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Adopt my honorable friend's amendment (Mr. twice as great as was formerly deemed subcia Calcraft), and you reduce them to about four when all Europe was involved in domestie trea thousand, which is still somewhat above their les, and war raged in some parts, and was abog number in the last peace.
to spread over the whole. It is not my fans Sir, I have done. I have discharged my duty that peace will have returned without its acces. Peroration : to the country; I have accepted the tomed blessings; that our burdens are to rer free from all challenge of the ministers to discuss undiminished; that our liberties are to be me te rahe to the question; I have met them fairly, aced by a standing army, without the pretesse jurious sys and grappled with the body of the ar- of necessity in any quarter to justify its contre sued gument. I may very possibly have ance. The blame is not mine that a brilliant failed to convince the House that this establish- and costly army of household troops, of empre ment is enormous and unjustifiable, whether we cedented numbers, is allowed to the Crown Witregard the burdened condition of the country, or out the shadow of use, unless it be to pamper : the tranquil state of its affairs at home, or the vicious appetite for military show, to gratiar a universal repose in which the world is lulled, or passion for parade, childish and contempulle; the experience of former times, or the mischiev- unless, indeed, that nothing can be an object of ous tendency of large standing armies in a con- contempt which is at once dangerous to tbe Coe stitutional point of view, or the dangerous nature stitution of the country, and burdensomne to the of the arguments urged in their support upon resources of the people. I shall further recu the present occasion. All this I feel very deep- my resistance to this system by my vote; sad ly; and I am also very sensible how likely it is never did I give my voice to any proposition with that, on taking another view, you should come more hearty satisfaction than I now de to the to an opposite determination. Be it so; I have amendment of my honorable friend. done my duty; I have entered my protest. It can not be laid to my charge that a force is to The amendment was voted down by a majes. be maintained in profound and general peace ity of eighty.
OF MR. BROUGHAM IN BEHALF OF WILLIAMS WHEN PROSECUTED FOR A LIBEL ON THE CLERT OF DURHAM, DELIVERED AT DURHAM BEFORE THE COURT OF KING'S BENCH, AUGUST 9, a
INTRODUCTION. MR. WILLIAMS was editor of the Chronicle, a paper published at Durham, in the north of England and distinguished for its assertion of free principles in Church and State.
When Queen Caroline died, August 7, 1821, the established clergy of Darham would not allow the bells of their churches to be tolled in the ordinary manner as a token of respect to her memory. This fact called out the following remarks from Mr. Williams, in his paper of August 10, 1821:
"So far as we have been able to judge from the accounts in the public papers, a mark of respect to her late Majesty has been almost universally paid throughout the kingdom, when the painful tidings d her decease were received, by tolling the bells of the cathedrals and cburches. But there is one escep tion to this very creditable fact which demands especial notice. In this episcopal city, containing si churches independently of the cathedral, not a single bell announced the departure of the magnanimous spirit of the most injured of queens--the most persecuted of women. Thus the brutal enmity of those who embittered her mortal existence pursues her in her shroud.
“We know not whether any actual orders were issued to prevent this customary sign of mourning; but the omission plainly indicates the kind of spirit which predominates among our clergy. Yet these men profess to be followers of Jesus Christ, to walk in his footsteps, to teach his precepts, to inculcate his spirit, to promote harmony, charity, and Christian love! Out upon such hypocrisy! It is such as duct which renders the very name of our established clergy odious, till it stinks in the postrils; that makes our churches look like deserted sepulchers, rather than temples of the living God; that raises op CODventicles in every corner, and increases the brood of wild fanatics and enthusiasts; that causes our beneficed dignitaries to be regarded as usurpers of their possessions ; that deprives them of all pastoral im fluence and respect; that, in short, has left them no support or prop in the attachment or veneration of the people. Sensible of the decline of their spiritual and moral influence, they cling to temporal power, and lose in their officiousness in political matters, even the semblance of the character of ministers of religion. It is impossible that such a system can last. It is at war with the spirit of the age, as well as with justice and reason, and the beetles who crawl about amid its boles and crevices act as if they were striving to provoke and accelerate the blow, which, sooner or later, will inevitably crush the whole fab ric and level it with the dust.”
Mr. Williams was prosecuted for these remarks as a libel on the clergy of Durham, and was defonded by Mr. Brougham in the following speech, which for bitter irony and withering invective has bardiy its equal in our language.
SPEECH, &c. GentleMEN OF THE Jury,—My learned invariably a condition following close behind, friend (Mr. Scarlett), the Attorney General for which entirely retracted the concession prothe Bishop of Durham, having at considerable vided always the discussion be carried on harmlength offered to you various conjectures as to lessly, temperately, calmly''-that is to say, in the line of defense which he supposed I should such a manner as to leave the subject untouched, pursue upon this occasion; having nearly ex- and the reader unmoved ; to satisfy the public hausted every topic which I was not very likely | prosecutor, and to please the persons attacked. to urge, and elaborately traced, with much fan- My learned friend has asked if the defendant cy, all the ground on which I could hardly be knows that the Church is established The Church, expected to tread-perhaps it may be as well | by law? He knows it, and so do I. like the other
institutions of that I should now, in my turn, take the liberty The Church is established by law, as die country, of stating to you what really is the defendant's the civil government-as all the insti. by law. case, and that you should know from myself tutions of the country are established by law what I do intend to lay before you. As my as all the offices under the Crown are estab. learned friend has indulged in so many remarks lished by law, and all who fill them are by the Remarks on upon what I shall not say, I may take law protected. It is not more established, nor the Attorney leave to offer a single observation on more protected, than those institutions, officers, General as what he has said ; and I think I may and office-bearers, each of which is recognized much be felt appeal to any one of you who ever and favored by the law as much as the Church; of his case. served upon a jury or witnessed a tri- but I never yet have heard, and I trust I never al, and ask if you ever before this day saw a pub- shall; least of all do I expect, in the lesson which lic prosecutor who stated his case with so much your verdict this day will read, to hear that those art and ingenuity-wrought up his argument officers and office-bearers, and all those instituwith such pains—wandered into so large a field tions, sacred and secular, and the conduct of all, of declamation—or altogether performed his task whether laymen or priests, who administer them, in so elaborate and eloquent a fashion as the At- are not the fair subjects of open, untrammeled, torney General has done upon the present occa manly, zealous, and even vehement discussion, sion. I do not blame this course. I venture not as long as this country pretends to liberty, and even to criticise the discretion he has exercised prides herself on the possession of a free press. in the management of his cause; and I am far, In the publication before you the defendant indeed, from complaining of it. But I call upon has not attempted to dispute the high It is liable, you to declare that inference which I think you character of the Church; on that Es- like theen, to must already have drawn in your own minds, tablishment, or its members generally, scrutiny. and come to that conclusion at which I certainly he has not endeavored to fix any stigma. Those have arrived—that he felt what a laboring case topics, then, are foreign to the present inquiry, he had—that he was aware how very different and I have no interest in discussing them; yet, his situation to-day is from any he ever before after what has fallen from my learned friend, it knew in a prosecution for libel—and that the ex- is fitting that I should claim for this defendant, traordinary pressure of the difficulties he had to and for all others, the right to question-freely struggle with drove him to so unusual a course. to question--not only the conduct of the ministers He has called the defendant “ that unhappy of the Established Church, but even the foundaman." Unhappy he will be, indeed, but not the tions of the Church itself. It is, indeed, unneconly unhappy man in this country, if the docessary for my present purpose, because I shall trines laid down by my learned friend are sanc- demonstrate that the paper before you does not tioned by your verdict; for those doctrines, I touch upon those points; but unnecessary though fearlessly tell you, must, if established, inevita- it be, as my learned friend has defied me, I will bly destroy the whole liberties of us all. Not follow him to the field and say that if there is that he has ventured to deny the right of discus. any one of the institutions of the country which, sion generally upon all subjects, even upon the more emphatically than all the rest, justifies us present, or to screen from free inquiry the foun- in arguing strongly, feeling powerfully, and exdations of the Established Church, and the con | pressing our sentiments as well as urging our duct of its ministers as a body (which I shall sat- reasons with vehemence, it is that branch of the isfy you are not even commented on in the pub- state which, because it is sacred, because it bears lication before you). Far from my learned friend connection with higher principles than any inis it to impugn those rights in the abstract; nor, volved in the mere management of worldly conindeed, have I ever yet heard a prosecutor for cerns—for that very reason, entwines itself with libel-an Attorney General (and I have seen a deeper feelings, and must needs be discussed, if good many in my time), whether of our Lord the discussed at all, with more warmth and zeal than King or our Lord of Durham, who, while in the any other part of our system is fitted to rouse. act of crushing every thing like unfettered dis. But if any hierarchy in all the world
The Church of cussion, did not preface his address to the jury is bound on every principle of con. England ought
especially to with "God forbid that the fullest inquiry should sistency — if any Church should be court that not be allowed.” But then the admission had forward, not only to suffer, but pro
voke discussion; to stand upon that title and in the world. Let us hope (many indeed there challenge the most unreserved inquiry-it is the are, not afar off, who will, with unfeigned deraProtestant Church of England; first, because she tion, pray) that his Majesty may return safe from has nothing to dread from it; secondly, because the dangers of his excursion into such a ceas she is the very creature of free inquiry, the off-try-an excursion most perilous to a certain por. spring of repeated revolutions, and the most re- tion of the Church, should his royal mind be informed of the reformed churches of Europe. I fected with a taste for cheap establishments, a But surely if there is any one corner of Protest working clergy, and a pious congregation ! ant Europe where men ought not to be rigorous. But compassion for our brethren in the North ly judged in ecclesiastical controversy—where a has drawn me aside from my pur- Durtam, large allowance should be made for the conflict pose, which was merely to remind siis, of irreconcilable opinions-where the harshness you how preposterous it is in a coun- freesi rezinis of jarring tenets should be patiently borne, and try of which the ecclesiastical polity is framed strong, or even violent language be not too nar- upon plans so discordant, and the religious tenrowly watched-it is this very realm, in which ets themselves are so various, to require any rert we live under three different ecclesiastical or- measured expressions of men's opinions apoa ders, and owe allegiance to a Sovereign who in questions of church government. And if there one of his kingdoms is the head of the Church, is any part of England in which an ample license acknowledged as such by all men; while, in an- ought more especially to be admitted in handling other neither he nor any earthly being is al. such matters, I say, without hesitation, it is this lowed to assume that name—a realm composed very Bishopric, where, in the nineteenth century, For the country of three great divisions, in one of you live under a Palatine Prince, the Lord of is divided into which Prelacy is favored by law Durham ; where the endowment of the hiedifferent and opposing church' and approved in practice by an rarchy-I may not call it enormous, but I trust
azados Episcopalian people ; while in an- I shall be permitted, without ofiense, to term other it is protected, indeed, by law, but abjured splendid; where the Establishment- I dare not in practice by a nation of sectaries, Catholic and whisper-proves grinding to the people, but I Presbyterian ; and in a third, it is abhorred alike will rather say is an incalculable, an inscreteklo by law and in practice, repudiated by the whole blessing-only it is prodigiously large-shop. institutions of the country, scorned and detested ered down in a profusion somewhat overpowerby the whole of its inhabitants. His Majesty, ing; and laying the inhabitants under a load of almost at the time in which I am speaking, is obligation overwhelming by its weight. It is in about to make a progress through the northern Durham, where the Church is endowed with a provinces of this island, accompanied by certain splendor and a power unknown in monkish times of his chosen counselorsa portion of men who and Popish countries, and the clergy swarm i enjoy, unenvied, and in an equal degree, the ad every corner and it were the patrimony of Si miration of other countries and the wonder of Peter; it is here, where all manner of continets their own—and there the Prince will see much are at each moment inevitable between the redloyalty, great learning, some splendor, the re- ple and the priests, that I feel myself warranted mains of an ancient monarchy, and of the insti- on their behalf and for their protection for the tutions which made it flourish. But one thing sake of the Establishment, and as the discreet he will not see. Strange as it may seem, and advocate of that Church and that clergy; for the to many who hear me incredible, from one end defense of their very existence-to demand the of the country to the other he will see no such most unrestrained discussion for their title, and thing as a Bishop; not such a thing is to be their actings under it. For them in this age found from the Tweed to John O'Groats; not to screen their conduct from investigation, is to a mitre ; no, nor so much as a minor canon, or stand self-convicted; to shrink from the discuseven a rural dean; and in all the land not one sion of their title is to confess a flaw; he must single curate, so entirely rude and barbarous are be the most shallow, the most blind of mortals they in Scotland ; in such outer darkness do they who does not at once perceive that is that title sit, that they support no cathedrals, maintain no is protected only by the strong arm of the law, pluralists, suffer non-residence; nay, the poor be- it becomes not worth the parchment on which it nighted creatures are ignorant even of tithes! is engrossed, or the wax that dangles to it for a Not a sheaf, or a lamb, or a pig, or the value of seal. I have hitherto all along assumed that a plow-penny do the hapless mortals render from there is nothing impure in the practice under the year's end to year's end! Piteous as their lot system; I am admitting that every person efis, what makes it infinitely more touching is to gaged in its administration does every one set witness the return of good for evil in the de- which he ought, and which the law expects him meanor of this wretched race. Under all this to do; I am supposing that up to this hour not cruel neglect of their spiritual concerns, they are one unworthy member has entered within its actually the most loyal, contented, moral, and re-pale; I am even presuming that up to this moligious people any where, perhaps, to be found ment not one of those individuals has stepped be1 The King visited Scotland on this occasion for
yond the strict line of his sacred functions, or the first time, leaving London on the tenth of Au- given the slightest offense or annoyance to any gust, 1822, and spending nearly three weeks on his human being. I am taking it for granted that tour.
| they all act the part of good shepherds, making
the welfare of their flock their first care, and supply; and yet they eat and yet they live at only occasionally bethinking them of shearing, the rate of earls, and yet hoard up; they who in order to prevent the too luxuriant growth of chase away all the faithful shepherds of the flock, the fleece proving an encumbrance, or to erad and bring in a dearth of spiritual food, robbing icate disease. If, however, those operations be thereby the Church of her dearest treasure, and so constant that the flock actually live under the sending herds of souls starving to hell, while they knife; if the shepherds are so numerous, and feast and riot upon the labors of hireling curates, employ so large a troop of the watchful and consuming and purloining even that which by eager animals that attend them (some of them, their foundation is allowed and left to the poor, too, with a cross of the fox, or even the wolf, in and the reparation of the Church. These are they their breed) can it be wondered at, if the poor who have bound the land with the sin of sacrilege, creatures thus fleeced, and hunted, and barked from which mortal engagement we shall never at, and snapped at, and from time to time wor- be free till we have totally removed with one ried, should now and then bleat, dream of prefer- labor, as one individual thing, prelaty and sac. ring the rot to the shears, and draw invidious, rilege.” “Thus have ye heard, readers" (he possibly disadvantageous comparisons between continues, after some advice to the Sovereign to the wolf without and the shepherd within the check the usurpations of the hierarchy), “ how fold-it can not be helped; it is in the nature many shifts and wiles the prelates have invented of things that suffering should beget complaint; to save their ill got booty. And if it be true, as but for those who have caused the pain to com- in Scripture it is foretold, that pride and covetplain of the outcry and seek to punish it-for ousness are the sure marks of those false prophthose who have goaded to scourge and to gag, ets which are to come, then boldly conclude these is the meanest of all injustice. It is, moreover, to be as great seducers as any of the latter times. the most pitiful folly for the clergy to think of For between this and the judgment-day do not retaining their power, privileges, and enormous look for any arch-deceivers, who, in spite of ref. wealth, without allowing free vent for complaints ormation, will use more craft or less shame to de. against abuses in the Establishment and delin- fend their love of the world and their ambition, quency in its members; and in this prosecution than these prelates have done." they have displayed that folly in its supreme de- If Mr. Williams had dared to publish the tithe gree. I will even put it that there has been an part of what I have just read; if any thing
Example attack on the hierarchy itself; I do so for argu- | in sentiment or in language approaching of Bishop ment's sake only; denying all the while that to it were to be found in his paper, I any thing like such an attack is to be found with should not stand before you with the confidence in the four corners of this publication.
which I now feel; but what he has published But suppose it had been otherwise ; I will show forms a direct contrast to the doctrines contained
you the sort of language in which the in this passage. Nor is such language confined Example of Milton in wisest and the best of our countrymen to the times in which Milton lived, or to a period thus respoct have spoken of that Establishment. I of convulsion when prelacy was in danger. I am about to read a passage in the immortal will show you that in tranquil, episcopal times, writings of one of the greatest men, I may say, when the Church existed peacefully and securely the greatest genius which this country or Eu- as by law established, some of its most distinrope has in modern times produced. You shall guished members, who have added to its stabilihear what the learned and pious Milton has said ty as well as its fame, by the authority of their of prelacy. He is arguing against an Episcopa- learning and the purity of their lives, the fathers lian antagonist, whom, from his worldly and un- and brightest ornaments of that Church, have scriptural doctrines, he calls a "Carnal Text- used expressions nearly as free as those which I man ;” and it signifies not that we may differ have cited from Milton, and ten-fold stronger widely in opinion with this illustrious man; I than any thing attributed to the defendant. I only give his words as a sample of the license with will read you a passage from Bishop Burnet, one which he was permitted to press his argument, and of those Whiġ founders of the Constitution, whom which in those times went unpunished : " That the Attorney General has so lavishly praised. He which he imputes as sacrilege to his country, is says, “I have lamented during my whole life the only way left them to purge that abominable that I saw so little true zeal among our clergy; sacrilege out of the land, which none but the I saw much of it in the clergy of the Church of prelates are guilty of; who for the discharge of Rome, though it is both ill directed and ill conone single duty receive and keep that which ducted; I saw much zeal, likewise, throughout might be enough to satisfy the labors of many the foreign churches." painsul ministers better deserving than themselves Now comparisons are hateful to a proverb; —who possess huge benefices for lazy perform and it is for making a comparison that the deances, great promotions only for the exercise fendant is to-day prosecuted; for his words can of a cruel disgospelling jurisdiction—who en have no application to the Church generally, exgross many pluralities under a non-resident and cept in the way of comparison. And with whom slumbering dispatch of souls--who let hundreds does the venerable Bishop here compare the clerof parishes famish in one diocese, while they the gy? Why, with anti-Christ with the Church prelates are mute, and yet enjoy that wealth that would furnish all those dark places with able! Apology for Smectymnus-published in 1642.
of Rome--casting the balance in her favor ists, but of men neither possessing the higber giving the advantage to our ghostly adversary. preferments of the Church, nor placed in that sitNext comes he to give the Dissenters the prefer- uation of expectancy so dangerous to virtue: the ence over our own clergy; a still more invidious hard-working, and I fear too often hard-living, topic; for it is one of the laws which govern resident clergy of this kingdom, who are an or. theological controversy almost as regularly as nament to their station, and who richly deserre gravitation governs the universe, that the mutu- that which in too many instances is almost all al rancor of conflicting sects is inversely as their the reward they receive, the gratitude and verdistance from each other; and with such hatred eration of the people committed to their care. do they regard those who are separated by the | But I read this passage from Dr. Hartley, not as slightest shade of opinion, that your true intolera precedent followed by the defendant, for be ant priest abhors a pious sectary far more de- has said nothing approaching to it-pot as provoutly than a blasphemer or an atheist; yet to pounding doctrine authorized by the fact, or the sectary also does the good Bishop give a de- which in reasoning he approves—but only for cided preference: “The Dissenters have a great the purpose of showing to what lengths such dis. deal (that is of zeal) among them, but I must cussion of ecclesiastical abuses (which, it seems, own that the main body of our clergy has always we are now, for the first time, to hold our peace appeared dead and lifeless to me; and instead of | about) was carried near a century ago, when the animating one another, they seem rather to lay one freedom of speech, now to be stifled as bicesanother asleep.” “I say it with great regret" tiousness, went not only unpunished, but unques. (adds the Bishop), "I have observed the clergy tioned and unblamed. in all the places through which I have traveled, To take a much later period, I hold in my Papists, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Dissenters; hand an attack upon the hierarchy by Ofa clere but of them all, our clergy is much the most re- one of their own body—a respectable in Cizetet. miss in their labors in private, and the least se and beneficed clergyman in the sister countr Pal. rere in their lives. And let me say this freely atine of Chester, who undertook to defend the to you, now I am out of the reach of envy and Christian religion, itself the basis, I presume i ccnsure" (be bequeathed his work to be given to may venture to call it, of the Church, against the world after his death), “unless a better spir- Thomas Paine. In the course of so pious a work, ii possess the clergy, arguments and, which is which he conducted most elaborately, as you may more, laws and authority will not prove strong | perceive by the size of this volume, he inveigis enough to preserve the Church.13
in almost every page against the abuses of the I will now show you the opinion of a very Establishment, but in language which I am very
learned and virtuous writer, who was far from adopting. In one passage is the ful. or Dr. Hartles
* much followed in his day, and whose lowing energetic, and I may add, somewhat viobook, at that time, formed one of the manuals by lent invective, which I will read, that you may which our youth were taught the philosophy of see how a man, unwearied in the care of souls morals to prepare them for their theological stud- and so zealous a Christian that he is in the act ies, I mean Dr. Hartley: “I choose to speak of of confuting infidels and putting scoffers to s. what falls under the observation of all serious, lence, may yet, in the very course of defending the attentive persons in the kingdom. The superior Church and its faith, use language, any one word clergy are in general ambitious, and eager in the of which, if uttered by the defendant, would pursuit of riches-flatterers of the great, and make my learned friend shudder at the license subservient to party interest-negligent of their of the modern press upon sacred subjects. “We own particular charges, and also of the inferior readily grant, therefore, you see, my countryclergy. The inferior clergy imitate their supe- men, that the corruptions of Christianity shall be riors, and in general take little more care of their purged and done away; and we are persuaded parishes than barely what is necessary to avoid the wickedness of Christians so called, the lukethe censure of the law; and the clergy of all ranks warmness of professors, and the reiterated at. are in general either ignorant, or, if they do apply, tacks of infidels upon the Gospel, shall all, ander it is rather to profane learning, to philosophical the guidance of infinite Wisdom, contribute to or political matters, than in the study of the accomplish this end." Scriptures, of the Oriental languages, and the I have read this sentence to show you the Fathers. I say this is, in general, the case ; that spirit of piety in which the work is composed; is, far the greater part of the clergy of ali ranks now see what follows: in the kingdom are of this kind."
“ The lofty looks of lordly prelates shall be I here must state that the passage I have just brought low; the supercilious airs of downy dosread is very far from meeting my approval, any tors and perjured pluralists shall be humbled; more than it speaks the defendant's sentiments, the horrible sacrilege of non-residents, who sbear and especially in its strictures upon the inferior the fleece, and leave the flock thus despoiled to clergy; for certainly it is impossible to praise too the charge of uninterested hirelings that care not highly those pious and useful men, the resident, for them, shall be avenged on their impious working parish priests of this country. I speak heads. Intemperate priests, avaricious clerks. not of the dignitaries, the pluralists and sinecur- and buckish parsons, those curses of Christen
dom, shall be confounded. All secular hierarcb· History of His own Times, ii., 641. ies in the Church shall be tumbled into ruin; luke