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painful. They dealt in loves and luxuries, in what resulted from the first laws of nature, and tended to keep humanity alive: the latter have dealt in angry debates, in intolerance, in gloomy denouncements, in persecutions, in excommunication, in wars and massacres, in what perplexes, outrages, and destroys humanity.' The gentleman who thus admires the morality of paganism would do well to consider what was said by an old divine of such morality and of its consequences. 'Men debauch themselves out of their religion; and atheism is not the persuasion of the man, no, nor the belief of the devil, but the punishment of the beast. "Tis that hardness of heart, that reprobate sense to which God delivers up an obstinate sinner; 'tis the last of judgments inflicted by God upon him that has refused all the methods of his mercy. God has forsaken him, and delivered him up to the worst of all evils,-that is, to himself,'
Now for the political avowal of this votary of the 'loves and luxuries.' 'We contend,' he says, ' in opposition to Mr. Southey and all that servile crew, that the only possible preventive of one or other of these impending evils, namely lasting slavery, famine, and general misery on the one hand, or a sudden and dreadful convuls sion on the other, is the liberty of the press, which Mr. Southey calls sedition, and the firm, manly, and independent expression of public opinions, which he calls rebellion. We detest despotism, we deprecate popular commotion, but if we are forced upon an alternative we have a choice; we prefer temporary to lasting evils.' Here it must be acknowledged that, as far as respects the writer's own opinions, we have something very like naked truth,—though not in company with uncorrupted faith.
All the other confluent causes of discontent are trifling in them, selves and light in their consequences compared to the seditious press. Two years ago it was computed that above 500,000 newspapers were printed every week. Cobbett boasted that he had sold more than a million of his papers within the last six months, and that a single paper frequently served for an hundred auditors. The country indeed is rid of this libeller, but the flood-gates of sedition are still open; and what Wesley recommended to the government in the days of Wilkes and Liberty, is even more needful now than it was then, vigorously to execute the laws against incendiaries, against those who by spreading all manner of lies inflame the people even to madness; to teach them that there is a difference between liberty which is the glory of Englishmen, and licentiousness a wanton abuse of liberty, in contempt of all laws divine and human.' Can any thing be done,' he asks, to open the eyes, to restore the senses of an infatuated nation? Not unless the still-renewed still operating cause of that infatuation be re
moved. And again, in his excellent remarks upon Dr. Price's Observations on Civil Liberty, this extraordinary man expresses himself with an anxiety which subsequent events have amply justified. I am in great earnest,' he says, so I have need to be, for I am pleading the cause of my King and country, yea of every country under heaven where there is any regular government. I am pleading against those principles that naturally tend to anarchy and confusion, that directly tend to unhinge all governments, and overturn it from the foundation. Their natural tendency is to plunge every nation into total anarchy.'
The laws, and nothing but the laws, can preserve us from this catastrophe. Meantime individuals may do much in their respective spheres toward that amelioration of the people which is the only true reform, and upon which our security mainly depends. The question is whether revolution, whether this endemic moral malady of this distempered age, can be averted till time be gained for educating the populace and improving their condition. We must make the poor,' says Sir Egerton Brydges, by a wise application of their labours, not only create the funds of their own subsistence but add to the wealth of the rest of society. We must do that which will equally restore their moral and physical happiness,—that which, while it will supply them with a sufficiency of food and bodily comforts, will, in the same degree, ameliorate their morals and their hearts.' For this we may look to the legislature. What is required of us is that we be as active in good as the malevolent are active in evil; let each man do his duty in his respective station, above all, let the magistrates and the clergy exert themselves; and it will be found that the good principle is mightier than the evil one. The laws are with us-and God is on our side.
Page 334, line 18. Read, "some of which are highly honourable, &c. There are some from Marcus Aurelius which would ill deserve this character, did we not suppose with the learned editor, that they were sportive allusions to some parts of the writing of Plato."
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