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man is appointed to be the actor over all the matter. The matter is solid, tangible, measurable, subject hence to the rules of mathematics. The vivifying spirit and the mind are not so solid, tangible, measurable, or gross; and hence have to be viewed and treated of under another, and that a higher and nobler, rule of inquisition.
Following upon that matter of Dugald Stewart's just examined, there are suggestions by which he has made an attempt to correct Adam Smith's doctrine on the cause of value. These suggestions are indeed valuable, but still they are mere suggestions. Descending from the region of metaphysics, he entered again the department of physics, or that department of science of which his material subject forms a part; and then we are presented with a little refreshing and encouraging simple and good common sense. On enunciating his own idea of the cause of value he says:"The truth of this is manifest; for value in exchange depending, as I shall afterwards have occasion to show, on the proportion between the demand and the supply."
We are here called to recognise the character and the potency of that great law by which the whole physical department of nature is ordained to be controlled, and to be reduced to that order by which utility and value can alone be established in social relationship, and made to constitute a wise, beneficent, and salutary economy. I maintain, then, by means of the correct application of this law, the law of proportions, that the large volume of deficiency and error that pervades the writings of the Political Economists is to be overcome and rectified, and the truth of the science placed on its right and immovable foundation.
But although this law was so plainly advanced by Dugald
Dugald Stewart's Political Economy, part 1, book 2, p. 359.
Stewart, yet he had not discovered the elementary character, together with the indispensable presence of the law, so as, by means of it, to constitute his first or fundamental premises. Hence it happened that not having succeeded in making a correct definition, he, in offering his suggestions, in stating his opinion, and in advancing his conclusions, is found far more often to have deserted this law, and to have excluded it, than he is found to have been true to it and to have reasoned in accordance with it. As it was with him on this great point, so it has been also with almost all other writers, and those writers, too, who have any title to be reckoned as writers of capacity.
Upon the great general question of the manner in which the science of Social and Political Economy has been treated, and of the state in which it now stands before the world, I deem it necessary to adduce only one more sentence of Dugald Stewart's work. It is as follows: "The question concerning the expediency of subjecting the commerce of money to the regulation of law, is to be considered in another part of the course." In the observations which I have hitherto made on National Wealth, my principal object has been to illustrate some of the most important elementary principles connected with that article of Political Economy, with a view, chiefly, to facilitate and assist your studies in the perusal and examination of Mr. Smith's inquiry. The greater part of these disquisitions have been entirely of a speculative nature, aiming merely to analyse and explain the actual mechanism of society, without pointing out any of the conclusions susceptible of a practical application to which they may lead. A few disquisitions of this last description may, indeed, have insensibly blended themselves with our analytical inquiries, but in these instances I have departed from my general plan, and my only apology is, that the limits of my course left me little prospect
of being able to resume, in a systematic order, the considerations which gave occasion to these digressions."
I now submit that I have adduced from the work of Dugald Stewart evidence sufficient to sustain the proposition of negation, against the writers on Political Economy, which I proposed to substantiate in this branch of my work. But, as Dugald Stewart has advanced some very important matter on the interesting subject of usury and usury laws, I propose, in another chapter, to add to the evidence already adduced, by showing that this writer has contributed to surround with error that branch of economical science which is comprised under the head of Usury.
* Dugald Stewart's Political Economy, part 1, book 2, ch. ii. p. 425.
Dugald Stewart shown to have commenced his reasonings on the subject of Usury, by condemning the views held and expressed by the philosophers and statesmen of the ancient nations of the world. He adverts to the fact of laws against Usury having been adopted and maintained by reason of the sanction imparted to them under the revealed principles of religion, both Mosaic and Christian. He adduces the arguments adranced by Adam Smith in support of these laws. He condemns these arguments because they are at variance with the principle of Free Trade advocated by Adam Smith. He attempts to correct Adam Smith's views by adducing the views advanced by Mr. Bentham. He places the whole subject in an untenable and false position.
Ir an examination were conducted into the treatment, by the school of economical writers, of that one branch only of the science of Social and Political Economy which is comprehended within the principle of usury, yet, by means of this examination, ample evidence would be derived for establishing proof against the whole school, of the total failure of their efforts to discover the general truth of the science. I will now proceed to adduce and to examine matter that has been advanced on this important subject by Dugald Stewart.
On commencing his remarks and reasonings on the subject. of usury, Dugald Stewart has condemned the opinions and conclusions that have been held and advanced on the subject by writers both of ancient and modern times. Adopting and applying terms of assumption, of authoritative philosophy, and of self-satisfaction, which is a course not common with him, and which is quite ludicrous in the case of a man who has himself, and that confessedly, been unable to discover the main principles of the science, he has cited and con
demned the opinions held by writers and actors of the Greek
Again, he writes:-"The authority of Aristotle, which was for a long time almost despotic over the Christian world, cooperated powerfully with the causes now mentioned, in checking the natural progress of human reason upon a subject about which it appears to us somewhat surprising that there could ever exist a diversity of opinion.†"
* Principles of Political Economy, by Dugald Stewart, vol. ii. p. 149. † Ibid. p. 150.