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most imperceptible alteration, society is preparing for this change, and change conforming itself in a degree to the nature of the society; and thus, strangeness and an unsuitableness of parts are avoided, and an agreeable and healthy homogeneousness is produced. Besides, Orders, serving thus as checks, and giving to each member that familiar knowledge of his own and of an other's rights, before alluded to, it is only when that mad restlessness, which sets at nought all Law, gets possession of men, that such a society is in danger, first from an unconscionable, irresponsible, domineering majority, and thence, from the despotism of One. Further, were the respect shown to the upper ranks, paid nakedly to the individuals in them, it might well lead to a blind submission, and a servile endurance of oppression ; but blended with, as it is, and growing out of the resation in which these individuals stand to a general Law, that reverential sense which Law excites, elevates and does not degrade men, and thus, while it teaches decorum, educates the character, through a mysterious working, to take care that those whose rank stands on Law, do not violate that Law :

-Through a sacred feeling for Law, and a sober watchfulness over its sanctity, they guard it well.

I have spoken of some of the beneficial tendencies of Orders established on Law-of tendencies; for our fallen natures admit only of approaches to what is best.

Let us now glance at the tendency of an opposite principlethorough Equality.

It has no where been my purpose to go into the question of abstract Right as to one form of Law, or another, but simply to consider what form may be best adapted to the nature of man. As to the question of abstract right, I should hardly undertake its discussion at this time, or, indeed, at any time, after the profound manner in which the principle has been lately treated, and would here only recommend the Essay to every dispassionate and patient thinker.*

If, through the infinitely diversified forms and uses of God's material and animal universe, we see a subordination to some one great purpose; if all be held together by a principle of association by means of which unity is preserved; we can hardly suppose, that in the ordering of his moral and intellectual kingdom, this principle would be neglected; above all, that Law

* See the American Quarterly Observer, Vol. II. No. 1. Jan. 1834. Vol. V. No. 17.


that mighty Power-would be introduced into the midst of these associations not to act in harmony with them, in their influences upon man, but to be an exception to them, or, at best, not to be necessarily interdependent with them, but leaving us at liberty to start with a sweeping, independent principle, such, for instance, as perfect Liberty and Equality.

This hardly seems to be a philosophical course. It not only takes too much for granted, but also sets out the wrong way: Would it not have been more philosophical to have assumed, that Law should bear relationship to the other relations of man ; and from the study of these and of man, have learned something of what the character of Law should be ? Is it not by a knowledge of these and of man, of his affections, wants, powers, that we are to determine what form of Law is best adapted to him? Indeed, is there any other question than that of adaptation ?--Is there any other Right ?-I think not.

In considering the influence of the Law of Orders upon man, I have necessarily, more than once, both directly and indirectly touched upon its opposite—the Law of Equality ; nor can I well avoid the appearance, at least, of repetition in speaking as shortly as possible of the latter.

It would be hard to show, that equality in relation to Law, and as a consequence, the right to appoint all the ministers of Law, is not in contradiction to the other relations of man. In his relation to God, the finite and created holds that of dependence and obedience; and these, let it be observed, not resting upon and paid to an abstract principle, but offered to a Being, from whom emanates Law and control-a Being, and not an Abstraction. This is all-important in respect to the nature of man. And every attempt to act, as men affect to do, upon a mere principle of right irrespective of some Superior, as the living Object in whom that right centres, shows how feeble is

power of any principle, which is not in some way impersonated to the mind. Hence, when, through sin, man lost his lively sense of the personality of his Creator, it was soon said of him, that he was without God in the world, and to show how irrepressible is the craving after somewhat to look up to, he fell down before shapes of wood and stone. And God, I doubt not in part, to meet this want in our natures (for He answers in one work many ends) became manifest to us in the flesh, even in Jesus Christ.

Upon the same principle, Law, as has been remarked, in or


der to be long reverenced, must be bodied forth in its ministers, and that not in creatures made and unmade at our good pleasure: If not embodied, our notions of it become vague; if presented in forms of our own setting up, Obedience dies. Here then, is a contradiction between our relations to this form of Equality in Law, and our relations to God. Look into some of our other relations. In that of Father and Child, we find power and authority on one side, dependence and obedience on the other. We might go into many other relations, and show how men are compelled to sell their boasted birth-right of Equality, and be their lives long, subject to one fellow-being or another--a necessity not growing out of the particular wants of certain individuals, and bearing alone upon those wants ; but pressing upon men every where, to carry forward the uniform and general purposes of life, and to attain great, general ends : -To command and to obey, meet us at every turn.

Nor does this general necessity grow out of arbitrary institutions. Bring mankind to a level. How like would it prove to "the lightning, which doth cease to be, ere one can say, It lightens !” Circumstances under the whole surface forcing up some, and sinking others, in every quarter! Why, you might as well tramp the tossing sea into a plain, as to keep mankind thus. Look through the countless orders in the animal creation,-every where superiour and inferiour, over the broad earth !—The tall tree and the humble flower, the river and the brook, the mountain and the little hill, littleness and greatness, weakness and strength; inequality every where pressed in upon our senses. Do not make light of these last instances, nor hold it philosophical to bring in a separation between influences which act upon the finer sentiment and tastes, or any of the attributes of man; for whether they come to him through the senses, or in whatever way, they all centre upon one being, and tend to one end--an harmonious character : association and unity are the life of man.

It is to this principle of harmony, beginning in God and coming down through all the relations of public and private Law, even to that Law of the spiritual and of the material world, which determines the height and shape of the common weed, that I wish to look. Let us ask ourselves what must be the effect of a great leading principle in Law, which jars with this? Why ! it brings discord into the soul of every individual being. Whiiher shall he turn, that by some analogy, he may learn his true relation to Law? He looks up to the Heavens; it is not there ! -Over the earth; it is not there! He is left standing, a lonely spirit on his lonely plain : Here are entire freedom and equal rights! Heaven shows him the inequality between him and it, and bids him obey; and earth answers to the voice of heaven ; Law, his Law alone has no according voice !

To satisfy ourselves that this principle of Equality is not only an arbitrary assumption—a factitious right, examine the tendency of it

upon him who assumes it. As it stands apart from all else in man's condition—an abstract right realized in no other of his relations,—to act upon it, he must become a different being ; all the teachings of his state, from his birth upward, not only fail to instruct him here, but his modes of thinking, feeling, acting, run counter to it. Wherever they come into his reasonings or feelings in respect to Law, (and come in they will perpetually) they confuse and perplex him, and he is thrown into a condition to feel, and think, and act erroneously. Do what he may to reconcile them, his theory, and his experiences with their results upon his character, are ever standing in contradiction to each other. How shall he relieve himself from this internal self-conflict? It is a most uncomfortable condition, and had he the means of judging, he would, while in this state, use them amiss. Shall he modify his darling theory a little by his other individual relations ? Alas! there is a God above him, not accountable to him, a God who has laid the line to the plummet, and will do with bis creature, as he falls on the one side or the other of it-a God who took not him into his counsels when he gave Law to the universe, and who bids him obey it ;- hedged in by over-ruling circumstances which he was born to, and which have grown and strengthened around him, as he has lived on, he finds it hard to modify his theory of Law by any of these. Will he let go his hold, and allow Law to flow on with the mighty current of things ? No! Pride swells self-importance, and the spirit of self clings to it. Turning from them, yet followed closely by them, he exaggerates his darling Right, that he may rid himself of their pressure upon him. He must not only magnify this right in theory ; he must realize it as a fact; and to this end, must use it.

To rid himself of that spirit of reverence, which supposes in the Law and its ministers something above him, and not to be inconsiderately touched by him, he speaks of Law as made for him, and not of himself as made for Law-he is neither born under the Law, nor brought into subjection to it.

His notion of Law having no relationship to other things habitual with him, and not being regulated by long existing checks and counter-checks, or bounded by settled demarcations, but lying loosely and confusedly in a mind jealous of its privileges and fond of power, through a feeble limited exercise of it, he comes to esteem wholesome restraint to be lordly usurpation and authoritative Law, bondage.

And, for the like reason, when in power, the exercise of uncontrolled will is but the use of the natural rights of a freeman, and opposition to it, the rebellion of the few against the will of the many ; for when of the many, in feeling, the individual is the many:-Think of the all-pervading influence of that sin, by which fell the angels; and in the strength of which man yet stands out against his Maker, and then think of the tremendous power of these confused forces !

In the proportion that this principle is strong, all antagonist principles are weak. Law when not a power above us, and. moving on us, but subject to us, and to be moved by us, becomes mere force in our hands. Besides, where power is not exercised through established ranks with settled duties and rights, but through a mere majority, accidental both in its birth and duration, made up of incoherent masses of men of all conditions, discordant in manners, thoughts and feelings, and scarcely intelligible to each other-and with but one purpose in commonthat purpose becomes a bond of union of tremendous strength, even because it is only One.

Here, and here alone are they in sympathy; in the exercise of power without any of those lesser sympathies, which playing back and forth among men who have many ties of acquaintance, serve as alleviating influences to the intensity of a single passion and aim. And through this it is that a majority, under this equality form of Law, is so blind, so arrogant, so impatient of check, so unsparing and appalling in its character: its very holding together depends upon the intensity of the excitement of its single aim. This is the vital principle of the body; and if this is not kept up hot and quick, the extremities grow cold, and there being no other combining influence, the body decomposes and is lost : it is felt, that without strong excitement, there is no longer life. In this exercise of power they have little to bound them beside their own wills. No established customs sanctified by time and associations awaken a kindly relucting in their hearts; there are no varieties of nu

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