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Despotism is the same. Both exercise a despotic authority over the better class of citizens ; decrees are in the first, what ordinances and arrests are in the last! Though placed in different ages or countries, the court favourite and democrat are in reality the same characters, or at least they always bear a close analogy to each other; they have the principal authority in their respective forms of government; favourites with the absolute monarch, demagogues with the sovereign multitude.”*
In addition to the above, it were well, to remember the equally true maxim of that profound master of human nature-Pascal, that “The secret for overturning a state, is to shake to their foundations established customs.”+ Yes, who that knows any thing of the constitution of our common humanity is ignorant, that the surest step to kindle the fire-brands of revolution, is, to poison public morals? Then the moral volcano, as the more knowing democrats from the experience of the past are assured, containing elements. the most deadly to the human race, bursts forth with destructive havoc, overwhelms in the common ruin, every barrier and ligature of the social system, and adds to the general conflagration, the worst passions of infatuated men. Such is the legislative process that is now being enacted. Apathy, ingratitude, cruelty, and perfidy, are the least criminal traits, that stamp the public councils of the nation; and which in the common course of things, must waft their deleterious and contaminating influences, to the
* Aristot. de Polit. lib. iv. cap. iv. + Pensées de Pascal, Art. vi.—“ L'art de bouleverser les Etats, est d'ébranler les coutumes établies.”
minutest ramifications of Society. We know from sad experience, the impossibility of communicating, at our own will, the soundness of unimpaired health to the diseased ; and still more certain are we, of even but one individual, infected with the plague, transfusing its pernicious virulence through the breadth and length of the land; and just so is the danger of the spread of a moral plague—the more inevitable, as the cause is glaringly conspicuous, and liable to be imitated. The vices of cabinets, are blazoned forth on the highest summits ; whilst at the same time they enforce the seductive and persuasive sanctions of rank and power; and therefore the consequences to the well-being of moral and political order, cannot but be, to every friend of truth and every lover of patriotism, at the present eventful crisis, truly and alarmingly appalling. Before we conclude the subject of the present strictures, it may be well, to bring forward a few examples of the policy of the ancients, in regard to their views of neutrality. The doctrines of those distant ages are much to our purpose, for they cannot be supposed to be influenced by the undue bias of faction or partisanship. Their testimony being neither local, nor temporary, gives the strongest sanction to any conclusion, which is legitimately drawn from the facts recorded in their histories. Of this opinion was Grotius—the celebrated lawyer and statesman, the acute metaphysician and divine, and “from whom,” as one of our greatest writers * has said, “ perhaps every man of learning has learnt something." Grotius in the Preface to his treatise, Concerning the Rights of War and Peace-a work which formed a new era in the science of Jurisprudence, throughout all the Schools of Europe-observes, “Histories have a double use as to the matter in hand; for they supply us with examples and judgments in most cases. As for examples, the better the times and the people were, the greater was their authority; for which reason we make choice of the ancient Grecians and Romans, rather than of others : Neither do I despise their judgments, especially when they agree : For the Law of Nature is in some measure from hence proved; but the Law of Nations cannot be proved in any other manner."* We may
* Boswell's Life of Dr. Johnson, ætat. 68. The Doctor's advice about this famous philosopher, is well known. “I would recommend, says he, to every man whose faith is yet unsettled, Grotius, Dr. Pearson, and Dr. Clarke.”
* Grotius, “De Jure Belli et Pacis,” Præf. xvii.-Grotius throughout his work, distinguishes between the Law of Nature, and the Law of Nations. Such a distinction among the writers on Jurisprudence is not general. A Law of Nature is a just inference from the true principles of Nature. A Law of Nations is a just inference from the common consent of all Nations. The difference, according to Grotius, consists in the Law of Nations depending on the freedom of the will of the several states; whereas the Law of Nature is independent of the will of man, and is as immutable as its author---the Creator of worlds. (Ibiil. lib. i. chap. i. Compare the admirable remarks of Hooker, Eccles. Pol. Book i. sec. 8. Justin. Institut. lib. i. tit. ii. sec. xi. Noodt. Probabil. Juris. lib. ii. cap. xi.). Hooker manifestly makes a peculiar distinction between the two Laws. This appears from two circumstances. First, he distinguishes each of the three leading laws of man,
that is, of man as man, of men living in the same public Society, and of the national laws between Societies themselves,—in a twofold point of view,-Primary and Secondary. The Primary, he says, are grounded upon incorrupt, the Secondary upon corrupt Nature. The Secondary laws, therefore, which enter into the Law of Nations, however deducible they may be from right reason, cannot surely be said to be identical with the very first principles of incorrupt Nature; and the Law of Nations, therefore, in this respect, according to Hooker, differs from the Law of Nature; as the latter too, must be supposed by this distinction, to have its peculiar characteristics, emanating from the depravity of Nature. Secondly, Hooker asserts that in the constitution of the above three leading laws, as well also as in those of God upon any or every of these, there are in all these four both Natural and
well observe, that if ever the authority of the ancient heathen, was so regarded, as to be conclusive, in respect to. questions of civil polity ; such authority is of signal use in our present times, as well for precedents, as for a satire on our state of public morals, which is
Positive laws; that the Natural laws always bind ; that the Positive do not until they are expressly promulgated. He instances the Law of Heraldry, in respect to the Law of Nations, as being Positive. Perhaps those Positive Laws, as regard man, flow from the Secondary laws above mentioned. It would therefore seem, according to Hooker, that as the Law of Nations, together with the other three laws, contain in a part of their constitution matter, purely conventional, and depending therefore upon the mere free will of man, they must in many of their features be totally different. (Eccles. Pol. Book i. sec. 9. 15.). Sir Walter Raleigh, in his very learned Discourse of Laws, agrees in some measure with Hooker and Grotius, in distinguishing the Law of Nature from the Law of Nations, thus, “ The Law of Nations, according to divers acceptations, and divers considerations of the Human Law, may be sometime taken for a Species of the Natural, sometime of the Human.” (History of the World, Part i. Book ii. chap. iv. sec. 15.). Grotius therefore is incorrect when he asserts, in his Preface,' that he alone of all writers made the distinction. Montesquieu draws a complete line of difference between the two Laws. He treats of the Laws of Nations under the head of “ Positive Laws,"_which have their rise only when men enter into a state of Society, -in contradistinction from those of Nature; and he makes those of Nations to derend on five principles, some of which he himself had previously alleged, in opposition to Hobbes, were not the first suggestions of Nature, but the consequence of Society, and there. fore fundamentally different from the Laws of Nature. (De l’Esprit des Loix, liv. i. chap iii.; ii.). In apparent opposition, however, to all these, we find that Cicero completely identifies the Law of Nature with the Law of Nations. (De Offic. lib. iii. cap. v. “Naturâ, id est, Jure Gentium.”). Puffendorf also asserts that the Law of Nations prescribes no obligatory Law apart from the Law of Nature. (De Jure Naturæ et Gentium, lib. ii. chap. iii. sec. 23, with Barbeyrac's notes.). Hobbes says likewise that “the Law of Nature is divided into the Natural Law of Man and the Natural Law of States : and the latter is the Law of Nations.” (De Cive, cap. xiv. sec. 4.). Thus Hobbes makes both Laws perfectly identical in fact, but different only in name. Burlamaqui is of the same opinion. (Elemens du Droit Natural, chap v.). Among all these different opinions, those of Hooker, Raleigh, Grotius, and Montesquieu, appear, with some limitation, to be most accordant with the circumstances of Man and Society, constituted as they now are. For why cannot the adventitious circumstances of man in a state of Society, be included in the Law of Nature? The Law of Nations may assuredly be universal and obligatory, if the inferences that are justly deduced from external
of an infinitely lower tone, and more blackened by the stain of turpitude, than perhaps ever was the lot of any age of enlightened paganism. The maxims of the ancient writers, even if no higher standard were at hand, would indeed be sufficient to draw the blush of shame over the countenances of our Christian legislators, who avowedly are daily cancelling all the ties of the most sacred obligations, and inculcating principles, at once subversive of the common rights and security either of Governors or the Governed.* In this we have a faithful exemplification of the
circumstances, be superadded to the acknowledged principles of nature: they do not contradict, nay, they rather confirm one another, by the union of Natural truth, with the rational usages of human societies.
* We feel it our duty to advert to a Prelatical instance of this in the House of Lords, on the debate of the Jews' Civil Disabilities' Bill, 1 August. Archbishop Whateley is reported to have said, “ Civil Allegiance does not depend upon religious tenets." We pronounce, if His Grace said so, that a more atrocious burst of political, nay unprincipled licentiousness, has not escaped the lips of any Prelate of our Church, since the days of the Socinian, half-infidel Hoadly. We ask does His Grace not believe the Homilies, the Prayer Book, and in short the express and repeated warrant of divine Revelation? If he do believe them, let him hang his head and blush. If he do not, it is but expedient that he make way for those that do. It is excessively, nay it is painfully expedient, that the religious feelings of Christian and loyal subjects, should not be so shamefully outraged. It is expedient that the Episcopal incense of solemn mockery do not ascend to the Sanctuary of Heaven, with the prayers of those true believers, who pray for their King, because they have the sanction of God's command for doing so; and who, to death itself, would obey their Sovereign, because, by the lips of this very Prelate, and others like him, they are warned whenever they approach our Altars, that they should “duly consider, whose authority their King hath” (Liturgy), and should “ Honour the King,” not otherwise than they would “ Fear God” (Liturgy, Epistle for Third Sunday after Easter.). We trust that such disgusting specimens. of prodigious sycophancy-such manifestations of political drudgism such lavish proclamations of vile Jacobinism, will meet the fate they so richly deserve, before that their suborned venders suffer, and even themselves let loose, every wild beast to dash against the head of our revered Monarch, and tear in sunder every sacred and hallowed bond of loyalty, rank, and order.