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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 primi
tive 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, claim
ed 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,
were the universal and unquestioned doctrines of antiquity. Civil Polity, Ethics, and Morals were of course rude and barbarous in these ages of force, injustice, and cruelty. Plato was treacherously seized by order of the tyrant of Syracuse, and sold as a slave. Such acts of atrocity were common in ancient times. In the Roman and Athenian States, the laws allowed creditors to sell debtors and their children as slaves, for satisfaction of debts; and it is said that the law of the Twelve Tables, allowed Roman creditors to divide the body of the debtor among them, if they chose, in default of other means of payment. The Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and other nations of the old world, gave by their laws to parents almost unlimited dominion over their children, extending in many cases to the power of selling them into slavery, and even at will putting them to death, In the century preceding the Christian era, A. Fulvius, son of a Senator, was taken on his way to join Cataline's army, and brought to Rome, where he was put to death by his father's order. This Roman law is supposed to have continued until the second century of the Christian era.
Religion formed a part of the law of ancient States and Empires, and in many of them human victims were offered by public authority. Two
hundred children of wealthy and noble families were offered at Carthage at one sacrifice, to appease Saturn. Human passions were deified by law-temples were erected to their honor, and costly sacrifices, of gold and gems were offered on their debasing altars. Licentiousness was legally consecrated. The open and allowed depravity of the Pagan worship of antiquity gives a true idea of ancient law and morals. Slaves had no rights as against their masters, and masters had absolute power over the lives and limbs, as well as the property of slaves. When old, they were often barbarously exposed to death; and poor persons were allowed in the same way to dispose of children, if they thought themselves unable to support them.
In Rome, the murders of the Coliseum were a daily and ordinary amusement of the people. The domestic relation of husband and wife, left woman without dignity, and marriage without sanctity. Force reigned among ancient nations, in all transactions and relations of life. We will give a few well attested historical facts relating to the most civilized countries of antiquity. According to Moses, and profane history, the Egyptians were for a long period the slaves of their kings and priests; and the pyramids, yet standing, are evidence of the same fact. The inhuman royal order