DIRECTOR   Gene Longerbeam


I answer, when war is undertaken for self-defence, or for reparation of intolerable injuries, justice authorises it. The laws of war, which have been described by many judicious moralists, are all drawn from the fountain of justice and equity ; and every thing contrary to justice is contrary to the laws of war. That justice, which prescribes one rule of conduct to a master, another to a servant ; one to a parent, another to a child ; prescribes also one rule of conduct towards a friend, another towards an enemy. I do not understand what Mr Hume means by the advantage and utility of a state of war, for which he says the laws of war are calculated, and succeed to those of justice and equity. I know no laws of war that are not calculated for justice and equity. The next argument is this, were there a species of creatures intermingled with men, which, though rational, were possessed of such inferior strength, both of body and mind, that they were incapable of all resistance, and could never, upon the highest provocation, make us feel the effects of their resentment; the necessary consequence, I think, is, that we should be bound, by the laws of humatiity, to give gentle usage to these creatures, but should not, properly speaking, lie under any restraint of justice with regard to them, nor could they possess any right or property, exclusive of such arbitrary lords. , .!•: .j If Mr Hume had not owned this sentiment as a consequence of his Theory of Morals, I should have thought it very uncharitable to impute it to him. However, we may judge of the Theory by its avowed consequence : For there cannot be better evidence, that a theory of morals, or of any particular virtue, is false, than when it subverts the practical rules of morals. This defenceless epecies of rational creatures is doomed by Mr Hume to have no rights. Why ? Because they have no power to defend themselves. Is not this to say, That right has its origin from power ? which, indeed, was the doctrine of Mr Hobbes. And to illustrate this doctrine, Mr Hume adds, That as no inconvenience ever results from the exercise of a power, so firmly established in nature, the restraints of justice and property being totally useless, could never have place in so unequal a confederacy ; and, to the same purpose, he says, that the female part of our own species owe the share they have in the rights of society to the power which their address and their charms give them. If this be sound morals, Mr Hume's Theory of Justice may be true.