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In consequence of our want of capacity to comprehend, and methodize, these concerns, they would lie in a state of universal disorder and confusion; and all would of course go to ruin. Instead of the good, which is now contrived, and done, there would be comparatively nothing done, or contrived. Instead of the abundant food and raiment, instead of the comfortable habitations, the extensive instructions, and the multiplied kind offices, now furnished by mankind to themselves, and each other; none of these things would be supplied; nor any thing else, which is useful; nor, indeed, any thing else, which is necessary. Mankind, on the contrary, would be houseless, hungry, and naked; and in endless multitudes would perish with famine, heat, and frost.

Besides, every kind of human business is imperfectly done, and to little purpose, when it is done in the gross; compared with what is accomplished, when it is separated into parts, and these are severally distributed to different hands. In this case, the whole business is rendered simple, easy to be understood, and easy to be accomplished. In this manner, every thing is done much more expeditiously, and more perfectly. Much more is, therefore, done, and that which is done, being better done, will answer a much better purpose. Such has been the regular progress of things in all civilized nations; and it has ever borne an exact proportion to the degree of their improvement. The business of life has thus been actually, and sedulously, divided, wherever considerable designs have been skilfully carried on. In this manner, the effects of human industry, (or the business actually done) have been increased beyond what the most sanguine mind could imagine. One man, for example, to whom the whole business of making so simple a thing, as a pin, was allotted, could hardly finish twenty in a day. Ten men, dividing the several parts of the business among them, can easily finish more than forty-eight thousand. What is true of this subject is true, in different degrees, of all human business; and extends to the ship, the manufactory, and the farm, with an influence, generally the same.

2dly. It is indispensable to the accomplishment of human concerns, that the division of human industry should be Voluntary.

Force, and pleasure, are the only causes, by which men have been induced to labour. Under a free government, force cannot be applied to this end; nor, except very imperfectly, under a despotic one. Even where it is thus applied, it is so far unavailing, as to reduce the quantity, and value, of that which is done by slaves, or men compelled to labour, to one half, one third, or one fourth, of that which is voluntarily done by the same number of freemen. A single family, at the head of one hundred slaves, will easily consume all that is produced by the labour of those slaves: while that of an equal number of freemen would amply support five-and-twenty families. From these observations it is plain, that if the voluntary industry, now exerted, were to cease, and forced labour to be substituted for it, one half, two thirds, or three fourths,

of human enjoyments, now furnished by voluntary industry, would at once be lost by mankind.

Industry becomes voluntary, only by the agreeableness of the employment chosen; or on account of the reward which it secures; or, what is more commonly the fact, by both. The nature of the employment is often so important in this respect, that no reward can ever reconcile many persons to the employments, in which they are placed by their parents; or induce them to acquire the skill, which is necessary to success. Were we generally forced to our employments, we should find this generally the fact; and the whip would be almost as necessary to compel our industry, as it ever has been to compel that of slaves. Were it possible to manage a world in this manner, the result would still be the general diffusion of poverty, suffering, and depopulation. On the contrary, plenty, ease, and comfort; nay, convenience, and even luxury, are the regular result of voluntary industry, in all countries enjoying the common blessings of Providence.

3dly. In this very manner God has divided the business of mankind by separating them into families.

By the separation of mankind into families God has distributed their business in such a manner, that a little part is placed in every hand, which is capable of managing business at all; such a part, and such only, as each can easily comprehend, and easily accomplish. Human business is, therefore, so divided here, that it can be done; and done with ease, expedition, and success.

At the same time, the division is perfectly voluntary: the employment, in every case, being ordinarily chosen by the individual for himself. The situation also, in which he is placed, and the partner, with whom he is connected in life, are both objects of his choice and these facts, united with the common rewards of industry, furnish all the reasons, which can usually exist, to render it cheerful, and efficacious.

This division is the best possible, because it is the simplest, and the easiest, possible; the result of mere nature; requiring the intervention of no force, law, or human contrivance: because it extends throughout the world, over every age and nation, in the same easy and perfect manner: because it exists, every where, through mere propensity; without any contention, and without any difficulty. It is the best, because it has been thoroughly tried; and has been always found peacefully and happily to accomplish the end in view. No attack has been able to change its course; no circumstances to check its progress. It is the best, because it is the establishment of God himself; the result of his perfect wisdom and goodness; and an honourable proof of these attributes in its Author. In perfect accordance with these observations it has ever proved the means of producing necessaries to the whole race of Adam; comfort and convenience to most; and, to not a small number, wealth, luxury, and splendour.

4thly. The division of the world into families is of immense utility to mankind, as it generates Natural affection.

Natural affection is solely the result of natural relations; and almost all these are originated by the family state. With every other distribution of mankind, which can be substituted for this, they are wholly incompatible.

The importance of natural affection to the human race is incalculable. It resists, in a great degree, the tendency of mere and absolute selfishness; expands and softens the heart; excites and nourishes sympathy and compassion; and prevents the world from becoming a mere seat of clashing, violence, and cruelty. The attachment, which natural affection forms in men towards the members of their families, ultimately extends itself, also, to their habitations, and farms; and by an easy process reaches their country, laws, government, and nation. All men, without it, would in the end become mere vagabonds and outcasts, thieves and robbers.

To prevent these evils, it would seem, God implanted in us this singular propensity of our nature: a propensity highly useful, when we are virtuous; and indispensable to our peace and comfort, while we are sinful. In the absence of virtue, it is the only tie which effectually binds mankind together.

5thly. By the institution of families preparation is effectually made for the preservation, support, and education of children.

The truth of this proposition, and the manner in which it is accomplished, will naturally be the themes of a future discourse, in which I propose more extensively to handle this subject.. Suffice it now to say, that but for this institution children would neither be loved, nor preserved, nor educated. The substance of all education is the establishment of good habits. Habits extend, alike, to the body and mind; and equally influence our thoughts and affections, our language and conduct. Without them nothing in the man, character, or human life, is efficacious, permanent, or useful. To establish them, therefore, in the morning of life, is the great business of all wise and well-directed education. But habits are formed only by the frequent and long-continued repetition of the same measures; and nothing ever becomes habitual, except that, which has been long and often repeated. To accomplish such repetition, nothing will suffice but the steady affection of married parents: that is, so far as useful and moral purposes are concerned. Of course, but for this institution, children would never be habitually trained to industry, to economy, to submission, or to good order; nor to sweetness of disposition, tenderness of affection, amiableness of manners, offices of kindness, or any other useful conduct. Of course, when they were not left to perish, they would grow up without knowledge, useful principles, or useful habits; without the knowledge, or love, of good order; without amiableness; and without worth. Of course, they would become mere beasts of prey. Not only would civilized life, with all its VOL. II.


arts and improvements, with all the blessings of rational freedom and good government, with all the superior blessing of morality and religion, vanish from under heaven; but new horrors would be added to the society of savages. The world would become one vast den ; and all its inhabitants would be changed into wolves and tigers.

6thly. Were the affairs of mankind thrown together in a common stock, according to the scheme of the objector; as all would know, that every man was entitled alike to the fruit of the labours of all, none would labour, except for the present moment.

Neither inclination, nor duty, will ever prompt any man to labour for another, who, while equally able, will not labour for himself. That inclination will not produce this effect, I need not attempt to prove that duty will not, is alike the decision of the Scriptures and Common sense. He that will not work, neither let him eat, is equally the judicial sentence of both.

In the present state of man, amid all the advantages, furnished to industry by education, habit, example, and reward, the number of idlers is not small. In the proposed state, it would include the whole number of the human race. There would, therefore, be originally, no disposition to labour. Should we, however, suppose some tendencies of this nature to exist; a complete discouragement would be thrown on all, by the knowledge, that the proper reward of every industrious effort would either be wholly prevented, or snatched away by the hands of those, who would not labour at all. Of course, mere necessaries; such as food, and clothes, and habitations, and fuel; would be provided only in the degree which absolute necessity demanded, even by those who were industriously inclined. What, then, would become of the rest? Plainly, where they did not plunder, they would perish.

As, therefore, necessaries only would be provided, and even these only in the most stinted manner; it is evident, that all the comforts of men would vanish at once. All the blessings of civilized life; its knowledge, arts, refinement, and religion; would cease to exist. There would be neither schools, nor churches: for none would be inclined, nor able, to build them. There would be neither instructers, nor ministers; neither legilsators, nor magistrates. Law, protection and justice, learning and religion, together with a host of blessings which they lead in their train, would visit the world no


7thly. All the duties of man respect, especially, the objects which he best knows; those, particularly, which are most, and most commonly, within his reach; and to which he can most frequently, and effectually, extend his beneficence.

Man owes more to the poor in his neighbourhood; to his neighbours generally; to the town, and the country, in which he lives; than to others. The reason is obvious. It is in his power to do them more good; and God has placed him where he is, that he may

do this very good. For the same reason he owes more to his own family; because he can do more good to the members of it, than to any other equal collection of mankind.

As, therefore, it is the indispensable duty of all men to do the most good in their power; and as this is the direct dictate, the genuine tendency, of Benevolence; so it is certain, that the divis ion of mankind into families furnishes the fairest, and the only fair, foundation for accomplishing this purpose in a successful manner. On any other supposable plan, instead of increasing the efficacy of benevolence, or multiplying the enjoyments of mankind, we should, in a great measure, cramp the former, and destroy the latter.


1st. From these observations it is evident, that no objection lies, from the nature of benevolence, against this great requisition of the Gospel.

From the considerations which have been alleged it is manifest, that the arrangement of mankind into families is the foundation of more possible, and more actual good, than could be accomplished by any other means: of more, if man were perfectly disinterested, and yet possessed of his present, limited capacity; of incalculably more, as man really is; a selfish, fallen creature. At the same time, infinitely more evil is prevented. The Gospel, therefore, has directed the efforts of human benevolence in the best manner; and so, that they may be truly said to be employed with the highest advantage.

At the same time, the wisdom of God is strongly manifested in furnishing every Individual of the human race with so desirable a field for the exercise of his benevolence. In each case, this field is at his door; always within his reach; easily comprehended; necessarily delightful; ever inviting, and ever rewarding his la bours. At the same time, it is sufficiently wide to employ, and exhaust, all his contrivance, and all his active powers. No where else could he do so much good: and the utmost, which he can do, can be done here. This field is also provided for every man. Objects of beneficence are furnished to him, of course; and for all those objects an efficient benefactor is supplied. Thus, in the simplest of all modes, is provision effectually made for the beneficence of all, and the comfort of all.

At the same time, this happy arrangement becomes, of course, the foundation of the happiest distribution of mankind into larger societies; and the means of uniting to them, in the strongest and most enduring manner, the attachment of the individuals. He, therefore, whose superior powers, and opportunities, enable him to extend the offices of good-will beyond this little field, has one which is wider, always spread around him; where the superior powers may always be advantageously employed. This more ex

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