That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.


Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:08 am

On The Constitution of the Church and State, According to the Idea of Each; With Aids Toward a Right Judgment on the Late Catholic Bill
by S.T. Coleridge, Esq., R.A., R.S.L. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
London: Hurst, Chance, and Co., 1830




Table of Contents:

• Advertisement
• Prefatory Remarks
• Concerning the Right Idea of the Constitution
• Paragraph the First
• Paragraph the Second
• Paragraph the Third
• Paragraph the Fourth
• Practical Conclusion
• On the King and the Nation
o The preceding position exemplified.
• Idea of the Christian Church
• On the Third Possible Church or the Church of Antichrist
o On the Church, Neither National Nor Universal
• Second Part: On, Aids to a Right Appreciation of the Bill: Admitting Catholics to Sit in Both Houses of Parliament, &c. &c
o To a Friend
• Glossary
o History of Enthusiasm
• Appendix

THE CLERISY of the nation (a far apter exponent of the thing meant, than the term which the usus et norma loquendi forces on me), the clerisy, I say, or national church, in its primary acceptation and original intention comprehended the learned of all denominations; -- the sages and professors of law and jurisprudence; of medicine and physiology; of music; of military and civil architecture; of the physical sciences; with the mathematical as the common organ of the preceding; in short, all the so called liberal arts and sciences, the possession and application of which constitute the civilization of a country, as well as the Theological. The last was, indeed, placed at the head of all; and of good right did it claim the precedence. But why? Because under the name of Theology, or Divinity, were contained the interpretation of languages; the conservation and tradition of past events; the momentous epochs, and revolutions of the race and nation; the continuation of the records; logic, ethics, and the determination of ethical science, in application to the rights and duties of men in all their various relations, social and civil; and lastly, the ground-knowledge, the prima scientia as it was named, -- PHILOSOPHY, or the doctrine and discipline of ideas. [That is, of knowledges immediate, yet real, and herein distinguished in kind from logical and mathematical truths, which express not realities, but only the necessary forms of conceiving and perceiving, and are therefore named the formal or abstract sciences. Ideas, on the other hand, or the truths of philosophy, properly so called, correspond to substantial beings, to objects whose actual subsistence is implied in their idea, though only by the idea revealable. To adopt the language of the great philosophic apostle, they are "spiritual realities that can only spiritually be discerned," and the inherent aptitude and moral preconfiguration to which constitutes what we mean by ideas, and by the presence of ideal truth, and of ideal power, in the human being. They, in fact, constitute his humanity. For try to conceive a man without the ideas of God, eternity, freedom, will, absolute truth, of the good, the true, the beautiful, the infinite. An animal endowed with a memory of appearances and of facts might remain. But the man will have vanished, and you have instead a creature, "more subtile than any beast of the field, but likewise cursed above every beast of the field; upon the belly must it go and dust must it eat all the days of its life." But I recal myself from a train of thoughts, little likely to find favour in this age of sense and selfishness.]

Theology formed only a part of the objects, the Theologians formed only a portion of the clerks or clergy, of the national church. The theological order had precedency indeed, and deservedly; but not because its members were priests, whose office was to conciliate the invisible powers and to superintend the interests that survive the grave; not as being exclusively, or even principally, sacerdotal or templar, which, when it did occur, is to be considered as an accident of the age, a mis-growth of ignorance and oppression, a falsification of the constitutive principle, not a constituent part of the same. No! The Theologians took the lead, because the SCIENCE of Theology was the root and the trunk of the knowledges that civilized man, because it gave unity and the circulating sap of life to all other sciences, by virtue of which alone they could be contemplated as forming, collectively, the living tree of knowledge. It had the precedency, because, under the name theology, were comprised all the main aids, instruments, and materials of NATIONAL EDUCATION, the nisus formativus of the body politic, the shaping and informing spirit, which educing, i.e. eliciting, the latent man in all the natives of the soil, trains them up to citizens of the country, free subjects of the realm. And lastly, because to divinity belong those fundamental truths, which are the common ground-work of our civil and our religious duties; not less indispensable to a right view of our temporal concerns, than to a rational faith respecting our immortal well-being. (Not without celestial observations, can even terrestrial charts be accurately constructed.) And of especial importance is it to the objects here contemplated, that only by the vital warmth diffused by these truths throughout the MANY, and by the guiding light from the philosophy, which is the basis of divinity, possessed by the FEW, can either the community or its rulers fully comprehend, or rightly appreciate, the permanent distinction, and the occasional contrast, between cultivation and civilization; or be made to understand this most valuable of the lessons taught by history, and exemplified alike in her oldest and her most recent records -- that a nation can never be a too cultivated, but may easily become an over-civilized race...

I may be allowed to express the final cause of the whole by the office and purpose of the greater part -- and this is, to form and train up the people of the country to obedient, free, useful, organizable subjects, citizens, and patriots, living to the benefit of the state, and prepared to die for its defence....

State of nature, or the Ouran Outang theory of the origin of the human race, substituted for the Book of Genesis, ch. I. -- X. Rights of nature for the duties and privileges of citizens. Idealess facts, misnamed proofs from history, grounds of experience, &c., substituted for principles and the insight derived from them.... Meantime, the true historical feeling, the immortal life of an historical Nation, generation linked to generation by faith, freedom, heraldry, and ancestral fame, languishing, and giving place to the superstitions of wealth, and newspaper reputation....

Concluding address to the parliamentary leaders of the Liberalists and Utilitarians. I respect the talents of many, and the motives and character of some among you too sincerely to court the scorn, which I anticipate. But neither shall the fear of it prevent me from declaring aloud, and as a truth which I hold it the disgrace and calamity of a professed statesman not to know and acknowledge, that a permanent, nationalized, learned order, a national clerisy or church, is an essential element of a rightly constituted nation, without which it wants the best security alike for its permanence and its progression; and for which neither tract societies, nor conventicles, nor Lancastrian schools, nor mechanics' institutions, nor lecture-bazaars under the absurd name of universities, nor all these collectively, can be a substitute. For they are all marked with the same asterisk of spuriousness, shew the same distemper-spot on the front, that they are empirical specifics for morbid symptoms that help to feed and continue the disease.

But you wish for general illumination: you would spur-arm the toes of society: you would enlighten the higher ranks per ascensum ab imis. You begin, therefore, with the attempt to popularize science: but you will only effect its plebification. It is folly to think of making all, or the many, philosophers, or even men of science and systematic knowledge. But it is duty and wisdom to aim at making as many as possible soberly and steadily religious; -- inasmuch as the morality which the state requires in its citizens for its own well-being and ideal immortality, and without reference to their spiritual interest as individuals, can only exist for the people in the form of religion.... In fine, Religion, true or false, is and ever has been the centre of gravity in a realm, to which all other things must and will accommodate themselves....

And in the thorough assurance of its truth I make the assertion, that the perspicuity, and (with singularly few exceptions even for us) the uniform intelligibility, and close consecutive meaning, verse by verse, with the simplicity and grandeur of the plan, and the admirable ordonnance of the parts, are among the prominent beauties of the Apocalypse. Nor do I doubt, that the substance and main argument of this sacred oratorio, or drama sui generis (the Prometheus of Eschylus comes the nearest to the kind) were supplied by John the Evangelist: though I incline with Eusebius to find the poet himself in John, an Elder and Contemporary of the Church of Ephesus....

The world in which I exist is another world indeed, but not to come. It is as present as (if that be at all) the magnetic planet, of which, according to the Astronomer HALLEY, the visible globe, that we inverminate, is the case or travelling-trunk -- a neat little world where light still exists in statu perfuso, as on the third day of the Creation, before it was polarised into outward and inward, i.e. while light and life were one and the same, NEITHER existing formally, yet BOTH iminenter: and when herb, flower, and forest, rose as a vision, in proprio lucido, the ancestor and unseen yesterday of the sun and moon. Now, whether there really is such an elysian mundus mundulus incased in the Macrocosm, or Great World, below the Adamantine Vault that supports the Mother Waters, that support the coating crust of that mundus immundus on which we, and others less scantily furnished from nature's Leggery, crawl, delve, and nestle -- (or, shall I say the Liceum, Image -- the said Dr. Halley may, perhaps, by this time, have ascertained: and to him and the philosophic ghosts, his compeers, I leave it. But that another world is inshrined in the microcosm I not only believe, but at certain depths of my Being, during the solemner Sabbaths of the Spirit, I have held commune therewith, in the power of that Faith, which is "the substance of the things hoped for," the living stem that will itself expand into the flower, which it now foreshews. How should it not be so, even on grounds of natural reason, and the analogy of inferior life? Is not nature prophetic up the whole vast pyramid of organic being?

-- On the Constitution of the Church and State
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Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:09 am


THE occasion of this pamphlet will be sufficiently explained, by an extract from a letter to a friend: -- "You express your wonder that I, who have so often avowed my dislike to the introduction even of the word, Religion, in any special sense, in Parliament, or from the mouth of Lawyer or Statesman, speaking as such; who have so earnestly contended, that Religion cannot take on itself the character of Law, without ipse facto ceasing to be Religion, and that Law could neither recognise the obligations of Religion for its principles, nor become the pretended Guardian and Protector of the Faith, without degenerating into inquisitorial tyranny -- that I, who have avowed my belief, that if Sir Matthew Hale's doctrine, that the Bible was a part of the Law of the Land, had been uttered by a Puritan Divine instead of a Puritan Judge, it would have been quoted at this day, as a specimen of puritanical nonsense and bigotry -- you express your wonder, that I, with all these heresies in my head, should yet withstand the measure of Catholic Emancipation, and join in opposing Sir Francis Burdett's intended Bill, for the repeal of the disqualifying statutes! And you conclude by asking: but is this true?

"My answer is: Here are two questions. To the first, viz., is it true that I am unfriendly to (what is called) Catholic Emancipation? I reply: No! the contrary is the truth. There is no inconsistency, however, in approving the thing, and yet having my doubts respecting the manner; in desiring the same end, and yet scrupling the means proposed for its attainment. When you are called in to a consultation, you may perfectly agree with another physician, respecting the existence of the malady and the expedience of its removal, and yet differ respecting the medicines and the method of cure. To your second question (vis., am I unfriendly to the present measure?) I shall return an answer no less explicit. Why I cannot return as brief a one, you will learn from the following pages, transcribed, for the greater part, from a paper drawn up by me some years ago, at the request of a gentleman (that I have been permitted to call him my friend, I place among the highest honors of my life), an old and intimate friend of the late Mr. Canning's; and which paper, had it been finished before he left England, it was his intention to have laid before the late Lord Liverpool.

"From the period of the Union to the present hour, I have neglected no opportunity of obtaining correct information from books and from men, respecting the facts that bear on the question, whether they regard the existing state of things, or the causes and occasions of it; nor, during this time, has there been a single speech of any note, on either side, delivered, or reported as delivered, in either House of Parliament, which I have not heedfully and thoughtfully perused, abstracting and noting down every argument that was not already on the list, which, I need not say, has for many years past few accessions to boast of. Lastly, my conclusion I have subjected, year after year, to a fresh revisal, conscious but of one influence likely to warp my judgment, and this is the pain, I might with truth add, the humiliation, of differing from men, whom I loved and revered, and whose superior competence to judge right in this momentous cause, I knew and delighted to know; and this aggravated by the reflection, that in receding from Burkes, Cannings, and Lansdownes, I did not move a step nearer to the feelings and opinions of then antagonists.

Burke possessed and had sedulously sharpened that eye which sees all things, actions, and events, in relation to the laws which determine their existence and circumscribe their possibility. He referred habitually to principles: he was a scientific statesman, and therefore a Seer. For every principle contains in itself the germs of a prophecy; and, as the prophetic power is the essential privilege of science, so the fulfillment of its oracles supplies the outward, and (to men in general) the only test, of its claim to the title. There is not one word I would add or withdraw from this, scarcely one which I would substitute. I can read Burke, and apply everything not merely temporary to the present most fearful condition of our country. I cannot conceive a time or a state of things in which the writings of Burke will not have the highest value.

-- The Table Talk and Omniana of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: With Additional Table Talk from Allsop's "Recollections," and Manuscript Matter Not Before Printed. Arranged and edited by T. Ashe, B.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge

With this exception, it is scarcely possible, I think, to conceive an individual less under the influences of the ordinary disturbing forces of the judgment, than your poor friend; or from situation, pursuits and habits of thinking, from age, state of health and temperament, less likely to be drawn out of his course by the under-currents of Hope, or Fear, of expectation or wish. But least of all, by predilection for any particular sect or party: for wherever I look, in religion or in politics, I seem to see a world of power and talent wasted on the support of half-truths, too often the most mischievous, because least suspected of errors. This may result from the spirit and habit of partizanship, the supposed inseparable accompaniment of a free state, which pervades all ranks, and is carried into all subjects. But whatever may be its origin, one consequence seems to be, that every man is in a bustle, and except under the sting of excited or alarmed self-interest, scarce anyone in earnest."

I had written a third part under the title of "What is to be done now?" consisting of illustrations from the History of the English and Scottish Churches, of the consequences of the ignorance or contravention of the principles, which I have attempted to establish in the first part; and of practical deductions from these principles, addressed chiefly to the English clergy. But I felt the embers glowing under the white ashes; and on reflection, I have considered it more expedient that the contents of this small volume should be altogether in strict conformity with the title; that they should be, and profess to be, no more and no other than Ideas of the Constitution in Church and State. And thus I may without inconsistency entreat the friendly reader to bear in mind the distinction I have enforced, between the exhibition of an idea, and the way of acting on the same; and that the scheme or diagram best suited to make the idea clearly understood, may be very different from the form in which it is or may be most adequately realized. And if the reasonings of this work should lead him to think, that a strenuous Opponent of the former attempts in Parliament may have given his support to the Bill lately passed without inconsistency, and without either being or meriting the name of APOSTATE, it may be to the improvement of his charity and good-temper, and not detract a tittle from his good sense or political penetration.

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Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:17 am



THE Bill lately passed comes so near the mark, to which my convictions and wishes have through my whole life, since earliest manhood, unwaveringly pointed, and has so agreeably disappointed my fears, that my first impulse was to suppress the pages, which, in compliance with your request, I had written, while the particulars of the Bill were yet unknown. "I am anxious," you say, "to learn from yourself the nature and grounds of your apprehension, that the measure would fail to effect the object immediately intended by its authors." In answer to this, I reply, that the main ground of that apprehension is certainly much narrowed; but as certainly not altogether removed. I refer to the securities. And, let it be understood, that in calling a certain provision hereafter specified, a security, I use the word comparatively, and mean no more, than that it has at least an equal claim to be so called, as any of those that have been hitherto proposed as such. Whether either one or the other deserve the name; whether the thing itself is possible; I leave undetermined. This premised, I resume my subject, and repeat, that the main objection, from which my fears, as to the practical results of the supposed Bill were derived, applies with nearly the same force to the actual Bill; though the fears themselves have, by the spirit and general character of the clauses, been considerably mitigated. The principle, the solemn recognition of which I deemed indispensable as a security, and should be willing to receive as the only security -- superseding the necessity, though possibly not the expediency of any other, but itself by no other superseded -- this principle is not formally recognized. It may perhaps be implied in one of the clauses (that which forbids the assumption of local titles by the Romish bishops); but this implication, even if really contained in the clause, and actually intended by its framers, is not calculated to answer the ends, and utterly inadequate to supply the place, of the solemn and formal declaration which I had required, and which, with my motives and reasons for the same, it will be the object of the following pages to set forth.

But to enable you fully to understand, and fairly to appreciate, my arguments, I must previously state (what I at least judge to be) the true idea of A CONSTITUTION; and, likewise, of a NATIONAL CHURCH. And in giving the essential character of the latter, I shall briefly specify its distinction from the Church of Christ, and its contra-distinction from a third form, which is neither national nor Christian, but irreconcileable with, and subversive of, both. By an idea, I mean, (in this instance) that conception of a thing, which is not abstracted from any particular state, form, or mode, in which the thing may happen to exist at this or that time, nor yet generalized from any number or succession of such forms or modes, but which is given by the knowledge of its ultimate aim. Only one observation I must be allowed to add, that this knowledge, or sense, may very well exist, aye, and powerfully influence a man's thoughts and actions, without his being distinctly conscious of the same, much more without his being competent to express it in definite words. This, indeed, is one of the points which distinguish ideas from conceptions, both terms being used in their strict and proper significations. The latter, i.e. a conception, consists in a conscious act of the understanding, bringing any given object or impression into the same class with any number of other objects, or impressions, by means of some character or characters common to them all. Concipimus, id est, capimus hoc cum illo, -- we take hold of both at once, we comprehend a thing, when we have learnt to comprise it in a known class. On the other hand, it is the privilege of the few to possess an idea: of the generality of men, it might be more truly affirmed, that they are possessed by it. What is here said, will, I hope, suffice as a popular explanation. For some of my readers, however, the following definition may not, perhaps, be useless or unacceptable. That which, contemplated objectively (i.e. as existing externally to the mind), we call a LAW; the same contemplated subjectively (i.e. as existing in a subject or mind), is an idea. Hence Plato often names ideas laws; and Lord Bacon, the British Plato, describes the Laws of the material universe as the ideas in nature. Quod in natura naturata LEX, in natura naturante IDEA dicitur. By way of illustration take the following. Every reader of Rousseau, or of Hume's Essays, will understand me when I refer to the Original Social Contract, assumed by Rousseau, and by other and wiser men before him, as the basis of all legitimate government. Now, if this be taken as the assertion of an historical fact, or as the application of a conception, generalized from ordinary compacts between man and man, or nation and nation, to an actual occurrence in the first ages of the world, namely, the formation of the first contract, in which men covenanted with each other to associate, or in which a multitude entered into a compact with a few, the one to be governed and the other to govern, under certain declared conditions, I shall run little hazard at this time of day, in declaring the pretended fact a pure fiction, and the conception of such a fact an idle fancy. It is at once false and foolish. [1] For what if an original contract had actually been entered into, and formally recorded? Still I cannot see what addition of moral force would be gained by the fact. The same sense of moral obligation which binds us to keep it, must have pre-existed in the same force and in relation to the same duties, impelling our ancestors to make it.

For what could it do more than bind the contracting parties to act for the general good, according to their best lights and opportunities? It is evident, that no specific scheme or constitution can derive any other claim to our reverence, than the presumption of its necessity or fitness for the general good shall give it; and which claim of course ceases, or rather is reversed, as soon this general presumption of its utility has given place to as general a conviction of the contrary. From duties anterior to the formation of the contract, because they arise out of the very constitution of our humanity; which supposes the social state, in order to a rightful removal of the institution, or law, thus agreed on, it is required that the conviction of its inexpediency shall be as general, as the presumption of its fitness was at the time of its establishment. This, the first of the two great paramount interests of the social state demand, namely, that of permanence: and to attribute more than this to any fundamental articles, passed into law by any assemblage of individuals, is an injustice to their successors, and a high offence against the other great interest of the social state, namely, -- its progressive improvement. The conception, therefore, of an original contract, is, we repeat, incapable of historic proof as a fact, and it is senseless as a theory.

But if instead of the conception or theory of an original social contract, you say the idea of an ever-originating social contract, this is so certain and so indispensable, that it constitutes the whole ground of the difference between subject and serf, between a commonwealth and a slave-plantation. And this, again, is evolved out of the yet higher idea of person, in contra-distinction from thing, -- all social law and justice being grounded on the principle, that a person can never, but by his own fault, become a thing, or, without grievous wrong, be treated as such: and the distinction consisting in this, that a thing may be used altogether and merely as the means to an end; but the person must always be included in the end: his interest must form a part of the objects, a means to which, he, by consent, i.e. by his own act, makes himself. We plant a tree, and we fell it; we breed the sheep, and we shear or we kill it; in both cases wholly as means to our ends. For trees and animals are things. The wood-cutter and the hind are likewise employed as means, but on agreement, and that too an agreement of reciprocal advantage, which includes them as well as their employer in the end. For they are persons. And the government, under which the contrary takes place, is not worthy to be called a STATE, if, as in the kingdom of Dahomy, it be unprogressive; or only by anticipation, where, as in Russia, it is in advance to a better and more man-worthy order of things.

I myself think, Hiero, that a real man differs from the other animals in this striving for honor. Since, after all, all animals alike seem to take pleasure in food, drink, sleep, and sex. But ambition does not arise naturally either in the irrational animals or in all human beings. Those in whom love of honor and praise arises by nature differ the most from cattle and are also believed to be no longer human beings merely, but real men.

-- Xenophon: Hiero or Tyrannicus

Now, notwithstanding the late wonderful spread of learning through the community, and though the schoolmaster and the lecturer are abroad, the hind and the woodman may, very conceivably, pass from cradle to coffin, without having once contemplated this idea, so as to be conscious of the same. And there would be an improbability in the supposition that they possessed the power of presenting it to the minds of others, or even to their own thoughts, verbally as a distinct proposition. But no man, who has ever listened to laborers of this rank, in any alehouse, over the Saturday night's jug of beer, discussing the injustice of the present rate of wages, and the iniquity of their being paid in part out of the parish poor-rates, will doubt for a moment that they are fully possessed by the idea.

In close, though not perhaps obvious connection, with this, is the idea of moral freedom, as the ground of our proper responsibility. Speak to a young Liberal, fresh from Edinburgh or Hackney, or the Hospitals, of Free-will, as implied in Free-agency, he will perhaps confess to you with a smile, that he is a Necessitarian, -- proceeds to assure you, that the liberty of the will is an impossible conception, a contradiction in terms, [2] and finish by recommending you to read Jonathan Edwards, or Dr. Crombie: or as it may happen, he may declare the will itself a mere delusion, a non-entity, and ask you if you have read Mr. Lawrence's Lecture. Converse on the same subject with a plain, single-minded, yet reflecting neighbour, and he may probably say (as St. Augustin had said long before him, in reply to the question, What is Time?) I know it well enough when you do not ask me. But alike with both the supposed parties, the self-complacent student, just as certainly as with your less positive neighbour -- attend to their actions, their feelings, and even to their words: and you will be in ill luck, if ten minutes pass without affording you full and satisfactory proof, that the idea of man's moral freedom possesses and modifies their whole practical being, in all they say, in all they feel, in all they do and are done to; even as the spirit of life, which is contained in no vessel, because it permeates all.

Just so is it with the [3] constitution. Ask any of our politicians what is meant by the constitution, and it is ten to one that he will give you a false explanation, ex. gr. that it is the body of our laws, or that it is the Bill of Rights; or perhaps, if he have read Tom Paine, he may tell you, that we have not yet got one; and yet not an hour may have elapsed, since you heard the same individual denouncing, and possibly with good reason, this or that code of laws, the excise and revenue laws, or those for including pheasants, or those for excluding Catholics, as altogether unconstitutional: and such and such acts of parliament as gross outrages on the constitution.

A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the principles on which the government shall be established, the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution, therefore, is to a government what the laws made afterwards by that government are to a court of judicature. The court of judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution.

Can, then, Mr. Burke produce the English Constitution? If he cannot, we may fairly conclude that though it has been so much talked about, no such thing as a constitution exists, or ever did exist, and consequently that the people have yet a constitution to form.

Mr. Burke will not, I presume, deny the position I have already advanced -- namely, that governments arise either out of the people or over the people. The English Government is one of those which arose out of a conquest, and not out of society, and consequently it arose over the people; and though it has been much modified from the opportunity of circumstances since the time of William the Conqueror, the country has never yet regenerated itself, and is therefore without a constitution.

I readily perceive the reason why Mr. Burke declined going into the comparison between the English and French constitutions, because he could not but perceive, when he sat down to the task, that no such a thing as a constitution existed on his side the question. His book is certainly bulky enough to have contained all he could say on this subject, and it would have been the best manner in which people could have judged of their separate merits. Why then has he declined the only thing that was worth while to write upon? It was the strongest ground he could take, if the advantages were on his side, but the weakest if they were not; and his declining to take it is either a sign that he could not possess it or could not maintain it.

Mr. Burke said, in a speech last winter in Parliament, "that when the National Assembly first met in three Orders (the Tiers Etat, the Clergy, and the Noblesse), France had then a good constitution." This shows, among numerous other instances, that Mr. Burke does not understand what a constitution is. The persons so met were not a constitution, but a convention, to make a constitution.

The present National Assembly of France is, strictly speaking, the personal social compact. The members of it are the delegates of the nation in its original character; future assemblies will be the delegates of the nation in its organised character. The authority of the present Assembly is different from what the authority of future Assemblies will be. The authority of the present one is to form a constitution; the authority of future assemblies will be to legislate according to the principles and forms prescribed in that constitution; and if experience should hereafter show that alterations, amendments, or additions are necessary, the constitution will point out the mode by which such things shall be done, and not leave it to the discretionary power of the future government.

A government on the principles on which constitutional governments arising out of society are established, cannot have the right of altering itself. If it had, it would be arbitrary. It might make itself what it pleased; and wherever such a right is set up, it shows there is no constitution. The act by which the English Parliament empowered itself to sit seven years, shows there is no constitution in England. It might, by the same self-authority, have sat any great number of years, or for life. The bill which the present Mr. Pitt brought into Parliament some years ago, to reform Parliament, was on the same erroneous principle. The right of reform is in the nation in its original character, and the constitutional method would be by a general convention elected for the purpose. There is, moreover, a paradox in the idea of vitiated bodies reforming themselves.

-- The Rights of Man, by Thomas Paine

Mr. Peel, who is rather remarkable for groundless and unlucky concessions, owned that the present Bill breaks in on the constitution of 1688: and a very imposing minority of the then House of Lords, with a decisive majority in the Lower House of Convocation, denounced the constitution of 1688, as breaking in on the English Constitution.

But a Constitution is an idea arising out of the idea of a state; and because our whole history from Alfred onward demonstrates the continued influence of such an idea, or ultimate aim, on the minds of our fore-fathers, in their characters and functions as public men; alike in what they resisted and in what they claimed; in the institutions and forms of polity which they established, and with regard to those, against which they more or less successfully contended; and because the result has been a progressive, though not always a direct, or equable advance, in the gradual realization of the idea; and that it is actually, though even because it is an idea it cannot be adequately represented, in a correspondent scheme of means really existing; we speak, and have a right to speak, of the idea itself, as actually existing, i.e., as a principle, existing in the only way in which a principle can exist -- in the minds and consciences of the persons, whose duties it prescribes, and whose rights it determines. In the same sense that the sciences of arithmetic and of geometry, that mind, that life itself, have reality; the constitution has real existence, and does not the less exist in reality, because it both is, and exists as, an IDEA. There is yet another ground for the affirmation of its reality; that, as the fundamental idea, it is at the same time, the final criterion by which all particular frames of government must be tried: for here only can we find the great constructive principles of our representative system (I use the term in its widest sense, in which the crown itself is included as representing the unity of the people, the true and primary sense of the word majesty); those principles, I say, in the light of which it can alone be ascertained what are excrescences, symptoms of distemperature and marks of degeneration; and what are native growths, or changes naturally attendant on the progressive development of the original germ, symptoms of immaturity perhaps, but not of disease; or at worst, modifications of the growth by the defective or faulty, but remediless, or only gradually remediable, qualities of the soil and surrounding elements.

There are two other characters, distinguishing the class of substantive truths, or truth-powers here spoken of, that will, I trust, indemnify the reader for the delay of the two or three short sentences required for their explanation. The first is, that in distinction from the conception of a thing, which being abstracted or generalized from one or more particular states, or modes, is necessarily posterior in order of thought to the thing thus conceived, -- an idea, on the contrary, is in order of thought always and of necessity contemplated as antecedent. In the idea or principle, Life, for instance -- the vital functions are the result of the organization; but this organization supposes and pre-supposes the vital principle. The bearings of the planets on the sun, are determined by the ponderable matter of which they consist; but the principle of gravity, the law in the material creation, the idea of the Creator, is pre-supposed in order to the existence, yea, to the very conception of the existence, of matter itself. This is the first. The other distinctive mark may be most conveniently given in the form of a caution. We should be made aware, namely, that the particular form, construction, or model, that may be best fitted to render the idea intelligible, may most effectually serve the purpose of an instructive diagram, is not necessarily the mode or form in which it actually arrives at realization. In the works both of man and of nature -- in the one by the imperfection of the means and materials, in the other by the multitude and complexity of simultaneous purposes -- the fact is most often otherwise. A naturalist, (in the infancy of physiology, we will suppose, and before the first attempts at comparative anatomy) whose knowledge had been confined exclusively to the human frame, or that of animals similarly organized, and by this experience had been led inductively to the idea of respiration, as the copula and mediator of the vascular and the nervous systems -- might, very probably, have regarded the lungs, with their appurtenants, as the only form in which this idea, or ultimate aim, was realizable. Ignorant of the functions of the spiracula in the insects, and of the gills of the fish, he would, perhaps, with great confidence degrade both to the class of non-respirants. But alike in the works of nature and the institutions of man, there is no more effectual preservative against pedantry, and the positiveness of sciolism, than to meditate on the law of compensation, and the principle of compromise; and to be fully impressed with the wide extent of the one, the necessity of the other, and the frequent occurrence of both.

Having (more than sufficiently, I fear) exercised your patience with these preparatory remarks, for which the anxiety to be fully understood by you is my best excuse, though in a moment of less excitement they might not have been without some claim to your attention for their own sake, I return to the idea, which forms the present subject -- the English Constitution, which an old writer calls, "Lex Sacra, Mater Legum, than which (says he), nothing can be proposed more certain in its grounds, more pregnant in its consequences, or that hath more harmonical reason within itself: and which is so connatural and essential to the genius and innate disposition of this nation, it being formed (silk-worm like) as that no other law can possibly regulate it -- a law not to be derived from Alured, or Alfred, or Canute, or other elder or later promulgators of particular laws, but which might say of itself -- When reason and the laws of God first came, then came I with them."



1. I am not indeed certain, that some operatical farce, under the name of a Social Contract or Compact, might not have been acted by the Illuminati and Constitution-manufacturers, at the close of the eighteenth century; a period which how far it deserved the name, so complacently affixed to it by the contemporaries, of "this enlightened age," may be doubted. That it was an age of Enlighteners, no man will deny.

2. See AIDS TO REFLECTION, p. 226; where this is shewn to be one of the distinguishing characters of ideas, and marks at once the difference between an idea (a truth-power of the reason) and a conception of the understanding; viz. that the former, as expressed in words, is always, and necessarily, a contradiction in terms.

3. I do not say, with the idea: for the constitution itself is an IDEA. This will sound like a paradox or a sneer to those with whom an idea is but another word for a fancy, a something unreal; but not to those who in the ideas contemplate the most real of all realities, and of all operative powers the most actual.
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A Constitution is the attribute of a state, i.e. of a body politic, having the principle of its unity within itself, whether by concentration of its forces, as a constitutional pure Monarchy, which, however, has hitherto continued to be ens rationale, unknown in history (B. Spinozae Tract. Pol. cap. V1. De Monarchia ex rationis praescripto), -- or -- with which we are alone concerned -- by equipoise and interdependency: the lex equilibrii, the principle prescribing the means and conditions, by and under which this balance is to be established and preserved, being the constitution of the state. It is the chief of many blessings derived from the insular character and circumstances of our country, that our social institutions have formed themselves out of our proper needs and interests; that long and fierce as the birth-struggle and the growing pains have been, the antagonist powers have been of our own system, and have been allowed to work out their final balance with less disturbance from external forces, than was possible in the Continental states.

O ne'er enchain'd nor wholly vile,
O Albion! O my Mother Isle!
Thy valleys fair as Eden's bowers
Glitter green with sunny showers!
The grassy uplands' gentle swells
Echo to the bleat of flocks;
Those grassy hills, those glittering dells,
Proudly ramparted with rocks.
And OCEAN 'mid his uproar wild
Speaks safety to his ISLAND-CHILD!
Hence thro' many a fearless Age
Has social Freedom lov'd the Land,
Nor Alien Despot's Jealous rage
Or warp'd thy growth or stamp'd the servile Brand.


Now, in every country of civilized men, acknowledging the fights of property, and by means of determined boundaries and common laws united into one people or nation, the two antagonist powers or opposite interests of the state, under which all other state interests are comprised, are those of PERMANENCE and of PROGRESSION. [1]

It will not be necessary to enumerate the several causes that combine to connect the permanence of a state with the land and the landed property. To found a family, and to convert his wealth into land, are twin thoughts, births of the same moment, in the mind of the opulent merchant, when he thinks of reposing from his labours. From the class of the Novi Homines he redeems himself by becoming the staple ring of the chain, by which the present will become connected with the past; and the test and evidence of permanency afforded. To the same principle appertain primogeniture and hereditary titles, and the influence which these exert in accumulating large masses of property, and in counteracting the antagonist and dispersive forces, which the follies, the vices, and misfortunes of individuals can scarcely fail to supply. To this, likewise, tends the proverbial obduracy of prejudices characteristic of the humbler tillers of the soil, and their aversion even to benefits that are offered in the form of innovations. But why need I attempt to explain a fact which no thinking man will deny, and where the admission of the fact is all that my argument requires?

The French Constitution says, There shall be no titles; and, of consequence, all that class of equivocal generation which in some countries is called "aristocracy" and in others "nobility," is done away, and the peer is exalted into the MAN.

Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title. The thing is perfectly harmless in itself, but it marks a sort of foppery in the human character, which degrades it. It reduces man into the diminutive of man in things which are great, and the counterfeit of women in things which are little. It talks about its fine blue ribbon like a girl, and shows its new garter like a child. A certain writer, of some antiquity, says: "When I was a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

It is, properly, from the elevated mind of France that the folly of titles has fallen. It has outgrown the baby clothes of Count and Duke, and breeched itself in manhood. France has not leveled, it has exalted. It has put down the dwarf, to set up the man. The punyism of a senseless word like Duke, Count or Earl has ceased to please. Even those who possessed them have disowned the gibberish, and as they outgrew the rickets, have despised the rattle. The genuine mind of man, thirsting for its native home, society, condemns the gewgaws that separate him from it. Titles are like circles drawn by the magician's wand, to contract the sphere of man's felicity. He lives immured within the Bastille of a word, and surveys at a distance the envied life of man.

Is it, then, any wonder that titles should fall in France? Is it not a greater wonder that they should be kept up anywhere? What are they? What is their worth, and "what is their amount?" When we think or speak of a Judge or a General, we associate with it the ideas of office and character; we think of gravity in one and bravery in the other; but when we use the word merely as a title, no ideas associate with it. Through all the vocabulary of Adam there is not such an animal as a Duke or a Count; neither can we connect any certain ideas with the words. Whether they mean strength or weakness, wisdom or folly, a child or a man, or the rider or the horse, is all equivocal. What respect then can be paid to that which describes nothing, and which means nothing? Imagination has given figure and character to centaurs, satyrs, and down to all the fairy tribe; but titles baffle even the powers of fancy, and are a chimerical nondescript.

But this is not all. If a whole country is disposed to hold them in contempt, all their value is gone, and none will own them. It is common opinion only that makes them anything, or nothing, or worse than nothing. There is no occasion to take titles away, for they take themselves away when society concurs to ridicule them. This species of imaginary consequence has visibly declined in every part of Europe, and it hastens to its exit as the world of reason continues to rise. There was a time when the lowest class of what are called nobility was more thought of than the highest is now, and when a man in armour riding throughout Christendom in quest of adventures was more stared at than a modern Duke. The world has seen this folly fall, and it has fallen by being laughed at, and the farce of titles will follow its fate. The patriots of France have discovered in good time that rank and dignity in society must take a new ground. The old one has fallen through. It must now take the substantial ground of character, instead of the chimerical ground of titles; and they have brought their titles to the altar, and made of them a burnt-offering to Reason.

If no mischief had annexed itself to the folly of titles they would not have been worth a serious and formal destruction, such as the National Assembly have decreed them; and this makes it necessary to enquire farther into the nature and character of aristocracy.

That, then, which is called aristocracy in some countries and nobility in others arose out of the governments founded upon conquest. It was originally a military order for the purpose of supporting military government (for such were all governments founded in conquest); and to keep up a succession of this order for the purpose for which it was established, all the younger branches of those families were disinherited and the law of primogenitureship set up.

The nature and character of aristocracy shows itself to us in this law. It is the law against every other law of nature, and Nature herself calls for its destruction. Establish family justice, and aristocracy falls. By the aristocratical law of primogenitureship, in a family of six children five are exposed. Aristocracy has never more than one child. The rest are begotten to be devoured. They are thrown to the cannibal for prey, and the natural parent prepares the unnatural repast.

As everything which is out of nature in man affects, more or less, the interest of society, so does this. All the children which the aristocracy disowns (which are all except the eldest) are, in general, cast like orphans on a parish, to be provided for by the public, but at a greater charge. Unnecessary offices and places in governments and courts are created at the expense of the public to maintain them.

With what kind of parental reflections can the father or mother contemplate their younger offspring? By nature they are children, and by marriage they are heirs; but by aristocracy they are bastards and orphans. They are the flesh and blood of their parents in the one line, and nothing akin to them in the other. To restore, therefore, parents to their children, and children to their parents -- relations to each other, and man to society -- and to exterminate the monster aristocracy, root and branch -- the French Constitution has destroyed the law of Primogenitureship. Here then lies the monster; and Mr. Burke, if he pleases, may write its epitaph.

-- Thomas Paine, "The Rights of Man"

On the other hand, with as little chance of contradiction, I may assert, that the progression of a state, in the arts and comforts of life, in the diffusion of the information and knowledge, useful or necessary for all; in short, all advances in civilization, and the rights and privileges of citizens, are especially connected with, and derived from, the four classes of the mercantile, the manufacturing, the distributive, and the professional. To early Rome, war and conquest were the substitutes for trade and commerce. War was their trade. As these wars became more frequent, on a larger scale, and with fewer interruptions the liberties of the plebeians continued increasing: for even the sugar plantations of Jamaica would (in their present state, at least), present a softened picture of the hard and servile relation, in which the plebeian formerly stood to his patrician patron.

Italy is supposed at present to maintain a larger number of inhabitants than in the days of Trajan, or in the best and most prosperous of the Roman empire. With the single exception of the ecclesiastic state, the whole country is cultivated like a garden. You may find there every gift of God -- only not freedom. It is a country, rich in the proudest records of liberty, illustrious with the names of heroes, statesmen, legislators, philosophers. It hath a history all alive with the virtues and crimes of hostile parties, when the glories and the struggles of ancient Greece were acted over again in the proud republics of Venice, Genoa, and Florence. The life of every eminent citizen was in constant hazard from the furious factions of their native city, and yet life had no charm out of its dear and honored walls. All the splendors of the hospitable palace, and the favor of princes, could not soothe the pining of Dante or Machiavel, exiles from their free, their beautiful Florence. But not a pulse of liberty survives. It was the profound policy of the Austrian and the Spanish courts, by every possible means to degrade the profession of trade; and even in Pisa and Florence themselves to introduce the feudal pride and prejudice of less happy, less enlightened countries. Agriculture, meanwhile, with its attendant population and plenty, was cultivated with increasing success; but from the Alps to the Straits of Messina, the Italians are slaves.

We have thus divided the subjects of the state into two orders, the agricultural or possessors of land; and the merchant, manufacturer, the distributive, and the professional bodies, under the common name of citizens. And we have now to add that by the nature of things common to every civilized country, at all events by the course of events in this country, the first is subdivided into two classes, which, in imitation of our old law books, we may intitle the Major and Minor Barons; both these, either by their interests or by the very effect of their situation, circumstances, and the nature of their employment, vitally connected with the permanency of the state, its institutions, rights, customs, manners, privileges -- and as such, opposed to the inhabitants of ports, towns, and cities, who are in like manner and from like causes more especially connected with its progression. I scarcely need say, that in a very advanced stage of civilization, the two orders of society will more and more modify and leaven each other, yet never so completely but that the distinct character remains legible, and to use the words of the Roman Emperor, even in what is struck out the erasure is manifest. At all times the lower of the two ranks, of which the first order consists, or the Franklins, will, in their political sympathies, draw more nearly to the antagonist order than the first rank. On these facts, which must at all times have existed, though in very different degrees of prominence or maturity, the principle of our constitution was established. The total interests of the country, the interests of the STATE, were entrusted to a great councilor parliament, composed of two Houses. The first consisting exclusively of the Major Barons, who at once stood as the guardians and sentinels of their several estates and privileges, and the representatives of the common weal. The Minor Barons, or Franklins, too numerous, and yet individually too weak, to sit and maintain their rights in person, were to choose among the worthiest of their own body representatives, and these in such number as to form an important though minor proportion of a second House -- the majority of which was formed by the representatives chosen by the cities, ports, and boroughs; which representatives ought on principle to have been elected not only by, but from among, the members of the manufacturing, mercantile, distributive, and professional classes.

These four classes, by an arbitrary but convenient use of the phrase, I will designate by the name of the Personal Interest, as the exponent of all moveable and personal possessions, including skill and acquired knowledge, the moral and intellectual stock in trade of the professional man and the artist, no less than the raw materials, and the means of elaborating, transporting, and distributing them.

Thus in the theory of the constitution it was provided, that even though both divisions of the Landed Interest should combine in any legislative attempt to encroach on the rights and privileges of the Personal Interest, yet the representatives of the latter forming the clear and effectual majority of the lower House, the attempt must be abortive: the majority of votes in both Houses being indispensable, in order to the presentation of a bill for the Completory Act, -- that is, to make it a law of the land. By force of the same mechanism must every attack be baffled that should be made by the representatives of the minor landholders, in concert with the burgesses, on the existing rights and privileges of the peerage, and of the hereditary aristocracy, of which the peerage is the summit and the natural protector. Lastly, should the nobles join to invade the rights and franchises of the Franklins and the Yeomanry, the sympathy of interest, by which the inhabitants of cities, towns, and sea-ports, are linked to the great body of the agricultural fellow-commoners, who supply their markets and form their principal customers, and even the sympathy of feeling between the burgess senators and the county representatives, as members of the same House, and the consciousness of the dignity conferred by the latter on the former -- for the notion of superior dignity will always be attached in the minds of men to that kind of property with which they have most associated the idea of permanence: and the land is the synonime of country -- this affinity, I say, both of interest and fellow-feeling, could not fail to secure a united and successful resistance.

That the burgesses were not bound to elect representatives from among their own order, individuals bona fide belonging to one or other of the four divisions above enumerated; that the elective franchise of the towns, ports, &c., first invested with borough-rights, was not made conditional, and to a certain extent at least dependent on their retaining the same comparative wealth and independence, and rendered subject to a periodical revisal and re-adjustment; that in consequence of these and other causes, the very weights intended for the effectual counterpoise of the great land-holders, have, in the course of events, been shifted into the opposite scale; that they now constitute a large proportion of the political power and influence of the very class, whose personal cupidity, and whose partial views of the landed interest at large they were meant to keep in check; these are no part of the constitution, no essential ingredients, in the idea, but apparent defects and imperfections in its realization -- which, however, we will neither regret nor set about amending, till we have seen whether an equivalent force had not arisen to supply the deficiency -- a force great enough to have destroyed the equilibrium, had not such a transfer taken place previously to, or at the same time with, the operation of the new forces. Roads, canals, machinery, the press, the periodical and daily press, the might of public opinion, the consequent increasing desire of popularity among public men and functionaries of every description, and the increasing necessity of public character, as a means or condition of political influence -- I need but mention these to stand acquitted of having started a vague and naked possibility in extenuation of an evident and palpable abuse.

But whether my conjecture be well or ill grounded, the principle of the constitution remains the same. That harmonious balance of the two great correspondent, at once supporting and counterpoising, interests of the state, its permanence, and its progression: that balance of the landed and the personal interests was to be secured by a legislature of two Houses; the first consisting wholly of barons or landholders, permanent and hereditary senators; the second of the knights or minor barons, elected by, and as the representatives of, the remaining landed community, together with the burgesses, the representatives of the commercial, manufacturing, distributive, and professional classes, -- the latter (the elected burgesses) constituting the major number. The king, meanwhile, in whom the executive power is vested, it will suffice at present to consider as the beam of the constitutional scales. A more comprehensive view of the kingly office must be deferred, till the remaining problem (the idea of a national church) has been solved.

I must here intreat the reader to bear in mind what I have before endeavored to impress on him, that I am not giving an historical account of the legislative body; or can I be supposed to assert that such was the earliest mode or form in which the national council was constructed. My assertion is simply this, that its formation has advanced in this direction. The line of evolution, however sinuous, has still tended to this point, sometimes with, sometimes without, not seldom, perhaps, against, the intention of the individual actors, but always as if a power, greater, and better, than the men themselves had intended it for them. Nor let it be forgotten that every new growth, every power and privilege, bought or extorted, has uniformly been claimed by an antecedent right; not acknowledged as a boon conferred, but both demanded and received as what had always belonged to them, though withheld by violence and the injury of the times. This too, in cases, where, if documents and historical records, or even consistent traditions, had been required in evidence, the monarch would have had the better of the argument. But, in truth, it was no more than a practical way of saying, it is contained in the idea of our government, and it is a consequence of the "Lex, Mater Legum," which, in the very first law of state that was promulgated in the land, was pre-supposed as the ground of that first law.

Before I conclude this part of my subject, I must press on your attention, that the preceding is offered only as the constitutional idea of the State. In order to correct views respecting the constitution, in the more enlarged sense of the term, viz. the constitution of the Nation in addition to a grounded knowledge of the State, we must have the right idea of the National Church. These are two poles of the same magnet; the magnet itself, which is constituted by them, is the constitution of the nation.

The reading of histories, my dear Sir, may dispose a man to satire; but the science of history, but history studied in the light of philosophy, as the great drama of an ever unfolding Providence, has a very different effect. It infuses hope and reverential thoughts of man and his destination. To you, therefore, it will be no unwelcome result, though it should be made appear that something deeper and better than priestcraft and priest-ridden ignorance was at the bottom of the phrase, Church and State, and intitled it to be the form in which so many thousands of the men of England clothed the wish for their country's weal. But many things have conspired to draw off the attention from its true origin and import, and have led us to seek the reasons for thus connecting the two words, in facts and motives, that lie nearer the surface. I will mention one only, because, though less obvious than many other causes that have favoured the general misconception on this point, and though its action is indirect and negative, it is by no means the least operative. The immediate effect, indeed, may be confined to the men of education. But what influences these, will finally influence all. I am referring to the noticeable fact, arising out of the system of instruction pursued in all our classical schools and universities, that the annals of ancient Greece, and of republican and imperial Rome, though they are, in fact, but brilliant exceptions of history generally, do yet, partly from the depth and intensity of all early impressions, and in part, from the number and splendor of individual characters and particular events and exploits, so fill the imagination, as almost to be, -- during the period, when the groundwork of our minds is principally formed, and the direction given to our modes of thinking, -- what we mean by HISTORY. Hence things, of which no instance or analogy is recollected in the customs, policy, and legisprudence of Greece and Rome, lay little hold on our attention. Among these, I know not one more worthy of notice, than the principle of the division of property, which, if not, as I however think, universal in the earliest ages, was common to the Scandinavian, Celtic, and Gothic tribes, with the Semitic, or the tribes descended from Shem.

It is not the least among the obligations, which the antiquarian and the philosophic statist owe to a tribe of the last-mentioned race, the Hebrew I mean, that in the institutes of their great legislators, who first formed them into a state or nation, they have preserved for us a practical illustration of this principle in question, which was by no means peculiar to the Hebrew people, though in their case it received a peculiar sanction. But to confound the inspiring spirit with the informing word, and both with the dictation of sentences and formal propositions; and to confine the office and purpose of inspiration to the miraculous immission, or infusion, of novelties, rebus nusquam prius visis, vel auditis, -- these, alas! are the current errors of Protestants without learning, and of bigots in spite of it; but which I should have left unnoticed, but for the injurious influence which certain notions in close connexion with these errors have had on the present subject. The notion, I mean, that the Levitical institution was not only enacted by an inspired Lawgiver, not only a work of revealed wisdom, (which who denies?) but that it was a part of revealed Religion, having its origin in this particular revelation, and which could not have existed otherwise; yet, on the other hand, a part of the religion that had been abolished by Christianity. Had these reasoners contented themselves with asserting, that it did not belong to the Christian Religion, they would have said nothing more than the truth; and for this plain reason, that it forms no part of religion at all, in the Gospel sense of the word, -- that is, Religion as contra-distinguished from Law; spiritual, as contra-distinguished from temporal or political.

In answer to all these notions, it is enough to say, that not the principle itself, but the superior wisdom with which the principle was earned into effect, the greater perfection of the machinery, forms the true distinction, the peculiar worth, of the Hebrew constitution. It was common to Goth and Celt, or rather, I would say, to all the tribes that had not fallen off to either of the two Aphelia, or extreme distances from the generic character of man, the wild or the barbarous state; but who remained either parts or appendages of the stirps generosa seu historica, as a philosophic friend has named that portion of the Semitic and Japetic races, that had not degenerated below the conditions of progressive civilization: -- it was, I say, common to all the primitive races, that in taking possession of a new country, and in the division of the land into hereditable estates among the individual warriors or heads of families, a reserve should be made for the nation itself.

Government by kings was first introduced into the world by the Heathens, from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the promotion of idolatry. The Heathens paid divine honors to their deceased kings, and the Christian world hath improved on the plan by doing the same to their living ones. How impious is the title of sacred majesty applied to a worm, who in the midst of his splendor is crumbling into dust!

As the exalting one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature, so neither can it be defended on the authority of scripture; for the will of the Almighty, as declared by Gideon and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by kings. All anti-monarchial parts of scripture have been very smoothly glossed over in monarchial governments, but they undoubtedly merit the attention of countries which have their governments yet to form. Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's is the scriptural doctrine of courts, yet it is no support of monarchial government, for the Jews at that time were without a king, and in a state of vassalage to the Romans.

Near three thousand years passed away from the Mosaic account of the creation, till the Jews under a national delusion requested a king. Till then their form of government (except in extraordinary cases, where the Almighty interposed) was a kind of republic administered by a judge and the elders of the tribes. Kings they had none, and it was held sinful to acknowledge any being under that title but the Lords of Hosts. And when a man seriously reflects on the idolatrous homage which is paid to the persons of kings he need not wonder, that the Almighty, ever jealous of his honor, should disapprove of a form of government which so impiously invades the prerogative of heaven.

Monarchy is ranked in scripture as one of the sins of the Jews, for which a curse in reserve is denounced against them. The history of that transaction is worth attending to.

The children of Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon marched against them with a small army, and victory, through the divine interposition, decided in his favor. The Jews elate with success, and attributing it to the generalship of Gideon, proposed making him a king, saying, Rule thou over us, thou and thy son and thy son's son. Here was temptation in its fullest extent; not a kingdom only, but an hereditary one, but Gideon in the piety of his soul replied, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you, THE LORD SHALL RULE OVER YOU. Words need not be more explicit; Gideon doth not decline the honor but denieth their right to give it; neither doth be compliment them with invented declarations of his thanks, but in the positive stile of a prophet charges them with disaffection to their proper sovereign, the King of Heaven.

About one hundred and thirty years after this, they fell again into the same error. The hankering which the Jews had for the idolatrous customs of the Heathens, is something exceedingly unaccountable; but so it was, that laying hold of the misconduct of Samuel's two sons, who were entrusted with some secular concerns, they came in an abrupt and clamorous manner to Samuel, saying, Behold thou art old and thy sons walk not in thy ways, now make us a king to judge us like all the other nations. And here we cannot but observe that their motives were bad, viz., that they might be like unto other nations, i.e., the Heathen, whereas their true glory laid in being as much unlike them as possible. But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, give us a king to judge us; and Samuel prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, THEN I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM. According to all the works which have done since the day; wherewith they brought them up out of Egypt, even unto this day; wherewith they have forsaken me and served other Gods; so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice, howbeit, protest solemnly unto them and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them, i.e., not of any particular king, but the general manner of the kings of the earth, whom Israel was so eagerly copying after. And notwithstanding the great distance of time and difference of manners, the character is still in fashion. And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people, that asked of him a king. And he said, This shall be the manner of the king that shall reign over you; he will take your sons and appoint them for himself for his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and some shall run before his chariots (this description agrees with the present mode of impressing men) and he will appoint him captains over thousands and captains over fifties, and will set them to ear his ground and to read his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots; and he will take your daughters to be confectionaries and to be cooks and to be bakers (this describes the expense and luxury as well as the oppression of kings) and he will take your fields and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants; and he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give them to his officers and to his servants (by which we see that bribery, corruption, and favoritism are the standing vices of kings) and he will take the tenth of your men servants, and your maid servants, and your goodliest young men and your asses, and put them to his work; and he will take the tenth of your sheep, and ye shall be his servants, and ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen, AND THE LORD WILL NOT HEAR YOU IN THAT DAY. This accounts for the continuation of monarchy; neither do the characters of the few good kings which have lived since, either sanctify the title, or blot out the sinfulness of the origin; the high encomium given of David takes no notice of him officially as a king, but only as a man after God's own heart. Nevertheless the People refused to obey the voice of Samuel, and they said, Nay, but we will have a king over us, that we may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us, and go out before us and fight our battles. Samuel continued to reason with them, but to no purpose; he set before them their ingratitude, but all would not avail; and seeing them fully bent on their folly, he cried out, I will call unto the Lord, and he shall sent thunder and rain (which then was a punishment, being the time of wheat harvest) that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, IN ASKING YOU A KING. So Samuel called unto the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the Lord thy God that we die not, for WE HAVE ADDED UNTO OUR SINS THIS EVIL, TO ASK A KING. These portions of scripture are direct and positive. They admit of no equivocal construction. That the Almighty hath here entered his protest against monarchial government is true, or the scripture is false. And a man hath good reason to believe that there is as much of kingcraft, as priestcraft in withholding the scripture from the public in Popish countries. For monarchy in every instance is the Popery of government.

To the evil of monarchy we have added that of hereditary succession; and as the first is a degradation and lessening of ourselves, so the second, claimed as a matter of right, is an insult and an imposition on posterity. For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever, and though himself might deserve some decent degree of honors of his contemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them. One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion.

-- Common Sense, by Thomas Paine

The sum total of these heritable portions, appropriated each to an individual Lineage, I beg leave to name the PROPRIETY; and to call the reserve above-mentioned the NATIONALTY; and likewise to employ the term wealth, in that primary and wide sense which it retains in the term, Commonwealth. In the establishment, then, of the landed proprieties, a nationalty was at the same time constituted: as a wealth not consisting of lands, but yet derivative from the land, and rightfully inseparable from the same. These, the Propriety and the Nationalty, were the two constituent factors, the opposite, but correspondent and reciprocally supporting, counterweights, of the commonwealth; the existence of the one being the condition, and the perfecting, of the rightfulness of the other. Now as all polar forces, i.e. opposite, not contrary, powers, are necessarily unius generis, homogeneous, so, in the present instance, each is that which it is called, relatively, by predominance of the one character or quality, not by the absolute exclusion of the other. The wealth appropriated was not so entirely a property as not to remain, to a certain extent, national; nor was the wealth reserved so exclusively national, as not to admit of individual tenure. It was only necessary that the mode and origin of the tenure should be different, and in antithesis, as it were. Er. gr. If the one be hereditary, the other must be elective; if the one be lineal, the other must be circulative.

In the unfolding and exposition of any idea, we naturally seek assistance and the means of illustration from the historical instance, in which it has been most nearly realized, or of which we possess the most exact and satisfactory records. Both of these recommendations are found in the formation of the Hebrew Commonwealth. But, in availing ourselves of examples from history, there is always danger, lest that, which was to assist us in attaining a clear insight into truth, should be the means of disturbing or falsifying it, so that we attribute to the object what was but the effect of flaws, or other accidents in the glass, through which we looked at it. To secure ourselves from this danger, we must constantly bear in mind, that in the actual realization of every great idea or principle, there will always exist disturbing forces, modifying the product, either from the imperfection of the agents, or from especial circumstances overruling them; or from the defect of the materials; or lastly, (and which most particularly applies to the instances we have here in view,) from the co-existence of some yet greater idea, some yet more important purpose, with which the former must be combined, but likewise subordinated. Nevertheless, these are no essentials of the idea, no exemplary parts in the particular construction adduced for its illustration. On the contrary, they are deviations from the idea, from which we must abstract, which we must put aside, before we can make a safe and fearless use of the example.

Such, for instance, was the settlement of the NATIONALTY in one tribe, which, to the exclusion of the eleven other divisions of the Hebrew confederacy, was to be invested with its rights, and to be capable of discharging its duties. This was, indeed, in some measure, corrected by the institution of the Nabim, or Prophets, who might be of any tribe, and who formed a numerous body, uniting the functions and threefold character of the Roman Censors, the Tribunes of the people, and the sacred college of Augurs; protectors of the Nation and privileged state-moralists, whom, you will recollect, our Milton has already compared [3] to the orators of the Greek Democracies. Still the most satisfactory justification of this exclusive policy, is to be found, I think, in the fact, that the Jewish Theocracy itself was but a means to a further and greater end; and that the effects of the policy were subordinated to an interest, far more momentous than that of any single kingdom or commonwealth could be. The unfitness and insufficiency of the Jewish character for the reception and execution of the great legislator's scheme were not less important parts of the sublime purpose of Providence in the separation of the chosen people, than their characteristic virtues. Their frequent relapses, and the never-failing return of a certain number to the national faith and customs, were alike subservient to the ultimate object, the final cause, of the Mosaic dispensation. Without pain or reluctance, therefore, I should state this provision, by which a particular lineage was made a necessary qualification for the trustees and functionaries of the reserved NATIONALTY, as the main cause of the comparatively little effect, which the Levitical establishment produced on the moral and intellectual character of the Jewish people, during the whole period of their existence as an independent state.

With this exception, however, the scheme of the Hebrew polity may be profitably made use of, as the diagram or illustrative model of a principle which actuated the primitive races generally under similar circumstances. With this and one other exception, likewise arising out of the peculiar purpose of Providence, as before stated, namely, the discouragement of trade and commerce in the Hebrew policy, a principle so inwoven in the whole fabric, that the revolution in this respect effected by Solomon had no small share in the quickly succeeding dissolution of the confederacy, it may be profitably considered even under existing circumstances.

And first, let me observe, with the Celtic, Gothic, and Scandinavian, equally as with the Hebrew tribes, Property by absolute right existed only in a tolerated alien; and there was everywhere a prejudice against the occupation expressly directed to its acquirement, viz. the trafficking with the current representatives of wealth. Even in that species of possession, in which the right of the individual was the prominent relative character, the institution of the Jubilee provided against its degeneracy into the merely personal; reclaimed it for the state, -- that is, for the line, the heritage, as one of the permanent units, or integral parts, the aggregate of which constitutes the STATE, in that narrower and especial sense, in which it has been distinguished from the nation. And to these permanent units the calculating and governing mind of the state directs its attention, even as it is the depths, breadths, bays, and windings or reaches of a river, that are the subject of the hydrographer, not the water-drops, that at any one moment constitute the stream. And on this point the greatest stress should be laid; this should be deeply impressed, carefully borne in mind, that the abiding interests, the estates, and ostensible tangible properties, not the perons as persons, are the proper subjects of the state in this sense, or of the power of the parliament or supreme council, as the representatives and plenipotentiaries of the state, i.e. of the PROPRIETY, and in distinction from the commonwealth, in which I comprize both the Propriety and the Nationalty.

And here permit me, for the last time, I trust, to encroach on your patience, by remarking, that the records of the Hebrew policy are rendered far less instructive as lessons of political wisdom, by the disposition to regard the Jehovah, in that universal and spiritual acceptation, in which we use the word as Christians. But relatively to the Jewish polity, the Jehovah was their covenanted king: and if we draw any inference from the former, the Christian sense of the term, it should be this -- that God is the unity of every nation; that the convictions and the will, which are one, the same, and simultaneously acting in a multitude of individual agents, are not the birth of any individual; "that when the people speak loudly and unanimously, it is from their being strongly impressed by the godhead or the demon. Only exclude the supposition of a demoniac possession, and then, Vox Populi Vox Dei." [The voice of the people is the voice of God.] So thought Sir Philip Sydney, who in the great revolution of the Netherlands considered the universal and simultaneous adoption of the same principles, as a proof of the divine presence, and on that belief, and on that alone, grounded his assurance of its successful result. And that I may apply this to the present subject, it was in the character of the king, as the majesty, or symbolic unity of the whole nation, both of the state and of the persons; it was in the name of the KING, in whom both the propriety and the nationalty ideally centered, and from whom, as from a fountain, they are ideally supposed to flow, that the proclamation throughout the land, by sound of trumpet, was made to all possessors: "The land is not your's, saith the Lord, the land is mine. To you I lent it." The voice of the trumpets is not, indeed, heard in this country. But as intelligibly is it declared, by the spirit and history of our laws, that the possession of a property, not connected with especial duties, a property not fiduciary or official, but arbitrary and unconditional, was in the light of our forefathers the brand of a Jew and an alien; not the distinction, not the right, or honour, of an English baron or gentleman.

It is impossible that such governments as have hitherto existed in the world, could have commenced by any other means than a total violation of every principle sacred and moral. The obscurity in which the origin of all the present old governments is buried, implies the iniquity and disgrace with which they began. The origin of the present government of America and France will ever be remembered, because it is honourable to record it; but with respect to the rest, even Flattery has consigned them to the tomb of time, without an inscription.

It could have been no difficult thing in the early and solitary ages of the world, while the chief employment of men was that of attending flocks and herds, for a banditti of ruffians to overrun a country, and lay it under contributions. Their power being thus established, the chief of the band contrived to lose the name of Robber in that of Monarch; and hence the origin of Monarchy and Kings.

The origin of the Government of England, so far as relates to what is called its line of monarchy, being one of the latest, is perhaps the best recorded. The hatred which the Norman invasion and tyranny begat, must have been deeply rooted in the nation, to have outlived the contrivance to obliterate it. Though not a courtier will talk of the curfew-bell, not a village in England has forgotten it.

Those bands of robbers having parcelled out the world, and divided it into dominions, began, as is naturally the case, to quarrel with each other. What at first was obtained by violence was considered by others as lawful to be taken, and a second plunderer succeeded the first. They alternately invaded the dominions which each had assigned to himself, and the brutality with which they treated each other explains the original character of monarchy. It was ruffian torturing ruffian. The conqueror considered the conquered, not as his prisoner, but his property. He led him in triumph rattling in chains, and doomed him, at pleasure, to slavery or death. As time obliterated the history of their beginning, their successors assumed new appearances, to cut off the entail of their disgrace, but their principles and objects remained the same. What at first was plunder, assumed the softer name of revenue; and the power originally usurped, they affected to inherit.

From such beginning of governments, what could be expected but a continued system of war and extortion? It has established itself into a trade. The vice is not peculiar to one more than to another, but is the common principle of all. There does not exist within such governments sufficient stamina whereon to engraft reformation; and the shortest and most effectual remedy is to begin anew on the ground of the nation.

What scenes of horror, what perfection of iniquity, present themselves in contemplating the character and reviewing the history of such governments! If we would delineate human nature with a baseness of heart and hypocrisy of countenance that reflection would shudder at and humanity disown, it is kings, courts and cabinets that must sit for the portrait. Man, naturally as he is, with all his faults about him, is not up to the character.

Can we possibly suppose that if governments had originated in a right principle, and had not an interest in pursuing a wrong one, the world could have been in the wretched and quarrelsome condition we have seen it? What inducement has the farmer, while following the plough, to lay aside his peaceful pursuit, and go to war with the farmer of another country? or what inducement has the manufacturer? What is dominion to them, or to any class of men in a nation? Does it add an acre to any man's estate, or raise its value? Are not conquest and defeat each of the same price, and taxes the never-failing consequence? -- Though this reasoning may be good to a nation, it is not so to a government. War is the Pharo-table of governments, and nations the dupes of the game.

If there is anything to wonder at in this miserable scene of governments more than might be expected, it is the progress which the peaceful arts of agriculture, manufacture and commerce have made beneath such a long accumulating load of discouragement and oppression. It serves to show that instinct in animals does not act with stronger impulse than the principles of society and civilisation operate in man. Under all discouragements, he pursues his object, and yields to nothing but impossibilities.

-- Thomas Paine, "The Rights of Man"

After these introductory preparations, I can have no difficulty in setting forth the right idea of a national church as in the language of Elizabeth the third great venerable estate of the realm. The first being the estate of the land-owners or possessors of fixed property, consisting of the two classes of the Barons and the Franklins; the second comprising the merchants, the manufacturers, free artizans, and the distributive class. To comprehend, therefore, this third estate, in whom the reserved nationalty was vested, we must first ascertain the end, or national purpose, for which it was reserved.

Now, as in the former state, the permanency of the nation was provided for; and in the second estate its progressiveness, and personal freedom; while in the king the cohesion by interdependence, and the unity of the country, were established; there remains for the third estate only that interest, which is the ground, the necessary antecedent condition, of both the former. All these were dependent on a continuing and progressive civilization; but civilization is itself but a mixed good, if not far more a corrupting influence, the hectic of disease, not the bloom of health, and a nation so distinguished more fitly to be called a varnished than a polished people; where this civilization is not grounded in cultivation, in the harmonious development of those qualities and faculties that characterise our humanity. In short, we must be men in order to be citizens. The Nationalty, therefore, was reserved for the support and maintenance of a permanent class or order, with the following duties. A certain smaller number were to remain at the fountain heads of the humanities, in cultivating and enlarging the knowledge already possessed, and in watching over the interests of physical and moral science; being, likewise, the instructors of such as constituted, or were to constitute, the remaining more numerous classes of the order. This latter and far more numerous body were to be distributed throughout the country, so as not to leave even the smallest integral part or division without a resident guide, guardian, and instructor; the object and final intention of the whole order being thus to preserve the stores, to guard the treasures of past civilization, and thus to bind the present with the past, to perfect and add to the same, and thus to connect the present with the future, but especially to diffuse through the whole community, and to every native entitled to its laws and rights, that quantity and quality of knowledge which was indispensable both for the understanding of those rights, and for the performance of the duties correspondent. Finally, to secure for the nation, if not a superiority over the neighbouring states, yet an equality at least, in that character of general civilization, which equally with, or rather more than, fleets, armies, and revenue, forms the ground of its defensive and offensive power. The object of the two former estates of the realm, which conjointly form the STATE, was to reconcile the interests of permanence with that of progression -- law with liberty. The object of the National Church, the third remaining estate of the realm, was to secure and improve that civilization, without which the nation could be neither permanent nor progressive.

That in all ages individuals, who have directed their meditations and their studies to the nobler characters of our nature, to the cultivation of those powers and instincts which constitute the man, at least separate him from the animal, and distinguish the nobler from the animal part of his own being, will be led by the supernatural in themselves to the contemplation of a power which is likewise superhuman; that science, and especially moral science, will lead to religion, and remain blended with it -- this, I say, will, in all ages, be the course of things. That in the earlier ages, and in the dawn of civility, there will be a twilight in which science and religion give light, but a light refracted through the dense and the dark, a superstition -- this is what we learn from history, and what philosophy would have taught us to expect. But we affirm, that in the spiritual purpose of the word, and as understood in reference to a future state, and to the abiding essential interest of the individual as a person, and not as the citizen, neighbour, or subject, religion may be an indispensable ally, but is not the essential constitutive end of that national institute, which is unfortunately, at least improperly, styled a church -- a name which, in its best sense is exclusively appropriate to the church of Christ. If this latter be ecclesia, the communion of such as are called out of the world, i.e. in reference to the especial ends and purposes of that communion; this other might more expressively have been entitled enclesia, or an order of men, chosen in and of the realm, and constituting an estate of that realm. And in fact, such was the original and proper sense of the more appropriately named CLERGY. It comprehended the learned of all names, and the CLERK was the synonyme of the man of learning. Nor can any fact more strikingly illustrate the conviction entertained by our ancestors, respecting the intimate connexion of this clergy with the peace and weal of the nation, than the privilege formerly recognized by our laws, in the well-known phrase, "benefit of clergy."

From the narrow limits prescribed by my object in compressing the substance of my letters to you, I am driven to apologise for prolixity, even while I am pondering on the means of presenting, in three or four numbered paragraphs, the principal sides and aspects of a subject so large and multilateral as to require a volume for their full exposition. Regard the following, then, as the text. The commentary may be given hereafter: --



1. Permit me to draw your attention to the essential difference between opposite and contrary. Opposite powers are always of the same kind, and tend to union, either by equipoise or by a common product. Thus the + and - poles of the magnet, thus positive and negative electricity are opposites. Sweet and sour are opposites, sweet and bitter, are contraries. The feminine character is opposed to the masculine; but the effeminate is its contrary. Even so in the present instance, the interest of permanence is opposed to that of progressiveness, but so far from being contrary interests, they, like the magnetic forces, suppose and require each other. Even the most mobile of creatures, the serpent makes a rest of its own body, and drawing up its voluminous train from behind on this fulcrum, propels itself onward. On the other hand, it is a proverb in all languages, that (relatively to man at least) what would stand still must retrograde. You, my dear Sir, who have long known my notions respecting the power and value of words, and the duty as well as advantage of using them appropriately, will forgive this.

From the Heavens come the spiritual and immortal portion of man; from the Earth his material and mortal portion. ... and he attains the purposes of his being only when the two natures that are in him are in just equilibrium.

-- Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike

But after all we do have some knowledge of Marxism and have learned how and when opposites can and must be combined; and what is most important is that in the three and a half years of our revolution we have actually combined opposites again and again. "Nonetheless we have studied Marxism a bit, we have studied how and when opposites can and must be combined. The main thing is: in our revolution… we have in practice repeatedly combined opposites.”

-- The Trade Unions, the Present Situation and Trotsky's Mistakes, by V.I. Lenin

En-Sof in Hebrew literally means "there is no end...the very absolute as such, or positive nothing ...the principle of unconditional unity or 'unityness' as such, the principle of freedom from all forms, from all manifestations, and, consequently, from all being)... eternally finds its opposite in itself, so that only through a relationship to this opposite can it assert itself, so that it is perfectly reciprocal."

-- Vladimir Solov'ev on Spiritual Nationhood, Russia and the Jews, by Judith Deutsch Kornblatt

2. Many years ago, in conversing with a friend, I expressed my belief, that in no instance had the false use of a word become current without some practical ill consequence, of far greater moment than would primo aspectu have been thought possible. That friend, very lately referring to this remark, assured me, that not a month had passed since then, without some instance in proof of its truth having occurred in his own experience; and added, with a smile, that he had more than once amused himself with the thought of a verbarian Attorney-general, authorized to bring informations ex officio against the writer or editor of any work in extensive circulation, who, after due notice issued, should persevere in misusing a word.

3. The lines which our sage and learned poet puts in the Saviour's mouth, both from their truth and appositeness to the present subject, well deserve to be quoted. --

"Their orators thou then extoll'st, as those
The top of eloquence. -- Statists indeed
And lovers of then country as may seem;
But herein to our prophets far beneath,
As men divinely taught and better teaching
The solid rules of civil government,
in their majestic, unaffected style,
Than all the oratory of Greece and Rome.
In them is plainest taught and easiest learnt
What makes a nation happy, and keeps it so."

-- Par. Reg. B. iv.
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Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:22 am


THE CLERISY of the nation (a far apter exponent of the thing meant, than the term which the usus et norma loquendi forces on me), the clerisy, I say, or national church, in its primary acceptation and original intention comprehended the learned of all denominations; -- the sages and professors of law and jurisprudence; of medicine and physiology; of music; of military and civil architecture; of the physical sciences; with the mathematical as the common organ of the preceding; in short, all the so called liberal arts and sciences, the possession and application of which constitute the civilization of a country, as well as the Theological. The last was, indeed, placed at the head of all; and of good right did it claim the precedence. But why? Because under the name of Theology, or Divinity, were contained the interpretation of languages; the conservation and tradition of past events; the momentous epochs, and revolutions of the race and nation; the continuation of the records; logic, ethics, and the determination of ethical science, in application to the rights and duties of men in all their various relations, social and civil; and lastly, the ground- knowledge, the prima scientia as it was named, -- PHILOSOPHY, or the doctrine and discipline [1] of ideas.

Theology formed only a part of the objects, the Theologians formed only a portion of the clerks or clergy, of the national church. The theological order had precedency indeed, and deservedly; but not because its members were priests, whose office was to conciliate the invisible powers and to superintend the interests that survive the grave; not as being exclusively, or even principally, sacerdotal or templar, which, when it did occur, is to be considered as an accident of the age, a mis-growth of ignorance and oppression, a falsification of the constitutive principle, not a constituent part of the same. No! The Theologians took the lead, because the SCIENCE of Theology was the root and the trunk of the knowledges that civilized man, because it gave unity and the circulating sap of life to all other sciences, by virtue of which alone they could be contemplated as forming, collectively, the living tree of knowledge. It had the precedency, because, under the name theology, were comprised all the main aids, instruments, and materials of NATIONAL EDUCATION, the nisus formativus of the body politic, the shaping and informing spirit, which educing, i.e. eliciting, the latent man in all the natives of the soil, trains them up to citizens of the country, free subjects of the realm. And lastly, because to divinity belong those fundamental truths, which are the common ground-work of our civil and our religious duties; not less indispensable to a right view of our temporal concerns, than to a rational faith respecting our immortal well-being. (Not without celestial observations, can even terrestrial charts be accurately constructed.) And of especial importance is it to the objects here contemplated, that only by the vital warmth diffused by these truths throughout the MANY, and by the guiding light from the philosophy, which is the basis of divinity, possessed by the FEW, can either the community or its rulers fully comprehend, or rightly appreciate, the permanent distinction, and the occasional contrast, between cultivation and civilization; or be made to understand this most valuable of the lessons taught by history, and exemplified alike in her oldest and her most recent records -- that a nation can never be a too cultivated, but may easily become an over-civilized race.



1. That is, of knowledges immediate, yet real, and herein distinguished in kind from logical and mathematical truths, which express not realities, but only the necessary forms of conceiving and perceiving, and are therefore named the formal or abstract sciences. Ideas, on the other hand, or the truths of philosophy, properly so called, correspond to substantial beings, to objects whose actual subsistence is implied in their idea, though only by the idea revealable. To adopt the language of the great philosophic apostle, they are "spiritual realities that can only spiritually be discerned," and the inherent aptitude and moral preconfiguration to which constitutes what we mean by ideas, and by the presence of ideal truth, and of ideal power, in the human being. They, in fact, constitute his humanity. For try to conceive a man without the ideas of God, eternity, freedom, will, absolute truth, of the good, the true, the beautiful, the infinite. An animal endowed with a memory of appearances and of facts might remain. But the man will have vanished, and you have instead a creature, "more subtile than any beast of the field, but likewise cursed above every beast of the field; upon the belly must it go and dust must it eat all the days of its life." But I recal myself from a train of thoughts, little likely to find favour in this age of sense and selfishness.
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Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:33 am


As a natural consequence of the full development and expansion of the mercantile and commercial order, which in the earlier epochs of the constitution, only existed, as it were, potentially and in the bud; the students and possessors of those sciences, and those sorts of learning, the use and necessity of which were indeed constant and perpetual to the nation, but only accidental and occasional to individuals, gradually detached themselves from the nationalty and the national clergy, and passed to the order, with the growth and thriving condition of which their emoluments were found to increase in equal proportion. Rather, perhaps, it should be said, that under the common name of professional, the learned in the departments of law, medicine, &c., formed an intermediate link between the established clergy and the burgesses.

This circumstance, however, can in no way affect the principle, nor alter the tenure, nor annul the rights of those who remained, and who, as members of the permanent learned class, were planted throughout the realm, each in his appointed place, as the immediate agents and instruments in the great and indispensable work of perpetuating, promoting, and increasing the civilization of the nation, and who thus fulfilling the purposes for which the determinate portion of the total wealth from the land had been reserved, are entitled to remain its trustees, and usufructuary proprietors. But, remember, I do not assert that the proceeds from the nationalty cannot be rightfully vested, except in what we now mean by clergymen, and the established clergy. I have everywhere implied the contrary. But I do assert, that the nationalty cannot rightfully, and that without foul wrong to the nation it never has been, alienated from its original purposes. I assert that those who, being duly elected and appointed thereto, exercise the functions, and perform the duties, attached to the nationalty -- that these collectively possess an unalienable, indefeasible title to the same -- and this by a Jure Divino [Google translate: divine law], to which the thunders from Mount Sinai might give additional authority, but not additional evidence.

COROLLARY to Paragraph II. -- During the dark times, when the incubus of superstition lay heavy across the breast of the living and the dying, and when all the familiar "tricksy spirits" in the service of an alien, self-expatriated and anti-national priesthood were at work in all forms, and in all directions, to aggrandize and enrich a "kingdom of this world," large masses were alienated from the heritable proprieties of the realm, and confounded with the Nationalty under the common name of church property. Had every rood, every pepper-corn, every stone, brick, and beam, been re-transferred, and made heritable, at the Reformation, no fight would have been invaded, no principle of justice violated. What the state, by law -- that is, by the collective will of its functionaries at any one time assembled -- can do or suffer to be done; that the state, by law, can undo or inhibit. And in principle, such bequests and donations were vitious ab initio, [Google translate: vicious from the beginning] implying in the donor an absolute property in land, unknown to the constitution of the realm, and in defeasance of that immutable reason, which in the name of the nation and the national majesty, proclaims; -- "The land is not yours; it was vested in your lineage in trust for the nation." And though, in change of tunes and circumstances, the interest of progression, with the means and motives for the same -- Hope, Industry, Enterprize -- may render it the wisdom of the state to facilitate the transfer from line to line, still it must be within the same scale, and with preservation of the balance. The most honest of our English historians, and with no superior in industry and research, Mr. Sharon Turner, has labored successfully in detaching from the portrait of our first Protestant king the layers of soot and blood, with which pseudo-Catholic hate and pseudo-Protestant candour had coated it. But the name of Henry VIII would outshine that of Alfred, and with a splendor, which not even the ominous shadow of his declining life would have eclipsed -- had he retained the will and possessed the power of effecting, what in part, he promised and proposed to do -- if he had availed himself of the wealth, and landed masses that had been unconstitutionally alienated from the state, i.e. transferred from the scale of heritable lands and revenues, to purchase and win back whatever had been alienated from the opposite scale of the nationalty. Wrongfully alienated: for it was a possession, in which every free subject in the nation has a living interest, a permanent, and likewise a possible personal and reversionary interest! Sacrilegiously alienated: for it had been consecrated Image, to the potential divinity in every man, which is the ground and condition of his civil existence, that without which a man can be neither free nor obliged, and by which alone, therefore, he is capable of being a free subject -- a citizen.

If, having thus righted the balance on both Sides, HENRY had then directed the nationalty to its true national purposes, (in order to which, however, a different division and subdivision of the kingdom must have superseded the present barbarism, which forms an obstacle to the improvement of the country, of much greater magnitude than men are generally aware of) -- if the Nationalty had been distributed in proportionate channels, to the maintenance, -- 1, Of universities, and the great schools of liberal learning: 2, Of a pastor, presbyter, or parson [1] in every parish: 3, Of a school-master in every parish, who in due time, and under condition of a faithful performance of his arduous duties, should succeed to the pastorate; so that both should be labourers in different compartments of the same field, workmen engaged in different stages of the same process, with such difference of rank, as might be suggested in the names pastor and sub-pastor, or as now exists between curate and rector, deacon and elder. Both alike, I say, members and ministers of the national clerisy or church, working to the same end, and determined in the choice of their means and the direction of their labours, by one and the same object -- namely, in producing and re-producing, in preserving, continuing, and perfecting, the necessary sources and conditions of national civilization; this being itself an indispensable condition of national safety, power and welfare, the strongest security and the surest provision, both for the permanence and the progressive advance of whatever (laws, institutions, tenures, rights, privileges, freedoms, obligations, &c. &c.) constitute the public weal: these parochial clerks being the great majority of the national clergy, and the comparatively small remainder, being principally [2] in ordine ad hos, Cleri doctores ut Clerus Populi.

I may be allowed to express the final cause of the whole by the office and purpose of the greater part -- and this is, to form and train up the people of the country to obedient, free, useful, organizable subjects, citizens, and patriots, living to the benefit of the state, and prepared to die for its defence. The proper object and end of the National Church is civilization with freedom; and the duty of its ministers, could they be contemplated merely and exclusively as officiaries of the National Church, would be fulfilled in the communication of that degree and kind of knowledge to all, the possession of which is necessary for all in order to their CIVILITY. By civility I mean all the qualities essential to a citizen, and devoid of which no people or class of the people can be calculated on by the rulers and leaders of the state for the conservation or promotion of its essential interests.

It follows therefore, that in regard of the grounds and principles of action and conduct, the State has a right to demand of the National Church, that its instructions should be fitted to diffuse throughout the people legality, the obligations of a well-calculated self-interest, enlivened by the affections and the warrantable prejudices of nationality. At least, whatever of higher origin and nobler and wider aim the ministers of the National Church, in some other capacity, and in the performance of other duties, might labour to implant and cultivate in the minds and hearts of their congregations and seminaries, should include the practical consequences of the legality above mentioned. The state requires that the basin should be kept full, and that the stream which supplies the hamlet and turns the mill, and waters the meadow-fields, should be fed and kept flowing. If this be done, the State is content, indifferent for the rest, whether the basin be filled by the spring in its first ascent, and rising but a hand's-breadth above the bed; or whether drawn from a more elevated source, shooting aloft in a stately column, that reflects the light of heaven from its shaft, and bears the "Iris, Coeli decus, promissumque Iovis lucidum," [Google translate: Iris, glory of heaven, full of light promissumque of Jupiter] on its spray, it fills the basin in its descent.


In what relation, then do you place Christianity to the National Church? Though unwilling to anticipate what belongs to a part of my subject yet to come, namely, the idea of the Catholic or Christian church, yet I am still more averse to leave this question, even for a moment unanswered. And this is my answer.

In relation to the National Church, Christianity, or the Church of Christ, is a blessed [3] accident, a providential boon, a grace of God, a mighty and faithful friend, the envoy indeed and liege subject of another state, but which can neither administer the laws nor promote the ends of this State, which is not of the world, without advantage, direct and indirect, to the true interests of the States, the aggregate of which is what we mean by the world -- i.e. the civilized world. (What we ought to mean, at least: for I blush to think, current as the term is among the religious public in consequence of its frequent occurrence in the New Testament, how many discourses I have heard, in which the preacher has made it only too evident that he understood by the term the earth which turns round with us, the planet TELLUS of the astronomers!) As the olive tree is said in its growth to fertilize the surrounding soil, and to invigorate the roots of the vines in its immediate neighbourhood, and improve the strength and flavour of the wines -- such is the relation of the Christian and the National Church. But as the olive is not the same plant with the vine, or with the elm or poplar (i.e. the State) with which the vine is wedded; and as the vine with its prop may exist, though in less perfection, without the olive, or prior to its implantation -- even so is Christianity, and a fortiori any particular scheme of Theology derived and supposed (by its partizans) to be deduced from Christianity, no essential part of the Being of the National Church, however conducive or even indispensable it may be to its well being. And even so a National Church might exist, and has existed, without, because before the institution of the Christian Church -- as the Levitical Church in the Hebrew Constitution, the Druidical in the Celtic, would suffice to prove.

But here I earnestly intreat, that two things may be remembered -- first, that it is my object to present the Idea of a National Church, as the only safe criterion, by which the judgment can decide on the existing state of things; for when we are in full and clear possession of the ultimate aim of an institution, it is comparatively easy to ascertain, in what respects this aim has been attained in other ways, arising out of the growth of the Nation, and the gradual and successive expansion of its germs; in what respects the aim has been frustrated by errors and diseases in the body politic; and in what respects the existing institution still answers the original purpose, and continues to be a mean to necessary or most important ends, for which no adequate substitute can be found. First, I say, let it be borne in mind, that my object has been to present the idea of a National Church, not the history of the Church established in this nation. Secondly, that two distinct functions do not necessarily imply or require two different functionaries. Nay, the perfection of each may require the union of both in the same person. And in the instance now in question, great and grievous errors have arisen from confounding the functions; and fearfully great and grievous will be the evils from the success of an attempt to separate them -- an attempt long and passionately pursued, in many forms, and through many various channels, by a numerous party, that has already the ascendancy in the State: and which, unless far other minds and far other principles than the opponents of this party have hitherto allied with their cause, are called into action, will obtain the ascendancy in the Nation.

I have already said, that the subjects, which lie right and left of my road, or even jut into it, are so many and so important, that I offer this epistolary pamphlet but as a catalogue raisonne of texts and theses, that will have answered their purpose if they excite a certain class of readers to desire or to supply the commentary. But you, Sir! are no stranger to the ways, in which my thoughts travel: and a few jointless sentences will possess you of the chief points that press on my mind -- to show "the burden of the valley of vision, even the burden upon the crowned isle, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers the honourable of the earth; who stretcheth out her hand over the sea. and she is the mart of nations!" (Isaiah, xxm.)

The National Church was deemed in the dark age of Queen Elizabeth, in the unenlightened times of Burleigh, Hooker, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Lord Bacon, A GREAT VENERABLE ESTATE OF THE REALM; but now by "all the intellect of the kingdom," it has been determined to be one of the many theological sects, churches or communities, established in the realm; but distinguished from the rest by having its priesthood endowed, durante bene placito, by favour of the legislature -- that is, of the majority for the time being, of the two Houses of Parliament. The Church being thus reduced to a religion, Religion in genere is consequently separated from the church, and made a subject of parliamentary determination, independent of this church. The poor withdrawn from the discipline of the church. The education of the people detached from the ministry of the church. Religion, a noun of multitude, or nomen collectivum, expressing the aggregate of all the different groups of notions and ceremonies connected with the invisible and supernatural. On the plausible (and in this sense of the word, unanswerable) pretext of the multitude and variety of Religions, and for the suppression of bigotry and negative persecution, National Education to be finally sundered from all religion, but speedily and decisively emancipated from the superintendence of the National Clergy. Education reformed. Defined as synonimous with instruction. Axiom of Education, so defined. Knowledge being power, those attainments, which give a man the power of doing what he wishes to obtain what be desires, are alone to be considered as knowledge, or to be admitted into the scheme of National Education. Subjects to be taught in the National Schools: Reading, writing, arithmetic, the mechanic arts, elements and results of physical science, but to be taught, as much as possible, empirically. For all knowledge being derived from the Senses, the closer men are kept to the fountain head, the knowinger they must become. -- POPULAR ETHICS, i.e. a Digest of the Criminal Laws, and the evidence requisite for conviction under the same: Lectures on Diet, on Digestion, on infection, and the nature and effects of a specific virus incidental to and communicable by living bodies in the intercourse of society. N. B. in order to balance the interests of individuals and the interests of the State, the Dietetic and Peptic Text Books, to be under the censorship of the Board of Excise.

Shall I proceed with my chapter of hints? Game Laws, Corn Laws, Cotton Factories, Spitalfields, the tillers of the land paid by poor-rates, and the remainder of the population mechanized into engines for the manufactory of new rich men -- yea, the machinery of the wealth of the nation made up of the wretchedness, disease and depravity of those who should constitute the strength of the nation! Disease, I say, and vice, while the wheels are in full motion; but at the first stop the magic wealth-machine is converted into an intolerable weight of pauperism! But this partakes of History. The head and neck of the huge Serpent are out of the den: the voluminous train is to come. What next? May I not whisper as a fear, what Senators have promised to demand as a right? Yes! the next in my filial bodings is Spoliation. -- Spoilation of the NATIONALTY, half thereof to be distributed among the landowners, and the other half among the stockbrokers, and stockowners, who are to receive it in lieu of the interest formerly due to them. But enough! I will ask only one question. Has the national welfare, have the wealth and happiness of the people, advanced with the increase of its circumstantial prosperity? Is the increasing number of wealthy individuals that which ought to be understood by the wealth of the nation? In answer to this, permit me to annex the following chapter of contents of the moral history of the last 130 years.

A. Declarative act, respecting certain parts of the constitution, with provisions against further violation of the same, erroneously entitled, "THE REVOLUTION of 1688."

B. The Mechanico-corpuscular Theory raised to the title of the Mechanic Philosophy, and espoused as a revolution in philosophy, by the actors and partizans of the (so-called) Revolution in the state.

C. Result illustrated, in the remarkable contrast between the acceptation of the word, Idea, before the Restoration, and the present use of the same word. Before 1660, the magnificent SON OF COSMO was wont to discourse with FICINO, POLITIAN and the princely MIRANDULA on the IDEAS of Will, God, Freedom. SIR PHILIP SIDNEY, the star of serenest brilliance in the glorious constellation of Elizabeth's court, communed with SPENSER, on the IDEA of the beautiful; and the younger ALGERNON -- Soldier, Patriot, and Statesman -- with HARRINGTON, MILTON, and NEVIL, on the IDEA of the STATE: and in what sense it may be more truly affirmed, that the people (i.e. the component particles of the body politic, at any moment existing as such) are in order to the state, than that the state exists for the sake of the people.

Present use of the word.

Dr. HOLOFERNES, in a lecture on metaphysics, delivered at one of the Mechanics' institutions, explodes all ideas but those of sensation; and his friend, DEPUTY COSTARD, has no idea of a better flavored haunch of venison, than he dined off at the London Tavern last week. He admits (for the Deputy has travelled) that the French have an excellent idea of cooking in general; but holds that their most accomplished Maitres du Cuisine have no more idea of dressing a turtle, than the Parisian Gourmands themselves have any real idea of the true taste and colour of the fat.

D. Consequences exemplified. State of nature, or the Ouran Outang theory of the origin of the human race, substituted for the Book of Genesis, ch. I. -- X. Rights of nature for the duties and privileges of citizens. Idealess facts, misnamed proofs from history, grounds of experience, &c., substituted for principles and the insight derived from them. State-policy, a Cyclops with one eye, and that in the back of the head! Our measures of policy, either a series of anachronisms, or a truckling to events substituted for the science, that should command them: for all true insight is foresight. (Documents. The measures of the British Cabinet from the Boston Port-Bill, March 1774; but particularly from 1789, to the Union of Ireland, and the Peace of Amiens.) Meantime, the true historical feeling, the immortal life of an historical Nation, generation linked to generation by faith, freedom, heraldry, and ancestral fame, languishing, and giving place to the superstitions of wealth, and newspaper reputation.

E. Talents without genius: a swarm of clever, well-informed men: an anarchy of minds, a despotism of maxims. Despotism of finance in government and legislation -- of vanity and sciolism in the intercourse of life -- of presumption, temerity, and hardness of heart, in political economy.

F. The Guess-work of general consequences substituted for moral and political philosophy, adopted as a textbook in one of the Universities, and cited, as authority, in the legislature: Plebs pro Senatu Populoque; the wealth of the nation (i.e. of the wealthy individuals thereof, and the magnitude of the Revenue) for the well-being of the people.

G. Gin consumed by paupers to the value of about eighteen millions yearly. Government by journeymen clubs; by saint and sinner societies, committees, institutions; by reviews, magazines, and above all by newspapers. Lastly, crimes quadrupled for the whole country, and in some counties decupled.

Concluding address to the parliamentary leaders of the Liberalists and Utilitarians. I respect the talents of many, and the motives and character of some among you too sincerely to court the scorn, which I anticipate. But neither shall the fear of it prevent me from declaring aloud, and as a truth which I hold it the disgrace and calamity of a professed statesman not to know and acknowledge, that a permanent, nationalized, learned order, a national clerisy or church, is an essential element of a rightly constituted nation, without which it wants the best security alike for its permanence and its progression; and for which neither tract societies, nor conventicles, nor Lancastrian schools, nor mechanics' institutions, nor lecture-bazaars under the absurd name of universities, nor all these collectively, can be a substitute. For they are all marked with the same asterisk of spuriousness, shew the same distemper-spot on the front, that they are empirical specifics for morbid symptoms that help to feed and continue the disease.

But you wish for general illumination: you would spur-arm the toes of society: you would enlighten the higher ranks per ascensum ab imis. You begin, therefore, with the attempt to popularize science: but you will only effect its plebification. It is folly to think of making all, or the many, philosophers, or even men of science and systematic knowledge. But it is duty and wisdom to aim at making as many as possible soberly and steadily religious; -- inasmuch as the morality which the state requires in its citizens for its own well-being and ideal immortality, and without reference to their spiritual interest as individuals, can only exist for the people in the form of religion. But the existence of a true philosophy, or the power and habit of contemplating particulars in the unity and fontal mirror of the idea -- this in the rulers and teachers of a nation is indispensable to a sound state of religion in all classes. In fine, Religion, true or false, is and ever has been the centre of gravity in a realm, to which all other things must and will accommodate themselves.

The deep interest which, during the far larger portion of my life since early manhood I have attached to these convictions, has, I perceive hurried me onwards as by the rush from the letting forth of accumulated waters by the sudden opening of the sluice gates. It is high time that I should return to my subject. And I have no better way of taking up the thread of my argument, than by re-stating my opinion, that our Eighth Henry would have acted in correspondence to the great principles of our constitution, if having restored the original balance on both sides, he had determined the nationalty to the following objects: 1st. To the maintenance of the Universities and the great liberal schools. 2ndly. To the maintenance of a pastor and schoolmaster in every parish. 3rdly. To the raising and keeping in repair of the churches, schools, &c., and, Lastly: To the maintenance of the proper, that is, the infirm, poor whether from age or sickness: one of the original purposes of the national Reserve being the alleviation of those evils, which in the best forms of worldly states must arise and must have been foreseen as arising from the institution of individual properties and primogeniture. If these duties were efficiently performed, and these purposes adequately fulfilled, the very increase of the population, (which would, however, by these very means have been prevented from becoming a vicious population) would have more than counterbalanced those savings in the expenditure of the nationalty occasioned by the detachment of the practitioners of law, medicine, &c., from the national clergy. That this transfer of the national reserve from what had become national evils to its original and inherent purpose of national benefits, instead of the sacrilegious alienation which actually took place -- that this was impracticable, is historically true; but no less true is it philosophically that this impracticability, arising wholly from moral causes -- that is, from loose manners and corrupt principles -- does not rescue this wholesale sacrilege from deserving the character of the first and deadliest wound inflicted on the constitution of the kingdom: which term constitution in the body politic, as in bodies natural, expresses not only what has been actually evolved, but likewise whatever is potentially contained in the seminal principle of the particular body, and would in its due time have appeared but for emasculation or disease. Other wounds, by which indeed the constitution of the nation has suffered, but which much more immediately concern the constitution of the church, we shall perhaps find another place to mention.



1. i.e. Persona Image; persona exemplaris; the representative and exemplar of the personal character of the community or parish, of their duties and rights, of their hopes, privileges and requisite qualifications, as moral persons, and not merely living things. But this the pastoral clergy cannot be other than imperfectly -- they cannot be that which it is the paramount end and object of their establishment and distribution throughout the country, that they should be -- each in his sphere the germ and nucleus of the progressive civilization -- they are in the rule married men and heads of families. This, however, is adduced only as an accessory to the great principle staled in a following page, as an instance of its beneficial consequences, not as the grounds of its validity.

2. Considered, I mean, in their national relations, and in that which forms their ordinary, their most conspicuous purpose and utility; for Heaven forbid, I should deny or forget, that the sciences, and not only the sciences both abstract and experimental, but the Literae Humaniores, the products of genial power, of whatever name, have an immediate and positive value, even in their bearings on the national interests.

3. Let not the religious reader be offended with this phrase. The writer means only that Christianity is an aid and instrument, which no State or Realm could have produced out of its own elements -- which no State had a right to expect. It was, most awfully, a GOD- SEND!
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Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:34 am


THE mercantile and commercial class, in which I here comprise all the four classes that I have put in antithesis to the Landed Order, the guardian, and depositary of the Permanence of the Realm, as more characteristically conspiring to the interests of its progression, the improvement and general freedom of the country -- this class did, as I have already remarked, in the earlier states of the constitution, exist but as in the bud. But during all this period of potential existence, or what we may call the minority of the burgess order, the National Church was the substitute for the most important national benefits resulting from the same. The National Church presented the only breathing hole of hope. The church alone relaxed the iron fate by which feudal dependency, primogeniture and entail would otherwise have predestined every native of the realm to be lord or vassal. To the Church alone could the nation look for the benefits of existing knowledge, and for the means of future civilization. Lastly, let it never he forgotten, that under the fostering wings of the church, the class of free citizens and burgers were reared. To the feudal system we owe the forms, to the church the substance, of our liberty. We mention only two of many facts that would form the proof and comment of the above; first, the origin of towns and cities, in the privileges attached to the vicinity of churches and monasteries, and which preparing an asylum for the fugitive Vassal and oppressed Franklin, thus laid the first foundation of a class of freemen detached from the land. Secondly, the holy war, which the national clergy, in this instance faithful to their national duties, waged against slavery and villenage, and with such success, that in the reign of Charles II, the law which declared every native of the realm free by birth, had merely to sanction an opus jam consummatum. Our Maker has distinguished man from the brute that perishes, by making hope first an instinct of his nature; and secondly, an indispensable condition of his moral intellectual progression:

"For every gift of noble origin,
Is breathed upon by Hope's perpetual breath."


But a natural instinct constitutes a right, as far as its gratification is compatible with the equal rights of others.
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Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:34 am


RECAPITULATION of the preceding, in respect of the idea of the National Church.

Among the primary ends of a STATE, (in that highest sense of the word, in which it is equivalent to the nation, considered as one body politic, and therefore includes the National Church), there are two, of which the National Church (according to its idea), is the especial and constitutional organ and means. The one is, to secure to the subjects of the realm generally, the hope, the chance, of bettering their own or their children's condition. And though during the last three or four centuries, the National church has found a most powerful surrogate and ally for the effectuation of this great purpose in her former wards and foster-children, i.e. in trade, commerce, free industry, and the arts -- yet still the nationalty, under all defalcations, continues to feed the higher ranks by drawing up whatever is worthiest from below, and thus maintains the principle of Hope in the humblest families, while it secures the possessions of the rich and noble. This is one of the two ends.

The other is, to develope, in every native of the country, those faculties, and to provide for every native that knowledge and those attainments, which are necessary to qualify him for a member of the state, the free subject of a civilized realm. We do not mean those degrees of moral and intellectual cultivation which distinguish man from man in the same civilized society, much less those that separate the Christian from the this-worldian; but those only that constitute the civilized man in contra-distinction from the barbarian, the savage, and the animal.

I have now brought together all that seemed requisite to put the intelligent reader in full possession of (what I believe to be) the right idea of the National Clergy, as an estate of the realm. But I cannot think my task finished without an attempt to rectify the too frequent false feeling on this subject, and to remove certain vulgar errors, errors, alas! not confined to those whom the world call the vulgar. Ma nel mondo non e se non volgo, says Machiavel. I shall make no apology therefore, for interposing between the preceding statements, and the practical conclusion from them, the following paragraph, extracted from a work long out of print, and of such very limited circulation that I might have stolen from myself with little risk of detection, had it not been my wish to shew that the convictions expressed in the preceding pages, are not the offspring of the moment, brought forth for the present occasion; but an expansion of sentiments and principles publicly avowed in the year 1817.

Among the numerous blessings of the English Constitution, the introduction of an established Church makes an especial claim on the gratitude of scholars and philosophers; in England, at least, where the principles of Protestantism have conspired with the freedom of the government to double all its salutary powers by the removal of its abuses.

That the maxims, of a pure morality, and the sublime truths of the divine unity and attributes, which a Plato found hard to learn, and more difficult to reveal; should have become the almost hereditary property of childhood and poverty, of the hovel and the workshop; that even to the unlettered they sound as common place; this is a phenomenon which must withhold all but minds of the most vulgar cast from undervaluing the services even of the pulpit and the reading desk. Yet he who should confine the efficiency of an Established Church to these, can hardly be placed in a much higher rank of intellect. That to every parish throughout the kingdom there is transplanted a germ of civilization; that in the remotest villages there is a nucleus, round which the capabilities of the place may crystallize and brighten; a model sufficiently superior to excite, yet sufficiently near to encourage and facilitate, imitation; this unobtrusive, continuous agency of a Protestant Church Establishment, this it is, which the patriot, and the philanthropist, who would fain unite the love of peace with the faith in the progressive amelioration of mankind, cannot estimate at too high a price -- "It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. No mention shall be made of coral or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. -- The clergyman is with his parishioners and among them; he is neither in the cloistered cell, nor in the wilderness, but a neighbour and family-man, whose education and rank admit him to the mansion of the rich landholder, while his duties make him the frequent visitor of the farmhouse and the cottage. He is, or he may become, connected with the families of his parish or its vicinity by marriage. And among the instances of the blindness or at best of the short-sightedness, which it is the nature of cupidity to inflict, I know few more striking, than the clamours of the farmers against church property. Whatever was not paid to the clergyman would inevitably at the next lease be paid to the landholder, while, as the case at present stands, the revenues of the church are in some sort the reversionary property of every family that may have a member educated for the church, or a daughter that may marry a clergyman. Instead of being fore closed and immoveable, it is, in fact, the only species of landed property that is essentially moving and circulative. That there exists no inconveniences, who will pretend to assert? But I have yet to expect the proof, that the inconveniences are greater in this than in any other species; or that either the farmers or the clergy would be benefited by forcing the latter to become either trullibers or salaried placemen. Nay, I do not hesitate to declare my firm persuasion that whatever reason of discontent the farmers may assign, the true cause is that they may cheat the Parson but cannot cheat the steward; and they are disappointed if they should have been able to withhold only two pounds less than the legal claim, having expected to withhold five.
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Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:36 am


THE clerisy, or National Church, being an estate of the realm, the Church and State with the king as the sovereign head of both constituting the Body Politic, the State in the large sense of the word, or the NATION dynamically considered Image (i.e. as an ideal, but not the less actual and abiding, unity); and in like manner, the Nationalty being one of the two constitutional modes or species, of which the common wealth of the Nation consists; it follows by immediate consequence, that of the qualifications for the trusteeship, absolutely to be required of the order collectively, and of every individual person as the conditions of his admission into this order, and of his eligibility to the usufruct or life-interest of any part or parcel of the Nationalty, the first and most indispensable qualification and pre-condition, that without which all others are null and void, -- is that the National Clergy, and every member of the same from the highest to the lowest, shall be fully and exclusively Citizens of the State, neither acknowledging the authority, nor within the influence of any other State in the world -- full and undistracted subjects of this kingdom, and in no capacity, and under no pretences, owning any other earthly sovereign or visible head but the king, in whom alone the majesty of the nation is apparent, and by whom alone the unity of the nation in will and indeed is symbolically expressed and impersonated. The full extent of this first and absolutely necessary qualification will be best seen in stating the contrary, that is, the absolute disqualifications, the existence of which in any individual, and in any class or order of men, constitutionally incapacitates such individual and class or order from being inducted into the National Trust, and this on a principle so vitally concerning the health and integrity of the body politic, as to render the voluntary transfer of the nationalty, whole or part, direct or indirect, to an order notoriously thus disqualified, a foul treason against the most fundamental rights and interests of the realm, and of all classes of its citizens and free subjects, the individuals of the very order itself, as citizens and subjects, not excepted. Now there are two things, and but two, which evidently and predeterminably disqualify for this great trust: the first absolutely, and the second, which in its collective operation, and as an attribute of the whole class, would, of itself, constitute the greatest possible unfitness for the proper ends and purposes of the National Church, as explained and specified in the preceding paragraphs, and the heaviest drawback from the civilizing influence of the National Clergy in their pastoral and parochial character -- the second, I say, by implying the former, becomes likewise an absolute ground of disqualification. It is scarcely necessary to add, what the reader will have anticipated, that the first absolute disqualification is allegiance to a foreign power: the second, the abjuration -- under the command and authority of this power, and as by the rule of their order, its professed Lieges (Alligati) -- of that bond, which more than all other ties connects the citizen with his country; winch beyond all other securities affords the surest pledge to the state for the fealty of its citizens, and that which (when the rule is applied to any body or class of men, under whatever name united, where the number is sufficiently great to neutralize the accidents of individual temperament and circumstances) enables the State to calculate on their constant adhesion to its interests, and to rely on their faith and singleness of heart in the due execution of whatever public or national trust might be assigned to them. But we shall, perhaps, express the nature of this security more adequately by the negative. The Marriage Tie is a Bond the preclusion of which by an antecedent obligation, that overrules the accidents of individual character and is common to the whole order, deprives the State of a security with which it cannot dispense. I will not say, though I might shelter the position under the authority of the great Publicists and State-Lawyers of the Augustan Age, who, in the Lex Julia Papia, enforced anew a principle common to the old Roman Constitution with that of Sparta, that it is a security which the State may rightfully demand of all its adult citizens, competently circumstanced, by positive enactment. But without the least fear of confutation, though in the full foresight of vehement contradiction, I do assert, that the State may rightfully demand of any number of its subjects united in one body or order the absence of all customs, initiative vows, covenants and bylaws in that order, precluding the members of the said body collectively and individually from affording this security. In strictness of principle, I might here conclude the sentence -- though as it now stands it would involve the assertion of a right in the state to suppress any order confederated under laws so anti-civic. But I am no friend to any fights that can be disjoined from the duty of enforcing them. I therefore at once confine and complete the sentence thus: -- The State not only possesses the right, but is in duty bound to demand the above as a necessary condition of its entrusting to any order of men, and to any individual as a member of a known order, the titles, functions, and investments of the National Church. But if any doubt could attach to the proposition, whether thus stated, or in the perfectly equivalent Converse, i.e. that the existence and known enforcement of the injunction or prohibitory by-law, before described, in any Order or Incorporation constitutes an a priori disqualification for the Trusteeship of the Nationalty, and an insuperable obstacle to the establishment of such an order, or of any members of the same as a National Clergy -- such doubt would be removed, as soon as the fact of this injunction, or vow exacted and given, or whatever else it may be, by which the members of the Order, collectively and as such, incapacitate themselves from affording this security for their full, faithful, and unbiased application of a National Trust to its proper and national purposes, is formed in conjunction with, and aggravated by, the three following circumstances. First, that this incapacitation originates in, and forms part of, the allegiance of the order to a foreign Sovereignty: Secondly, that it is notorious, that the Canon or Prescript on which it is grounded, was first enforced on the secular clergy universally, after long and obstinate reluctation on their side, and on that of their natural sovereigns on the several realms, to which us subjects they belonged; and that it is still retained in force, and its revocation inflexibly refused, as the direct and only adequate means of supporting that usurped and foreign Sovereignty, and of securing by virtue of the expatriating and insulating effect of its operation, the devotion, and allegiance of the order [1] to their visible Head, and Sovereign. And thirdly, that the operation of the interdict precludes one of the most constant and influencive ways and means of promoting the great paramount end of a National Church, the progressive civilization of the community. Emollit mores nec sinit esse feros.

And now let me conclude these preparatory Notices by compressing the sum and substance of my argument into this one sentence. Though many things may detract from the comparative fitness of individuals, or of particular classes, for the Trust and Functions of the NATIONALTY, there are only two absolute Disqualifications: and these are, Allegiance to a Foreign Power, or the Acknowledgement of any other visible HEAD OF THE CHURCH, but our Sovereign Lord the King: and compulsory celibacy in connection with, and in dependence on, a foreign and extra-national head.



1. For the fullest and ablest exposition of this point, I refer to the Reverend Blanco White's "Practical and Internal Evidence," and to that admirable work, "Reforma d'Italia," written by a professed and apparently sincere Catholic, a work which well merits translation. I know no work so well fitted to soften the prejudices against the theoretical doctrines of the Latin Church, and to deepen our reprobation of what it actually and practically is, in all countries where the expediency of keeping up appearances, as in Protestant neighbourhoods, does not operate.
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Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:38 am


A treatise? why, the subjects might, I own, excite some apprehension of the sort. But it will be found like sundry Greek Treatises among the tinder-rolls of Herculaneum, with titles of as large promise, somewhat largely and irregularly abbreviated in the process of unrolling. In fact, neither my purpose nor my limits permit more than a few hints, that may prepare the reader for some of the positions assumed in the second part of this volume.

Of the King with the two Houses of Parliament, as constituting the STATE (in the special and antithetic sense of the word) we have already spoken: and it remains only to determine the proper and legitimate objects of its superintendence and control. On what is the power of the State rightfully exercised? Now, I am not arguing in a court of law; and my purpose would be grievously misunderstood if what I say should be taken as intended for an assertion of the fact. Neither of facts, nor of statutary and demandable rights do I speak; but exclusively of the STATE according to the idea. And, in accordance with the idea of the State, I do not hesitate to answer, that the legitimate objects of its power comprise all the interests and concerns of the PROPRIETAGE, both landed and personal, and whether inheritably vested in the lineage or in the individual citizen; and these alone. Even in the lives and limbs of the lieges, the King, as the head and arm of the State, has an interest of property: and in any trespass against them the King appears as plaintiff.

The chief object, for which men, who from the beginning existed under a social bond, first formed themselves into a State, and on the social super-induced the political relation, was not the protection of their lives but of their property. The natural man is too proud an animal to admit that he needs any other protection for his life than his own courage and that of his clan can bestow. Where the nature of the soil and climate has precluded all property but personal, and admitted that only in its simplest forms, as in Greenland for instance -- there men remain in the domestic state and form neighbourhoods, not governments. And in North America, the chiefs appear to exercise government in those tribes only which possess individual landed property. Among the rest the chief is the general, a leader in war; not a magistrate. To property and to its necessary inequalities must be referred all human laws, that would not be laws without and independent of any conventional enactment: i.e. all State-legislation. -- FRIEND, vol. 1. 351.

Next comes the KING, as the Head of the National Church, or Clerisy, and the Protector and Supreme Trustee of the NATIONALTY: the power of the same in relation to its proper objects being exercised by the King and the Houses of Convocation, of which, as before of the State, the King is the head and arm. And here, if it had been my purpose to enter at once on the development of this position, together with the conclusions to be drawn from it, I should need with increased earnestness remind the reader, that I am neither describing what the National Church now is, nor determining what it ought to be. My statements respect the idea alone, as deduced from its original purpose and ultimate aim: and of the idea only must my assertions be understood. But the full exposition of this point is not necessary for the appreciation of the late Bill which is the subject of the following part of the volume. It belongs indeed to the chapter with which I had intended, and should my health permit it, still intend to conclude this volume -- namely, my humble contribution towards an answer to the question, What is to be done now? For the present, therefore, it will be sufficient, if I recall to the reader's recollection, that formerly the National Clerisy, in the two Houses of Convocation duly assembled and represented, taxed themselves. But as to the proper objects, on which the authority of the convocation with the King as its head was to be exercised -- these the reader will himself without difficulty decypher by referring to what has been already said respecting the proper and distinguishing ends and purposes of a National Church.

I pass, therefore, at once to the relations of the Nation, or the State in the larger sense of the word, to the State specially so named, and to the Crown. And on this subject again I shall confine myself to a few important yet, I trust, not common nor obvious, remarks respecting the conditions requisite or especially favorable to the health and vigor of a realm. From these again I separate those, the nature and importance of which cannot be adequately exhibited but by adverting to the consequences which have followed their neglect or inobservance, reserving them for another place: while for the present occasion I select two only, but these, I dare believe, not unworthy the name of Political Principles, or Maxims, i.e. regulae quae inter maximas numerari merentur. And both of them forcibly confirm and exemplify a remark, often and in various ways suggested to my mind, that with, perhaps, one [1] exception, it would be difficult, in the whole compass of language, to find a metaphor so commensurate, so pregnant, or suggesting so many points of elucidation, as that of Body Politic, as the exponent of a State or Realm. I admire, as little as you do, the many-jointed similitudes of Fleming, and other finders of moral and spiritual meanings in the works of Art and Nature, where the proportion of the likeness to the difference, not seldom reminds us of the celebrated comparison of the Morning Twilight to a Boiled Lobster. But the correspondence between the Body Politic to the Body Natural holds even in the detail of application. Let it not, however, be supposed, that I expect to derive any proof of my positions from this analogy. My object in thus prefacing them is answered, if I have shown cause for the use of the physiological terms by which I have sought to render my meaning intelligible.

The first condition then required, in order to a sound constitution of the Body Politic, is a due proportion of the free and permeative life and energy of the Nation to the organized powers brought within containing channels. What those vital forces that seem to bear an analogy to the imponderable agents, magnetic or galvanic, in bodies inorganic, if indeed they are not the same in a higher energy and under a different law of action -- what these, I say, are in the living body in distinction from the fluids in the glands and vessels -- the same, or at least a like relation, do the indeterminable, but yet actual influences of intellect, information, prevailing principles and tendencies, with the influence of property, or income, where it exists without right of suffrage attached thereto, hold to the regular, definite, and legally recognised Powers, in the Body Politic. But as no simile runs on all four legs, (nihil simile est idem), so here, the difference in respect of the Body Politic is, that in sundry instances the former species of force is capable of being converted into the latter, of being as it were organised and rendered a part of the vascular system, by attaching a measured and determinate political right, or privilege, thereto.

What the exact proportion, however, of the two kinds of Force should be, it is impossible to predetermine. But the existence of a disproportion is sure to be detected, sooner or later, by the effects. Thus: the ancient Greek democracies, the hot-beds of Art, Science, Genius, and Civilization, fell into dissolution from the excess of the former, the permeative power deranging the functions, and by explosions shattering the organic structures, they should have enlivened. On the contrary, the Republic of Venice fell by the contrary extremes. All political power was confined to the determinate vessels, and these becoming more and more rigid, even to an ossification of the arteries, the State, in which the people were nothing, lost all power of resistance ad extra.

Under this head, in short, there are three possible sorts of malformation to be noticed, namely, -- The adjunction or concession of direct political power to personal force and influence, whether physical or intellectual, existing in classes or aggregates of individuals, without those fixed or tangible possessions, freehold, copyhold, or leasehold, in land, house, or stock. The power resulting from the acquisition of knowledge or skill, and from the superior development of the understanding is, doubtless, of a far nobler kind than mere physical strength and fierceness, the one being peculiar to the animal Man, the other common to him with the Bear, the Buffalo, and the Mastiff. And if superior Talents, and the mere possession of knowledges, such as can be learnt at Mechanics' institutions, were regularly accompanied with a Will in harmony with the Reason, and a consequent subordination of the appetites and passions to the ultimate ends of our Being: if intellectual gifts and attainments were infallible signs of wisdom and goodness in the same proportion, and the knowing, clever, and talented (a vile word!) were always rational; if the mere facts of science conferred or superseded the soft'ning humanizing influences of the moral world, that habitual presence of the beautiful or the seemly, and that exemption from all familiarity with the gross, the mean, and the disorderly, whether in look or language, or in the surrounding objects, in which the main efficacy of a liberal education consists; and if, lastly, these acquirements and powers of the understanding could be shared equally by the whole class, and did not, as by a necessity of nature they ever must do, fall to the lot of two or three in each several group, club, or neighbourhood; -- then, indeed, by an enlargement of the Chinese system, political power might not unwisely be conferred as the honorarium or privilege on having passed through all the forms in the National Schools, without the security of political ties, without those fastenings and radical fibres of a collective and registrable property, by which the Citizen inheres in and belongs to the Commonwealth, as a constituent part either of the Proprietage, or of the Nationalty; either of the State, or of the National Church. But as the contrary of all these suppositions may be more safely assumed, the practical conclusion will be -- not that the requisite means of intellectual developement and growth should be withheld from any native of the soil, which it was at all times wicked to wish, and which it would be now silly to attempt; but -- that the gifts of the understanding, whether the boon of a genial nature, or the reward of more persistent application, should be allowed fair play in the acquiring of that proprietorship, to which a certain portion of political power belongs, as its proper function. For in this way there is at least a strong probability, that intellectual power will be armed with political power, only where it has previously been combined with and guarded by the moral qualities of prudence, industry, and self-control. And this is the first of the three kinds of mal-organization in a state.

The second is: the exclusion of any class or numerous body of individuals, who have notoriously risen into possession, and the influence inevitably connected with known possession, under pretence of impediments that do not directly or essentially affect the character of the individuals as citizens, or absolutely disqualify them for the performance of civic duties. imperfect, yet oppressive, and irritating ligatures that peril the trunk, whose circulating current they would withhold, even more than the limb which they would fain excommunicate!

The third and last is: a gross incorrespondency of the proportion of the antagonist interests of the Body Politic in the representative body -- i.e. (in relation to our own country,) in the two Houses of Parliament -- to the actual proportion of the same interests, and of the public influence exerted by the same in the Nation at large. Whether in consequence of the gradual revolution which has transferred to the Magnates of the Landed interest so large a portion of that Borough Representation which was to have been its counterbalance; whether the same causes which have deranged the equilibrium of the Landed and the [2] Monied interests in the Legislation, have not likewise deranged the balance between the two unequal divisions of the Landed interest itself, viz., the Major Barons, or great Land-owners, with or without title, and the great body of the Agricultural Community, and thus giving to the real or imagined interests of the comparatively few, the imposing name of the interest of the whole -- the Landed Interest! -- these are questions, to which the obdurate adherence to the jail-crowding Game Laws, (which during the reading of our Church Litany, I have sometimes been tempted to include, by a sort of sub intellige, in the petitions -- "from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness; from battle, murder, and sudden death, Good Lord, deliver us!") to which the Corn Laws, the exclusion of the produce of our own colonies from our distilleries, &c., during the war, against the earnest recommendation of the government, the retention of the Statutes against Usury, and other points, of minor importance or of less safe handling, may seem at a first view to suggest an answer in the affirmative; but which, for reasons before assigned I shall leave unresolved, content if only I have made the Principle itself intelligible.

The following anecdote, for I have no means of ascertaining its truth, and no warrant to offer for its accuracy, I give not as a fact in proof of an overbalance of the Landed interest, but as an indistinctly remembered hearsay, in elucidation of what is meant by the words. Some eighteen or twenty years ago -- for so long I think it must have been, since the circumstance was first related to me -- my illustrious (alas! I must add, I fear, my late) friend, Sir Humphrey Davy, at Sir Joseph Banks's request, analysed a portion of an East Indian import, known by the names of cutch, and Terra Japonica; but which he ascertained to be a vegetable extract, consisting almost wholly of pure tannin: and further trials, with less pure specimens, still led to the conclusion, that the average product would be seven parts in ten of the tanning principle. This discovery was [3] communicated to the trade; and on inquiry made at the India House. It was found that this cutch could be prepared in large quantities, and imported at a price which, after an ample profit to the importers, it would very well answer the purposes of the tanners to give. The trade itself, too, was likely to be greatly benefitted and enlarged, and by being rendered less dependant on a particular situation, and by the reduction of the price at which it could be offered to the foreign consumer, which, in conjunction with the universally admitted superiority of the English leather might be reasonably calculated on as enabling us to undersell our foreign rivals in their own markets. Accordingly, an offer was made, on the part of the principal persons interested in the leather trade, to purchase, at any price below the sum that had been stated to them as the highest, or extreme price, as large a quantity as it was probable that the Company would find it feasible or convenient to import in the first instance. Well! the ships went out, and the ships returned, again and again: and no increase in the amount of the said desideratum appearing among the imports, enough only being imported to meet the former demand of the druggists, and (it is whispered) of certain ingenious transmuters of Bohea into Hyson -- my memory does not enable me to determine whether the inquiry into the occasion of this disappointment was made, or whether it was anticipated, by a discovery that it would be useless. But it was generally understood, that the Tanners had not been the only persons, whose attention had been drawn to the qualities of the article, and the consequences of its importation; and that a very intelligible hint had been given to persons of known influence in Leadenhall-street, that in case of any such importation being allowed, the East-India Company must not expect any support from the Landed Interest in parliament, at the next renewal, or motion for the renewal of their Charter. The East India Company might reduce the price of Bark, one half, or more: and the British Navy, and the grandsons of our present Senators, might thank them for thousands, and myriads of noble oaks, left unstript in consequence -- this may be true; but no less true is it, that the Free Merchants would soon reduce the price of good Tea, in the same proportion, and monopolists ought to have a feeling for each other.

So much, in explanation of the first of the two Conditions of the health and vigour of a Body Politic: and far more, I must confess, than I had myself reckoned on. I will endeavour to indemnify the reader, by despatching the second in a few sentences; which could not so easily have been accomplished, but for the explanations given in the preceding paragraphs. For as we have found the first condition on the due proportion of the free and permeative Life of the State to the Powers organized, and severally determined by their appropriate, and containing, or conducting nerves, or vessels; the Second Condition is --

A due proportion of the potential (latent, dormant) to the actual Power. In the former, both Powers alike are awake and in act. The Balance is produced by the polarization of the Actual Power, i.e. the opposition of the Actual Power organized, to the Actual Power, free and permeating the Organs. In the Second, the Actual Power, in toto, is opposed to the Potential. It has been frequently and truly observed, that in England, where the ground plan, the skeleton, as it were, of the government is a monarchy, at once buttressed and limited by the Aristocracy, (the assertions of its popular character finding a better support in the harangues of theories of popular men, than in state-documents and the records of clear History), a far greater degree of liberty is, and long has been enjoyed, than ever existed in the ostensibly freest, that is, most democratic Commonwealths of ancient or of modern times -- greater, indeed, and with a more decisive predominance of the Spirit of Freedom, than the wisest and most philanthropic statesmen of antiquity, or than the great Commonwealth's-men, the stars of that narrow interspace of blue sky between the black clouds of the first and second Charles's reigns, believed compatible, the one with the safety of the State, the other with the interests of Morality.

Yes! for little less than a century and a half Englishmen have collectively, and individually, lived and acted with fewer restraints on their free-agency. than the citizens of any known [4] Republic, past or present. The fact is certain. It has been often boasted of, but never, I think, clearly explained. The solution of the phenomenon must, it is obvious, be sought for in the combination of circumstances, to which we owe the insular privilege of a self-evolving Constitution: and the following will, I think, be found the main cause of the fact in question. Extremes meet -- an adage of inexhaustible exemplification. A democratic Republic and an Absolute Monarchy agree in this; that in both alike, the Nation, or People, delegates its whole power. Nothing is left obscure, nothing suffered to remain in the idea, unevolved and only acknowledged as an existing, yet indeterminable Right. A Constitution such states can scarcely be said to possess. The whole Will of the Body Politic is in act at every moment. But in the Constitution of England according to the Idea (which in this instance has demonstrated its actuality by its practical influence, and this too though counter-worked by fashionable errors and maxims, that left their validity behind in the Law-courts, from which they were borrowed) the Nation has delegated its power, not without measure and circumscription, whether in respect of the duration of the Trust, or of the particular interests entrusted. The Omnipotence of Parliament, in the mouth of a lawyer, and understood exclusively of the restraints and remedies within the competence of our Law-courts, is objectionable only as bombast. It is but a puffing pompous way of stating a plain matter of fact. Yet in the times preceding the Restoration, even this was not universally admitted. And it is not without a fair show of reason, that the shrewd and learned author of "THE ROYALISTS' DEFENCE," printed in the year, 1648, (a tract of 172 pages, small quarto, from which I now transcribe) thus sums up his argument and evidences:

"Upon the whole matter clear it is, the Parliament itself (that is, the King, the Lords, and Commons) although unanimously consenting, are not boundless: the Judges of the realm by the fundamental Law of England have power to determine which Acts of Parliament are binding and which void." p. 48. -- That a unanimous declaration of the Judges of the realm, that any given Act of Parliament was against right reason and the fundamental law of the land (i.e. the Constitution of the realm), render such Act null and void, was a principle that did not want defenders among the lawyers of elder times. And in a state of society in which the competently informed and influencive members of the community, (the National Clerisy not included), scarcely perhaps trebled the number of the members of the two Houses, and Parliaments were so often tumultuary congresses of a victorious party rather than representatives of the State, the Right and Power here asserted might have been wisely vested in the Judges of the realm: and with at least equal wisdom, under change of circumstances, has the right been suffered to fall into abeyance. Therefore let the potency of Parliament be that highest and uttermost, beyond which a court of Law looketh not: and within the sphere of the Courts quicquid Rex cum Parliamento voluit, Fatum Sit!

But if the strutting phrase be taken, as from sundry recent speeches respecting the fundamental institutions of the realm, it may be reasonably inferred that it has been taken, i.e. absolutely, and in reference to the Nation, to England with all her venerable heir-looms, and with all her germs of reversionary wealth -- thus used and understood, the Omnipotence of Parliament is an hyperbole, that would contain mischief in it, were it only that it tends to provoke a detailed analysis of the materials of the joint-stock company, to which so terrific an attribute belongs, and the competence of the shareholders in this earthly omnipotence to exercise the same. And on this head the observations and descriptive statements given in Chap. v. of the old tract, just cited, retain all their force; or if any have fallen off, their place has been abundantly filled up by new growths. The degree and sort of knowledge, talent, probity and prescience, which even when exerted within the sphere and circumscription of the constitution, and on the matters properly and peculiarly appertaining to the State according to the idea (i.e., the interests of the proprietage of the realm, and (though not directly or formally, yet actually), the interests of the realm in its foreign relations, as affecting the weal, and requiring the aid of the proprietors), it would be only too easy, were it not too invidious, to prove from acts and measures presented by the history of the last half century, are but scant measure -- placed by the side of the plusquam-gigantic height and amplitude of power, implied in the unqualified use of the phrase, Omnipotence of Parliament, and with its dwarfdom exaggerated by the contrast, would threaten to distort the countenance of truth itself with the sardonic laugh of irony. [5]

The non-resistance of successive generations has ever been, and with evident reason, deemed equivalent to a tacit consent, on the part of a nation, and as finally legitimating the act thus acquiesced m, however great the dereliction of principle, and breach of trust, the original enactment may have been. I hope, therefore, that without offence I may venture to designate the Septennial Act, as an act of usurpation, tenfold more dangerous to the true Liberty of the Nation, than the pretext for the measure, viz. the apprehended Jacobitual leaven from a new election, was at all likely to have proved. And I repeat the conviction, I have expressed in reference to the practical suppression of the CONVOCATlON, that no great principle was ever invaded or trampled on, that did not sooner or later avenge itself on the country, and even on the governing classes themselves, by the consequences of the precedent. The statesman who has not learnt this from history, has missed its most valuable result, and might in my opinion as profitably, and far more delightfully have devoted his hours of study to Sir Walter's Scott's Novels. [6]

But I must draw in my reins. Neither my limits permit, nor does my present purpose require that I should do more than exemplify the limitation resulting from that latent or potential Power, a due proportion of which to the actual powers I have stated as the second condition of the health and vigor of a body politic, by an instance bearing directly on the measure, which in the following section I am to aid in appreciating, and which was the occasion of the whole work. The principle itself, which as not contained within the rule and compass of law, its practical manifestations being indeterminable and inappreciable a priori, and then only to be recorded as having manifested itself, when the predisposing causes and the enduring effects prove the unific mind and energy of the nation to have been in travail; when they have made audible to the historian that Voice of the People which is the Voice of God -- this Principle, I say, (or the Power, that is the subject of it) which by its very essence existing and working as an Idea only, except in the rare and predestined epochs of Growth and Reparation, might seem to many fitter matter for verse than for sober argument, I will, by way of compromise, and for the amusement of the reader, sum up in the rhyming prose of an old Puritan poet, consigned to contempt by Mr. Pope, but whose writings, with all their barren flats and dribbling common-place, contain nobler principles, profounder truths, and more that is properly and peculiarly poetic than are to be found in his [7] own works. The passage in question, however, I found occupying the last page on a flying-sheet of four leaves, entitled England's Misery and Remedy, in a judicious Letter from an Utter-Barrister to his Special Friend, concerning Lieut.-Col. Lilburne's Imprisonment in Newgate, Sept. 1745; and I beg leave to borrow the introduction, together with the extract, or that part at least, which suited my purpose.

"Christian Reader, having a vacant place for some few Lines, I have made bold to use some of Major GEORGE WITHERS, his verses out of VOX PACIFICA, page 199.

Let not your King and Parliament in One,
Much less apart, mistake themselves for that
Which is most worthy to be thought upon:
Nor think they are, essentially, the STATE.
Let them not fancy, that th' Authority
And Priviledges upon them bestown,
Conferr'd are to set up a MAJESTY,
A POWER, or a GLORY of their own!
But let them know, 'twas for a deeper life,
Which they but represent --
That there's on earth a yet auguster Thing,
Veil'd tho' it be, than Parliament and King.

The preceding position exemplified.

And here again the "Royalist's Defence" furnishes me with the introductory paragraph: and I am always glad to find in the words of an elder writer, what I must otherwise have said in my own person -- otium simul et autoritatem.

"All Englishmen grant, that Arbitrary power is destructive of the best purposes for which power is conferred: and in the preceding chapter it has been shown, that to give an unlimited authority over the fundamental Laws and Rights of the nation, even to the King and two Houses of Parliament jointly, though nothing so bad as to have this boundless power in the King alone, or in the Parliament alone, were nevertheless to deprive Englishmen of the Security from Arbitrary Power, which is their birth-right.

"Upon perusal of former statutes it appears, that the Members of both Houses have been frequently drawn to consent, not only to things prejudicial to the Commonwealth, but, (even in matters of greatest weight) to alter and contradict what formerly themselves had agreed to, and that, as it happened to please the fancy of the present Prince, or to suit the passions and interests of a prevailing Faction. Witness the statute by which it was enacted that the Proclamation of King Henry VIII should be equivalent to an Act of Parliament; another declaring both Mary and Elizabeth bastards; and a third statute empowering the King to dispose of the Crown of England by Will and Testament. Add to these the several statutes in the times of King Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, setting up and pulling down each other's religion, every one of them condemning even to death the profession of the one before established." -- Royalists' Defence, p. 41.

So far my anonymous author, evidently an old Tory Lawyer of the genuine breed, too enlightened to obfuscate and incense-blacken the shrine, through which the kingly idea should be translucent, into an idol to be worshipped in its own right; but who, considering both the reigning Sovereign and the Houses, as limited and representative functionaries, thought they saw reason, in some few cases, to place more confidence in the former than in the latter: while there were points, which they wished as little as possible to trust to either. With this experience, however, as above stated, (and it would not be difficult to increase the catalogue,) can we wonder that the nation grew sick of parliamentary Religions? or that the Idea should at last awake and become operative, that what virtually concerned their humanity, and involved yet higher relations, than those of the citizen to the state, duties more awful, and more precious privileges, while yet it stood in closest connection with all their civil duties and rights, as their indispensable condition and only secure ground -- that this was not a matter to be voted up or down, off or on, by fluctuating majorities! that it was too precious an inheritance to be left at the discretion of an Omnipotency, that had so little claim to Omniscience? No interest of a single generation, but an entailed Boon too sacred, too momentous, to be shaped and twisted, pared down or plumped up, by any assemblage of Lords, Knights, and Burgesses for the time being? Men perfectly competent, it may be, to the protection and management of those interests, in which, as having so large a stake they may be reasonably presumed to feel a sincere and lively concern, but who, the experience of ages might teach us, are not the class of persons most likely to study, or feel a deep concern in, the interests here spoken of, in either sense of the term CHURCH; i.e. whether the interests be of a kingdom "not of the World," or those of an Estate of the Realm, and a constituent part, therefore, of the same System with the State, though as the opposite Pole. The results at all events have been such, whenever the Representatives of the One Interest has assumed the direct control of the other, as gave occasion long ago to the rhyming couplet, quoted as proverbial by Luther:

Cum Mare siccatur, cum Daemon ad astra levatur,
Tunc clero laicus fidus Amicus erit.
[Google translate: When dried the sea, relieved with the demon to the stars, Then lay member of the clergy will be a faithful friend.]

But if the nation willed to withdraw the religion of the realm from the changes and revolutions incident to whatever is subjected to the suffrages of the representative assemblies, whether of the state or of the church, the trustees of the proprietage or those of the nationalty, the first question is, how this reservation is to be declared, and by what means to be effected. These means, the security for the permanence of the established religion, must, it may be foreseen, be imperfect: for what can be otherwise, that depends on human will? but yet it may be abundantly sufficient to declare the aim and intention of the provision! Our ancestors did the best it was in their power to do. Knowing by recent experience that multitudes never blush, that numerous assemblies, however respectably composed, are not exempt from temporary hallucinations, and the influences of party passion; that there are things, for the conservation of which --

Men safelier trust to heaven, than to themselves,
When least themselves, in storms of loud debate
Where folly is contagious, and too oft
Even wise men leave their better sense at home
To chide and wonder at them, when returned.


Knowing this, our ancestors chose to place their reliance on the honour and conscience of an individual, whose comparative height, it was believed, would exempt him from the gusts and shifting currents, that agitate the lower region of the political atmosphere. Accordingly, on a change of dynasty they bound the person, who had accepted the crown in trust -- bound him for himself and his successors by an oath, to refuse his consent (without which no change in the existing law can be effected), to any measure subverting or tending to subvert the safety and independence of the National Church, or which exposed the realm to the danger of a return of that foreign usurper, misnamed spiritual, from which it had with so many sacrifices emancipated itself. However unconstitutional therefore the royal veto on a Bill presented by the Lords and Commons may be deemed in all ordinary cases, this is clearly an exception. For it is no additional power conferred on the king, but a limit imposed on him by the constitution itself for its own safety. Previously to the ceremonial act, which announces him the only lawful and sovereign head of both the church and the state, the oath is administered to him religiously as the representative person and crowned majesty of the nation. Religiously, I say, for the mind of the nation, existing only as an Idea, can act distinguishably on the ideal powers alone -- that is, on the reason and conscience.

It only remains then to determine, what it is to which the Coronation Oath obliges the conscience of the king. And this may be best determined by considering what in reason and in conscience the Nation had a right to impose. Now that the Nation had a right to decide for the King's conscience and reason, and for the reason and conscience of all his successors, and of his and their counsellors and ministers, laic and ecclesiastic, on questions of theology, and controversies of faith -- ex. gr. that it is not allowable in directing our thoughts to a departed Saint, the Virgin Mary for instance, to say Ora pro nobis, Beata Virgo, [Google translate: Pray for us, the Blessed Virgin] though there would be no harm in saying, Oret pro nobis, precor, beata Virgo, [Google translate: Let him pray for us, I pray, the Blessed Virgin] whether certain books are to be held canonical, whether the text, "They shall be saved as through fire," refers to a purgatorial process in the body, or during the interval between its dissolution and the day of Judgment; whether the words, "this is my body," are to be understood literally, and if so, whether it is by consubstantiation with, or transubstantiation of, bread and wine; and that the members of both Houses of Parliament, together with the Privy Counsellors and all the Clergy shall abjure and denounce the theory last mentioned -- this I utterly deny. And if this were the whole and sole object and intention of the Oath, however large the number might be of the persons who imposed or were notoriously favorable to the imposition, so far from recognizing the Nation in their collective number, I should regard them as no other than an aggregate of intolerant mortals, from bigotry and presumption forgetful of their fallibility, and not less ignorant of their own rights, than callous to those of succeeding generations. If the articles of faith therein disclaimed and denounced were the substance and proper intention of the Oath, and not to be understood, as in all common sense they ought to be, as temporary marks because the known accompaniments of other and legitimate grounds of disqualification; and which only in reference to these, and only as long as they implied their existence, were fit objects of political interference; it would be as impossible for me, as for the late Mr. Canning, to attach any such sanctity to the Coronation Oath, as should prevent it from being superannuated in times of clearer light and less heat. But that these theological articles, and the exclusion of all, who professed to receive them as parts of their creed, are not the evils which it is the true and legitimate purpose of the oath to preclude, and which constitute and define its obligation on the royal conscience; and what the real evils are, that do indeed disqualify for offices of national trust, and give the permanent obligatory character to the engagement -- this, in which I include the exposition of the essential characters of the Christian or Catholic Church; and of a very different church, which assumes the name; and the application of the premises to an appreciation on principle of the late bill, and now the law of the land; will occupy the remaining portion of the volume.

And now I may be permitted to look back on the road, we have past: in the course of which, I have placed before you, patient fellow-traveller! a small part indeed of what might, on a suitable occasion, be profitably said; but it is all, that for my present purpose, I deem it necessary to say respecting three out of the five themes that were to form the subjects of the first part of this -- small volume, shall I call it? or large and dilated epistle? -- First, but here let me apologize to the reader for any extra trouble I may have imposed on him, by employing the same term (the State, namely) in two senses, though I flatter myself, I have in each instance so guarded it as to leave scarcely the possibility, that a moderately attentive reader should understand the word in one sense, when I had meant it in the other, or confound the STATE as a whole, and comprehending the Church, with the State as one of the two constituent parts, and in contra-distinction from the Church -- first, I have given briefly but, I trust, with sufficient clearness the right idea of a STATE, or Body Politic; "State" being here synonimous with a constituted Realm, Kingdom, Commonwealth, or Nation, i.e. where the integral parts, classes, or orders are so balanced, or interdependent, as to constitute, more or less, a moral unit, an organic whole; and as arising out of the idea of a State I have added the Idea of a Constitution, as the informing principle of its coherence and unity. But in applying the above to our own kingdom (and with this qualification the reader is requested to understand me as speaking in all the following remarks), it was necessary to observe, and I willingly avail myself of this opportunity to repeat the observation -- that the Constitution, in its widest sense as the Constitution of the Realm, arose out of, and in fact consisted in, the co-existence of the Constitutional STATE (in the second acceptation of the term) with the King as its head, and of the CHURCH (i.e. the National Church), likewise the King as its head, and lastly of the King as the Head and Majesty of the whole Nation. The reader was cautioned therefore not to confound it with either of its constituent parts; that he must first master the true idea of each of these severally; and that in the synopsis or conjunction of the three, the idea of the English Constitution, the Constitution of the Realm, will rise of itself before him. And in aid of this purpose and following this order, I have given according to my best judgment, first, the idea of the State, and the State-legislature, and of the two constituent orders, the landed, with its two classes, the Major Barons, and the Franklins; and the Personal, consisting of the mercantile, or commercial; the manufacturing, the distributive and the professional; these two orders corresponding to the two great all-including INTERESTS of the State, -- the landed, namely, to the PERMANENCE, -- the Personal to the PROGRESSION. The Possessions, of both orders taken collectively, form the [8] PROPRIETAGE of the Realm. In contradistinction from this and as my second theme, I have explained (and as being the principal object of this work, more diffusely) the NATIONALTY, its nature and purposes, and the duties and qualifications of its Trustees and Functionaries. In the same sense as I at once oppose and conjoin the NATIONALTY to the PROPRIETAGE; in the same antithesis and conjunction I use and understand the phrase, CHURCH and STATE. Lastly, I have essayed to determine the Constitutional idea of the CROWN, and its relations to the Nation, to which I have added a few sentences on the relations of the Nation to the State. To the completion of this first part of my undertaking, two subjects still remain to be treated of -- and to each of these I shall devote a small section, the title of the first being "On the idea of the Christian Church;" that of the other, "On a third Church:" the name of which I withhold for the present, in the expectation of deducing it by contrast from the contra-distinguishing characters of the former.

"WE (said LUTHER), tell our Lord God plainly: If he will have his Church, then He must look how to maintain and defend it: for we can neither uphold nor protect it. And well for us, that it is so! For in case we could, or were able to defend it, we should become the proudest Asses under heaven. Who is the Church's Protector, that hath promised to be with her to the end, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her? Kings, Diets, Parliaments, Lawyers? Marry, no such cattle." -- Colloquia Mensalia.



1. That namely of the WORD (Gosp. of John, I. 1.) for the Divine Alterity; the Deus Alter et idem of Philo; Deitus Objectiva.

2. Moneyed, used arbitrarily, as in preceding pages the words, Personal and Independent, from my inability to find anyone self-interpreting word, that would serve for the generic name of the four classes, on which I have stated the interest of Progression more especially to depend, and with it the Freedom which is the indispensable condition and propelling force of all national progress, even as the Counter-pole, the other great interest of the Body Politic, its Permanency, is more especially committed to the Landed Order, as its natural Guardian and Depositary. I have therefore had recourse to the convenient figure of speech, by which a conspicuous part or feature of a subject is used to express the whole; and the reader will be so good as to understand, that the Moneyed Order in this place comprehends and stands for, the Commercial, Manufacturing, Distributive, and Professional classes of the Community.

Only a few days ago, an accident placed in my hand a work, of which, from my very limited opportunities of seeing new publications I had never before heard. Mr. CRAWFURD'S History of the Indian Archipelago -- the work of a wise as well as of an able and well-informed man! Need I add, that it was no ordinary gratification to find, that in respect of certain prominent positions, maintained in this volume, I had unconsciously been fighting behind the shield of one whom I deem it an honour to follow. But the sheets containing the passages, having been printed off, I avail myself of this note, to insert the sentences from Mr. Crawfurd's History, rather than lose the confirmation which a coincidence with so high an authority has produced on my own mind, and the additional weight which my sentiments, will receive, in the judgment of others. The first of the two Extracts the reader will consider as annexed to pp. 20-22 of this volume; the second to the paragraph on the protection of property, as the end chiefly proposed to the formation of a fixed government, quoted from a work of my own, (viz The Friend), published ten or eleven years before the appearance of Mr. Crawfurd's History, which I notice in the work to give the principle in question that probability of its being grounded in fact, which is derived from the agreement of two independent minds. The first extract, Mr. Crawfurd introduces by the remark, that the possession of wealth, derived from a fertile soil, encouraged the progress of absolute power in Java. He then proceeds --


The devotion of a people to agricultural industry, by rendering themselves more tame, and their property more tangible, went still farther towards it, for wherever Agriculture is the principal pursuit, there it may certainly be reckoned, that the People will be found living under an absolute government.



In cases of murder, no distinction is made (i.e. in the Ancient Laws of the Indian Islanders), between a willful murder and chance medley. It is the Loss, which the family or tribe sustains, that is considered, and the pecuniary compensation was calculated to make up that loss.

-- DITTO, DITTO, p.123.

3. And, (if I recollect right, though it was not from him, that I received the anecdote) by a friend of Sir Humphrey's, whom I am proud to think my friend likewise, and by an elder claim. -- A man whom I have seen now in his harvest-field, or the market, now in a committee-room, with the Rickmans and Ricardos of the age, at another time with Davy, Woolaston, and the Wedgewoods; now with Wordsworth, Southey, and other friends not unheard of in the republic of letters; now in the drawing-rooms of the rich and the noble, and now presiding at the annual dinner of a Village Benefit Society; and in each seeming to be in the very place he was intended for, and taking the part to which his tastes, talents, and attainments, gave him an admitted right. And yet this is not the most remarkable, not the individualising trait of our friend's character. It is almost overlooked in the originality and raciness of his intellect, in the life, freshness, and practical value of his remarks and notices, truths plucked as they are growing, and delivered to you with the dew on them, the fair earnings of an observing eye, armed and kept on the watch by thought and meditation, and above all, in the integrity, i.e. entireness of his being, (integrum et sine cera vas), the steadiness of his attachments, and the activity and persistency of a benevolence, which so graciously presses a warm temper into the service of a yet warmer heart, and so lights up the little flaws and imperfections, incident to humanity in its choicest specimens, that were their removal at the option of his friends, (and few have, or deserve to have so many!) not a man among them but would vote for leaving him as he is.

This is a note digressive; but, as the heighth of the offence is, that the Garnish is too good for the Dish, I shall confine my apology to a confession of the fault.

-- S.T.C.

4. It will be thought, perhaps, that the United States of North America, should have been excepted. But the identity of Stock, Language, Customs, Manners and Laws scarcely allows us to consider this an exception: even tho' it were quite certain both that it is and that it will continue such. It was, at all events, a remark worth remembering, which I once heard from a Traveller (a prejudiced one, I must admit) that where every man may take liberties, there is little Liberty for any man.

5. I have not in my possession the morning paper in which I read it, or I should with great pleasure transcribe an admirable passage from the present King of Sweden's Address to the STORTHING, i.e. Parliament of Norway, on the necessary limits of Parliamentary Power, consistently with the existence of a CONSTITUTION. But I can with confidence refer the reader to the speech, as worthy of an Alfred. Every thing indeed, that I have heard or read of this sovereign, has contributed to the impression on my mind, that he is a good and wise man, and worthy to be the king of a virtuous people, the purest specimen of the Gothic race.

6. This would not be the first time, that these fascinating volumes had been recommended as a substitute for History -- a ground of recommendation, to which I could not conscientiously accede, though some half dozen of these Novels, with a perfect recollection of the contents of every page, I read over more often in the course of a year, than I can honestly put down to my own credit.

7. If it were asked whether the Author then considers the works of the one of equal value with those of the other, or that he holds George Withers as great a writer as Alexander Pope? his answer would be, that he is as little likely to do so, as the Querist would be to put no greater value on a highly wrought vase of pure silver from the hand of a master, than on an equal weight of Copper Ore that contained a small percentage of separable Gold scattered through it. The Reader will be pleased to observe, that in the stanza here cited, the "STATE" is used in the largest sense, and as synonimous with the Realm, or entire Body Politic, including Church and State, in the narrower and special sense of the latter term.


8. To convey his meaning precisely is a debt, which an Author owes to his readers. He therefore who to escape the charge of pedantry, will rather be misunderstood than startle a fastidious critic with an unusual term, may be compared to the man who should pay his creditor, in base or counterfeit coin, when he had gold or silver ingots in his possession, to the precise amount of the debt; and this under the pretence of their unshapeliness and want of the mint impression.
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