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ing state of Ireland, that vulnerable heel of the British Achilles, and the immense difference between military and naval superiority. Our naval power collectively might have defied that of the whole world ; but it was widely scattered, and a combined operation from the Baltic, Holland, Brest, and Lisbon, might easily bring together a fleet double to that which we could have assembled against it during the short time that might be necessary to convey thirty or forty thousand men to Ireland. On the other hand, it seemed equally clear that Bonaparte needed sailors rather than ships; and that we took the ships and left him the Danish sailors, whose presence in the fleet at Antwerp turned the scale, perhaps, in favor of the worse than disastrous expedition to Walcheren.
But I repeat, that I had no concern with the measure itself; but only with the grounds or principles on which it had been attacked or defended. Those who attacked it declared that a right had been violated by us, and that no motive could justify such violation, however imperious that motive might be. In opposition to such reasoners, I proved, that no such right existed, or is deducible either from international law or the law of private morality. Those again who defended the seizure of the Danish fleet, conceded that it was a violation of right; but affirmed, that such violation was justified by the urgency of the motive. It was asserted (as I have before noticed in the introduction to the subject) that national policy can not in all cases be subordinated to the laws of morality; in other words, that a government may act with injustice, and yet remain blameless. To prove this assertion as groundless and unnecessary as it is tremendous, formed the chief object of the whole disquisition. I trust, then, that my candid judges will rest satisfied that it is not only my profession and pretext, but my constant plan and actual intention, to establish principles ; that I refer to particular facts for no other purpose than that of giving illustration and interest to those principles ; and that to invent principles with a view to particular cases, whether with the motive of attacking or defending a transitory cabinet, is a baseness which will scarcely be attributed to The Friend by any one who understands the work, even though the suspicion should not have been precluded by a knowledge of the author.
ESSAY XV. .
Ja, ich bin der Atheist und Gottlose, der einer imaginären Berechnungslehre, einer blossen Einbildung von allgemeinen Folgen, die nie folgen können, zuwider—lügen will, wie Desdemona sterbend lag ; lügen und betrügen will, wie der für Orest sich darstellende Pylades ; Tempelraub unternehmen, wie David; ja, Aehren ausraufen am Sabbath, auch nur darum, weil mich hungert, und das Gesetz um des Menschen willen gemacht ist, nicht der. Mensch um des Gesetzes willen.
Yes, I am that atheist, that godless person, who in opposition to an imaginary doctrine of calculation, to a mere ideal fabric of general consequences that can never be realized, would lie, as the dying Desdemona lied ;* lie and deceive as Pylades when he personated Orestes ; would commit sacrilege with David; yea and pluck ears of corn on the Sabbath, for no other reason than that I was fainting from lack of food, and that the law was made for man, and not man for the law.
JACOBI'S LETTER TO FICHTE.
If there be no better doctrine,—I would add ! Much and often have I suffered from having ventured to avow my doubts concerning the truth of certain opinions, which had been sanctified in the minds of my hearers by the authority of some reigning great name; even though, in addition to my own reasons, I had all the greatest names from the Reformation to the Revolution on my side. I could not, therefore, summon courage, without some previous pioneering, to declare publicly, that the principles of morality taught in the present work will be in direct opposition to the system of the late Dr. Paley. This confession I
Emilia.-0 who hath done
Desd. Nobody ; I myself; farewell ;
Othello. You heard her say yourself, it was not I.
'twas I that killed her.
Othello, Act v. scene ).
should have deferred to a future time, if my opinions on the grounds of international morality had not been contradictory to a « fundamental point in Paley's system of moral and political philosophy. I mean that chapter which treats of general consequences, as the chief and best criterion of the right or wrong of particular actions.* Now this doctrine I conceive to be neither tenable in reason nor safe in practice: and the following are the grounds of my opinion.
First; this criterion is purely ideal, and so far possesses no advantages over the former systems of morality; while it labors under defects, with which those are not justly chargeable. It is ideal : for it depends on, and must vary with, the notions of the individual, who, in order to determine the nature of an action, is to make the calculation of its general consequences. Here, as in all other calculation, the result depends on that faculty of the soul in the degrees of which men most vary from each other, and which is itself most affected by accidental advantages or disadvantages of education, natural talent, and acquired knowledge —the faculty, I mean, of foresight and systematic comprehension. But surely morality, which is of equal importance to all men, ought to be grounded, if possible, in that part of our nature which in all men may and ought to be the same, in the conscience and the common sense. Secondly: this criterion confounds morality with law; and when the author adds, that in all probability the divine Justice will be regulated in the final judgment by a similar rule, he draws away the attention from the will, that is, from the inward motives and impulses which constitute the essence of morality, to the outward act; and thus changes the virtue commanded by the gospel into the mere legality, which was to be enlivened by it. One of the most persuasive, if not one of the strongest, arguments for a future state, rests on the belief, that although by the necessity of things our outward and temporal welfare must be regulated by our outward actions, which alone can be the objects and guides of human law, there must yet needs come a juster and more appropriate sentence hereafter, in which our intentions will be considered, and our happiness and misery made to accord with the grounds of our actions. Our fellow-creatures can only judge what we are by what we do; but in the eye of our Maker what we do is of no
* Moral and Political Philosophy. B. II. the first eight chapters.--Ed.
worth, except as it flows from what we are. Though the figtree should produce no visible fruit, yet if the living sap is in it, and if it has struggled to put forth buds and blossoms which have been prevented from maturing by inevitable contingencies of tempests or untimely frosts, the virtuous sap will be accounted as fruit; and the curse of barrenness will light on many a tree from the boughs of which hundreds have been satisfied, because the omniscient judge knows that the fruits were threaded to the boughs artificially by the outward working of base fear and selfish hopes, and were neither nourished by the love of God or of man, nor grew out of the graces engrafted on the stock by religion. This is not, indeed, all that is meant in the Apostle's use of the word, faith, as the sole principle of justification, but it is included in his meaning, and forms an essential part of it; and I can conceive nothing more groundless, than the alarm, that this doctrine may be prejudicial to outward utility and active well-doing. To suppose that a man should cease to be beneficent by becoming benevolent, seems to me scarcely less absurd, than to fear that a fire may prevent heat, or that a perennial fountain may prove the occasion of drought. Just and generous actions may proceed from bad motives, and both may, and often do, orjginate in parts, and, as it were, fragments of our nature. A lascivious man may sacrifice half his estate to rescue his friend from prison, for he is constitutionally sympathetic, and the better part of his nature happened to be uppermost. The same man shall afterwards exert the same disregard of money in an attempt to seduce that friend's wife or daughter. But faith is a total act of the soul : it is the whole state of the mind, or it is not at all ; and in this consists its power, as well as its exclusive worth.
This subject is of such immense importance to the welfare of all men, and the understanding of it to the present tranquillity of many thousands at this time and in this country, that should there be one only of all my readers, who should receive conviction or an additional light from what is here written, I dare hope that a great majority of the rest would in consideration of that solitary effect think these paragraphs neither wholly uninteresting nor altogether without value. For this cause I will endeavor so to explain this principle, that it may be intelligible to the simplest capacity. The Apostle tells those who would substitute obedience for faith (addressing the man as obedience personified), Know that thou bearest not the root, but the root thee*-a sentence which, methinks, should have rendered all disputes concerning faith and good works impossible among those who profess to take the Scriptures for their guide. It would appear incredible, if the fact were not notorious, that two sects should ground and justify their opposition to each other, the one on the words of the Apostle, that we are justified by faith, that is, the inward and absolute ground of our actions; and the other on the declaration of Christ, that he will judge us according to our actions. As if an action could be either good or bad disjoined from its principle. As if it could be, in the Christian and only proper sense of the word, an action at all, and not rather a mechanic series of lucky or unlucky motions! Yet it may be well worth the while to show the beauty and harmony of these twin truths, or rather of this one great truth considered in its two principal bearingsGod will judge each man before all men : consequently he will judge us relatively to man. But man knows not the heart of man ; scarcely does any one know his own. There must therefore be outward and visible signs, by which men may be able to judge of the inward state ; and thereby justify the ways of God to their own spirits, in the reward or punishment of themselves and their fellow-men. Now good works are these signs, and as such become necessary. In short there are two parties, God and the human race ;—and both are to be satisfied. First, God, who seeth the root and knoweth the heart : therefore there must be faith, or the entire and absolute principle. Then man, who can judge only by the fruits : therefore that faith must bear fruits of righteousness, that principle must manifest itself by actions. But that which God sees, that alone justifies. What man sees, does in this life show that the justifying principle may be the root of the thing seen; but in the final judgment God's acceptance of these actions will show, that this principle actually was the root. In this world a good life is a presumption of a good man : his virtuous actions are the only possible, though
* Rom. xi. 18. But remember-a yet deeper and more momentous sense is conveyed in these words. Christ, the Logos, Deitas objectiva, centered humanity (always pre-existing in the Pleroma) in his life, and so became the light, that is, the reason of mankind. This eternal (that is, timeless) act he manifested in time-opš ÉyÉVETO, and dwelt among men, an individual man, in order that he might dwell in all his elect, as the root of the divine humanity in them.--1825.