« ПретходнаНастави »
thing of doctrine-of no more than doctrine,-with us it is a consideration of facts. Judge ye therefore between yours self and us, I say between yourself and us; for I ask no other judge to decide, whether we are not, by all the laws of God and man, justified in avowing, that we mean to do as we are done by.
And, you will call to mind, that in this sore controversy, the cause of debate came not from us.
We were peaceable Christians, enjoying the shade of the vine and the figtree of the Gospel, planted by the care and cherished by the blood of our forefathers, protected by the laws, and gladdened in our protection by the oaths and the covenants which the king bad sworn to maintain. The Presbyterian freedom of worship was our property:-We were in possession and enjoyment. No man could call our right to it in question. The king had vowed, as a condition before he was allowed to receive the crown, that he would preserve it. Yet, for more than twenty years, there has been a most cruel, fraudulent, and outrageous endeavour instituted and carried on, to deprive us of that freedom and birthright.
We were asking no new thing from Government; we were taking no step to disturb Government; we were in peace with all men, when Government, with the principles of a robber, and the cruelty of a tyrant, demanded of us to surrender those immunities of conscience which our fathers had earned and defended; to deny the Gospel as it is written in the Evangelists, and to accept the commentary of Charles Stewart, a man who has had no respect to the most solemn oaths, and of James Sharp, the Apostate of St. Andrews, whose crimes provoked a deed, that, but for their crimson hue, no man could have doubted to call a most foul murder. The king and his crew are, to the indubitable judgment of all just men, the causers and the aggressors in the existing difference between his subjects and him. In so far, therefore, if blame there be, it lieth not with us, nor in our cause.
But, sir, not content with attempting to wrest from us our inherited freedom of religious worship, Charles Stuart and his abettors have pursued the courageous constancy, with which we have defended the same, with more animosity than they did any crime. I speak not to you, sir, of your own outcast condition, perhaps you delight in the perils of martyrdom; I speak not to those around us, who,
in their persons, their substance, and their families, have endured the torture, poverty, and irremediable dishonour, -they may be meek and hallowed men, willing to endure.
But I call to mind what I am and was myself. I think of my quiet home,—it is all ashes. I remember my brave first-born,-he was slain at Bothwell-brigg. Why need I speak of my honest brother; the waves of the ocean, commissioned by our persecutors, have triumphed over him in the cold seas of the Orkneys; and as for my wife, what was she to you? Ye cannot be greatly disturbed that she is in
No, ye are quiet, calm, and prudent persons; it would be a most indiscreet thing of you, you who have suffered no wrongs yourselves, to stir on her account; and then how unreasonable I should be, were I to speak of two fair and innocent maidens.-It is weak of me to weep, though they were my daughters.
O men and Christians, brothers, fathers! but ye are content to bear with such wrongs; and I alone of all here may go to the gates of the cities, and try to discover which of the martyred heads mouldering there belongs to a son or a friend. Nor is it of any account whether the bones of those who were so dear to us, be exposed with the remains of malefactors, or laid in the sacred grave. To the dead all places are alike; and to the slave what signifies who is master. Let us therefore forget the past, ---Jet us keep open the door of reconciliation,-smother all the wrongs we have endured, and kiss the proud foot of the trampler. We have our lives; we have been spared; the merciless blood-hounds have not yet reached us. Let us therefore be humble and thankful, and cry to Charles Stuart, O King, live forever; for he has but cast us into a fiery furnace and a lion's den.
In truth, friends, Mr. Renwick is quite right. This feeling indignation against our oppressors is a most imprudent thing. If we desire to enjoy our own contempt, and to deserve the derision of men, and to merit the abhorrence of Heaven, let us yield ourselves to all that Charles Stuart and his sect require. We can do nothing better, nothing so meritorious, nothing by which we can so reasonably hope for punishment here and condemnation hereafter. But if there is one man at this meeting (I am speaking not of shapes and forms, but of feelings) if there is one here
that feels as men were wont to feel, he will draw his sword, and say with me, Wo to the house of Stuart! Wo to the oppressors! Blood for blood!
MANFRED TO THE SORCERESS.-Byron.
From my youth upwards
my lone wanderings, to the caves of death,
The nights of years in sciences untaught,
familiar with Eternity,
THE SWORD.-Miss Landon.
'T was the battle field, and the cold pale moon
Looked down on the dead and dying; And the wind passed o’er with a dirge and a wail, Where the
and the brave were lying.
With his father's sword in his red, right hand,
And the hostile dead around him, Lay a youthful chief; but his bed was the ground,
And the grave's icy sleep had bound him.
A reckless rover, 'mid death and doom,
Passed a soldier, his plunder seeking; Careless he stepped where friend and foe
Lay alike in their life-blood reeking.
Drawn by the shine of the warrior's sword,
The soldier paused beside it;
But the grasp of the dead defied it.
Took part with the dead before him; And he honoured the brave who died sword in hand,
As with softened brow he leaned o’er him.
A soldier's death thou hast boldly died,
A solaier's grave won by it;
My own life's blood should dye it.
Or the wolf to batten o'er thee;
Who in life had trembled before thee.'
Then dug he a grave in the crimson earth,
Where his warrior foe was sleeping;
With his sword in his own brạve keeping.
SPEECH OF MIRABEAU,
Delivered in the National Convention of France.
(His object was to recommend the adoption without examination of a scheme proposed by Necker, then minister of the finances, and embracing several measures of a very desperate character, one of which was a property tax of twenty-five per cent. His principal topic is the danger of immediate national lankruptcy.]
GENTLEMEN, We have heard a great many violent speeches. I shall endeavour to direct your attention to a few simple questions, and earnestly entreat you to listen to them.
Has not the minister of finances drawn a most alarming picture of our present situation? Has he not told you that delay must aggravate the evil?—that a day—an hour-a moment—may render it irremediable? Have we any other plan to substitute for the one he proposes? One of this assembly answers, Yes! I conjure that member to recollect that his plan is unknown; that it would require time to explain and examine it; that, were it now in discussion, its author may, perhaps, be mistaken:-or if not, that we may think he is, and that, without the concurrence of public opinion, the greatest possible talents would be of no avail in the present circumstances.
I, too, am far from thinking that Mr. Necker has proposed the best possible way and means; but, God forbid that at