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to keep the building together : in England, time has given the cement the adhesion of the material itself the public attachment and the constitution are equally war-proof and faction-proof; as I trust will shortly once more appear: in France, the revolution finally sunk under a military despotism ; whereas in England, the fear of an inundating invasion having put arms into the hands of four hundred thousand free citizens, we are no longer under fear of a military government, but can yet resort to parliament, for the amendment of our representation ; as we are perpetually doing whenever we need the redress of a grievance, or an improvement in our condition ; and I desire to know what, except the personal interest of corrupt members, stands in the way of parliament redressing this, as well as any other grievance; of making this, as well as any other improvement? Is not unequal representation, as great a grievance as unequal taxation, which parliament has taken so much pains to redress? Would not freedom of parliament, be as good a thing as freedom of trade, or a wet dock? When parliament passed the three unconstitutional statutes to which in p. 141,I have referred, and opened its doors to the unconstitutional admission of a host of placemen and court dependents, which in abstract theory would have justified, if persevered in the same national resistance as was experienced by James the second, or Charles the first, or other kings who violated liberty, did it even for any of these acts, so calculated to excite popular discontent, experience disobedience on the part of the people, or danger to the constitution from popular violence? And are our deep-reasoning anti-reformers only afraid of an overthrow of the constitution, when parliament shall stem the tide of corruption and calamity which its own acts have let in upon us, and removed the discontents itself hath occasioned? When it shall have repented of its own sins against us, when it shall have corrected its own errors, restored our liberty, and secured our property from the robbing band of an uncontrouled minister, who, in God's name shall murmur ? If injustice and oppression, while they provoke resistance to ministers, cannot make Englishmen quarrel with the constitution, shall justice and protection, shall experience of all the blessings of good government, obtained by walking in the paths of that constitution, adhering to its principles, and acting up to its spirit, produce such quarrel?' “ The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib;" but the anti-reformer, more stupid than ox or ass, doth not know that justice is better than injustice, protection than oppression.
Heavenly truth, the very radiance of whose presence puts falsehood to shame and to flight, is not, my Lord, believe me, become a coward, fearing to encounter the squinting hag prejudice, although favoured by the fury of the most bigotted toryism of the jacobite school, the profligate effrontery of court venality, or the insidious hypocrisy of the pretended whig. Let us then, my Lord, honestly steer right onward in the cause of our country, without fear of arriving in due time at our desired haven. Our course is plaio, and the compass of the constitution, allowing for the variation of the best practice from polar rectitude, and duly attending to the tides and currents of wayward humour we have to encounter in our track, will not fail to guide us aright. The idle fears of ignorance, will soon be dispelled by the calm courage of knowledge; and timidity, in seeking a redress of grievances will, by the sedate firmness of justice, be inspired with fortitude and resolution.
And is not the present state of the nation groaning under its burthens; fired with resentment and indignation against corruption and infamy; ruled by “a disgraced ministry," who are haunted with the fear of impeachment; freed, by its danger of invasion by a giant enemy, from the terrors of a domestic standing army, precisely that state, in which patriotism must want common sense, not to enter the field of discussion against the vile advocates for oppression and plunder ; and must be blind and besotted, not to call upon
the people for their exertions in all the peaceful ways of the constitution, with a deterinination not to desist until their grievances are redressed, and they shall have obtained a constitutional security against their return.
Why hesitate Why waits John for James, or Charles for George, to take the first step when all should be equally ready for the race? Why 'dream away, in disgraceful irresolution, a moment of precious time? Why wait till ministers by their vices, or their incapacity for conducting the war, add to our present calamities and dangers, others which we may avert by getting rid of them and their system? Men loaded with conscious guilt, and at their wit's end with the terrors of a dreadful personal responsibility for countless iniquities against the liberties of their country and its dearest interests, cannot have that calm self-possession of their faculties, now so necessary to ministers of England, beset as she is with difficulties and perils. In such a situation of a country, the want of a nation's confidence must be a sufficient objection, even to untried ministers of the most spotless reputation : but to ministers who once possessed such confidence to a boundless degree, and who have forfeited it by crimes and misconduct, the objection is a thousand times more forceful.
Why then do we hesitate? Have we any thing to fear? Do the political enemy themselves now seek the field of discussion, brand us with foul names, and brave us to the combal ? Do the Burgage-Tenure men now call public meetings, to echo through the land their feelings of happiness under the constitution, as by law " established, and that they desire no alterations " 1 Do the disciples of the secretary of the board of Agriculture now convene the men of England, to impart to them his valuable discoveries, that “the house of com
never did represent, and is not responsible " to the people ;" that “the members give themselves “ their powers and privileges; that unequal repre“sentation, rotten boroughs, long parliaments, extra
vagant courts, selfish ministers, and corrupt majori
1 Sce the laconic epistle from Petersfield, in 1782, in the Wyvill papers, II, 97, Egregious as is the nonsense of a “constitution, as by law established," Mr. Pitt transcribed the language of the wiseacres of Petersfield, nearly word for word, into his sedition act, 36 G. III. c. where we also read of the “constitution of this realm, as by law established.” No man can mistake his meaning on that occasion; but, for the stupidity of the expression, see Appeal, civil and military on the constitution. P: 28.
ties, are intimately interwoven with our practical freedom ; and it would require better anatomists than
our modern reformers to shew, in fact, that we did o not owe our liberty to the identical evils which they “ want to expunge?" Or do his patrons now desire county meetings, for appealing to the truth and successful operation of his doctrine, that “the prosperity " and happiness we have enjoyed for a century, and
never so great as at present, is owing precisely to the “ house of commons not speaking the will of the “ people ?” 1
Do the Reevites now form loyal associations, for preserving to us the blessings of such a house of commons; or (that like a certain lord they may have,“ two strings to their bow,") do they meet to assure their sovereign and his people, that "the constitution of England is a “ monarchy,” from which both “the lords and com“ 'mons may be lopped off,” and “cast into the fire,” without destroying that constitution ?? Will oppression now appeal to the people, in vindication of a system of taxation without representation," as by law established;" or în proof of the wisdom and honesty of transporting reformers to Botany Bay, or of hanging them as traitors, because they did not change their politics with the minister ? Or will corruption now assemble its votaries at a city tavern, to vote statutes to Mr. Pitt, or 10 Lord Melville ? No: the anti-reformers have exhausted their stores of falsehood and effrontery,and emptied their magazines of calamny; the rotten boroughs are sick and silent; wary oppression bites his lips with inward mortification, and walks with fear and trembling; the stink of corruption is come up into the nostrils of the nation ;3 and INQUIRY IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY, To the patriot tempest, the enemies of our peace and freedom, bow their hated heads, in hope to survive, and then resume their sway: but that hope I hope is vain ; the tempest I trust will not cease, until it sweep away them and their pollutions !
1 Common wealth in danger, xliv, cxxiv, and Example of France a warning to Britain, 81, 90, 91, 94, 171.
2 See Thoughts on the Engl. gov. addressed to the good sense of the people. By John Reeves, Esq. commissioner of bankrupts, printer of the bible, &c. Would not an uncorrupt parliament have long since impeached the minister, who had been guilty of giving away the money of the people, in rewarding the writers of such doctrines as are referred in this and the preceding note ? But even this bears the proportion only of a molehill, to the mountain of the ininister's treasons against the constitution !
3“ And I have made the stink of your çamps to come up unto your nostrils.” Amos iv, 10.
Now then, when these ravagers of our country, dare not shew themselves in the open field, or shall shew themselves only to be chased before us as chaff before the wind, shall we be so wanting to ourselves and our posterity, shall we be such dupes to the pretended whigs who mix among us, as not to advance in full force to terminate the war, and secure the fruits of victory? Shall we, by neglecting to secure our inheritance from the future inroads of these spoilers, invite the renewal of those inroads, and insure a predatory return, to take vengeance for having been once exposed to infamy and universal reprobation? Shall we expose ourselves to a vindictive pillage, on the double policy of adding to their own strength, and increasing our weakness? Instead of disarming them in our own defence, shall we leave them the irritated masters of our property and future fațe, and provoke them to force iron ordinances, to be perpetually in force, as armour to their future despotism, and as barriers to our future resistance ?
When, nine centuries ago, the last spark of English freedom seemed extinct, when ruthless barbarians had conquered and possessed the realm, when sovereignty itself had disappeared, and hovering despair, of horrid aspect and sable wing,darkened the dejected land, even then, the vigilance, the courage, the energy of one man recalled public spirit, inspired enthusiasm, restored liberty, and crowned his country with glory. What then forbids the patriotism of our day, under auspices the most favourable, to save the state? Do not the Alfreds of our time know how to obtain the people's confidence and concurrence ! And what can resist a united people? Can they be resisted by “ a disgraced minister," and by his equally disgraced supporters ? By a profiigate crew, damned in the public estimation, for their servility and prostitution ? Let our generalissimo, then, and his veteran lieutenants,now that the central war demands not for a season their presence, spread them