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able to your family connections and associates; if you | opinion. Surely one's arms are not to be folded, and make hasty and troublesonie judgments, which you have his lips closed, when he sees one bent on mischief, to rescind or reformo; if you happen to be ridiculous in public or private. It may be one of the highest moral your deportment, and remarkable for silly vanities ; are duties to declare what men are, and what they are you willing to have these things set forth in any, and aiming at, in many supposable cases. There can be no every company, by any one who knows of them ? surer guide than the motive and the end. Inquiries are Suppose there to be only some slight foundation for sometimes made, in matters of greater or less interest, some one or more of these things, which, if you could concerning others, confidentially, and where the inhave an opportunity to explain, would be entirely quirer needs to be truly informed. The party inquired cleared up, are you willing to have that slight founda- of has a right to be silent if he thinks he has good tion made the basis of a structure of reproach, which, if reason to be so; but if he answer, he is bound to state true and real, ought to expel you from decent society ? the truth. If he chose to speak, and wilfully conceal Suppose there to be no foundation at all for any such the truth, so that the inquirer is deceived, he subjects accusatiou of yourself, and yet somehow, and un- himself to the imputation of an intentional deceiver. accountably, it is afloat and circulating, should you not There may be also, and there frequently are, conthink great injustice to be done to you? This is just fidential discussions of character, especially concerning what you do to others. You take away their good public men, and where perhaps there is no particular name, if they deserve to have one; you magnify their end in view. This does not seem to be wrong; such little faults and errors, and make them ridiculous or intercourse is not founded in malicious or unworthy odious; you try them on indictments for serious offences, motives : it is even sometimes instructive and philoon which they have no opportunity to defend them- sophical. This perhaps is the extreme limit. in all selves, and of which they are ignorant. Where did other imaginable cases it is probably most consistent you get your information ? What credit were they with one's own self-respect, and all truly respectable entitled to from whom you had it? Did you understand motives, to let other persons alone, and leave to them then as they nieant to be understood? Where and the care of their own characters. how did your informants learn what they communi. cated? Were they thoughtless or malicious slanderers like yourself? How much have you added to their Excepting the high crimes which are punishable by slanders by way of recommending and making yourself the public laws, there is no one so shocking as profunilij, agreeable i Have you broken any law by this conduct? nor any one which there is so little inducement to comWe take the liberty to answer for you.
mit. Profane swearing is of two kinds :-1, That in You have broken every law which an honest and which the Deity is called on to do the pleasure of a honourable man, and a rational individual, should sinning mortal; 2. That in which the Deity is called on respect. 1. You have made every person whom you to witness the truth of such a being's thoughtless or have spoken to fear you and shun you. You have wicked declarations. This common practice can be acshown that you know not what the value of a good counted for chiefly on two grounds:-1. Pitiable ignoname is, and have forfeited your own, if you ever had rance; 2. Abominable wickedness. On the first ground, any. You have shown that you are a stranger to self- surely the profane swearer must be ignorant of the respect that you have probably every one of the faults, import of the terms which he uses? If he did underfollics, and errors which you impute to others; and stand his own words, he would be struck with horror. desire to bring them down to your own level. Thus Surely if there be any escape for the profane from that you have broken that law which commands you to do condemnation which they imprecate on others, it must no evil to yourself. 2. You have violated that principle be, that mercy will be extended to them in compassion of natural law which commands you to do no injustice for their ignorance. On the other hand, if they are not to your fellow-men. You know not what opinions you ignorant, but do knowingly and wilfully so misuse the may entertain of the party you have slandered if cir- gift of an immortal mind, and that unquestionable proof cumstances (as they may) should bring you into con- of Divine power and goodness, the ability to speak, they nection with him. You may find him to be, on a better cannot be subjects of moral instruction. They should knowledge of him, an amiable and worthy person. You be left, like the consumers of alcohol and tobacco, to may find all that you have said, and helped to circulate, shock and to warn others. utterly groundless. If he be one whom you occasionally Swearing, which formerly pervaded every rank of meet, and even ask to partake of your hospitality, how society, is now to be chiefly found in a very low and can you meet him, and manifest towards him every uninstructed class : it is, in fact, a vulgar and prosentiment of respect and esteem, when you have so scribed mode of specch. Nevertheless it is still used spoken of himn! One of two things must be true occasionally by persons of no humble rank, especially either you act a lie, when you meet him in such a man. by the young, though chiefly for the purpose of giving ner; or you spoke a lie, when you represented him as an emphasis to speech, or perhaps simply to give token you did to others. 3. You have broken the law of God. of a redundancy of spirits, and a high state of exciteTo this law perhaps you are a stranger, and know not ment. To those who are guilty of it for these reasons, what wrong you have done. If so, the kindest thing it is only necessary to point out that no well-informed that any one can do you is, to urge you to find out what person can be at the least loss, with the genuine words it is, and to learn there the sentence of the slanderer. of the English language, to express all legitimate ideas
It may be asked whether one is to be entirely silent and feelings, and that to use either profane or slang at all times, and on all occasions, as to the character words is, at the very least, the indication of a degraded and conduct of others ? Certainly not. There are taste and an inferior understanding. many occasions for speaking of others, and for speak- Does not one who is habitually profane necessarily ing the truth of them, whatever that may be. All the entertain a low opinion of himself Would any respectmembers of any community are interested in knowing able merchant, or mechanic, or farmer receive into his the true character of each other. The knowledge that service a youth whom he knew to be a profane swearer? this character may be known is one of the snost salu- Could any one who is known to be such find admission tary correctives of erroneous conduct, and one of the into any school, academy, seminary, or college? Would strongest inducements to pursue that which is com- any respectable parent admit such a one to be a commendable. It is probably the case that the members panion of his children, or a visitant in his family? of every community are pretty well understood by all Would not every reasoning person say that a youth who who have an interest in knowing them. We know not is so ignorant as not to know that swearing is a violaof any law which holds it to be immoral to speak the tion of natural and Divine law, must be ignorant enough truth of any one from good motives, and for justifiable not to know that there are many other laws for the ends. It is all-important that this principle should pre-proper government of society, and consequently that he Fail in our country, where so much depends on public | is an unsafe person to be trusted? If the profanity be
the consequence of voluntary wickedness, then surely wealth by frauds, and hoards it like a miser. He is all reflecting persons would say that he who is wicked able, eloquent, and popular; but he is selfish and inin this respect is indeed wicked; but then he will be sincere, and would put a yoke on every neck in the wicked in others also. For as there is one chain which country if he could. He is making a great flourish in runs through all the virtues, and binds them in a sym- the world; but it is all false and hollow-he came from pathetic union, so also is there a chain which unites all nothing, and will go back to nothing.' It may be easily the vices. He who swears may be justly suspected of inferred that one who has thus surrendered himself to drinking; he who swears and drinks may be justly sus- the dominion of envy, not only deprives himself of the pected of gaming; he who swears, and drinks, and profitable use of what he has or might have, but makes games, must keep very bad company by day and by himself wretched in contemplating what he must know night. He who keeps such company from such motives he cannot have: he is so wrought upon, that whatmust squander his own property, or steal that of some-soever seeds of crime he may have in his heart are sure body else to expend. He who robs another will commit to start into luxuriant and dangerous growth. forgery, and he who is so desperate as to commit these Can any rational being doubt that this sort of suffertwo latter crimes will not hesitate long to put a human ing and crime is entirely of man's making? Can it be being out of the way of his pressing wants if he is doubted that he can prevent them? These are violatempted to do it. It is probable that habitual lying tions of natural law and Divine law; and no law comes and swearing are the first steps in that mournful series from this source which cannot be understood and of crimes, and the first beginnings in the course of de- obeyed. Let us take an example, and seek out the plorable wretchedness, which deform and disgrace hu- unreasonableness and immorality of envy; and to do man society. Will any one maintain that these are this effectually, we must take a strong case, and in some necessary evils, and that God has so made man that degree a fanciful one. Let us suppose that in a semithey cannot be prevented ? Surely these are evils wholly nary of females there is one who is very beautiful; her of human origin; and where they begin, there also lies parents are very rich, and are highly respectable; and the power to extirpate them,
that this young lady is distinguished by her genius, and her diligence and good conduct, and is obviously in the
receipt of the preceptor's unqualified approbation. Let It is to be kept in view that the main object is to us further suppose that there are some of her school. show that this is a good sort of existence if man knew fellows who envy her. Their countenances show what how to use it, and that he is the author of his own af- they feel. Every mark of favour manifested to this forflictions. This is remarkably illustrated in the matter tunate person is a blow on every en vious heart. Disof envy. It is probable that a large proportion of man- content, distress, and malignity take up their abodes kind, in all classes, suffer from the dominion of this in these hearts, and enter into thriving partnership. passion. It can be shown that it is peculiarly the But the beauty, the genius, the diligence, the wealth, passion which man has made for himself out of emula- | the parentage, the applause, are not among the divition, which latter is the Creator's work. In this in- dends which these partners make: these remain where stance, man has been exceedingly ingenious and suc- they were : and what dividends do they make? Let us cessful in making himself miserable. He has done suppose that the envious would do what they wouldworse: he has provided for himself, in creating envy, a that is, annihilate the envied qualities, and make the fountain which sends forth not one water, but many, possessor too low and contemptible to be more thought and each one foul and poisonous. He who has sub- of; and let us suppose, too, that the successful advenmitted himself to envy has bound himself to think, to turers succeed to what is now the first eminence-is feel, and to act as envy prompts. It would be most there no one below to pull them down! They are soon shocking to know what agency this monster has had in down, and by like means; and thus the demolition human affairs. If any one should read history, and would descend, until the seminary became too low a watch the movements of his fellow-men, merely to learn place for even envy to find something to live on. the operation of this principle of action, he would see Is not this a fair example of what we continually see probably the most operative cause of the misery which in all grades and classes of social life? And is not this men inflict upon themselves and on each other. If one passion of envy earth-born, mischievous, and odious ? has not time to read history, and watch his fellow- What is the remedy? Common sense and plain reason men, he may perhaps learn much of what he would point out the remedy. Generally speaking, every find in these authorities by reading his own heart. member in society is just as much in his own place as
Envy arises from perceiving in other persons qualities he is in his own skin. No one can be in another's which one's own self-love leads him to wish to have place. Every one has his place originally assigned to as beauty, strength, grace, learning, power, &c. It him, and his natural condition in it, by means ofer extends to riches, to office, to the respect and esteem which he had no control, and in making which he had in which one is held by his fellow-men, and even to no agency. What he will make out of himself
, and of birth and ancestry. It makes one sorry that he has the circumstances in which he finds himself, must denot these good things, and makes him angry that others pend (after the irresponsible state of infancy is passed) have them. One easily persuades himself that great on his own thoughts, motives, and acts. He will find injustice is done to him, in that he has them not. The his greatest good not in repining at the good of others next step is to hate him who has them. Then comes the (which he can never make to be his own, and which he desire to deprive the supposed fortunate possessor of cannot destroy without expecting retributive justice as the benefit of them. But to admit that one has these to himself), but in making his own condition as good as malignant promptings, is contrary to another principle he can, consistently with self-respect and peace of mind. of self-love; and therefore no man tells another of his That which is given to others, and all that they can own envy, and he tries to wrap it up from his own view. lawfully acquire, is righteously their own. All that is As he cannot and dare not openly manifest that he is given to one's self, and all that he so acquires, is in envious, he must obey the suggestions of malice in the like manner his own. If he would have no injustice dark. He therefore intrigues, insinuates, and becomes done to him by those who are below him, he must do adroit in putting one thing for another; he secretly and no injustice to those who are above him. by covert means undermines the object of his hatred. He whispers his doubts, suspicions, opinions, and belief. If the tenure of the hated object is too strong to be This has been sometimes classed with envy, but they shaken, then the bad use which he makes of his advan- have nothing in common. One would feel like a culprit tages are sought out. The base accompaniments of his in being known to be envious, but would rightly take fine qualities are assiduously brought forth, and placed praise to himself in being emulous. This motive to in the strongest light. She is beautiful, but she is action was given to man for the best possible purposes; vain, haughty, and silly. He is rich; but he got his and upon the application of it, with justifiable views,
and to commendable ends, the advancement of human cause of suffering is purely of human origin, and that welfare mainly depends. We understand it to mean, prevention must be found where the error began. It the desire to obtain excellence in laudable pursuits. is the law of the Deity that there shall be such sufferAn envious man may be supposed to say, * Your emi-ing when the guilty mortal makes it necessary to apply nence distresses me; I cannot bear to see you sitting that law. There are great differences in the temperaup there; and though I have not the shadow of hope ment and natural dispositions of persons. It is increthat I can ascend to your place if you were out of it, dible that the worst-tempered persons would not make nevertheless I must pull you down if I can, and then a better whole of life, by suppressing their natural prowe shall stand on the same level.' An emulous man pensities, and acquiring a control over themselves, and may be supposed to say, ' I admit that you are where teaching themselves to look out for what may be pleayou should be. You have raised yourself by fair and sant and agreeable (passing by that which seems ill to just means. I have no desire to disturb you, nor to them), instead of doing exactly the reverse. impede your further progress. You have done me no There are cases in life in which it is said there must injustice; on the contrary, you have rendered me the be anxiety and inquietude, from the very condition in important service of showing me how one may honour- which men are placed : persons who sustain public ably rise. I shall follow your example, and endeavour offices, persons who are placed in important trusts, to place myself by your side. If I can get there, we persons whose vocations are perilous, those who are shall have a fair, good-tempered rivalry, and we may pricked by the thorn of political ambition. It is proanimate and quicken each other's efforts. If you are bable that such persons do experience many painful able to keep always in advance of me, you will make and distressing enotions, and that they sometimes pay me diligent, and enable me to excel others, if I cannot dearly for their distinction; but it is demonstrable that equal you. There seems to be nothing immoral in even such persons might have tranquillity if they had this. In this view, emulation is presented in its true a right frame of mind. There are persons who substiand amiable character. Like everything else intrusted tute an aching solicitude for the reasonable discretion to man's use, it may be, and often is, perverted. It and care which is all that is required in the performfrequently excites very unworthy feelings. Hence it ance of duty. There are others who greatly overvalue has been confounded with envy. It is upon the prin the distinctions to which they attain or aspire; and very ciple of emulation that diligence in schools is commonly few of them reflect, that when they do succeed, they founded; and it is in schools that the perversion alluded must take success, especially in popular governments, to is frequently noticed. When several children are with the accompaniments of having their worthy acts required to get and recite the same lesson, there must often misunderstood and reproached, and their mis. be a best and worst among them. That they are such taken ones magnified and distorted, to suit the occarespectively, may depend on natural talent, and upon sions of rivals and adversaries. industry, or on both. It deserves great consideration, The remedy for this sort of suffering is within every whether rewards and punishments are generally under one's power. Those who are poor, and in humble life, stood in their true philosophy. There must be emula- if not in extreme poverty, may possess peace of mind; tion in schools, because there is, and ought to be, that and it is of easier acquisition by these than by those stimulant in all the vocations of life. If men had who are involved in the duties of office, and the responnot the advantage of comparing themselves with each sibility of trust, and the embarrassment of wealth. other, and the promptings to exertion which arise from Certainly, without this treasure, no earthly grandeur, that comparison, this life would be very still and no promise of posthumous glory, is worth having or stupid. But what use is to be made of this principle seeking for. If the laws of nature and the teaching in schools ? is a question of exceeding interest.
of revelation were properly known, respected, and obeyed, the common causes of inquietude would hardly
be known. For example, what is more common than It is believed that most persons pass a large portion complaints of the weather? It is too hot or cold, wet or of their lives in a state of inquietude and uneasiness. dry. It is not nature that mistakes about the weather, Persons who have no bodily disease are anxious and but ourselves. The movements of the winds and the disturbed. They have some urgent want which cannot waters, and the temperament of both, proceed on some be gratified, or which cannot be so without incurring great and universal laws far beyond human percepsome evil which would be worse than the unsatisfied tion. That which is exacted of us to believe is, that want. They have the dread of some probable or pos- it is so, and to adapt ourselves to it by our experience sible evil to come, and which is the more terrible be- and ingenuity. What sort of effect would it produce cause of the uncertainty of the manner and of the time in the earth if such things were regulated by human in which it may come. Others are uneasy from remem- perception of what is best? When one has occasion bering the past, in which some benefit was not secured, to put to use a board or stick of timber which has been some blunder made, some wrong done to themselves, in contact with the ground for a certain length of time, some vain gratification not obtained. There are many he disturbs and puts to flight families, communities, persons who are habitually discontented. They find and whole nations of living beings. Man may be much everything goes wrong, The weather is bad ; their in the same relation as to general laws (not meant for food' is not as they would have it; no one does anything him to comprehend) in which these insects are on the in the right time or right manner; or that is done removal of their covering. which should not be, or that is omitted which should As to all causes of inquietude arising from the opebe done. Such persons are always groaning, sighing, ration of nature's laws in which human agency has no or grumbling. They dislike everybody, and everybody concern, they must be right, although they occasion dislikes them; and particularly their abundant advice inconvenience to individuals. As to the acts and omisis disliked, and their manner of giving it. There are sions of others which affect us, some questions are to be other persons who are of unquiet mind from more se asked and answered before one can rightly judge of rious causes. They have recollections which distress these ; namely, What is the real cause of our comor torment them. They are transgressors; perhaps plaint? Did not the first fault arise from some act or criminally so. They have been able to conceal this, omission of our own? Do we judge reasonably of the but they live in the fear of disclosure; at anyrate the supposed wrong? Do we make charitable allowance fact cannot be hidden frorn themselves.
for the misapprehension which may affect the party These are frightful instances of the agency of this complained of? When the inquietude arises from our companion which every man has in his own bosom. own wayward and peevish disposition, from our own There are hours in every one's life when he must com- misconduct, negligence, or breach of laws, which we pare the condition in which he is with that in which could know if we would, the remedy lies in becoming he thinks he might have been. To some persons these wiser and better, and more reasonable in learning how are hours of dread and terror. It is believed that this we may make of life that which it was intended to be,
PEACE OF MIND.
when we use it as we should. Let any reasonable happiness, unless one has something to do. Health being look back on his own life, and calmly consider the and riches do not make one happy. These accidents of causes of his own contentions, ill-will, failures, and suf- being rather excite cravings for enjoyment. They are ferings in body and mind; how many of these can he means, vot ends. A rich man can ride but one horse, fairly lay to the blame of the Creator's laws, of nature's or sit but in one coach, or eat but one dinner, or live laws, or those of society, whether positive or implied? but in one house, at a time. Persons in moderate cirIf to these he can charge but very few, who then but cumstances can do the same. himself is there to take blame for the residue ?
Health, riches, power, and distinction, do not make We have been trying to show what peace of mind is happiness. Distinction is troublesome: it has more not. We have to show what it is, or rather in what it pains than pleasures; it is jealous, envious, and distrust. is founded. It comes from sober conviction that the ful. Power does not make one happy; it demands the Creator has made His own laws for His own universe; most busy watchfulness to keep it. If lost, its absence that He requires conformity to these laws; that He per- is often followed by painful suffering, and the possession mits and enjoins the use of what is good and right; of it is always accompanied with the fear of losing it. that He punishes all that is wrong and disobedient. Riches are sometimes regarded as means of enabling He has trusted erery mortal with his own welfare, but one to live in elegant luxury, and even in voluptuous has associated him with others who live in the same enjoyment. This is no way to be happy; the appetites trust, each one for his own, but yet for mutual welfare. soon become satiated; the stomach wears out; the senses All are to contribute their comiuon efforts to the com- are palled; diseases come: the body may be racked on mon good. Those who have the means are to aid others a velvet couch as well as on a straw-bed. Is there, in acquiring a knowledge of the laws which are common then, any such thing as happiness? There must be to all. If these laws were understood and applied, how such a thing, or the laws of nature, which provide for abundantly would peace of mind increase in the world ! physical, intellectual, and moral being, are false and The schoolboy would get his lessons and obey his pre- deceitful, and the gift of revelation is a fable. If there ceptor ; the labouring-classes would labour diligently, be such a thing as happiness, it will be found in that live teinperately, and find a greater pleasure in their knowledge of, and obedience to, the laws of nature which frugal food than the luxurious in their festivals; for make health. It will be found in obeying the propensity the former live as nature orders, the latter as fashion to action, to some continuous, useful end; that is, in dictates. The opulent and luxurious would learn that pursuing reasonably some one of the many vocations the accidents of their fortune do not exempt them from in society which tend to secure one's own self-respect the laws of nature; that if they have affluence beyond and peace of mind, and which tend also to the common their reasonable and commendable wants, they are good. But there may be disappointments, ill-luck, and blessed with the means of purchasing a precious name; causes of mortification and sorrow.
These, we appre. they would learn that no wealth will exempt any man hend, do not seriously disturb any well-regulated mind, froin earning an appetite for his pleasures by physical when there is a consciousness that no reasonable foremotion ; that if he is tired of being rich and happy, sight or prudence would have discerned and prerented he must work to accomplish some reasonable purpose. the cause. Perfect happiness in this world, it must llis distinction is, that he may choose the means in ever be remembered, is not to be expected: the only which he will expend to be busy, while others can only happiness that we can really attain consists in a certain work in some prescribed mode to live.
contented tranquillity of mind under all the socks The middle classes, and all who are not dependently and changes of this mortal life. There is a point poor, have as many and as valuable sources of enjoy- called the happy medium; and this should be an aim ment as those have whoin they think to be better off in all human arrangements. Be moderate in all things than themselves. They can love and be loved; they For example, to take no amusement is bad, for it decan be respected and esteemed; they can have the con- prives the mind of needful rest and recreation ; 80 sciousness of behaving well where their lot has been likewise it is bad to be altogether given up to amusecast; they have a far keener zest for natural and reason- ment, for then all serious objects are lost sight of. The able pleasure than those who misuse the bounties of true plan is to take amusement in moderation. Some accidental condition; they can have peace of mind when minds have never awakened to a taste for poetry, fiction, it is denied to those whom they deem more fortunate. the imitative arts, and music, and they thus lose much If these natural laws, which seem to be so plain and pleasure which others enjoy : again, there are soine in obvious, were understood and respected, the labourers whom nature has inplanted, and use cultivated, sa in mind, in all their varied employinents, would do strong a predilection for these things, that it becomes diligently, and in the best manner in their power, that a vice. To be very much in society is sure to detewhich they have undertaken. Men of public trust would riorate the human character, making it frivolous, and do honestly, and with a single view to their trust, that incapacitating it for taking abstract and elevated views: which they have undertaken. Suppose it were all on the other hand, a perfectly solitary life weakens the so, and yet troubles and disappointments come. This inind, lays it open to odd fancies and eccentricities, if may be, and yet there would be peace of mind. If not to hypochondria, and ends in some instances by every one were assured that no act, no omission of his altogether throwing it from its balance. The mediu own, makes him suffer, that he has acted faithfully is here also found alone salutary. To be excessively and honestly, and to the best of his ability, in the gay, in a world where so many evils lurk around our circumstances in which he was placed, he would be every step, and so many onerous things call for ver entitled to have, and by the law of immutable justice attention, is wrong: so is it to be always serious, seeing he would have, peace of mind.
that the world also contains the materials of much happiness. What is proper is, that we should be ready
to rejoice and mourn in moderation on the appropriate There is no word in our language more commonly occasions. Finally, one may feel assured that if be useil, nor any one less defined or less understood. It abide by these moderate desires, and so use his time as is sometimes taken to mean pleasurable sensations to be reasonably busy to some good purpose, and so derived through the senses; sometimes it means a conduct himself as to be justly entitled to his ora peculiar state of mind. It may be said that a pirate approbation, and if he live in the habitual assurance who has been brought to the most perfect penitence, that there is an omnipresent, omniscient, and mercital and who is sensible that he has forfeited his life to the Judge of moral, accountable, and immortal man, le demands of justice, and that he is about to be trans- will certainly be happy, ferred from the perplexities and sufferings of this state of being to endless felicity, is happy that he is going to NOTE.-The matter of this sheet has been extracted, mi:h be hanged. Perhaps it is easier to tell what happiness a few alterations, from the Moral Class-Book of Mr William is not, than what it is. The most perfect health is not Sullivan, published several years ago at Boston, United States
PUBLIC AND SOCIAL DUTIES OF LIFE.
DUTIES AS SUBJECTS.
The preceding article devoted to this subject embraced respected, commerce and trade permitted to flourish, the duties which one owes to himself as a rational and the sacred inviolability of the person preserved. The being. The present is not less important in its cha- results of turbulence and civil commotion are--poverty, racter, being intended to point out those duties which ruin to property, insecurity of the person, destruction we are required to perform with respect to our various of commerce and trade, and at length military opprespublic and domestic relations. We begin with our sion and barbarism. Every intelligent man, therefore,
in this country yields not only a bare submission, but
a becoming respect to the laws, as well as to the various Every civilised nation is governed by some species institutions established by their authority. of authority, for the purpose of preserving order in Perfect obedience both to the letter and the spirit of society. Some governments are good, others are bad; the laws does not, however, imply that we should not but it does not fall within our province to point out examine whether they are in every respect answerable where the ruling authority is injurious, or where it is to the present condition of society, nor keep us from most advantageous to the people. According to a law resorting to legal means to have them corrected, or of universal application, every independent nation is altogether rescinded. The constitution points out how understood to have the undoubted right to model its this is to be done. It is illegal to conspire secretly to government according to its own fancy, genius, or ne- overthrow the law. All measures calculated to improve cessities, provided that, in the execution of its plans, it our social condition must be conducted openly and does not wantonly injure its neighbours. Directing our honourably. The means put into our hands by the attention to our own country, with which we have here constitution for improving the law are very powerful, alone to do, we find, as soon as reason dawns upon if wielded with discretion. The people have the apus in youth, that we are members of a great and en-pointment of the men who constitute the most influenlightened community. We find ourselves subject to i tial branch of the legislature; if they do not appoint laws which were frained long before we were born, and individuals who will meet their views with regard to that we must act in a manner not to please our own correcting or abolishing laws, they have themselves to caprice, but according to the arrangements which have blame: the constitution confers upon them a liberty been instituted for the benefit of society at large. But of choice. It besides gives them the right to present if we thus discover that we are trammelled by certain petitions to the legislature, either individually, or in legal restrictions, not very agreeable perhaps to the bodies, praying in respectful terms for the amendment wildness of our untamed nature, we likewise find that or abolition of any law which is deemed oppressive or we possess a great many compensating privileges. antiquated. This right gives a vast addition to the While yet opening our eyes to the light, we enter into power of the people. It is of much greater value than the enjoyment of all the transcendent privileges of Bri- one would at first be inclined to suppose, and is intish subjects, and come within the powerful protection finitely preferable to the use of violence. The right of of the laws as fully as the oldest and most honoured in petition implies the right of meeting publicly to discuss the land. It will be perceived that this is a boon of the propriety of petitioning. This practice of meeting incalculable value. For us armies have fought and together excites the public mind to renewed efforts in bled; for us, in past times, hosts of martyrs and patriots the cause it undertakes. The speeches of the orators have contended; for us the wisest statesmen and are circulated and commented upon by the newspapers legislators have transacted negotiations securing civil all over the country. One meeting gives rise to others, liberty; for us the people who have gone before us men's minds are enlightened and warmed, and the have established a variety of the most excellent, the public opinion acquires by degrees an amount of moral most beneficent institutions. All these things we enjoy force, any resistance to which would be useless. It is without having been put to the smallest trouble. All not without reason, therefore, that the people of this that we are called on to give in return, as soon as country set so high a value on the right to assemble for emancipated from the inexperience and ignorance of the discussion of public affairs, and place it in the first childhood, is obedience to the laws.
rank of their constitutional prerogatives. A cheerful obedience to the laws is therefore our chief Besides yielding obedience to the existing laws, we public duty. Possibly some of our laws, from having are under a collateral obligation to be loyal to the sovebeen framed for a former state of society, or in order to reign who rules over us. Loyalty is hence another of meet particular exigencies, may not now be very judi. our chief public duties. There is sone difference of cious in their provisions; yet that forms no solid reason opinion with regard to what extent loyalty ought to be why we should break through them. It is always safer carried. It appears to us that this is a simple inatter. to obey a bad law than to oppose it by violence. Unhap- A power to protect the nation from foreign insult, and pily for some nations, they seem to have no accurate idea to preserve the internal peace of the country, must be of the value of obedience to the laws. When they find lodged somewhere. It is found to be most convenient themselves aggrieved by oppressive state measures, they to lodge it in the hands of one person, under proper are exceedingly apt to break into tumults, and take up restrictions. In Great Britain, as will be seen in our arms against the officers of their governments. This is history of the constitution of that country (No. 62), it a very shortsighted policy, as the history of all nations has been placed in the possession of a hereditary prince proves; for the people are always sure to suffer far or king. This person is entitled our ruler or sovereign; more by the coercive measures adopted to restrain them, we are termed his subjects. Loyalty significs a fidelity than they would have done by submitting to the evil and willingness in serving the king, so that he may be they originally complained of. It is the boast and glory enabled both to protect the nation from outward härm, of Britain-and long may it be so—that its people know and to preserve order in society, through the agency of bow to respect the laws, even while they consider them the laws, or, failing them, through the application of to be injurious, and how to correct them by quiet and force. Seeing that the sovereign is prevented by the orderly procedure. In this lies the important secret constitution from infringing upon the rights of the subof their national greatness, their wealth, their public ject, through the exercise of his power, is discovered liberty. The advantages arising out of a scrupulous that loyalty is rewarded in the comfort we enjoy; or, obedience to the laws, consist, in the first place, of social to use another expression, self-interest alone, if no order and quietude, by which the rights of property are nobler sentiment interfere, would lead us to afford No, 80.