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Remarks on Cobbett's Weekly Register,
weak and futile attempts to answer Mr. Roscoe's reasonings, they may safely be left to that contempt which they are sure to meet with from men of common sense, virtue, and integrity. If, however, there is any part of Mr. COBBETT's writings more disgraceful than those we have had occasion to allude to, it is that in which he has delivered bis sentiments on the subject of war,and which we present to our readers as a specimen of what human nature in its most depraved state is capable of producing. He addresses Mr. Roscoe as follows:
“ I think it necessary to state to you my reasons for differing very wide,
ly indeed from you, as to the tendency of war in general, which I per: si ceive you to consider as a pure, ynniixed evil; and wbich I consider as
being, not only necessary, as it notoriously is, in many cases, in the « present state of the world, but also as conducive to the elevation of hu“ man nature, to the general happiness of mankind, and, of course, as being a “ GOOD, though, like the greater part of other good things, not unmixed "' with evil. I am aware of the force of habit, and mon are in the habit “ of talking, as you do, of the “ horrors of war ;? but I can safely defy you,
and all the “ philanthropists” now in existence, to prove, that there is, ” as the consequence of war, any thing a milliooth part so horrid as a ff sight of the interior of those receptacles of disease and of infamy, which * are tenanted through the influence of ţhat Juxury, which it is the natural " tendency of war to abridge, and which can be completely destroyed only " by war. That was makes a part of the great scheme of the creator is abun. " dantly obvious from the universal propensity of his creatures, who, fröm. $man himself down to the lowest reptile, discorer, tlie moment they have " the powers of motion and perception, that to war makes a part of their "nature as much as la lode. Look, Sir, at all the patural sports of chil. “ dren, and of young animals of every kinds you will find, that they are " only so many sorts of sham fights. And, if you see that a!God's creatures, “ in the moments of their greatest enjoyment of lifc; in those moinents “ wben they are free from all pain of mind and of body; when they are “ full of health and of spirits; when they are perfecily unrestrained, and mr bidden, as it were, to be as happy as their natures will permit: if you
perceive, that, in such a state, they all, without a single exception, dis“ cover a propensity for war, will you still say, that war is, in itself, " and for its own sake, a thing horrid to contemplate? But, not only “ is to war, to fight (which is the same thing) a passion natural to all the “ creation ; but, it appears to me to be necessary to the elevation of hu
te man nature, und to the happiness of mankind; for, if we suppose a state " of the world, from which war is completely and for ever banished, not « only is there no longer, any use for courage, fortitude, emulation, magna$ nimity, and many other ennobling qualities, but the very words describing " those qualities have no longer any meaning'; and, if you strip man of those " qualities, what is he, as to this world at least, better than a brute g* In “ giving to the different classes of men, which coinpose the different na« tions of the earth, languages so different, that the sounds used by the one are utterly unintelligible to any of the other, the Creator seems to
* Did Mr. C. never read Isatax; Chap. XI. 1 i.
* have said, “ be you for ever separate;" and, herein is implied the incs « cessity of war; for, without war it is, I think, evident, that to preserve “ that separation would, unless the nature of man were previously changed, " be quite iinpossible. As to wisdom and science, too, where would be the « use of them, if war were banished from the earth! The object of thô « learned as well as the bravc is distinction. The source of distinction os is public utilitý, Public uility, after a very little tracing, is found to * rest at the point of public safety; and were it not for the occasional « existence of wars, and for the continual possibility of thieir recurrence, to public safety would be a mere' sound without sense. In like manner « patriotism, loyalty, fidelity, under all its different appearances and in “ all its different degrees would be obliterated from the catalogue of virtues ; « and, in short, man would, and must, become a stupid, unimpassioned of aniinal, Waving no care but that of obtaining his food, and no entjoyinent " but that of devouring it. I am not, observe, contending tliat war, may « not, as well as love, be, in some cases, and cven in maity cases, produce « tive of mischievous effects; but, if I look back into history, or, if I look “ around me at the present inonent, I ani compelled to conclude, tkat “ its effects are, in general the reverse !
So infamous a libel on human nature, só blasphemous a libel on the God of nature, as the above, we believe never was before uttered by either infidel or atheist, or by the most unprincipled profili gate. We now cease to wonder at that inveteracy wlrich the writer has at various times discovered against the christian scriptures, which represent war as one of the greatest of crimes, arising not from the nature with which God has created us, but from wilful, acquired depravity; and that he should dread those scriptures being read by the conmon people. We should deem it an insult to our readers were we to take up a moment of their time in attempting to refute assertions as stupid as they are abominable; and at which not only christian, and civilized, but even heathen and savage nations in all ages of the world would blush. :
It has been a controversy amongst divines, whether the demoniacal possessions mentioned in the gospels were réal possessions, or only bodily disorders. Were we inclined to enter on this controversy, and 'were we partial to the popular opinion, we should instance Mr. COBBETT as affording some evidence in its favour; for were a demon to come forth from the infernal regions, and to be embodied in flesh and blood ;'were he,' under the immediate and plenary inspiration of the prince of darkness, to utter his sentiments on WAR, SLAVERY, the SLAVE TRADE, DESPOTISM, &c.-Were he to advocate, the BLESSINGS OF IGNORANCE,Were 'hë to commend those vile systems of brutality, BOXING and BULL-BAITING, Were he to vent the most malignant falsehoods on the character of the'AMERICANS,we firmly believe he would express himself in terms precisely similar to those which abound in the writings of that disgrace to his country and biş species--WILLIAN COBBETT! Warlor, Feb. 27.
PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS.--MR.WHITBREAD'S MOTION
NE of the most important' debates which has recently taken place in the house of Cominons is that on the subject of PEACE: and here we cannot but acknowledge the obligation which every sincere friend to his country is under to that upright, independent, and patriotic senator, Mr. WHITBREAD; who amidst the various changes of administration, and the Auctuations of parties ; when not only those to whom he is considered as hostile, but even his valued friends and relatives occu; ied the highest departments of the state, never lost sight of those objeets, which although tliey have been most unhappily neglected, in a greater or less degree, by every adıninistration, are of the most esseutial importance to the national welfare. When his friends were in power, he stood almost singly in expressing his disapprobation of their conduct for not concluding a peace, this terms of which, as offered by the enemy, he justly considered both honourable and advantagious. He there declared that lie had no doubt of the sincerity of France in all " her professions for peace with this couutry; and that he did not "give any credit io ile duplicity charged against the cijeny on the " subject.” He then professed himself “ one of those wlio sup"ported the treaty of Ainiens, which lrad been broken to preserve “and secure the possession of Malta." These declarations could not proceed from party inotives, as the men with whom Mr. WHITBREAD was in the habit of supporting were at the time in power. Although the hon. gentleman met with very trifling support ou the occasion alluded to, liis arguments were unanswerable; and the silence of miuisters was remarked even by Mr. CANNING ; who although hostile to peace, expressed his surprize that a speech of * such distinguished ability as the house had just heard, should have “ been passed unnoticed by his Majesty's ministers.” Mr. WHITBREAD, true to his professions, has taken the earliest opportunity
he silenccasion, alluded to gentleman met wing were at the ti Mr.
Pol. Rev. Vol. I. p. 112.
Mr. Whitbread's Motion respecting Negociation.
of renewing this important subject. On the 29th, ult, after addresa, sing the house of Commons with his usual ability, respecting the conduct of administration on the subject of negociation, he moved the following resolutions. .“ Resolved, That it is the opinion of this house, that the conditions stipulated by his Majesty's ministers, for the acceptance of the mediation offered by the Emperor of Russia, were inexpedient and impolitic.
“ Resolved, That it is the opinion of this house, that the conduct of his Majesty's ministers on the subject of the mediation offered by the Emperor of Austria, was unwise and impolitic, and not calculated to ascertain how far the restoration of the blessings of peace might, or might not have beer attainable through the means of such mediation. .
• Resolved, That. this house feels it incumbent upon itself to declare, that there is nothing in the present circumstances of the war, which ought to preclude his Majesty from embracing any fair opportunity of acceding to, or commencing a negociation with the enemy on a footing of equality, for the termination of hostilities on terms of justice and honour."
A long debate ensued. The division on each resolution was, as follows: ist. Division-Ayes 70. Noes 210.-2d.. Ayes 67, Noes 211;
. 3d. Ayes 58, Noes ow. ... When we compare the divisions on this important occasion with those which have taken place on other occasions during the present session, we cannot but lament that the minority should have so diminished, and that there should be found in the house of Com. mons, so few friends to peace. What must excite a peculiar degree of chagrin and indignation in the mind of every one who understands, and enters into the spirit of genuine christianity, is the conduct of those personis who wish to be thought its champions; who are called by way of distinction evangelical; at the head of whom we find Mr. WILBER FORCE, who opposed all Mr. WHITREAD's resolutions ; “deeming it impolitic to enter into any resolutions which might have “ the effect of exciting a clamour for peace amongst the people.". After what Mr. WILBERFORCE must have observed in the conduct of the present ministers, and which too evidently proves their determination, neither to attend to the offers of the enemy to negociate, nor to the offers of different European states tò mediate, he still expresses his full confidence, that “ ministers are perfectly a sincere in the professions they have made, and that they will not “ neglect any means which may enable them to make peace on fair “ and honourable terms." And yet Mr. WILBER FORCE has read the state papers relating to this subject. He must have been per. fectly convinced that ministers had refused to accept of the mediation of both Austria and Russia, except on such conditions as it was impossible for those powers to comply with ; that ministers had refused to enter on the important work of negociation, unless they were previously acquainted with a basis to be proposed by France ;
Mr. Whitbread's Motion respecting Negociation. xxxix that the invitation to send plenipotentaries to Paris, an invitation which had been accepted by former ministers, had been rejected by the present; accompanied with the rash and insulting declaration that “ they will not send plenipotentiaries to Paris for the purpose « of negociation.” With all this glaring evidence before his eyes, Mr. WILBER FORce places implicit confidence in the pacific disposition of ministers! But surely this declaration might have been sufficient; and he needed not to have insulted the many thousands of his constituents whose distresses, owing to the war, compel them to petition for peace. In representing petitions which he dare not deny are couched in language the most respectful to the legislature, and loyal to the sovereign, as “ clamours,” he affords melancholy evidence of his own inconsistency, 'and more especially as a professor of the Gospel of peace. The Angels at the birth of Christ sung glory to God in the highest, PEACE on earth, good will towards men. Our Saviour just previous to his quitting the world, bequeathed as a rich legacy to his disciples, the blessing of peace ; the injunctions of the inspired writers to the primitive christians are Follow peace. If it be possible live peaceably with all men. The gospel in proportion as it is understood and practised, causes “ wars " to cease," and subdues the savage, warlike passions of men, which are not formed in them by the great parent of mankind, as has been blasphemously insinuated by COBBETT and others, but are instilled by bad education, and nurtured by evil example. The “ clamours for peace,” raised by our Saviour and the primitive christians, caused as great offence to the high professors in the Jewish church and state, as do similar “ clamours” to the evangelical professsors in the British senate. Mr. WILBERFORCE, and ... his religious party, can enter into all the paltry pleas, urged by modern statésmen in defence of wars equally unjust and unnecessary; '.' wars expressly undertaken in violation of the most solenın treaties : : it seems to have constituted the main businses of their lives to sanc-:. tion and encourage all the foolish, profligate and corrupt measures those statesmen have made use of, and which have proved too suc-'cesful in spreading misery over their owu country, in ruining most of the powers of Europe, and in reducing the rest to their present state of humiliation. Such men therefore as Mr. WILBER FORCE, and those of his opinions, the tools of the ministers of the day, too evidently prove, that however pompous their professions of christianity, they are as ignorant of its real nature and design, as the poor uninformed savage who never heard any thing of the system, or even the name of its author.
It must excite additional surprise and regret on this occasion to perceive the inconsistencies of some of those gentlemen who are in . the habit of professing themselves the friends of peace. Lord