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-ments in common also; so that all difference between them would vanish; and, therefore, they would not be two diftinct lines, but must be one and the fame. Just so, say we, two Beings cannot be unoriginated, and have neceflity as the common mode of their existence; for in that case they must have their whole natures, and all the circumstances which necessarily attend their existence, in common also; and therefore they would not be distinct Beings, but one and the same Being*.
• Thus we find it impossible even to form an idea of a second unoriginated Being, or to make it in any respect different from the idea we muft necessarily have of the first; to which we cannot add any thing, neither can we diminish aught from it. Hence it follows that all Beings in the universe, except one, are derived Beings, and must owe their existence, in some manner or other, to one underived Being; who is, therefore, the ultimate and original fountain of existence, and the first cause of all things.'
We are perfuaded, that if the author had excluded from the above demonftration, the equivocal word fame, which sometimes means individually one, as it generally does in the expression of one and the same thing ; at others, alike, exactly, precisely, or perfectly alike; and had adopted this latter term, with any one of these three emphatical adjuncts, he would not have come to his present conclufion without more hesitation, if he had done it at all. The use of the word same, as it occurs more than once in this argument, amounts to little less than a supposition of what ought to be proved : when, in short, it is here taken in any other sense than alike, it clearly begs the question, and so far weakens the argument. The two Beings supposed are perfectly alike; but that it must necessarily follow that they are individually one and the same is, we believe, more than can logically be inferred. If so, we fear the author's reasoning on this important article, its main force depending on the point we have objected to, is less conclusive than he apprehends.
With respect to the dean's demonstrations of his other propofitions, we recommend them to our learned readers, as well worth their consideration, and as calculated, upon the whole, to give satisfaction to candid and liberal minds. His close
• * If it should be faid, that as thefe are intelligent Beings they may Atill be supposed to have distinct consciousnesses and wills, and therefore may þe distinct substances : I answer, this is only repeating the first fuppofitiun; viz. that these are two distinct substances, and, therefore, have distinct wills; and I say, that unless it can be shewn that the second supposed Being may possibly be a different and distinct substance from the firit, we have no right to suppose it may have a consciousness or a will, distinct from that of the first.'
and concise manner cannot be too much imitated by metaphy, fical writers; we mean such as fhall pursue the synthetic me. thod of reasoning, the analytic naturally demanding more compass.
A Differtation on the Poor Laws. By a Well-wisher to Mankind,
Small Svo. Is. 6d. Dilly. MUCH
UCH has been written within these few years on the tena
dency of the poor laws in this country, and it seems to be generally admitted, that instead of answering the charitable parpose of their institution, they are a source of great public evil, oppressive to the industrious part of the nation, and pernicious to the morals of the indigent. It appears to be a fact clearly established, that since the Reformation, about which time they were first enacted in England, the number of poor has increased in an amazing proportion. An effect fo repugnánt to the consequences which might naturally be expected from the advancement of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, affords ftrong reason to fufpect that the misfortune, far from being diminished, is really aggravated by some unforefeen operation of the laws which were intended to restrain it. Conformably to such an opinion, the author of the Differtation before us obferves, that wherever most money has been expended for the support of the poor, there objects of diftress are most frequent; while in other districts, where the least provision has been made for them, they are found to be far less numerous.
In respect to some of the inconveniencies arising from the present state of the poor-laws, the author of the Differtation makes the following remarks, which we know to be well founded,
• In every parish, as the law now ftands, they who have legal settlements, have the monopoly of labour, because the Jabouring poor are confined to their respective parishes. This provision is perfectly confiftent with the whole system of our poor laws, and was designed not only to prevent the evils which naturally arise from vagrancy, and which might be equally prevented by more wholesome laws; but to protect each pariih from intruders, who might become chargeable either for themselves or for their children. This provision is productive of confiderable evils, which the legislature has never yet been able to remove : for not only have the industrious poor been restrained from seeking employment where they would otherwise have been received with joy, and confined to their own parites, in which they were regarded with an evil eye; but
for want of competition the price of labour to the manufacturer has been much enhanced. With a certificate, indeed, the poor are permitted to reside in any parish where work is to be had, but then a certificate is not easily obtained. Now it is evident that by raising the price of labour you must directly check the progress of the manufactures ; and by experience it is found, that the same effect arises indirectly to a more confiderable extent; for in proportion as you advance the wages of the poor, you diminish the quantity of their work. manufacturers complain of this, and universally agree, that the poor are feldom diligent, except when labour is cheap, and corn is dear.'
Our author farther remarks, that the poor laws, to a certain degree, discourage improvements in agriculture : for that, when the poor's rate amounts to ten shillings, or even to four fhillings in the pound, no gentleman, with the view of profit, will be at the expence of clearing, fencing, breaking up, manuring, and cropping the waste and barren parts of an estate.
After displaying the pernicious effects of the poor laws in a variety of circumstances, the author takes a view of the dif. ferent means which have been employed by the legislature for remedying those evils. He observes that the expedient most often tried, has been to compel both the pauper and his family to wear the Roman P in scarlet cloth upon their should. ers; but this, he thinks, was sacrificing the interests of the modeft and ingenuous to those who were lost to shame. 'The next most common refuge has been to parochial and provincial workhouses, where it was imagined that the poor would do more work, and be fed much cheaper, than when dispersed in their several cottages. Experience, however, he observes, has never confirmed this expectation; and the contrivance has proved worse than abortive.
· The terror of being fent to a workhouse, says he, acts like an abolition of the poor's tax on all who dread the loss of liberty. It is in effect a virtual repeal, as far as it extends, of those laws, which should long since have given place to better regulations. But unfortunately the most worthy objects fuffer most by this repeal, and the advantage to the public is little more than negative. The quiet and the cleanly dread the noise and nastiness, even more than the confinement of a workhouse. They pant for the pure and wholesome air, which shey can never hope to breathe where numbers are confined within narrow limits, and figh for that serenity and peace, which they must despair to find where the moft profiigate of the human species are met together. By the fear of being sentenced to such fociety, many, who deserve a better fate,
ftruggle with poverty till they fink under the burthen of their misery. Againft county workhouses, improperly called houses of industry, the objections are much stronger. The buildings, the furniture, the falaries, the waite, and the impofition, every thing is upon a large and expensive scale, without its being poffible to preserve, for any length of time, a system of economy. At first, indeed, there might be great exertion ; but the novelty being over, few gentlemen would be found public spirited enough to continue their attendance and attention to a business in which, as individuals, they would be so little interested, and for which they must give up more important or more pleasant engagements and pursuits.'
Another expedient pat in practice is that of farming the poor, which the author condemns with the epithet of being the most abominable that ever was invented.
" In some parishes, says he, they are farmed at fo much an head, but in others the contract is for a given fum. In one parish in Gloucestershire a contracter has agreed to take all the expence of the poor upon himself for a very moderate confideration. Taking the present numbers in confinement, he has only two shillings a week for each ; yet out of this he is to be at the charge of all litigations and removals, and to relieve all others who are not proper objects for a workhouse, and after all, to make a profit for himself.
All these expedients have the same tendency. They are adopted with a professed intention to lower the poor rates ; and it is confeffed, that many are thereby deterred from mak. ing application for relief, who would otherwise be a burthen to the public. But then is not this a partial, impolitic, oppreslive repeal of a bad law, without reducing the tax: for it continues to increase, and without making a better provision for those among the poor who are most worthy of attention ?'
The author afterwards enquires into the provision made for the poor by other nations ; observing particularly, that in Holland, where their chief dependence is on voluntary contribution, there is more industry, and fewer criminals, than in any other country in Europe of the same extent.
In the last part of the Differtation, the author proceeds to deliver his sentiments concerning the properest means of remedying the evil arising from the defect of the poor laws; and he begins with establishing the principles on which a plan of this kind ought to be conducted. He obferves, in the firft place, that it ought to encourage induftry, economy, and subordination ; and, in the second place, regulate population by the demand for labour. To promote induttry and economy,
he thinks it necessary that the relief which is given to the poor Mould be limited and precarious ; and he accedes to the opinion, that if even the whole fyftem of compulsive charity were abolished, it would be better for the state. Friendly societies, likewise, under good regulations, and established by law, he considers as a resource which would be productive of great advantage to the community. The remainder of the plan which he proposes is contained in the following extract.
• As long as it should be found expedient to retain a given proportion of the present poor tax, the disposal of this should be wholly at the discretion of the minister, churchwardens, and overseers, or the majority of them, subject only to the orders of a veftry. By this provision the subordination of the poor would be more effe&tually secured, and the civil ma. gistrate would be at liberty to bend his whole attention to the preservation of the peace, and to the good governmentof the people.
• This plan would be aided and assisted much by laying a sufficient tax upon the ale-houses to reduce their number, there being the principal nurseries for drunkenness, idleness, and vice.
Should things be left thus to flow in their proper channels, the consequence would be, that, as far as it is possible according to the present constitution of the world, our popu. lation would be no longer unnatural and forced, but would regulate itself by the demand for labour.
There remains one thing more for the legislature to do, which is to increase the quantity of food. This may be done with ease, by laying a tax upon all horses used in husbandry, gradually increasing this tax till the farmers have returned to the use of oxen. This change would enable England not only to maintain her present population, but greatly to increase it. The land which now supports one horse, in proper working order, would bear two oxen for draft and for the shambles, if not also one cow for the pail; or any two of these, with a man, his wife, and his three children. If we consider the number of horses at present used for husbandry in this island, should only half that number give place to oxen, it would not be easy to calculate, or even to conceive, all the benefits and advantages which the public would derive from this vait increase of food. In many parishes where they have no manufactures, but the cultivation of the soil, the horses consume the produce of more land than the inhabitants themselves tequire. Suppose a parish to consist of four thousand acres of arable and pasture land ; let'this be cultivated by one hundred