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The elements of their organization are tending rapidly to dissolution, “New views," whether they make us glad or heavy of heart, are not confined to the Unitarian body. They have leapt over or crept under the iron fence of Presbyterianism; they have intruded into the dignified presence of Episcopacy; Methodism has been startled by the apparition at her love-feasts of the hated and prolific mother of all heresies, independence; even good old Quakerism, which once knew no communication but yea and nay, and cut all her garments so reverently according to one system of clothes-philosophy,” has been horrified by the rising up, within her peaceful inclosure, of a generation who disregard her ancient authority to such an alarming extent, as to use the profane yes and no, and to wear coats and bonnets corresponding with their new views. Everywhere the old ecclesiastical regime is hastening to an end. Every house is divided against itself

. There is in each a new school and an old school. But this state of division is not, we apprehend, a final result. It is the order of transition. As it goes forward, (and forward it must go,) new combinations will commence on à new basis of union. The sects will be recast. Relgionists will associate according to their present prevailing affinities. Old names will pass away with many old things, and a new era will be introduced.

If we are at all right in these opinions, would it not be manifestly unwise to engage in any large undertaking, like the one under consideration, requiring much capital and great efforts, founded on the supposition that things are to remain just as they are? Would it not be establishing an institution designed to be permanent on a rolling and unstable foundation ? For our own part, we think it better to wait for further developments ; to observe the movements of the liberal in other sects; and when we see an opportunity for general coöperation in establishing schools, whether of literature or theology, to act then with an efficiency becoming disciples of the Christian faith. We are by no means certain, (may Dr. Beecher pardon the suggestion !) that a theological school already in existence, and justly distinguished by the learning and piety of its professors, although now under the ban of Presbyterian censure for its alleged liberality of views, may not be entitled to the patronage of the Unitarians of the West, and afford to young men of liberal sentiments as good an opportunity as they can reasonably expect for the study of theological science. Our conviction is

still more decided that a union for the general purposes of education, intellectual, moral, and religious, with sects professing liberal views, particularly with the Campbellites or Christians, will soon be entirely practicable; and if consummated, of the highest advantage to all concerned.

In the mean time, to answer more distinctly the question, What ought we to do? let us continue to send out preachers, as they may be willing to go, to strengthen the churches already gathered, to speak the truth in love where there are ears to hear, and to awaken the spiritually dead into the life of Christ. And let them be sent not merely as heralds of truth, to proclaim, in words that burn, the unsearchable riches of Christ, but as watchmen, with keen penetration to observe the significant changes that are advancing in that interesting quarter of the religious firmament, and to report them to their brethren here. Let them be, at the same time, counsellors to our distant friends who are anxiously inquiring what can be done to reduce to order and crown with light the social and religious elements, that are now in a state of confusion and darkness.

They will find there enough to do; scope for all their faculties of activity and usefulness. And they will do much good, amply compensating their personal sacrifices and the cost at which they may be sent. But let them be men of power

power to combat error, to persuade, to convince, to please, and possessed of a spiritual energy that cannot be subdued by difficulty or opposition. Such men are wanted. Such men will be heard. In some places they will be received gladly. In all places they will be treated respectfully. For all men honor and admire manifestations of intellectual force, and stand in awe of a spirit that is moved with sympathy for humanity under its moral woes, and which exhibits in daily action the purity and excellence of Christian goodness. Let us do this ; and let us send out tracts ; let us write letters; let us be earnest in prayer, till the time to favor Zion is come, and she puts on her beautiful garments.

J. W. T.

Art. III.—Manual of Political Ethics, designed chiefly for

the Use of Colleges and Students at Law. Part I. Book I. Ethics, General and Political. Book II. The State. By Francis LIEBER. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown. 1838. 8vo. pp. 443.

A PUBLICATION on the subject indicated by this title is now happily timed. Important questions on the fundamental points in morals and politics are frequently discussed at the present day in our community with a warmth and earnestness, which show rather the deep interest the disputants feel in the argument, than their competency to decide the mooted problems asight. The contest is not only of opposite theories, the results are not merely speculative. Conclusions are carried into practice with ominous precipitancy, and sometimes it is well, if the decision do not wholly take precedence of the argument, and the debate be instituted only to afford a coloring to preconceived opinions. What are the bounds of the rights of individuals? How far are they limited and controlled by the establishment of society? What creates the duty of allegiance to human government, and when does this duty cease? How far are legal enactments binding, and when does resistance to constituted authority become a virtue? What positive duties are created by the mere fact of an individual's birth on one or the other side of a rivulet or chain of mountains, under this or that government ?

These are grave questions; and it is somewhat late in the day to discuss them now with any particular reference o conduct. One would suppose, that they were answered long since, practically, at least ; for the daily actions of every citizen presuppose a tacit determination of them in his own mind. But the times are changed, and we are changed with them. Novel positions of society beget new relations between individuals, and from these spring new rights and their corresponding obligations. New systems of morals and politics must be contrived, it seems, for each new phasis of government and civilization. We have done with discussing the divine right of kings, and, like good republicans, have now for a long time been determining the divine rights of the people. Nay, from recent events, it would appear that we have passed this point also, and are now to consider the rights of the individual, as opposed to the claims of kings, governments, majorities, and all constituted authorities whatsoever. The great problem to be solved at present is, how to preserve the blessings of civil institutions with the smallest possible infringement of each man's natural right; - how to keep up society and yet impose no restraint on the free action of any of its members. The spirit of the present age is strongly marked by an impatience of all authority, however long seated and tamely acknowledged by former generations. As the subject-matter of all discussions in political ethics is thus changed, the old systems have become obsolete, and if any of the conclusions embraced in them are to be retained, they must be supported on wholly different grounds, and thus be assimilated to the other provisions of a renovated code.

The republican tendencies of the age have already been displayed in action; they have dethroned kings, emancipated colonies, and proclaimed deliverance to the captive and the slave. They are now to be seen in speculation. Theory is to be carried forward to the same point with practice, and perhaps advanced beyond it, since thought is naturally more free than action. Political science has thus gained a new point of departure, and must rest in future, not on the principles of absolutism and prescription, but on the philosophy of democracy, or the inalienable rights of individual men. The necessity of giving this turn to speculation proceeds from the impulse belonging to human nature, which impels one to seek in every institution for the idea of legitimacy, - to sound every claim and action on some principle of natural right. It is not sufficient to enjoy a privilege ; we must prove the rightfulness of the enjoyment, — the legitimacy of the privilege. From this cause, the movement, which has released us from the old political systems, now tends to the establishment of an excessive and licentious freedom. To justify the revolt against ancient institutions, principles have been advanced and a mode of argument adopted, which, as they are carried out by many reasoners, lead to conclusions remote and extravagant beyond all conception. “The right of the peopleis a convenient abstraction; yet, in the apprehension of many, it means nothing, if it be not founded on the right of the individual. But, if each member arrogated to himself all the power, that is exercised by society in the aggregate, total anarchy would ensue. The theory, that government is founded on popular consent, in the 30 s. VOL. VIII. NO. J.



literal meaning of the phrase, is a mere fiction. The consent of more than half of the community is never asked under any circumstances, and under the most liberal form that ever existed, it would be difficult to prove, that, at any period subsequent to its first establishment, it is in the power of any person to withhold his approval, if he sees fit. Besides, he cannot give more than he possesses; and if the founders of the state could, by their personal authority, bestow upon it such extensive rights over themselves, then their successors, having equal endowments from nature, but disposed to make a different use of them, may withhold the gift from the government and exercise it in their own persons. This is a strange conclusion, but we cannot perceive that the argument of many ultra defenders of individual rights leads to any other result.

The state, as it appears to us in an organized form, is an artificial thing, — an arbitrary creation ; yet it claims and exercises the highest prerogatives. It regulates the descent and distribution of property, and, under the name of taxation, even appropriates a portion of the subjects' wealth to itself. It is the arbiter of life as well as fortune, exposing those who live under its dominion to the chances of war, and inflicting death as a punishment for whatever crimes it chooses thus to distinguish. It even dictates to the consciences of those under its control, assuming the power to change the moral character of acts, and to make criminal certain proceedings, which, in a purely ethical point of view, are indifferent. Thus, smuggling is made an offence in morals, unless we adopt the strange conclusion, that a man has a moral right to disobey the law of the land, if willing to suffer the legal penalty when detected.

These are all grave prerogatives, and the inquiry into their origin is at once curious and difficult. Every theory, which founds the power of government on a compact, either express or implied, or in any way recognises the consent of the governed as the sole basis of civil authority, necessarily implies, that the subject originally possessed these rights in his own person, and, unless he voluntarily renounces his birthright, he is independent of the law, and may rightfully refuse obedience.

We need, therefore, a more solid foundation for the authority of the state, than a mere bargain between it and its subjects. If civil subordination means anything more than apathetic submission to force, or blind reverence for ancient custom, it must be shown, that government rests on the eternal laws of justice

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