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pondent, however, appears to think, that evident that B is a mere passive instrument ihere was no inconsistency in' them. He in the hands of A, and is in no way chargesays, that there is a great difference be able for what he has done. But, if A, retween positively authorizing an act, and solving to punish C, linds B predisposed to only per milling it; between causing an nurder him, but without commanding or evil, and subsequently converting it to even interfering further, than by refusing good. And then be asks me, whether Ne- to prevent what will answer his purposes buchodonosor was not employed by God to of justice, suffers B to put his design into chastise his chosen people, and whether he execution, it is clear, that though B may was, for that reason, guiltless of the ex be called the instrument of A's, vengeance, cesses he committed against that ill-fated, he is still chargeable with the guilt of the but ungrateful nation. Now, in the first deed, suggested by his own malice. So place, it sounds a little oddly, to call a na- that, if a jailer were to murder a condemned rion ill-fated, who were God's chosen peo- felon, he might be called, might he, the ple, and who, as we are afterwards told by instrument of the government, and

be this same correspondent, were under the hanged himself for the offence? And the immediate government of God, who was government might, night it, if informed of their lawgiver, and who gave then his the intended murder, very innocently per. particular commands, as the Scripture tells mil this execution of the design and end of us, even as to the mode in which they the law, and then cause the jailer to be ought to go to the privy. It sounds odd, I tucked decently up for the deed, though the say, to call such a nation an ill-faled na- government had the power of prevention, tion. As to what Nebuchodonosor did, and must be considered as accessories before I do not pretend to be a judge of that; but, the fact ? - Was there ever any thing so if he employedby God to chastise monstrous as this? - But, into what abthe Jews, he must have been guiltless in surdities do not men fall wlien once they the case, because God was almighty, and begin to make the Deity a direct and immecompelled him as well as employed him.diate actor in the affairs of men ! - To But, then, ny correspondent has his salvo apply this illustration to the case of Naps. here; for, he talks about “excesses." If, leon, my correspondent first supposes, that indeed, the grass-eating king went beyond Napoleon, as well as the scourged nations, his tether, that is another inatter. It is were both under the absolute and immedia not, indeed, easy to conceive low his al- ale power of God. He next supposes, that mighty, and all-seeing, and ever-present the scourged nations richly deserved all the employer should suffer him to do inore scourging that they gol. This is supposing against his chosen people than he wished a great deal, and is quite sufficient to stop him to do. I tether my cow's, for instance, the mouths of all those hypocrites, who al. and it now and then happens, that, tempted fect to pity them, while, in fact, they are by the ungrazed pasture, they pull the pin only indulging their malice against Buonaout of the ground and rove, for a time, at parté, and cudeavouring to perpetuate, for large. But, I am not all.powerful, allo ibeir own emolument, war against him. seeing, and ever-present. If I were, the Bul, the salvo is, that, though these nations length of the tether would describe the ra so richly deserved the scourge, like the slave dius of their ramblings.—Be this as it C, the slave B, who represents very aptly may, however, my correspondent, in lug. Buonaparte, was predisposed to scourge ging in the excesses of the grass.eating king, them, whether wey deserved scourging or deviates from the point. For, be it borne not. Now, before we go any further, in mind, that the notion of our adversaries how does iny correspondent happen in was, that Napoleon was an instrument in know, that Napoleon was predisposed to the hands of God. They talked of no exo the acts complanied of? froin what source cesses ; and, indeed, they did well to avoid does he draw his knowledge upon this subthis sliocking absurdity, of a man partly an ject? has he received his information from instrument and parily a free agenl. Napolcon, or from God himself ? If he But, mure of this when we have seen a case will have it that God immediately interstated by my correspondent in illustration seres in the affairs of men, how does he of his docuine. -Suppose, says he, A know, and what reason has he to think, possesses an unlimited power over his two that Napoleon was not urged on and supslaves B and C. JfC, for some offence, ported by God in doing all that he has Jias justly forfeited his life, and A con- done ? - Besides, what does he mean by D'ands B to punish him with death, it is permilling? He ought to bear in mind,

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that he is speaking of a Being, who is all. by the command of Moses, the servant of powerful, all seeing, and ever-present. the Lord, all slaughtered, men, women, What such a Being permits, he must will. and children. ---Here, my correspondent And, therefore, to say that he permitted chooses to stop in his quotation, and lie, Buonaparté to scourge the guilty nations of falsifies, too, for I never said that they were Europe, is, in fact, the very same thing as all slaughtered, the sacı being, and as I fully to say, that he compelled him to scourge stated it, that all,

the girls, who had not them, and that he was neither more nor known man, were kept, by the command of less than an instrument in the hands of Moses, and divided amongst the soldiers, God. So that, this illustration of my cor or men of war. And this was a very ma-, respondent, and all these qualifications of serial point; because these girls formed a his, leave the matter just .where it was be very considerable part of the plunder; and fore, except, indeed, that he acknowledges I introduced thein with great care, in order that which the anti-jacobins never have ac- to show to what extent plunder war was knowledged; namely, that the scourged authorized by the holy scriptures; aye, nations richly merited their scourging.

-by that book, that very book, in the readI return, therefore, to my former argument; ing of which, or the hearing of which we to wit, either Napoleon has been an instru. are told to look for eternal life, and in proment in the hands of Divine Providence, or moting the circulation of which, such imhe has not. If not, why do you call him the mense sums are now employed, and so scourge of God? If he has been an instru- many persons of great authority aid of great, ment in the hands of God, why do you blame wealth are engaged. · My correspondent him for executing his divine commission ?- does not deny, however, ibat plunder is My correspondent asks me, “ were the Jews, the soldier's legitimate barvest, and, there" ihink ye, less criminaliv having sacrificed fore, he can see no just cause, probably, " the Son of God, because he had been de- for that oulcry against Napoleon which has " livered up by lhe determinale counsel and been set up on account of his having en

fore-knowledge of God?" That is a ques. riched himself, or, rather, euriched France, lion which I do not choose to answer. I with the spoils of Italy; nor would be, am not going to say that a set of scoundrels perhaps, be very much inclined to censuie who put Jesus Christ to death for promul- the Cossacks, who seem to be the favourites gating opinions hostile to the interests of in England, for any plunder that they might knavish priests, were not guilty of a most make in France, after the Israelitish fashion. foul and abominable crime. I am not But, says he, though I do not deny that going to say any thing in justification of plunder is the soldier's legitimate barvest, These persecutors of opinions; these legal I deny that you can justify Frencla plunder murderers. But I will not meddle with from any example of plunder raised by the the question at all, because I will not, in Jevrish soldiers; and this is the curious spite of the temptation, enter into a religi- ground upon which he founds his denial. ous controversy, and because my .corres Не

says, that 66 the form of the Jewpondent cannot make the case which he has “ish government, was that of a real cited a case in point, until he finds it re " Theocracy, that is, a government under corded in the scriptures that the scourged " the inmediate superintendence of God nations of Europe were delivered up by the “ himself, who was the ruler of the Jews, determinate counsel and fore-knowledge of " not under the simple title of governor oë God. - Another topic on which my cor- . the universe, but was, strictly speaking, respondent has chosen to observe, is that of the temporal sovereign, who gave them plunder in war. -In writing upon the " a code of laws, which was the sole di

of Moreau, I had occasion to notice " rection of their political conduct, and the immense sums which he had amassed every authority, whether ordinary, or together during his campaigns; and I had "extraordinary, received its delegation occasion 10 observe, that plunder 'was the 6 immediately from him.” Therefore, soldier's legitimate harvest, in proof of says he, there can be no similarity in the which I cited froin the holy scriptures cases on which to ground a parity of reasonan instance, wherein God himself, through ing.--If this be the case, away goes at his instrument, Moses, had warranted such once all the Old Testament, at any rate; plunder, particularly in the case of the and all these copies of the Bible that are unfortunate Midianites, who were first circulated, about, and all the searchings stripped, by God's chosen people, of all into them, which poor boys and girls are their goods and chattels, and were then, desired to be incessantly making, must tend

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to the producing of great and general mis- the fair meaning of the words that are made chief. The people constantly hear ser use of. And, now, that I have made this mons, founded on texts of this book. They avowal, let me ask my correspondent, why are constantly exhorted to look on it as I am to look upon the ten commandments their guide ; to resort to it, in short, as as any rule of conduct for me, unless the the means of procuring to themselves ever- soldier is to be guided by the example of lasting salvation; they are told that it is plunder in the case of the Midianites? I the word of God; they are told, that if they may, indeed, find that the Commandments diligently read it, they can scarcely fail to are more consonant to the present practice do well in every act of life. What incre- of the world; but, as far as they have any dible pains have been taken to inculcate authorily from the book I find them in, these notions; to fasten them in the minds they are exactly upon a level with the rest of the people; to make them the notions of that book, and, of course, when the prevalent over all others. How many book tells me, that God commanded his bundreds of meetings of the nobility, of the chosen people to do this or that, I look gentlemen, of the clergy, of all ranks and upon it that I ought to pay strict attention descriptions of people, who have a shilling to the example. If this be not the case, in their pockets, have there been and are how dangerous must it be so widely to prothere yei daily held for the sole purpose of mulgate the Bible, and, indeed, how ingrafting these notions upon the very first wicked must it be, to put it into the hands buddings of the mind, not excepting the of ignorant people and of children, and children in the navy and the ariny, with that, loo, observe, without any commenrespect to the latter of whom, the Duke of tary; without any explanation ; without York, as Commander in Chief, has piously any thing to guide them in selection. It Jent the aid of his great authority in the is well known, that one of the heaviest furtherance of the holy work. Nay, it is charges, brought against the Romish church, come to that at last, that in London, which was that of keeping the Bible out of the takes the lead in every thing, good as well hands of the people, and of performing as bad, and whose example in this respect, divine service in a language which the we may expect to see followed, subscrip- people could not understand. That church tions are opened, for the purpose of caus. was accused of a desire to keep the mass of ing Bibles to be printed and circulated, the people in ignorance; but, if the docwhere people may subscribe any sum, even trine of my correspondent be sound, that so low as one penny. - And, yet, in the church acted not only wisely, but charimidst of all this, directly in the teeth of all tably; for, how are the common people; this, after all the soldiers have had Bibles how are the sailors and soldiers; how are put into their hands, and have, doubtless, the little girls and boys to distinguish bein obedience to the wishes of their com- tween those parts of the Bible which they manders, carried them in their knapsacks are to look upon as rules of conduct, and on foraging as well as other expeditions, up which parts they are to look upon in a difstarts my correspondent, and with front of ferent light? If it be true, that these exten-fold brass, cells 'me, and tells the pub- ceptions and distiuctions of my correspondlic through me, that we are not, as to ent, ought to be made, selections from the cases of plunder, to take the Bible for our Bible ought to be published, and not the guide, because, foissooth, the government whole of the book. Some Synod, some of the Jews was a government by God him Chapter, soune Council, ought to be held, self! If this be the case, if we are not to in order to determine what parts of the look upon the Bible as a sure guide in this Bible should be selected for general circurespect, why are we to look upon it as a lation. To put the whole into the hands of sure guide in any respect; why are we to the people, and then to tell them that only consider it as any guide at all ? --My a part is to be attended to by them, is cercorrespondent very slily observes, that he tainly the most ridiculous, or at least, one believes me to assent to the inspiration of of the most ridiculous, proceedings that the scriptures ; and that he hopes that I am ever was heard of.--I have now, I think, acquainied with the history of the Jewish answered the letter of my correspondent, people. To be sure I assent to the inspi- whose talents I am by no means inclined to ration of the scriptures; and to the inspi- underrate, but which talents I should like ration of the whole of them too, and not to to see exerted in a very different way. I that of bits and pieces of them. I take will engage for him, that he has never them all together, and I take them, too, in given subjects of this sort that consideration

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of which his mind is capable. He has Sir,
taken things upon trust; he has adopted The extensive circulation which your
notions, in early life, which he has never Register possesses, and the weight and im-
had the leisure or the resolution critically portance which your opinions, as an author,
to canvass. Prejudice has had too much are known to bear, make me anxious to see
power in his mind to suffer him to give to corrected a most fallacious argument which
truth a fair chance of success. If this were you have more than once adduced within
not the case, it is impossible, that he the last six months, but which has been
should not perceive, that if Napoleon has particularly obtrusive in your latter Num.
been an instrument in the hands of God, bers. I confess, Sir, that for many years
and that, too, to punish a guilty people, I have read your publications with plea-
Napoleon himself must be innocent of all sure; and however I may have been in-
the sufferings of those people. --The mis- clined to differ with you on certain points,
fortune is, chat men cannot find means suf- I have uniformly admired you, on political
ficient to answer their wishes in reviling subjects at least, for originality of thought,
each other, without resorting to superna- strength of expression, clearness, accuracy,
tural support. They must bring God or depth, and solidity of argument, that I do
the devil everlastingly into their quarrels. not often find in the productions of the day.
The complainant has always God on his But pardon me if I presume to tell you, that
side, and his adversary the devil on his on subjects unconnected with politics you
side. This, it is, which involves them in do not always write with equal success;
intricacies and inconsistencies without end. and that in the opinion of many of your
If they would be content to judge of men's sensible readers, you rather mistook your
actions upon principles immovable in na- own powers when you turned aside to dis-
ture, and upon those rules of morality cuss controversy with your late sceptical
which are universally recognised, they correspondents. But it is neither my busi-
would expose themselves to no danger of ness nor inclination to quarrel with you
being ridiculed, or of being defeated in ar- about your choice of subjects; I adverted
gument, unless their premises or their to a fallacy in your mode of arguing, and to
conclusions were false. If the petulant that let me confine myself. Commenting
scribes, to whom my correspondent resers, upon certain news-paper writers, who had
had been content with censuring Buona- probably, in the exuberance of a rhetorical
parté merely as an invader and a conqueror, piety, first designated Buonaparté the scourge
they would have had much stronger ground of Providence, and then imputed to him the
against him, than they could possibly have guilt of every act committed in such official
after they dragged the Almighty into the capacity. You cannot, it seems, reconcile
quarrel. When once they did that, they the apparent contradiction : for, either you
drew round the person they attacked, a wall argue he is commissioned by Providence,
of brass, and, accordingly, they have retired or he is not. If he is not, why call him
defeated from the fortress. One inore the scourge of God ?-(truly)—if he is,
observation I will add, and that is, that it why oppose him, why even blame hin for
always appears very surprising to me, that executing his divine commission ?-Really,
those, who have been, and who must, if Mr. Cobbett, do you see no difference be-
they be not sheer hypocrites, be such de-tween positively authorizing an action, and
cided enemies to the Church of Rome, and only negatively permilting it: between caus-
such friends to religious liberly, should be ing an evil, and subsequently converling that
so bitterly bent against Napoleon, who has evil iuto an instrument of good? Was
done more for religious freedom than was not Nebuchodonosor einployed by God 10
ever done before in the world. He has, chastise his chosen people ? but, was
in a great part of Europe, in the fairest and he for that reason guiltless of the ex-
most populous part of it, given inen liberty cesses committed against that ill-fated, but
to be of what religion they please. He has ungrateful nation? Or were the Jews,
put down persecution; he has, in short, as think ye, less criminal in having crucified
to religion, emancipated half Europe, if the Son of God, because he had been de-
we estimate Europe by the worth of the livered up by the delerminate counsel and
climate and the products of the earth. foreknowledge of God?-(Acts xi. 23.) –
And yet, the most zealous protestants, who Let me illustrate this position by an ex-
so loudly complained of the Catholics, ample. Suppose A possesses, no matter by
would murder him if they could.

what means, an unlimited power over his
two slaves B and C. If ċ, for some of-

ATV Hents, to impute it to wilful misrepresent opinion, I shall receive your corrections

fence, has justly forfeited his life, and A ures, and acquainted, as I hope you are, commands B to punish him with death, it with the history of the Jewish people, can you is evident that B is a mere passive instru. Gind any analogy in the two cases, on which to ment in the hauds of A, and is no way ground a parity of reasoning? The governchargeable for what he has done. But if A, ment of that people, every one knows, difresolving to punish C, finds B predisposed fered essentially froin every government to murder him; but without commanding, that had existed belore, or has existed since. or even interfering further, than by refusing - It was not, in the times we speak of, a to prevent what will answer his purposes of monarchy, nor an aristocracy, nor a deniojustice, suffers B to put his design into cracy, but a real theocracy; that is, a goexecution, it is again clear, that although B verntnent under the illo mediate superinmay be called the instrument of A's ven• tendence of God himself. He was their geance, he is still chargeable with the guilt ruler, not ou the simple title of governor of of the deed which his own malice had sug- the universe, in which sense he may be gested. In the first instance, A would au- called the ruler of every nation ; but, thorize; in the second, only permit the deed : strictly speaking, he was their lemporal —and thus your seeming paradox becomes sovereign. He gave thein a code of laws, perfectly reconcilable; and it proves to be not which for nearly 1,500 years was the sole only figuratively but strictly crue, that Buona- direction of their political conduct; and parte may be the scourge of God, and still every authority, whether ordinary or extraresponsible for the miseries he entails upon ordinary, received its delegation immedimankind :—and, further, that mankind are ately from him. If this were the foren of perfectly justified in resisting his corrections the Jewish government, and its ene nies whenever he comes to work the godly work were the eneinies of the Author of naiure, among them.

Again, speaking of the how can the Israelites be chargeable, even fortune which Moreau had acquired during by implication, either with robbery or cruthe Revolution—" I am not, you observe, elly, when, in obedience to the express insinuating any blame in him (Moreau) for coinnand of God, they first despoiled, and having amassed a great deal of property in then exterininated the Midianites, whose

Plunder is the soldier's legiti- crines had merited so severe a punishment. inate barvest; and we know what abundant And, provided the ends of divine justice harvests of this sort we read of in Holy were accomplished, what signified it, whe Writ, as having been expressly commanded ther God employed for this purpose the by God himself, a memorable instance of fires of heaveri, or the waters of the deluge; which we have in the case of the Midianites, or, whether lie availed hiinself of the inwho were first stript, by God's chosen peo strumentality of man, which, while it effec. ple, of all their goods and chattels, to an tually punished one guilty nation, read an impiense amount, and were then, by the awful lesson to a stiff-necked and rebellious command of Moses, the servant of the Lord, people against falling into crimes, towards all slaughtered, men, women, and chil- which they were so prone, and taught them dren."—(Pol. Reg. Vol. XXV. p. 145.) the power and majesty of that God whom Now, observe, I am not going to question they themselves were not to insult with Moreau's right to the property thus acquir. impunity. And what room is there to ined, nor to discuss the truth or falsehood of stitute a comparison between a nation gothe abstract proposition, that plunder is a verned immediately by God, and at his soldier's legilimate harvest ; but, as far as suggestion, which they could not possibly such right or such legitimacy is attempted mistake, acting so terrible but so extraordito be grounded upon the precedent referred nary, a part, with the lawless self-authorized to, I own I am at a loss to account for the depredations of a banditti, who, so far from paltry sophism. I cannot, consistently with pleading a divine commission for what they the opinion I have already passed upon did, seemed to have declared against God your merits as a logician, suppose you so himself, and were openly at war with every ignorant of the first principles of the art of vestige of piety and religion? No, Sir, you reasoning, as to argue from a particular to could not have been serious when you imaan universal proposition; and I am unwill. gined the resemblance; but if you were, ing, from the general candour of your state and if you will state the grounds of your

this way.

asioil. Relative to the cause then I ain with as much pleasure as I am sure your Con et suspend, my judgment. But, candour will admit the remarks of, Serious Ir. Fobbett, assenting as I be

A CONSTANT READER. cicy

10 the inspiratiou of the Scrip

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