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bestowed upon it. That his ambition incited him to this labour, we doubt not. He meant to entwine the laurels of Justinian with those of Alexander. But we will not quarrel with ambition, when it is wise enough to devote itself to the happiness of mankind. In the present case, he showed that he understood something of true glory; and we prize the instance more, because it stands almost alone in his history. We look on the conqueror, the usurper, the spoiler of kingdoms, the insatiable despot, with disgust, and see in all these characters an essential vulgarness of mind. But when we regard him as a Fountain of Justice to a vast empire, we recognise in him a resemblance to the just and benignant Deity, and cheerfully accord to him the praise of bestowing on a nation, one of the greatest gifts, and of the most important means of improvement and happiness, which it is permitted to man to confer. It was, however, the misery of Bonaparte, a curse brought on him by his crimes, that he could touch nothing without leaving on it the polluting mark of depotism. His usurpation took from him the power of legislating with magnanimity, where his own interest was concerned. He could provide for the administration of justice between man and man, but not between the citizen and the ruler. Political offences, the very class which ought to be submitted to a jury, were denied that mode of trial. Juries might decide on other criminal questions; but they were not to be permitted to interpose between the despot and the ill-fated subjects, who might fall under his suspicion. These were arraigned before special tribunals, invested with a half military character," the ready ministers of nefarious prosecutions, and only intended to cloak by legal forms the murderous purpose of the tyrant.
We have thus considered some of the means by which Bonaparte consolidated and extended his power. We now see him advanced to that imperial throne, on which he had long fixed his eager eye. We see France now awed and now dazzled by the influence we have described, and at last surrendering, by public, deliberate acts, without a struggle or a show of opposition, her rights, liberties, interests, and power, to an absolute master, and to his posterity for ever. Thus perished the name and forms of the Republic. Thus perished the hopes of philanthropy. The air, which a few years ago resounded with the shouts of a great people casting away their chains, and claiming their birthright of freedom, now rung with the servile cries of long life to a bloodstained usurper. There were indeed generous spirits, true patriots, like our own La Fayette, still left in France. But few and scattered, they were left to shed in secret the tears of sorrowful and indignant despair. By this base and disastrous issue of their revolution, the French nation not only renounced their own rights, but brought reproach on the cause of freedom, which years cannot wash away. This is to us a more painful recollection, than all the desolations which France spread through Europe, and than her own bitter sufferings, when the hour of retribution came upon her. The fields which she laid waste are again waving with harvest; and the groans which broke forth through her cities and villages, when her bravest sons perished by thousands and ten thousands on the snows of Russia, have died away, and her wasted population is renewed. But the wounds which she inflicted on freedom by the crimes perpetrated in that sacred name, and by the abject spirit with which that sacred cause was deserted, are still fresh and bleeding. France not only subjected herself to a tyrant, but what is worse, she has given tyranny every where new pleas and arguments, and emboldened it to preach openly, in the face of heaven, the impious doctrines of absolute power and unconditional submission.
"Napoleon was now Emperor of France; and a man unacquainted with human nature, would think that such an empire, whose bounds now extended to the Rhine, might have satisfied even an ambitious man.
But Bonaparte obeyed that law of progress, to which the highest minds are peculiarly subjected; and acquisition inflamed, instead of appeasing, the spirit of dominion. He had long proposed to himself the conquest of Europe of the world; and the title of Emperor added intenseness to this purpose. Did we not fear, that by repetition we might impair the conviction which we are most anxious to impress, we would enlarge on the enormity of the guilt involved in the project of universal empire. Napoleon knew distinctly the price which he must pay for the eminence which he coveted. He knew that the path to it lay over wounded and slaughtered millions, over putrefying heaps of his fellow creatures, over ravaged fields, smoking ruins, pillaged cities. He knew that his steps would be followed by the groans of widowed mothers and famished orphans; of bereaved friendship and despairing love; and that in addition to this amount of misery, he would create an equal amount of crime, by multiplying indefinitely the instruments and participators of his rapine and fraud. He knew the price, and resolved to pay it. But we do not insist on a topic, which few, very few as yet, understand or feel. Turning then for the present from the moral aspect of this enterprise, we will view it in another light, which is of great importance to a just estimate of his claims on admiration. We will inquire into the nature and fitness of the measures and policy which he adopted for compassing the subjugation of Europe and the world.
We are aware, that this discussion may expose us to the charge of great presumption. It may be said, that men having no access to the secrets of cabinets, and no participation in public affairs, are not the best judges of the policy of such a man as Napoleon. This we are not anxious to disprove, nor shall we quarrel with our readers for questioning the soundness of our opinions. But we will say, that though distant, we have not been indifferent observers of the great events of our age, and that though conscious of exposure to many errors, we have a strong persuasion of the substantial correctness of our views. We express then, without reserve, our belief, that the policy of Napoleon was wanting in sagacity, and that he proved himself incapable, as we before suggested, of understanding the character and answering the demands of his age. His system was a repetition of old means, when the state of the world was new. The sword and the police, which had sufficed him for enslaving France, were not the only powers required for his designs against the human race. Other resources were to be discovered or created; and the genius for calling them forth, did not, we conceive, belong to Napoleon.
(To be Continued.)
THE Unitarian Congregation of Glasgow, gratefully acknowledge donations towards the liquidation of their Chapel debt, from friends to Unitarianism in Aberdeen; and a collection by the Unitarian Society of Carluke.
To the Editor of the Christian Pioneer.
It is a prevailing practice of the soi-disant orthodox of the present day, to raise an outcry against every thing that savours of liberality in religious opinions, as if it were presumptuous and dangerous innovation. We find indeed, in every period of historical record, that those who have either a bad cause to support, or a selfish object to accomplish, have been careful, by assuming an air of mystery, to awe the penetrating scrutiny of reason, as if that heavenly faculty were bestowed by the wise and gracious Creator, as a vain and worthless and delusive gift. At the most, it would seem that they admit its efficacy merely as far as relates to temporal objects, but will allow it no importance or activity in ascertaining the dearest hopes of the human heart, in contemplating the wonders of Divine Benignity, or in promoting the purest felicity of the immortal soul. Yet, however priestly artifice and arrogance may have too frequently succeeded, in establishing their usurpations and cramping intellectual energy, it is most pleasing to perceive, that their influence has not been so general and overwhelming, as at any time totally to silence the voice of inquiry, or to immerse, in utter darkness, the light of divine truth. In periods of the gloomiest ignorance, under circumstances the most deterring that can be conceived, there have not been wanting minds of a nobler constitution, that have dared to defy the malignity of spiritual intolerance-to scorn the abomination of human authority presuming to dictate to the conscience— and bursting those shackles of bigotry, by which they had been hitherto confined, to exert their powers in contemplating the divine counsels, and in admiring the beautiful adaptation of the communications of Heaven, to the present condition and the future hopes of man. Truth, when sought after with discriminating judgment and independent principle, has ever shone with the same bright radiance. Its sincere and candid advocates, though unacquainted with one another, and possessing no means of mutual in
tercourse, though widely separated by time and country, have yet, in the more important points, entertained a similarity of views and arrived at similar conclusions. Our assertion is strikingly illustrated, by looking to those distinguished luminaries, who now in regions the remotest from each other, stand forth as champions of the Christian cause, and maintain its genuine simplicity and purity, agreeably to the consistent and dignified views of the Unitarian believer. In reverting to the page of history, we are much gratified at perceiving many distinguished characters bearing ample testimony, likewise, to the same important observations. It is not, however, my present purpose to call the attention of your readers to the many admirable instances that might be adduced in support of the statement I have made. I have been led to offer these remarks, in consequence of my having lately had the opportunity of perusing in manuscript, a work on the much disputed doctrine of the Trinity, and which, it is expected, will shortly be issued from the London press. Among the many able works that have of late years appeared on that subject, the treatise in question will be found to possess a very considerable degree of merit. A work formed from collating and comparing every individual passage of Scripture, that could be conceived, either directly or indirectly, to have a reference to the one important point in question-the work, too, of a man in whom was strikingly manifested the triumph of truth and reason, over early and deeply rooted prejudice, can scarcely fail to be interesting and instructive to candid and wellregulated minds.
The Rev. John Cameron, the author of the treatise to which I allude, was a member of the General Synod of Ulster, and for many years minister of the Presbyterian congregation of Dunluce, in the northern part of the County Antrim. He was a native of Scotland, and was first introduced into public life, in Ireland, as a preacher among the Covenanters, or, as they are sometimes called, Cameronians; and bearing himself the name of Cameron, and addressing the almost immediate descendents of those, who, through persecution, had been forced to emigrate from Scotland, and had settled on the northern shores of Ireland, he was a deservedly popular minister of the day. He preached the doctrines of Calvin in their full rigour and austerity; nor did he attempt, as some moderns have
done, to fashion them to popular taste, and publish them in a moderated tone.
The eminent popularity of this sincere and zealous man, procured him a unanimous call from the Congregation of Dunluce, under the care of the Presbytery of Route: to which charge, after passing through the usual trials, he was shortly afterwards ordained. Intimately acquainted with systematic divinity, powerfully affecting in his language and address, with simple manners and unbending integrity, he fully realised the expectations of his friends, and stood in the foremost rank of respectable and eloquent preachers.
About this time, a most important revolution took place in his religious sentiments. This is best related in his own words: "I had been invited to dine with a dignitary of the Established Church, when after dinner, as both of us were men of literary inquiry, the Churchman said, • Cameron, have you seen Taylor of Norwich on Original Sin? No, was my reply, nor do I wish to see it, it is a most dangerous production, and I have often cautioned my flock against its new-fangled doctrines. 'I shall give it to you,' said the gentleman, when you are returning home.' On my retiring, the dignitary said, 'Cameron, you have forgot the book, but I shall bring it to you.' With great reluctance did I remain, until the book was put into my hand; and I declare, such was my aversion, that I would as soon have been accompanied home by his Satanic Majesty. Next morning, I commenced a perusal of this production. As I advanced, a new and wonderful light broke in upon my mind. The author's exposition of Scripture, and the illustration of the doctrine he proposed, was so exceedingly simple, rational, and consistent with the Word of God, that I never met with any thing that made such an impression on my mind. In a few days I laid the book aside, pondering and revolving in mind its important contents. I then resumed the perusal, carefully collating every text with the original, and comparing it with the Word of God. The result was, a complete and entire change in my religious sentiments. My former opinions and prejudices dissolved before the sun of truth, and disappeared as the morning dew before the rising orb of day."
From this may be dated that thorough investigation of the Word of God, which he then commenced, and which