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ference at the ensuing general election, to the interest of such candidates as are approved friends to the cause of civil and religious liberty.
Candidates are here intended to be threatened with exclusion, unless they adopt the Dissenters' Cause ; which will lead them to act against the constitution; but we apprehend few Gentlemen of liberal minds or ample fortunes will choose to come into the house with this mark of servility upon them.
IX. That we are gratefully sensible of the zeal and ability which has been exerted by the Committee of Dissenters in London, to obtain the repeal of the obnoxious statutes ; and while we express our obligations to Edward Jeffries, Esq. their Chairman, and to the Committee through him for their eminent past services, we confide in their perseverance until the desired object shall be obtained, assuring them that we shall be happy to concur in every peaceable measure adopted to secure it.
X. That the thanks of this meeting be transmitted to Henry Beaufoy, Esq. for the distinguishing ability and energy with which he has repeatedly asserted the rights of the Dissenters, in the House of Commons; and to Sir Henry Houghton, Bart. the Right Hon. Charles James Fox, William Smith, Esq. and all the other members of parliament who have voted for the repeal of the test and corporation acts.
The Gentlemen thus honoured with the thanks of this meeting, may be very worthy persons in their own
private families; but men fall into their public opinions more from custom, connexion, and education, than from reason or religion. The same inducements may prevail with some to plead for the supposed rights of Dissenters, as prevail with others to plead for the doctrines of Jews and Mahometans. As to the Right Hon. Charles James Fox, a late publication informs us, that he was a professed Unbeliever when he was a school-boy; and the date of his reformation since that time, is not known to us.
XI. That the chairman of this meeting, and the deputies from the different congregations, be a committee, for the purpose of co-operating with any other public bodies of Dissenters in the kingdom, that have united in the pursuit of the same laudable object, and that copies of these resolutions be transmitted to Edward Jeffries, Esq. and the chairman of every other associated body of Dissenters.
XII. That the chairman, and any five of the committee, be empowered, at any future time, to call a general meeting of the deputies from the different congregations in this county.
As these articles give Power to hold civil meetings for the pursuit of a civil object, we apprehend they exceed the Act of Toleration, and so are without Authority of Law, and consequently against the peace of the kingdom. Of this measure, therefore, the Honourable House of Commons, and Gentlemen skilled in the Law, and all good citizens, who wish to preserve the peace we at present enjoy, should consider in due time. For if this should be neglected, a National meeting of
the Dissenters may soon follow, when OTHER RESOLUTIONS, not now expected, may be agreed upon.
Quere. Whether an assembly, which meets with a declared intention to change the Laws of the kingdom, or to procure a change of the Laws of the kingdom, is not to be deemed an unlawful assembly, and, as such, within the cognizance of the civil magistrate?
REFORMATION OF PRINCIPLES.
The late institution of Sunday Schools having been so well supported by the rich and honourable of this kingdom, and so well received by the poor, we are encouraged to hope that some similar plan will be adopted for preventing the corruption which prevails among scholars, and persons of the higher orders of life, from evil principles, and what may be called a monopoly of the press. We have long been witnesses to the artifices and assiduity of sectaries, republicans, socinians, and infidels. These may differ very much from one another in their opinions; but if any mischief is to be aimed at the church or its doctrines; if any popular lure is to be thrown out for the raising of a party, and promoting some public disturbance, they never fail to make a common cause of it; and a large body of men, animated by one spirit, and acting in one direction, must necessarily act with weight and effect. Let us observe what they do, and it will hence appear what we ought to do.
About forty years ago, when some promising schemes had failed, a Monthly Review of religion and literature was set on foot; the object of which was to lessen the influence of all such works as should be written in defence of the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, by defaming either the abilities
or the integrity of their authors, omitting their arguments, and exhibiting unconnected scraps, from which the public must form an unjust idea: and, on the other hand, by praising the parts and literature of loose, dangerous, and fanatical writers, blanching their bigotry, and presenting their productions to the best advantage.
This undertaking, contrived by some out of malignity, and encouraged by others through inadvertence and curiosity, must in so long a time, by possessing itself of the avenues to public opinion, have had a pernicious effect on the Principles and Learning of the age. By another like artifice, some useful works, of established reputation, have been taken up, and republished by insidious Editors, with omissions and interpolations of their own, for the purpose of misrepresenting public characters, and dispersing unsound opinions. Many readers are apprised of what hath happened to the Biographia Britannica, under the management of an Editor, who is a person of influence among the Dissenters; and it hath been hinted, that a plan is in embryo, of setting forth the English language after the manner of the great work de la Crusca, by dissenting Editors; in which case, such authorities will be admitted as are proper to insinuate into students the new doctrines and dangerous opinions of the conventicle. This would be a great stroke, and therefore the alarm should be given in time. For which purpose, we request the readers of this paper to peruse Mr. Burke's account of that literary cabal in France, which, by poisoning the fountains of literature, of late effected the destruction of their church and government. See Reflections, p. 165, &c. The same practices, and with the same views, are now carrying on in this country; and the party have been heard to