Page images

"An army in a free country, fays Judge Blackfone, ought only to be enlifted for a fhort and limited time. The foldiers fhould live intermixed with the people. No feparate camp, no barracks, no inland fortreffes fhould be allowed.-In a land of liberty it is extremely dangerous to make a distinct order of the profeffion of arms. In abfolute monarchies, this is neceffary for the fafety of the prince, and arifes from the main principle of their conftitution, which is that of governing by fear; but in free states, the profeffion of a foldier, taken fingly and merely as a profeffion, is justly an object of jealoufy. The laws therefore and conftitution of these kingdoms know no fuch state as that of a perpetual standing foldier, bred up to no other profeffion, than that of war."

When a country is to be enflaved, the army, says our patriotic Difquifitor, is the inftrument to be used. No nation ever was enflaved but by an army. No nation ever kept up an army in times of peace, which did not lofe its liberties.-Mr. Hume calls the army a mortal diftemper in the British government, of which it must at laft inevitably perifh.-It was Walpole's custom, if a borough did not elect his man for their member, to fend them a meflenger of Satan to buffet them, a company of foldiers to live on them. In this way a ftanding army may be used as an inftrument in the hand of a wicked minifter for crushing liberty. There is much ftrefs laid, by thofe, who would lull us afleep, that we may not fee our danger from the army, on the behaviour of that of James II. who on being put to the trial on Hounslowheath, whether they would ftand by the tyrant, all laid down their arms. But we must be weak indeed, if we fuffer our felves to be mifled by a precedent, fo little in point as this. The army were all brought up Proteftants, and James wanted to make use of them to eftablish Popery, of the crualties of which he had given them a pretty fpecimen. Does it follow, that because a Proteftant army would not be the inftruments of a tyrant in overthrowing the religion they were brought up in (even the foldiers had fome zeal for religion in those days, though not a zeal according to knowledge) and establishing one they were from their infancy taught to dread above all earthly evils-does it follow, I fay, that because an army would not do what must be fo difagreeable to themfelves, they would not do what may be fuppofed agreeable to themselves, that is, would not promote a military government? All hiftory confutes this reafoning. For all history fhews, that the foldiery have ever been ready to enslave their fellow fubjects, and almost all nations have actually been enslaved by armies.-Under fuch kings as the prefent, we should have little to fear with an army as numerous as that of France. But a tyrannical prince or daring minifter might bring this kingdom into dreadful confufion by


having on his fide an army of only 10,000 regulars, and we feem now to plead prefcription for keeping up a force of above four times that number.-Our courtiers affect to call the British land establishment a parliamentary army, and would deceive us into the notion of a difference between a ftanding army and a parliamentary. The British land forces, fay they, are appointed from year to year, not only as to their number but as to their fubfiftence; fo that the parliament's neglecting to provide for their fubfiftence would be annihilating the army at once. But is the army lefs a grievance for being on this foot, than if it were on the fame with thofe of France or Spain. "Queen Elizabeth's whole reign may be almoft called a state of offenfive and defensive war; in England as well as Ireland; in the Indies as well as in Europe; the ventured to go through this ftate, if it was a venture, without the help of a standing army. Whenever he wanted troops, her fubjects flocked to her standard; and her reign affords moft illuftrious proofs, that all the ends of fecurity and of glory too may be answered in this island without the charge and danger of the expedient just mentioned." The confidence which a ftanding army gives a minifter, puts him on carrying things with a higher hand, than he would attempt to do, if the people were armed, and the court unarmed, that is, if there were no land-force in the nation, but a militia. Had we at this time no ftanding army, we fhould not think of forcing money out of the pockets of three millions of our fubjects. We should not think of punishing with military execution, unconvicted and unheard, our brave American children, our fureft friends and best customers. We should not infift on bringing them over to be tried here, on pretence of no juftice to be had in America, in direct violation of the conftitution.-We fhould not think of putting them in a state of fubjection to an army rendered independent on the civil magiftrate, and fecured from punishment, even of the most atrocious offence, by their being to be fent, across an ocean, 3000 miles, to their mock trial. We fhould not think of putting a part of our Western dominions, as large as all Europe, under French law, which knows nothing of our inestimable privilege of trial by jury, whilft the kings at the coronation folemnly fwear to govern all the fubjects by the English law. We should not think of giving our kings power to make not only laws, but legiflators, for a vaft multitude of the subjects, without concurrence of lords and commons. We should not propofe to give the fanction of parliament to Popery, in direct oppofition to Revolution principles. We fhould not think of giving Papists the power of making laws obligatory on Proteftants, with

Bolingbr. Rem. Hift. Engl. 159.

fevere penalties and fanctions. We should not think of refuming unforfeited charters. We should not think of making governors, the needy, and often worthless dependents of our cor-> rupt court, lords paramount over our brave colonies, by giving them the power of appointing and removing judges at their pleasure, while the governors themselves, however tyrannical, are liable to no impeachment by the people. We fhould notbut there is no end to obfervations on the difference between the measures likely to be purfued by a minifter backed by a ftanding army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people.'

Let the Reader attend to these remarks and make his own reflections.

This honeft Writer concludes with the following paragraph," immediately connected with the foregoing: Fearing left I' fhould tire the Reader, I have fuppreffed many, fpeeches and quotations on the army, as well as most of the other heads I have treated of. What I have published will fhew plainly, that the ablest men, and beft citizens of this realm, have looked on a mercenary army in times of peace, whether allowed from year to year, or established for perpetuity, as a dangerous and alarming abuse in a free country. They oppofed it ftrenuously in treatifes, pamphlets, and fpeeches. And we let it pafs annually without queftion or difpute. Whether the fears of our ancestors, or our indifference, are moft reafonable, time will fhew. By the afpect of the present times, it is not improbable, that the point may very foon be decided.'

We perfuade ourselves that the above paffages will be acceptable to our Readers, who will now be enabled to judge what is to be expected from this part of the work. Confidered merely as a matter of curiofity and entertainment, the book is really valuable, at the fame time that it is replete with knowledge and inftruction, drawn from the best fources. The worthy Compiler merits the refpect and efteem of the Public for the great zeal and labour which he has employed; and we heartily with that his earnest endeavours may be followed by fome anfwerable fuccefs, for the advantage and honour of these kingdoms !

ART. V. Sermons, chiefly upon religious Hypocrify. By the Author of the Essays on Public Worship*, &c. 12mo. 2 Vols. 6 st bound. Payne, &c.


HESE very fingular difcourfes will be read with pleasure, or difapprobation, according to the different prejudices and pre-established opinions of their feveral readers. They are not

See Reviews for March 1773, and July 1774, p. 63.


compofed in the common trite form of fermons, where the preacher labours a doctrinal point, or enforces, with much circumlocution, the plainelt Chriftian duties, which he rather clouds than illuftrates by his verbofity. We understand that they were really preached by the Author; who is, or was, a Nonconformift minifter.-As fuch, we hope, he did not think there was any peculiar propriety in fetting his face fo directly against bypocrify. Be this as it may, his great and profeffed aim is to attack that vice which, Orator Henly ufed to fay, feemed to be of a fpecies naturally incident to certain claffes of Diffenters. To do juftice, however, to the Orator, and to all parties, we muft obferve, that he explained himself thus: "I do not mean "Diffenters from this or that established Church, but from all "eftablishments, in all the different fyftems of religion that "prevail in the world: for (added he) there are no preten"fions for diffent from received laws and established cuftoms

in religion, but upon the principle of greater purity in doc-. "trines, and fuperior fanctity of manners."

We have no doubt that with many this notion of fuperior purity is the true ground of feparation, but we fear that with feme it may be a pretence. Such hypocrify is undoubtedly the juft object of a preacher's animadverfion; and our Author has pointed his attack upon it, in fuch a manner, that we wonder not at his having felt the effect of fo freely expofing himself (as we understand he has done) to the difpleafure of his audience t.

The fecond fermon, in the fecond volume, is one of the fevereft and beft adapted fatires on falfe piety, or hypocritical holiness, that we ever remember to have read.—But as we have given fufficient fpecimens of the peculiar fpirit and turn of this animated Writer, in our accounts of his Eays, and the Appendix to them, already referred to, we think it unneceffary to make any extracts from the difcourfes now before us. We may, however, briefly recommend them to all lovers of free inquiry, and independency of fentiment. They are fuperior to the generality of fermons, both in point of language and true philofophical difquifition; but we would caution the fyftematic from meddling with them, if he values his fyftem more than he values TRUTH; for it is very likely he will find things that will greatly shock his prejudices.

The Author, in his preface, fays, Thefe fermons may, in fome places, be more inaccurate, or inelegant than they would have been, if it had been in my power to correct or to transcribe them.' Who, or what, in the name of wonder, hindered him from correcting them? Had he a MANDAMUS, from the court of King's Bench, to print and publifh within a limited time?

+ Author's Preface,


We prefume not. This, therefore, is always a lazy, little excufe, which fhould never be admitted. What a writer offers to the Public, he ought to deliver in the best manner that bis abilities will allow; otherwife he infults them. But after all, our Author's acknowledgment may be formed on the fame principle of falfe tafte, which induces many females, after making an elegant or plentiful entertainment, for the accommodation of their guests, to teaze them with apologies for its being no better.

Publications on the Subject of LITERARY PROPERTY concluded: See our last.

N° 8.

ART. VI, Obfervations on Literary Property. By William Enfield, LL. D. 4to. 2 s. Johnfon. 1774.


HIS treatife affords a ftriking proof how much good fenfe, unadulterated by laboured fophiftry, and unclouded by profeffional jargon, is fuperior to the studied distinctions, and artful fubtleties of the fchools. We have here, particularly, in view, that great fchool of chicanery and tergiverfation, the law; whofe profeffors have, with their ufual dexterity, perplexed and obfcured a queftion, on which Dr. Enfield has been enabled to throw the cleareft light, merely by onfining himself to that natural fenfe of right and wrong, which is worth all the quirking and quibbling that ever made black white, and white black, in Weftminster-hall, and the inns of


We have already, in our Reviews for the three preceding months, given a brief detail of the arguments that have been offered, on both fides, in the feveral publications relating to the controverfy concerning literary property; and our Readers. have feen how ill founded and how narrow have been the reafonings against the interefts of genius and learning; and how conclufive as well as LIBERAL the arguments offered in their fupport, The fubject, therefore, may, by this time, be confidered as exhausted for which reason we shall not long detain our Readers in the investigation of the prefent article.


Dr. Enfield has irrefragably fhewn, by the clearest deduction of argument, that literary property, or what is commonly understood by the term copy-right, has all the foundation in nature, which any kind of property can have, and more than belongs to many kinds, which are however admitted without difpute. Some depend wholly upon occupancy or primary poffeflion; fome wholly upon labour: but an author's right to his literary compofition has a clear foundation in both. No man, therefore, can have a better right to the house which he has built on his own ground and with materials which he has purchafed or collected from his eftate, than an author has to the productions of his genius and industry.

• 1

« PreviousContinue »