Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

begun, gives despotic power, and whose right they invade, they are constitutes the condition of slaves. rebels with the greatest aggravation Although a man may forfeit his own of guilt, and the true causes of all life or liberty by invading or threaten- the disorders and bloodshed occaing another's life or liberty; yet the sioned in the society by its members' aggressor's posterity or children can- efforts to recover their rights. The not forfeit thereby their lives or liber- consequent evils are the effects of the ties; the miscarriages of the father unjust invaders' acts, and must and being no fault of his children. An will undoubtedly be chargeable upon unjust aggressor can never gaiu a just them. Lib. II. Ch. xix. Usurped right by conquest; as a robber, who power having no title to a people's breaks into your house, and forces obedience, the rebelling against it is you, with a dagger at your throat, innocent; so we read 2 Kings xvii. to scal deeds conveying your estate 17, “ Avd the Lord was with Heto him, gains not thereby any title to zekiah, and he prospered, wherefore your estate. For your plundered pro- he went forth, and 'rebelled against perty is equally your right when in the king of Syria, and served him your plunderer's hands, as while in not." If to shake off power gotten by your own custody, and ought to be force, and without right, were in restored to you during every minute itself wrong, it would follow, NOT he withholds it; and while withheld, ONLY, that people are sufferers by it amasses the guilt of a continued being innocent, and that they forrobbery. Also, the promises ex- feit their natural right of self-defence torted by force without right, bind and protection, because they deserve you not at all; in that the law of to enjoy it; BUT ALSO, ihat it is nature, laying an obligation on you right for the innocent to quit their only by the rule she prescribes, can. all, for peace' sake, to every plunnot oblige you by the violation of her derer; and then the labours of manrules.

kind would be pursued, and their The trustees of the public may peace maintained, only for the benefit not only forfeit their power to their and enjoyment of robbers and opconstituents, but put themselves into pressors; which is absurd. Lib. II. a state of war against them; and this Ch. xvi. xix. they do whenever they manifestly These are the principles of Mr. endeavour to destroy the people's au Locke, and I might cite many other thority, or to invade their rights and approved writers, speaking the same properties, or to reduce them to a things; but Mr. Locke's universal state of dependence, which is slavery, credit, and renown all over Europe, is a and unnatural. And this endeavour, sufficient evidence, that the little above when overt and manifest, will justify advanced by me on this subject is no the forfeiture; because when a man's novelty, it being fully comprehended chains are on, it may be too late for in these quoted passages from Mr. him to complain ; and to bid him Locke,

Locke, and, I apprehend, justified then to beware of his liberty, were by them. mockery instead of relief. Lib. II. Ch. xix. No body of people can, by the faults of others, lose their na

June 4, 1817. tural rights.

What is Blasphemy?
That, AS TO REBELLION,

O

F this horrid crime, Sir, our SaThe use of force without authority puts him who uses it into a state of the Jews, who were so blindly attached war, and renders him liable to be to their established church; and he treated accordingly. The word re forewarned his disciples, that if they bellion imports a putting one's self into called the master of the house Beela state of war. He who begins this zebub, much more would they those state of war, by exercising force with- of his household. And so indeed it out right, is the rebel. When they has been. Those who have been most who rebel, or bring back the state of courageous in exposing er.or, and war, by exercising force without most active in disseminating truth, can right, are the very people chosen to best speak of the tender mercies of be their protectors and guardians, those institutions which arrogate to

themselves the name of Christian state, or speaking irreverently conchurches.

cerning curious specimens of comOur Saviour frequently foretold his position, which derive their religious disciples, that they should be perse. character wholly and entirely from cuted, imprisoned, brought before tri- acts of the English legislature, is blasbunals and kings, &c. for his name's phemy. sake; but he never told them that they It must be confessed, that on comshould serve others so, if ever it should paring the evils respectively stated in be in their power. How is this? the two last paragraphs, the latter are

But what is blasphemy? much more aggravated than the former; Until lately, it was blasphemy in and no one surely can be surprised England, a country of boasted free- that their demerits are so admirably dom, to speak against, or deny, the appreciated in so enlightened an age. doctrine of the Trinity; but thanks to But how in thename of common sense the bishops, the English meaning of the and consistency, are the Voltaires, the word blasphemy has undergone some Humes, the Gibbons, the Rousseaus, little modification. We are now al- allowed the privilege of a free toleralowed to speak against that mysterious tion, and appear to be welcome guests and unintelligible credendum. But a in the highest circles, in the most gensapient critic, if I remember right, has teel society; while poor Tom Paine, told us by way of monition, that we and Wat Tyler, and such unfortunate must use this liberty very gingerly: urchins, must hide their diminished and so it seems.

heads? Blasphemy is, to speak injuriously I will next, Sir, state what I am of or concerning God, his attributes, afraid is blasphemy. If a poor preacher, his works, his word or his providence, having been himself convinced by the and that intentionally; for without authority of Martin Luther, the re. the intention there can be no injurious nowned Reformer, the potent reasons of meaning, no impiety in the speaker. the late Dr. Edmund Law, Bishop of A person may speak in an injurious Carlisle, father of Dr. Law, the premanner concerning God through mere sent Bishop of Chester, and of the late ignorance or prejudice; in that case, Dr. Francis Blackburne, Archdeacon however, he is chargeable with error, of Cleveland, that the soul has no senot with blasphemy.

parate existence from the body, that In this free and happy country (who with the body it dies, and that it will will not blush for England ?) it is the be raised again with the body-should daily, habitual practice of more than deem it his duty to declare the whole one half of its inhabitants to commit counsel of God to his audience, and the sin of blasphemy intentionally, this among the rest; and if some blunFor what is the profane language dering wrong-headed animal, with just which assails our ears so incessantly; as much theology in his head as charity the impious oaths, the savage curses, in his heart, should choose to underthe hellish imprecations ? And the stand this as denying a future state, blasphemers are totally destitute of and should make a deposition before a the plea of ignorance and intending magistrate to that effect; I am afraid, well. On the contrary, their habitual Sir, it would turn out in the end to be conversation possesses all the character blasphemy. of presumptuous sin, of spontaneous If a person tired with the dulness wickedness, of wanton guilt, of pro- and ill-success of reasoning soberly fessed conscious profligacy. In this I against a favourite abracadabra, conam not aware that there is one syllable secrated by the prejudice of the learned of exaggeration. No; blasphemous and the ignorance of the vulgar, should curses urge down the vengeance of amuse himself with burlesquing it, in heaven on every city, on every town, these good times, he would be charged on every village, on every hamlet, with blasphemy. And though there and almost on every house in En- should be in this self-same abracadabra gland. Where are the informers ? some impious expressions, this would Where are the prosecutions ? by no means alter the blasphemous

According to the usage of the times character of the travestie; it being in in which we live, denying the truth that case the blasphemy of a blasphemy. of the Christian religion, or of a future And that certainly must greatly en

hance its blasphemous quality, being of Florence were searched for materials as a square number is to its root. for this work, and many writings of

I have supposed a few cases, COR- Lorenzo himself first given to the cerning which I should be glad to world in Liverpool. This work of learn from some of your Correspondents Mr. Roscoe's has diffused a general whether they think them of a blas. taste for the literature of Italy. It has phemous character or not.

been said of men of letters, that, like If upon the death of the most wicked prophets, they have no honour in their person in a parish, the most reverent own country; but to this saying to person in it should think proper upon which there are so few exceptions, à most solemn occasion to say, in the one honourable oue is to be found here. most public manner, that he believed The people of Liverpool are proud of him now a sainted spirit in heaven, their townsman: whether they read his would the lie itself, the solemnity of book or not, they are sensible it has the occasion, the injury to morality by reflected honour upon their town in totally confounding the merits of the the eyes of England and of Europe, good and wicked, &c. render him and they have a love and jealousy of its justly liable to the charge of blas. honour, which has seldom been found phemy

any where except in those cities where If a person should be induced on that love was nationality, because the particular occasions to risk the salva- city and the state were the same. This tion of his soul on the bare ground of high and just estimation of Mr. Roscoe his telling the truth, what would be is the more praiseworthy, because he the character of the act? What means, is known to be an enemy to the Slave “ So help me God" ?

Trade, the peculiar disgrace of Livers If a dissipated, vicious, or irreligious pool. young fellow should avow in the most 14. University of Cambridge. solemn manner, that he chose a pro " What a happy fife," said I to our fession in consequence of a solemn Cambridge friend," must you lead in mandate communicated immediately your English universities! You have from the Deity, while no sensible man the advantages of a monastery without can doubt but his choice originated in its restrictions, the enjoyments of the very different motives, would he be world without its cares, - the true guilty of blasphemy? And if guilty, otium cum dignitate." He shook his which of the persons of the Tripity head and answered, It is a joyous would be blasphemed?

place for the young, and a convenient At present I shall say no more on place for all of us, but for none is it this important subject; but I issue a á happy one:"mand he soon convinced warning voice, that if any further pro- me that I was mistaken in the favour. gress should be made by the furious able judgment which I had formed. I eruptions vomited forth from the vol. will endeavour to retrace the substance cano of intolerance, it will behoove of a long and interesting evening's conthousands to provide for their safety. versation.

To be at the mercy of perjurious in It is a joyous place for the young, formers, deposing their vile lies before joy and happiness however are not officers of tried bigotry, and whetted synonymous. They come hither from to mischief by the mad rant of rene- school, no longer to be treated as chilgade versifiers! Good heavens, what dren; their studies and their amusea situation!!

ment are almost at their own discreHOMELY.

tion, and they have money at com.

mand. But as at college they first The Spaniard's Letters from England. assume the character of man, it is there (Continued from p. 354.)

also that they are first made to feel

their relative situation in society. 13. Mr. Roscoe.

Schools in England, especially those ITERATURE also flourishes as public ones from which the universities

fairly as commerce (at Liverpool]. are chiefly supplied, are traly repubA History of Lorenzo de Medici aplican. The master perhaps will pay peared here about eight years ago, as much deference to rank as he poswhich even the Italians have thought sibly can, and more than he honestly worthy of translation. The libraries ought; it is however but little that

he can pay; the institutions have been that there should be a place appointed too wisely framed to be counteracted, where one of this description can pass and titles and families are not regarded through this course of studies out of by the boys. The distinctions which sight of his relations, and without inthey make are in the spirit of a bar- juring his character ; and from whence barous, not of a commercial calculating he can come with the advantage of people; bodily endowments hold the having been at the University, and a first, mental the second place. The qualification which enables him to best bruiser enjoys the highest repu.. undertake the cure of souls. The hetation; next to him, but after a long retical bishops never inquire into the interval, comes the best cricket-player, moral conduct of those upon whom the third place, at a still more respect- they lay their unhallowed hands, ful distance, is allowed to the cleverest, and as for the quantity of learning who in the opinion of his fellows which is required, M. Maillardet who always takes place of the best scholar. exhibits his Androeides in London, In the world, -and the college is not could put enough into an automaton. out of it like the cloister,all this is Such men as these enjoy more hapreversed into its right order; but the piness, such as their happiness is, at gifts of fortune are placed above all. the University than during any other Whatever habits and feelings of equa- part of their lives. It is a pleasant lity may have been generated at school, place also for the lilies of the world, are to be got rid of at college, and they who have neither to toil nor to this is soon done. The first thing spin; but for those who have the which the new student perceiver on world before them, there is perhaps his arrival is, that his school-fellows no place in their whole journey where who are there before him pass him in they feel less at ease. It is the port the street as if they knew him not, and from whence they are to embark, perhaps stare bim full in the face, that and who can stand upon the beach he may be sure it is not done through and look upon the sea whereon he is inadvertency. The ceremony of in- about to trust himself and his fortunes, troduction must take place before two without feeling his heart sink at the young men who for years have eaten uncertainty of the adventure? True it at the same table, studied in the same is that these reflections do not conclass, and perhaps slept in the same tipue long upon a young man's mind, chamber,--can possibly know each yet they occur so often as insensibly to other when they meet at college. affect its whole feelings. The way of

There is to be found every where a life is like the prospect from his wingreat number of those persons whom down-he beholds it not while he is we cannot prove to be human beings employed, but in the intervals of emby any rational characteristic which ployment, when he lifts up his eyes, they possess; but who must be ad- the prospect is before him. The fremitted to be so, by a sort of reductio quent change of his associates is an. ad absurdum, because they cannot other melancholy circumstance. A possibly be any thing else. They pass sort of periodical and premature mosfor men, in the world, because it has tality takes place among his friends : pleased God for wise purposes, how. term after term they drop off to their ever inscrutable to us, to set them respective allotments, which are perupon two legs instead of four; to give haps so distant from his own, that them smooth skins and no tail, and to years may elapse, or the whole lease enable them to speak without having of life be run out, before he ever again their tongues slit. They are like those meets with the man, whom habits of weeds which will spring up and thrive daily and intimate intercourse had in every soil and every climate, and endeared to him. which no favourable circumstances can Let us now suppose the student to ever improve into utility. It is of little be successful in his collegiate purconsequence whether they shoot water suits, he obtains a fellowship-and is, fowl, attend horse-races, frequent the in the opinion of his friends, provided brothel, and encourage the wine trade for for life. Settled for life he would in one place or another ; but as a few indeed have been according to the years of this kind of life usually satisfy original institution, and it still is a a man for the rest of it, it is convenient provision for him as long as he retains

it,--but mark the consequences of the ments of my country, as to over-raté schism,-of altering the parts of an es- the one of which he was himself a tablishment without considering their member. “ We are bad enough,” said relations to the whole. A certain he, “ heaven knows, but not so bad as number of benefices belong to the col- Oxford. They are now attempting to lege, to which as they become vacant imitate us in some of those points the fellows succeed according to seni- wherein the advantage on our part is ority, vacating their fellowships by too notorious to be disputed. The accepting a benefice, or by marrying. effect may be seen in another generaHere one of the evils of a married tion; meantime the imitation is a conclergy is perceived. Where celibacy fession of inferiority." is never regarded as a virtue, it is na- “ Still," said I, “ we may regard turally considered as a misfortune. the universities as the seats of learning Attachments are formed more easily and of the Muses." “ As for the perhaps in this country than in any Muses, Sir," said he, “ you have traother, because there is little restraint versed the banks of the Cam, and must in the intercourse between the sexes, know whether you have seen any nine and all persons go so much from home ladies there who answer their descripinto public. But the situation of the tion. We do certainly produce verses college-fellow who has engaged his both Greek and Latin which are affections, is truly pitiable. Looking worthy of gold medals, and English with envious eyes at those above him ones also after the bewest and most on the list, and counting the ages of approved receipt for verse-making. those who hold the livings for which Of learning, such as is required for the he is to wait, he passes years after purposes of tuition, there is much, years in this disquieting and wretched beyond it, except in mathematics, state of hope. The woman in like none. In this we only share the commanner wears away her youth in de- mon degeneracy. The Mohammedans pendant expectation, and they meet believe that when Gog and Magog are at last, if they live to meet, not till the to come, the race of men will have fall of the leaf, -not till the habits and dwindled to such littleness, that a shoe tempers of both are become fixt and of one of the present generation will constitutional, so as no longer to be serve them for a house. If this procapable of assimilating, each to the phecy be typical of the intellectual other.

diminution of the species, Gog and I inquired what were the real ad- Magog nay soon be expected in the vantages of these institutions to the neighbourhood of their own hills. country at large, and to the individuals “The truth is, Sir," he continued, who study in them. “ They are of “ that the institutions of men grow old this service,” he replied, “to the coun- like men themselves, and, like women, try at large, that they are the great arealways the last to perceive their own schools by which established opinions decay. When universities were the only are inculcated and perpetuated. I do schools of learning, they were of great not know that men gain much here, and important utility; as soon as there yet it is a regular and essential part of were others, they ceased to be the our system of education, and they who best, because their forms were prehave not gone through it always feel scribed, and they could adopt no imthat their education has been defective. provement till long after it was geneA knowledge of the world, that is to rally acknowledged. There are other say of our world and of the men in it, causes of decline.-We educate for is gained here, and that knowledge only one profession: when colleges remains when Greek and geometry were founded, that one was the most are forgotten." I asked him which important; it is now no longer so; was the best of the two universities; they who are destined for the others he answered that Cambridge was as find it necessary to study elsewhere, much superior to Oxford, as Oxford and it begins to be perceived that this was to Salamanca. I could not for- is not a necessary stage upon the road. bear smiling at his scale of deprecia. This might be remedied. We have tion : he perceived it and begged my professors of every thing, who hold pardou, saying, that he as little in their situations and do nothing. In tended to undervalue the establish- Edinburgh, the income of the pro

« ZurückWeiter »