« AnteriorContinuar »
will have to answer for themselves, for their faith and conduct, at the judgment-seat of Christ. Ought they not then, to employ their minds and obey the dictates of their consciences on so all-important a question? And will not Statesmen and Divines, now so zealous in their endeavors to prevent the Dissidents from the Established Church from doing so, have enough to do to answer for themselves, without swelling the awful account by committing injustice, and oppressing the consciences of, in many cases, far better men and Christians than themselves? There is no character more odious than that of a persecutor, and every man is so to the full extent in which he causes another to suffer for conscientious belief. To such our advice is,
Fiat justitia, ruat cælum. Rather let them, like wise men and Christians, be employed in removing all causes of disunion, all penal laws, all civil disabilities. This would not only wipe away all reproach from us as a people, but it would double our strength; and, by uniting us, make us as a nation truly invincible. Surely this would be sound policy and true wisdom.
Reject this liberal and considerate course, this rational and Chtistian policy, and think, Sir, what may be the possible consequences ! For, after all, the question returns, What is to be done with the Catholics ? Can the empire be safe, in a sound and healthy state, with six millions of disaffected subjects, who loudly proclaim their wrongs—with justice and equity on their side! Are they to be goaded into madness and rebellion? What, if their rebellion were successful! Think how differently the case would then stand ! With talismanic effect the Rebels would be eulogised as patriots, and the rebellion itself be termed the glorious Wur of Liberty.-“Male imperando summum imperium amittitur.”-No doubt the very idea will be scouted with more than Tory contempt. It will be said, that England in her might, if roused, would soon crush the Rebels to atoms. And allowing that it could do so, would not the cause of discontent still remain?-_Manet altâ mente repostum ?” And let us ask, what would be the price of such a conquest ? -How much kindred blood would be shed, and how much money would be spent in such an unprofitable and inglorious warfare ! How would trade and industry be ruined ! How would it exhaust our resources, already so much reduced ! How should we expose ourselves to the Continental powers! What figure should we present to their view! In that case would they not take advantage of our weakness, and endeavor to lessen our power? And, when weakened and impoverished by internal war, how could we meet their hostility without ruin to our greatness? These consequences are at least possible, and are not unworthy the consideration of a
wise and prudent government. We might call to our recollection events in our own history, which, if duly weighed, might be of some use to sober the over-confident feelings and tempers and inAated language of even the most bigoted enemies of emancipation,
The American War of Independence is not a very remote event. The complaints of the Colonists, like those of the Catholics, were deep, and loud, and long-reiterated -- and that, too, without effect, without redress. During the discussions which these complaints occasioned, the Americans frequently threatened the Parent State, that, if not listened to, they must redress their own wrongs. Whoever will read the debates in Parliament at that period, and the various pamphlets which issued from the press, will perceive on our part the same reluctance to do justice, the same haughty tone and spirit of defiance, and the same fears expressed, that, should we concede in any degree, our trade and revenue would be diminished, if not the honor of Government and the dignity of the Crown be impaired. The Americans were reminded, that if they failed in their loyalty and obedience, a few regiments of soldiers would be able to traverse their vast continent; that England could block up their harbors with a few ships, so as soon to ruin both their trade and their country. We tried to do all this at an immense sacrifice of blood and treasure, and what was the conse quence? We lost America ! Is this lesson, so dearly bought, to bę thrown away? Are we as a nation incapable of being taught wisdom by experience ? History is said to be philosophy teaching by example. Let it then teach England, in her treatment of Ireland, to be just and generous, and she will thus not only strengthen her hands but lessen her expenses, and acquire a friend at once affec. tionate, generous, and brave. It is not my design to enlarge on só copious a subject as Catholic, Emancipation. Many pens are employed on it; it comes before us daily in every shape, and shows the deep interest which it excites. Let justice be done. Let us “ do as we would be done unto,” and the threatening storm will soon subside and be followed by a grateful calm.
It is glorious, Sir, to be the approved and applauded Minister of a free people. In England there is such a thing as a public voice, and, when exerted, it must be heard, and must be regarded. Woe to the country where there is no public voice ! there despotism and slavery must reign. The Tory spirit may triumph for a time; but what are its triumphs in rational estimation, what, compared with the confidence and applause of a free people, which are the strength and life’s blood of political power? You, Sir, above most men,
are aware that the Aristocracy are ever envious of splendid talents in public life, when unaccompanied by heraldic fame, esa pecially when they tower over titles and a long line of sounding ancestry. You are said to come in for your full share of this
generous feeling. I would remind these noble and liberal per sonages of the language of Seneca : “ No man is born nobler than another, unless he is born with better abilities and a more amiable disposition. They who make such a parade with their family pictures and pedigrees, áre, properly speaking, rather to be called noted, or notorious, than noble persons. I thought it right to say thus much, in order to repel the insolence of men who depend entirely on chance and accidental circumstances for distinction, and not at all on public services and personal merit.”
Rarus enim ferme sensus communis in illâ
Decori decus addit avito? & Worth makes the man,” and not stars, and ribbons, and mouldy parchments. And when the Aristocracy exhibit, as they often do, their ignorance and their prejudices, they are held in as much contempt by the people as they can possibly affect to hold you. But for that reason, among others, you may depend on the cordial support of the people. They consider you as one of themselves, and if you are true to their interests they will ennoble you by their confidence, gratitude, and unhesitating applause, which will afford to a generous' mind a satisfaction which nobles may envy, but which ribbons and garters cannot buy.--" Ingenio stat sine morte decus.” RE
Many individuals of the present Ministry are known by their long-tried, sterling abilities, firm patriotism, private worth, and liberal, consistent politics. They deserve and fully possess the public confidence, because they are believed to be the best qualified, and the most sincere in their desire, if they are permitted, to Tender the greatest public service to the country; and who, much to their own honor, have in the hour of need rallied round you and the throne, regardless of the foul charges of unprincipled coalition, &c. There may be on both sides, indeed, a sacrifice on the altar of Patriotism, of angry feelings and contentions on minot points, but of no 'essential principle ; each being left to his own convictions, and to act according to them, in all the great questions which formerly divided you.
The late Ministry, however honorable in office and in quitting it, were in politics narrow and stationary, much behind public opinion, if not the light of the age, and therefore incapable of adopting those wise and liberal measures which the altered state of the public mind and the wants of the country demand. Nor ate the people less sensible, Sir, of your highly-gifted mind and liberal principles. They fondly trust that you will yet more and VOL: XXVIII. Pam.
130 Dr. Wade's Vindication of the present Ministry. [12 more prove yourself the determined friend of civil and religious liberty, which must secure their lasting gratitude, and by which you cannot fail to raise to yourself a monument of imperishable fame. Nor will they easily forget what you have already achieved in your foreign policy. At home you have done much. By surrounding yourself with enlightened and liberal men, you have softened down that mischievous political party-feeling which has hitherto kept the best and ablest men of the nation from serving it. I forbear entering on the liberal policy of encouraging freedom of trade, which I trust ere long will prove a general benefit, and an increasing source of revenue. But should we look abroad, for how much has not the public to thank you! Who was it that frustrated the hopes of the members of the Holy Alliance, and rejected their slavish principles? Who acknowleged and held out the hand of friendship to the young but free states of South America ? Who was it that with promptitude and spirit aided the rising liberties of Portugal when threatened and opposed by the despicable Ferdinand of Spain? And who is now exerting the influence of office on behalf of the brave and suffering Greeks? This conduct is seen and felt and acknowleged and praised as it ought to be by the British public. I assert, if the Ministry continue to pursue the same path, and act honestly and consistently for the public good, they will deserve and enjoy the public confidence in a far greater degree than any of their predecessors; and I call on my countrymen to do their duty, which they cannot do more effectually than by giving to the Ministers their zealous, steady, and generous support.
I now beg, Sir, to apologise to you for the unauthorised liberty which so humble an individual as I am has taken in addressing this letter to you. Highly-gifted as your mind is, and splendid as your talents confessedly are, and which no one admires more than I do, it was not my design so much to eulogise you, as to direct the attention of my countrymen to some of the advantages resulting from the recent changes in the Government, and to notice the brighter prospects which are opening before us as a people.' I sincerely trusi, Sir, they will not suffer themselves to be misled by party clamor, but will wait patiently for the development of the plans of the new Ministry, and judge them justly according to their conduct.
Acta exteriora indicant interiora secreta. I have the honor to be, Sir, with profound respect, your most obedient, humble servant,
A.'S. WADE... 78 Cambridge, St. John's College,
June 8, 1827.
CHAP I. Monarchical and republican governments-Stages of civilisation, and states of society to which each is best adapted-Necessity of despotism in a primitive barbarous state-Republicanism incompatible with it for purposes of civilisation-Illustrative insiances-Greater powers of pushing forward civilisation, knowlege, and morality, or of causing them to retrograde in monarchies than in republics Republicanism best adapted to poor states, monarchism to rich and powerful-Aim of good government to unite all classes in social union, and bind them to the ruling powers Feudal institutions producing in some degree these effects - Baneful changes in the relations between poor and rich since their overthrow-Danger to the constitution of the country from this state of things-Views relative to realising again the feelings of feudal times, by institutions calculated to 'unite the poor and the rich-County councils, elected annually by universal suffrage, disposed to produce this result-- Proposed powers of these bodies, to elect members of parliament, pass local arts for local purposes, and raise money for defraying the same-Benefits likely to result to the country at large by their iostitution. By the testimony of all histories, both sacred and profane, we find that absolute monarchies have been beyond comparison the most prevalent governments among mankind, the simplicity of their forms naturally recommending them as best adapted to a simple primitive state of society, while habit and the fear of shak