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teaches me too what is thine. The instinct. of property then, is just as powerful a teacher of the rights of others, as our own, shows us at the same moment what we ourselves rightfully claim, and what we owe to others, teaches us at the same time right and duty.

This instinct of property and right, though at first sight seeming a narrow and selfish one, has been the source of almost all the good that mankind has ever achieved. The world was once a wilderness, and man in a state of nakedness and destitution. It was the idea of exclusive possession and enjoyment, which led him to fell the forest and enclose the field. It was only the feeling that he alone would have a right to inhabit the cottage which he had built, that first stimulated him to prepare a shelter from the rude elements. Had it not been for this instinct of property, all the noble powers of the human intellect would have been given to man in vain. He would have wandered about the world like the dumb animals, the same from age to age, never appropriating anything to himself, or laboring for its improvement. It would have been in vain that he had given him the noble power of reason,

which enables him to adapt means to ends, to form long plans, and then pursue them with steadiness, industry and perseverance. He would never have exercised that power, if the result of his labors had been utterly indifferent when they were finished. By giving man the instinct of property, which is gratified by possession even, without reference to use, man was roused from the indolence and destitution of the savage, and surrounded with all the rich blessings of civilized and cultivated life. It was this that stimulated agricultural industry, the beginning of all advancement. What human being would have caught and tamed the animals which are now domestic, if he could have no sense of property in them afterward, to use them for his own advantage?

The same instinct of property extends to our liberty and our faculties. Every man feels that they are naturally and absolutely his. On the same principle whatever they achieve or acquire is his likewise. Hence the activity and inventions of the artizan. Hence those wonderful machines which ingenuity first found out for private gain, but which have in the end spread plenty and

happiness over the earth, when their authors have been forgotten in the dust. It was the instinct of property, the desire to acquire and possess, which first gave birth to commercial enterprise, which constructed the ship and sent her on voyages of discovery to distant and unknown shores.

But we now come to a still higher achievement of the instinct of property. It was this and this alone which gave rise to government, itself one of the most powerful aids to human advancement. The instincts of truth and justice are not the only principles of human nature, nor yet benevolence, which is another principle that engages a man to do the thing that is right. These endowments which I have already mentioned, enable man to see what he ought to do, and incline him to do it, and would always persuade him were there no other motives of action within him. But the desire of possession, which accompanies the instinct of property, may be indulged to the neglect of the sense of justice, which it begets. There are certain desires implanted within us, which correspond to certain outward things calculated in their own nature

to gratify those desires. Those desires spring up independently of our wills. They are of course so far innocent. We see food, delicious fruits perhaps, and it is impossible for us to prevent the appetite from becoming excited. But instantly the instinct of property comes up and suggests to us, that it is not ours, and immediately checks the desire and prevents us from willing to act according to the suggestions of appetite. But it is altogether in the power of our will to choose which of these suggestions we will follow, that of appetite, or the instinct of property. We may stifle the suggestions of the sense of justice, and encourage the appetite for fruit, till at last we determine that we will gratify the appetite at the expense of the moral sense. Then every man feels that he commits sin. And sad experience proves in every community that the moral sense is not strong enough to induce men to do right. What is then to be done? The first attempt is for each individual to defend what he feels to be right by force. That however, will not succeed, for the wrong doer may be physically stronger than the defender of the right. But what one man cannot do, many can.

Many individuals combine to defend the right against any one who chooses to violate it. They get together and consult that universal moral nature which God has given to them all, and write out a list of those primary impressions of right which God has inscribed on all their hearts, and agree to stand by them; and this is the origin of laws. But as the whole community must have something else to do beside standing under arms to keep each other in order, they delegate this office of seeing that those primitive rights are enforced to a few, whom they clothe with sufficient power to accomplish the purpose. Thus it is that law and government are only the living expression and enforcement of those moral instincts, which are some of the constituent elements of the human soul. Thus it is that government is called in the Scriptures, and the language of the world, an institution of God. Hooker in his Ecclesiastical Polity thus speaks of law. "Her seat is the bosom of God, her voice is the harmony of the world; all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempt from her power." It was in

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