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THE TRUE MARTYR SPIRIT.
down here, to spring it. My friends there had said, I was not comfortable here; and the Tories wished to get a confession from me, that I was. I had received intimation that I might expect certain persons down here, about the time of Sir Robert's visit, and I was on my guard when he
"He asked me, if I was not comfortable here. Said he, 'Mr. Thorogood, you seem to be surrounded by a good many conveniences and comforts.' 'No, sir,' I answered, I am not comfortable, and never can be, so long as my liberty is taken away. You degrade a man; you trample on a man's highest rights, and then ask him, if he is not comfortable.'”
WELL, Mr. Thorogood, how long do you expect to remain here?”
"That, sir, is a question I cannot answer. My friends in Parliament are constantly bringing the matter before the House; they are laboring manfully and zealously in my cause, and keep me advised of all their proceedings. I receive scores of papers and pamphlets on the subject. They will do all they can; but I do not expect relief for a good while. For if the Church party should give up, and consent to my liberation, they would abandon the whole question: they would never be able to heal the wound such a decision would inflict upon the Establishment.
"They are right in saying, The question is not whether we shall let an honest and worthy man go out of his prison and enjoy his freedom;' for they all would be glad, undoubtedly, to see me liberated; but the question is, 'Shall we surrender the rights of the Church? Shall we concede the great question of Church-rates tithes, and government patronage? If we let this man go, we must give up the Church; and the consequence of it would be, a dissolution of the union of Church and State.'
"It has always happened, I believe, that every great question which has ever yet been disposed of, has been settled in this way. Nothing has pained me so much as to see how insensible the great mass of the Dissenters are, to the infinite importance of this question. Why, sir, multitudes of them have come to me, and besought me to give it up; they said, 'Why, John, you are only one man!' So was Luther only one man; and suppose he had given up.
"Look back on the history of the world, and you will find that one man has worked a revolution. One man is enough to start a reform; but he must have help to carry it on. Oh! brethren, I say to them, if you would all come along with me; if the millions of English Dissenters
would take the same stand that I have, what a spectacle would be presented! Why, we would gain our cause at once. To assert our rights would be, to secure them; it would be a pretty sight, surely, to see half the people of England in jail! Oh! would to God the faint-hearted and policy-bewitched Dissenters would go along with me. I want to see no violence; none is needed. We could dissolve the Unholy Alliance of the cross and the throne, as peaceably as we effected the revolution of 1688.
"It is a mystery which I cannot unravel, why the Dissenters submit to these abuses. They will get up great meetings; they will make enthusiastic speeches; they will write flaming pieces about the corruptions of the Church; they will clamor violently about rights of conscience, and yet not a soul of them has the courage to take the stand that poor, ignorant John Thorogood, the shoemaker, has. But they will have to do it before they ever get their liberty."
While he was speaking, his wife came into the room. "Here, Mary," said he, "I want to introduce you to Mr. He lives in the United States, that blessed land, where there is no Established Church, no Church-rates or tithes, except what a man is willing to tax himself."
She is a very neat, pretty woman, and worthy to be the wife of John Thorogood. I asked her if she was not almost discouraged and disheartened.
A SUBLIME SPECTACLE.
"Oh! no, sir; far from it," she answered. "I was at first of a mind that my husband should pay the five and sixpence, and not go to jail; and it came very hard not to have him at home with us, nights; and I thought I could not bear up under it. But he talked to me a good deal; and we prayed about it; and at last, I could agree with him; and I feel now, that I would rather see John Thorogood die, than to give up his religion. He don't need any cheering up; his courage is as strong as it can well be. But if he ever gets down-hearted, I can raise his spirits for him. No, sir, he shan't give it up now. It's cost too much already, to have nothing come of it. I can come and stay with him from morning until nine o'clock in the evening; and the children can come too. We have a good many kind attentions from friends and strangers, and we are working for liberty of conscience for all England. No, sir, we can't give up."
T was a sublime spectacle, to see two humble, simple-hearted Christians taking such a lofty stand: a spectacle which may challenge the admiration of the world. If I were an Englishman, I think I should be more proud of that sight, than of the glorious structure which they call St. Paul's Cathedral.
THE DAYLIGHT BREAKING.
John Thorogood has all the elements of a reformer. If his learning and rank corresponded with his resolution, he would work such a revolution in England, as it is to be feared will be effected now only by violence. But, so long as idolatry of rank prevails so exclusively among all classes, it is out of the question; "It would be in bad taste" to let a man who has moved in John Thorogood's humble sphere, lead on a great reform. I must confess that I have seen no spectacle on this side of the water, which has so excited my surprise and indignation, as this. Let the world, who have so long dreaded the power of the English government, and admired its philanthropy in breaking the chains of negro slavery, and its zeal in sending missionaries to barbarous climes to tell the glory of the Saviour's love, contemplate the British lion with his paws upon John Thorogood, in Chelmsford Jail.
UT daylight is beginning to break over the gray battlements of this Feudal castle. The tramp of the gathering host comes on the listening ear of prayer and hope; and soon -yea, those now living shall see it-the gloomy turrets of the Prison House of God's Poor shall reel to the shock of the Reformers, and the worn and weary prisoners shall come forth to bathe in the sparkling ocean of divine light and love, which is yet to roll round all the world.
What a vision of beauty and splendor will dear Old England then unfold to the gaze of nations-when "her officers shall be peace, and her exactors righteousness"-when her redeemed millions "shall call her walls Salvation, and her gates Praise !"
CHRISTEN the babe, Archbishop proud,
Strange servant of the lowly Christ,
For Him the smallest loaf sufficed.
My lord, you may dismiss your fears;
A starving people's bitter tears!
Starvation Anthem for the Royal Christening.
In 1835, when Sir Thomas Potter represented to the Duke of Wellington the great distress of the manufacturing districts, and said, that if some remedy was not applied an outbreak would take place, the Duke replied, "I have the means of putting that down."
Well may'st thou stand, when nations wheel
But when thy starving millions feel
A foe in thee alone,
Nor throne, nor lords, nor martial power,
Who can tell what dangers, and what calamities may lie hid within what remains of the present century! Who can tell how intense may be the distress, how fierce the animosities, or how unscrupulous the factions that may be let loose upon us.-Edinb. Review.