Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

1

commit whatever enormities they pleased, not examined history for myself; for in defence of what they considered, or being of a curious and speculative turn, were told by their priests was the truth, is I have made myself acquainted with most it not evident, from the diversity of denominations of Christians at present sentiments of different sovereigns, and existing in the Christian world; and after the opposite persuasions of their various having carefully examined their tenets, teachers, that they must necessarily, at one studied their prejudices, and observed time, and in one country, be punishing their conduct, I do affirm, that' howtheir subjects for entertaining opinions ever tame and tolerant they may be, which, at another time, and in another while low in the world, they all possess country, were deened perfectly ortho- the latent seeds of persecution. These dox. Does not this prove incontestably, only want fostering, by the genial that by once admitting the principle, warmth of power, to shoot forth with that the magistrate is to defend Truth, an enthusiastic fury, compounded of he will much oftener be found defend- envy, ambition, pride, hatred, and faing ERROR ? Every one will easily agree, natic zeal; as if it were commissioned by that all systems' cannot be right. “ Er- heaven. I would except the Quakers "ror,” says the same author," has an from the charge of being likely to evince is immensity of space, and Truth is like a persecuting spirit towards other sects; " a mathematical point in the prodigious though they are capable of doing it as s void.” Now, although every one claims to their own people ;* but the Friends of that point to himself, is it not palpable, the present day are not a religious society, as Truth is one, and Error multifarious, like the Weslian or Whitfieldian Methos that the greater portion of religious dists, They are an Aristocratieal civil murders, barbarities, robberies, and in- community; a trading company, and a set carceration, must have been in defence of respectable, industrious, economical, of Error rather than of Truth. How money-getting disciplinarians; who posmodest, how humble, ought such con- sess no inore practical religion ihan the siderations to make us? How cautious members of the Church of England. ought these reflections to render us, of But to return to the sentiment of arrogating to ourselves the sole possession Franklin, respecting the early Christiansa of the truth, when we find that thou- It was shewn in my last, that they were sands who think different from us, claim persecuted by the Romans, at the instithe same happiness? Ought it not to gation of their priests, in the same manner make us diffident of ourselves, and for- as the Deists are molested by us, at the bearing towards others? Those who have instance of our priests, on account of the studied luinan nature, will have perceived simplicity of their tenets. I cannot illusthat this violent animosity and furious trate the subject better, than by quoting persecuting zeal, does not arise so much Justin Martyr, ore of the earliest and from a generous love of virtue, or an most learned writers of the Eastern enthusiastic admiration of abstract truth, Church, born of leathen parents, eduas from the inordinate thirst for pouer cated a pagan, and who was a platonic which pervades the heart of every hi- philosopher, previous to his becoming a man being. We wish others to think as Christian, He: resided at Rone,' during we do, and the greater part of us would the reign of Antonius Pius; and itpeu if we had the power, compel them to a persecution breaking out against the do it: The sword of religious persecu- Christians, he presented an Apology in tion an instrument upon which every heir behalf, pointing out in a very able party has played its tune, when raised to manner, the impropriety and absurdity power. The celebrated Dr. Franklin re- of religious persecution; which Apology marks, that if we look into history, for caused the Emperor to send a letter to “ the character of the ancient Christians, tlie States of Asia, not only forbidding “ we shall find few who have not in their the Christians to le persecuted, but cn"turn been persecutors, and complainers joining," that if any one bereafter; shall “ of persecution. The primitive Chris-1" go on to inform against this sort of " tians thought persecution extremely

einsieme contention “ wrong in the pagans, but practised it “ on one another." I could easily give Ratcliff Montlity Meeting, for being suspxTHE

See the case of Thomas Fuster, disuwned by credit to this assertion, even if I had et believing in DXLT ØxtGuda.

[ocr errors]

“men, purely because they are Christi- France some of the greatest geniuses the "ans, let the persons accused be dis world has produced, were united hand in

charged, although they be found to lie hand for fifty years, for the purpose of “ Christians, and let the informer' him:c!f enlightening their fellow creatures. It * undergo the punishment." When shall is a great pity the enemies of superstin we see on Antonins! Yet the Apology tion, tyranny, and priestcraft are not which produced this, contains passages better known to each other; and more which no one world, in this enlightened, organized in their exertions. Look at the hrimane, and liberal age, dare to advance. Fonoties of every description; how they In the second section, of his second Apo-unite, and how successful they are in togy,' he says, " Reason informs and ad- stultifying the human understanding, that "nonishes us, that truc philosophers and most glorious ornament with which NA: "nien of virtue, who have been filled TURE has vonchsafed lo einbellish man? ş" witty godliness and holiness, have Would not a general merliun of commu* loved and honoured the simple truth, nication for Theology, Metaphysics, and w and have turned aside froni Pollewing Moral Philosophv, to we open with im

"the ancients, whenever their opinions partiality to the Churchman, the Dissent, “have been found erroneous, or bad. er, the Disciple of NATURE, the follow

Roth seriyar amal somúd reason enjoin ers of Pyrrho, and every class of Lati; *us, mut only to avoid those whose lives tudinarian, be the means of facilitating * have been wicke:l; who by teaching, such an object? It would lead people to " argument, or other means, have dis- think, examine, and judge for themselves: * seminated false and impious doctrines; and ultimately inculcate a liberality of "not to imitate, 'nor in any respect to be sentiment, which can only be acquired " led by thiem; but also prescribe, that by the exercise of our reason concerning

the inquisitive lover of truth should the nature of man, his intellectual fa prefer it to his life, and should not be culties, and education, : It would ena“deterred by the fear of death, or threats ble them to make that generous allow" of torture, front speaking and acting ance for the opinions and prejudices of according to justice.”

others, so essentially necessary to the These noble "sentiments may be used hermony of society; but which they can by every reformer; they were appropri- aever possess; while their reading and ate to those who suffered in Smithfield, observation are contined within the pale sto Galileo, Huss, and Jerome of Prague; of a particular seet; and while they are

they may be used with equal propriety in the habit of implicitly receiving their de by the Deists of the present day, and by religious notions, upon thecredit of others,

-all persons persecuted for what they without investigation. A Journal of the believe to be true. Those of my friends alsove description has long been a desidewho will take the trouble, will tind much ratun in the republic of letters; for learning, philosophy, and curious natter notwithstanding the number and variety in the works of this Father. I am writ of theological and controversial maga: ing a treatise upou the model of the zines, there are none completely open to Apologies of Justin Martyr and Tertul- all parties; whatever liberality

, they may lian, to be entitled, if God spare my life, profess. Some are exclusively the vehiand that ļof the best of Primicer, till kecles of one set of opinions only, and shall ascend the throne of these realias) refuse insertion to eyery thing of an "An Apology to King George the Fourth, opposite tendency. Others admit nothing " in behalf of that nost learned and contrary to their own tenets, but what "respectable portion of his subjects, the they think can easily be answered by “ Materialists, Sceptics, and Deists; by some of their own partizáns. I have ta"aCHRISTIAN:"an intend approaching ken the liberty of throwing out these few bim in person with a hoiy boldness, to hints, as to the nature of a Journal much deliver a copy thereof. I wanted by the Friends of Free Discussion: whiol bias been done towards liberalising and remain, dear Sir, your's truly.

Every thina - mankind in this eountry, will be found the

ERASMUS PERKINS. isolated efforts of individualss but in London, Jan. 18, 1815.

Pujated and published by G. Ilotoston: No. 192, Strund; where all Communications addressed to the

Ldites are requested to be forwarded.

Vol. XXVII, No. 4.]

LONDON, SATURDAY, JAN. 28, 1815.

[Price 1s.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

37]

[98 PARTIAL AND MEAN PERRY, Mr. Lovell of the Statesman was im.

prisoned a year or 18 months in NewProprietor of the Morning Chronicle.

gate, and also fined. The selfish and READER, a full report of the proceed- unfeeling crowds, who are now clamouring

against this tax; who are abusing it; ings of the Hampshire meeting was sent who are applying to it all sorts of vile to the above Printer, together with the epithets and names, because they now PETITION, which I moved thereat, and feel the pinch of their pockets; these

persons never meet to petition against which petition (the only copy I had) was the prosecutions of the press; no, and obtained from me, by the Reporter of the they never would have met for that purChronicle, in order to be sent to London demolished and the types thrown into

pose, if every press in England had been to be printed in that and other papers. the street, as were those of thie American It was so sent; but was suppressed by printers at the City of Washington, by

command of our military and naval this partial, this mean, this despicable commanders.---These persons now call tool of a despicable place-hunting faction. I the tax partial, oppressive, cruel, inqui

sitorial, tyrannical. They come it -- I have jurt learnt these facts, and can to every thing on earth that is odious, only now say, that I will, next week, and some of them have gone to Hell

for similies in the way of illustration. give this rick of Perry the exposure, They declared that it is every thing which it deserves.

that is tyramical, odious and detestable, WM, COBBETT.

and that it violates the spirit of our

constitution; and all this in its PRINCIBotley, Thursday Evening.

PLE; in its very NATURE; and ES.

SENCE.-Now, then, what are these N.B. Mr. Hunt said, at the time, that men ? What are these noisy petitioners ! this worthy “member of the Hampden What is their character, even upon their Club,” would play us this trick. I

owa shewing? Why, that they are now

calumniators of the government; or, could not believe it. Mr. Hunt knew that they have been slaves for the last the man better than I did.

'18 years. Let them take their choice.
It is curious enough to see men, and

great numbers of them too, who supPROPERTY TAX.

ported this tax when it was laid on, who

voted for it in parliament, who, in fact, This poor tax is now become as much laid it on; it is cúrious to see thiese the object of senseless abuse as were, men, and in great numbers too, in 1798, those who endeavoured to pre coming forward and joining in the above vent it from being imposed. In 1812 horrid descriptions of the tax. They an unfortunate man, named CARTER, seem to be looking to new scenes. They was imprisoned in jaol, for a year, and are ratting from the Government. They fined, for having published a paragraph begin to suspect, that the taxing and complaining of the operation of this tax. soldiering system must soon 'undergo a My Lord Folkestone, who made a mo- very material change. In short, the systion upon

this subject, described the pa- tem (for it is of no consequence who are ragraph as being moderate and inoffensive. ministers) is in a state of great anxiet, Yet, for republishing the same paragraph, at least. The peace has produced there.

D

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

OR

OR

fects, thus far, that I anticipated ; and
those effects will now. develope them. The whole of the army, and nearly all
selves, day after day.--In some places, the navy must be discharged;
the petitioners have included all the war
taxes, in others only the malt and pro- The dividends on the National Debt must
perty tax, in others only the property tax.

go unpaid. The first is the only rational mode of Take your choice, good petitioners. proceeding; for, in fact, all the taxes One of the five propositions you must are equally burdensome. But, in some take. I am for the fourth. What say places, as at Worcester City, they are you? What sense is there in your clafor doing away with all the war-taxes, mours and abuse, unless you think that except the Landlord's part of the property the war taxes can be dispensed with ;and tax." What a-whim is this ! What a child if you think they can be dispensed with, ish distinction ! Is it not clear, that the why do you not say so? One thing, Landlord's part of the property tax must however, in this senseless uproar, I am be included in the rent of the tenant, and highly delighted with. It is this: That that, finally, it must be paid by those there are no longer any accusations heard who eat the bread, the meat, the butter, against us Jacobins. It is not we, but the cheese, the poultry, the milk, and “the loyal,who now cry out, who clathe eggs, and who wear the flax and the mour, who now deal out abuse on the wool? People are so galled with their taxing system. Mr. HARDY, who esdifficulties to pay the taxes, that they càped with his life, after endeavouring to know not what they say. Political eco-effect a reform in that body who imposed nomy is a subject too deep for minds in these taxes, is alive to see the day when general; but, as every one now feels, those, who clamoured for his destruction, every one cries out. Sir Francis Bur- clamour against those taxes. He is alive' dett, in 181k or 1812, when he moved to see the loyalpouring forth all sorts the address in the House of Commons, of invective against things, which he lawas most grossly abused for describing boured to prevent. Mr. Tooke is not the Property Tax in colours far less alive to enjoy this spectacle; but, bis edious than those, in which the loyal" efforts, the noble stand which he made, now. describe it. Thus time makes all will always be remembered with gratitude sorts of changes.---But, if other taxes be by those who retain any esteem for the imposed instead of the war taxes, what rights and liberties of their forefathers. will the people have gained? If, for instance, JERRY JOBERNOL, the farmer,

No. 1.-CORN BILL, should get rid of his tenpounds a year of war taxes, and should, in future, have to It is now evident to me, that our pay ten pounds a year in lieu of it, in his ministers mean to propose a law to put salt, malt, horse, window, soap, candle a stop to the importation of Corn. lam and leather tax, what would Jerry there-confirmed in this opinion by the language by gain? And, if the petitioners mean, of the COURIER newspaper for some that no other taxes should be laid on in time past; and especially by the following lieu of the war taxes, they should say so. article, which appeared in that paper of -Then, do they mean, that the funding the 23d instant, and which article I am system should be destroyed, and that morally certain came from a source of the fund-holders should not be paid their authority. The reader will see, from dividends ? No: they do not mean this. the ability with which it is written, that Why then do they not say so? And, it never could come from the same pen why do they not point out how faith may whence proceed the articles of the Editor be kept with the fundholders, and the of that paper; and the form and place, war taxes (without substitutes) be done of it, if the reader could see them, away?

would strengthen the opinion. After inThe war taxes must be continued ; serting it, I shall endeavour to shew, how

it blinks all the main points, how fallaThere must be new taxes laid on, equal (cious it is, how it is calculated to deceive to them in amount ;

and to mislead. “ The Meetings upon

“ the Agricultural State of the Country There must be Loans in time of peace; are become universal. This is a sub.

F

OR

OR

them we may

we

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ject which we touch always with deli-1“ ever high it was, did not depend upon

cacy, and almost with dread. It is " them. It arose from causes over which

one of such vital importance, one in " they had no controul ; from deficient " which a false step, or an erroneous doc- “ seasons, and from the state of the con“ trine, may do such incalculable mis-“ tinent, with which all intercourse was “ chief, that we fear ever to pronounce“ prevented. But allowing, for the sake “ any decisive opinion. What suggestions of argument, that they did make large

we throw out, we throw out with diffi- “ fortunes, that must have been a public “ dence and hesitation, convinced of our “ benefit, inasmuch as the increase of

being more in want of information, than “ their capital would naturally lead them “ able to communicate any.

But there to extend the agriculture of the counare some facts upon which there can try, to improve bad land, and bring “ be no doubt, and upon

“ the waste into produce. The answer safely reason-and in reasoning upon to the first question involves in it an

them, we are quite sure that we shall“ answer to the second. Upon the third not deserve, in the words of Mr.Burke," we very willingly observe, that we are “ to be classed amongst

those wicked “ for the people having this necessary of “ writers of the newspapers, who would “ life as cheap as possible; but we would “ inflame the poor against their friends," not purchase an unexampled cheapness

guardians, patrous, and protectors."--" to-day, with the certainty, or even the

Upon this subject, more than any other, risk, of having dearness to-morrow. By " there are prejudices so strong as almost“ the return of last Saturday's Gazette, “ to resist the evidence of the strongest

find that the average price of wheat facts, and these prejudices are infinite- " was 31. 3s. 4d. the quarter, or 73. 11d.

ly aggravated by the number of idle “ the bushel : Barley, 11. 11s. 6d.; and “ tales spread about by the industry of “ Oats, 1l. 35. 9d. This cheapness arises faction, and greedily devoured by the “ from two causes--the admitting the malignant credulity of mankind. When“ free importation of corn, and the con

grain is dear, the prejudice is against sequent necessity under which the " monopolizers; when it is cheap, then“ British farmer has been of bringing his ( “ the cry is, to give the utmost license“ grain to market. The generality of

" and encouragement to importation, “ mankind, looking only at the present in order that it may become cheaper" result, will rejoice, and we are not sur

still, and thus, as we have heard it “ prised at it, and feel disposed to look " said, to be revenged on the farmer. “ with an evil eye upon any thing that

But revenge ought not to be exercised would disturb it. Forbearance, and

against the farmer. Revenge on the the want of all interference would “ farmer would soon be accompanied

a greater disturber than any “ with a much wider vengeance upon

" other cause.
For let but the

systheavengers--they would themselves be- “ tem of encouraging the free impor

come at no remote period the victims of “ tation of corn be continued, and the “ their vengeance. Evils however at a dis.“ vengeance which the ignorant would

tance we are too apt neither to see nor “ inflict upon the British farmer would care for.

“ Have not farmers (is the “ be complete. He would not enter the common cry,) been making immense “ lists of competition with the foreign “ fortunes for the last twenty years? grower, for he would not cultivate “ Have they not been living upon the L" grain at all. But the British farmer “ distresses of the people? And ought" ought not to be so dealt with, nor

not the latter to have the advantage ought the food of the people of Eng“ which the late harvests and peace have “ land to depend upon foreign coun. given them, to have bread at as cheap

There is not a more obvious a rate as possible?” We answer each principle than this, that men will not " of these questions---That the farmers" apply their industry and their capital

have been making immense fortunes“ to the growing or manufacturing an " for the last twenty years, is an asser

“ article which they cannot sell at a * tion which it is as easy to make, as we price higher than it cost them in grow“ believe it would be difficult to prove. ing or manufacturing it; a price that " But if they had, how would that bear" shall enable them if not to lay something “ upon the subject? The price, how. )" by, at least to maintain them. Wheat

[ocr errors]

56 be

66

66 tries.

« PreviousContinue »