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which nobody doubts, is not as well attested as that of Jesus Christ. Such an assertion in fact only shifts the difficulty, without removing it. It is more inconceivable that a number of persons should have agreed to fabricate this book, than that one only should have furnished the subject of it.
The Jewish authors were incapable of the diction, and strangers to the morality, contained in the gospel, the marks of whose truth are so striking, so perfectly ininuitable, that the inventor would be a more astonishing man than the hero.
31. POLITICAL CUPIDITY REPROVED.- -Sheridan.
In such an hour as this, at a moment pregnant with the national fate, can it be, that people of high rank, and professing high principles, that they or their families should seek to thrive on the spoils of misery, and fatten on the meals wrested from industrious poverty? Can it be, that this should be the case with the very persons who state the unprecedented peril of the country as the sole cause of their being found in the ministerial ranks?
The constitution is in danger, religion is in danger, the very existence of the nation itself is endangered; all personal and party considerations ought to vanish; the war must be supported by every possible exertion, and by every possible sacrifice; the people must not murmur at their burdens; it is for their salva
their all is at stake. The time is come when all honest and disinterested men should rally round the throne as a standard :—for what, ye honest and disinterested men ? to receive for your own private emolument a portion of those very taxes which you yourselves wring from the people, on the pretence of saving them from the poverty and distress which you say the enemy
would inflict, but which you take care that no enemy shall be able to aggravate.
Oh! shame! shame! is this a time for selfish intrigues, and the little dirty traffick for lucre and emolument ? Does it suit the honor of a gentleman to ask at such a moment? Does it become the honesty of a minister to grant? Is it intended to confirm the pernicious doctrine, so industriously propagated by many, that all public men are impostors, and that every politician has his price? Or, even where there is no principle in the bosom, why does not prudence hint to the mercenary and the vain, to abstain awhile at least, and wait the fitting of the times !
Improvident impatience! Nay, even from those who seem to have no direct object of office or profit, what is the language which their actions speak ?
The throne is in danger! we will support the throne ; but let us share the smiles of royalty-the order of nobility is in danger! I will fight for nobility, says the viscount, but my zeal would be much greater if I were made an earl. Rouse all the marquis within me! exclaims the earl, and the peerage never turned forth a more undaunted champion in its cause than I shall prove. Stain my green riband blue, cries out the illustrious knight, and the fountain of honor will have a fast and faithful servant!
What are the people to think of our sincerity? What credit are they to give to our professions ? Is this a system to be persevered in ? Is there nothing that whispers to that right honorable gentleman, that the crisis is too big, that the times are too gigantic, to be ruled by the little hackneyed and every-day means of ordinary corruption !—or are we to believe, that he has within himself a conscious feeling, that disqualifies him from rebuking the ill-timed selfishness of his new allies ?
COMPETENCY OF PARLIAMENT TO PASS THE
Sir,-1, in the most express terms, deny the competency of parliament to do this act. I warn you, do not dare to lay your hand on the constitution—I tell you that if, circumstanced as you are, you pass this act, it will be a nullity, and that no man in Ireland will be bound to obey it. I make the assertion deliberately—I repeat it, and I call on any man who hears me, to take down my words ;-you have not been elected for this purpose--you are appointed to make laws and not legislatures --you are appointed to act under the constitution, not to alter it-you are appointed to exercise the functions of legislators, and not to transfer them and if
so, your act is a dissolution of the government-you resolve society into its original elements, and no man in the land is bound to obey you.
Yourselves you may extinguish, but parliament you cannot extinguish—it is enthroned in the hearts of the people—it is enshrined in the sanctuary of the constitution—it is immortal as the island which it protects—as well might the frantic suicide hope that the act which destroys his miserable body should
extinguish his eternal soul. Again, I therefore warn you, do not dare to lay your hands on the constitution; it is above your power. Sir, I do not say that the parliament and the people, by mutual consent and co-operation, may not change the form of the constitution.
But thank God, the people have manifested no such wishso far as they have spoken, their voice is decidedly against this daring innovation. You know that no voice has been uttered in its favor, and you cannot be infatuated enough to take confidence from the silence which prevails in some parts of the kingdom; if you know how to appreciate that silence it is more formidable than the most clamorous opposition-yoự may be rived and shivered by the lightning before you hear the peal of the thunder! But, sir, we are told we should discuss this question with calmness and composure. I am called on to surrender my birthright and my honor, and I am told I should be calm, composed.
National pride! Independence of our country! These, we are told by the minister, are only vulgar topics fitted for the meridian of the mob, but unworthy to be mentioned in such an enlightened assembly as this; they are trinkets and gewgaws fit to catch the fancy of childish and unthinking people like you, sir, or like your predecessor in that chair, but utterly unworthy of the consideration of this house, or of the matured understanding of the noble lord who condescends to instruct it! Gracious God! we see a Perry re-ascending from the tomb and raising his awful voice to warn us against the surrender of our freedom, and we see that the proud and virtuous feelings which warmed the breast of that aged and venerable inan, are only calculated to excite the contempt of this young philosopher, who has been transplanted from the nursery to the cabinet, to outrage the feelings and understanding of the country.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF HATRED.—Canning.
My honorable friend has expended abundant research and subtility upon this inquiry, and having resolved the phrase into its elements, in the crucible of his philosophical mind, has produced it to us purified and refined, to a degree that must command the admiration of all who take delight in metaphysical alchemy. My honorable and learned friend began by telling us, that, after all, hatred is no bad thing in itself. “I hate a
tory," says my honorable friend—"and another man hates a cat; but it does not follow that he would hunt down the cat, or I the tory." Nay, so far from it-hatred, if it be properly managed, is, according to my honorable friend's theory, no bad preface to a rational esteem and affection. It prepares its votaries for a reconciliation of differences—for lying down with their most inveterate enemies, like the leopard and the kid, in the vision of the prophet. This dogma is a little startling, but it is not altogether without precedent. It is borrowed from a character in a play which is, I dare say, as great a favorite with my
learned friend as it is with me: I mean, the comedy of The Rivals; in which Mrs. Malaprop, giving a lecture on the subject of marriage to her niece, (who is unreasonable enough to talk of liking, as a necessary preliminary to such an union,) says,
“What have you to do with your likings and Four preferences, child ? Depend upon it, it is safest to begin with a little aversion. I am sure I hated your poor dear uncle like a blackamoor, before we were married; and yet you know, my dear, what a good wife I made him.” Such is
learned friend's argument to a hair. But finding that this doctrine did not appear to go down with the house so glibly as he had expected, my honorable and learned friend presently changed his tack; and put forward a theory, which, whether for novelty or for beauty, I pronounce to be incomparable ; and, in short, as wanting nothing to recommend it but a slight foundation in truth. “ True philosophy," says my honorable friend, “will always continue to lead men to virtue by the instrumentality of their conflicting vices. The virtues, where more than one exist, may live harmoniously together, but the vices bear mortal antipathy to one another, and therefore furnish, to the moral engineer, the power by which he can make each keep the other under control.” Admirable! but, upon this doctrine, the
poor man who has but one single vice must be in a very bad
way. No fulcrum, no moral power for effecting his cure. Whereas his more fortunate neighbor, who has two or more vices in his composition, is in a fair way of becoming a very virtuous member of society. I wonder how my learned friend would like to have this doctrine introduced into his domestic establishment. For instance, suppose that I discharge a servant because he is addicted to liquor, I could not venture to recommend him to my honorable and learned friend. It might be the poor man's only fault, and therefore clearly incorrigible ; but if I had the good fortune to find out that he was also addicted to stealing, might I not, with a safe conscience, send him to my learned friend with a strong recommendation, saying, I send you a man whom
I know to be a drunkard; but I am happy to assure you, he is also a thief; you cannot do better than employ him; you will make his drunkenness counteract his thievery, and no doubt you will bring him out of the conflict a very moral personage ?
ADDRESS TO THE VOLUNTEERS AT BRISTOL
To form an adequate idea of the duties of this crisis, it will be necessary to raise your minds to a level with your station, to extend your views to a distant futurity, and to consequences the most certain though most remote. By a series of criminal enterprises, by the successes of guilty ambition, the liberties of Europe have been gradually extinguished; the subjugation of Holland, Switzerland, and the free towns of Germany, has completed that catastrophe; and we are the only people in the eastern hemisphere, who are in possession of equal laws and a free constitution. Freedom, driven from every spot on the continent, has sought an asylum in a country which she always chose for her favorite abode : but she is pursued even here, and threatened with destruction. The inundation of lawless power, after covering the whole earth, threatens to follow us here; and we are most exactly, most critically placed in the only aperture where it can be successfully repelled,—in the Thermopyle of the universe !
Go then, ye defenders of your country, accompanied with every auspicious omen; advance with alacrity into the field, where God himself musters the hosts of war. Religion is too much interested in your success, not to lend you her aid; she will shed over your enterprise her selectest influence. While you are engaged in the field, many will repair to the closet, many to the sanctuary; the faithful, of every name, will employ that
prayer which has power with God; the feeble hands, which are unequal to
the sword of the Spirit; and from myriads of humble, contrite hearts, the voice of intercession, supplication, and weeping, will mingle, in its ascent to heaven, with the shouts of battle and the shock of
My brethren, I cannot but imagine the virtuous heroes, legislators, and patriots, of every age and country, are bending from their elevated seats to witness this contest, incapable, till it be brought to a favorable issue, of enjoying their eternal repose. Enjoy that repose, illustrious immortals! Your mantle fell when you ascended; and thousands, inflamed with your spirit, and impatient to tread in your steps, are ready to swear