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insinuate that I ever approved the practice or professed the principles of their infamous fraternity, they insinuate a base, slanderous, and malignant falsehood. I hold it to be the bounden duty of every honest man who ever pronounced a liberal opinion, to come forward and declare his abhorrence of such doctrines. What! because I am liberal, must I become rebellious ? because I am tolerant, must I renounce my creed? They have mistaken me very much. Though I would approve of any rational, practicable reform; though I would go very far upon the road of liberality, I would not move for either, no, not one single inch, unless loyalty and religion were to bear me company. I know not what they mean by their “ Radical Reform,” unless they mean to upront the Throne, the Altar, and the State. I do not believe their chimera of annual parliaments and universal suffrage. I prefer a legislature comprising the wealth, the talent, and the education of the realm, to a radical directory of shoeless cobblers, and shopless apothecaries. I fly for protection to my king, and for consolation to my God, from the lawless, creedless, murderous, blasphemous banditti, who postpone them both to the putrid carcase of an outlawed infidel. Denounce me if you choose. I would sooner die to-morrow beneath the dagger of your hate, than live in the infectious leprosy of your friendship. My fellowcountrymen, it is high time to pause. Our very virtues, by excess, may become vices. Let us aid the aggrieved, but let us not abet the assassin; let us tolerate the sectarian, not countenance the infidel; let us promulgate, if we can, an universal good, without shaking the basis of our social system, or the blessed foundation of our eternal hope. My own sentiments, as to the most unlimited toleration of all sects of Christians, you are not now, for the first time, to be made acquainted with. I know that many good men, and many much abler men, dissent from me ; and while I give them full credit on the score of sincerity, I only seek the same concession for myself. I would open the gates of constitutional preferment to all my fellow subjects of every religious creed, wide as I expand to them the affections of my own heart. It is in my mind but fair, that he who protects a state should receive a reciprocity of privileges; that no man should be made familiar with its burthens, and at the same time be told he must remain a stranger to its benefits. This is an humble but conscientious opinion, given freely but not
servilely-seeking to make others free, I will not submit to become a slave myself, or compromise one particle of self-respect. Nay, more, Sir, though I would give, and give voluntarily, every liberal enfranchisement, I would not withdraw one prop-I would not deface even one useless ornament on the porch of the constitution ; it has been founded by wisdom, defended by valour, consecrated by years, and cemented by the purest blood of patriotism : at every step beneath its sacred dome, we meet some holy relic, some sublime memorial; the tombs of the heroes, and sages, and martyrs of our history ! the graves of the Russels and the Sydneys; the statues of the Hardwicks and the Hales; the sainted relics of departed piety; the table of the laws to which king and people are alike responsible; the eternal altar on whose divine commandments all those laws are founded; sublime, hallowed, invaluable treasures ! unimpaired and imperishable be the temple that protects them! In the fullness of my heart I say to it, “Esto perpetua,” may no political Marius ever rest upon its ruins. Sir, in reference to the congratulatory part of your address, I cannot wish the august personage to whom it refers a more auspicious wish than that he may follow implicitly the footsteps of his father. These ways are “ways of pleasantness," these paths are "paths of peace." I hope his reign may be as happy as his Regency has been victorious, and that in the plenitude of power, he will remember the country forgot not him when that power was very distant. These are not times, however, to be either too exigent or too unreasonable; the atheist meets us in our noon-day walk; the assassin waits not for the night's concealment; all ranks, and sects, and parties should unite; all that is sacred in the eye of every christian, dear to every parent, and valuable to every man, is menaced with annihilation ; every cause of difference, whether real or imaginary, should be now suspended, until the national shout of “ fear God, honour the king,” drowns the warwhoop of impiety and treason : if we are to live, my countrymen, let us live in the security of laws; if we are to die, let us die in the consolations of religion.
SPEECH OF MR. PHILLIPS
AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN AUXILIARY
BIBLE SOCIETY, LONDON.
ALTHOUGH I have not had the honour either of proposing or seconding any of your Resolutions, still, as a native of that country so pointedly alluded to in your report, I hope I may be indulged in a few observations. The crisis in which we are placed is, I hope, a sufficient apology in itself for any intrusion ; but I find such apology is rendered more than unnecessary by the courtesy of this reception. Indeed, my Lord, when we see omens which are every day arising—when we see blasphemy openly ayowed—when we see the Scriptures audaciously ridi. culed-when, in this Christian Monarchy, the den of the republican and the deist yawns for the unwary in your most public. thoroughfares—when marts are ostentatiously opened, where the moral poison may be purchased, whose subtle venom enters the very soul-when infidelity has become an article of commerce, and man's perdition may be cheapened at the stall of every pedlar—no friend of society should continue silent—it is no longer a question of political privilege-of sectarian controversy-of theological discussion ;- it is become a question, whether Christianity itself shall stand, or whether we shall let go the firm anchor of our faith, and drift without chart, or helm, or compass, into the shoreless ocean of impiety and blood! I despise as much as any man the whine of bigotry—I will go as far as any man for rational liberty, but I will not depose my God to defy the infidel, or tear in pieces the charter of the State, and grope for a constitucion amongst the murky pigeon-holes of every creedless, lawless, infuriated regicide. When I saw, the
. I other day, my Lord, the chief bacchanal of their orgies—the man with whom the Apostles were cheats, and the Prophets liars,
and Jesus an imposter, on his memorable trial, withcring hour after hour with the most horrid blasphemies-surrounded by the votaries of every sect, and the heads of every faith-the Christian Archbishop—the Jewish Rabbi—the men most eminent for their piety and their learning, whom he had purposely collected to hear his infidel ridicule of all they reverenced—when I saw him raise the Holy Bible in one hand, and the Age of reason in the other, as it were confronting the Almighty with a rebel worm, till the pious Judge grew pale, and the patient Jury interposed, and the self-convicted wretch himself, after having raved away all his original impiety, was reduced into a mere machine, for the re-production of the ribald blasphemy of others—I could not help exclaiming, “ Infatuated man-if all your impracticable madness could be realized, what would you give us in exchange for our establishment? What would you substitute for that just tribunal—for whom would you displace that independent Judge and that impartial Jury ?-Would you really burn the Gospel and erase the statutes, for the dreadful equivalent of the crucifix and the guillotine !” Indeed, if I was asked for a practical panegyric on our Constitution, I would adduce the very trial of that criminal-and if the legal annals of any country upon carth furnished an instance, not merely of such justice, but of such tience, and forbearance, such almost culpable indulgence, I would concede to him the triumph. I hope, too, in what I say, I shall not be considered as forsaking that illustrious example-I hope I am above an insult on any man in his situation-perhaps, had I the power, I would follow the example further than I ought-perhaps I would even humble him into an evidence of the very spirit he spurned-and as our creed was reviled in his person, and vicdicated in his conviction, so I would give it its noblest triumph in his sentence, and merely consign him to the punishment of its mercy.
. But, indeed, my Lord, the fate of this half infidel, half trading martyr, matters very little in comparison of that of the thousands he has corrupted. He has literally disseminated a moral plague, against which even the nation's quarantine can scarce avail us. It has poisoned the fresh blood of infancy-it has disheartened the last hope of age-if his own account of its circulation be correct, hundreds of thousands must be this instant tainted with the infectious venom, whose sting dies not with the destruc
tion of the body. Imagine not because the pestilence smites not at once, that its fatality is less certain_imagine not because the lower orders are the earliest victims, that the most elevated will not suffer in their turn; the most mortal chillness begins at the extremities, and you may depend upon it, nothing but time and apathy are wanting to change this healthful land into a charnel-house, where murder, anarchy, and prostitution, and the whole hell-brood of infidelity, will quaff the hearts blood of the consecrated and the noble. My Lord, I am the more indignant at these designs, because they are sought to be concealed in the disguise of liberty. It is the duty of every real friend to liberty to tear the mask from the fiend who has usurped it. No, no, this is not our Island Goddess, bearing the mountain freshness on her cheeks, and scattering the valley's bounty from her hand, known by the lights that herald her fair presence, the peaceful virtues that attend her path, and the long blaze of glory that lingers in her trian-it is a demon, speaking fair indeed-tempting our faith with airy hopes and visionary realms, but even within the foldings of its mantle, hiding the bloody symbol of its purpose. Hear not its sophistry ; guard your child against it; draw round your homes, the consecrated circle which it dare not enter. You will find an amulet in the religion of your country—it is the great mound raised by the Almighty for the protection of humanity-it stands between you and the lava of human passions; and oh, believe me, if you wait tamely by, while it is basely undermined, the fiery deluge will roll on, before which all that you hold dear, or venerable, or sacred will wither into ashes. Believe no one who tells you that the friends of freedom are now, or ever were, the enemies of religion. They know too well that rebellion against God cannot prove the basis of government for man, and that the loftiest structure impiety can raise is but the Babel monument of its impotence, and its pride, mocking the builders with a moment's strength, and then covering them with inevitable confusion. Do you want an example ?-only look to France. The microscopic vision of your rabble blasphemers has not sight enough to contemplate the mighty minds which commenced her revolution. The wit—the sage—the orator—the hero—the whole family of genius furnished forth their treasures, and gave them nobly to the nation's exigence; they had great provocation—they had a glorious cause—they