for himself. 


it is simply just that he should be subjected to the 
stern teaching and discipline of hunger and cold. 
Under ordinary circumstances, whoever interferes 
with this discipline or renders it nugatory, does the 
individual and society alike a serious injury. 

P>om the nature of the case the number of per- 
sons and organizations engaged in the care of the 
poor in the large cities is very numerous. This 
affords a wide range of opportunity for the dis- 
honest poor to obtain aid from several sources at 
the same time. Instances illustrating this evil are 
by no means rare. Nothing can prevent this over- 
lapping of charitable societies but the organization 
of a central bureau in each town or city to which 
reports can be furnished of the names of all 
persons who receive aid. . . Such bureaus would 
tend also to expose the character of many profess- 
edly benevolent societies which are either waste- 
fully and inefficiently conducted, or are positively 
fraudulent. It would, moreover, be a ready means 
of detecting and bringing to justice persons who 
collect money ostensibly for benevolence, but in 
reality for themselves. In more than one case has 
it been found that the legislature of the State has 
made appropriations considerable in amount to such 
organizations. Private individuals have been vic- 
timized to a still greater extent. Such a central 
bureau would bring to light the evils so likely to 
grow up from the excessive amount of the machin- 
ery of benevolence. This evil oftener arises from 
thoughtlessness and ignorance than from bad in- 
tentions. The excessive individualism of our people 
blinds them to the advantages of co-operation, com- 
prehensive views, and intelligent oversight. . . 


Charitable relief should, as far as possible, be 
made temporary in its character, and stopped the 
very moment it ceases to be absolutely necessary. 
In order to effect this the circumstances of the re- 
cipients should be re-examined at frequent intervals 
in the manner we have already described. Those 
who are proper recipients of aid one week may not 
be so the next. The great danger is that those 
who have once experienced the convenience of out- 
door relief will relax efforts on their own behalf, 
and invent excuses for rendering the temporary 
relief permanent. Relief acknowledged at first as 
a gift and gratefully received, is at length demanded 
defiantly a's a right. Special care should be taken 
to assist the unemployed in securing work, and this 
assistance should be so given as to teach the un- 
employed the art of getting work for themselves. 
They should be impressed with the economical 
maxim that it is just as much the duty of every 
man tofindv^ovk for himself, as to do it after it is 
found. A charity bureau, such as we have described 
above, might be made available as a sort of Labor 
Exchange, where persons seeking employment and 
persons seeking laborers might be brought together. 
By this means the indolent and unworthy might the 
more readily be detected. 

The intimate connection between ignorance and 
pauperism is sufficiently obvious. While the various 
forms of vice reduce large numbers to the condition 
of paupers, it still remains true that the great 
majority of them are also ignorant. In general, 
skilled labor is always in demand. It is the un- 
skilled laborer who is first thrown out of employ- 
ment in times of commercial revulsion. Hence, the 


importance not only of general education, but of 
adequate training and proper length of apprentice- 
ship in all forms of industry. Whatever appliances, 
in the form of technical training or apprenticeship 
laws, tend to increase the skill of men engaged in 
industrial pursuits, tend also to increase the pro- 
ductive value of labor, and to diminish the burden 
of pauperism. Depreciation of mechanical skill, 
aa shown in the difficulty of securing thoroughness 
and finish in mechanical constructions has, during 
the past few years, been forced upon the attention 
of all careful observers. Hence it follows that 
thought and money judiciously expended to remedy 
the evil above alluded to, can hardly fail to have a 
beneficial effect in reducing pauperism. 

In times of scarcity the suggestion is often made 
that those likely to become paupers should be em- 
ployed by the municipalities or by the State upon 
public works, or in some form of business where 
the capital is supplied from the public funds. This 
plan of action seems to many, at first sight, both 
economical and benevolent ; but the experience of 
those countries that have resorted to this mode of 
meeting the wants of the poor, shows a very differ- 
ent result. It was tried in France, in 1 545, in 1685, 
in 1699, and in 1709. Large workshops were 
opened, under the name of ateliers de charity , having 
the two-fold object to furnish employment to the 
unoccupied, and also to reduce mendicancy. In the 
reign of Louis XVI., in \^^6-\^%%, this system wa^ 
revived, and extended throughout France. In 1 790 
each department of France had placed at its disposal 
a sum of money for this purpose. Again, in 1791 
the constituent assembly tried the same plan for 


the relief of poverty on a still larger scale, but like 
previous attempts of the same kind it failed. The 
medicine was worse than the disease ; for the larger 
the scale on which the workshops were established 
the greater became the number who needed em- 
ployment. In 1830, it was given another trial with- 
out success ; and during the revolution in 1 848, 
when the workshops had the name of ateliers na- 
tionaiix. it reached its climax. From one hundred 
and ten thousand to one hundred and twenty thou- 
sand men were employed at one time. All French 
economists agree that the results were disastrous 
in the extreme, enormously expensive to the State, 
and of no real service to the unemployed. It drew 
labor and capital away from the natural channels of 
business, and tended to put off indefinitely the re- 
sumption of the healthful processes of trade and 
manufacture, while it enormously increased the 
public burden. It was demonstrated that the direct 
system of out-door relief, judiciously employed, 
would have been much cheaper for the State, and 
much less injurious to the poor. This system, by 
which the State entered upon the transaction of 
business, and became the common employer of 
labor, was made more dangerous by its having been 
adopted as a part of the socialist creed, under the 
formula of the "right to labor." The workshops 
soon became mere clubs for political discussion and 
intrigue, and seminaries of principles subversive of 
all property and social order. The money sunk in 
the business reached such an amount that national 
bankruptcy was imminent. The workshops were 
closed; the socialist rebellion against the govern- 
ment broke out the next day; and Cavaignac's 


cannon swept the misguided workmen by thousands 
into eternity. Thus ended the system in France. 

Numbers of European socialists are collected in 
our large cities, eagerly watching for an opportunity 
to realize their notions here. Though the danger 
with us is slight, we should be warned by experience 
and avoid the adoption of a system so capable of 
abuse, and so useless tor any good purpose. The 
fundamental fallacies of the socialist doctrines are 
so well put by Leon P^aucher that we translate the 
following passage : 

The right to employment and the right to receive assist- 
ance are in the thought of the socialist, who puts forward 
these grand phrases, nothing but a means for changing the 
distribution of wealth. For this the State has no capacity. 
The laws which regulate the partition of wealth in society 
are like those which regulate the movements of the physical 
world, superior to all the agency of legislation. These laws 
form a kind of gravitation which holds within its sway all 
human intellects and wills. The State should see to it that 
the burdens of society are distributed among its members in 
proportion to their wealth. It pertains to the State to remove 
the obstacles which arrest or injure the development of in- 
telligence or production ; but it ought never to forget that, 
although it is the collective force and represents the associa- 
tion of individual men, it can never absorb those individu- 
alities into itself. 

It is well known that a prolific cause of both 
crime and pauperism is found in the ill-drained and 
badly ventilated tenements into which are crowded 
the abject poor of our cities. For the class of our 
population that makes no savings and lives on the 
earnings of the passing day, disabling sickness and 
death stand in necessary connection. When the 
limit of credit is reached the resort to public or 


private charity is inevitable. The tendency of such 
unhealthful dwellings to reduce vitality, to increase 
the resort to stirfiulants, and to promote drunken- 
ness, is notorious. Out of this grow the vices of li- 
centiousness and all forms of unhealthful dissipation. 
P^raud, theft, and robbery follow naturally from the 
craving on the part of the poor for costly criminal 
indulgencies. Hence we believe that any organiza- 
tions which shall, at a reasonable price, secure 
homes for the poor, combining the conditions of 
healthfulness and privacy, will be an effective mode 
of aiding them, and at the same time of reducing 
the activity of one of the recognized causes of 
pauperism. . . 

All interference with the natural movement of 
productive labor, either by unnatural stimulation, 
or by obstacles thrown in its way, alike tends to in- 
crease pauperism. The failure of a manufacturer 
to fulfill his contracts with a body of laborers by in- 
dulging in reckless speculation, or by extending his 
business beyond what his skill or capital will justify, 
brings disaster and poverty upon operatives, not in 
one locality alone, but often throughout the civilized 
world. In like manner the refusal of a large body 
of mechanics at a critical period to meet their con- 
tracts to perform labor for a certain price and for a 
certain length of time, not seldom by causing bank- 
ruptcy of contractors, entails suffering and poverty 
equally widespread and disastrous. The success 
which in England has attended committees or 
courts of arbitration, composed of operatives and 
employers, or of persons independent of both 
classes, has been such as to warrant the attempt to 
introduce them here. A calm and intelligent ex- 


amination of the elements of difference between 
the parties jointly engaged in production and 
equally necessary to great manufacturing industries, 
is much more likely to result in a fair distribution 
of profits than the clumsy machinery either of 
strikes or "lockouts." The commercial world is 
an organism vital in every part. An injury or dis- 
location in one portion imperils the whole system. 
Those who control the reciprocally acting elements 
of production, labor, and capital, should understand 
that their interests, moral and pecuniary, are, when 
rightly understood, in complete harmony with each 

The dissemination of a knowledge of economic 
laws ; the practicability of resorting to various 
forms of co-operation ; moral instruction designed 
to show that labor and capital are dependent for 
protection upon the same law of reciprocity; stern 
legal repression of all attempts of capital to oppress 
labor, and of labor to oppress capital ; furnish a field 
of thought and action which should engage the at- 
tention of the philanthropist and legislator. 

The subject, one aspect of which we have had 
under consideration, is a vast one. It is closely re- 
lated to our whole moral, social, and economical life. 
We are conscious that many points will occur to 
the intelligent reader which have not been alluded 
to, and that the topics taken up have been very in- 
adequately discussed. Our single aim has been to 
aid, in a practical way, the philanthropist and the 
public official in the discharge of their arduous and 
perplexing duties. The professed political econo- 
mist we have not attempted to address nor instruct. 
Experience has taught that even such an elementary 


discussion as we have been able to give may be use- 
ful to the dispenser of charity among the poor. We 
have seen that nothing so effectually dries up the 
sources of charity as the suspicion that it is so 
bestowed as to do injury rather than good. The 
suffering which society is bound in duty to alleviate 
is appalling in amount, and the burden which it im- 
poses is liable to increase with our population. An 
intelligent study of the problem of misery is in- 
cumbent on all who love their fellow-men. Ameri- 
cans have been prone to assume that the terrible 
enigmas of pauperism, as they are propounded to 
the old world, would never trouble the new. 

We have been profuse in our provision for the 
relief of suffering humanity, but have not studied, 
as we ought, the means of reaching and eradicating 
its causes. The published reports of the charity 
commissions in our various States contain useful 
statistics and many valuable discussions, but we do 
not recall a single systematic treatise on pauperism 
which has been issued from the American press. 
European literature is rich on the subject ; but, 
while the general principles which underlie its dis- 
cussion are universal, considerable modifications in 
the rules of action which they supply are necessary 
in order to make them practically useful in a social 
order so inchoate and peculiar as our own. We 
hope that ere long some person will take up the 
subject who shall combine broad experience in the 
care of the poor, with a thorough comprehension 
of economical principles, and their connection with 
the equally authoritative laws of Christian charity. 




THERE is an element of the "pauper question'* 
in our country which requires the attention of 
every citizen. The unprecedented emigration to 
the United States within the past few years, al- 
though attended with much good, is also fraught 
with great dangers and evils. Of the persons who 
emigrate a large proportion are men of broken for- 
tunes who from some cause or other have been unsuc- 
cessful in their own country. A still larger number 
of them are persons who expend their entire property 
in paying the cost of emigration to their new home. 
Among these a large number, from the difficulty of 
getting employment and the discouragements nat- 
ural to being separated from the friends of their 
early life, or illness induced by the voyage and 
change of climate, are thrown upon the public 
for support. But this is an evil incidental to emi- 
gration, and should be accepted as a matter of 
course. There is evidence, however, to show that 
a large number of persons actually paupers or dis- 
charged criminals, have been sent over into our 
country either by governmental aid, or by the assist- 
ance of relatives who wish to avoid the disgrace 
and trouble attendant upon their support. Hence 
the class of emigrants, while containing a large 

V 241 


number of most excellent and healthful additions to 
our population, has an undue proportion of the de- 
pendent and criminal classes. 

Of the population of the State of New York 
about one-third are of foreign birth, and from that 
one-third about two-thirds of the paupers supported 
at the expense of the State are derived. This fact 
alone will show that the evil to which we have al- 
luded is a serious one. It repeats itself in various 
degrees of intensity in our maritime States, and, to 
a certain extent, in all the States of our Union. 
While we gladly throw open our territory, and ex- 
tend the protection of our institutions to emigrants 
from foreign countries who are able and willing to 
earn their own support, we cannot and ought not to 
relieve the old countries of Europe from the care 
of their dependent population. 

Certain propositions regarding the duty of the 
nations to their dependent population seem to be 
clear : 

First. A nation is a moral organism which owes 
certain duties to its members, and to which its mem- 
bers owe certain duties in return. The bond be- 
tween government and subject is a reciprocal one. 
Therefore every citizen or subject is bound to main- 
tain by his property and defend by his life the gov- 
ernment which extends to him its protection ; and, 
on the other hand, by the common practice of civ- 
ilized peoples, the government should assume the 
care of its subjects when they are unable to care 
for themselves. 

Secondly. This obligation of a nation toward its 
dependent classes, cannot be transferred to another 
without that other's consent. Commercial nations 


recognize this principle in their provisions, through 
the consular system, for the care of shipwrecked, dis- 
charged, or disabled seamen. The foreign consuls 
of civilized nations provide for their maintenance, 
and return them to their homes. 

Thirdly. It is clearly an offense against the 
comity of nations for any government, national or 
municipal, to throw the burden of caring for its 
dependent population upon any foreign country. 
But it has been proved beyond all question, that 
both foreign municipalities and foreign nations 
have provided at the public expense for the trans- 
portation of considerable numbers of their pauper 
class to the United States. It is also beyond all 
question that paupers and criminals in consider- 
able numbers have been sent to the United States 
by their relatives. 

Fourthly. A nation becomes bound to support a 
foreign-born pauper only through his naturalization. 
Naturalization involves a reciprocal contract. The 
naturalized party repudiates his allegiance to the 
country in which he was born, and takes upon him- 
self all the obligations of a citizen. He becomes 
bound to pay taxes according to his ability, and if 
necessary, to serve in the army or navy against do- 
mestic or foreign enemies ; but an alien is free from 
a large measure of these obligations, and the State, 
on its part, comes under no obligation to maintain 
him, if he becomes dependent. The American 
sailor or resident living in England, who becomes a 
pauper, appeals naturally and rightfully to his own 
consul for protection and aid. There is no reason, 
in the nature of the case, why we should maintain 
paupers who are subjects of Great Britain or Ger- 


many, who are landed upon our shores in a depend- 
ent condition, or in such a state of mental or bodily 
health that they must necessarily become depend- 
ent. We are no more bound apart from the gen- 
eral law of humanity, to maintain such persons, 
than we are to pay the interest on the English 
national debt, or furnish conscripts for the German 

The question arises, how shall this transference 
of the pauper population of the old countries of 
Europe to our shores be stopped. This is confess- 
edly a difficult problem. The emigrant commis- 
sion system which has so long existed in some of 
our maritime States, has undoubtedly prevented the 
introduction of many paupers and criminals, but it 
has on the whole proved in this respect a failure ; 
and constitutional difficulties have now been inter- 
posed to set it aside entirely for the future. So far 
as the question of international law is concerned, 
we have an undoubted right to send back such de- 
pendent persons to the countries to which they be- 
long. If they have become naturalized, we of 
course are bound to take care of them ourselves. 

It may be questioned whether the establishment 
of national bureaus will protect us against this in- 
flux of paupers and criminals. A system which 
has failed to so great a degree in the States, under 
the influence of local supervision and where local 
interests were at stake, would be still more likely 
to fail to meet the evil through a bureau established 
by the general government. Besides there are sev- 
eral classes of persons whose interests will all the 
while lead them to evade the law. First, there is 
the shipping interest which, of course, desires to 



promote the emigration of all persons whose pas- 
sage money is paid. Secondly, there is the land 
interest, which seeks to sell to the emigrant vast 
tracts of unoccupied land held on speculation. 
Next, there is the railroad interest, whose profits 
are largely increased by the transportation of emi- 
grants to distant portions of our country. There 
are also political interests, which may be indirectly 
promoted by the increase of emigration. All these 
considerations render it extremely difficult to meet 
the evil through a bureau of emigration alone. Of 
those who enter our country from the dominion of 
Canada along its immense border very few could be 
reached by an emigrant commission, however effi- 
cient and active. All along the northern border of 
New York, and indeed in all Northern States, the 
poor-houses and orphan asylums contain a very 
large percentage of dependent persons of both 
European and Canadian birth, who have sought a 
refuge within our limits. The recent special statis- 
tical examination of poor-house inmates, conducted 
by the New York Board of Charities, has shown 
that of the large number of alien paupers found in 
our northern counties, few if any had landed in New 
York or Boston or could have been reached by any 
emigration bureau for the purpose of examination 
or the exaction of head money. 

Whatever may be done by a bureau with officers 
in our large seaports for meeting this danger, it 
seems to me that such efforts ought to be supple- 
mented by other modes of action. I beg leave to 
suggest two. First, by requiring of the United 
States consuls, at all the large ports from which 
emigrants are shipped, to take care that no de- 



pendent or criminal goes on board an emigrant ship 
without sending evidence of the fact to the author- 
ities of the port to which the ship is bound, we 
may prevent much of the evil under which we 
suffer. This course would exclude a large propor- 
tion of the class of paupers and criminals who, 
heretofore, have been surreptitiously landed in our 
country. I purposely avoid going into the details 
of the process. It might be provided for by act 
of Congress, and the duty be imposed upon the 
consuls to examine emigrants and obtain authentic 
evidence regarding the residence, history, and 
character of all persons reasonably suspected of 
being paupers or criminals. When paupers or 
criminals were found among passengers, the ship- 
pers would not care to take them for fear of sub- 
jecting themselves to the penalties of our law. 
Concert of action among our consuls would enable 
them to secure evidence which could not be ob- 
tained after the pauper or criminal was once across 
the Atlantic. When a pauper is once here he is 
likely to be thrown on our care for life. If he 
should be supported out of the head-money for five 
years, after that time he is sure to be a burden on 
the taxpayer. The cost of maintaining such per- 
sons in a poor-house or prison is a trifling evil, com- 
pared with the moral contamination which they 
bring, and the character of the progeny which in 
some cases they leave behind them. The hereditary 
character of pauperism and crime is the most fear- 
ful element with which society has to contend. 
The expenses of this preventive process would be 
light, and the labor distributed among a large num- 
ber of consuls could not be onerous. We thus 



might establish a kind of moral quarantine, and 
those whom the consul permitted to embark with- 
out protest would have, by presumption, a clean 
bill of health. 

Secondly, provision might be made by law, either 
by Congress or by the several States, as the principles 
of constitutional law might require, giving author- 
ity to the Boards of Charities in the several States 
to send back to the countries to which they belong 
every alien pauper, who has become such within a 
certain specified time after landing upon our shores. 
The expenses of re-transportation might be borne 
by the general or State governments. The ex- 
pense, however, in either case would be a trifle 
compared with that of maintaining a pauper during 
the average term of such pauper's life. It is by 
no means clear that the principles of international 
law would not justify us in insisting that the ex- 
pense of such re-transportation of paupers should 
be borne by the countries from which they come — 
it being a fair presumption that the countries them- 
selves had either actively transported among the 
emigrants such paupers, or winked at the process 
when undertaken by individuals or municipalities. 
This, however, would be a matter for negotiation. 
It is clear that the extradition of such paupers or 
criminals would be an immense saving to all our 
States. The average term of life of all paupers 
cannot be less than from ten to fifteen years. The 
maintenance of such paupers cannot be less in the 
aggregate than fifteen hundred dollars apiece. The 
cost of sending them across the Atlantic, estimating 
transportation at the usual rates both by land and 
water, could not be more than fifty dollars per 


capita on the average. The moral and economic 
advantages, in other respects, which such an expur- 
gation of our population would confer, can hardly 
be estimated. If we take this course with regard 
to foreign nations, they will be open to take the 
same course regarding our own citizens. The ob- 
ligation and the right would be reciprocal. We 
may ask of other nations what they may ask of us. 
We are ready to discharge the same duty that we 
require of them to discharge toward us. Such a 
demand would be equitable and just. The principle 
that each nation should care for its own pauper, 
insane, and dangerous classes is beyond all possible 
question, and the plan which we propose is a simple 
application of it to the existing state of things. 

The law of settlement in its bearing on munici- 
palities has been enforced with much rigidity, both 
in Great Britain and in our own country, and we 
are familiar with its bearing on the pauper question. 
No town will support a pauper who has a settlement 
in another town, and almost all the States have 
passed laws providing for the transportation out of 
the State of paupers that have no legal settlement 
within its borders, to the States where such paupers 

This law has been applied for a considerable time 
and with uniformly good results. The same prin- 
ciple which the States of the Union have acted 
upon, relatively to each other, regarding the sup- 
port of paupers, may be applied to foreign nations. 
A non-naturalized pauper, having a legal settlement 
in Canada, would in that case be transported to 
Canada. Another, having a settlement in Ireland 
or Scotland or Germany, would be transported 


there. The plan which we propose is the same as 
that which we have in operation among ourselves. 
Many of the maritime States have taken action in 
sending alien paupers to their homes in foreign 
countries already, but this has not been recognized 
as a fixed and uniform policy. If the States or the 
general government, as the case may be, should 
make regular appropriations for the purpose of 
sending back, under the limitations naturally sug- 
gested by humanity and good sense, all alien pau- 
pers that have been smuggled into our States, 
foreign governments and ** national philanthropists " 
would soon cease to regard our country as a 
" Botany Bay " to which they can with impunity 
send their paupers to be supported and their crim- 
inals to plunder. That they have done so in the 
past is an offense which ought, ere this, to have 
been a subject for negotiation and remonstrance by 
the Department of State. 

It might be feared that measures of the char- 
acter recommended would be distasteful to our for- 
eign-born fellow-citizens. In reply, we would say 
that no class of persons are more decided in their 
opinions regarding the injustice of the transporta- 
tion of paupers and criminals to our own country. 
The foreign-born citizens immigrate often for the 
purpose of escaping the burden of taxation and 
military conscription. When they come to the 
United States, and are naturalized and have 
assumed their proper share of our responsibilities, 
they are by no means anxious to take on in addition 
a part of the public burdens of the countries which 
they have voluntarily left. It will be found, as soon 
as any active measures are taken to remedy the 


evils we have alluded to, that our foreign-born citi- 
zens will give them their hearty support. 

I now beg leave to call attention to some facts 
tending to show that the class of persons referred 
to have been systematically sent to our shores by 
nations and municipalities acting under regularly 
enacted laws. I will remark in passing that the 
English people years ago suffered a modified form 
of the evil we have been discussing, and that out 
of it grew the present Irish poor law. 

Before the establishment of the Irish poor law, 
great numbers of the Irish poor emigrated to En- 
gland. The burden to England became so great 
that the strongest representations were made to in- 
duce Parliament to remedy the evil. In a letter to 
the agriculturists of England, published in 1830, 
and quoted in the " Quarterly Review " of that 
year, it was represented that the poor of Ireland 
were compelled, through want, to migrate to Eng- 
land "in hordes," and ** that owing to the absence 
of a poor law in Ireland, English property was vir- 
tually rated to maintain a great part of the Irish 
pauper population." England and Ireland brought 
their products to a common market. It was said 
that the English agriculturist paid a heavy tax out 
of the produce of his land toward the support of 
the Irish poor, while the Irish agriculturist, receiv- 
ing the same price for goods, paid no poor-rate at 
all. This influx of Irish pauperism into England 
for support was one of the strongest motives which 
led to the enactment of the Irish poor law. The 
injustice to the English rate-payer was so evident, 
that Parliament supplied the remedy at an early day. 
What was an intolerable grievance to England, with 


Ireland a part of the British empire, would have 
been still more so had she been a foreign nation. 

The "Edinburgh Review," for March, 1831, 
speaking of the increase of paupers, says : " They 
can be disposed of only in one of two ways, that 
is, either by placing them on unoccupied and uncul- 
tivated lands at home, or moving them to the colo- 
nies." After showing that the first of these methods 
was impracticable, it took up the advocacy of the 
second, and gave its approval to a bill, then before 
Parliament, for aiding paupers to remove to the 
colonies. Canada was the colony most prominent 
in the writer's mind. He goes on to say, in advo- 
cacy of the bill : " Nothing, therefore, can be a 
greater mistake than to suppose that those who 
consent to make an advance for the removal of 
paupers are making a sacrifice to get rid of an 
accidental and transitory evil. The fact is, they 
are making a comparatively small sacrifice to rid 
themselves of an evil which is deeply seated, which 
is rapidly spreading, and which, if it be not effect- 
ually counteracted, will at no distant period sink all 
classes below the level of that which is now lowest." 
It is known to all persons of experience, that a very 
large percentage of persons belonging to the heredi- 
tary pauper class, sent at first to Canada, migrate as 
soon as possible to the United States. The meas- 
ure thus advocated in 1831, and which shortly after 
became a law, was virtually a law to facilitate the 
transportation of English paupers to the United 
States. . . That the policy of shipping paupers to 
America is well recognized and understood in Eng- 
land, appears not only from the statute books, but 
from allusions made to the topic in treatises on 


pauperism. Fawcett, in his " Lectures on Pauper- 
ism," says : " The most popular remedy to get rid 
of our own paupers is to ship them off to America. 
Now, the advocates of such a policy overlook the 
fact that the United States are beginning to be 
burdened with their own pauperism, and, therefore, 
would very properly object to being made a recep- 
tacle of the pauperism of the old world." We 
think that every New York taxpayer will coincide 
with the opinion so naYvely expressed by Professor 
Fawcett. Scrope, in his "Political Economy," after 
speaking of the terrible consequences of the Irish fam- 
ine, says : " Thousands upon thousands fled from a 
country so afflicted by Providence and neglected by 
its own rulers, and the depletion occasioned by the 
famine itself, and the constant outflow of the peas- 
antry to seek a living in the United States of Amer- 
ica, which set in then and has continued ever since, 
have together solved the problem of the redun- 
dancy of population in Ireland. . . It [emigration" 
offers the true solution of the problem, how to dea, 
with able-bodied pauperism wherever it exists." 

It may be remarked that these English writers 
unwittingly used in their discussion the term Brit- 
ish colony and the United States as somehow con- 
vertible terms. It would not be courteous to put a 
law on the statute-book, or to organize an associa- 
tion, or to provide money for the transportation of 
paupers to the United States ; but when they come 
to speak of actual facts in the case, they recognize 
the United States as the country which the paupers 
emigrating from England ultimately and actually 
reach. The people of the United States are always 
ready to receive an industrious and able-bodied 


emigrant, however poor he may be ; but they are 
not willing to support that class of indolent and 
hereditary paupers that have been smuggled into 
our country by the connivance or direct agency of 
foreign nations. 

Frequent complaints have been made of the 
number of paupers and dependent persons who 
have been introduced into our country from vari- 
ous parts of Germany and Switzerland. It is quite 
difficult to reach direct proof of such transportation 
of paupers to our shores, but that considerable 
numbers have been sent here is almost universally 
believed ; and the positive evidence upon which this 
general conviction rests, might be reached by a cer- 
tain amount of time and labor. That convicts have 
been pardoned on condition that they should emi- 
grate to the United States, is unfortunately only 
too evident. 

In a debate on this subject in the United States 
Senate, March 19, 1866, Mr. Sumner referred to an 
" official correspondence, showing that the authori- 
ties of Basel, in Switzerland, had recently under- 
taken to pardon a person found guilty of murder, 
on the condition that he would emigrate to Amer- 
ica — meaning thereby the United States." Also, he 
showed that it has been " the habit in the island of 
Newfoundland to pardon persons convicted of in- 
famous offenses, on condition that they would come 
to the United States ; and there are several very 
recent instances of pardons in the kingdom of Han- 
over, in Germany, on similar conditions. For in- 
stance, I have here," he says, "a copy of two scraps 
from a German newspaper. One is from the * Lune- 
burg Advertiser,' of September 10, 1865, to wit : 



« Within the last few months, our chief justice has 
pardoned three of the greatest criminals in the 
kingdom, on condition they emigrate to the United 
States — Henry Gieske, for theft ; J. Sander, for 
arson ; and John Winter, for robbery. The two 
former are already on their way to New York from 
Hamburg/ Then there is another scrap from the 
same newspaper of the date November 12, 1865. 
* The culprit Camman, who was condemned to death 
for highway robbery and murder, has had his pun- 
ishment commuted to emigration to America/ . . 
I have," he continues, "seen a gentleman who nar- 
rated to me an incident that occurred to him in 
one of the prisons of Baden-Baden, during the last 
year. Visiting that prison he himself heard the 
jailer, or an officer of the prison, make a proposition 
to a criminal to the effect that he should be par- 
doned on the condition that he would emigrate to 
the United States/' 

In the same debate, Mr. Grimes, of Iowa, said : 
" I am as conscious as I can be of a fact that is not 
within my own personal knowledge, that the expor- 
tation of criminals from Germany to this country 
has been going on for years. Last year I saw a 
gentleman, a citizen of my own town, who visited 
his fatherland, and when he came back told me that 
he came in company with a detective, who brought 
several criminals to New York and turned them 
loose there. The government of one of the little 
German principalities paid all the expenses of the 
transportation of those criminals, and of the detect- 
ive who brought them over in charge, and when they 
landed he gave them a certain sum of money with 
which to start, and probably within a short time 


they were in Sing Sing." A joint resolution was 
then passed by the Senate protesting against such 
acts as unfriendly and inconsistent with the comity 
of nations. 

The intimation that municipalities have been act- 
ive in sending paupers to our country is very clearly 
illustrated by the following quotation from the last 
volume of the Cobden Club Essays, " On Local 
Government Taxation in Ireland," by W. Neilson 
Hancock, ll. d. Speaking of the power given by 
Parliament to local authorities in Ireland to raise 
taxes for sending paupers out of the country, Mr. 
Hancock writes as follows : ** The poor law of 1838 
sanctioned the principle of an emigration rate, but 
the original act prohibited assistance being given to 
emigrants going to other than British colonies, thus 
excluding emigration to the United States. When 
the pressure of the famine came, the most munifi- 
cent contributions to alleviate the distress came 
from the United States, and Parliament repealed 
the restriction in 1849, and it was found afterward 
that of the Irish agricultural classes eighty-four per 
cent, usually emigrated to the United States. By 
the act of 1838, emigration rates were only to be 
levied when the majority in value of rate-payers of 
an electoral division voted for the rate. In 1843, 
the guardians were allowed, to impose emigration 
rates not exceeding in one year sixpence in the 
pound or two and a half per cent., but these were 
only to be applied to relieve persons who had been 
three months in the workhouse. In 1847, after 
only four years' existence, both these restrictions 
were abolished. In 1849, provision was made for 
borrowing money for emigration, but Parliament 


thought it necessary to impose a limit. The entire 
sum borrowed to assist emigration was not to ex- 
ceed eleven shillings and fourpence in the electoral 
division, and two shillings and eight pence on the 
union at large, or fourteen shillings in the pound ; this 
would, at the then valuation of Ireland, have amounted 
to about nine million pounds. All the guardians did 
expend on emigration in twenty years after 1849 
was only one hundred and nineteen thousand two 
hundred and eighty pounds, or about six thousand 
pounds, or half a farthing in the pound, in the year. 
It thus appears that all attempts of Parliament to 
regulate what persons were to emigrate, where they 
were to go to, or how much was to be spent on 
them, eventuated in restrictions that had either to 
be promptly repealed, or were so wide of the mark 
as to be practically inoperative." It should be 
borne in mind that this whole paragraph is shown 
by the context to bear upon paupers in the strict 
sense of the term. 

It seems from this that the local authorities in 
Ireland have spent one hundred and nineteen thou- 
sand two hundred and eighty pounds, or about six 
hundred thousand dollars, in assisting emigration. 
At the average rate of passage, this would provide 
for the transportation of something like twenty-four 
thousand persons to America. Probably something 
like ninety per cent, of these landed ultimately in 
the United States, whether their nominal destina- 
tion was Quebec or New York. From this very in- 
adequate estimate of the number of paupers that 
have been sent from Ireland, we may infer the num- 
ber that has been transported from the United 
Kingdom, under sanction of act of Parliament, by 


local authorities, by friends, and in various surrepti- 
tious modes for the past twenty years. These state- 
ments will to some extent account for the fact that 
two-thirds of the paupers of the State of New York 
are foreign-born, and will account also for the num- 
ber of paupers who have been maintained hereto- 
fore out of the proceeds of the head-money by the 
emigrant commission at Ward's Island and else- 
where in the State. A similar state of things must 
exist to a greater or less extent in all the Northern 
States. The magnitude of the evil has not been 
duly recognized because so little attention has been 
given to the facts. 

We believe it to be the imperative duty of the 
general government to take measures at once to 
prevent persons, actually paupers or criminals, from 
being sent to our country and also to give power to 
the States if need be to send such persons, when 
found, back to the countries from which they came 
and to which they belong. . . If the United States 
and the States in the proper exercise of their sev- 
eral powers were to adopt and carry out with vigor 
the two classes of measures which we have hinted 
at, we believe that the evil which we have described 
would be greatly diminished if not entirely abated. 



I AM glad to take part in this festival in honor of 
the labors of a great scholar, teacher, and bene- 
factor of his fellow-men. In our day the imposing 
and tangible results accomplished in the various 
departments of physical science, have thrown into 
the shade the equally great achievements of those 
who have cultivated what the French aptly desig- 
nate as the Moral and Political Sciences. The 
beneficent influence of these sciences upon the 
public welfare, is slow in development and makes 
but a slight impression on the popular mind. A 
thousand men are familiar with the labors of Watt, 
Davy, Stephenson, and Morse, where one recalls in 
gratitude the name of him whose achievements we 
at this time commemorate. His work must be 
looked at through the long perspective of a century, 
in order to be adequately estimated even by the 
statesman or the economist. 

As a teacher, I am gateful for the homage which 
the civilized world at this late day is offering to 
the memory of one of the great ornaments of the 
profession to which I have the honor to belong. I 
join with all my heart in a formal recognition of the 
service which Adam Smith, as a representative 


teacher, has rendered to man. It has become a 
habit with a certain class to represent those lines of 
thought which find their subject-matter in the im- 
pulses and faculties of man's moral and intellectual 
nature, as the unburied remains of mediaeval scho- 
lasticism, as unpractical and economically useless. 
Those departments of inquiry whose foundations 
are sought in the analysis of the constitution and 
laws of mind, in the "ought" and "ought not" of 
conscience, whose proofs and illustrations are 
gleaned from the literature and history of the past, 
are flippantly denounced as "metaphysics," and de- 
nied a place among the positive sciences. Teachers 
are called upon to reject these subjects from the 
curriculum of liberal study, and replace them by 
those which are conversant only with the laws of 
organic or inorganic matter. 

Economic laws, though acting upon material phe- 
nomena, find their origin and limitations in the 
moral and active powers of man. Political economy, 
as a science, is an outgrowth of ethics. It was the 
gross violation of natural rights by the economical 
legislation which disgraced and impoverished the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that directed 
the minds of thoughtful men in their search after 
remedies. Francis Hutcheson, to whom belongs 
the honor of having first made the elements of 
economic science a subject of public instruction, 
was, like his pupil and successor whom we honor at 
this time, a professor of moral philosophy in the 
University of Glasgow. In their application of 
moral laws to human action, they were met by 
those obligations which arise out of the exchange of 
property and services. They found that the whole 



system of commercial legislation rested on the be- 
lief that all gains in trade by an individual or a 
nation were measured by the losses which they were 
able to inflict on those with whom their business 
was transacted. The monstrous assumption pre- 
vailed that the successful merchant grew rich only 
by getting the better of his customers, and that the 
business of a statesman w^as to contrive the ways 
and means by which his own people could most 
successfully enrich themselves by impoverishing 
their neighbors. By a profound examination of the 
constitution of man and the history of trade, they 
demonstrated the opposite principle, that in all 
legitimate and permanently profitable trade there 
is a gain to both parties in the transaction. They 
showed that all tricks and deceit by individuals or 
legislation and diplomacy by nations, designed to 
secure profit by inflicting a corresponding loss on 
others, were as inconsistent with sound economy as 
they were subversive of public and private morality. 
They saw that all exchanges of commodities or ser- 
vices involve the transfer of ** rights,*' and hence 
that all deceit, compulsion, and " interference legis- 
lation," designed to prevent the equivalence of the 
values exchanged, work an injury to natural rights 
as well as to profitable commerce. In the minds 
of its early cultivators, political economy was con- 
ceived to be the application of morality to the com- 
mercial intercourse of men. As all trade is an 
exchange of personal rights, they assumed that the 
science of exchanges must rest on a moral basis. 
The aim of Adam Smith, as well as of all who have 
worked out the principles of political progress, was 
to relieve society from obstructive and oppressive 


legislation, and to prove to men and nations that 
honesty and justice are not only the best, but the 
only policy worthy of the thought of a merchant or 
a statesman. 

Were we called upon to name three men whose 
labors within the last two centuries have been most 
conspicuously far-reaching and pervasive in their 
beneficial influence upon social progress, we should 
name Hugo Grotius, Jeremy Bent ham, and Adam 
Smith. Neither of these men, with a partial excep- 
tion in the case of Grotius, was, in the vulgar sense 
of the term, a politician, nor even a practical man. 
They were quiet scholars, devoting themselves to 
the study and discussion of moral principles in their 
bearing upon the individual and social well-being of 
their fellow-men. 

Grotius collected the scattered fragments of the 
ancient poets, historians, and philosophers, which 
recognized the obligation of States to each other, 
formulated the principles which they involved, 
traced them to their origin in the laws of mind, 
and impressed upon the civilized world the convic- 
tion that a State in its corporate capacity is to be 
regarded as a moral being, responsible to other 
similar societies, and to God. 

Bentham, starting on the assumption that the 
State was made for man and not man for the State, 
studied the principles which underlie municipal law, 
the rationale of punishment, the discipline of pris- 
ons, the duty of the State to educate and reform 
the criminal as well as to punish him. He attacked 
the injustice and absurdities involved in the En- 
glish common and chancery law. He ridiculed the 
statute which fixed the rate of interest, and became 


in this respect the teacher of Adam Smith. Though 
encumbered with a faulty and inadequate theory of 
morals, writing unreadable English, and having per- 
sonal peculiarities which made him a butt of ridi- 
cule for his contemporaries, he trained and left 
behind him a school of thinkers who have been the 
active agents in a vast system of law reform which 
has renovated English jurisprudence, affected the 
thought of our age, and made its mark from India 
to Australia. 

Adam Smith lived in an age of great statesmen 
and reformers, and though hardly thought worthy 
of mention among them when living, has contrib- 
uted to the material and moral well-being of man in 
methods so various and vital that his life and work 
are more significant to the historian of civilization 
than are those of any of the able and brilliant men 
who in his day were rulers of States or leaders 
of opinion. Though the treatise of Condillac, em- 
bodying in a systematic form doctrines similar to 
those of the " Wealth of Nations," was published 
in the same year ; though many able thinkers pre- 
ceded him in the discussion of special economic 
principles, yet by the breadth of his learning, the 
comprehensiveness of his views, the freshness of 
his style, and the force of his logic, he was the first 
to reach the public ear. He may therefore justly 
be considered the founder of economic philosophy. 

All systems of government and forms of law 
have for their end, to secure to man liberty of per- 
souy liberty of consciencey and liberty of exchange. 
In the degree to which a government recognizes 
and defends these rights, does it serve its legitimate 
purpose. Personal slavery has substantially passed 


away from countries which claim to be civilized. 
Liberty of conscience is making rapid progress 
through the separation of Church and State. The 
liberty of exchanging the products of a man's free 
activity, which is evolved in the freedom of his 
person, remains to be vindicated. The right to fix 
the price at which he will exchange the products of 
his labor for those of other men, is an incident of 
his right to the products themselves. These rights 
are natural and universal, and the State may not 
interfere with them, except for the public service 
and in accordance with laws which bear equally on 
every citizen. 

While some of the motives to labor and produc- 
tion may be those which appeal to self-interest, it 
does not follow that political economy is not a moral 
as well as a material science. The motives which 
move men to action are various, but it is none the 
less true that all action should be limited and con- 
trolled by moral laws. If it is conceded that most 
men are induced to labor by self-interest, it is equally 
true that duty prompts to the same end, and that 
conscience ought to have supreme authority in de- 
ciding what modes of production are permissible to a 
moral being, and what are not. 

In the process of ascertaining the laws which 
should control exchanges so as to secure to a nation 
the greatest amount of wealth, economic science 
always finds that these laws are coincident with the 
highest morality. It demonstrates that there is a 
higher law to which self-interest must be made 
'subservient, if it would not defeat its own ends. 
It matters little whether we apply to any system 
of financial legislation or mode of production the 


tests of moral or economic science, for if we make 
no mistakes in our analysis, the results will harmon- 
ize. No mode of production can be economically 
safe for a nation to adopt which is in itself morally 
wrong. Political economy is a demonstration in 
material facts of the precepts of morality. 

We oppose all obstructions to the freedom of ex- 
change created by law or custom not made neces- 
sary for revenue, as alike injurious to natural rights 
and to national wealth. Slavery, the Roman colonat, 
serfdom, the mercantile system, the debasement of 
currency either by reducing the standard of coin or 
making forced loans and partial confiscations through 
irredeemable legal tender notes, monopolies, the 
colonial system, were all at the same time violations 
of moral and economical laws. Those in our coun- 
try who are battling for free trade and a sound cur- 
rency can never speak with the authority which be- 
longs to their principles, until they take the ground 
that they are seeking, not only to increase the 
national wealth, but also to vindicate private rights 
and promote public morality. 

The ** Wealth of Nations " is throughout a practical 
application of Smith's discussion of the moral con- 
stitution of man. Even conceding, which we do 
not, that a high protective tariff promotes national 
wealth, it cannot be justified on moral grounds, for 
if it protects at all, it must tax the many for the 
benefit of the few, while at the same time it does 
injustice to the nations with which we trade. How- 
ever great the services which Adam Smith has ren- 
dered to the economical well-being of the world, we 
believe that he has done still more for its moral ed- 
ucation. His work has inculcated a gospel of hon- 


esty, peace, and reciprocity wherever it has been 
read. It has everywhere vindicated the harmony of 
moral and physical laws, and shown that the im- 
pulse to accumulate defeats itself, unless held in 
control by the authority of conscience. 

It is often said that the great economist's work, 
and the science which he founded, are wanting in 
constructive ideas ; that they are a collection of 
negations only. This charge may be brought with 
equal justice against all attempts to develop and 
illustrate the fundamental laws of matter or of 
human action. The world's great moralists and re- 
formers have spent their lives in the demolition of 
organized forms of evil. But they have not de- 
stroyed at random. They smote down obstructions 
which stood in the path of progress. Slavery and 
feudalism have fallen, that man might have a right 
to his own body. Church and State have been 
ruthlessly rent asunder, that conscience might be 
free. Hoary aristocracies have been crushed, that 
all men might be equal before the law. With the 
removal of obstructions that hinder the movement 
of civilization, humanity sweeps onward by its own 
inherent force. 

Our science stands related to economical legisla- 
tion, as general jurisprudence stands related to the 
law of contracts and crimes, as physics to engineer- 
ing, astronomy to navigation, or geology to mining. 
It will become a most important factor in the con- 
structive politics of the future. As society becomes 
more complicated and its differentiations more com 
plete, economic laws will become more and more in- 
dispensable as controlling forces in the organic life 
of society and the State. But hitherto the world 



has been governed too much. Those only sigh for 
paternalism and " interference legislation " who have 
lost faith in man and the ever-active moral and social 
laws which impel and guide his movements in the 
path of progress. We would not unduly limit the 
function of the State ; we would seek to keep it 
within its natural and proper limits. As we deny 
the right of the State to fix a man's religious creed 
or mode of worship, so we deny its right to fix the 
ratio of exchange in the transfer of services or com- 
modities. The attempt on the part of the State to 
do either, is contrary to all considerations of sound 
policy. In our efforts to promulgate economic laws, 
the high vantage-ground of morality should be taken. 
So doing, we add to the weight of self-interest the 
authority of a moral motive. Had our people un- 
derstood that the legal tender act was a legislative 
lie, a futile attempt of the government to cheat its 
home creditors by a solemn enactment that seventy- 
five cents are equal to a dollar, that it was simply 
an attempt to repeal the Ten Commandments, our 
rulers would never have dared to put such legisla- 
tion on the statute-book. If our people had under- 
stood that the enormous tariff on iron which ex- 
isted during the war was but a skillful contrivance 
to pick the pockets of every farmer who bought an 
axe or plow, to increase the expenses of sending 
every bushel of wheat which passed over a railroad 
to the sea, to double the price of every cannon ball 
expended by the army or navy, for the benefit of 
two per cent., or less, of a special class of manufac- 
turers, a storm of indignation would have rolled over 
the land in denunciation of the outrage. Our peo- 
ple are yet unconscious of the fetters of commercial 



restriction which bind them. Some of our states- 
men, in their dense ignorance, tell us that the laws 
of economic science are applicable only to the old 
world. They affect to view with lofty scorn the ex- 
perience of the past. 

As a nation, we have been proud of our efforts 
to give an elementary education to all our citizens, 
but we have been exceptionally neglectful of eco- 
nomical science in our schools and colleges. The in- 
struction given has been so hampered by com- 
promises, disguised by half-truths and ephemeral 
party and local issues, that it has excited little inter- 
est, and spoken without emphasis or authority. It 
is useless to attempt economical reform in our 
country until the young men who are to be the 
leaders of thought and action are well grounded in 
the elements of our science. We must train our 
politicians and editors, lawyers and clergymen, in 
its principles, before we can effectively reach the 
people. We should see to it that no well-established 
institution for higher education is without the means 
of giving economic instruction. Then financial re- 
form will no longer be a voice crying in the wilder- 
ness, but we shall be able to organize such an agi- 
tation as destroyed slavery in our country, crushed 
feudalism in France, and abolished monopolies and 
repealed the corn-laws in Great Britain. 

Our situation and antecedents are such that we 
have been able to illustrate certain social and eco- 
nomical truths as they have never been illustrated 
before. We have shown the advantages to farmers 
of owning the land which they till. We have shown 
the practicability of voluntaryism in the support of 
religion. Our English brethren, while in many im- 


portant respects in advance of us in economic theory 
and practice, are in some things behind us. They 
have an enormous church establishment, which of- 
fers bounties of immense value in wealth and social 
position to those who will accept a certain phase of 
religious faith. They give an artificial value to land 
by the political influence and social consideration 
attached to its possession. They submit to a sys- 
tem of conveyancing which involves obstructions to 
land transfers as annoying and relatively as expen- 
sive as that which our tariff system imposes upon 
the sale of movable commodities. By the time that 
Great Britain secures voluntaryism in religion and 
free trade in land, we shall have made great pro- 
gress toward the reform of our obsolete and anti- 
social financial policy. Meanwhile, the American 
economists have before them no holiday task. 

We may best render honor to the memory of 
Adam Smith by giving range and completeness to 
the science which he founded, and doing our utmost 
to shape the economical legislation of the future of 
our great republic in accordance with its principles. 
In this great reform every available means of affect- 
ing the public mind should be laid under contribu- 
tion. There should be no carpet-knights, nor shal- 
low dilettanti in this warfare. We should fight 
financial heresies as John Hampden fought the ship- 
money, as Stein and Hardenberg fought feudalism 
in Prussia, as Bright and Cobden fought the corn- 
laws. When the whole system of obstructionism 
has been swept from our statute-books, when our 
citizens shall know exactly what taxes they pay, 
then the vast army of inspectors and detectives 
which form a cordon around the vast line of our 


boundaries by land and sea, may be disbanded. 
Then we may expect a reorganization of our civil 
service, and an economy of administration which 
now exists only in the dreams and hopes of the 
patriot. Then we shall scorn to take a mean ad- 
vantage, through restrictive legislation, of our rivals 
in the race of production and exchange, asking of 
our neighbors no favor but reciprocity and fair 



IT promotes clearness in all financial discussions to 
restrict the term "money '* to those divisions of 
the precious metals which have substantially the 
same market value, whether used as coin or as bul- 
lion. A partial exception to this principle is found 
in the copper and silver coinage of small denomina- 
tions, which is a legal tender only for very small sums. 
These coins are made lighter than the bullion value 
which their legend indicates, for the simple purpose 
of preventing their exportation as bullion, and se- 
curing at all times abundance of small change. 
Restricting the term money, as we have indicated, 
enables us to keep always in mind the radical dis- 
tinction between it and all forms of credit which 
are used for the purpose of exchange, and which 
may be included under the general term "cur- 
rency." Money then, properly speaking, is a com- 
modity having its exchangeable value within itself. 
Bank-notes, bills of exchange, checks, pass from 
hand to hand, serve the purpose of exchange, and 
are properly called "currency," but the material 
which thus passes is in itself nearly worthless, and 
is simply representative of exchangeable values. 
Simple promises to pay money or other commodi- 
ties at some time or place do have an intrinsic value ; 
but their worth is dependent solely upon the confi- 


dence of the purchaser in the promises of those 
who have issued them. These forms of credit, 
bank-notes included, fall under the general rules of 
commercial law, and depend for their commercial 
value not upon themselves, but upon the trust- 
worthiness of the promises to pay, written upon 
them. They can never be legitimately made a legal 
tender for debts or the fundamental basis of any 
financial system. All credit currency is limited to 
the range of territory in which the makers of the 
promises and their trustworthiness are known. 

The exchangeable value of money, let me repeat, 
depends not upon the stamp of the government 
which has issued it, but upon the weight and fine- 
ness of the metal of which it consists. It may be 
sold as bullion without serious loss wherever in the 
commercial world it may be carried, and conse- 
quently gives its possessor the widest possible 
range of choice over the widest possible range of 

The most important desideratum in a coinage 
law is so to fix the weight and purity of the coin, 
that when melted it shall as nearly as possible have 
the same value as bullion that it had as coin. The 
laws regarding coinage should as far as possible be 
determined by the estimate of the commercial world 
concerning the market value of those portions of 
the precious metals which are stamped as coin. Gov- 
ernment cannot create the value on the metal coined, 
but it recognizes and assays it and stamps it ; so 
that when it is used for purposes of exchange, there 
can be no doubt regarding the weight or purity of 
the pieces. It is worthy of remark that the prin- 
ciple of jurisprudence here recognized, and which 


should condition all legislation on money and instru- 
ments of credit, was followed by Lord Mansfield in 
the enormous additions which he made by his de- 
cisions to the commercial law of England. By the 
study of the Roman law, the usage of Italian cities 
and the Hanse Towns, by the aid of expert wit- 
nesses and special juries of merchants, he mastered 
the whole system of common commercial usages, 
reduced them to principles and organization, and 
incorporated them in his remarkable decisions, 
which are a possession for all time. 

The moment government attempts by laws or de- 
crees to mark these divisions of the precious metals 
with a value greater or less, by any considerable 
degree, than the price of an equal weight of bul- 
lion in the market, it sets aside all definiteness in 
exchanges, and introduces an element of uncer- 
tainty in all reciprocal transfers of those rights 
whose values are estimated in the terms of the 

Our treasury notes when issued during the war 
represented, really, forced loans ; the passing of the 
" Legal-tender Act " was a law intended to fix the 
market value of these notes. After they had passed 
into circulation — the treasury notes being a forced 
loan in the first instance — the " Legal-tender Act,*' 
by requiring them to be received at their face value 
in payment for all existing debts, had the addi- 
tional effect of a confiscation act to the amount of 
the difference in exchangeable value between specie 
and the treasury note. 

The right of the general government under the 
constitution to make a forced loan, or to take the 
property and lives of the citizens for the common 


defense, may be conceded. When such extreme 
measures are adopted we can understand them, and 
the immediate loss, whatever it be, may be definitely 
ascertained. But when the " Legal-tender Act " was 
passed, it gave to every citizen who was a debtor the 
right to confiscate an undefinable portion of his debt 
at his own will. If such a debtor had made a 
mortgage of one thousand dollars before the war, it 
gave him the right to cancel it by treasury notes 
whose market value might range anywhere between 
par and fifty per cent, of their face value. It gave to the 
debtor the right to pay off his debt of one thousand 
dollars with six hundred dollars, seven hundred dol- 
lars, or seven hundred and fifty dollars according to 
the price of "greenbacks" measured in specie at 
the time when he saw fit to make the payn'ient. We 
know nothing in the history of Eastern despotism 
more tyrannical, more unjust, more contrary to 
every principle of public policy. 

From China to the United States, and through 
thirty centuries of time, governments of all sorts 
have constantly interfered with money and credit, 
and almost invariably for evil. The man who coun- 
terfeits a coin by debasing it, who alters a bank- 
note, a bill of exchange or a check, is a felon in the 
eye of the law in every civilized nation ; but nations 
themselves, in their corporate capacity, have con- 
tinually engaged in practices which are the same in 
character, criminality, and result. 

Down to 1355, Scotch and English money was 
of the same value. At this time the Scotch gov- 
ernment began the debasement of coin. In 1390, 
Scotch coin was current in England at only one- 
half its nominal value. In 1660 it was debased, 


according to Pinkerton, to one-twelfth the value of 
the English coin of the same denomination. In 
Germany the original gold florin passed through 
successive steps of debasement until it reached one- 
sixth of its original value. In Spain a gold mara- 
z/^^/' contained, in 1220, eighty-four grains of gold, 
and by the end of the seventeenth century it was 
debased to less than one-half the value of an English 
penny. The misery, injustice, and immorality which 
these fluctuations in the coinage produced are very 
inadequately set forth by the old historians and 
chroniclers, by reason of their want of economical 
knowledge ; but enough may be gleaned from them 
to show that the evil in question may be classed 
properly with slavery, feudalism, and the pestilences 
and wars which were the chronic diseases of the 
body-politic during a great part of the period of time 
to which we have alluded. Every petty sovereign 
guarded jealously the prerogative of coinage, with 
the distinct idea that it was one of the most effect- 
ive means of robbing his subjects, paying the ex- 
penses of war, and maintaining his hordes of re- 

The debasement of the standard of money below 
its normal rate quite generally involves the necessity 
of raising it again when the debasement becomes 
intolerable. A sudden elevation of the standard, 
after the period of debasement, works the same 
evil to the debtor-class that depreciation brings to 
the creditor-class. Governments have wrought 
nearly as much evil by their unwise methods of 
restoring the degraded standard of currency as they 
have in debasing it. ** The Roman citizens being 
bound to pay into the imperial treasury a certain 



number of pieces of gold, or aurei, Heliogabalus, 
whose cunning appears to have been in no wise in- 
ferior to his proverbial profligacy, increased the 
weight of gold in the aureus^ and thus obtained by 
a trick an addition to his means of dissipation/* 

In the reign of Philip the Bold, in 1285, the value 
of French coin had been so much debased as to 
cause violent complaints on the part of the clergy 
and landholders, because of the consequent reduc- 
tion of their income. To appease this discontent, 
and in compliance with an injunction of the pope, 
the king issued new coins about three times the 
value of the base coins of the same denomination 
which they replaced. This caused terrible suffer- 
ing among the laborers and the debtor-classes. 
"The people,'* says Le Blanc, "being reduced to 
despair, pillaged the house of the master of the 
mint, as he was believed to be the chief adviser of 
the measure, and besieged the Temple in which the 
king lodged." 

The new coinage introduced into England in 1 552, 
to replace the base money which had been previously 
issued, was more than four times the value of most 
of the coin, of the same denomination, which it re- 
placed. It was estimated that the loss was one 
hundred million dollars in the process. It also pro- 
duced the most violent commotions among the poor 
throughout England. In fact, legislative interfer- 
ence to restore a standard of value always produces 
suffering scarcely less than that occasioned by its 

A somewhat similar variation in the measures of 
exchangeable value has often been brought about 
by the adoption of a double standard, consisting of 


gold and silver. The theory of a double standard 
proceeds upon the idea either that gold and silver 
have naturally and always a constant ratio of ex- 
change with each other, or that legislation on the 
part of one or several States of the commercial 
world is able of itself to establish and perpetuate 
such a constant ratio. But all experience proves 
the negative of both these suppositions. 

Gold and silver have never, in the history of the 
world, maintained a constant ratio of exchange with 
each other. Herodotus gives the relation of silver 
to gold as 13 to I ; Plato, as 12 to i ; Menander, 
as 10 to I ; Livy speaks of the relation (b. c. 189) 
as 10 to I ; Suetonius tells us that Julius Caesar 
exchanged silver for gold in the ratio of 9 to i. 
The most usual proportion among the early 
Roman emperors was that of 12 to i. From Con- 
stantine to Justinian it ranged between 14 and 15 
to I. Since the discovery of America it has ranged 
from 14 to I, to 171^ to i. Between 1853 and 
1876 silver varied in value measured in gold from 
61^ to 47 pence an ounce. During the year 1875 
there were seventy-eight different variations of the 
price of silver quoted in the London market. In 
1876, the variations were one hundred and fifty- 
one; in 1877, they were ninety-eight. During 
this period it is probable that the variations in the 
price of whqat can scarcely have exceeded those ot 
the price of silver. 

Where the law gives the debtor his choice to 
discharge his obligations either in gold or in silver, 
the natural tendency is to select the cheapest form 
of money. This would introduce an element of un- 
certainty into all time-contracts, and ultimately the 


coinage which comes to be permanently the 
cheapest, measured by the legal ratio, will drive out 
the dearer, thus introducing practically a single coin- 
age of the baser of the two metals. 

In looking over the history of the various sub- 
stances which have been used as the measures of 
value, we detect a tendency in commerce to pass 
from the use of the less to that of the more valu- 
able material. Hence the fact, so unmistakable in 
the commercial world at the present time, that the 
drift is toward a single gold standard. Our late 
legislation on the "silver question" was openly 
avowed to have been adopted to protect the special 
interests of two classes of persons, debtors and 
silver miners, involving all the possibilities which 
we have noted, and in addition the adoption of a 
ratio between gold and silver which has made the 
silver dollar of the new coinage worth in the world's 
market from eighty-two to eighty-five cents — legis- 
lation which will not be likely permanently to raise 
the value of silver. 

From the facts of financial history the following 
conclusions may be drawn : 

1. The tendency is manifest from the remotest 
periods to pass, in the selection of the medium of 
exchange or substance of money, from the less to 
the more valuable material — from shells, cattle, 
salt, skins, and wheat to iron and copper, to alloys 
of copper and tin, from these to silver, and from 
silver to gold — that is, to a single standard, and that 
formed out of the most valuable material adapted 
to the purpose of division and circulation. 

2. This tendency manifests itself in different 
countries and ages, just in proportion to the de- 



velopment of commerce and the extent of commer- 
cial transactions, and this tendency is subject to 
limitation only in the case of money of small de- 
nominations, used in retail trade, in what is called 
" subsidiary currency," not used as the measure for 
large transactions. 

3. As trade enlarges its area and commodities 
increase in the rapidity of their movements, as the 
percentage of profit on single transactions tends to 
grow less, it becomes more and more necessary that 
the standard of value should be single, common, and 
stable, not only in each nation but throughout the 
commercial world. 

4. A double standard involves the necessity of 
regulation by law of the relative value of the two 
substances selected for money. But all experience 
shows that no two commodities subject to the law 
of supply and demand can be kept by any human 
power at the same ratio with each other. 

5. By the action of Gresham's law the cheaper 
money tends to drive out the dearer money, and a 
double standard tends, to a limited extent, to make 
all the uncertainties and fluctuations incident to a 
debased currency chronic in any country which 
adopts it. Hence the slow but definite movement 
of public opinion and practice all over the world is 
toward the adoption of a single standard. 

6. The effect of our silver legislation, by making 
legal a false ratio between gold and silver, is that 
of a new Inflation Act for the special protection of 
silver miners and debtors, and an attempt to set 
aside the practice and convictions and spontaneous 
tendencies of nearly the whole commercial world. 



Abklard, II. 148. 

Alten-Ezra, the Wise, II. 148 

Abstract terms: their improper use, 

Acadeuiic school, a refutation of athe- 
ism, I. 276. 

AdeluDg: his " Mithridates," II. 59, 

Administrative capacity, 1. 152 et teq. 

Adiuinistrative povrer in the missiun- 
arr worlc, I. 281. 

" Advanced thinlcers," I. 200 

African languages, II. 62 et teq. 

Aga.t8i2: his views of creation, 1. 199; 
his views of language, II. 38, 89. 

Agglutination in language, IL 55. 

Afbanian language, IL 72. 

AlFarabi, II. 131. 

Algazel, tne Arabian skeptic, II. 135; 
his philosophical system, II. 139; 
hi^ theory of causation, II. 143; 
effects of his speculations, II. 14). 

Alison, Dr., and the poor lawsof sicot- 
land. II. 221. 

Al Kendi, II. 134. 

Almsgivings distinguished from char- 
ity, 1. 228. 

Allen, Judge, cited, II. 196. 

Almanzor: hih destruction of the Ara- 
bian libraries, IL 150. 

Al Mamoun and Greek culture, II. 

Altruism: a^ a Christian virtue, I. 
224 ; a$ set forth by Comte, IL 277. 

American colonists: their relation to 
Eoglish society, II. 29. 

American ooriHtitutional principles, 
grounded in morality, L 273. 

Am**ricari educational system: con- 
sidered as a whole, i. 39; distin- 
f:uiMhed trom the German, 1. 53; un 
ndieenous growth, 1. 9!, 116. 

AniericanM: tiieir relatiou to the Eng- 
lish race, IL 14. 

Ampfire, IL 216, 217, 219. 

Anglo-Saxons: their codes, I. 68; 
their language, L 76; their early 

political institutions, II. 21,27 ; their 
place in Engluh history, IL 8, 10, 
12, 2t>. 

Animal language, II. 50, 61. 

Antonio. Marc, the engraver, 1. 196. 

Apologetics, not the nest defense of 
Chrfiitianity, I. 235, 276. 

Aquinas, Thomas, on the individuality 
of the soul, IL 163. 

Arabian ohilosophy, IL 127 ei teq, 

Arago, IL 215, 219. 

Aramiean language, IL 60. 

Archimedes, L IZ'i. 

Aristotle: Lis polftical philosophy, L 
71 ; his theory of perception, IL 78 ; 
his influence upon Arabian thought, 
IL 131, 1S3; his doctrine of creation, 
IL 135; bis theory of the soul, IL 

Arnauld, 1. 176. 

Arndt, cited, IL 213. 

Arnold, Dr., as a representative of the 
new scholarship, 1. *2-\ 

Art collections for the purpose of edu- 
cation, L 9i. 

Art training in American colleges, L 
87 el tea. 

Association al psychology, I. 205. 

Astronomy as a iicience,'lL 112. 

Ateliert de charUe, 11. 2:«. 

Ateliert natitmauz, IL 236. 

Athenian system of largesses, IL 

Atonement : doctrine of, I. 234, 262. 

Averrhoes: his influence upon Cliris- 
tian thought, II. 145 ; hia education, 
II. 146 ; the character of bis timo, 
IL 147 : his philosophical works, IL 
151 ; his relation to Aristotle, II. 15 { ; 
his theory of development, II. 155; 
his idea of (iod, II. Ii38; his theory 
of "planetary intelligences," if. 
159; his doctrine of ♦'union." IL 

Avicenna, IL 134 et teg, 

Bacov, Francis : on the phlloeopby of 




languaee, II. 58 ; on the office of the 

judge, 11. 177. 
Bain, as an aitaociationist, 11. V05. 
Baptist Home Mission Society : its 

birth, I. 267. 
Baptist missions in North America, 

1. 2(>6. 
Baptists: their place in the world's 

history, I. 2.')9. 
Basques : their ethnic affinities, II. 66 ; 

their language, II. 72. 
Beausobre, cited, II. 127. 
Beer, Edward: his linguistic discov- 
ery, II. 63. 
Behistun inscription. II 60. 
Belgse: their ethnic affinities, II. 

Bentham, Jeremy, II. 261. 

Berbers: their affiliation with the 

8yro-Arabian stock, It. 63. 
Bernard of Clairvaux, II. 14S. 
BiMinarck, I. 246. 
Blackstone: his theory of the English 

monarchy, II. 17. 
Boehme, I. 199. 
Boerhaave, I 47. 
Bracton: his relation to the Roman 

law, I. 28. 
British constitution : its perpetuity, I. 

Brongniart, 1. 16. 
Buckle : his opposition to missions, I. 

BQchner, 1. 107. 
Buddha, I. 199. 

Bunsen : his characterization of Leib- 
nitz, II. 58. 
Butler, Sir Chas.: his definition of 

equity, IL 175. 

Cabanis, cited, I. 7. 

Calhoun and the social compact the- 
ory, I. 132. 

Canon law: its character and influ- 
ence, II. 183 et xeq. 

Capital and labor: the causes of their 
conflict, I. 224. 

Capital: its rapid accumulation, T. 
224 ; associated capital, a new feud- 
alism, I. 226. 

Capitalists as stewards of God, I. 227. 

Carlyle, cited, II. 209. 

Castren : his investigations regarding 
the Finnish race, II. 72 

Catacombs: as illustrative of early 
Christianity, I. 98. 

Cavaliers ana Puritans: significance 
of their conflict, II. 13. 

Cavour, 1. 136, 246. 

Celtic language: in Gaul, II. 67; in 
England, 11^69; its relation to the 
Aryan languages, II. 70. 

Centralization in education : its dan- 
gers, I 115. 

Chaldean language: its affinities, II. 

Chalmers, Dr. : his views on the aboli- 
tion of public charity, II. 21. 

Chancellors, English : taken from the 
clergy, II. 176. 

Character: the tests of, 1. 159. 

Charity distinguished from almsgiv- 
ings, I. -j28. 

Chemistry as a science, II. 118. 

Cherbuliez: his views on public char- 
ity, II. 221. 

Chevaillet : his work on the origin of 
the French lunguage, II. 68. 

Chevreul: his treatise on colors, I. 92. 

" Chevy Chase " : compared with Hor- 
ace, I. 72. 

Cl^uese missions, 1. 194. 

Choate, Kufus, I. 68, 147. 

Christian character: its basis, 1. 122. 

Christian church: its duty of benevo- 
lence, I. 230, 2.{2. 

Christian education: its early char- 
acter, I. 102; its support by the 
laity, I. 2.-)0. 

Christian literature : its place in lin- 
guistic studies. I. 77. 

Christian morality: its relation to 
property, I. 227,228. 

Christian obligation to produce values, 
I. 217. 

Christian Scripturos: need of their 
study in the original tongues, I. 62. 

Christian timidity in respe<!t to scien- 
tific hypotheses, I. 215. 

Christian work: its essential nature, 

Christian workers: two classes of, I. 
233 ; their common duties, I. 234. 

Christianity and our country, I. 
253 et xeq. 

Christianity and the common law, IL 
171 et sea. 

Christianity: judged too unspiritual 
by idealists, 1. 179: its fundaraeutal 
idea, I. 255; as a mora) agency, I. 
274 ; its influence upon the Roman 
law, II. 179; upon the German 
codes, II. 182. 

Church and State: their separation, 
I. 231. 

Cicero : how studied at present, I. 24 ; 
cited, IL 225. 

Cifatides, an Arabian sect, II. 129. 

Civil government, not a convention, 
I. 137. 

Civil law: its elements, IT. 172; ite 
relation to morality, II. 173; its 
distinction from morality, IL 



Civil war in America: its issues, I. 
180 et seq. 

Classical languages, not dead, T. 26. 

Classical learuiug in recent times, I. 

Classical studies: objections urged 
against them by materialists, I. 61 ; 
their need in studying the Christian 
Scriptures, I. 62; their historical 
value, I. 75. 

Clayton, Judge, cited, II. 195. 

Clergy and laity : their common end 
in life, I. 182; their separation a 
source of danger, 1. 239 ; their proper 
relations, I. 246, 247. 

Clergy, the: their control of church 
property, I. 239 ; their danger from 
professionalism, I. 240 ; their influ- 
ence upon English law, U. 185. 

Coinage laws, IL 271. 

Coleridge: cited, L 27; his idea of 
reason, II. 166. 

College curriculum: two classes of 
objections urged against it, I. 61; 
representative of national culture, 
I. 87. 

Comparative philology : its early his- 
tory, II. 58. 

Comte: cited, 1. 19, n. 211; his idea 
of God, 1. 1U8 ; his doctrine of altru- 
ism, I. 224, 227. 

Condorcet, cited, I. 66. 

Canon law : its relation to the priest- 
hood, I.. 241. 

Continuity of the past and the pres- 
ent, I. 70. 

Cooley, Judge, cited, II. 194. 

Correlation of physical and moral 
forces, I. 14.3. 

Cousin : his idea of reason, IL 165, 166. 

Creation : two theories of, 1. 199 ; ori- 
gin of the doctrine in the Bible, II. 
136; Mosaic and heathen hypothe- 
ses, II. 136. 

Credit : its place i n modern commerce, 
I. 218. 

Creed : its necessity, 1. 140. 

Critical habit of mind, L 141. 

Currency legislation. II. 270 et seq. 

Curriculum. See College curriculum. 

Cuvier: mentioned, I. 16; his use of 
the doctrine of final causes, I. 68; 
his view of creation, 1. 199 ; a repre- 
sentative of one school of natural- 
ists, I. 213. 

Cyprian, I. 240. 

Dalton's law of chemical proportions, 

I. 203. 
Dante : his poems as a picture of his 

age, I. 70; his relation to art, I. 


Daniel, George, cited, II. 34. 
Darwin, a representative of one school 

of naturalists, I. 213. 
Darwinism : not inconsistent with the 

ducirine of creation, I. 202; as a 

working hypothesis, i. 212, 215. 
Davy, Sir Humphrey, I. 32, IL 124. 
Debasement of coin, IL 273. 
Defoe, Daniel : his controversy with 

John Howe on conformity, 1. 243. 
Demands of modem life, I. 66 et 

Democritus as a materialist, I. 276. 
De Sacy, cit«d, II. 130, 133. 
Development in human culture, I. 

Dissenters: their achievements, I. 

Divine consciousness: the need of its 

reco^ition, I. 211. 
Djabarites, an Arabian sect, II. ^29. 
Does, Van der, I. 47. 
" Dooms " of Alfred the Great, I. 72. 
Dormitory system, its evils, I. 38. 
Double standard, II. 275, 276. 
Drummond, Thomas, I. 31. 
Du perron and the Zend-Avesta, IL 


Ecclesiastical law in England, II. 

Education: early Christian, I. 102; 
early American, 1. 102 ; as an object 
of Christian benevolence, I. 230; 
education of the laity, I. 250. 

Education liberal. See Liberal educa- 

Elements of success, 1. 145 et seq. 

Elizabeth, Queen: her poor-law sys- 
tem, II. 229. 

English aptitude for colonization, IL 
31. 33. 

English commoners : their rise, IL 12. 

English House of Peers : its decline, 

English nation, its antiquity, IL 5. 

English race : its origin and political 
character, II. 3 et seq. ; its genius for 
State building, IL 16. 

Equity : definitions of, II. 174, 175. 

Erasmus : his ridicule of the Ciceron- 
ians, I. 24, 78. 

Epicurus as a materialist, I. 276. 

Esthonians : their linguistic affinities 
IL 76. 

Ethical science : the questions which 
it involves, II. 108. 

Evolution: how used to account for 
intelligence, I. 203; its religious 
bearings, I. 208 ; how it may be pro- 
perlv interpreted, I. 209 ; as a work- 
ing nypothesis, I. 215. 



Faith and thinking, I. 149. 
Fauuher, Leon, citCKl. II. 237. 
Fawcett, cited, II. 152. 
Federation in the early American col- 
onies, 11. 32. 
Field, Cyrus W., II. 217. 
Finch's Law, cited, II. 189. 
Fine arts : neglect of their study in 

education, I. 88. 
Finnish language: its affinities, IL 

Foreign missions: early romantic 

views of, 1. 189 ; unbelief in, I. 190 ; 

obstacles to, I. 190; encouraging 

results of, L 191. 
Foreign paupers: means of relief 

from, 11.241. 
Fox, George : his mysticism, IL 142. 
France as a nation, 1. 135. 
Franklin, Benjamin, II. 216. 
French constitutions : reason of their 

instability, II. 31. 
French language: Celtic and Gothic 

elements in, IL 68. 
Fresnel, I. 31. 
Fuller, Andrew, and the English Bap* 

list missions, I. 282. 

Galvani. IL 217, 219. 

Gartield, President : his fidelity to re- 
ligious convictions, I. 261. 

Gavazzi, I. 128. 

Greneral court of Massachusetts, II. 

Geology as a science, 11. 119. 

German codcH of law, II. 182. 

German gymnasium, I. 54, 116. 

German migration to Britain, IL 

German university system, I. 53. 

Crermany and national unity, 1. 136. 

Giotto, I. 99. 

God: his revelations to man, I, 107; 
his being involved in scientific 
teaching, 1. 107 ; doctrine of his ex- 
istence not affected by evolutionary 
theories. I. 216. 

Gorgias of Leontium, I. 44. 

Grammatical forms: their signifi- 
cance, IL 56. 

Gratian and the ancient canons, II. 

Great Britain as a nation, 1. 135. 

Greek art : its influence upon Roman 
culture, I. 98. 

Greek elements in the Roman law, II. 

Greek influence upon the Arabians, 
IL 128, 131. 

Greeks as a historical race, IL 4. 

Gresham's law, IL 278. 

Grimm's law, I. 75. 

Grote M an example of the new 

scholarship, I. 25. 
Gnnius: his definition of equity, II. 

174; his influence upon social pn^ 

greHS, 1 1. 261. 
Growth and relation of the sciences, 

II.99<!/ seq. 
Guanches: their identification with 

the Berbers, II. 63. 
Guijsot, cited, 1. 134. 
Gyarmarthi : his views regarding the 

Finnish language, II. 72. 

Habckbl: clasi<ed with ancient ma- 
terialists, I. 276. 

Hale, Sir Matthew: cited, I. 29; his 
dictum that Christianity is a part of 
the common law, 11. 187, 191. 

Hall, Robert, L 147. 

Hamilton, Alexander, and national 
consoliaation, I 132. 

Hamilton, Sir Wm. : his views upon 
mathematical studies, I 20; his 
lectures, 1 1. 74 et seq. ; his philoso- 
phy of perception, II. 76 ; his theory 
of natural realism, II. 80; criticism 
of this theory, 1 1. 90. 

Hancock, W. Nelson, cited, 11. 255. 

Hanse towns: their life portrayed in 
their art, 1. 100. 

Hartford convention, I. 132. 

Hebrew language: its affinities, IL 

Hebrews, as a historical race, IL 4. 

Henry IV. of Germany, I. 245. 

Herschel, Sir John: cited, I. 10, II. 
104, 113 ; on the origin of force, I. 

Hilaire, St.: a representative of one 
school of scientists, I. 213. 

Hippolvtus: discovery of a lost work 
of, L 31. 

Historical method in scientific teach- 
ing, I. 80. 

Historical races, II. 4. 

History : the measure of its value, IL 

Hobbes : his relation of the social com- 
pact theory, I. 131 ; as an associa- 
tionist, I. 205. 

Holt, Chief Justice, cited, I. 28. 

Holy Roman Empire, I. 246. 

Home mission work: its field, L 

Horace, cited, 1. 128. 

Hortensius, I. 29. 

House of Lords : its decline, II. 28. 

Howe, John: his controversy with 
Defoe on conformity, I. 243. 

Humboldt, Alexander von, IL 203 et 

Humboldt, William von : cited, L 27 



his researches regarding the Iberian 
language, II. 66. 

Hungarian language, II. 72. 

Hutcbeson, Francis, II. 259. 

Hypotheses: importance of their 
teaching, I. 69 ; their place in scien- 
tific Inquiry, I. 212. 

Ibn-Roshd. See Averrhoes. 

Iceland: its political institutions, II. 

Idealism : its method similar to that 
of materialism, II. 196 ; its historical 
alternation with materialism, I. 197. 

Immigration to America: its signifi- 
cance, I. 254 ; causes of its increase, 
L 269 ; its darker features, I. 271. 

Imperium and Sacerdotium, I. 246. 

Indian education, I. 258. 

Indo-European languages, II. 64. 

Instruction : need of improved meth- 
ods in, I. 73. 

Institutions : their perpetuity, I. 265. 

Institutions of learning: tendency of 
to become local, I. 51. 

Ireland : English occupation of, 1. 135. 

Irish language: curious theory of its 
origin, II. 62. 

Italian art: its rise and significance, 

Italy : pauperism in, II. 224. 

Italy and national unity, 1. 136. 

Issues of the Civil War, I. 130 el 

Jackson, Andrew, and nullification, I. 

Jerome, I. 190. 

Jocelin, Chronicle of, IT. 186. 
Jones, Sir Wm., and the languages 

of Hindustan, II. 59. 
Judicial legislation: its sources, II. 

Jus nalurale in the Roman law, II. 

Justinian, I. 246. 
Jury system: its Influence upon the 

law, I. 246. 
Juvenal, I. 193. 

Kadrites, an Arabian sect, IT. 129. 
Kant : bis influence upon Sir Wm. 

Hamilton, II. 75, 93. 
Kpllerboven, I. 95. 

Kent, Chief Justice, cited, II. 195,196. 
Kirachi, David, II. 149. 
Koran: its control of the Eastern 

mind, I. 70. 

Labor, a universal duty, I. 217, 218. 
Labor and Capital. See Capital and 

Laity and clergy: their proper relsr 
tions, I. 246, 247. 

Laity, duties of the, I. 248. 

Laity of the Baptist church, I. 237 
et seq. 

Lanfranc: his ecclesiastical influence, 
II. 185. 

Language as a means of classifying 
man, II. 36 et seq. 

Laplace. 1. 120. 

Lappenourg: his characterization of 
the Druids, II. 70. 

Lapps ; the linguistic affinities of, IL 

Law of self-sacrifice, 1. 179 et seq. 

Law, improperly confused with effi- 
cient cause, II. 102. 

Law, civil : its relation to morality, L 

" Learned order " among scholars con- 
demned, 1. 124. 

Le Blanc, cited, II. 275. 

Legal Tender Act, II. 272, 273. 

Legar6: his knowledge of the Koman 
law, 1.29; cited, II. 180. 

Legislation as a science, U. 109.^ 

Leibnitz on the ethnic significance of 
language, II. 58. 

Le Sage, II. 214. 

Lessons of fifty years, I. 265 et seq. 

Liberal education : its relation to 
civilization, I. 3; its aims, I. 4; dis- 
tinction between it and professional 
education, I. 4-7 ; choice of subjects 
for educational purposes, I. 11-18; 
liberal education essentiallv prao- 
ticalj I. 22-34 ; education and public 
opinion, I. 42. 

Limits of human knowledge, IL 123, 

Literature: the relation of ancient 
and modern, I. 26; as an aesthetic 
creation, 1. 92 ; the result of develop- 
ment, I. 33 

Lloyd, Edward: his opinion regard- 
ing the Basques, II. 66. 

Local government in the Teutonic 
race, II. 16. 

Locke, I. 68. 

Lomond, II. 214. 

Lowe: his four objections to the col- 
lege curriculum, I. 65. 

Lucretius: referred to, I. 199; as 9 
materialist, I. 276. 

Luther, I. 128, 190. 

Luzac, John, I. 48. 

Mackiwtosh, Sir James, I. 28. 
Magna Charta: its influence, IT. 25. 
Malebranche : his idea of reason, IL 

Man : natural history of, II. 36. 



Mansfield, Lord: mentioned, I. 29; 
cited, II. 192 ; his contribution to the 
English commercial law, II. 272. 

Mautell, I. 16. 

Marshall, Chief Justice, and national 
sovereignty, I. 132. 

Materialism: compared wiih idealism, 

I. 196 ; its historical alternation 
with idealism, I. 197. 

Mathematics: their relation to the 

physical sciences, I. 10, II. 113. 
Mazarin, cited, 1. 163. 
Means of relief from foreign paupers, 

II. 241 et seq. 
Mendicant orders, I. 229. 

Mental constitution, not explained by 

association ism, I. 205. 
Mental science: its scope, I. 10; its 

Elace in education, L 11 ; its various 
ranches, II. 107. 

Mill's definition of induction, II. 

Milton, I. 125, 127. 

Mineralogy as a science, II. 119. 

Mirabeau, cited, I. 66. 

Missionary Boards, I. 282. 

Missionary colonies, I. 280. 

Missionary work: its chief motive, I. 

Missions, foreign. See Foreign mis- 

Modern languages: methods of their 
study, I. 75. 

Modern life: its demands, I. 166. 

Modern nations : their birth, II. 6. 

Moral code: its derivation and penal- 
ties. II. 171. 

Moral ideals, I. 171 et seq. 

Moral thoughtfulness, i. 139. 

Moral nature : not explained by asso- 
ciationism, I. 206. 

Morality and political economy, I. 

Morghen, Raphael, I. 95. 

Morse, Professor, and the electric tele- 
graph, II. 214 et seq. 

Motazales, an Arabian sect, IT. 129. 

Motecallemin, Arabian scholastics, 
II. 155. 

Motion: the three laws of, IT. 111. 

MUUer, Frederick, I. 95. 

MQller, Max: his remark on the iden- 
tity of the Indo-European languages, 
n. 65. 

Munck, the Orientalist, cited, n. 132, 

Murchison, I. 16. 

Myer, Dr. Chas. : on the peculiarity of 
the Celtic language, II. 71. 

Mysticism and skepticism : their close 
relation, II. 142. 

Mythology as a source of history, L 70. 

Napier. I. 31. 

National life : its significance, 1. 135. 

Naturalists : two classes of, I. 212, IL 

Natural realism: Hamilton's theory 
of, II. 82. 

Natural selection, consistent with in- 
telligence, I. -JIO. 

Natural tlieology, not effected by the 
doctrine of evolution, I. 202. 

Nebular hypothesis and the doctrine 
of creation, I. 202. 

Negro education, I. 267. 

Nestorians : their translations of Aris- 
totle, II. i:n. 

Newton's " Principia," I. 200. 

yibeluvgenlied ; as a source of history, 

Niebuhr and the Agrarian laws of 
Rome, I. 25. 

Nonconformists: their early influence, 
I. 242; how affected by the Test Act, 

I. 248. 

Norman conquest : its meaning, II. 27. 
Noriuans in English history, II. 9, 26, 

Norris, John, cited, II. 77. 
Norse language in Gaul, II. 67. 

" Occasional conformity : " its effect 

upon the nonconformists, I. 244. 
Oersted, II. 214, 217. 
Onomatop<£ia as a source of language, 

II. 44. 

Old Testament : its study in relation 
to corajiarative philology, II. 57. 

Ordinance of lab<»rers, II. 229. 

Origin and political life of the Eng- 
lish race, II. 3 etseq. 

Pandects of Justinian, n. 149. 

Patience as an element of success, I. 

Patriotism, a Christian duty, 1. 137. 

Pascal, 1. 82, 127, 176. 

Pauperism and organized charity, 11. 
220 et seq. 

Paupers : national duty in regard to, 
II. 242. 

Peel, Sir' Robert, 11. 29. 

Perception: Aristotelian theory of, 11. 
78; Platonic theory of, 11.78; Ham- 
ilton's theory of, II. 82; its relation 
to sensation, n. 89. 

Peter of Clugny, II. 148. 

Peter the LoraoHrd, II. 148. 

Peripatetic theory of the soul, 11. 163. 

Philistinism, I. 72. 

Phillippede Champagne, I. 176. 

Philology : a science of comparison, I. 
12; its place in education, I. 13. 

Ph}sical science: its place in educa- 



tioo, L 15; its practicml ralae, L SI ; 

iu relation to mental science, IL99 ; 

its sut^ect-matter, IL 110. 
PhTsicai lavs, not deducible a priorif 


Plotinus, L 199. I 

Political economy : its scope, I 29 : its 

relation to moraiity , I. 219, II. '25S ti 

PolTsyllabic languages: their forma- 

tioo. II. 52. ! 

Plato: how far known to the Arabs, 

IL i;«. 
Platonic theory of perception, IL 78. 
Porsoa: his school now superseded, 

IL 21. 
Port Koyalists, 1. 176. 
Positive science: its claims, L 211. 
Present ase: its movement, I. 121. 
Priesthooa, as an element iu the canon 

law, I. 241. 
Primitive lang^a^: various claims 

as to what it was, II. 57. 
Pritchard : his investiu^ations regard- 
ing the Belgae, II. 6b ; his work on 

the origin of the Celtic nations, II. 

Prisot, cited. II. 189. 
Private judgment: a right of the 

laity, L 241. 
Profession: choice of a, 1. 146. 
Professional schools : requirements 

for admission to, I. 57, 58. 
Professionalism among the clergy: its 

danger, I. 240. 
Property : its rights guaranteed by 

Christianity, I. 223; dangers from 

large combinations of, I. 2i7; its 
. growth in the United States, I. 254 ; 

Its basis in morality, I. 27.1. 
^rote.Htantiam and lay Christian labor, 

L 63. 
Prudhon: his idea of property, I. 

Psychology as a science. II. 108. 
Public opinion: its need of guidance, 

Public spirit: its need in American 
■ sodiety, 1. 184. 
Puritans and Cavaliers: significance 

of their struggle, IL 13. 
Puseyism, I. 242. 

Rainbow: scientific theory of the, IL 

Bask: his hypothesis regarding iso- 
lated languages, IL 71. 

Reid, Thomas: his influence upon 81r 
Win. Hamilton, IL 75. 

Relativity of human knowledge, IL 

Religious education in colleges, L 80. 

Reliftoas inslmelkMBi In ««imwm«i 
aclioob: ol^hfwtMkiis ti\ L IM^ 

Raubruidt, L ^ 

ReoaissaiMi^: its TtrnwralioMi <lMr Hm^ 
ancient classic^ L rd ; ll> ^ttmiWlM** 
thenism p^mnmod in art» L MIk 

Renan, citctL IL i;Uk 

Kequ<Km>n$. L 47. 

Ht>Mraiuts in lif^. L UtV 

Hetirviuent friMU buNinocu^ L dtS» 

Reus^er, IL ili. 

Revelation: its various flxruw^ l« 

Revolutions : when lustiA«Ht, L IST« 

Right conduct of litV L liti^ ## jtv^ 

Right use of wisUth, L U17 H «vv. 

Ritualism: its nxxMit chamotw, L 

Roman Gatholio Chuwh and th« UUy, 
I. 245. 

Roman pnetors, L 29. 

** Roman question,** tho, L a4ML l.VV 

Roman law: ait bawU of nuHiitru Jurliio 
prudonco, 1. 28 ; U.h porlWttan uud»»r 
tho Kmpirt\ L 27 (; how MlUvltHt by 
the^tM ofnhum, 11. 177, 178: how tu« 
fluenccdby rhrisiUnity, 11. It'U: li« 
preservation during tho uUmUo 
age<4, IL 181. 

Rome OS a historical nntion, IL A. 

Rosa, Salvator. 1. IU. 

Itoussoau aiui tho social (H)ni|mQt 
theory, I. 131. 

Sackrootiitm and Jmimiumf L 240. 

SalmasiuN, 1. 47. 

•Savonarola, I. 128. 

Savigny : his work on tlte Uonmu law 

during tho middle ngos, 11. 181. 
Scaligor, Joseph, I. 47. 
Soundinnviii : Its curly political InitU 

tutions, IL 17. 
Hchlogel, Frodoric: hiit oMny on tha 

language of tbe lltnduN, II, nu. 
Hchoiar, the : dinlingulMlitKl front othof 

men, I. 123; the mMsluded Miholitr, L 

124; relation of to praothml \\(», I. 

Bciunoe: recent dovolopment In, 1. 
166; not rpntricted to iniit^'rltil fMotN, 
11. 100: distlngutNh<>d from knowl- 
edge, 1 1. 101; dcflnitlou of, IL 

Kcience mental. Hee MenlHl McioncH, 

Hclenoo, phyNlcal. Ht**} i'liyslcMl sol- 
en wj. 

8clf>ntlfic inquiry: Its \trwim»i<M, \l, 
106 et setj. 

Hcientific men: two classes of, II. 

Hcimtlfic trairiJng should \)*i tlKjlsiic, 
I. 109. 



Scott, Sir Walter : his views of Eng- 
lish society, II. 11. 
Scrope, cited, II. 252. 
Search after unity : its use and abuse, 

I. 196. 

Secession : the doctrine of, 1. 132. 
*' Sectarian colleges," 1. 113. 
Seebeclc. II. 215. 
Sell-made men, 1. 156. 
Self-sacrifice : tbe law of, 1. 179. 
Semitic element in African languages, 

II. 63. 

Sensation and perception, II. 89. 
Shakespeare: not unappreciated in 

his own day, I. 127. 
Sibley, Hiram, IL 217. 
Sidney, Algernon. I. 68. 
Sidonian iuscripiion, the. 11. 62. 
Sieves: his pamphlet "what is the 

Third Estate," 1. 127, 237. 
Signs of emotion and of ideas, n. 42. 
Sinaitic inscripiionit : their linguistic 

character, II. 63. 
Skepticism: with respect to a per^ 

sonal Creator, I. 196 et seq.; of to- 
day, a revival of old errors, I 275, 

276 ; its close relation to mysticism, 

II. 142. 
Skipetar language, n. 72. 
Smith, Adam r his influence, 11. 217. 
Smith, Sidney: his ridicule of the 

old English educational system, I. 

Social compact theory of the State, I. 

Socrates: referred 1o, I. 43: his use 

of the doctrine of final causes, I. 

Soofis of Persia : their mysticism, n. 

Spain, as a nation, 1. 135. 
Speculative truth as compared with 

practical truth in education, I. 

Spelman, Sir Henry, cited, IL 176. 
Spencer, Herbert: as an agnostic, I. 

108; compared with Lucretius, I. 

199, 276 ; as an association ist, I. 205; 

his use of objectified concepts, L 

Spinoza, as a mystic, 11. 142. 
Stahl, cited, II. 127. 
State control of education, I. 104 et 

Steinbach, Edwin and John, I. 202. 
Steinheil, II. 218. 
Stewart, Dugald: his false theory as 

to the unity of the Indo-European 

languages, 11. 65 
Story, Judge, cited, n. 176, 196. 
Success, the elements of^I. 145. 
Sumner, Charles, cited, II. 254. 

Sunday-schools : their oontrol by the 

hiity, L 249. 
Syriac language: its significance, IL 


Tacitus : his admiration of German 
individualism, 1. 134; his treatment 
of Christianity, I. 193. 

Taxation : its justification, I. 224. 

Teacbers : their qualifications, I. 82. 

Tests of character, 1. 159 et seq. 

Test Act : its influence upon the non- 
conformists, I. 243. 

Text-books: their defects, 1. 17, 79. 

Theological engineering, I. 236, 277. 

Tbeoric fund, 11. 2;i6. 

Thierry, Augustin : as a historian, I. 
26 ; his views of English society, II. 

Thirl wall as an example of the new 
scholarship, I. 25. 

Thorlief, the Wise, IL 19. 

Time as an element in education, L 

Torricelli, I. 32. 

Town-meetings in the American colo- 
nies, II. 29, 30. 

Touch, the generic sense, I. 84, 108. 

" Treatise upon all Heresies," a Greek 
manuscript, I. 30. 

Trial by jury, L 28; U. 26. 

Tribonian, I. 29. 

Trustees: their responsibilities, L 

Twelve Tables, the, 1. 29. 

TTlfliot of Iceland, II. 19. 

Ulphilas, L 190. 

United States : their ethnic relation to 

England, II. 14. 
Unity of man, as a scientific hyi>othe> 

sis, I. 215. 
Universities : the nurseries of equality 

I. 44 ; their need of public support 

University education, I. 36. See also 

Liberal education. 
University of the nineteenth century, 

I. 51 et seq. 
University of Ley den, I. 47. 
University system, substantially elee- 
mosynary, I. 42. 

ViLLKMAIN, I. 30. 

Yilleraarque : his collections of Celtic 

literature, 11. 67. 
Voght, educator, 1. 107. 
Volta, n. 214, 219. 
Voluntaryism in higher education, L 

102 et seq. 

Waldbnsbs, n. 149. 



WMhIiiKUm, and iikUoiiaI iiorur- 

WHiitrliJo, tint I>iii<;lt iiAtnU'r, 1. M. 

W««llh: rttfht uiut of, 1.217* lu itur- 
Hiilt (iimhlNtmii with riirlNtlHii ciiiir- 
iu:ii'r. I. 220; iiiorul Hri*<;iM of liuiirU- 
liiK, 1. 222. Hm! kIm) rro|»»rt)r. 

\l'f*iil I'oliii A(!iuJ«.*iii3r,iiNK jirufouiioUAl 
Ncbooi, 1. 17. 

WhnAtNUimsll. 91H,21». 
WiitfWiill, Dr., 1. 2»; olttnl, I. 99. 
WUIiikiu uf MiUuitMibury, cli«Hl| II. 

WltitiiaKt^mutu uf thu 8«iiuu», II. 23, 

WonU mid tliliiKii, (iO. 
WydUlttt, 1. lua