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Mr. Philips, whether in those countries where his applauded monastic hospitality prevails, the poor do not swarm about the streets, &c. in the same proportion as with us? We cannot but smile to see Mr. Philips, like a true Churchman, so forward to hook the Almighty into his quarrel, and to consider the national calamities which trod on the heels of what he calls the iniquity of dissolving the monasteries, as so many indications of a provoked and avenging God. We should be glad to know to what source we must impute the national calamities of famine, peftilence, and civil wars, &c. &c. &c. which visited the kingdom, while the Monks, rioted in all the sweets of recluse luxury? But, indeed, we do not recollect that any national calamities trod on the heels of the disolution here spoken of. It is true, that the religious contest proved immediately fatal to particulars, but the nation were gainers by it: and we all know, that the reign of Queen Elizabeth, which trod on the heels of this iniquity, was great, glorious, and beneficial; we know that the triumphed over the bigotted Monarch of Spain, and defeated his invincible Armada. Though a legion of Monks, &c. were praying and plotting for the success of his arms, yet, as glorious Bess observed, Affavit Deus, and they were all scattered. If the national calamities which succeeded, are to be imputed to the vengeance of the Almighty, this vengeance did not shew itself till one of his Vicegerents attempted to tread on the necks of the people, whom he was sent to protect against injuries.
We are ready, however, to concur with our Author in one particular; and we heartily lament with him, that the rage of the times demolished many noble edifices, which were an ornament to the kingdom, and destroyed many ancient records and public libraries, which were repositories of valuable knowledge.
Mr. Philips having wreaked his vengeance on Henry, proceeds to expatiate on the errors and disorders which gave occafion to the Council of Trent, at which the Cardinal prefided, though we do not find any thing interesting concerning him in that capacity: in truth this Council was, with Mr. Philips's leave, what Bolingbroke properly calls it, a solemn Banter. It affords him an opportunity, however, of resuming his favourite topic, and falling foul of the Reformation. · The liberty, he obferves, which Luther, and all other Reformers, after his example, allowed themselves of interpreting the Scripture by their own private judgment, gave birth to a variety of feets,' &c. What does our Author mean? Would he take our Bible from us? If he allows us to read, surely he will allow us to judge. Nothing in nature can be more absurd than to put a book into our hands, and then say, that we shall not expound it accord
ing to our own judgment: and this hews the folly and abfurdity of all persecutions and prosecutions on account of relia gious opinions. As to the variety of lects the Writer complains of, he very well knows, that there were various fects before the Reformation; and the Reformation only introduced a contrariety less absurd.
• But Poland, says he, was so giddy with a continual rotation of doctrine, that the fynod of Scrinia came to this wild resolution of allowing every one to believe as he thought proper ; and at the last day it would appear who had been in the right.' What Mr. Philips here calls a wild, we esteem the wiselt resolution that ever was formed since the first meeting of fynods. In truth, every man that thinks at all, will believe as he thinks proper ; and the law which forbids him to declare his belief, only tends to enforce dissimulation and hypocrisy, the most abominable of all vices.
In the conclufion, our Author follows the Cardinal from the death of Henry the eighth, to the accession of Queen Mary. During this interval Pole was elected to the Papacys vacated by the death of Paul the third, which, according to Mr. Philips, he declined. In our judgment, however, he cannot be said to have declined, any more than a Bishop can be said to decline, by his Nolo episcopari : it is true, having been elected late at night, he declined receiving the homage of the Cardinals that night, and, from an affected delicacy, put it off till the next morning. But the next morning, the Members of the Conclave changed their minds, and elected another in his stead.
Upon the whole, though this work is penned with no small degree of spirit and elegance, yet it is interspersed with so much Turfeiting priestly cant, it advances so many superstitious, bigotted, papistical tenets; (tenets which have been most clearly refuted by the abilities of our Protestant Clergy) and lastly, it is written with so little regard to truth, that, to nen of knowledge and reflection, it carries its own antidote: but, for the sake of uninformed or inconsiderate Readers, we thought it our duty, as Protestants and free subjects, to take off the mask from this Agent of popery, and Advocate of slavery.
A Defence of the Minority in the House of Commons, on the Quefa
tion relating to General Warrants. 8vo. Is. Almon.
T is usual with controversial Writers, especially those of the
and falle colouring. The recrimination is in general well founded; and it is the business of an impartial Critic, to expose the fallacies and mifcepre entations on either side, in order to unveil the truth, which both, perhaps, are equally studious to conceal. This we shall endeavour to do with regard to the subject of the pamphlet before us.
This able and animated Writer begins with accusing the Author of a Letter, first published in the Gazetteer, and lately reprinted with the Wallet, with having mis-stated the motion lately made in the House of Commons, which, according to the Letter-Writer, was “ Whether a general warrant from a Secretary of State be warranted by law or not?” Whereas the Author of this pamphlet proves, from a transcript of the Votes, the motion to have been, · That a general warrant for apprehending and seizing the Authors, Printers, and Publishers of a feditious Libel, together with their Papers, is not warranted by law. This question, as he very justly concludes, varies from that stated by the Letter-Writer, not only in form but fubstance. That, as he observes, extends to all cases of emergency; and the determination of it in the nerative, would preclude the use of general Warrants issued by Secretaries of State, in every extreme case which imagination can put, or which necessity could justify: whereas the question actually moved, confines itself to general Warrants issued in the case of a seditious Libel, which decides not upon the exercise of the fame power in cases not included.
Our Author, in the next place, takes the Letter-Writer to task, for assuming, that the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas had, in the cause of Wilkes against Wood, determined the seizure of papers, under such Warrants, in such cases, to have been illegal: and that, Bills of Exception presented in. appeal from that decision, having ever since been actually depending before the whole bench of Judges, it was the duty of the Minority to have waited the iffue of that appeal.
In answer to this, our Author fhews, that the question of the legality of the Warrant is not now sub Judice, nor has ever yet been in a course of legal determination. Which he proves by transcripts from the Bills of Exception, whereby it appears, that the only question depending thereon is, Whether the Secretary of State be a Justice of Peace within the equity of the Act of the twenty-fourth of George the fecond; which is a point very material in the defence of the MeTengers acting under orders, but has no connection with the question upon the legality of the Warrant itself.
Thus far this able and animated Writer has refuted his Antagonist by fair and unanswerable arguments, But we cannot
say, that, in what follows, he acquits himself with the candor
« Can it be seriously believed, that Sir John Philipps or the
general law; to be made at the peril of the persons acting, and to be explained in the exception, and defended in the exercise, by the allegation and proof of those extraordinary circumstances, which the minority argued might justify, but ought always to accompany such cases. They alleged that extraordinary provifions might else be extended to all times, and an authority, granted reluctantly even in the minute of imminent danger, might, in fecure peace, be made destructive to freedom.
· This method of reasoning is the more conclusive, because no danger can follow to the servants of the crown from leaving the law upon this footing; for should a Secretary of State, upon intelligence of any crime, really formidable to the commonwealth, and of a nature requiring dispatch and secrecy, be under a necessity of issuing such a warrant as is now complained of;
and should his messengers, in pursuit of the Offenders, take up an innocent man; is it reasonable to suppose that any jury would be found so narrow in their notions of government, as not to attend to a distinction clearly made, and well supported, upon the peculiar circumstances of such a crisis ? Or should prejudice dr ignorance influence the determination of juries, would not the officers thus suffering for the public, be relieved by the interpofisition of parliament?
· Let us recollect, what has passed in the matter now depending. The warrant itself has been generally held illegal. The offence against the state was no higher than publishing a libel: no circumstances to make a general warrant necessary in the method of apprehending the author : the proceedings in the execution of it aggravated by every circumstance of wantonness, negligence, and oppression : and nevertheless, it has not yet incurred the cenfure of parliament. Where then would be the difficulty of defence, in a case which had circumstances of real juftification to allege, or in which a warrant, not strictly legal, could be thewn to have been necessary, or the danger imminent ? Thus many in the Minority reasoned, and, thus reasoning, they proved themselves the true and temperate friends of liberty, no less when they refufed, by regulating this power, to furnish it ' with the sanction of a statute, than when they proposed; by a declaratory motion, grounded in the circumstances of a transaction before them, to confirm, as far as the resolution of one house would go, the common law of the land ; leaving the use of warrants, which, in the case before them, had no justification, but were supposed to be possibly necessary in other cases, at present by them neither condemned nor justified, to be hereafter censured or excused, as the same law should decide, and such cases should require. But in one part of this praise, let not the ministry be deprived of their just share ; for no real design of passing the bill appeared amongst them; Sir John Philipps himself opening cursorily the regulations of this bill, had the ill fortune to make little impression upon the body even of the Majority of the house, and the whole conduct of the day fully demonftrated, that it was thought, even by that Majority, to be a doubtful propofition, resulting more from a sense of shame, than any serious or concerted plan of either vindicating the law, or establishing the ancient hereditary right of the subject against future similar oppression.'
We are ready to believe that the ministěy had no real design of passing a bill to restrain their own power, or that of their succeffors; and it seeins equally clear that the Minority, the leaders among them at leaft, had no serious intentions neither, to weaken the hands of the administration for the future, which they Rey, Aug, 1764,