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by punishments, and threatened by the judge, and tormented by the executioner? Why not leave him like the birds, to sport on the common of nature, and reap all the enjoyments to which instinct prompts, restrained by private reason alone? Now this question, human law, with all its imperfection, answers to the satisfaction of every man who looks to consequences. In this nation there are twelve millions of people, and all of them give up that portion of their natural liberty which is necessary for the welfare of the social state. Now, consider the benefits of the bargain. In a state of nature I might have the privilege of snatching what I could find; I might enter the garden of my neighbors, and reap what I had not sowed, and gather where I had not strewed; I might invade any inclosure where my superior strength gave me the ability. But see, others might do the same; if I plunder, I cannot even call my plunder my own. Others will retaliate my injustice on me,

and at what immense loss! In a nation of twelve millions, I have twelve millions of chances against me, and now for the immense benefit of stopping twelve millions of aggressors from invading my rights, I give up the solitary privilege of invading theirs. Never was a greater blessing bought at a smaller price. These are the fruits of living under law and government. It spreads order through life, communicates security and happiness; every man sits under his own vine and fig tree, and there is none to molest

or make him afraid. The poor man is as secure of his little, as the rich man of his heaps, and the more perfectly the law is made and executed, the more certain is it, that each man's happiness is bought at a cheaper price.

Just so we shall find it with respect to the influence of the law of God. It commands us, not even to covet our neighbor's wealth. This, like the prohibition of the garden of Eden, imposes one restraint. But, as a recompense, it commands millions of beings, the inhabitants of all worlds, men, angels, cherubim and seraphim, all conscious beings, from the highest archangel down to the meanest subject of God's moral reign, not to covet any thing from us. Most perfect law! the centre of attraction to a boundless universe! It is not more an imperious duty, than man's highest interest, to submit to it, and well might. the Psalmist say, The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice.

But there is another sense in which human laws may be said to point to, and evince the necessity of, something more perfect. As the ancient philosophers had a notion that material beauty, (as of a rose or rainbow,) was the ladder by which our minds should climb to the conception of intellectual beauty, so we may say that human laws, immersed as they are in regulating the measurement of gold and silver, are still the lower ideas by which we rise to perception of a law, perfect and divine. They put us upon a track,

in which meditating reason finds no stopping place, but in just such regulations as are sanctioned by the law of God. For, let us ask why it is, that the laws guarantee to a man the undisturbed possession of his own property. It is because the security of that property contributes to his happiness. Wealth, imperfect as it is in its power, is still the means and shadow of enjoyment; and as it is a measurable quantity, measurable, I mean, by our coarse instruments, and is grateful to our incarnated tastes, it is the subject about which human laws principally employ themselves. But suppose there were any other thing equally or more the cause and measure of happiness, why should not that become the object of law? Some men value their reputation more than their acres, and hence the law takes into consideration reputation. But why should not every instance of injured affection come under the cognizance of law? Why should not ingratitude, wounding the heart like a venomous serpent; why should not cold looks, proud disdain, unmerited contempt, secret malice, unrequited love, the slanderous eye as well as the slanderous tongue, the malice of the heart as well as the murder of the hand, be forbidden by the law, and checked by its penalties. Certainly all human happiness is not contained in material quantities. These invisible injuries, these darts taken from the quiver of the mind, and felt by the mind alone, are just as real and just as painful, as those aggressions which invade

your wealth.

They are more so.

For only suppose you found a man perishing on a wreck; suppose you relieved him at great hazard; suppose you lavished on him every kindness; and after this, he should turn a deaf ear to your distress, suppose he treats you with the most unfeeling ingratitude, would it not cut you to the heart? So the disobedience of a child, how painful! how agonizing to a parent! and yet none of these things come within the provisions of any statute. Human laws cannot reach them; and the same reasons which exempts them from earthly jurisdiction, shows they must be reserved for a judgment perfect and divine.

The simple reason why they are not noticed by human tribunals, is because they cannot be ascertained. They are such delicate quantities, that no human measure could reach them. How could you prove the amount of ingratitude in a court of law? How could a surgeon be brought on the stand, as a witness, to testify to the depth of a wound in the heart? "There is but one kingdom," says Seneca, "in which a suit is allowed against the ungrateful; it is Macedonia; and there they only prove the folly of the attempt. Because we all agree to prosecute crimes. Of homicide, of poisoning, of parricide, of violated religion, of all these in diverse places, there are different penalties, but every where some. But this most frequent crime of ingratitude is no where punished, and every where reprobated. And why? Not

that we absolve it from censure, but since the estimation of such an uncertain thing is almost impossible, we leave it to the hatred of mankind, and the judgment of Heaven."-De Beneficiis, Lib. III. Sec. 6. This reasoning is correct. Earthly laws are human, and must partake of all the imperfection which belong to the fallible creature man.

There are a few cases, it is true, where the law attempts to estimate the secret injuries of the mind; and these are precisely the most difficult cases on record, and often only serve to show the necessity of something more perfect than human efforts can ever reach. For example, a libel injures a man; but when you come to estimate that injury by damages, the case becomes almost ridiculous; for how many bank bills must you put into a man's purse, to heal the wounds of his bleeding reputation, and how hard it is to know how much his reputation is injured, or how malignant was the intention of the moral aggressor. In all such cases, a man is compelled to carry his thoughts to a higher tribunal; to think of a law, which, emanating from perfection, can be executed by perfection alone.

But when we mount up to a God which can see the heart, who can measure spiritual injuries without deception or mistake, we see at once, that all evil will meet his eye, and demand his sentence. Property, perhaps, ceases with this life. Fields, houses, barns, and implements, must perish, in the conflagra

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