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the very first commandment , which runs thus : " Be fruitful , and multiply , and replenish the earth , and subdue it ; and have dominion over the fish of the sea , and over the fowl of the air , over every living thing that moveth upon the earth . " Are men trying to understand the wisdom of this law , and . to comply with it ? I trow not . They are trying rather to fathom the depths of their own consciences , and discover dreamy notions of abstract truth and justice . They are struggling against the inward conflicts of the mind , instead of going heartily to work in the external world that they may rapidly replenish the earth and subdue it . Until this work is done , there can be no abiding peace for
man . The groundwork of the human conscience is undoubtedly the beau ideal of truth and justice , and that ideal will subdue the earth in time , but not until the law has been fulfilled , as iti 3 written . The first jot of the first law is , " Be fruitful and multiply , " that the earth may be replenished ; after which it may be easily subdued , but not before . Malthusian logic opens not the understanding on this question , but the Scriptures do . Faith and common sense unfold the meaning of this law of God and of his Providence . This is not a doctrine in the common acceptation of the word ; it is a simple gleam of common sense .
There are many seeming contradictions between absolute and relative necessity in the laws of Providence . The doctrine which conciliates the two , in their progressive bearings on each other , may be called the doctrine of Providential Necessity . The conflicts of these living contradictions in Society , in Nature , and in Scripture will continue until every jot and tittle of the law has been fulfilled . Selfishness in man will be at war with conscience
until the earth has been replenished and subdued . "VVe have thus a general idea of the work to be accomplished and a faint idea of the time which may elapse before it is complete . The conscience will , however , grow in strength and influence , until selfishness , and fear , and ignorance have disappeared from the recesses of the soul . Not that which is true , and just , and right according to the inmost conscience of " pure reason , " but that which is wise and good in the fulfilment of the law , is , and will be yet awhile , the rule of faith and understanding . Christ came not to destroy , but to fulfil the law . lie brought actual war with him , not peace .
Socialism , treading in his footsteps , has brought war into society . It is at war with stern Economism , as Gospel liberty is at war with Jewish law ; not otherwise . I will not dwell on their antagonism , but simply state that neither of them can give way entirely until the earth has been replenished and subdued , and then Economism will finally succumb to Socialism : by which I mean the beau ideal of humanity , and truth , and justice in society . It is essential to the peace and progress of society in Europe , and especially in England , that the beau ideal of humanity and justice should be carefully distinguished from the stern realities of duty and necessity , in practical development .
Religious men may contemplate the beau ideal of ultimate perfection , but politicians must conform to the necessities of life , and follow wisdom more than abstract justice . By wisdom I mean the law of necessity , as it is given in the Scriptures and revealed in Nature . Ideal Socialism , in its present state , is an impracticable thing ; but many of its elements may be engrafted on the selfish organism of society . Working men may organize associations , and the labouring men of joint-stock companies may share a certain portion of the profits now monopolized by capital alone . The latter operation would transform joint stock Monopolism into joint-stock Socialism , and realize a high degree of practical improvement in
society . To return , however , to the question of " a doctrine to bo governed by , " I will observe that , under the direction of an all-wise Providence , society will right itself , whatever men may do or think in their respective spheres . There is no possibility of our " departing from the laws of the universe , " however much a few of vis may lose our way in errors and delusions . Doctrines arc to minds and to society what architectural science is to building . What do we want to build up in society?—that is the question . Do we want to build up anything , or merely to amuse the mind witli a serifs of dissolving views ? Hugh Doheuty .
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE . The Tomple , June 11 , 1850 . Sm , —One letter on marriage-and divorce is a necessary niqueneu to that which you favoured mo by inserting on love and muvriago . My text must still be the position of Mr . Lewes ' s heroine , that " It is an unsacrcd thing to force two human beings to live together as man and wife after all affection has died out . " Her lovor replies that marriage is asocial responsibility . Is it a just one to the unloving pair and to society r If " true self-love and social aro the
same , " there is but one question . Can society find any duty of a good citizen in the continuance of his immoral and discordant union ? The impression that the bond is life-long might be expected to induce unions founded on such sentiments of entire harmony as would ensure their life-long continuance . But experience proves the contrary fact , which is consequent on our present imperfect moral nature . Either the physical attraction deceives men as to the virtues of the object of desire , or they neglect all other attributes in the love of mammon or dignity . Hence an immoral state of discord .
Should the union of two beings so imperfect and fallible in their moral natures be compulsorily lifelong ? Habit which assimilates some natures alienates others . Their imperfections are too potent to be reconciled . Doctor Johnson even said that if men and women were paired by a decree of the Lord Chancellor there would be fewer unhappy marriages than result from the free choice of parties . A marriage law , imposing an obligation on the parents to provide for their offspring , is all that comes within the province of public legislation . A private contract otherwise which the parties are free to make , they should be equally free as in other private contracts to dissolve .
There are other incompatibilities besides that of infidelity which make the continuance of the union immoral because hopelessly unhappy . Such is discord of tempers , which in America is a legal ground of divorce . In England adultery is the only legal ground of divorce , a vinculo matrimonii , enabling the parties to marry again elsewhere . Yet , though the principle is conceded by the English law , its practice is virtually denied to the mass of the people by its expensiveness . It is a vexed question whether greater facilities should be given to divorce by cheapening it . If not , there is not the " equal eye" of
justice to rich and poor . That is denied to the justice of a man's or woman ' s cause which is granted to his or her wealth . The cheapness of the appeal would not lessen the means , to be placed before the divorcing tribunal , of determining the sufficiency or not of the causes of the appeal . The »* civil contract" into which parties may now enter before the Registrar does not deceive them into immoral unions by the sanction of religion . But even the Registrar's certificate insists on the continuance of the union after it has become unhappy . Otherwise it suffices for all legal obligations . In the present state of the law nothing less than an Act of
Parliament , and for one cause only , can dissolve a marriage . This is caused by the superstition that God has joined the parties . The frequently corrupt motives tor which they marry , and their subsequent discord , is the best denial . A divorcing tribunal ( if any b 3 necessary ) cheaply attainable and authorized by Act of Parliament , would decide as wisely as the House of Lords . The mere civil contract before the Registrar cannot require such ceremonious and ( save to the rich ) unattainable negative . In Holland , Prussia , the Protestant States of Germany , Sweden , Denmark , and Russia , divorces for adultery are grantable by judicial tribunals . ( Fergusson on Marriage and Divorce , 202 . )
It has been objected that facilities of divorce would induce the conduct which might obtain it . This conduct pre-supposes an absence of that affection and happiness which can alone make the continuance of the union desirable . The present state of the law and the hardship it inflicts on the poor man was thus hit off by Mr . Justice Maule at the Warrick Lent Assizes , 1845 . The prisoner was convicted of bigamy . His first wife had deserted him taking their child with her . He followed her to her retreat , but was beaten by ruffians , her associates . Ten years afterwards he married again . But he was tied to the contract though the other party to it had abjured it and deserted him .
" Mr . Justice Maule , in passing sentence , said that it did appear that he had been hardly used . It tons hard fortune to be so used and not to have another wife to live with him when the former had gone off to live in an improper state with another man . But the law was the same for him as it was for a rich man . As the rich man would have done he also should have pursued the proper means pointed our by law , whereby to obtain redress . He should have brought an action against the adulterer , and should have obtained damages , and then
should have gone to the Ecclesiastical Court , and obtained a divorce , which would have done what had been done- already ; and then he should have gone to the House of Lords and , proving all his case and the preliminary proceedings , have obtained a full and complete divorce , alter which he might , if he liked it , have married again . The prisoner might , perhaps , object , to this that the expense would amount to £ 300 or £ 600 ; perhaps he had not so many pence , but this did not exempt him from paying the penalty for committing a felony , of which he had been convicted . "
The more ignorant and poorer classes aro those who are least likely to form unions on well-regulated and permanent sentiments of concord . Yet the present 8 iate of the law is a denial of redress . Hence cruelty , desertion , and often murder , or the law drives the poor man into bigamy by denying lawful redress , and then punishes his self-redress . PilANCIS WORSLEY .
TEETOTALISM . June 10 . Sir , —Seeing that most of the leading ideas of the age have been expounded to your " Open Council , " and that a fair and impartial hearing has been accorded to all , I take the opportunity of appearing before that august body on behalf of teetotalism . I do this boldly , because , in my opinion , it stands first among the reformatory agencies of the time , one which is fraught with the grandest results to our country and the world . It would abolish the use of that which causes the greatest proportion of the crime and misery now rampant in our streets , at
least , so have said our judges , magistrates , police officers , and others well competent to advise on such a matter . Judge Coleridge has said , " That he never knew a case brought before him which was not directly or indirectl y connected with intoxicating liquor . " Judge Erskine has said , * ' That 99 cases out of every 100 arose from the same cause . " Judge Patteson , in addressing a Norwich jury , said , " If it ? were not for this drinking , you and I should have nothing to do . " Mr . Shaw , the Recorder of Dublin , has said , " That in 40 out of 50 cases that came before him weekly , the crimes he believed were
traceable to intemperance as their direct cause . And further , in support of this , I fearlessly appeal to the unprejudiced testimony of every reasoning man . Who is there but knows something of its baneful effects , some orphaned family or maltreated wife , some noble , hopeful man , transformed into a wretched , besotted outcast ? Do not our newspapers teem with crimes and accidents which owe their origin to the use of alcoholic beverages ? And , to extend our range , has not the fire- water of the pale faces done more than their swords towards exterminating the aborigines of North America ? Was not their effect so potent that the semi-barbarous chiefs of the
Sandwich Isles have denounced their use , and made it criminal to trade in them ? And not many years ago we saw that the Christian doctrines imbibed by the Raiateans , could not withstand the temptations of the grog shop , and lo , John Williams was overcome by the rum barrel . It may be said that was the abuse of the thing . I answer that the abuse is inseparably connected with the use , and that where one is there is inevitably the other . Burns , Byron , and Sheridan are instances of the power they exert over the strongest minds ; and they stand not alone , a host of great and good men could , be brought forward to prove a similar tffect .
The use of alcoholic drinks is attended with injury to every person coming under their influence . Some of the most eminent men of the faculty have pronounced them poison ? ; for instance , Cheyne , Darwin , Farre , Green , Pereira , Christison , &c . Upwards of 1000 medical men , including the highest living authorities have spoken thus : —• ' ToUl and universal abstinence from alcoholic liquors would greatly contribute to the health and happiness of the human race . " Taken into the system they interfere with all its functions , hindering digestion , carbonizing the blood , and robbing it of its vitalizing power , increasing the rapidity of the pulse to a most unnatural degree , and introducing disease and all its concomitants into this our exquisitely formed body .
One of the many proofs of the advantages of teetotalism lies here . The last report of the Tempeiance Life Assurance-office shows that the per centage in deaths of its members , as compared with the other offices , is 7 £ to 20 . The manufacture of intoxicating liquors employs but one labourer , where the manufacture of other commodities employs seventeen . Sixty millions sterling are annually spent in this country upon those articles , for which about 6 d . in the pound is paid for manufacturing . Now just for a moment imagine this almost wasted sum diverted into the legitimate channels of commerce ,
how would the heart of Brummagem rejoice , and behold Liverpool would be filled with joy . Sixty millions annual increase in the demand for cutlery and cloth , furniture and food , hardware and hammocks , where would be our unemployed labour then ? Why the only protection we want is protection from our bad habits . Thomas Carlyle aptly says , No man oppresses thee O free and independent franchiser ; but does not this stupid porter pot oppress thee ? No son of Adam can bid thee come or go ; but this absurd pot of heavywet , this can and does ! Thou art the thrall , not of Cedric the Saxon , but of thy own brutal appetites , and this scoured dish of liquor . " It is possible , and ' tis very
probable , that mtrvie England t-hall yet be released from this horrid incubus , her workers , instead ot being as at present ignorant , besotted , and depraved , becoming sober and intelligent ( and their drinking habits form the greatest barrier to this ) , her middle and upper classes released from these conventional and injurious usages , with clour heads and warm hearts , employing themselves in furthering the cause of progress and humanity ; and , then , what might not we sturdy Saxons become ? Greece and Rome full but from their luxury and licentiousness ; but England , having learned to subdue this , might stand exalicd among tho nations , grasping and realising that vision of poets and philosophers , the golden ngo . Mav it please your Honourable Council that , if
278 * ® tj £ & ££ & £ ?? [ Saturday ,
Leader (1850-1860), June 15, 1850, page 278, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1842/page/14/