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who had a smattering of astronomy, natural philosophy, geometry, politics, and geography; who were the guides in religion, and the judges in temporal matters. They were the embodi. ment of all the professions among their people. And they were equal to the demands upon them. These untutored tribes, with the dimmest conception of what they might become, and hence with the slightest feelings of need, were abundantly satisfied with their guides.
But when Christianity came into the island with Augustine and his missionary associates, and began its gracious work on the heart and intellect of the Saxon, it soon awoke him to a realization of his condition, revealed to him by degrees, the sublime possibilities of his nature, and thus disclosed to him more and more his pressing needs, and made him thoroughly dissatisfied with his attainments, teachers and surroundings. He now seriously gave himself to self-culture to supply these needs. Soon the quickened mind of the nation began to bud into literature, for it was feeling the influence of a new power. Its spring time had come, and though its budding life was often nipped by cruel frosts, yet in the end, it came forth to abundant fruitage. The nation was no longer satisfied to express meager thought in rude alliterative verse, but struggled on until the genius of a Chaucer made both his language and his verse immortal. Nor did the aroused Anglo-Saxon mind content itself within the domain of poetry alone. It yearned after
. all knowledge, felt as never before, its needs, and began to invade every realm of thought and expression. It wrestled with the high problems of theology under such leaders as Wycliffe and Hooker. It pushed its researches into philosophy and civil government under a Bacon and a Hobbes. It explored the principles of law under a Coke, and of medicine under a Harvey and a Browne. It founded schools and universities whence came forth in ever increasing numbers, the leaders of the people into every department of art, science, and literature. The AngloSaxon race has, under God, blossomed out, and come to this abundant fruitage through its constant efforts to supply its growing needs.
Such, in brief, is the method by which the various professions have arisen. They have each sprung from efforts to supply
needs, and have advanced toward perfection to the degree in which these needs have been felt. In their rude state of nature so-called (which seems rather to be a most unnatural state,) men are quite satisfied to commit their individual and social well-being into the hands of a pretentious few, as ignorant as themselves. But let the light in upon them, let them see their destitutions, and straightway under a goading sense of their needs, no longer contented with themselves, or their guides, they struggle on, blindly, at first, it may be, but surely, through the ever increasing avenues of the arts and sciences toward the noon-day of civilization.
But the different professions have unity not only in their origin—the needs of man, but also in their end—the well-being of man. They have been born of human wants, and the chief end of their existence is to supply them—to assist mankind to the attainment of whatever is highest and best to the individual and to society. They were all designed to contribute to one grand end—the perfection of the race in body, mind, character, and estate. Like the different members of the buman body, while they each have separate functions, they were all to unite in advancing the common weal. Take, for example, the profession of law, regarded by not a few unthinking persons, as of doubtful service to society, and it needs but a few moments' thought to see that it is a beneficent calling essential to the highest well-being of the state. For, if men must live in society, they must have laws for mutual protection, and the higher they rise in culture and civilization, the more numerous and varied will be their relations and rights, as also the laws to define and defend them. Hence must arise in every well-ordered state, a complex system of laws, which require for their exposition and application, a body of men versed in jurisprudence, and devoting themselves to its study and practice. In vain do we fill our statute-books with just laws, unless these laws can be justly applied, and the legal profession is the instrumentality which the state employs to stand at the bar, and to sit on the bench to see that justice is done between citizens.
Nor does it militate against this view, that this highly useful and honorable profession is sometimes prostituted by unworthy members to the perversion of justice for selfish ends, for lia
bility to similar perversion is the misfortune of every calling. Yet it must be admitted that Edmund Burk's caricature of the law's grievous uncertainty, expense, and delay, given in bis “Vindication of Natural Society," to pour ridicule on the views of Lord Bolingbroke, is often too near the truth. A lawsuit is like an ill-managed dispute, in wbich the first object is soon out of sight, and the parties end upon a matter wholly foreign to that on which they began.
My cause, which two farmers from the plough could have decided in half an hour, takes the court twenty years. I am, however, at the end of my labor, and have in reward for all my toil and vexation, a judg. ment in my favor. But hold—a sagacious commander, in the adversary's army, has found a flaw in the proceeding. My triumph is turned into mourning. I have used or, instead of und, or some mistake, small in appearance, but dreadful in iis consequences; and have the whole of my success quashed in a writ of error.
I remove my suit; I shift from court to court; I fly from equity to law, and from law to equity; equal uncertainty attends me everywhere; and a mistake in which I had no share, decides at once upon my liberty and property, sending me from the court to a prison, and adjudging my family to beggary and famine.” But though the claims of justice are sometimes de feated for private ends by those who stand as its advocates, the legal profession is a great conservator of good order, and of justice in the state. Its office is to see that every man wronged, or accused before the law, has exact justice meted out to him in open court, without fear or favor. Whether pleading at the bar, or presiding on the bench, it is the one grand duty of the profession “to magnify the law, and make it honorable" by its faithful application to every case that shall come to trial. But were such an ideal realized, it is to be feared that numbers in the profession would find their occupation gone.
In close alliance with the office of the lawyer, is that of the law-maker, which, though equally essential to the well-being of society, has hardly yet attained (in our Republic at least,) to the dignity of a profession. Statesmanship in its full breadth of meaning, is rarely seen in our balls of legislation. And yet there is scarcely anything of which we stand in more need as a nation. Thus far in our history, with an indifference which is simply amazing, when we consider the magnitude of the interests involved, we have largely entrusted the making of our laws to men selected because they were popular, and could command votes, rather than because they were fitted for their high trust. Yet never was there a people that more needed skillful legislators. With a government based upon the popular will, and in some of its features, a hitherto untried experiment on the face of the earth, and extending across a continent, into which are pouring from almost every nation, peoples trained under the most diverse governments and religions, and with unexampled diversity of productions, and wealth and variety of mineral resources, all of which call for the wisest balancing of interests, and far-sighted and stable policy in legislation, we have too often been contented to surrender both our magnificent possessions and ourselves to the government of men quite innocent of the first principles of statesmanship, and versed only in party politics and tactics. And we are reaping the harvest which our folly has sown. Like a great ship at sea, our Republic has been driven hither and thither, now by free-trade winds, and now by high tariff gales, making for this port, or that, according to the whims of her officers.
We have as yet scarcely no settled policy in any department of legislation. We are at sea on the great questions of finance, of internal improvements, of grants to private corporations, of public lands, of education,-in short, on all the great problems which concern the public weal. And we shall continue on this uncertain sea of legislation, the sport and victim of conflicting parties and policies, until we give sufficient attention to public interests to secure the election of the most competent men in the nation for legislators. Were we feeling the need of such men, as our fathers felt the need of them, when in weakness and fear they entered upon their grand experiment of a Republic, we should, like them, find a Washington, a Jefferson, a Hamilton, and a Madison to shape our legislation and administer our laws. For in statesmanship, as in every thing else, the supply will be equal to the demand. It is a good omen for our nation that the people are coming to see their political destitutions, and are demanding of the men who seek their suffrages some knowledge of the duties of the office to which they aspire,
and that our higher institutions are instructing so many young men in the principles of political philosophy. May we not from these indications justly gather hope, that the time is not far distant when the men who tread the high places of political power among us shall be men trained for their profession, well grounded in the principles of statesmanship, and who shall enter on their great trust with an honesty that no bribes can approach, and a patriotism that no obstacles can vanquisb. Could we but fill our national and state legislatures with such men, what a future full of blessing would await our Republic!
But if the professions of law and politics alike grow out of the needs of man, and are essential to his highest well-being, the same is equally true of the profession of medicine. For medical science holds to the human body, a relation similar to that which political science holds to human society. It recognizes the constant tendency of the body to deterioration and infirmities, and its office is "to prevent, cure, or alleviate " these diseases, and to render the body robust and stalwart, so that the man shall enjoy full possession of all his physical powers, and shall be able to wield them most effectively in the discharge of his duties. Hence the skillful physician, who by his knowledge of the laws of disease and health, and of materia medica, can restore a citizen to physical soundness and vigor, is a benefactor, not only to him, but also to the State.
Besides, such is the intimate and mysterious relation of the mind to the body, that it is to some a matter of doubt whether a mind can be perfectly sound that is not in a sound body. At any rate, it cannot be reasonably doubted that a diseased body often seriously affects, and sometimes perverts mental processes, and this to such an extent as to render the subject irresponsible. Hence arise most delicate and difficult questions in medical jurisprudence, which is evidently coming into greater prominence in our courts, and to have greater influence on their decisions. Indeed, so dependent is the human will on conditions of the body, and so intricate are the problems as to accountability for acts done in certain physical conditions, that it is worthy of serious thought, whether in many cases before the courts, only medical gentlemen should sit as jurors. Were our juries in these trials composed of such men, they