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Christian brethren as
nour upon America by raising her wish to be treated ; and such goods voice against the national crime of are not to be sold by any godly men privateering : nothing, which Frankwithin this burgh.”
lin has said, or Joseph Fox felt, or And now for a word of applica- your contributor W. written, can be tion, and in particular addressed to too strong to stigmatize it: but in America — and the circulation of proportion to the sincerity of the your miscellany in the United States conviction of the Americans, will be may give a useful extension there to their sin in persevering in so great the inquiry; What ought to be done? a crime. Let them add their ex
America (I speak of the United ample to their recommendation, and States) has wisely made up her shame the world to good. Let them, mind that the “custom is utterly by a formal act, now, in this the opposed to every dictate of Chris- time of peace, repudiate the custianity and justice.” She is in the tom; and let other nations venture right: and it is to her honour, that, to disregard the example, if they better situated than any European dare! What could America have nation to make profit by privateer- to regret ? ing, yet her government has been I agree with your contributor W. the first to endeavour to abolish the in wishing that a few individuals, practice, by offering, in her treaties actuated by Christian principles, with other powers, to engage so
would resolutely devote themselves lemnly, that, in case of future war, to the accomplishment of this great no privateer shall be commissioned object of religious duty and huon either side, and that unarmed manity; relying, that by the blessmerchant ships shall pursue their ing of God, they might effect wonvoyages unmolested. Let her per. ders beyond their own most sanguine severe in proposing ; but let her do hopes. more. Let ber on every occasion The following is Dr. Franklin's propose such an article of trealy, proposition, above alluded to, refor the sanction of other govern- lative to privateering, &c. as comments, and she will not for ever municated to Mr. Oswald, 14th propose in vain ; but let her add to January, 1783.the moralweight of her proposal, the “ It is for the interest of hu. effect of her own example. I know manity in general, that the occasions of no mistake more mischievous of war and the inducements to it between individuals, than making should be diminished. one's own conduct depend on the “ If rapine is abolished, one of conduct of others. “I will do the encouragements to war is taken good, if you will do good; I will away; and peace, therefore, more be honest, if you will be honest; I likely to continue, and be lasting. will not keep open my shop, or sell “ The practice of robbing mernewspapers, or drive a stage-coach, chants on the high seas—a remnant on the Lord's-day, if others will not.” of the ancient piracy-though it may Can such conditional morality, re- be accidentally beneficial to partiduced into simple propositions, becular persons, is far from being profor a moment justified? Will my fitable to all engaged in it, or to neighbour's offences, or his hardness the nation that authorizes it. In of heart, excuse mine?
Am I so
the beginning of a war, some rich captivated with the profit of his in. ships, not upon their guard, are surjustice? Can I envy his brief re- prised and taken. This encourages ward? Am I sincere in my own the first adventurers to fit out more honesty? Dare I share in his plun- armed vessels, and many others to der?— And the same rule applies do the same. But the enemy at the to nations as to individuals. The same time, become more careful, Giver of all grace has bestowed ho. aim their merchant-ships better, and render them not so easy to be hone. But the expense of treasure taken ; they go, also, more under is not all. A celebrated philosoprotection of convoys: thus, while phical writer remarks, that, when he the privateers to take them are mul- considered the wars made in Africa tiplied, the vessels subject to be for prisoners to raise sugar in Ametaken and the chances of profit are rica, the numbers slain in those diminished; so that many cruises wars, the numbers that, being are made wherein the expenses crowded in ships, perish in the transovergo the gains ; and, as is the case portation, and the numbers that die in other lotteries, though particu- under the severities of slavery, he lars have got prizes, the mass of could scarce look on a morsel of adventurers are losers, the whole sugar without conceiving it spotted expense of fitting out all the pri- with human blood. If he had convateers during a war being much sidered also the blood of one another greater than the whole amount of which the White nations shed in goods taken. Then there is the fighting for those islands, he would national loss of all the labour of so have imagined his sugar, not as spot. many men during the time they ted only, but as thoroughly dyed have been employed in robbing; red! On these accounts I am perwho, besides, spend what they get suaded that the subjects of the Emin riot, drunkenness, and debauch- peror of Germany and the Empress ery, lose their habits of industry, of Russia, who have no sugar islands, are rarely fit for any sober business consume sugar cheaper at Vienna after a peace, and serve only to in. and Moscow, with all the charge of crease the number of highwaymen transporting it after its arrival in and house-breakers. Even the un- Europe, than the citizens of London dertakers who have been fortunate, or of Paris : and I sincerely believe, are by sudden wealth led into ex. that, if France and England were pensive living, the habit of which to decide by throwing dice which continues when the means of sup- should have the whole of their sugar porting it ceases, and finally ruins islands, the loser of the throw them ;-a just punishment for their would be the gainer. The future having wantonly and unfeelingly expense of defending them would ruined many honest, innocent traders be saved; the sugars would be and their families, whose subsistence bought cheaper by all Europe, if the was employed in serving the com- inhabitants might make it without mon interests of mankind.
interruption; and, whoever imported “Should it be agreed, and become the sugar, the same revenue might a part of the law of nations, that the be raised by the duties at the cuscultivators of the earth are not to tom-houses of the nation that conbe molested or interrupted in their sumed it. And, on the whole, I peaceable and useful employments, conceive it would be better for the the inhabitants of the sugar islands nations now possessing sugar colowould perhaps come under the pro. nies, to give up their claim to them ; tection of such a regulation; which let them govern themselves, and would be a great advantage to the put them under the protection of all nations who at present hold those ihe powers of Europe, as neutral islands, since the cost of sugar to countries open to the commerce of the consumer in those nations con- all; the profits of the present mosists not merely in the price he pays nopolies being by no means equivafor it by the pound, but in the ac- lent to the expense of maintaining cumulated charge of all the taxes them.” he pays, in every war, to fit out “ Article. If war should here. fleets and maintain troops for the after arise between Great Britain defence of the islands that raise the and the United States — which sugar, and the ships that bring it God forbid ! -- the merchants of either country, then residing in tion.” I take the phrase “receivthe other, shall be allowed to re-ing into the congregation” in its main nine months, to collect their common acceptation; and, considerdebts and settle their affairs, and ing it to refer to that act which ac. may depart freely, carrying off all companies the words “ We receive their effects, without molestation or this child into the congregation of hindrance; and all fishermen, all Christ's flock," I ask permission to cultivators of the earth, and all ar. guard your correspondent's remark, tizans or manufacturers, unarmed, so far as to observe, that baptism is and inhabiting unfortified towns, never, I conceive, to be administered villages, or places, who labour for without a public profession of faith, the common subsistence and benefit either actually made at the time, of mankind, and peaceably follow or charitably presumed to follow. their respective employments, shall In the case of the infant baptized be allowed to continue the same, at home in illness, but afterwards and shall not be molested by the recovering, it is taken for granted armed force of the enemy into whose that death alone will prevent a pub. power by the events of the war they lic profession from being made ; for may happen to fall; but if any thing the direction is sufficiently plain, is necessary to be taken from them, that, “if the child do afterwards for the use of such armed force, the live, it be brought into the church.” same shall be paid for at a reason. But for what purpose ? There pasable price; and all merchants or sively to participate in a service of traders, with their unarmed vessels, which “ the solemn vow, promise, employed in commerce, exchanging and profession," made in the name the products of different places, and of the child, is a no less prominent thereby rendering the necessaries, part than the recognition of church conveniences, and comforts of hu- membership in the act of receiving; man life more easy to obtain and which, it should be observed, does more general, shall be allowed to not take place till after the susception pass freely unmolested; and neither of the vow. Surely, then, “ the reof the powers, parties to this treaty, ceiving into the congregation" is not shall grant or issue any commission the only thing which private baptism to any private armed vessels, em- wants : a matter of at least as powering them to take or destroy pressing obligation is a profession such trading ships or interrupt such in the child's name before the commerce.'
665. church, by a competent party,—the chosen sponsors.
Hence, though far from disposed to estimate lightly
the formal reception of “ the newly To the Editor of the Christian Observer. baptized into the number of Christ's
church," I must ever interpret the In the interesting series of papers extreme reluctance of the Church entitled “ The Ritualist," I find, of England to allow baptism in under Art. 35, an observation, that private, no less by her requirement private baptism is as much baptism ihat the recovered child be preas if celebrated in the church, not- sented with sponsors, than by her withstanding that, when so perform- injunction that such child be reed, it bears, in vulgar usage, the ceived with the sign of the cross. I name of half-baptism. This remark, cannot, therefore, think that the just which is most correct, is followed claims of the Church to a public by another, liable, possibly, to se profession of repentance, faith, and rious misconstruction : “ The only holiness, in connection with the inithing it wants," J. W. N. writes, is tiatory sacrament of the Gospel, “ the receiving into the congrega- should be thrown into the back
PRIVATE AND PUBLIC BAPTISM.
ground, in what purports to be a carrying the matter at once with a statement of the special object for high hand; but, upon the whole, my which the infant is to be presented feeble efforts have been rewarded in the public assembly.
with a measure of success far beyond my hopes; and, after the recent instances above alluded to, I had
reason to expect that the whole DRAWING-ROOM BAPTISMS. parish would come over quietly to To the Editor of the Christian Observer. my opinion.
But, to speak the truth-and why I should be much obliged if some should it not be spoken ?-my chief of your correspondents would inform difficulty is the countenance given me what is practically the duty of to the practice by the example of clergymen as respects the unneces- persons in high life, whom our sary administration of baptism in lower gentry and opulent tradesprivate houses. All our ritualists men are ever prone to imitate. Of protest against it; and many of our this an instance occurred in my prelates have reprobated the prac. parish a few weeks since, the effect tice in their charges; but it is done of which I fear will subvert all that every day, as a mere matter of fa. I have been endeavouring to inculshion or convenience, without any cate on this subject for years. A reference to the purport of the so- gentleman in a respectable line of lemnity. I have had for some years life requested me to “ do him the a standing argument with about six honour” to baptize his child, and to or eight families in my parish, who join bis “ quiet social circle” at consider themselves entitled to the dinner und in the evening. This distinction of a drawing-room bap- quiet social circle, I happened to tism ; but I think it better not ab- know, would comprise, at least in solutely to decline the practice, as the evening, all that was to be prothey had long been accustomed to cured in the way of “ it, and my clerical brethren in the vanity” for ten miles round, in. neighbourhood make no scruple of cluding a party of rather gay officers it : but I endeavour to wean them quartered in the next town; and that from it by pastoral advice and in- every preparation had been made struction; and so far with success, for music, dancing, and whatever that in several recent instances chil- else could “ do honour to the dren have been brought to church young Christian.” I, of course, had by their parents and sponsors, in no difficulty for myself or family in families where home-baptism had declining the domestic ball, the always before been common. I am card for which was only sent for the not sure that a sort of feeling of de- sake (such is the popular perversion licacy did not assist to promote the of ideas) of " compliment," that object, as it is well known that I there might appear no slight; nor make it a rule to decline every kind was I seriously puzzled to get rid, of fee or present, direct or indirect, as I thought best under all the cirwhether for registering or otherwise, cumstances, of the dinner—though in the case of children thus bap- my very considerate parishioner had tized; always urging, that I disap- obligingly added, that he knew my prove of the practice, and only delay many engagements, and, “should it relinquishing it altogether till my not be convenient to me to spend parishioners are sufficiently zealous the evening,” I could retire as soon Christians and sound Churchmen no as I pleased. But the baptism relonger to desire it. I did not think it quired more negotiation; and I advisable to break down all pastoral thought it best to call upon the union and kindly intercourse by parties and state my views, urging
them to take the infant to church- was rather a Methodistical sort of though not wholly refusing to com- notion, which most blunderingly ply with their wishes if I could not she had connected with Bible and bring them to my mind. Mr. Missionary Society predilections, was from home; but Mrs. and similar propensities ; intimating was peremptory. In vain I urged that my predecessor was a more the Prayer-book, the Ritualists, and orthodox man than myself, and that Episcopal Charges, in corrobora- he never refused ; and that she was tion of the plain common-sense, as quite satisfied to be as correct as well as ecclesiastical, view of the the temporal and spiritual heads question. I found my good parish- of the church. Here ended the ioner considered that drawing-room matter, except that she wrote me an baptism was more respectable;" apologetic note next morning, exand nothing could dislodge her from pressing her regret if in the baste of this position. Why did our nobility, conversation she had spoken othershe said, adopt the practice, or our
wise than became her high respect bishops and dignified clergy encou- for
office and character; and that rage them in it, if it were not right? Mr.
and herself would conAs to Episcopal Charges, said she, sider the subject more carefully, I never read any of them; but acts should any future occasion arise, speak louder than words : and what but that in this instance the ar, is there to make it more improper rangements had gone so far that for you to baptize my child in this they feared it would be very inconroom, than for an Archbishop to venient to alter them. Not wishing baptize the child of Lord London- to shut the door to future pastoral derry under exactly similar circum- intercourse, I, upon this, complied stances ? I was going to reply with their request, and there for the something about that being a pe- present the matter has ended. culiar case, his Majesty being pre- Will, then, some of your readers sent, and a few similar common- counsel me as to the line of a clerplaces; but I could not conscien- gyman's duty under these circumtiously do so, and was therefore stances ? Is it a point of no moobliged to allow her to remain so ment? If it be not, why have so far in possession of the field of argu- many of our bishops, clergy, and ment; only adding, that I could not ritualists spoken so strongly upon answer for his Majesty, his Lordship, it? If it be, why in the higher and his Grace, but that our own circles of life is the practice honourdiocesan was very serious on the ed with episcopal and archiepiscopal point, and that I hoped to see a sanction? Why should I, a humble better practice prevail throughout clergyman, refuse to a respectable the country. But I soon discovered tradesman what my superiors do that I lost ground: the above bril. not deny to a nobleman? Would liant example, so gorgeously em- it not be desirable that our Right blazoned in the newspapers, out. Reverend prelates themselves should weighed all my arguments. She mutually confer on this and various knew, she said, that I acted from other matters, and come to some the most conscientious motives ; common understanding, with a view and if it was at all painful to me, both to their own example and the Mr. would, with my per- guidance of their clergy? If their mission, request another clerical rule was known to be general, exfriend to perform the office; add. cept in the cases provided for by ing some other remarks, perfectly the Church, no person, however high polite and respectful, but the tacit his rank, could be offended; and their meaning of which, translated into example would be a powerful arguplain English, was, that this reluc- ment with their clergy in breaking tance to drawing-room baptisms through this and other lax and irre