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difficulties, of improving the morals of mankind by a direct appeal to their understandings; to show the distinction between attention and thought, and the necessity of the former as a habit or discipline without which the very word, thinking, must remain a thoughtless substitute for dreaming with our eyes open; and lastly, the tendency of a certain fashionable style with all its accommodations to paralyze the very faculties of manly intellect by a series of petty stimulants. After this preparation, I proceed at once to lay the foundations common to the whole work by an inquiry into the duty of communicating truth, and the conditions under which it may be communicated with safety, from essay V. to XVI. inclusively. Each essay will, I believe, be found complete in itself, yet an organic part of the whole considered as one disquisition. First, the inexpediency of pious frauds is proved from history, the shameless assertion of the indifference of truth and falsehood exposed to its deserved infamy, and an answer given to the objection derived from the impossibility of conveying an adequate notion of the truths, we may attempt to communicate. The conditions are then detailed, under which, right though inadequate notions may be taught without danger, and proofs given, both from facts and from reason, that he, who fulfils the conditions required by conscience, takes the surest way of answering the purposes of prudence. This is, indeed, the main characteristic

of the moral system taught by the Friend throughout, that the distinct foresight of consequences belongs exclusively to the Infinite Wisdom which is one with that Almighty Will, on which all consequences depend; but that for man-to obey the simple unconditional commandment of eschewing every act that implies a self-contradiction, or, in other words, to produce and maintain the greatest possible harmony in the component impulses and faculties of his nature, involves the effects of prudence. It is, as it were, prudence in short-hand or cypher. A pure conscience, that inward something, that ɛòs oiketos, which being absolutely unique no man can describe, because every man is bound to know, and even in the eye of the law is held to be a person no longer than he may be supposed to know it-the conscience, I say, bears the same relation to God, as an accurate timepiece bears to the sun. The time-piece merely indicates the relative path of the sun, yet we can regulate our plans and proceedings by it with the same confidence as if it was itself the efficient cause of light, heat, and the revolving seasons: on the self-evident axiom, that in whatever sense two things for instance, A. and C. D. E.,-are both equal to a third thing, B., they are in the same sense equal to each other. Cunning is circuitous folly. In plain English, to act the knave is but a round about way of playing the fool; and the man, who will not permit himself to call an action by its

proper name without a previous calculation of all its probable consequences, may be indeed only a coxcomb, who is looking at his fingers through an opera glass; but he runs no small risk of becoming a knave. The chances are against him. Though he should begin by calculating the consequences with regard to others, yet by the mere habit of never contemplating an action in its own proportions and immediate relations to his moral being, it is scarcely possible but that he must end in selfishness for the 'you,' and the 'they' will stand on different occasions for a thousand different persons, while the 'I' is one only, and recurs in every calculation. Or grant that the principle of expediency should prompt to the same outward deeds as are commanded by the law of reason; yet the doer himself is debased. But if it be replied, that the re-action on the agent's own mind is to form a part of the calculation, then it is a rule that destroys itself in the very propounding, as will be more fully demonstrated in the second or ethical division of the Friend, when I shall have detected and exposed the equivoque between an action and a series of motions, by which the determinations of the will are to be realized in the world of the senses. What modification of the latter corresponds to the former, and is entitled to be called by the same name, will often depend on time, place, persons and circumstances, the consideration of which requires an exertion of the judgment; but

the action itself remains the same, and like all other ideas pre-exists in the reason, or, in the more expressive and perhaps more precise and philosophical language of St. Paul, in the spirit, unalterable because unconditional, or with no other than that most awful condition, as sure as God liveth, it is so!

These remarks are inserted in this place, because the principle admits of easiest illustration in the instance of veracity and the actions connected with the same, and may then be intelligibly applied to other departments of morality, all of which Woollston indeed considers as only so many different forms of truth and falsehood. So far I treated of oral communication of the truth. The applicability of the same principle is then tried and affirmed in publications by the press, first as between the individual and his own conscience, and then between the publisher and the state: and under this head I have considered at large the questions of a free press and the law of libel, the anomalies and peculiar difficulties of the latter, and the only possible solution compatible with the continuance of the former: a solution rising out of and justified by the necessarily anomalous and unique nature of the law itself. I confess that I look back on this discussion concerning the press and its limits with a satisfaction unusual to me in the review of my own labours: and if the date of their first publication (September, 1809) be re

membered, it will not perhaps be denied on an impartial comparison, that I have treated this most important subject, so especially interesting in the present time, more fully and more systematically than it had up to that time been. Interim tum recti conscientia, tum illo me consolor, quod optimis quibusque certe non improbamur, fortassis omnibus placituri, simul atque livor ab obitu conquieverit.

Lastly, the subject is concluded even as it commenced, and as beseemed a disquisition placed as the steps and vestibule of the whole work, with an enforcement of the absolute necessity of principles grounded in reason as the basis or rather as the living root of all genuine expedience. Where these are despised or at best regarded as aliens from the actual business of life, and consigned to the ideal world of speculative philosophy and Utopian politics, instead of state wisdom we shall have state-craft, and for the talent of the governor the cleverness of an embarrassed spendthrift-which consists in tricks to shift off difficulties and dangers when they are close upon us, and to keep them at arm's length, not in solid and grounded courses to preclude or subdue them. We must content ourselves with expedient-makers-with fire-engines against fires, life-boats against inundations; but no houses built fire-proof, no dams that rise above the water-mark. The reader will have observed that already has the term, reason, been

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