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this mischief, nay, that they themselves had their to laws as a remedy for this evil. By these we origin and growth from that complex form of persuaded ourselves we might know with some government which we are wisely taught to look certainty upon what ground we stood. But lo! upon as so great a blessing. Revolve, my Lord, differences arose upon the sense and interpretation our history from the conquest. We scarcely ever of these laws. Thus we were brought back to had a prince, who by fraud, or violence, had not our old incertitude. New laws were made to exmade some infringement on the constitution. We pound the old; and new difficulties arose upon scarcely ever had a parliament which knew, when the new laws; as words multiplied, opportunities it attempted to set limits to the royal authority, of cavilling upon them multiplied also. Then rehow to set limits to its own. Evils we have had course was had to notes, comments, glosses, recontinually calling for reformation, and reforma- ports, responsa prudentum, learned readings : tions more grievous than any evils. Our boasted eagle stood against eagle; authority was set up liberty sometimes trodden down, sometimes giddi- against authority. Some were allured by the ly set up, and ever precariously fluctuating and modern, others reverenced the antient. The new unsettled ; it has only been kept alive by the were more enlightened, the old were more veneblasts of continual feuds, wars, and conspiracies.rable. Some adopted the comment, others stuck In no country in Europe has the scaffold so often to the text. The confusion increased, the mist blushed with the blood of its nobility. Confisca- thickened, until it could be discovered no longer tions, banishments, attainders, executions, make a what was allowed or forbidden, what things were large part of the history of such of our families as in property, and what common.

In this uncerare not utterly extinguished by them. Formerly tainty, (uncertain even to the professors, an Egypindeed things had a more ferocious appearance tian darkness to the rest of mankind) the conthan they have at this day. In these early and tending parties felt themselves more effectually unrefined ages, the jarring part of a certain chao- ruined by the delay than they could have been by tick constitution supported their several preten- the injustice of any decision. Our inheritances sions by the sword. Experience and policy have are become a prize for disputation ; and disputes since taught other methods.

and litigations are become an inheritance.

The professors of artificial law have always At nunc res agitur tenui pulmone rubetæ. walked hand in hand with the professors of artis

cial theology. As their end, in confounding the But how far corruption, venality, the contempt of reason of man, and abridging his natural freedom, honour, the oblivion of all duty to our country, is exactly the same, they have adjusted the means and the most abandoned publick prostitution, are to that end in a way entirely similar. The divine preferable to the more glaring and violent effects thunders out his anathemas with more noise and of faction, I will not presume to determine. Sure terrour against the breach of one of his positive I am that they are very great evils.

institutions, or the neglect of some of his trivial I have done with the forms of government. forms, than against the neglect or breach of those During the course of my enquiry you may have duties and commandments of natural religion, observed a very material difference between my which by these forms and institutions he pretends manner of reasoning and that which is in use to enforce. The lawyer has his forms, and his amongst the abettors of artificial society. They positive institutions too, and he adheres to them form their plans upon what seems most eligible to with a veneration altogether as religious. The their imaginations, for the ordering of mankind.worst cause cannot be so prejudicial to the litiI discover the mistakes in those plans, from the gant, as his advocate's or attorney's ignorance or real known consequences which have resulted from neglect of these forms. A law-suit is like an illthem. They have enlisted reason to fight against managed dispute, in which the first object is soon itself, and employ its whole force to prove that out of sight, and the parties end upon a matter It is an insufficient guide to them in the conduct wholly foreign to that on which they began. In of their lives. But unhappily for us, in propor- a law-suit the question is, who has a right to a tion as we have deviated from the plain rule of certain house or farm ? And this question is daily our nature, and turned our reason against itself, determined, not upon the evidence of the right, in that proportion have we increased the follies but upon the observance or neglect of some forms and miseries of mankind. The more deeply we of words in use with the gentlemen of the robe, penetrate into the labyrinth of art, the further we about which there is even amongst themselves such hind ourselves from those ends for which we en- a disagreement, that the most experienced veterans t:red it. This has happened in almost every in the profession can never be positively assured species of artificial society, and in all times. We that they are not mistaken. found, or we thought we found, an inconvenience Let us expostulate with these learned sages, m having every man the judge of his own cause. these priests of the sacred temple of justice. Are Therefore judges were set up, at first, with dis- we judges of our own property? By no means. cretionary powers.

But it was soon found a You then, who are initiated into the mysteries of miserable slavery to have our lives and properties the blindfold goddess, inform me whether I have precarious, and hanging upon the arbitrary deter- a right to eat the bread I have earned by the tination of any one man, or set of men. We fled hazard of my life, or the sweat of my brow? The

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grave doctor answers me in the affirmative ; the originally designed ; and they will answer, that the reverend serjeant replies in the negative; the laws were designed as a protection for the poor learned barrister reasons upon one side and upon and weak, against the oppression of the rich and the other, and concludes nothing. What shall I powerful. But surely no pretence can be so ridido? An antagonist starts up and presses me hard. culous; a man might as well tell me he has taken I enter the field, and retain these three persons to off my load, because he has changed the burthen. defend my cause. My cause, which two farmers If the poor man is not able to support his suit, from the plough could have decided in half an hour, according to the vexatious and expensive manner takes the court twenty years. I am however at established in civilized countries, has not the rich the end of my labour, and have in reward for all as great an advantage over him as the strong has my toil and vexation, a judgment in my favour. over the weak in a state of nature ? But we will But hold—a sagacious commander, in the adver- not place the state of nature, which is the reign of sary's army, has found a flaw in the proceeding. God, in competition with political society, which My triumph is turned into mourning. I have is the absurd usurpation of man. In a state of used or, instead of and, or some mistake, small in nature, it is true, that a man of superiour force may appearance, but dreadful in its consequences; and beat or rob me; but then it is true, that I am at have the whole of my success quashed in a writ of full liberty to defend myself, or make reprisal by

I remove my suit; I shift from court to surprise or by cunning, or by any other way in court; I fly from equity to law, and from law to which I may be superiour to him. But in political equity; equal uncertainty attends me every where; society, a rich man may rob me in another way. and a mistake in which I had no share, decides at I cannot defend myself; for money is the only once upon my liberty and property, sending me

weapon

with which we are allowed to fight. And from the court to a prison, and adjudging my if I attempt to avenge myself, the whole force of family to beggary and famine. I am innocent, that society is ready to complete my ruin. gentlemen, of the darkness and uncertainty of your A good parson once said, that where mystery science. I never darkened it with absurd and begins, religion ends. Cannot I say, as truly at contradictory notions, nor confounded it with least, of human laws, that where mystery begins, chicane and sophistry. You have excluded me justice ends ? It is hard to say whether the doctors from any

share in the conduct of my own cause ; of law or divinity have made the greater advances the science was too deep for me; I acknowledged in the lucrative business of mystery. The lawyers, ft; but it was too deep even for yourselves : you as well as the theologians, have erected another have made the way so intricate, that you are reason besides natural reason; and the result has yourselves lost in it; you err, and you punish me been, another justice besides natural justice. They for your errours.

have so bewildered the world and themselves in The delay of the law is, your Lordship will tell unmeaning forms and ceremonies, and so perme, a trite topick, and which of its abuses have plexed the plainest matters with metaphysical not been too severely felt not to be complained of jargon, that it carries the highest danger to a man A man's property is to serve for the purposes of out of that profession, to make the least step

withhis support; and, therefore, to delay a determina- ont their advice and assistance. Thus by confining tion concerning that, is the worst injustice, because to themselves the knowledge of the foundation of it cuts off the very end and purpose for which I all men's lives and properties, they have reduced applied to the judicature for relief. Quite contrary all mankind into the most abject and servile depenin the case of a man's life; there the determination dence. We are tenants at the will of these gentecan hardly be too much protracted. Mistakes men for every thing; and a metaphysical quibtile in this case are as often fallen into as many other; is to decide whether the greatest villain breathing and if the judgment is sudden, the mistakes are shall meet his deserts, or escape with impunity, or the most irretrievable of all others. Of this the whether the best man in the society shall not be gentlemen of the robe are themselves sensible, and reduced to the lowest and most despicable conthey have brought it into a maxim. De morte dition it affords. In a word, my Lord, the inhominis nulla est cunctatio longa. But what could justice, delay, puerility, false refinement, and have induced them to reverse the rules, and to affected mystery of the law are such, that many contradict that reason which dictated them, I am who live under it come to admire and envy the utterly unable to guess. A point concerning pro- expedition, simplicity, and equality of arbitrary perty, which ought, for the reasons I just men-judgments. I need insist the less on this article tioned, to be most speedily decided, frequently to your Lordship, as you have frequently lamented exercises the wit of successions of lawyers, for the miseries derived to us from artificial law, and many generations. Multa virúm volvens duran lo your candour is the more to be admired and apsæcula vincit. But the question concerning a plauded in this, as your Lordship's noble house man's life, that great question in which no delay has derived its wealth and its honours from that ought to be counted tedious, is commonly deter- profession. mined in twenty-four hours at the utmost. It Before we finish our examination of artificial is not to be wondered at, that injustice and ab- society, I shall lead your Lordship into a closer surdity should be inseparable companions. consideration of the relations which it gives birth

Ask of politicians the end for which laws were to, and the benefits, if such they are, which result from these relations. The most obvious division likewise the Newgate and the Bridewell of the of society is into rich and poor; and it is no less universe ? Indeed the blindness of one part of obvious, that the number of the former bear a mankind co-operating with the phrenzy and villainy great disproportion to those of the latter. The of the other, has been the real builder of this whole business of the poor is to administer to the respectable fabrick of political society: and as the idleness, folly, and luxury of the rich; and that blindness of mankind has caused their slavery, in of the rich, in return, is to find the best methods return their state of slavery is made a pretence for of confirming the slavery and increasing the bur- continuing them in a state of blindness; for the thens of the poor. In a state of nature, it is an politician will tell you gravely, that their life of invariable law, that a man's acquisitions are in servitude disqualifies the greater part of the race proportion to his labours. In a state of artificial of man for a search of truth, and supplies them society, it is a law as constant and as invariable, with no other than mean and insufficient ideas. that those who labour most enjoy the fewest This is but too true; and this is one of the reasons things; and that those who labour not at all have for which I blame such institutions. the greatest number of enjoyments. A constitu- In a misery of this sort, admitting some few tion of things this, strange and ridiculous beyond lenitives, and those too but a few, nine parts in expression! We scarce believe a thing when we ten of the whole race of mankind drudge through are told it, which we actually see before our eyes life. It may be urged perhaps, in palliation of

every day without being in the least surprised.' Ithis, that, at least, the rich few find a consider• suppose that there are in Great Britain upwards able and real benefit from the wretchedness of the of an hundred thousand people employed in lead, many. But is this so in fact ? Let us examine the tin, iron, copper, and coal mines; these unhappy point with a little more attention. For this purwretches scarce ever see the light of the sun ; they pose the rich in all societies may be thrown into are buried in the bowels of the earth ; there they two classes. The first is of those who are powerwork at a severe and dismal task, without the least ful as well as rich, and conduct the operations of prospect of being delivered from it; they subsist the vast political machine. The other is of those upon the coarsest and worst sort of fare; they who employ their riches wholly in the acquisition have their health miserably impaired, and their of pleasure. As to the first sort, their continual lives cut short, by being perpetually confined in care, and anxiety, their toilsome days, and sleepthe close vapour of these malignant minerals. An less nights, are next to proverbial. These circumbundred thousand more at least are tortured with- stances are sufficient almost to level their conditions out remission by the suffocating smoke, intense to that of the unhappy majority; but there are fires, and constant drudgery necessary in refining other circumstances which place them in a far and managing the products of those mines. If lower condition. Not only their understandings any man informed us that two hundred thousand labour continually, which is the severest labour, innocent persons were condemned to so intolerable but their hearts are torn by the worst, most slavery, how should we pity the unhappy sufferers, troublesome, and insatiable of all passions, by and how great would be our just indignation avarice, by ambition, by fear and jealousy. No against those who inflicted so cruel and ignomi- part of the mind has rest. Power gradually exnicus a punishment! This is an instance, I could tirpates from the mind every humane and gentle not wish a stronger–of the numberless things virtue. Pity, benevolence, friendship, are things which we pass by in their common dress, yet almost unknown in high stations. Veræ amicitiæ which shock us when they are nakedly repre- rarissime inveniuntur in iis qui in honoribus reque *nted. But this number, considerable as it is, and publica versantur, says Cicero. And indeed the slavery, with all its baseness and horrour, courts are the schools where cruelty, pride, dissiwluch we have at home, is nothing to what the rest mulation, and treachery are studied and taught in of the world affords of the same nature. Millions the most vicious perfection. This is a point so Caily bathed in the poisonous damps and destruc- clear and acknowledged, that if it did not make tive effluvia of lead, silver, copper, and arsenick. a necessary part of my subject, I should pass it To say nothing of those other employments, by entirely. And this has hindered me from thuse stations of wretchedness and contempt, in drawing at full length, and in the most striking which civil society has placed the numerous enfans colours, this shocking picture of the degeneracy qurdus of her army. Would any rational man and wretchedness of human nature, in that part submit to one of the most tolerable of these which is vulgarly thought its happiest and most drudgeries, for all the artificial enjoyments which amiable state. You know from what originals I policy has made to result from them? By no means. could copy such pictures. Happy are they who And yet need I suggest to your Lordship, that know enough of them to know the little value of tluse who find the means, and those who arrive the possessors of such things, and of all that they at the end, are not at all the same persons. On possess ; and happy they who have been snatch(9idering the strange and unaccountable fancies ed from that post of danger which they occupy, and contrivances of artificial reason, I have some- with the remains of their virtue; loss of honours, where called this earth the bedlam of our system. wealth, titles, and even the loss of one's country, Lwking now upon the effects of some of those is nothing in balance with so great an advantage. fancies, may we not with equal reason call it Let us now view the other species of the rich, those who devote their time and fortunes to idle- unnecessary, vices and diseases unknown, and pleaness and pleasure. How much happier are they? sures incompatible with nature; if in all countries The pleasures which are agreeable to nature are it abridges the lives of millions, and renders those within the reach of all, and therefore can form no of millions more utterly abject and miserable, shall distinction in favour of the rich. The pleasures we still worship so destructive an idol, and daily which art forces up are seldom sincere, and never sacrifice to it our health, our liberty, and our satisfying. What is worse, this constant applica- peace? Or shall we pass by this monstrous heap tion to pleasure takes away from the enjoyment, of absurd notions, and abominable practices, thinkor rather turns it into the nature of a very bur- ing we have sufficiently discharged our duty in exdensome and laborious business. It has conse- | posing the trifling cheats, and ridiculous juggles, quences much more fatal. It produces a weak of a few mad, designing, or ambitious priests? valetudinary state of body, attended by all those Alas ! my Lord, we labour under a mortal conhorrid disorders, and yet more horrid methods of sumption, whilst we are so anxious about the cure cure, which are the result of luxury on the one of a sore finger. For has not this leviathan of hand, and the weak and ridiculous efforts of human civil power overflowed the earth with a deluge art on the other. The pleasures of such men are of blood, as if he were made to disport and scarcely felt as pleasures; at the same time that play therein ? We have shewn, that political sothey bring on pains and diseases, which are felt ciety, on a moderate calculation, has been the but too severely. The mind has its share of means of murdering several times the number of the misfortune; it grows lazy and enervate, un- inhabitants now upon the earth, during its short willing and unable to search for truth, and utterly existence, not upwards of four thousand years in uncapable of knowing, much less of relishing, real any accounts to be depended on. But we have happiness. The poor by their excessive labour, said nothing of the other, and perhaps as bad, and the rich by their enormous luxury, are set consequence of these wars, which have spilled upon a level, and rendered equally ignorant of any such seas of blood, and reduced so many millions knowledge which might conduce to their happi- to a merciless slavery. But these are only the ness. A dismal view of the interiour of all civil ceremonies performed in the porch of the political society ! The lower part broken and ground temple. Much more horrid ones are seen as you down by the most cruel oppression ; and the rich enter it. The several species of government vie by their artificial method of life bringing worse with each other in the absurdity of their constievils on themselves, than their tyranny could pos- tutions, and the oppression which they make their sibly inflict on those below them. Very different subjects endure. Take them under what form is the prospect of the natural state. Here there are you please, they are in effect but a despotism, no wants which nature gives, and in this state and they fall, both in effect and appearance too, men can be sensible of no other wants, which are

very short period, into that cruel and denot to be supplied by a very moderate degree of testable species of tyranny: which I rather call labour; therefore there is no slavery. Neither is it, because we have been educated under another there any luxury, because no single man can sup- form, than that this is of worse consequences to ply the materials of it. Life is simple, and there- mankind. For the free governments, for the fore it is happy.

point of their space, and the moment of their duI am conscious, my Lord, that your politician ration, have felt more confusion, and committed will urge in his defence, that this unequal state is more flagrant acts of tyranny, than the most perhighly useful. That without dooming some part fect despotick governments which we have ever of mankind to extraordinary toil, the arts which known. 'Turn your eye next to the labyrinth of cultivate life could not be exercised. But I de- the law, and the iniquity conceived in its intrimand of this politician, how such arts came to be cate recesses. Consider the ravages committed necessary? He answers, that civil society could in the bowels of all commonwealths by ambition, not well exist without them. So that these arts by avarice, envy, fraud, open injustice, and preare necessary to civil society, and civil society tended friendship ; vices which could draw little necessary again to these arts. Thus are we running support from a state of nature, but which blossom in a circle, without modesty, and without end, and fourish in the rankness of political society. and making one errour and extravagance an excuse Revolve our whole discourse; add to it all these for the other. My sentiments about these arts reflections which your own good understanding and their cause, I have often discoursed with my shall suggest, and make a strenuous effort bevond friends at large. Pope has expressed them in the reach of vulgar philosophy, to confess that the good verse, where he talks with so much force of cause of artificial society is more defenceless even reason and elegance of language, in praise of the than that of artificial religion ; that it is as derostate of nature :

gatory from the honour of the Creator, as subrerThen was not pride, nor arts that prile to aid,

sive of human reason, and productive of infinitely

more mischief to the human race. Man walk'd with beust, joint tenant of the shade.

If pretended revelations have caused wars where On the whole, my Lord, if political society, in they were opposed, and slavery where they were whatever form, has still made the many the pro- received, the pretended wise inventions of politiperty of the few; if it has introduced labours | cians have done the same. But the slavery has

after a

been much leavier, the wars far more bloody, and reason and our liberty to civil usurpation, we have both more universal by many degrees. Shew me nothing to do but to conform as quietly as we can any mischief produced by the madness or wicked to the vulgar notions which are connected with ness of theologians, and I will shew you an hun- this, and take up the theology of the vulgar as dred resulting from the ambition and villainy of. well as their politicks. But if we think this necesconquerors and statesmen. Shew me an absurdity sity rather imaginary than real, we should rein religion, and I will undertake to shew you an nounce their dreams of society, together with their hundred for one in political laws and institutions. visions of religion, and vindicate ourselves into If you say, that natural religion is a sufficient guide perfect liberty. without the foreign aid of revelation, on what You are, my Lord, but just entering into the principle should political laws become necessary? world; I am going out of it

. I have played long is not the same reason available in theology and in enough to be heartily tired of the drama. Whether politicks? If the laws of nature are the laws of I have acted my part in it well or ill, posterity God, is it consistent with the divine wisdom to will judge with more candour than I, or than the prescribe rules to us, and leave the enforcement present age, with our present passions, can possibly of them to the folly of human institutions ? Will pretend to. For my part, I quit it without a sigh, you follow truth but to a certain point ?

and submit to the sovereign order without murWe are indebted for all our miseries to our muring. The nearer we approach to the goal of distrust of that guide which Providence thought life, the better we begin to understand the true sufficient for our condition, our own natural rea- value of our existence, and the real weight of our Son, which rejecting both in human and divine opinions. We set out much in love with both; things, we have given our necks to the yoke of but we leave much behind us as we advance. We political and theological slavery. We have re- first throw away the tales along with the rattles nounced the prerogative of man, and it is no won- of our nurses ; those of the priest keep their hold der that we should be treated like beasts. But our a little longer; those of our governours the longest misery is much greater than theirs, as the crime of all. But the passions which

But the passions which prop these opinions we commit in rejecting the lawful dominion of are withdrawn one after another; and the cool our reason is greater than any which they can light of reason, at the setting of our life, shews us commit. If after all, you should confess all these what a false splendour played upon these objects things, yet plead the necessity of political institu- during our more sanguine seasons. Happy, my tions

, weak and wicked as they are, I can argue Lord, if instructed by my experience, and even by with equal, perhaps superiour, force, concerning the my errours, you come early to make such an estinecessity of artificial religion; and every step you mate of things, as may give freedom and ease to advance in your argument, you add a strength to your life. I am happy that such an estimate promine. So that if we are resolved to submit our mises me comfort at my death.

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