Nothing is more usual among states which have made some advances in commerce, than to look on the progress of their neighbours with a suspicious eye, to consider all trading states as their rivals, and to suppose that it is impossible for any of them to flourish, but at their expense. In opposition to this narrow and malignant opinion, I will venture to assert, that the increase of riches and commerce in any one nation, instead of hurting, commonly promotes the riches and commerce of all its neighbours; and that a state can scarcely carry its trade and industry very far, where all the surrounding states are buried in ignorance, sloth, and barbarism.

It is obvious, that the domestic industry of a people cannot be hurt by the greatest prosperity of their neighbours; and as this branch of commerce is undoubtedly the most important in any extensive kingdom, we are so far removed from all reason of jealousy. But I go farther and observe, that where an open communication is preserved among nations, it is impossible but the domestic industry of every one must receive an increase from the improvements of the others. Compare the situation of Great Britain at present with what it was two centuries

ago. All the arts both of agriculture and manufactures were then extremely rude and imperfect. Every improvement, which we have since made, has arisen from our imitation of foreigners; and we ought so far to esteem it happy, that they had previously made advances in arts and ingenuity. But this intercourse is still upheld to our great advantage : notwithstanding the advanced state of our manufactures, we daily adopt, in every art, the inventions and improvements of our neighbours. The commodity is first imported from abroad, to our great discontent, while we imagine that it drains us of our money; afterwards, the art itself is gradually imported, to our visible advantage; yet we continue still to repine, that our neighbours should possess any art, industry, and invention ; forgetting that, had they not first instructed us, we should have been at present barbarians; and did they not still continue their instructions, the arts must fall into a state of languor, and lose that emulation and novelty which contribute so much to their advancement.

The increase of domestic industry lays the foundation of foreign commerce. Where a great number of commodities are raised and perfected for the home-market, there will always be found some which can be exported with advantage. But if our neighbours have no art or cultivation, they cannot take them; because they will have nothing to give in exchange. In this respect states are in the same condition as individuals. A single man can scarcely be industrious, where all his fellow-citizens are idle. The riches of the several members of a community contribute to increase my riches, whatever profession I may follow. They consume the produce of my industry, and afford me the produce of theirs in return.

Nor need any state entertain apprehensions that their neighbours will improve to such a degree in every art and manufacture as to have no demand from them. Nature, by giving a diversity of geniuses, climates, and soils, to different nations, has secured their mutual intercourse and commerce, as long as they all remain industrious and civilized. Nay, the more the arts increase in any state, the more will be its demands from its industrious neighbours. The inhabitants, having become opulent and skilful, desire to have every commodity in the utmost perfection; and as they have plenty of commodities to give in exchange, they make large importations from every foreign country. The industry of the nations, from whom they import, receives encouragement: their own is also increased, by the sale of the commodities which they give in exchange.

But what if a nation has any staple commodity, such as the woollen manufacture is in England ? Must not the interfering of our neighbours in that manufacture be a loss to us? I answer, that when any commodity is denominated the staple of a kingdom, it is supposed that this kingdom has some peculiar and natural advantages for raising the commodity; and if, notwithstanding these advantages, they lose such a manufacture, they ought to blame their own idleness, or bad government, not the industry of their neighbours. It ought also to be considered, that by the increase of industry among the neighbouring nations, the consumption of every particular species of commodity is also increased; and though foreign manufactures interfere with them in the market, the demand for their product may still continue, or even increase; and should it diminish, ought the consequence to be esteemed so fatal? If the spirit of industry be preserved, it may easily be diverted from one branch to another; and the manufacturers of wool, for instance, be employed in linen, silk, iron, or any other commodities, for which there appears to be a demand. We need not apprehend, that all the objects of industry will be exhausted, or that our

[merged small][ocr errors]

manufacturers, while they remain on an equal footing with those of our neighbours, will be in danger of wanting employment. The emulation

among rival nations serves rather to keep industry alive in all of them; and any people is happier who possess a variety of manufactures, than if they enjoyed one single great manufacture, in which they are all employed. Their situation is less precarious ; and they will feel less sensibly those revolutions and uncertainties to which every particular branch of commerce will always be exposed.

The only commercial state that ought to dread the improvements and industry of their neighbours, is such a one as the Dutch, who, enjoying no extent of land, nor possessing any number of native commodities, flourish only by their being the brokers and factors, and carriers of others. Such a people may naturally apprehend, that as soon as the neighbouring states come to know and pursue their interest, they will take into their own hands the management of their affairs, and deprive their brokers of that profit which they formerly reaped from it. But though this consequence may naturally be dreaded, it is very long before it takes place; and by art and industry it may be warded off for many generations, if not wholly eluded. The advantage of superior stocks and correspondence is so great, that it is not easily overcome; and as all the transactions increase by the increase of industry in the neighbouring states, even a people whose commerce stands on this precarious basis, may at first reap a considerable profit from the flourishing condition of their neighbours. The Dutch, having mortgaged all their revenues, make not such a figure in political transactions as formerly; but their commerce is surely equal to what it was in the middle of the last century, when they were reckoned among the great powers of Europe.

Were our narrow and malignant politics to meet with success, we should reduce all our neighbouring nations to the same state of sloth and ignorance that prevails in Morocco and the coast of Barbary. But what would be the consequence? They could send us no commodities : they could take none from us : our domestic commerce itself would languish for want of emulation, example, and instruction ; and we ourselves should soon fall into the same abject condition to which we had reduced them. I shall therefore venture to acknowledge, that, not only as a man, but as a British subject, I pray for the flourishing commerce of Germany, Spain, Italy, and even France itself. I am at

least certain, that Great Britain, and all those nations, would flourish more, did their sovereigns and ministers adopt such enlarged and be nevolent sentiments towards each other.

15.-The Measures and Offices of friendship.

JEREMY TAYLOR. [JEREMY TAYLOR, Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore,—one of the greatest of the great Divines of the Church of England,—was the son of a barber at Cambridge. He was born in 1613. He says him. self that he was “solely grounded in grammar and mathematics by his father.” In his thirteenth year he was admitted a sizar of Caius College, Cambridge. By a sizar was then understood a poor student, who performed humble offices in the college. Out of this rank have come some of the most eminent of our scholars. Very early he obtained the patronage of Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury: who placed him at All Souls' College, Oxford, and nominated him, by a stretch of authority, Fellow of that College. In 1637 he was appointed to the Rectory of Uppingham; but his living was sqeuestrated in the Civil Wars. For some years he suffered poverty and imprisonment; he kept a school; he was a dependant upon private bounty. But he laboured unremittingly; he preached and he published. Upon the Restoration, in 1660, he was nominated by the king to his Irish Bishopric. Here he resided for seven years, discharging his duties with the most exemplary industry, and endeavouring to win all men to his fold by unremitting love. His period of prosperity was not of long duration. He died of a fever in 1667, in his fifty-fifth year. The character of Taylor's writings which was given by his successor, Dr. Rust, in his funeral sermon, is not an exaggeration :—They “ will be famous to all succeeding generations for their greatness of wit, and profoundness of judgment, and richness of fancy, and clearness of expression, and copiousness of invention, and general usefulness to all the purposes of a Christian.” Reginald Heber, the admirable Bishop of Calcutta, has prefixed an excellent biography of Jeremy Taylor to the valuable edition of his works in 15 vols. There is also a complete edition, sold at a moderate price, in three large volumes, printed by Mr. Childs, of Bungay.]

You first enquire, how far a dear and perfect friendship is authorized by the principles of Christianity ?

To this, I answer; that the word “friendship” in the sense we commonly mean by it, is not so much as named in the New Testament; and our religion takes no notice of it. You think it strange; but read on before you spend so much as the beginning of a passion or a wonder upon it. There is mention of “friendship with the world,” and it is said to be “enmity with God;” but the word is nowhere else named, or to any other purpose, in all the New Testament. It speaks of friends often; but by friends are meant our acquaintance, or our kindred, the relatives of our family, or our fortune, or our sect; something of society, or something of kindness, there is in it; a tenderness of appellation and civility, a relation made by gifts, or by duty, by services and subjection ; and I think I have reason to be confident, that the word “ friend” (speaking of human intercourse) is no otherwise used in the Gospels, or Epistles, or Acts of the Apostles: and the reason of it is, the word friend is of a large signification; and means all relations and societies, and whatsoever is not enemy. But by friendships, I suppose you mean the greatest love, and the greatest usefulness, and the most open communication, and the noblest sufferings, and the most exemplar faithfulness, and the severest truth, and the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds, of which brave men and women are capable. But then I must tell


that Christianity hath new christened it, and calls this charity. The Christian knows no enemy he hath; that is, though persons may be injurious to him, and unworthy in themselves, yet he knows none whom he is not first bound to forgive, which is indeed to make them on his part to be no enemies, that is, to make that the word enemy shall not be perfectly contrary to friend, it shall not be a relative term, and signify something on each hand, a relative and a correlation; and then he knows none whom he is not bound to love and pray for, to treat kindly and justly, liberally and obligingly. Christian charity is friendship to all the world; and when friendships were the noblest things in the world, charity was little, like the sun drawn in at a chink, or his beams drawn into the centre of a burning-glass; but Christian charity is friendship expanded like the face of the sun when it mounts above the eastern hills: and I was strangely pleased when I saw something of this in Cicero; for I have been so pushed at by herds and flocks of people that follow anybody that whistles to them, or drives them to pasture, that I am grown afraid of any truth that seems chargeable

« VorigeDoorgaan »