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But old men, who have but little natural heat, require but a little food, and too much overcharges them.
It must be examined, what sort of persons ought to feed once or twice a day, more or less allowance being always made to the age of the persons, to the season of the year, to the place where one lives, and to custom.
The more you feed foul bodies, the more you hurt yourselves.
THE DISMISSAL OF MINISTERS.
VINDICATION OF THE PEOPLE
CHARGE OF BLASPHEMY,
DEFENCE OF THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.
IN SIX LETTERS, ADDRESSED TO
AND THE RELIGIOUS PUBLIC.
Blasphemy and Sedition.
brought by the Ministers of the State
and Gospel, against the People. On the Religion of those who have made
the Charge of “ Blasphemy and Sedition" against the People; and how far their political system accords with the
precepts of Christianity. As to the real Quantity and Quality of the
“ Blasphemy,” which actually has gone forth to the People through the medium
of the Press ; what means have been used by these Ministers for its discovery and suppression ; and a brief contrast of its amount with the amazing mass of religious publications in the same
period. As to the Conduct of the Clergy-the
only real danger of the Church. As to the Liberty of the Press in matters
of Religion-the causes and remedies of its abuse--especially considered with respect to Unbelievers,
* Methinks I see in my inind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks: methinks I see in her an eagle mning her mighty youth, and kindling ber undazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam; purging and unskaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, fluiter about amazed at what she means, and in their enrious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms.”
Milton's Speech for the Liberty of the Press.
Pam. NO. XXXVII, L
PEOPLE AND THE PRESS,
IS INSCRIBED TO THE
LORDS AND “COMMONS”
ONE OF THE PEOPLE.
“Lords and Commons of England, consider what a Nation it is whereof ye are the Governors: a Nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, suttle and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar to. But now, as our obdu. rate clergy have with violence demeaned the matter, we are become, hitherto, the latest and backwardest scholars of whom God offered to have made us the teachers. *--« Behold now this vast City; a city of refuge, the mansion house of Liberty, encompassed and surrounded with his protection; the shop of war has there not more anvils and hammers working, to fashion out the plates and instruments of armed justice in defence of beleagured truth, then there be pens and heads there, sitting by their studious lamps, musing, searching, revolving new notions and ideas wherewith to present as with their homage the approaching reformation : others as fast reading, trying all things, assenting to the force of reason and convincement. What could a man require more from a nation so pliant and so prone to seek after knowledge? What wants there to such a towardly and pregnant soil, but wise and faithful laborers, to make a knowing People, a Nation of Prophets, of Sages, and of Worthies ?"
MILTON. Speech for the Liberty of the Press. PREFACE.
These Letters have been hastily drawn up, at the earnest request of some zealous friends of Christianity. I have regarded more the matter than the style ; and being exclusively occupied in a laborious profession, possessing only the leisure moments of the wearisome hour of midnight, I claim forbearance from the critical reader. Having been till within the last twelvemonth intimately connected with the political Press, and possessing considerable knowledge of the amazing mass of religious and polemical publication increasingly diffused throughout the whole empire ; having also much opportunity, from personal connexion, for learning the habits and opinions of the manufacturing classes of society, I have esteemed it an imperative duty to vindicate the Press, and to rescue my fellow-countrymen from the bold and sweeping imputation of infidelity. It has been my wish, as far as possible, to confine myself, in the following Letters, to this one object, and to avoid other questions of political and controversial prejudice. I have abstained, wherever I could, from any direct allusion to party and doctrinal differences of opinion, and am not aware that I have levelled at either even an unintentional insinuation; yet if the cap may sometimes fit, I have no desire to deprive the occupant of the honor of wearing it. My argument is, that a Ministry exhibiting such an ignorance of the real character of the People, must be utterly incompetent to hold the reins of government. The speech from the Throne (January 23, 1821,) leaves them completely in the lurch : and though the eulogy on the loyalty of the People is rather ambiguous, it is still sufficient for conviction. Out of thine own mouths will I convict thee. “ I well know that, notwithstanding the agitation produced by temporary circumstances, and amidst the
distress which still presses upon a large portion of my subjects, the firmest reliance may be placed on the affectionate
and loyal attachment to my person and government, of which I have recently received so many testimonials from all parts of my kingdom ; and which, while it is most grateful to the strongest feelings of
heart, I shall ever consider as the best and surest safeguard of my throne.”
Though a student of the laws of England, I am also a Protestant Christian; and in that character I sometimes presume to read my Bible, and to meditate on the laws of Christ. There I dis. cover the philosophy and foundation of all law-there I discover the extreme variance of the acts of the Ministry with the precepts of revelation--and there I have sometimes detected the most glaring contradictions between British and Gospel legislation. Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken to you more than to God, judge ye? Acts, iv. 19.
Our Lord foresaw these days of pretended zeal for religion. Not every one that cries into me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven ; but he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you ; depart from me, you that work iniquity.
I have retorted on our calumniators, and exposed somewhat of their irreligion. I have told them, in the language of St. Paul to the hypocritical Pharisees, you that make your boast of the law, by breaking the law, dishonor God; for the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you. If the hearts of the People are estranged from them, the cause is made evident. “The general story of mankind will evince that settled authority is very seldom resisted. Gross corruptions, or evident imbecility, is necessary to the suppression of that reverence with which the majority of mankind look upon their governors, or those whom they see surrounded with splendor and fortified by power.'
6."--Rambler, No. 50.
If I am asked, how I, who have not the license of “ holy orders," can presume to discuss religious matters, I answer, Jesus Christ and his apostles were laymen; and the argument of these pages, in the hands of a layman, is perhaps more likely to meet attention, when it is known that the writer has no worldly interest in advocating the cause of Christianity.
My only fear is, lest, upon this exposure of the ill accordance of the creed and practice of professors of the gospel, the unbeliever may found an objection against the truth of revelation : he may think that Christians cannot be persuaded of its Divine origin, and yet show such sovereign contempt for it in their daily violations of its injunctions. It is, however, no reflection on the soil, that