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ministered in our criminal and other courts of justice, by persons of whom little can be said with regard to their fitness for that religious office. It is thought by many that none but ordained Clergymen of our venerable national church should be permitted to administer oaths, that is, to swear men upon the holy Gospels* in our law courts; and I hesitate not to say that some alteration in this respect is positively called for. In the next place, I have rendered the new Jury Laws concise and intelligible to the most ordinary comprehension. Thirdly, a portion of the whole space has been devoted to a glance at man in a state of nature-to a brief view of the rise and progress of the laws of England, from Magna Charta; and, also, descending to more familiar topics, to the right of personal liberty-the law of real and personal property-proceedings in civil actions-law of landlord and tenant-law of repairs, &c. &c.
"The best book ever written," says Burke, "against popery, is the NEW TESTAMENT."
MORALITY THE ELEMENTARY POWER OF EMPIRE."
"What are laws without morality; and where is morality withcut religion?"-MADAME DE GENLIS.
CONFUCIUS, the great eastern moral philosopher, laid the foundations of all the stability and civilization of the Chinese empire in the pure character of his life, and the sound principles of his moral maxims.
Confucius was born five hundred and fifty-one years before the birth of Christ, in the kingdom of Lou, in the present province of Chan-Long. He was contemporary with Pythagoras, and lived a short time before the period of Socrates. His parents were both well descended, being of great distinction and rank in the empire. His piety was of the most exemplary character, his grandfather being one of the most holy men of his time, worshipping one supreme Creator of heaven and earth, but in no possible connexion either with images or pictures, or any personal object or thing in the heavens above or in the earth beneath a pure and unadulterated Deism, in the absence of the Christian dispensation.
His principal studies were directed to antiquity, which his doctrines tended to bring into notice among
the learned of his age. He married at the early age of nineteen, and had one son (Pe-Yu), who died at the age of fifty, but left behind him a son (Tsou-tse), who followed the course of his grandfather, and arrived at the highest offices of the state. In the latter period of his life, Confucius was divorced from his wife, for no other reason, as the Chinese allege, than that he should be free from all incumbrances in pursuing his studies. The life of this man constituted a period of a “national reformation." But every province in the empire then was a distinct kingdom, which had its own laws, and was governed by its own prince; though all recognised the imperial supremacy.
The great efficacy and force of the doctrines of Confucius went to denounce avarice, ambition, and voluptuousness; enforcing temperance, magnanimity and greatness of soul; inspiring a contempt of pomp and riches, by which he brought kings, in some degree, to govern by his counsels, and the people to reverence him as a saint. He particularly exhorted the women to virtue and simplicity of manners, by means of which he influenced similar virtues in the other sex. His popularity at length created jealousies; and a diversion to the passions of mankind was effected by the introduction of" singing and dancing women" at the court of the King of Tsi, when, unable to combat with these loose habits to his satisfaction, he exiled himself, for a time, from his native province, and travelled as a moral lecturer, in which pursuit he founded a school of numerous disciples, having distributed six hundred of them in different portions of the state. Such was the purity of his morality, that one writer, speaking of him,
sɛys—“ He seems to speak rather like a doctor of a revealed law, than like a man who had no light but what the light of nature afforded him; for he taught by example as well as precept." It is certain that he gave to the morality of his time modesty and humility— those charms of which all the doctrines of the Grecian sages were deficient.
Confucius is said to have lived secretly three years before his death, mourning and lamenting the vices of the age. From this time he began to languish; and, seven days before his death, said—
The kings reject my maxims: and since I am no longer useful on the earth, I may as well leave it." After expressing these words, he relapsed into a lethargy, and at the end of seven days expired in the arms of his disciples, in the seventy-third year of his
After the philosopher's death, his life, character, and doctrines, became more appreciated; and have up to the present hour exercised many of the milder and nobler influences of Christianity over the most populous nation now in existence, or that ever did exist, as far as human records extend.
The canonical books of Confucius are four in number, viz.
FIRST-Treats on Self-Government; and is called Ta Hio, the "grand science;" showing princes that the first lessons in knowing how to govern others, is to well govern themselves.
SECOND-Called Tehong Yong; or, the "immutable mean;" teaching piety, fortitude, prudence, and filial duty.
THIRD-The Book Yan lu; or, the Book of Maxims; divided into twenty articles; combining the essence of the virtues taught by the seven wise men of Greece.
FOURTH-The Book Meng Tsee; or, Perfect Government partly the work of the disciple of Confucius, Mentius.
There are other minor works, for the management and education of children; inculcating filial obedience, as a duty to be enforced by parents, due to the state.
There is a Latin translation of these works extant, by Father Noel, printed at Prague; but we have strangely and unaccountably neglected the study of the Chinese people and their government.
In connexion with the writings above alluded to, and the practical life of the writer, together with the present state of China, there remains a noble opportunity for the Christian philosopher to draw a parallel between the effects of such system, aided by all that uninspired wisdom could accomplish, and the results of the Christian dispensation.
Here we shall leave the subject at present, for any other writer to take up.
To act upon a determination made in anger, is like embarking in a vessel during a storm.
The apostles of error are never so dangerous as when they appear in the guise of grey-headed old men.