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the mortal gases which emanate from the tombs, and maintained that they must be fatal to all residents in the vicinity: the calm Prelate inly smiled at their simplicity, and replied, that both he and his household had lived a number of years
one of our most crowded churchyards in the enjoyment of perfect health. The rest of the witnesses were mostly men of a lower grade, and more easily managed; but the bulk of them knew so little of the subject as to be of slender service. The grave-diggers, therefore, were the last and only hope of our Highland Hannibal! Take away the foolish and monstrous fabrications of these poor degraded men, and what would be the effect of all the remaining Evidence ?
Such a mode of conducting the inquiry is, in the highest degree, reprehensible; but our complaint does not end here. First, the whole of the respectable body of Furnishing Undertakers has been set aside. A single score of this important class of tradesmen would have been of more real service to an upright Committee, who really sought the truth, than a thousand such witnesses as the bulk of those whom this Committee collected and mainly prized. Twenty such witnesses, selected from all the principal localities of the metropolis, would have been able to present a truthful and satisfactory report of all the grounds within the bills of mortality, and to furnish a mass of information upon the entire subject, which can be obtained from no other source.
These, too, were the men to have spoken to the subject of new Cemeteries, with all the collateral points of the increased expense of sepulture, providing for the interment of the poor, and all kindred matters. The studied exclusion of such witnesses, therefore, is one of the most striking and ominous parts of Mr. Mackinnon's procedure, or rather of Mr. Walker's; for he ruled the Committee. They formed the ciphers ; he, the integer. He sat beside Mr. Mackinnon, and whispered, and prompted, and practised all the dexterous parts of an able and experienced attorney guiding his counsel. Would not mere common sense have suggested that the undertakers must necessarily, on all points, be the most competent witnesses on such matters as interested the Committee? Not only were they the proper persons to speak to the state of the grounds, and to remedial measures where such might be required ; but they were
also the only men to speak unerringly as to the effect of the churchyards on the mortality of the people who surround them. On this point, the undertakers are far better able to speak than the Doctors of Medicine. Alas! their guinea and five-guinea and ten-guinea visits are luxuries unknown to the swarming multitudes who people the precincts of the metropolitan sepulchres! Of the myriads that die there, few have to do with the M.D.; but all require the undertaker, And, when the physician does visit that class of the population who reside there, it is seldom more than once : for more can seldom be afforded ; and it is but rarely he knows whether his patient lives or dies. Common surgeons, of good practice, are far better judges than the physician ; but even they are much inferior to the undertaker. There is much death where there is but little surgery; the undertaker, however, can nowhere be dispensed with. To him, therefore, ought the Committee to have repaired, had they wished for the true statistics of comparative mortality. We happen to know something of this class ; we have also ascertained the opinions which prevail among them concerning this Bill, and the evidence by which it professes to be supported; and we assure you, that they designate the former as an impracticable absurdity, and the latter, as far as Mr. Walker and his grave-diggers are concerned, as a mere jumble of nonsense, folly, and falsehood.
Another ground of complaint here, is, that no means whatever were taken by Mr. Mackinnon to ascertain the true condition of the Dissenting burial grounds, and the effect which his Bill would have on Dissenting property. His object being simply their destruction, he required, of course, only the knowledge of their existence. His conduct here is exceedingly aggravated by facts to which we are privy, and by which we can prove that he was fully apprised of the ruinous results of his Bill to many of the most important congregations of the Nonconformist community. He laboured not in the dark; he perpetrates all the injuries with which his Bill is fraught in the full light of the clearest and most abundant information. Its fatal influence to you is his boast and his glory. He is, therefore, your declared adversary!
Dissenters of England ! awake to your danger! This Bill is very largely a question of property; it is still more largely a question of civil and religious liberty. If you allow it to pass, the day on which it obtains the Royal Assent will be the most rueful that has risen upon our interests for a century! Every congregation in the land, whether having burial grounds or not, is deeply and fearfully concerned in the measure. If you allow it to pass, posterity will execrate your memories, and mourn the day that you were born! Rise up, then, and perform your duty to yourselves, to your children, and to the generations which are to come! Let sleep give place to vigilance, and indolence to effort! A Committee is already formed which will lead you on. Hasten to support them!
EVIDENCE-A SPEECH FOR THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
SIR, -As a British Senator, it ought to be your ambition, that your public acts should merit and obtain the approbation of mankind. But, in order to this, they must be consonant with moral and political justice, with right reason and true religion. Deeds of an opposite character cannot lay the foundation of general respect. But if, in addition to temporal wrong, a statesman shall violate the rights of conscience, shall oppress and trample in the dust a portion of mankind, that he may elevate and aggrandise the rest, instead of honour, he shall have infamy, and, instead of praise, execration. And if, with wrongs in
regard to property, and wrongs in regard to conscience, be blended a contempt for those holy emotions with which mankind cherish the memory of departed friendship, the perpetrator of the triple outrage has filled up the measure of his anti-social misdoings.
Sir, we have been led to these thoughts by a deep and careful scrutiny of the Evidence taken by the Committee of which
you were Chairman, in relation to the “ Health of Towns," and of the Bill founded on that Evidence, and by you brought into the House of Commons. We have already, we conceive, demonstrated the utter insufficiency of that Evidence to constitute the basis of any measure, to say nothing of a measure so preposterous as yours. The volume, from beginning to end, is, for the most part, a loose jumble of incoherent, imbecile, impertinent