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EXTRACT FROM A SPEECH AGAINST WARREN
HASTINGS. Had a stranger, at this time, gone into the province of Oude, ignorant of what had happened since the death of Sujuh Dowla, that man, who, with a savage heart, had still great lines of character, and who with all his ferocity in war, had still, with a cultivating hand, preserved to his country the riches which it derived from benignant skies and a prolific soil.-If this stranger, ignorant of all that had happened in the short interval, and observing the wide and general devastation,and all the horrors of the scene-of plains unclothed and brown-of vegetation burnt up and extinguished of villages depopulated and in ruins of temples unroofed and perishing-of reservoirs broken down and dry--he'would naturally inquire what war had thus laid waste the fertile fields of this once beautiful and opulent country-what civil dissensions have happened, thus to tear asunder and separate the happy societies that once possessed those villages-what disputed succession—what religious rage has, with unholy violence, demolished those temples, and disturbed fervent, but unobtruding piety in the exercise of its duties? What merciless enemy has thus spread the horrors of fire and sword-what severe visitation of Providence has dried up the fountain, and taken from the face of the earth every vestige of verdure? Or rather, what monsters have stalked over the country, tainting and poisoning, with pestiferous breath, what the voracious appetite could not devour? To such questions, what must be the answer? No wars have ravaged these lands, and depopulated these villages-no civil discord has been felt-no disputed succession-no religious rage
no cruel enemy-no affliction of Providence, which, while it scourged for a moment, cut off the sources of resuscitation-no voracious and poisoning monstersno: all this has been accomplished by the friendship, generosity and kindness of the English nation.
They have embraced us with their protecting arms, and lo! these are the fruits of their alliance. What,
then, shall we be told, that under such circumstances, the exasperated feelings of a whole people thus goaded and spurred on to clamor and resistance, were excited by the poor and feeble influence of the Begums? When we hear the description of the paroxysm, fever, and delirium, into which despair had thrown the natives, when on the banks of the polluted Ganges, panting for death, they tore more widely open the lips of their gaping wounds, to accelerate their dissolution; and while their blood was issuing, presented their ghastly eyes to heaven, breathing their last and fervent prayer, that the dry earth might not be suffered to drink their blood, but that it might rise up to the throne of God, and rouse the eternal Providence to avenge the wrongs of their country.
The counsel, in recommending attention to the public in preference to the private letters, had remarked, in particular, that one letter should not be taken as evidence, because it was manifestly and abstractedly private, as it contained in one part the anxieties of Mr. Middleton for the illness of his son. This was a singular argument indeed ; and the circumstance, in his mind, merited strict observation, though not in the view in which it was placed by the counsel. It went to show that some at least of those concerned in these transactions, felt the force of those ties, which their efforts were directed to tear asunder; that those who could ridicule the respective attachment of a mother and a son; who would prohibit the reverence of the son to the mother who had given him life ;-who could deny to maternal debility the protection which filial tenderness should afford ;-were yet sensible of the straining of those chords by which they were united. There was something connected with this transaction so horrible, and so loathsome, as to excite the most contemptuous disgust. If it were not a part of his duty, it would be superfluous to speak of the sacredness of the ties which those aliens to feeling—those apostates to humanity had thus divided. In such an assembly as that which I have the honor of addressing, there is not an eye but must dart reproof at this conduct; not a heart but must anticipate its condemnation. “ FILIAL Piety!" It is the primal bond of society—it is that instinctive principle, which, panting for its proper good, soothes, unbidden, each sense and sensibility of man it now quivers on every lip-it now beams from every eye! —it is an emanation of that gratitude, which softening under the sense of recollected good, is eager to own the vast countless debt it ne'er, alas ! can pay, for so many long years of unceasing solicitudes, honorable self-denials, life-preserving cares it is that part of our practice, where duty drops its awe!—where reverence refines into love it asks no aid of memory ! it needs not the deductions of reason pre-existing, paramount over all, whether law, or human rule, few arguments can increase, and none can diminish it! -it is the sacrament of our nature not only the duty but the indulgence of man—it is his first great privilege—it is amongst his last most endearing delights ! -it causes the bosom to glow with reverberated love!: -it requites the visitations of nature, and returns the blessings that have been received it fires emotion into vital principle-it renders habituated instinct into a master-passion-sways all the sweetest energies of man-hangs over each vicissitude of all that must pass away-aids the melancholy virtues in their last sad tasks of life, to cheer the langour of decrepitude and age-explores the thought-elucidates the aching eye!
-and breathes sweet consolation even in the awful moment of dissolution !
A Speech delivered at Cheltenham, on the 7th Oct. 1819.
at the Fourth Anniversary of the Gloucester Missionary Society.
MR. CHAIRMAN–After the eloquence with which so many gentlemen have gratified and delighted this most respectable assembly, and after the almost inspired ad. dress of one of them, I feel ashamed of having acceded to the wishes of the committee by proposing the resolution which I have the honor to submit. I should apologize, sir, for even the few moments intrusion which I mean to make upon this meeting, did I not feel that I had no right to consider myself as quite a stranger; did I not feel that the subject unites us all into one great social family, and gives to the merest sojourner the claim of a brother and a friend. At a time like this, perhaps, when the infidel is abroad, and the atheist and disbeliever triumph in their blasphemy, it behoves the humblest Christian to range himself beneath the banners of his faith, and attest, even by his martyrdom, the sincerity of his allegiance. When I consider the source from whence Christianity sprung--the humility of its origin-the poverty of its disciples—the miracles of its creation—the mighty sway it has acquired, not only over the civilized world, but which your missions are hourly extending over lawless, mindless, and imbruted regions—I own the awful presence of the Godhead-nothing less thali a Divinity could have done it! The powers, the prejudices, the superstition of the earth, were all in arms against it; it had nor sword nor sceptre-its founder was in rags its apostles were lowly fishermen-its inspired prophets, lowly and uneducated—its cradle was à manger-its home a dungeon—its earthly diadem a crown of thorns ! And yet, forth it went that lowly, humble, persecuted spirit and the idols of the heathen fell; and the thrones of the mighty trembled ; and paganism saw her peasants and her princes kneel down and worship the unarmed conqueror! If this be not the work of the Divinity, then I yield to the reptile ambition of the athiest I see no God above-I see no governinent below ; and I yield my consciousness of an immortal soul to his boasted fraternity with the worm that perishes ! But, sir, even when I thus concede to him the divine origin of our Christian faith, I arrest him upon worldly. principles—I desire him to produce from all
the wisdom of the earth, so pure a system of practical morality—a code of ethics more sublime in its conception-more simple in its means—more happy and more powerful in its operation : and if he cannot do so, I ihen say to him, Oh! in the name of your own darling policy, filch not its guide from youth, its shield from manhood, and its crutch from age! Though the light I follow may lead me astray, still I think it is light from Heaven! The good, and great, and wise, are my companions—my delightful hope is harmless, if not holy; and wake me not to a disappointment, which in your tomb of annihilation, I shall not taste hereafter ! To propagate the sacred creed—to teach the ignorant -to enrich the poor—to illumine this world with the splendors of the next-to make men happy you have never seen and to redeem millions you can never know—you have sent your hallowed missionaries for. ward ; and never did a holier vision rise, than that of this celestial and glorious embassy. Methinks I see the band of willing exiles bidding farewell perhaps forever, to their native country; foregoing home, and friends and luxury-to tempt the savage sea, or men more savage than the raging element—to dare the polar tempest, and the tropic fire, and often doomed by the forfeit of their lives to give their precepts a proof and an expiation. It is quite delightful to read over their reports, and see the blessed products of their labors. They leave no clime unvisited, no peril unencountered. In the South Sea Islands they found the population almost eradicated by the murder of idolatry. “It was God Almighty," says the royal convert of Otaheite, “who sent your mission to the remainder of my people !" I do not wish to shock your Christian ears with the truelties from which you have redeemed these islands. Will you believe it, that they had been educated in such cannibal ferocity, as to excavate the earth, and form an oven of burning stones, into which they literally threw their living infants, and gorged their infernal appetites with the flesh! Will you believe it, that they thought murder grateful to the God of