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that the Lord " hath sent me a strong delusion, that I might believe a lie, and be damped,” as be bas promised sball be the case? Read 2d Thessalonians chap. ii. ver. 11. Will you dare attempt to frustrate his design? Did he not tell Shimei to go and curse David (Read 2d Samuel chap. xvi. ver. 10) the man after God's own heart? And how knowest thou, O man, but the Lord has put it into my heart to say David is a murderer, an adulterer, a liar? But what did David say-Go bring himn and cast him in prison? No, David told thein to “Let him alone,” and if David did not mind people calling him bad names, what need you trouble yourselves about it? Are not the Jews an instance of the
severity and goodness of God.” (Read Romans chap. xi. ver. 23.) “ What, though some of the branches be broken off, be is able (without your assistance) to graft them in again.” At least, it appears evident to me, that prosecutions will never grast them in again; for not one person, wbo has been prosecuted, has ever been converted, and if you will still persist in prosecutions, instead of building more churches, you will find occasion to build more gaols; for prisons will not intimidate an Englishman, when he knows his cause is good. It is in vain, then, for you to attempt to force a religion upon the people. I told the Alderman so at Guildhall when I was taken before him; but he said, that the religion was accepted. How can you call it accepted, Gentlemen, when people are forced to pay for it? Is not a poor shoemaker, if detected in selling an old pair of shoes on a Sunday, though they may not be worth two and sixpence, forced to pay eight shillings fiue for it? And how often bave I seen a poor old woman, who, having a large family to support, is obliged, in order to procure them bread for the Monday, to sell apples, nuts, or gingerbread, on the Sunday, for God don't send us double allowance of food on the Saturday, as he used to do; I beg pardon, Gentlemen, it was on a Friday he used to do such wonderful things, when the sabbath was on the Saturday; but siuce those days God hath changed his mind, although James says, that " with him there is no shadow of turning,” no variableness whatever, being
" the same to day he was yesterday:" how of. ten, then, have I seen a something in a human shape, with a large coat and red collar, with stick in bis band, throw the poor old woman's stall, with her whole fortune in the dirt, merely, because she did not go to church like other fools and hypocrites. Do you think this makes her more religious? No, Gentlemen, it gives ber more reason to curse both reli
gion and its supporters. Even the poor old people, wbo, through the enormous weight of taxes, are sunk into a workhouse, are mulcted out of their small pittance of meat, if found absent from their chapel. Who can say, then, that religion is not forced upon the people; but Christianity does not authorize you to do those things, as I have proved to you: you are commanded to “ follow after those things which make for peace," and to leave those “ secret things to God.”. I warrant you, he knows how to act better than you do. And now, Gentlemen, after what I have said in defence of Christianity, for surely it must be admitted, I have been defending Christianity from the innovations which you have made in it, should any one present feel inclined to make me any acknowledgment, it will be more than I aimed at or expected. To proceed further I conceive to be unnecessary, as I think any reasonable man would be convinced, that this prosecution is unjust and unlawful, as well as contrary to God's word written; besides an usurped authority in bringing me before this court, when the laws of England forbid it, as I have proved; for you not being saints qualified “ to judge angels,” are not qualified to judge me; because you have not given yourselves“ continually to prayer and the ministry of the word,” like the saints of old, read Acts chap. vi. ver. 4. But, as I suppose by your appearance, you are ing tables,” you cannot be the proper persons appointed to try me, you will, therefore, accordingly acquit me, though I am very willing to be consigned over to the Ecclesiastical Court of Saints, and there engage agreeably to the aforesaid challenge which I have given. But if you, Gentlemen, do conscientiously believe on your oath, that this prosecution is lawful and just, agreeably to the precepts given in this holy book, which is the foundation of the religion of your country that tolerates Freethinkers, Unitarians, and Jews, I must “ search those Scriptures," and see whether those epithets contained in the indictment be true or false; for, if I utter any thing against public or private individuals, their persons and their characters must be made known before it can be ascertained, whether what I have said be true or false; and as the persons whose characters I am accused of defaming, are men unknown to any person in the present age, having departed this life upwards of one, two, three, and four thousand years since, who lived in kingdoms not now extant, and whose posterity you treat with indignity and scorn, there can be no other way of proving the truth or falsehood of those epithets, but by examining their lives as recorded in this holy book. I know not, Gentlemen, whether it is customary to put questions to the jury, or whether it is contrary to the rules; for never having been in such a place before, I am unacquainted with its laws. I should wish to be informed, Gentlemen, what is your opinion of this prosecution. (Here the defendant left off speaking, seeming to wait for a reply, when the Recorder said, the Jury could not argue with the defendant, and several of the Jury stood up,
and said something to the Recorder, but we could not distinctly hear. The Jury seated themselves again, and the defendant receiving no answer, proceeded.) Well, Gentlemen, I perceive by the passages selected for prosecution (looking into the Republican), that I am charged with not only calling Noah, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Jesus, and Paul, a band of robbers, murderers, liars, impostors, &c.; but that the Bible is a book of contradictions, fables, and nonsense. I will, therefore, begin at the beginning; but first, (taking up the Bible) hear what Bishop Porteus says in this book, for it is called by his name, page 9, “ It is true, indeed, that in the historical books of the Old Testament, there are some bad characters and bad actions recorded, and some very cruel deeds described:” thus you see,
Gentlemen, that the Bishop himself tells you there are some bad characters, and I have done no more than tell you their names, which it appears he was unwilling to do. (The defendant then turned to the 1st chapter of Genesis and said) If this be the word of a God, it will be found clear, positive, and distinctly worded. I shall now begin with the first book of Moses called Genesis. (The defendant then read, without commenting, to chap. ix. ver. 21, as he seemed fearful of being interrupted, but every remarkable passage he met with, he read over again, and several words he would lay a much stronger emphasis on, that it might be particularly observed, such as FLAMING SWORD, which might have been heard a considerable distance out of court, and this way of reading he continued until he was exhausted. He then said) Now, Gentlemen, my indictment accuses me of calling Noah a drunkard, here in the nineteenth chapter, verse 21, you find these words, “ he was drunken.” I leave this to your consideration, and proceed
The Recorder said, a person who accidentally was overcome with liquor, could not be called a drunkard. The word drunkard could only be applied to persons who habituated themselves to drinking immoderately.
Defendant then read on till he found " cursed be Canaan." Who was this Canaan? Why, Gentlemen, it was Noah's grand
And what had he done to be so cursed? Nothing: his grandfather got beastly drunk, and his father looked at him, and so he must be cursed for it, and that too by his drunken old grandfather. Shameful!
He then read to verse 30, chap. x. when the Recorder asked him, what were his objects in reading the Bible?
The defendant replied, I am charged with asserting that this book, the Bible, is a book of contradictions, fables, and nonsense, and I must read it to prove the truth of it; and is not this chapter a proof? What have you learnt from this chapter, a chapter of jaw-breaking words, and is not this nonsense?
The Recorder said, when this was written, it was all necessary to the people it was written to.
The defendant said, whatever it might be to those it was written to, it was nonsense to him, and he would prove, in the course of the work, it was nonsense to them it was written to; for he would prove by and bye, it was not written till the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia. He then read on, chap. xi. ver. 6, 7. Was God really afraid they would get into heaven? chap. xii. ver. 10. Let me see, did not God promise here in chap. viii. ver. 22, that while the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest should not cease? Chap. xii. ver. 19, let us see who was this Pharaoh, he was no Jew, no;
a Christian; he seems too generous and virtuous for either. Chap. xvii. ver. 17, what, laugh in God's face, worse than blasphemy! Chap. xix. ver. 8, (the manner in which this verse was read caused something like horror around). Chap. xix. ver. 35, surely this man was a drunkard, for he was blind drunk two nights together; but he does not belong to my gang!
After he had finished chapter xxi., the Recorder advised him to consider whether the course he was pursuing was likely to serve him or not, and that he did not think that his line of defence applied to the charge against him.
Defendant-I intend to prove that this book is what I have stated it to be, false and nonsensical.
Recorder— It appears, your object is only to weary the court and jury; and I ask you, if it is your intention to read the Bible through?
Defendant-Yes, Sir, and the Testament also.
Defendant- must, Sir, in order to prove the truth of my tions.
A Juror then got up and asked if it were not possible to stop the defendant from proceeding any further? Defendant–Then you stop my
defence. Recorder— The greatest part you have already said, has nothing to do with the charge, perhaps you think it has, so follow your own contumelious course.
Defendant–Well, perhaps I may skip some verses or chapters here and there; but I will turn over every leaf,
He then read on. Chap. xxii. ver. 15, out of heaven, oh! it can't be far off, if Abraham could hear him! chap. xxv. ver. all that he had to Isaac, ver. 6, gave gifts to the sons of his whores. Why I thought he gave all that he had to Isaac! Ver. 22, struggled together within her. Oh! then it is no wonder they could not agree together when they came out of her, seeing they quarrelled within her. Chap. xxvi. ver. 1, another famine, Gentlemen! ver. 10 and 11, here was morality without your Christianity. Chap. xxxii. ver. 1, angel of God met him, I wonder where they were travelling, chap. xxxiv. throughout. Is it possible that two mere
boys could do this, if they did why were they not punished? has
Recorder said; defendant, you know the marginal references are not considered the word of God.
Defendant--Here are no marginal references you see (holding up the book) this is the Porteusian Bible.