« ZurückWeiter »
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 slavish. Edmund Oliver, after a course of profligacy, and a disappointment in love, had enlisted in the army, in which situation hes 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 profeflion :—
"But first, Edmund, let me extricate you from this detestable profeflion. You, my friend, disguised in the badge of sta'very aud cruelty! my heart turns sick at the sight.
"You do not mean, Edmund, to enroll yourself among those who fell themfel-ves to staughter their fellow-men, to slaughter beings whom you have ne.ver 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 IS THE VERT
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 f '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 ^^npany 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 mankind, 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 ivar an unjust cause, from being mortified, that our opinions are not sanctioned 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 sliort-sighted, if you suppose that I could, for a moment, have doubted of the necessity of wars." Certainly, whether short-sighted, or longsighted, 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 ,. t.' necessity necessity he contravenes his own imputation of injustice; so that the amount of our short-sightedness is, that we did not foresee he would contradict 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 Edmund 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, intellect, 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 virtue 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 Mr; 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 qdt lities, 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 sight to the blind, strength to the lame, hearing to the deaf, he evidently intended that these men should act. Why impart, or restore power, except for the sake of active operation? And what sort of active operation would be most agreeable to a wise and benevolent being? Certainly that which prevented most 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 wife Being. Benevolence must with the evii to be prevented, and wisdom must see that vigorous resistance is the only effectual way to oppose those evils that are attempted 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, must 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 fays, in his Letter,—
"I disapprove of all war; I would have as little to do with it as may be, lest I should incur some individual stain; it is the child of human frailty, and even exceeds its parent in deformity : but while I do this, I doubt nor, nor have I ever doubted, (let modern democrats fay 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 exhibited by Mr. Lloyd has been the war with the regicides. In saying that soldiers so employed prosecute 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 Republicanism. It, indeed, enforces the doctrine of passive obedience and rft>n-refistance. His moral creed, also, as promulgated both in Edmund Oliver and in the Letter, tends to make its votaries passive, rather than active, beings. Both, 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 the report of others, conceive him to be a man well-affected towards the constitution, 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 Edmuad Oliver is not justified by the work itself.
The Critical Review of this Letter gives us the satisfaction to observe, that our strictures on it have not been unfelt.
The The Critical abuses lis. Were the old Analytical to rise from the dead, we make no doubt it would do the fame. Omnes hi metuur.t odere. Long may we be so hated and seared; when the dread and hatred of such men shall cease, we shall begin to fear that we have relaxed in the performance of our duty, and are no longer the strenuous and successful exposers of Jacobinism.
Art. II. The Beauties of the yfnti-J'acobin, or Weekly Examiner.
HAVING already reviewed this work in a former volume,* it only remains for us to take some brief notice of the scurrilous attack made on the editor by the conductors of that low wretched publication, entitled The Analytical Review. In the number for April last, (p. 395,) the conductor, who is understood to be a Dissenting Minister, thus expresses himself—
"To the editor os these Beauties we have nothing to say. His notes are few and impudent; and, in his prefatory advertisement, he adopts the detejlahlc morality—of the correspondent whose signature is Cato."
That any morality is detejlahlc, 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 cafe, corrupt the minds of the people, and subvert the ejiablijhments of every description, will be easily credited. But the'immorality of this minister of Alammon will be best displayed by an extract from the letter which he reviles as detestable. Cato, contending against Mucius, that the present times are not more virtuous than the past, observes—
"I fear, indeed, that a great and alarming increase of infidelity— that a growing profligacy ot' manners, particularly evidenced by the most frequent, flagrant, shameless, and aggravated violations of the nuptial tie—that the scandalous indecency with which our half dressed 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 confederations alone must decide the question against the present age, even if we could plead an amendment in regard to the vices of drunkenness, gaming, and duelling."
* Vol. 11. p. 302.
The whole letter breathes the fame 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 Wolljlonecroftian school, considered in a very different point of view. The modern philosophist, 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 ejlablijhments, a total .disregard of all illiberal prejudices, and a passive, or rather a£live, 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 mask, 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 exped'i'nt!7!'" 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. O " clearly