Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

that this country has “ neither interest nor justice" in the conteft; and of imputing the high price of provifions, and every other posible evil, to the encrease of the circulating medium, and that to the war. These paltry manæuvres of faction are beneatb Mr. Fox; he should leave them to Cit'zen Waithman, and other Whigs of inferior note, and confine himself to the higher and bolder A ghts of Whiggism, such as those which remain to be noticed. Adverting to the Irish Rcbellion, and the means taken for its fu: pression, he tells us,

" From what has happened in a neighbouring country, it appears it. Il more clearly, that there is a fixed and systematic plan for depressing the cause of liberty, and enNaving the people.”-Anglicé, for cruthing rebellion, and compelling subjects to obey the laws. Tumults were excited by the most urijustifiable measures, and afterwards were quelled by means of the most dreadful atrocities. Villages were set on fire ; torture, in its most horrid forms, was employed to gain discoveries, and military power was freed of all controul from civil authority.” We should have fuppofed that Mr. Fox was here drawing an accurate picture of the French Republic, had not Ireland been specifically mentioned in the next line. He would not dare to utter fuch atrocious falthoods, to pronounce so gross a libel ou the loyal protestants of Ireland, in his feat in the House, where he would now meet with men, who, having a personal knowledge of all the fa&s of the Rebellion, would not fuffer him to pass fo fcandalous an imposition on the public unanswered nor unexposed. In one thing only is Mr. Fox confiftent, in his uniform support of rebellion. He supported the American rebels, he has supported the French rebels, and he has support.d the Irish rebels—but to p.oceed. “ I must say, that in every country, the legitimate fovereign is the people; and that only in proportion as governments are the genuine representatives of that sovereign they are legitimate.As this neither is, nor pollibly can be, the cas: in any monarchy, however limited or modified, or indeed in any conceivable state but a perfect democracy, which never did nor never can exist, it follows of necessity, that our gracious Monarch is not the legitimate fovereign of these realms. This is something more than faction, it borders fo closely upon treason, that had it been uttered by another, and Mr. Fox had been in power, he would, we are persuaded, have made it the subject of an impeachment. If luch indeed were the genuine Whig creed, as Mr. Fox maintains, if such, indeed, were “the Whig principles," as he afferts," which brought about the Revolution of 1688, and which alone could justify it," it would be a neceffary and inevitable consequence, that H bigs and Rebels, Revolution and Rebellion, are synonimous terms. But, as we should look in vain, we conceive, for any such principles as these in the public proceedings of that period, we must follow Mr. Fox up to his conclusion, that “the Revolution of 1688 could not be justified." We leave his partizans of the Whig Club to extricate him from this pitiable dilemma.

As a good thing cannot be too often repeated, the orator again brings forward his political creed, at the conclusion of his speech.'

"I thall

" I Thall erer maintain that the batis of all conftitutions is the sovePEIGNIY OF THE PEOPLE.; and that from the people alone, Kings, Farliaments, Judges, and Magitirates, derive all their authority."'!!! If this Whig leader and his Whig associates ever went to Church,

they would there acquire, from the regular service of the fabbath, * a more accurate idea of their King by learning “whose minister he is" and "wbosc authority he has." They would be taught also, that it is an old trick of the Devil to tempt men to distrust God, and place his trust in the people. But this, perhaps, is too much 10 expect from them, Sanje other means therefore Thould be reforted to for producing a renunciation, or rather to prevent the publication, of do‘trines, of which it is difficult to say whether impiety or folly be the leading characteristic.-The newly created I vereignty of subjects and subjecti.nz of Sovereigns, has something so truly prepoftermus in it, that, were it not for the habits of insubotdination which it is calculated, and, generally, intended to encourage, it might fafely be left for the amusement of luckling Whigs.

The Chief Magijtrate of the city of London--strange to fay-was present at this neering, and expressly fanctioned all the principles and declarations of Mr. Fox. To say that Mr. Erskine was there, is to say that he spoke, and about himself. But he did more, for, mirabile di&tu! he loft himself for a moment in the extravagant compliments which he lavished on his second-/ Mr. Fox. - He let the cat out of the bag, however, by admitting that the object of the Whigs was-10 roule the dormant energies of an infatuated people; a phrase which, we fufpect, he pilfered from the debates of the French Conveution, atter the 10th of Auguft, 1792.--He pledged himself for the since ity of the First Conful in his offers of peace ;and observed that Mr. Fox had “retired from public labours to the repose of domestic life."-Who that heard or read this account of the fecule of St. Ann's Hill, would not sappose that he had actually ferired to enjoy'the otium cum dignitate, the fruits of a well-Ipent life, an honourable indepen lence, and the social converse of a virtuous wife and an amiable family!--And who will not reprobate this hypocritical cant, that knows, that this leader of the 'Whigs has bately deserted his parliamentary duty, solely because his voice has not prevailed in the house, and his opinions have not been adopted by the cabinet ;-and that he now subfifts on the produce of an eleemofynary contribution, in the constant commission of fin, without the excufe of youth or the temptation of paflion, furrounded by the partner of his illicit amours, and a spurious offspring!

After reading this pamplet, every man must implicitly fubfcribe to the justice of Mr. Fox's affertion that “ dreadful encroachinents: have been made on the liberty of the press," avd that " now the moft Navith and intolerable filence is imposed!” Our readers, we apprehend, will readily acknowledge that the pamphlet required particular notice; and that had we patfed it over without such notice, we thould have been guilty of a Mameful breach of duty. But the Montby Reviewer's leem to entertain a different idea of the

objekte

object of criticism and the duties of a critic. In their Number for November last, they gave a review of the painplilet, which we thall extract ia toto.

“ With a strong and penetrating mind, Mr. Fox here reviews the circumstances of the war ; makes an open and undiftinguished avowal of his political principles; and declares, that, in his opis nion, the war is the principal cause of the high price of provifions,"

We have taught these reviewers the policy of caution, at least ; they were aware any thing they might say on this hopeful publica, tion, would not elude our vigilance, nor escape our animadver. fions; and, therefore, they have forborne to commit themfelves on the subject, and are contented to give an indirect stimulus to the circulation of the mischief, by itating it to be the production of aft.ong and penetrating mind. If this be accepted by their readers, for criticism, we shall only congratulate them on having readers Tu little faftidious, and so eafily satisfied.

Tbe Diffusion of Divine Trætb. A Sermin, preached before the Re

ligious Tract Society, on the Lord's Day, May 19. 1800, and publijbed at their Requeft

. By David Bogue. Svo. Od. Williams. London. 1800.

[ocr errors]

A Sermon preached in tbe Chapel of Hanover Square, Newcaftle, for

tbe Support of the New College, Nlancbifter. By Williani Turieta 8vo. 19. Johnson. London. 1800.

IVINITY being my profesion, I turn with peculiar in. head of religion, fonie account of the single firmons of the day. I kave paid particular attention to this department of the Critical Review for November last. It commences with a pair of critiques on fermons by authors who stile themselves, the one Davidl Bugiles the other IViliam Turner. No title of Rev, precedes the name of either, and there is no mark of any degree which follows. Their discourses, however, are so excellent in the eyes of Critical Repiewers, that no less than one bundred and five lines are occapied by their praises, and the extracts which have been drawn from thenia The two next fermons are publications of clergymen of the Church of England. But, th ugh it is acknowledged of the one, that the language is ebate, the sentiments liberal, tbe arrangement neut and luminous; and though it is predicated of the oth r, ihat it is a dife course elegantly written, and the argument zvell fusportd; yet are we indulged with no extract from either, and ten julitary lines contain all the notice which can be afforded to both. Such distinction and preference being given to the two preachers witboret degrees, and (if we may judge from their stile and title) witbout ordination allo, our curiolity is naturally excited to know who they are, and of what their superior excellence confits. The first, it seems, is well kdown for bis attachment to the misionary preacbers who attempted to

establit

establith themselves in the Friendly Iflands; and, if report err not, was at one time on the point of deserting his own extensive and reputable congregation at Gofport, and uniting himfelf with them. The other swells his discourse with a liberal history of non-conformity; and his object is to promote the cause of a religious expiring seminary of nonconformiks. Par nobile fratrum.

With respect to doctrine, the former of these preachers is particularly impressive to the Critical Reviewers, because he laughs at the progress of atbeism. Some, says he, are dreadfully afraid of infidelity. The alarm bas for exceeiled real ty. In conformity to this sentiment, while his colleague William Turner unluckily complains (fucb barmony is in dissenting fouls !) of the delige of infidelity, David Bogue maintains that there never was a country wbere one tentb part of the people were Atheists. Such do&rine, Mr. Editor, could not fail to please critics, who with us to consider jacobins as mere phantoms of the ministerial brain. The latter, I have al: ready noticed, it is their plan non crodendo corroborare; and the former they well know to be characters so ftri&tly and inseparably allied with jacobins, that it may be justly difprited whether they are not always one and the same. They, therefore, who question the existence of the one, will naturally plead for the non-existence of the other. Hence the doubts, which the Critical Reviewers have attached to Mr. Reid's Rise and Dissolution of the Infidel Societies; on which they remark, our readers bad no idea tbat iitfidelity bad been fo organised in tbis metropol's. But, Mr. Editor, are not writers, who betray such a determined difpofttion to be sceptical,* themfelves a strong proof that infidelity really does exift? Nemo repentè fuit turpillimus : the progrets to depravity of every kind is gradual. The last thing a man disbelieves is the truth of revelation. He begins first to be an infidel in matters of less moment. He perhaps doubts of the existence of Troy : he fancies, with the Jesuit Hardouin, that the works of the ancient profane and ecclefiaftical writers are, with a few exceptions, mere forgeries. If a philosopher, he does not believe in the existence of matter; if a politician, he discredits every report of conspiracy, and will not allow that any man can have had wicked designs, who has been dismissed from the bar without being found guilty'. So far have the Critical Reviewers cartainly advanced into infidelity, that they venture, in the face of positive evidence, to deny. what nothing but ocular demonftration can make more certain. Men, endued with such a disposition of mind, are nuch nearer than they imagine to complete and perfect infidelity. He who doubts, like John Hardouin, the veracity of Homer, will soon dispute the truth of Moses; and disbelief in Mofes will be naturally followed by suspicion of the rest of the sacred writers. So again, he who can dispute the existence of matter,

* The Critical Reviewers are very inconfiftent. In their Review for December, P. 462, they admit that infidelity is incessantly endeavouring to undermine tbe boly truths of our religion.

will foon 'explode every idea of spirit; and, being blind to visible effect, he cannot be long expected to admit of an invisible cause. In the same manner, they who ftill maintain the innocence of certain unconvicted members of the Correspondiug Society; and who, till he confessed his guilt, were infidels as to the atrocious designs of Mr. Arthur O'Connor and his associates; they who declare jacobins and infidels to be airy notbing, to which timidity and alarm have given a local babitation and a name, are not far from dirputing the existence of more august personages, angels, arcbangels, and all tbe company of beaven. For it is an argument, which has been applied with wonderful force by the author of our salvation, that if we believe not eartbly things of which we are told, when the evidence is sufficient and the veracity of the reporter unimpeachable; it is impossible that we can believe beavenly things, be the announcer of them whom he may. Religious faith is the evidence of tbings not seen; which, of course, cannot long dwell in a bolone already disposed to doubt of things that are seen, however they may be teftified.

The do&rine of the second of these preachers, namely, William Turner, is equally well adapted to the taste of the Critical Reviewers. He addresses his auditors as protestant Dissenters; and proposes, in laying down the plan of his sernion (yes, Mr. Editor, the plan of his fermon) to give a short bistory of the English non-conformists, His profetfed object is to encourage a due supply of public instructors, for one class at least of these non-conformists, the class of the defunct academy at Warrington. In prosecuting this edifying subject, the author feelingly laments, that it should have suited the policy of the civil power, to adopt tbe Cbriftian profeffion as an engine of siate. He infinuates that it has been made a convenient bandle to serve por litical purposes, even in our own country : but he forbears to mention, that ibe Diflenters of the seventeenth century were, of all Chriftians, the most notorious, in making it an engine of fate and a bandle for political purposes. From the time when it became an engine of state, the author affirms that the great apoftacy began ; that the spirit and principles of the Gospel were gradually adulterated' that its teachers degenerated into worldly-minded priests, caballing and intriguing for power; and that the people at large grew every day more ignorant and corrupt.

Such the author would have his audience un. derstand to be the natural consequence of ecclefiaftical establishments, and the uncontroulable result of the union of church and Itate. We may, perhaps, Mr. Editor, with greater juftice attribute such evils, to that inordinate luft of diffention, which poured in upon us at the reformation. Men were not contented with mo, derate and rational reform ; but, like the political innovators of France, they were for rejeéting whatever had the lightest favour of the ancient regime, whether good or bad. The wisdom as well as the folly of papacy, the found doctrines as well as the errors of the church of Rome, were by some hot-headed zealots impugned and condemned; and the very garments of the priesthood, the very arnas ments of their persons and their places of Worship, became heterodox, NO. XXXII, VOL. VIII,

P

Freedom

« ZurückWeiter »