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that all the maritime powers were exhausted by the war; that they stood in need of long repose to recover themselves; that, in fact, their fleet and seamen were nearly all gone; that now / now / NOW OR NEVER was the motto; that, by a good hearty exertion, this Republic, this dungerous evample to the world, might be for ever got rid of. There were many amongst these publishers and their patrons, who hoped for, who expected, and who encouraged the notion of, a re-colonization of the Republican States. They openly proclaimed this; and, indeed, I verily believe, that, about four months ago, a great part of the nation had been persuaded, that the project would be accomplished very speedily. Thess was the war rendered popular; and so popular, that, even in the city of London, and at a Common Hall, a motion for a pe. tition against the continuance of the American war, though coupled with a call for the discontinuance of the Income Tax, which that war rendered indispensable, could not obtain a moment's hearing. The People were worked up to a senseless spirit of resentment, while those who had so worked the m up, bad in view the utter subversion of the American Republic, and with her, the last remains of political liberty. Here, then, we have the real objects of the friends of tyranny; the sons and daughters of corruption; the race who never can be at heart's ease while the sun shines upon one free country; upon one nation happy in the enjoyment of liberty. These people had seen liberty, and the very hope of liberty, destroyed in France; their long existing hopes of seeing that object accomplished had been just fully gratified; but they, who are as cunning as they are wicked, clearly saw that nothing, and, perhaps, worse than nothing, was done, unless the free Constitution of the American Republic could be destroyed. The sons and daughters of corruption foresaw, that, while this Republic existed, nothing was done; that the “evample,” to use the words of the Times, “ of the evistence of such a Go“vernment,” would keep Bribery and Corruption in constant dread and constant danger; that the example of a people living under a Government such as that of America, without tumults, without commotions, would always be a handle for the friends of reform to lay hold of; and, therefore, they anxiously wished for the overthrow of that Government; therefore they wished
to see Mr. Madison deposed; therefore they wished to see an aristocratical faction raised up against the Republican Government; they thought, that war, necessarily producing taxes heavier than the Republicans had ever been used to, would furnish the aristocratical faction with a plaui. ground of complaint; they were in hopes of thus producing, first, violent opposition to the war; next, something like open REBELLION ; next, a division of the States; and, last, the conquest or overthrow of the whole. This was the main ground of hope with these malignant publishers; these enemies of real freedom ; these sons and daughters of Bribery and Corruption, whose hearts overflowed with gall, whose eye-balls were seared by the sight of a people, who chose their representatives every twenty-four months, in the choosing of whom every man paying tares had a voice, whose chief magistrate even was chosen from amongst his fellow-citizens every four years, without any pecuniary or religious qualification; and whose whole Government, civil, judicial, military, and naval, did not cost above a tenth part as much as the amount of the Civil List alone in England, though the population of the country was nearly equal to that of England. This was an object that blasted their sight. They could not endure it. They were mad at the thought of its being left in existence. They saw that, while this spectacle was in the world, they were never safe. It was useless, in their view of the matter, to have restored the Bourbons, the Pope, the Dominicans, and the Inquisition, while America remained an example and an asylum for the oppressed of all nations.
Hence these malignant writers left nothing undone to urge the nation on to a continuation of the war. Every art was made use of to encourage an acquiescence in the project. Mr. Madison was held up as the basest of men; as a traitor, who, at a moment when England was in great danger from the designs and the power of Napoleon, took advantage of our embarrassment, and declared war with a design to assist him in totally ruining us. But the great inducement, the great ground of hope of final seccess was, the expected division of the States. It was well known that there was an aristocratical faction in the four States, called the New England, or Eastern States; that some very artful men, in that part cf the Union, had stirred wp a sort of rebellion. The influence as
these men was magnified ; and a belief was created, that a division would take place. This hope, however, has failed; and you will have the pleasure to see, in a short time, this faction plunged into irretrievable disgrace and ruin. o Having now endeavoured to place in a clear light, the cause of the war, and the causcs of its continuance gfter the European peace, I shall, in another letter, state the causes of the peace, and its probable important consequences, In the meanwhile I remain, with the greatest respect, and most sincere attachment, your faithful and obedient servant,
MRS., SPENCER PERCEVAL.
Ye lovers of cant ' Ye hypocrites, religious, moral, and political : Draw near and regale yourselves with a treat. Here is one who surpasses you all. . The following paragraph from the Courier of the 4th instant, on the subject of this lady's reported intended marriage, will make every man of sense and sincerity laugh. It is clearly discernable, that the canting fellow believes the report to be true, and that his object is to frighten the lady with the condemnation of public opimion. Ladies, in such cases, are not so easily frightened, let me tell him; and they would be fools if they were. “The “country has voted a large pension.” He means the Members of Parliament. But what then 2 Was it made a condition, that she should not fall in love with a “ hand“some Major * Away, you paltry, snivelling hypocrite, whoever you may be ; and, Fo you may be a rival of the lady. Things much more unlikely have been ; tricks more strange have been played off through the press of London, which has frequently been made the tool in the hands of those who wisfied to break off, or to make up matches. Well, Madam, (for, I am sure, you are no man) suppose the łady is twelve years older than the Major, could you not have left him to find that out 2 And suppose she has twelve children, did not the Major know that, think you ? No ; no ; you'll never persuade the lady, that her reputation will suffer from marrying a handsome young man. The public will pay her pension as cheerfully when she is Mrs. CARR, as if she had remained Mrs. PERCEVAL ; and, for my own part, I shall
pay my part of it with a great deal less dissatisfaction.—The following is the article —“The reports of the intended mar“riage of Mrs. Perceval are, we believe, “quite unfounded. They have arisen from &g i. intercourse with a neighbour's family, that of the Rev. Mr. Carr, the Clergyman of Ealing, where Mrs. Perceval lives. Mr. Carr has some charming daughters, and to them Mrs. Perceval has within the last two months shewn particular attention, visiting, and “having them at home with her frequently. The Rev. Mr. Carr has two sons, one a Colonel, the other a Major in the Army. The latter, now at home, is a remarkably handsome man, about thirty, and he “is the person whom the town tattle has destined as the bridegroom, merely because, on his sisters’ account, he has shewn becoving respect, which has been becomingly received by Mrs. Perceval. But Mrs. Perceval is twelve years older “ than he is, with twelve children, the children of our late excellent Prime “Minister, who fell by the hands of an “assassin. Mrs. Perceval's love of her children, her reverence for the memory of an adored husband, whom she lost under circumstances so awful, would be suresafe
guards for her conduct, even if it were pos
sible to forget the exalted place she occu
pies in the eye'of society. The heavy grief,' turning her almost to stone, which she felt for the loss of her husband, the conspi
cuous part she has taken among the most
“religious, moral, and amiable class; the ex
“ample her conduct has set in all respects,
renders it impossible to believe she will take a step so contrary to the course she
has hitherto pursued. The Country has
“dome every thing kind and honourable
to her, voting her a large pension during life, providing for her children, &c.—
Among the children of her late Lord,
she finds the highest consolation for his
“loss, and she is the last person who will
“forget him so far as to throw herself into
“ the arms of any other Gentleman, how
permitted to state, that the people of this town did not shew any extraordinary symptoms of joy, on the arrival here of the JBrunswick Hussars, who were called in by the Mayor to assist in quelling the late riot;-and several very respectable inhabitants, who had been summoned, and had attended, in aid of the civil power, declined icing any further assistance when the j. troops arrived, assigning, as the reason, their disapprobation of the measure. I do not pretend to say, whether these persons thought or acted right or not; neither shall I undertake to decide with whom originated the several disputes in which the Germans were engaged whilst here; but shall conclude my narrative by stating, that some very unpleasant occurrences having taken place in the evening of Tuesday, December 13th, the Hussars hastily and unexpectedly took their final (but very abrupt) departure from the town about midnight! To the events of that evening is to be ascribed the circumstance alluded to in the following paragraph which appeared this day in the Norfolk Chronicle and Norwich Mercury newspapers, under the head of Lynn news:– “The private “belonging to the 5th Dragoon Guards, “who was seriously wounded here a short “time since, in a fray with the Brunswick “Hussars, we are glad to find is in a fair “way of recovery.”—I am, &c. Lynn, Dec. 31st. A BY-STANDER.
riot in question. And it ought to be further recorded, that the sailors confined their proceedings solely to the objects connected with their dispute; namely, the preventing mariners from proceeding to sea at the reduced wages, and the liberating their comrades who had been taken into custody; and that, in every other respect, they avoided offering the slightest insult or molestation; for when, in the struggle to effect the release of their come panions, they had overcome every effort of the civil power to resist them; when they had thus become, as it were, masters of the place, they immediately retired with their rescued brethren, and the town became as peaceable as if nothing had occurred. It is but justice to make these facts public; for, though the circumstance of breaking open the prison cannot be denied, yet it is hoped the above considerations may plead, and plead strongly, in mitigation of Punishment.—The writer in the Courier observes, “ that the Mayor and other Magistrates “deserve, from..every peaceable and well“disposed inhabitant, the most singere “ thanks, as their conduct was greatly to “be admired.”—Now, Sir, though all this may be true, and though I believe the mass of the inhabitants of this town to be as peaceable and well-disposed as most people, yet they seem not, at present, to have caught the enthusiasm of the Courier's correspondent. They feel attached to the character of the British seaman, with all his faults, and with all his errors, they entertain a respect for some political opinions of their ancestors; but the “sincere “ thanks” for the much-to-be-admired conduct above-mentioned, are yet to come.Though by no means deficient in the rights of hospitality, yet no expressions of their admiration have hitherto burst forth at the jovial entertainment given by the Mayor (at his own house) to the German Officers, the day after their arrival.—Now, Sir, as animadverting upon certain local political occurrences, is sometimes a ticklish point, which no man can more feelingly describe than yourself; and as placards and sarcastic hand-bills are posting and flying about here in various directions, it would be friendly in you to act as a Monitor to the “deluded” inhabitants of this town, lest, peradventure, through any mistaken zeal for the constitutional notions of their ancestors, they should fall into perious error, by murmuring when they should
SIR,-HELVETIUS remarks “That “Governments are the judges of actions, “ and not of opinions. If FAITH (says he) “be a gift of Heaven, they who have it “mot, deserve to be pitied ; and not pu“nished ;” and adds, “it is the excess of “inhumanity to persecute an unfortuuste “person.” Every age and country furmish us with proofs, that it is possible for persons of opposite opinions to live in harmony together, and with abundant testimonies that people entertaining the greatest diversity of tenets have been alike good husbands, fathers, children, and citizens.—Governments are instituted for the preservation of social order, consequently they have a right to look to our conduct, which, if they are wise, they can sufficiently regulate by proper civil laws founded on the nature of man, his interests, and his wants. If we deport ourselves in a manner compatible with the good of society, neither legislatures nor individuals have a just pretence, authoritatively, to interfere with our opinions, let them be ever so ridiculous or absurd. As to Faith, I would say the same of it as La Rochefoucault says of Love, it is perfectly involuntary, and therefore it is no more in our power to believe or disbelieve, than it is to love or to let it alone. Why, then, persecute a person for a defect in the understanding, or a bias he cannot help ?—Will any reasonable person assert that man ever chooses evil for the sake of evil? or embraces error because it is error 2 No | we make choice of bad through our depraved taste, and we receive false doctrine because we think it true. If this be admitted, ought not those who deem others wrong, and conceive themselves to be blessed with a knowledge of what is right, to have compassion for such as have the misfortune to be deluded with mistaken notions 2 and if their faculties should be so benumbed with prejudice that we cannot convince
them, ought we not to have a still greater tenderness for what we consider their lost condition, instead of despising, rejecting, and punishing them 2 Priests may say what they please, but disinterested men will never agree to their positions as to people “turning a deaf ear,” being “wilfully blind,” or “hardening their own hearts against the truth.” It would be the grossest presumption in us to arrogate such a power over ourselves. Whatever appertains to us must be an effect, of which God, or the Devil by his permission, is the cause. And would it not be much more consistent with Christian charity, to view the different notions of our brethren in this favourable light? Those who avow sentiments contrary to popular superstitions, and thus incur that contempt and opprobrium which the bigotry of the vulgar always bestows, are by far more likely to be in earnest than they who conform to general customs and commonly received opinions; and what impartial man can doubt the sincerity of the Deists in their religious professions more than any other class of people The reason why the mass of mankind doubt whether there be such persons as servent Deists, is because they are not aware of their mode of reasoning ; or, if they are, they do not feel its force ; and, like the Deists, cannot draw the same conclusions from the same premises that they do. Deism has had nearly as long standing in this country as the Reformation. It was first promulgated in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and is said to have been imported from Italy, perhaps from the circumstance of i country being about that time honoured by the visit of several eminent Italian philosophers, among whom we can name the celebrated Doctors Lucilio Vanimo and Giordano Bruno, both of whom woultimately led to the stake and recoved the crown of martyrdom; the firstät Toulouse, through the good offices of an Attorwey-General, and the last at Venice, from the hands of Inquisitors, for stedfastly adhering to the Doctrines they had broached.* The first English writer upon the subject was Lord Herbert, of Cherbury, whose book, “De Ventate,” was published | in 1624; since which they have had among their number many of the greatest
* See the Lives of Bruno, Vanini, Spinoza, Bodin, and Campanella, in Iłayle's General Dietionary.
and best men this country has produced. —Within the last twenty years Deists have become very numerous; probably more so than is generally suspected, as many thousands of them do not openly avow their convictions on account of the Prejudices excited against them by the priesthood, who, of course, cannot be much attached to persons whose opinions are opposed to their interests. But whether they make a public profession of their sentiments, or only impart them to the liberal minded, have generally found them to have a stricter sense of justice, honour, and morality, than, I am sorry to say, the greater part of my fellow-Christians possess.— Whether their general good conduct arises from their consciousness that the Philistines keep a jealous eye upon them, and would take a malignant pleasure in magnifying: their indiscretions ; or whether it is a consequence of the morality taught by the religion of NATURE being unsophisticated by dogmas, creeds, or the mysterious wonders of faith, I will not pretend to determine; but merely, as an humble aspirer to the charity of Jesus, bear witness of the fact, and doubt mot of my testimony being corroborated by every unbiassed observer of man. Having said thus much, and having in my last given a slight sketch of the plain and simple tenets of these people, might I not ask, whether the conduct of Christian States in persecuting the Deists, does not subject them to the same reproaches which they have bestowed on those who persecuted their predecessors : To illustrate this question, I shall occasionally make a few extracts from the pious and learned Dr. Mosheim, late Chancellor of the University of Gottingen, who stands without a competitor as a writer of ecclesiastical history. When treating of the calamitous events which happened to the Church, during the first century, he has these remarkable words: *—“The innocence and “virtue that distinguished so eminently “the lives of Christians, and the spotless “purity of the doctrine they taught, could “not defend them against the virulence “and malignity of the Jews;” and again, “This odious malignity of the Jewish “doctors was undoubtedly owing to a secret “apprehension that the progress of Chris“tianity would destroy the credit of Juda
* Vol. I. cent 1. part 1. chap. v.
• * “ism, and bring on the ruin of their pomp“ous ceremonies.”—When we cousider the change which time makes in every thing ; when we reflect upon what Christianity then was, and what Deism is now, shall we wonder if the Deists, at the present day, apply these passages, in their schools, to their own unfortunate case. They, like the early Christians, are moral and sincere ; but their morality and sincerity is no protection. Who shall decide in matters of opinion ? Not the law : it will justify the Jews against the Christians, and they will have cause to complain. A little further Mosheim says, “The Christians persecuted by the priests, “ and the people set on to persecute them “in the most vehement manner.”—The Deists may, for aught I know, rank some of our priests with the savages of those days ; but I should be sorry to go so far myself. In the same chapter he tells us, that
Nero was the first Roman Emperor who
enacted laws against the Christians, and says, “The principal reason why the Ro“mans persecuted the Christians, ceems “to have been the abhorrence and con“ tempt with which the latter regarded the “religion of the empire, which was so in“timately connected with the form, and, “ indecd, with the essence of its political “constitution.”—The Jews and the Romans, like us, had costly temples, altars, sculptures, paintings, solemn forms, grand ceremonies, sublime mysteries, innumerable priests with fine garments, expensive offerings, tythes, and rates; but the early Christians, like our simple Deists, did not know the imestimable value and important, advantages of these things, which the Romans seemed duly to appreciate, as appears by the following :-“Another circumstance which irritated “the Romans against the Christians, was “the simplicity of their worship, which re“sembled in nothing the sacred lites of any “other people. The Christians had neither “sacrifices nor temples, nor images, nor “ oracles, for sacerdotal orders ; and this “was sissicient to bring upon them the re“proaches of an ignorant mustode, who “imagined that there could be no religion “without them : thus they were looked “upon as a set of Atheists.”—“But this “was not all ; (continues Mosheim) the “sordid interests of a multitude of selfish
“ and of priests, were immediately con