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Nor was this sufficient. The grossness of the popular mind, on which political invective made but a faint impression, was to be roused into action by religious fanaticism, the moft intractable and domineering of all destructive passions. A clamor which had for half a century lain dormant was revived. The CHURCH was in danger! The spirit of persecution against an unpopular sect was artfully excited, and the friends of freedom, whom it might be odious and dangerous professedly to attack, were to be overwhelmed as Disfenters. That the majority of the advocates for the French Revolution were not so, was, indeed, fufficiently known to their enemies. They were well known to be philosophers and friends of humanity, who were superior to the creed of any

sect, and indifferent to the dogmas of any popular faith. But it suited the purpose of their profligate adversaries to confound them with Dissenters, and to animate against them


the fury of prejudices which they themselves despised.

The diffusion of these invectives produced those obvious and inevitable effects, which it may require something more than candor to suppose not foreseen and desired. A banditti, who had been previously stimulated, as they have since been excused and panegyrized by incendiary libellists, wreaked their vengeance on a PHILOSOPHER, illustrious by his talents and his writings, venerable for the spotless purity of his life, and amiable for the unoffending simplicity of his manners. cesses of this mob of churchmen and loyalists are to be poorly expiated by the few misguided victims who are facrificed to the vengeance of the law.

The ex

We are, however, only concerned in these facts, as they are evidence from our enemies of


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the probable progress of freedom. The probability of that progress they all confpire to prove. The briefs of the Pope, and the pamphlets of Mr. BURKE*, the edicts of the Spanish Court, and the mandates of the Spanish inquisition, the Birmingham rioters, and the Oxford graduates, equally render to Liberty the involuntary homage of their alarm.

* The only thing that I recollect to have the air of argu. ment in the two last pamphlets of Mr. Burke is, the reae foning against the right of a majority to change a Government. Whatever be the plausibility or dexterity of this reasoning, its originality will be best estimated by the following passage of a PROFANE PHILOSOPHER!

“ The controverfies that arise concerning the RIGHTS “ of the PEOPLE proceed from the equivocation of the « word. The word PEOPLE has two significations. In one “ fense it signifieth a number of men distinguished only by “ the place of their habituation, as the people of England, " or the people of France, which is no more than the mul. “ titude of those particular persons inhabiting those regions, “ without consideration of any covenants or contracts be“tween them. In another sense it fignifieth a person civil, 66 either on

man or one council, in the will whereof is “ included and involved the will of every individual. Such

as do not distinguish between these two senses do usually “ attribute such rights to a disolved MULTITUDE as belong s only to the PEOPLE virtually contained in the body of the « Commonwealth or Sovereignty." See Hobbes' Tripos, p. 170, et seq. edit. 12mo. Lond. 1684


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