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when compared to it. The idea of reducing Providence to an alternative!! and, by a motion at the India House, carried by ballot! We would not insinuate, in the most distant manner, that Mr. Owen is not a gentleman of the most sincere piety; but the misfortune is, all extra superfine persons accustom themselves to a familiar phraseology upon the most sacred subjects which is quite shocking to the common and inferior orders of Christians.-Providence reduced to alternative !!!! Let it be remembered, this phrase comes from a member of a religious party, who are loud in their complaints of being confounded with enthusiasts and fanatics.


We cannot conclude without the most pointed reprobation of the low mischief of the "Christian Observer," a publication which appears to have no other method of discussing a question fairly open to discussion than that of accusing their antagonists of infidelity. No art can be more unmanly, or, if its consequences are foreseen, more wicked. If this publication had been the work of a single individual, we might have passed it over in silent disgust; but as it is looked upon as the organ of a great political religious party in this country, we think it right to notice the very unworthy manner in which they are attempting to extend their influence. For ourselves, if there were a fair prospect of carrying the gospel into regions were it was before unknown,-if such project did not expose the best possessions of the country to extreme danger, and if it was in the hands of men who were discreet as well as devout, we should consider it to be a scheme of true piety, benevolence, and wisdom: but the baseness and malignity of fanaticism shall never prevent us from attacking its arrogance, its ignorance, and its activity. For what vice can be more tremendous than that which, while it wears the outward appearance of religion, destroys the happiness of man, and dishonours the name of God?


Characters of the late Charles James Fox. By PHILOPATRIS VARVICENSIS. 2 vols. 8vo.

THIS singular work consists of a collection of all the panegyrics passed upon Mr. Fox, after his decease, in periodical publications, speeches, sermons, or elsewhere, in a panegyric upon Mr. Fox by Philopatris himself,-and in a volume of notes by the said Philopatris upon the said panegyric.

Of the panegyrics that by Sir James Mackintosh appears to us to be by far the best. It is remarkable for good sense, acting upon a perfect knowledge of his subject, for simplicity, and for feeling. Amid

the languid or turgid efforts of mediocrity, it is delightful to notice the skill, attention, and resources of a superior man-of a man, too, who seems to feel what he writes-who does not aim at conveying hi; meaning in rhetorical and ornamented phrases, but who uses plain words to express strong sensations. We cannot help wishing, indeed, that Sir James Mackintosh had been more diffuse upon the political character of Mr. Fox, the great feature of whose life was the long and unwearied opposition which he made to the low cunning, the profligate extravagance, the sycophant mediocrity, and the stupid obstinacy of the English Court.

To estimate the merit and the difficulty of this opposition, we must remember the enormous influence which the Crown, through the medium of its patronage, exercises in the remotest corners of the kingdom, the number of subjects whom it pays,-the much greater number whom it keeps in a state of expectation,—and the ferocious turpitude of those mercenaries whose present profits and future hopes are threatened by honest, and exposed by eloquent men. It is the easiest of all things, too, in this country, to make Englishmen believe that those who oppose the Government wish to ruin the country. The English are a very busy people; and with all the faults of their governors, they are still a very happy people. They have, as they ought to have, a perfect confidence in the administration of justice. The rights which the different classes of mankind exercise the one over the other are arranged upon equitable principles. Life, liberty, and property are protected from the violence and caprice of power. The visible and immediate stake, therefore, for which English politicians play is not large enough to attract the notice of the people, and to call them off from their daily occupations, to investigate thoroughly the characters and motives of men engaged in the business of legislation. The people can only understand, and attend to, the last results of a long series of measures. They are impatient of the details which lead to these results; and it is the easiest of all things to make them believe that those who insist upon such details are actuated only by factious motives. We are all now groaning under the weight of taxes: but how often was Mr. Fox followed by the curses of his country for protesting against the two wars which have loaded us with these taxes?-the one of which wars has made America independent, and the other rendered France omnipotent. The case is the same with all the branches of public liberty. If the broad and palpable question were, whether every book which issues from the press should be subjected to the licence of a general censor, it would be impossible to blacken the character of any man, who, so called upon, defended the liberty of publishing opinions. But, when the Attorney-General for the time being ingratiates himself with the Court, by nibbling at this valuable privilege of the people, it is very easy to treat hostility to his measures as a minute and frivolous opposition to the Government, and to persuade the mass of mankind that it is so. In fact, when a nation has become free, it is extremely difficult to persuade them that their freedom is only to be preserved by

erpetual and minute jealousy. They do not observe that there is a Constant, perhaps an unconscious, effort on the part of their governors to diminish, and so ultimately to destroy, that freedom. They stupidly imagine that what is, will always be; and, contented with the good they have already gained, are easily persuaded to suspect and vilify those friends-the object of whose life it is to preserve that good, and to increase it.

It was the lot of Mr. Fox to fight this battle for the greater part of his life; in the course of which time he never was seduced, by the love of power, wealth, or popularity, to sacrifice the happiness of the many to the interests of the few. He rightly thought that kings and all public officers were instituted only for the good of those over whom they preside; and he acted as if this conviction was always present to his mind; disdaining and withstanding that idolatrous tendency of mankind, by which they so often not only suffer, but invite, ruin from that power which they themselves have wisely created for their own happiness. He loved, too, the happiness of his countrymen more than their favour; and while others were exhausting the resources by flattering the ignorant prejudices and foolish passions of the country, Mr. Fox was content to be odious to the people, so long as he could be useful also. It will be long before we witness again such pertinacious opposition to the alarming power of the Crown, and to the follies of our public measures, the necessary consequence of that power. That such opposition should ever be united again with such extraordinary talents, it is, perhaps, in vain to hope.

One little exception to the eulogium of Sir James Mackintosh upon Mr. Fox, we cannot help making. We are no admirers of Mr. Fox's poetry. His Vers de Société appears to us flat and insipid. To write verses was the only thing which Mr. Fox ever attempted to do, without doing it well. In that single instance he seems to have mistaken his


Immediately after the collection of panegyrics which these volumes contain, follows the eulogium of Mr. Fox by Philopatris himself; and then a volume of notes upon a variety of topics which this eulogium has suggested. Of the laudatory talents of this Warwickshire patriot we shall present our readers with a specimen.

"Mr. Fox, though not an adept in the use of political wiles, was very unlikely to be the dupe of them. He was conversant in the ways of man, as well as in the contents of books. He was acquainted with the peculiar language of states, their peculiar forms, and the grounds and effects of their peculiar usages. From his earliest youth he had investigated the science of politics in the greater and the smaller scale; he had studied it in the records of history, both popular and rare-in the conferences of ambassadors-in the archives of royal cabinets-in the minuter detail of memoirs-and in collected or straggling anecdotes of the wrangles, intrigues, and cabals, which, springing up in the secret recesses of courts, shed their baneful influence on the determinations of sovereigns, the fortune of favourites, and the tranquillity of kingdoms. But that statesmen of all ages, like priests of all religions, are in all respects alike, is a doctrine the propagation of which he left, as an inglorious privilege, to the

misanthrope, to the recluse, to the factious incendiary, and to the unlettered multitude. For himself, he thought it no very extraordinary stretch of pene tration or charity, to admit that human nature is everywhere nearly as capable of emulation in good, as in evil. He boasted of no very exalted heroism, in opposing the calmness and firmness of conscious integrity to the shuffling and slippery movements, the feints in retreat and feints in advance, the dread of being overreached, or detected in attempts to overreach, and all the other humiliating and mortifying anxieties of the most accomplished proficients in the art of diplomacy. He reproached himself for no guilt, when he endeavoured to obtain that respect and confidence which the human heart unavoidably feels in its intercourse with persons who neither wound our pride, nor take aim at our happiness, in a war of hollow and ambiguous words. He was sensible of no weakness in believing that politicians, who, after all, 'know only as they are known,' may, like other human beings, be at first the involuntary creatures of circumstances, and seem incorrigible from the want of opportunities or incitements to correct themselves; that, bereft of the pleas usually urged in vindication of deceit, by men who are fearful of being deceived, they, in their official dealings with him, would not wantonly lavish the stores they had laid up for huckstering in a traffic, which, ceasing to be profitable, would begin to be infamous; and that, possibly, here and there, if encouraged by example, they might learn to prefer the shorter process, and surer results, of plain dealing, to the delays, the vexations, and the uncertain or transient success, both of oldfashioned and new-fangled chicanery."-(I. 209–211.)

It is impossible to read this singular book without being everywhere struck with the lofty and honourable feelings, the enlightened benevolence, and sterling honesty with which it abounds. Its author is everywhere the circumspect friend of those moral and religious principles upon which the happiness of society rests. Though he is never timid, nor prejudiced, nor bigoted, his piety, not prudish and full of antiquated and effected tricks, presents itself with an earnest aspect, and in a manly form; obedient to reason, prone to investigation, and dedicated to honest purposes. The writer, a clergyman, speaks of himself as a very independent man, who has always expressed his opinions without any fear of consequences, or any hope of bettering his condition. We sincerely believe he speaks the truth; and revere him for the life which he has led. Political independence-discouraged enough in these times among all classes of men—is sure, in the timid fession of the Church, to doom a man to eternal poverty and obscurity.


There are occasionally, in Philopatris, a great vigour of style, and felicity of expression. His display of classical learning is quite unrivalled-his reading various and good; and- we may observe, at intervals, a talent for wit, of which he might have availed himself to excellent purpose, had it been compatible with the dignified style in which he generally conveys his sentiments. With all these excellent qualities of head and heart we have seldom met with a writer more full of faults than Philopatris. There is an event recorded in the Bible, which men who write books should keep constantly in their remembrance. It is there set forth, that many centuries ago the earth was covered with a great flood, by which the whole of the human race, with the exception of one family, were destroyed. It

appears, also, that from thence, a great alteration was made in the longevity of mankind, who, from a range of seven or eight hundred years, which they enjoyed before the flood, were confined to their present period of seventy or eighty years. This epoch in the history of man gave birth to the twofold division of the antediluvian and the postdiluvian style of writing, the latter of which naturally contracted itself into those inferior limits which were better accommodated to the abridged duration of human life and literary labour. Now, to forget this event, to write without the fear of the deluge before his eyes, and to handle a subject as if mankind could lounge over a pamphlet for ten years, as before their submersion,-is to be guilty of the most grievous error into which a writer can possibly fall. The author of this book should call in the aid of some brilliant pencil, and cause the distressing scenes of the deluge to be portrayed in the most lively colours for his use. He should gaze at Noah, and be brief. The ark should constantly remind him of the little time there is left for reading; and he should learn, as they did in the ark, to crowd a great deal of matter into a very little compass.

Philopatris must not only condense what he says in a narrower compass, but he must say it in a more natural manner. Some persons can neither stir hand nor foot without making it clear that they are thinking of themselves, and laying little traps for approbation. In the course of two long volumes, the Patriot of Warwick is perpetually studying modes and postures:—the subject is the second consideration, and the mode of expression the first. Indeed, whole pages together seem to be mere exercises upon the English language, to evince the copiousness of our synonymes, and to show the various methods in which the parts of speech can be marshalled and arrayed. This, which would be tiresome in the ephemeral productions of a newspaper, is intolerable in two closely printed volumes.

Again, strange as it may appear to this author to say so, he must not fall into the frequent mistake of rural politicians, by supposing that the understandings of all Europe are occupied with him and his opinions. His ludicrous self-importance is perpetually destroying the effect of virtuous feeling and just observation, leaving his readers with a disposition to laugh, where they might otherwise learn and admire.

"I have been asked why, after pointing out by name the persons who seemed to be most qualified for reforming our Penal Code, I declined mentioning such ecclesiastics as might with propriety be employed in preparing for the use of the churches a grave and impressive discourse on the authority of human laws, and as other men may ask the same question which my friend did, I have determined, after some deliberation, to insert the substance of my answer in this place.

"If the public service of our Church should ever be directly employed in giving effect to the sanctions of our Penal Code, the office of drawing up such a discourse as I have ventured to recommend would, I suppose, be assigned to more than one person. My ecclesiastical superiors will, I am sure, make a wise choice. But they will hardly condemn me for saying that the best sense expresssed in the best language may be expected from the Bishops of Llandaff,

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