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The December (Christmas) MAGAZINE OF AMERICAN HISTORY contains four historical Essays on Christmas and its observances in various parts of early America and among different nationalities. John Esten Cooke contributes the leading article on “Christmas Time in Old Virginia," illustrated with portraits of the Pages, Carys, Pendletons and Nelsons of the “Old Dominion,” with pictures of ancient churches and historic houses; Norman McF. Walter, of New Orleans, follows with a charmingly picturesque description of “The Holidays in Early Louisiana," --among the Creoles; John Reade, F.R.S.C., of Montreal, describes “Christmas-Tide in Canada,” among the earliest French settlers; and Mrs. Lamb, Editor of the Magazine, writes of the “Christmas Season in Dutch New York.” Publication office, 30 Lafayette

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THE

NEW ENGLANDER.

E .

No. CLXXIX.

MARCH, 1884.

ARTICLE I.-SCIENTIFIC ETHICS.

SYMPATHY for those who are vexed with the consciousness of possessing a sound mind, and are laboring under some of the disabilities which it imposes, as well as for those who are oppressed generally with a sense of the inability of human nature to regulate itself, has inclined us to view with favor any safe method that may be devised, promising a mitigation of their distresses.

It has long been a subject of complaint among those whose peculiarities of disposition and modes of life have brought them into disagreeable acquaintance with civil enactments, and caused them to experience the unpleasant consequences of an imperfect understanding with their fellows, that society was in the habit of dealing too harshly with their indiscretions, and that their proper measure of happiness was thus ud warrantably abridged. And it must be admitted that this implied censure upon our course of treatment of this class is not without foundation. It is on this account that many are now passing their time in unwilling retirement, withdrawn from the good light and air of heaven; while others are filled with unpleasing reflections, looking to the same result in the near future; and VOL. VII.

10

a still greater number are painfully deterred from undertaking the accomplishment of long cherished plans lest a like priva: tion should overtake them also.

This condition of affairs is without doubt a misfortune to some; and such wrongs shouid be amended. They are a vexation to the race. Every one feels it.

Every one feels it. We are losing the benefit of the best efforts of many of our citizens. Our race is on a decline, and we must be relieved. Some remedy must be found, so that any just cause for such complaints may be removed; and it should be so fixed that every individual, without distinction of class or of persons, may feel at liberty to give the fullest play to whatever instincts, faculties, or desires nature has thrust upon him, without feeling hampered or intimidated by any arbitrary exactions which government or society may have undertaken to prescribe.

It must be apparent, at a glance, that the greatest liberty to the greatest number of individuals affords the surest guaranty for the proper development of each, and the consequent advancement of the race, as a whole. Progress is the law of the Universe. Whatever opposes this must get out of the way. . Hence it is that, until these discouragements complained of shall have been removed, and all invidious distinctions between the qualities of actions, which have been created by unnatural and senseless edicts which serve to promote the mischief shall have been done away, it can not be expected that each member of the race will step forward with conscious freedom and take his proper place and rank in the order to which he belongs. This is what we most need. The race will then advance.

It is therefore with no small degree of satisfaction, that we have to contemplate the advent of a new system of Ethics, which promises all that the case demands. It has its foundations in the principles of genuine Science, which never falters nor leads astray. The system therefore has the merit of permanence and stability. It treats with due consideration all lapses from the old established lines of conduct, fitly characterized as "abnormal actions." It takes proper cognizance of the rights of the refractory, and regards with befitting reverence all those demonstrations of an impetuous nature which are conspicuous in the orders from which men are proud to have descended. It brings peace, and quiets all alarms lest ventures should miscarry. It lifts up the fallen; comforts the stricken; says to the bound, "go free," and gives to all alike the promise of a speedy and, complete deliverance from those inconveniences which have been wont to follow even the less grievous infractions of right. It thus engages to restore the long-lost equilibrium of society. To this we look to give freedom and redemption to the race.

Accordingly, after due and proper examination of the system, and becoming fully persuaded of its leading merits—in order that no delay might be suffered in bringing it into practice, and so commending it to the esteem and confidence of others-it seemed to me the fitting thing to first test its excel. lences by actual experiment; which I proceeded to do. A few instances will serve to show the simplicity and vigor of the system, and how readily and cheerfully it adapts itself to the varied relations and experiences of every day life.

Let me see; I guess it was yesterday, I killed my mother-inlaw. No matter about the circumstances. They were not peculiar. We had a bit of discussion, with the result stated. It was a case of Natural Selection, a Struggle for Existence, and the Survival of the Fittest, all aptly demonstrated in good shape. Nature prevailed. “Moral principles must conform to physical necessities." Yet when I administered the second blow, to finish up the job, she gave me such a look that it did seem as if I felt a twinge of pity at the method of so untimely a taking-off. But it was only for a moment, until I could adjust the system which was then fresh and new to me. I found that it worked all right. It was the triumph of science, and I was content.

I can see that there may be just enough room, right here, for suspecting that, in this particular instance, it might be hard to justify the act; and some explanation might be needed to make it altogether clear and satisfactory. Perhaps it may be so. But it is no fault of the system. It needs only to be rightly understood. The system is sound and will vindicate itself. It is the application that has not yet become familiar.

How did I do it? Let us consider the matter briefly. The teachings of science are our guide, and we can not be mistaken.

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