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COBBETT'S WEEKLY POLITICAL REGISTER.
VOL. XXIII. No. 20.] LONDON, SATURDAY, MAY 15, 1813.
the true account of the quarrels between SUMMARY OF POLITICS. the Prince and Princess of Wales. He BERKSHIRE MEETING." SPIRIT OF THE left it with me to read. I read it, and I "Book.". -This county, one of the very found (for I had seen part of the real Book first in the kingdom to step forward in all before) that, not only was it a mere rocases where justice calls for the people's in-mance, that it was, as to its intended meanterference, met on Monday, the 4th in- ing, a string of lies; but, that the author stant, to address the Princess of Wales. never could have seen the Book, or any part Mr. MONCK moved the Address, and of it.. When, therefore, Mr. Haydn was seconded by Mr. MAKANESS, who returned, I gave him his manuscript; was followed by Mr. HALLETt. -These told him it was all falsehood; told him that Berkshire men talk too freely for me to dare it was very unjust to publish such a thing; to insert their speeches. But, I have read, and advised him to have nothing to do with with great pleasure, all the excellent things the matter.- The production was, howthey said about the parties, high and low, ever, published; and Mr. Haydn brought concerned in the transactions of which they me a copy and gave it me.- He asked spoke. There was a Mr. REYNARD, me to mention it in the Register. I told who spoke against the Address, who was him, that I could not do any thing tending very neatly answered by Mr. H. MARSH. to give the work currency, because I knew But, what I am anxious particularly to no- it to be wholly false, and because I regardtice with regard to this Meeting, is, an ob- ed it as containing matter calculated to do servation of Mr. Reynard, relative to a pub-great injustice to the Princess of Wales. lication, called the "SPIRIT OF THE "BOOK." This gentleman is reported to have said, that that work contained matter against the Princess, which had not yet been answered.- That any person, pre-riosity; the love of diving into such mattending to speak at a public meeting, should have named such a publication, as containing any thing worthy of serious notice, is quite surprising; and it only shows what shifts and tricks the enemies of the Princess are ready to resort. The thing having been mentioned, however, and on such an occasion, I will, for the information of the Tax-payers of Berkshire, give the real history of this publication. -I
saw it in manuscript: it was while I was in Newgate for two years, for having written about the flogging of English militiamen, at the town of Ely, in England, under the superintendence of German Troops, and about a year before I paid the Prince Regent a fine of a thousand pounds, for the same crime; while, I say, I was thus in Newgate, a young man, who said his name was HAYDN, came to me with the Spirit of the Book," in manuscript, and told me that it was the writing of a person then in the King's Bench prison.He told me, that, under feigned names, it was
He then asked me to be so good as to write against it! That I also refused, as being likely to aid in the circulation.However, it wanted no aid of mine.
ters; and the manner of dressing up the story, sent it through all the circulating libraries in the kingdom. The sale was immense; and the profit, as I am told, not less than three or four thousand pounds.
This is the true history of the work, which Mr. REYNARD thought proper to refer to at the public Meeting of a county, as containing serious matter against the Princess of Wales.- What, after this, will not the enemies of the Princess trump up? Will they stop at any thing? I think it is not likely that they will; and, therefore, the public ought to be upon their guard against every thing which they say.
-The Address, in Berkshire, was, it seems, carried with only two voices against it; but, as we are told in the Morning Chronicle, Mr. DUNDAS, one of the County Members, has refused to present it, on account of certain parts in it censuring the conduct of the four Lords, who held the Inquiry. If this be true, the people of Berkshire ought to bear it in mind. What
little deficient; namely, in not having addressed the Regent upon the subject of his Royal Consort's escape from so base and wicked an attempt against her honour and life. -His joy must be as much greater than any other man's, upon the occasion, as his honour was more at stake. Her acquittal; the complete proof of her innocence, and of the guilt of her infamous enemies; the shame, the disgrace, now affixed for ever on the heads of the "suborned and
above all men, satisfaction. Indeed the whole of the Royal Family, and, amongst the female part, the Queen, that good old Lady, her aunt and mother-in-law, must feel her heart warmed at the wiping off of these aspersions on her family. I think, that Her Majesty also ought to be addressed; for, as I find from the Gazette, she was addressed upon the marriage of the Princess, and upon the birth of her child. Why not address the Queen now? I would, if I had any thing to do with Addresses. I do not like the idea of treating the Queen as if she were out of date. There can be no doubt; it would be disloyal to doubt, that Her Majesty must feel the most lively satisfaction upon the occasion; and, by all that's loyal, address her I would! The people must meet again. They have but half done their business. Indeed, though the Ministers have, perhaps, too much modesty to say it, they, I dare say, are of fended to see no Addresses coming forward to the Queen and the Regent. This, now I rightly think of the matter, must be the cause why they appear so cold upon the OCcasion. Go at them, therefore, with Addresses to the Regent and the Queen, and I will engage, that they will discover a strong fellow-feeling in the work. It is, per
right has Mr. Dundas to refuse to comply with a vote of the whole county upon such a ground as that which is here alleged? The people of the county voted, that the Address, which they agreed to, should be carried up by the county Members; and, if those Members refuse, what pretty representatives they are! They seem to think, how eyer, that they are not chosen by the people; they well know, that it is not the free popular voice that has placed them where they are; and, therefore, they disregard," perjured traducers," must give him, very likely, that voice.- -The Meeting included, as it ought, all persons in the county, paying taxes; and, surely, a man who pays taxes, ought to have something to say in the affairs of the country and the government.- Here, again, we see (and, indeed, it meets us every where), the want of a reform in the parliament. The statement about the conduct of Mr. Dundas may be untrue; but, if he has refused, the cause is, that he knows that he does not depend for his seat upon the payers of the taxes; but, in the first place, upon the dependants of Government; upon the aristocracy and the church; and, then, upon their dependants. If every man who pays taxes had had a vote in the county, Mr. Dundas would not have refused to present an Address of the people.- -Mr. HALLETT made an observation that was very striking. It was this: that, when the Addresses were going on against the conduct of the Duke of York, the movers were accused of factious and disloyal motives; and, that, now that they are addressing the Princess upon her escape from the machinations of disloyal conspirators, they are still accused of factious and disloyal motives.As he observed, these accusers are very difficult to please. The truth is, they depend on the Government for the whole, or part, of what they pos-haps, for this second series of Addresses sess, and, they imagine, that Addresses that the Clergy are reserving themselves; for the Princess are as disagreeable to those and, I must confess, that I am impatient to in power as Addresses were against the see those gentlemen come out. They have Duke of York. -That they think this is seldom been behind hand, when the work manifest enough; but, the wonder is, why of Addressing was going forward in favour they should think so! Why they should of any one of the Royal Family; and, imagine, that Addresses, expressing joy upon an occasion like this, where an innoat the escape of the wife from a foul, cent woman has escaped from a base comand base, and infamous conspiracy, should bination against her, the Church, it appears be displeasing to any one in power. Why to me, ought to have stood in the front. they should think this is the wonder; and Why the Clergy have hung back I cannot yet, that they do think it, appears very imagine. I wish some one, at least, of clear to me; because I always see them them would give us the reasons for what ready to pour in Addresses, when those appears so astonishing. But, at any rate, Addresses are manifestly pleasing to the if they will not come out, let us bear the Government.- -There is one thing, in fact in mind. which, I think, the people have been a
Now, as the reader will understand, if this Act pass, any person may, with impunity, openly talk, prate, or preach, that the Doctrine of the Trinity is a false Doc trine.What, then, is this Doctrine? Our Church tells us, that, unless we believe in it we must be damned; the belief of it is, our Church says, absolutely neces sary to salvation; and, to allow people openly to say that it is a false doctrine, what is this but to allow people to do their utmost to procure and ensure our damnation; and, pray, what did Mr. Paine, or Mr, Eaton, or any body else ever do, or attempt to do, more than this?But, I am before my story.
What is the Doctrine
THE TRINITY. -This seems an odd .66 was accordingly done. -LORD CASsort of topic for a Political Register; but, "TLEREAGH said, he certainly did not see it belongs to politics as much as war does," any reason to object to the principle of it having become the subject of Acts of Par- "the Bill. When the Bill was before the liament, and being now, if the news-papers "House, he would then be enabled to see tell us truth, about to become the subject "if there was any thing in the mode of of a new Act.- This Act will, if pass- "granting the relief liable to objection. ed, make a much greater change in the re"The House went into a Committee, ligion of this country than has ever yet "when leave was moved for and obtained, been made. It strikes at the root of Chris-“to bring in the Bill in question. tianity itself. Now, mind, I say this as my deliberate opinion; and the reasons, on which I found this opinion, I will state fully, when I have inserted the report of the proceedings in the House of Commons. "MR. WM. SMITH said, he believed "6 no opposition would be made to the mo❝tion he was about to submit to the House, "and he therefore would not take up two "minutes of their attention. The Act of King William, known by the name of "the Toleration Act, denied to persons "who disbelieved in the Trinity the bene"fit of toleration. An Act of the 19th of "His present Majesty required only the ge"neral belief in the doctrines of Christi"anity and the Scriptures; but it so hap- of the Trinity?Why, it is this. That pened, that though by the Act of the GOD, the Maker of the Universe; the "19th it was not necessary to subscribe the Creator and Sustainer of all things; did, "Articles of the Church of England, pro- through the instrumentality of the Holy ❝fessing the belief in the Trinity, the Acts Ghost, assuming the shape of a Dove, beof the 9th and 10th of King William get upon the body of a woman, his son "were not repealed. By these Acts, per- Christ. That Christ, so begotten, was sons who in writing or conversation deny GOD; and that the Holy Ghost was GOD; "the existence of any of the persons of the and yet, that there were not, and are not Trinity, are disabled in law from hold-three Gods, but only one God.- -There ing any office, civil, ecclesiastical, or "military, on conviction; and if a second "time convicted, they are disabled to sue ❝or prosecute in any action or information, or to be the guardian of any child, and liable to be imprisoned for three years. "The only object of his Bill was to do away these penalties. He said the libe"ral Act which was passed last year was "highly creditable to the liberality of the "Ministers of this country, and the times "in which we lived. The only question now for consideration was, whether those "persons dissenting from the Church of England, should be still liable to the pe"nalties of the Acts of King William. He "therefore moved for leave to bring in a “Bill for granting farther Relief to the different Persuasions of Christians in this Country, who disbelieved the Doctrine of the Trinity. -THE SPEAKER observed, that the regular course was to move first, that the motion should be submitted to a Committee of the whole House; which
are persons who deny this. They say, that
are, it seems, quite willing to be bound to
the enunciation; the whole thing will become a subject of free discussion, and then it will puzzle any one to devise the means of criminating any man, who shall write upon the Christian System. Remove this great prop, and, in my opinion, down comes the fabric. -The morality of the Gospel is nothing in support of Christianity, which stands upon faith; and, if you take away the divinity of Christ, where is ground for your faith? The morality taught by Christ was taught long before his birth. There was, as our Clergy show us every day, nothing new in the morality. It was the super-natural things that took place in Palestine that were new; it was the miracles, the resurrection, &c., and, if you take away the divinity of Christ, what becomes of all these? To suppose, that God had a son, after the manner of men, is something so monstrous, so low, so degrading, so absurd, so ridiculous, that it cannot live for a moment, except in a mind brutified by ignorance. And yet, this you must believe, if you believe that God and his Son are two distinct persons, and in nowise united in essence. What, then, is your belief, Mr. SMITH, or, rather, the belief of those in whose behalf the Bill is to pass into a law? That Christ was not the Son of God? Is this their belief? If it be, with what decency do they profess to believe the Scripture? With what decency do they call any one, and by way of reproach too, a Deist?- You say, that the Act of the 19th of the present King, requires ONLY "the general belief in the Doctrines of Christianity and the Scriptures? ONLY! Why, Sir, this Doctrine is the all-in-all. Without it there is no more in being a Christian than there is in being a Pittite or a Foxite, and, I should be very glad to see any one attempt to prove the contrary. No, if this part is taken away, the whole fabric totters. An Act of Parliament will, in such case, allow people openly to say, that the great Greed of our Church is a falsehood. Our Church lays down one point of faith as indispensable in order to obtain salvation; and the proposed Act will permit any one to say, at the Church door, that no man need believe any such thing, for that the assertion is false, and that one of the most venerable of the Fathers of the Church was a retailer of falsehoods. What, then, you will say, per-lence; that is their remedy; and I know haps, are people to believe what they cannot believe? "Cannot believe," pray what does that mean? The people, in whose behalf you bring forward the Bill,
Besides, what do they mean by being forced to believe this, or that? They are forced to believe nothing; they are only forbidden to tell any body that they do not believe so and so. That is all. If they will but hold their tongues and their pens, they may believe, or disbelieve just what they please. "Tender Consciences," indeed! And how are their consciences hurt, how are they violated, by a law which forbids the telling of folks that the Doctrine of the Trinity, a Doctrine some hundreds of years old, and taught by all our Bishops and Clergy, is false? They are not, as under some tyrannical governments, compelled to make open declarations that they do believe according to the Church; they are only for-" bidden to say that they do not believe according to the Church; they may keep si
not why they should be suffered to express their opinions about Christ, any more than I may not be suffered to express mine about the Regent, or his Judges, or his Ministers.
Let them hold their tongues and their pens, and their faith is absolutely without shackle! -When Mr. EATON was tried, the Attorney-General, Gibbs, called for punishment upon the old man, because his book was calculated to endanger the souls of the people, by causing them to disbelieve the doctrines of Christianity. Now, of the Doctrines of Christianity the principal one is, that Christ is God; that there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; and that these are not three but one. This, our Church says, we must believe, or we cannot be saved. What, then, having Mr. Eaton's prosecution and punishment in our eyes, are we to think of a proposition for passing a law to permit people openly to preach, that this Doctrine is false; that this faith, upon which the Church tells us our salvation absolutely depends, has no truth in it; and that we ought to believe no such thing? These are my reasons against the proposed Act. But, besides these, there are others. If the Unitarians are to have an Act passed to authorize hem to preach against the Trinity, why should not the Deists have an Act passed to authorize them to preach against Revelation altogether. If one Sect is to be indulged in denying what they do not believe, why not another Sect in denying what they do not believe? If I am told, that it is right to ease the Tender Conscience of the Unitarian, I ask why the Tender Conscience of the Deist is not to be considered? I have no objection to an Act of Parliament to allow men to say and to write whatsoever they please upon the subject of religion; but, if such an Act is not to be passed, I really can see no reason for this favour to one particular Sect. If this Sect be indulged in preaching against the Trinity, another may ask for permission to preach against the Resurrection, and so on, till, really, our laws will have chipped the whole of the Scriptures away and all the doctrines growing out of them, or ingrafted upon them. An Act to permit men to say and publish what they please upon the subject of religion would be much less hostile to the Church, than would be an Act giving permission as to one particular doctrine; because in this latter, the parliament seem to give up that doctrine to be demolished; whereas, if the permission were general, it would seem to proceed merely from a wish to remove all restraint as to men's faith.In short, I do not see why this particular sect should be indulged; and I am, on that ground as
well as others, opposed to the intended Act, Our Church says, that this doctrine is the basis of our faith; that to believe in the Trinity is absolutely necessary to our salvation; and, why, I ask, is a particular set of men to be allowed to endeavour openly to prevent us from entertaining this saving belief? -I am no Doctor. I do not understand Greek and Latin. But I understand how to count my fingers; and it requires little more to enable any one to discover, that, if one sect be allowed to preach against one part of the Church faith, every other sect ought to be allowed to preach against any part of that faith which they may happen to dislike.— -I dare say, that an Unitarian Priest will tell me, NO. He will, I'll engage for him, say, that people ought to be permitted to deny the Godhead of Christ, but that they ought not to be permitted to deny the authenticity of any Chapter in Genesis or Numbers. No: such latter denial does not, probably, suit him. That might lead to consequences that he would not like. If those chapters were set aside, others might, and, at last, away might go the whole; there would then be no want of an interpreter, and his priestship would be at an end. No, no: I am for no partial repeals. I am for a general Act, permitting every man to say or write what he pleases upon the subject of religion, or, I wish the whole thing to remain what it now is.
-I wonder that the Clergy, so active as they are upon other occasions, where the interests of the Church are in question, should be so silent on this occasion. They cry out that the Church is in danger, when a few Roman Catholics want only to share in the good things under government; but, here, where the very bowels of the Church are aimed at, they say not a word! Is it, because they do not perceive that the Unitarians want to get at their temporalities? I do not know that they do; but, I dare say they would have no objection to come in for a small portion.
MR. CREEVEY.- -The case of this gentleman was argued, last week, in the Court of King's Bench, upon a motion of Mr. Brougham for a new trial, upon the ground of misdirection on the part of Judge Le Blanc, who presided at the trial at Lancaster.-I have inserted the proceedings below. They are of very great importance. The Court decided against him; and, in my opinion, decided very fairly.The only thing that Mr. Cree