« PředchozíPokračovat »
to do, must take into account the objects of desire to which each person is entitled. They thus recognize rights, and impose corresponding obligations. There are certain fundamental rights which flow necessarily from the moral nature of man, and the conceptions of which are universal. These conceptions are the basis of public law. All law aims at their realization, but with greater or less success according to the existing degree of culture, or the historical circumstances, which may have favored or retarded the development of a particular class of rights. Thus laws, though based on immutable principles and universal ideas, may be partial, imperfect, and mutable, indeed, must ever be in a transition state, as it is their office to embody the conceptions of rights in local and historical circumstances, which can never be the same in two different communities or two successive generaons.
Our author enumerates as essential rights “the rights of personal security, the rights of property, the rights of contract, the rights of marriage, and the rights of government ” ; and proceeds to trace the development of these several classes of rights in the Roman and the English law. We cannot follow him in this sketch, which is fair, accurate, concise, and comprehensive. He passes thence to the consideration of duties and virtues. Obligations relate to outward acts. So long as we invade no man's rights, no man can justly make any farther claim upon us. Beyond this point, law cannot go.
But the obligation to refrain from certain illegal actions imposes upon us the duty of refraining from such thoughts, desires, and purposes as might lead to these actions. The law, “ Thou shalt not steal,” imposes the duty of not coveting; the law, “ Thou shalt not kill,” the duty of suppressing those angry, malicious, revengeful thoughts, of which murder is the ripened fruit. Moral precepts thus cover with prohibitions addressed to the minds of men the whole circuit of wrong actions which the law probibits. But the prohibition of certain wrong desires and purposes implies the duty of cherishing the opposite desires and purposes. The mind cannot repose with satisfaction on a negative morality. The supreme law of human action must necessarily include the whole of our nature, so as to direct every faculty, power, and affection towards its proper object. The idea of perfect goodness is a universal idea,
and it embraces several distinct conceptions, corresponding to the several kinds of rights and obligations ; and each of these gives rise to a separate class of moral precepts, and asserts its supremacy over a distinct department of the thoughts, desires, and purposes. The moral conceptions, to which all others may be reduced or referred, are benevolence, justice, truth, purity, and order, which, considered as dispositions of mind, may be termed the cardinal virtues. From these conceptions are deduced the propositions which we term the fundamental principles of morality. Thus, " Each man is to have his own,” is the principle of justice. To the principles corresponding to the five cardinal virtues our auther adds the principle of earnestness, “ The affections and intentions must not only be rightly directed, but energetic,” and that of moral purpose, “ Things are to be sought only as means to moral ends," — principles which express the intuitive conviction of every moral agent. The various forms and manifestations of character included in the five cardinal virtues, together with the opposite shades and degrees of vice, are drawn out with great perspicuity and accuracy of detail ; but there are no salient points which demand special notice, and our limits will not permit us to give even a hasty sketch of the discussion. We cannot, however, refrain from expressing our admiration of the symmetry between Dr. Whewell's classification of rights and his list of cardinal virtues. The term cardinal virtues has hitherto been an arbitrary term, applied, as the caprice of an individual author dictated, to the prominent traits of a good character, without reference to their susceptibility of a farther analysis or of identification with each other. But the classes of rights ennumerated in this work grow out of the ultimate, elementary conditions of human well-being ; and, as virtue is necessarily based on human rights, and aims at their security and extension, it must therefore have a separate phasis, and ought to have a generic name, corresponding to each class of rights. Accordingly, the rights of personal security are protected by benevolence; those of property by justice ; those of contract by truth ; those flowing from the marriage relation by purity, which prescribes the subjection of the lower parts of our nature to the higher ; those of government by order, which dictates obedience to laws, and the discharge of one's relative duties as a member of the body politic. To these
VI. THE EARL OF CHESTERFIELD
166 The Letters of Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield ; including numerous Letters now first published from the Original Manuscripts. Edited,
with Notes, by LORD MAHON. VII. Noyes's TRANSLATIONS OF HEBREW POETRY . . 201
A New Translation of the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Canticles, with Introductions, and Notes, chiefly explanatory. By GEORGE R. Noves, D. D., Hancock Professor of Hebrew, etc., and Dexter Lec
turer in Harvard University. VIII. SCIENTIFIC RESULTS OF THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION 211
1. The Zoöphytes ; by James D. Dana, A. M., Geologist of the Expedition.
2. Ethnography and Philology; by HORATIO HALE,
A. M., Philologist of the Expedition.
237 Chronicles of the First Planters of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, in New England, from 1623 to 1635. Now first collected from Original Records and Contemporaneous Manuscripts, and illustrated
with Notes. By ALEXANDER YOUNG. · X. CRITICAL NOTICES. 1. Adams's Arithmetic
260 2. Bethune's Sermons
262 3. Palfrey's Tables of Bearings, Distances, &c. · 263 New PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED