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Besides the motives of ambition, the desire to domineer over, and to trample upon all the rest of mankind, the First Consul has a reason, peçuliar to himself, for wishing to reduce us to a state of poverty, weakness, submission, and silence; which reason will be at once evident, when we consider the origin of his authority, and the nature of his government. Having succeeded through a long course of perfidious and bloody deeds, in usurping the throne of his lawful sove, reign ; having, under the name of Equality, established in his own person and family, a government the most pompouş and expensive, while the people are pining with hunger and in rags; having, with the word Liberty continually on his lips, erected a despotism the most oppressive, the most capricious, and the most cruel that the Almighty, in his wrath, ever suffered to exist; having, by such means, obtained such an end, he feared, that while there remained upon earth, and especially within a few leagues of France, a people enjoying, under a mild and legitimate sovereign all the blessings of freedom; while there remained such a people, so situated, he dreaded, and not without reason, their sentiments and their example would, by degrees, penetrate through his forests of bayonets, his myriads of spies, and would, first or last, shake the foundation of his ill-gotten power. He could not, indeed, impute either to our Sovereign or to his subjects, any design, much less any attempt, to disturb him in the exercise of his usurped authority. We never have interfered, nor have we ever shewn any desire to interfere, in the concerns of the Consul or his pretended Republic; and his Majesty, even after all the acts of provocation, all the injuries and insults committed against himself and his people, has now solemnly renewed his declaration, that his object is not to destroy or change any thing in the internal state of other countries, but solely to preserve, in his own dominions, every thing dear to himself and his subjects,
This, however, is not sufficient to satisfy the Consul of France;, it is not sufficient that we abstain, both by actions and by words, from exciting discontent among those who have the misfortune to be subjected 10 his sway; we must not afford them an example, we must not remain free, lest they should learn lessons of freedom; we must destroy our ancient and venerable monarchy, lest they should sigb for a lawful and merciful king; we must not be happy, lest they should covet happiness; we must not speak, lest our voice should disturb the peace of Buonaparte ; we must not breathe, we must cease to exist, because our existence gives umbrage to a nian, who from the walls of Acre, fied, in shame and dis: grace, before a handful of Britons.
Advice suggested by the State of the Times. By WILLIAM
WILBERFORCE, Esq. Member of Parliament for the County
of York. It has been maintained, and will not be disputed by any sound or experienced politician, that they who really deserve the appellation of TRUE CHRISTIANS are always most important members of the community. But we may boldly assert, that there never was a period wherein, more justly than in the present, this could be affirmed of them; whether the situation, in all its circumstances, of our own country be attentively considered, or the general state of society in Europe. Let them on their part seriously weigh the important station which they fill, and the various duties which it now peculiarly enforces on them. If we consult the most intelligent accounts of foreign countries, which have been recently published, and compare them with the reports of former travellers, we must be convinced, that religion and the standard of morals are every where declining, abroad even more rapidly than in our own country. But still, the progress of irreligion and the decay of morals at home, is such as to alarm every considerate mind, and to forebode the worst consequences, unless some remedy can be applied to the growing evil. We can depend only upon true Christians for effecting, in any degree, this important service. Zeal is required in the cause of religion; they only can feel it. The charge of singularity must be incurred; they only will dare to encounter it. Uniformity of conduct, and perseverance in exertion, will be requisite; among no others can we look for those qualities.
Let true Christians then, with becoming earnestness, strive in all things to recommend their profession, and to put to silence the vain scoffs of ignorant objectors. Let them boldly assert the cause of Christ in an age when so many, who bear the name of Christians, are ashamed of Him: let them consider as devolved on them the important duty of suspending for a while the fall of their country, and, perhaps, of performing a still more extensive service to society at large; not by busy interference in politics, in which it must be confessed there is much uncertainty, but rather by that sure and radical benefit of restoring the influence of religion, and of raising the standard of morality.
Let them cultivate a catholic spirit of universal good-will and amicable fellowship towards all those, of whatever sect or denomination, who, differing from them in non-essentials,
8 ADVICE SUGGESTED BY THE STATE OF THE TIMES.
Let them pray continually for their country in this season
But it would be an instance in myself of that very false shame which I have condemned in others, if I were not boldly to avow MY FIRM PERSUASION, that to the decline of religion and morality our national difficulties must both dărectly and indirectly be chiefly ascribed; and that my only solid hopes for the well-being of my country depend not so much on her fleets and armies, not so much on the wisdom of her rulers, or the spirit of her people, as on the persuasion that she still contains many, who, in a degenerate age, love and obey the Gospel of Christ, on the humble trust that the intercession of these may still be prevalent, that for the sake of these, Heaven may still look upon us with an eye of favour.
Mr. WILBERFORCE's Speech, at a Meeting of Noblemen,
Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders, in the County of
York, July 28th, 1803. MR. WILBERFORCE began with apologizing for having absented himself from the House of Commons while it was still sitting; but he trusted that he should be excused on ac
count of the strong desire he fell to join in the solemn act in which they were now engaged, of assuring his Majesty, in the present critical circumstances of the country, that the Freeholders of this great county were deeply impressed with a sense of the danger which now threatened us; but that they felt themselves bound also to declare their firm determination to stand forth with becoming resolution, in defence of their King, their constitution, and their country. This was no ordinary occasion, nor the war in which we were now engaged, a common war;-war was always an evil; but the present, dangerous beyond all in former example. We have to contend, not for some distant possession, of the value of which persons might entertain different opinions; not for some dubious point of honour, or for some real but secondary interest, but for the very body and substance of our island;-not for the foliage nor even the branches, but even for the trunk of the British oak; that oak, so different in all respects from the tree of liberty of which the Gentlemen before him had spoken ; that oak, beneath which a grateful .and a happy people had so long sheltered, and under which the distressed of other countries had often found a refuge, when driven to seek protection from the stormy blasts in their own less happy land.-Let us consider the crisis-We live in times teeming with events of such prodigious magnitude, that they seem to laugh to scorn all that we used to call inportant in our former history. Let us not deceive ourselves, It is no petty danger that threatens us; it is great beyond all precedent: I would not hide from you our situation - I trust you are not of that wretched race of beings who would seek consolation by concealing from themselves their real situation; but that, like Britons, you will look it in the face. Yet while on the one hand I state that your dangers are thus great and numerous, yet, on the other, I trust I am not deceived in declaring, that, under the Divine blessing which has so long favoured us, you may still transmit unimpaired to your posterity, those rights and that civil happiness you received from your forefathers. Gentlemen, we are at war with France; a great and powerful country;--and it has been truly remarked,
that all countries, after times of revolution and civil war, are capable of more energetic efforts, because they are then habituated to labours, burdens, and dangers, estranged from the quiet and comfort of tranquil life and peaceful industry. But we have not France only to contend with, but with a great part of Europe : many are the vassal states which are now forced to supply all that is required by their powerful taskmaster, France; and even all the other great powers seem to bow to the ascendant of their domineering superior. From the coast of Denmark to the centre of the Adriatic, with the exception of Portugal, we behold only a hostile shore. But it will be said, our navy will protect us; it will do all that a navy can effect: but the most skilful naval men are the most forward to declare, that from the uncertainty of intercepting an enemy, from the various circumstances of winds, of currents, of calms, and other such accidents, we must not depend on our navy for preventing invasion; and happily for us, justly as we are partial to our naval defence, our atiention to it has not so engrossed us, as to prevent our 'gaining many splendid trophies in the field of military honour.
I might appeal to ancient times; I might remind you of Cressy and Agincourt; but let us look to still later times, when our brave soldiers have humbled the pride of France, and conquered with inserior force her boasted armies. Look to the last war, and especially to Egypt: the First Consul might there be convinced, that the present race of Britons inherit the gallantry of their ancestors ; and look above all at Acre, where the First Consul himself, with every possible advantage, was compelled to yield to the commanding energy of our brave countryman, Sir Sidney Smith! Whilst we have such heroes as be to defend us, with the blessing of Providence we need not fear. Even my friend at my side, Lord - Mulgrave, reminds me of the eminent gallantry of British
troops in the last war; gallantry which it was his honourable office to inspire and lead, and which was increased by the consciousness that they were under his military guidance.
Gentlemen, let une confess to you, I am most afraid of language I sometimes hear, that the enemy will not dare to attack us.
Let me assure you, that all who are best informed, agree that the First Consul is determined on invasion. In truth, he has been able to excite in his countrymen, as well as in his army, such an ardent spirit and presumptuous confidence of conquering this country, that he could not pow repress it if he would: but these violent paroxysms of passion, as they are more casily raised in our neighbours the French, so they more quickly subside again. My country