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king in an absolute monarchy. Under both forms of government, a prudent and honest ministry will indulge a small folly, and will resist a great one. Not to youchsafe now and then a kind indulgence to the former, would discover an ignorance of human nature; not to resist the latter at all times, would be meanness and ser. vility.

Sir, I look on the bill we are at present debating, not as a sacrifice made to popularity (for it sacrifices nothing,) but as a prudent regard to some consequences arising from the nature of the clamour raised against the late act for naturalizing Jews, which seem to require a parti. cular consideration.

It has been hitherto the rare and envied felicity of his majesty's reign, that his subjects have enjoyed such a settled tranquillity, such a freedom from angry religious disputes, as is not to be paralleled in any former times. The true christian spirit of moderation, of charity, of universal benevolence, has prevailed in the people, has prevailed in the clergy of all ranks and degrees, instead of those narrow principles, those bigotted prejudices, that furious, that implacable, that ignorant zeal, which had often done so much hurt both to the church and the state. But from the ill-understood, insignificant act of parliament you are now moved to repeal, occasion has been taken to deprive us of this inestimable advantage. It is a pretence to disturb the peace of the church, to infuse idle fears into the minds of the people, and make religion itself an engine of sedition." It behoves the piety as well as the wisdom of parliament, to disappoint these endeavours. Sir, the very worst mischief that can be done to religion, is to pervert it to the purposes of fac. tion. Heaven and hell are not more distant, than the benevolent spirit of the gospel and the malignant spirit of party. The most impious wars ever made were those called Holy Wars. He who hates another men for not being a Christian is himself not a Christian. Christi, anity, sir, breathes love and peace and goodwill to man,

A temper conformable to the dictates of that holy religion has ļately distinguished this nation; and a glorious distinction it was! but there is latent at all times, in the minds of the vulgar, a spark of enthusiasm ; which, if blown by the breath of party, may, even when it seems quite extinguished, be suddenly revived and raised to a fame. The act of last session, for naturalizing Jews, has very unexpectedly administered fuel to feed that flame. To what a height it may rise if it should continue much longer, one cannot easily tell; but take away the fuel and it will die of itself.

It is the misfortune of all the Roman Catholic countries, that there the church and the state, the civil power and the hierarchy, have separate interests, and are conti. pually at variance one with the other. It is our happiness, that here they form but one system. While this harmony lasts, whatever hurts the church, hurts the state ; whatever weakens the credit of the governors of the church, takes away from the civil power a part of its strength, and shakes the whole constitution,

Sir, I trust and believe, that, by speedily passing this bill, we shall silence that obloquy, which has so unjustly been cast upon our referend prelates (some of the most respectable that ever adorned our church,) for the part they took in the act which this repeals. And it greatly concerns the whole community, that they should not lose that respect, which iş so jụstly due to them, by po. pular clamour, kept up in opposition to a matter of no importance in itself. But if the departing from that measure should not remove the prejudice so maliciously raised, I am certain, that no farther step you can take will be able to remove it; and therefore I hope you will stop here. This appears to be a reasonable and safe condescension, by which nobody will be hurt ; but all beyond this would be dangerous weakness in government. It might open a door to the wildest enthusiasın, and to the most mischievous attacks of political disaffection working upon that enthusiasm. If you encourage and

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authorize it to fall on the synagogue, it will go thence to the meeting-house, and in the end to the palace. But let us be careful to check its further progress. The more zealous we are to support christianity, the more vigilant should we be in maintaining toleration. If we bring back persecution, we bring back the antichristian spirit of popery: and when the spirit is here, the whole system will soon follow. Toleration is the basis of all public quiet. It is a character of freedom given to the mind, more valuable, I think, than that which secures our persons and estates. Indeed they are inseparably connected together ; for where the mind is not free, where the conscience is enthralled, there is no freedom. Spiritual tyranny puts on the galling chains; but civil tyranny is called in to rivet and fix them. We see it in Spain, and many other countries; we have formerly both seen and felt it in England. By the blessing of God, we are now delivered from all kinds of oppression, Let us take care that they may never return.

END OF VOL. I.

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