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degree or proportion has been violated. If the Creator had been so distrustful of the agency of man as to withhold from him the use of all matter, excepting in such measure or degree as was required by his immediate want, the diffusion of this being regulated or enforced according to his own invariable rule, which is that of justice, the law of proportion would not have existed as applicable to the development of things by man; but in that case, all individual, as well as general, freedom of action and accountability, touching these things, would have been denied to man, and God himself would have been the observer of the law of proportion.

Perhaps it may be advanced, in objection to this argument, that if we are to reason in accordance with it, we must admit that it would be possible to have our lands too fertile, our harvests too abundant, and the bounty of God too great. The answer to this is easy and simple. It is not possible to have the fruits of God's goodness too abundant for the purposes which he sanctions and approves, this abundance being turned to RIGHT uses; but it is possible that this abundance may be converted into a source of injury by man. God may provide most bountifully; but if man, instigated by selfish and wrong propensities, chooses to disregard the interest and welfare of his fellow-creatures with whom he is ordained to live in social connexion, and to derange the matter of provision by an unjust method of application or exchangeexchange alone being the means of diffusing the provision evil will result is ordained to result on account of the misappropriation of the bounty of God. The work of God being that of creating or providing, he confers on man the great, though secondary, power of appropriating; but power, if not directed by right principle, is, in every operation, mischievous and destructive; hence, the increasing this power, without a preceding rectification of the agency by which it is



set in motion, or the adoption of the right principle of using it, would be adding force to the dominion of evil, and so fertile lands, plentiful harvests, and abundant productions, may be made destructive of the interests of man.

I implore the reader to ponder, with the deepest consideration, over the great law of degree or proportions which I have now introduced to his notice, because it is, I maintain, that law of the science of Social and Political Economy,-the great general law of human life and action—which, though obscurely discerned and partially admitted by the writers of the modern school, has not been understood by them, but which, when understood and applied, serves to throw an entirely new light on the subject, and to dissipate the whole of that fatal darkness by which the science has been overspread and confused.

It is this great law of proportions that the careful and diligent investigator of nature finds to be present with him in whatever department of her kingdom it may be in which he undertakes to labour. Thus, if the scientific chemist, by the method of analysis, is engaged on decomposing a perfectlyformed compound substance, he finds, by the separation of part from part of element from element that the law of proportions is the presiding rule by which the perfect character of the composition is imparted. And, if again, he proceeds to construct, by the method of synthesis, he finds, by experiment, that it is impossible for him to arrive at a correct result to form the perfect compound substance desired if he has not conformed, in the strictest manner, to the requirements of this law. Thus the diligent inquirer into the courses of nature finds the great law of proportions to be in operation in air, in water, in combustion, in form, in figure, in colour, in the due operation of heat and of cold, or of all temperature: so universal, indeed, is the presence

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and character of this law of proportions, established as it has been so fully within the region of human science by Dalton's discovery and explanation of the Atomic Theory, that wherever it may be that we make advancement, or successful discovery, within the illimitable region of nature, there we find the law of proportions to be the presiding regulator.

There is another consideration connected with the acknowledgment and reception of the great law of industrial action and commercial dealing, of which I am giving an exposition in this chapter, that cannot fail to attract the attention, and impress the minds, of all who are inclined and habituated to view and to examine subjects under the influence of a desire to ascertain and to acknowledge the truth of them. The feature to which I allude is, adequateness. In the investigation of subjects, whenever certain visible effects are attributed to certain causes, the philosophical and experienced searcher and observer leads his mind to take such a comprehensive and careful survey of the subjects as will enable him to decide whether or not the causes to which the effects are assigned are adequate to the effects assigned, or capable of having produced them.

Thus the skilful and profound engineer, on being required to give an opinion respecting certain results which have occurred contrary both to intention and to expectation, examines the character of those causes which his own mind suggests, or which are suggested by the minds of other men, by the test of adequateness. By his knowledge of physical capabilities and adaptitudes, he is able to arrive at a decision whether or not the causes suggested are adequate to the effects produced. Should his conclusion be that these causes are equal to the effects, he entertains them as probabilities; whilst, on the other hand, should his conclusion be that they are unequal, he directs his attention to a discovery of other causes,

knowing that, of necessity, other causes must be in operation.

So, likewise, with the physician who is called upon to treat an extensive and complicated state of disease prevailing in the human body. On discovering that some causes are operating injuriously on the body of his patient, he proceeds to consider well whether or not the causes which his mind suggests as probable causes can be so powerful in their influence, and in their operation, as to produce the bad results which he sees. Should it appear to him that they are inadequate, he proceeds to search for other causes, in order to account for the visible effect: should they appear to be adequate, his mind is fortified by an expectation, derived from a certain degree of proof, that he has discovered the sources of disease, or the causes in operation, for which a remedy is required to be applied.

The analogy holds with regard to the great law of proportions which I have introduced as applicable to all those productions of labour which, being educed under the division and subdivision of employment, or the combined operations of labour, and the mutual trust consequent upon them, constitute the means, or that capital as it has been agreed to call it - by which all who are contained within the pale of a nation live. If ever the general body of writers on Social and Political Economy, who undertake to investigate and explain the laws of commercial action and economy, and the statesman whose duty it is to advocate and commend the wellinvestigated researches of economical writers, in order that sound doctrines may be applied to the circumstances of nations, shall be induced to bestow that steady and comprehensive attention on the subjects which is indispensably requisite, they will find, that the causes of all those immense physical evils of poverty and destitution by which the condition of

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man is visited and afflicted, are to be traced to violations of the law of proportions-to a violation of it as regards the application of labour-to a violation of it as regards production or supply — to a violation of it as regards consumption or demand. They will be enabled to discern, within the extensive and interesting region of inquiry and observation which is opened to them by the law of proportions, that here, and here alone, causes are to be found which are adequate to the results presented. By the power thus acquired, they may solve those extensive and intricate problems which the physically social condition of man in all nations presents.

The reader must not suppose that I mean, by what I have now advanced, to include, in the discovery alluded to, any course by which writers or statesmen shall acquire the power of making men receive, and conform to, the truth when so discovered. This is altogether another phase of the subject, and with regard to the motives, conduct, and compliance of all classes of men, these must be left, as heretofore, to the power resulting from another, and that the highest, influence.

I will now adduce instances in which the great law of proportionate production, or the necessity of observing that course of social and industrial economy by which the supply and demand of commodities are to be kept in relative order and proportions, has been recognised by the leading modern writers. The instances I will adduce are extant in the writings of Adam Smith, Mr. Malthus, and Locke. Thus, in "The Wealth of Nations" there are the following passages:"The quantity of every commodity brought to market naturally suits itself to the effectual demand. It is the interest of ALL those who employ their land, labour, and stock, in bringing any commodity to market, that the quantity never should exceed the effectual demand; and it is the interest of all other people that it never should fall short of that demand.”



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