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the present ministers in the time of their predecessors, whom they never ceased to pursue with the loudest clamors whenever the exigencies of the Government reduced them to a lottery. If I, my lords, might presume to recommend to our ministers the most probable method of raising a large sum for the payment of the troops of the Electorate, I should, instead of the tax and lottery now proposed, advise them to establish a certain number of licensed wheel-barrows, on which the laudable trade of thimble and button might be carried on for the support of the war, and shoe-boys might contribute to the defence of the House of Austria by raffling for apples. Having now, my lords, examined, with the utmost candor, all the reasons which have been offered in defence of the bill, I cannot conceal the result of my inquiry. The arguments have had so little effect upon my understanding that, as every man judges of others by himself, I cannot believe that they have any influence even upon those that offer them, and therefore I am convinced that this bill must be the result of considerations which have been hitherto concealed, and is intended to promote designs which are never to be discovered by the authors before their execution. With regard to these motives and designs, however artfully concealed, every lord in this House is at liberty to offer his conjectures. When I consider, my lords, the tendency of this bill, I find it calculated only for the propagation of diseases, the suppression of industry, and the destruction of mankind. I find it the most fatal engine that ever was pointed at a people—an engine by which those who are not killed will be disabled, and those who preserve their limbs will be deprived of their senses. This bill, therefore, appears to be designed only to thin the ranks of mankind, and to disburden the world of the multitudes that inhabit it; and is perhaps the strongest proof of political sagacity that our new ministers have yet exhibited. They well know, my lords, that they are universally detested, and that whenever a Briton is destroyed, they are freed from an enemy; they have therefore opened the flood-gates of gin upon the nation, that, when it is less numerous, it may be more easily governed. Other ministers, my lords, who had not attained to so great a knowledge in the art of making war upon their country, when they found their enemies clamorous and bold, used to awe them with prosecutions and penalties, or destroy them like burglars, with prisons and with gibbets. But every age, my lords, produces some improvement; and every nation, however degenerate, gives birth, at some happy period of time, to men of great and enterprising genius. It is our fortune to be witnesses of a new discovery in politics. We may congratulate ourselves upon being contemporaries with those men who have shown that hangmen and halters are unnecessary in a state; and that ministers may escape the reproach of destroying their enemies by inciting them to destroy themselves. This new method may, indeed, have upon different constitutions a different operation; it may destroy the lives of some and the senses of others; but either of these effects will answer the purposes of the ministry, to whom it is indifferent, provided the nation becomes insensible whether pestilence or lunacy prevails among them. Either mad or dead the greatest part of the people must quickly be, or there is no hope of the continuance of the present ministry. For this purpose, my lords, what could have been invented more efficacious than an establishment of a certain number of shops at which poison may be vended—poison so prepared as to please the palate, while it wastes the strength, and only kills by intoxication? From the first instant that any of the enemies of the ministry shall grow clamorous and turbulent, a crafty hireling may lead him to the ministerial slaughter-house, and ply him with their wonder-working liquor till he is no longer able to speak or think; and, my lords, no man can be more agreeable to our ministers than he that can neither speak nor think, except those who speak without thinking. But, my lords, the ministers ought to reflect that though all the people of the present age are their enemies, yet they have made no trial of the temper and inclinations of posterity. Our successors may be of opinions very different from ours. They may perhaps approve of wars on the Continent, while our plantations are insulted and our trade obstructed; they may think the support of the House of Austria of more importance to us than our own defence; and may perhaps so far differ from their fathers, as to imagine the treasures of Britain very properly employed in supporting the troops, and increasing the splendor, of a foreign Electorate.
Philip Doddridge was a popular and celebrated preacher, and as a writer of hymns he deserves a place by the side of Watts. He was born in London in 1702. His father was a London merchant and his mother was the daughter of a Bohemian clergyman who had fled to England to escape religious persecution. Having been active for several years in the capacity of instructor at various non-conformist schools, he was in 1739 intrusted with the management of the Harborough Institution, a seminary for the education of dissenting ministers. In the same year he received a call from Northampton which he accepted and where he labored till his death, which occurred at Lisbon in 1751.
Doddridge owed his popularity as a preacher, it is said, to “his high susceptibility, joined with physical advantages and perfect sincerity.” His sermons are of a practical nature, always aiming to prepare and improve the minds of his hearers for the reception of religious truths, as instanced in his sermon “On Seeing Him That is Invisible.”
He was always cautious and anything but dogmatic when he approached disputed points in theology. He then preferred to quote the expressions of the sacred writers themselves, allowing the hearer to #: his own conclusion, unbiassed by the prejudices of human authorities.