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power. Confiderate people, before they declare themselves, will obferve the ufe which is made of power; and particularly of fo trying a thing as new power in new perfons, of whofe principles, tempers, and difpofitions they have little or no experience, and in fituations, where those who appear the most stirring in the scene may poffibly not be the real movers.

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· All these confiderations however were below the tranfcendental dignity of the revolution fociety. Whilst I continued in the country, from whence I had the honour of writing to you, I had but an imperfect idea of their transactions. On my coming to town, I fent for an account of their proceedings, which had been published by their authority, containing a fermon of Dr. Price, with the Duke de Rochefaucault's and the Archbishop of Aix's letter, and several other documents annexed. The whole of that publication, with the manifeft defign of connecting the affairs of France with those of England, by drawing us into an imitation of the conduct of the national affembly, gave me a confiderable degree of uneafinefs. The effect of that conduct upon the power, credit, profperity, and tranquillity of France, became every day more evident. The form of constitution to be fettled, for its future polity, became more clear. We are now in a condition to difcern, with tolerable exactnefs, the true nature of the object held


up to our imitation. If the prudence of referve and decorum dictates filence in fome circumstances, in others prudence of a higher order may justify us in fpeaking our thoughts. The beginnings of confufion with us in England are at present feeble enough; but with you, we have seen an infancy ftill more feeble, growing by moments into a ftrength to heap mountains upon mountains, and to wage war with heaven itself. Whenever our neighbour's houfe is on fire, it cannot be amifs for the engines to play a little on our own. Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.

Solicitous chiefly for the peace of my own country, but by no means unconcerned for yours, I wish to communicate more largely, what was at first intended only for your private fatisfaction. I shall still keep your affairs in my eye, and continue to address myfelf to you. Indulging myself in the freedom of epiftolary intercourse, I beg leave to throw out my thoughts, and exprefs my feelings, juft as they arife in my mind, with very little attention to formal method. I fet out with the proceedings of the revolution fociety; but I

Is it poffible I

fhall not confine myfelf to them. should? It looks to me as if I were in a great crifis, not of the affairs of France alone, but of all Europe, perhaps of more than Europe. All circumftances taken together, the French revolution

is the most astonishing that has hitherto happened in the world. The moft wonderful things are brought about in many inftances by means the moft abfurd and ridiculous; in the moft ridiculous modes; and apparently, by the most contemptible instruments. Every thing seems out of nature in this strange chaos of levity and ferocity, and of all forts of crimes jumbled together with all forts of follies. In viewing this monftrous tragicomick scene, the most oppofite paffions neceffarily fucceed, and sometimes mix with each other in the mind; alternate contempt and indignation; alternate laughter and tears; alternate fcorn and horrour.


It cannot however be denied, that to fome this ftrange fcene appeared in quite another point of Into them it inspired no other sentiments than thofe of exultation and rapture. They faw nothing in what has been done in France, but a firm and temperate exertion of freedom; so confiftent, on the whole, with morals and with piety, as to make it deferving not only of the fecular plaufe of dafhing Machiavelian politicians, but to render it a fit theme for all the devout effufions of facred eloquence.


On the forenoon of the 4th of November laft, Doctor Richard Price, a non-conforming minifter of eminence, preached at the diffenting meetinghoufe of the Old Jewry, to his club or fociety, à

very extraordinary miscellaneous fermon, in which there are fome good moral and religious fentiments, and not ill expreffed, mixed up with a fort of porridge of various political opinions and reflections: but the revolution in France is the grand ingredient in the cauldron. I confider the address transmitted by the revolution fociety to the national affembly, through Earl Stanhope, as originating in the principles of the fermon, and as a corollary from them. It was moved by the preacher of that difcourfe. It was paffed by those who came reeking from the effect of the fermon, without any cenfure or qualification, expreffed or implied. If, however, any of the gentlemen concerned shall wish to separate the fermon from the refolution, they know how to acknowledge the one, and to disavow the other. They may do it: I cannot.

For my part, I looked on that fermon as the publick declaration of a man much connected with literary caballers, and intriguing philofophers; with political theologians, and theological politicians, both at home and abroad. I know they fet him up as a fort of oracle; because, with the beft intentions in the world, he naturally philippizes, and chaunts his prophetick fong in exact unifon with their defigns.

That fermon is in a strain which I believe has not been heard in this kingdom, in any of the


pulpits which are tolerated or encouraged in it,. fince the year 1648, when a predeceffor of Dr. Price, the Reverend Hugh Peters, made the vault of the king's own chapel at St. James's ring with the honour and privilege of the faints, who, with the "high praises of God in their mouths, and a "two-edged fword in their hands, were to exe"cute judgment on the heathen, and punish"ments upon the people; to bind their kings with "chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron*." Few harangues from the pulpit, except in the days of your league in France, or in the days of our folemn league and covenant in England, have ever breathed lefs of the spirit of moderation than this lecture in the Old Jewry. Suppofing, however, that fomething like moderation were visible in this political fermon; yet politicks and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. No found ought to be heard in the church but the healing voice of christian charity. The cause of civil ligains as little as that

berty and civil government of religion by this confufion of duties. Those who quit their proper character, to affume what does not belong to them, are, for the greater part, ignorant both of the character they leave, and of the character they affume. Wholly unacquainted with the world in which they are fo fond of med

*Pfalm cxlix.

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