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in which, though the right is perfect in the individual, the power to execute it is defective : they answer not his purpose. A man, by natural right, has a right to judge in his own cause; and so far, as the right of the mind is concerned, he never surrenders it; but what availeth it him to judge, if he has not power to redress? He therefore deposits this right in the common stock of society, and takes the arm of society, of which he is a part, in preference and addition to his own. Society grants him nothing. Every man is a proprietor in society, and draws on the capital as a matter of right.”

*“ We have now, in a few words, traced man from a natural individual to a member of society; and shewn, or endeavoured to shew, the quality of the natural rights retained, and of those which are exchanged for civil rights." But in this transition, the furrendered or exchanged rights were so irrevocably transferred from the individual to the body at large, that it no longer remained at the liberty or option of individuals to reclaim, either in the whole, or in part, those rights, which had so become unalienably vested in the community.

• Payne's Rights of Man, p. 59,

. It is as singular, as it is unaccountable, that some of the illuminating philosophers of the present day should, even under the British constitution, claim and infift upon the actual exercise of these natural Rights of Man, when it is notorious, even to demonstration, The exereise

of these natural that the exercise of them would be effentially rights importi

ble in the state destructive of all political and civil liberty, of society. could they be really brought into action. For it is felf-evident, that the perfect equalization of mankind, such as is attributable to this imaginary and merely speculative state of natural freedom, would prevent every individual from acquiring an exclusive right or property in any portion of this terraqueous globe, or in any other particle of matter, beyond that of his own corporeal frame. Liberty presupposes the possibility of acquiring and reaping the advantages of property; a right of receiving and giving aid and protection; and a power of bettering one's own condition, and providing for one's family: it presupposes virtue, in holding out its rewards ; and the rewards of virtue necessarily induce distinction and preference of the virtuous over others, which are essentially contradictory to perfect equalization. The extent of this proposition, men are all born equally free, must include each individual human being, or it


says nothing; but it admits of no other, than that original sense of equality inherent in the metaphysical essence of man, which is not applicable to the physical existence of social man, since it is essentially incompatible with the existence of society, which denominates man social. In this sense, Mr. Payne fays truly, * “ Every history of the creation, and every traditionary account, whether from the lettered or unlettered world, however they may vary in their opinion or belief of certain particulars, all agree in establishing one point

--the unity of man ;' by which I mean, that man is all of one degree, and consequently, that all men are born equal, and with equal natural rights, in the same manner as if posterity had been continued by creation instead of generation, the latter being only the mode, by which the former is carried forward; and consequently, every child born into the world must be considered as deriving its existence from God. The world is as new to him, as it was to the first man, that existed, and his natural right in it is of the same kind.”

The admission of these principles into the state of civil society would prevent the very possibility of those social virtues, out of which

# Payne's Rights of Man, p. 46.



arises the moral and political harmony of the universe. To view this with an impartial eye, we must make ample allowances for the exigencies, and even the foibles of human nature. We are so constituted by an all-wise

Various princi

ples of governCreator, that, although we act generally upon

ment formed on

the diversity of certain fundamental principles, that are essen- r.en's dispørie cially invariable, yet the prevalence of early prejudices, the force of example and habit, the impulse of passion, and the allurement of pleasure, create a great diversity in the cultoms, manners, and actions of men. In some focieties, the philanthropy of peace is never broken into; others are in an uninterrupted state of warfare ; some societies float in a sea of pleasurable delights, whilst others glory in the rudest practices, of which their nature is capable; one society countenances only the embellishment of the mind, whilst another encourages only the improvement of the body; some focieties form themselves principally upon religious institutions, whilst others shew not even the most remote know Jedge of a deity * It is then to be expected,


* I have been informed by several German missioners, who had spent many years in the inland parts of California, that, contrary to their own opinions and expectations, and contrary to the generally received notion, that every man has some idea of a deity, they could not dis

that our practical ideas of the civilized state of society will be generally drawn from the

practical knowledge, we have of different An Engiinman societies. Under this influence, an Englishconceives no liberty where man will conceive no liberty, where there is, there is no law, no property, nó no law, no property, no religion. The prereligion.

fervation of these constitutes the sumi total of those rights and liberties, for which he will even sacrifice his life. Upon what ground then, shall an Englishman, even in theory, admit principles into civil government, which would justify the peasant in seizing the lands of his lord, the servant in demanding the property of his master, the labourer that of his employer, the robber in purloining his neighbour's purse, the adulterer in defiling the wife of another, the outlawed in reviling, contemning, and violating the laws of the

community, Mischiefs ari.

The greatest mischiefs arise from the mis

· understanding and misapplication of terms, ing and misap- 4 plication of ge- Millions of lives have been facrificed in difneral proposio

putes and controversies upon the tenor and tendency of words. General abstract propofitions are supereminently liable to this fatal evil, as I shall hereafter have occasion to

fing from the misunderstand



cover the most remote or faint trace of any public or private cult or worship amongst the natives of this extensive country.


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