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upon all the sensitive creation. It has, in its very nature, express relation to surrounding life, intelligence, and sensie bility.
3. Man's sense of justice—the great monitor of the human mind, forever prompting the inner man " to do unto another as he would that others should do unto him"-uttering the eternal rule of equity and right,-demands also to be in the midst of men in the midst of human and moral action; of which it the great and impartial umpire. Admit a sense of justice, burning for action, “ springing eternal in the human mind,” having no other office than to prompt man to do right to his fellow-men, and yet suppose that his superior nature can be indulged and exercised out of society! This is the sovereign power of the human mind, the most unyielding of any; it rewards with a higher sanction, it punishes with a deeper agony, than any earthly tribunal. It never slumbers-never dies. Without this sense of right, man would be unfit for human society. With it he is incapable of enduring solitude. It demands human conduct upon which to decide. It has no sphere of action in solitude.
Mr. Combe, in his “ Moral Philosophy,” says,
Neither benevolence, which delights in universal happiness-nor love of approbation, whose gratification is the applause and good opin. ion of others-nor veneration, which gives a tendency to respect and yield obedience to superiors-nor conscientiousness, which holds the balance wherein the rights of competing parties are weighed_has full scope and a sufficiently wide sphere of action except in general society. The domestic circle is too contracted for the purpose.”
And again :
“The faculties of causality and comparison, which are the fountains of reasoning, imply our coexistence with other intellectual beings, with whose perceptions and experience we may compare our own. Without combination, what advance could be made in science, art, or manufactures ?
As food is related to hunger, as light to the sense of vision, so is society adapted to the social faculties of man. The presence of human beings is indispensable to the gratificatien and excitement of our mental powers in general. What a void and craving is experienced by those who are cut off from communication with their fellows !''
If, then, the social state is necessary to the development and exercise of man's moral and intellectual nature, is it not absurd to suppose that he cannot live in society without surrendering a portion of his natural rights? If society be his
greatest want, is it possible that this demand of his nature cannot be answered without denying him the proper gratification of some of his remaining wants ? Has the wisdom of the Creator so poorly executed his plan, that one part defeats another? Has Infinite Beneficence implanted in the same mind various ardent desires, the denial of any one of which will render man unhappy, and yet ordained that one natural want shall be gratified by the denial of another?that man must elect which of all the craving desires of his nature he will indulge, and which he will restrain, and as he chooses, he shall live in society or out of it !-and take which he pleases, society or solitude, certain parts of his craving nature shall remain for ever unsatisfied ? Absurd and impious thought! Man's whole nature may be gratified, so that the harmony of its powers be not disturbed,and government cannot demand the surrender of a single right as a condition of man's existence in the social state. The moralist can easily show how the enlightened intellect and moral emotions, controling and regulating the passions, may present a man in the full enjoyment and exercise of his nature, and yet a blameless man. Let it suffice for me to show, that human legislators cannot, without an infringement of human rights, deny to man the healthful and harmonious exercise of all his intellectual and moral powers, since this exercise is necessary to human happiness.
It has been a favorite doctrine, that the individual substantially bargains with society upon becoming a member of it, by surrendering a portion of his natural rights for certain acquired rights or advantages, which the laws of government may confer. This doctrine has never to my knowledge been well defined ; but it is broadly asserted in most of our treatises on fundamental law.
This is the apology of tyranny for its usurpation of human rights. It admits the deprivation of rights which it causes, but points you to certain benefits conferred by the law as a remuneration for your loss.
Government here has all the advantage. What proper benefit it assumes to confer, you had right to before, So
that, in fact, the supposed legal benefit is but your natural right, and you thus retain one right as a compensation for the loss of another. But tyranny cannot be sustained without fraud as its ally; and this is one of her most subtle pretences. Let us close this door to tyranny. Let us prove that nature confers all rights; and that the only business of the law is to protect them.
How can an individual treat with Government on such terms as will ensure an equitable arrangement between them? It is the lamb bargaining with the lion, and the only question is, whether the former shall be devoured all at once or only by piece-meal.
The moment we admit the principle that one natural right must necessarily be surrendered under government as the price of protection to another, we open the door to fraud and force. Subtle tyranny will cheat us, and brutal tyranny will compel us to surrender the rights of humanity. Success will embolden the coward in his encroachments; and timid acquiescence will aggravate the demands of the bold usurper.
Let our appeal be to the natural laws. Without this foundation all human laws are alike good or bad, just or unjust, as human caprice, whim, or selfishness may declare. Let us hold on to our humanity. The social state emanates from our proper nature, and must not contradict or wrong it. There need be no war between society and the individual man; and tyranny alone declares it. There is fraud or force defeating the great law of nature in every case of a surrender of human rights under human government.
Who can rise superior to the laws of the Creator, and dictate the surrender of a single human right? A king? And why a king ? He is not the product of nature, but is a monster born of ignorance and weak submission. A parliament ? What doth a parliament properly represent but the genuine rights of humanity? These rights give birth to the parliament, and by blotting them out, it would extinguish itself forever. A surrender of human rights! Who stands up before man and Heaven to receive the dreadful sacrifice ? A man? He dare not as man attempt the rash and wicked deed. But government-government-may swallow up all rights! And what is government in its very nature, but the instrument adopted by mankind for the declaration and defence of the rights of humanity ?
This inquiry I will attempt to answer in the ensuing chapter.
THE TRUE FUNCTION OF GOVERNMENT.
GOVERNMENT emanates from the moral attributes of mankind. It is a thing of moral necessity, and its power and obligation are of a moral kind. In the social state there is aggregated a sum of moral feeling, which in some form will control the actions of individuals. There is a natural necessity for government, arising from the disparity which exists in the powers and faculties of the different individuals of the human family. If you select from among men a single individual distinguished for high intellectual gifts, strong moral emotions, and moderate animal desires, and suppose him to have cultivated all the powers of his mind to a high degree, you have a man who needs no human supervision, in order to perform toward his fellow-men all that the wisest and best government would ordain. Suppose, then, a nation to be constituted of men with the same intellectual and moral endowment and culture as himself. Such a people would be
a law unto themselves,” needing no coercion from without, but each individual would be urged by the spontaneous impulses of his own nature to do right. Society presents us with many such characters, who perform the law before it coerces, obedient only to the law of their noble natures. But kind feelings and good intentions alone will not make up such a character. All the endowments must be on a liberal scale ; and a considerable degree of intellectual and moral culture must be superadded to natural gifts.
“If men,” says Vattel,* “were always equally wise, just, and equitable, the law of nature would doubtless be sufficient for society. But ignorance, the illusions of self-love, and the violence of the passions, too often render these sacred laws ineffectual. Thus we see that all well-governed nations have perceived the necessity of positive laws. .... Thus is the law of nature converted into civil law."
The regulations of government must be adapted to men as they are found to exist—and how then do we find them ?
A large share of the members composing the social body is constituted of persons in infancy and youth-periods in human life when the passions are strongest, and the intellectual and moral forces have the least control over them. The process of moral and intellectual culture is not perfected, and the advantages of experience and reflection have not yet been attained. Here, then, are defective characters placed in the midst of society, and their restraint is necessary for the safety of its members.
Again, as we have seen, the menta, constitutions of the different adult individuals of the human race vary indefinitely. All are alike, but not equal. Uniformity of kind but inequality of powers, seems to have been the rule of Nature when she formed the character and appointed the destiny of the various members of the human family. It is easy to perceive this disparity in the physical proportions, strength, and appearance of different individuals. Their intellectual and moral powers vary no less, as is established by phrenological science. The same Divine Hand, which made “ star to differ from another star in glory,” has made one man to differ from another in the strength and activity of the various instinctive, moral, and intellectual forces of his mind. All men may rise upward from their starting-point, but he whom nature has favored most may retain his advantage 'even to the end. Why this intellectual diversity obtains among men, it is not our business to inquire. We may as well ask why one is beautiful and another ugly-one weak and another strong-one tall and another short. It is som
* Laws of Nations, p. 134_5.