Sense of Duty ought to be the sole Principle of our Conduct : Adam Smith

Sense of Duty ought to be the sole Principle of our Conduct, and in what cases it ought to concur with other Motives.

Religion affords such strong motives to the practice of virtue, and guards us by such powerful restraints from the temptations of vice, that many have been led to suppose that religious principles were the sole laudable motives of action. “We ought neither,” they say, “to reward from gratitude, nor punish from resentment; we ought neither to protect the helplessness of our children, nor afford support to the infirmities of our parents, from natural affection. All affections for particular objects ought to be extinguished in our breast, and one great affection take the place of all others, the love of the Deity, the desire of rendering ourselves agreeable to him, and of directing our conduct in every respect according to his will. We ought not to be grateful from gratitude, we ought not to be charitable from humanity, we ought not to be public-spirited from the love of our country, nor generous and just from the love of mankind. The sole principle and motive of our conduct in the performance of all those different duties, ought to be a sense that God has commanded us to perform them.” I shall not at present take time to examine this opinion particularly; I shall only observe, that we should not have expected to have found it entertained by any sect, who professed themselves of a religion in which, as it is the first precept to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength, so it is the second to love our neighbour as we love ourselves; and we love ourselves surely for our own sakes, and not merely because we are commanded to do so. That the sense of duty should be the sole principle of our conduct, is nowhere the precept of Christianity; but that it should be the ruling and the governing one, as philosophy, and as, indeed, common sense, directs. It may be a question, however, in what cases our actions ought to arise chiefly or entirely from a sense of duty, or from a regard to general rules; and in what cases some other sentiment or affection ought to concur, and have a principal influence.

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Rights, Interests, and Values: Roscoe Pound 1958

A right is a juristic concept. Such concepts are to be distinguished from legal concepts. Legal concepts are legally defined categories into which facts may be put, whereupon a series of rules, principles, and standards become legally applicable. Juristic concepts are not prescribed and defined by law as legal concepts are. They are worked out by jurists in order to systematize and expound the phenomena of the legal order, the body of authoritative grounds of or guides to decision, and the operation of the judicial process. It is their primary function to provide a basis for understanding and developing law in the second sense.

Historically law in the second sense precedes these juristic concepts which we reach by analysis and postulate as the logical bases of legal precepts. The logical sequence is interest, right, duty, action, remedy. In order to secure the interest recognized and delimited by the law, it confers a legal right, secured by imposing a corresponding duty. To enforce the duty it allows an action, which has for its end a legal remedy. But historically the order of development is the reverse. In English law, for example, one complained to the king who gave a writ affording a remedy. Out of the writ an action developed. Behind the action men came to see a duty to be enforced and a correlative right was found by jurists behind the duty. Since Jhering it has been seen that behind the right is an interest (claim or demand or expectation) which is recognized and delimited by the law. But if the law confers legal rights and powers and privileges, imposes legal duties and liabilities and recognizes legal liberties, it does not create or define the concepts of legal right, legal duty, or power, privilege or liberty. It prescribes when men may constrain the action of others with the backing of the force of politically organized society, when they may create or alter or direct capacities of such constraints, when men are subject to them, on what occasions men are exempt from them, and in what fields of human activity the law will keep its hands off. Jurists analyze these prescribings of law in the second sense and find in them, rights, powers, liberties, privileges, duties and liabilities, which as concepts are not defined by the law but by the jurists. They belong to the science of law rather than to the law. Hence jurists may hold different ideas with respect to them without affecting the law.

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The Generation of “Public Bad”

Drinking camel urine

The position of the individual under law, whether this be formal or informal, is comparable to that present in any “publicness” interaction so long as law itself qualifies under this rubric. In the absence of effective enforcement, external or internal, persons are always motivated to violate the standards laid down. This is true quite independently of a person’s preferences with respect to the appropriateness or the inappropriateness of the standards themselves, considered as rational collective institutions generally applied or as viable and widely shared ethical norms. Even the person who places the highest benefit-cost ratio, in total or at the margin, on the extension of behavioral constraints through law may be motivated, in his private, personal capacity, to violate these constraints. He is, as noted several times, in a position akin to that of the potential free rider with ordinary public goods. Economists have adduced the free-rider dilemma to explain the failure of voluntaristic, market-like institutions to supply jointly consumed goods efficiently. A more directly relevant application explains the necessity of coercion in the instruments of taxation. Individuals may not voluntarily pay taxes even if their private-personal benefits from public spending exceed their nominal tax liabilities. Consider the person who has explicitly been party to the putative public-goods contract in which his assigned share of tax is matched against expected public-goods benefits. Suppose that he succeeds in evading his assigned tax obligation; this has the effect of reducing the total revenues available for providing-purchasing the jointly consumed good, the benefits from which are shared by other members of the collectivity.11 In evading his tax obligation, which is economically rational for the individual, he creates a “public bad.” The person in question imposes an external diseconomy on all others in the sharing group, all potential beneficiaries of the jointly consumed good or service financed from tax revenues.

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Mr. Gandhi’s tenacious quest for Hindu-Muslim unity : BY Dr. B. R. Ambedkar 1940




[Mr. Gandhi’s tenacious quest for Hindu-Muslim unity]

Mr. Savarkar is quite unconcerned about the Muslim reaction to his scheme. He formulates his scheme and throws it in the face of the Muslims with the covering letter ‘take it or leave it.’ He is not perturbed by the Muslim refusal to join in the struggle for Swaraj. He is quite conscious of the strength of the Hindus and the Hindu Maha Sabha and proposes to carry on the struggle in the confident hope that, alone and unaided, the Hindus will be able to wrest Swaraj from the British. Mr. Savarkar is quite prepared to say to the Musalmans: “If you come, with you, if you don’t, without you; and if you oppose, in spite of you—the Hindus will continue to fight for their national freedom as best as they can.”

Not so Mr. Gandhi. At the very commencement of his career as a political leader of India when Mr. Gandhi startled the people of India by his promise to win Swaraj within six months, Mr. Gandhi said that he could perform the miracle only if certain conditions were fulfilled. One of these conditions was the achievement of Hindu-Muslim unity. Mr. Gandhi is never tired of saying that there is no Swaraj without Hindu-Muslim unity. Mr. Gandhi did not merely make this slogan the currency of Indian politics, but he has strenuously worked to bring it about. Mr. Gandhi, it may be said, began his carrier as a political leader of India with the manifesto dated 2nd March 1919 declaring his intention to launch Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act and asking those who desired to join him to sign the Satyagraha pledge. That campaign of Satyagraha was a short-lived campaign and was suspended by Mr. Gandhi on 18th April 1919. As a part of his programme Mr. Gandhi had fixed/1/ the 6th March 1919 to be observed all over India as a day of protest against the Rowlatt Act. Mass meetings were to be held on that day and Mr. Gandhi had prescribed that the masses attending the meetings should take a vow in the following terms:

“With God as witness, we Hindus, and Mahomedans declare that we shall behave towards one another as children of the same parents, that we shall have no differences, that the sorrows of each shall be the sorrows of the other and that each shall help the other in removing them. We shall respect each other’s religion and religious feelings and shall not stand in the way of our respective religious practices. We shall always refrain from violence to each other in the name of religion.”
There was nothing in the campaign of Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act which could have led to any clash between the Hindus and Muslims. Yet Mr. Gandhi asked his followers to take the vow. This shows how insistent he was from the very beginning upon Hindu-Muslim unity.

The Mahomedans started the Khilafat movement in 1919. The objective of the movement was two-fold: to preserve the Khilafat and to maintain the integrity of the Turkish Empire. Both these objectives were unsupportable. The Khilafat could not be saved simply because the Turks, in whose interest this agitation was carried on, did not want the Sultan. They wanted a republic, and it was quite unjustifiable to compel the Turks to keep Turkey a monarchy when they wanted to convert it into a republic. It was not open to insist upon the integrity of the Turkish Empire because it meant the perpetual subjection of the different nationalities to the Turkish rule and particularly of the Arabs, especially when it was agreed on all hands that the doctrine of self-determination should be made the basis of the peace settlement.

The movement was started by the Mahomedans. It was taken up by Mr. Gandhi with a tenacity and faith which must have surprised many Mahomedans themselves. There were many people who doubted the ethical basis of the Khilafat movement and tried to dissuade Mr. Gandhi from taking any part in a movement the ethical basis of which was so questionable. But Mr. Gandhi had so completely persuaded himself of the justice of the Khilafat agitation that he refused to yield to their advice. Time and again he argued that the cause was just and it was his duty to join it. The position taken up by him may be summed up in his own words./2/

“(1) In my opinion, the Turkish claim is not only not immoral and unjust, but it is highly equitable, only because Turkey wants to retain what is her own. And the Mahomedan manifesto has definitely declared that whatever guarantee may be necessary to be taken for the protection of the non-Muslim and non-Turkish races, should be taken so as to give the Christians theirs and the Arabs their self-government under the Turkish suzerainty;
(2) I do not believe the Turk to be weak, incapable or cruel. He is certainly disorganised and probably without good generalship. The argument of weakness, incapacity and cruelty one often hears quoted in connection with those from whom power is sought to be taken away. About the alleged massacres a proper commission has been asked for, but never granted. And in any case security can be taken against oppression;

(3) I have already stated that, if I were not interested in the Indian Mahomedans, I would not interest myself in the welfare of the Turks any more than I am in that of the Austrians or the Poles. But I am bound as an Indian to share the sufferings and trials of fellow-Indians. If I deem the Mahomedan to be my brother, it is my duty to help him in his hour of peril to the best of my ability, if his cause commends itself to me as just;

(4) The fourth refers to the extent Hindus should join hands with the Mahomedans. It is, therefore, a matter of feeling and opinion. It is expedient to suffer for my Mahomedan brother to the utmost in a just cause and I should, therefore, travel with him along the whole road so long as the means employed by him are as honourable as his end. I cannot regulate the Mahomedan feeling. I must accept his statement that the Khilafat is with him a religious question in the sense that it binds him to reach the goal even at the cost of his own life.”

Mr. Gandhi not only agreed with the Muslims in the Khilafat cause but acted as their guide and their friend. The part played by Mr. Gandhi in the Khilafat agitation and the connection between the Khilafat agitation and the Non-co-operation Movement has become obscure by the reason of the fact that most people believed that it was the Congress which initiated the Non-co-operation Movement and it was done as a means for winning Swaraj. That such a view should prevail is quite understandable, because most people content themselves with noting the connection between the Non-co-operation Movement and the special session of the Congress held at Calcutta on 7th and 8th September 1920. But anyone who cares to go behind September 1920 and examine the situation as it then stood, will find that this view is not true. The truth is that the non-co-operation has its origin in the Khilafat agitation and not in the Congress Movement for Swaraj: that it was started by the Khilafatists to help Turkey and adopted by the Congress only to help the Khilafatists: that Swaraj was not its primary object, but its primary object was Khilafat and that Swaraj was added as a secondary object to induce the Hindus to join it will be evident from the following facts.
The Khilafat movement may be said to have begun on 27th October 1919 when the day was observed as the Khilafat Day all over India. On 23rd November 1919 the first Khilafat Conference met at Delhi. It was at this session that the Muslims considered the feasibility of non-co-operation as a means of compelling the British Government to redress the Khilafat wrong. On 10th March 1920 the Khilafat Conference met at Calcutta and decided upon non-co-operation as the best weapon to further the object of their agitation.

On 9th June 1920 the Khilafat Conference met at Allahabad and unanimously reaffirmed their resolve to resort to non-co-operation and appointed an Executive Committee to enforce and lay down a detailed programme. On 22nd June 1920 the Muslims sent a message to the Viceroy stating that they would start non-co-operation if the Turkish grievances were not redressed before 1st August 1920. On 30th June 1920 the Khilafat Committee meeting held at Allahabad resolved to start non-co-operation, after a month’s notice to the Viceroy. Notice was given on 1st July 1920 and non-co-operation commenced on 1st August 1920. This short resume shows that the non-co-operation was started by the Khilafat Committee and all that the Congress special session at Calcutta did was to adopt what the Khilafat Conference had already done, and that too not in the interest of Swaraj but in the interest of helping the Musalmans in furthering the cause of Khilafat. This is clear from the perusal of the Congress Resolution/3/ passed at the special session held at Calcutta.

Although the Non-co-operation Movement was launched by the Khilafat Committee and merely adopted by the Congress primarily to help the Khilafat cause, the person who suggested it to the Khilafat Committee and who identified himself with the Committee and took the responsibility of giving effect to it and who brought about its adoption by the Congress was Mr. Gandhi.

At the first Khilafat Conference held at Delhi on 23rd November 1919 Mr. Gandhi was present. Not only was Mr. Gandhi present but also it was he who advised the Muslims to adopt non-co-operation as a method for forcing the British to yield to their demands regarding the Khilafat. The joining of Mr. Gandhi in the Khilafat movement is full of significance. The Muslims were anxious to secure the support of the Hindus in the cause of Khilafat. At the Conference held on 23rd November 1919 the Muslims had invited the Hindus. Again on 3rd June 1920 a joint meeting of the Hindus and the Khilafatist Muslims was held at Allahabad. This meeting was attended among others by Sapru, Motilal Nehru and Annie Besant. But the Hindus were hesitant in joining the Muslims. Mr. Gandhi was the only Hindu who joined the Muslims. Not only did he show courage to join them, but also he kept step with them, nay, led them. On 9th June 1920 when the Khilafat Conference met at Allahabad and formed an Executive Committee to prepare a detailed programme of non-co-operation and give effect to it, Mr. Gandhi was the only Hindu on that Executive Committee. On 22nd June 1920 the Muslims sent a message to the Viceroy that they would start non-co-operation if the Turkish grievances were not redressed before 1st August 1920. On the same day Mr. Gandhi also sent a letter to the Viceroy explaining the justice of the Khilafat cause, the reasons why he has taken up the cause and the necessity of satisfying the hands [=demands?] of the Khilafatists. For instance the notice given to the Viceroy on 1st July 1920 that non-co-operation will be started on 1st August was given by Mr. Gandhi and not by the Khilafatists. Again when non-co-operation was started by the Khilafatist on 31st August 1920 Mr. Gandhi was the first to give a concrete shape to it by returning his medal. After inaugurating the Non-co-operation Movement as an active member of the Khilafat Committee Mr. Gandhi next directed his energy to the cause of persuading the Congress to adopt non-co-operation and strengthen the Khilafat movement. With that object in view Mr. Gandhi toured the country between 1st August and 1st September 1920 in the company of the Ali Brothers who were the founders of the Khilafat movement, impressing upon the people the necessity of non-co-operation. People could notice the disharmony in the tune of Mr. Gandhi and the Ali Brothers. As the Modern Review pointed out: “Reading between the lines of their speeches, it is not difficult to see that with one of them the sad plight of the Khilafat in distant Turkey is the central fact, while with the other attainment of Swaraj here in India is the object in view.” This dichotomy/4/ of interest did not augur well for the success of the ultimate purpose. Nonetheless Mr. Gandhi succeeded in carrying the Congress with him in support of the Khilafat cause./5/

For a long time the Hindus had been engaged in wooing the Muslims to their side. The Congress was very anxious to bridge the gulf between itself and the Muslim League. The ways and means adopted in 1916 for bringing about this consummation and which resulted in the Lucknow Pact signed between the Congress and the Muslim League have been graphically told by Swami Shradhanand in his impressions of the Congress Session held in that year at Lucknow. Says the Swami:/6/

“On sitting on the dias (Lucknow Congress platform) the first thing that I noticed was that the number of Moslem delegates was proportionately fourfold of what it was at Lahore in 1893. The majority of Moslem delegates had donned gold, silver and silk embroidered chogas (flowing robes) over their ordinary coarse suits of wearing apparel. It was rumoured that these ‘chogas’ had been put by Hindu moneyed men for Congress Tamasha. Of some 433 Moslem delegates only some 30 had come from outside, the rest belonging to Lucknow City. And of these majority was admitted free to delegate seats, board and lodging. Sir Syed Ahmad’s anti-Congress League had tried in a public meeting to dissuade Moslems from joining the Congress as delegates. As a countermove the Congress people lighted the whole Congress camp some four nights before the session began and advertised that that night would be free. The result was that all the “Chandul Khanas” of Lucknow were emptied and a huge audience of some thirty thousand Hindus and Moslems was addressed from half a dozen platforms. It was then that the Moslem delegates were elected or selected. All this was admitted by the Lucknow Congress organisers to me in private.
“A show was being made of the Moslem delegates. Moslem delegate gets up to second a resolution in Urdu. He begins: ‘Hozarat, I am a Mahomedan delegate.’ Some Hindu delegate gets up and calls for three cheers for Mahomedan delegates and the response is so enthusiastic as to be beyond description.”

In taking up the cause of Khilafat Mr. Gandhi achieved a double purpose. He carried the Congress Plan of winning over the Muslims to its culmination. Secondly he made the Congress a power in the country, which it would not have been, if the Muslims had not joined it. The cause of the Khilafat appealed to the Musalmans far more than political safeguards, with the result that the Musalmans who were outside it trooped into the Congress. The Hindus welcomed them. For, they saw in this a common front against the British, which was their main aim. The credit for this must of course go to Mr. Gandhi. For there can be no doubt that this was an act of great daring.
When the Musalmans in 1919 approached the Hindus for participation in the Non-co-operation Movement which the Muslims desired to start for helping Turkey and the Khilafat, the Hindus were found to be divided in three camps. One was a camp of those who were opposed to non-co-operation in principle. A second camp consisted of those Hindus who were prepared to join the Muslims in their campaign of non-co-operation provided the Musalmans agreed to give up Cow Slaughter. A third group consisted of the Hindus who feared that the Mahomedans might extend their non-co-operation to inviting the Afghans to invade India, in which case the movement instead of resulting in Swaraj might result in the subjection of India to Muslim Raj.

Mr. Gandhi did not care for those Hindus who were opposed to joining the Muslims in the Non-co-operation Movement. But with regard to the others he told them that their attitude was unfortunate. To those Hindus who wanted to give their support on the condition that the Muslims give up cow killing, Mr. Gandhi said:/7/

“I submit that the Hindus may not open the Goraksha (cow protection) question here. The test of friendship is assistance in adversity, and that too, unconditional assistance. Co-operation that needs consideration is a commercial contract and not friendship. Conditional co-operation is like adulterated cement which does not bind. It is the duty of the Hindus, if they see the justice of the Mahomedan cause to render co-operation. If the Mahomedans feel themselves bound in honour to spare the Hindu’s feelings and to stop cow killing, they may do so, no matter whether the Hindus co-operate with them or not. Though therefore, I yield to no Hindu in my worship of the cow, I do not want to make the stopping of cow killing a condition precedent to co-operation. Unconditional co-operation means the protection of the cow.”
To those Hindus who feared to join the Non-co-operation Movement for the reasons that Muslims may invite the Afghans to invade India, Mr. Gandhi said:/8/
“It is easy enough to understand and justify the Hindu caution. It is difficult to resist the Mahomedan position. In my opinion, the best way to prevent India from becoming the battle ground between the forces of Islam and those of the English is for Hindus to make non-co-operation a complete and immediate success, and I have little doubt that, if the Mahomedans remain true to their declared intention and are able to exercise self-restraint and make sacrifices, the Hindus will ‘play the game’ and join them in the campaign of non-co-operation. I feel equally certain that Hindus will not assist Mahomedans in promoting or bringing about an armed conflict between the British Government and their allies, and Afghanistan. British forces are too well organised to admit of any successful invasion of the Indian frontier. The only way, therefore, the Mahomedans can carry on an effective struggle on behalf of the honour of Islam is to take up non-co-operation in real earnest. It will not only be completely effective if it is adopted by the people on an extensive scale, but it will also provide full scope for individual conscience. If I cannot bear an injustice done by an individual or a corporation, and, I am directly or indirectly instrumental in upholding that individual or corporation, I must answer for it before my Maker; but I have done all that is humanly possible for me to do consistently with the moral code that refuses to injure even the wrong-doers, if I cease to support the injustice in the manner described above. In applying, therefore, such a great force, there should be no haste, there should be no temper shown. Non-co-operation must be and remain absolutely a voluntary effort. The whole thing, then, depends upon Mahomedans themselves. If they will but help themselves, Hindu help will come and the Government, great and mighty though it is, will have to bend before the bloodless opposition of a whole nation.”
Unfortunately, the hope of Mr. Gandhi that ‘no Government can possibly withstand the bloodless opposition of a whole nation’ did not come true. Within a year of the starting of the Non-co-operation Movement, Mr. Gandhi had to admit that the. Musalmans had grown impatient and that:
“In their impatient anger, the Musalmans ask for more energetic and more prompt action by the Congress and Khilafat organisations. To the Musalmans, Swaraj means, as it must mean, India’s ability to deal effectively with the Khilafat question. The Musalmans, therefore, decline to wait if the attainment of Swaraj means indefinite delay of a programme that may require the Musalmans of India to become impotent witnesses of the extinction of Turkey in European waters.
“It is impossible not to sympathise with this attitude. I would gladly recommend immediate action if I could think of any effective course. I would gladly ask for postponement of Swaraj activity if thereby we could advance the interest of Khilafat. I could gladly take up measures outside non-co-operation, if I could think of any, in order to assuage the pain caused to the millions of the Musalmans.

“But, in my humble opinion, attainment of Swaraj is the quickest method of righting the Khilafat wrong. Hence it is, that for me the solution of the Khilafat question is attainment of Swaraj and vice versa. The only way to help the affiliated Turks is for India to generate sufficient power to be able to assert herself. If she cannot develop that power in time, there is no way out for India and she must resign herself to the inevitable. What can a paralytic do to stretch forth a helping hand to a neighbour but to try to cure himself of his paralysis? Mere ignorant, thoughtless and angry outburst of violence may give vent to pent-up rage but can bring no relief to Turkey.”

The Musalmans were not in a mood to listen to the advice of Mr. Gandhi. They refused to worship the principle of non-violence. They were not prepared to wait for Swaraj. They were in a hurry to find the most expeditious means of helping Turkey and saving the Khilafat. And the Muslims in their impatience did exactly what the Hindus feared they would do, namely, invite the Afghans to invade India. How far the Khilafatists had proceeded in their negotiations with the Amir of Afghanistan it is not possible to know. But that such a project was entertained by them is beyond question. It needs no saying that the project of an invasion of India was the most dangerous project and every sane Indian would dissociate himself from so mad a project. What part Mr. Gandhi played in this project it is not possible to discover. Certainly he did not dissociate himself from it. On the contrary, his misguided zeal for Swaraj, and his obsession on Hindu-Moslem unity as the only means of achieving it, led him to support the project. Not only did he advise/9/ the Amir not to enter into any treaty with the British Government but declared:
“I would, in a sense, certainly assist the Amir of Afghanistan if he waged war against the British Government. That is to say, I would openly tell my countrymen that it would be a crime to help a government which had lost the confidence of the nation to remain in power.”
Can any sane man go so far, for the sake of Hindu-Moslem unity? But, Mr. Gandhi was so attached to Hindu-Moslem unity that he did not stop to enquire what he was really doing in this mad endeavour. So anxious was Mr. Gandhi in laying the foundation of Hindu-Moslem unity well and truly, that he did not forget to advise his followers regarding the national crisis. In an Article in Young India of 8th September 1920 Mr. Gandhi said :
“During the Madras tour, at Bezwada I had occasion to remark upon the national crisis and suggested that it would be better to have cries about ideals than men. I asked the audience to replace Mahatma Gandhi-ki-jai and Mahomed Ali Shoukat Ali-ki-jai by Hindu-Musalman-ki-jai. Brother Shoukat Ali, who followed, positively laid down the law. In spite of the Hindu-Muslim unity, he had observed that, if Hindus shouted Bande Mataram, the Muslims rang out with Allaho Akbar and vice versa. This, he rightly said jarred on the ear and still showed that the people did not act with one mind. There should be therefore only three cries recognised. Allaho Akbar to be joyously sung out by Hindus and Muslims, showing that God alone was great and no other. The second should be Bande Malaram (Hail Motherland) or Bharat Mata-ki-jai (Victory to Mother Hind). The third should be Hindu-Musalman-ki-jai without which there was no victory for India, and no true demonstration of the greatness of God.. I do wish that the newspapers and public men would take up the Maulana’s suggestion and lead the people only to use the three cries. They are full of meaning. The first is a prayer and confession of our littleness and therefore a sign of humility. It is a cry in which all Hindus and Muslims should join in reverence and prayfulness. Hindus may not fight shy of Arabic words, when their meaning is not only totally inoffensive but even ennobling. God is no respecter of any particular tongue. Bande Mataram, apart from its wonderful associations, expresses the one national wish—the rise of India to her full height. And I should prefer Bande Mataram to Bharat Mata-ki-jai, as it would be a graceful recognition of the intellectual and emotional superiority of Bengal. Since India can be nothing without the union of the Hindu and the Muslim heart, Hindu-Musalman-ki-jai is a cry which we may never forget.
“There should be no discordance in these cries. Immediately some one has taken up any of the three cries, the rest should take it up and not attempt to yell out their favourite. Those, who do not wish to join, may refrain, but should consider it a breach of etiquette to interpolate their own when a cry has already been raised. It would be better too, always to follow out the three cries in the order given above.”

These are not the only things Mr. Gandhi has done to build up Hindu-Moslem unity. He has never called the Muslims to account even when they have been guilty of gross crimes against Hindus.
It is a notorious fact that many prominent Hindus who had offended the religious susceptibilities of the Muslims either by their writings or by their part in the Shudhi movement have been murdered by some fanatic Musalmans. First to suffer was Swami Shradhanand, who was shot by Abdul Rashid on 23rd December 1926 when he was lying in his sick bed. This was followed by the murder of Lala Nanakchand, a prominent Arya Samajist of Delhi. Rajpal, the author of the Rangila Rasool, was stabbed by Ilamdin on 6th April 1929 while he was sitting in his shop. Nathuramal Sharma was murdered by Abdul Qayum in September 1934. It was an act of great daring. For Sharma was stabbed to death in the Court of the Judicial Commissioner of Sind where he was seated awaiting the hearing of his appeal against his conviction under Section 195, 1. P. C., for the publication of a pamphlet on the history of Islam. Khanna, the Secretary of the Hindu Sabha, was severely assaulted in 1938 by the Mahomedans after the Session of the Hindu Maha Sabha held in Ahmedabad and very narrowly escaped death.

This is, of course, a very short list and could be easily expanded. But whether the number of prominent Hindus killed by fanatic Muslims is large or small matters little. What matters is the attitude of those who count, towards these murderers. The murderers paid the penalty of law where law is enforced. The leading Moslems, however, never condemned these criminals. On the contrary, they were hailed as religious martyrs and agitation was carried on for clemency being shown to them. As an illustration of this attitude, one may refer to Mr. Barkat Alli, a Barrister of Lahore, who argued the appeal of Abdul Qayum. He went to the length of saying that Qayum was not guilty of murder of Nathuramal because his act was justifiable by the law of the Koran. This attitude of the Moslems is quite understandable. What is not understandable is the attitude of Mr. Gandhi.

Mr. Gandhi has been very punctilious in the matter of condemning any and every act of violence and has forced the Congress, much against its will to condemn it. But Mr. Gandhi has never protested against such murders. Not only have the Musalmans not condemned/10/ these outrages but even Mr. Gandhi has never called upon the leading Muslims to condemn them. He has kept silent over them. Such an attitude can be explained only on the ground that Mr. Gandhi was anxious to preserve Hindu-Moslem unity and did not mind the murders of a few Hindus, if it could be achieved by sacrificing their lives.

This attitude to excuse the Muslims any wrong, lest it should injure the cause of unity, is well illustrated by what Mr. Gandhi had to say in the matter of the Mopla riots.

The blood-curdling atrocities committed by the Moplas in Malabar against the Hindus were indescribable. All over Southern India, a wave of horrified feeling had spread among the Hindus of every shade of opinion, which was intensified when certain Khilafat leaders were so misguided as to pass resolutions of “congratulations to the Moplas on the brave fight they were conducting for the sake of religion.” Any person could have said that this was too heavy a price for Hindu-Moslem unity. But Mr. Gandhi was so much obsessed by the necessity of establishing Hindu-Moslem unity that he was prepared to make light of the doings of the Moplas and the Khilafats who were congratulating them. He spoke of the Moplas as the “brave God-fearing Moplas who were fighting for what they consider as religion and in a manner which they consider as religious.” Speaking of the Muslim silence over the Mopla atrocities Mr. Gandhi told the Hindus:

“The Hindus must have the courage and the faith to feel that they can protect their religion in spite of such fanatical eruptions. A verbal disapproval by the Mussalmans of Mopla madness is no test of Mussalman friendship. The Mussalmans must naturally feel the shame and humiliation of the Mopla conduct about forcible conversions and looting, and they must work away so silently and effectively that such a thing might become impossible even on the part of the most fanatical among them. My belief is that the Hindus as a body have received the Mopla madness with equanimity and that the cultured Mussalmans are sincerely sorry of the Mopla’s perversion of the teaching of the Prophet.”

The Resolution/11/ passed by the Working Committee of the Congress on the Mopla atrocities shows how careful the Congress was not to hurt the feelings of the Musalmans.
“The Working Committee places on record its sense of deep regret over the deeds of violence done by Moplas in certain areas of Malbar, these deeds being evidence of the fact that there are still people in India who have not understood the message of the Congress and the Central Khilafat Committee, and calls upon every Congress and Khilafat worker to spread the said message of non-violence even under the gravest provocation throughout the length and breadth of India.
“Whilst, however, condemning violence on the part of the Moplas, the working Committee desires it to be known that the evidence in its possession shows that provocation beyond endurance was given to the Moplas and that the reports published by and on behalf of the Government have given a one-sided and highly exaggerated account of the wrongs done by the Moplas and an understatement of the needless destruction of life resorted to by the Government in the name of peace and order.

“The Working Committee regrets to find that there have been instances of so-called forcible conversion by some fanatics among Moplas, but warms the public against believing in the Government and inspired versions. The Report before the Committee says:

“‘The families, which have been reported to have been forcibly converted into Mahomedanism, lived in the neighbourhood of Manjeri. It is clear that conversions were forced upon Hindus by a fanatic gang which was always opposed to the Khilafat and Non-co-operation Movement and there were only three cases so far as our information goes.'”

The following instances of Muslim intransigence, over which Mr. Gandhi kept mum, are recorded by Swami Shradhanand in his weekly journal called the Liberator. Writing in the issue of 30th September 1926 the Swamiji says :
“As regards the removal of untouchability it has been authoritatively ruled several times that it is the duty of Hindus to expiate for their past sins and non-Hindus should have nothing to do with it But the Mahomedan and the Christian Congressmen have openly revolted against the dictum of Mr. Gandhi at Vaikom and other places. Even such an unbiased leader as Mr. Yakub Hassan, presiding over a meeting called to present an address to me at Madras, openly enjoined upon Musalmans the duty of converting all the untouchables in India to Islam.”
But Mr. Gandhi said nothing by way of remonstrance either to the Muslims or to the Christians.
In his issue of July 1926 the Swami writes :

“There was another prominent fact to which I drew the attention of Mahatma Gandhi. Both of us went together one night to the Khilafat Conference at Nagpur. The Ayats (verses) of the Quran recited by the Maulanas on that occasion, contained frequent references to Jihad and killing of the Kaffirs.But when I drew his attention to this phase of the Khilafat movement, Mahatmaji smiled and said, ‘They are alluding to the British Bureaucracy.’ In reply I said that it was all subversive of the idea of non-violence and when the reversion of feeling came the Mahomedan Maulanas would not refrain from using these verses against the Hindus.”
The Swami ‘s third instance relates to the Mopla riots. Writing in the Liberator of 26th August 1926 the Swami says :
“The first warning was sounded when the question of condemning the Moplas for their atrocities on Hindus came up in the Subjects Committee. The original resolution condemned the Moplas wholesale for the killing of Hindus and burning of Hindu homes and the forcible conversion to Islam. The Hindu members themselves proposed amendments till it was reduced to condemning only certain individuals who had been guilty of the above crimes. But some of the Moslem leaders could not bear this even. Maulana Fakir and other Maulanas, of course, opposed the resolution and there was no wonder. But I was surprised, an out-and-out Nationalist like Maulana Hasrat Mohani opposed the resolution on the ground that the Mopla country no longer remained Dar-ul-Aman but became Dar-ul-Harab and they suspected the Hindus of collusion with the British enemies of the Moplas. Therefore, the Moplas were right in presenting the Quran or sword to the Hindus. And if the Hindus became Mussalmans to save themselves from death, it was a voluntary change of faith and not forcible conversion—Well, even the harmless resolution condemning some of the Moplas was not unanimously passed but had to be accepted by a majority of votes only. There were other indications also, showing that the Mussalmans considered the Congress to be existing on their sufferance and if there was the least attempt to ignore their idiosyncracies the superficial unity would be scrapped asunder.”
The last one refers to the burning of the foreign cloth started by Mr. Gandhi. Writing in the Liberator of 31st August 1926 the Swamiji says:
“While people came to the conclusion, that the burning of foreign cloth was a religious duty of Indians and Messrs. Das, Nehru and other topmost leaders made bon-fire of cloth worth thousands, the Khilafat Musalmans got permission from Mahatmaji to send all foreign cloth for the use of the Turkish brethren. This again was a great shock to me. While Mahatmaji stood adamant and did not have the least regard for Hindu feelings when a question of principle was involved, for the Moslem dereliction of duty, there was always a soft corner in his heart.”
In the history of his efforts to bring about Hindu-Moslem unity mention must be made of two incidents. One is the Fast, which Mr. Gandhi underwent in the year 1924. It was a fast of 21 days. Before undertaking the fast Mr. Gandhi explained the reasons for it in a statement from which the following extracts are taken:
“The fact that Hindus and Musalmans, who were only two years ago apparently working together as friends, are now fighting like cats and dogs in some places, shows conclusively that the non-co-operation they offered was not non-violent. I saw the symptoms in Bombay, Chauri Chaura and in a host of minor cases. I did penance then. It had its effects protanto. But this Hindu-Muslim tension was unthinkable. It became unbearable on hearing of the Kohat tragedy. On the eve of my departure from Sabarmati for Delhi, Sarojini Devi wrote to me that speeches and homilies on peace would not do. I must find out an effective remedy. She was right in saddling the responsibility on me. Had I not been instrumental in bringing into being the vast energy of the people? I must find the remedy if the energy proved self-destructive.
* * *

“I was violently shaken by Amethi, Sambhal and Gulbarga. I had read the reports about Amethi and Sambhal prepared by Hindu and Musalman friends. I had learnt the joint finding of Hindu and Musalman friends who went to Gulbarga. I was writhing in deep pain and yet I had no remedy. The news of Kohal set the smouldering mass aflame. Something had got to be done. I passed two nights in restlessness and pain. On Wednesday I knew the remedy. I must do penance.

“It is a warning to the Hindus and Musalmans who have professed to love me. If they have loved me truly and if I have been deserving of their love, they will do penance with me for the grave sin of denying God in their hearts.

“The penance of Hindus and Mussalmans is not fasting but retracting their steps. It is true penance for a Mussalman to harbour no ill-will for his Hindu brother and an equally true penance for a Hindu to harbour none for his Mussalman brother.

“I did not consult friends—not even Hakim Saheb who was close with me for a long lime on Wednesday—not Maulana Mahomed Ali under whose roof I am enjoying the privilege of hospitality.

“But was it right for me to go through the fast under a Mussalman roof? (Gandhi was at that time the guest of Mr. Mahomed Ali at Delhi.) Yes, it was. The fast is not born out of ill-will against a single soul. My being under a Mussalman roof ensures it against any such interpretation. It is in the fitness of things that this fast should be taken up and completed in a Mussalman house.

“And who is Mahomed Ali? Only two days before the fast we had a discussion about a private matter in which I had told him what was mine was his and what was his was mine. Let me gratefully tell the public that I have never received warmer or better treatment than under Mahomed Ali’s roof. Every want of mine is anticipated. The dominant thought of every one of his household is to make me and mine happy and comfortable. Doctors Ansari and Abdur Rehman have constituted themselves my medical advisers. They examine me daily. I have had many a happy occasion in my life. This is no less happy than the previous ones. Bread is not everything. I am experiencing here the richest love. It is more than bread for me.

“It has been whispered that by going so much with Mussalman friends, I make myself unfit to know the Hindu mind. The Hindu mind is myself. Surely I do not live amidst Hindus to know the Hindu mind when every fibre of my being is Hindu. My Hinduism must be a very poor thing if it cannot flourish under influences the most adverse. I know instinctively what is necessary for Hinduism. But I must labour to discover the Mussalman mind. The closer I come to the best of Mussalmans, the juster I am likely to be in my estimate of the Mussalmans and their doings. I am striving to become the best cement between the two communities. My longing is to be able to cement the two with my blood, if necessary. But, before I can do so, I must prove to the Mussalmans that I love them as well as I love the Hindus. My religion teaches me to love all equally. May God help me to do so! My fast among other things is meant to qualify me for achieving that equal and selfless love.”

The fast produced Unity Conferences. But the Unity Conferences produced nothing except pious resolutions which were broken as soon as they were announced.
This short historical sketch of the part Mr. Gandhi played in bringing about Hindu-Moslem unity may be concluded by a reference to the attitude of Mr. Gandhi in the negotiations about the Communal Settlement. He offered the Muslims a blank cheque. The blank cheque only served to exasperate the Muslims, as they interpreted it as an act of evasion. He opposed the separate electorates at the Round Table Conference. When they were given to the Muslims by the Communal Award, Mr. Gandhi and the Congress did not approve of them. But when it came to voting upon it, they took the strange attitude of neither approving it nor opposing it.


/1/ Young India, 2nd June 1920.

/2/ Young India, 2nd June 1920.

/3/ “In view of the fact that on the Khilafat question both the Indian and Imperial Governments have signally failed in their duty towards the Muslims of India and the Prime Minister has deliberately broken his pledged word given to them, and that it is the duty of every non-Muslim Indian in every legitimate manner to assist his Muslim brother in his attempt to remove the religious calamity that has overtaken him;

“And in view of the fact that, in the matter of the events of the April of 1919, both the said Governments have grossly neglected or failed to protect the innocent people of the Punjab and punish officers guilty of unsoldierly and barbarous behaviour towards them, and have exonerated Sir Michael O’Dwyer who proved himself directly responsible for most of the official crimes and callous to the sufferings of the people placed under his administration, and that the debate in the House of Lords betrayed a woeful lack of sympathy with the people of India, and systematic terrorism and frightfulness adopted in the Punjab, and that the latest Viceregal pronouncement is proof of entire absence of repentance in the matters of the Khilafat and the Punjab;

“This Congress is of opinion that there can be no contentment in India without redress of the two aforementioned wrongs, and that the only effectual means to vindicate national honour and to prevent a repetition of similar wrongs in future is the establishment of Swarajya.

“This Congress is further of opinion that there is no course left open for the people of India but to approve of and adopt the policy of progressive non-violent non-co-operation inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, until the said wrongs are righted and Swarajya is established.”

Mrs. Annie Besant says: “It will be remembered that Mr. Gandhi, in March 1920, had forbidden the mixing up of non-co-operation in defence of the Khilafat with other questions; but it was found that the Khilafat was not sufficiently attractive to Hindus,” so at the meeting of the All-India Congress Committee held at Benares on May 30 and 31, the Punjab atrocities and the deficiencies of the Reforms Act were added to the list of provocative causes.—The Future of Indian Politics, p. 250.

/4/ Mr. Gandhi repudiated the suggestion of the Modern Review and regarded it as “crudest cut.” Dealing with the criticism of the Modern Review in his Article in Young India for 20th October 1921 Mr. Gandhi said, “I claim that with us both the Khilafat is the central fact, with Maulana Mahomed Ali because it is his religion, with me because, in laying down my life for the Khilafat, I ensure safely of the cow, that is my religion, from the Musalman knife.”

/5/ The Resolution of non-co-operation was carried by 1886 voles against 884. The late Mr. Tairsee once told me that a large majority of the delegates were no others than the taxi drivers of Calcutta who were paid to vote for the non-co-operation resolution.

/6/ Liberator, 22nd April 1926.

/7/ Young India, 10th December 1939.

/8/ Young India, 9th June 1920.

/9/ Young India dated 4th May 1921.

/10/ It is reported that for earning merit for the soul of Abdul Rashid, the murderer of Swami Shradhanand, in the next world, the students and professors of the famous theological college at Deoband finished five complete recitations of the Koran and had planned to finish daily a lakh and a quarter recitations of Koranic verses. Their prayer was “God Almighty may give the marhoom (i.e., Rashid) a place in the ‘a ‘ala-e-illeeyeen (the summit of the seventh heaven).”— Times of India 30-11-27. “Through Indian Eyes” columns.

/11/ The resolution says that then were only three cases of forcible conversion!! In reply to a question in the Central Legislature (Debates 16th January 1922) Sir William Vincent replied: “The Madras Government report that the number of forcible conversions probably runs to thousands but that for obvious reasons it will never be possible to obtain anything like an accurate estimate.”

What is Government in general: Gerrard Winstanley 1652

In the government of a land there are three parts, viz. laws, fit officers and a faithful execution of those laws.

Government is a wise and free ordering of the earth and the manners of mankind by observation of particular laws or rules, so that all the inhabitants may live peaceably in plenty and freedom in the land where they are born and bred.

In the government of a land there are three parts, viz. laws, fit officers and a faithful execution of those laws.

First, there must be suitable laws for every occasion, and almost for every action that men do; for one law cannot serve in all seasons, but every season and every action have their particular laws attending thereupon for the preservation of right order. As for example,

There is a time to plough, and the laws of right understanding attends upon that work; and there is a time to reap the fruits of the earth, and the laws of right observation attending thereupon.

So that true government is a right ordering of all actions, giving to every action and thing its due weight and measure, and this prevents confusion. As Solomon speaks, There is a time for all things; a time to make promises and engagements and a time to see them performed; a right order in times of war, and a right order in times of peace; every season and time having its law or rule suitable; and this makes a healthful government, because it preserves peace in a right order.

Secondly, there must be fit officers, whose spirits are so humble, wise and free from covetousness, as they can make the established laws of the land their will; and not through pride and vain-glory make their wills to rule above the rules of freedom, pleading prerogative.

For when the right ordered laws do rule, the government is healthful; but when the will of officers rule above law, that government is diseased with a mortal disease.

Thirdly, there must be a faithful execution of those laws; and herein lies the very life of government. For a right order in government lies not in the will of officers without laws, nor in laws without officers, nor in neither of them without execution. But when these three go hand in hand the government is healthful; but if any one of these be wanting the government is diseased.

There is a twofold government, a kingly government and a commonwealth’s government.

What is kingly government or monarchy?

Kingly government governs the earth by that cheating art of buying and selling, and thereby becomes a man of contention, his hand is against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and take this government at the best, it is a diseased government, and the very city Babylon, full of confusion. And if it had not a club law to support it, there would be no order in it, because it is the covetous and proud will of a conqueror, enslaving a conquered people.

This kingly government is he who beats pruning hooks and ploughs into spears, guns, swords and instruments of war, that he might take his younger brother’s creation birthright from him, calling the earth his and not his brother’s, unless his brother will hire the earth of him, so that he may live idle and at ease by his brother’s labours.

Indeed this government may well be called the government of highwaymen, who hath stolen the earth from the younger brethren by force, and holds it from them by force. He sheds blood not to free the people from oppression, but that he may be king and ruler over an oppressed people.

The situation of this monarchical government

Lies in the will of kings, alias conquerors, setting up lords of manors, exacting landlords, tithing priests and covetous lawyers, with all those pricking briars attending thereupon, to be task-masters to oppress the people, lest they should rise up in riches and power to disthrone him, and so to share the earth with him, redeeming their own creation rights again, which this kingly government withholds from mankind in all nations. For he is the great Man of Sin who is now revealed, who sits in the temple of God, ruling above all that is called God, and both by force and cheating policy takes the people’s freedoms from them, Exod. 1.8, 2 Thes. 2.8,9.

This kingly government is he that makes the elder brethren freemen in the earth, and the younger brethren slaves in the earth, before they have lost their freedom by transgression to the law.

Nay, he makes one brother a lord and another a servant while they are in their mother’s womb, before they have done either good or evil. This is the mighty ruler that hath made the election and rejection of brethren from their birth to their death, or frown eternity to eternity.

He calls himself the Lord God of the whole creation, for he makes one brother to pay rent to another brother for the use of the water, earth and air, or else he will not suffer him by his laws and lawyers to live above ground, but in beggary; and yet he will be called righteous.

And whereas the Scriptures say that the creator of all things (God) is no respecter of persons, yet this kingly power doth nothing else but respect persons, preferring the rich and the proud; therefore he denies the Scriptures and the true God of righteousness, though he pray and preach of the Scriptures, and keep fasts and thanksgiving-days to God, to be a cloak to hide his oppression from the people, whereby he shews himself to be the great Antichrist and mystery of iniquity, that makes war with Christ and his saints under pretence of owning him.

The great law-giver of this kingly government

Is covetousness ruling in the heart of mankind, making one brother to covet a full possession of the earth and a lordly rule over another brother, which he will have or else he will enslave or kill his brother; for this is Cain who killed Abel: and because of this, he is called the great red dragon, the god of this world, the oppressor, under which the whole creation hath groaned a long time, waiting to be delivered from him.

The rise of kingly government is twofold.

First, by a politic wit, in drawing the people out of common freedom into a way of common bondage; for so long as the earth is a common treasury to all men, kingly covetousness can never reign as king. Therefore his first device was to put the people to buy and sell the earth and the fruits one to another; for this would beget discontents and muddy the waters.

And when this spirit of monarchy hath drawn the people into the way of buying and selling, and the people begin to vex one another, then began his opportunity to reign.

For in that man wherein this kingly spirit seats himself, he tells the people that are wronged, ‘Well, I’ll ease you, and I’ll set things to rights’. And then he went about to establish buying and selling by law, whereby the people had some ease for a time, but the cunning Machiavellian spirit got strength thereby to settle himself king in the earth.

For after some time the people through ignorance began to multiply suits of law one against another, and to quarrel and fight. Now saith this subtle spirit, ‘Come follow me’ to one sort of people that are oppressed, ‘and stick to me, and we will fight with those who wrong you; and if we conquer them, then we will govern the earth as we please, and they shall be our servants, and we will make them work for us’.

Thereupon one sort of people followed one head, and another sort of people followed another head, and so wars began in the earth, and mankind fell a-fighting, one part conquering and enslaving another. And now man is fallen from his innocence, and from the glory of the spirit of common freedom, love and peace, into enmity; everyone striving to be king one over another; everyone striving to be a landlord of the earth, and to make his brother his servant to work for him.

But still here is disorder, therefore this subtle spirit of darkness goes further and tells the people, ‘You must make one man king over you all, and let him make laws, and let every one be obedient thereunto’. And when the people consented thereunto, they gave away their freedom, and they set up oppression over themselves.

And this was the rise of kingly power: first by policy, drawing the people from a common enjoyment of the earth to the crafty art of buying and selling; secondly, to advance himself by the power of the sword, when that art of buying and selling had made them quarrel among themselves.

So that this spirit of monarchy it is the spirit of subtlety and covetousness, filling the heart of mankind with enmity and ignorance, pride and vain-glory, because the strong destroys the weak; and so one Scripture calls this the power and government of the Beast, another Scripture calls it the god of this world or the devil. For indeed the monarchical spirit is the power of darkness, for it is the great thick cloud that hath hid the light of the sun of righteousness from shining in his full strength a long time.

And though this kingly spirit doth call buying and selling a righteous thing, thereby to put the simple younger brother upon it, yet he will destroy it as he pleaseth, by patents, licences or monopolizing.

Or else he will at his pleasure take away the riches which his younger brother hath got by trading, and so still lift up himself above his brother.

And as he rise to the throne by the crafty art of buying and selling and by the sword, so he is maintained upon the throne by the same means.

And the people now see that kingly power is the oppressor, and the maintainers thereof are called oppressors by the ancient writers of the Bible.

This kingly power is the old heaven and the old earth that must pass away, wherein unrighteousness, oppression and partiality dwells.

For indeed we never read that the people began to complain of oppression till kingly government rose up, which is the power of covetousness and pride; and which Samuel sets forth to be a plague and a curse upon the people in the first rise of it.

He will take your sons and your daughters to be his servants and to run before his chariots, to plant his ground and to reap his harvest. He will take your fields, your vineyards and olive-yards, even the best of them, and give to his servants as pleaseth him. He will take the tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers or ministers. I Sam. 8.

And this was that god who appointed the people to pay tithes to the clergy.

And many other oppressions did the kingly government bring upon the people, as you may read at large in Samuel.

Read I Sam. 8. from Vers. 10. to 19.

The winter’s past, the spring time now appears,
Begone thou kingly tyrant, with all thy Cavaliers.
Thy day is past, and sure thou dost appear
To be the bond-man’s son, and not the free-born heir.
Matt. 15. 13

What is commonwealth’s government?

Commonwealth’s government governs the earth without buying and selling; and thereby becomes a man of peace, and the restorer of ancient peace and freedom. He makes provision for the oppressed, the weak and the simple, as well as for the rich, the wise and the strong. He beats swords and spears into pruning hooks and ploughs; he makes both elder and younger brother freemen in the earth. Micah 4.3, 4, Isai. 33.1. and 65.17 to 25.

All slaveries and oppressions which have been brought upon mankind by kings, lords of manors, lawyers and landlords and the divining clergy, are all cast out again by this government, if it be right in power as well as in name.

For this government is the true restorer of all long-lost freedoms, and so becomes the joy of all nations, and the blessing of the whole earth: for this takes off the kingly curse, and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Therefore all you who profess religion and spiritual things, now look to it, and see what spirit you do profess, for your profession is brought to trial.

If once commonwealth’s government be set upon the throne, then no tyranny or oppression can look him in the face and live.

For where oppression lies upon brethren by brethren, that is no commonwealth’s government, but the kingly government still; and the mystery of iniquity hath taken that peace-maker’s name to be a cloak to hide his subtle covetousness, pride and oppression under.

O England, England, wouldst thou have thy government sound and healthful? Then cast about and see and search diligently to find out all those burdens that came in by kings, and remove them; and then will thy commonwealth’s government arise from under the clods, under which as yet it is buried and covered with deformity.

If true commonwealth’s freedom lie in the free enjoyment of the earth, as it doth, then whatsoever law or custom doth deprive brethren of their freedom in the earth, it is to be cast out as unsavory salt.

The situation of commonwealth’s government

Is within the laws of common freedom, whereby there is a provision for livelihood in the earth both for elder and younger brother; and not the one enslaving the other, but both living in plenty and freedom.

The officers, laws and customs hereafter mentioned, or such like, according to such a method, may be the foundation and pillars of commonwealth’s government.

This government depends not upon the will of any particular man or men; for it is seated in the spirit of mankind, and it is called the light, or son of righteousness and peace. The tyrants in all ages have made use of this man’s name while he hath lain buried, to cover their cheating mystery of iniquity: for if common freedom were not pretended, the commoners of a land would never dance after the pipe of self-seeking wits.

This commonwealth’s government may well be called the ancient of days; for it was before any other oppressing government crept in.

It is the moderator of all oppression; and so is like Moses and Joseph in Pharaoh’s court, and in time will be the restorer of long lost freedoms to the creation, and delights to plant righteousness over the face of the whole earth.

The great lawgiver in commonwealth’s government

Is the spirit of universal righteousness dwelling in mankind, now rising up to teach every one to do to another as he would have another do to him, and is no respecter of persons: and this spirit hath been killed in the Pharisaical kingly spirit of self-love, and been buried in the dunghill of that enmity for many years past.

And if these be the days of his resurrection to power, as we may hope, because the name of commonwealth is risen and established in England by a law, then we or our posterity shall see comfortable effects.

In that nation where this commonwealth’s government shall be first established, there shall be abundance of peace and plenty, and all nations of the earth shall come flocking thither to see his beauty, and to learn the ways thereof; and the law shall go forth from that Sion, and that Word of the Lord from that Jerusalem, which shall govern the whole earth. Micah 4.1, 2.

There shall be no tyrant kings, lords of manors, tithing priests, oppressing lawyers, exacting landlords, nor any such like pricking briar in all this holy mountain of the Lord God our righteousness and peace; for the righteous law shall be the rule for everyone, and the judge of all men’s actions.

David desired rather to be a door-keeper in this house of God, or commonwealth’s government, than to live in the tents of wickedness, which was the kingly oppressing courts.

If any go about to build up commonwealth’s government upon kingly principles, they will both shame and lose themselves; for there is a plain difference between the two governments.

And if you do not run in the right channel of freedom, you must, nay you will, as you do, face about and turn back again to Egyptian monarchy: and so your names in the days of posterity shall stink and be blasted with abhorred infamy for your unfaithfulness to common freedom; and the evil effects will be sharp upon the backs of posterity.

Therefore seeing England is declared to be a free commonwealth, and the name thereof established by a law; surely then the greatest work is now to be done, and that is to escape all kingly cheats in setting up a commonwealth’s government, that the power and the name may agree together; so that all the inhabitants may live in peace, plenty and freedom, otherwise we shall shew our government to be gone no further but to the half day of the Beast, or to the dividing of time, of which there must be an overturn. Dan. 7.25, Rev. 12.14.

For oppression was always the occasion why the spirit of freedom in the people desired change of government.

When Samuel’s sons took bribes and grew rich upon the common purse, and forgot to relieve the oppressed, that made the people forsake the government by judges, and to desire a kingly government. I Sam. 8.34.

And the oppressions of the kingly government have made this age of the world to desire a commonwealth’s government and the removal of the kings; for the spirit of light in man loves freedom and hates bondage.

And because the spirit in mankind is various within itself, for some are wise, some are foolish, some idle, some laborious, some rash, some mild, some loving and free to others, some envious and covetous, some of an inclination to do as they would have others do to them, but others seek to save themselves and to live in fulness, though others perish for want:

Therefore because of this was the law added, which was to be a rule and judge for all men’s actions, to preserve common peace and freedom; and Paul writ, The law was added because of transgression, one against another.

The haven gates are now set ope for English man to enter: The freedoms of the earth’s his due, if he will make adventure.

Source: The Law of Freedom in a Platform. Gerrard Winstanley (1652) CHAP. II.

The origin of the Gospels has proved a Serbonian Bog


How the Four Gospels Originated

The origin of the Gospels has proved a Serbonian bog, in which many writers who have attempted an explanation have floundered without finding solid ground. Scarcely two writers agree. Why should there be any doubt in a matter of so much importance, where the evidence could so readily be obtained at the time they were written, and so safely guarded and preserved? Truth, in a historic period like that in which it is claimed the Gospels were written, need not be left in the dark. The true difficulty has grown out of the fact, that writers who have undertaken to give the origin of the Gospels have looked, as men do in most other cases, to outside sources for information; whereas the explanation of the origin is to be found within the Gospels themselves, and nowhere else. By looking for light where none is to be found, writers on this subject have had their attention withdrawn from the direction where the truth is to be discovered. If we bear in mind that men eighteen hundred years ago were much like men of to-day, that the emotion or effect a given event or occurrence produces in the minds of men of our own time would be the same as upon those who lived in the first part of the second century, we have a compass, such as it is, to guide us through this Cimmerian darkness. What would excite ridicule, or appear false and improbable to intelligent minds of our own times, would appear equally so to such minds as Pliny and Tacitus at their ages of the world.

In imagination let us take a stand at the beginning of the second century, and make ourselves citizens of the Roman empire under the reign of Adrian.

We can well imagine how the minds of thinking and intelligent people were affected on the first appearance of the present Greek version of Matthew’s Gospel. It set forth some of the most astounding events in the history of the world, and which the world heard of for the first time. When Christ was put to death, all the land, from the sixth to the ninth hour, was covered with darkness; the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent asunder; the graves were opened, and many bodies of saints which slept arose and came out of their graves, and went into the holy city and appeared unto many. Suppose that some morning we should pick up our daily paper, and find under the telegraph head an announcement of like events as having occurred in London or Paris. At first we might be fearfully startled, but would soon feel satisfied that it was all a hoax, after the style of Professor Locke’s story of the Moon. If the authors of the story expected to accomplish anything by such startling announcements, they failed by attempting too much. Whether the earth was covered with darkness, or was shaken by an earthquake, or the dead got out of their graves and went down into the city, were facts easily inquired into, in that age of the world.

Matthew further states that a star went before the wise men of the East, till it came and stood over where the young child was. How could a star a million of miles off lead any one on this earth, and how could it at that distance be in a position to indicate a spot on the earth where the child was? He also states, that when Herod found he was mocked he was wroth, and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem and all the coast thereof, from two years old and under. We can readily imagine the Pagans, who composed the learned and intelligent men of their day, at work in exposing the story of Herod’s cruelty, by showing that, considering the extent of territory embraced in the order, and the population within it, the assumed destruction of life stamped the story false and ridiculous. A Governor of a Roman province who dared make such an order would be so speedily overtaken by the vengeance of the Roman people, that his head would fall from his body before the blood of his victims had time to dry. Archelaus, his son, was deposed for offences not to be spoken of when compared with this massacre of the infants.

But that part of the first Gospel which related to the dream of Joseph and the conception of Mary was what most excited the criticism and ridicule of the people of that day. The whole and sole foundation of the new religion was a dream. The simplicity of Joseph, too, provoked a smile, if nothing more. The story at the sepulchre was overdrawn, and threw discredit over all. “And behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.” (Matthew xxviii. 2, 3.) Such aerial bodies are not given to the employments assigned to the angel in this case. Rolling stones, say the wise men, by spiritual essences is ridiculous and absurd. Besides, who knows anything of the great earthquake? We find no account of it, nor is it even mentioned anywhere else.

So men reasoned eighteen hundred years ago—and so they would to-day. It is evident that the author of the first Gospel had overdone his part, and injured the cause he meant to advance. The blunders and mistakes of the first Gospel made it necessary that there should be a second. This gave rise to a second Gospel, not by the same hand, but by some other, who felt the pressure that had been brought to bear on Matthew.

As this second Gospel was written with a special purpose, we must expect a great resemblance in it to the first, except where the former makes statements which were the occasion of so much criticism on the part of the philosophers; and in such cases, the best course to pursue would be to say nothing. Naked contradiction would not answer. Mark has not a word to say about the story of Joseph and the angel. He omits the earthquake at the crucifixion, and the resurrection of the dead, for these things were susceptible of disproof; but tells of the darkness, and the rent in the temple, because the former was comparative, and may have been a dark cloud in the heavens; and as to the case of the temple, no one could disprove the story, for it was destroyed. The story of the angel and stone is entirely omitted, but the stone is removed from the mouth of the sepulchre when the women appear, and a young man is found in the inside, who is presumed to have done it. Matthew says that Joseph of Arimathea deposited the body of Christ in the sepulchre, and then rolled a great stone to the door. Afterwards the priest and Pharisees caused the entrance to be made secure, for fear that the body would be stolen, and the disciples then claim that he had risen from the dead. If so, say the philosophers, the work was not so poorly done that one young man could roll the stone from the door, as stated by Mark. It would be beyond his strength.

Luke removes the objection; when the women come to the sepulchre in the morning they found the stone removed, and the body of Christ was missing. There was no young man inside, but two men were found standing on the outside, who, no doubt, were competent to do the work. The story of the star which led the wise men, and the murder of the infants at Bethlehem, is also omitted. We are justified in saying that those who were engaged in getting up the first Gospel, or those who succeeded them, were driven to abandon some false and impossible and improbable things stated in that Gospel, by proof, in some cases, of their falsehood, and in others by the force of argument and ridicule.

Matthew had related the story of Joseph and the angel, and that admitted of no change or modification. Mark says nothing about it, but silence will not answer; for the philosophers still claim that all depends upon a dream, and the dreams of Joseph are no better than the dreams of any other man. If the story could not be modified, it might be corroborated. So, when it came to Luke’s turn to speak he adds the story of Zacharias, and the interview between Mary and the angel Gabriel. All now occurs in daylight, and dreams which had been the subject of so much ridicule are dispensed with.

When Zacharias went to the temple to burn incense, he found on the outside a great multitude of people. The crowd has no connection with the story, except as these people are wanted for witness as to what happened in the sanctuary. While Zacharias was offering incense within, there appeared to him an angel standing on the right side of the altar. The position of the angel is defined with precision, that it might not be claimed that what appeared to him was a phantom. Zacharias saw him and was afraid.

As further evidence that the angel was not some optical illusion, Gabriel spoke, and gave Zacharias such information about the future birth of a son to him that he was disposed to doubt the truth of it. As a punishment for his reasonable doubts, he is struck dumb. The interview continued so long that the crowd on the outside began to be uneasy, and when Zacharias did come out he had lost the power of speech. This convinced the multitude (but how, is not stated) that he had seen a vision in the temple. After this, Gabriel made a visit to Mary in open day, and held a conversation, in which he announced to her the birth of a son through the overshadowing influence of the Holy Ghost, who would reign over the house of Jacob forever. Then follows the scene between Mary and her cousin Elisabeth.

In Luke’s account of the announcement of the birth of Christ by divine agency, the story of Joseph is entirely omitted, and new witnesses are introduced. His story was well studied; every precaution was taken to silence cavil and make such a case as would remove doubts. The blunders of Matthew were not to be repeated. The birth of Christ and John, who was afterwards called the Baptist, are ingeniously associated in the announcement of the angel, to give color to what is said of them in the Gospels afterwards.

What objections were made by the philosophers to the story of Luke at the time, we have no means of knowing; but if any were made, there is no subsequent effort to improve it, and so it remains to this day.

The question interests us to know when and from whom did Luke get his information. If he had it from any one who had the means of knowing what he tells us, it must have been from Paul, for we have no knowledge that he had any acquaintance, or relations of any kind, with either of the disciples. He was Paul’s companion: we find him with Paul at Troas, A.D. 50; thence he attended him to Jerusalem, continued with him during his troubles in Judea, and sailed in the same ship with him when he was sent a prisoner to Rome, where he stayed with him during his two years’ confinement. He was with him during his second imprisonment, and, as we will show in the proper place, he died with Paul in Rome, and was one of the victims of Nero’s reign. If Paul knew what Luke states as to the divine emanation of Christ, why does he not make some allusion to it in his numerous epistles?—and how can we understand that he could, with such knowledge, deny this divine creation, and preach to the last that Christ was born according to natural law?

Luke, too, made mistakes, which John afterwards corrected in the fourth Gospel.

We can best illustrate the claim that the three last Gospels were written in the order they appeared, as a necessity to meet the objections and cavils of the philosophers, by taking some leading subject which is mentioned by all. Take the case of the resurrection. Matthew says: “And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.” (Matt, xxviii. 17.) To leave the question where Matthew leaves it would be fatal. In such a case there must be no doubt. Mark makes Christ appear three times under such circumstances as to render a mistake next to impossible, and to silence the most obstinate skepticism. He first appears to Mary Magdalene, who was convinced that it was Christ, because she went and told the disciples that he had risen, and that she had seen him. They disbelieved, nor could they be convinced until he appeared to them. They in turn told it to the other disciples, who were also skeptical; and, that they might be convinced, Christ also appeared to them as they sat at meat, when he upbraided them for their unbelief.

This story is much improved in the hands of Mark, but, in the anxiety to make a clear case, it is overdone, as often happens when the object is to remedy or correct an oversight or mistake previously made. There was a large amount of skepticism to be overcome, but the proof offered was sufficient to do it, and remove all doubts from the minds of the disciples. Considering Christ had told the disciples he would rise, why did they doubt at all? Owing to some strange oversight, neither Matthew nor Mark says in what way Christ made his appearance—whether it was in the body or only in the spirit. If in the latter, it would be fatal to the whole theory of the resurrection. We conclude from what followed, that the philosophers of that day, who would concede nothing to the claims of Christianity, took advantage of this oversight, and denied the resurrection of Christ in the body. It was the business of Luke to put this disputed question in its true light, and silence the objection. He says that when Christ appeared and spoke to the disciples they were afraid. “But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.” (Luke xxiv. 37.) Christ then showed the wounds in his hands and feet. “And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb: And he took it, and did eat before them.” (Luke xxiv. 42, 43.) Now who dare doubt? Why some doubted, as Matthew says they did, is hard to explain. The account of Luke should have satisfied the philosophers that it was a body and not a spirit that appeared to the disciples. But we can believe they were not, from what is afterwards said on this subject. The story of the fish and honeycomb was incredible and absurd. It was a fish-story. If true, why did Matthew and Mark fail to mention it?

Luke had overdone the matter, and instead of convincing the Pagans, he only excited their ridicule.

Now comes John’s turn. He does not omit entirely the story of Christ eating fish, for that would not do, after there had been so much said about it. He might leave it to be inferred that Luke made a mistake, so he modifies the story and omits the ridiculous part of it. The scene is laid on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias. Under the direction of Christ, Peter drew his net to land full of fish. “Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish like wise.” (John xxi. 12, 13.) It does not appear from this account that Christ ate of the fish at all. He took the fish and gave to the disciples; the inference is, that they were the ones that ate. In Luke the statement is reversed:—the disciples gave the fish to Christ, and he ate. John has taken out of the story that which was absurd, but he leaves us to infer that Luke was nearsighted or careless in his account of what took place. If you leave out of Luke’s account the part that relates to the fish and honeycomb, he fails to prove what it really was which appeared to the disciples.

Christ, he says, said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” (Ch. xxiv. 39.) “And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?” (Ch. xxiv. 41.) It seems from this that the disciples could not be convinced until Christ had actually eaten something. Now if you strike out the eating part, which John does, and which no doubt the ridicule cast upon it drove him to do, Luke leaves the question open just where he found it. It was the business of John to leave it clean, and put an end to all cavil.

Jesus appeared to the disciples when they assembled at Jerusalem. “And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side.” (John xx. 20.) They were satisfied, and no doubts were expressed. But Thomas was not present, and when he was told that Jesus had appeared to the disciples, he refused to believe, nor would he, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John xx. 25.) Now if Thomas can be convinced with all his doubts, it would be foolish after that to deny that Christ was not in the body when he appeared to his disciples.

After eight days Christ again appears, without any object that we can discover but to convince Thomas. Then said he to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.” (John xx. 27.) It is not stated whether he did as he was directed; but he was convinced, and exclaimed, “My Lord and my God.”

What fault the Pagans found with this account we have not the means of knowing; but if they still disbelieved, they were more skeptical than Thomas himself. We should be at a loss to understand why the writers of the first three Gospels entirely omitted the story of Thomas, if we were not aware that when John wrote the state of the public mind was such, that proof of the most unquestionable character was demanded that Christ had risen in the body. John selected a person who claimed he was hard to convince, and if the evidence was such as to satisfy him, it ought to satisfy the balance of the world.

John’s services are again required to repair the blunders and oversights of the writers of the first three Gospels in relation to the body of Christ after the crucifixion. Matthew states that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went on the first day of the week to see the sepulchre. No other purpose is expressed. Mark says that early in the morning of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome brought spices to anoint the body. According to Luke, after the women who had followed Christ from Galilee had seen the body deposited in the tomb, they returned and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day. The body was deposited in the tomb some time on Friday, and remained until Sunday morning, on the first day of the Jewish week. Doubtless, in the climate of Syria, the body in the mean time must have undergone such a change as to make it difficult to either embalm or even anoint it. The Pagans at that day could hardly fail to take advantage of this mistake or blunder. But John again comes to the rescue and sets the matter right. According to him, Joseph of Arimathea had permission to take the body, which he did, and carried it away. “And there came also Nicodemus (which at the first came to Jesus by night) and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.” (John xix. 39, 40.)

John now fully silenced the cavils of the enemy and taken the proper steps to preserve the body until the morning of the third day.

The subject might be further pursued, but enough has been said to furnish a key to the origin of the Gospels. Christians in their contests with the Pagans resemble the course of a retreating army, which falls back to take a stronger position. Each time the position is improved, until one at last is found which is impregnable. We can readily see how it is that the first three Gospels so closely resemble each other, the exact language for whole passages being alike in all. Mark copies Matthew, and Luke uses the words of both. It is only when the last undertakes to improve or modify something written by those who wrote previously, that the difference becomes obvious. That the Christians in the beginning of the second century had books of some kind before the three first Gospels appeared in the present shape is beyond all dispute. The sacred writings of the Therapeutæ, as we have shown, were full of the most sound morality, and contained all the essential principles of Christianity. These writings were ancient—had been regarded as sacred for generations among them, and were so much like the present Gospels that Eusebius claimed them to be the same, and that the Therapeutæ were Christians. No doubt the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew was extant, and if it was rejected by the Christians of that day, because it did not contain the two first chapters of the Greek version, there was no reason why they should reject the Sermon on the Mount, and all the sublime and pure religion taught by Christ. The sacred writings of the Therapeutæ—the Hebrew version of Matthew, the Epistle of James and the first of Peter—furnished the principles and doctrines which now form the life of Christianity; and the great want of the day—that is, some proof of the actual existence of the person of Christ, by those who had seen him and were familiar with him before his death—was supplied in the first three Gospels, by the testimony of those who claimed to be his disciples, or by those who, it is said, wrote at their dictation.

In what quarter of the globe were the Synoptics written, and by whom?

All that can be said on this subject with certainty is, that the Greek version of Matthew, the source of all, was not written in Judea, or by one who knew anything of the geography of the country, or the history of the Jews. He was ignorant of both. What excuse was there but ignorance for making the order for the massacre of the infants to include Bethlehem, and all the coast thereof, which would take in at least the one-half of all Judea, and involve in one common slaughter, according to the calculations of learned men, several thousand innocent children?

The Greek writer of Matthew evidently believed that Bethlehem was an insignificant hamlet, situated on the coast of the Mediterranean, whereas it is as far in the interior as Jerusalem; and not far from the centre of Judea. The writer’s ignorance of Jewish history will appear still more conspicuous, when we speak of the application which he makes of prophecy to the person of Jesus. Whoever the writer may have been, it is evident that he received his education at the college at Alexandria, where Medicine and Divinity were taught, and regarded as inseparable. From the union of the two, recovery from diseases was ascribed to supernatural powers. A fever was a demon, which was not to be expelled by virtue of any material remedy, but by incantations, spells, and magic. It was by such power Christ cleansed the leper—healed the centurion’s servant—touched the hand of Peter’s wife’s mother and drove away the fever—expelled the devils from two men into swine, and performed many other cures.

The whole of the first Gospel has an Alexandrian look not easily to be mistaken—if we except the miracle of the loaves and fishes, walk of Christ on the water, and other wonders of a like nature, which is the work of some one later in the century. The deserts in the neighborhood of Alexandria abounded with monasteries from the earliest accounts of the Therapeutæ to the conquest of Egypt by the Mahometan power, which were filled with monks who were celebrated for their piety, their miracles, their power to expel devils and heal diseases. The pages of Sozomen and Socrates abound with the names of monks who cured the palsy, expelled demons, and cured the sick. (Sozomen, Ecc. Hist., lib. vi., ch. 28.)



By George Reber


The origin of the Gospels

Four Gospels and Acts of Jesus of Nazareth

A slave is a particular species of property : Aristotle

As a slave is a particular species of property, let us by all means inquire into the nature of property in general, and the acquisition of money, according to the manner we have proposed.

In the first place then, some one may doubt whether the getting of money is the same thing as economy, or whether it is a part of it, or something subservient to it; and if so, whether it is as the art of making shuttles is to the art of weaving, or the art of making brass to that of statue founding, for they are not of the same service; for the one supplies the tools, the other the matter: by the matter I mean the subject out of which the work is finished, as wool for the cloth and brass for the statue.

It is evident then that the getting of money is not the same thing as economy, for the business of the one is to furnish the means of the other to use them; and what art is there employed in the management of a family but economy, but whether this is a part of it, or something of a different species, is a doubt; for if it is the business of him who is to get money to find out how riches and possessions may be procured, and both these arise from various causes, we must first inquire whether the art of husbandry is part of money-getting or something different, and in general, whether the same is not true of every acquisition and every attention which relates to provision. But as there are many sorts of provision, so are the methods of living both of man and the brute creation very various; and as it is impossible to live without food, the difference in that particular makes the lives of animals so different from each other. Of beasts, some live in herds, others separate, as is most convenient for procuring themselves food; as some of them live upon flesh, others on fruit, and others on whatsoever they light on, nature having so distinguished their course of life, that they can very easily procure themselves subsistence; and as the same things are not agreeable to all, but one animal likes one thing and another another, it follows that the lives of those beasts who live upon flesh must be different from the lives of those who live on fruits; so is it with men, their lives differ greatly from each other; and of all these the shepherd’s is the idlest, for they live upon the flesh of tame animals, without any trouble, while they are obliged to change their habitations on account of their flocks, which they are compelled to follow, cultivating, as it were, a living farm. Others live exercising violence over living creatures, one pursuing this thing, another that, these preying upon men; those who live near lakes and marshes and rivers, or the sea itself, on fishing, while others are fowlers, or hunters of wild beasts; but the greater part of mankind live upon the produce of the earth and its cultivated fruits; and the manner in which all those live who follow the direction of nature, and labour for their own subsistence, is nearly the same, without ever thinking to procure any provision by way of exchange or merchandise, such are shepherds, husband-men, [1256b] robbers, fishermen, and hunters: some join different employments together, and thus live very agreeably; supplying those deficiencies which were wanting to make their subsistence depend upon themselves only: thus, for instance, the same person shall be a shepherd and a robber, or a husbandman and a hunter; and so with respect to the rest, they pursue that mode of life which necessity points out.

This provision then nature herself seems to have furnished all animals with, as well immediately upon their first origin as also when they are arrived at a state of maturity; for at the first of these periods some of them are provided in the womb with proper nourishment, which continues till that which is born can get food for itself, as is the case with worms and birds; and as to those which bring forth their young alive, they have the means for their subsistence for a certain time within themselves, namely milk. It is evident then that we may conclude of those things that are, that plants are created for the sake of animals, and animals for the sake of men; the tame for our use and provision; the wild, at least the greater part, for our provision also, or for some other advantageous purpose, as furnishing us with clothes, and the like. As nature therefore makes nothing either imperfect or in vain, it necessarily follows that she has made all these things for men: for which reason what we gain in war is in a certain degree a natural acquisition; for hunting is a part of it, which it is necessary for us to employ against wild beasts; and those men who being intended by nature for slavery are unwilling to submit to it, on which occasion such a. war is by nature just: that species of acquisition then only which is according to nature is part of economy; and this ought to be at hand, or if not, immediately procured, namely, what is necessary to be kept in store to live upon, and which are useful as well for the state as the family.

And true riches seem to consist in these; and the acquisition of those possessions which are necessary for a happy life is not infinite; though Solon says otherwise in this verse:

“No bounds to riches can be fixed for man;”

for they may be fixed as in other arts; for the instruments of no art whatsoever are infinite, either in their number or their magnitude; but riches are a number of instruments in domestic and civil economy; it is therefore evident that the acquisition of certain things according to nature is a part both of domestic and civil economy, and for what reason.


The Organon: Samuel Hahnemann

DR WILLIAM BOERICKE`S PREFACE [English Translator of the Sixth Edition from Germany]

The sixth edition of the “Organon” as left by Hahnemann ready for publication, was found to be an interleaved copy of the fifth, the last German edition, published in 1833. In his eighty-sixth year, while in active practice in Paris, he completed the thorough revision of it by carefully going over paragraph by paragraph, making changes, erasures, annotations and additions.

Hahnemann himself had apprized several friends of the preparation of another edition of his great work as is evident among other from a letter to Boenninghausen, his most appreciative follower and intimate friend. Writing to him from Paris, he states: “I am at work on the sixth edition of the ‘Organon,’ to which I devote several hours on Sundays and Thursdays, all the other time being required for treatment of patients who come to my rooms.” And to his publisher, Mr. Schaub, in Dusseldorf, he wrote in a letter dated Paris, February 20, 1842: “I have now, after eighteen months of work, finished the sixth edition of my ‘Organon,’ the most nearly perfect of all.” He further expressed the wish to have it printed in the best possible style as regards paper, perfectly new type and in short desired its appearance to be unexceptionally fine as it would most likely be the last. These wishes of the venerable author have been carried out perfectly by the present publishers.

All these annotations, changes, and addition I have carefully translated from the original copy in my possession. Hahnemann made these in his own wonderfully small, clear handwriting, perfectly preserved during all these years and as legible today as when first written. For those extensive parts in which he made no changes whatever, including his long Introduction, I have adopted Dr. Dudgeon’s fine translation of the fifth edition, which has the distinction of perfect English with a remarkable, faithful adherence to the peculiar Hahnemannian style and setting.

The following are some of the more important changes noted in this final edition.

In a long footnote to Paragraph 11 he gives a consideration of the important question: What is dynamic influence – dynamis – and in Paragraphs 22 and 29 will be found his last views on the life principle, which term he uses throughout, preferably to vital force as in former editions.

Paragraphs 52 to 56 have been wholly rewritten and long footnotes are added to Paragraphs 60-74. Again, Paragraph 148 is practically wholly new and concerns itself with the origin of disease, denying a materia peccans, as the prime etiological factor.

Of greatest importance are Paragraphs 246-248 in regard to dosage in the treatment of chronic diseases. He there departs from the single dose and advises repetition of dosage but in different potencies. Paragraphs 269-272 are devoted to technical directions for the preparation of homoeopathic medicines especially according to his latest views.

The vexed question of double remedies other than chemical compounds is fully and definitely settled in Paragraph 273 and all doubts as to the impropriety of, such procedure removed.

Wholly new is the footnote to Paragraph 282 and of greatest importance. Here his treatment of the chronic diseases under psora, syphilis, and sycosis departs absolutely from that advised in former editions. He now advises to commence treatment with large doses of their specific remedies early and, if necessary, several times daily and gradually ascend to higher degrees of dynamization. In the treatment of figwarts, local application is considered necessary with the internal use of the remedy.

The book as now presented is Hahnemann’s last work concerning the principles advanced by him in the first and subsequent editions, illuminated and enlarged by his vast experience in the latter part of his medical career in the treatment of both acute and chronic diseases. Historically, the book in its sixth edition is of greatest interest and importance, completing as it does the marvellous array of Hahnemann’s philosophic insight into the practice of medicine. Hahnemann’s “Organon” is the high water mark of medical philosophy, the practical interpretation of which produces a veritable mountain of light and will guide the physician by means of the Law of Cure to a new world in therapeutics.

This edition is favored with an introduction by Dr. James Krauss, of Boston, the learned and scholarly student of Hahnemann, to whom I herewith desire to express my grateful appreciation for both the introduction and other valuable aid.

San Francisco, December, 1921.

 Dr. Samuel Hahnemann`s preface to the sixth edition [ Original in Germany]

Medicine as commonly practised (allopathy) knows no treatment except to draw from diseases the injurious materials which are assumed to be their cause. The blood of the patient is made to flow mercilessly by bleedings, leeches, cuppings, scarifications, to diminish an assumed plethora which never exists as in well women a few days before their menses, an accumulation of blood the loss of which is of no appreciable consequence, while the loss of blood with merely assumed plethora destroys life. Medicine as commonly practised seeks to evacuate the contents of the stomach and sweep the intestines clear by the materials assumed to originate diseases.

In order to give a general notion of the treatment of diseases pursued by the old school of medicine (allopathy) it may be observed that it presupposes the existence sometimes of excess of blood (plethora – which is never present), sometimes of morbid matters and acridities; hence it taps off the life’s blood and exerts itself either to clear away the imaginary disease-matter or to conduct it elsewhere (by emetics, purgatives, sialogogues, diaphoretics, diuretics, drawing plasters, setons, issues, etc.), in the vain belief that the disease will thereby be weakened and materially eradicated; in place of which the patient’s sufferings are thereby increased, and by such and other painful appliances the forces and nutritious juices indispensable to the curative process are abstracted from the organism. It assails the body with large doses of powerful medicines, often repeated in rapid succession for a long time, whose long-enduring, not infrequently frightful effects it knows not, and which it, purposely it would almost seem, makes unrecognisable by the commingling of several such unknown substances in one prescription, and by their long-continued employment it develops in the body new and often ineradicable medicinal diseases. Whenever it can, it employs, in order to keep in favor with its patient,* remedies that immediately suppress and hide the morbid symptoms by opposition (contraria contrariis) for a short time (palliatives), but that leave the cause for these symptoms (the disease itself) strengthened and aggravated. It considers affections on the exterior of the body as purely local and existing there independently, and vainly supposes that it has cured them when it has driven them away by means of external remedies, so that the internal affection is thereby compelled to break out on a nobler and more important part. When it knows not what else to do for the disease which will not yield or which grows worse, the old school of medicine undertakes to change it into something else, it knows not what, by means of an alterative, for example, by the life-undermining calornel, corrosive sublimate and other mercurial preparations in large doses.

* For the same object the experienced allopath delights to invent a fixed name, by preference a Greek one, for the malady, in order to make the patient believe that he has long known this disease as an old acquaintance, and hence is the fitted person to cure it.

It seems that the unhallowed principal business of the old school of medicine (allopathy) is to render incurable if not fatal the majority of diseases, those made chronic through ignorance by continually weakening and tormenting the already debilitated patient by the further addition of new destructive drug diseases. When this pernicious practice has become a habit and one is rendered insensible to the admonitions of conscience, this becomes a very easy business indeed.

And yet for all these mischievous operations the ordinary physician of the old school can assign his reasons, which, however, rest only on foregone conclusions of his books and teachers, and on the authority of this or that distinguished physician of the old school. Even the most opposite and the most senseless modes of treatment find there their defence, their authority – let their disastrous effects speak ever so loudly against them. It is only under the old physician who has been at last gradually convinced, after many years of misdeeds, of the mischievous nature of hi so-called art, and who no longer treats even the severest diseases with anything stronger than plantain water mixed with strawberry syrup (i.e., with nothing), that the smallest number are injured and die.

This non-healing art, which for many centuries has been firmly established in full possession of the power to dispose of the life and death of patients according to its own good will and pleasure, and in that period has shortened the lives of ten times as many human beings as the most destructive wars, and rendered many millions of patients more diseased and wretched than they were originally – this allopathy, I have, in the introduction to the former editions of this book, considered more in detail. Now I shall consider only its exact opposite, the true healing art, discovered by me and now somewhat more perfected. Examples are given to prove that striking cures performed in former times were always due to remedies basically homoeopathic and found by the physician accidentally and contrary to the then prevailing methods of therapeutics.

As regards the latter (homoeopathy) it is quite otherwise. It can easily convince every reflecting person that the diseases of man are not caused by any substance, any acridity, that is to say, any disease-matter, but that they are solely spirit-like (dynamic) derangements of the spirit-like power (the vital principle) that animates the human body. Homoeopathy knows that a cure can only take place by the reaction of the vital force against the rightly chosen remedy that has been ingested, and that the cure will be certain and rapid in proportion to the strength with which the vital force still prevails in the patient. Hence homoeopathy avoids everything in the slightest degree enfeebling,* and as much as possible every excitation of pain, for pain also diminishes the strength, and hence it employs for the cure ONLY those medicines whose power for altering and deranging (dynamically) the health it knows accurately, and from these it selects one whose pathogenetic power (its medicinal disease) is capable of removing the natural disease in question by similarity (simila similibus), and this it administers to the patient in simple form, but in rare and minute doses so small that, without occasioning pain or weakening, they just suffice to remove the natural malady whence this result: that without weakening, injuring or torturing him in the very least, the natural disease is extinguished, and the patient, even whilst he is getting better, gains in strength and thus is cured – an apparently easy but actually troublesome and difficult business, and one requiring much thought, but which restores the patient without suffering in a short time to perfect health, – and thus it is a salutary and blessed business.

* Homoeopathy sheds not a drop of blood, administers no emetics, purgatives, laxatives or diaphoretics, drives off no external affection by external means, prescribes no hot or unknown mineral baths or medicated clysters, applies no Spanish flies or mustard plasters, no setons, no issues, excites no ptyalism, burns not with moxa or red-hot iron to the very bone, and so forth, but gives with its own hand its own preparations of simple uncompounded medicines, which it is accurately acquainted with, never subdues pain by opium, etc.

Thus homoeopathy is a perfectly simple system of medicine, remaining always fixed in its principles as in its practice, which, like the doctrine whereon it is based, if rightly apprehended will be found to be complete (and therefore serviceable). What is clearly pure in doctrine and practice should be self-evident, and all backward sliding to the pernicious routinism of the old school that is as much its antithesis as night is to day, should cease to vaunt itself with the honorable name of Homoeopathy.

Samuel Hahnemann
Paris, 1842


Review of the therapeutics, allopathy and palliative treatment that have hitherto been practiced in the old school of medicine.

As long as men have existed they have been liable, individually or collectively, to diseases from physical or moral causes. In a rude state of nature but few remedial agents were required, as the simple mode of living admitted of but few diseases; with the civilization of mankind in the state, on the contrary, the occasions of diseases and the necessity for medical aid increased, in equal proportion. But ever since that time (soon after Hippocrates, therefore, for 2500 years) men have occupied themselves with the treatment of the ever increasing multiplicity of diseases, who, led astray by their vanity, sought by reasoning and guessing to excogitate the mode of furnishing this aid. Innumerable and dissimilar ideas respecting the nature of diseases and their remedies sprang from so many dissimilar brains, and the theoretical views these gave rise to the so-called systems, each of which was at variance with the rest and self-contradictory. Each of these subtile expositions at first threw the readers into stupefied amazement at the incomprehensible wisdom contained in it, and attracted to the system-monger a number of followers, who re-echoed his unnatural sophistry, to none of whom, however, was it of the slightest use in enabling them to cure better, until a new system, often diametrically opposed to the first, thrust that aside, and in its turn gained a short-lived renown. None of them, however. was in consonance with nature and experience; they were mere theoretical webs, woven by cunning intellects out of pretended consequences, which could not be made use of in practice, in the treatment at the sick-bed, on account of their excessive subtilty and repugnance to nature, and only served for empty disputations.

Simultaneously, but quite independent of all these theories, there sprung up a mode of treatment with mixtures of unknown medicinal substances for forms of disease arbitrarily set up, and directed towards some material object completely at variance with nature and experience, hence, as may be supposed, with a bad result – such is old medicine, allopathy as it is termed.

Without disparaging the services which many physicians have rendered to the sciences auxiliary to medicine, to natural philosophy and chemistry, to natural history in its various branches, and to that of man in particular, to anthropology, physiology and anatomy, etc., I shall occupy myself here with the practical part of medicine only, with the healing art itself, in order to show how it is that diseases have hitherto been so imperfectly treated. Far beneath my notice is that mechanical routine of treating precious human life according to the prescription manuals, the continual publication of which shows, alas! how frequently they are still used. I pass it by unnoticed, as a despicable practice of the lowest class of ordinary practitioners. I speak merely of the medical art as hitherto practiced, which, pluming itself on its antiquity, imagines itself to possess a scientific character.

The partisans of the old school of medicine flattered themselves that they could justly claim for it alone the title of ‘rational medicine’, because they alone sought for and strove to remove the cause of disease, and followed the method employed by nature in diseases.

Tolle causam! they cried incessantly. But they went no further than this empty exclamation. They only fancied that they could discover the cause of disease; they did not discover it, however, as it is not perceptible and not discoverable. For as far the greatest number of diseases are of dynamic (spiritual) origin and dynamic (spiritual) nature, their cause is therefore not perceptible to the senses; so they exerted themselves to imagine one, and from a survey of the parts of the normal, inanimate human body (anatomy), compared with the visible changes of the same internal parts in persons who had died of diseases (pathological anatomy), as also from what they could deduce from a comparison of the phenomena and functions in healthy life (physiology) with their endless alterations in the innumerable morbid states (pathology, semeiotics), to draw conclusions relative to the invisible process whereby the changes which take place in the inwardbeing of man in diseases are affected – a dim picture of the imagination, which theoretical medicine regarded as its prima causa morbi;1 and thus it was at one and the same time the proximate cause of the disease, and the internal essence of the disease, the disease itself – although, as sound human reason teaches us, the cause of a thing or of an event, can never be at the same time the thing or the event itself. How could they then, without deceiving themselves, consider this imperceptible internal essence as the object to be treated, and prescribe for it medicines whose curative powers were likewise generally unknown to them, and even give several such unknown medicines mixed together in what are termed prescriptions?

1. It would have been much more consonant with sound human reason and with the nature of things, had they, in order to be able to cure a disease, regarded the originating cause as the causa morbi, and endeavored to discover that, and thus been enabled successfully to employ the mode of treatment which had shown itself useful in maladies having the same exciting cause, in those also of a similar origin, as, for example, the same mercury is efficacious in an ulcer of the glans after impure coitus, as in all previous venereal chancres – if, I say, they had discovered the exciting cause of all other (non-venereal) chronic diseases to be an infection at one period or another with the itch miasm (psora), and had found for all these a common method of treatment, regard being had for the peculiarities of each individual case, whereby all and each of these chronic diseases might have been cured, then might they with justice have boasted that in the treatment of chronic diseases they had in view the only available and useful causa morborum chronicorum (non venereorum), and with this as a basis they might have treated such diseases with the best results. But during these many centuries they were unable to cure the millions of chronic diseases, because they knew not their origin in the psoric miasm (which was first discovered and afterwards provided with a suitable plan of treatment byhomoeopathy), and yet they vaunted that they alone kept in view the prima causa of these diseases in their treatment, and that they alone treated rationally, although they had not the slightest conception of the only useful knowledge of their psoric origin and consequently they bungled the treatment of all chronic diseases!

But this sublime problem, the discovery, namely, a priori, of an internal invisible cause of disease, resolved itself, at least with the more astute physicians of the old school, into a search, under the guidance of the symptoms it is true, for what might be supposed to be the probable general character of the case of disease before them;2 whether it was spasm, or debility, or paralysis, or fever, or inflammation, or induration, or obstruction of this or that part, or excess of blood (plethora), deficiency or excess of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen or nitrogen in the juices, exaltation or depression of the functions of the arterial, venous or capillary system, change in the relative proportion of the factors of sensibility, irritability or reproduction., – conjectures that have been dignified by the followers of the old school with the title of causal indication, and considered to be the only possible rationality in medicine; but which were assumptions, too fallacious and hypothetical to prove of any practical utility – incapable, even had they been well grounded, of indicating the most appropriate remedy for a case of disease; flattering indeed, to the vanity of the learned theorist, but usually leading astray when used as guides to practice, and wherein there was evidenced more of ostentation than of an earnest search for the curative indication.

2. Every physician who treats disease according to such general character however he may affect to claim the name of homoeopathist, is and ever will remain in fact a generalising allopath, for without the most minute individualisation, homoeopathy is not conceivable.

And how often has it happened that, for example, spasm or paralysis seemed to be in one part of the organism, while in another part inflammation was apparently present!

Or, on the other hand, whence are the certain remedies for each of these pretended general characters to be derived? Those that would certainly be of benefit could be none other than the specific medicines, that is, those whose action is homogeneous3 to the morbid irritation; whose employment, however, is denounced and forbidden4 by the old school as highly injurious, because observation has shown that in consequence of the receptivity for homogeneous irritation being so highly increased in diseases, such medicines in the usual large doses are dangerous to life. The old school never dreamt of smaller, and of extremely small doses. Accordingly no attempt was made to cure, in the direct (the most natural) way, by means of homogeneous, specific medicines; nor could it be done, as the effects of most of medicines were, and continued to remain, unknown, and even had they been known it would have been impossible to hit on the right medicine with such generalizing views as were entertained.

3. Now termed Homoeopathic.

4. “Where experience showed the curative power of homoeopathically acting remedies, whose mode of action could not be explained, the difficulty was avoided by calling them specific, and further investigation was stifled by this actually unmeaning word. The homogeneous excitant remedies, the specific (homoeopathic), medicines, however, had long previously been prohibited as of very injurious influence”. – Rau, On the Value of the homoeopathic Method of Treatment, Heidelberg, 1824, pp. 101, 102.

However, perceiving that it was more consistent with reason to seek for another path, a straight one if possible, rather than to take circuitous courses, the old school of medicine believed it might cure diseases in a direct manner by the removal of the (imaginary) material cause of disease – for to physicians of the ordinary school, while investigating and forming a judgment upon a disease, and not less while seeking for the curative indication, it was next to impossible to divest themselves of these materialistic ideas, and to regard the nature of the spiritual-corporeal organism as such a highly potentialized entity, that its sensational and functional vital changes, which are called diseases, must be produced and effected chiefly, if not solely, by dynamic (spiritual) influences, and could not be effected in any other way.

The old school regarded all those matters which were altered by the disease, those abnormal matters that occurred in congestions, as well as those that were excreted, as disease-producers, or at least on account of their supposed reacting power, as disease maintainers, and this latter notion prevails to this day.

Hence they dreamed of effecting causal cures by endeavoring to remove these imaginary and presumed material causes of the disease. Hence their assiduous evacuation of the bile by vomiting in bilious fevers;5 their emetics in cases of so-called stomach derangenments;6 their diligent purging away of the mucus, the lumbrici and the ascarides in children who are pale-faced and who suffer from ravenous appetite, bellyache, and enlarged abdomen7; their venesections in cases of haemorrhage;8and more especially all their varieties of blood-lettings,9 their main remedy in inflammations, which they now, following the example of a well-known bloodthirsty Parisian physician (as a flock of sheep follow the bellwether even into the butcher’s slaughter-house), imagine to encounter in almost every morbidly affected part of the body, and feel themselves, bound to remove by the application of often a fatal number of leeches. They believe that by so doing they obey the true casual indications, and treat disease in a rational manner. The adherents of the old school, moreover, believe that by putting a ligature on polypi, by cutting out, or artificially exciting suppuration by means of local irritants in indolent glandular swellings, by enucleating encysted tumors (steatoma and meliceria) by their operations for aneurysm and lacrymal and anal fistula, by removing with the knife scirrhous tumors of the breast, by amputating a limb affected with necrosis, etc., they cure the patient radically, and that their treatment is directed against the cause of the disease; and they also think, when they employ their repellent remedies, dry up old running ulcers in the legs with astringent applications of oxide of lead copper or zinc (aided always by the simultaneous administration of purgatives, which merely debilitate, but have no effect on the fundamental dyscrasia), cauterize chancres, destroy condylomata locally, drive off itch from the skin with ointments of sulphur, oxide of lead, mercury or zinc, suppress ophthalmiae with solutions of lead or zinc, and drive away tearing pains from the limbs by means of opodeldoc, hartshorn liniment or fumigations with cinnabar or amber; in every case they think they have removed the affection, conquered the disease, and pursued a rational treatment directed towards the cause. But what is the result! The metastatic affections that sooner or later, but inevitably appear, caused by this mode of treatment (but which they pretend are entirely new diseases), which are always worse than the original malady, sufficiently prove their error, and might and should open their eyes to the deeper-seated, immaterial nature of the disease, and its dynamic (spirit-like) origin, which can only be removed by dynamic means.

5. The estimable Hofrath Dr. Fau (loc. cit., p.176) at a time when not properly conversant with homowopathy, by firmly convince the dynamic cause of these fevers, cured them without employing ayn evacuation remedy, by means of one or two small doses of homoeopathic remedies, two very remarkable cases of wich he relates in his book.*
*[This foot note is entirely omitted in the Sixth Edition.]

6. In a case of sudden derangement of the stomach, with constant disgusting eructations with the taste of the vitiated food, generally accompanied by depression of spirits, cold hands and feet, etc., the ordinary physician has hitherto been in the habit of attacking only the degenerated contents of the stomach; a powerful emetic should clean it out completely. This object was generally attained by tartar emetic, with or without ipecacuanha. Does the patient, however, immediately after this become well, brisk and cheerful? Oh, no! Such a derangement of the stomach is usually of dynamic origin, caused by mental disturbance (grief, fright, vexation), a chill, over-exertion of the mund or body immediately after eating, often after even a moderate meal. Those two remedies are not suitable for removing this dynamic derangement, and just as little is the revolutionary vomiting they produce. Moreover, tartar emetic and ipecacuanha, from their other peculiar pathogenetic powers, prove of further injury to the patient’s health, and derange the biliary secretion; so that if the patient be not very robust, he must feel ill for several days from the effects of this pretended causal treatment, notwithstanding all this violent expulsion of the whole contents of the stomach. If the patient, however, in place of taking such violent and always (a) hurtful evacuant drugs, smell only a single time at a globule the size of a mustard seed, moistened with highly diluted pulsatillajuice, whereby the derangement of his health in general and of his stomach in particular will certainly be removed, in two hours he is quite well; and if the eructation recur once more, it consists of tasteless and inodorous air; the contents of the stomach cease to be vitiated, and at the next meal he has regained his full usual appetite; he is quite well and lively. This is true causal medication; the former is only an imaginary one and has an injurious efect on the patient.
Even a stomach overloaded with indigestible food never requires a medicinal emetic. In such a case nature is competent to rid herself of the excess in the best way through the oesophagus, by means of nausea, sickness and spontaneous vomiting, assisted, it may be, by mechanical irritation of the palate and fauces, and by this means the accessory medicinal effects of the emetic drugs are avoided; a small quantity of coffee expedites the passage downwards of what remains in the stomach.
But if, after excessive overloading of the stomach, the irritability of the stomach is not sufficient to promote spontaneous vomiting, or is lost altogether, so that the tendency thereto is extinguished, while there are at the same time great pains in the epigastrium, in such a paralyzed state of the stomach, an emetic medicine would only have the effect of producing a dangerous or fatal inflammation of the intestines; where a small quantity of strong infusion of coffee, frequently administered, would dynamically exalt the sunken irritability of the stomach, and put it in a condition to expel its contents, be they ever so great, either upwards or downwards. So here also the pretended causal treatment is out of place.
Even the acrid gastric acid, to eructations of which patients with chronic diseases are not infrequently subject, may be today violently evacuated by means of an emetic, with great suffering, and yet all in vain, for tomorrow or some days later it is replaced by similar acrid gastric acid, and then usually in larger quantities; whereas it goes away by itself when its dynamic cause is removed by a very small dose of a high dilution of sulphuric acid, or still better, if it is of frequent recurrence, by the employment of minutest doses of antipsoric remedies corresponding in similarity to the rest of the symptoms also. And of a similar character are many of the pretended causal cures of the old-school physicians, whose main effort it is, by means of tedious operations, troublesome to themselves and injurious to their patients, to clear away the material product of the dynamic derangement; whereas if they perceived the dynamic source of the affection, and annihilated it and its products homoeopathically, they would thereby effect a rational cure.

7. Conditions dependent solely on a psoric taint, and easily curable by mild (dynamic) antipsoric remedies without emetics or purgatives.

8. Notwithstanding that almost all morbid haemorrhages depend on a dynamic derangement of the vital force (state of health), yet the old-school physicians consider their cause to be excess of blood, and cannot refrain from bleeding in order to draw off the supposed superabundance of this vital fluid; the palpable evil consequences of which procedure, however, such as prostration of the strength, and the tendeny or actual transition, to the typhoid state they ascribe to the malignancy of the disease, which they are then often unable to overcome – in fine, they imagine, even when the patient does not recover, that their treatment has been in conformity with their axiom, causam tolle, and that, according to their mode of speaking, they have done everything in their power for the patient, let the result be what it may.

9. Although there probably never was a drop of blood too much in the living human body, yet the old-school practitioners consider an imaginary excess of blood as the main material cause of all haemorrhages and inflammations, which they must remove and drain off by venesections, cupping and leeches. This they hold to be a rational mode of treatment, causal medication. In general inflammatory fevers, in acute pleurisy, they even regard the coagulable lymph in the blood – the buffy coat, as it is termed – as the materia peccans, which they endeavor to get rid of, if possible, by repeated venesections, notwithstanding that this coat often becomes more consistent and thicker at every repetition of the bloodletting. They thus often bleed the patient nearly to death, when the inflammatory fever will not subside, in order to remove this buffy coat or the imaginary plethora, without suspecting tbat the inflammatory blood is only the product of the acute fever, of the morbid, immaterial (dynamic) inflammatory irritation, and that the latter is the sole cause of the great disturbance in the vascular systan, and may be removed by the smallest dose of a homogeneous (homoeopathic) medicine, as, for instance, by a small globule of the decillion-fold dilution of aconite juice, with abstinence from vegetable acids, so that the most violent pleuritic fever, with all its alarming concomitants, is changed into health and cured, without the least abstraction of blood and without any antiphlogistic remedy, in a few – at the most in twenty-four – hours (a small quantity of blood drawn from a vein by the way of experiment then shows no traces of buffy coat); whereas another patient similarly affected, and treated on the rational principles of the old school, if, after repeated bleedings, with great difficulty and unspeakable sufferings he escape for the nonce with life, he often has still many months to drag through before he can support his emaciated body on his legs, if in the mean time (as often happens from such maltreatment) he be not carried off by typhoid fever, leucophlegmasia or pulmonary phthisis.
Anyone who has felt the tranquil pulse of a man an hour before the occurrence of the rigor that always precedes an attack of acute pleurisy, will not be able to restrain his amazement if told two hours later, after the hot stage has commenced, that the enormous plethora present urgently requires repeated venesections, and will naturally inquire by what magic power could the pounds of blood that must now be drawn off have been conjured into the blood-vessels of this man within these two hours, which but two hours previously he had felt beating in such a tranquil manner. Not a single drachm more of blood can now be circulating in those vessels than existed when he was in good health, not yet two hours ago!

Accordingly the allopathic physician with his venesections draws from the patient laboring under acute fever no oppressive superabundance of blood, as that cannot possibly be present; he only robs him of what is indispensable to life and recovery, the normal quantity of blood and consequently of strength – a great loss which no physician’s power can replacel – and yet he vainly imagines that he has conducted the treatment in conformity to his (misunderstood) axiom, causam tolle; whereas it is impossible that the causa morbi in this case can be an excess of blood, which is not present; but the sole true causa morbi was a morbid, dynamical, inflammatory irritation of the circulatory system, as is proved by the rapid and permanent cure of this and every similar case of general inflammatory fever by one or two inconceivably minute doses of aconite juice, which removes such an irritation homoeopathically.

The old school errs equally in the treatment of local inflammations with its topical bloodlettings, more especially with the quantities of leeches which are now applied according to the maniacal principles of Broussais. The palliative amelioration that at first ensues from the treatment is far from being crowned by a rapid and perfect cure; on the contrary, the weak and ailing state of the parts thus treated (frequently also of the whole body), which always remains, sufficiently shows the error that is committed in attributing the local inflammation to a local plethora, and how sad are the consequences of such abstractions of blood; whereas this purely dynamic, apparently local, inflammatory irritation, can be rapidly and permanently removed by an equally small dose of aconite, or, according to circumstances, of belladonna, and the whole disease annihilated and cured, without such unjustifiable shedding of blood.

A favorite idea of the ordinary school of medicine, until recent (would that I could not say the most recent) times, was that of morbific matters (and acridities) in diseases, excessively subtile though they might be thought to be, which must be expelled from the blood-vessels and lymphathics, through the exhalents, skin, urinary apparatus or salivary glands, through the tracheal and bronchial glands in the form of expectoration, from the stomach and bowels by vomiting and purging, in order that the body might be freed from the material cause that produced the disease, and a radical causal treatment be thus carried out.

By cutting holes in the diseased body, which were converted into chronic ulcers kept up for years by the introduction of foreign substances (issues, setons), they sought to draw off the materia peccans from the (always only dynamically) diseased body, just as one lets a dirty fluid run out of a barrel through the tap-hole. By means also of perpetual fly-blisters and the application of mezereum, they thought to draw away the bad humors and to cleanse the diseased body from all morbific matters – but they only weakened it, so as generally to render it incurable, by all these senseless unnatural processes.

I admit that it was more convenient for the weakness of humanity to assume that, in the diseases they were called on to cure, there existed some morbific material of which the mind might form a conception (more particularly as the patients readily lent themselves to such a notion), because in that case the practitioner had nothing further to care about than to procure a good supply of remedies for purifying the blood and humors, exciting diuresis and diaphoresis, promoting expectoration, and scouring out the stomach and bowels. Hence, in all the works on Materia Medica, from Dioscorides down to the latest books on this subject, there is almost nothing said about the special peculiar action of individual medicines; but, besides on account of their supposed utility in various nosological names of diseases, it is merely stated whether they are diuretic, diaphoretic, expectorant or emmenagogue, and more particularly whether they produce evacuation of the stomach and bowels upwards or downwards; because all the aspirations and efforts of the practitioner have ever been chiefly directed to cause the expulsion of a material morbific matter, and of sundry (fictitious) acridities, which it was imagined were the cause of diseases.

These were, however, all idle dreams, unfounded assumptions and hypotheses, cunningly devised for the convenience of therapeutics, as it was expected the easiest way of performing a cure would be to remove the material morbific matters (si modo essent!).

But the essential nature of diseases and their cure will not adapt themselves to such fantasies, nor to the convenience of medical men; to humor such stupid baseless hypotheses diseases will not cease to be (spiritual) dynamic derangements of our spirit-like vital principle in sensations and functions, that is to say, immaterial derangements of our state of health.

The causes of our maladies cannot be material, since the least foreign material substance,10 however mild it may appear to us, if introduced into our blood-vessels, is promptly ejected by the vital force, as though it were a poison; or when this does not happen, death ensues. If even the minutes splinter penetrates a sensitive part of our organism, the vital principle everywhere present in our body never rests until it is removed by pain, fever, suppuration or gangrene. And can it be supposed that in a case of cutaneous disease of twenty years standing, for instance, this indefatigably active vital principle will quietly endure the presence of such an injurious foreign, material exanthematous substance, such as a herpetic, a scrofulous, a gouty acridity, etc., in the fluids of the body? Did any nosologist ever see with corporeal eyes such a morbific matter, to warrant him in speaking so confidently about it, and in founding a system of medical treatment upon it? Has any one ever succeeded in displaying to view the matter of gout or the poison of scrofula ?

10. Life was endangered by injecting a little pure water into a vein. (Vide Mullen, quoted by Birch in the History of the Royal Society.)
Atmospheric air injected into the blood-vessels caused death. (Vide J. M. Voigt, Magazin fur den neuesten Zustand der Naturkunde, i, iii, p. 25.
Even the mildest fluids introduced into the veins endangered life. (Vide Autenreith, Physiologie, ii, Û 784.)

Even when the application of a material substance to the skin, or to a wound, has propagated diseases by infection, who can prove (what is so often maintained in works on pathology) that some material portion of this substance has penetrated into our fluids or been absorbed?11 The most careful and prompt washing of the genitals does not protect the system from infection with the venereal chancrous disease. The slightest breath of air emanating from the body of a person affected with smallpox will suffice to produce this horrible disease in a healthy child.

11. A girl in Glasgow, eight years of age, having been bit by a mad dog, the surgeon immediately cut the piece clean out, and yet thirty-six days afterwards she was seized with hydrophobia, which killed her in two days. (Med. Comment. of Edinb., Dec. 2, vol. ii, 1793.)

What ponderable quantity of material substance could have been absorbed into the fluids, in order to devdop, in the first of these instances, a tedious dyscrasia (syphilis), which when uncured is only extinguished with the remotest period of life, with death; in the last, a disease (smallpox) accompanied by almost general suppuration,12 and often rapidly fatal? In these and all similar cases is it possible to entertain the idea of a material morbific matter being introduced into the blood? A letter written in the sick-room at a great distance has often communicated the same contagious disease to the person who read it. In this instance, can the notion of a material morbific matter having penetrated into the fluids be admitted? But what need is there of all such proofs? How often has it happened
that an irritating word has brought on a dangerous bilious fever; a superstitious prediction of death has caused the fatal catastrophe at the very time announced; the abrupt communication of sad or excessively joyful news has occasioned sudden death? In these cases, where is the material morbific principle that entered in substance into the body, there to produce and keep up the disease, and without the material expulsion and ejection of which a radical cure were impossible?

12. In order to account for the large quantity of putrid exerementitious matter and foetid discharge often met with in diseases, and to be able to represent them as the material substance that excites and keeps up disease – although, when infection occurs, nothing perceptible in the shape of miasm, nothing material, could have penetrated into the body – recourse was had to the hypothesis, that the matter of infection, be it ever so minute, acts in the body like a ferment, bringing the fluids into a like state of corruption, and thus changing them into a similar morbific ferment which constantly increases with the disease and keeps it up. But by what all-potent and all-wise purifying draughts will you purge and cleanse the human fluids from this ever reproductive ferment, from this mass of imaginary morbific matter, and that so perfectly, that there shall not remain a particle of such morbific ferment, which, according to this hypothesis, must ever again, as at first, transform and corrupt the fluids to new morbific matter? Were that so it would evidently be impossible to cure these diseases in your way! – See how all hypotheses, be they ever so ingeniously framed, lead to the most palpable absurdities when they are not founded on truth! – The most deeply rooted syphilis may be cured, after the removal of the psora with which it is often complicated, by one or two small doses of the decillionfiold diluted and potentised solution of mercury, whereby the general syphilitic taint of the fluids is forever (dynamically) annihilated and removed.

The champions of this clumsy doctrine of morbific matters ought to be ashamed that they have so inconsiderately overlooked and failed to appreciate the spiritual nature of life, and the spiritual dynamic power of the exciting causes of diseases, and that they have thereby degraded themselves into mere scavenger-doctors, who, in their efforts to expel from the diseased body morbific matters that never existed, in place of curing, destroy life.

Are, then, the foul, often disgusting excretions which occur in diseases the actual matter that produces and keeps them up?13 Are they not rather always exeretory products of the disease itself, that is, of the life which is only dynamically deranged and disordered?

13. Were this the case, the most inveterate coryza should be certainly and rapidly cured by merely blowing and wiping the nose carefully.

With such false and materialistic views concerning the origin and essential nature of diseases, it was certainly not to be wondered at that in all ages the main endeavor of the most obscure, as well as of the most distinguished practitioners, and even of the inventors of the sublimest medical systems, was always only to separate and expel an imaginary morbific matter, and the indication most frequently laid down was to break up and put in motion this morbific matter, to effect its expulsion by salivation, expectoration, diaphoresis and diuresis, to purify the blood frotn (acridities and impurities) morbific matters, which never existed, by means of the intelligence of sundry obedient decoctions of root and plants; to draw off mechanically the imaginary matter of disease by setons,
by issues, by portions of the skin kept open and discharging by means of perpetual blisters or mezereum bark, but chiefly to expel and purge away the materia peccans, or the injurious matters as they were termed, through the intestines, by means of laxative and purgative medicines, which, in order to give them a more profound meaning and a more prepossessing appearance, were fondly denominated dissolvents and mild aperients – all so many arrangements for the expulsion of inimical morbific matters, which never could be, and never were instrumental in the production and maintenance of the diseases of the human organism, animated as it is by a spiritual principle – of diseases which never were anything else than spiritual dynamic derangements of the life altered in its sensations and functions.

Let it be granted now, what cannot be doubted, that no diseases – if they do not result from the introduction of perfectly indigestible or otherwise injurious substances into the stomach, or into other orifices or cavities of the body, or from foreign bodies penetrating. the skin, etc. – that no disease, in a word, is caused by any material substance, but that every one is only and always a peculiar, virtual, dynamic derangement of the health; how injudicious, in that case, must not a method of treatment directed towards the expulsion14 of that imaginary material substance appear to every rational man, since no good, but only monstrous harm, can result from its employment in the principal diseases of mankind, namely, those of a chronic character!

14. There is a semblance of necessity in the expulsion by purgatives of worms, in so-called vermicular diseases. But even this semblance is false. A few lumbric; may be found in some children; in many there exist ascarides. But the presence of these is always dependent on a general taint of the constitution (the psoric), joined to an unhealthy mode of living. Let the latter be improved, and the former cured homoeopathically, which is most easily effected at this age, and none of the worms remain, and children cured in this manner are never troubled with them more; whereas after mere purgatives, even when combined with cina seeds, they soon reappear in quantities.

“But the tapeworm”, methinks I hear some one exclaim, “every effort should be made to expel that monster, which was created for the torment of mankind”.

Yes, sometimes it is expelled; but at the cost ot what after-sufferings, and with what danger to life! I should not like to have on my conscience the deaths of so many hundreds of human beings as have fallen sacrifices to the horribly violent purgatives, directed against the tapeworm, or the many years of indisposition of those who have escaped being purged to death. And how often does it happen that after all this health-and-life-destroying purgative treatment, frequently continued for several years, the animal is not expelled, or if so, that it is again produced!

What if there is not the slightest necessity for all these violent, cruel, and dangerous efforts to expel and kill the wormThe various species of tapeworm are only found along with the psoric taint, and always disappear when that is cured. But even before the cure is accomplished, they live – the patient enjoying tolerable health the while – not exactly in the intestines, but in the residue of the food, the excrement of the bowels, as in their proper element, quite quietly, and without causing the least disturbance, and find in the excrement what suffices for their nourishment; they then do not touch the walls of the intestine, and are perfectly harmless. But if the patient happens to be affected with an acute disease of any kind, then the contents of the bowels become intolerable to the animal; it twists about, comes in contact with, and irritates the sensitive walls of the intestines, causing a peculiar kind of spasmodic colic, which increases materially the sufferings of the patient. (So also the foetus in the womb becomes restless, turns about and kicks, only when the mother is ill; but when she is well; it swims quiet in its proper fluid without causing her any suffering.)

It is worthy of remark, that the morbid symptoms of patients suffering from tapeworm are generally of such a kind, that they are rapidly relieved (homoeopathically) by the smallest dose of tincture of male-fern root;* so that the ill-health of the patient, which causes this parasitic animal to be restless, is thereby for the time removed; the tapeworm then feels at ease, and lives on quietly in the excrement of the bowels, without particularly distressing the patient or his intestines, until the antipsoric treatment is so far advanced that the worm, after the eradication of the psora, finds the contents of the bowels no longer suitable for its support, and therefore spontaneously disappears, for ever from the now cured patient, without the least purgative medicine.
*Filix Mas-Aspidium

In short, the degenerated substances and impurities that appear in diseases are, undeniably, nothing more than products of the disease of the abnormally deranged organism, which are expelled by the latter, often violently enough – often much too violently – without requiring the aid of the evacuating art, and fresh products are always developed as long as it labors under that disease. These matters the true physician regards as actual symptoms of the disease, and they aid him to discover the nature of the disease, and to form an accurate portrait of it, so as to enable him to cure it with a similar medicinal morbific agent.

But the more modern adherents of the old school do not wish it to be supposed, that in their treatment they aim at the expulsion of material morbific substances. They allege that their multifarious evacuant processes are a mode of treatment by derivation, wherein they follow the example of nature which, in her efforts to assist the diseased organism, resolves fever by perspiration and diuresis pleurisy by epistaxis, sweat and mucous expectoration – other diseases by vomiting, diarrhaea and bleeding from the anus, articular pains by suppurating ulcers on the legs, cynanche tonsillaris by salivation, etc., or removes them by metastases and abscesses which she develops in parts at a distance from the seat of the disease.

Hence they thought the best thing to do was to imitate nature, by also going to work in the treatment of most diseases in a circuitous manner like the diseased vital force when left to itself and thus in an indirect manner,15 by means of stronger heterogeneous irritants applied to organs remote from the seat of disease, and totally dissimilar to the affected tissues, they produce evacuations, and generally kept them up, in order to draw, as it were, the disease thither.

15. In place of extinguishing the disease rapidly, without exhaustion of the strength and without going about the bush, with homogeneous, dynamic medicinal agents acting directly on the diseased points of the organism, as homoeopathy does.

This derivation, as it is called, was and continues to be one of the principal modes of treatment of the old school of medicine.

In this imitation of the self-aiding operation of nature, as some call it, they endeavored to excite, by force, new symptoms in the tissues that are least diseased and best able to bear the medicinal disease, which should draw away16 the primary disease under the semblance of crises and under the form of excretions, in order to admit of a gradual lysis by the curative powers of nature.17

16. Just as if anything immaterial could be drawn away! So that here too was the notion of a substance and a morbific matter, excessively subtile though it might be supposed to be!

17. It is only the slighter and acute diseases that tend, when the natural period of their course has expired, to terminate quietly in resolution, as it is called, with or without the employment of not very aggressive allopathic remedies; the vital force, having regained its powers, then gradually substitutes the normal condition for the derangement of the health that has now ceased to exist. But in severe acute and in chronic diseases which constitute by far the greater portion of all human ailments, crude nature and the old school are equally powerless; in these, neither the vital force, with its self-aiding faculty, nor allopathy in imitation of it, can affect a lysis, but at the most a mere temporary truce, during which the enemy fortifies himself, in order, sooner or later, to recommence the attack with still greater violence.

This they accomplished by means of diaphoretic and diuretic remedies, blood-lettings, setons and issues, but chiefly by irritant drugs to cause evacuation of the alimentary canal, sometimes upwards by means of emetics, sometimes (and this was the favorite plan) downwards by means of purgatives, which were termed aperient and dissolvent18 remedies.

18. An expression which likewise betrays that they imagined and presupposed a morbific substance, which had to be dissolved and expelled.

To assist this derivative method they employed the allied treatment by counter-irritants; woolen garments to the bare skin, foot-baths, nauseants, inflicting on the stomach and bowels the pangs of hunger (the hunger-treatment), substances to cause pain, inflammation, and suppuration in near or distant parts as the application of horseradish, mustard plasters, cantharides, blisters, mezereum setons, issues, tartar-emetic ointment, moxa, actual cautery, acupuncture, etc.; here also following the example of crude unassisted nature, which endeavors to free herself from the dynamic disease (in the case of a chronic disease, unavailingly) by exciting pain in distant parts of the body, by metastases and abscesses, by eruptions and suppurating ulcers.

It was evidently no rational principle, but merely imitation, with the view of making practice easy that seduced the old school into those unhelpful and injurious indirect modes of treatment, the derivative as well as the counter-irritant; that led them to this inefficacious, debilitating and hurtful practice of apparently ameliorating diseases for a short time, or removing them in such a manner that another and a worse disease was roused up to occupy the place of the first. Such a destructive plan cannot certainly be termed curing.

They merely followed the example of crude instinctive nature in her efforts, which are barely19 successful even in the slighter cases of acute disease; they merely imitated the unreasoning life-preserving power when left to itself in diseases, which entirely dependent as it is upon the organic laws of the body, is only capable of acting in conformity with these laws and is not guided by reason and reflection – they copied nature, which cannot, like an intelligent surgeon, bring together the gaping lips of a wound and by their union effect a cure; which knows not how to straighten and adjust the broken ends of a bone lying far apart and exuding much (often an excess of) new osseous matter; which cannot put a ligature on a wounded artery, but in its energy causes the patient to bleed to death; which does not understand how to replace a dislocated shoulder, but by the swelling it occasions round about it soon presents an obstacle to reduction; which in order to remove a foreign body from the cornea, destroys the whole eye by suppuration; which, with all its efforts can only liberate a strangulated hernia by gangrene of the bowel and death; and which, by the metaschematisms it produces in dynamic diseases, often renders them much worse than they were originally. But more, this irrational vital force receives into our body without hesitation, the greatest plagues of our terrestrial existence, the spark that kindles the countless diseases beneath which tortured mankind has groaned for hundreds and thousands of year, the chronic miasms – psora, syphilis, sycosis – not one of which can it diminish in the slightest degree far less expel single-handed from the organism; on the contrary, it allows them to rankle therein until often after a long life of misery, death at last closes the eyes of the sufferer.

19.. In the ordinary school of medicine, the efforts made by nature for the relief of the organism in diseases where no medicine was given, were regarded as models of treatment worthy of imitation. But this was a great error. The pitiable and highly imperfect efforts of the vital force to relieve itself in acute diseases is a spectacle that should excite our compassion, and command the aid of all the powers of our rational mind, to terminate the self-inflictedtorture by a real cure. If nature is unable to cure homoeopathically a disease already existing in the organism, by the production of another fresh malady similar to it (¤ 43-46), which very rarely lies in her power (¤ 50), and if to the organism alone is left the task of overcoming, by its own forces without external aid, a disease newly contracted (in cases of chronic miasms its power of resistance is quite inefficacious), we then witness nought but painful, often dangerous, efforts of nature to save the individual at whatever cost, which often terminate in extinction of the earthly existence, in death.

Little as we mortals know of the operations that take place in the interior economy in health – which must be hidden from us as certainly as they are patent to the eye of the all-seeing Creator and Preserver of his creatures – just as little can we perceive the operations that go on in the interior in disturbed conditions of life, in diseases. The internal operations in diseases are manifested only by the visible changes, the sufferings and the symptoms, whereby alone our life betrays the inward disturbance; so that in no given case can we ascertain which of the morbid symptoms are caused by the primary action of the morbific agent, which by the reaction of the vital force for its own relief. Both are inextricably mixed up together before our eyes, and only present to us an outwardly reflected picture of the entire internal malady, for the fruitless efforts of unassisted vitality to terminate the sufferings are themselves sufferings of the whole organism. Hence, even in those evacuations termed crises, which nature generally produces at the termination of diseases which run a rapid course, there is frequently more of suffering than of efficacious relief.

What the vital force does in these so-called crises, and how it does it, remains a mystery to us, like all the internal operations of the organic vital economy. One thing, however, is certain: that in all these efforts more or less of the affected parts are sacrificed and destroyed in order to save the rest. These self-aiding operations of the vital force for the removal of an acute disease, performed only in obedience to the laws of organic life and not guided by the reflection of an intellect, are mostly but a species of allopathy; in order to relieve the primarily affected organ by a crisis, an increased, often violent, activity is excited in the excretory organs, to draw away the disease from the former to the latter; there ensue vomitings, purgings, diuresis, diaphoresis, abscesses, etc., in order, by this irritation of distant parts, to effect a sort of derivation from the primarily diseased part, and the dynamically affected nervous power seems to unload itself in the material product.

It is only by the destruction and sacrifice of a portion of the organism itself that unaided nature can save the patient in acute diseases, and, if death do not ensue, restore, though only slowly and imperfectly, the harmony of life – health.

The great weakness of the parts which had been exposed to the disease, and even of the whole body, the emaciation, etc., remaining after spontaneous cures, are convincing proofs of this.

In short, the whole operation of the self-aiding power of the organism when attacked by diseases displays to the observer nothing but suffering – nothing that he could or ought to imitate if he wishes to cure disease in a truly artistic manner.

In such an important affair as that of healing, which demands so much intelligence, reflection and judgment, how could the old school, which arrogates to itself the title of rational, choose as its best instructor, as its guide to be blindly followed, the unintelligent vital force, inconsiderately copy its indirect and revolutionary operations in diseases, imagining these to be the non plus ultra, the best conceivable, when that greatest gift of God, reflective reason and unfettered judgment, was given us to enable us infinitely to surpass it in salutary help to suffering humanity?

When the old school practitioners, thoughtlessly imitating the crude, senseless, automatic vital energy with their counter-irritant and derivative methods of treatment – by far their most usual plans – attack innocent parts and organs of the body, either inflicting on them excruciating pains, or as is most frequently done, compelling them to perform evacuations whereby strength and fluids are wasted, their object is to direct the morbid vital action in the primarily affected parts away to those artificially attacked, and thus to effect the cure of the natural disease indirectly, by the production of a disease much greater in intensity and of quite a different kind, in the healthy parts of the body, consequently by a circuitous way, at the cost of much loss of strength, and usually of great suffering to the patient.20

20. Daily experience shows the sad effects of this manoeuvre in chronic diseases. Anything but a cure is effected. Who would ever call that a victory if, in place of attacking the enemy in front in a hand-to-hand fight, and by his destruction terminating at once his hostile assaults, we should, in a cowardly manner and behind his back, lay an embargo on everything, cut off his supplies, burn down everything for a great way round him? By so doing we would at length deprive him of all courage to resist, but our object is not gained, the enemy is far from being destroyed, – he is still there, and when he can again procure provisions and supplies, he once more rears his head, more exasperated than before – the enemy, I repeat, is far from being destroyed, but the poor innocent country is so completely ruined that it will be long before it can recover itself. In like manner acts allopathy in chronic diseases, when, by its indirect attacks on innocent parts at a distance from the seat of the disease, instead of effecting a cure, it destroys the organism. Such is the result of its hurtful operations!

The disease, if it be acute, and consequently naturally of but short duration, may certainly disappear, even during these heterogeneous attacks on distant and dissimilar parts – but it is not cured. There is nothing that can merit the honorable name of cure in this revolutionary treatment, which has no direct, immediate, pathological relation to the tissues primarily affected. Often indeed, without these serious attacks on the rest of the organism, would the acute disease have ceased of itself, sooner most likely, with fewer subsequent sufferings and less sacrifice of strength. But neither the mode of operation of the crude natural forces, nor the allopathic copy of that, can for a moment be compared to the dynamic (homoeopathic) treatment, which sustains the strength, while it extinguishes the disease in a direct and rapid manner.

In far the greatest number of cases of disease, however – I mean those of a chronic nature – these perturbing, debilitating, indirect modes of treatment of the old school are scarcely ever of the slightest use. They suspend for a few days only, some troublesome symptom or other, which, however, returns when the system has become accustomed to the distant irritation, and the disease recurs worse than before, because by the antagonistic pains21 and the injudicious evacuations the vital powers have been depressed.

21. What good results have ever ensued from those foetid artificial ulcers, so much in vogue, called issues? If even during the first week or two, whilst they still cause pain, they appear somewhat to check by antagonism a chronic disease, yer by and by, when the body has become accustomed to the pain, they have no other effect than that of weakening the patient and giving stil1 greater scope to the chronic affection. Or does anyone imagine, in this nineteenth century, that they serve as an outlet for the escape of the materia peccans? It almost appears as if this were the case!

Whilst most physicians of the old school, imitating in a general manner the efforts of crude, unaided nature for its own relief, carried out in their practice these derivations of merely hypothetical utility, just as they judged expedient (guided by some imaginary indication), others, aiming at a higher object, undertook designedly to promote the efforts of the vital force to aid itself by evacuations and antagonistic metatases, as seen in diseases, and by way of lending it a helping hand, to increase still more these derivations and evacuations; and they believed that by this hurtful procedure they were acting duce natura, and might justly claim the title of minister naturae.

As the evacuations effected by the natural powers of the patient in chronic diseases are not infrequently the precursors of alleviations – though only of a temporary character – of troublesome symptoms, violent pains, paralyses, spasms, etc., so the old school imagined these derivations to be the true way of curing diseases, and endeavored to promote, maintain and even increase such evacuations. But they did not perceive that all these evacuations and excretions (pseudo-crises) produced by nature when left to herself were, in chronic diseases, only palliative, transient alleviations which, far from contributing to a real cure, on the contrary, rather aggravate the original, internal dyscrasia, by the waste of strength and juices they occasioned. No one ever saw a chronic patient recover his health permanently by such efforts of crude nature, nor any chronic disease cured by such evacuations effected by the organism.22 On the contrary, in such cases the original dyscrasia is always perceptibly aggravated, after alleviations, whose duration always becomes shorter and shorter; the bad attacks recur more frequently and more severely in spite of the continuation of the evacuations. In like manner, on the occurrence of symptoms excited by an internal chronic affection that threaten to destroy life, when nature left to its own resources, cannot help herself in any other way than by the production of external local symptoms, in order to avert the danger from parts indispensable to life and direct it to tissues of less vital importance (metastasis), these operations of the energetic but unintelligent, unreasoding and improvident vital force conduce to anything but genuine relief or recovery; they only silence in a palliative manner, for a short time, the dangerous internal affection at the cost of a large portion of the humours and of the strength, without diminishing the original disease by a hair’s breadth; they can, at the most, only retard the fatal termination which is inevitable without true homoeopathic treatment.

22. Equally inefficacious are those produced artificially.

The allopathy of the old school not only greatly overrated these efforts of the crude automatic power of nature, but completely misjudged them, falsely considered them to be truly curative, and endeavored to increase and promote them, vainly imagining that thereby they might perhaps succeed in annihilating and radically curing the whole disease. When, in chronic diseases, the vital force seemed to silence this or that troublesome symptom of the internal affection by the production, for example, of some humid cutaneous eruption, then the servant of the crude power of nature (minister naturae) applied to the discharging surface a cantharides plaster or an exutory (mezereum), in order, duce natura, to draw still more moisture from the skin, and thus to promote and to assist natures object – the cure (by the removal of the morbific matter from the body?); but when the effect of the remedy was too violent, the eczema already of long standing, and the system too irritable, he increased the external affection to a great degree without the slightest advantage, to the origirial disease, and aggravated the pains, which deprived the patient of sleep and depressed his strength (and sometimes even developed a malignant febrile erysipelas); or if the effect upon the local affection (still recent, perhaps) was of milder character, he thereby repelled from its seat, by a species of ill-applied external homoeopathy, the local symptom which had been established by nature on the skin for the relief of the internal disease, thus renewing the more dangerous internal malady, and by this repulsion of the local symptom compelling the vital force to effect a transference of a worse form of morbid action to other and more important parts, the patient became affected with dangerous ophthalmia, or deafness, or spasms of the stomach, or epileptic convulsions, or attacks of asthma or apoplexy, or mental derangement, etc., in place of the repelled local disease.23

23. Natural effects of the repulsion of these local symptoms – effects that are often regarded by the allopathic physiclan as fresh diseases of quite a different kind.

When the diseased natural force propelled blood into the veins of the rectum or anus (blind h¾morrhoids), the minister natura, under the same delusive idea of assisting the vital force in its curative efforts, applied leeches, often in large numbers, in order to give an outlet to the blood there – with but brief, often scarcely noteworthy, relief, but thereby weakening the body and occasioning still greater congestions in those parts, without the slightest diminution of the original disease.

In almost all cases in which the diseased vital force endeavored to subdue the violence of a dangerous internal malady by evacuating blood by means of vomiting, coughing, etc., the old school physician, duce natura, made haste to assist these supposed salutary efforts of nature, and performed a copious venesection, which was invariably productive of injurious consequences and palpable weakening of the body. In cases of frequently occurring chronic nausea, he produced, with the view of furthering the intentions of nature, copious evacuations of the stomach, by means of powerful emetics – never with a good result, often with bad, not infrequently dangerous and even fatal consequences.

The vital force, in order to relieve the internal malady, sometimes produces indolent enlargements of the external glands, and he thinks to forward the intentions of nature, in his assumed character of her servant, when, by the use of all sorts of heating embrocations and plasters, he causes them to inflame, so that, when the abscess is ripe, he may incise it and let out the bad morbific matter (?)

Experience has shown, hundreds of times, that lasting evil almost invariably results from such a plan.

And having often noticed slight amelioration of the severe symptoms of chronic diseases to result from spontaneous night sweats or frequent liquid stools, he imagines himself bound to obey these hints of nature (duce natura), and to promote them, by instituting and maintaining a complete course of sweating treatment or by the employment of so-called gentle laxatives for years, in order to promote and increase these efforts of nature (of the vital force of the unintelligent organism), which he thinks tend to the cure of the whole chronic affection, and thus to free the patient more speedily and certainly from his disease (the matter of his disease?).

But he thereby always produces quite the contrary result: aggravation of the original disease.

In conformity with this preconseived by unfounded idea, the old school physician goes on thus promoting24 the efforts of the diseased and and increasing those derivations and evacuations in the patient which never lead to the desired end, but are always disastrous, without being aware that all the local affections, evacuations, and seemingly derivative efforts, set up and continued by the unintelligent vital force when left to its own resources, for the relief of the original chronic disease, are actually the disease itself, the phenomena of the whole disease, for the totality of which, properly speaking, the only efficacious remedy, and the one, moreover, that will act in the most direct manner, is a homoeopathic medicine, chosen on account of its similarity of action.

24. In direct opposition to this treatment, the old school not infrequently indulged themselves in the very reverse of this: thus when the efforts of the vital force for the relief of the internal disease by evacuations and the production of local symptoms on the exterior of the body became troublesome, they capriciously suppressed them by their repercutients and repellents, they subdued chronic pains, sleeplessness and diarrhoea of long standing by doses of opium pushed to a dangerous extent; vomitings by effervescent saline draughts; foetid perspiration of the feet by cold footbaths and astringent applications; eruptions on the skin by preparations of lead and zinc; they checked uterine haemorrhage by injections of vinegar; colliquative perspiration by alum; nocturnal seminal emissions by the free use of camphor; frequent attacks of flushes of heat in the body and face by nitre vegetable acids and sulphuric acid; bleeding of the nose by plugging the nostrils with dossils of lint soaked in alcohol or astringent fluids; they dried up discharging ulcers on the legs, established by the vital power for the relief of great internal suffering with the oxides of lead and zinc, etc

Aphorism 1-10

The physician’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed.1

1 His mission is not, however, to construct so-called systems, by interweaving empty speculations and hypotheses concerning the internal essential nature of the vital processes and the mode in which diseases originate in the interior of the organism, (whereon so many physicians have hitherto ambitiously wasted their talents and their time); nor is it to attempt to give countless explanations regarding the phenomena in diseases and their proximate cause (which must ever remain concealed), wrapped in unintelligible words and an inflated abstract mode of expression, which should sound very learned in order to astonish the ignorant – whilst sick humanity sighs in vain for aid. Of such learned reveries (to which the name of theoretic medicine is given, and for which special professorships are instituted) we have had quite enough, and it is now high time that all who call themselves physicians should at length cease to deceive suffering mankind with mere talk, and begin now, instead, for once to act, that is, really to help and to cure.

The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles.

If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in diseases, that is to say, in every individual case of disease (knowledge of disease, indication), if he clearly perceives what is curative in medicines, that is to say, in each individual medicine (knowledge of medical powers), and if he knows how to adapt, according to clearly defined principles, what is curative in medicines to what he has discovered to be undoubtedly morbid in the patient, so that the recovery must ensue – to adapt it, as well in respect to the suitability of the medicine most appropriate according to its mode of action to the case before him (choice of the remedy, the medicine indicated), as also in respect to the exact mode of preparation and quantity of it required (proper dose), and the proper period for repeating the dose; – if, finally, he knows the obstacles to recovery in each case and is aware how to remove them, so that the restoration may be permanent, then he understands how to treat judiciously and rationally, and he is a true practitioner of the healing art .

He is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in health.

Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its fundamental cause, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration.

The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.1

1 I know not, therefore, how it was possible for physicians at the sick-bed to allow themselves to suppose that, without most carefully attending to the symptoms and being guided by them in the treatment, they ought to seek and could discover, only in the hidden and unknown interior, what there was to be cured in the disease, arrogantly and ludicrously pretending that they could, without paying much attention to the symptoms, discover the alteration that had occurred in the invisible interior, and set it to rights with (unknown!) medicines, and that such a procedure as this could alone be called radical and rational treatment.

Is not, then, that which is cognizable by the senses in diseases through the phenomena it displays, the disease itself in the eyes of the physician, since he never can see the spiritual being that produces the disease, the vital force? nor is it necessary that he should see it, but only that he should ascertain its morbid actions, in order that he may thereby be enabled to cure the disease. What else will the old school search for in the hidden interior of the organism, as a prima causa morbi, whilst they reject as an object of cure and contemptuously despise the sensible and manifest representation of the disease, the symptoms, that so plainly address themselves to us? What else do they wish to cure in disease but these?

Now, as in a disease, from which no manifest exciting or maintaining cause (causa occasionalis) has to be removed1, we can perceive nothing but the morbid symptoms, it must (regard being had to the possibility of a miasm, and attention paid to the accessory circumstances, § 5) be the symptoms alone by which the disease demands and points to the remedy suited to relieve it – and, moreover, the totality of these its symptoms, of this outwardly reflected picture of the internal essence of the disease, that is, of the affection of the vital force, must be the principal, or the sole means, whereby the disease can make known what remedy it requires – the only thing that can determine the choice of the most appropriate remedy – and thus, in a word, the totality2 of the symptoms must be the principal, indeed the only thing the physician has to take note of in every case of disease and to remove by means of his art, in order that it shall be cured and transformed into health.

1 It is not necessary to say that every intelligent physician would first remove this where it exists; the indisposition thereupon generally ceases spontaneously. He will remove from the room strong-smelling flowers, which have a tendency to cause syncope and hysterical sufferings; extract from the cornea the foreign body that excites inflammation of the eye; loosen the over-tight bandage on a wounded limb that threatens to cause mortification, and apply a more suitable one; lay bare and put ligature on the wounded artery that produces fainting; endeavour to promote the expulsion by vomiting of belladonna berries etc., that may have been swallowed; extract foreign substances that may have got into the orifices of the body (the nose, gullet, ears, urethra, rectum, vagina); crush the vesical calculus; open the imperforate anus of the newborn infant, etc.

2 In all times, the old school physicians, not knowing how else to give relief, have sought to combat and if possible to suppress by medicines, here and there, a single symptom from among a number in diseases – a one-sided procedure, which, under the name of symptomatic treatment, has justly excited universal contempt, because by it, not only was nothing gained, but much harm was inflicted. A single one of the symptoms present is no more the disease itself than a foot is the man himself. This procedure was so much the more reprehensible, that such a single symptom was only treated by an antagonistic remedy (therefore only in an enantiopathic and palliative manner), whereby, after a slight alleviation, it was subsequently only rendered all the worse.

It is not conceivable, not can it be proved by any experience in the world, that, after removal of all the symptoms of the disease and of the entire collection of the perceptible phenomena, there should or could remain anything else besides health, or that the morbid alteration in the interior could remain uneradicated.1

1 When a patient has been cured of his disease by a true physician, in such a manner that no trace of the disease, no morbid symptom, remains, and all the signs of health have permanently returned, how can anyone, without offering an insult to common sense, affirm in such an individual the whole bodily disease still remains interior? And yet the chief of the old school, Hufeland, asserts this in the following words: “Homoeopathy can remove symptoms, but the disease remains.” (Vide Homoopathie, p.27, 1, 19.) This he maintains partly from mortification at the progress made by homoeopathy to the benefits of mankind, partly because he still holds thoroughly material notions respecting disease, which he is still unable to regard as a state of being of the organism wherein it is dynamically altered by the morbidly deranged vital force, as an altered state of health, but he views the disease as a something material, which after the cure is completed, may still remain lurking in some corner in the interior of the body, in order, some day during the most vigorous health, to burst forth at its pleasure with its material presence! So dreadful is still the blindness of the old pathology! No wonder that it could only produce a system of therapeutics which is solely occupied with scouring out the poor patient.

In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the material body (organism), rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.

The material organism, without the vital force, is capable of no sensation, no function, no self-preservation1, it derives all sensation and performs all the functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being (the vital principle) which animates the material organism in health and in disease.

1 It is dead, and only subject to the power of the external physical world; it decays, and is again resolved into its chemical constituents.


Extract from Principia : 1726 Edition

Published on 1687


[Leges solæ descripta sunt, commentariis prætermissis.]

Lex I

Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus illud a viribus impressis cogitur statum suum mutare.

Lex II

Mutationem motus proportionalem esse vi motrici impressæ, & fieri secundum lineam rectam qua vis illa imprimitur.


Actioni contrariam semper & æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales & in partes contrarias dirigi.


Regula I

Causas rerum naturalium non plures admitti debere, quam quæ & veræ sint & earum phænomenis explicandis sufficiant.

Dicunt utique philosophi: Natura nihil agit frustra, & frustra sit per plura quod fieri potest per pauciora. Natura enim simplex est & rerum causis superfluis non luxuriat.

Regula II

Ideoque effectum naturalium ejusdem generis eædem assignandæ sunt causæ, quatenus fieri potest.

Uti respirationis in homine & in bestia; descensus lapidum in Europa & in America; lucis in igne culinari & in sole; reflexionis lucis in terra & in planetis.

Regula III

Qualitates corporum quæ intendi & remitti nequeunt, quæque corporibus omnibus competunt in quibus experimenta instituere licet, pro qualitatibus corporum universorum habendæ sunt.

Nam qualitates corporum non nisi per experimenta innotescunt, ideoque generales statuendæ sunt quotquot cum experimentis generaliter quadrant; & quæ minui non possunt, non possunt auferri. Certe contra experimentorum tenorem somnia temere confingenda non sunt, nec a naturæ analogia recedendum est, cum ea simplex esse soleat & sibi semper consona. Extensio corporum non nisi per sensus innotescit, nec in omnibus sentitur: sed quia sensibilibus omnibus competit, de universis affirmatur. Corpora plura dura esse experimur. Oritur autem durities totius a duritie partium, & inde non horum tantum corporum quæ sentiuntur, sed aliorum etiam omnium particulas indivisas esse duras merito concludimus. Corpora omnia impenetrabilia esse non ratione sed sensu colligimus. Quæ tractamus, impenetrabilia inveniuntur, & inde concludimus impenetrabilitatem esse proprietatem corporum universorum. Corpora omnia mobilia esse, & viribus quibusdam (quas vires inertiæ vocamus) perseverare in motu vel quiete, ex hisce corporum visorum proprietatibus colligimus. Extensio, durities, impenetrabilitas, mobilitas & vis inertiæ totius oritur ab extensione, duritie, impenetrabilitate, mobilitate & viribus inertiæ partium: & inde concludimus omnes omnium corporum partes minimas extendi & duras esse & impenetrabiles & mobiles & viribus inertiæ præditas. Et hoc est fundamentum philosophiæ totius. Porro corporum partes divisas & sibi mutuo contiguas ab invicem separari posse, ex phænomenis novimus, & partes indivisas in partes minores ratione distingui posse ex mathematica certum est. Utrum vero partes illæ distinctæ & nondum divisæ per vires naturæ dividi & ab invicem separari possint, incertum est. At si vel unico constaret experimento quod particula aliqua indivisa, frangendo corpus durum & solidum, divisionem pateretur: concluderemus vi hujus regulæ, quod non solum partes divisæ separabiles essent, sed etiam quod indivisæ in infinitum dividi possent.
Denique si corpora omnia in circuitu terræ gravia esse in terram, idque pro quantitate materiæ in singulis, & lunam gravem esse in terram pro quantitate materiæ sua, & vicissim mare nostrum grave esse in lunam, & planetas omnes graves esse in se mutuo, & cometarum similem esse gravitatem in solem, per experimenta & observationes astronomicas universaliter constet: dicendum erit per hanc regulam quod corpora omnia in se mutuo gravitant. Nam & fortius erit argumentum ex phænomenis de gravitate universali, quam de corporum impenetrabilitate: de qua utique in corporibus coelestibus nullum experimentum, nullam prorsus observationem habemus. Attamen gravitatem corporibus essentialem esse minime affirmo. Per vim insitam intelligo solam vim inertiæ. Hæc immutabilis est. Gravitas recedendo a terra, diminuitur.

Regula IV

In philosophia experimentali, propositiones ex phænomenis per inductionem collectæ, non obstantibus contrariis hypothesibus, pro veris aut accurate aut quamproxime haberi debent, donec alia occurrerint phænomena, per quæ aut accuratiores reddantur aut exceptionibus obnoxiæ.

Hoc fieri debet ne argumentum inductionis tollatur per hypotheses.


Hypothesis vorticum multis premitur difficultatibus. Ut planeta unusquisque radio ad solem ducto areas describat tempori proportionales, tempora periodica partium vorticis deberent esse in duplicata ratione distantiarum a sole. Ut periodica planetarum tempora sint in proportione sesquiplicata distantiarum a sole, tempora periodica partium vorticis deberent esse in sesquiplicata distantiarum proportione. Ut vortices minores circum saturnum, jovem & alios planetas gyrati conserventur & tranquille natent in vortice solis, tempora periodica partium vorticis solaris deberent esse æqualia. Revolutiones solis & planetarum circum axes suos, quæ cum motibus vorticum congruere deberent, ab omnibus hisce proportionibus discrepant. Motus cometarum sunt summe regulares, & easdem leges cum planetarum motibus observant, & per vortices explicari nequeunt. Feruntur cometæ motibus valde eccentricis in omnes coelorum partes, quod fieri non potest, nisi vortices tollantur.

Projectilia, in aëre nostro, solam aëris resistentiam sentiunt. Sublato aëre, ut sit in vacuo Boyliano, resistentia cessat, siquidem pluma tenuis & aurum solidum æquali cum velocitate in hoc vacuo cadunt. Et par est ratio spatiorum coelestium, quæ sunt supra atmosphæram terræ. Corpora omnia in istis spatiis liberrime moveri debent; & propterea planetæ & cometæ in orbibus specie & positione datis secundum leges supra expositas perpetuo revolvi. Perseverabunt quidem in orbibus suis per leges gravitatis, sed regularem orbium situm primitus acquirere per leges hasce minime potuerunt.

Planetæ sex principales revolvuntur circum solem in circulis soli concentricis, eadem motus directione, in eodem plano quamproxime. Lunæ decem revolvuntur circum terram, jovem & saturnum in circulis concentricis, eadem motus directione, in planis orbium planetarum quamproxime. Et hi omnes motus regulares originem non habent ex causis mechanicis; siquidem cometæ in orbibus valde eccentricis, & in omnes coelorum partes libere feruntur. Quo motus genere cometæ per orbes planetarum celerrime & facillime transeunt, & in apheliis suis ubi tardiores sunt & diutius morantur; quam longissime distant ab invicem, ut se mutuo quam minime trahant. Elegantissima hæcce solis, planetarum & cometarum compages non nisi consilio & dominio entis intelligentis & potentis oriri potuit. Et si stellæ fixæ sint centra similium systematum, hæc omnia simili consilio constructa suberunt Unius dominio: præsertim cum lux fixarum sit ejusdem naturæ ac lux solis, & systemata omnia lucem in omnia invicem immittant. Et ne fixarum systemata per gravitatem suam in se mutuo cadant, hic eadem immensam ab invicem distantiam posuerit.

Hic omnia regit non ut anima mundi, sed ut universorum dominus. Et propter dominium suum, dominus deus1 [“Pantokrator” litteris Graecis: Pantokrátwr] dici solet. Nam deus est vox relativa & ad servos refertur: & deitas est dominatio dei, non in corpus proprium, uti sentiunt quibus deus est anima mundi, sed in servos. Deus summus est ens æternum, infinitum, absolute perfectum: sed ens utcunque perfectum sine dominio non est dominus deus. Dicimus enim deus meus, deus vester, deus Israelis, deus deorum, & dominus dominorum: sed non dicimus æternus meus, æternus vester, æternus Israelis, æternus deorum; non dicimus infinitus meus, vel perfectus meus. Hæ appellationes relationem non habent ad servos. Vox deus passim2 significat dominum: sed omnis dominus non est deus. Dominatio entis spiritualis deum constituit, vera verum, summa summum, ficta fictum. Et ex dominatione vera sequitur deum verum esse vivum, intelligentem & potentem; ex reliquis perfectionibus summum esse, vel summe perfectum. Æternus est & infinitus, omnipotens & omnisciens, id est, durat ab æterno in æternum, & adest ab infinito in infinitum: omnia regit; & omnia cognoscit, quæ fiunt aut fieri possunt. Non est æternitas & infinitas, sed æternus & infinitus; non est duratio & spatium, sed durat & adest. Durat semper, & adest ubique, & existendo semper & ubique, durationem & spatium constituit. Cum unaquæque spatii particula sit semper, & unumquodque durationis indivisibile momentum ubique, certe rerum omnium fabricator ac dominus non erit numquam, nusquam. Omnis anima sentiens diversis temporibus, & in diversis sensuum, & motuum organis eadem est persona indivisibilis. Partes dantur successivæ in duratione, coexistentes in spatio, neutræ in persona hominis seu principio ejus cogitante; & multo minus in substantia cogitante dei. Omnis homo, quatenus res sentiens, est unus & idem homo durante vita sua in omnibus & singulis sensuum organis. Deus est unus & idem deus semper & ubique. Omnipræsens est non per virtutem solam, sed etiam per substantiam: nam virtus sine substantia subsistere non potest. In ipso3 continentur & moventur universa, sed sine mutua passione. Deus nihil patitur ex corporum motibus: illa nullam sentiunt resistentiam ex omnipræsentia dei. Deum summum necessario existere in consesso est: Et eadem necessitate semper est & ubique. Unde etiam totus est sui similis, totus oculus, totus auris, totus cerebrum, totus brachium, totus vis sentiendi, intelligendi, & agendi, sed more minime humano, more minime corporeo, more nobis prorsus incognito. Ut cæcus non habet ideam colorum, sic nos ideam non habemus modorum, quibus deus sapientissimus sentit & intelligit omnia. Corpore omni & figura corporea prorsus destituitur, ideoque videri non potest, nec audiri, nec tangi, nec sub specie rei alicujus corporei coli debet. Ideas habemus attributorum ejus, sed quid sit rei alicujus substantia minime cognoscimus. Videmus tantum corporum figuras & colores, audimus tantum sonos, tangimus tantum superficies externas, olfacimus odores solos, & gustamus sapores: intimas substantias nullo sensu, nulla actione reflexa cognoscimus; & multo minus ideam habemus substantiæ dei. Hunc cognoscimus solummodo per proprietates ejus & attributa, & per sapientissimas & optimas rerum structuras & causas finales, & admiramur ob perfectiones; veneramur autem & colimus ob dominium. Colimus enim ut servi, & deus sine dominio, providentia, & causis finalibus nihil aliud est quam fatum & natura. A cæca necessitate metaphysica, quæ utique eadem est semper & ubique, nulla oritur rerum variatio. Tota rerum conditarum pro locis ac temporibus diversitas, ab ideis & voluntate entis necessario existentis solummodo oriri potuit. Dicitur autem deus per allegoriam videre, audire, loqui, ridere, amare, odio habere, cupere, dare, accipere, gaudere, irasci, pugnare, fabricare, condere, construere. Nam sermo omnis de deo a rebus humanis per similitudinem aliquam desumitur, non perfectam quidem, sed aliqualem tamen. Et hæc de deo, de quo utique ex phænomenis disserere, ad philosophiam naturalem pertinet.

Hactenus phænomena cælorum & maris nostri per vim gravitatis exposui, sed causam gravitatis nondum assignavi. Oritur utique hæc vis a causa aliqua, quæ penetrat ad usque centra solis & planetarum, sine virtutis diminutione; quæque agit non pro quantitate superficierum particularum, in quas agit (ut solent causæ mechanicæ) sed pro quantitate materiæ solidæ; & cujus actio in immensas distantias undique extenditur, decrescendo semper in duplicata ratione distantiarum. Gravitas in solem componitur ex gravitatibus in singulas solis particulas, & recedendo a sole decrescit accurate in duplicata ratione distantiarum ad usque orbem saturni, ut ex quiete apheliorum planetarum manifestum est, & ad usque ultima cometarum aphelia, si modo aphelia illa quiescant. Rationem vero harum gravitatis proprietatum ex phænomenis nondum potui deducere, & hypotheses non fingo. Quicquid enim ex phænomenis non deducitur, hypothesis vocanda est; & hypotheses seu metaphysicæ, seu physicæ, seu qualitatum occultarum, seu mechanicæ, in philosophia experimentali locum non habent. In hac philosophia propositiones deducuntur ex phænomenis, & redduntur generales per inductionem. Sic impenetrabilitas, mobilitas, & impetus corporum & leges motuum & gravitatis innotuerunt. Et satis est quod gravitas revera existat, & agat secundum leges a nobis expositas, & ad corporum cælestium & maris nostri motus omnes sufficiat.

Adjicere jam liceret nonnulla de spiritu quodam subtilissimo corpora crassa pervadente, & in iisdem latente; cujus vi & actionibus particulæ corporum ad minimas distantias se mutuo attrahunt, & contiguæ factæ cohærent; & corpora electrica agunt ad distantias majores, tam repellendo quam attrahendo corpuscula vicina; & lux emittitur, reflectitur, refringitur, inflectitur, & corpora calefacit; & sensatio omnis excitatur, & membra animalium ad voluntatem moventur, vibrationibus scilicet hujus spiritus per solida nervorum capillamenta ab externis sensuum organis ad cerebrum & a cerebro in musculos propagatis. Sed hæc paucis exponi non possunt; neque adest sufficiens copia experimentorum, quibus leges actionum hujus spiritus accurate determinari & monstrari debent.


Those who consider the periods and revolutions of humankind, as represented in history, are entertained with a spectacle full of pleasure and variety, and see with surprise the manners, customs, and opinions of the same species susceptible of such prodigious changes in different periods of time. It may, however, be observed, that, in civil history, there is found a much greater uniformity than in the history of learning and science, and that the wars, negotiations, and politics of one age, resemble more those of another than the taste, wit, and speculative principles. Interest and ambition, honour and shame, friendship and enmity, gratitude and revenge, are the prime movers in all public transactions; and these passions are of a very stubborn and untractable nature, in comparison of the sentiments and understanding, which are easily varied by education and example. The Goths were much more inferior to the Romans in taste and science than in courage and virtue.

But not to compare together nations so widely different, it may be observed, that even this latter period of human learning is, in many respects, of an opposite character to the ancient; and that, if we be superior in philosophy, we are still, notwithstanding all our refinements, much inferior in eloquence.

In ancient times, no work of genius was thought to require so great parts and capacity as the speaking in public; and some eminent writers have pronounced the talents even of a great poet or philosopher to be of an inferior nature to those which are requisite for such an undertaking. Greece and Rome produced, each of them, but one accomplished orator; and, whatever praises the other celebrated speakers might merit, they were still esteemed much inferior to those great models of eloquence. It is observable, that the ancient critics could scarcely find two orators in any age who deserved to be placed precisely in the same rank, and possessed the same degree of merit. Calvus, Cælius, Curio, Hortensius, Cæsar, rose one above another: but the greatest of that age was inferior to Cicero, the most eloquent speaker that had ever appeared in Rome. Those of fine taste, however, pronounced this judgment of the Roman orator, as well as of the Grecian, that both of them surpassed in eloquence all that had ever appeared, but that they were far from reaching the perfection of their art, which was infinite, and not only exceeded human force to attain, but human imagination to conceive. Cicero declares himself dissatisfied with his own performances, nay, even with those of Demosthenes. Ita sunt avidæ et capaces meæ aures, says he, et semper aliquid immensum infinitumque desiderant.

Of all the polite and learned nations, England alone possesses a popular government, or admits into the legislature such numerous assemblies as can be supposed to lie under the dominion of eloquence. But what has England to boast of in this particular? In enumerating the great men who have done honour to our country, we exult in our poets and philosophers; but what orators are ever mentioned? or where are the monuments of their genius to be met with? There are found, indeed, in our histories, the names of several, who directed the resolutions of our parliament: but neither themselves nor others have taken the pains to preserve their speeches, and the authority, which they possessed, seems to have been owing to their experience, wisdom, or power, more than to their talents for oratory. At present there are above half a dozen speakers in the two Houses, who, in the judgment of the public, have reached very near the same pitch of eloquence; and no man pretends to give any one the preference above the rest. This seems to me a certain proof, that none of them have attained much beyond a mediocrity in their art, and that the species of eloquence, which they aspire to, gives no exercise to the sublimer faculties of the mind, but may be reached by ordinary talents and a slight application. A hundred cabinet-makers in London can work a table or a chair equally well; but no one poet can write verses with such spirit and elegance as Mr. Pope.

We are told, that, when Demosthenes was to plead, all ingenious men flocked to Athens from the most remote parts of Greece, as to the most celebrated spectacle of the world. At London, you may see men sauntering in the court of requests, while the most important debate is carrying on in the two Houses; and many do not think themselves sufficiently compensated for the losing of their dinners, by all the eloquence of our most celebrated speakers. When old Cibber is to act, the curiosity of several is more excited, than when our prime minister is to defend himself from a motion for his removal or impeachment.

Even a person, unacquainted with the noble remains of ancient orators, may judge, from a few strokes, that the style or species of their eloquence was infinitely more sublime than that which modern orators aspire to. How absurd would it appear, in our temperate and calm speakers, to make use of an Apostrophe, like that noble one of Demosthenes, so much celebrated by Quintilian and Longinus, when, justifying the unsuccessful battle of Chæronea, he breaks out, ‘No, my fellow-citizens. No: you have not erred. I swear by the manes of those heroes, who fought for the same cause in the plains of Marathon and Platæa.’ Who could now endure such a bold and poetical figure as that which Cicero employs, after describing, in the most tragical terms, the crucifixion of a Roman citizen? ‘Should I paint the horrors of this scene, not to Roman citizens, not to the allies of our state, not to those who have ever heard of the Roman name, not even to men, but to brute creatures; or, to go further, should I lift up my voice in the most desolate solitude, to the rocks and mountains, yet should I surely see those rude and inanimate parts of nature moved with horror and indignation at the recital of so enormous an action.’ With what a blaze of eloquence must such a sentence be surrounded to give it grace, or cause it to make any impression on the hearers! And what noble art and sublime talents are requisite to arrive, by just degrees, at a sentiment so bold and excessive! To inflame the audience, so as to make them accompany the speaker in such violent passions, and such elevated conceptions; and to conceal, under a torrent of eloquence, the artifice by which all this is effectuated! Should this sentiment even appear to us excessive, as perhaps justly it may, it will at least serve to give an idea of the style of ancient eloquence, where such swelling expressions were not rejected as wholly monstrous and gigantic.

Suitable to this vehemence of thought and expression, was the vehemence of action, observed in the ancient orators. The supplosio pedis, or stamping with the foot, was one of the most usual and moderate gestures which they made use of; though that is now esteemed too violent, either for the senate, bar, or pulpit, and is only admitted into the theatre to accompany the most violent passions which are there represented.

One is somewhat at a loss to what cause we may ascribe so sensible a decline of eloquence in latter ages. The genius of mankind, at all times, is perhaps equal: the moderns have applied themselves, with great industry and success, to all the other arts and sciences: and a learned nation possesses a popular government; a circumstance which seems requisite for the full display of these noble talents: but notwithstanding all these advantages, our progress in eloquence is very inconsiderable, in comparison of the advances which we have made in all other parts of learning.

Shall we assert, that the strains of ancient eloquence are unsuitable to our age, and ought not to be imitated by modern orators? Whatever reasons may be made use of to prove this, I am persuaded they will be found, upon examination, to be unsound and unsatisfactory.

First, It may be said, that, in ancient times, during the flourishing period of Greek and Roman learning, the municipal laws, in every state, were but few and simple, and the decision of causes was, in a great measure, left to the equity and common sense of the judges. The study of the laws was not then a laborious occupation, requiring the drudgery of a whole life to finish it, and incompatible with every other study or profession. The great statesmen and generals among the Romans were all lawyers; and Cicero, to show the facility of acquiring this science, declares, that in the midst of all his occupations, he would undertake, in a few days, to make himself a complete civilian. Now, where a pleader addresses himself to the equity of his judges, he has much more room to display his eloquence, than where he must draw his arguments from strict laws, statutes, and precedents. In the former case many circumstances must be taken in, many personal considerations regarded, and even favour and inclination, which it belongs to the orator, by his art and eloquence, to conciliate, may be disguised under the appearance of equity. But how shall a modern lawyer have leisure to quit his toilsome occupations, in order to gather the flowers of Parnassus? Or what opportunity shall we have of displaying them, amidst the rigid and subtile arguments, objections, and replies, which he is obliged to make use of? The greatest genius, and greatest orator, who should pretend to plead before the Chancellor, after a month’s study of the laws, would only labour to make himself ridiculous.

I am ready to own, that this circumstance, of the multiplicity and intricacy of laws, is a discouragement to eloquence in modern times; but I assert, that it will not entirely account for the decline of that noble art. It may banish oratory from Westminster Hall, but not from either house of Parliament. Among the Athenians, the Areopagites expressly forbade all allurements of eloquence; and some have pretended, that in the Greek orations, written in the judiciary form, there is not so bold and rhetorical a style as appears in the Roman. But to what a pitch did the Athenians carry their eloquence in the deliberative kind, when affairs of state were canvassed, and the liberty, happiness, and honour of the republic, were the subject of debate! Disputes of this nature elevate the genius above all others, and give the fullest scope to eloquence; and such disputes are very frequent in this nation.

Secondly, It may be pretended, that the decline of eloquence is owing to the superior good sense of the moderns, who reject with disdain all those rhetorical tricks employed to seduce the judges, and will admit of nothing but solid argument in any debate or deliberation. If a man be accused of murder, the fact must be proved by witnesses and evidence, and the laws will afterwards determine the punishment of the criminal. It would be ridiculous to describe, in strong colours, the horror and cruelty of the action; to introduce the relations of the dead, and, at a signal, make them throw themselves at the feet of the judges, imploring justice, with tears and lamentations: and still more ridiculous would it be, to employ a picture representing the bloody deed, in order to move the judges by the display of so tragical a spectacle, though we know that this artifice was sometimes practised by the pleaders of old. Now, banish the pathetic from public discourses, and you reduce the speakers merely to modern eloquence; that is, to good sense, delivered in proper expressions.

Perhaps it may be acknowledged, that our modern customs, or our superior good sense, if you will, should make our orators more cautious and reserved than the ancient, in attempting to inflame the passions, or elevate the imagination of their audience; but I see no reason why it should make them despair absolutely of succeeding in that attempt. It should make them redouble their art, not abandon it entirely. The ancient orators seem also to have been on their guard against this jealousy of their audience; but they took a different way of eluding it. They hurried away with such a torrent of sublime and pathetic, that they left their hearers no leisure to perceive the artifice by which they were deceived. Nay, to consider the matter aright, they were not deceived by any artifice. The orator, by the force of his own genius and eloquence, first inflamed himself with anger, indignation, pity, sorrow; and then communicated those impetuous movements to his audience.

Does any man pretend to have more good sense than Julius Cæsar?; yet that haughty conqueror, we know, was so subdued by the charms of Cicero’s eloquence, that he was, in a manner, constrained to change his settled purpose and resolution, and to absolve a criminal, whom, before that orator pleaded, he was determined to condemn.

Some objections, I own, notwithstanding his vast success, may lie against some passages of the Roman orator. He is too florid and rhetorical: his figures are too striking and palpable: the divisions of his discourse are drawn chiefly from the rules of the schools: and his wit disdains not always the artifice even of a pun, rhyme, or jingle of words. The Grecian addressed himself to an audience much less refined than the Roman senate or judges. The lowest vulgar of Athens were his sovereigns, and the arbiters of his eloquence. Yet is his manner more chaste and austere than that of the other. Could it be copied, its success would be infallible over a modern assembly. It is rapid harmony, exactly adjusted to the sense; it is vehement reasoning, without any appearance of art: it is disdain, anger, boldness, freedom, involved in a continued stream of argument: and, of all human productions, the orations of Demosthenes present to us the models which approach the nearest to perfection.

Thirdly, It may be pretended, that the disorders of the ancient governments, and the enormous crimes of which the citizens were often guilty, afforded much ampler matter for eloquence than can be met with among the moderns. Were there no Verres or Catiline, there would be no Cicero. But that this reason can have no great influence, is evident. It would be easy to find a Philip in modern times, but where shall we find a Demosthenes?

What remains, then, but that we lay the blame on the want of genius, or of judgment, in our speakers, who either found themselves incapable of reaching the heights of ancient eloquence, or rejected all such endeavours, as unsuitable to the spirit of modern assemblies? A few successful attempts of this nature might rouse the genius of the nation, excite the emulation of the youth, and accustom our ears to a more sublime and more pathetic elocution, than what we have been hitherto entertained with. There is certainly something accidental in the first rise and progress of the arts in any nation. I doubt whether a very satisfactory reason can be given why ancient Rome, though it received all its refinements from Greece, could attain only to a relish for statuary, painting, and architecture, without reaching the practice of these arts. While modern Rome has been excited by a few remains found among the ruins of antiquity, and has produced artists of the greatest eminence and distinction. Had such a cultivated genius for oratory, as Waller’s for poetry, arisen during the civil wars, when liberty began to be fully established, and popular assemblies to enter into all the most material points of government, I am persuaded so illustrious an example would have given a quite different turn to British eloquence, and made us reach the perfection of the ancient model. Our orators would then have done honour to their country, as well as our poets, geometers, and philosophers; and British Ciceros have appeared, as well as British Archimedeses and Virgils.[1]

It is seldom or never found, when a false taste in poetry or eloquence prevails among any people, that it has been preferred to a true, upon comparison and reflection. It commonly prevails merely from ignorance of the true, and from the want of perfect models to lead men into a juster apprehension, and more refined relish of those productions of genius. When these appear, they soon unite all suffrages in their favour, and, by their natural and powerful charms, gain over even the most prejudiced to the love and admiration of them. The principles of every passion, and of every sentiment, is in every man; and, when touched properly, they rise to life, and warm the heart, and convey that satisfaction, by which a work of genius is distinguished from the adulterate beauties of a capricious wit and fancy. And, if this observation be true, with regard to all the liberal arts, it must be peculiarly so with regard to eloquence; which, being merely calculated for the public, and for men of the world, cannot, without any pretence of reason, appeal from the people to more refined judges, but must submit to the public verdict without reserve or limitation. Whoever, upon comparison, is deemed by a common audience the greatest orator, ought most certainly to be pronounced such by men of science and erudition. And though an indifferent speaker may triumph for a long time, and be esteemed altogether perfect by the vulgar, who are satisfied with his accomplishments, and know not in what he is defective; yet, whenever the true genius arises, he draws to him the attention of every one, and immediately appears superior to his rival.

Now, to judge by this rule, ancient eloquence, that is, the sublime and passionate, is of a much juster taste than the modern, or the argumentative and rational, and, if properly executed, will always have more command and authority over mankind. We are satisfied with our mediocrity, because we have had no experience of any thing better: but the ancients had experience of both; and upon comparison, gave the preference to that kind of which they have left us such applauded models. For, if I mistake not, our modern eloquence is of the same style or species with that which ancient critics denominated Attic eloquence, that is, calm, elegant, and subtile, which instructed the reason more than affected the passions, and never raised its tone above argument or common discourse. Such was the eloquence of Lysias among the Athenians, and of Calvus among the Romans. These were esteemed in their time; but, when compared with Demosthenes and Cicero, were eclipsed like a taper when set in the rays of a meridian sun. Those latter orators possessed the same elegance, and subtilty, and force of argument with the former; but, what rendered them chiefly admirable, was that pathetic and sublime, which, on proper occasions, they threw into their discourse, and by which they commanded the resolution of their audience.

Of this species of eloquence we have scarcely had any instance in England, at least in our public speakers. In our writers, we have had some instances which have met with great applause, and might assure our ambitious youth of equal or superior glory in attempts for the revival of ancient eloquence. Lord Bolingbroke’s productions, with all their defects in argument, method, and precision, contain a force and energy which our orators scarcely ever aim at; though it is evident that such an elevated style has much better grace in a speaker than in a writer, and is assured of more prompt and more astonishing success. It is there seconded by the graces of voice and action: the movements are mutually communicated between the orator and the audience: and the very aspect of a large assembly, attentive to the discourse of one man, must inspire him with a peculiar elevation, sufficient to give a propriety to the strongest figures and expressions. It is true, there is a great prejudice against set speeches; and a man cannot escape ridicule, who repeats a discourse as a schoolboy does his lesson, and takes no notice of any thing that has been advanced in the course of the debate. But where is the necessity of falling into this absurdity? A public speaker must know beforehand the question under debate. He may compose all the arguments, objections, and answers, such as he thinks will be most proper for his discourse. If any thing new occur, he may supply it from his own invention; nor will the difference be very apparent between his elaborate and his extemporary compositions. The mind naturally continues with the same impetus or force, which it has acquired by its motion as a vessel, once impelled by the oars, carries on its course for some time when the original impulse is suspended.

I shall conclude this subject with observing, that, even though our modern orators should not elevate their style, or aspire to a rivalship with the ancient; yet there is, in most of their speeches, a material defect which they might correct, without departing from that composed air of argument and reasoning to which they limit their ambition. Their great affectation of extemporary discourses has made them reject all order and method, which seems so requisite to argument, and without which it is scarcely possible to produce an entire conviction on the mind. It is not that one would recommend many divisions in a public discourse, unless the subject very evidently offer them: but it is easy, without this formality, to observe a method, and make that method conspicuous to the hearers, who will be infinitely pleased to see the arguments rise naturally from one another, and will retain a more thorough persuasion than can arise from the strongest reasons which are thrown together in confusion.

[1] I have confessed that there is something accidental in the origin and progress of the arts in any nation; and yet I cannot forbear thinking, that if the other learned and polite nations of Europe had possessed the same advantages of a popular government, they would probably have carried eloquence to a greater height than it has yet reached in Britain. The French sermons, especially those of Flechier and Bourdaloue, are much superior to the English in this particular; and in Flechier there are many strokes of the most sublime poetry. His funeral sermon on the Marechal de Turenne, is a good instance. None but private causes in that country, are ever debated before their Parliament or Courts of Judicature; but, notwithstanding this disadvantage, there appears a spirit of eloquence in many of their lawyers, which, with proper cultivation and encouragement, might rise to the greatest heights. The pleadings of Patru are very elegant, and give us room to imagine what so fine a genius could have performed in questions concerning public liberty or slavery, peace or war, who exerts himself with such success in debates concerning the price of an old horse, or the gossiping story of a quarrel betwixt an abbess and her nuns. For it is remarkable, that this polite writer, though esteemed by all the men of wit in his time, was never employed in the most considerable causes of their courts of judicature, but lived and died in poverty; from an ancient prejudice industriously propagated by the Dunces in all countries, That a man of genius is unfit for business. The disorders produced by the ministry of Cardinal Mazarine, made the Parliament of Paris enter into the discussion of public affairs; and during that short interval, there appeared many symptoms of the revival of ancient eloquence. The Avocat-General, Talon, in an oration, invoked on his knees the spirit of St Louis to look down with compassion on his divided and unhappy people, and to inspire them, from above, with the love of concord and unanimity. The members of the French Academy have attempted to give us models of eloquence in their harangues at their admittance; but having no subject to discourse upon, they have run altogether into a fulsome strain of panegyric and flattery, the most barren of all subjects. Their style, however, is commonly, on these occasions, very elevated and sublime, and might reach the greatest heights, were it employed on a subject more favourable and engaging.

There are some circumstances in the English temper and genius, which are disadvantageous to the progress of eloquence, and render all attempts of that kind more dangerous and difficult among them, than among any other nation in the universe. The English are conspicuous for good sense, which makes them very jealous of any attempts to deceive them, by the flowers of rhetoric and elocution. They are also peculiarly modest; which makes them consider it as a piece of arrogance to offer any thing but reason to public assemblies, or attempt to guide them by passion or fancy. I may, perhaps, be allowed to add that the people in general are not remarkable for delicacy of taste, or for sensibility to the charms of the Muses. Their musical parts, to use the expression of a noble author, are but indifferent. Hence their comic poets, to move them, must have recourse to obscenity; their tragic poets to blood and slaughter. And hence, their orators, being deprived of any such resource, have abandoned altogether the hopes of moving them, and have confined themselves to plain argument and reasoning.

These circumstances, joined to particular accidents, may, perhaps, have retarded the growth of eloquence in this kingdom; but will not be able to prevent its success, if ever it appear amongst us. And one may safely pronounce, that this is a field in which the most flourishing laurels may yet be gathered, if any youth of accomplished genius, thoroughly acquainted with all the polite arts, and not ignorant of public business, should appear in Parliament, and accustom our ears to an eloquence more commanding and pathetic. And to confirm me in this opinion, there occur two considerations, the one derived from ancient, the other from modern times.

David Hume was born at Edinburgh on April 26th, 1711 and Hume died in Edinburgh on August 25th, 1776