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ner, which may be ftyled an offence in this view. The remark on Mr. Gibbon's conduct is the more juft, as it avoids the beaten path, and attacks him where he is most vulnerable, where the weapon must reach his heart. The language too is warm and indignant: our readers may be as much pleafed with it as ourselves.
An eloquent hiftorian, befides his more direct, and there fore fairer attacks, upon the credibility of the evangelic ftory, has contrived to weave into his narration, one continued fneer upon the cause of Chriftianity, and the writings and characters of its ancient patrons. The knowledge which this author poffeffes of the frame and conduct of the human mind, must have led him to observe, that fuch attacks do their execution, without enquiry. Who can refute a fneer? who can compute the number, much lefs, one by one, fcrutinize the juftice, of those difparaging infinuations, which crowd the pages of this elaborate hiftory? What reader fufpends his curiofity, or calls off his attention, from the principal narrative, to examine references, to fearch into the foundation, or to weigh the reason, propriety, and force, of every tranfient farcafm, and fly allufion, by which the Chriftian teftimony is depreciated and tra duced and by which nevertheless, he may find his faith afterwards unfettled and perplexed.'
The work, we have already obferved, contains the principles of ethics and polity: it is indeed ftyled the Elements of Moral and Political Philofophy. Mr. Paley next proceeds to the fecond part of his fubject; and, if he is not equally fuc cefsful in establishing his principles on unexceptionable foundations; if he does not raise a building, whofe exact proportions in the feveral parts, and whofe elegant fimplicity, as a whole, fix the attention, and excite admiration; yet, as a politician, he deserves confiderable praise.
His account of the origin of civil government will, by many, be thought exceptionable: it is, fays he, patriarchal or military.' This is undoubtedly the most obvious and fimple origin: it is rendered highly probable by the ftate in which we find nations in the infancy of their political existence; it is fupported by the gradual evolution of the mental faculties and powers, in this artificial fituation; it is established on the early and rapid institution of abfolute monarchies. We are well aware of the ridicule with which this opinion has been attacked by innovating politicians, who, from refining on what government fhould be, have arbitrarily fixed what it originally was. It is no imputation on the human mind, though we fhould fuppofe it originally unfhackled, and of equal capacity in every individual, that inexperienced youth fhould fubmit
to the judgment of riper years; that the fon fhould obey him who gave him birth; or that the foldier fhould fubmit to the general, who had been entrusted with the execution of a plan. But we must return.
After having traced the origin of civil government, our author proceeds to the means by which it is maintained; and distinguishes, with his ufual accuracy, the different motives which contribute to ensure obedience.
In a work lefs respectable in its leading features, we might remark a little inaccuracy with regard to the Lama of Thibet. We apprehend that he is not confidered as the immortal God himself,' but only as his representative. The immediate coro'laries, from the means by which civil government is maintained, deferve the particular attention of princes: they are fuggefted by reafon and the experience of ages.
Mr. Paley next explains the Duty of Submiffion to Civil Government; a fubject, he obferyes, fufficiently diftinguished from that of the last chapter; as the motives which actually produce civil obedience may be, and often are, very different from the reasons which make that obedience a duty.' In this chapter, but it is too long for an extract, our author confiders the origin of government as fuppofed to be founded on a compact, either tacit or implied. He detects the fallacy, the fpecious delufive form of this fyftem, which is examined at greater length, as it feems to lead to conclufions unfavour able to the improvement and peace of human fociety.' On the whole, the only ground of the fubjects obligation is the will of God, collected from its expediency.' The foundation of this origin has been already laid, and was noticed in our former article; and its fcriptural ground is the fubject of the following chapter.
Civil liberty has been fo often the topic of the politician, that it is not easy to form a consistent idea of it. In general, the definitions do not fo much defcribe liberty itself, as the fafe-guards and prefervatives of liberty; and they feem juftly to meet in the definition before us, viz. civil liberty is the not being reftrained by any law, but what conduces, in a greater degree, to the public welfare.' The inftances brought to illuftrate this definition clear it from all the difficulties which feem, at firft fight, to attend it. Thefe confiderations lead the author to an account of the different forms of governments, with the advantages and difadvantages of each: it is but just to add, that we have never feen it equalled either for clearness or accuracy. The chapter on the British Conftitution,' deferves the fame character: we regret that we muft leave it without a remark; for, if we were to engage in this
fubject, we fhould confume all the space deftined for the rest of this article, and many valuable parts of this work muft be left unnoticed.
The next chapter is on the administration of justice, and feveral modes by which improper partialities may be beft avoided. It does not detract from the diligence of the author, but it adds an additional luftre to the conduct of British jurifprudence, that all his precautions are fuggefted by the conftitution, or the practice of the feveral courts in this kingdom. The author then enquires into the cause of so many doubts in the application of natural juftice, whofe rules are fo few and evident. He concludes with mentioning two peculiarities in the judicial conftitution of this country, which do not appear equally unexceptionable with the other parts of it; one, the required unanimity of the jury, the other, the ultimate appeal to the house of peers. The foundation of each is, however, obvious; the first to guard against every doubt of guilt, the second is derived from the civil jurisdiction of the barons in their own diftricts, from whence their collective judicial capacity may be easily deduced.
On the fubject of crimes and punishments, Mr. Paley adverts to a circumftance which has lately attracted our attention. The fecond method mentioned of adminiftering penal justice, affigns capital punishment to many offences, but executes it on few. This, he obferves, is founded on the confideration, that no offender may efcape the punishment due to his crimes; but that allowance may, on the other hand, be made for thofe numerous alleviations of the offence, which no legislator could foresee or provide for; yet he at last allows that
The certainty of punishment is of more confequence than the feverity. Criminals do not fo much flatter themfelves with the lenity of the fentence, as with the hope of escaping. They are not fo apt to compare what they gain by the crime, as what they may fuffer from the punishment, as to encourage themfelves with the chance of concealment or flight. For which reason, a vigilant magiftracy, an accurate police, a proper diftribution of force and intelligence, together with due rewards for the discovery and apprehenfion of malefactors, and an undeviating impartiality in carrying the laws into execution, contribute more to the restraint and fuppreffion of crimes, than any violent exacerbations of punishment.'
Indeed the whole chapter is an excellent commentary or our penal laws. It points out their imperfections with that penetrating fpirit whose inquifitions no delufive covering can refift. Our author next proceeds to religious establishments; and
The argument, then, by which ecclefiaftical establishments are defended, proceeds by thefe fteps. The knowledge and
profeffion of Chriflianity cannot be upheld without a clergy; a clergy cannot be supported without a legal provifion; a legal provifion for the clergy cannot be conftituted without the preference of one fect of Chriftians to the reft: and the conclufion will be fatisfactory in the degree in which the truth of these feveral propofitions has been made out.'
In all Mr. Paley's arguments on this fubject, we perceive fo ftrong a conviction of the utility of eftablishments, that we fear, in fome eyes, it will detract from the merit of his work. We have repeatedly perused his arguments with attention, but we can detect no error. We shall transcribe a paffage, as a fpecimen of his reafoning on thefe fubjects.
After the ftate has once established a particular fyftem of faith as a national religion, a queftion will foon occur, concern ing the treatment and toleration of those who diffent from it.And this question is properly preceded by another, concerning the right which the civil magiftrate poffeffes to interfere in matters of religion at all; for although this right be acknowledged whilft he is employed folely in providing means of public instruction, it will probably be difputed, indeed it ever has been, when he proceeds to inflict penalties, to impose restraints or incapacities on the account of religious diftinctions. They who acknow ledge no other juft original of civil government, than what is founded in fome ftipulation with its fubjects, may with probability contend that the concerns of religion were excepted out of the focial compact; that in an affair which is tranfacted between God and man's own confcience, no commiffion or authority was ever delegated to the civil magiftrate, or could indeed be transferred from the perfon himself to any other. We, however, who have rejected this theory, because we cannot discover any actual contract between the ftate and the people, and be cause we cannot allow an arbitrary fiction to be made the foundation of real rights and of real obligations, find ourselves precluded from this diftinction. The reafoning which deduces the authority of civil government from the will of God, and which collects that will from public expediency alone, binds us to the unreferved conclufion, that the jurifdiction of the magiftrate is Timited by no confideration but that of general utility in plainer terms, that whatever be the fubject to be regulated, it is lawful for him to interfere, whenever his interference, in its general tendency, appears to be conducive to the common intereft. There is nothing in the nature of religion, as fuch, which exempts it from the authority of the legiflator, when the fafety or welfare of the community requires his interpofition. It has been faid indeed, that religion, pertaining to the interefts of a life to come, lies out of the province of civil governmeat, the office of which is confined to the affairs of this life. But in reply to this objection, it may be obferved, that when the laws interfere even in religion, they interfere only with
temporals: their effects terminate, their power acts only upon thofe rights and interefts, which confefledly belong to their difpofal. The refolutions of the legislature, the edicts of the prince, the fentence of the judge, cannot affect my falvation ; nor do they, without the moft abfurd arrogance, pretend to any fuch power but they may deprive me of liberty, of property, and even of life itfelf, on account of my religion; and however I may complain of the injuftice of the fentence, by which I am condemned, I cannot alledge, that the magistrate has tranfgreffed the boundaries of his jurifdiction, because the property, the liberty, and the life of the fubject, may be taken, away by the authority of the laws, for any reafon, which, in the judgment of the législature, renders fuch a measure neceffary to the common welfare. Moreover, as the precepts of religion may regulate all the offices of life, or may be fo conftrued as to extend to all, the exemption of religion from the control of human laws might afford a plea, which would exclude civil government from all authority over the conduct of its fubjects. Religious liberty is like civil liberty, not an immunity from restraint, but the being reftrained by no law, but what in a greater degree conduces to the public welfare.'
The next fubjects of attention are Population and Provifion; and of Agriculture and Commerce as fubfervient thereto.' The remarks on population are not new, but they are fo plainly and connectedly delivered, that their force will probably be felt more fenfibly than when they have appeared in other forms. The moft ftriking and ufeful part of this chapter is, on the connection between population and employment; and again, on that between population and trade, even where no one article of human fubfiftence is imported. There are few speculations more pleafing, than to trace thefe remote connections in fubjects fo greatly fubfervient to human happinefs, and almost to our existence. We would, on account of its intrinfic merit, ftrongly recommend this part of Mr. Paley's work. The chapter concludes with mentioning fome impediments to agriculture; among which are the rights of common, (he fhould rather have faid manerial rights, for those of common are not fo generally injurious) and tythes. The laft operate, in Mr. Paley's opinion, as a bounty on pafturage, and
The burthen of the tax falls with its chief, if not with its whole weight, upon tillage; that is to fay, upon that precife mode of cultivation, which, as it hath been shown above, it is the business of the ftate to relieve and remunerate, in preference to every other. No measure of fuch extenfive concern, appears to me fo practicable, nor any fingle alteration fɔ beneficial, as the converfion of tithes into corn-rents. This com mutation, I am convinced, might be fo adjusted, as to fecure to the tithe-holder a complete and perpetual equivalent for his VOL. LX, Sept. 1785. P intereft,