Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

ef France called in the help of Spain against as their countrymen. It will not be denied that Huguenot king. Would it be fair to infer, that they are far better atfected to the state than the at present the French Protestants would wish followers of Coligni or Vane. But they are to see their religion made dominant by the help not so well treated as the dissenting secrs of of a Prussian or English army? Surely not. Christians are now treated in England; and And why is it that they are not willing, as they on this account, and, we firmly believe, on this formerly were willing, to sacrifice the interests account alone, they have a more exclusive of their country to the interests of their reli- spirit. Till we have carried the experiment gious persuasion ? The reason is obvious: they farther, we are not entitled to conclude that were persecuted then, and are not persecuted they cannot be made Englishmen altogether. now. The English Puritans, under Charles The statesman who treats them as aliens, and the First, prevailed on the Scoich to invade then abuses them for not entertaining all the England. Do the Protestant Dissenters of our feelings of natives, is as unreasonable as the time wish to see the church put down by an tyrant who punished their fathers for not make invasion of foreign Calvinists? If not, to what ing bricks without straw. cause are we to atıribute the change? Surely Rulers must not be suffered thus to absolve to this, that the Protestant Dissenters are far bei-themselves of their solemn responsibility. It ter treated now than in the seventeenth century. does not lie in their mouths to say that a sect Some of the most illustrious public men that is not patriotic. It is their business to make England ever produced were inclined to take it patriotic. History and reason clearly indi. refuge from the tyranny of Laud in North cate the means. The English Jews are, as far America. Was this because Presbyterians and as we can see, precisely what our government Independents are incapable of loving their has made them. They are precisely what any country? But it is idle to multiply instances. sect, what any class of men, treated as they Nothing is so offensive to a man who knows have been treated, would have been. If all the any thing of history or of human nature as 10 red-haired people in Europe had, during cen. hear those who exercise the powers of govern- turies, been outraged and oppressed, banished ment accuse any sect of foreign attachments. from this place, imprisoned in thai, deprived If there be any proposition universally true in of their money, deprived of their teeth, con. politics it is this, that foreign attachments are victed of the most improbable crimes on the the fruit of domestic misrule. It has always feeblest evidence, dragged at horses' tails, been the trick of bigots to make their subjects hanged, tortured, burned alive, if, when man. miserable at home, and then to complain that ners became milder, they had still becn subject they look for relief abroad; to divide society, to debasing restrictions and exposed to vulgar and to wonder that it is not united; to govern insults, locked up in particular streets in some as if a section of the state were the whole, and countries, pelted and duncked by the rabble in to censure the other sections of the state for others, excluded everywhere from magistracies their want of patriotic spirit. If the Jews have and honours, what would be the patriotism of not selt towards England like children, it is gentlemen with red hair? And if, under such because she has treated them like a step- circumstances, a proposition were made for mother. There is no feeling which more cer- admitting red-haired men to office, how striking tainly developes itself in the minds of men a speech might an eloquent admirer of our living under tolerably good government than old institutions deliver against so revolutionary the feeling of patriotism. Since the beginning a measure ! “ These men,” he might say, of the world, there never was any nation, or “ scarcely consider themselves as Englishmen. any large portion of any nation, not cruelly They think a red-haired Frenchman or a redoppressed, which was wholly destitute of that haired German more closely connected with feeling, To make it therefore ground of ac-them than a man with brown hair born in their cusation against a class of men, that they are own parish. If a foreign sovereign patronizes not patriotic, is the most vulgar legerdemain red hair, they love him berler than their own of sophistry. It is the logic which the wolf native king. They are not Englishmen: they employs against the lamb. It is in accuse the cannot be Englishmen: nature has forbidden mouth of the stream of poisoning the source. it: experience proves it to be impossible.

If the English Jews really felt a deadly hatred Right to political power they have none; for to England, if the weekly prayer of their syna- no man has a right to political power. Let gogues were that all the curses denounced by them enjoy personal security; let their pro Ezekiel on Tyre and Egypt might fall on Lon- perty be under the protection of the law. But don, if, in their solemn feasts, they called down if they ask for leave to exercise power over a blessings on those who should dash our chil. community of which they are only half memdren to pieces on the stones, still, we say, their bers, a community the constitution of which is hatred to their countrymen would not be more essentially dark-haired, let us answer them in intense than that which sects of Christians the words of our wise-ancestors, Nolumus leges have often borne to each other. But in fact Angliæ mulari.” the feeling of the Jews is not such. It is pre But, it is said, the Scriptures declare that cisely what, in the situation in which they are the Jews are to be restored to their own coudplaced, we should expect it to be. They are try; and the whole nation looks forward to treated far better than the French Protestants that restoration. They are, therefore, not so vere ireated in the sixteenth and seventeenth deeply interested as others in the prosperity of centuries, or than our Puritans were treated in England. It is not their home, but merely the the time of Laud. They, therefore, have no place of their sojourn, the house of their bon. rancour against the government or against dage. This argument, which first appeared in

the Times newspaper, and which has attracted which they have never done. She enjoins bes a degree of attention proportioned not so much priests to observe strict purity. Yon are to its own intrinsic force as to the general always taunting them with their licentious. talent with which that journal is conducted, ness. She commands all her followers to last belongs to a class of sophisms by which the often, to be charitable to the poor, to take no most hateful persecutions may easily be jus interest for money, to fight no duels, to see no fied. To charge men with practical conse- plays. Do they obey these injunctions! If it quences which they themselves deny, is disin- be the fact that very few of them strictly obgenuous in controversy; it is atrocious in serve her precepts, when her precepts are government. The doctrine of predestination, opposed to their passions and interesis, may in the opinion of many people, tends to make not loyalty, may not humanity, may cot the those who hold it utterly immoral. And cer. love of ease, may not the fear of death, be tainly it would seem that a man who believes sufficient to prevent them from executing his eternal desting to be already irrevocably those wicked orders which she has issued fixed is likely to indulge his passions without against the sovereign of England? When restraint and to neglect his religious duties. we know that many of these people do not If he is an heir of wrath, his exertions must be care enough for their religion tc go without unavailing. If he is preordained to life, they beef on a Friday for it, why should we think must be superfluous. But would it be wise to that they will run the risk of being racked and punish every man who holds the higher doc- hanged for it? trines of Calvinism, as if he had actually com- People are now reasoning about the Jews as mitled all those crimes which we know some our fathers reasoned about the Papists. The Antinomians to have committed ? Assuredly law which is inscribed on the walls of the sy. not. The fact notoriously is that there are nagogues prohibits covetousness. But if we many Calvinists as moral in their conduct as were to say that a Jew mortgagee would not any Arminian, and many Arminians as loose foreclose, because God had commanded him as any Calvinist.

not to covet his neighbour's house, every body It is altogether impossible to reason from would think us out of our wits. Yet it passes the opinions which a man professes to his feel. for an argument to say that a Jew will take no ings and his actions; and in fact no person is interest in the prosperity of the country in ever such a fool as to reason thus, except when which he lives, that he will not care how bad he wants a pretext for persecuting his neigh- its laws and police may be, how heavily it bours. A Christian is commanded, under the may be taxed, how ofien it may be conquered strongest sanctions, to be just in all his deal- and given up to spoil, because God has proings. Yet to how many of the twenty-four mised that, by some unknown means, and at millions of professing Christians in these isl- some undetermined time, perhaps ten thousand ands would any man in his senses lend a thou- years hence, the Jews shall migrate to Palessand pounds without security? A man who line. Is not this the most profound ignorance should act, for one day, on the supposition that of human nature ! Do we not know that what all the people about him were inäuenced by is remote and indefinite affects men far less the religion which they professed, would find than what is near and certain ? himself ruined before night; and no man ever ment too applies to Christians as strongly as does act on that supposition in any of the ordi. to Jews. The Christian believes, as well as nary concerns of life, in borrowing, in lend- the Jew, that at some future period the pres. ing, in buying, or in selling. But when any of ent order of things will come to an end. Nay, our feliow.creatures are to be oppressed, the many Christians believe that the Messiah will case is different. Then we represent those shortly establish a kingdom on the earth, and motives which we know to be so feeble for reign visibly over all its inhabitants. Whether good as omnipotent for evil. Then we lay to this doctrine be orthodox or not we shall not ine charge of our victims all the vices and here inquire. The number of people who hold follies to which their doctrines, however re- it is very much greater than the number of motely, seem to tend. We forget that the same Jews residing in England. Many of those who weakness, the same laxity, the same disposi- hold it are distinguished by rank, wealth, and tion to prefer the present to the future, which ability. It is preached from pulpits, both of make inen worse than a good religion, make the Scottish and of the English church. No them better than a bad one.

blemen and members of parliament have writo It' was in this way that our ancestors rea- ten in defence of it. Now wherein does this soned, and that some people in our own time doctrine differ, as far as its political tendency still reason, about the Catholics.

A Papist is concerned, from the doctrine of the Jews! bclieves himself bound to obey the pope. The If a Jew is unfit to legislate for us because he pope has issued a bull deposing Queen Eli. believes that he or his remote descendents will zabeth. Therefore every Papist will treat be removed to Palestine, can we safely open her grace as an usurper. Therefore every the House of Commons to a fifth monarchy Papist is a traitor. Therefore every Papist man who expects that, before this generation ought to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. To shall pass away, all the kingdoms of the earth this logic we owe some of the most hateful will be swallowed up in one divine empire ! laws that ever disgraced our history. Surely Does a Jew engage less eagerly than a Chris the answer lies on the surface. The church tian in any competition which the law leaves of Rome may have commanded these men to open to him? Is he less active and regular in treat the queen as an usurper. But she has his business than his neighbours! Does he wmmanded them to many other things furnish his house meanly, because he is a pib

The argu

grim and sojourner in the land? Does the ex. that crime which made the earth shake anu pectation of being restored to the country of blotted out the sun from heaven? The same his fathers make him insensible to the fluctua. reasoning which is now employed to vindicats tions of the stock-exchange? Docs he, in ar- the disabilities imposed on our Hebrew coun. ranging his private affairs, ever take into the trymen will equally vindicate the kiss of Judas account the chance of his migrating to Pales- and the judgment of Pilate. "'The Son of man tine? If not, why are we to suppose that feel-goeth, as it is written of him; but woe to that ings which never influence his dealings as a man by whom the Son of man is betrayed." merchant, or his dispositions as a testator, will And woe to those who, in any age or in any acquire a boundless influence over him as soon country, disobey his benevolent commands un. as he becomes a magistrate or a legislator? der pretence of accomplishing his predictions

There is another argument which we would If this argument justifies the laws now existing not willingly treat with levity, and which yet we against the Jews, it justifies equally all the scarcely know how to treat seriously. Scrip- cruelties which have ever been committec ture, it is said, is full of terrible denunciations against them, the sweeping edicts of banish against the Jews. It is foretold that they ment and confiscation, the dungeon, the rack. are to be wanderers. Is it then right to give and the slow fire. How can we excuse our. them a home? It is foretold that they are to selves for leaving properly to people who are be oppressed. Can we with propriety suffer" to serve their enemies in hunger, and in thirst, them to be rulers! Tc admit them to the land in nakedness, and in want of all things;" rights of citizens is manifestly to insult the for giving protection to the persons of those Divine oracles.

who are to “fear day and night, and to have We allow that to falsify a prophecy inspired none assurance of their life;" for not seizing by Divine Wisdom would be a most atrocious on the children of a race whose “sons and crime. It is, therefore, a happy circumstance daughters are to be given unto another people." for our frail species, that it is a crime which We have not so learned the doctrines of no man can possibly commit. If we admit the Him who commanded us to love our neighJews to seats in Parliament, we shall, by so bour as ourselves, and who, when he was doing, prove that the prophecies in question, called upon to explain what He meant by a whatever they may mean, do not mean that the neighbour, selected as an example a heretic Jews shall be excluded from Parliament. and an alien. Last year, we remember, it was

In fact it is already clear that the prophecies represented by a pious writer in the John Bull do not bear the meaning put upon them by the newspaper, and by some other equally fervid respectable persons whom we are now answer. Christians, as a monstrous indecency, that the ing. In France and in the United States the measure for the relief of the Jews should be Jews are already admitted to all the rights of brought forward in Passion wcek. One of citizens. A prophecy, therefore, which should these humourists ironically recommended that mean that the Jews would never, during the it should be read a second time on Good Fri course of their wanderings, be admitted to all day. We should have had no objection; nor the rights of citizens in the places of their so- do we believe that the day could be commemo journ, would be a false prophecy. This, there- rated in a more worthy manner. We know of fore, is not the meaning of the prophecies of no day fitter for terminating long hostilities Scripture.

and repairing cruel wrongs, than the day on But we protest altogether against the prac- which ihe religion of mercy was founded. We tice of confounding prophecy with precept, of know of no day fitter for blotting out from the setting up predictions which are often obscure statute book the last traces of intolerance than against a morality which is always clear. If the day on which the spirit of intolerance proactions are to be considered as just and good duced the foulest of all judicial murders, the merely because they have been predicted, what day on which the list of the victims of intoler. action was ever more laudable than that crime ance, thai noble list wherein Socrates and More which our bigots are now, at the end of eighteen are enrolled, was glorified by a yet greater and centarii's, urging us to avenge on the Jews, holier name.

MILL'S ESSAY ON GOVERNMENT."

[EDINBURGH Review, March, 1829.)

Or those philosophers who call themselves them that the studies which they have neglected Utilitarians, and whom others generally call are of no value, puts five or six phrases into Benthamites, Mr. Mill is, with the excep:ion of their mouths, lends them an odd number of the the illustrious founder of the sect, by far the Westminster Review, and in a month trans. most distinguished. The little work now before forms them into philosophers. Mingled with us contains a summary of the opinions held by these smallerers, whose attainments just safice this gentleman and his brethren, on several to elevate them from the insignificance of subjects most important to society. All the dunces to the dignity of bores, and to spread seven Essays of which it consists, abound in dismay among their pious aunts and grande curious matter. But at present we intend to mothers, there are, we well know, many vello confine our remarks to the Treatise on Govern- meaning men, who have really read and ment, which stands first in the volume. On thought much; but whose reading and medisome future occasion we may perhaps altempt tation have been almost exclusively confined to do justice to the rest.

to one class of subjects; and who, consequently, It must be owned, that, to do justice to any though they possess much valuable knowledge composition of Mr. Mill is not, in the opinion respecting those subjects, are by no means so of his admirers, a very easy task. They do well qualified to judge of a great system as if not, indeed, place nim in the same rank with they had taken a more enlarged view of litera. Mr. Bentham ; but the terms in which they ture and society. extol ihe disciple, though feeble when com- Nothing is more amusing or instructive than pared with the hyperboles of admiration em- to observe the manner in which people, who ployed by them in speaking of the master, are think themselves wiser than all the rest of the as strong as any sober inan would allow him- world, fall into snares which the simple good self to use concerning Locke or Bacon. The sense of their neighbours detects and avoids. Essay before us is perhaps the most remarka- It is one of the principal tenets of the Utilita. ble of the works to which Mr. Mill owes his rians, that sentiment and eloquence serve only fame. By the members of his sect, it is con- to impede the pursuit of truth. They theresidered as perfect and unanswerable. Every fore affect a quakerly plainness, or rather a part of it is an article of their faith; and the cynical negligence and impurity of style. The damnatory clauses, in which theircreed abounds sirongest arguments, when clothed in brilliant far beyond any theological symbol with which language, seem to them so much wordy nonwe are acquainted, are strong and full against sense. In the meantime they surrender their all who reject any portion of what is so irre. understandings, with a facility found in no fragably established. No man, they maintaini, other party, to the meanest and most abject who has understanding sufficient to carry him sophisms, provided those sophisms come before through the first proposition of Euclid, can thein disguised with the externals of demonstraread this master-piece of demonstration, and lion. They do not seem to know that logic has honestly declare that he remains unconvinced. its illusions as well as rhetoric,—that a fallacy

We have formed a very different opinion of inay lurk in a syllogism as well as in a this work. We think that the theory of Mr. metaphor. Mill rests altogether on false principles, and Mr. Mill is exactly the writer to please people that even on those false principles he does not of this description. His arguments are stated reason logically. Nevertheless, we do not with the utmost affectation of precision: his think it strange that his speculations should divisions are awfully formal; and his style is have filled the Utilitarians with admiration. generally as dry as that of Euclid's Elements

. We have been for some time past inclined to Whether this be a merit, we must be permitted suspect that these people, whom some regard to doubt. Thus much is certain, thai the ages as the lights of the world, and others as incar. in which the true principles of philosophy nate demons, are in general ordinary men, with were least understood, were those in which the narrow understandings, and little information. ceremonial of logic was most strictly observed, The contempt which they express for elegant and that the time from which we daie the rapid literature is evidently, the contempt of igno- progress of the experimental sciences was also rance. We apprehend that many of them are the time at which a less exact and formal way persons who, having read litile or nothing, are of writing came into use. delighted to be rescued from the sense of their The style which ihe Utilitarians admire, suits own inferiority, by some teacher who assures only those subjects on which it is possible to

reason a priori. It grew up with the verbal • Essays on Government, Jurisprudence, the Liberty of sophistry which flourished during the dark the Prese, Prisuns and Prison Discipline. Colonies, the lar ages. With thai sophistry it fell before the of Varions and Education. By James Mill, Esq., author Baconian philosophy, in the day of the great or the Ilistory of British India. Reprinted by permission deliverance of the human mind. The induc. from the supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. (Not for sale.)

tive method noi cnly endured, but require:,

London. 1828

[ocr errors]

greater freedom of diction. It was impossible in a theory because a fact contradicts il, is what to reason from phenomena up to principles, to neither philosopher nor pope ever before remark slight shades of difference in quality, or quired. This, however, is what Mr. Mill de. to estimate the comparative effect of iwo oppo- mands of us. He seems to think that is all site considerations, between which there was despots, without exception, governed ill, it no common measure, by means of the naked would be unnecessary to prove, by a synthetical and meager jargon of the schoolmen. Of those argument, what would then be sufficiently clear schoolmen, Mr. Mill has inheried both the spirit from experience. But as some despots will be and the style. He is an Aristotelian of the so perverse as to govern well, he finds himself fifteenth century, born out of due season. We compelled to prove the impossibility of their have here an elaborate treatise on government, governing well, by that synthetical argument, from which, but for two or three passing allu- which would have been superfluous had not sions, it would not appear that the author was the facts contradicted it. He reasons a priori, aware that any governments actually existed because the phenomena are not what, by reaamong men. Certain propensities of human soning a priori, he will prove them to be. In nature are assumed; and from these premises other words, he reasons a priori, because, by so the whole science of politics is synthetically reasoning, he is certain to arrive at a false deduced! We can scarcely persuade ourselves conclusion! that we are not reading a book written before In the course of the examination to which the time of Bacon and Galileo,-a book written we propose to subject the speculations of Mr. in those days in which physicians reasoned Mill, we shall have to notice many other curious from the nature of heat to the treatment of instances of that turn of mind which the paso fever, and astronomers proved syllogistically sage above quoted indicates. that the planets could have no independent The first chapter of his Essay relates to the motion,-because the heavens were incorrupti- ends of government. The conception on this ble, and nature abhorred a vacuum !

subject, he tells us, which exists in the minds The reason, too, which Mr. Mill has assigned of most men, is vague and undistinguishing: for taking this course strikes us as most extra. He first assumes, justly enough, that the end ordinary.

of government is "to increase to the almost • Experience,” says he, “ if we look only at the pleasures, and diminish to the utmost the the outside of the facts, appears to be divided on pains, which men derive from each other." He this subject. Absolute monarchy, under Neros inen proceeds to show, with great form, that and Caligulas, under such men as the emperors the greatest possible happiness of society is of Morocco and sultans of Turkey, is the attained by insuring to every man the greatest scourge of human nature. On the other side, possible quantity of the produce of his labour." the people of Denmark, tired out with the op- To effect this is, in his opinion, the end of gopression of an aristocracy, resolved that their vernment. It is remarkable that Mr. Mill, with king should be absolute; and, under their abso- all his affected display of precision. has here lute monarch, are as well governed as any given a description of the ends of government people in Europe."

far less precise than that which is in the This Mr. Mill actually gives as a reasou formouths of the vulgar. The first man with pursuing the a priori method. But, in our whom Mr. Mill may travel in a stage-coach judgment, the very circumstances which he will tell him that government exists for the mentions, irresistibly prove that the a priori protection of the persons and property of men. method is altogether unfit for investigations of Bui Mr. Mill seems to think that ihe preserva. this kindl, and that the only way to arrive at the tion of property is the first and only object. It truth is loy induction. Experience can never be is true, doubtless, that many of ihe injuries divided, or even appear to be divided, except which are offered to the persons of men prowith reference to some hypothesis. When we ceed from a desire to possess their properly. say that one fact is inconsistent with another But the practice of vindictive assassinatior., fact, we mean only that it is inconsistent with as it has existed in some parts of Europe-the the theory which we have founded on that other practice of fighting wanton and sanguinary fact. But, if the fact be certain, the yuavoid duels, like those of the sixteenth and sevenable conclusion is, that our theory is false : and | leenth centuries, in which bands of seconds in order to correct it, we must reason back from risked their lives as well as the principals ;an enlarged collection of facts to principles. these practices, and many others which might

Now, here we have two governments which, be named, are evidently injurious to society; by Mr. Mill's own account, come under the and we do not see how a government which same head in his theoretical classification. It tolerated them could be said “to diminish to is evident, therefore, that, by reasoning on that the utmost the pains which men derive from theoretical classification, we shall be brought each other." Therefore, according to Mr. to the conclusion that these two forms of go. Mill's very correct assumption, such a governvernment must produce the same effects. But ment would not perfectiy accomplish the end Mr. Mill himself tells us, that they do not pro- of its institution. Yet such a government duce the same effects. Hence he infers, that might, as far as we can perceive, “insnre to the only way to get at truth is to place implicit every man the greatest possible quantity of the confidence in that chain of proof a priori, from produce of his labour." Therefore, such a which it appears that they must produce the government might, according to Mr. Mill's same effects! To believe at once in a theory, subsequent doctrine, p rfectly accomplish the and in a fact which contradicts is an exer- end of its institution. The matter is not of cise of faith sufficiently hard : But, to believe much consequence, exc pt as an instance of

« VorigeDoorgaan »