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St. Benedict, cap. xlviii. concerning naged, and how literature, science daily manual labour, prescribes the and the arts may thrive without any proportions of time to be employed in stimulus of private emolument. Let labour, in study, and in devotion; and it also be remembered, that while in adds, “ But if poverty or local causes the middle ages the care of the poor, require them to labour by themselves and of education, and the duties of in harvest-work, &c., let them not hospitality, devolved principally upon think it a grievance, for then are they them, they were cminently successful truly monks, if they live by the labour in agriculture, drainage and embankof their own hands, as did also our ment, architecture, and various works fathers and the apostles :" and, greatly of public utility. + as they departed from the design of Disgust at the corruption of the their institution, the monastic orders monks might well create in the minds may nevertheless furnish valuable of the first favourers of the Reformaproofs of the success with which the tion an aversion to Cænobitism or affairs of communities may be ma- conventual life, wbich scarcely retained
any traces of its first design : although,
having continued in the church from dicti, Cap. xxiii.“ Si quid debeant Mo- the institute of the apostles in a connachi proprium habere."
stant succession, its perversions were “ Sicut scriptum est: Dividebatur sin- no better reason for rejecting it as a gulis, prout cuique opus erat, ubi non Christian ordinance, than those of the dicimus, ut personarum, quod absit, acceptio sit , sed infirmitatum consideratio. The religious revolution in this coun
mass for rejecting the Lord's Supper. Ubi qui minns indiget agat Deo gratias, et non contristetur. Qui vero plus indi try, indeed, was mainly assisted by get humilietur pro infirmitate, et non
the division of the spoils of the Church extollatur pro misericordia : et ita omnia among its partisans, which seems to membra erunt in pace." — Ibid. Cap. xxiv. hare given rise to a system of public “ Si omnes æqualiter debeant necessaria robbery and embezzlement of endowaccipere."
ments that has continued to the preRespecting Labour.
sent time. And under this head may “Quod si labor forte factus fue- also be ranked the conversion of the rit major, in arbitrio Abbatis erit aliquid common lands into private property, augere, remota præ omnibus crapula : ut by, inclosure bills, to which may be nunquam subrepat Monacho indigeries : justly applied the words of holy writ: quia nihil sic contrarium est omni Chris- Woe unto them that decree uprightetiano, quomodo crapula, sicut ait Dominus noster: ‘Videte ne graventur corda vestra
ous decrees, and that write grievousin crapula et ebrietate." — Ibid. Cap. turn aside the needy from judgment,
ness which they have prescribed ; to xxxix.“ De Mensura Ciburum.”
“Quod si aut loci necessitas, vel labor, and to take away the right from the aut ardor æstatis amplius poposcerit,” &c. poor of my people.—Hear this, Oye -Ibid. Cap. xl. “ De Mensura Potûs." that swallow up the needy, even to
Si labores agrorum non habent make the poor of the land to fail. Monachi si opera in agris habue- Woe unto them that join house to rint." Ibid. Cap. xli. ; see also xlvi. house, that lay field to field, till there
“ Certis temporibus occupari debent is no place ; that they may be placed fratres in labore manuum; certis horis alone in the midst of the earth! What in lectione divina. [Then follows a division of their time.) Si autem necessitas loci, aut paupertas exegerit ut ad fruges divino flectentes genua."-Ibid. Cap. l. colligendas per se occupentur, non con “ De Fratribus qui longe ab Oratorio tristentur : quia tunc vere monachi sunt, laborant." si labore manuum suarum vivunt : sicut * The great accumulation of their et Patres nostri et Apostoli. Omnia wealth is to be attributed to the advantamen mensurate fiant, propter pusilla- tageous plan of a community, more than nimes."-Ibid. Cap. xlviii. “ De Opere to any other cause. Manuum quotidiano."
+ In the monastic institutions, in “ Fratres qui omnino longe sunt in my opinion, was found a great power for labore, et non possunt occurrere hora the mechanism of politic benerolence.”— competenti ad Oratorium,-agant ibidem Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in opus Dei ubi operantur, cum tremore France.
mean ye that beat my people to pieces, force. Whether there may have been and grind the faces of the poor?”*. any others among the Reformed that
Sonne, however, of the more disin. have not lost sight of the apostolic terested forerunners of the Reforma- institute, I have scarcely been able to tion, seem to have held the opinion inquire.† The constitutions, indeed, of that private property was inconsistent the Moravians, I the Shakers, and the with Christianity, especially the venerable Wicliffe and Ball, but some of their adherents fell into the error (not
* This highly culpable disposition is to be wondered at in that age) of at- also imputed to the Spenceans, whose tempting to establish their opinions by object appears to be the re-establishment
of the feudal tenures, upon a modified system.
+ Bock mentions, among the early “ The country gentleman from his Unitarians, Gregorius Pauli, and Daniel
neighbour's hand Forceth th' inheritance, joynes land of Goods. There is an interesting, though
Zwicker, as advocates for a Community to land, And (most insatiate) seekes under between Zwicker and Ruarus, in which
rather tart, correspondence on the subject his rent To bring the world's most spacious the former, when his antagonist urged
it does not appear to have occurred to continent; The fawning citizen (whose love's of the Jerusalem Church, that it had been
the want of permanence of the institute bought dearest)
continued to his own time in the monasDeceives his brother when the sun teries.
shines clearest, Gets, borrowes, breakes, lets in, pied by a Vee-boor, (a Cape of Good
The picture of a Loan Farm, occuand stops out light,
Hope land-holder or country gentleman,) And lives a knave to leave his son
and the same portion of land supporting a knight."
a Moravian community of Hottentots at Browne's Pastorals.
Gnadenthal, affords an interesting and See also Goldsmith's Deserted Village, striking, contrast. It is taken from Mr.
Latrobe's account of Gnadenthal. “ Lit. and the passage in Sir Thomas More's Utopia, lib. i. from which the following which this place is spoken
of by travellers,
tle do I wonder at the rapture with description is taken : “ Ergo ut unus helluo inexplebilis ac dira pestis patriæ, who, after traversing a dreary unculticontinuatis agris, aliquot millia jugerum into a situation, by nature the most
vated country, find themselves transported uno circundet septo, ejiciuntur coloni quidan, suis etiam, aut circumscriptiful and inviting by the persevering dili
barren and wild, but now rendered fruitfraude, aut vi oppressi exuuntur, aut fatigati injuriis, adiguntur ad vendi. gence and energy of a few plain, pious, tionem. Itaque quoquo pacto emigrant sensible, and judicious men, who came miseri, viri, mulieres, mariti, uxores, hither, not seeking their own profit, but orbi, viduæ, parentes cum parvis liberis, that of the most despised of natious; and et numerosa magis quam divite familia, while they directed their hearers' hearts ut inultis opus habet manibus res rustica: to the dwellings of bliss and glory above, emigrant inquam, e notis atque assuetis taught them those things which have laribus, nec inveniunt quo se recipiant, made even their earthly dwelling a kind supellectilem omnem haud magno vendi- of paradise, and changed filth and misery bilem, etiam si manere possit emptorem,
into comfort and peace.” quum extrudi necesse est, minimo ve
Nearly 1300 Hottentots now inhabit nundant: id quum brevi errando insump- this village, which was once a perfect serint, quid restat aliud denique qnam vilderness, or, which amounts pretty uti furentur, et pendeant juste scilicet, held by a single Dutch boor. It consists
much to the same thing, a loan farm, aut vagentur atque mendicent: quamquam tum quoque velut errores conjici- of 256 cottages and huts, containing 1276 nntur in carcerem,” &c., This tragedy from the state of which the disposition
inhabitants. Every cottage has a garden, has recently been revived in the county of the owner is pretty well known. The of Sutherland.
loan farms are tracts of about 5000 acres + Forthi cristene men scholde been in granied in perpetual leaschold, on pay
commun riche, no covetise to hym ment of 51. per annum, or a farthing an selre.
acre, and are occupied by the Vee-boors. Piers Plouhman, passus vii. “ The whole establishment of a Vee
Society of Harmony in America are property belongs rather to the savage more or less founded on this principle: than the civilized state; or is, at least, but though all the ancient churches paid but the first step towards civilization. homage to the Christian proscription of To appropriate to himself all that he private property, it is to be feared that can, is the instinct of the savage : to in the Reformed Churches a worldly, prevent the contentions to which this money-getting spirit is very much the propensity would give rise was the characteristic of those who consider origin of laws, so that it may perhaps themselves as the godly.
be more truly said that law is the creaAmong the causes that have pre- ture of property, than that property is vented the general adoption of the pri- the creature of law. No doubt the mitive suggestion of a Community of institution of Private Property has been Goods, may be reckoned the want of a great stimulus to improvements in any practicable plan to carry it into the progress of man from a barbarous effect, and of a sufficient extension and to a civilized state: but it by no means preponderance of the genuine spirit of follows, that when a certain degree of Christianity to make it lasting. This, civilization has been attained, he may however, need not excite our surprise, not gradually lay aside this system; as it appears to have been the plan of the existing stock of knowledge now Providence that Christianity should enabling him to adopt a more perfect produce its effects gradually, and in one. co-operation with the efforts of human I see no reason to adopt the opinion reason and the improvement of know- of those who think that if Christianity ledge; leaving room for the exertions were universal, and had its due influof mankind to carry into effect its ence on the minds of all men, it would divine suggestions. And for any suc. wholly supersede the necessity of civil cessful attempt to rid society of the government, and produce such a state evils of the system of private property, of things that there would be no need we must look, not as some have done either for laws or magistrates. As to a return to a state of nature, but to long as men, as social beings, are dea progress in refinement and civiliza- pendent on each other, and capable of tion. The necessary arrangements can deriving good or ill from mutual interonly take rise from increased know- course and assistance; so long it would ledge of human nature and of the art necessary that some system of governing. The system of private should exist by which this intercourse
may be regulated, and by its improveboor presents a scene of filth and dis- ment made to produce the greatest comfort. His house has neither tree,
sum of happiness within their reach. shrub, nor a blade of grass near it.-The For, supposing that all the members interior is as slovenly as its exterior of a society were infuenced by the accompaniments.” (Amost forbidding most kind and Christian spirit, yet description follows.) “Yet this man is would they, for want of wisdom and probably the owner of 6000 head of cattle experience, and a skilful system of and 5000 sheep.-He lords it over the polity, not only fail of effecting all that kraal of Hottentots with the power of a might be done for the common weal, feudal chief.He neither ploughs nor but perhaps fall into such mistakes plants vineyards; his habits are slovenly, and inconveniences as would produce and he neglects the decencies of life.-II he carries enough butter, soap, ostrich
à state of things destructive of those feathers, and skins, to purchase in return very principles and dispositions which a little coffee, brandy, and gunpowder, it has been imagined might render civil the purpose of journey and his life is government altogether unnecessary. answered." Quarterly Review, Vol. XXII. p. 227.
• Nec commune bonum poterant specThe late attempts of emigrants to settle in the deserts of America and the Cape
tare, neque ullis
Moribus inter se scibant nec legibus appear to fail miserably from having been uti. made on the system of individual pro Quod cuique obtulerat prædæ forperty. A community is the only plan for
tuna, ferebat, speedily converting the wilderness into Sponte sua, sibi quisque valere et an abode of social happiness.
vivere doctus.-Lucret. Lib. v.
Besides which, it seems probable, that Agrarian law, elsewhere a phantom, even for this complete dominion of either lovely or terrific, according to Christian motives, we may have to be the imagination of the spectator, is indebted to progressive iinprovements bere fully realized. The land is conin education and government, con- sidered as being divided into portions jointly with the intrinsic power and or Theels, each containing a stated excellence of Christianity.
quantity: the owners are called TheelThose who assert the impractica- men, or Theel-boors ; but no Theelbility of any plans of this kind forget boor can hold more than one Theel in how much institutions respecting pro- severalty. The undivided, or common perty have varied, and that society has land, comprising the Theels not held actually existed under various modifi- by individuals, belongs to all the inhacations of them. The accumulation bitants of the Theel-land, and is cultiof landed property was guarded againstvated or farmed out on their joint under the Jewish Theocracy by the account. The Theel-boor cannot sell divine institution of the jubilee every his hereditary Theel, or alienate it in 50th year, when all the lands which had any way, even to his nearest relations. been sold or alienated, were re-divided On his death it descends to his youngest among the people. Levit. xxv. 23: If there are no sons it descends "The land shall not be sold for ever, to the youngest daughter, under the for the land is mine," &c. And in the restrictions after mentioned ; and in Sabbatical year the produce of the land default of issue it reverts to the comwas to be common to all, and debts monalty. But elder sons are not left were to be remitted. (See Belsham's destitute : when they are old enough Sermon on the Jubilee.) Those who to keep house, a Theel is assigned to are disposed to consider the Mosaic each of them (be they ever so many) as typical of the Christian dispensa- out of the common lánds, to be held tion, may easily discover, in the Sab- to them and their issue, according to batical and Jubilee years, a type of the the customary tenure. If a woman aholition of private property under the who has inherited a Theel becomes gospel. In some parts even of this the wife of a Theel-boor, who is alcountry the laws are much less con- ready in possession of a Theel, then ducive to the accumulation of landed her land reverts to the commonalty.” property than in others, and many In the degree of civilization hitherto changes, though mostly for the worse, attained, law has interfered only to have been made with respect to the prevent the perpetration of violence tenure and descent of property: we and the grosser kinds of fraud + in the hear much of the danger of innova- acquisition of property, and to regulate tions on private property, but little in various ways its possession and conis said against the scandalous conver- veyance. To equalize as much as possion of public into private property. sible the gifts of Providence amongst A great part, perhaps all, of our lands all, however consonant to reason, bewere formerly shack lands, of which nevolence, and Christianity, has been the occupant had the use only whilst his scarcely at all its object. The procrop was on, the land then reverting to gress of improvement, and a sense of the community for pasturage. Even now the meer-bauks that separate the lands belong to the community, and the * Edinburgh Review, No. LXIII., for occupier of two adjoining fields has no July 1819, p. 10, on the Laws of Friesright to plough up the meer-bauk be- land. For a most interesting account of tween them. -"All the lands in a dis- this district, and of the happiness and trict called the Theel-land, lying in the prosperity prevailing in it in consequence bailiwic of Norden and Bertum,"
of this system, see also Travels in the
North of Germany, by Mr. Hodgkins. writer in the Edinburgh Review,
See also Tacitus de Moribus Germa. held by a very extraordinary tenure
norum, Cap. xxxvi. we speak in the present tense, for the + Chietly, however, frauds which affect customs of the Theel-land were subsist- the rich. Those which are committed by ing in 1805, and we do not suppose that them upon the poorer classes do not even they have since become obsolete. The incur reproach.
mutual advantage have, however, in And all by wrong waies for themselres duced societies of men to unite for prepard; purposes which have this tendency : Those that were up themselves kept such are insurances, benefit societies,
others low; and all those institutions whose object
Those that were low themselves held
others hard, it is to obviate the inequalities of for
Ne suffred them to ryse or greater tune, and to lessen the weight of cala
grow; mity by sharing it among a numerous
But every one did strive his fellow downe association. The progress of know
to throw. ledge and true civilization will tend to
Faerie Queene, b. ii. c. 7. unite men in contriving the general security and welfare by mutual co
It may be unnecessary for me to operation, and in discovering such laws add, that I consider both Wallace and and regulations as will enable all the
Malthus * as admitting the advantages members of any society to partake as
of a community of goods, were it not much as possible of its wealth.
for the danger of such an increase of We are all ready to allow that the mankind under the happy state which superfluities of the rich, " for which it would produce, that the world would men swinck and sweat incessantly,"
not hold them, and that they must starve give them no increase of enjoyment,
or eat one another ; to prevent which while they in their waste consuine the catastrophe (according to the latter) comforts of the majority: and yet we
the Creator bas no better resource are blindly attached to a system neces
than to keep down their numbers by sarily productive of a state of things, perpetuating vice and misery among which the Jewish revelation has cen
them : or, as the Attorney-General of sured, which poets and philosophers Chester lately, expressed it, “ There have always deplored, and which Chris. could be no doubt that poverty was tianity has fully condemned. If the the doom of heaven for the great maprayer be a proper one,
jority of mankind.” To such an obneither poverty nor riches, - lest I bejection I think no regard need be paid. full and deny thee, and say, Who is
It was my intention to have consithe Lord? or lest I be poor and steal, dered the manifold ills which are alleged and take the name of my God in vain,"
to have their source in the system of --then is that constitution of things private property, and to take notice of the best which does not expose men
the plans which have been proposed, to these hurtful extremes, to the evils
or put in practice for superseding it : occasioned by the lubricity of fortune, referring to the publications of that
I must, however, content myself with and to the pernicious influence of ararice and selfish ambition, of which the zealous and unwearied philanthropist poet has given us too true a picture :
Mr. Robert Owen of Lanark; wherein,
in addition to those plans of his own " Some thought to raise themselves to which it were much to be wished high degree
should undergo a careful trial, he deBy Riches and unrighteous reward ; Some by close should'ring ; some by or carried into execution by several
tails those which have been proposed flatteree; Others through friends; others for base individuals and societies. + I shall
“ Give me
* This essay was written before Mr.
Godwin's clear and satisfactory refutation * Aurea mediocritas.
of the theory of Mr. Malthus had apHor. Carm. ii. 10,
peared ; but its entire incompatibility “ Molestissimus et occupatissimus, et with the Diviue goodness was enough to si profundius inspicias, vere miserrimus convince us that it would prove false. est divitum status : contra autem dura + See “ A New View of Society, by quidem sed tutissima et expeditissima est Robert Owen, Esq., of New Lanark." See paupertas. Mediocritas optima, et inter also “Muratori's Account of the Gorernrarissima Dei dona hanc nobis contigissement of the Jesuits in Paraguay;" “ Regratulor." —Petrarchæ Epist. Lib. iii, marks on the Practicability of Mr. Owen's 14.
Plan to improve the Condition of the