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equally bound to read, and read every thing; whether they be wise or fools, learned or unlearned, good or bad, young or old, prejudiced or unprejudiced. The judgment of the young is thus made equal with the judgment of the aged; of the child with that of the parent. The hearts of the children are not turned to their fathers for direction and advice, nor the eyes of the flock to their shepherds and pastors ; but every sheep wanders where he will, in the mountain or in the plain, in the field or the wilderness; but all are out of the fold; and each chooses what pastures he will, and tramples down and wastes what he rejects; and no two liking the same food and place, the flock is all scattered and divided here and there, and the pasture is spoiled. And all this is wise and right and proved, and incapable of question, because of liberty.
The child has no need of the man; that were to acknowledge slavery. The youth with his book ought to be as independent as the yeoman on his estate. He may plough what he pleases, and fallow what he pleases. He may crop which field he will, and with what seed he will; and gather the whole crop or a part only, when and how he will; bring it home into his store in bundles and sheaves, and parcel it here and there, or feed it off upon the land, or leave it to rot, or plough it in again. Language is feeble, and capable of many senses; but the sense must not be enlarged, or the mind directed, or a higher truth elicited; especially in subjects of the greatest consequences, and the most important interests. In learning from books alone, the choice is not directed, the taste is not cultivated and formed, attention is not
aroused, application is not enforced, mistake and misapprehension are uncorrected, dulness is unassisted, indolence and carelessness are unchastised; bias, passion, pleasure, appetite, prejudice, error, distortion, pride, conceit, wilful blindness, run riot uncontroled, unhindered, and unnoticed, and feeding upon food of their own choice, and assimilating every thing to their own nature, they continually enlarge themselves on one side, and grow confirmed and stronger.*
It is said, we must not interfere to guide any young man's opinions ; in order that he may be free to choose for himself, when his understanding is ripened. It is even a popular system, to observe the natural characters of children, so as to educate them in that line, and to develope that particular power and propensity, to which they have a tendency; instead of bringing up the faculties in which each is deficient to the
proper level, by a more diligent cultivation. What a child is born then, he must grow, according to this system. The bias of birth, the prejudices and propensities of youthful passion and circumstance, must confirm themselves, if man is to be thus free of man, childhood of age, folly of wisdom. The Christian verity reveals to us, that a child is born in sin.--Liberty is sin.
The passion for freedom extends itself to all law, divine as well as human. The same spirit of liberty and independence which disposes us to resist and throw off the control of man over man, disposes us also to resist and rebel against the laws and government of God, and to wrestle with and burst the bands of reli
* See Sewell's Christian Morals, p. 2.
gious obligation; which alone can fit us to use the trust of civil liberty. For the mind of man is a habit; and his whole character must be one; and the habit of love of independence, the desire and spirit of liberty in the breast, must become a propensity, a passion :—What passion ?-let the moralists and phrenologists name it :
- what passion ?—the passion of selfishness and pride : -a proper pride of course! because it is the fashion and idol of the day, and the spirit of liberty.
'But the use of liberty is equal laws, and equal powers of doing our duty and doing good, and equal scope to exercise ourselves in virtue and love, and self-discipline, —that is, to enjoy happiness. And such a liberty may exist under a monarchy, and flourish under a “paternal government;"* and it is not excluded from a democracy :-because the benignant sense of true religionself-denying and practical-must mould a monarch into a father, and fellow-citizens into brethren; but when religion is absent, and the moral sense is selfish and the mind perverted, a jury may be the instrument of the greatest frauds and injustice, a posse comitatus an engine of the greatest tyranny and misery. No matter whether the supreme power have one head or many, the love of self will make such power a monster; and we never heard that the hydra, because it had fifty heads, was the more easy to overcome, or the less disposed to, or less capable of, mischief.+
* “ We hate paternal governinents. Edinb. Rev.
+ Montesquieu said of Poland, “ The independence of individuals is the end aimed at in the laws of Poland; from thence results the oppression of the whole.”—Spirit of Laws, bk. xi. ch. 5.
Modern liberty is the lust of power. Under the name of consti
It is supposed however that a monarch is more hurried to excess by the lust of power, and that power is less
tutional liberty, the Queen's government in Spain violently put an end to the Fueros, or free privileges of the Basques and Navarrese.
The French constituent Assembly extinguished all the local privileges of the provinces.
The late liberal government has made a similar endeavour to narrow the principle of local management in England as much as possible.
Montesquieu has observed, “ As in democracies the people seem to act almost as they please, this sort of government has been deemed most free; and the power of the people has been confounded with their liberty.”—Spirit of Laws, bk. xi. ch. 2.
When“ La Fayette attacked the mob, and seized the ruffian who carried the head (of François), who was executed the next day,—the indignant populace murmured at the severity. What they exclaimed, “is this our liberty? We can no longer hang whom we please.'"--Alison, French Rev., i. 274.
On the 9th Thermidor (27th July, 1794), this principle was practically reduced to its natural absurdity, when the two parties contending for each other's blood, both rallied their friends in the name of liberty. Robespierre said to the Jacobins about him, “ March ! you may yet save liberty.” Tallien, the opponent leader, addressed the Mountain, “ Take your place," said he, looking around him, “ I have come to witness the triumph of freedom: this evening Robespierre is no more.” - Alison, French Rev., ii. 383, 384. Fleury calls the accession of the Church to authority, and the
power to punish heretics, “The Liberty of the Church."-- Mæurs des Chrétiens, ch. 48,
Liberty is tyrannicul and cruel in proportion to its extension to the people.—Mr. Alison observes, “ It is in the name of humanity that thousands are massacred; and under the banner of freedom that the most grievous despotism is established.”— Alison, French Rev., Pref. 36.
“ Liberty and equality was the universal cry of the revolutionary party. Their liberty consisted in the general spoliation of the opulent classes, their equality in the destruction of all who outshone them in talent, or exceeded them in acquirement." - Ibid. p. 55.
“ From the first commencement of the contest, each successive class that had gained the ascendancy in France, had been more violent and
subject to abuse and passion in the hands of a multitude. The multitude also may be moved to virtue, while the
more tyrannical than that which preceded it."— Alison, French Rev.,
“The Jacobins—the greatest levellers in theory, they became the most absolute tyrants in practice.”—Ibid. p. 464.
“Marat, the friend of the people, asserted in the Jacobin club, Dec. 19, 1793, that in order to cement liberty, the national club ought to strike off 200,000 heads.' ”—Kett on Prophecy, ii. 214.
And Smyth, in his lectures, says, " Wherever the French armies went, Liberty and Equality were proclaimed, and « Vive la Republique’ was the cry. The meaning of these terms was seen to be, sweeping confiscations of property, the abolition of all existing authorities, and the elevation of the populace.”—Smyth's Lect., 2nd series, French Rev., vol. iii. p. 254.
The recent exposures of American principles and manners, are fresh in recollection.
“You talked of nothing but liberty; but every one of your actions strove to enslave us. Can you deny it? All your words were orders, all your counsels were the mandates of a despot. We were never thus commanded when, according to your false assertion, we were slaves ; such blind implicit obedience was never demanded from us, as is now exercised, when, by your assertion, we are free.-In other words, they forced upon us the liberty of suffering ourselves to be stripped of all rational freedom.—Open thine eyes, great nation, and deliver us from this Liberty of Hell.”— Lavater's Lett. to the Executive Directory, dated the first year of Helvetic Slavery; Zurich, May 10th, 1798. Quoted, Kett on Prophecy, ii. 222, n.
As scepticism is timid and credulous, so Excess of liberty must needs be mean and servile. The horse without rider cannot win the race. Republicans are the greatest slaves to public opinion; and follow one another with the tamest imitation, in the present single track, like sheep without a shepherd. Those who throw off government, or rebel against it, give implicit obedience, as the trades-unions, and the ribbon-men, with slavish fear, and the blindest submission.
“ The members of the Freemasonry lodges in France, which held the most absolute Atheism, and the most perfect hatred of every species of government, were bound by the fear of inevitable punishment,