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charge any guilt upon a man who, in the world the most essential service, hy course of philosophic investigation, is setting the absurdity of the opinion in brought at last to doubt respecting any that clear light in which it admits of of the great points of religious belief, being placed, and thus attracting to it after an investigation pursued with dili- the eyes of all observers. But opinions gence, and under a sense of the high im- which have better pretension to be called portance of the subject. Such a charge sacred may not improperly be treated would be the result of bigotry alone, and with a certain freedom that to those would have no corresponding conviction holding them shall be offensive. Very in the heart of the person thus accused strong things in this way have been said Yet such a person may be morally guilty against the doctrine of transubstantiation of blasphemy. He is morally guilty, if by Protestant writers, who have not been he suffer himself to be led to the use of regarded by their fellow-Protestants as gross and opprobrious expressions, such doing more than setting an erroneous as are shocking to the common sense and doctrine in its true light, though the common feelings of mankind, and abhor- Roman Catholic will have a different rent to the minds of all philosophic in- opinion on the matter. So the Almighty quirers, and all persons who, in the spirit Father, as he appears in the system of seriousness, are seeking to know the of Christian faith which is called Caltruth in respect of things which are of vinism, has by some been represented in the last importance to them. Whoever characters which, to the sincere believer acknowledges the existence of God and in that system, cannot but have been achis providence, and yet speaks of him, or counted blasphemous ; while by those still more to him, or of and concerning who hold the system to rest on a misthem, in the language of affront, or other taken interpretation of Scripture it has wise, indeed, than with a feeling of re- been held to be no more than the real verence correspondent to the dignity and character in which that system invests awfulness of the subject, cannot be held him. There is in fact, when the subject morally guiltless : and when there is no is regarded as one of morals rather than such admission, there is at least a decency of law, a relative and a positive blasto be observed in treating or speaking of phemy. That is blasphemy to one which them which will be observed by all who is not so to another. And this should have any spirit of seriousness, or any teach all persons a forbearance in the just regard for the peace and welfare of application of so odious a term. Strong society.

and forcible expressions have had their At the same time it must also be ad- use. Satire and ridicule may reach where mitted that a certain freedom must be plain argument will not go : but it beallowed in respect of the manner in which hoves every man who ventures on the questions referring to sacred subjects are use of these weapons to consider the intreated. All things are not really sacred tention by which he is influenced, to look which many agree to call so. The term upon himself as one who is a debtor in sacred may be made to cover any opi- an especial manner to the truth, and who nior. however absurd, as witchcraft and has to satisfy himself that he aims at the popular superstitions have sometimes nothing but the increase of the knowtaken shelter under it. It will scarcely ledge and the virtue and happiness of be denied that it is morally right to attack society. opinions of this class, even though the BLOCKADE, LAW OF. Whenever mind of a nation is not sufficiently en- a war takes place, it affects in various lightened to discern the absurdity of them, ways all states which have any connexion with any weapons, even those of insultand with the belligerent powers. A principal ridicule ; and that though the cry of blas. part accordingly of the science of interphemy may be raised, yet that at the bar national law is that which respects the of sound reuson such a person, so far rights of such neutral states. For obvious from being justly chargeable with so reasons this is also the most intricate part odious a crime, may be rendering to the of the subject. There is here a general rule, namely, that the neutral ought not presiding over the High Court of Adto be at all interfered with, conflicting miralty, which have been ably reported with a great variety of exceptions, derived by Dr. Edwards and Sir Charles Robinfrom what is conceived to be the right of son. A very convenient compendium of each of the belligerents to prosecute the the law, principally derived from this object of annoying its enemy, even though source, has been given by Mr. Joseph (within certain limits) it inflicts injury Chitty in his work entitled · A Practical upon a third party. In the first place Treatise on the Law of Nations,' 8vo. there is to be settled the question of what Lond. 1812. The various pamphlets and these limits are. It evidently would not published speeches of Lord Erskine, Mr. do to say that the belligerent shall not be Stephen, Mr. Brougham, Lord Ashburton justified in doing anything which may in (Mr. Alexander Baring), Lord Sheffield, any way inconvenience a neutral power; and others, which appeared in the course for such a principle would go nigh to tie of the controversy respecting the Orders up the hands of the belligerent altogether, in Council, may also be consulted with inasmuch as almost any hostile act what- advantage. To these may be added ever might in this way be construed into various articles in volumes xi. xii. xiv. an injury by neutral states. They might and xix. of the · Edinburgh Review,' parcomplain, for instance, that they suffered ticularly one in volume xix. pp. 290—317, an inconvenience, when a belligerent headed “Disputes with America,” written power seized upon the ships of its enemy immediately before the breaking out of that were on their way to supply other the last war with that country. countries with the ordinary articles of The first and the essential circumstance commerce. On the other hand, there is necessary to make a good blockade is, a manisest expediency in restricting the that there be actually stationed at the exercise of the rights of war, for the sake place a sufficient force to prevent the of the protection of neutrals, to as great entry or exit of vessels. Sir William an extent as is compatible with the effec- Scott has said (case of the Vrow Judith, tual pursuit of the end for which war is Jan. 17, 1799), “ A blockade is a sort of waged. Accordingly it has been com- circumvallation round a place, by which monly laid down, that belligerents are all foreign connexion and correspondence not to do anything which shall have a is, as far as human power can effect it, to greater tendency to incommode neutrals be entirely cut off.” Such a check as than to benefit themselves. It is evident this, it is evident, is absolutely necessary however that this is a very vague rule, to prevent the greatest abuse of the right the application of which must give rise to of blockade. The benefit accruing to a many questions.

belligerent from blockading its enemy's It is by this rule that publicists have ports, by which it claims the privilege of endeavoured to determine the extent to seizing any vessel that attempts to touch which the right of blockade may properly or has actually touched at such ports, and be carried, and the manner in which it the inconvenience thereby inflicted upon ought to be exercised. We can only po- neutrals, would both, without such a protice the principal conclusions to which vision, be absolutely unlimited. In point they have come, which indeed, so far as of fact, belligerents have frequently they are generally admitted, are nothing affected, in their declarations of blockade, more than a set of rules fashioned on to overstep the boundaries thus set to the positive international morality (that is, exercise of the right. France, as Mr. so much of positive morality as states in Brougham showed in his speech delivered general agree in recognising) by judicial before the House of Commons, 1st April, decision. Accordingly perhaps the most 1808, in support of the petitions of Loncomplete exposition of the modern doc- don, Liverpool, and other towns, against trine of blockade may be collected from the orders in council, had repeatedly done the admirable judgments delivered during so both since and previous to the Revoluthe course of the last war by the late tion. She did so in 1739 and in 1756, Lord Stowell (Sir William Scott), while and also in 1796, in 1797, and in 1800.

But in none of these instances were her render itself liable to seizure and condempretended blockades either submitted to nation if it can be proved to have set sail by neutrals, or even to any considerable with that intention. In such cases howextent attempted to be enforced by her ever it must be always difficult for the self. There can be no doubt that no captors to make out a satisfactory case. prize-court would now condemn a vessel After a ship has once violated a blockcaptured for the alleged violation of any ade, it is considered that the offence is not such mere nominal blockade. It has, purged, in ordinary circumstances, until however, been decided that the blockade she shall have returned to the port from is good although the ships stationed at which she originally set out; that is to the place may have been for a short time say, she may be seized at any moment up removed to a little distance by a sudden to the termination of her homeward change of wind, or any similar cause. voyage. If the blockade however has

The second, and only other circum- been raised before the capture, the offence stance necessary to constitute a blockade is held to be no longer punishable, and which the prize-courts will recognise, is, a judgment of restitution will be prothat the party violating it shall be proved nounced. to have been aware of its existence. “ It The effect of a violation of blockade to is at all times most convenient,” Lord the offending party when captured is the Stowell has said in one of his judgments condemnation usually of both the ship (see case of the Rolla, in Robinson's • Re- and the cargo. If however it can be ports'), “ that the blockade should be shown that the parties to whom the cargo declared in a public and distinct manner." belongs were not implicated in the offence There ought to be a formal notification committed by the master of the ship, the from the blockading power to all other cargo will be restored. It has somecountries. Nevertheless this is not abso- times, on the contrary, happened that the lutely required, and a neutral will not be owners of the cargo have been found to permitted with impunity to violate a be the only guilty parties, in which case blockade of which the master of the ves- the judgment has been for the condemnasel may reasonably be presumed to be tion of the cargo and the restitution of aware from the mere notoriety of the the ship. fact. Lord Stowell, however, has said If a place, as generally happens in the that, whereas when a notification has case of maritime blockades, be blockaded been formally given, the mere act of sail- by sea only, a neutral may carry on coming with a contingent destination to enter merce with it by inland communications. the blockaded port if the blockade shall The neutral vessel may enter a neighbe found to be raised, will constitute the bouring port not included in the blockoffence of violation, it might be different ade with goods destined to be carried in the case of a blockade existing de facto thence over land into the blockaded only.

place. With regard to neutral vessels lying at When a place has once been notified the place where the blockade commences, to be blockaded, a counter notice should the rule is, that they may retire freely always be given by the blockading power after the notification of the blockade, when the blockade has ceased. The obtaking with them the cargoes with which servance of this formality is obviously they may be already laden; but they conducive to the general convenience, must not take in any new cargo.

but there are of course no means of The offence of violation is effected puuishing a belligerent for its neglect. either by going into the place blockaded, In this country a blockade is ordered or by coming out of it with a cargo taken and declared by the king in council. It in after the commencement of the block is held however that a commander of a ade. But vessels must not even approach kivg's ship on a station so distant as to the place with the evident intention of preclude the government at home from entering if they can effect their object. interfering with the expedition necessary It would even appear that a vessel will to meet the change of circunstances, may have authority delegated to him to ex- | forced, is now well known not to have tend or vary the blockade on the line of been strictly correct. Many vessels of coast on which he is stationed. But the neutrals were actually captured and concourts will not recognise a blockade demned by the French courts, in conaltered in this manner within the limits formity with it, during the first few of Europe. It appears to be necessary months which followed its promulgation. for the sake of the public convenience The first step in resistance to the Berthat the power of declaring a blockade lin decree was taken by Great Britain on should, as far as possible, be exercised the 7th of January, 1807, while the Whig only by the sovereign power in a state; ministry of which Mr. Fox had been the but it would perhaps be going too far to head was still in office, by an order in insist that it should in no circumstances council subjecting to seizure all nentral be delegated to a subordinate authority. vessels trading from one hostile port in This would seem to be something very Europe to another with property belonglike interfering with the internal arrange- ing to an enemy. This order, however, ments of states.

is said to have been extensively evaded; Some very important questions con- while, at the same time, new efforts began nected with the law of blockade were to be made by the French emperor to brought into discussion in the course of enforce the Berlin decree. It is admitted the last war by the Berlin decree of that in the course of the months of Sep Bonaparte and the orders of the king of tember and October, 1807, several neutral Great Britain in council.

vessels were captured for violation of that The Berlin decree, which was issued decree; that a considerable alarm was on the 21st of November, 1806, declared excited among the mercantile classes in the whole of the British islands in a state this country by these acts of violence; of blockade, and all vessels, of whatever that the premium of insurance rose; and country, trading to them, liable to be cap- that some suspension of trade took place. tured by the ships of France. It also (See · Edin. Rev.' vol. xiv. p. 442, &c.) shut out all British vessels and produce It is contended by the supporters of the both from France and from all the other British orders in council, that the effect countries then subject to the authority of of the Berlin decree upon the commerce the French emperor. By a subsequent of this country during the months of decree, issued soon after in aid of this, all | August, September, and October in parneutral vessels were required to carry ticular, was most severely felt. (See what were called letters or certificates of Mr. Stephen's Speech.') origin, that is, attestations from the In these circumstances the British goFrench consuls of the ports from which vernment, at the head of which Mr. they had set out, that no part of their Perceval now was, issued further orders cargo was British. This was the revival in council, dated the 11th and 21st of of an expedient which had been first re- November, 1807. These new orders sorted to by the Directory in 1796. declared France and all its tributary

There can be no question as to the states to be in a state of blockade, and all invalidity of this blockade, according to vessels subject to seizure which were the recognised principles of the law of either found to have certificates of origin nations: the essential circumstance of a on board, or which should attempt to good blockade, namely, the presence of a trade with any of the parts of the world force sufficient to maintain it, was here thus blockaded. All neutral vessels, inentirely wanting. And it is proper also tended for France or any other hostile to state that a certain representation of country, were ordered in all cases to touch the nature of the decree, much insisted first at some British port, and to pay upon by some of the writers and pamph- custom-dues there, after which they were, leteers in the course of the subsequent in certain cases, to be allowed to depart discussions, with the view of mitigating to their destination. In all cases, in like its absurdity and violence, that is to say, manner, vessels clearing out from a hos

at it was never attempted to be en- tile port were, before proceeding farther

on their voyage, to touch at a British | factory, though not in an official form, port.

that the Berlin decree would not be put The predicament in which neutral in force against American vessels; but countries were placed by this war of when this was urged as a sufficient reason edicts was sufficiently enibarrassing. The for the revocation of the English orders effect of the recent British orders in coun- in council, the English government recil is thus distinctly stated by a writer fused to pay any attention to it, mainin the 'Edinburgh Review, vol. xii. p. taining that America should insist upon a 229 :—“ Taken in combination with the public renunciation of the obnoxious Berlin decree, they interdict the whole French decree. foreign trade of all neutral nations; they The subject was brought before parliaprohibit everything which that decree ment in March, 1808, by motions made had allowed ; and they enjoin those very in both houses asserting the illegality of things which are there made a ground of the orders in council. On the 1st of April confiscation."

the merchants of London, Liverpool, and By a subsequent decree, issued by Bo- other towns, who had petitioned for the na parte from Milan on the 27th of De- repeal of the orders, on the ground of cember, 1807, the British dominions in their injurious operation upon the comall quarters of the world were declared mercial interests of the country, were to be in a state of blockade, and all heard at the bar by their counsel, Mr. countries were prohibited from trading Brougham, whose

as has been with each other in any articles produced already mentioned, was afterwards pubor manufactured in the parts of the earth lished. The result was, that ministers hus put under a ban. Various additional consented to the institution of an inquiry orders in council were also promulgated into the effect of the orders, in the course from time to time, in explanation or of which many witnesses were brought slight modification of those last men- forward both by the petitioners and by tioned.

the ministers in support of their respecIt is asserted by the opponents of this tive views. But no immediate result folpolicy of the British government, that the lowed, either from this inquiry, or from result was a diminution, in the course of a motion made in the House of Commons the following year, of the foreign trade of on the 6th of March, 1809, by Mr. Whitthis country, to the extent of fourteen bread, declaratory of the expediency of millions sterling. It is even contended acquiescing in the propositions made by that, but for some counteracting causes the government of the United States. which happened to operate at the same On the 26th of April, however, a new time, the falling off would have been order in council was issued, which, it nearly twice as great. (Edin. Rer., vol. was contended by the opponents of the xiv. p. 442, &c.)

policy hitherto pursued. did in fact amount The principal branch of trade affected to an abandonnent of the whole principle was that with America, which was at this of that policy. On the pretext that the time the only great neutral power in ex- state of circumstances, so far as the Conistence; and which in that capacity had, tinent was concerned, had undergone a previous to the Berlin decree, been an complete change by the insurrection of annual purchaser of British manufactures the Spaniards, the blockade, which had to a large amount, partly for home con- formerly extended to all the countries sumption, but to a much larger extent for under the authority of France, was now the supply of the Continent. Both the confined to France itself, to Holland, to Americans, therefore, and the various part of Germany, and to the north of parties in this country interested in this Italy; and the order which condemned export trade, exclaimed loudly against vessels for having certificates of origiu on the edicts of the two belligerent powers. board was rescinded. On the other hand, It appears that the American government, the interdict against trading with the on application to that of France, obtained blockaded ports was apparently made an assurance which was deemed satis- more strict and severe by the revocation

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