« PreviousContinue »
ciety now exists in England, at a creased much more rapidly at that time when too limited a quantity of period than it has ever done. Our the necessaries of life is raised for present difficulties, then, cannot be the population, the producers of a relieved by a reduction of our popugreat number of absolutely useless, lation. In our own times the same unnecessary, and even inelegant ar- principles produce the same effects, ticles, do not obtain for their labour both in this and in every other sufficient to command the means of try. They manifest themselves alike subsistence; and, not only are great in old and thickly populated states, numbers of the people uselessly em- and in new countries which spread ployed—still greater numbers are not the bountiful lap of Nature for inemployed at all
. If little be obtained creasing millions. They drive the for useless labour, still less is obtained agriculturists and manufacturers of for the unproductive idleness in which European nations from their homes, an immense multitude are compelled and they pursue them with unrelentto exist.
ing rigour to the uttermost bounds of “ The production of articles of the earth. real necessity and comfort being by “ The last message of the Presithese and various other counteracting dent of the United States proves, principles, confined within the bounds that exactly similar inconveniences of adequate consumption, poverty arise from the same causes in Amemust, necessarily, while the counter- rica, as those which are so severely acting principles operate, continue to felt in England. He describes the prevail, and even to be increased. Union as being in a most flourishing
“ It is impossible to escape from condition ; and yet he acknowledges, this conclusion. Some political eco- evidently with mingled feelings of nomists of the present day are pa- regret and surprise, that some of the tiently waiting till things find their interests of the nation, that is, a large level, till distress shall have checked, portion of the people, are suffering and even diminished population ; in severe distress. Were it not that the which event they fondly hope that happiness, and the very existence, of plenty will easily be found for the a great portion of mankind are infortunate survivors of the process of volved in the question, it would be public starvation. But, even in this amusing to see Mr. Munro's perexpectation, gloomy and uncomfort- plexity, and the earnestness with able as it is, they flatter themselves which he struggles, if pos:sible, to with a fallacy. Even if a violent revo- account for this (to him) anaccountlution should notlong previously rouse able anomaly! He sees around him them from their dream, they would all those powers of production, and find that the same true causes of po- signs of wealth, which have hitherto verty and wretchedness would ac- been deemed infallible indications of company them back in their retro- the prosperity and happiness of nagression, to an indefinite period. For, tions; and yet he beholds, with the same principles which produce amazement, a multitude at his feet, poverty in England now, produced daily increasing in number, and conpoverty in the same country in every tinually sinking deeper in wretchedperiod of its history. The complaints ness and degradation. After striving of the people, and of political writers, in vain to unravel the mystery, and prove that difficulty and distress ex- to assign the calamities of a part of isted in every generation. There is the nation to various causes, none of still more conclusive evidence of this which are satisfactory to himself, he in the fact, that, if the whole people at length piously attributes them to had been at any period in a situation the chastisements of the Almighty of comfort, population must have in- In this he is right : they are indeed
the chastisements of God-the ne- crated cemeteries of the church,where, cessary chastisements and conse- plebeians sleep, and therefore they quences of ill-directed energy and erect proud temples in their private blind improvidence."
domains, where their fathers may rot in state, unapproached by the vulgar.
If they were illustrious inventors of Pride of the Tombstone. arts, and benefactors to mankind, the [The Work from which the following article is distinction might be a just complilated to a very narrow extent, about five and ment to their memory, and a useful twenty years ago. The copy we have been fa- incentive to emulation. But the voured with is without a title; but well-informed
perpersons assign for its author a gentleman of very sons thus magnificently interred are singular private worth, and of ennobled family. Be this as it may, the style in which the sentiments usually the most insignificant of the of the writer is conveyed, so abounds in manly human
very nanies nervousness, and sneh are the subjects treated on would not be known a year after their pear appropriate to the design of The Herald of decease, if they were not deeply enPeace.)
graven on the marble. Death is the great teacher and cen- Many an alderman, notorious for sor of human vanity; but even death the meanest avarice, as little distin-. cannot repress pride, or the insolence guished for beneficence as abilities, is of riches, endeavouring to make decorated with the most sumptuous wealth and grandeur triumph over memorials which the stone-cutter can the law of nature, and outshine others raise for money ; while Milton, the even from the coffin and the grave. If glory of the nation, a man elevated we look into the churches and church- above the rank of common humanity, yards, we see the most insignificant had no monumental marble. But ali of mankind honoured with the most that the herald's office can effect, all magnificent monuments of marble, that can be done by painting, gilding, the proudest trophies, sculptured and marble, cannot ennoble the greaturns, a flattering inscription, and a est favourite of a court, the most gilded lie. The walls of the sanc- successful adventurer in the East Intuary are hung with banners, escut- dies, or the most opulent contractor cheons, helmets, and spurs, which and money-lender, like a Paradise display the emptiness of that preä Lost. The nabobs find their influence eminence which they are intended to cannot secure the esteem of a few emblazon. The poor body, which contemporaries, though it may comall this paint and finery attends, lies mand their votes, much less of whole mouldering in the vault; and give it nations, and of late posterity. Money, but a tongue to speak, would exclaim the only god which worldsings worat the gaudy sight," Vanity of vani- ship, loses its omnipotence after the ties ! Mock not my humiliated con- death of its possessor; and even the dition with the contemptible pagean- inheritor often despises the man who try that misguided my feet from the acquired it. The undertaker, the path of reason and happiness, during escutcheon painter, and the sculptor, my mortal existence." The only are however employed to keep up
the means of being honourably distin- false pageantry of insignificant opuguished, is to promote most effectually lence; and a hearse, covered over the general happiness of human na- with coats of arms, is used for the ture, and to seek private good in purpose of impressing, the vulgar, public beneficence.
with a veneration for rank and riches, The spirit of pride is remarkably while, in the minds of men of sense, visible in the mausoleum. There are it excites ridicule, and converts a fufamilies who seem to think that their neral into a farce. precious bones would be contaminat- Heraldry itself, though a childish ed, even if deposited in the conse- vanity, becomes not only ridiculous,
but mischievous. It makes a distinc- fording a constant farce, an inextion, on which men plume themselves, haustible fund of merriment, did they without merit and without services. not lead to the malevolent passions, Satisfied with such a distinction, they which, in their effects, forge chains will be less inclined to acquire me for men born free, plunder the poor, rit and to render services. They of their property, and shed the blood can inherit a coat of arms; or they of innocence! can buy one; or, which is more compendious still, they can borrow or invent one. It is enough that they; From Mr. Clarkson's Portraiture of are separated from the canaille. The
Quakerism. coach, the hall, the church, is crowded with their achievements; there is no
(Concluded from p. 40.) occasion for arduous exertion. They When we first commenced our are now raised above the vulgar. The quotations from the above work of work is done. Their name is up; Mr. Clarkson, in September 1820, they may slumber in the
of we observed that the seventh section useless insignificance, or move in the had for the most part been inserted restlessness of mischievous activity. in Vol. I. of The Herald, p. 253, to The coat of arms is at once a shield which we begged to refer our readfor folly, and a banner in the triumph ers. The chief object of that section of pride.
is to show the practical tendency of But both pride and folly might be pacific principles; and this is illuspermitted to enjoy their baubles un- trated by a reference to the different molested, if they did not lead to cru- results which attended the early setelty. But pride and folly are the tlement of America by those who. causes of War; therefore I hate them landed on its shores with all the imfrom my soul. They glory in destruc- plements of warfare, and the Society tion; and among the most frequent of Friends, who, unarmed and de ornaments, even of our churches, (the fenceless, took up their abode amidst very houses of peace,) are hung up the barbarous tribes of Indians in on high trophies of war.
Dead men those wilds afterwards called Penn(themselves subdued by the universal sylvania. conqueror) are represented, by their surviving friends, as rejoicing, even in their graves, in the implements of Having now said all that I intende manslaughter. Helmets, swords, and ed to say on the supposed necessity blood-stained flags, hang over the of Wars, I shall for a short time digrave, together with the escutcheons' rect the attention of the reader to. and marble monuments, emblemati- two points, the only two that I purcal of human ferocity; of those ac- pose to notice on this subject. tions and passions which Christianity It is usually said, first, that the. repudiates ; for as well might oil and different powers who go to war, give vinegar coalesce, as War and Chris- it out that their wars are defensive, tianity.
or that they justify themselves on this Spirit of Pride!' I would laugh at principle. all thy extravagancies, thy solemn I' shall observe, in reply to this, mummery, thy baby baubles, thy airs that it is frequently difficult to deterof insolence, thy finery and frippery, mine where actual aggression begins: thy impotent insults over virtue, ge- even old aggressions
of long standing nius, and all personal merit, thy have their bearings in these disputes. strutting, self-pleasing mien and lan- Nor shall we find often any clue to guage! I would consider them all the solution of the difficulty in the with the eye of a Democritus, as af- manifestos of either party; for each
makes his own case good in these ; fore they allow the sword to be and if we were to decide upon the drawn, lest a dreadful responsibility merits of the question by the contents should fall upon their heads for all of these, we should often come to a the destruction of happiness, all the conclusion, that both the parties are havoc of life, and all the slaughter of wrong. Thus, for instance, a nation morals that may ensue. may have been guilty of an offence It is said, secondly, that if any to another. So far the cause of the nation were publicly to determine to other is a just one. But if the other relinquish the practice of war, or to should arm first, and this during an act on the policy of the Gospel, it attempt at accommodation, it will be would be overrun by other nations, a question whether it does not forfeit which might act on the policy of the its pretensions to a just case; and world. whether both are not then to be con- This argument is neither more nor sidered as aggressors on the occa
less than that of the Pagan Celsus, sion.
who said, in the second century, that if When a nation avows its object in the rest of the Roman Empire were a war, and changes its object in the Christians, it would be overrun by course of it, the presumption is that the barbarians. such a nation has been the aggressor. In answering this argument we are And when any nation goes to war certainly warranted in saying, that upon no other avowed principle than such a nation would have just reason the balance of power, such a nation, to look up to the Almighty for his however right according to the policy support. Would he not ultimately of the world, is an aggressor accord protect those who obeyed his laws, ing to the policy of the Gospel, be- and who refused to destroy their felcause it proceeds upon the principle low-creatures ? In what passage of that it is lawful to do evil that good sacred history do we find the people may come.
are to be forsaken, who have acted If a nation hires or employs the righteously? troops of another to fight for it, though But, independently of the protecit is not the aggressor in any war, tion which such a nation inight count yet it has the crime upon its head of upon from the moral Governor of the making those aggressors whom it em- world, let us inquire, upon rational ploys. There are few modern wars, principles, what would be likely to be however, which can be called defen- its fate. sive. A war purely defensive is that Armies, we know, are kept up by in which the inhabitants of a nation one nation, principally because they remain wholly at home to repel the are kept up by another : and in proattacks of another, and content them- portion as one rival nation adds to its selves with sending protection to those standing armies, it is thought by the settlements which belong to it. But other to be consistent with the policy few instances are recorded of such of the world to do the same. But
if one nation were to decline keeping But if there be often a difficulty in any armies at all, where would be discerning between aggressive and the violence to reason, to suppose defensive wars; and if, moreover, that the other would follow the exthere is reason to suppose that most ample? Who would not be glad to of the modern wars are aggressive, get rid of the expense of keeping or that both parties become aggres- them, if they could do it with safety? sors in the course of the dispute, it Nor is it likely that any powerful becomes the rulers of nations to nation, professing to relinquish war, pause, and examine their own con- would experience the calamities of sciences with fear and trembling, be- it. Its care to avoid provocation
would be so great, and its language princes referred their controversies to would be so temperate, and reason- his decision. able, and just, and conciliatory, in Nor must I forget to bring again to the case of any dispute which might the notice of the reader, the instance, arise, that it could hardly fail of ob- though on a smaller scale, of the co
taining an accommodation: and the lonists and descendants of William e probability is, that such a nation Penn. The Quakers have uniformly i would grow so high in esteem with conducted themselves towards the In
other nations, that they would have dians in such a manner, as to give recourse to it in their disputes with them, from their earliest intercourse, one another, and would abide by its an exalted idea of their character. decision. « Add the general influ- And the consequence is, as I stated in ence," says the great bishop Butler in a prior section, that the former in afhis Analogy, “which such a kingdom fairs of importance are consulted by would have over the face of the earth, the latter at the present day. But by way of example particularly, and why, if the cabinet of any one powerthe reverence which would be paid to ful nation were to act upon the noble it. It would, plainly, be superior to all principle of relinquishing war, should others, and the world must gradually we think the other cabinets so lost to come under its empire; not by means good feelings, as not to respect its of lawless violence, but partly by virtue ? Let us instantly abandon this what must be allowed to be just con- thought; for the supposition of a conquest, and partly by other kingdoms trary sentiment would make them submitting themselves voluntarily to it worse than the savages I have menthroughouta course of ages, and claim- tioned.-- Let us then cherish the fond ing its protection one after another, in hope, that human animosities are not successive exigencies. The head of to be eternal, and that man is not alit would be an universal monarch in ways to be made a tiger to man. Let another sense than any other mortal us hope that the government of some has yet been, and the Eastern style one nation (and when we consider the would be literally applicable to him, vast power of the British empire, the
That all people, nations, and lan- nature of its constitution and religion, guages, should serve him.'
Now and the general humanity of its inhabishop Butler supposes this would be bitants, none would be better qualithe effect where the individuals of a fied than our own) will set the exampation were perfectly virtuous. But ple of the total dereliction of wars. I ask much less for my own hypo- And let us, in all our respective situathesis. I only ask that the ruling tions, precede the anticipated blessmembers of the cabinet of any great ing, by holding out the necessity of nation, and perhaps these would only the subjugation of the passions, and amount to three or four, should consist by inculcating the doctrine of universal of real Christians, or of such men as benevolence to man ;-80 that, when would implicitly follow the policy of we look upon the beautiful islands, the gospel ; and I believe the result which lie scattered as so many ornawould be as I have described it. ments of the ocean, we may wish their
Nor indeed are we without instances several inhabitants no greater injury of the kind. The goodness of the em
than the violence of their own waves ; peror Antoninus Pius was so great, or that, when we view continents at a that he was said to have outdone all distance from us, we may consider example. He had no war in the course them as inhabited by our brothers; or of a long reign of twenty-four years, that, when we contemplate the ocean so that he was compared to suma. itself, which may separate them from And nothing is more true, than that our sight, we may consider it not as