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ment which it can receive, makes the difference a fortune which a man acquires by well-applied between the claims of legitimate children and industry, or by a series of success in his business, of bastards. But neither reason will in any case and one found in his possession, or received from justify the leaving of bastards to the world with another. out provision, education, or profession; or, what A principal part of a parent's duty is still beis more cruel
, without the means of continuing hind, viz: the using of proper precautions and in the situation to which the parent has intro- expedients, in order to form and preserve his duced them; which last is, to leave them to in- children's virtue. evitable misery.
To us, who believe that, in one stage or other After the first requisite, namely, a provision for of our existence, virtue will conduct to happiness, the exigencies of his situation, is satisfied, a parent and vice terminate in misery; and who observe may diminish a child's portion, in order to punish withal, that men's virtues and vices are, to a cerany flagrant crime, or to punish contumacy and tain degree, produced or affected by the manageFant of filial duty in instances not otherwise ment of their youth, and the situations in which criminal: for a child who is conscious of bad be they are placed; to all who attend to these reasons, haviour, or of contempt of his parents will and the obligation to consult a child's virtue will aphappiness, cannot reasonably expect the same in- pear to differ in nothing from that by which the stances of his munificence.
parent is bound to provide for his maintenance or A child's vices may be of that sort, and his fortune. The child's interest is concerned in the vicious habits so incorrigible, as to afford much one means of happiness as well as in the other; the same reason for believing that he will waste and both means are equally, and almost excluo misemploy the fortune put into his power, as if sively, in the parent's power. he were mad or idjotish, in which case a parent For this purpose, the first point to be endeavmay treat him as a madman or an idiot; that is, oured after is, to impress upon children the idea of may deem it sufficient to provide for his support, accountableness, that is, to accustom them to look by an annuity equal to his wants and innocent forward to the consequences of their actions in enjoyments, and which he may be restrained from another world; which can only be brought about alienating. This seems to be the only case in by the parents visibly acting with a view to these which a disinherison, nearly absolute, is jus- consequences themselves. Parents, to do them tifiable.
justice, are seldom sparing of lessons of virtue and Let not a father hope to excuse an inofficious religion: in admonitions which cost little, and disposition of his fortune, by alleging, that “ every which profit less; whilst their example exhibits a inan may do what he will with his own." All the continual contradiction of what they teach. A truth which this expression contains is, that this father, for instance, will, with much solemnity discretion is under no control of law; and that and apparent earnestness, warn his son against his will, however capricious, will be valid. This idleness, excess in drinking, debauchery, and exby no means absolves his conscience from the ob- travagance, who himself loiters about all day ligations of a parent, or imports that he may ne- without employment; comes home every night glect, without injustice, the several wants and ex- drunk; is made infamous in his neighbourhood by pectations of his family, in order to gratify a some profligate connexion; and wastes the forwhim or pique, or indulge a preference founded tune which should support, or remain a provision in no reasonable distinction of merit or situation. for his family, in riot, or luxury, or ostentation. Although in his intercourse with his family, and Or he will discourse gravely before his children in the lesser endearments of domestic life, a pa- of the obligation and importance of revealed rerent may not always resist his partiality to a fa- ligion, whilst they see the most frivolous and Fourite child (which, however, should be both oftentimes feigned excuses detain him from its avoided and concealed, as oftentimes productive reasonable and solemn ordinances. Or he will of lasting jealousies and discontents;) yet, when set before them, perhaps, the supreme and trehe sits down to make his will, these tendernesses mendous authority of Almighty God; that such must give place to more manly deliberations. a Being ought not to be named, or even thought
A father of a family is bound to adjust his upon, without sentiments of profound awe and Economy with a view to these demands upon his veneration. This may be the lecture he delivers fortune; and until a sufficiency for these ends is to his family one hour; when the next, if an acquired, or in due time probably will be acquired occasion arise to excite his anger, his mirth or his (for, in human affairs, probability ought to con- surprise, they will hear him treat the name of the tent us,) frugality and exertions of industry are Deity with the most irreverent profanation, and duties. He is also justified in the declining ex- sport with the terms and denunciations of the pensive liberality : for, to take from those who Christian religion, as if they were the language of want, in order to give to those who want, adds some ridiculous and long exploded superstitior.. nothing to the stock of public happiness. Thus Now, even a child is not to be imposed upon by far, therefore, and no farther, the plea of children,” such mockery. He sees through the grimace of of large families," " charity begins at home,” &c. this counterfeited concern for virtue. He disis an excuse for parsimony, and an answer to covers that his parent is acting a part; and rethose who solicit our bounty. Beyond this point, ceives his admonitions as he would hear the same as the use of riches becomes less, the desire of maxims from the mouth of a player. And when laying up should abate proportionably. The once this opinion has taken possession of the truth is, our children gain not so much as we child's mind, it has a fatal effect upon the parent's imagine, in the chance of this world's happiness, influence in all subjects; even those, in which he or even of its external prosperity, by setting out himself may be sincere and convinced. Whereas in it with large capitals. Of those who have died a silent, but observable, regard to the duties of rerich, a great part began with little. And in religion, in the parent's own behaviour, will take a Hect of enjoyment, there is no comparison between sure and gradual hold of the child's disposition,
much beyond formal reproofs and chidings, which, a right to such authority, and in support of that being generally prompted by some present provo authority to exercise such discipline as may be cation, discover more of anger than of principle, necessary for these purposes. The law of nature and are always received with a temporary alien- acknowledges no other foundation of a parent's ation and disgust.
right over his children, besides his duty iowards A good parent's first care is, to be virtuous them. (I speak now of such rights as may be himselt; a second, to make his virtues as easy and enforced by coercion) This relation confers no engaging to those about him as their nature will property in their persons, or natural dominion admit. Virtue itself offends, when coupled with over them, as is commonly supposed. forbidding manners. And some virtues may be Since it is, in general, necessary to determine urged to such excess, or brought forward so un- the destination of children, before they are capaseasonably, as to discourage and repel those who ble of judging of their own happiness, parents observe and who are acted upon by them, instead have a right to elect professions for them. of exciting an inclination to imitate and adopt As the mother herself owes obedience to the them. Young minds are particularly liable to father, her authority must submit to his. In a these unfortunate impressions. For instance, if competition, therefore, of commands, the father is a father's economy degenerate into a minute and to be obeyed. In case of the death of either, the teasing parsimony, it is odds but that the son, authority, as well as duty, of both parents, dewho has suffered under it, sets out a sworn enemy volves upon the survivor. to all rules of order and frugality. If a father's These rights, always following the duty, bepiety be morose, rigorous, and tinged with melan- long likewise to guardians; and so much of them choly, perpetually breaking in upon the recreation as is delegated by the parents to guardians, beof his family, and surfeiting them with the lan-longs to tutors, school-masters, &c. guage of religion on all occasions, there is danger From this principle, that the rights of parents Iest the son carry from home with him a settled result from their duty," it follows, that parents prejudice against seriousness and religion, as in- have no natural right over the lives of their chilconsistent with every plan of a pleasureable life; dren, as was absurdly allowed to Roman fathers; and turn out, when he mixes with the world, a nor any to exercise unprofitable severities; nor to character of levity or dissoluteness.
command the commission of crimes : for these Something likewise may be done towards the rights can never be wanted for the purpose of a correcting or improving of those early inclinations parent's duty. which children discover, by disposing them into Nor, for the same reason, have parents any situations the least dangerous to their particular right to sell their children into slavery. Upon characters. Thus, I would make choice of a which, by the way, we may observe, that the retired life young persons addicted to licen- children of slaves, are not, by the law of nature, tious pleasures ; of private stations for the proud born slaves : for, as the master's right is derived and passionate; of liberal professions, and a town to him through the parent, it can never be greater life, for the mercenary and sottish : and not, than the parent's own. according to the general practice of parents, send Hence also it appears, that parents not only dissolute youths into the army; penurious tem- pervert, but exceed their just authority, when pers to trade; or make a crafty lad an attorney; they consult their own ambition, interest, or preir flatter a vain and haughty temper with ele- judice, at the manifest expense of their children's vated names, or situations, or callings, to which happiness. Of which abuse of parental power, the fashion of the world has annexed precedency the following are instances: the shutting up of and distinction, but in which his disposition, with- daughters and younger sons in nunneries, and vut at all promoting his success, will serve both to monasteries, in order to preserve entire the estate multiply and exasperate his disappointments. In and dignity of the family; or the using of any arts, the same way, that is, with a view to the particu- either of kindness or unkindness, to induce them lar frame and tendency of the pupil's character, I to make choice of this way of life themselves; would make choice of a public or private education. or, in countries where the clergy are prohibited The reserved, timid, and indolent, will have their from marriage, putting sons into the church for faculties called forth, and their nerves invigorated, the same end, who are never likely to do or by a public education. Youths of strong spirits receive any good in it sufficient to compensate and passions will be safer in a private education for this sacritice; the urging of children to marAt our public schools, as far as I have observed, riages from which they are averse, with the view more literature is acquired, and more vice; quick of exalting or enriching the family, or for the sake parts are cultivated, slow ones are neglected. of connecting estates, parties, or interests; or the Under private tuition, a moderate proficiency in opposing of a marriage, in which the child would juvenile learning is seldom exceeded, but with probably find his happiness, from a motive of pride more certainty attained.
or avarice, of family hostility, on personal pique.
The Duty of Children. The rights of parents result from their duties. The duty of children may be considered, If it be the duty of a parent to educate his chil 1. During childhood. dren, to form them for a life of usefulness and vir II. After they have attained to manhood, but tue, to provide for them situations needful for continue in their father's family. their subsistence, and suited to their circumstances, III. After they have attained to manhood, and and to prepare them for those situations; he has have left their father's family.
1. During childhood.
sires constitutes, or the disappointment affects Children must be supposed to have attained to any considerable portion of their happiness, comsone degree of discretion before they are capable pared with that of their whole life, it is difficult to of any duty. There is an interval of eight or nine determine ; but there can be no difficulty in proyears between the dawning and the maturity of nouncing, that not one half of those attachments, reason, in which it is necessary to subject the in- which young people conceive with so much hasté clination of children to many restraints, and di- and passion, are of this sort. I believe it also to Tect their application to many employments, of the be true, that there are few aversions to a profestendency and use of which they cannot judge; for sion, which resolution, perseverance, activity in which cause, the submission of children during going about the duty of it
, and, above all, despair this period must be ready and implicit, with an of changing, will not subdue : yet there are soine exception, however, of any manifest crime which such. Wherefore, a child who respects his
pamay be commanded them.
rents' judgment, and is, as he ought to be, tender II. After they have attained to manhood, but of their happiness, owes, at least, so much decontinue in their father's family.
ference to their will
, as to try fairly and faithfully, If children, when they are grown up, volun- in one case, whether time and absence will not tarily continue members of their father's family, cool an affection which they disapprove; and, in they are bound, beside the general duty of grati- the other, whether a longer continuance in the tude to their parents, to observe such regulations profession which they have chosen for him may of the family as the father shall appoint; con- not reconcile him to it. The whole depends upon tribute their labour to its support, if required; and the experiment being made on the child's part confine themselves to such expenses as he shall with sincerity, and not merely with a design of allow. The obligation would be the same, if they compassing his purpose at last, by means of a were admitted into any other family, or received simulated and temporary compliance. It is the support from any other hand.
nature of love and hatred, and of all violent aflll. After they hare attained to manhood, and fections, to delude the mind with a persuasion that hare left their father's family.
we shall always continue to feel them as we feel In this state of the relation, the duty to parents them at present; we cannot conceive that they is simply the duty of gratitude; not different will either change or cease. Experience of similar in kind, from that which we owe to any other or greater changes in ourselves, or a habit of bene factor; in degree, just so much exceeding giving credit to what our parents, or tutors, or other obligations, by how much a parent has been books, teach us, may control this persuasion, a greater benefactor than any other friend. The otherwise it renders youth very untractable: for sei rices and attentions, by which filial gratitude they see clearly and truly that it is impossible may be testified, can be comprised within no enu- they should be happy under the circumstances meration. It will show itself in compliances with proposed to them, in their present state of mind, the will of the parents, however contrary to the After a sincere but ineflectual endeavour, by the child's own taste or judgment, provided it be nei- child, to accommodate his inclination to his pather criminal, nor totally inconsistent with his rent's pleasure, he ought not to suffer in his pahappiness; in a constant endeavour to promote rent's affection, or in his fortunes. The parent, their enjoyments, prevent their wishes, and soften when he has reasonable proof of this should actheir anxieties, in small matters as well as in quiesce; at all events, the child is then at liberty great ; in assisting them in their business ; in con- to provide for his own happiness. tributing to their support, ease, or better accom Parents have no right to urge their children modation, when their circumstances require it; upon marriages to which they are averse: nor in affording them our company, in preference to ought, in any shape, to resent the children's dismore amusing engagements; in waiting upon obedience to such commands. This is a different their sickness or decrepitude; in bearing with case from opposing a match of inclination, because the infirmities of their health or temper, with the the child's misery is a much more probable conpeevishness and complaints, the unfashionable, sequence; it being easier to live without a person negligent, austere manners, and offensive habits, that we love, than with one whom we hate. Add which often attend upon advanced years: for where to this, that compulsion in marriage necessarily must old age find indulgence, if it do not meet leads to prevarication; as the reluctant party prowith it in the piety and partiality of children? mises an affection, which neither exists, nor is ex.
The most serious contentions between parents pected to take place: and parental, like all human and their children are those commonly which re-authority, ceases at the point where obedience belate to marriage, or to the choice of a profession. comes criminal.
A parent has, in no case, a right to destroy his In the above-mentioned, and in all contests bechild's happiness. If it be true, therefore, that tween parents and children, it is the parent's duty there exist such personal and exclusive attach- to represent to the child the consequences of his ments between individuals of different sexes, that conduct; and it will be found his best policy to the possession of a particular man or woman in represent them with fidelity. It is usual for pamarriage be really necessary for the child's hap- rents to exaggerate these descriptions beyond propiness; or, if it be true, that an aversion to a par- hability, and by exaggeration to lose all credit with ticular profession may be involuntary and uncon- their children; thus, in a great measure, defeating querable; then it will follow, that parents, where their own end. this is the case, ought not to urge their authority, Parents are forbidden to interfere, where a trust and that the child is not bound to obey it. is reposed personally in the son ; and where, con
The point is, to discover how far, in any par- sequently, the son was expected, and by virtue ticular instance, this is the case. Whether the of that expectation is obliged, to pursue his own fondness of lovers ever continues with such in- judgment, and not that of any other : as is the tensity, and so long, that the success of their de-case with judicial magistrates in the execution of
their office; with members of the legislature in right, provided it were a perfect determinate right, their votes; with electors where preference is to by any extremities which the obstinacy of the be given to certain prescribed qualitications. The aggressor rendered necessary. Of this I doubt; son may assist his own judgment by the advice of because I doubt whether the general rule be worth his father, or of any one whoin he chooses to con- sustaining at such an expense; and because, apart sult: but his own judgment, whether it proceed from the general consequence of yielding to the upon knowledge or authority, ought finally to de- attempt, it cannot be contended to be for the augtermine his conduct.
mentation of human happiness, that one man The duty of children to their parents was should lose his life, or a limb, rather than another thought worthy to be made the subject of one of a pennyworth of his property. Nevertheless, the Ten Commandments; and, as such, is re- perfect rights can only be distinguished by their cognised by Christ, together with the rest of the value; and it is impossible to ascertain the value moral precepts of the Decalogue, in various places at which the liberty of using extreme violence beof the Gospel
gins. The person attacked, must balance, as well The same divine Teacher's sentiments con- as he can, between the general consequence of cerning the relief of indigent parents, appear yielding, and the particular effect of resistance. sufficiently from that manly and deserved indig However, this right, if it exist in a state of nanation with which he reprehended the wretched ture, is suspended by the establishment of civil casuistry of the Jewish expositors, who, under the society: because thereby other remedies are proname of a tradition, had contrived a method of vided against attacks upon our property, and beevading this duty, by converting, or pretending to cause it is necessary to the peace and safety of the convert, to the treasury of the temple, so much of community, that the prevention, punishment, their property as their distressed parent might be and redress of injuries, he adjusted by public laws. entitled by their law to demand.
Moreover, as the individual is assisted in the reAgreeably to this law of Nature and Chris-covery of his right, or of a compensation for his tianity, children are, by the law of England, bound right, by the public strength, it is no less equitable to support, as well their immediate parents, as than expedient, that he should submit to public their grandfather and grandmother, or remoter arbitration the kind, as well as the measure of ancestors, who stand in need of support. the satisfaction which he is to obtain.
Obedience to parents is enjoined by St. Paul to There is one case in which all extremities are the Ephesians: "Children obey your parents in justifiable; namely, when our life is assaulted, and the Lord, for this is right;" and to the Colossians: it becomes necessary for our preservation to kill the “Children, obey your parents in all things, for assailant. This is evident in a state of nature; this is well-pleasing unto the Lord."*
unless it can be shown, that we are bound to preBy the Jewish law, disobedience to parents fer the aggressor's life to our own, that is to say, was in sorne extreme cases capital: Deut. xxi. 18. to love our enemy better than ourselves, which
can never be a debt of justice, nor any where appears to be a duty of charity. Nor is the case
altered by our living in civil society; because, by BOOK IV.
the supposition, the laws of society cannot interpose to protect us, nor, by the nature of the case, compel restitution. This liberty is restrained to cases in which no other probable means of pre
serving our life remain, as flight, calling for assistThis division of the subject is retained merely ance, disarming the adversary, &c. The rule for the sake of method, by which the writer and holds, whether the danger proceed from a volunthe reader are equally assisted. To the subject tary attack, as by an enemy, robber, or assassin; itself it imports nothing; for, the obligation of all or from an involuntary one, as by a madman, or duties being fundamentally the same, it matters person sinking in the water, and dragging us after little under what class or title any of them are him; or where two persons are reduced to a situaconsidered. In strictness, there are few duties or tion in which one or both of them must perish : as crimes which terminate in a man's self; and so in a shipwreck, where two seize upon a plank, far as others are affected by their operation, they which will support only one: although, to say the have been treated of in some article of the pre- truth, these extreme cases, which happen seldom, ceding book. We have reserved, however, to this and hardly, when they do happen, admit of moral head, the rights of self-defence; also the con- agency, are scarcely worth mentioning, much less sideration of drunkenness and suicide, as offences discussing at length. against that care of our faculties, and preservation
The instance which approaches the nearest to of our persons, which we account duties, and call the preservation of life, and which seems to justify duties to ourselves.
the same extremities, is the defence of chastity.
In all other cases, it appears to me the safest to
consider the taking away of life as authorised by CHAPTER I.
the law of the land, and the person who takes it The Rights of Self-Defence.
away, as in the situation of a minister or execu
tioner of the law. It has been asserted, that in a state of nature In which view, homicide, in England, is justiwe might lawfully defend the most insignificant fiable :
1. To prevent the commission of a crime, which, * Upon which two phrases, this is right," and," for when committed, would be punishable with death. this is well-pleasing unto the Lord," being used by St: Thus, it is lawful to shoot a highwayman, or one Paul in a sense perfectly parallel, we may observe, that moral rectitude, and conformity to the Divine will, were attempting to break into a house by night; but in his apprehension the same.
not so if the attempt be made in the day-time;
DUTIES TO OURSELVES.
which particular distinction, by a consent of le- 1 by his irregularities; and a fourth may possess gination that is remarkable, obtained also in the a constitution fortified against the poison of Jewish law, as well as in the laws both of Greece strong liquors. But if, as we always ought to do, and Rome.
we comprehend within the consequences of our 2. In necessary endeavours to carry the law conduct the mischief and tendency of the examinto execution, as in suppressing riots, apprehend- ple, the above circumstances, however fortunate ing malefactors, preventing escapes, &c.
for the individual, will be found to vary the guilt I do not know that the law holds forth its au- of his intemperance less, probably, than he supthority to any cases besides those which fall within poses. The moralist may expostulate with him one or other of the above descriptions; or, that, thus : Although the waste of time and of money after the exception of immediate danger to life or be of small inportance to you, it may be of the chastity, the destruction of a human being can be utmost to some one or other whom your society innocent without an authority.
corrupts. Repeated or long-continued excesses, The rights of war are not here taken into the which hurt not your health, may be fatal to your account.
companion. Although you have neither wife or child, nor parent, to lament your absence from home, or expect your return to it with terror: other
families, in which husbands and fathers have been CHAPTER II.
invited to share in your ebriety, or encouraged to Drunkenness.
imitate it, may justly lay their misery or ruin at
your door. This will hold good whether the perDRUNKENNESS is either actual or habitual; son seduced be seduced immediately by you, or just as it is one thing to be drunk, and another to the vice be propagated from you to him through be a drunkard. What we shall deliver upon the several intermediate examples. All these considsubject must principally be understood of a habit erations it is necessary to assemble, to judge truly of intemperance; although part of the guilt and of a vice which usually meets with milder names danger described, may be applicable to casual ex- and more indulgence than it deserves. cesses; and all of it in a certain degree, forasmuch I omit those outrages upon one another, and as every habit is only a repetition of single in- upon the peace and safety of the neighbourhood, stances.
in which drunken revels often end; and also those The mischief of drunkenness, from which we deleterious and maniacal efiects which strong liare to compute the guilt of it, consists in following quors produce upon particular constitutions : bethe bad eflects:
cause, in general propositions concerning drunk1. It betrays most constitutions either to extra- enness, no consequences should be included, but vagances of anger, or sins of lewdness.
what are constant enough to be generally ex2. It disqualities men for the duties of their pected. station, both by the temporary disorder of their Drunkenness is repeatedly forbidden by St. faculties, and at length by a constant incapacity Paul : “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is exand stupefaction.
“Let us walk honestly as in the day, not 3. It is attended with expenses, which can often in rioting and drunkenness.” *** Be not deceived; be ill spared.
neither fornicators, nor drunkards, nor revilers, 4. It is sure to occasion uneasiness to the family nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." of the drunkard.
Ephes. v. 18; Romans xiii. 13; 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. 5. It shortens life.
The same apostle likewise condemns drunkenness, To these consequences of drunkenness must as peculiarly inconsistent with the Christian probe added the peculiar danger and mischief of the fession :-"They that be drunken, are drunken erample. Drunkenness is a social festive vice; in the night: but let us, who are of the day, be apt, beyond any vice that can be mentioned, sober.” i Thess. v. 7, 8. We are not concerned to draw in others by the example. The drinker with the argument: the words amount to a procollects his circle; the circle naturally spreads ; of hibition of drunkenness, and the authority is conthose who are drawn within it, many become the clusive. corrupters and centres of sets and circles of their It is a question of some importance, how far own; every one countenancing, and perhaps emu- drunkenness is an excuse for the crimes which the lating the rest, till a whole neighbourhood be in- drunken person commits. fected from the contagion of a single example. In the solution of this question, we will first This account is confirmed by what we often ob- suppose the drunken person to be altogether deserve of drunkenness, that it is a local vice; found prived of moral agency, that is to say, of all reto prevail in certain countries, in certain districts Hection and foresight. In this condition, it is eviof a country, or in particular towns, without any dent that he is no more capable of guilt than a reason to be given for the fashion, but that it had madman ; although, like him, he may be extremebeen introduced by some popular examples. With ly mischievous. The only guilt with which he is this observation upon the spreading quality of chargeable, was incurred at the time when he vodrunkenness, let us connect a remark which he- luntarily brought himself into this situation. And longs to the several evil effects above recited. The as every man is responsible for the consequences consequences of a vice, like the symptoms of a dis- which he foresaw, or might have foreseen, and for ease, though they be all enumerated in the de- no other, this guilt will be in proportion to the scription, seldom all meet in the same subject. probability of such consequences ensuing. From In the instance under consideration, the age and which principle results the following rule, viz. that temperature of one drunkard may have little to the guilt of any action in a drunken man, bears fear trom inflammations of lust or anger; the for the same proportion to the guilt of the like action tune of a second may not be injured by the ex- in a sober man, that the probability of its being Dense; a third may have no family to be disquieted the consequence of drunkenness, bears to absolute