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subjects in all ages have been known to embrace ; the original contract , the source of power from a consent of the people ^ the lawfulness of resisting tyrants , the preference of liberty to the govern ment of a single person . " * To this representation , who that deserves the name of an Englishman can object ? It is the representation , nevertheless , of an historian , who stigmatizes
certain writings of " Rapm Thoyras , Locke , Sidney , Hoadly , " &c . as " compositions the most despicable both for style and matter" ! f Of Charles II . this writer acknowledges that he was " negligent of the
interests of the nation , careless of its glory , averse to its religion , jealous of its liberty , lavish of its treasure . "The admission is less astonishing than the manner in which Mr . Hume atfrAmnts to nualifv it : for he adds . tempts to qualify it : for he adds
, " Yet may all these enormities , if fairly and candidly examined , be imputed , in a great measure , to the indolence of his temper ; a fault which , however unfortunate in a monarch , it is
impossible for us to regard with great severity . " In a paragraph , which almost instantly follows , the historian intimates , that Charles II . had an " appetite for power : " and he confesses that this monarch ' s " attachment to
France , after all the pains which we have taken , by inquiry and conjecture , to fathom it , contains still something mysterious and inexplicable . "J Whatever mystery existed on the subject , has been completely solved . § Concerning James II . Mr . Hume asks , " What was wanting to make him an excellent sovereign ? A due
regard and affection to the religion and constitution of his country . The sincerity of this prince ( a virtue on which he highly valued himself ) has been much questioned in those reiterated promises which he had made of preserving the liberties and religion of the nation . It must be confessed , that his reigu was almost one continued
invu-* History , &c . VIII . 197 . t Ibid . VIII . 323 . t jbid . VIII . 212 . Nor is Mr . Hume consisten t with himself in his views of O . t romvveU ' s character . VII . 286290 .
, See Hume , VIII . 32 , 41 ; the App endix to Fox ' s Hist , of James II . ; and the u / e of William Lord Russell ( 4 ( o . ) p . 63 .
sion of both . " * Truth and justice required this acknowledgment , which comes , notwithstanding , with an extremely ill grace from the man who , in the account of his own life , tells U 9 that " it is ridiculous to consider the English constitution before" the Revolution " as a regular plan of liberty . "f In the ridicule which , according to
Mr . Hume , such an opinion merits , my readers will perhaps be content to share , together with individuals who have diligently studied the history of the English constitution . Let me refer ,
in particular , to Bishop Hurd ' s excellent dialogue on the subject : and I more gladly make this reference , because justice has not always been done to the Prelate ' s consistency as a
political writer . \ What shall we finally pronounce of Mr . Hume in this character ? Dr . Johnson said of him , that " he was a Tory by chance . " § J J i \ ^^
On Irish Protestant Dissent . 473
On Irish Protestant Dissent . Sir , Cork , July 14 , 1821 . AM emboldened to address you on I the above important subject , from having observed the lively interest you take in Transmarine Unitarianism . A
part of Irish Protestant Dissent conies under that head , and perhaps the persons holding the opinion that the " Lord their God is one Lord / ' might be granted the benefit of some consideration and inquiry , if not on the just ground that aid should be first afforded
at home , let it be , because the history of religious feeling in Ireland would , it drawn from different pens , be a curious document in your journal . More imperatively I would require , if it is of importance that a school of religious freedom should flourish in this island , if an altar , from whence the flame of
* History , Sec . VIII . 306 * . f Ibid . I . p . xi . X The question is well considered , and satisfactorily determined , in IWon . Repos .
III . 460—162 , and in Extracts from the Diary of a Lover of Literature , ( 1816 , ) p . 71 . It were to be wished , however , that the animated Postscript in the original edition of the Dialogues ( 1 / 59 ) had been retained in the subsequent
impressions . § Beswell ' a Life of Johnson , ( ed . 3 , ) IV . 202 .
vu xvi . 3 q
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Aug. 2, 1821, page 473, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2503/page/33/