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ciety now exists in England, at a time when too limited a quantity of the necessaries of life is raised for the population, the producers of a great number of absolutely useless, unnecessary, and even inelegant articles, do not obtain for their labour sufficient to command the means of subsistence; and, not only are great numbers of the people uselessly employed-still greater numbers are not employed at all. If little be obtained for useless labour, still less is obtained for the unproductive idleness in which an immense multitude are compelled
"The production of articles of real necessity and comfort being by these and various other counteracting principles, confined within the bounds of adequate consumption, poverty must, necessarily, while the counteracting principles operate, continue to prevail, and even to be increased.
"It is impossible to escape from this conclusion. Some political economists of the present day are patiently waiting till "things find their level," till distress shall have checked, and even diminished population; in which event they fondly hope that plenty will easily be found for the fortunate survivors of the process of public starvation. But, even in this expectation, gloomy and uncomfortable as it is, they flatter themselves with a fallacy. Even if a violent revolution should not long previously rouse them from their dream, they would find that the same true causes of poverty and wretchedness would accompany them back in their retrogression, to an indefinite period. For, the same principles which produce poverty in England now, produced poverty in the same country in every period of its history. The complaints of the people, and of political writers, prove that difficulty and distress existed in every generation. There is still more conclusive evidence of this in the fact, that, if the whole people had been at any period in a situation of comfort, population must have in
creased much more rapidly at that period than it has ever done. Our present difficulties, then, cannot be relieved by a reduction of our population. In our own times the same principles produce the same effects, both in this and in every other country. They manifest themselves alike in old and thickly populated states, and in new countries which spread the bountiful lap of Nature for increasing millions. They drive the agriculturists and manufacturers of European nations from their homes, and they pursue them with unrelenting rigour to the uttermost bounds of the earth.
"The last message of the President of the United States proves, that exactly similar inconveniences arise from the same causes in America, as those which are so severely felt in England. He describes the Union as being in a most flourishing condition; and yet he acknowledges, evidently with mingled feelings of regret and surprise, that some of the interests of the nation, that is, a large portion of the people, are suffering severe distress. Were it not that the happiness, and the very existence, of a great portion of mankind are involved in the question, it would be amusing to see Mr. Munro's perplexity, and the earnestness with which he struggles, if possible, to account for this (to him) unaccountable anomaly! He sees around him all those powers of production, and signs of wealth, which have hitherto been deemed infallible indications of the prosperity and happiness of nations; and yet he beholds, with amazement, a multitude at his feet, daily increasing in number, and continually sinking deeper in wretchedness and degradation. After striving in vain to unravel the mystery, and to assign the calamities of a part of the nation to various causes, none of which are satisfactory to himself, he at length piously attributes them to the chastisements of the Almighty. In this he is right: they are indeed
the chastisements of God-the necessary chastisements and conseconsequences of ill-directed energy and blind improvidence."
Pride of the Tombstone.
[The Work from which the following article is taken was privately printed, and secretly circulated to a very narrow extent, about five and twenty years ago. The copy we have been favoured with is without a title; but well-informed persons assign for its author a gentleman of very singular private worth, and of ennobled family.
Be this as it may, the style in which the sentiments of the writer is conveyed, so abounds in manly nervousness, and sneh are the subjects treated on, that we shall take occasionally such parts as appear appropriate to the design of The Herald of
DEATH is the great teacher and censor of human vanity; but even death cannot repress pride, or the insolence of riches, endeavouring to make wealth and grandeur triumph over the law of nature, and outshine others even from the coffin and the grave. If we look into the churches and churchyards, we see the most insignificant of mankind honoured with the most magnificent monuments of marble, the proudest trophies, sculptured urns, a flattering inscription, and a gilded lie. The walls of the sanctuary are hung with banners, escutcheons, helmets, and spurs, which display the emptiness of that preeminence which they are intended to emblazon. The poor body, which all this paint and finery attends, lies mouldering in the vault; and give it but a tongue to speak, would exclaim at the gaudy sight, "Vanity of vanities! Mock not my humiliated condition with the contemptible pageantry that misguided my feet from the path of reason and happiness, during my mortal existence." The only means of being honourably distinguished, is to promote most effectually the general happiness of human nature, and to seek private good in public beneficence.
The spirit of pride is remarkably visible in the mausoleum. There are families who seem to think that their precious bones would be contaminated, even if deposited in the conse
crated cemeteries of the church, where plebeians sleep, and therefore they erect proud temples in their private domains, where their fathers may rot in state, unapproached by the vulgar. If they were illustrious inventors of arts, and benefactors to mankind, the distinction might be a just compliment to their memory, and a useful incentive to emulation. But the persons thus magnificently interred are usually the most insignificant of the human race; whose very names would not be known a year after their decease, if they were not deeply engraven on the marble.
Many an alderman, notorious for the meanest avarice, as little distinguished for beneficence as abilities, is decorated with the most sumptuous memorials which the stone-cutter can raise for money; while Milton, the glory of the nation, a man elevated above the rank of common humanity, had no monumental marble. But all that the herald's office can effect, all that can be done by painting, gilding, and marble, cannot ennoble the greatest favourite of a court, the most successful adventurer in the East Indies, or the most opulent contractor and money-lender, like a Paradise Lost. The nabobs find their influence cannot secure the esteem of a few. contemporaries, though it may command their votes, much less of whole nations, and of late posterity. Money, the only god which worldlings worship, loses its omnipotence after the death of its possessor; and even the inheritor often despises the man who acquired it. The undertaker, the escutcheon painter, and the sculptor, are however employed to keep up the false pageantry of insignificant opulence; and a hearse, covered over with coats of arms, is used for the purpose of impressing the vulgar with a veneration for rank and riches, while, in the minds of men of sense, it excites ridicule, and converts a funeral into a farce.
Heraldry itself, though a childish vanity, becomes not only ridiculous,
but mischievous. It makes a distinction, on which men plume themselves, without merit and without services. Satisfied with such a distinction, they will be less inclined to acquire merit and to render services. They can inherit a coat of arms; or they can buy one; or, which is more.compendious still, they can borrow or
fording a constant farce, an inexhaustible fund of merriment, did they not lead to the malevolent passions, which, in their effects, forge chains for men born free, plunder the poor of their property, and shed the blood of innocence!
invent one. It is enough that they, From Mr. Clarkson's Portraiture of
are separated from the canaille. The coach, the hall, the church, is crowded, with their achievements; there is no occasion for arduous exertion. They are now raised above the vulgar. The work is done. Their name is up; they may slumber in the repose of useless insignificance, or move in the restlessness of mischievous activity. The coat of arms is at once a shield for folly, and a banner in the triumph of pride.
But both pride and folly might be permitted to enjoy their baubles unmolested, if they did not lead to cruelty. But pride and folly are the causes of War; therefore I hate them from my soul. They glory in destruction; and among the most frequent ornaments, even of our churches, (the very houses of peace,) are hung up on high trophies of war. Dead men (themselves subdued by the universal conqueror) are represented, by their surviving friends, as rejoicing, even in their graves, in the implements of manslaughter. Helmets, swords, and blood-stained flags, hang over the grave, together with the escutcheons and marble monuments, emblematical of human ferocity; of those actions and passions which Christianity repudiates; for as well might oil and vinegar coalesce, as War and Christianity.
Spirit of Pride! I would laugh at all thy extravagancies, thy solemn mummery, thy baby baubles, thy airs of insolence, thy finery and frippery, thy impotent insults over virtue, genius, and all personal merit, thy strutting, self-pleasing mien and language! I would consider them all with the eye of a Democritus, as af
(Concluded from p. 40.)
WHEN we first commenced our quotations from the above work of Mr. Clarkson, in September 1820, we observed that the seventh-section had for the most part been inserted in Vol. I. of The Herald, p. 253, to which we begged to refer our readers. The chief object of that section is to show the practical tendency of pacific principles; and this is illustrated by a reference to the different results which attended the early set-› tlement of America by those who landed on its shores with all the implements of warfare, and the Societyof Friends, who, unarmed and defenceless, took up their abode amidst the barbarous tribes of Indians in those wilds afterwards called Pennsylvania.
makes his own case good in these; and if we were to decide upon the merits of the question by the contents of these, we should often come to a conclusion, that both the parties are wrong. Thus, for instance, a nation may have been guilty of an offence to another. So far the cause of the other is a just one. But if the other should arm first, and this during an attempt at accommodation, it will be a question whether it does not forfeit its pretensions to a just case; and whether both are not then to be considered as aggressors on the occa
When a nation avows its object in a war, and changes its object in the course of it, the presumption is that such a nation has been the aggressor. And when any nation goes to war upon no other avowed principle than the balance of power, such a nation, however right according to the policy of the world, is an aggressor according to the policy of the Gospel, because it proceeds upon the principle that it is lawful to do evil that good may come.
If a nation hires or employs the troops of another to fight for it, though it is not the aggressor in any war, yet it has the crime upon its head of making those aggressors whom it employs. There are few modern wars, however, which can be called defensive. A war purely defensive is that in which the inhabitants of a nation remain wholly at home to repel the attacks of another, and content themselves with sending protection to those settlements which belong to it. But few instances are recorded of such wars.
But if there be often a difficulty in discerning between aggressive and defensive wars; and if, moreover, there is reason to suppose that most of the modern wars are aggressive, or that both parties become aggressors in the course of the dispute, it becomes the rulers of nations to pause, and examine their own consciences with fear and trembling, be
fore they allow the sword to be drawn, lest a dreadful responsibility should fall upon their heads for all the destruction of happiness, all the havoc of life, and all the slaughter of morals that may ensue.
It is said, secondly, that if any nation were publicly to determine to relinquish the practice of war, or to act on the policy of the Gospel, it would be overrun by other nations, which might act on the policy of the world.
This argument is neither more nor less than that of the Pagan Celsus, who said, in the second century, that if the rest of the Roman Empire were Christians, it would be overrun by the barbarians.
In answering this argument we are certainly warranted in saying, that such a nation would have just reason to look up to the Almighty for his support. Would he not ultimately protect those who obeyed his laws, and who refused to destroy their fellow-creatures? In what passage of sacred history do we find the people are to be forsaken, who have acted righteously?
But, independently of the protection which such a nation might count upon from the moral Governor of the world, let us inquire, upon rational principles, what would be likely to be its fate.
Armies, we know, are kept up by one nation, principally because they are kept up by another: and in proportion as one rival nation adds to its standing armies, it is thought by the other to be consistent with the policy of the world to do the same. if one nation were to decline keeping any armies at all, where would be the violence to reason, to suppose that the other would follow the example? Who would not be glad to get rid of the expense of keeping them, if they could do it with safety? Nor is it likely that any powerful nation, professing to relinquish war, would experience the calamities of it, Its care to avoid provocation
would be so great, and its language would be so temperate, and reasonable, and just, and conciliatory, in the case of any dispute which might arise, that it could hardly fail of obtaining an accommodation: and the probability is, that such a nation would grow so high in esteem with other nations, that they would have recourse to it in their disputes with one another, and would abide by its decision. "Add the general influence," says the great bishop Butler in his Analogy," which such a kingdom would have over the face of the earth, by way of example particularly, and the reverence which would be paid to it. It would, plainly, be superior to all others, and the world must gradually come under its empire; not by means of lawless violence, but partly by what must be allowed to be just conquest, and partly by other kingdoms submitting themselves voluntarily to it throughout a course of ages, and claiming its protection one after another, in successive exigencies. The head of it would be an universal monarch in another sense than any other mortal has yet been, and the Eastern style would be literally applicable to him, That all people, nations, and languages, should serve him."" Now bishop Butler supposes this would be the effect where the individuals of a nation were perfectly virtuous. But I ask much less for my own hypothesis. I only ask that the ruling members of the cabinet of any great nation, and perhaps these would only amount to three or four, should consist of real Christians, or of such men as would implicitly follow the policy of the gospel; and I believe the result would be as I have described it.
Nor indeed are we without instances of the kind. The goodness of the emperor Antoninus Pius was so great, that he was said to have outdone all example. He had no war in the course of a long reign of twenty-four years, so that he was compared to Numa. And nothing is more true, than that
princes referred their controversies to his decision.
Nor must I forget to bring again to the notice of the reader, the instance, though on a smaller scale, of the colonists and descendants of William Penn. The Quakers have uniformly conducted themselves towards the Indians in such a manner, as to give them, from their earliest intercourse, an exalted idea of their character. And the consequence is, as I stated in a prior section, that the former in affairs of importance are consulted by the latter at the present day. But why, if the cabinet of any one powerful nation were to act upon the noble principle of relinquishing war, should we think the other cabinets so lost to good feelings, as not to respect its virtue? Let us instantly abandon this thought; for the supposition of a contrary sentiment would make them worse than the savages I have mentioned. Let us then cherish the fond hope, that human animosities are not to be eternal, and that man is not always to be made a tiger to man. us hope that the government of some one nation (and when we consider the vast power of the British empire, the nature of its constitution and religion, and the general humanity of its inhabitants, none would be better qualified than our own) will set the example of the total dereliction of wars. And let us, in all our respective situations, precede the anticipated blessing, by holding out the necessity of the subjugation of the passions, and by inculcating the doctrine of universal benevolence to man;- -so that, when we look upon the beautiful islands, which lie scattered as so many ornaments of the ocean, we may wish their several inhabitants no greater injury than the violence of their own waves; or that, when we view continents at a distance from us, we may consider them as inhabited by our brothers; or that, when we contemplate the ocean itself, which may separate them from our sight, we may consider it not as