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and make known its trifling improvement in civilization during the iron reign of war and brute force. Next in order will follow a critical review of national history from the days of Abraham to the fall of Napoleon; and the last preliminary chapter will portray the progress and effect of Christianity, with a practical illustration of its permanent civilizing power, aided by its great mental lever, the printing press, drawn from our Republic. In this chapter we shall explain a practical plan or system of pacific improvement by which the nations of Europe may attain the same happy condition with our Republic. These will precede our exposition of American law, international and internal.
ANTIQUITY CONSIDERED WITH REFERENCE TO THE ARTS AND SCIENCEs, AND ITS TRIFLING PROGRESS IN MUNI. CIPAL LAW, MORALS, ETHICS, AND INTERNATIONAL LAW.
THE history of the past, from the period when the morning stars first shone upon our first parents, exhibits a slow and gradual improvement in the condition of man. The physical and moral laws, impressed by God on matter and mind, have been discovered by degrees by the human understanding, at least so far as they are now developed. This law of progression, though clearly applicable to Physical Science as well as Mental, must, of necessity, unfold the laws of mind at a later era than those of material and observable bodies. In conformity with this obvious truth, Mental Science, Ethics, and International Law are numbered among the discoveries of the last four centuries. Antiquity had little knowledge of these subjects. From the great length of time required to bring mankind up to their present state of moral and
intellectual acquisition, many and great discoveries may reasonably be looked for in the department of Ethical Science and National Law. Our examination of the writings of Moses and of the history of the world from his day to the present, will confirm this view of the subject. Civil Polity, Ethics, and International Law, made little progress prior to the Christian era, and since that period their principles have been slowly, partially, and imperfectly developed. Antiquity considered with reference to the Arts, Sciences, Civil Polity, Ethics and Morals, is our first subject of investigation. The dawn of human society is our point of departure. The first, primeval government of mankind is found in the patriarchal family, over which its natural head presided, whose decisions, dictated by inherent convictions of equity and native moral sense, were the laws of the little community. A union by intermarriage, or aggregation of many families of the same kindred, formed nations of sympathetic feeling or origin, acknowledging some venerable patriarch as chief, lawgiver, judge, and ruler. The invention of the useful arts of the husbandman and mechanic, being most needed by these new inhabitants of the earth, and being most essential to their daily wants, first attracted, and must for a long period have occupied the primitive population of the globe. Articles of domestic use in preparing food and clothing, and weapons for the capture or destruction of animals, must, for many generations, have employed the rude, uncultivated minds of men. As the pressing necessities of these rude nomadic tribes were provided for, ambitious chiefs arose with conquests and warlike inventions. This nomadic warlike state continued for many ages, and by degrees the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Chinese, the Etruscans, the Greeks, the Jews, the Persians, the Romans, and some other nations prior to the Christian era, acquired fixed habitations, and made considerable improvements in the useful and industrial arts of life. Different nations obtained a permanent and improved social condition by slow degrees and at different eras, so that at the advent of Christ the nations of the earth presented an endless variety of intellectual and moral culture. In one respect they were alike. They all acted upon the avowed principle that a State or Empire may lawfully seize, by superior power, the jurisdiction, the persons, and the property of foreigners. This ancient and universal principle of war, laid waste all the cities and fields of the old world, destroying the fruits of industry, and filling the earth with cruelty and wrong. The sword, which devastated property and life, claimed to enslave all captives, men, women, and children; and so life, liberty, and property were swept away of old by the destroyer, war. Since the most enlightened States of antiquity, at the birth of Christ acted upon such atrocious and rapacious doctrines, it must be obvious that antiquity had made little advancement in Ethics, Civil Polity and International Law. We find the facts recorded by history fully sustain this proposition. No writer pretends that International Law had any existence, until it arose in Europe since the dark ages. The respect before paid to heralds and ambassadors, though not always adhered to, and the custom of ransoming persons and cities, can not be said to have depended on the law of nations, as they are practised by the most uncivilized people. The Scythian Attila, and Alaric the Goth, and the western aborigines adhered in common to these customs. The same remark applies to agreements or treaties between tribes or nations. Though these acts existed among ancient States and Empires, they all agreed to consider foreigners as enemies, and their property and persons as legitimate objects of seizure and slavery. In short, the right of conquest by arms of foreign countries—the enslaving of their people, and the confiscation of their property, private and public,