Imagens da página

The History of Party, &c.

Not 17 of new ones, especially since the present, mained a request from part of the Britik despicable as they may be, are wholly electors, to diffolve an assembly appoin. Ælop's logs, and if discarded may be ed by the advice of the wbole; an! succeeded by a government of storks, however constitutional it might be iz who will never luffer us to offend them any county or corporation to petitos, with impunity.

still it was to the full as conftitutions, Notwithstanding the indifference, nay for the king to attend the voice of that indeed the disapprobation, with which House of Commons, which the saia most of the moderate, who considered bad themselves appointed for his grand matters in this point of view, spoke of council, and wlrich, for a term of lera the opposition, 'fill the popular party years at least, were the legal guardian Yound it no very difficult circumstance of the public prosperity. Belides, i to increase the number of their petin any fault was actually attributed to the tions, so that the throne was continually House of Commons, the people thers surrounded with public-fpirited fuppli- felves were originally culpable; why did çants, as they would be thought, who they choose a lot of men for their repro warmly remonstrated on the tyranny of sentatives, so ignorant of their rights

, administration, accused the membors or so regardless of their prefervation! wh'sb composed it of violating the con. Why did they not eled the capable and ftitution in its most essential points, and the honest; gentlemen of enlarged veafter swelling up the catalogue of griev, derstandings, and unquestionable pre ances with every epithet that could be bity?" If their prelent membeșs an injurious, either to the heads or hearts venal, said the unprejudiced, the sle. of those in power, earnestly befought tors.are chiefly to blame, and there is but his majesty to call a new parliament. little reason to imagine, that we thi They inlisted upon the disolution of the be better off, if we are even to-tato present, as a measure indispensibly nem indulged with a new election." cestary for the inmediate preservation of To these arguments againt the difothe kingdom; they branded the majo- lution of the present parliament, oben rity of the lower house with the severelt added the glaring impropriety of aking charges of venality, and declared, that the crown to interfere with the elet there was no redress to be expected tions of the lower 'houle; “ What is from an assembly, who had acted as the is, exclaimed numbers, with which the tool of an arbitrary premier, no less opposition is at this moment offended, dead to the feelings of thame, than the but at the extraordinary influence of principles of virtue. While matiers administration in the House of Cos. were thus hourly infiamed by the inde. mons ? and do they want to give their fatigable afliduity of opposition, the tem- very adininiftration a till greater power per, nay the affability, of the fovereign do they want to give it accumulated was astonishing; he received peritions weight?--If parliaments are to be difrom every quarter with a graciousness folved upon every popular pretence, the peculiarly his own, and looked upon practice may become very frequent en ihe petitioners with complaceney, even ministerial ones, and it is much wier 10 while they profesied themelves most trust the integrity of our members, than openly duffatisfied will his govern. the discretion of our minifters. The ment; yet, though his majesty's paler. fame arts which procured the represes. nal regard for his people induced him to tatives of to-day their feats, will obtain behave like the common father of all, an election for the venal of to-mono#; the petitions were either unanswered, and the fame arts by which they are or answered wholly in general terms: corrupted, fince we muft call them corthis behaviour gave the inconfiderare rupe, are always in the power of a mi. fresh oecalion to complain; they ex. nifter: it is not wonderful that many claimed, that it was the right of the freeholders, in various places, shonli be 1ubje&t 19. dipplicate the chrone, and anxious for a new representation—their that the throne could never act to wife' richef harveft is the time of a general ļy, as in complying with the wishes of elecliónmit is a double market for their the people. Thele arguments would voices, a double scene of riot and dilihave been jutt, had they been in the pation; and hould a majority even of present cate founded upon faci; ont popular members be returned, hould ishe truth was, the petitions only con. the chief direction of affairs fall even


1769. Mr. Onllow's Letter to Mr. Wilkes.

559 to the hands of our greateft favourites, good men that lived in those times, and they would soon cease to be favourites luffered as you do now. Remember how when they became placemen. The ty- greatly they were thought of, and how rants, of whom we now complain, were their characters are relpected now, and once patriots, were once the universal be assured to your comfort, that let admiration of the public; but the mo the iron hand of power fall ever so heavy ment they were employed, that moment on you (it can't fall very beavy, from they adopted the measures of minifters your innocence), every honest man, and in general; made their own permanency every gentleman, mut below the same in office, the first great object of their degree of applause on you, as they mus withes, and this will be the conduct of of abhorrence and deteftation on your the opposition, if ever they are able to and their country's enemies. I will cero fupplant them in the government.” Whe taioly call on you to-morrow morning ther this will, or will not be the case, tiine or evening. I have nothing new to only can determine; it is, however, send you. I hope it is not so to you too probable ; but it is also probable, that I am unalterably, that they will not speedily be put to the

Dear Wilkes, teft, as a proclamation is issued for con Your faithful and affectionate vening the parliament in January, which

humble servant, earries very little the appearance of an

GEORCE ONSLOW." intended dissolution.

Curzon Street, Monday night, [To be continued occasionally. ]

Nov. 21, 1763.

Mrs. On now sends you her compli, To the PRINTER, &c. ments. I wish you would appoint ho, SIR,

nelt faithful Humphrey to meet me at I

your house precisely at one o'clock fed letter is not a very severe libel on o Wednesday. I have a thousand things its right honourable author ; and yet to say to him. you may safely print it for though we have laws against felf-murder, there To the AUTHOR of the LONDON are none againk felf-libelling.


X. X. “ My Dear Wilkes, I AM very sorry to have been pre. ments by which infidels endea. vented seeing you to-day; but I hope to vour to make converts to beathenism, have a good account of you by the re. I thall offer to the public an answer turn of my servant who brings you this. to the principal one, which I find frePerhaps you may be hetter if more of quently inculcated by the examiner of your friends beldes myself bave missed religious treatises in the Monthly Retroubling you to-day; as, I am sure, view, who is exalted by his brethren quiet and keeping down your wonder of that work into a kind of divinity. ful flow of spirits must do you good. chair, or rather an anti-divinity one, To most men in your situation such a from whence he endeavours to diri caurion would surely be needless, be- perse over the nation principles, noe caufe men of less greatness of mind and only subversive of the established relia of a less noble spirit than yourself would gion, but of the whole system of re, yield to such a load of damnable perse. velation, and, when carried to their cution, from the most dangerous admis true extent, as inconsistent with natu, niftration that ever was in this countryi ral as revealed religion. To prove the But honest men like yourself know how charge, I thall extract some pasiages 1o despite it and them, and to rise supe. from the Review of August last; where rior to them all.

he comments on an author who has If I had a mind to raise your indig, offered some new interpretations, fup dation, I would bid you think of the ported, indeed, with much more felfa funilarity of these times to those you importance than judgement, of seves and I have talked of with abhorrence; ral difficulties in scripture ; but not but as I mean always to add to your content with refuting him, he thua comfort and fatistaction, I will defire you attacks all commentators, or expound. to think of the fimilarity of your own cir. ers of the scriptures, that this or any cumstances to those of the many great and age hach, or fall produce.




" In pro

4 B

[ocr errors]

the like manner, when the papifts they should have discarded the scriptible 560 Natural and revealed Religion

Not. 17 portion, says he, as the labours of was sublimely metaphorical, taking this gentleman, and other labours of allusions from every object before his, the same kind, are important, they and making as it were the whole matsinjure the credit of the work they ex. rial world subservient to the moral purplain; and while they prove that no poses of true religion and virtue; that man has yet known what is revealed, he calls himself the door, the gate, the they render the divine authority of re- vine, the shepherd, the busbandmax, the velation doubtful; for it is very diffi- fower, and his doctrine fountains of cult to conceive that those who wrote living waters, meat that never peribby the inspiration of the spirit of eth, and feed that groweth up to eterwisdom and truth, should express nal life, &c. &c. and that he particothemselves so, as eventually to inculcate larly explains the words of his fiet error and falsehood.” According to being meat, indeed, to mean spin this position, if any parts of scripture tually and not literally, and that this are difficult to be understood, as all his sacred rițe was to be continued must confess that many are; or if any through all ages in remembrence of bis, have been mifinterpreted by former making the two elements of it, net commentators, as it is well known his real body and blood, but neesid thousands have been ; nay, if they are of it. We are not, I say, to urge such not so clear that none, even the most arguments to convince the papilt

, or * ignorant reader, can possibly mistake least to arm ourselves against such : a single syllable of them; then, ac- pernicious error ; but we are to coscording to this profound cafuilt, it is clude, as one of their popes did," the difficult to conceive them to have been this fable of Christ was wonderfully written by the inspiration of this spirit useful to him and the hierarchy;" and of truth.-By this rule we are not to perhaps, as Lord Shaftsbury insinuata

, cu endeavour to correct any error, even that Christ and his apoitles suffered forp the groffest of antient heresy or popith poverty, distress, ignominy, persecution superstition, by true interpretations tions, tortures, and the most horrid cikar

, of scripture, and rational deductions deaths, in hopes that some fix or state, from thence ; but to conclude, that ven hundred years after the popes, us• as such absurdities have been defend, der pretence of being their vicegerenu ed by perversions and misrepresenta, and successors, might lord it over at porte tions of scriptute, which has thus e-ven the princes of the earth, nay, ouer ! Anca tually inculcated error and falsehood, that is called God, or is worsbipped, ko therefore the scripture cannot have ting in the temple of God, as the paper been written by inspiration from God. does at his coronation on the great al for Gu To give instances. Because a set of tar of St. Peter's, and there, to a whole porte ignorant people, called the Anthropo. proltrate and adoring multitude, menit u bi morphites, believed the hand, the jbew kimself that he is God. Again, finger, the arm, the bosom, the eye, according to this gentleman, we se the ear of God, spoken of in scrip- no longer to praise and admire ti o baie ture, to be real descriptions of the meck and pious zeal of the learned writing Deity, and, therefore, that he had a Wickliff, the bold intrepidity and tibody and limbs like ours, and such as lightening doctrines' of Luther, nor the the popish painters exhibit his por. pious prudence of the no less enlighttrait; we are not to endeavour to ened Cranmer, bearing testimony 19 cure their ignorance, by explaining to the truth in the midit of flames, but of them that these expresions are all meer are to conclude, that these, and al netaphors, strongly delineating the their martyred coadjutors in the Refor power, omniscience, and mercy of mation, were mighty idle and ridico-01 God; but we muft conclude the scrip- lous people for combating the dec. tures false, which eventually led these trines of indulgences, infallibility

, poor people into such an error. In persecution, purgatory, &c. &c. when 10 plead our Saviour's exprellion, this is tures themselves for being capable

of may hody, to defend the most absurd and such perversions. So that the mot impious idolatry that ever fraud engen. gross forgeries, palmed upon any pero dered on ignorance, we are not to sew verted text of fcripture, Mall, accorg then that Chriltos constant language ing to this casuist, be sufficient to con

1769. Defended from the Attacks of a Reviewer. 563 vi& our Saviour and his apostles of be- commit adultery, was not blameable ing themselves guilty of forgery and for his negligence, but the reproack imposture. Admirable casuiftry in. must fall on the scriptures, which deed !--In consequence of it, he pro- ought to have prevented the possibiceeds thus against the author he is lity of soch a mistake. This gentiecriticising upon." He has said man's faith is on lo sandy a foundation, nothing to obviate the dificulty which that not only the press-man, by mismuft arise from supposing a miraculous placing a sheet, might waft it down revelation to depend for its use upon like an infantile house of cards, but the human power of translators, who, even that imp of literature, that beas this author allows, are, by necessary grimed Jackey of the muses, the poor infirmity, sometimes ignorant and little devil himself, by neglecting to sometimes idle."-Again, speaking clean his types, might blot it out for of the eternity of future punishments, ever. he says, “That the denunciation of The next thing which this criterion this punishment wants evidence to com- requires, is a total change in the napel conviction in those whom it exposes ture of things, so that religious and to eternal misery : we neither know moral truths must have the nature of there is a revelation, nor what is re mathematical demonftrations, and a vealed; both are matters of opinion, more coercive efficacy; for they mut and ever have been, and probably ever not only compel convictions when unwill be, the subject of doubt and dispu. derstood, but be instantly understood, tation.”—Théle paragraphs taken as soon as proposed, by all mankind : with the former evidently amount to whereas, in reality, moral truths nethis proposition, as a criterion this ver com pel conviction. Their light, in casuist would establish to judge the natural religion, now tolerably clear fcriptures by, viz. that whatever comes to some bright understandings, accomfrom the spirit of truth must be so panied by humble and virtuous minds; clear, as not only to convince the sen- but the most material of them, the fible, the candid, the humble, and belief of one Almighty Creator, upthe virtuous, but must compel convic- holding all things by his power, and tion in the moft ignorant, the most ruling them with equity and justice; perverse, and the wickedeft of men. this principal fountain of all other reAmongst the pumberless means of ligious and even moral truths, was thewing the extreme and presumptive lost to the generality of the world in absurdity of thus laying down rules a multiplicity of imaginary, shockingly for God to act by, diametrically op- absurd, and vicious deities, if we may posite to his conduct in all the works call those vicious that had no real ex of his creation, let us first see what istence, but were many of them nothing must be previously necessary, before it but vices themselves personized. And was posible for the Almighty himself the foris ejprits; the free-thinkers, to have revealed himself to man ac- amongit them created this belief of a cording to this rule. First, God muft Supreme Deity very cavalierly; the have formed for man one only, lan. Pyrrhonists made it a matter of the guage, to every sentence and word of greatest doubt and uncertainty; their which all mankind must have a fixed near allies, the numerous feet of Acaexactly the same ideas; the tongues demics, used it only as'a subject of inalso of all that speak, the pens, of all that genious disputation; and the Itill more write, and the fingers of all that print numerous sect, the Epicureans, boldly this language, must have been mira- discarded this, and with it all onera culously guided, so as never to have obligation, from their system. Like committed the least mistake; for even this autbor, what others doubted and an error of any one might eventually disputed, they contemptuorilly rejected. lead others into error. Infallibility So that this criterion, is allowed, will must be required of all thele, from à effectually deftroy natural as well as parity of argument by which this au revealed religion. For, though God thor requires it of translators. So did not leave himself without witnels that the printer, who instead of thout amongit the heathens in giving thera Shelt not commit adultery, left out the rain, and tun, and fruitful jealons, negative, and made it a command to yet this witness was so far from com



Natural and revealed Religion

Nor. pelling convi&ion, that we see it almof retic philosophy. I have not seen the loft to the whole world ; though the palage quoted for this purpose, and 'Tindalifts tell us, in the Atrain of this therefore shall give a metrical traglia, author, that wbatever comes from & tion of it, having not Mr. Colman's perfe&t being must be perfe&t, incapable to confulc. Several of Terence's plats of addition, or improvement; consequently, are built on this custom of orderisa ibat natural religion could not want ibe their children to be murdered. li affance of revelation, and, therefore, the Self-Tormentor, Ac IV. Scene I that all that was good in Cbriftianity Sostrata tells her husband Chremes, as was as old as the creation. They dil. without much fear and trembling card Christianity by an impudent af that she had saved a daughter that is sertion, disproved by the histories of had ordered her to destroy. After esall the heathen world. We have treating him not to be too angry with seen what shipwreck the heathens made her, the says, of their faith in the Supreme Deity: to Sofir. You well remember, when I 12 recount the horrid rites with which was pregnant, they worshipped their false gods, You ftrongly urg'd, that if it prov'd a girl, would be to recount what is known to I should not rear it.-Cbrem. Well, I gues every school-boy. But if religious

the sequel ; truths were so lost to them, nay per

Thou spite of me haft rear'd it. S. Yes, 1

have. verted into falsehood and lies; let us

C. At home? -S. O no, but to an el fee, whether moral truths fared better.

Corinthianefs, Amongst the social duties, whether Of no ill fame, gave her to be expos'd. the general good, the eternal relations of

C. Jove! Jove! what folly ? --S. Ah as, ibings, or the moral sense, the natural what have I done? instinct to perceive those relations, be C. What done? the foundation of them, the principal S. If I have fond, I finn'd from igoo of them is the love of parents to their ranke. offspring ; and yet this was fo entirely C. Yes, I am not to learn that all that Yol to the civilized Greeks, that it Or speak't, 'or doft, is ignorance and folly.

think'st, was the constant practice of the two principal states, Athens and Sparta, Hajit thou obey'd my order, thou had't Sais

What fins in one hast thou confeft? For fint, and I believe of all the rest, to breed

it, up only as many children as was con

And not pretending death, fed hopes of life venient and agreeable to them, and But pity, love maternal, I allow it. to drown, or fuffocate, or expose the Yet, what a foreligbt had'At thou, to betray rest in the woods, to be ftarved with Thy daughter to an old Corinthian bawd, cold and hunger, or to be devoured Who would or fell, or keep her, for pollution by dogs and wolves. This horrid cuf. But.come what would, so it but liv'd, yea tom is, I believe, never once men.

car'd not. tioned with reprehention, or detesta

What plagues are they, who-right, wrong

fit, unfit, tion, by any Greek, or Roman bilto. rian, poet, or moralift. On the con Advantage, loss, regard not, but what please!

S. I own my crime, ftand felf-condemn trary, we find it spoke of with the ut

my Chremes; molt indifference. How the remarka. But hope, fince age has foften'd much you bly sententious poet Terence, in a play

temper, translated from Menander, treats this My fully will find pardon in your goodness.. custom, is most amazingly absurd and C. Well, I forgive this act, but, wife, my shocking to every christian car, and lenity may, if any thing can, convince these Still fosters more tranfgresions. anti-christian demagogues of the vast Here is a mother treated as a wilful, advantage mankind has received from foolish, obstinate, rebellious woman, the gospel, wherever it is taught with meerly for not inurdering her innocent any tolerable degree of purity; and babe, when commanded to do it by what horrid weeds and brambles, not her husband; and what is more reonly over-ran the high ways and streets, markable, the character of Chremes is the practical morals of Greece, but drawn as a good-natured man, and grew thick on its Aonian mountains, has one of the moft humane sentiments choaked up the academic walks, and put into his mouth chat ever was ufspoiled the fairelt gardens of its theo- fered by a beathea.


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »