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to the cause of reform, political or religious; no more revilings of those who have not only when a good cause was popular, but when it was unpopular, to the injury of their temporal interests; through evil as well as good report, stood the “ pelting of the pitiless storm," and remained to the last the firm champions of civil and religious liberty:--We must have no more defences of, or apologies for those instruments of profaneness and intolerance, those prostitutors and murderers of the conscience, and the morals of the nation-the accursed TEST and CORPORATION acts :--We must have no more Jubilee sermons, distinguished for the grossness of their adulation, and for their panegyrics of a system which has drawn down the judgments of heaven on the continent, and on this country; and which like black clouds are now spreading over and thickening our political horizon. The absurd, and odious maxims—“ The Lord's people “ have nothing to do with politics—Interfering in the concerns of “ the state is a proof of lukewarmness and backsliding in religion," maxims which have proved infinitely mischievous in reconciling a great part of the religious world to wars the most unjust, and wickedness the most abandoned, must from henceforth be consigned to eternal oblivion; or if remembered, for no other purpose than to excite shame in those who have uttered, and acted upon them. The good government of society, or our well being in this world, is a subject the very next in importance to that of the salvation of the soul in a future world. Zeal for the reformation of our country, must go hand in hand with zeal for the preservation and enlargement of our peculiar rights; and we will add, for the propagation of religious truth, either in countries professedly christian, or in heathen lands.
At a period when the loyalty, and the constitutional demeanor of all classes of dissenters have been pretty generally acknowledged in the senate as well as by the public in general, it cannot bút occasion some surprise, that their principles should have been so misrepresented by a writer wlio ought to have known much better; we mean Mr. Cobbett. In his Register of the 22d. 'he entered into the particulars of Lord Sidmouth's bill, and very plainly proved that it would have the tendency to “ lessen the number of dissenting mi“ nisters, and indeed render, as to them, the Toleration Act of “ very little avail.” The bill being lost, Mr. Cobbelt is now pleased to inform us, “ that as to the question whether it was right to do “ this, he did not then enter on, and that lie reserved it for the fol“ Jowing number.” He has since entered upon the subject, but in such a manner as evidently discovers be himself does not understand it; and it need not excite surprise if the confusion of his own ideas should have produced a strange niedley of inconsistencies respecting toleration, and of misrepresentations of the opinions of dissenters. Our limits will only allow us to glance at his principal positions, one
of which is of such a mischievous tendency, that not a moment ought to be lost in exposing it; this glance, so weak are these positions in themselves abstractedly considered, will be sufficient for our purpose. Mr. Cobbett seems to entertain some doubt, “ whether “ it would be desirable to lessen the number of dissenting ministers," but thiuks,“ we ought first to inquire a little into what sort of a w people they are, and what the tendency of their ministry; for," he adds,“ upon the good or evil that they produce depends the " answer to the question before us." This we beg leave to reinark is floundering at the very outset. The first question to be asked is
Who is to be the judge of the religion of the Dissenters, or of the good or evil tendency of their theological opinions or prac. tices ? To which we esplicitly answer-neither Mr. Cobbett, nor his superiors. For further instruction on this part of the subject, we refer him to the excellent speeches we bave quoted from the late debate.—Mr. C. observes " That men, all men should be .“ allowed to worship their maker in their own way, is I think, not to “ be doubted.” Very good ; but he adds" Whether the goveru"' ment ought ever to meddle with religion is a question that I will “ not now attempt to discuss ;” and yet be in the very next paragraph at once settles the question, for the people of Britain, and that in the most extraordinary way which could possibly have entered into the brains of the veryest fanatic, or the most bigotted votary of intolerance. “ This,” he proceeds, “I am not at all “afraid to assert, that without a state religion, a kingly govern“ ment, and an aristocracy will never long exist in any country $upon earth; therefore, when the Dissenters as in the present " case, come forward, and volunteer their praises of kingly govern“ment, and boast so loudly and so gratuitously of their ardent " loyalty to their venerable sovereign, whose goodness to them has “ made an indelible impression on their hearts--when they do this, “ they do in effect, acknowledge the utility and the excellency of a “ state religion, because as I said before, and as all history will “ clearly prove, without a state religion, a kingly government can“ not exist."
Such a jumble of wretched absurdities were we believe never before in so small a compass huddled together. We are not at all afraid to affirm in reply, that the assertion, “ that without a state " religion, a kingly government and an aristocracy cannot exist,'' is a gross calumny cast equally on religion, monarchy, and aristocracy; and that so far from “ all history clearly proving" the truth of this random assertion, it proves the direct contrary. We shall only further remark, what is indeed sufficient for the purpose, that the christian religion, has nothing to do with forms of civil government; that it ínculcates obedience to “ every ordinance of man,” or every governmeut chosen by the people, whether monarchical, aristocra,
tical, or republican. There is nothing in the principles of a truc christian, or a dissenter, to prevent him from being a good subject, under any form of goverument.
It appears to have given Mr. C. great offence, that the dissenters should have“ gratuitously come forward with professions of “ loyalty to their sovereign.". Now, although we abominate adulation as much as Mr. C. or any one else can, we conceive that so far from there being any impropriety on such an occasion in
the acknowledgments of his Majesty's goodness, in declaring that ... he would ever preserve the Toleration inviolate," (and let it be
recollected, that it is to this declaration, that the language in to be applied, and to this only, that there would have been a great impropriety in omitting it. To infer from such a profession of gratitude to the Sovereign for his repeated declaration that he would never suffer any violation of the toleration act during his teign, that the dissenters acknowledge the utility of a state religion, and that because Mr. C. boldly affirms what he can never prove, that “ monarchy, and aristocracy,” in other words, the government of this country cannot exist without“ a state religion," is to attempt to revive the abominable, but favourite axiom of the high churchmen in the reign of the Stuarts, -" No bishop, no king;" but the libel thus attempted to be cast on the dissenters, representing them as enemies to the constitution of their country, or hypocrites in their professions of loyalty, is too contemptible to merit even refutation; and indeed the language of the different speakers in the house of Lords, and the conduct of that house, at the monient the dissenters were avowing their principles, of allowing no human authority in matters of religion, and of consequence their disapprobation of all state religion, is fully, sufficient to give the complete lie to Mr. C's calumny.
Mr. C. has on this occasion, as on former occasions, written without thought, or under the domineering influence of some prejudice or passion, which he is resolved at any rate to indulge. His libel on the principles of the Dissenters, and we might add on the constitution of our country, reminds us of bis reviliags of the friends to the Abolition of the Slave Trade,
of the promoters of Sunday Schools ; and of the Americans. We hope that the alteration of his sentiments on these, as well as on some other points bas been the result of conviction, and that further examination and reflection may lead him to a better understanding of the principles of the Dissenters.
We, partly agree with Mr. C. in what he says respecting the servility of different sects, and more especially of some who have been fond of the appellation of saints ; we have already expressed our opinions on this point. These approvers of all the enormities of the system which has disgraced almost every administration during the present reign, with their representative Mr. WILBERFORCE at their head, have a most awful account to render to their consciences and to their God, for the scandal they have brought on their profession, and the calamities they have been so instrumental in heaping on their country. May their future lives testify their repentance and reforination. Harlow, May 29, 1811.
FOR MAY, 1811.
SCARCE AND VALUABLE BOOKS.
THE FIRST VISION OF CAMILICK, but the devices on the shields were By Lord BOLINGBROKE.
the balance, the olive wreath, the 12d. Ed. 1748.]
plough-share, and other emblemati
cal figures of justice, peace, law, In Hoc Signo vinces.
and liberty. Between these two ar
mies, I saw a King come forth, and Having as yet given the reader sign a large roll of parchment ; at little' besides grave discourses on which loud shouts of acclamation public matters, and foreseeing that were heard from every quarter. The during the session of parliament, I Roll itself flew up into the air, and shall be obliged to continue daily in appeared over their heads, encomthe same track, I am willing to take passed with rays of glory. I obthis one opportunity of presenting served that wherever the second arhim with something, which has no my moved, this glorious apparition relation at all to public affairs, but attended them ; or rather the army is of a nature purely amusing, and seemed only to move, as that guided entirely void of reflection upon any or directed. Soon after, I saw both person whatsoever. ;
these hosts engaged, and the whole My friend Alvarez (a man not un- face of the land overspread with known to'many here, by his frequent blood. I saw the King, who had journies to England) did some time signed and broken that sacred Charsince make me a present of a Persian ter, drink out of a golden cup, fall manuscript, which he met with into convulsions, gasp and die. while he followed the fortunes of I then sąw another King take his Meriwes. An exact translation of place; who, in the most solemn the first chapter has been made, at manner, engaged to make the words my request, by the learned Mr. So- contained in the Roll the guide of lomon Negri, and is as follows. his actions; but notwithstanding
CAMILICK'S VISION. . this, I saw both armies again enIn the name of God, ever merci. counter. I saw the King a prisoner. ful, and of Haly his prophet. I saw his son relieve him, and I saw slept in the plains of Bagdad, and the chiefs of the other army put to I dreamed a dream. I lifted my death. Yet that victorious son himeyes, and I saw a vast field, pitched self bowed his head to the parchwith the tents of the mighty, and ment; which now appeared with the strong ones of the earth in array fuller lustre than before. Several of battle. I observed the arms and other battles ensued, with vast ensigns of either host. In the ban- slaughter on both sides ; . during ness of the one were pictured a which the celestial volume was some crown and sceptre; and upon the times clouded over ; but still again shields of the soldiers were engraven exerted its rays, and after every scourges, chains, iron maces, axes, cloud appeared the brighter. I oband all kinds of instruments of vio- served those heroes, who fought hem lence. The standards of the other neath it, though ever so unfortubore the crown and sceptre also; VOL. IX.
nate, not once to abate their cou. hearts of all the people be glad! for rage, while they had the least this have their grandfathers died; in glimpse of that heavenly apparition this have their fathers rejoiced ; and in their view; and even those, whom in this may their posterity rejoice I saw overthrown, pierced with evermore ! ghastly wounds,, and panting in Then all the rulers took a solemn death, resigned their lives in smiles, oath to preserve it inviolate and unand with eyes cast up to that glo- changed, and to sacrifice their lives rious object. At last the long con and their fortunes, rather than suftention ceased. I beheld both are fer themselves or their children to be mies unite and move together under deprived of so invaluable a blessing. the same influence. I saw one King After this, I saw another and twelve times bow down before the larger assembly come forward into bright phænomenon; which from the hall, and join the first. These thence-forward spread a light over paid the same adorations to the cothe whole land; and, descending venant ; took the same oath; they nearer to the earth, the beams of it sung the same hymn; and added a grew so warm as it approached, that solemn form of imprecation to this the hearts of the inhabitants leaped effect. Let the words of the roll be for joy. The face of war was no for ever in our eyes, and graven on more. The same fields, which had our hearts ; and accursed be he who so long been the scene of death and layeth hands on the same. Accursed desolation, were now 'covered with be he, who shall remove this writing golden harvests. The hills were from the people ; or who shall hide cloathed with sheep. The woods the law thereof from the King. Let sung with gladness. Plenty laughed that man be cut off from the earth, in the valleys. Industry, commerce, Let his riches be scattered as the dust. and liberty danced hand in hand Let his wife be the wife of the people. through the cities.
Let not his first-born be ranked among While I was delighting myself the nobles. Let his palaces be dewith this amiable prospect, the scene stroyed. Let his gardens be as a deentirely changed. The fields and sart, having no water. Let his horarmies vanished ; and I saw a large ses and his horsemen be overthrown; and magnificent hall, resembling the and let his dogs devour their carcases! great pivan or council of the nation. --In the midst of these execrations At the upper end of it, under a ca- entered a man, dressed in a plain nopy, I beheld the sacred covenant, habit, with a purse of gold in his shining as the sun. The nobles of band. He threw himself forward the land were there assembled. They into the room, in a bluff, ruffianly prostrated themselves before it, and manner. A smile, or rather a sneer, they sung an hymn. Let the heart sat on his countenance. His face of the King be glad ; for his people was bronzed over with a glare of are happy! May the light of the confidence. An arci malignity covenant be a lanthorn to the feet of leered in his eye. Nothing was so the judges ; for by this shall they se- extraordinary as the effect of this parate truth from falsehood. O inno- person's appearance. They no sooncence, rejoice! for by this light shalt er saw him, but they all turned thou walk in safety ; nor shall the their faces from the canopy, and oppressor take hold on thee. O jus. fell prostrate before him. He trod tice, be exceeding glad! for by this over their backs, without any cerelight all thy judgments shall be de- mony, and marched directly up 10. creed with wisdom ; nor shall any the ihrone. He opened his purse of man say thou hast err’d. Let the gold; which he took out in hande