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pated nine of his slaves ; M . Fernandez Soto is now employing his former mer slaves as independent servants , giving them wages for their labour . Men capable of actions so generous , so consonant to the spirit of the times , well deserve that their names should be recorded and honoured in every civilized country .
TURKEY . The Porte has issued orders for selling , by weight , all the fine libraries in Constantinople ; among others are mentioned those of the Princes Morusi , who are become objects of hatred and jealousy to the despotic government of Turkey , from their riches , their patriotism , and their talents .
DOMESTIC . The Christians * Petition to Parliament against the Prosecution of Unbelievers . To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled :
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland , in Parliament assembled : The humble Petition of the undersigned JVlinisters and Members of Christian Congregations , Sheweth ,
That your Petitioners are sincere believers in the Christian Revelation from personal conviction on examination of the Evidences on its behalf ; and are thankful to Almighty God for the unspeakable blessing of the Gospel , which they regard as the most sacred sanction , the best safeguard , and the most powerful
motive , of morality , as the firmest support and most effectual relief amidst the afflictions and troubles of this state of humanity , and as the surest foundation of the hojHi of u life to come , which hope they consider to be in the highest decree conducive to the dignity , purity and happiness of society .
That with these views and feelings , your Petitioners beg leave to state to your [ Right ] Honourable House , that they behold with sorrow and shame the prossecutionS against persons who have
printed or published books which are , or are presumed to be , hostile to the Christian religion , from the full persuasion that « nch prosecutions are inconsistent with , and contrary to . both the spirit and the
letter oT thd gospel , and , moreover that they are more favourable to the spread of Infidelity , which they are intended to check , tha& to the support of the Christian faith , which they are professedly undertaken to uphold .
Your Petitioners cannot but consider all Christians bound by their reli gious profession to bow with reverence and submission to the precepts of the Great Founder of our faith ; and nothing appears to them plainer in the gospel than that it forbids all violent measures for its propagation , and all vindictive measures
for its justification and defence . The Author and Finisher of Christianity has declared , that his kingdom is not of this world ; and , as in his own example he shewed a perfect pattern of compassion towards them that are ignorant and out
of the way of truth , of forbearance towards objectors , and of forgiveness of wilful enemies , —so in his moral laws he has prohibited the spirit that would attempt to root up speculative error with the arm of flesh , or that would call down fire from heaven to consume the
unbelieving , and has commanded the exercise of meekness , tenderness and brotherly love towards all mankind , as the best and only means of promoting his cause upon earth , and the most acceptable way of glorifying the Great Father of Mercies , who is kind even to the unthankful and the evil .
By these reasonable , charitable and peaceful means , the Christian religion was not only established originally , but also supported for the three first centuries of the Christian era , during which it triumphed over the most fierce and potent opposition , unaided by temporal
power ; and your Petitioners humbly submit to your [ Right ] Honourable House , that herein consists one of the brightest evidences of the truth of the Christian religion ; and that they are utterly at a loss to conceive how that which is
universally accounted to have been the glory of the gospel in its beginnings , should now cease to be accounted its glory , or how it should at this day be less the maxim of Christianity , and less the rule
of the conduct of Christians , than in the days of those that are usually denominated the Fathers of the Church—that it is no part of religion to compel religion , which must be received , not by force , but of free choice .
Your Petitioners would earnestly represent to your [ Right ] Honourable House , that our holy religion has borne uninjured every test that reason and learning have applied to it , and that its Divine origin , its purity , its excellence and its title to universal acceptation , have
362 Intelligence . — Tlte Christians Petition to Parliament
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1823, page 362, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1785/page/50/