« ZurückWeiter »
IS THE VERY
what he professes himself, an Anti-Godwin ; yet, in others, he agrees with that visionary theorist, Maurice, the MENTOR of the piece, reprobates the profession of a soldier as, in its general principle, wicked, cruel, and flavilh. Edmund Oliver, after a course of profligacy, and a disappointment in love, had enlisted in the army, in which situation he was found by his friend Maurice, who, as the mouth-piece of the author, promulgates the following opinion and sentiments on war, and the military profession :
« But first, Edmund, let me extricate you from this detestable profession. You, my friend, disguised in the badge of slavery and cruelty! my heart turns fick at the sight.
“ You do not mean, Edmund, to enroll yourself among those who sell themselves to slaughter their fellow-men, to laughter beings whom you have never seen, and who have done you no injury !
“ A just cause is disgraced by such unjust means of defending it; AND THUS TO PROSECUTE AN UNJUST CAUSE CLIMAX OF HUMAN DEPRAVITY! Why, my Edmund, it cannot be, that you will wear the garb of Systematic and deliberate murder, of carnage by wholesale? Are you to become one of the ravagers of this beautiful earth ? Are you going forth to desolate provinces, and to introduce fire and sword where peace and happiness formerly dwelt? Does your heart no longer own the eloquence of the orphan's tear, the widow's pleading--are you quite callous ?
“ Be merciful, be merciful, Charles, (cried he,) you will drive me to desperation.
« Come, then, with me, Edmund, and be released from this mpany
of EARTHLY FIENDS” On this passage we made the following observations:
“ It would be a degradation of reasoning to employ it in answering this declamatory rant. Indeed, Mr. Charles Lloyd, you are a very young political arguer ; you know very little of the history of kind, or of the principles of human nature, otherwise you would have perceived, that while human passions continue as they are, the means of national defence, as well as of individuals, will be necessary. The feebleness of your arguments prevents us, who do not think this war an unjust cause, from being mortified, that our opinions are not fanctioned by the authority of your approbation, Mr. Charles Lloyd!”
To these remarks Mr. Lloyd replies in his Letter :-“ Indeed, Messrs. Reviewers, you must be very short-lighted, if you suppose that I could, for a moment, have doubted of the necessity of wars.” Certainly, whether short-lighted, or longfighted, we not only supposed, but were convinced, that he doubted the necessity of wars, because he calls war, in general, without any qualification, “ unjust means ;” by admitting the
necessity he contravenes his own imputation of injustice ; fo that the amount of our short-sightedness is, that we did not foresee he would contradi&t himself. We certainly did disagree with Mr. Lloyd on the subject of war in general: we think the system of morals which he inculcates by no means favourable to the highest exertions of human virtue. In Ed. mund Oliver, as he observes in his Letter, the object is “ to recommend patience and forbearance, and all the long train of negative and Christian virtues, rather than fortitude and energy, and intellect, and benevolence—and all the Spurious progeny of pride, by a misnomer of the Godwinian school, honoured with epithets they ill deserve.” Though, by no means, of the Godwinian school, we are very far from thinking fortitude, energy, intelle&, and benevolence, the progeny of pride ; and, though we believe ourselves to be as found and rational Christians as Mr. Lloyd, we think that fortitude, energy, and benevolence, are much higher exertions of virtùe than patience and forbearance, and much more beneficial to society ; and that patience and forbearance, unless prompted by fortitude or benevolence, and guided by intellect, are no virtues at all. We shall here quote to Mri Lloyd the words of a writer, who, though he reprobates his abuse of war and soldiers, expresses his approbation of several parts of his work. Dr. Billet, speaking on this subject, * makes the following remarks :
“ We think that the virtue and religion which he inculcates, has too much sufferance and too little energy ; not passive, but active qualities, produce the welfare of society. Our Saviour did not merely endure, he performed ; he not only bore evil, but did good. The very good that he did, shewed, that not mere endurance, but action, was his object. In healing the sick, giving fight to the blind, Itrength to the lame, hearing to the deaf, he evidently intended that these men should act. Why impart, or restore power, except for the fake of active operation ? And what sort of active operation would be mott agreeable to a wise and benevolent being ? Certainly that which prevented moft misery, and conferred most happiness. Resistance to evil, very frequently, in this view, becomes an active operation, that must be approved of by a benevolent and wise Being. Benevolence mult with the evil to be prevented, and wisdom must see that vigorous refiitance is the only effectual way to oppose those evils that are attempied by the wicked. As long as there are bad passions, bad actions will ensue, and, unless opposed, will overwhelm the world with misery. Those who endeavour, from the Christian religion, to deduce the doctrines of sufferance instead of resistance, muft argue
• See “ Historical Magazine,” for April, 1799.
from a narrow view of particular passages, instead of the comprehensive consideration of the whole system of precepts and examples."
Mr. Lloyd says, in his Letter,
“I disapprove of all war; I would have as little to do with it as may be, left I should incur some individual stain ; it is the child of human frailty, and even exceeds its parent in deforinity: but while I. do this, I doubt not, nor have I ever doubied, (let modern democrats say what they please,) of the relative expediency and necessity of the • war with the regicides."
In the Anti-Jacobin Review we delivered an opinion that Edmund Oliver abused the war with regicides. The grounds of this opinion were his own words, especially those which we have marked in capitals. We conceived what he terms an unjust cause, was actually the war which we are now carrying on with the regicides. The time in which he represents Edmund Oliver as acting was a period subsequent to the prevalence of the new philosophy of Godwin and others. The soldiers, among whom he describes Edmund as being enlisted, were British soldiers. The only war in the prosecution of which British soldiers have been employed in the period exhi. bited by Mr. Lloyd has been the war with the regicides. In saying that soldiers so employed profecute an unjust cause, we concluded him to maintain that this war with the regicides is unjust. We refer to himself whether his words did not justify that conclusion.
We are happy to find, by his own declaration, that his meaning was diametrically opposite to what his words appeared so plainly to convey ; and with many of the sentiments contained in his explanation we perfectly concur. The political creed (as far as we understand it) promulgated in this Letter is certainly very far removed from Jacobinism and Republicanisin. It, indeed, enforces the doctrine of passive obedience and iton-resistance. His moral creed, also, as promulgated both in Edmund Oliver and in the Letter, tends to make its votaries passive, rather than active, beings. Buth, however, appear to arise from a religious enthusiasm, which may be productive of many good and beneficent actions. We now, from Mr. Lloy'd's account of himself, and from
report of others, conceive him to be a man well-affected towards the conftitution, although striking passages of Edmund Oliver had given us a different opinion. The present Letter does honour to the writer's heart, although it contains no arguments to prove, that the Anti-Jacobin review of Edmund Oliver is not justified by the work itself.
The Critical Review of this Letter gives us the fatisfaction to observe, that our strictures on it have not been unfelt.
The Critical abuses us. Were the old Analytical to rise from the dead, we make no doubt it would do the same.
Omnes hi metuunt odere, Long may we be so hated and feared ; when the dread and hatred of such men shall cease, we shall begin to fear that we
have rivxed in the performance of our duty, and are no longer the tirenuous and successful exposers of Jacobinism.
Art. II. The Beauties of the Anti-Jacobin, or Weekly
AVING already reviewed this work in a former volume,
it only remains for us to take some brief notice of the fcurrilous attack made on the editor by the conductors of that low wretched publication, entitled The Analytical Review. In the number for April lalt, (p. 395,) the conductor, who is understood to be a Diffenting Minister, thus expresses him. self
" To the editor of these Beauties we liave nothing to say. His notes are few and impudent; and, in his prefatory advertisement, he adopts the deteftable morality-of the correspondent whose fignature is Cato."
That any morality is detestable, in the eyes of a man who, to judge from the direct tendency of his labours, would, were his powers equal to his malignity, which, thank heaven! is far from being the case, corrupt the minds of the people, and fubvert the establishments of every description, will be easily credited. But the immorality of this minister of Mammon will be best displayed by an extract from the letter which he reviles as detestable. Cato, contending against Mucius, that the prefent times are not more virtuous than the past, observes
“ I fear, indeed, that a great and alarming increase of infidelitythat a growing profligacy of manners, particularly evidenced by the most frequent, fagrant, Thamelefs, and aggravated violations of the nuptial tie—that the scandalous indecency with which our balf drefled females, (to the disgrace of their fathers and husbands, as well as their own,) present themselves, without a blush, to the public eye ; I fear, Sir, that these con iderations alone must decide the question against the present age, even if we could plead an amendment in re. gard to the vices of drunkenness, gaming, and duelling."
The whole letter breathes the same spirit, and is evidently the production of a writer who has the interests of religion and morality nearest to his heart. But, we acknowledge, that the practices which he deprecates as vices, are, by the more enlightened disciples of the Godwinian and Wollstonecroftian school, considered in a very different point of view. The modern philosophift, like the Cupid of the poet,
at sight of human ties, Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies." By his liberal mind, female incontinence, we know, is regarded as an effort of nature to liberate herself from the galling trammels of tyranny and priestcraft; the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, according to his creed, is a civic virtue, tending to produce a general fraternization of the totality of citizens in a state, by the best possible means, a thorough contempt for odious establishments, a total disregard of all illiberal prejudices, and a passive, or rather active, obedience to the only true Deity, REASON, aptly represented, in the cathedral of Paris, by a naked prostitute. The Reviewer is evidently of this school, and therefore his conduct has, at least, the merit of consistency; and, when he throws off his malk, as in the present instance, no danger is to be apprehended from his exertions. He is only to be dreaded when he assumes the cant of his sect, and professes to be liberal in his concessions to his opponents, political and religious. But, as this very seldom happens, his means of injury are, fortunately, as circumscribed as his powers. We should, therefore, leave the grovelling animal to wallow, undisturbed, in the mire of Jacobinism, did we not feel it a duty to hold him up in his true colours, and entertain a hope that some of his very few readers may possibly be reclaimed.
Having represented this man as deeply impregnated with revolutionary principles, it behoves us to adduce some proof of the justice of our representation. A short extract from the number before us will suffice for the purpose :
“Arguing upon St. Paul's position, that the magistrate is the minister of God to the people for good, when the good is inferior to the evil, he is the minister of God for evil. When the good is only equal to the evil, he is the minister of God neither for the one, nor for the other. The good, therefore, must fairly preponderate, otherwise the end of government is not answered; in which cafe resistance is not only justifiable, but highly expedient!!!” P. 379.
Now, whenever this critic has occasion to speak of the existing government of the country, his language is such as NO. XII. VOL. III.