« AnteriorContinuar »
ous institutions of these united king- and duly pondered as warnings of doins, and leave po trace of those in danger which may be yet to come : tolerant statutes, of which the Dissi- and let men, capable of forming a dents so justly complain.
rational judgment, compare our preHow important, in a political view, sent situation with the past, and will be the advantages of a cordial compute the immense increase of reconciliation thus eftected! How that peril, wbich is now impending happily will the state of our internal over these united kingdoms. At attairs in England, and more especi. present the French despot has sucally in Ireland, be changed from ceeded in his views upon the constormy to serene ; from the fearful tinent, or nearly so; he has conquerapprehension of peril, alarming at ed a great part of Europe, and compresent, but sure to be increased by pelled the rest to an abject comthe delay of justice; to the consci. pliance with the measures by which ous certainty that the government is he hopes to ruin the only nation safe, that a just redress of grievances which stops his progress to univer. has placed ihe country beyond the sal monarchy. The coasts of Eureach of danger!
rope, with some exceptions of little In the earlier part of the war with moment, are at his command; and France, let our narrow escape be the invasion of these countries may recollected, when the army of Hoche, be conveniently effected from near. preparing to land at Bantry Bay. was ly all the harbours on that long line suddenly driven from the coast by a
of coast from Cape Finisterre to the storm which arose at that critical mo
mouih of the Baltic. Under these ment, The troops of Hoche were
circumstances of augmented alarm, inferior in number* to a single di
our fellow.subjects in Ireland have vision of the French army; yet did been exasperated by repeated refutheir appearance on the southern sals of redress, and the marked hoscoast of Ireland, shake that country tility of our ministers to every meaLo its centre, and spread consterna.
sure of conciliation.
Who then cani tion through every part of Great doubt the increased dapger of our siBritain. Afterwards, a small de. tuation or contemplate without distachment, not amounting to 3000 mnay the increased facility of invasion, men,* under the command of Hum. the aggrandized power of the ene. bert, effected a landing on the wes- my, and the too evident certainty tern shore of Ireland ; for six weeks
that should Napoleon, and one-tenth renewed the alarm of that country; part of the French army now land and nearly reached Athlone on its in Ireland, their presence would route to Dublin, before Lord Corn
to vengeance the oppressed wallis could collect a sufficient force population of that country and to stop the enemy, without exposing
Britain then would have to fight, Ireland to general insurrection, by not to recover Ireland from the inva. withdrawing troops stationed to pre- der's grasp, for that would be a hopeserve the
less task ; but to preserve ber gocountry. Let these events be held vernment and her constitution, and op as the monuments of past dangers; to prevent her degradation from the
highest station of honour, to be class• 15000.
ed with the usurper's vassal king. 4 The writer has here fallen into a mise doms on the continent. fake. 800 French only, constituted the force
Such is the fate to which the con. Landed at Killalla. B.M.M.
tinuance of an oppressive system will BELFAST MAG. NO. XXXVII, 16000
expose the nation; and though the A free and united people will re malcontents who thus might contri. sist the invarier, as they ought, with bute to the severance of these united unconquerable energy; from every kingdoms, to the ruin of Ireland, part of the country, troops, no longer and the fall of Briiain from her lot wanted as garrisons to keep down ty eminence of power to the preca- commotion, will be freely called rious possession of freedom and inde- from their stations to encounter the pendence, would' have for ever 10 la: enemy; host after host will croud to ment their rage and impatience, yet the standard of national delence; a the more bitter remorse would be holy enthusiasm in the cause of their theirs whose obstinate denial of jus country will inspire them. They tice had produced that fatal exaspe- will purn the treacherous arts, tlie ration.
insidious offers of the usurper in his But far different will be the issue tent; and in the field of battle their of the contest, we confidently trust, if well-regulated heroism will discon. ere the threatened attack commence, cert his tactica, and overpower the an equitable plan of conciliation mercenary brávery of his troops ; shall have been established. Perpe- at last, we may justly trust he will tual discord in Ireland, and frequent be driven back to France with dangers to the empire have been the shame; or he will reinain in ignomi. consequences of a long series of acts ny a captive here : he will thus meet of injustice. The reverse of dis- the just peward of his perfidy and cord and danger will be the result Just of power; everlasting infamy experienced from a change produced will fasten on his name ; and the by the prevalence of wisdom and wisdom and goodness of providence beneyolence. Mutual good-will and will be finally justified to mankind. amity will then unite the now cong And if such will be the happy tending sects ; gratitude on the part consequences, in a political view, of of the Dissidents to a country at a system of religious liberty wisely last persuaded to be just anit kind tempered with satistactory securities to them, will be combined with the 10 our establishments in church and warmest attachment to the constitu- state, how incalculably must their tion ; and fidelity to an impartial' value be inhanced in a religious government will then be the univer- view, by the benign effects sure to sal yovy: invasion though it may still follow from christianity, when it has annoy these islands will cease lo ter- been thus freed from the restraints of rify ibem ; because the danger of intolerance and the disgraceful ferters a forced separation will po longer of worldly policy, and leti fieely to exist; because the fears and jealou- its own inherent efficacy, to accomsies, the concealed distrust and ha- plish the gracious design of provitred, the avowed disaffection and rage dence to diffiise happiness wherever of past times which our intolerance it is known, and to spread piety and had excited, will all be turned a. benevolence through the world. How gainst the ruthless invader : and our enraptured is the glorious prospect ! subjugation to France then will And when seen under this aspect, have become an impossible event, by good and pious men, how deo Disasters indeed may befal us, der yourly will they hail with us the feats may check our arms; and de- spreading light of the gospel ? And vastation for a time may mark the how will they assist the progress of progress of our enemy ihrough the
that liberty of
conscience, from country; but his efforts to elslave 15 which alone the more rapid diffusion will be in vain.
of that light can be expected, with
their wishes, their prayers, and every heart and conscience of the nation possible exertion of their powers !
and its governors. To the petitioners the rectituite of Animated by these hopes, and enthese principles appears to be incon- couraged by the approbation of : heir testable; and that their conduct much-honoured advocate in parought to be absolutely conformable liament, the petitioners, as soon afwith these principles they cannot ter the presentation of their petio donbt, for one moment; ihey pre- tion to the House of Commons, as sume, also to think, that kings and the rules of that house will permit, legislative assemblies are equally will then appeal to the public, and bound :o act in conformity with the submit their plea for the unbjassed sacred roles of justice and religion choice and profession of reli. as the individuals whose governors gion to general examination. In they are. Under these impressions, their suit to parliament they have and fervently desiring to promote resolved to persevere; for to them the safety of their country, and to such is the command of dury. Reaccelerate the ditlusion of the benign lying on scripture and reason, against spirit of the gospel through this em- custom, prejudice, and the mistas pire, and gradually through every ken interests of men in authority, region of ihe world, the petitioners they look forward with coufilence will soon present their two petitions to the happy issue of the struggle to parliament; orging them with all in which they have engaged; and respect, but with ihe utmost energy which they hope may be conducted in their power, on these grounds of on their part with a spirit of mo. policy, of justice and of christian deration and benevolence not unduty to extinguish intolerance. From worthy of their cause. If their adthe mere influence of truth, and from versaries should encounter ihein with the manifest tendency of the mea. calumuy and misrepresentation, they sure to produce the happiest effects, trust they are prepared to endure the petitioners though distinguish their attacks, with a meek and ed by every diversity of tene's known bumble fortitude: if caprious con. among christians, have signed these troversy should assail ihen, thut, petitions as the bond of their union; they are well assured, cannot inand they cannot but consider their jure their gospel-plea. Discussion, junction on such grounds to be a the petitioner's court; discussion practical proof of the feasibility of alone, they conceive, to be neces. their plan, for the formation of a sary to their final success; discusmuch more extensive union of chris- sion in parliament will be their tians on the game principles, from cause an inestimable advantage; and the same reliance on the fundamen- they will gladly owe it to Mr. White tal rules of justice and benevolence, bread, whose generous zeal for the and with the same views to the pro- bonour of the gospel, and for the gressive nielioration of this naljon unalienable right of all men to lio aud of our species; and they doubt berty of conscience, intitles him to Dot'that the union they contemplate their sincerest gratitude and venerawill be sufficient to destroy intole. tion. London, April 7th, 1811. rance, and introduce the system of genume christianity, not suddeuly
For the Belfast Mon hly Magazine. and by force, but gradually, afier due deliberation, and by the mere
venerate alltiquity is such a universal disposition among wen,
ON VE ERATI
that it seems to be one of the origi- most pleasurable that a rational bei nal properties of their nature. ing can enjoy. There is, indeed, a feeling of some The gratification arising from vething so agreeable in it, that the plea- neration for our ancestors, has been sure which it yields might, of itself, always so generally felt and acknowbe considered as sufficiently accountledged, that, in every age we find ing for its being so general. But orators never neglecting to use an apwhether it be implanted in our peal to it as the most powerful means minds at their original formation, or by which they can excite their auwhether we force it into our pos dience to any important action, session, if I may so speak, in conse
How often are senates told of the quence of the enjoyment it brings, wisdom of their fathers in making it is certainly one of the most gene. laws ? and how often are we exhortrous and laudable of our propense- ed from the pulpit to be steady in ties. It is 10 our predecessors wbat the faith of our ancestors. We charity is to our contemporaries; hardly ever meet with a speech ade and though the latter, in its appli- dressed by a general, who knows cation may be more immediately any thing of human nature, to his useful to society, the former seems to army when about to engage in batbe ihe most noble and disinterested tle, in which he does not remind them feeling of the two, as it is exerted of the valour of their ancestors, conin behalf of those from whoni we can jures them not to disgrace it, and, neither expect favour, nor dread re- invariably, before concluding, en. sentment. It guards the memory of deavours to rouse them to an enthuour fathers from josult, and in time siasm of rage against those enemies to come, our own will also be indebt- who would deprive them of the laws, ed to its protection.
country, and religion, which the That there may be some who are bravery and blood of those ancesnot susceptible of this exalted freling, tors had transmitted to them. I will not deny; but they can be Not to mention the delight wbicb only those who are either roid of some people receive from ancient mental feelings altogether, or have medals, buildings, &c., there is hardonly such as, according to Shakey ly any one of common feelings who pear's expression, render them fit has not, some time or other, bebeld, for stratagems and murders, and are with an undefinable pleasure, the quite unworthy either to be esteem- hoary rocks and the everlasting ed by their contemporaries, or re- mountains, as one of the prophets emmembered with respect by posteri- phatically calls them, that have ty. Their only errand into the world stood amidst all the shocks and reseems to be, that besides being des. volutions of time since the beginning pised by others, they may never of the world. Indeed I consider the know what it is to have any source pleasure of that agreeable solemnity of satisfaction within themselves; which irresisibly steals upon the for I look upon the nian who can mind on contemplating these perpetube indifferent to the memory of his al sons of the resart as the monuments fathers, who feels no interest in the of past ages to be, not only one of the deeds of days that are no more, as most generally felt, but one of the an inferior kind of animal, who cer- most refined and dignified of which tainly knows nothing of the finer" in this world we are susceptible. feelings of soul that give birth tw Even the beholding of an ancient oals those pure sensations of intellectual or any other time-worn inbabitant of enjoyment which are, by far, the the forest is not without its enjoy.
ment; for we secretly exult to see all our admiration for the beautie, what we are sure those who lived of nature, all our love for integrity centuries ago also saw.
and virtue, all our relish for tranBut the power of pleasing us by quillity and happiness, and all our interesting our veneration for anti- veneration for antiquity are brought quity is not alone confined to the at once into action, without our works of nature. It is also extend minds being obliged to experience ed to the labours of man, and espe- any uneasiness for the misfortunes cially to tbose of the poets. Why that came afterwards. are we so much more delighted with The author of that beautiful pathe productions of Ossian, Homer, per in the Spectator which relates Virgil, and other ancient poets, than ihe vision of Mirza, very happily with those of any other writers ? Is begins it in the following manner: is not because they bring the deeds “ On the fifth day of the moon, of other times to our memory, and which, according to the custom of my introduce us to the acquaintance of forefathers, I always kept holy." beroes, whom we see only in their A beginning which has long been, gteatness, the veneration of their and always will be, telt and admired successors having, long ago, with by every reader of English literature; their bodies, consigned their frailties and, I am convinced, that there is no to the dust?
one but is sensible that he feels it Milton is the only poet among chietly on account of the fortunate the moderns whose subject gives him expression which touches his venean advantage of this kind equal to ration for his forefathers, the ancients, nay, in this respect he There are numberless beauties of is superior to them all; for, as Adam a similar kind in holy writ, some and Eve are the most ancient of our of which are exceedingly sublime, race, so they naturally attract our especially where the Deity addresses veneration more than any other per- his favourite people, as he often dues, sons that ever lived. So great, in- under the endearing name of the deed, is our veneration for thein, “ God of their fathers,” in complaithat in reading Paradise Lost, we sance, as it were to the remarkable generally forget the misfortunes that veneration which that people had for their misconduct brought upon us, their ancestors. and are never offended at the first I shall conclude these remarks by sioners because they were the first qnoting one of these passages., On of mankind.
We may, indeed, lay that solemn occasion when Moses
with regret that was called to be the deliverer of the guilt and misery were brought into Israelites from Egyptian bondage, the world, but our regret is seldom an occasion so very solemn indeed, mingled with any resentment for that he was commanded to take shri se who introduced them. I may, the shoes from his feet on account I think, venture to assert that the of the holiness of the ground; he, highest degree of delight which a as if from modesty afraid that his person of taste who is fond of poetry conirymen might doubt the truth of can derive from it, may be obtained his having been chosen by their God by contemplating the descriptions for such an important purpose, inwhich Milton gives of the scenes quiring by what pame he shall make of innocence and felicity enjoyed him known to them. The Almighby our first parents in Paradise, be- ty after baving acquainted him with fore the fall.' In contemplating these, that most sublime and expressive of
down the poem