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volution, THE GREAT BODY OF THE CLERGY in this country, and many of those who call themselves the FRIENDS OF THE King, have long been my enemies ; and in accomplishing my ruin, have not spared the instruments of that science, my application to which gave some degree of weight to my labours in another field.
[Appendix to the Appeal—page 156.
Letter to Condorcet, par. 2, 1. 7. The violences were committed by the lower order of the people ; but if the friends of the Church, and of the King, in the higher ranks, had been in earnest to suppress the riots, it might, no doubt, have been effected before any mischief had been done.
[Appeal- page 71, line 1. There was, therefore, at least a criminal remissness in the friends of the Church, and of the King. But the clearest facts shew that there was more than remissness on the part of many persons of better condition, and nothing that they ever did, shewed a real disapprobation of the conduct of the mob, previous to the demolition of my house—but only a wish that they should proceed no farther than that.
[Ibid. page 71, line 19.
6. THE TOWN AND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF BIRMINGHAM. Making every allowance for the perpetrators and abettors of these horrid scenes at the moment, there has been time for reflection, and compunction since; and the eyes of the nation, and of all Europe, are open to see what part both the town, and neighbourhood, and above all, the Government of the country, will take in the case. On the part of the town and neighbourhood, nothing favourable to justice has appeared as yet.
[Ibid. page 71, paragraph 2, line 1, to page 72, line 7. The whole town and neighbourhood therefore must fall under the suspicion of screening the criminals, and therefore of partaking the guilt.
[Ibid. pages 72, 73.
Though I had read, and reflected much on the feelings of Christians in a state of persecution, and never doubted, but that in ordinary cases their jays far exceeded their sorrows, I could not know that they did so to the degree in which I can truly, and I hope without much vanity (for in this I mean nothing but the instruction and encouragement of my readers) say, that I have lately found it. It is only in trying situations that the full force of religious principle is felt, and that its real energy can shew itself. And firmly believ
ing, from the doctrine of philosophical necessity, that the hand of God is in all events, and that in all cases men are only his instruments—that under his sure guidance all evil will terminate in good and that nothing so effectually promotes any good cause as the persecution of its advocates, all that I have suffered, and all that suffer, has, in many seasons of the calmest reflection, appeared as nothing, and less than nothing.
I consider this persecution, (for so I shall call it, though my enemies will of course consider it as the punishment of my evil deeds, and much less than I deserve) let it be carried to what extent it will, as a certain prognostic of the prevalence of every great truth for which I have contended; and this prospect, together with the idea of my being an instrument in the hand of PROVIDENCE of
promoting the spread of important truth by suffering, as well as by acting, has given me at times such exalted feelings of devotion (mixed, as sentiments of devotion ever will be, with the purest good-will towards all men, my bitterest enemies not excepted) as I had but an imperfect idea of before.
[Ibid. page 111, paragraph 2, line 1. So fully am I persuaded that more good than evil will result from what has happened to me, that were it in my power I would not be restored to my former situation. Had the late events not happened, I should of course have wished, and prayed for continuing as I was: for no man, I believe, ever thought himself more happily situated than I did—but PROVIDENCE having now DECLARED ITSELF, I acquiesce, and even REJOICE in the DECISION.
[Ibid. page 113, paragraph 2, line 1.
COMMON SENSE ABOUT COMMON RIGHTS.
BY THOMAS BULL.
COMMON SENSE RESOLVES,
1. That Subjects have no common rights, because all men are not fit for all things: 1. In their natural capacity. The fool has no right to sit at the councilboard; nor the coward to be the leader of an army. 2. In their moral capacity. The thief has no right to be a steward for the public: the idle man has no right to the wages of the industrious. 3. Least of all in their religious capacity. The Jew has no right to be a Bishop: the Turk has no right to be a Schoolmaster for the teaching of Christian children. Men have been guilty of more cuelty and injustice and robbery on motives of false religion, than on any others whatsoever. Heathens against Christians-Papists against Protestants-Puritans against the Church and Government of England. Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum!
II. That the natural rights of man, are the rights of man in a state of nature only : that is, of man considered as an unsociable independent savage. These
are, the rights of eating, drinking, sleeping, hunting, fishing, propagating his species, whipping his children, and defending himself against wild men and wild beasts.
III. That as soon as man becomes a member of society, and property is divided by authority, and secured by laws ; he is bound as a moral agent. If he takes away the property of another man against law, he is a thief: if he takes away the life of another man without law, he is a murderer, and the law hangs him. All his natural rights are under restraints, and he cannot exercise them at his will, for fear of an executive power, ordained to prevent it. They are now no longer natural, but are changed into civil rights.
IV. That upon the reception of the Christian Religion, natural rights are farther restrained by the divine authority of the ten commandments; which forbid robbery, murder, false witness, disobedience, and even the desire of another man's property: and man himself rises from a moral, into a religious agent. And no Christian is a good Christian until he acts in obedience to God as the Supreme Lawgiver, and obeys the laws of man for God's sake.
V. That therefore, if any member of a Christian Society now pleads his natural rights, he thereby declares, that he intends to break through the laws of civil society, and the restraints of religion, and go back, as fast as he can, to the state of nature-; that is, to reduce things, if he and his fellows shall be able, to a political chaos, or state of anarchy, under which there shall be no distinction of right, or property, but such as they themselves shall be pleased to settle. To presume that property is vested in the nation at large, is in virtue of no law existing in the world, nor any charter but that of Beelzebub.
If all the beasts of the forest and the desert were mingled into one society with sheep, goats, oxen, and horses; against which God's providence hath wisely provided; Common Sense foresees what must happen, when they begin to pursue and exercise their commou rights. The swine would make his part good by his impudence; and his hard snout would lay waste our fields and gardens at his pleasure. Foxes and other vermin would nolonger be thieves, because there would be no law to make them such : they would take what they wanted by natural right. The wolves would scatter the sheep and tear them in pieces. The dogs, having no master to encourage and direct them, would forget their duty and join the enemy: and thus the best part of the animal creation would become a prey to the worst. The dogs might perchance quarrel with a wolf; but as this would happen, not out of friendship to the sheep, but only out of hatred to the wolves, the poor sheep would be no gainers. All these circumstances will hold good in human society: for mankind, like other creatures, are distinguished by birth, humour, and education, into the wild and the tame, the cunning and the simple, the peaceable and therebellious, the temperate and the insatiable, the harmless and the blood-thirsty; and have no more claim to the exercise of common rights than the beasts have: of which the absurdity is so plain, that to show it, is to prove it: and if any man asserts common rights in a civilized country where laws are established, a trap should be set for him as for other vermin.
Upon the whole; as it is best for the beasts that they should be under man; so it is best for man that he should be under God; and under Laws divine and human: If he knows his own interest, he will plead for a due distinction of rights, and defend them to the