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advantage is, by the law of nature, made to be not possible, without degrading the position of other men, and so increasing the general evil.

Every departure from right is ordained, under the law of nature, to bring with it a state of facts analogous with its own character. Suffering and punishment are wholesomely ordained to be the accompaniments and consequences of choosing to follow wrong and bad courses of action. The law of the allwise Creator, operating through the unalterable nature of things, contains no provision for repairing, in such a manner as that now under consideration, the unjust courses of selfishness, folly, or vice. The consequences must be endured. Causes have been put into operation; corresponding results must follow. They who feel or discern the effects of their imprudence, their folly, or their vice, and desire to return into the due and rightful courses of social action, have to obey the law of labour by which the general means of the community, that is, its capital, has been and is created and sustained. Nature will not modify her character, nor alter her course, to suit the faults of the idle class of men, the whims of the conceited class, the debauchery of the gluttons and the drunkards, or the grasping aspirations of the covetous and ambitious class of men. When such men return to society confessing their folly, acknowledging the erroneousness of their courses, and lamenting their losses, they have, indeed, to be received, and to be encouraged; but they cannot advance a claim for equality of possession. If, indeed, the general body of the community were so weak and so ignorant as to concede the demand, nature would still say,"No. This shall not be! If this course be adopted all will be involved in a worse condition."

Some persons, perhaps, may say, here, that the cases just supposed and applied for the purpose of illustrating the

truth, do not comprehend the whole subject-matter involved, for the most important instances are not alluded to, these being the numerous families of a community who are made to suffer the evils of extreme poverty by reason of the covetous and fraudulent trading, the unjust or the reckless speculation, the selfish competition, the unsocial expenditure, or the profligate consumption of those who have a large command of wealth; this wealth being either their own property, or else property borrowed of other men.

Now, with respect to this large class of cases, although sympathy and assistance from the general body of the community are to be felt and extended, yet a title and a claim for enjoyment of property in an equal degree to that enjoyed by other men, cannot be established. When men live together as one community, a GENERAL RULE for the adoption of the community must be assented to, and must prevail. If, under the operation of this general rule, which is both demanded and worked by the members themselves, some members of the society become large gainers, whilst others do not become gainers at all, or, it may be, losers, the latter can have no reasonable ground of complaint, because under the adopted law of social action they have either remained or become poor, instead of having become rich. It is just to assume that they, taken as part of the aggregate body,— and this is the form and quality in which they must be taken, were actuated by the same desire, and had adopted, of their own free will, the same rule of social action as those who, instead of having become like them, poor, had become rich. Hence, the inequality is the offspring of their own principle, their chosen principle. A man cannot raise a complaint against the results of his own principles, whether these results come upon him through the operation of his own actions, or through the operation of the actions of other men.

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Another most important feature connected with the desire to abolish inequality of condition and enjoyment in society, and to establish equality, is the fact of envy, that is ostensibly obtruded by it. We have no just ground for thinking, or for desiring, that in any sphere of spiritual and intellectual life and action established by the Creator, there shall not be some variety in the condition of the members. He who cannot endure to see another member in the enjoyment of something larger, something higher, or something differing in power, and in glory, from that which he himself enjoys, possesses that bad quality of spirit which would make his exclusion from a good sphere of society necessary and inevitable. The prevalence of inequality of condition, followed, not only by a toleration of this inequality, but also by a willing assent to it, and even a joy over it, are necessary for the constitution, the harmonious action, and the permanency, of a sound and good sphere of spiritual and intellectual life; a sphere where Justness and Justice, followed by their first offspring, Order, must everlastingly prevail.

Again :-Another important feature has to be viewed and admitted into the argument. It is this:- By the high and peculiar character of a spiritual and intellectual endowment which the constitution of man presents, it is indispensable that action shall be an emanation of the FREE will of the actor. If a sphere of living should be constructed, over which an absolute or positive law and regulation prevailed, this absolute or positive law and regulation prevailing alike over the actor, as over the things acted upon, so that every actor should, of necessity, be constrained or compelled to submit to, and to subserve, a defined and prescribed course, the quality of the spirit and will could not be so tried as that its rectitude and virtue could be proved and established. The very principle of free will-free agency - would be

overborne and destroyed under the principle of compulsory constraint; hence, good quality could not be called into action and trial, or be proved. Fitness could not be constituted.

By the low and narrow view which writers on Social and Political Economy have hitherto taken of their subject, they have excluded themselves from the high and noble sphere of truth to which I have just adverted. The minds of this school of writers not having been impressed by this highest branch of the subject, they have not been able to enter upon that field of inquiry which is presented by the spiritual attributes and moral obligations of man. Having confined their observation and treatment within the sphere of matter, and having attempted only to inquire into, and to treat of, the production and increase of those physical things that are wanted for man's consumption, they have become so greatly perplexed and bewildered within this sphere of material investigation, that they have adopted and advocated error instead of truth. This weakness and inability of the whole school of writers on Political Economy, have arisen by reason of their having acquired no command of that light by which the higher sphere of man's action is clearly shown, and by which the lower sphere, or the sphere of material production and arrangement of this production, is also clearly shown, and by which alone it is to be shown.

If they who advocate those systems of socialism, or communism, which involve an equalisation of property and enjoyment, would so persevere in their study of the science of Social and Political Economy, as to acquire a knowledge of the law by which right general social action is ordained to be governed, they would perceive that we do not possess the power of constructing a communistic system other than that which actually prevails. They would see that the only change and improvement that can be made, in respect of an existing

system, is that of applying the right general rule of production and consumption to this existing and prevailing system. They would see that no backward course can be attended by that better distribution of things, which it is their wish to see, and their intention to realise; but, on the contrary, that the backward course must be followed by a still worse distribution. Thus, if it be assumed that a whole nation of people should, on a given day, agree that all things possessed by them should no longer be under the rule of individual possession and enjoyment, but should be possessed and enjoyed in common, an immense change would immediately ensue in the demand for those commodities of which the national stock or capital is constituted. A decreased demand would occur for many commodities, whilst an increased demand would occur for many other commodities. All the owners of those commodities of which a decreased demand occurred, would be involved in loss. Loss also would be entailed on all those whose labour was employed in producing these commodities; no power of compensating or making up for this loss being possessed. The immense evils of poverty, suffering, and misery, would be greatly increased, because an uncreation of value, or a diminution of the national capital, would be accomplished. Hence, it has often happened, in the experience of nations, that when the people of a particular nation have been led to expect that great benefit would accrue to them from certain new and enlarged courses of social action and economy, they have had to feel that the very reverse of benefit has come upon them.

A striking and instructive instance of that upon which I am now commenting, was presented in the case of the French nation, in the year 1848, when the people so suddenly rushed into a revolution, by which the existing governmental institution was subverted by them. The effect of this change

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