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bought them of me. If I declare by my last will, that A. B. shall alien my land, and he doth so, it is my alienation by him.
11. Consuetudo est altera lex. Custom is a second law,. But no custom should be so construed, as to enable a person to do a wrongful act.
12. When contrary laws come in question, the four following rules are to be observed.
1. The inferior law must give place to the superior.
4th, Man's law to God's law. Of the Rights of Conscience, and of the freedom of Speech, and of the Press.
1. The right of personal security, in the United States, includes not only the enjoyment of life, limb, body, health, and reputation, but also the uninterrupted enjoyment of a free conscience, in all matters respecting religion, and of opinion, in all matters of a civil nature.
2. Thus every man, in United America, may worship GOD, HIS CREATOR, in that mode which his own reason dictates, without the intervention of any human authority. The Jew and the Catholic, equally enjoythe blessing of an undisturbed religious freedom ; and the cross, the rack, the inquisition, and the dungeon, can be used by neither the one nor the other.
Both are alike entitled to all the privileges and honours of the government, without any of those civil incapacities, which, in all other governments, pollute the fountains of national peace.
3. “ Man worships not himself, but his maker. The liberty of con. science, which he claims, is not for his own service, but for that of his God. To interfere between the worshipping being, and the great Being, who is worshipper, is not only presumptuous, but blasphemous. Who will dare to say,
how God shall, or shall not, receive devotion from the soul he has created? Yet the intoleration, which declares to man the mode in which he shall worship his God, at the same time declares, that God shall receive worship in no other mode!
4. “Who art thou, vain dust and ashes ! by whatever name thou art called, whether a king, a bishop ; a church, or a state ; a parliament, or any thing else, that obtrudest thine insignificance between the soul of man, and its Maker!
5. “ In the United States may religion flourish! The people cannot be great or happy, if it does not. But let it be a better religion, than most of those which have been hitherto professed, in the world. Let it be a religion, which enforces moral obligations ; not a religion, which relaxes and evades them; a religion of peace and charity, not a religion which persecutes, curses, and damns. In a word, let it be the genuine gospel of peace, lifting above the world, warming the heart with the love of God, and his creatures, and sustaining the fortitude of good men, by the assured hope of a future deliverance from death, and an infinite reward in the everlasting kingdom of our LORD and SAVIOUR.”
6. Liherty of speech, and of discussion in all speculative matters, consists in the absolute, and uncontroulable right of speaking, writing, and publishing, on opinions concerning any subject, whether religious, philosophical, or political ; and of inquiring into, and examining the nature of truth, whether moral, or metaphysical; the expediency, or inexpediency of all public measures, with their tendency, and probable effect; the conduct of public men, and generally, every other subject, without restraint; except as to the injury of any other individual, in his person, property, or good name ; 7. Thought and speech are equally the immediate gifts of the Creator;
the one being intended as the vehicle of the other. They are free in America, but in no other civilized nation.
8. When the introduction of letters, among men, afforded a new mode of disclosing, and the invention of the press, a more expeditious method of diffusing their sentiments, writing and printing became subjects of legal coercion. In England, before the year 1694, the freedom of the press, and the right of voding books, was restrained to very narrow limits. No book could be printed without a licence; and no one could sell books, but a liçensed shopkeeper. These restrictions placed all knowledge, by the communication of books, under the control of those interested in keeping the nation in the darkness of ignorance.
9. The constitution of the United States did not provide any barrier against encroachments of that kind; and the omission gave rise to great complaints, among the states. In consequence of those complaints, the amendment was made, whereby it is declared, that “ Congress should make no law abridging the frecdom of speech, or of the press.”
Of Imprisonment for Debt. Imprisonment for debt, which is a species of slavery, exists in the United States, and is a custom opposed to the constitution, and the professed religion of the land. While the creditor has the power of imprisoning the debtor, the latter is a slave to the former. But if a man cannot sell his liberty, a creditor cannot take it from a debtor, even if the debtor assent to its without infringing the principles of justice. No statute can alter the immutable law of God. If liberty be the gift of God, and if it be, as admitted, an unalienable right, no misfortune of a debtor can clothe his creditor, with a right to take away that gift. It can be forfeited only by crime, which crime must be tried by a jury, upon presentment, or indictment. The truth begins to be understood, and is rapidly 'making its progress in the United States. We have a law in the State of New-York, cntitled, An act for abolishing imprisonment for debt. A similar law has lately passed the legislature of Pennsylvania. And it is to be confidently hopen, that all those statesmen of the north, who are so ready to censure their brethren of the south, for holding black slaves, will soon seize an opportunity, in their own states, to banish that species of white slavery, which exists under the law of debtor' and creditor.
Of Morals, or Ethics. 1. The science of morals treats of the actions of intelligent beings, whcther right or wrong; and considers the former as the object of approbation, and reward, and the latter of censure and punishment.
2. We might inquire, whether virtue consists in benevolence, in propriety, or in the pursuit of our own happiness? Is virtue recommended to us by self love? which points it out to us by our interest; or by reason which proves it to be our duty; or by a moral sense ? which is pleased with the beauty of virtue, and disgusted with its opposite.
3. The preservation and healthful state of the body seem to be our first object of care, Attention and foresight are necessary for providing means to satisfy our natural appetites ; of procuring pleasure, and avoiding pain. The desire of being respected among our equals, is one of our strongest appetites, and the wish to obtain a fortune proceeds from that desire.
4. To secure and improve our fortune, knowledge in our profession, industry in the exercise of it, and frugality in our expenses are necessary. Prudence combined with other virtues constitutes the noblest, and the want of it combined with other vices constitutes the vilest of all characters.
5. Every person must influence the happiness of others, by his dispost tion, either to hurt or benefit them. Proper resentment for injustice attempted, or actually committed, is the only motive that can justify our disturbing the happiness of our neighbour.
6. A sacred regard for the happiness of others, so as not to disturb it, even when no law protects them, constitutes the character of a just man.
7. After himself, a man's family are naturally the objects of his warmest affection. Children have our highest sympathy. Our tenderness for them is more active than our reverence and gratitude for our parents. The weakness of children interests the affections of the most brutal; while the infirmities of old age are objects of contempt to all but the good.
8. Next to the relations of parents and children, are those of brothers and sisters, and so on through all the relations of consanguinity. Their habitual intercourse produces habitual sympathy, called affection. The good and virtuous regard these ties, and the dissipated and profligate despise them.
9. Next to our relatives come those who are recommended by their per sonal qualities. This is founded upon approbation of an individual's conduct, confirmed by long acquaintance, and is called by the venerable and sacred name of friendship. ,
10. Benéfactors, who have rendered us a kindness, have a natural claim upon our gratitude. Those also who are distinguished by their extraordinary situations excite our attention. As the greatly fortunate, and the greatly unfortunate ; the rich and the powerful, and the poor and wretched, The peace and order of society depend on our respect for the former ; the relief of human misery, on our compassion for the latter.
11. The state, or sovereignty, in which we are born and educated, is next recommended to our affection Not only we ourselves, but all the objects of our love, our children, our parents, our relatives, our friends, our benefactors, are all comprehended in it. Every good citizen loves his country, respects its laws, and wishes to promote, by every means in his power, the welfare of the whole society, in which be lives.
12. A good man loves all mankind, because they all are under the spe. cial care of that great, benevolent, and all wise Being, who created, maintains, and directs all things, at all times, for the general good.
13. A fatherless world is the most melancholy of all reflections. The highest splendour cannot enlighten the gloom, which such an idea spreads over the imagination. Nor can the most afflicting adversity disturb the joy of the good man, under the conviction that this world has a wise and benevolent Father for its Protector and Guide. · 14. From this view of a Providence, man discovers himself to be a moral agent, bound to take care of his own happiness, that of his family, his friends, and his country; making his own interest his motive, and God's will his rule of conduct. This rule is known from God's declarations in the scriptures, or by his works, denominated the law of nature.
15. The inethod of coming at the will of God, concerning any action, by the light of nature, is to inquire into the terdency of the action to promote or diminish the general happiness. It is evident, that God, when he made man, willed and wished his happiness. Every child at its sport, even the most trivial occurrence, demonstrates the finger of God.
16. Therefore, he who best promotes his own happiness, that of his family, his friends, his country, and of mankind, acts most consistently with the will of God, and thus performs, in the most perfect manner, his moral obligations,
Rules for Reading,
4 Sisterly Unity and Love, ib
Table of the two Slides,
A Cruel Boy,
The Brother and Sister, ib Logan, a Mingo Chief,
Alexis and Amanda,
LittleJunius and the fruitful Vine, 29 The grateful Scholars,
The story of Bertrand, 33 Indian Magnanimity,
Young People's wishes exposed, 41 Matilda and her Son,
We destroy Pleasure by pur-
The Farmer and his two Sons, jb A Generous Mind,
The Young Recruit,
Alcander and Septimius, 63 The Bay of Naples,
Ingenuity and industry rewarded, 70 Ingratitude, highly culpable, ib
The Four Seasons,
161 | Gratitude to the Supreme Beiag, 227
The Wisdom of Providence, 172 Remember the Poor,
Improvement of Time, 191 Hope,
Docility the Basis of Education, 198 Fear and Terrour,
Minot's Oration on Washington, 203 Despair,
Pitt's Speech in Parliament, 208 Pride,
Brutus on the Death of Cæsar, 210 Perplexity,
An Evening Hymn,
226 Extract from Washington's