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pled alike on human nature and on the religion of Christ. The reformation of England ought not to have existed, nor the church of England have known a being. James II and his posterity must have sate unmolested upon the British throne, and our present race of kings have been confined to a German electorate. Innovation has neither merit nor demerit in itself; it
be good or bad, and is accordingly to be approved or condemned. The enacting of the Test Laws was an ill-looking, malignant, and profane innovation; the repeal of them would be a blessed innovation; it carries in its front the features of wisdom, good poe licy, and humanity, of justice, and of
pure religion. Wretched is the cause, that is to be defended by the vulgar and barbarous ery of innovation.
It is a rude and unfeeling reply of some of our opponents, that incapacitation is our own voluntary act, and that therefore we have no right to complain of the inconveni. ences and evils, which are the consequence
of our nonconformity to the test that is required of us. The tyrant Procrustes required of every stranger, that the length of his body should answer to the measure of his iron bed, and therefore with the aid of the knife or the rack he reduced or lengthened them to his measure. Would humanity have replied to the poor sufferer, when his limbs were amputated or racked, It is your own fault, you should have answered to the standard ? If it be no crime, nor any injury to the community, that our faith is not of the same length with that of the church, it is a rude injustice to cut off by the hand of power the rights and inheritance of a citizen, because of a difference, which is the character of his mind, and which he derives from his Maker. · And does it become a man to answer to the injured sufferer, You should have conformed to the standard of the magistrate, when his conformity would be that crime, with which he dare not appear before the great Magistrate of the universe? It is remarkable, that the advocates for
the retention of the Test Laws have not as yet brought forward in their cause one single argument, which is not of a very illlooking aspect, which is not of the family of injustice, tyranny, or persecution, and which, if the principle be admitted and pursued, would not equally vindicate every excess, to which tyrants and persecutors have proceeded. Thus the Roman persecutor with all the pride of law and power might have replied to the virtuous Christian, when his awful punishments stared him in the face, Sacrifice to the Roman gods, and thus satisfy the law, or expiate your obstinacy and your crime in the flames.' But was the punishment justified by the plea of the law? or is not the integrity of the Christian's answer to be revered, “I dare not wound my “ own mind, nor offer any sacrifice but that “ of a pure heart to the great God of the “ Universe, to the God of Jesus Christ !",
As innocence and even high civil merits are of no avail in the arguments of our antagonists, when a supposed utility requires
the sacrifice of our rights, so even virtue, and virtue of the highest form, is produced as our crime, and deemed sufficient to justify the wrongs of which we complain.
Surely there is a gross immorality, and almost a profligacy in the plea, that the more conscience, the more danger ; nor.can it be a breach of charity to suppose,
that conscience has but a dubious existence in that mind, which can be reconciled to injustice by this argument. Observe the converse of the maxim, If you had less conscience, you would be less suspected, and less feared. A glorious maxim for the minister of England to deliver to an English senate at the close of the eighteenth century, but which we trust not all the zeal of our opponents could receive with pleasure! Is conscience then less the character of a Churchman than of a Dissenter? or may not the conscience of a Dissenter be as safely trusted with the rights of human nature and of Christianity,as the conscience of a member of the church of England? Or can it be supposed, that the hierarchy is perfect in the amiable lesson of liberality in
religion, while the Dissenter has yet to learn it? Upon no other ground can the monos poly of all trust and power be justified in the church; and yet there is not one datum of past or present experience, which can give credit to the supposition.
In the best construction of the maxim, it supposes us to be the fanatics of á ruder age, who, through right or wrong, would break through every constitution to establish our own. But fañaticism is as abhorrent to our minds, as to that of the most enlightened statesman: we have learnt the liberality of these better times ; perhaps it might be proved, that we have greatly contributed to teach it. Asa serting the right of conscience to ourselves, we know the iniquity of denying it to others. Possessed of a power superior to what the repeal of the Test Laws could admit us to, we use this power without reproach. But right, not power, is what we demand, and the more confidence we have in the rectitude of our own intentions, the more do we feel the ignominy of unjust depression, and with the more scorn throw