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lignancy of the church of Scotland, for advancing some ideas, regarding cause and effect, in his excellent work on heat. The Kirk, however, in this instance, failed in its rancour against Atheism. I have since pursued my studies, and if any thing has added to the confirmation of principles, in which I have long delighted, it has been the admirable lectures of Mr. Lawrence, whose) poignancy of language, and clearness of judgment, entirely overthrow the puerile and fanciful conceits, of his antagonist Abernethy. The essays in that useful work the Republican, have likewise contributed much information, and with such a continued train of enquiry, it was not to be supposed, that any thing said in a correspondence of this kind, could ever have the smallest effect in convincing me of the truth of your religion. As I had seen the endless disputes, and hitter wrangling, that the subject of theology, frequently has given hirth to, I wished to avoid them, by entering upon the great field of nature; but I must again say, you have hitherto avoided this. In your letters, I can see nothing, but the confusion of a mind, clouded with theological jar. gon. The same feeling which you possess, has given origin to the different thousand sects, which abound in the history of Christianity, each claiming a superiority, and every one distinguished for that tenacity of opinion which is alone peculiar to higotry. Exalted, as it were, upon a pinnacle, and separated from the narrow prejudices, with which the human mind is too often surrounded, 1 have often beheld with pity, the infatuated and wretched Catholic; I have lamented over the superstitious and dogmatic Protestant, and have regretted still more, when contrasted with the other two, the liberal but deluded Unitarian; all of whom could never be guided so very differently in their views, if a standard of truth had been presented to them, of a nature clear, comprehensive, and intelligible. But the mighty influence of a false education, has, alas! the tendency of keeping mankind fast in the shackles of superstition.
It is not without much effort that we can free ourselves, from the yoke, that has goaded us, from our earliest infancy, and therefore, in the present day, amidst all the knowledge, which exists, there are few, comparatively speaking, who have the energy of intellect, necessary, to overthrow in their minds, the hase superstructure so cunningly devised by deep and designing Priests. It is only requisite for a man upon a subject of so much importance to think firmly for himself, if he does so, he will soon find the cheat exposed, he will behold religion, in no other light, than the invention of a daring few, who in every country, and in every age, have endeavoured for the vilest of purposes, to keep the human faculties, in a state of the most abject dependence. Having premised these matters, it is now high time, for me to advert to that passage in your letter which alludes to impossibilities. I do not admit,'that any such a miracle, with regard to the sun, could in any form, ever take place, and I deny, that there exists, in nature, any power such as you talk of. When we survey the great machinery of the universe, we find it governed by laws, entirely unalterable—every thing around us, the effect of the comhinations of matter, and the various changes, forms, and modifications, which it undergoes, proceed alone from motion. The intelligent lessons, of experience, demonstrate this, and to create, in our imaginations, beings, seperated from matter, is to believe in things, that have no reality. Man, unfortunately, in his speculations, regarding a Deity, has exceeded the boundaries of nature, and in his conjectures, has raised up phantoms, the fanciful existence of which, tends only to alarm and confound him. In the history of mankind we find the notion of a Deity arising entirely through the dark and muddy channels of ignorance; if nature directed them rightly in this matter, there would be but one uniform idea of a creator, but in every age, and in every country, the most preposterous fancies have been received, relative to his existence; and this universality of opinion, however absurd and dissonant, has often been brought forward, by theists to prove the truth of their arguments.
(To be continued.)
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER, FROM A FRIEND AT HULL, TO MR. CARLILE.
You seem to think, that Voltaire made "a vile compromise with the Christian Priests of France." I believe he did no such thing— Priests and higots, to support a system of error, seldom hesitate to have recourse to fiction and falsehood. With regard to the death of Voltaire, they told the most palpable untruths. One set of them declared positively that he sincerely repented of his errors, and died happily in the true faith of the Catholic church. Another set of higots maintained, that he died impenitent, in a state of the greatest horror and despair. Now one party evidentlylied—the fact was, that both did. Through the weakness of a female in Voltaire's family, a Priest obtained access to him when on his death-bed. Voltaire looked at him with disgust, and in reply to his pious, or rather impertinent exhortations, merely said, "Laisser-moi mourir en paix"—turned his face from the Priest, and immediately expired. Such were the last words of that great man! <
Your correspondent, Mr. Dickinson, of Dewshury, had a female relation at Voltaire's, during his last illness, and she bears testimony to the falseness of the accounts published respecting his death. It is, however, but candid to state, that previously, when Voltaire was in a high fever, and bordering on a state of delirinm, an impudent Priest did terrify him into a renunciation of his opinions. He then acquiesced in all the dogmas of the Catholic religion. But when he recovered from the fever, he retracted his renunciation, and lashed the Priest most unmercifully, for taking that unfair advantage over him. Allowing for a moment that Voltaire did die in the profession'of the Catholic faith, what can the Protestant infer from this death-bed story, but that the doctrines of transubstantiation and the rest are all true?
I knew an Italian who used to call the Virgin Mary a "wh—e," yet, on the apprehension of death, he invoked not only her aid, but that of all the saints in the calendar. Are we thence to conclude, that his ideas, when in a state of terror and alarm, were the most correct.
This is taking more notice of death-bed stories than they deserve, and I add no more than the signature of
Hull, October 15, 1824. J J.
TO MR. R. CARLILE, DORCHESTER GAOL.
Fellow Citizen, We have made a beginning, with a subscription at Sherborne, in the county of Dorset, to express our approhation of your principles and perseverance, and our detestation of the conduct of your persecutors who seek to cherish ignorance and superstition: proceeds at present as follows:
A Deist, enlightened through the persecution of Mr. Carlile
A Friend to Free Discussion
An Enemy to Black Slugs
A Deist, enlightened through the late persecutions
The above is a small collection made among some of your friends in this town; and they hope that you will accept it as a token of the esteem they have for you. They trust you will go on in the arduous undertaking that you have begun in enlightening your fellow countrymen, that they may in the end see through prieitcraft, and all other crafts, that are robhing them of this world's good.
They also lament that you are still in the fangs of tyranny; but it must be a consolation to you, that thousands have to thank you for your perseverance in this great great struggle, and millions unborn wilt have to praise the name of Carlile.
A Sincere Friend To Truth And Justice.
Note.—1 am glad to see a beginuing in Sherborne, few as are the present number of friends. I know the nature of the principles I advocate, so far as to know, that I never lose a friend upon principle when once so made, and that their numbers must go on increasing. There has been a little seed sown of late in Dorset, and 1 find it springing up rapidly all around me. Should I be kept in your Gaol another year or two, I will engage to produce a strong effect in your county.
A feu) friends, enemies to -priestcraft, met at the Mortimer Arms, Tottenham Court Road, on Monday August 23, 1824, to contritribute their mites as a token of their satisfaction of Mr. Richard Carlile's Principles.
W. H. Leak, brave Carlile! extinguisher of Devils, Ghosts,
and Priests! 2 6
W. J. Leak, a constant reader of " The Republican" 1 6
S. B., a Townsman of Carlile's 2 6 R. Gray, No. 36, Homer Street, Mary-le-bone, an Enemy
to Persecution 2 6 R. J. A., one who wishes success to every honest cause 1 6 R. Steer, 39, Frederick Place, Hampstead Road 1 0 W. Tilbury, ditto, well wisher of Carlile 1 0 G. Smith, ditto 1 0 J, Shaw, No. 36, Ogle Street, formerly a Strenuous Supporter and Preacher of the doctrines of the Bible > 1 6 R. Strickland, from Dorchster 1 0 W.Ellis I 0 S. Letraen, No. 3, Pancras Street, Tottenham Court Road 1 0 Mr. Morgan, an Admirer of Carlile's Principles 2 0 R. B. 2 6
Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 8-i, Fleet Street.—All Correspondences fur " The Republican" to be left at the place of publication.
No. 18, Vol. 10.] London, Friday, Nov. 5, 1824. [price 6d.
TO MR. R. CARLILE, 84, FLEET STREET,
Sir, New York, August 10, 1824.
I Am informed by Mr. Carver of this city, that you are desirous of obtaining for publication any writings of our deceased friend, Elihu Palmer, which he may have left unpublished; and also such notices of his life as may be thought worth recording. My respect for Mr. Palmer, as well as for the cause in which you are engaged, are sufficient inducements for me, as far as lies in my power, to comply with your wishes. I accordingly send you a manuscript composed by him, which was never printed, entitled the Political World. This was handed to me by Mrs. Palmer some time after the death of her hushand, for safekeeping; as she was then residing with a higoted sister, who was disposed to destroy any writings of Mr. Palmer, under an apprehension that they might contain some common sense on the subject of religion. It appears, however, to be only the commencement of a more extensive work which he intended for the press. The sense is complete as far as it goes, and iswritten in his usual clear and forcible style. Mrs Palmer now dead, was a womau of good sense, and fine moral feelings, and possessed as stroug an interest as her hushand in promoting the cause o,f truth. I therefore presume, that no writings of his of consequence remained with her, as she was sure that such would be consumed.
I shall be able to give you but a very imperfect sketch indeed of Mr. Palmer's life, having no written documents, nor are there any connections of his in this city to refer to. The knowledge 1 have of him, however, arises from an%intimate personal acquaintance for eight or nine years; and, excepting my own observations, during that time, is derived chiefly from himself, whose tenacity for truth can leave no doubt of its correctness. There are certainly traits in his life and
Printed and Published by It. Carlile, Hi, Fleet Street.