Imágenes de páginas

and aristocracy. There is attached to the office of King or President of a country much more of real business, than any other man can possibly have; for he has in some measure the concerns of all in his hands: and those concerns to be well managed require the greatest attention, the most close application, the most persevering industry; for the moment be acts by deputy, his office is vitiated, and instead of one we are subject to many kings, which brings on all sorts of intrigue to undermine each other, and occasions a wasteful expenditure of the public revenue. In this coutry, we have not less than a thousand kings, or presidents, and each, instead of making the best application, for the public, of the public revenue, tries how much of it he can draw away into his own circle of family, friends, acquaintances, and dependants. So that, in reality, the English Monarchy is at perpetual war with the English people, and even treating them as a conquered people: thinks of notbing but the raising of contributions. We have all the ills of a monarchy, all the ills of an aristocracy, and all the ills of a theocracy; and this is what is lauded as our glorious constitution of church aŋd state made up of three estates! Each encourages the other to plunder the property-producing part of the people; and each proclaims itself and the others, as the best of all possible systems! So it is for themselves; but not for they who produce the property of the nation. One third of the property swallowed up by these three estates would be equal to all the purposes of good government without them. Ten millions of pounds sterling, well applied annually, would support a formidable navel and military system efficient for every purpose of defeuce and protection of commerce, and a civil system, that should be alike eficient and respectable, which is not now the case with all the wasteful expenditure to which we are subject. And we are free from military massacre only, whilst we are quiet under this state of things! Certainly, ours is a beautiful system!

This monarchy, aristocracy, and theocracy is the same series of evils which afflict the people of Spain, only, they have it more severe, in consequence of having less knowledge than the people of this country. The amount of revenue drawn from them is not so great, becanse they have not the capacity to produce that revenue. The same series of ills exist throughout Europe, and even the Republics of America retain an odious and expensive theocracy, with a set of men who will, if allowed, assume the powers of an aristocracy. The germ of all tyranny is the ignorance of the people.

There will always be tyrants whilst there are ignorant men disposed to be slaves; for mankind are every where naturally made of the same sort of matter. The first principle towards putting down tyranny is, for every man, or for a majority, to resolve not to be slaves. Every man should so resolve as far as the power in him lies to emancipate himself: and with this disposition, the majority would soon feel power enough to prevent any man from playing the tyrant over them. The effort began in Spain; but the neighbouring tyrants were alarmed for themselves, and interfered to restore the falling tyranny: aud wretched is the restoration ! The constitution will by and by come back again with a vengeance, from the contrast which the present state of tbiogs affords to the renovation produced by a legislative Cortes. Even our hired writers confess, that the present state of things in that country cannot, nor ought not to, continue.

Returning thanks to you and all friends in your neigbbourhood for their support, I remain, resolved to war on with tyranny and ignorance, and to court the sapport of good men only,

Yours and theirs,


From a few Friends near Red Lion Street.
For Aug.

s. d. For Sept. s. d. s. d. Mr. H. and Wife, 4th subscription 1 6 5th do. I 6 3 0 Mr. G. S. J. and Wife, 4th do.

16 5th do. 1 6 3 0 Mr. J. R.

4th do.

10 5th do. 1 O 2 0 M. G. S., Sen. 4th do.

10 5th do, I 0 2 0 Mr. Jones Materialist

10 Mr. Emery, for August and September


Received through the hands of Mr. Watts. To General Carlile, and

W. Bennet

16 his Brave Officers in

J. Barnard

06 Exile, may their exer- Secret Service Money 1 0 tions never cease whilst D. King, for Mr. Carlile 2 6 a Tyrant does exist.

Do. for Joseph Swann 2 6 Mr. Watts

2 6 Do. Collected for Mr. J. M. 2 6 Carlile

30 T. Morris

2 0

Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 84, Fleet Street.-All Correspon

dences for “ The Republican” to be left at the place of publication.

No. 17, Vol. 10.) LONDON, Friday, Oct. 29, 1824. [Price 6d.




Dorchester Gaol, Oct. 16, 1824. Your name on its cover, informs me, that, through the medium of the Chaplain, you have wished me to read a book, just published, entitled; “ The evidence of Christianity derived from its nature and reception. By J. B. Sumner, M: A. Prebendary of Durbam; Vicar of Mapledurham, Oxon, and late Fellow of Eton College." I have read this book, I am sorry to say it, without improvement, as it is added nothing new to my former reading; and, as such, has been a tedious waste of time. It is worth a five pound note, to a person industriously seeking improvement and advancement in knowledge, to have his time and his patience occupied, with four hundred pages, that teach him nothing more than the bad foundation of a system, of which he is already well informed. I will not sue for damages; I will not retaliate; I will returu you good for evil, by writing something addressed to you, that shall be worth reading, if it does not add to your stock of knowledge. I learn that you are a book-reader; but whether you have yet waded through the quagmire of English Statutes, and bave grasped at more useful knowledge, I have not learned. If not, I will make a little text book for you-a sort of Alphabet to Atheism: a Primer for children in the school of Common Sense: Reading in Atheism made easy to juvenile capacities: for very old men may be

very young Atheists. It is a manly attainment, that does not exactly grow with our growth, nor increase with our years. Yet we cannot be men without it, as far as the word manhood implies superiority or perfection. Last year, you, somewhat insolently, expressed a hope,

Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 84, Fleet Street,

that the conversation of the Chaplain was beneficial to me. It was, in reality, a gross insult; because, you must bave known, that your Chaplain could teach me nothing, if you had taken pains to be correctly informed upon that subject. The Chaplain, I am sure, could not have made a profession of the kind, as he has always shewn to me a becoming modesty on that head, in return for which, I have made a promise not to enforce a conversion upon him. There is a sort of truce of amity and mutual toleration between us; to be observed, at least, when we meet. Convenience is gene. rally the most convincing argument; therefore, I never expect to couvert a priest. But, in return for your intruded observation of last year, and your intruded book of this, I will either make you honestly avow Atheism, or, at least, shew you so many reasons why I am not a Christian, as to leave you no grounds whereupon honestly to profess Cbristianity.

My texts are threefold:- 1st. That there is no such an intelligent God in existence as any man has preached. 2. That the Jews bad no ancestors inhabiting Judea or the coasts of Syria prior to the Babylonian Colonization. That no such person as the Jesus Christ of the New Testament existed in Judea or elsewhere.

Ist. That there is no such an intelligent God in existence as any man has preached.

The foundation of all argument upon this subject is found in the fact, that we do where see intelligence where we do not see animal sensation. Here is the bulwark of Atheism.

Paley has unfolded the wonderful mechanism of matter, to draw an inference, that there must be an intelligent contriver of all things. But all that he has proved is, that be, like you and me, was ignorant of the powers, processes, and certain phenomena of matter. To have proved an intelligent contriver of all things, or even the necessity of such a contriver, he should have first proved, that matter was of itself unequal to the productions, the identities, that we find produced. If we mix flour and water, and leave it to rot and ferment, it produces one kind of insects. If we mix rotten wood and water, we produce another kind of insects. If we leave animal matter to putrefy and ferment, we produce another kind. And if we leave water itself to putrefy, we produce at once a variety. Each of these productions, from these well known arrangements of matter, is as wonderful in its creation and character, as any animal, or any vegetable, that Paley has adduced and commented upon.

The subject can be better exposed, by taking Paley's side of the question, and by carrying it further, by carrying it to all its bearings.

Suppose the necessity of an intelligent contriver for all existing identities. By identities, I mean all fixed matter, that may be seen and handled. What is the consequence? Mr. Sumner, at page 273, and every ignorant man with him, says: “Every plant, every animal, every object of nature which we cast our eyes upon, contains à refutation of Atheism.” Why does it contain a refutation of Atheism? Because, we are ignorant of the processes of generation and growth? This is asserting no more, in fact, than that our ignorance is a refutation of Atheism. If this be a satisfactory proof for you, it is not so for me; I will not rest there: I will not assert what I do not know: I will plead ignorance and endeavour to remove it. The only difference between Atheism and Theism is, that the former modestly pleads ignorance where it cannot advance with certainty; the latter, still more ignorant, presumptuously and conceitedly attempts to hide its ignorance by fables, by feigning causes which canuot be shewn to exist, and which subjects it to ridicule, wherever it meets with criticism.

But what is the consequence of the necessity of an intelligent contriver ? That he must be always present to superintend and effect bis contrivances. Is it not so? Is not this inference stronger than Paley's? Why do you and I con trive things? why do we and others labour, but to produce by contrivance something independent of the power of this intelligent contriver of all things? Do you see the contradiction? If you or I sow a seed to produce a cabbage, who or wbat is the actual contriver of that cabbage? Would the cabbage have been contrived, if the seed had not been sown, and the ground or bed qualified for its reception ? A map and his wife contrive to make a child: must your great intelligent contriver be by to assist? But that is a bad illustration for you; because you are a bachalor and a very high prude.

Paley, to strengthen the cause of his intelligent contriver, supposes a piece of mechanism, a watch, for instance, that shall perform the work of a time piece and eventually produce its like; but there is nothing in contrivance equal to this; no piece of artificial mechanism can be brought to this, the sole power of matter in its natural state; therefore, there is no analogy in the attempted comparison.

The inference of au intelligent contriver of all things is,

« AnteriorContinuar »