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be specially understood; and to un- | every other proposed standard really derstand conduct at large, as exhibited derives its authority therefrom. "Pleaby all living creatures in their adjust sure somewhere, at some time, to some ment of acts to ends, we are obliged being or beings, is an inexpugnable to study the evolution of conduct. In element of the conception' of an doing so, we find that the most highly ultimate moral aim. It is as evolved conduct is that in which the much a necessary form of moral adjustment of acts to ends is most intuition as space is a necessary complete,—that which best subserves form of intellectual intuition.' Furthe maintenance of individual life, ther, as Mr. Spencer points out this both in length and fulness, together necessity of thought originates in the with maintenance of progeny, and very nature of sentient existence. Senthus of the race ;—and this not only tient existence can evolve only on conwithout interfering with other crea dition that pleasure-giving acts are lifetures in the attainment of similar sustaining acts.' Thus, the most highly ends, but assisting them therein by evolved existence will be that in which co-operation. On examining the lead there is a maximum of pleasurable ing moral ideas men have otherwise sentiency; and it has been already reached, we find that this highly-evol shown that the conduct subserving ved conduct, coincides with what is this highest degree of evolution is, pronounced good conduct, and that ethically considered, the best. Therewhat werecognize as the ideal goal to the fore it is the business of ethics to disnatural evolution of conduct, is what cover the laws by virtue of which ceris recognized as the ideal standard of tain conduct conduces to this highest conduct ethically considered. Other stage of evolution, this maximum of hapthings equal, well adjusted self-con piness, this summum bonum ; 'to de serving acts we call good; other termine how and why certain modes of things equal, we call good the acts conduct are detrimental, and certain that are well adjusted for bringing up other modes beneficial.' The mere progeny capable of complete living ; conclusion, based upon an empirical and other things equal, we ascribe induction from known facts, that cergoodness to acts which further the tain conduct is beneficial, or vice versa, complete living of others' (page 44). does not satisfy the requirements of a It is evident that these judgments in scientific system of morality. At this volve the assumption that life is de point, indeed, we discover the chief sirable. The pessimist cannot con defect of all current methods of ethics, sistently call good, acts subserving the i. e. the entire absence, or inadequate maintenance of life. But pessimist presence in them, of the idea of cauand optimist agree on the postulate sation. Mr. Spencer brings out this that life is desirable or undesirable fact very saliently in the course of his 'according as the average conscious examination of the moral theories of ness accompanying it is pleasurable the theological, the political (or 'Act or painful. Whence it follows, that if of Parliament'), and the intuitional we call the good conduct conducive to schools of ethics. He then criticizes, life, we can do so only with the im as exhibiting the same neglect of ultiplication that it is conducive to a sur mate causal connections, the empirical plus of pleasures over pains' (p. 45). branch of that Utilitarianism which, This view of conduct as good or bad, in its 'greatest happiness' principle, 'according as its aggregate results, to would seem entitled to claim him as self or others or both, are pleasurable an adherent. The Utilitarianism, he or painful,' Mr. Spencer demonstrates says, ' which recognises only the princonclusively to be involved in all the ciples of conduct reached by induction, current judgments on conduct; while | is but preparatory to the Utilitarianism which deduces those principles and Mr. Spencer, therefore, proceeds from the processes of life as carried on to the consideration of moral phenomunder established conditions of exist ena as phenomena of evolution, takence. .. Every science begins ing in succession the physical view, by accumulating observations, and the biological view, the psychological presently generalizes these empirically; view, and the sociological view. The but only when it reaches the stage at conclusions at which he arrives in which its empirical generalizations are each of these departments the reader included in a rational generalization, must seek in Mr. Spencer's work does it become developed science. As itself. Here it must suffice to have tronomy has already passed through indicated his method, and to add that, its successive stages,'—while geology, in the fundamental truths which that biology, psychology, and sociology are method discloses, we find those laws, becoming sciences proper only as fast by acting in harmony with which as the phenomena with which their human conduct will attain to the generalizations deal, are explained as highest degree of evolution, so proconsequences of ultimate principles. ducing as we have seen, the maximum Ethics can be considered a developed of happiness, and therefore, ex hyposcience only when it has undergone a thesis of moral excellence. Conselike transformation. 'A preparation quently, upon a 'rational generalization' in the simpler sciences is pre-supposed. of those laws must be based that Ethics has a physical aspect; since it system of Absolute Ethics which will treats of human activities which, in com- | govern the ideal man as existing in mon with all expenditures of energy the ideal social state. On the evoluconform to the law of the persistence tion-hypothesis, the two presuppose of energy : moral principles must con one another; and only when they coform to physical necessities. It has a exist, can there exist that ideal conbiological aspect ; since it concerns duct which Absolute Ethics bas to certain effects, inner and outer, indi formulate, and which Relative Ethics. vidual and social, of the vital changes has to take as the standard by which going on in the highest type of animal. to estimate divergencies from right, It has a psychological aspect; for its or degrees of wrong' (p. 280). subject matter is an aggregate of ac | The primary principleof Mr. Spencer's. tions that are prompted by feelings and moral theory.- Pleasure somewhere, guided by intelligence. And it has a at some time, to some being or beings,' sociological aspect; for these actions, -stated thus nakedly, is of course liable some of them directly and all of them to much misinterpretation. It is conindirectly, affect associated beings. sequently with reluctance that this What is the implication ? Belonging brief paper is brought to a conclusion under one aspect to each of these sci without something more than a mere ences—physical, biological, psycholo allusion to his qualifications of that gical, sociological, it can find its ulti principle, and his insistence on the mate interpretations only in those necessity of supplementing it with secfundamental truths which are common ondary principles. But the limits of to all of them.'
my space render it impossible for me The phenomena dealt with by each to enter further into detail, or to imof these sciences conforming to the prove in any respect on the bald ablaws of Evolution, we are brought in stract I have given of, perhaps, one of a more special way to the conclusion the most important and significant already arrived at, that conduct at works of the day. It is with especial large, including the conduct Ethics regret that I am forced to leave altodeals with, is to be fully understood gether unnoticed Mr. Spencer's exonly as an aspect of evolving life;' | haustive discussion of the claims of
Egoism vs. Altruism, and Altruism vs. Egoism, which is of fascinating interest.
The problem, how to harmonize them, has always been a standing difficulty among such moralists as have realized that the extreme theories on both sides,-pure self-abnegation as well as pure self-gratification-are equally suicidal. Mr. Spencer seems
to have found the golden mean; and his chapter on their Conciliation' by the concurrent diminution of pain and evolution of sympathy, gives a forecast of a future morality so noble that none who honour Christianity wisely, will resent his reference to this evolutionist ideal as “a rationalized version of its ethical principles.
SONG OF THE ENGLISH LABOURER.
BY ARTHUR JOHN LOCKHART,
T ROM the crowded city streets, and its marts there comes a cry,
T There is nought that we can do we have not wherewith to buy ;
Studious leisure we have not, and we know not cultured ease,
• The pittance is but scant, and but grudgingly 'tis paid,
• O rich man, unto whom all the mingled treasures flow,
• Yet even to the poor there are none who may deny
The beauty of the earth, and the splendour of the sky;
"And Love will ope the gates when the father comes at eve,
And the little children run his caresses to receive;
THE PROSPECT OF A MORAL INTERREGNUM.
BY GOLDWIN SMITH, M.A., TORONTO.
TN a paper on the results of universal sentially Christian point of view. In
I suffrage which appeared a short time the next generation Evolutionists and ago in the Atlantic Monthly, among the the belief in the struggle for existence adverse influences for which allowance will he clear of the penumbra of gospel ought to be made, was mentioned the morality, and the world will then have disturbance of morality, political and their Sermon on the Mount. general, at the present juncture by the It is commonly assumed by Positivists breaking up of religious belief. The writ (if that is the appropriate name for the er has since been struck, on more than anti-theological school) that the religions one occasion, by the unsuspec ing com of the world have been merely so many placancy with which thinkers of the Ma primitive and unscientific attempts to terialist or the Agnostic School seem to explain the origin of things and the regard the immediate future ; as though phenomena of nature by reference to the religion had been merely an obstruction arbitrary action of a divinity or a group in the way of science, and its removal of divinities. Were it so, we might see were sure to be followed by a happy ac the last of them go to its grave without celeration of scientific progress without misgiving, or rather with a jubilant sense danger to morality, or to anything else of final emancipation. But the fact in human life. Some of them speak as eurely is quite otherwise. The religions if the peculiar moral code of Christian have been much more than infantine ity would remain unaffected, or would cosmogonies or explanations of physical even practically gain influence, by the phenomena; each of them in its turn has total destruction of the Christian faith. been the basis of moral life,, and espeThey seem almost to think that, under cially of the moral life of the community; the reign of evolution, natural selection, each of them after its fashion has been and the struggle for existence, the Ser the support of righteousness and the termon on the Mount will still be accepted ror of unrighteousness. Overlaid and as perfectly true; that the Christian beati disguised by fable, cereinony, and priesttudes will retain their place; and that craft the moral element has been, but it meekness, humility, poverty of spirit, has always been present in everything forgiveness, unwordliness, will continue that could be called a religious system. to be regarded as virtues. Much less do Particularly is this true of the great rethey suspect that the brotherhood of man ligions, and above all of Christianity, may fall when its present foundation which is clearly an effort to improve fails, or that the weak things of this morality and to give it a consecrated world may miss the protection which the type and a divine foundation, not to exlife and death of Christ and the conse plain phenomena of any kind. A part, cration of his character have hitherto indeed, from miracles, which belong to a afforded them against the strong. The totally different category, the gospel says truth is that many who have renounced very little about the physical world ; it Christianity have not yet ceased to be rebukes an excessive belief in special inChristians, or begun to regard human i terpositions of Providence by the aponature and society from any but an es- logue of the Tower of Siloam, and in the
single petition Give us this day our í he repudiates his trust. Afterwards he daily bread ’ it hardly implies anything consults the Delphic oracle on the promore than sustaining care.
priety of forswearing himself to keep his So with the doctrine of the immortal prize. • O Glaucus,' answers the oraity of the soul. This may have been cle, 'for the present it is expedient for always mixed up more or less with ani thee to gain thy cause by false swearing mistic fancy, but animistic fancy is not and to embezzle the money. Swear, the essence of it; the essence of it is, then ; all alike must die, he that swearto righteousness assured reward, to un eth falsely and he that doth not. But righteousness inevitable retribution. the Oath hath an offspring that is name
It may be that morality is now about less, without hands or feet; yet swiftly to disengage itself finally from religion, it pursues a man, till it overtakes and and to find a new basis in science ; but destroys his whole house and race. But in the past it has rested on religious be he that sweareth and deceiveth not is in lief, and the collapse of religious belief his posterity more blessed.' Glaucus has accordingly been always followed by implores the god to pardon him and to a sort of moral interregnum.
spare his race. But the oracle replies It will not be questioned that the mor that to tempt the god is as bad as to al civilization of Hellas, for instance, in do the act; and though Glaucus restores her earlier and brighter day, was sup the money, the divine wrath extirpates ported by her religion. This is seen in his race, that penalty being the primievery page of Herodotus, Æschylus, Pin tive and tribal equivalent for the future dar, Sophocles, the best mirrors of the punishment threatened by more spiritual heroic age. It appears in the religious creeds. character of Hellenic art, of the drama, That the sanction of morality in the of the games, as well as in the influ conception of the historian and his conence of the Eleusinian mysteries. It ap temporaries was not merely prudential, pears above all in the authority of the or of the kind cognizable by social sciDelphic oracle. During that age, man ence, but religions, appears most plainly ifestly, power not seldom was led to fore from the words of the oracle, placing the go its advantage, strength to respect the corrupt thought on a level with the evil rights of weakness, by fear of the gods. deed. In the relations between the separate Hellenic religion, however, was entanstates and their conduct towards each gled with a gross mythology, immoral ether the influence of religion wielded by legends, a worship of sacrifices, a thanthe Delphic oracle was evidently power maturgic priesthood, an infantine cosful for good. Hellenic life, public and mogony, a polytheistic division of the private, in those days was full of religion, physical universe into the domains of a which presented itself in different forms number of separate deities. It fell beaccording to individual character and in fore awakened intellect and the first eftellect; in the philosopher approaching forts of scientific speculation. Its fall and moral theism, while among the people the rise of a physical philosophy on its at large it was fed with ceremony and ruins were ultimately conducive to profable.
gress. But Hellenic morality, especially Every one knows the passage in (Edi public and international morality, felt pus Tyrannus hymning in language of the withdrawal of its basis. In Thubreadth and grandeur unsurpassed the cydides the presence of scientific seepti. religious source of the moral law: "Be cism in its early stage is strongly marked; it ever mine to keep a devout purity con at its side appears political Machiavelcerning all things, whether words or ism, if we may use that name by anticideeds, whereof the laws are established pation ; and the sime page testifies to on high, born of the heavenly ether, hav the general dissolution of moral ties and ing no sire but Olympus, the offspring the lapse of Hellas into a state in which of none of mortal mould, nor ever to be might made right, and public life became buried in oblivion. Great in these is a mere struggle for existence, wherein the divine power, and it waxeth not old.' the fittest, that is the strongest or the
In Herodotus, Glaucus, renowned for most cunning, survived. The Athenian his righteousness, receives a large de envoys, in their controversy with the posit of money from a stranger. When, Melians, which is evidently intended by the depositor being dead, his sons apply | Thucydides to dramatize the prevailing for the money, the virtue of Glaucus fails; ' morality, frankly enunciate the doctrine