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If then, as has been contended, and therefore can reach the delin

sufficient check is not provided, quent whether he hides his head in either by the powers vested in go- a coronet or a night cellar. The vernment, or by individual virtue solitary reformer, no less than the and activity against a numerous class executive government, will be inacof vices, the necessity of institutions tive, for the one will be too timid, such as we are defending cao scarce- and the other too busy to do much ; ly be disputed. They are, in fact, but the society have nothing to our forlorn hope ; and if they can fear, and nothing of the same imporaccomplish nothing, it is obvious tance to do; each man will catch that nothing can be accomplished. and communicate ardour ; an at

It may, indeed, be conceded, that mosphere of zeal wilt diffuse itself neither unassociated individuals, nor around, and be felt in acts of benegovernment itself, can, erect suffi, volence and usefulness to the com, cient barriers against these crimes; munity at large. hut it may also be denied, ibat so. Having now seen something of cieties are more efficient as guar- the nature, the efficiency, and the nedians of the public morals. Now.cessity of the institution whose rewe have already traced out some ports are before us; it remains to of the successes of this society; and notice such objections as have not this appeal to fact might be suffered been already answered. to decide the question. But it is In the first place, some are hardy obvious that such societies are not enough to affirm that all such comthwarted in their operations, by binations are unlawful. Lord Ellenthose checks which, inspede the in. borough and Judge Grose think fluence of either individual or offi- otherwise. The assertion indeed, if cial interference. They do not suf- those who urge it are serious, cán fer, for instance, from the odium proceed only upon a misconception which overwhelms the individual of the nature of a conspiracy. A reformer; for it, it fall at all, it falls conspiracy is defined by the comupon numbers whose congregated mentator upon Blackstone to be a strength can bear the burden. The combination to “injure individuals, expense also wbich, ruins an indi, or to do acts which are unlawful or vidual iş not felt by a society. A prejudicial to the community.” It is solitary reformer will perhaps be a conspiracy for instance to combine inteinperate; but here the intem. with others to convict a man of a perance of one man is corrected by crime which he has never comthe prudence of another, and the su- mitted, or to carry any measure in piveness of one animated by the opposition to the laws. But the obzeal of another. The solitary re- ject of the society is merely to pufornier could scarcely be conversant nish the guilty, and to strengthen with every subject; but here we the laws. This objection, indeed, have a society to which, as to a would go far to convict the whole hank, all the professions bring their nation of conspiracy. For what else, distinct contributions to draw them according to this are the societies off for the benefit of the public. for the prosecution of poachers and The solitary reformer also cannot be felons ? What else the societies with every where, and see every thing; which almost every country town is but the society, by its numbers, pos- furnished, for the punishment of sesses a species of ubiquity from the crimes most frequent in their which vice can scarcely escape. neighbourhood? If every associaThe solitary reformer may be poortion of individuals for a common or may be sick, and, is necessarily end is a conspiracy, then every coconfined to a certain sphere of ob- partnership must expiate their crimes servation; but the society moves in upon a scaffold, and even we poor all spheres, has agents of all ranks, luckless reviewers, the Cethegi and Catalines of the day, must bear all the supply : and so it will in books, the brunt of Ciceronian thunder, and bread and cheese ; but it will not and die by the hands of the common in morals. The love of virtue is not hangman.

sogreat; nor the necessity of virtue so But say the objectors, “if you once pinching and obvious; nor the supply allow men to combine, what limits of moral and religious precepts so luwill there be to the combination; crative ; tbat men will quit the more why should not the troop of conspi- profitable employments of life to racy swell to an army, and crush regenerate the age.

“ What” (said every force legal or illegat which some one to the fool of Brederode, thwarts them ? We would ask an- who walked about as if sowing seed) other question; Why, if you allow “ are you doing there?” Sowing one physician to practise gratuitous- fools," he replied. “And why not ly should there be any end to gratui- sow wise men?” “C'est que la terre tous doctors ? Why should not one ne les porte pas." "The soil does not like tadpoles multiply into à mil- bear them.” Let not then the sage lion, and expel the mass of well-fed guardians of the pablic pleasures be practitioners from the profession? under any alarm. Sow teeth, or cast It would be at once replied to this stones, or employ any other accrequery, gratuitous practitioners will dited recipe for population, and denot multiply to any alarming extent, pend upon it whatever springs up, because doctors cannot live without good men will not. We confidently eating if they would, and would not believe we shall have no South Sea if they could. And so we say of expeditions in the cause of morals; this society. Whilst men continue that we shall have no proteslant selfish and greedy; whilst the state crusades; that we are in no danger of the world compels almost every of invasion from the Goths or Huis man to put out his time to good in- of Essex-street; that no modern terest; whilst physicians take their Quixotte will sally forth for the guinea for scratching their names at protection of the Sabbath. Let thé the end of some bad Latin; whilst a objectors, then, and the men whose man must pay six shillings and cause they só manfully advocate, eightpence for happening to meet sleep easy, if indeed they can, in bis lawyer in the street; whilst á their bests, under the confident asdentist will modestly demand two surance that the conspirators in the or three guineas for assuring you, cause of law and purity, have no such of what you have known for thirty bounity to offer, as will draw a largé years, that you have not a sound body of troops to their standard. tooth in your head ; there is little A third objection made to the Soperil that the bands of gratuitous in- ciety is, "that, inits various prosecuformers will so amplify as to en- tions, any ordinary jury is likely to danger the safety of the state, or the be influenced by the respectability impartial administration of justice and authority of the prosecutors. It has been observed that the vilest But let it be remembered, that this animals are the most prolific; that very respectability is a guarantee the queen of the forest bears only that prosecutions will not be falsely one cab at a time. Now so is it in or lightly instituted; and that vexahuman kind: whatever be the fe- tious or malignant prosecutions condity of others, reformers in would at once destroy the authoreligion or morals are plainly rity, and therefore the influence of not farrowed nine at a birth: the Society. Besides, is it found Indeed, there is a general prin: that jurors are usually influenced by ciple assumed by objectors of this the rank and pretensions of the proclass, which requires some limitation. secutors ? On the contrary, are not The demand, they say, will create the jury, strictly speaking, a popular

body? Are they not the consti- institution is, that it “ multiplies the tuted guardians of the rights of the breed of informers.” Now if we have people? We revere the trial by laws we must have informers, or the jury: it is the palladium of British law will be useless. Accordingly a independence, and is therefore to be certain number are created even by laid up in the ark of our choicest the laws themselves. Grand juries treasures; and if it be, as all human are informers; for they swear “diliinstitutions are, liable to abuse, that gently to inquire, and true presentabuse appears to us more likely to ment make, of all matters and things be on the side of the people than given to them in charge." Churchon the side of authority, and more wardens and constables are also conlikely to consent, not as our objec- tituted informers ; and as the law tor supposes, in condemning the in. enjoins information upon some, it in. nocent, but in acquitting the guilty. vites it from all, by assigning a

It is a farther objection brought proportion of the penalty to the inagainst this Society, that " it usurps former. There are, indeed, cer: the place of the constituted authori. tain statutes against informers; but ties of the land; that the constables, against informers of what kind ? the clergy, and the very courts of the Those who act from malicious molaw, are thrown into the shade by its tives; who follow information as a obtrusion of itself into the ordinary trade; who injure the character of functions of these various bodies.”- individuals, or violate the peace of Can any objection be more un- the nation. Information is, indeed, founded? The unchanging and un- dishonourable, when merely venal; mixed object of the Society is to when it avails itself of obsolete staassist constables in their duty; to tutes to inflict individual vengeance; facilitate and second the labours of when it exposes the offender to the clergy; to drag criminals to the a severe punishment for a light bar of justice. If, indeed, the supe- crime. But are the informations of rior activity of the Society chances the society of this nature? The to reproach the indolence of the lay statutes and resolutions on which it or clerical watchmen of the state, proceeds, are not obsolete, for they this is not the fault of the Society, are chiefly the proclamations and sta but the fault of these worthies of the tutes of this and the three preceding gown and staff. If this be the case, reigns. The informations are not shall it not be considered as one venal, for all the mulcts are thrown grand title of the institution to ge- into a common fund, and transmit. neral regard, that it not only watches ted to the Philanthropic Society. and labours itself, but challenges to There is no disposition in the society new exertions, and rouzes to higher to call down on crimes, punishments enterprises its drowsy fellow-labour. beyond their desert; for in many ers? And is it even honest to say instances they have applied themof an institution, that it disparages selves to mitigate that penalty the laws, when its simple object is which the law would inflict. Under to present criminals to the eye of such circumstances, is it honourable the law; to place them precisely in to impute to these men the vices of that focus, upon which the force of common informers ; to see in them the magistracy can act. The laws the ghosts of Empson and Dudley ; are never so much dishonoured as to threaten the public with the reby their ill administration; and, vival of those scenes of legal tyran. therefore, those who facilitate their ny and exaction which disgraced movements, and assert their au- the reign of the Tudors; to calumthority, above all men “magnify the niate the scheme of the society as a law."

system of espionage, dangerous to Another capital objection to the the liberties and happiness of the country? We have not so learned seats of justice, expel the Speaker morality and candour.

from his chair, themselves dictate The last objection of any weight new laws and carry them into exeto the proceedings of the society is, cution: --Are Kings, Lords, and that " it spares the rich, but cruelly Commons, if indeed these titles are persecutes the poor." 'This is, at to be preserved in the new nomenleast, a popular thesis, and must be clature, to legislate for the poor, canvassed.

and this society for the rich? --Be Now in searching the various re. sides, if the society are to prosecute ports and papers of the Society, we the vices of the rich, they must are led in ihe first place to deny the adopt that very species of informafact. We find, for instance, that the tion which their enemies condemn. Society have attacked the Opera- The vices of the rich are a good house, the very musoud of high- deal confined to their own houses. bred pleasures; and that they have To convict lady. Bab as a cheat, passed over poachers, and other or her spouse of infidelity, it would classes of criminals, wholly of the be necessary to worm themselves poorer order. We find, on the con- into the friendship, or to steal distrary, no instance where they have guised into the drawing-rooms of refused to punish in the rich, the these right honourable profligates, same crimes they pupish in the poor. The vices of the poor, on the contra. We find a multitude of cases, where ry, walk abroad, insult us in the they have displayed a spirit so mild market-place, and elbow us in the as almost to defeat the purposes streets. In the one case, the snake of justice. They have never failed is in the grass ; in the other case, it to pre-admonish those whom they lifts its head in the road which we prosecuted: they have never prose- must necessarily tread. It is plain cuted to conviction, where contri. then, that the objectors must either tion has been expressed, and a rea- patronize informers, or applaud the sopable pledge has been given that measured attacks of the society. that contrition was sincere: they Let them ride which horn of the have, in many instances, disarmed dilemma they prefer. the wrath of justice, by interceding For ourselves, we must say that for a mitigation of the penalty. of all the cants in this canting

So much for the fact. But it may world,” there is no cant more odious still be said, the society “ have than that of some of the avowed made larger assaults upon the vices champions of popular liberty. It is of the poor than of the rich."- according to their creed, nothing They have. But could they from short of despotism to attack even the very constitution of the society the vices of the multitude. do otherwise. In the first place, the cue their daughters from seduction, institution did not undertake to to secure their property from chastize neglects of duty, but open knaves, to restrain their tongues violations of it; and these are chief- from blasphemy, is with some moly to be detected in the coarser dero politicians on a par with introvices of the poor. In the next ducing the knoot, and the rack, and place, it did not undertake to make lighting up the fires of the inquisilaws, but to facilitate their execu- tion. Bui is it the fact, that liberLion; and the laws are pointed in ty can flourish only in the soil of general at the flagrant excesses of vice? Is it not, on the contrary, as. the poor, rather than at the refined certained, that the ages of greatest profligacy of the rich. What is to civil freedom have been those of be done? Would those who object largest personal restraint; that slaalready to the encroachments of the very and profligacy have usually institution, have thein usurp the been contemporaneous; that in the

To res.

despotic reign of Charles the Se- none more, we will venture to say, cond, vice stalked abroad ; and that than of many of those who clamour societies on the model of the pre- for reform. sent sprang up and multiplied only We wish that we had not been at the period of the revolution *.- called to qualify our commendation Do our demagogues cry aloud then of the measures of the “ Society for for a "free people Make the peo- the Suppression of Vice," by any ple virtuous and they must be free, exceptions. Those exceptions, such and those only will continue to as they are, we have thought it our wear chains, who do not deserve duty to state; and in again adverting freedom. Do they clamour for re- to them, we think it right again to form in parliament? Let them la- observe, that they now no longer bour also to reform the people, for exist. They cannot now, therefore, if there are some who give, there be considered as detracting from the must be many who receive; and a claims of this society to the public corrupt population of necessity gratitude, and the public support. creates a corrupt parliament. We Their useful and disinterested lado not mean that the vices of the hours have had the commendation community excuse those of their re- and thanks of the lord chief justice, presentatives; but we do mean that of more than one of the judges, and multitudes are charging the par- of a variety of magistrates. We deliament with what is, in fact, the sire also to bring our gift to their crime of the people at large, and of altar, and to add the feeble testimony

of our opinion, that this society .Vide Disney's Essay on Immorality "deserves well of its country.” and Society's Reports.


liberal church- men should see so To the Editor of the Cristian Observer. illiberal and ill-written a publicaTHOUGH I am a dissenter from the tion, which, instead of serving our church established, so far was I cause, is calculated to injure and from being offended with your re- disgrace it: particularly the chapview of «The History of the Dis- ter on the grounds of nonconformity, senters" by Messrs. Bogue and Ben- which are ridiculously put in the nett, that I was rather gratified by form of a dialogue between a Dis. the perusal of it. Your striclures senter and Mrs. Church, the former upon that work are not more se- of whom is nade to talk like a vere than it deserved. Indeed I bigot, and the latter like a silly cannot but think you have old woman. It is to be hoped, that dealt mercifully with the authors; no sensible and learned members of for besides the articles 10 which you your church will consider this work have justly objected, you might as patronized by the body of dis. have pointed out many gross blun- seniers. It is with a view to preders, several of which have been vent this, that I trouble you with pointed out in another review, by the present address. Let me rea known dissenter. I am well ac- quest you to inform your clerical quainted with many respectable readers, that to my certain know. nonconformists, who are so dis- ledge, many in our connexion who gusted with this performance, that had purchased the first two vothey are really ashamed that any luines so much dissatisfied


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