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I am by no means sure that them- him, and he took refuge in Neufselves believe the very opinions chatel. There he attended the Pro. which they preach and labor to testant church, and partook of its make others adopt? Their pas sacraments, until his enemies in sions which shape their doctrines, France and Geneva found means to and their interest to make this and excite the populace against him. that opinion current, render it im- Though protected by the King of possible to discover their real senti. Prussia, who was sovereign of the ments. Can any man expect good country, he found his situation unfaith from the leaders of a party? safe in Neufchatel, and again he I acknowledge that I did not always sought refuge in Bern ; but he was remove, to my own satisfaction, all driven from that canton by force in the difficulties which embarrassed the winter of 1765. He then fled me, and with which the philosophers to Strasburg, and thence to Paris, were so often filling my ears. But where he met with the celebrated being at length resolved to come to David Hume, who conducted him a decision on subjects of which hu- safely to England. In this latter man reason is so little the master, country he composed his Confesand finding impenetrable mysteries sions, or autobiography, embracing and insolvable objections on all all the minute evenis of his life sides, I adopted on each question prior to the year 1765. He howthat opinion which appeared to me ever soon became dissatisfied with the best founded and the most wor England, and having fallen out with thy of credit, without poring over his friend Hume, he returned to objections which I could not solve, Paris in 1767, and from that time but which are rebutted by other ob- onward he received protection from jections in the opposing system no various individuals in France. Af. less strong. The result of my pain- ter several years spent in comparaful researches was pretty much what tive tranquillity, he died suddenly at I have described in the Profession Ermenonville, the country seat of de Foi du Vicaire Savoyard." the Marquis de Girardin, in the year This beautifully written creed, the 1778, aged sixty six.

1778, aged sixty six. His remains result of Rousseau's maturest delibe- were removed from Ermenonville rations, and which he seems to have in 1791, by order of the National thought the most free from objec. Assembly of France, and were detions, and of course the most wor- posited with those of Voltaire in the thy of universal acceptance, was at

Pantheon at Paris. once rejected by all parties. The The works of this fascinating wriphilosophers could not approve of ter, which have been published colit

, because it was too religious ; the lectively, in ten, in twenty seven, in friends of revelation rejected it, be. thirty three, and in thirty eight volcause it conceded too much to the

umes, according to the different edi. arguments of infidels; and devout tions, were much read during the believers in Christianity were shock- latter half of the eighteenth century; ed to find nothing in it but natural and they probably contributed more religion. Hence the book was con- than the writings of any other man demned by all parties; and the par. to spread among the higher classes liament of Paris ordered the arrest of society all over Europe that spe. of the author, that they might treat cies of adulterated Christianity which him with the utmost rigor of the overlooks the peculiar doctrines of law. But he made his escape out the Gospel, and accounts all reli. of the kingdom, wending his way gious creeds as of little importance, towards Switzerland. The Gene. and considers morality, with some vans refused to open their gates to deference for the Deity, as all that him. Bern would not long harbor is essential in religion.


What a happy world would this tion. They are free from an essen. be, if every one spoke truth with tial element of lies, an intention to his neighbor! Iniquity could have deceive. We may also state that no concealment-guilt no protec- to be true which is contrary to fact, tion-suspicion, distrust, no exist. without lying, for we may ourselves ence! But it can not be. We must be deceived by the false statements live in a lying world. Lies are the of others. first outbreaks of human depravity, Nor are all intentional deceptions and out they will flow while such lies. Every lie is an attempt to de. is the character of man. But the ceive, but every attempt 10 deceive evil may be mitigated by diffusing is not a lie. Repairing and paintthroughout the community definite ing an old house, that it may appear views of the law of veracity. Mul. to be new, is an act of deception, titudes are ignorant of what a lie is. but not a lie. If the owner has They can not tell whether all false- no intention, other than to make his hoods are lies, nor whether all lies residence more pleasant and respecare sinful. They have less distinct table, the deception is entirely harm. and correct views of the nature and less and innocent. The same may boundaries of the law of veracity be said of innumerable acts of de. than of any other part of the moral ception. Stratagems of war are not code. Whether they are bound un- lies. When a person pursued by der all circumstances to speak the an enemy flies in a direction con. truth ; and if not, when it is right trary 10 that which he intends to and when wrong to speak falsehood, take, and when out of sight changes are questions on which they have his course in order to elude pursuit, no settled convictions. We trust it he deceives his pursuer, but does not will be some service to society if lie to him. Nor is his conduct rep. we can succeed in relieving this de- rehensible. We have a

case in partment of morals from confusion point, as the lawyers say, in the Biand uncertainty. Our plan will be ble, Josh. viii, 2, where God in. to state

structed Joshua to take the city of 1. What lying is not.

Ai, not by a lie, but an ambush 2. What lying is.

which effectually deceived the in3. What the moral nature of ly. habitants. ing is.

Nor is it a correct definition to 4. Certain practical lessons. say, that a lie is an attempt to de.

I. We shall carefully distinguish ceive with a bad intention. Decepa lie from things that are often con- tions are often practiced with crimi. founded with it.

nal intentions, in violation not of the An untruth is not necessarily a ninth commandment, but of other lie. All lies are falsehoods, but all precepts of the Decalogue. Getting falsehoods are not lies. We do not a ship insured which we have se. say of a work of acknowledged fic- cret information is lost, is a crimtion, that it is a collection of lies, inal deception, a fraudulent act, although many, possibly all its state. but not a lie. It is a violation both ments, may be untrue. Such, prob- of the eighth and of the tenth com: ably, are some of the parables of mandments. To train a damaged our Savior, which were not founded or refractory horse for market with on any actual events, but invented the design of deceiving buyers, and by him for the purposes of instruc- to place goods in a shop in a posi.


tion to conceal their defects of qual- The prohibition of lying in the ity or color, and tempt customers to Decalogue is a prohibition of false buy them at an exorbitant price, are testimony against others, an act acts of the same character, decep- which can be done by the use of lantions, not lies, breaches of the eighth guage only. Attempts to injure a rather than the ninth commandment. neighbor by other modes of decep

Nor are all lies breaches of prom- tion, are not forbidden by this but ise. A breach of promise is a lie, by other precepts. The clerk who but a lie is not necessarily a breach embezzles the property of his emof promise. When a person denies ployer, is guilty of breaking the his age, or declares himself to be eighth commandment, Thou shalt not rich when he is poor, he lies, but steal, but he is not guilty of lying. breaks no promise. The supposi- He deceives his employer culpably, tion that whenever we make a de- but not by a false declaration. claration we virtually promise to In perfect keeping with the terms speak the truth, is adopted to estab- of the ninth commandment, we find lish this definition ; but the fact is, that the Bible (except where “ly. that the lie in the case of a false ing" is used figuratively) invariably declaration consists in that declara- speaks of language as if it were the tion, and not in breaking an engage- sole instrument of lying, and assigns ment to make a true declaration. other names to other modes of un

II. We shall state what a lie is. lawful deception. They “go astray

A lie is an attempt to deceive a as soon as they be born, speaking person by the use of language. lies." • Lying lips are an abomi

By language we mean words, spo- nation to the Lord.” Keep thy ken, written, or printed, and their tongue from evil, and thy lips that substitutes, as the signs used by the they speak no guile." deaf and dumb. When one is ask. away lying, speak every man truth ed the way to a certain place, if, with his neighbor." These allusions instead of speaking, he points with to language as the instrument of his finger to a particular road, he lying, might be explained by the uses the language of signs, a sub- fact that language is the main institute for words, and if he points strument, were there any intimaintentionally in a wrong direction, tions that we can lie in any other he tells a lie. Attempts to deceive way. But there are none. This is by other means than language are hardly consistent with the notion not lies. When a physician deceives that lies may be uttered and are a patient, by mingling an offensive constantly uttered by other means. medicine in his food, he is not guilty The Bible also recognizes a distincof lying.

It was not a lie in Dr. tion between dealing falsely and lySamuel Johnson to have a secret ing. Lev. xix, 11, it is said : “Ye chamber, unknown to his servant, to shall not steal, neither deal falsely, which he retired whenever he wish. neither lie one to another." Pered to avoid interruption by company. haps these several expressions are It an honorable expedient of a not used with the precision of a modconscientious man, wishing not to ern code of laws, yet neither are offend his friends by refusing to see they used with the looseness of popthem, and not to wound the moral ular discourse. sense of his servant by teaching him The Bible speaks of lying as inthe fashionable falsehood,“ my mas. variably sinful, but this is true only ter is not at home.”

of attempts to deceive by language. The following considerations are It is not wrong to conceal, by dress offered in evidence of the correct- or other means, personal deforminess of this definition.

ties which would give pain to us, Vol. I.



and to others if known, and a know- ever may be the means of effecting ledge of which can be of service to it, is the recovery of the patient. no one. A deception accomplished But yet in one case the physician in this way, without language, may keeps within the bounds of rectitude, be wrong, and is wrong when it in the other he oversteps them. The springs from a bad motive. Who- difference, we apprehend, lies in ever should conceal personal de. the fact, that deception by language formities for the sake of gaining the is a breach of veracity, which other hand of another in marriage, would deceptions are not. In one case be blameworthy in proportion to the the author of the deception falsifies wrong which he is conscious of in- his word, in the other he does not. tending to inflict on the other party. In one case he impairs confidence But the deception itself does not in himself as a man of truth, and necessarily involve a bad motive. weakens his own respect and that On the other hand, lying is invaria- of others for the law of veracity; bly spoken of in the Scriptures as in the other his patient can only be wrong. No exceptions are noticed. vexed with him-perhaps he will All lying is to be put away. Every soon be pleased. man is to speak truth with his neigh- We may see this more clearly in bor. With this description our de- the light of several other examples. finition is in entire harmony. While To resume a former illustration, it is lawful to deceive others by va- a person escaping from his enemies, rious ways and means, it will appear if he knows a place of security at in the sequel, that to deceive men the north, may direct his course to by the use of language is never the south, for the sake of covering right, and is constantly mentioned his intention, and effecting his es. with reprobation by the sacred wri- cape by deceiving his pursuers. But ters.

if on the way he meets a person There is a palpable and radical, whom he dares not trust, and tells distinction between deceiving others him he is going to another place than by language and deceiving them by that which he has in view, he resorts other means. A physician may pro- for safety to a mode of deception, perly deceive an unmanageable pa which if it is lawful, differs entirely tient by giving him a medicine cov- from a mere stratagem. ertly. But can he honestly deceive Take another example. A wohim by declaring that the cup which man in infirm health urges her huscontains the medicine does not con- band to go with her to the Springs. tain it? Suppose he is called to a He is perhaps extremely reluctant man who he knows is strongly pre- to go. His business, or his natural judiced against calomel, and who, aversion to traveling, may render the as he believes, needs that article to proposal of his wife very unwelcome subdue his disease. He may inno- to him. But still his desire to graticently administer the medicine se fy her, or sense of duty to her, may cretly in his ordinary food; it may very properly lead him to conceal even be his duty to do it; while it his own feelings, and to take the ex. would be wrong to carry on the de- cursion apparently with perfect wilception by saying that the medicine lingness and pleasure. thus prepared contains no calomel, course he promotes his own happi. or that he has no intention of giving ness without diminishing that of his him any. Every one perceives wife by manifesting his real feelthere is a difference in these modes ings. This is gentlemanly, kind of deception. In both cases the and Christian. But if instead of good of the patient is intended. merely appearing to be pleased with The motive of the deception, what- the journey, he deceives her by say.

By this ing falsely that he wishes to go on nishes a practical criterion by which his own as well as on her account, to determine whether a given act is does not every one see that the char. a lie or not. We instantly see what acter of the transaction is changed ? a lie is, in the light of this defini. By deceiving her through the readi- tion—"an attempt to deceive by the ness with which he assents to her use of language.' We can not conwishes, and the cheerfulness of his found the act with any other. We manner, he is not guilty of falsify. are not at a moment's loss in deciing his word. Could she read his ding what our duty is—unless indeed heart, she would admire and love it is sometimes right to lie, a ques. him the more, instead of losing her tion which belongs to another part confidence in him. But deceiving of this essay. Every false declaraher by a false declaration, is an act tion is a lie, unless notice of the which would impair her respect for falsehood is given at the time; or him, were it known to her; and every false declaration with an inwhich actually impairs his own re- tention to deceive is a lie. And lies spect for the truth.

may be uttered by words, spoken, As another example, suppose A. written, or printed, and by any othinsults B. The anger of B. is exci. er language, and by language only. ted, and struggles to vent itself in As to other modes of deception, they abusive epithets, or it may be in are not forbidden by the divine law, blows. He however restrains him- although they may not be resorted self; represses his feelings; hides to for unlawful ends. them in his own bosom, so that to Now if we compare this defini. all beholders he appears, as he means tion of lying with others, we shall to appear, perfectly calm and meek. find a reason for our preference in All are deceived. But is he guilty the doubt and perplexity in which of a lie? He intentionally practi- they leave the mind as to the precise ces a deception, but his conduct is bounds of obligation. “Falsehood,” commendable. For an angry per says Milton," is incurred when any son to deny that he is angry, is a one from a dishonest motive either breach of faith ; whereas, to deceive perverts the truth, or utters what is others by suppressing the passion, is false, to one to whom it is his duty a violation neither of the law of ve- to speak the truth.” This definition racity nor of any other law. recognizes language as the sole in

The distinction which is here in. strument of lying; but besides besisted on, is universally recognized ing in direct contradiction to the preby unsophisticated minds. Such acts, cept, “putting away lying, speak as picking a man's pockets, are every man truth with his neighbor," known as lies only in the definitions that is, with every other person, it of learned men. The common peo. embarrasses the mind with two difple call these things thefts or frauds, ficult inquiries, what motive to lie is not lies. Dextrously thrusting one's honest and what dishonest; and who hand into another person's pocket, has a right, and who has not, to know without his discovering it, is an act the truth. Thus too, if we adopt of deception. But what if it is done the common definition, lie is an merely in sport? Then it is simply attempt to deceive,” we are at once a piece of impertinence. What if embarrassed by the manifest lawit is done to steal ? Then it is a fulness of many deceptions. We breach of the law, “ Thou shalt not find that we have not even a genesteal.” So it is spoken of and treat- ral rule of duty on the subject. The ed by common men. They never definition most frequently found in think of calling it a lie.

the dictionaries—“a lie is a criminal No definition besides ours, fur. falsehood"-approximates closely to


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