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of other men and nations of men, so that they may extend the sphere of their observation and experience; that for all these enjoyments and benefits, and for many other which it would not be possible to annumerate, the well-stored world offers ample opportunities and means. Hence, they will exclaim, how unjust, how unwise, and how senseless, how unnatural, and even how cruel, it would be, to fix on us a restraint that would involve a sacrifice of these, or of any or even a part of these, delightful courses, courses so compatible with the interests, feelings, and faculties, with which by nature we are endowed!
Thus the question is placed before us in its two phases or characters. Now, to elicit and to eliminate the true social character of the question, I will suppose that one of such men, with his wife and family of grown-up sons and daughters, is brought into the presence of a man, who, possessing a perfect knowledge of the subject, is invested with authority to deliver a judgment upon it. I will suppose, also, that, side by side with the man and his family, there is placed another man and his family of the same number and age; but who, although like the other in everything else, are unlike in this, namely, no advantages or power of property are enjoyed by them. This man, his wife, their sons, and their daughters say, and say truly, that they are naturally endowed with the same wants, the same desires, the same wishes, the same hopes and fears, and the same faculties, as the other man and his family, the only difference being that they do not possess the power of satisfying the wants and desires, of gratifying the wishes, of fulfilling the hopes, of averting the fears, and of developing and improving the faculties; all this sad restraint, this painful repression, this cruel confinement, this impossibility of giving due exercise to their natural faculties, being fixed upon them by that bad state of social circum
stances in which they are compelled to drag on a miserable existence.
The two parties being thus placed side by side, the Supreme Judge directs the attention of the first complaining party to the sad condition of the other party, asking them if they are willing that such repression and oppression, such denial of action, such withholding of enjoyment, and such impossibility for the development of natural faculties, as they see in the instance before them, shall be continued and extended, in order that THEY may enter upon that larger sphere of action, partake of that larger enjoyment, encourage that larger development of faculties, and acquire that larger advantage and power, which they so ardently desire? The answer given to this is an answer that is, unhappily, always ready, for it has its position on the tip of the tongue of almost every man. It is a compound of evasion and prevarication. It will be, that they do not consider themselves to be chargeable with the circumstances, the interests, or the opportunities, that may be attendant on the state of their neighbour. They will say that their neighbour is to do the best he can for himself and his family, and that they are to do the best they can for themselves; that both are independent the one of the other. That they do not believe in, and will not recognise, a law of dependence, of mutual and general dependence. Thus their answer will be of the spirit of Cain: "Am I my brother's keeper?" But none of this will be allowed or will avail. It will all be rejected with anger. The replication will be: Go and see, and, as far as appertains to you, so do, that this poor, distressed, and destitute man and his children are first raised into that condition of enjoyment, into that due use and expansion of faculties, which are intended for them, and provided for them, and, this having been accomplished, then seek to enlarge your own circle of action and of development, and
your own sphere of enjoyment. The declaration of the Judge will be: He who made us all imparted to all of us constitutions involving Creatorship, creatorship issuing in creatures like ourselves, and issuing also in the procurement of all those things, such as food, clothing, and other things, that are required for sustaining that life which has been created by us. We are, then, creators, secondary creators, pro-creators of life, and, by means of our labour, our ingenuity, and our skill, we are also creators or developers of all those things that are known under the great social term "Capital;" these things being indispensable for sustaining, improving, and adorning life. Over the power thus conferred on us, and intrusted to us, there is affixed an unalterable law, a law the same in character as that of which the Supreme Creator's own rule is constituted, and by which His government is fulfilled, a law by which diffusion, or adequate provision and maintenance, are comprehended and accomplished. If we love, revere, and fulfil this law, then well and good; if we do not love, revere, and fulfil this law, then evil and bad. It is easy for you, who have abundance, to forego some of your expected and aspired after advantages, and things that you call pleasures and delights, in order that this your fellow-man and brother, with his family, may acquire wherewith to satisfy their necessities, to gratify in a small degree their natural hopes and desires, to develope a little their faculties, to improve a little their condition; may be relieved, in some degree, of that supression and that depression by which they are cramped, confined, and weighed down, and chained down. to one barren spot of that earth which we all freely inhabit, and of which you desire and ask free enjoyment. But that which you wish and ask for is that they shall forego, or be deprived of, the things necessary for life and for comfort, in order that you may enjoy a larger amount of superfluities. I tell you
to go and learn what sacrifice, social sacrifice, is; to exercise your talent, to develope your faculties, to guide your social action, in this the only good, wholesome, and healthy field of action and of practice. I tell you, moreover, that such is the perfect character of the Creator's law, that if evil be not sacrificed to good, good must be sacrificed to evil; for not the least compromise can be made between them, not the least union can be formed between them, and, for the end, good care has been taken on which side the victory shall be. Examine and consider well, then, what you are wishing for, and what you are asking for.
The great principle Sacrifice has prevailed, as an idea, and also as a practice, in one form or another, with the people of all nations; the ample volume of history, commencing at the remotest era of the world and continued to the existing era, presenting us with many human interpretations of its character; these, for the larger part, serving to shock, to astonish, to appal, and to mislead, the senses of feeling and of reason, without raising, reviving, or instating in the region of truth, either of them. Revealed religion and the Christian scheme present to us the principle of sacrifice in its full, true, or divine meaning; in all its required forms; in its pristine perfection and beauty; in its marred condition; and in its renovated state; in a character, simple, practical, the most endearing and efficacious; and though accompanied, in many of its parts, by occurrences that excite the most painful emotions, yet these occurrences are seen to have been necessary for the working and completion of its remedial or healing process, the accomplishment of purity of conduct and of character, reattachment to God's law, restored and perpetuated happiness. Here, too, unhappily, the human spirit and mind, not having been faithful, have been active in deforming; for, in far more instances than are admitted, or even thought of, human per
version has been made to assume the place, and to usurp the character of the divine version, and as the noble prophet said of old, "The people love to have it so." They rejoice over, and are satisfied by, the announcement that a sacrificial atonement has been made FOR them; but they do not like, and so they reject, the fact and the truth that the great principle of sacrifice has still to be received and to be worked BY them, and that too in its most beautiful and noblest formsocial justice this being the constructive and sustaining law of God. They who will not assent to the principle by which sacrifice social sacrifice is ordained to be an accompaniment of all sustaining or constructive social action, and who, by withholding this assent, put self-action, self-love, or selfishness in its place for this is the only substitution there can be should have a few testing questions applied to them such as What are they really worth? What is the character and the quality of the motive by which they are constantly or habitually influenced and actuated? What society are they qualified for adorning and sustaining? In what way do they promote and fulfil their Creator's design of surrounding his creatures, in this and in every other sphere, with a full, sufficient, and sustaining Providence? The responses to these, as well as to other questions of a similar import, should be thoroughly looked at, examined, and weighed. Of this we cannot too soon acquire a knowledge, and also a desire of supporting this knowledge by action, namely, they who are not willing to acquire and to hold every advantage and interest of their own, in connexion with,
and in submission to, the advantage and interest of other men
of all other men are, and must continue to be, rebels against law, and, hence, outcasts from the kingdom or the society of their Maker.
The principle of sacrifice social sacrifice of which I