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they confefs it in all it's circumstances, to be beyond all lium man probability.”
• With the general acknowledgment of his Providence, let us learn a decent submission to his will, and a disposition to own God, to serve him, as well in his chastisements as his mercics. Though' fummoned to an act of thanksgiving, we have matter enough of humility before us ; assuredly no national advantages, no national pro!perity can be the theme of our acknowledgment. But there is an elevated piety, which may mix with, and give a dignity to our humiliation, a sublimer thankfulness, which respects the dispensations of the great and wife God, which contemplates the benignity of a father in the correction of a Father, in the hope of recovery to his favour, and in the consciousness of those blellings, which he is pleafed ftill to preserve to us.'
When Mr. Walker comes to exhort his audience to a proper improvement of the goodness of God, and to their contributing as individuals to the national welfare, he observes that “ the path of the many is much circumscribed,” and in a patriot view, confined almost to one single line, integrity in the choice of thofe who represent us all, and to whom all our dearest interests are committed.
" This' continues he is the great palladium of Englund; this is our glorious distinction from every nation of the earth ; this is onr treasure, which he, who bafely and wickedly, abandons to the destroyer, is accursed both of God and man. From this all our religion, law, and liberty sprung ; on this they still rest; and when this is gone, we are numbered with the flaves of other nations, who have neither their property, their bodies, nor their minds at their disposal. I am no republican, no enery to monarchy ; such as the conftitution of the British government has adopted, and subfervient to the views of this government; I revere the prince, who is willing to be the instrument of public happiness, and wishes not to move beyond the line, in which power may safely and usefully be confided to a poor mortal. But kings are no gods of my adoration ; they weigh not a feather in my scale against the public good ; I do think the democratic or popular part of the constitution, to be the essence, the soul of the whole; I do think the safety of the people to be the supreme law, the supreme object; and that if kings, or whatever exalted individuals, will not enter, chearfully enter, into this benevolent view ; they ought to be considered and treated, as mere ex: pedients of public good, and be made subservient thereto.
It is in the abuse of this glorious distinction, as from their immediate, though not their primary source, are found all the misfor, tunes and disgraces, which darken the face of this once happy island; it is not the change of ministers which can bring back the days of England's peace and glory ; ministers are men, and in proportion to the rank from which they are taken, partake in a higher degree of the national corruption ; but ministers are of that pliant stuff, that they will be what you pleate to have them ; teach them to despise you, and they will sport with the national interests, as with their own; fearing and respecting you, their very vices will bow to the national
expectation. A virtuous parliament is the security for a virtuous administration”.
• Have your eye, therefore, on the representatives of the people, ask yourselves every inoment, if their conduct be such as every inan of you would act for hiintelf, for his child, for his friend, for his neighbour. There is no other rule; honesty and integrity are univerial and immutable; the fame in all relations of life; nor does any relation claim peculiar indulgencies; the rule is plain and decifive ; and if they cannot answer to this simple test, they are not your representatives, every moment of their trust is dangerous, and though the peace of the community may forbid the instant effects of an honest indignation, yet assuredly, they ought no more to receive the renewal of your trust, than you would confide every thing that is dear to you into the hands of the worst of villains and affalsins.
When I think on what is involved in it, the ruin of what the richest bounty of God has blessed us with, the humbling every thing that religion and liberty, and law, make sacred to man; at the feet of luftful power, or precipitating every thing in ruins, to gratify weakness and obstinacy, and wickedness; I would not act this crime for the treasury of a nation; I would not go with such a load of deliberate guilt into the presence of my God, whenever he shall be pleased to call me, for all that this world has to promile. Yet it is done for the poor draught of intemperance; for the wages, of a day; for the hypocritical flattery of a dretied-out superior; for a promile ; for a place of dependance and servility. In the hour of public 'misfortune, you can all cry out, you are fold, you are bea trayed. I tell you, You have fold, You have betrayed yourselves; and until every man can lay his hand upon his heart, and say, in the most important act of a citizen and a Briton, I have done what my conscience directs me, what I can answer for, to my child, and to my God; the crime is your's also.'
Nemo vár magnus, says Cicero, sine aliquo divino afflatu unquam fuit. We will not now enter into the truth of this inaxim in its religious meaning. In the academical sense, (and Cicero was of that feet of philosophers) we believe we should be liable to few exceptions, should we lay it down as an axiom, that no one was ever a truly great man without some portion of enthusiasm. The man that does not talk with peculiar eagerness of his favourite subject, that does not in a manner lofe all felf-control, whenever it is brought upon the tapis, we should suspect not to be sufficiently animated with his theme, to make a first rate figure.--But enthusiasm rises superior to the narrow bounds of investigation, and at least
the heels of error. It we be right in what we have now advanced; this mark of “ a great man" will scarcley be refused to Mr. Walker. He is a patriot, in the old Roman sense of the word. The milder genius of Christianity every where breathes the spirit of universal benevolence. “ The irruption of the northern narions," and the introduction of the feudal system, (and we
beg leave to add this to the instances our author has adduced of the co-operation of the two great events) has also without doubt contributed to banith the overpowering and extravagant love of country, which prevailed in ancient times. But the passion of Mt. Walker bids defiance to the influence of both events. Every thing British he beholds through the magnitying glafs of this ardent attachment; and the original character of our illand appears in his writings, to have been all that was excellent and all that was venerable.. " There was a time” says our Author,
"when the neaneft Englishman could judge of his country's welfare, and fteadily and confcientioufly pursue it. The glorious inheritance, which you have received, can only be preserved by recurring to the same stern inflexibility, the same well-prin-. cipled integrity, in every atl, on which your country's good depends," Again. “And why! I pray, have we been thus marked out by Providence for its most awful punishments ? but because, as a nation, we had miferably turned our face from God, and thrown back to him as useless or disgustful, that religious character, that fobriety, that justice, that mercy, which our ancestors transmitted to us, together with that generous fi'mpathy with the rights of human nature, that vir tuous zeal in the cause of equal liberty and law, which their honest and magnanimous example had set us."
Upon reading such periods as these, we endeavoured to re- . collect in what far-distant golden age, this character belonged to us. Indeed our Author seems to intimate that we, : as well as certain other European nations, have been “upheld by Providence" fomewhat longer than we had reason to expect, .“ to cherish a new nation of Britons in the other world. We triumphed over the foes of Britain, while we were prosecuting the quarrel of British America'; and, having placed it on a folid foundation of independence and power, we are suffered to fall under the weight of our corruptions and crimes. Providence will bring on the fate of our enemies in their turn; and, having answered the views of Providence to us, and to our descendants in America, they will pay the punishment of their equal or greater iniquities.”
These sentimen's taught us to look back into remoter ages for the period described. Mr. Walker however, we presume, would scarcely lead us beyond the wars of York and Lancaster; and upon that term, as we had no better ground of quarrel than who should be our tyrant, he would hardly think proper to fix. The age of Queen Elizabeth has been much vaunted, but not to mention in how rude and
uncivilized a state we then appear to have been*, that monarch was certainly too despotic, and her people too tame to obtain the approbation of our Author. It has been observed by the profoundest and most liberal philosophers that ever existed, that in the period of Cromwel, and more efpecially upon his death we had every opportunity for building the fabric of a pare republic, and lost the opportunity, and were driven to the wretched neceffity of applying once more to the exiled monarch, merely from the want of public virtue. The revolution was the noblest event, built upon
the slightest foundation of generous and manly sentiment that history records. And we are afraid that it can scarcely be contended with the show of plausibility, that, in public virtue, we are much amended fince. Where then shall we feek the glorious æra?
Alas! in Mr. Walker's eftimation, we know not whether it may not extend through all these periods. Certain it is however, that it comes down much lower than the last fentence we extracted feemed to intimate. “ There was a gallant virtuous fpirit which but yesterday would have been pained to hear from any quarter of the globe of violated rights, and the cruel triumphs of power; bat which the disgrace, the prostitution of our country's honour would have roused to madness".
I have lived in the day, when an Englifhman was more proud of his country's honour, than of his country's profperity; when the betrayer of it would have roused the general indignation, nor appeased it, but with his life. Rejoicing in our liberty, as the best boon of heaven to usy Englishmen pitied every wretch who had it not; and if they could not restore this blessing to all of their kind, would as soon have met the Devil in their walk, as be the instruments of oppressing it in any. How this fpirit hath departed from us, let Corsica, St. Vincents, America tell, and the very feeble voice of indignation, which fo novel a conduct of this once glorious nation, has excited. It was our pride that, in the road to conmerce and greatness, we trod not over the carcafes of Naughtered millions : this was left to Spaniards, to Portuguese, to Hollanders ; but this virtuous, this dear distinction, is gone; we are now upon the records of history, among the inerciless destroyers of our fpe. cies.'
Amazing! There are in our corps of Reviewers more perfons than one, who have probably lived as many years as Mr. Walker, and, we believe, the writer of this article can answer for them all, that they cannot charge their memory with this spotless innocence, this generous fympathy, which " but yesterday” informed every English breast. What does Mr.
* Vide Reriew for May last. vol. 3. p. 371.
Walker think of our generous sympathy for the poor Irift, which Swift has so admirably displayed in his Drapier's Letters? What does he think of the fupremacy of this country over Americà, so favourite à text of Englishmen, so strenuously asserted by the hero of “yesterday,” the celebrated Lord Chatham?
The patriotism however, or, to fpeak more properly perhaps, the nationality of our Author, does not stop even here. Having made the panegyric of the British nation, he tells us of the French, that they are our “implacable foc;" .“ an invader, whom a long-foftered enmity and jealousy will “ teach to riot in our misery.” This is Theer mifrepresentation. Without attributing to them a very elevated degree of virtue it may be observed, that, not being like ourselves, broken off from the rest of the world, and confined as it were to one enemy, that being placed in the midst of powers, all of whom they have been called in turn to encounter, they are incapable of that insulated and perpetual enmity, which “ sympathy and the love of justice” have permitted to the English.-But to have done.
Whatever be the imperfections of our Author, quas humana parum cavit natura, he is certainly a moft extraordinary
He is regarded by some of the moft competent judges in this country, as, at least, one of its best inathematicians. :We do not recollect another inftance in the annals of literature, of the junction of this talent with that vigorous and sublime imagination that diftinguishes Mr. Walker. But this is not all. His ftyle is the most unmathematical, that can be conceived. From a mathematician we should at least expect accuracy, regularity and precision. But the vigour of our author's genius continually betrays him into a neglect of the rules of analogy; and he sometimes loses himself to completely in the exuberance of his ideas, as to become even unintelligible.
The sermon is prefaced with a dedication to Mr. Pitt, full of spirited and manly advice. Try;” says Mr. Walker, the ways of plain fenfe and simple honesty; truft to public judgment, and public gratitude for support; court not parliamentary faction; nor suffer the last resources of the nation to be wasted on the hirelings of office, whose importance springs only out of the weakness, or the wickedness of the minister". Whether this advice will be attended to by the chancellor of the Exchequer we pretend not here to decide.