SECULAR MYSTICISM IN BENTHAM
IT WAS in England that the Industrial Revolution first flowered—and it was here that the doctrines of Utilitarianism had their clearest formulation. We have already noted how close the secular doctrine of the greatest good for the greatest number comes to the religious doctrine of the golden____________________
At first, law is hardly more than the codification of custom. But its formulation probably occurs because the customs are ceasing to possess unquestioned authority among the group as a whole, whereas a fraction of the group would greatly profit by the continuance of the old habits. Law is thus an educative, or manipulative device. It begins as theological law, still close to its "magical" origins—but as it develops and proliferates, a new situation arises: though it was originally a mere codification of custom, it now becomes an implement for the moulding of custom. The popular resentment at lawyers, as symbolized in the play by Molière, may derive in part from the fact that their prestidigitation is fundamentally impious, manipulating the abstractions of legal fiat until the commands of law have diverged farther and farther from the commands of custom, and eventually threaten to throw custom into confusion. Law becomes incongruous, except insofar as people can alter their customs to fit the liquid, constantly shifting alterations of law.
Theological law is a kind of halfway stage, in part being