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of humanity, mistakes are the necessary its character. The days of concealinstruments by which truth is brought to ment and mystery are past. There is light, or, at least, indispensable conditions
now no resource but in a system of of the process."-Pp. 138, 139.
fairness and open dealing ; no feasible The position really taken by the mode of preserving and propagating advocates for the interposition of civil truth but by exalting ignorance into authority with regard to opinions, is, knowledge. that novel errors are capable of over « The universal education of the poor, turning truths already established. which no earthly power can prevent alBut if authorized opinions are true, though it may retard it, is loudly deevery examination will terminate in manded by the united voices of the moplacing them in a clearer light. The ralist and politician. But if the people only cause of apprehension of opin are to be enlightened at all, it is unanions suffering from discussion is the vailing and inconsistent to resort to balf suspicion that by a certain process of measures and timid expedients ; to treat reasoning they may be proved to be
them at once as men and as children; to wrong. It is a work of difficulty to
endow them with the power of thinking
and at the same time to fetter its exeroverturn even established error; why
cise; to make an appeal to their reasou then fear the overthrow of established
aud yet to distrust its result; to give truth by the utmost license of discus
them the stomach of a lion and feed them sion? This alarm, which so frequent with the aliment of a lamb. The proly challenges power on its side, pro moters of the universal education of the ceeds in most cases from a selfish re poor ought to be aware, that they are gard to private interests, with which setting in motion, or at least accelerating established opinions are considered to the action of an engine too powerful to be interwoven.
be controlled at their pleasure, and likely The author treats in Section VI.,
to prore fatal to all those parts of their “On the free Publication of Opinions
own systems which rest not on the solid
foundation of reality. Re
They ought to as affecting the People at large.
know, that they are necessarily giving strictions imposed with a view to guard
birth to a great deal of doubt and inres. the lower classes from error, imply a tigation; that they are undermining the persuasion of infallibility in those who
power of prejudice, and the influence of impose them, which persuasion if it mere authority and prescription; that had always been acted upon, would they are creating an immense number of have led, we know, to the suppression keen inquirers and original thinkers, of truth and the encouragement of whose intellectual force
whose intellectual force will be turned, error. In an age of improvement and in the first instance, upon those subjects a land of liberty, the minds of the peu
which are dearest to the heart and of ple cannot be confined to any given
most importance to society."-Pp. 148, ideas. By a thousand channels discus
149. sions are made familiar to them, and We find the cheering sentiment of they become partakers in the doubts, our author in this and other passages, difficulties and objections which their expressed in his familiar way by Sir superiors in rank and knowledge en- Wm. Temple : (Miscellanies, Pt. III. tertain on every controvertible subject. p. 301 :) “Truth will be uppermost, On the supposition, therefore, of esta- one time or other, like cork, though blished opinions being true, more error kept down in the water." might prevail under a system of re- The VIIth and last Section is “On straint than under perfect freedom of the ultimate Inefficacy of Restraints inquiry. Authority might prohibit the on the Publication of Opinions, and expression of contrary opinions, but their bad Effects in disturbing the nait could not root them out of the tural Course of Improvement.” This mind. Being kept secret, they could is the natural conclusion of the whole not be confuted ; and they would thus argument. In the present state of the bid fair to last longer and also to world, it is questionable whether the spread wider, than if they were freely progress of opinion can be much reexposed to the rigorous test of gene- tarded by restraint and persecution ; ral examination. The only way to and it is certain that it cannot be contract the empire of error is to instopped. The various branches of crease the general power of discerning knowledge are so intimately connect
ed, that it is a vain attempt to shackle punishment, promotes satisfaction of mind any of them while the rest are at and sincerity of conduct."-Pp. 160, 161. liberty. Restrictive measures some. The course of enlightened policy is times defeat their own object.
therefore plain. Let investigation be " The mere attempt to suppress a doc. unrestrained ; that if established opi. trine has often been found to disseminate nions be true, their truth may be renit more widely. There is a charm in dered conspicuous to all; that if false, secrecy, which often attracts the public they may be discarded. The terrors mind to proscribed opinions. The curi.
of the law are wretched replies to arosity, roused by their being prohibited,
gument; disgraceful to a good cause, a repugnance to oppression, an undefined
and feeble auxiliaries to a bad one. suspicion, or tacit inference, that what
Employ reason and learning ; call to requires the arm of power to suppress it must have some strong claims to cre
your aid elegance and taste ; but, in dence, and various other circumstances,
the name of humanity, resort not to draw the attention of numbers, in whose the pillory and the dungeon. eyes the matter in controversy, had it
" Whoever has attentively meditated been freely discussed, would have been totally destitute of interest. Whatever
on the progress of the human race cannot is the severity of the law, some bold spirit
fail to discern, that there is now a spirit
of inquiry amongst men, which nothing every now and then sets it at defiance, and by so doing spreads the obnoxious
can stop, or even materially controul. Redoctrine far more rapidly than it would
proach and obloquy, threats and persecuhave diffused itself had it been left unmo
tion, will be vain. They may embitter
opposition and engender violence, but lested."-Pp. 157, 158.
they cannot abate the keenness of reBut though restraints on the public search. There is a silent march of cation of opinions may be ineffectual,
thought, which no power can arrest, and they still beget positive evils by disturbing the natural course of improve
marked by important events. Mankind
were never before in the situation in ment. In the regular course of things,
thugs, which they now stand. The press has truth makes slow advances; but where been operating upou them for several hindrances to truth are set up by au- centuries, with an influence scarcely perthority, suspicion and resentment are ceptible at its commencement, but daily awakened ; sudden revolutions take becoming more palpable, and acquiring place in the public mind; passions accelerated force. It is rousing the intelmix with opinions; and a violent zeal lect of nations, and happy will it be for is enkindled for their propagation.
them if there be no rash interference with
the natural progress of knowledge ; and « Such ebullitions are to be feared only if, by a judicious and gradual adaptation where the natural operation of inquiry of their institutions to the inevitable has been obstructed. As in the physical changes of opinion, they are saved from so in the moral world, it is repression those convulsions which the pride, prewhich produces violence. Public opinion judices and obstinacy of a few may ocresembles the vapour, which in the open casion to the whole.”—Pp. 163, 164. air is as harmless as the breeze, but which Such is the author's animated and may be compressed into an element of, tremendous power. When novel doctrines
eloquent conclusion, worthy of a are kept down by force, they naturally
Christian philosopher of the present resort to force to free themselves from enlightened era. How slow are rulers restraint. Their advocates would seldom to keep pace in their measures with pursue violent measures, if such measures the improvement of the public mind! had not been first directed against them. Without them, and in opposition to What partly contributes to this violence them, the moral and intellectual sysis, the effect produced by restraint on the tem is going on. They may employ moral qualities of men's minds. Com- brute force, but they cannot imprison pulsory silence, the necessity of confining or chain the intellectual power. That, to his own breast ardently cherished opi. as Galileo said of the earth, striking nions, can never have a good influence on ;
it with his foot as he came out of his the character of any one. It has a tendency to make men morose and hypocri.
hunoi dungeon, still moves; and moves with tical, discontented and designing and accelerating force, and in a perpetuready to risk much in order to rid them. ally extending orbit. The great ones selves of their trammels; while the liberty of the world are carried along with it of uttering opinious, without obloquy and irresistibly; but it depends upon them. selves whether they shall enjoy or la- The preacher exhibits and applies ment its triumph, whether they shall the character of Enoch, Gen. v. 24. swell its procession as friends, or be The best tribute that we can pay to dragged at its chariot wheels as con- the memory of Mr. James is, that the quered foes.
application appears not to be at all The other Essays in the volume are extravagant. Mr. Kitcat introduced “ On Facts and Inferences"_" On into the discourse, with great propriethe Influence of Reason on the Feel ty, part of a letter on his death, from ings”-“ On Inattention to the De- the pen of the venerable Dr. Rees, to pendance of Causes and Effects in whom he was known for many years, Moral Conduct"-"On some of the in which he is characterized as one to Causes and Consequences of Indivi- whom death itself could not be alarmdual Character” – “On the Vicissi. ing. tudes of Life"-“On the Variety of Intellectual Pursuits”—“On Practical
« The following is a list of the Tracts and Speculative Ability"_and “ On and Sermons published by the Rev. David the Mutability of Human Feelings.”
“ A Short Summary of Christian PriiThese Essays are distinguished by the
ciples and Practice, 1773. same characteristic excellencies as the two that we have so largely reviewed. Collet, Physician, at Newbury, 1780.
" A Funeral Sermon for Dr. John The first contains a beautiful passage “ Á Short View of the Tenets of Triwhich we regret that we cannot quote, theists, Sabellians, Trinitarians, Arians, on the power of religious associations and Socinians. 2d edition, 1780. in opposition to the convictions of the “ Hints relating to the Scripture Doc understanding (pp. 183-185); and trine of the Trinity, to the Young People the second and third are adinirably attending bis Ministry, 1796. adapted to impress young persons of “A Compendious View of the Chris superior understanding with a rational
tian Doctrines, being the substance of a sense of moral responsibility, and with
Farewell Sermon, delivered to the Cona conviction of the necessity of early
gregation at Newbury, in the prospect of
resigning the Ministry, 1804."-Note, p. attention to the duties of life, in order to secure its true enjoyments.
Of the third of these, Mr. Kitcat
says, Art. III.-A Sermon preuched at the
Upper Meeting-House, Newbury, “ His Short View of the Tenets' conon the 28th of April, 1822, occa- tains the most concise, perspicuous, and sioned by the sudden Death of the
satisfactory statement of the views enterRev. David James. To which is
tained by the different denominations of prefixed the Address delivered at
Christians, on the doctrine of the Trinity, the Grave of the Deceased, whose
that is to be found in the English lanRemains were interred under the
guage. This is not merely my own pri
vate opinion. It was only last automo, Pulpit, which had been for forty
u ocensor orty- when in London, that I had the pleasare four Years the seat of his Ministe- of hearing one of the most able dispelrial Labours. By John Kitcat. tants and celebrated divines of the age, 8vo. pp. 28. Hunter and Eaton. frankly acknowledge to my deceased faIs. 60.
ther-in-law, that he was much indebted
to the Short View of the Tenets' in STANDING in the interesting rela- settling his own views of Christian Truth.
tions of successor and son-in-law And I received, not many days siuæ, a to Mr. James, Mr. Kitcat had a try, letter from the learned Dr. Carpenter, of ing duty to perform in these funeral Bristol, containing the following decided services, which he has fulfilled with testimony to the same point. I have much ability and affection. The cha. says hemin my possession a Tract entitled racter of the deceased which is sketch
a Short View of the Tenets,' &c., 24 ed in a former number, pp. 373, 374.
Edition, 1780; and a manuscript memo is here more fully described, and the
randum ascribes it to Mr. James, of Net
bury. I suppose this was from the pen of complete portrait enkindles our es
your venerable father-in-law. I remember teem of the subject of it as a Chris.
--continues 'he-consulting it with gred tian and as a Protestant Dissenting satisfaction as a candid, satisfactory, aste, pastor.
and judicions tract. It must have been
found by many of great service in ascer. selling the very same publication, and taining scriptural truth."--Pp. 14, 15. the judge resisting the application for
Mr. Kitcat has this note upon ano- another jury, and the counsel for the ther of these works :
prosecution representing the identity « The Sermon entitled “A Compen
of the jury as " a singular advantage” dious View of the Christian Doctrines,'
i to the defendant; the conduct of the published by the Rev. D. James, when judge,
judge, Newman Knowlys, Esq., then about to resign the ministry. contains a Common Sergeant, now Recorder, of general outline of the religious sentiments the City of London, who attempted which are held by the congregation of to refuse to the counsel for the defenProtestant Dissenters belonging to the dant the right of discussing the cha-, Upper Meeting-House, Newbury. The racter of the “Constitutional Associalate Rev. Hugh Worthington, who was tion,” the prosecutor, which he had equally distinguished by the brilliancy of previously granted on the trial of the bis genius, and the affecting simplicity of same charge in the case of another dehis eloquence, designated this excellent
fendant, to the counsel for the prosesermon • a little body of diviuity.'”-P.
cution, and who seems to have consi
dered in his charge that he was trying Mr. James was assiduous in his the defendant's counsel, and was enpastoral attentions to the young; titled to tax him with the crime of his These are thus acknowledged by his client; and the proceedings in the successor :
House of Commons on the presenta“ I cannot here forbear to revive in tion of a petition from Barkley, when the grateful recollection of every member Dr. Lushington boldly stigmatized the of the Christian society assembling for conduct of the Common Sergeant as divine worship in the Upper Meeting- “ not upright, just or impartial,” and House, Newbury, that the exertions of accused some one of interlining the my venerable predecessor, in introducing sentence on Barkley and another in the commendable plans of meeting the the book of the clerk of the arraigns, young people of his congregation in the vestry on the Sabbath evening, and of
and thereby adding to the sentence annually catechizing the children, prepa
pronounced from the bench, the pu
P ratory to their admission to the vestry. nishment of hard labour : but though meetings, have proved, by the blessing of all these are memorable particulars, God, some of the most efficient means of the design and the limits of our work encouraging that spirit of impartial exa- oblige us to pass them over, and to mination of the Scriptures which has confine our attention to the speech of kept our little society together, in an defendant's counsel. age when popular clainour would drown Mr. M. D. Hill, the gentleman here the voice of conviction, and a mistaken referred to, has taken, and will long zeal for truth would anathematize a can- we trust maintain, his rank amongst did inquiry after truth."--Note, p. 15.
our constitutional lawyers ; by which
term we intend those pleaders that reART. IV.-The Trial of John Bark. present and apply the constitution as
ley, (one of the Shopmen of Richard a protection to the subject against the Carlile,) prosecuted by the Consti, ivroads of arbitrary power. With extutional Association, for publishing emplary spirit, he faced the brow-beata seditious and blasphemous Libel. ing of the court, and forced his way Second Edition. With an Appen, through quibbles and rebukes to do dix, containing an Account of the right to his client. Disregarding the Proceedings in the House of Com- dicta of mere technical lawyers, he asmons on the Petition of the De serted with great ability the noble fendant. 8vo. pp. 32. Wilsoj. principles of civil and religious liberty. Roval Exchange. 18. 1822. He vindicated Christianity by demand
ing, in its name and authority, toleraW HERE are several circumstances tion for the erring. The bench was
I attending this trial of Barkley, discomposed by hearing the voice of a youth seventeen years of age, which enlightened and philanthropic divines, are worthy of observation, such as re-echoed in a court of law; but the its being carried on before the same jury were deeply impressed, and this jury, who had two days before found very same body who two days before a verdict against another person for had given in an instant a verdict of guilty upon the same offence, now doors of the Inquisition. If you stop deliberated for nearly an hour, and short of this, you leare the unbeliever though they returned a similar ver- still the opportunity of saying, I could dict, accompanied it with a recommen.
if I dare ; let me, and I can shew you dation to mercy. The force of Mr.
that you are all wrong: but how do you Hill's address appears to us to con
answer my cavils, as you call them? Do
you answer them with argument? Do sist as much in its simplicity as in its
you answer them by evidence? If you strong sense and manly spirit. We have argument and evidence, why not take from it two passages.
produce it? The truth is, you have nei“ There is another part of the subject ther, and therefore you answer me only which requires your deep attention. It with chains and a dungeon.' Is it not is, that if you put dowu attacks upon true that there has been in this country Christianity by force, when those attacks much more published against the Scripare inade public by the press, you cannot, tures than in all Europe, or even in the in our free country, put duwn private whole world besides; and let me ask you, conversation, and if not, all you have wliether you are prepared to admit that before done only gives the Infidel a great we are an irreligious people ? If you advantage over the Christian. When the were prepared to admit it, facts would press is entirely free from restraint, the deny it: I would ask you what nation unlettered man, pressed in argument by can boast of so many Missionaries spread the Infidel, may fairly say, I am not over the whole earth for preaching of the able to answer your objections ; it is not gospel among the Heathen; where did my habit of life to investigate subjects of that mighty organ of Christianity, the this nature; but publish your attack on Bible Society, take its origin ? Gentlerevelation to the world, and I venture to men, we have solved the problem ; we say, that you will receive a full and satis- have proved that publications like this factory refutation.' Now, however, the do not produce those ill effects appreInfidei may reply, What! expose myself hended by the weak and inconsiderate." to fine and imprisonment as a reward for —Pp. 13, 14. opening people's eyes! No! no! I leave .“ We are told that Christianity is part the honours of martyrdom to those who and parcel of the law of England; I wish have more taste for them. I may talk at to God it may be proved this day, that liberty among my friends; and that is we are so told correctly, because if Chrisall I ask.' Gentlemen, I must admit that tianity be the law of England, then, gena mode exists, by which you may prevent tlemen, you are bound to act in perfect all departure from the religion of the conformity with the precepts of its Foundcountry, and by which you may reduce er. If the Founder of our faith had all opinions to one uniform standard. chosen to use force for its propagation, There is an example which you may fol- or against those who impugned it, what low; the experiment has been tried, and was to prevent him? Why did he not has proved successful. But then, gentle- employ supernatural powers against the men, you must make Spain your model Galileans, or why did he rebuke his disand establish an Inquisition. You must ciples for desiring it? But perhaps the have a familiar in every house, and a spy Constitutional Association may suppose at every table, and then, with the assist. themselves to know better than our Divine ance of the rack and the faggot you may Master, in what way the interests of Chrisdestroy all who differ from you ; but, tianity may be best promoted. Thank gentlemen, what would be the conse. God, however, you are uot the Constituquence of such destruction ? Look totional Association; you have neither part Spain, and you will see that freedom of oor lot in it. Even if you should refuse opinion did not fall alone ;-with it went to put faith in those great men whose all that was excellent in the country. opinions I have cited, and to whom we Spain fell from her rank among the na- owe the clear evidence of the truth of tions, her commerce fled, her agriculture Christianity, you will bow down with dwindled away, and her literature sunk reverence before him to whom we owe into barbarism ; until at length a revolu- Christianity itself. As I read my Testation came to sweep away the labour of ment, the great character impressed on whole ages of persecution and intolerance, every page, is forgiveness of our enemies. and to give the Spaniards an opportunity I will not insult you by supposing that of slowly retracing their steps to a line of you are so unacquainted with the Sacred sounder policy. Still this is your only Writings, as to render it necessary for alternative; if you enter upon this path, me to cite passages for the support of niy If you prosecute for opinions at all, you position ; nor do I wish to depend on will find no resting-place for the sole of insulated passages, if this be not the preyour foot until you have entered the vailing feature of the book. If the Scrip