« VorigeDoorgaan »
TO THE EDITOR OF THE REPUBLICAN.
Monarchy, or hereditary succession, las made a complete exposure of its own cruelty and the nation's credulity. We bave long groaned under the birthen of hereditary rulers, without ever examining into their merits or demerits--we liave too long been dazzled by their glittering and gaudy appearance, and their high sounding titles. Their maxim has always been to confuse our senses, debilitate the miod, and destroy reason that faith might grow, tyrants smile, and simplicity tremble. Then they could view us as a degraded and contemptible race, as if we bad not eyes to see, hearts to feel, or minds to understand. But the time is past for delusion; deception has exposed itself to the weakest capacity; man has now a clear view of his own folly, and he no longer will be a slave to his fellows, and reject the gift of reason, the noblest qualification of his nature, and his guardian against the folly and vice that now reigns so predominant. You, Sir, have very justly said, that "the monarchical form of government is like every other vice, it will destroy itself in the course of time, even if no opposition be made to it." Aud who can doubt it? Is there not every appearance of it at the present time? We all know that folly and wickedness only need exposure, and they at once sink into oblivion ; but if they expose ibemselves, their downfall is sure. Nothing can be more degrading to a nation than its being thrown into confusion by any thing happening between the monarch and bis wife; it is the strongest proof that. its constitution is defective. Every person must be aware that kings are men like ourselves, subject to all the passions and feelings of human nature. We know this to be the case, and we know alsı, that it is not an uncommon thing for man and wife to separate. If the King and Queen were to part, she cannot take from him his good sense, judgment, and ability, to perforin his most sacred duties to his country, nor can her conduct disgrace the nation : if it is bad the scandal rests ou herself and not on the nation. Therefore how is it that such an unimportant thing can be said to effect a whole nation ? It cannot, it is impossible. The cause of the present agitated state of the country arises from the present system of government, whiel is composed of a truly legitimate monarchy, a hereditary house of lords, and what should be the people's house, three fifths of whom are nominated by the lords. If we examine history we shall find that kings originally were inerely chieftains of banditiies: one robber distinguished himself above the rest by expertness, courage, and enterprise, and he was chosen to be their king or chieftain. Time moved on, they gathered strength and power, war was their only object, to disarm the weak and make themselves strong, to lessen the number of kings or chieftaius that they might be the more mighty.
The origin of peers is, that they were the best supporters of these royal heroes, and consequently, they became entitled to large shares of the plunder. And to retaiu their ill-gotten wealth, that it might not at any time revert to the real owners, they made hereditary laws, the object of which is, that the family shall not divide the property, because, in one mass it gives arbitrary power, but if divided the power is weakened. The origin of the English Commons' House is, that when the people became so oppressed by the king and his partners, they began to question the right of such a power exercised over them: they could not believe that man was born to be a slave to his fellows; that a very small should regulate a very large body: consequently they said, let us have a hand in making the laws: let us have a House of Commons as a check on their power, that our rights may no longer be infringed on: and their demand was too powerful to be refused. Now, the real cause of the present convulsed state of the country, is owing to the insult that has been attempted to be cast on the knowledge and wisdom of the nation, by endeavouring to deceive and delude the people into such an absurd belief, that the sacrificing of the wife of the king for a supposed crime of adultery, is not for the satisfaction of his vindictive spirit, but for the real benefit of the nation. The nation to support its dignity, must spurn at such a shameful and barbarous sophism. It is the natural, as well as the social characteristic of man to support the weak when oppressed by the strong; but when the weakest of the weak is a lorn and lovely female, whose virtue, generosity, and universal benevolence, are to be tortured into crimes, then the stimulus to oppose it will be tenfold, and if there be but one spark of freedom left in our bosom, it will kindle and blaze from the heart a warmth of comfort to the oppressed, and a fire of destruction to the oppressors. But for whose pleasure or benefit was this generous and enlighted female introduced into this land ? Was it from a real and natural attachment that existed between her and the then Prince of Wales ? or, was it only in conformity with the dignity of royalty, and the established laws of the country, that this union should take place ? If it is by law, and the custom of monarchy, that strangers to each other shall become as one, then it proves itself to be a monster, only clothed in the garb of nature. But perhaps what is called Christianity has been introduced and established by law, to form the mind to a reconciliation of such things as are not consistent with the laws of nature. The monarch is the head of the Christian church; and being in such an exalted situation, his character has become too notorious to need exposure here. The priests all pray for him, but has it any effect on his moral conduct ? If the prayers of one can be useful to many, how is it the prayers of many thousands are of no use to one? But some will say he cannot turn of himself, it can only be done by the will of Providence : then praying is of no use, or else it shews the Almighty is displeased with him as a king. But was it ever k nown
Vol. IV. No, 4.
previous to this eniightened age, that a priest should say to his congregation, that a very wicked sinner is not to be prayed for? Ought not their prayers to be always for such characters, that they may turn and repent and be forgiven? Does the head of the Christian Church say to his wife, if you have done wrong repent, and I will cease to persecute? No; he says, your sins are too great to be prayed for in our Christian Church, you are a disgrace to the nation; but, if you will remain where you are, revelling in all your iniquity, I will augment your income from 35,0001, to 50,0001. a year, that you may the better enjoy yourself in all your baseness : if you repent and return to your home, I will visit you with all the vengeance that I and my hereditary advisers can pour down upon you. How can the crime that the Queen is charged with, whether she is innocent or guilty, be of any injurious consequences to the nation? Had she, while living and travelling, from place to place on the Continent, incurred immense debts, and now called on the nation to liquidate them, there would then have been just cause of complaint. It would then have been the absolute duty of the government, for the honour and character of the nation, to enquire, whether any branch of royalty ought not to forfeit all claim and support from the country, when found to be living in a profligate state of prodigality. It is the money drawn from the pockets of the people, and profusely distributed for useless purposes, that has reduced this country to its preseat state of wretchedness. Any thing that will lessen the expenditure of the country will be beneficial ; but any thing that will add to it must be prejudicial. If the Queen is found guilty will it decrease the national expenditure ? If she is not, will it increase it? If it will neither do the one or the other, the trial can be of no use to the nation; only as it may tend to an elucidation of our wise laws and legislators. Our rulers say the crime is of a very serious nature to the country: it is an adulterous intercourse with a menial servant. Our laws say, that bad it been committed at home, and not in a foreign country, it would then have been punished with death. Royalty must be kept pure; we must have the legitimate heir to tlie throne, whether it be male or female, young or old, wise or foolish, sane or insane. Besides the chances of having a child, madman or idiot, it is attended with an enormous expense, to preserve the legitimate beir. This trial may cost this embarrassed country 500,0001., or double that, merely to know, whether the Queen is guilty or not, and there is nothing to prevent such a trial happening again: it may very frequently. The Queen's conduct deserves the thanks and praise of all good men and women ; she has boldly and fearlessly written the truth, in her famous letter to the king; and in her beautiful answers to her addressers, she has avowed herself the lover of liberty, and the hater of despotism; and prefers the friendship of freemen to the rule of slaves.
THOMAS SINGLE. Sept. Sth, 1820.
CONTINUATION OF REPLY TO THE REV. THOMAS HARTWELL HORNE'S PAMPHLET, ENTITLED“ DEISM REFUTED.” From p. 108.
Now for a few of Josephus's wonderful exaggerations respecting this great and wise Solomon.
Thus about this time did the Hebrews wonderfully increase in riches, and the tribe of Judah waxed opulent, by reason that the people addicted themselves wholly to the tilling and manuring of their lands. For their peace was under such assurances, that being distracted by no warlike tumults, and besides that, fruitfully enjoying a most desired liberty, they especially intended this thing only, to increase their private and particular estates. The King also had other governors who ruled the Syrians, and commanded other strange nations, which are extended from Euphrates as far as Egypt, who gathered the tribute of those nations for the king. These barbarians* every day furnished the king for his own table, and the maintenance of his household, with thirty cores of fine flour, and sixty of the coarser: ten fat oxen, and twenty grass beeves, with an hundred fat lambs. All which things, besides venison and buffaloes taken in chase, birds, and fish, were furnished daily by the Barbarians to serve the king's household.' (Queritur. How many cooks must Solomon have had, and how many pounds of animal food must daily have been consumed by each person in his household ?). He had likewise a great number of chariots, so that he had forty thousand mangers wherein his horses fed ; (incredible !) and besides these he had twelve thousand horsemen, half
whereof kept always about the king in Jerusalem, the rest ' were billeted in divers villages belonging to the king, and
remained there. And they that had the charge to furnish the king's expences, provided likewise necessary proven
* It is astonishing to remark how liberal every country has been, and coutinues to be, in bestowing this epithet on their neighbours. It has been asserted, and with some degree of plausibility, that the chief object which Nebuchadnezzar had in conquering Judea, was to civilize its inhabitants, who were theu iu a ruder state than any of thcir ucighbours.
der for the horses, conveying it to that place wheresoever the king sojourned. But so great was the wisdom and prudence which God had bestowed upon Solomon, that he surpassed all his progenitors: the Egyptians likewise, who are
esteemed the wisest of all men, were far behind him in wit. "For he excelled all those that in that time were in the great
est account amongst the Hebrews, whose names I will not Comit: and these they were ; Ethan, Emam, Chalt, and
Dodan, the son of Imaon. He composed also a thousand and five hundred books of odes and canticles, and thirty thousand books of parables and similitudes; for to every kind of plant he alluded the parable, from the hyssop unto the cedar. The like did he of all living creatures that feed on the earth, swim in the waters, or fly in the air; for none of their natures was he ignorant of: neither had he omitted to search their faculties in particular, but examined and discoursed on them all, and had an inward speculation and knowledge of their several and secret properties. He obtained also by inspiration the art of magic, for the profit and health of men, and the exorcising and casting out of devils; for he devised certain incantations, whereby the diseased are cured, and left the method of conjúration in writing, whereby the devils are enchanted and expelled; so that never more they dare return. And this kind of healing to this day, is very usual among those of our nation. For I saw a certain popular and private man amongst the Hebrews, in the presence of Vespasian, his sons, tribunes, and other soldiers, that cured divers that were possessed. And the manner of his cure was this: he applied to the nose of the demoniac a ring; under the seal whereof was a root of those things that Solomon had declared, which drew the devil out of the nostrils of the siek, as soon as he smelled the root ; and as soon as the man was fallen, he adjured him never more to return, intermixing some mention of Solomon, and rehearsing those incantations that were invented by him. After this, the said
Eleazer, being desirous to shew unto them that were present, the efficacy of his art, he set à pot or pitcher of water not far from the place where the possessed stood, and commanded the devil, at such time as he forsook the man, to overturn the pot, and thereby to give a sign unto the asşistants, that he had forsaken the possessed: which act of his manifestly declareth how great the science and wisdom of Solomon was. For which cause I thought good in this place to make mention thereof, that the worthy nature of this king might be known .