Page images

proves that reason is a guest that takes not up her residence in our breasts, till a late, a very late period of life. One man, who calls himself a philosopher, hath contended, that man, as he comes into the world, should be left entirely to himself; at random to receive each impression from without, at random to follow each sug. gestion from within. I do confess, sir, I should have a great curiosity to try the experiment; but certain I am, a person trained in such a manner, would be a man quite unfit to live in society. This, sir, is the mode of education contended for by Rousseau, whom I always looked upon as an ingenious madman. With respect therefore, sir, to an exemption from human ties, in matters of religion, I am against it. So much depends upon the right education of youth, that every innovation on an established mode, which for ages had been found to answer the end, should be avoided. That the present mode adopted at our universities, has answered the end, the past and present experience may determine.

Whence the man, who explored the unfrequented paths of science, unlocked the secret stores of knowledge, and laid open the hidden treasures of learning and of wisdom ? Whence, sir, Bacon ?-From an university. Whence, sir, he, who by the surest geometric proofs, sought out the laws of matter and motion ? Whence Newton ?-Froin an university. On the other hand, whence all that scepticism, that froth of words, that puerile stuff, so much the taste of the present times? I will answer you, sir-not from an university ; but from your Humes, your Bolingbrokes, your Rousseaus and others of this despicable tribe. *

Since then, sir, the custom of our universities, for ages, hath answered every end the state could require in the education of its youth, I am not for substituting an. other mode; I am not for making an innovation upon their establishment.

* Mr. Jenkinson here forgets his university trammels and runs out of the course. He transposes the question, and then produces a list of obnoxious names, some of which were from an university,

Nor is it, sir, an establishment peculiar to English universities; all foreign ones have their tests. At the university of Paris I know a test is established, and the members are required to testify their strict adherence to such doctrines as characterise the religion of the country. By the edict of Nantz, also, provision is made, that protestants, the dissenters of that country, shall nevertheless declare their assent to a certain prescribed form. What, therefore, hath been so universally adopted, I should suppose adopted because found to be of national utility ; and I shall not, sir, give my vote for England to be exempt from what hath been found by foreigners necessary for the maintenance of the religion of the country : by consequence, I strenuously oppose the motion, and your quitting the chair.


On the Petition presented against the Bill to remove

the Board of Customs from the Town of Boston,

Said, however great his obligations were to the candour and public spirit of the honourable gentleman who made the motion, (Mr. Fuller,) yet he differed much from him in the amendment proposed. His lordship observed, that though the honourable gentleman had said it was the first offence, yet upon recollection he was very sure he would not be of that opinion, as the people at Boston had begun many years ago to endeavour to throw off all obedience to this country : that indeed this was the first time that parliament had proceeded to punish them. He said, I am by no means an enemy to lenient measures, but I find that resolutions of censure and warning will avail nothing ; we must therefore proceed to some immediate remedy: now is our time to stand out; to defy them, to proceed with firmness, and without fear ; that they would never reform until we

take a measure of this kind. Let this bill produce a conviction to all America that we are now in earnest, and that we will proceed with firmness and vigour ; that conviction would be lost if they see us hesitating and doubting. That it would be enough to shew that Great Britain is in earnest. The merchandize now will be landed at Marble-head, in the port of Salem, which is putting Boston about seventeen miles from the sea with respect to foreign trade. This restriction will be continued as long as they persist in their proceedings ; it will operate severely or mildly against them, according to their behaviour; if they are obstinate, the measure will be severe; if not, mild. He believed that Boston would not immediately submit to a fine, nor to the intention of the present bill, unless it came 'attended with a mark of resolution and firmness that we mean to punish them, and assert our right. It is impossible to suppose but some of our own people may in some degree suffer a little ; but we must compare those tempo. rary inconveniences with the loss of that country, and its due obedience to us : they bear no comparison; and the preference must certainly be given to the latter, and attended to. The honourable gentleman, he said, tells us, that the Americans will not pay their debts due to this country, unless we comply with their disposition. I believe, says his lordship, things will remain much in the same state as they did upon a like occasion. They threatened us with the same thing if we did not repeal the stamp act; we repealed that act, and they did not pay their debts. If this threat is yielded to, we may as well take no remedy at all. Their threats will hold equally good to the fine proposed by the honourable gentleman, as to the operation of this bill. I hope, adds his lordship, that we every one feel, that it is the common cause of us all; and such an unanimity will go half way to their obedience to this bill. The honourable gentleman tells us, that the act will be a waste piece of paper, and that an army will be required to put it in VOL. II.


[ocr errors]

execution. The good of this act is, that four or five fri. gates will do the business, without any military force: but if it is necessary, I should not hesitate a moment to enforce a due obedience to the laws of this country. The situation of the troops in that country has been such that no magistrate or civil officer of the peace has been willing to call forth their strength on proper occa. sions. It will become us to find out some method whereby the military force may act with effect, and without bloodshed, in endeavouring to support and maintain the authority of Great Britain : but I hope that this act will not, in any shape, require a military force to put it in execution. The rest of the colonies will not take fire at the proper punishment inflicted on those who have disobeyed your authority. We shall then be nearly in a situation that all lenient measures will be at an end if they do: but if we exert ourselves now with firmness and intrepidity, it is the more likely they will submit to our authority. If the consequences of their not obeying this act are likely to produce rebellion, that consequence belongs to them and not to us; it is not what we have brought on them, but what they alone have occasioned. We are only answerable that our measures are just and equitable. Let us continue to proceed with firmness, justice, and resolution; which, if pursued, will certainly produce that due obedience and respect to the laws of this country, and the security of the trade of its people, which I do ardently wish for.


In Reply to Lord North, on his Majesty's Message.

I RISE with great unwillingness to oppose this measure in its very infancy, before its features are well formed, or to claim that attention which this house seems to bestow with so much reluctance on any arguments in behalf of America. But I must call you to witness, that I have been hitherto silent, or acquiescent, to an unexpected degree of moderation. While your proceedings, severe as they were, had the least colour of foundation in justice, I desisted from opposing them ; nay more though your bill for stopping up the port of Boston contained in it many things most cruel, unwarrantable, and unjust, yet as they were couched under those general principles of justice, retribution for injury, and compensation for loss sustained, I not only desisted from opposing, but assented to its passing. The bill was a bad way of doing what was right; but still it was doing what was right. I would not, therefore, by opposing it, seem to countenance those violences which had been committed abroad; and of which no man disapproves more than I do.

Upon the present question I am totally unprepared. The motion itself bears no sort of resemblance to what was formerly announced. The noble lord and his friends have had every advantage of preparation. They have reconnoitred the field, and chosen their ground. To attack them in these circumstances may, perhaps, savour more of the gallantry of a soldier, than of the wis: dom of a senator. But, sir, the proposition is so glaring; so unprecedented in any former proceedings of par

« PreviousContinue »