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heart, where he alone can look--if he finds that our conduct, though often forced out of the path by our infirmities, has been in general well directed, his all-searching eye will assuredly never pursue us into those little corners of our lives, much less will his justice select them for punishment, without the general context of our existence, by which faults may be sometimes found to have grown out of virtues, and very many of our heaviest offences to have been grafted by human imperfection upon the best and kindest of our affections. No, gentlemen, believe me, this is not the course of divine justice, or there is no truth in the Gospel of Heaven. If the general tenor of a man's conduct be such as I have represented it, he may walk through the shadow of death, with all his faults about him, with as much cheerfulness as in the common paths of life, because he knows that, instead of a stern accuser to expose before the Author of his nature those frail passages, which, like the scored matter in the book before you, checkers the volume of the brightest and best spent life, his mercy will obscure them from the eye of his purity, and our repentance blot them out forever.

Speech on the Trial of Stockdale.


How any man can rationally vindicate the publication of such a book, in a country where the Christian religion is the very foundation of the law of the land, I am totally at a loss to conceive, and have no ideas for the discussion of. How is a tribunal, whose whole jurisdiction is founded upon the solemn belief and practice of what is here denied as falsehood, and reprobated as impiety, to deal with such an anomalous defence ? Upon what principle is it even offered to the court, whose authority is contemned and mocked at? If the religion proposed to be called in question is not previously adopted in belief and solemnly acted upon, what authority has the court to pass any judgment at all of acquittal or condemnation? Why am I now, or upon any other occasion, to submit to his lordship’s authority? Why am I now, or at any time, to address twelve of my equals, as I am now addressing you, with reverence and submission ? Under what sanction are the witnesses to give their evidence, without which there can be no trial ? Under what obligations can I call upon you, the jury representing your country, to administer justice ? Surely upon no other than that you are sworn to administer it under the oaths you have taken. The whole judicial fabric, from the king's sovereign authority to the lowest office of magistracy, has no other foundation. The whole is built, both in form and substance, upon the same oath of every one of its ministers to do justice, as God shall help them hereafter. What God? And what hereafter? That God, undoubtedly, who bas commanded kings to rule, and judges to decree justice; who has said to witnesses, not only by the voice of nature, but in revealed commandments, Thou shalt not bear false testimony against thy neighbor; and who has enforced obedience to them by the revelation of the unutterable blessings which shall attend their observance, and the awful punishments which shall await upon their transgression.

But it seems this is an age of reason, and the time and the person are at last arrived that are to dissipate the crrors which have overspread the past generations of ignorance. The believers in Christianity are many, but it belongs to the few that are wise to correct their credulity. Belief is an act of reason, and superior reason may, therefore, dictate to the weak. In running the mind over the long list of sincere and devout Christians, I cannot help lamenting that Newton had not lived to this day, to have had his shallowness filled up with this new flood of light. But the subject is too awful for irony. I will speak plainly and directly. Newton was a Christian ! Newton, whose mind burst forth from the fetters fastened by nature upon our finite conceptions; Newton, whose science was truth, and the foundation of whose knowledge of it was philosophy, not those visionary and arrogant presumptions which too often usurp its name, but philosophy resting upon the basis of mathematics, which, like figures, cannot lie; Newton, who carried the line and rule to the uttermost barriers of creation, and explored the principles by which all created matter exists and is held together.

But this extraordinary man, in the mighty reach of his mind, overlooked, perhaps, the errors which a minuter investigation of the created things on this earth might have taught him. What shall then be said of the great Mr. Boyle, who looked into the organic structure of all matter, even to the inanimate substances which the foot treads on? Such a man may be supposed to have been equally qualified with Mr. Paine to look through nature up to nature's God; yet the result of all his contemplations was the most confirmed and devout belief in all which the other holds in contempt, as despicable and drivelling superstition.

But this error might, perhaps, arise from a want of due attention to the foundations of human judgment, and the structure of that understanding which God has given us for the investigation of truth. Let that question be answered by Mr. Locke, who, to the highest pitch of devotion and adoration, was a ChristianMr. Locke, whose office was to detect the errors of thinking by going up to the very fountains of thought, and to direct into the proper track of reasoning the devious mind of man, by showing him its whole process, from the first perceptions of sense to the last conclusions of ratiocination; putting a rein upon false opinion by practical rules for the conduct of human judgment.

But these men, it may be said, were only deep thinkers, and lived in their closets, unaccustomed to the traffic of the world and to the laws which practically regulate mankind. Gentlemen, in the place where we now sit to administer the justice of this great country, the never-to-be-forgotten Sir Matthew Hale presided, whose faith in Christianity is an exalted commentary upon its truth and reason, and whose life was a glorious example of its fruits; whose justice, drawn from the pure fountain of the Christian dispensation, will be, in all ages, a subject of the highest reverence and admiration.

But it is said by this author that the Christian fable is but the tale of the more ancient superstitions of the world, and may be easily detected by a proper understanding of the mythologies of the heathens. Did Milton understand those mythologies ? Was he less versed than Mr. Paine in the superstitions of the world? No;—they were the subject of his immortal song, and, though shut out from all recurrence to them, he poured them forth from the stores of a memory rich with all that man ever knew, and laid them in their order as the illustration of that real and exalted faith, the unquestionable source of that fervid genius which has cast a sort of shade upon most of the other works of man

“ He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time:
The living Throne, the sapphire blaze,
Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw: but, blasted with excess of light,

Clos d his eyes in endless night.”' But it was the light of the body only that was extinguished : “The celestial light shone inward, and enabled him to justify

of God to man. Thus you find all that is great, or wise, or splendid, or illustrious, amongst created beings; all the minds gifted beyond ordinary nature, if not inspired by its universal Author for the advancement and dignity of the world, though divided by distant ages and by clashing opinions, yet joining as it were in one sublime chorus to celebrate the truths of Christianity, laying upon its holy altars the never-fading offerings of their immortal wisdom.

the ways



There are some names in literary history that we would gladly pass over in silence, were it not that their talents and genius demand some notice from the chronicler of letters. This is the case with Lord Byron, Such was his waywardness of character, such his vicious propensities, and such his gross licentiousness and open infidelity, that we would gladly do our part that his name should be forever buried in oblivion, were it not that, in consequence of his brilliant genius and his uncommon mental endowments, the interest of the public mind was so generally, and for so long a time, concentrated upon him. We must, therefore, give him a place among the authors of the nineteenth century.

George Gordon Byron, the only son of Captain Byron and Catharine, sole child and heiress of George Gordon, Esq., of Gight, in Scotland, was born in London on the 22d of January, 1788. After preparing for the University at Harrow School, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, 1805, with a reputation for general information very rare in one of his age. Indeed, we have his own record of an almost incredible list of works, in many departments of literature, which he had read before the age of fifteen. At the university, he neglected the prescribed course of study, but was by no means idle. In 1807, appeared his first published work, “ The Hours of Idleness," a collection of poems in no way remarkable, and now chiefly remembered through the castigation which it received through the “Edinburgh Review.” To this critique, which galled, but did not depress him, we owe the first spirited outbreak of his talents, in the satire entitled “ English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,” which was published in 1809. Able and vigorous as this was, and creditable to his talents, it contained so many harsh and absurd judgments, that he was afterwards anxious to sup

press it.

A few days before the publication of this satire, he took his seat in the House of Lords ; but he was ill qualified to shine in politics, and made no impression. The same year he left England, and travelled on the continent. In 1811, he returned home, his private affairs being much em. barrassed, and having lost his mother. He brought with him the two first cantos of “Childe Harold," which he had written abroad. They were published in March, 1812, and were received by the public with the most unbounded admiration, so that Byron emerged at once from a state of loneliness and neglect, unusual for one in his sphere of life, to be the magnet and idol of society. As he tersely says in his memoranda, “I awoke one morning, and found myself famous." In May of the next year, appeared his “ Giaour;" and in November, the “ Bride of Abydos" (written in a week); and, about three months afterwards, the “ Corsair," written in the astonishingly short space of ten days. On the 2d of January, 1815, he was married 10 Miss Milbanke, the only daughter and heiress of Sir Ralph Milbanke, the only issue of which marriage was Augusta


Ada, born on the 10th of December of that year. On the 15th of January of the next year, the husband and wife separated for ever. The cause of this was, and still is, a mystery. But most of those who composed the circles in which Lord Byron moved declared against him, and society withdrew its countenance. Deeply stung by the verdict, he resolved to leave his country, and on the 25th of April, 1816, he quitted England for the last time. His course was through Flanders, and along the Rhine to Switzer. land, where he resided until the close of the year, and where he composed some of his most powerful works-the third canto of “Childe Harold,” the “ Prisoner of Chillon," “ Darkness," " The Dream,” part of “Manfred," and a few minor poems. The next year he went to Italy, where, for a course of years, he gave himself up to the grossest species of libertinism; and where, as might be expected, he wrote his most licentious and blasphemous works.

In 1823, he interested himself warmly in the cause of the Greeks, then struggling to throw off the Turkish yoke; and in December of that year, sailed for Greece, with all the funds he could command, to aid the oppressed in their efforts for freedom. This was, certainly, a redeeming trait in his character, and we are glad to record it. On the 5th of January, 1824, he arrived at Missolonghi, where his reception was enthusiastic, the whole population coming out to meet him. But he had scarcely arranged his plans to aid the nation he had so befriended, when he was seized with a sever, and expired on the 191h of April, 1824.

Of the character of Lord Byron's poetry, there can be but one opinion with every honest and pure mind-that, while it exhibits powers of de. scription unusually great, and is full of passages of exquisite beauty, it cannot, as a whole, be read without the most injurious influence upon the moral sensibilities. The tendency of it is to shake our confidence in virtue, and to diminish our abhorrence of vice; to palliate crime, and to unsettle our notions of right and wrong. “Humiliating was the waste and degradation of his genius, and melancholy is the power which his poetry has exerted upon multitudes of minds.' The moral tendency of some of his poems is exceedingly pernicious: his complete works ought never to be purchased, and we may feel proud not to be acquainted with them, except by extracts and beauties.” Indeed, if any one should possess the fiendish desire to break down the principles of virtue in any young man or young woman, the best way to begin would be to put a copy of Byron's works into the hands of the destined victim. “Forewarned-forearmed."


The seal is set.-Now welcome, thou dread power !
Nameless, yet thus omnipotent, which here

1 And yet there are said to be schools where his works are regularly studied. Proh pudor!

2 We read with horror the accounts of the gladiatorial exhibitions among the

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