Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

propose any change of that regime, if not from which, at leaft, during which, these bloody consequences flowed ;” and he asks, if the situation of the kingdom were the reverse of what it is, “ could the minister gravely tell the parliament, or the people, that their ftuation being manifeftly prosperous and happy in a bigh degree, be thought they could not do better than immediately alter and correa that conftitution, under which their prosperity and happiness had grown?" He successfully exposes the folly of those who affert that an Union “ would sink Ireland to a province;' and clearly establishes the Competency of Parliament to conclude it.

As Mr. Jebb's pamphlet has been reprinted in England, and extolled by some of our critics, it were much to be wished that this able and judicious confutation of its leading principles and positions had the same means of circulation. The author contends, that the very foundation of his adversary's reasoning is faulty ; for he assumes that legislative Union and surrender of Irish liberty are synonimous expressions ; whereas, in point of fact, a legislative Union is no fur. render “but a mere (and merely local) transfer of the legislative; a changing of the sphere and centre of its operation, rather than an abating of its supremacy." Having deitroyed the basis, he attacks the fuperstructure with equal success, and easily drives his opponent from those holds, which his fancy had, no doubt, represented as impregnable. He sometimes quits calm and grave discussion for keen and pointed irony, a weapon, dangerous in unskilful hands, but wielded by him with considerable dexterity. We shall extract some {pecimens of his style and mode of reasoning :

* In page 2, you adhere to your petitio principii, by calling Union the annibilation of our parliament; but it muft be confessed that your allusion to the horrors and ngunies of that bloody Rebellion' from which the country has cmerged, and to those animojities civil and religious which' (even before an Union, you tay) ‘dittract'us, involves a Itrong argument for abstaining from all change, or attempting 10.correct the system under which those animolitics have arısen, and with which, in the opinion of tome theorists, they are connected.

" It must also be allowed, that your endeavours to appease the indignation of the country, by representing that the measure which you recomiend to them to meet with calmness, as ó an injurous infult,' are very meritorious and well-judged; and the confiftency of thai praise which in 2. 16 you bestow on the mild and irana quallizing spirit of Lord Cornwallis's administration, with those triangular and gallows terrors which in P. 2 you reprefent as filling the public voice, and impeding all discusion; the conlistency of those two passages, I say, is too obvious to need comment. I am far from conceiving (r. 3) - that the magic of the Secres tary's pen could extend the omnipotence of Parliament to the works of nature;' inasmuch as I am unable to see how omnipotence could be increased; but as to chat annihilation of the Irish channel, which strikes you to be so impracticable, I doubt whei her the naval power of Britain has not already atchieved it. I doubt whether the greatness and glory of the English fleets have not, to all political intents, formed such a bridge of communication as to warrant us in allerting that the intervening channel does not separate the lifler countries." Pp. 39, 40.

Again:

" A comparison of pages 27 and 63 seems to convict you of inconsistency, la the former, you mcalure the Irish againit the English mernbers, and state the proportion as one to five : in the latter you reprcieat the Irish Corps of Legislators as

coastantly

constantly forming, a part of the ministerial phalanx. In the first part of your argument you lanient over the Irish, as left in a sad minority: in the latter, your cause of lamentation is, that they will constantly forni a part of the Minilter's najor ty. I have no objection to crying over either of these events with you ; but do not inlift of niy crying over both! I cannot concede you more than this alter. native lamentation; since if the English ineinbers be to the Irish in the proportion of five to one, chefe latter can do no mitchief by adhering to the Minister: for your hypothesis opposing the British and Irih to each other, it follows that the Minifter would be in a minority : and, on the other hand, if the Irish constitute part (p. 63) of the large majorities of the Minister, this balancing of them with their English Brethren must cease, both-being ex hypothefi, thrown into the same scale." P. 42.

To the objection founded on the supposed inadequacy of the number of Irish representatives in the United Legislature, the author replies, that a scheme of Union may eafily be found that would render all reasoning upon such ground perfectly inconclufive :

Representation ought, I take it, to be in the ratio of contribution: the origin, and peculiar function of the House of Commons prove that it should be lo; and therefore the Scotch Union was conceded by England on equitable terms, in as much as Scotland, alluming about a fortieth share of the public burdens, obtained an eleventh share of Representation ; terms so advantageous that, if Burnet and other historians may be believed, nothing but the conlideration of the safety that was to be procured by it to England, could have brought the English to agree to a project, that in every branch of it was much more favourable to the Scotch Nation.' if fimilar views to fáfety now actuate Great Britain, Ireland has similar grounds for expecting greatly advantageous terms of Union; and if the incorporation were intimate, complete and just, as reasonably might this country repine at being at the mercy of an imperial (not foreign) parliament, as the 'limb might repine at being at the mercy of the inan; as realonably might one member of the Empire entertain jealousy of another, as my leg might be jealous of my partiality to my arm." Pp. 51, 52.

There is no one point in which the Anti-Unionists have so ftrongly betrayed their ignorance, or misrepresentations, or both, as in all their arguments respecting the Union between England and Scotland, both as to the causes and effects of that event. This could not escape the keen observation of the writer of these letters, whose remarks on the subject are forcible and just :

“ When you touch on the connection of the Scots with France, 1 leave it to Hoche and Humbert, Tone and Mc. Nevin, to answer the argument which such an allusion involves; and when you notice the severe but perhaps necessary policy adopted with respect to commerce by England towards Scotland, I thank you for having refuted thote arguments which you insinuate : 1st, where you ask if there be any commercial benefit which an Union could produce to Ireland, that Britain without an Union might not grant? and edly, where you hope (r. 50) that the chance of Cork to be chosen as a naval station will not be affected by the succets of the project for an Union. You yourself admit that, until the Realinis of England and Scotland became united, the same policy, which was severe, might yet be necellary: like case, like rule, is a good legal maxim.

“ But when you refer the Rebellions of 1725 and 1945 to the Scotch Union, you differ from some historians of good reputation; who have, on the contrary, referred them to that mere attachment to the family of Stuart which preceded, and was unconnected with the Union, and which, though no legislative incorporation had taken place, would as, certainly have generated a Rebellion against a Scotch act of fettlement, securing the Hanover fuccellion.

“ To attribute the insurrections of 1715 and 1745 to the Union, is as incon. fiftent with the history of those transactions themselves, as it is with all historical tradition on the subject. All those,' says Tindai, who adhere inflexibly to the Jacobite Interest, opposed cvery step thut was niade towards an Union with great

vehcmence ;

vehemence; For they saw that the Union struck at the root of all their designs for a new Revolution. Now that these designs preceded that Union which it was feared would impede their execution, seems an inference fo plain, that I doubt whether I should be prevented from drawing it, by even the opinion of a majority of 164 to 32.

"I doubt whether in the face of your four Representatives (P. 52) of all professional merit at the Irish Bar-I should not venture to ailert that the root must have had existence, in order to its being struck at;-and that the Union could not at once have sown the feed of those revolutionary designs, and been the measure which ftruck at the root from whence they sprung." Pp. 62-64.

In the seventh letter the inconsistency of Mr. Jebb, and the fallacy of his opinions, are still more strongly exposed.

Of the English Revolution in 1688, this sensible writer displays much deeper, and more accurate, knowledge than those patriots in either kingdom, who are incessantly declaiming on Revolution-principles. His remarks on that event are to be found in P. 78.

We have given such copious extracts from these leiters, that it is needless for us to pronounce our judgement on their merits. Our readers will decide for themselves, and we have little doubt but their verdict will be highly favourable to the author.

DIVINITY.

[ocr errors]

Art. XVIII. Christian Patriotism. A Sermon delivered in the Parish.

Church of Stoke-Neavington, in the County of Middlesex, on
Occasion of the Attendance of the Armed Affociation of Stoke.
Newington, and its Vicinity, at Divine Service, on Sunday,
O&tober 21, 1798. By George Gaskin, D. D. Rector of that
Parish, and of St. Bene't Gracechurch, in the City of London.
8vo. Pp. 29. Price is. Rivingtons, London. 1798.
THIS is a plain but impressive address, from a worthy and most

respectable Minister io his Associated Parishioners, in which he evidently appears solicitous rather to convince by foundness of principle, than to dazzle by brilliancy of style. His first object in this discourse is to remove a prejudice, too frequently admitted against Christianity, that " a concern for the peace and prosperity of the world is altogether foreign to (from] its true design,” and to prove

that patriotism, properly understood, is “not only a political, but a religious virtue, partaking of the love of God and of our neigh bour.” Having generally established these two points, Dr. G. pro. ceeds to enforce the particular application of them on his hearers, by a consideration of the many civil advantages which we, as Englishmen, exclusively enjoy ; and of our higher consequent obligation to defend them from * all theoretic innovators at home, and all Softile attempts from abroad.” He then shews how much this obligation is strengthened “by the religious privileges wherewith we are blessed.”. For, says her

“ Christianity, God's choicest gift to man, is, in all the purity of its doctrines, in all the holiness of its precepts, and in all the accuracy of its primisve forta, not

Mm

only

NO. IX. VOL. II.

only possessed, but likewise established amongst us by the laws and constitution of our country, yea, then, (as he emphatically adds in the words of his text,) because of the house of the Lord our God, we will seek to do thee good.”

This view of his subject naturally leads the Doctor to a justifica. tion of all armed associations, formed for the preservation of fuch invaluable blessings, againft the cavils of “ certain visionary enthu. fiafts, who go on to condemn even defensive war.For, as he briefly, but forcibly, contends, “knowing that the magiftrate is the minifler of God, and that be bearesh not the sword in vain, the lawfulness of bearing it under him, without which he muff bear it in vain, is obvious to every one, whose eyes are not closed by prejudice and party."

Those of our readers who are acquainted with the upaffected piety and zeal of this active and orthodox member of our church, will ex. pect to see him improving the occasion of such a meeting to the firft purpose of all religious assemblies; and we accordingly find him concluding his discourfe with an earnest and affectionate exhortation to those, who have stepped forward as good fubje&ts, to be careful to approve themselves good christians; and exposing “the prepofterozs inconsistency of profelling to fight for religion while we live regardless of its laws:” and here we most heartily join issue with him, having long since admitted as an axiom the opinion of a most acute and profound observer of mankind, that as well might we expect to mea. fure a strait line with a crooked rule, as to find public virtue in the private profligate.*

ART. XIX. A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of Woolwick,

in the County of Kent, on Tuesday, Otober 16, 1798, before the Members of the Armed Alfaciation of Woolwich Loyal Volur. teers. By G. A. Thomas, A. M. Rector of Woolwich, and Prebendary of Lichfield. Published by Request. Pp. 38. Rivingtons, London. 1798. WE are pleased to see this able and animated writer, whole discourse on social worship we fo lately noticed, again appear. ing before the public with much credit to himself in a forcible dif. course, delivered, like the preceding article, before an armed affocia. tion of his parith, and, like that too, printed at the request of those to whom it was particularly addressed. With the same views and principles, Mr. Thomas, in this forcible appeal to the understanding and feelings of his hearers, reminds them of the blessings for which they are contending, the peculiar character of the enemy against whom they have taken up arms, and the duty thence resulting, cheerfully to bear their proportion of the burdens which such a state of

* We have given this quotation as we remember to have met with it in the write ings of the late Edinund Burke, whose testimony in such a case, from his long and intimate acquaintance with most of the political characters of his time, may almost leem to add weight to a felf-evident proposition,

warfare

Warfare must necessarily impose. While he endeavours to confirm these Loyal Volunteers in the honourable part which they have taken, by judiciously contrasting their patriotic exertions with the criminal lupineness of those, who, under the cloak of christian meekness and the plausible plea of relying on Providerice, weakly “expect to attain the end without the use of the proper means--for to implore the protection of the Almighty, while we neglect the means of defence which he has graciously put into our hands, would be as idle as to pray, that the stones' should be made bread while we neglect the cultivation of our fields."

By John

[ocr errors]

ART. XX. The Excellency of the Church of England, and the

Unreasonableness of Separation from it. A Sermon, preached in
the Parish Church of Enford, in the County of Wilts, To
which is prefixed an Address to his Parishioners.
Prince, A. B. Vicar of the Parish. . 8vo. Pp. 31. Price is.
Rivingtons. Hatchard, London. 1798.

THE purport of this discourse, as we learn from the address, appears to be, to counteract some endeavours which had been used to seduce his parishioners from the communion of the church of England. Whether this attack upon the principles of the inhabitants of Enford is part of the general system which at present is said to prevail, for the corruption of the whole diocese of Salisbury, we are not authorized to say, but we most heartily wish that every parish priest in the kingdom would as zealously defend the doctrines of the establishment as Mr. Prince has done. His sermon, he modestly says, claims no other merit than that of a good intention.Good inten. tions, with us, shall ever receive, at leaft, their fair proportion of commendation ; and whenever we find them united with integrity and ability, our best praises shall not be wanting. Mr.P. takes his text,from the forcible words contained in the 14th verse of the 4th chapter of the epiftle to the Ephesians, and thence points out the danger of being deluded by every new opinion which happens to be she prevailing and fashionable do&trine of the day, with great earneftness and confiderable ability. His style is not of the most polished nature, and his periods are occasionally too long ; but these faults, if such they may be denominated, are amply compensated by the general purity of his doctrine, and the evident fincerity of his in. tentions.

Art. XXI. A Sermon preached at Trinity Chapel, Warrington,

March 7, 1798, being a Day appointed for a General Faf. By the Rev. John Woodrow, late of Catherine Hall, Cambridge. 4to. Pp. 24. Price 1s. Rivingtons, London. 1798. WE entirely agree with the Rev. Author of this discourse in the opinion expressed in his dedication of it to the Bishop of Chester, that sino man can be an uninterested fpectator of the

M m 2

events

« AnteriorContinuar »