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THE

PHILANTHROPIST.

MONDAY, MARCH 23, 1795.

LONDON:

Printed for and sold by Daniel ISAAC EATON, Printer and

Bookfeller to the Supreme Majesty of the People, at the Cock and Swine, No. 74, Newgate street.

1795

PRICE ONE PENNY.

Let it be impressed upon your minds, let it be instilled into your children, that the

Liberty of the Prefs is the Palladium of all the civil, political, and religious Rights of Freemen!

JUNIUS.

The Liberty of the subject, and the liberty of the press, are so intimately connected, and depend so mutually on each other's support, that it is impossible the one can survive the destruction of the other. One death-blow is fatal to them both, and overwhelms them in the same grave.

The history of every age, and every country, bears witness to this observation; and it is for this cause that every virtuous, and independent citizen has ever so jealously defended the freedom of liberal enquiry, and the unrestricted communication of opinion. A prince, whose views are not confined solely B

to

to his own interests, and aggrandizement, will never attempt to destroy this excellent prerogative of his fubjects. He will rather exert his influence to foster it by his encouragement, and to invigorate it by his patronage. The discovery of truth has ever been, and must ever continue to be beneficial to the human race. Falfhood never can be so. Ignorance and error are those fatal sources, from whence all the crimes, that ever Nained human nature have derived their birth. It is they that have polluted the current of private, and of public glory, and have converted human existence itself into a state the most abject, degraded, and calamitous.

No Nation, that was not enlightened, has ever enjoyed the blessings of liberty. It seems to have been the immutable decree of Providence, that a people, who aspire to be free, shall foster knowledge, and diffuse the light of science. In truth it is hardly possible to conceive that a people can be in possession of their rights, who are illiterate, and uninstructed: for liberty, if she could be obtained, unrestrained by the moderation of wisdom, would naturally degenerate into licentiousness, and introduce a train of horrors, and enormities as dreadful, and as destructive in their operations, as those, which are introduced by the most oppressive, and wanton despotism. Let no opportunities then be lost of advancing the progress of human improvement! Let the rays of knowledge be diffused over every part of the kingdom! Let them shine upon the valley, as well as upon the proud hill, and let them irradiate the cottage of the poor man! Let the humblest Peasant, who follows the plough, be instructed in his rights, and let him be taught the duties of a citizen, and of a man! Above all, let us reverence the Liberty of the Press, as the guardian itself of literature, and consequently, let us regard the protection it holds out to us, as the great out-works, which defend us from the invasion of unconstitutional, and arbitrary opprefsion ! England has been for many years a free country, because

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the has not suffered fetters to be imposed upon the human mind, or her exertions in the investigation of truth to be repressed, and coerced.

As long as the cherishes this liberal, and rational spririt, she never can be enslaved. She may labour for a while under the afflictions into which, she has been plunged by a corrupt, and most profligate administration -her revenues may be lavished away, and her best treasures exhausted for the most execrable purposes--She may feel, and she may lament, all the calamities, and all the horrid effects of an unjust, and unnecessary, 'crusade; but until every spark of knowledge is stified within her bosom-till those vile mea. sures be pursued, that shall banish from her view science, knowledge, and literature, and turn loose upon society all the fiends of ignorance,ne quid ufquam honeftum occurrereft;. that there may not remain one vestige of what is virtuous, lovely, and honourable---till that unhappy period shall arrive, the flame of unfubdued patriotism shall blaze with an unextinguished radiance, and shall keep alive within us the spirit of an exalted freedom.-But that day of calamity, and disafter, it is to be hoped, shall never visit us. England has before her eyes the choice of liberty, or of slavery; and while her children are mindful of the high duties they owe themfelves, as well as to their country, their efforts, at least the efforts of every good man, will be directed to the laudable talk of animating the human faculties to those pursuits, for which they were designed, of teaching their fellow-subjects to aspire at the attainments of knowledge, and to resist with all their ability every encroachment on the freedom of the press, that, facred palladium of all our civil rights! as the only means, which can render them worthy of enjoying, and can secure to them, the continuance of those blessings, which our ancestors entailed upon us, and whịch' it is our bounden duty to entail upon our posterityą înviolate, and undiminished. Animated with these reflections, what Englishman is there,

who

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who can think of, without emotions of the most painful, and afflicting nature, the late despotic attempts, which have been made to wrest from us this peculiar privilege of his country, and this the only protection of his life, his property, and every thing dear, and sacred to him! Who, but must feel humiliation, and remorse, that in a nation, which calls itself free, there should be at this moment lying in the dungeons of Newgate many of his countrymen, expiating the foul offence of having published to the world an insignificant pamphletor for having printed those very resolutions, which his majesty's minister was once proud of avowing, and to the observance of which he pledged his honour, and his piety to the dying injunctions of his illustrious father? When such an arbitrary system, better calculated for the inquisitions of Spain, than the mild and merciful temper of English laws-when such an arbitrary system is introduced among us, it becomes every good citizen to stand forward, and to oppose the dangerojis innovation. Free communication of opinions is the birth-right of Englishmen. Investigation of truth, however obnoxious that truth may be, the genius of the constitution under which he was born, gave him as a sacred blessing; and no power should constrain him to surrender the exercise of a right, on the existence of which depends his personal fecurity, as a subject, and his independence, as a man.

Every human institution has its alloys, and its abuses. That the press has been frequently the engine, from which dangers ous, and seditious publications have proceeded, no man will, or can deny; but it was assuredly becoming the wisdom of Government to consider, whether or not these publications did not carry with them an antidote to their own bane. Falshood is quickly and easily overthrown. It may dazzle with the fplendour of eloquence, or it may perplex for a while with the ingenuity of sophistry ; but it soon dies away, and truth triumphs over her. Besides, punishment in these cases is attended with a very pernicious effect; for the most contemptible perform

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ance, by being made an object important enough for the ven-
geance of Government, may be, and has been often times,
persecuted into popularity; and by this unwise, and imprudent
measure, introduce from that oblivion, to which it would have
otherwise been consigned by its own absurdity, or infignificance,
to universal patronage, and admiration. Let it be remem-
bered, that this vindictive behaviour of Administration on these
occasions must naturally inspire the people with suspicions
highly unfavourable to those measures which it is pretended are
entered into for the preservation of their liberties, and the in-
ternal peace and harmony of the kingdom. The innocent man
hears the accusation alledged against him with complacency,
and serenity. It is by mild and gentle allegations that he re-
futes the wicked calumny levelled against his character and fre-
putation ; or, if those fail in fubftantiating his innocence, he
leaves to the progress of time to detect, and expose the malevo-
lence, and injustice, of his accuser : but it is the nature of the
guilty ever to bluster when they stand arraigned, and to silence
and drown the voice of truth, which is raised against them, by
clamour, violence, or resentment. What, when applied to
an individual, is founded on principles of truth and justice,
when applied to a nation, muft ftand also on the fame firm,
and unshaken bias. Any prince, who conscientiously dif-
charged his duty, as the servant of the public (for a prince is
no more than a servant of the public), who never attacked the
liberties of his subjects, to encrease his own prerogatives, or
plundered their property to enrich himself--that prince, if such
a prince can be found, has no cause to dread libel, calumny, or
abuse he has no cause to fear that the repeated voice of com.
plaint will ever induce his people to believe that they are ag-
grieved, or that they are not happy; he has no cause to tremble,
left his subjects should convert their allegiance into conspiracy,
and their duty into rebellion. The prince that can lay his
hand upon his heart, and lifting his eyes to heaven, say,

Hic murus aheneus efto
Nil conscire mili, nullâ pallefcere culpâ,

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ce,

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