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conflict, but from love of principle; not that they enjoyed the means, but desired the end. Surely the Christian can go forth to public and it may be uncongenial duty duly prepared, his feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace : surely; while the mere politician or the party man is carried away by the excitement of the hour, the Christian citizen can preserve a sobriety of demeanour worthy him who is engaged in the performance of high duties from lofty principles: he will not be absorbed in the present and the near, but remembering the past and the future, will value the efforts of the passing hour for the bearing they shall have on coming events. Recollecting whose he is and whom he serves, and wherefore he is mixed up with uncongenial minds, he shall be, amidst the tumult and the din, like the traveller on the Andes, who raised above the lower grounds, sees the clouds roll and the lightnings flash beneath his feet, while himself at the same moment breathes an atmosphere of purity and peace. Aye, it reflects honour on religion when Christians act well the citizen. It does so in the way we have just hinted at, and it does so especially when Christians calmly, and undauntedly, and on principle stand forth the unrewarded, nay, perhaps the suffering advocates of every thing that is true, and noble, and humane. It is honourable to religion that, when any thing is proposed which shall be for good to the sons of men, though it be only temporal good, it should be said, 'Oh, the pious will support this—we are confident of them; they will promptly throw all their weight into the scale where lie the interests of humanity and truth.' And when, too, the saints are found filling with honour to themselves and advantage to others, public and responsible stations, a respect is felt for religion which it is desirable to secure. We do not forget the evident pleasure with which the inspired writer gives us, in the earliest of the sacred books, the history of that admired saint who for his talents and merit was raised to be the second man in all the kingdom of Egypt. Nor is it quite obliterated from our memory, that the meekest man upon the earth, who conversed with God as a man converses with his friend, stands as the first and grandest of all political leaders, whose institutes are referred to with consummate respect by various heathen writers. And we would further refer our forgetful friends to the man after God's own heart, the sweet singer of Israel, whose melodies still delight even us political Dissenters, in the closet and in the sanctuary ; sage in council and skilful in the camp, obtaining his political wisdom even from his God, he has left an honoured name to be admired by all succeeding saints. One of the loveliest, and holiest, and noblest portraits ever drawn even by an inspired pencil, is that of Daniel, the prime minister of an extensive empire, under whose immediate superintendence were daily transacted the affairs of a hundred and twenty pro



vinces. Gaze on these nobles of an early age, and tell us whether, by their skilfulness and integrity in political affairs, they did not bring to religion a revenue of honour a thousand fold more than if, the victims of a sickly sensitiveness, they had shrunk from public duty, and passed their lives in solitude. The taunt that we are political will come only from those who fear and hate us, and from those among ourselves, the short-sighted and the feeble-minded, who forget or who perhaps never knew, that one design of Christianity is to bless all men by blending with all their pursuits and regulating all their institutions.

In more respects than one are Christians the salt of the earth, and politically as well as morally it is Christians that shall regenerate the world. Nor shall the idle taunt harm us, till it has tarnished the fame of the worthies we have mentioned.

But is there no danger of losing our piety while we are thus engaged? To be sure there is. So is there danger of diminishing our spirituality when we are occupied in the shop, or the office, in the halls of philosophy or the bowers of the muses. Calicoes and currants have nothing to do with religion, any more than day-books and ledgers, or problems and poetry. The fact is, the man who is careless and indifferent about the health of his soul is certain to lose what little he has, or seems to have, even if he never breathe a political atmosphere. Do we forget that here Christians are on probation, and need to be disciplined, and that there is neither the one nor the other where there are no temptations and no difficulties? We admit that there is danger of losing that devotion of feeling, that meekness of manner, that love of prayer, and that zeal for the best cause, for which if lost nothing can compensate ; but, then, are we not altogether in a probationary state in which our principles are to be tried ? ard happy is the man that endureth temptation, (testing.) That political duties, like most others, will thoroughly test our graces is no argument against the performance of them, but only an argument for the more jealous watchfulness and fervent prayer. It must be admitted as an axiom, that whatever can be shown to be a duty must be consistent with piety--must be compatible even with the highest tone of piety. Happily the day, or rather the night, is passing away again, (we say again because our forefathers knew it not, they lived and acted in the broad noon; honoured men ! they were as much the champions of civil rights as of religious freedom,) in which religion was supposed to require a morbid shrinking from whatever is not immediately and in its own nature spiritual; as if the indirect mode of usefulness were nothing; as if to benefit men in their temporal affairs were too mean an employ; as if religion coldly possessed nothing of human sympathy, and were too proud to condescend to the things of time; as if it consisted in profoundly quiet abstraction and misanthropic exile, self inflicted, from the activity and energy around. Little do such gentle dreamers study the character of Joseph, of Moses, of David, and Daniel; full little do they comprehend the noble and vast design of God's religion, not remembering that solitude is to qualify for activity, and that devotion prepares, not unfits, a man for every mode of usefulness. Surely the salt of the earth is stored away as in a lumber-room miscalled an oratory, or it has lost its savour, and for all practical purposes is valueless, and the light of the world suffers most melancholy eclipse, when Christians come but occasionally from their retirement, and then, by their obtruded and offensive ignorance of worldly affairs, seem to say, We are holier than thou.

Gold hoarded benefits no man ; in circulation it benefits many. Let Christians, then, by the performance of public duty give publicity to their noble principles. If a love of universal justice, if a hatred of oppression, if tender respect for conscience, if reverence for the truth distinguish us, let these principles be constantly, boldly exhibited: if jealousy for the authority of Christ as sole lawgiver to his church be our characteristic, if the sufficiency of Scripture as a rule of faith and practice be a primary article of our dearest belief, let these things be revealed clear as the sun. Do we not hold that our sentiments widely circulated, and once wrought into the public mind, would be grateful to the fevered land as the dews of heaven; that the universal reception of our principles would bring a universal gladness, banishing for ever oppression, injustice, and wrong, removing the red blots that disfigure our criminal code, sweeping from the statute-book every relic of a barbarous age, disenthralling the free-born conscience, and emancipating religion from its shackles ? Every department of public and of private life reminds us of our duty as citizens. Suffering humanity in ten thousand forms and with ten thousand voices, implores us to act the citizen; scarcely yet has died away upon the breeze, the piercing call that came to across the wide Atlantic, from the tortured victims of slavery, that accursed vampire swollen and bloated with negro blood : and still the mangled victims of war, which is often but legalized murder, the orphans and the widows who are made by wholesale, call on Christians too, and thus we may see our duty written in the blood of the brave and the tears of the fair. Above all, religion, idly dressed in the trappings of the state, mocked as was the Saviour by a reed for a sceptre, and a thorn-wreath for a crown, when a worn out robe of faded purple was thrown around him, we say Christianity, insulted by the principle of an Establishment which' denies that a sufficient, and vital, and heavenly energy is wrapped up in its very constitution, commands us to act ; for since God works by means, never shall the farce of a state religion terminate, till all who think and feel as we do shall awake from their unworthy lethargy, and rise up in their moral greatness, and put on their moral strength, and clothe themselves with zeal as with a cloke, and lift up their voices in the high places as the sound of many waters, and cause the tread of their footsteps to be heard wherever influence can reach.

If then, as we conceive, our principles have the image and superscription of the Great King stamped upon them, let them be circulated through this his rightful province as the current coin. Let no personal exertions that may be required, no measure of odium, no mean questions of profit and loss, no frown on the one hand nor fawning smile on the other, deter us from the unflinching advocacy of our principles and performance of our duty: for if religion finds one a crawling thing, a craven creature, it leaves him not in habits of meanness, but raises him to the stature of a man, bids him do feats of greatness, and sets before him examples of moral heroes who have nobly stood alone and carried on a contest for truth single-handed. Henceforth let there be no excuse, no shrinking back again into the narrow shell of indolent slothfulness and coward retreat: only let the Dissenters of Great Britain burst forth from the swaddling bands in which ignorance and prejudice would confine and cramp them, let them cast off the wrinkled and withered skin of an obsolete age,' and we shall be able to adopt, with cheerful and grateful exultation, the language of a political Dissenter of other days, who will be proudly remembered by every undegenerate Englishmen so long as the Paradise Lost of Milton shall continue to be read : Methinks I see a noble and puissant nation rousing herself, like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks. Methinks I see her, as an eagle, muing her mighty youth, and • kindling her undazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam, purging 6 and unscaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself of "heavenly radiance; while the whole tribe of timorous and 'flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter • about amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble * would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms.'

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Art. VI. Report of the Case of the Canadian Prisoners, with an

Introduction on the Writ of Habeas Corpus. By ALFRED A. Fry, Esq., of Lincoln's Inn, one of the Counsel in the Case. Maxwell : Bell Yard.

THE case of the Canadian prisoners is one with which the

public at large have little sympathized, and which they have taken little pains to understand. A strong feeling, it must be owned, took possession of the respectable classes of society, adverse to the contention in their favor. It was supposed that they had been guilty of a very serious crime, which they had themselves voluntarily confessed, and the just and merciful punishment for which, they were factiously endeavouring to arrest the execution. We do not intend to discuss this question ; but we feel bound in justice to say, that we are satisfied many of our readers will be extremely surprised with us to find, from this Report,* that several of the prisoners distinctly swore, in affidavits laid before the court during part of the proceedings, that they

had never been arraigned, tried, convicted, or sentenced by any 'court in Canada or elsewhere, and that they were wholly ignorant

of the term for which they were detained. We have also reason to believe that some of them have been much more sinned against than sinning,'—have been little mixed up with the proceedings of the revolt,-are men of unimpeachable moral character, and are every way worthy of the efforts which have been made on their behalf by some well-known friends of civil and religious liberty. Under this conviction, which has been greatly strengthened by personal intercourse with some of the prisoners, we rejoice that her Majesty's ministers have consented to their discharge, on the simple condition of their not returning to Canada.

We have observed that we do not intend to go into the merits of the case of the prisoners, as presented in the arguments of their counsel, on the applications to the courts of Queen's Bench and Exchequer for their discharge by Habeas Corpus. Some very important points of Constitutional law were raised on those arguments, in relation to the powers of our Colonial governors and Legislatures, and the effect of judicial proceedings had in the Colonies, when the parties are in this country. We must refer such of our readers as feel an interest in these subjects to Mr. Fry's report of the case; where they will find a concise and summary account of the proceedings and arguments, both on the part of the crown and of the prisoners. Our object in now directing

* P. 103.

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