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adversarios, to be taken alive, shew be added the imports of the West how ardently human nature pants India trade, to the amount of at after a continuance of existence, least 6,000,000l. a year: a trade not though at the expence of liberty. only very liable to be materially The purchaser of slaves taken in affected by the abolition proposed, war does them no wrong, though but perhaps, even completely he does not better their condition: ruined. The evidences adduced to nay, by purchasing them, he does prove the horrid cruelties practised them a kindness ; for their fero- upon slaves, were represented to be cious conquerors would give way to in some instances false, in many the savage gratification of animal partial, in almost all exaggerated. rage and cruelty, if the thirst of The defenders of the slave trade, in blood were not transmuted into farther reasoning on this subject, that of gain. As the justice and urged the following dilemma :even humanity of the slave trade Either our aborition of that trade were thus supported by abstract would annihilate slavery in the principles, so would the abolition West Indies, or it would not. If appear manifestly unjust from the it did, our West India islands would long sanction given to it by parlia- be ruined for want of proper hands ment. On the faith of parliament, to cultivate them: if it did not, property to a very great amount and this was the most probable-case, had been embarked in this trade; what good purpose would be servthe total loss of which would imme- ed by our giving up the trade, if diately follow its sudden abolition. other nations should immediately

With regard to the political wis- take up the lucrative traffic on our dom of tolerating the slave trade, it abandoning it? was maintained, in opposition to To the argument in favour of Mr. Wilberforce's assertion of its both thejustice and humanity of the being the grave, that it was an slave trade, drawn from the wretchimportant nursery for seamen. ed condition of captives taken in Lord Rodney had declared that our war, and devoted, if not to slavery, being enabled to obtain from the to death, it was answered, that it Guinea ships so numerous a body was the slave market that was in of men enured to the climate, many instances the only source of whenever we wished to send a fleet that miserable condition : not only to the West Indies on the break- were crimes continually committed, ing out of a war, was, in his opi- but wars begun and pursued to a nion, a consideration of great mo- great extent, for the sole purpose ment. His Lordship's authority of supplying us with slaves. A was urged on the present occasion; few prisoners of war might possibly and his opinion illustrated and con- be murdered, if not sold to our firmed by other concurring testi- dealers : still death would be prefermonies and observations. The able to a life of slavery ; often empolicy of the slave trade was far. bittered by a treatment the most ther urged, from the consideration cruel and inhuman. These mani. of its importance to the revenue. fold instances of barbarity, were The exports to Africa were esti- painted with a shocking and dismated at 800,0001. to which might gusting minuteness, although the bare recital of them was more than the ruin of our colonies, it was consufficiently painful for the purpose fidently asserted, that the stock of of exciting condemnation and ab- slaves which they at present conhorrence. On a constant and close tained, if well managed and mildly investigation of this subject, which treated, would be fully competent appeared to us to involve a very to all the requisite labour, and furinteresting question concerning our nish a sufficient supply for future common nature, we have found exigencies. for certain, that, although not a Mr. Wilberforce's motion, after few of the barbarities said to have a debate of two days, was negatived been committed were exaggerated, by a majority of 163 to 88. and sometimes distorted into shapes The attention of the House of very different from their original Commons was not confined to civil and naturalappearances,yet enough slavery, but extended to the reof reality remained to prove how mains of religious oppression. The largely human beings participate in dissenters, in their last application the ferocity of animal nature ! and to parliament for the repeal of the what tygers they quickly become test laws, had included the case of when freed from the muzzle of the their brethren, as they called them, law ! Among British planters, but who embraced the catholic relioftener overseers, and above all gion. The Roman Catholic chrisamong Dutch planters and over- tians in England were a quiet seers, it fully appears, that cruele people, in general averse to inno. ties are sometimes carried far be- vation and commotion, and true yond the original point of punish- friends to the present government: ment, either as an example, or a yet there were a few restless spirits gratification of resentment; and among them, of atrabilarious condegenerate into a kind of horrid stitutions and monastic habits, who, and relentless triumph over all that endeavouring to raise new schisms can be urged in commiseration of in the ancient church, attempted the tortured victim, either by the to form a sect, asserting the liberty compassion of the spectators, or the not only of kicking against the austill voice of conscience in the tor- thority of the catholic church, but mentor's own breast.

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even, in many instances, against With regard to the inefficacy of that of thesacred scriptures. These, our abolition of the slave trade to in unison and concert with some any substantial purpose of huma- dissenting agitators, formed the plan nity, it was admitted that other of making one common cause benations might pursue the trade if tween the English catholics and we abandoned it. From this, how- dissenters: but neither were the ever, they might, in a great mean genuine catholics themselves am. sure, be restrained by proper regu- bitious of such an union; nor did lations : at the worst, we should the friends of the catholics think have the satisfaction of reflecting that the adoption of such a union that the guilt would not rest on our was the best mode of serving their beads.

cause. A bill was therefore brought In answer to the objection that into parliament for the relief of the the intended abolition would prove catholics, not in conjunction, but taken as a separate body from the was not his intention to admit Ro. other dissenters from the church man Catholics of any description of England.

to places of trust under governOn February 26, Mr. Mitford, ment, but only to have them conthe Solicitor-General, moved for a sidered as men of honour and loycommittee of the whole House of alty. The motion was put and Commons to enable him to bring carried without opposition. in a bill to relieve, upon condition, On the second reading of the and under certain restrictions, per- bill in the House of Lords, on the sons called protesting Catholic Dis- 31st of May, a discussion took place senters*, from certain penalties of the propriety of several clauses ; and disabilities to which papists, or which were afterwards amended in persons professing the popish reli- a coinmittee. The Bishop of St. gion are, by law subject. Mr. Mit- David's (Dr. Horsley) observed, ford prefaced this motion, by shewn that the form of the oath of alleing that the severity of the penal giance, which it enjoined, would laws against the catholics was much most probably offend the feelings greater than was generally known of those whom the bill itself was or imagined The motion was intended to relieve. The doctrine, seconded by Mr. Windham; who that princes excommunicated by did not conceive that the conduct the see of Rome might be deposed of Roman catholics had been such and murdered by their subjects, was as to warrant the severity with declared by the oath to be impious, which they had been treated in the heretical, and damnable. The last century.

At any rate, it was catholics felt not the least disincli. impossible to deem them formidable nation to express their disapprobaat the present moment, when the tion of such a doctrine ; but, from power of the Pope was considered scruples founded on a tender reas a mere spectre, capable of fright- gard for the memory of their proening only in the dark, and vanish- genitors, they could not induce ing before the light of reason and themselves to brand it with the knowledge.

harsh terms which the oath preMr. Fox thought the proposed scribed. In a committee of the bill too confined in its views. He whole House on this bill, June 4, wished it to go farther, and to esta- the oath, as it first stood, was, on blish complete toleration, Mr. the Bishop's motion, expunged; Mitford's motion was agreed to and the same oath which was taken unanimously. Mr. Mitford on the by the Roman Catholics in Ireland, 1st of March, in a committee of the in 1774, with some slight altera. whole House, moved for leave to tions, substituted in its stead. bring in his proposed bill. He To this bill, in favour of the wished not for the general repeal Roman Catholics, a very cordial of the statutes in question; but support was given by the same merely for an exemption from their bench of Bishops, who had set their operation in favour of a few. It faces very strongly, in the preced

ing

• Who protested against certain odious and dangerous opinions imputed to papists.

ing year, against an attempt to ob- raised, or had the prospect of being tain a repeal of the corporation called to ecclesiastical preferment. and test acts, in favour of the dis- This gave the more pleasure to the senters. Although the doctrines, zealous friends of the established or metaphysical interpretations of church, that it was a little mingled scriptural texts, of the catholic and with surprise ; as the preaching of English churches be, in many in- St. Paul also did, for a like reason, stances, diametrically opposite, and to the first christians, after his conthose of the church of England version, on his way to Damascus. and the presbyterians, and other A petition from the General As. dissenters, in all essential points sembly of the church of Scotland, exactly the same; yet certainly there for a repeal of the test acts as far is a very material difference indeed as relates to Scotland, was brought between the sentiments of the ca- forward in the House of Commons tholics and those of the dissenters on the 10th of May, by sir Gilbert concerning the grand question of Elliot; who concluded a speech rechurch-establishments. "If the dis- plete with all that elegant delicacy senters should predominate in the of manner, and that argumentative state, church-establishments must precision for which he is so emifall. If the doctrines of popery nently distinguished, by moving in (though this was not by any means behalf of the petitioners, for a com. to be apprehended) should regain mittee of the whole House “to an ascendancy in this country, still consider how far the provisions of our religious establishments would the act, 25th Car. II. cap. ii. which be preserved. In short, it was con requires persons holding any offices, fessed that it was by ecclesiastical civil or military, or any place of policy that christianity was main. trust under the crown, to receive tained in this country: and as eccle- the sacrament of the Lord's supper siastical establishments had arisen according to the usage of the church originally out of the purity, piety, of England, extend, or ought to ex. and disinterested zeal of former tend, to persons born in that part times ; so it was reasonable that of Great Britain called Scotland." these establishments should now be This_motion was supported by brought to the aid of those en- Mr. Pulteney, Mr, Anstruther, Sir feebled and fainting principles from Adam Ferguson, and Mr. Fox. It whence they had sprung: The pre- was opposed by the Lord Advocate late the most distinguished for his for Scotland, the Master of the zeal on the side of the catholics and Rolls, Mr. Dundas, and Mr. Pitt. against the dissenters, was Bishop In support of the motion, it was Samuel Horsley, just mentioned, urged, among other arguments, that whose ardour in the christian cause Scotland, by its constitution, and had been but little known when by treaty, had a separate church and he was engaged in the studies of a separate form of religion. By mathematics and algebra, or in the the treaty of union, she was to have business of a tutor, either at Cam- a free communication of civil bridge or Oxford ; but which, very rights. But a test which, as a conproperly, shone forth more and dition for attaining those civil more, in proportion as he was rights, imposed on her a necessity

of

of departing from the form of her of the test in question. It was not established religion, and to submit a dereliction of the principles of to that of England, either abridged the church of Scotland, but mereher religious liberty by means of ly a pledge of amity with the the civil attainments, or abridged church of England ; a declaration, her civil attainments by means that the person taking it was not of the obligations of religion. so disaffected to that church as not

Mr. Fox reminded the House to be willing to communicate with of what, he said, was sometimes for her. This willingness to commugotten : that the two nations were, nicate with her neighbour church, at the time of entering into the he understood to be the general treaty of union, independent king- sentiment of the members of the doms meeting to treat, and mean- church of Scotland. But in Scoting to form the treaty, on terms of land, there were, as in England, perfect equality. Was it not an sectaries of various denominations, infringement of that equality, that whose sentiments were less liberal. a Scotchman, entering into any Against such sectaries it was just, British office, should make a solemn as well as expedient, that this test profession of his attachment to the should operate; otherwise, the church of England; which to a church of England would suffer an scrupulous man might imply a de- encroachment and a danger from reliction of the principles of his na- them, to which, from the sectaries tive church, while there was no simi- of England she was not exposed, lar obligation on an Englishman as the legislature had repeatedly appointed to an office in Scotland ? declared its intention to guard her.

Mr. Pitt insisted that the test For as there was no test in Scotland, which was now the subject of dis- an exemption in favour of that cussion, must have been understood country, would let in upon the as a stipulation at the time of the church of England dissenters and union, since it had been sectaries of every denomination, quiesced in, from that period to the and thus break down the fence present, without the smallest com- which the wisdom and justice of plaint by those most interested to parliament had so often and so complain of the hardship, and who lately confirmed around her. had it most in their power to claim Sir Gilbert Elliot's motion was with effect any right or privilege. therefore negatived by a considerThe hardship was merely imaginary, able majority: the numbers being and arose solely from a false view 149 to 62.

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CHA P. XII.

The order proper to be observed in Narration. Apology for not always

adhering strictly to that of Time. Message from his Majesty relative to Russia, und the Augmentation of our Naval Force. The only Terms on which the Czarina was willing to make Peace with the Turks. The Mediation of the Allies for effecting that object, hitherlo fruitless. Growing Coldness and Jealousies between the Empress of Russia

and

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