As the graduation of these sanctions naturally became more minute, a correspondingly detailed classification of offences was rendered necessary, and thus a system of ecclesiastical jurisprudence was gradually produced, somewhat analogous to that of Judaism.
Finally it has become apparent that many problems hitherto left for political economy to solve belong more properly to the moralist, if not to the moral philosopher, and it may be confidently expected that with the increased complexity of social life and the disappearance of many sanctions of morality hitherto regarded as inviolable, the future will bring a renewed and practical 1 Cf.
At a very early age he entertained an exalted idea of his own divine authority, and his studies were largely devoted to searching in the Scriptures and the Slavonic chronicles for sanctions and precedents for the exercise and development of his right divine.
But the sanctions of this law were vaguely and, for the most part, feebly imagined; its principles were essentially unwritten, and thus referred not to the external will of an Almighty Being who claimed unquestioning submission, but rather to the reason that gods and men shared, by the exercise of which alone they could be adequately known and defined.
It is frequently impossible to discover whether he wishes by an appeal to evolutionary principles to reinforce the sanctions and emphasize the absolute character of the traditional morality which in the main he accepts without question from the current opinions about conduct of his age, or whether he wishes to discredit and disprove the validity of that morality in order to substitute by the aid of the biological sciences a new ethical code.
It was from Helvetius that he learnt that, men being universally and solely governed by self-love, the so-called moral judgments are really the common judgments of any society as to its common interests; that it is therefore futile on the one hand to propose any standard of virtue, except that of conduciveness to general happiness, and on the other hand useless merely to lecture men on duty and scold them for vice; that the moralist's proper function is rather to exhibit the coincidence of virtue with private happiness; that, accordingly, though nature has bound men's interests together in many ways, and education by developing sympathy and the habit of mutual help may much extend the connexion, still the most effective moralist is the legislator, who by acting on self-love through legal sanctions may mould human conduct as he chooses.
The president sanctions and promulgates, or vetoes, or ignores the laws and resolutions voted by congress, and issues decrees and regulations for their execution.
He never faced the question how a man is to be induced to act morally in cases where these governmental sanctions could be evaded or did not exist in the particular state in which a man chanced to find himself.
The argument, for instance, that intuitive and a priori beliefs gain their absolute character from the fact that they are the result of continued transmission and accumulation of past nervous modifications in the history of the race would, if taken seriously, lead us to the belief that ultimate ethical sanctions are to be sought, not by an appeal to the moral consciousness, but by the investigation of brain tissue and the relation of man's bodily organism to its environment.
The ultimate sanctions of the moral code were the infinite rewards and punishments awaiting the immortal soul hereafter; but the church early felt the necessity of withdrawing the privileges of membership from apostates and allowing them to be gradually regained only by a solemn ceremonial expressive of repentance, protracted through several years.