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or what is advantageous for body and reignties. They do not stand, as the goods; yet if it be not, and a legislator State does, with no other power between may prohibit any practice, because it is it and God. They need have no religion wicked, then he regards moral ends, and of their own, for another reason, namely, his care is directed towards man's high- because they are supposed to partake of, est happiness, and to the putting down and to be influenced by, that which is his greatest misery, moral evil. Nor, in predominant in the State, and which there fact, does it appear how, on other than forms the ground of public sentiment, parely moral considerations, a State is according as it is good or evil. Our dejustified in making certain abominations mocratic notions deceive us on this point. penal; such acts involving in them no vi. We are too apt to confine the idea of olence or fraud upon persons or property, absolute power to a monarchy or an which, according to Warburton, are the aristocracy. It exists as well in a repubonly objects of a State's care.” It will be lic as in any other form of government. seen, from the last extract, what Dr. Ar. Indeed, it is entirely independent of all nold regards as the very turning point of forms. Absolute power, above which this whole discussion. “The legislator may there is no earthly control, and which prohibit a practice, because it is wicked.” stands next to the Divine government He may legislate for morality, and on over men—an absolute power which can purely moral grounds; that is, he may do as it wills, whether that will is mani. punish crimes, not simply because they fested in regular channels of law, or the affect persons or property, but because irregular impulses of individual or popthey are wicked and abominable. Here, ular volition, whether it be in the one, the however, the opponents of the doctrine few, or the millions,--such an absolute would create a double issue. One class power, knowing no superior but God, would utterly deny that the State has any. having life and death subject to its own thing whatever to do with strictly moral final decision, and which must act for or considerations; without, however, bring- against the highest interests of men in ing in the question, whether such moral their highest relations (for, on these considerations had any necessary connec- points, as we hope hereafter to show, tion with religion. The law, say they, has there can be no such thing as indifference no right to meddle with anything that on the part of the State, any more than picks no man's pocket or breaks no man's on the part of an individual),--such an leg.” The other class, of whom Coun. absolute power belongs to every State, sellor Hurlbut may be taken as the re as a part of its very essence or idea, and presentative, would, perhaps, allow that irrespective of all the outward forms in the legislator has something to do with which it may be arrayed. Power, we morality, but only after they had stripped have said, above which there is no earth. the word of all meaning, by denying to ly control. Methinks the bare statement it anything of a religious character. of such a fact might convince any sound This distinction is based upon their sys- mind, that God never could have intend. tem of phrenological quackery. As, ed that such an absolute earthly authority however, the divorce for which they should be left to itself, free from the accontend annihilates both, and is, besides, knowledgment of any higher accountaopposed to the conscience and common bility, or that it should have any rightful sense of mankind, we shall pay no at- control over men except as a moral and tention to any such hypothesis, but pro- religious delegation or branch of his own ceed upon the supposition that a irue government. If this is indeed the true morality, and a true justice which is any- ground of its legitimacy, how utterly in. thing more than the barest consulting of sane is that political philosophy, which convenience, are inseparably connected would seek for a security to human rights with considerations drawn from religion in an absolute divorce between religion and from the invisible world.
and law! How inexplicable the paradox, In these considerations, too, we find a that while we are jealous of any religious solution of the difficulty presented in a foundation for the State, we should feel late number of the Edinburgh Review. safe in trusting the most precious interThe writer asks why a corporation, a ests of humanity to an absolute, irre. bank, a rail-road company, or an army, sponsible, and avowedly irreligious earth. ought not to have a religion, and act lý power! “A nation is a sovereign upon moral grounds, as well as the State. society,” says that most healthy.minded The answer is, that they are not sove writer to whom we before referred, “ and
it is something monstrous, that the ulti- the utter annihilation of both. Moral mate power in human life should be des- truths, raised ever so little above a mere titute of a sense of right and wrong.” system of convenience and political econYet this mus: be the case, if it knows no omy, must run back to the ideas of authority above itself, and sustains no penalty, retribution, intrinsic demerit; appeal to the immutable, the invisible, and these again must link themselves with and the eternal.
the thought of sanctions derived from an Some of the physical school may not invisible power, and an invisible world. exactly comprehend what is meant by all Those, therefore, who would avoid this. To be sure, say they, the State this must go still farther back, and deny must judge of right and wrong—who so to the State all moral as well as all religiabsurd as to deny such a proposition ? ous character whatever. In this way, the But look into their schemes, and it will scheme we are opposing is fast coming be found that these are terms retained to have a dreadful consistency. All its from the old vocabularies, without a parts are gradually drawing into a particle of their true and ancient meaning., mutual harmony of error; so that, if They have been wholly reduced to a boldly carried out, it must deny that physical sense. That is right which there can be strictly any such thing as tends to secure the widest range of crime. It is only a physical evil, or a natural gratification with the least na- physical insanity, or the result of a detural evil—and that is wrong which tends fective cerebral organization, and law is to interrupt or prevent it. For a moral only a physical defence against this good and a moral discipline, or the culti- species of madness. Punishment is not vation of certain moral states, irrespective punishment, but only the cure of physiof physical good or evil, they have no cal evil. In short, law has no more of place in their scheme--still less for the moral character than the sanatary reguabsolute and inseparable connection of lations of a hospital. It addresses itself such a morality with religion. Of course solely to our sense of convenience or inthey must deny, and do deny, that in convenience, and never deals with, and punishing, the law can or ought to have is never intended to deal with, the conany regard to any intrinsic demerit of science or moral sense, even supposing crime, or that punishment can or ought such a department of the soul to exist in to have anything strictly penal or retri- the individual man. These are not mere butive in its nature. This is their creed; inferences drawn by an adversary, but and they demand that the law shall doctrines in which the authors glory as sanction it, whilst at the same time, with the ripe fruits of an enlightened age, and a strange inconsistency, they contend that of a new philosophy which is destined it can decide no strictly moral or religious to supersede all other systems. • The questions.
Law can have no religion,” says one. It is exceedingly difficult to reason on “ The State, as such, knows no God," the moral and religious character of the teaches the great apostle of the sect. State, with the ultra-democratic and semi “Crime,” says Mr. Sampson, on Criminal infidel school; because, in fact, there is Jurisprudence, a work in great repute no common ground from which we can with this new school of political phi. start in the structure of an argument. Its losophy, “crime has never been diminphilosophy is so deeply imbued with infi- ished by the inconsistency of punishing delity, that we are compelled to distrust men for disorders of the brain, and it can it, even when it meekly professes to only be safely and effectually subdued by honor morality and religion, by contin- adopting towards the sufferer (!) the same ing them to the sphere of good in indi- mode that we should employ, if his disvidual action. Some, as we have said, order, instead of being seated in the might regard the difficulty as safely avoid brain, were seated in any other organ.” ed, by representing the State to be a Most consistent reasoners ! How skillmoral, although not a religious agent; fully would you seem to conceal the severing the two classes of duties, as phre- cloven foot of yonr shallow infidelity! nology does, by assigning them to differ- This, then, is what you would style a ent inches of the brain. But here, again, state of neutrality and indifference. The common language is in the way, and the State, it would seem, knows no God, no common sense, as well as the moral sense religion, no religious sanctions. It must of mankind, forbids the profane separation favor no religious tenets. But it may of conscience and the « fear of God," as hold and act upon irreligious principles.
It may give countenance to doctrines possibility there can be found some as. subversive of all religion and all morality. sailing point, from which to penetrate the “ The law has no Bible,” says a late dense scales of their closely guarded nat. writer_" the law has no Bible”-it uralism. Let us then admit, for a mocannot, therefore, rightly appeal to any ment, that government looks, ultimately, of the sanctions or principles of moral to the physical good of man and nothing conduct revealed in ihat book; yet still else. It follows, nevertheless, from this, there is no inconsistency, it seems, in that it must have regard to his best and maintaining that government should re- bighest physical good; and that, there. cognize the infidel philosophy (if it fore, to be consistent with this aim, it deserves so venerable a name) of Combe's must draw within its jurisdiction whatConstitution of Man, of the Vestiges of ever tends to advance, and certainly-as the Creation, of Sampson's Jurispru- even the most ultra defenders of the nodence, and of other standard infidel au- meddling system must admit-whatever thorities, to which the legislature is tends to prevent it. Within this line, called upon to bow with the utmost then, would fall whatever, among other deference and respect. We only mention similar means, has a tendency to secure this here as evidence of what the infidel the peaceful possession of property, the means, when he declares that “ The unmolested enjoyment of personal freeState assumes and must assume towards dom from violence, and the sanctity—but religion an air of perfect indifference”- this is, as yet, too religious a word—the “ if it favors the religion of the Chris- security, then, of the domestic relations. tian it offends the Intidel, the Jew, and In short, if it should be established as a the Heathen”-“ It can give no counte- fact, that an immoral and irreligious, or nance to any religious opinions what rather an irreligious, and consequently an ever.” That this state of indifference is immoral, people, would be likely to be not of this apparently negative and harm more ignorant, more brutal, less secure less kind, but has a great deal of positive against personal violence, worse fed, venom, and that the State must unavoid worse clothed, with less physical comfort ably either favor religion or irreligion, of every kind, and, in general, more unwe hope hereafter more fully to show. happy than one that was moral and reli
Of course, the class against whom we gious; then, reasoning directly from the are contending must deny that there is above premises, it would follow that the any divine sanction to government, or encouragement of religion and morality, that it is an institution which the Al. as means of physical good, must fall as mighty has anything to do with in directly within the sphere of the State's the way of constituting or ordaining. proper duties, as the care of agriculture To quole Scripture to them, as any au and the mechanic arts. thority on this point, would seem a most The truth is so important that it will bear strange and impertinent introduction of to be repeated and placed in different lights. irrelevant matter. In nearly the same Let us suppose, then, a state of things in light, perhaps, would they regard any ap- which everything now held sacred among peal to classic antiquity, in proof that us should become the object of irreverent ihe innate moral sense of mankind had blasphemy and contempt; when there ever regarded the true magistrate as, in should be honored no Bible, no holy day, some sense, possessing a delegated divine no pulpit, no means for the regular authority, and bearing the sword of and systematic instruction of the people Eternal Justice as well as representing in religious and moral duties-when, the vox populi. Paul declaring that the in fact, there should be among us no powers of government are ordained of morality, no religion, no fear of God. God, and that, of course, they possess a Can any one imagine that such a toreligious character; and Cicero, who but tal exclusion of all considerations of reëchoes the sentiment of primitive tra- another world would leave uninjured dition when he says-Diis immortalibus the foundations of social order, and of proximi sunt magistralus—would both all true happiness and all true physical be regarded as alike trifling with a ques. good in this? Would life, and liberty, tion which has been so summarily and and property, be respected as they now so conclusively decided by the new We need not ask the question. social and political philosophy.
The experiment has been tried. The But we may, perhaps, try these gentle. French Revolution will remain, to the end men on another tack, to see if by any of time, a standing proof of what even
the most civilized nation may become, as it would not be difficult to provethat acknowledges no God, and no future physical force might soon be the enemy life. We are aware that the most stren- rather than the ally of government, and uous efforts have been made of late to law itself would sink in precisely the revive a feeling of respect for the deeds same ratio with the motives and principles and actors of this period, and to present of those whose will, according to the to the world a new and transcendental radical theory, constitutes its true and view of the whole matter. Some would legitimate expression. Hence, too, we have us regard it, with all the atrocities may say, by way of passing corollary, even of the reign of terror, as the age of that if any Štate needs a religion on these heroes, and as abounding in the germs of grounds, then, a fortiori, does a democgreat ideas. We prefer, however, the racy require such an aid above all others. old-fashioned view. We would look to If certain habits and states of soul are the actual fruits, the actual matters of necessary even for the physical well-befact, and to the strange exhibitions of ing of mankind, then, as a means to this human depravity, with which those aw means, comes the subject of education; ful scenes abounded; and we say again, by which, in this place, we refer to the that it furnishes a sufficient answer to moral training of the citizens of a State in our question. The highest physical good its most enlarged acceptation. Thus are for this world cannot be secured; nay, we slowly rising to higher positions, and more, the greatest physical evils cannot gradually approaching the dangerous be prevented among a people, when ground, although, it may be, by a system there is no recognition of a God and a of introverted ends. This education may world to come. But it is a great, some be a direct teaching in schools expressly say the chief, design of government to established for that purpose—a topic on promote the highest physical good, or, at which we propose to enter at another all events, to prevent the greatest physi- time—or it must be, in connection with cal evils. What, then, is the inevitable the former, what may justly be styled the conclusion, even from the premises of educating power of law itself, in bringing that theory which is most thoroughly to bear upon the mind, even from early utilitarian? We may say, on high au- infancy, the force of certain principles thority, that " whatever picks men's pock- having a restraining effect, so as to prevent ets or breaks their legs,” is an object of the the first thought of certain crimes ever arisState's care and prevention. If, there. ing as a purpose ; and this, in distinction fore, irreligion, immorality, and infidelity, from that other and more easily estimated have a tendency to make these evils more yet less available power of law, which frequent than they would be in a relj- acts directly, through a present fear of gious, a sabbath-keeping, church-going, specific inconvenience, in deterring men gospel-loving community ; then, even on from a specific and then actually meditathe theory of the illustrious author of ted wrong. Here, again, in this subjectthe above illustrious and sublime maxim, ive influence of law upon the soul, we the State should do all in its power to are approaching the region of duty, as prevent the former, and to encourage a distinguished from a mere sense of constate of things which would be favorable venience or inconvenience. We are di. to the latter condition of society. Indif. recting the eye to something absolute and ference, even if it were possible, would eternal-10 the law's immutable principle be an abandonment of its highest duties. in distinction from the temporary, and Our theoretical conclusion we cannot help fluctuating, and imperfect application to regarding as unassailable, although a individual cases. We are on the borconsideration of the manner in which it ders of a true right and wrong. We are should be practically carried out might near the domains of a true morality, which present questions of great difficulty. is an end in itself; and, if we are not very
In the ascending scale of means, then, careful, this dreaded religion will force the next care of government, in addition to itself upon us before we are aware of our the requisite physical force for the imme- real position. diate preservation of order, would be the There is a vast deal of trite and unacquisition of a moral power, or the produc- meaning declamation on this very subtion of those principles of action, modes ject, namely, the importance of religion of thought, and habits of soul, that would and morality to the preservation of our furnish this security with the least amount republican institutions; and yet how few of violent constraint; for without them are aware of the inevitable conclusion to
which they must be led. How little is pensable means; and equally indispensait realized that the argument can never ble to the latter is a religion from which stop until it ends in recognizing the Su- alone morality can receive its sanctions. preme Power in the State to be what Religion and morality, then, although we contend it really is, namely, a true denied to be legitimate objects of the moral and religious power that ought to State as ends, come in as means to other have a conscience, and by it to recognize ends. But religion and morality, when an eternal righteousness. Virtue, they they are not regarded as ends in themsay, is essential to a free people; but selves, cease to be truly religion and mohow wretched and senseless is this trite rality. They do, undoubtedly, when babble in the mouths of those who con pure, tend to protect property, to secure lend that the State has no religion and from personal violence, &c.; but then can recognize no religious tenets. Whe. this is an incident, and not of their esther virtue itself is an eternal principle sence. When called in aid, therefore, with eternal sanctions, and connected for such purposes alone, they will not be with the law, revealed or natural, of an pure; they come not in their true nature, eternal God, is a question involving a and must inevitably degenerate into somereligious tenet-a tenet, too, to which thing of a lower species. We have law and government cannot be indifferent. proved, however, that the State must Either directly or impliedly, in the prac- have religion and morality, as means for tical administration of their principles, the successful accomplishment of its they must be for or against ; they must physical purposes. But it cannot have assume the attitude of a friend or an them as etfective means, without recogenemy.
nizing them as ends, before it employs Let us now recapitulate, and briefly them as means. Therefore, finally, the condense the argument which, in order State must neglect even the highest physto bring in all the considerations con- ical good of men, or it must be a religious nected with it, has been presented in a and moral agent, in the absolute and not discursive and irregular forin. Admitting, merely mediate use of the terms—Q. E. D. as we do for the sake of the argument, Let us apply this to a case easily imthat the State's great object is the physi- agined, and which, as a little knowcal and not the moral good of man,—that ledge of the history of our own country it is intended, in other words, for the may show, has actually happened. A' protection of property, security against company of religious persons, professing personal violence, and the guardianship the Christian faith, are cast upon a cerof the domestic relations; then, we say, tain locality, on which is to arise a true that, in addition to positive inconvenience State, and a corresponding system of law. to transgressors, designed to deter them Although deeply religious, yet, in foundfrom actual crimes, there must be ac- ing their State, we may suppose them to knowledged in the law that doctrine of have regard, in the first place, to the retributive justice, without which punish- physical well-being of themselves and ment, appealing only to the animal fears their posterity. Familiarity with the and taking no true hold upon the con letter and spirit of the Word of God, a science or moral department of the soul, deep knowledge of themselves and of can exercise no true reforming power, human nature, satisfy them that this can even if this were the great and chief ob- never be effectually secured by the mere ject for which it was designed. Besides letter of any system of jurisprudence, this, there are needed, also, certain habits without the life imparted to it by a true or states of mind, or principles of action, morality, containing a true appeal to the having an intimate and sympathizing conscience, and resting on those sancconnection with the standard of truih tions from an invisible world, which we manifested in the law. In other words, denominate religion ;---the conscience, or there must be a public conscience corre moral sense, never being truly affected, sponding to the governing principle or unless by considerations connected with spirit of the law, rising as it rises, the eternal and the inmutable. and falling as it falls ; being moral and Such being the case, would they not religious, or barely economical, according be required, even on the physical hyas that, whose representative it must, in pothesis, to make the conservation of this time, ever become, sustains the one or morality and this religion one of the the other of these characters. To this great objects of the State's care, and to result, then, a true morality is an indis. fence them round by all the guards that