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had been endued with the powers attributed to him, than to have come down from the cross; every doubt must immediately have vanished. But I am afraid Christ found his own weakness, that his powers were only those which belong to man, and this he has confessed by his last words: " 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!"
AN EXTRACT FROM
CAL PROGRESS OF GREAT BRITAIN, FROM
"THE WORLD'S MAD BUSINESS."
WITHIN the last hundred years of our history, Britain has been five times at war with France, and six times at war with Spain. During the same period, she had been engaged in two rebellions at home, besides an endless catalogue of massacres in Asia and America. In Europe, the common price which we advance for a war, has extended from one to three hundred thousand lives, and from sixty to an hundred and fifty millions sterling. From Africa, we import annually between thirty and forty thousand slaves, which rises in the course of a century to at least three millions of murthers. In Bengal only, we destroyed or expelled within the short period of six years, no less than five millions of industrious, and harmless people; and as we have been sovereigns in that country for about thirty-five years, it may be reasonably computed that we have strewed the plains of Indostan, with fifteen or twenty millions of carcases. If we combine the diversified ravages of famine, pestilence, and the sword, it can hardly be supposed that in these transactions less than fifteen hundred thousand of our country men have perished; a number equal to that of the whole inhabitants of Britain who are at present able to bear arms. In Europe, the havoc of our antagonists has been at least not inferior to our own so that this quarter of the world alone has lost by our quarrels, three millions of men in the flower of life; whose descendants, in the progress of domestic society would have swelled into multitudes beyond calculation. The persons positively destroyed must in the whole have exceeded
twenty millions, or two hundred thousand acts of homicide per annum. These victims have been sacrificed to the balance of power, and the balance of trade, the honour of the British flag, the universal supremacy of Parliament, and the security of the Protestant succession. If we are to proceed at this rate for another century, we may, which is natural to mankind, admire ourselves and our achievements, but every other nation in the world must have a right to wish that an earthquake or a volcano may first bury both islands together in the centre of the globe; that a single, but decisive exertion of Almighty vengeance may terminate the progress and the remembrance of our crimes.
In the scale of just calculation, the most valuable commodity, next to human blood, is money. Having made a gross estimate of the destruction of the former, let us endeavour to compute the consumption of the latter. The war of 1689 cost sixty millions of public money, and at the end of it, the public debts amounted to twenty millions, or by another account, to but seventeen millions and a half; so that not more than one third part of the expences were borrowed. In Queen Anne's war, forty or fifty millions sterling were also sunk, in the same manner, besides about thirty millions, which were added to the former public debt. Very large sums have since been absorbed in other wars, over and above those which were placed to the national credit. In 1783, by the report of the commissioners of public accounts, the total debts of Britain extended to two hundred and seventy-nine millions, six hundred and ninety-eight thousand pounds, though many millions have been paid off in time of peace, by what is called the sinking fund. Hence, we see, that this sum of two hundred and seventy-nine millions is much inferior to the actual charges of these wars. The total amount may be fixed somewhere, perhaps, between four and six hundred millions. To this we must subjoin the value of sixteen or twenty thousand merchant ships taken by the enemy. This diminutive article of sixty or an hundred millions would have been sufficient for transporting and settling eight or twelve hundred thousand farmers, with their families, on the banks of the Potowmac or the Mississipi. By the report above quoted, we learn, that in 1783, the interest of our public debts extended to nine millions, and five hundred thousand pounds, which is equivalent to an annual tax of twenty shillings per head on every inhabitant of Britain. The friends of our intelligent and respectable minister, Mr. Pitt, make an infinite
bustle about the nine millions of debt which his ingenuity has discharged. They ought to arrange in an opposite column, a list of the additional taxes which have been imposed, and of the myriads of families whom such taxes have ruined. At best, we are but as person transferring his money from the right pocket to the left. Perhaps a Chancellor of the Exchequer might as well propose to empty the Baltic with a tobacco-pipe. Had the war with America lasted for two years longer, Britain would not at this day have owed a shilling; and if we shall persist in rushing into carnage with our former contempt of all feeling and reflection, it may still be expected that according to the practice of other nations, a sponge or a bonfire will finish the game of funding.
What advantage has resulted to Britain from such incessant scenes of prodigality and of bloodshed; In the wars of 1689, and 1702, this country was neither more nor less than an hobby horse for the Emperor and the Dutch. The rebellion in 1715 was excited by the despotic insolence of the Whigs. The purchase of Bremen and Verden produced the Spanish war of 1718, and a squadron dispatched for six different years to the Baltic. Such exertions cost us an hundred times more than these quagmire Duchies are worth, even to the Elector of Hanover: a distinction which on this business becomes necessary, for as to Britain, it was never pretended that we could gain a farthing by such an acquisition. In 1727, the nation forced George the First into a war with Spain, which ended as usual with much mischief on both sides. The Spanish war of the people in 1739, and the Austrian subsidy war of the crown which commenced in 1741, were absurd in their principles, and ruinous in their consequences. At sea we met with nothing but hard blows. On the Continent, we began by hiring the Queen of Hungary to fight her own battles against the King of Prussia, and ten years after the war ended, we hired the King of Prussia with six hundred and seventy-one thousand pounds per annum, to fight his own battles against her, if this be not folly, what are we to call it? As to the quarrel of 1754, "It was remarked by all Europe," says Frederick, "that in her dispute with France, every wrong step was on the side of England." By nine years of butchery, and an additional debt of seventy millions sterling, we secured Canada; but had Wolfe and his army been driven from the heights of Abraham, our grandsons might have come too late to hear of an American Revolution. As to this event, the circumstances are too shocking
for reflection. At that time an English woman had discocovered a remedy for the canine madness, and Frederick advises a French correspondent to recommend this medicine to the use of the parliament of England, as they must certainly have been bitten by a mad dog.
In the quarrels of the Continent we should concern ourselves but little; for in a defensive war, we may safely defy all the nations of Europe. When the whole civilized world was embodied under the banners of Rome, her Dictator, at the head of thirty thousand veterans disembarked for a second time on the coast of Britain. The face of the country was covered with a forest, and the solitary tribes were divided upon the old question, Who shall be king? The island could hardly have attained to a twentieth part of its present population, yet by his own account, the invader found a retreat prudent, or perhaps necessary. South Britain was afterwards subjected, but this acquisition was the task of centuries. Every village was bought with the blood of the legions. We may confide in the moderation of a Roman historian, when he is to describe the disasters of his countrymen. In a single revolt, eighty thousand of the usurpers were extirpated; and fifty, or as others affirm, seventy thousand soldiers perished in the course of a Caledonian campaign. Do the masters of modern Europe understand the art of war better than Severus, and Agricola, and Julius Cæsar? Is any combination of human power to be compared with the talents and the resources of the Roman Empire? If our naked ancestors resisted and vanquished the conquerors of the. species, what have we to fear from any antagonist of this day? On six months warning we could muster ten or twelve hundred thousand militia. Yet, while the despots of Germany were fighting about a suburb, the nation has conde-' scended to tremble for its existence, and the blossoms of domestic happiness have been blasted by subsidies and tide waiters, and press-gangs, and excisemen. Our political and commercial systems are evidently nonsense. We possess within this single island, every production both of art and nature, which is necessary for the most comfortable enjoyment of life; yet for the sake of tea, and sugar, and tobacco, and a few other despicable luxuries, we have rushed into an abyss of blood and taxes. The boasted extent of our trade, and the quarrels and public debts which attend it, have raised the price of bread, and even of grass, at least three hundred per cent.
As to annual or triennial Parliaments, while the members are men such as their predecessors have almost always been, it is but of small concern whether they hold their places for life, or but for a single day. Some of our projectors are of opinion, that to shorten the duration of Parliament would be an ample remedy for all our grievances. The advantages of a popular election have likewise been much extolled. Yet an acquaintance with Thucydides, or Plutarch, or Guicciardini, or Machiavel, may tend to calm the raptures of a Republican apostle. The plan of universal suffrages has been loudly recommended by the Duke of Richmond; and, on the 16th of May, 1782, that nobleman, seconded by Mr. - Horne Tooke and Mr. Pitt, was sitting in a Tavern, composing advertisements of reformation for the newspapers. MUTANTA TEMPORA. But bad his plan been adopted, it is possible that we should at this day, have looked back with regret, on the humiliating yet tranquil despotism of a Scots or a Cornish borough.
To show the illiberal spirit of Christians towards each
The charges advanced by me in a former edition, were prefaced by one or two observations on the disingenuousness of the Editors of the New Version, in their use of the name of Archbishop Newcome: professing to ground their Version upon the basis of his Translation, whilst in truth they adopted no part of it that interfered with their peculiar opinion; and thereby securing a respectable name for their Unitarian blasphemies, and contriving to circulate their poisons under a false label. Both the language and the matter of this charge have given great offence. I cannot depart from either. As to the former, deeming the opinions held by modern Unitarians to be blasphemous and pestilential †, I
* So the Unitarians are blasphemers! Pestilential-how pretty!