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THE PUBLIC SPIRIT OF 1809,
As displayed in the
AND ENUMERATING THOSE GENTLEMEN WHO WERE MOST CON-
THE LATE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.
By W. HAMILTON REID.
* The Daty which I owe to my Country is paramount to every
210. m. 992
and another for the governed, had it not been observed," that they die like other men.” But, notwithstanding, in the exposure of a system thus outraging all common feelings, the reader will find the honest indignation of Englishmen expressed with their usual plain good sense, divested of party-spirit, and governed by that moderation to which faction is always a stranger.
To the credit of every person concerned, neither the object nor the conduct of any of these meetings bear the least resemblance with those Democratic Societies which unhappily agitated this country during the worst periods of the French Revolution. They entertained some of the most extravagant theories with respect to the religion of the country, as well as the form of Government. The present meetings require no change in either. They ask no more than a faithful execution of the laws and the Constitution already established.
Founded upon this liberal basis, the friends of Reform have a claim upon the approbation of all ranks, the nobles, the
commoners, and the clergy: the speeches of some of the latter, reported in pages 152 and 188, do them great credit, as the true friends of liberty and wholesome subordination.
These Reverend Gentlemen certainly oppose Ministers upon a new ground; viz. as very dangerous enemies to Religion. The sentiments interspersed throughout this volume have the very same foundation.
Such open violations of the moral and civil duties as we have lately witnessed, may lead numbers of thinking and welldisposed people to oppose the measures of ministers upon the score of religion and morality, who, upon grounds merely political, would otherwise have been totally indifferent.
Some persons may have gone back; and we have now to apologize for using the name of Mr. Curwen in page 3; as that gentleman has since declared, that he does not approve of what are termed “ Tavern Meetings."
Firmness and moderation have all along enabled the friends of Reform to answer