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ponents, it will not be necessary for me to inquire how far he has here been successful. I shall, therefore, proceed, concisely to notice his assertion, that a partial repeal of penal statutes will impede, instead of advancing, the abolition of the whole system. In his opinion, nothing will be done till the whole is obtained. Now, in the first place, however edifying it might be to see the principle of intolerance, which has in this country assumed the aspect of mildness and toleration, displayed in one instance in its native colors; however disgraceful to that principle, which nothing can really disgrace, that such a monument of its malignity should be preserved to warn us from its gentler advances-he must have but little sense of generous feeling, who would desire the advantage, at the expense of the ignominy of his country, the scandal of his religion, and the sufferings of his persecuted brethren. In the second place, it is not true that the Unitarians would be distinguished from the mass of professing Christians by the repeal of these obnoxious enactments. They would only be placed at their side to fight the general battle with courage invigorated by success. In the last place, it is abundantly evident, from a survey of history, that the most valuable reformations were never accomplished by a sudden and mighty effort. A great distinction between the progress of truth and of ambition is, that the one is turbulent and splendid; the other, gradual and often obscure. True it is, that the abodes of -corruption may sometimes be overwhelmed by terrible and sudden commotions; but then they oppress much that is beautiful in their fall, and the Augean stable is cleansed by the blood of the innocent and the mistaken. Truth, on the contrary, like a gentle stream, silently pursues its course, unnoticed, through scenes of desolation and of misery, till it acquires strength by its unruffled progress, and at length appears triumphant over every obstacle. Mr. Cobbett quotes the reformation from Popery in England, as an instance to the contrary, but surely it will be found that he has here been singularly unfortunate. The first step was indeed taken, and the way was first opened, by the lust of a cruel and ambitious Monarch, but it was by the gentle progress of intelligence and a proper spirit, that we have thus far shaken off the bondage of corruption. Even yet, the work is incomplete; although it is rapidly advancing, in spite of Mr. Cobbett's exertions. The repeal

of the laws in question, is a part of the same glorious chain of events which then commenced, and which will never be completed till every statute that opposes the progress of mental advancement shall have sunk to its destined oblivion.

The French Revolution, another of Mr. Cobbett's instances, furnishes a striking illustration of my remark, with respect to violent commotions. That was, indeed, at once effected. The degrading superstitions of the National faith, and the ignorance to which Priestcraft is naturally allied, prevented the salutary influence of gradual and effectual reformation. There was a point, however, at which human nature could endure no longer: the spirit which might have improved, violently overthrew-the tenderest affections were violated, and the name of freedom profaned-till the gust of passion subsided as quickly as it rose and after strewing the wretched country with monuments of ruined greatness, took refuge in a military despotism.

But, if Mr. Cobbett's position be just, then must the Catholic claims never be conceded-Then has he, in every line he has written in their favor, rivetted the chains of his posterity—then ought all Dissenters to be still regarded as outlaws to society, then ought the Baptists still to be burned for heresy, and the Catholics quartered for treason-till every feeling of human nature had been outraged-till oppression had roused "the might that slumbers in the peasant's arm," and a religious insurrection left no sanctuary pure, and no altar inviolate. If no improvement for which reason is to strive with power, could have been gradually effected, then would the African slave-trade never have been abolished. If a partial repeal of unjust laws be unjust, then would that enlightened lawyer, Sir Samuel Romilly, whenever he attempted to abrogate a single bloody and obsolete statute, be found guilty of opposing a total and radical change. It is, then, most unjust, and partial, that the shoplifter should be exempted from the gallows, while the sheepstealers are left in jeopardy, and the ladies who deal with the Spirit of Evil, should fight with those heretics who deny the existence of their Satanic master, for their proposed exemption from the punishments of justice. But we are told that it is by assenting to measures

⚫ Campbell.

like these, that the ministry will maintain an empire over the mind's they have set at liberty, most perilous to general freedom. Now, in the first place, we reply that the liberty of worshipping the Almighty, unappalled by the apprehensions of imprisonment and of outlawry, is not requested as a boon to be conceded, but demanded as a part and only a part of a right which has been unjustly withheld. In the second place, it is abundantly manifest, that it is not to the petitions of Unitarians, but to the intelligence of the times, that the ministry, with all other parties, have silently yielded. And lastly, it is to be observed, that since the guardians of the church have as readily acquiesced in the alteration as those of the state, if, therefore, the successful heretics will feel a grateful affection for ministers, how much more for the Prelates and Archbishops! They will return at once to the altar and to the throne; and if they become as loyal as Mr. Jolm Bowles, it will be some consolation that they will become as orthodox as Mr. Cobbett,

Such, then, are the arguments which the great political reformer has used on this interesting subject. He denounces the Unitariaus as Infidels, for a reason which would unchristianize all who have done honor to his church-upon this assumption, he builds the conclusion, that to remove these dreadful penalties would be partial and unjust—then advances a position which would paralyse the noblest efforts of human virtue, and reduce us to unspeakable wretchedness--and lastly abuses all those who dissent from his church, in a style well adapted to the coherence of his former reasonings.

Só far from considering difference of sentiment as an intolerable evil, 1 regard it as an invaluable blessing. Proceeding from that variety of intellectual capacity in which nature most delights to prove the exuberance of her powers, and the attraction of her love. liness, it sharpens the intellect, eularges the understanding, invigotates the soul, arouses the genius, and adds purity and salubrity to the moral atmosphere. Its political advantages are vast indeed. It promotes a general spirit of reflexion, enlivens the sense of liberty, destroys the remnants of superstition, and prepares the character for the loftiest exertions in the cause of humanity and freedom. In those countries, where one common belief prevailed, where the mind was restrained from every inquiry as impious, where a Galileo

was imprisoned for his heretical philosophy, and an inquisition resounded with the groans of all who dared to be truly great, the sout was enfeebled with vice, till it wore the chains of despotism without indignation; and religion was prostituted by her ministry, till vice became triumphant under her image. Italy, the sacred abode of Roman greatness, and the parent of all that is enchanting in modern literature, has sunk into insignificance and contempt: and Spain, abounding in internal richness and foreign treasure, declined into splendid wretchedness and glittering imbecility.

Mr. Cobbett introduces into his articles on these subjects, highsounding declamations against Methodism and against Indian missionaries, with some hints as to the education of the poor and the Bible Society. It is very singular that the doctrines which he alleges against the Methodists are only hideous caricatures of the articles of his admired church. As he has stated them, they would be disclaimed with horror by every sect under heaven,-but when divested of his frightful coloring, they will be easily recognised as election-the inefficacy of our own righteousness, and the vicarious atonement of the Son of God. These are the doctrines which it is damnation to reject, and worse than treason to propagate, the doctrines, for preaching which, one sect is reviled in terms the most disgusting, and for denying which, another is to be visited with penal ties the most ignominious.

To admit all these terrible and discordant sects to unite in the great work of the conversion of the Hindoos would be, Mr. Cobbett thinks, to pour on them all the plagues of Egypt. They must wait for the blessings of Christianity, till we have settled our differences at home: because, otherwise, rival sects will arise as a curse to the devoted country. If this be true, our holy religion has been an universal pest; for in what place has it shed itsgenial influence, where all of its professors have agreed respecting its doctrines? And he who thus treats Christianity as a curse, brands his opponents as unbelievers! Granting, however, that schism is an evilgranting that variety is odious, and controversy prejudicial, it will still be a most pressing question which of the two evils is the greatest-The lascivious and bloody rites of ferocious deities, the exposure of the aged, and the self-murder of the widow, the mental degradation of the unfortunate followers of Brachina, or the contro

versies of Mr. Belsham, and Mr. Wilberforce, of Mr. Cobbett andthe friends of religious liberty.

There are, however, some exertions in which all these discordant Sectarians cooperate-there are occasions on which they drop their weapons of hostility-and those occasions are most sacred and delightful. In diffusing that book which CONTAINS the tenets of their faith, and the rules of their practice, they unite in hand and heart: firmly assured that it exhibits the finest consolations for suffering humanity, and the uoblest precepts, enforced by the most awful sanctions, they throw aside their mysteries on the one hand, and their criticisms on the other. That the Unitarians are engaged in this great work, sufficiently proves that they regard the scriptures as the source of those sentiments, for which they have been suffering. If any circumstance can add to the pleasure we derive from this almost heavenly harmony, it is to be found in the patriotic and united efforts for the education of the lower orders of society. There all that is interesting is blended with all that is useful; every school becomes a " Land of Promise,' teeming with the seeds of moral goodness and political greatness; and while the assimilating parties are delighted with the opening beauties of the spring, they are assured that an unbounded harvest awaits their posterity. It is thus that we are proceeding by a gentle but irresistible progress, till the Christian world becomes a mass of diversified opinions and united hearts-till every faculty is exerted for the improvement and exaltation of our nature-till every barrier to freedom is overthrown and those transporting visions are realised, in which we are contented to forget for a while the dungeons that are still to be broken open, and the evil spirit that is yet to be vanquished. It is but as a part of the train of these anticipated triumphs, that I have thus cordially hailed the repeal of the statutes in question-but on this our opponent may rely, that we will neither intermit, nor relax our exertions, till they have been crowned with success, in the final establishment of Religious Liberty.

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