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The Author of the Reflections concludes his performance in a ftrain much refembling the application of a diffenting fermon: Reader! fays he, beware of treating this difpute negligently, It is a doctrine that muft as a matter of fimple fpeculation. needs enter into the very nature of practical religion. Search the fcriptures; pray for divine illumination; and judge which is the feripture doctrine, that of the Apology or its humble Replier.-If divine titles, honours, and worship are given to the Son and Spirit,-if prayer is made to them; then do they partake of Deity: they are, with the Father, the One Ged bleed for ever.'
With equal ferioufnefs might fimilar language be made use of by a zealous Unitarian: Reader! might he fay, beware "of treating this difpute negligently, as a matter of fimple speculation. It is a doctrine that muft needs enter into the very "nature of practical religion. Search the fcriptures; pray for divine illumination; and judge which is the fcripture docs "trine, that of this Replier, or the humble Apologift.-If rea"fon and revelation concur in afferting, that there is but One "God, even the Father;-if the Old and New Teftament uniformly declare that fupreme worthip is to be paid to him "alone-if they exprefsly and repeatedly maintain the infe"riority of the Son:-then, to give that fupreme worship to "the Son, which is due folely to the Father, is violating a fun"damental principle, and acting contrary to the capital defign "of both natural and revealed religion.'
We fhall only add, that if the Father, Son, and Spirit be not three differen: Beings, but, as intimated by our Author, one Being in different refpects; in that cafe, the Unitarian cannot err with regard to the object of worship. Whereas, if the Son and Spirit be diftinct Perfons from the Father (or Beings, which is the fame thing) and likewife inferior to him, then the Trinitarians, by afcribing equal and fupreme honour to them, undoubtedly pay that adoration to others, which alone belongs to the One God and Parent of Univerfal Nature.
ART. XIV. The Patriot.
Addreffed to the Electors of Great Britain. Svo. 6 d. Cadell. 1774
ATRIOTISM, the most worthy and moft glorious of human virtues, hath, of late, in this country, not only fallen from its illuftrious height in the fcale of honourable diftinctions, but is even funk down to contempt, and is become the scorn and the bye-word of the very rabble. He who withes to fee the various combining caufes of this difgraceful revolution, brought into one collective point of view, will meet with the melancholy fatisfaction which he requires, in the perufal of
this little effay; which is afcribed to one of the first Writers * of the age: the ftyle, indeed, fufficiently fpeaks the pen.
This fapient Obferver precedes bis detection of that falfe and multiform patriotifin which hath fo long impofed on the undiftinguishing part, that is, the generality, of mankind, and paffed itself upon them for the genuine principle, with the following definition of the character of a True Patriot :
A Patriot is he whofe public conduct is regulated by one fingle motive, the love of his country; who, as an agent in parliament, has for himself neither hope nor fear, neither kindnefs nor refentment, but refers every thing to the common intereft,'
The above idea is very feasonably started, at the prefent juneture; that feptennialSaturnalian feafon,' as the Author terms it, when the freemen of Great Britain may please themselves with the choice of their reprefentatives. To felect and depute thofe, by whom our laws are to be made, and taxes to be granted, is a high dignity and an important truft and it is the bufinefs of every elector to confider, how this dignity may be well fuftained, and this truft faithfully discharged.
It ought to be deeply impreffed on the minds of all who have voices in this national deliberation, that no man can deserve a feat in parliament who is not a PATRIOT. No other man will protect our rights, no other man can merit our confidence.'
That of 500 men, fuch as this degenerate age affords, a majority can be found, of virtue, fufficient to ftand the test of our Author's definition, he thinks no one will venture to affirm.Yet, fays he, there is no good in defpondence: vigilance and activity often effect more than was expected. Let us take a Patriot where we can meet him; and that we may not fatter ourselves with falfe appearances, distinguish those marks which are certain, from thofe which may deceive: for a man may have the external appearance of a Patriot, without the conftituent qualities; as falfe coins have often luftre, though they want weight.'
In his enumeration of the marks by which the various kinds of false Patriots may be known, he particularly distinguishes the two following claffes:
1. Those who claim a place in the lift of Patriots, by an acrimonious and unremitting oppofition to the court.
2. Those who start up into Patriotifm only by diffeminating difcontent, and propagating reports of fecret influence, of dangerous counfels, of violated rights, and encroaching ufurpation.
The Author of the RAMBLER.
Thefe and other common marks of Patriotifm are here briefly but clearly examined; and it is fhewn that they are all fuch as artifice may easily counterfeit, or folly mifapply. The Author then proceeds to inquire whether there are not fome characteris tical modes of speaking and acting, which may prove a man to be NOT A PATRIOT. And here he takes occafion to animadvert on the conduct of those who are ever ready to blow the coals of difcord, and embroil their country with its neighbours.
As war, fays he, is one of the heaviest national evils, a calamity, in which every fpecies of mifery is involved; as it sets the general fafety to hazard, fufpends commerce, and defolates the country; as it expofes great numbers to hardships, dangers, captivity, and death; no man, who defires the public profperity, will inflame national refentment by aggravating minute injuries, or enforcing difputable rights of little importance.
It may therefore be fafely pronounced, that thofe men are no Patriots, who when the national honour was vindicated in the fight of Europe, and the Spaniards having invaded what they called their own, had fhrunk to a difavowal of their attempt and a ceffion of their claim, would still have inftigated us to a war for a bleak and barren fpot in the Magellanic ocean, of which no ufe could be made, unless it were a place of exile for the hypocrites of Patriotism.
Yet let it not be forgotten, that by the howling violence of patriotic rage, the nation was for a time exasperated to fuch madness, that for a barren rock under a ftormy sky, we might have now been fighting and dying, had not our competitors been wifer than ourselves; and thofe who are now courting the favour of the people by noify profeffions of public spirit, would, while they were counting the profits of their artifice, have enjoyed the patriotic pleafure of hearing fometimes, that thoufands had been flaughtered in a battle, and fometimes that a navy had been difpeopled by poisoned air and corrupted food.' The Author alfo introduces the following remarks on the out-cry that has been raised against the Canada Bill:
No man, who loves his country,, fills the nation with clamorous complaints, that the Proteftant religion is in danger, because Popery is established in the extenfive province of Quebes, a falfehood fo open and fhameless, that it can need no confutation among thofe, who know, that of which it is almoft impoffible for the most unenlightened zealot to be ignorant,
That Quebec is on the other fide of the Atlantic, at too great a distance, to do much good or harm to the European world:
That the inhabitants, being French, were always Papifts, who are certainly more dangerous, as enemies than as fubjects:
That though the province be wide, the people are few, probably not fo many as may be found in one of the larger English counties:
That perfecution is not more virtuous in a Proteftant than a Papift; and that while we blame Lewis the Fourteenth, for his dragoons and his gallies, we ought, when power comes into our hands, to use it with greater equity:
That when Canada with its inhabitants was yielded, the free enjoyment of their religion was ftipulated; a condition, of which King William, who was no propagator of Popery, gave an example nearer home, at the furrender of Limeric:
That in an age, where every mouth is open for liberty of confcience, it is equitable to fhew fome regard to the confcience of a Papift, who may be fuppofed, like other men, to think himself fafeft in his own religion; and that thofe at leaft, who enjoy a toleration, ought not to deny it to our new subjects.
If liberty of confcience be a natural right, we have no power to with-hold it; if it be an indulgence, it may be allowed to Papifts, while it is not denied to other fects.'
These remarks on the Quebec act are liberal, and highly becoming the character of Dr. Johnson, as a PHILOSOPHER, and a MORALIST. What he fays in relation to the prefent difputes between Great Britain and her American colonies may be more liable to exceptions; and will probably induce many of his readers to think with lefs reverence of the learned Writer, in the character he has affumed of a POLITICIAN.
He that wishes to fee his country robbed of its rights, cannot be a Patriot.
"That man therefore is no Patriot, who juftifies the ridicu lous claims of American ufurpation; who endeavours to deprive the nation of its natural and lawful authority over its own colonies: thofe colonies, which were fettled under Engl fh protection; were conftituted by an English charter; and have been defended by English arms.
To fuppofe, that by fending out a colony, the nation established an independent power; that when, by indulgence and favour, emigrants are become rich, they fhall not contribute to their own defence, but at their own pleafure; and that they fhall not be included, like millions of their fellow-fubjects, in the general fyftem of reprefentation; involves fuch an accumu lation of abfurdity, as nothing but the fhew of patriotifm could palliate.
He that accepts protection, ftipulates obedience. We have always protected the Americans; we may therefore fubject them to government.
The lefs is included in the greater. That power which can take away life, may feize upon property. The parlia
ment may enact for America a law of capital punishment'; it may therefore establish a mode and proportion of taxation.
But there are fome who lament the state of the poor Boftonians, because they cannot all be fuppofed to have committed acts of rebellion; yet all are involved in the penalty impofed. This, they fay, is to violate the juft rule of justice, by condemning the innocent to fuffer with the guilty.
This deferves fome notice, as it feems dictated by justice and humanity, however, it may raise contempt, by the ignorance which it betrays of the fate of man, and the system of things. That the innocent fhould be confounded with the guilty, is undoubtedly an evil; but it is an evil which no care or caution can prevent. National crimes require national punishments, of which many muft neceflarily have their part, who have not incurred them by perfonal guilt. If rebels fhould fortify a town, the cannon of lawful authority will endanger equally the harmless burghers and the criminal garrison.
In fome cafes, those suffer moft who are leaft intended to be hurt. If the French in the late war had taken an English city, and permitted the natives to keep their dwellings, how could it have been recovered, but by the flaughter of our friends? A bomb might as well deftroy an Englishman as a Frenchman; and by famine we know that the inhabitants would be the first that fhould perish.
This infliction of promifcuous evil may therefore be lamented, but cannot be blamed. The power of lawful government must be maintained; and the miferies which rebellion produces, can be charged only on the rebels.'
Our Author's argument, drawn from his fuppofed neceffary connexion between protection and obedience, is by no means conclufive a weak ftate may be protected by a ftronger; but fuljection does not follow. Holland and Portugal have been protected by England; but neither the Dutch nor the Portuguefe ever heard us talk to them about fubjection.
Nor is our Author more happy in his comparison of the dif trefs in which we have involved the city of Boflon, with the fituation of an English town fuppofed to have fallen into the hands of a foreign enemy: the diffimilarity of the circumftances is too glaring not to ftrike every unprejudiced reader, at the first glance. What the ingenious Writer has faid on the vague and indefinite promifes of an hypocritical candidate for a feat in parliament, viz. that he will obey the mandates of his confti. tuents, is of more importance:
knows the prejudices of facmultitude. He would firft
The true Patriot, he obferves, tion, and the inconftancy of the enquire, how the opinion of his conftituents fhall be taken.