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shall be heard for their much speaking. Be ye not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will he done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
The proofs which I advance of the non-existence of an intelligent God are so many proofs against the utility of prayer. That all prayer is nothing better than praying to a stone. " But supposing that there were such a God as you preach, would it not be more moral to do that which is right, than to be incessantly praying forgiveness for incessantly doing that which is wrong? A powerful being can never delight in'prayer: he must delight in seeing a uniform performance of his will without prayer or hypocrisy. He is a contemptible and immoral tyrant, who can be moved by prayer and hypocrisy; particularly, when, as is said here, he can see and know all things before hand. The ridiculous nature of prayer is seen in the fact, that among a multitude of prayers different men are calling upon this their monstrous idol to do contrary things at the same time!
The Lord's prayer, as it is called, is held up as a pure specimen of what prayer should be; but it is quite ridiculous when analysed.
"Our Father which art in heaven." No such father—no such heaven.
"Hallowed be thy name." The name is all.
"Thy kingdom come." If he were almighty, as preached, there could be no additional power devolve upon him; consequently, no further kingdom ).o come. The forms of government to come hereafter will be Republics; Legislatures founded upon delegates from a whole people. We have had enough of kingdoms, to make ns wish to have no more of absolute power on earth or in heaven.
"Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." No will to be done in earth or in heaven. If I err, explain.
"Give us this day our daily bread." You may have it by working for it; and there is no God to give or to withhold it,
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." To work and pay them is the more honourable acquittance.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." This implies an imputation, that the Father in question, is occasionally disposed to lead them into temptation and evil!
All prayer is in its character degrading, and contemptible. It exhihits servility, cowardice, and hypocrisy on the one side, and capricious tyranny on the other. So much for prayer. But we have not yet found the peculiar wisdom, the infinitely superior morality, and the ground work of human happiness in this sermon, Bailey! My criticism may possibly make it more useful than it has ever yet been.
There is a soft and silly being of a debtor in this Gaol, who comes under my window every night, and sings out "Prayer! Prayer! Eight o'clock, or half past eight o'clock." They are locked up at uine. Since religion is getting out of fashion every where else, Acts of Parliament are making it compulsory in Goals, it is well suited to the general inmates! Every morning they are brought into chapel for prayers, which are no sooner over than they gallop down like so many dogs let loose. I heard ope of them say, " it would be better to give us enough of bread than of prayer; and if that was Christianity, he would be damned if he did not turn Mahometan when he got out."
(To be continued.)
TO RICHARD CARLILE, DORCHESTER GAOL.
Sir, Nottingham. Nov. 8, 1824.
Please to accept the inclosed £5. the subscription of a few friends to tolerance, and free discussion, at the sign of the Duke of York, York Street, who admire your courage and perseverance, in opposing the enemies of freedom, and exposing ecclesiastical impostors, and who beg leave to congratulate you on the rapid increase of liberal opinions, which may be chiefly ascribed, to the extensive circulation of your enlightening publications. Wishing you health, happiness and liberty,
I remain, on behalf of the Subscribers,
TO MR. JOHN WALKER, NOTTINGHAM.
Sir, Dorchester Gaol, Nov. 16, 1824.
This day's post has brought me your gratifying letter, for the contents of which I return you and all the subscribers my thanks; and promise them to proceed most stedfastly in that same line of conduct through which I have gained their approhation: assured, that in the present day, in this country, the approhation of the public, for any other line of political conduct, is neither worth the giving on one side, nor the receiving, on the other.
This days' post has brought me also, not a warrant from Eldon and Peel and the Bishops for my liberation, on this the fifth anniversary of my last appearance in the Court of King's Bench, and of my sentence to imprisonment in this Gaol, but unhappily, a report of a disasterous fire in the immediate neighbourhood of my house in London: the particulars of which, as far as I have received them, I shall append to this letter.
It will be seen, that there was a narrow escape for the whole house.
1 have been lately amusing myself with the reflection, that the Priests have too many urgencies to boast of a prosperity in the affairs of the country, which does not exist, to allow them to attribute the evils, which do exist, to a judgment from their God, for the countenance given to my publications. And, in this case of the fire, it is quite clear, their God Providence concerned himself, or herself, or itself, about nothing in Fleet Street, but the preservation of my house and books; though my loss will be no trifle in books injured, and business interrupted. Upon their general calculations, such a circumstance should have its weight upon my persecuting Christian enemies; though it will only do for a smile for you, and yours, undismayed, and not to be dismayed, by any casualty,
TO MR. R. CARLILE, DORCHESTER GAOL.
Dear Sir, 84, Fleet Street, London, Nov. 15, 1824.
It is a painful, and in some measure, a pleasing task, to have to acquaint you with the dreadful misfortune that hath nearly befallen us. About three o'clock on Sunday morning, a dreadful fire broke out in the shop of Mr. Bond, a linen draper, No. 87, and raged with such fury that the general opinion at one time was that nothing could save our premises from the all-devouring element. At the first commencement of the fire, the wind blew the flames directly to us, but in the course of a short time, it veered about and blew directly the other way; this, in connection with the unparalled activity of the firemen, has left us a tenement to shield us from the inclemency of the weather No account can be given how the fire originated in the first instance. Mrs. Carlile and the children are all safe and well, and sleep for the present at Mr. M.'s. I cannot say what our loss may be, though I flatter myself it will be only trifling. The stoppage and inconvenience to business will be the greatest detriment. The upp*r part of our house is considerably damaged, and it is not surprising that it is so, when we reflect, that the only partition between each house is wood with a coat of plaister. Some of Paine's works in seperate pamphlets, which I had got put into good order, was partly burnt, from the fire coming through the wall against which they were put. Our principal loss will be from the water, rather than from the fire; but both I trust will be found of trifling amount when carefully looked into. At the time, I write this, the fire is not out, though so far suppressed as to be free from danger. I stopt in the house last night, and intend to do so for the future, at least, until we get things somewhat arranged. We have the shop door open, the windows, we dare not venture to open at present, we are surrounded by engines and a crowd of people. At the most threatening period, Mrs. C. removed her beds, linen, &c. into St. Bride's Church, and amongst the rest, were some of Paine's Age of Reason, on which the Rector laid his hands, when, he in the most emphatical manner exclaimed: "Well! Tom Paine has got into the church at last.'" I know of no other particulars which I can give you. I dare say you know what London fires are; be assured however, that no exertion on our part, shall be wanting, to assuage and compensate for the evils which have occured. We must be the adopted children of God, for nothing but Providnce, ora Miracle could have saved us from the ruin, with which we were menaced.
We are all dust and confusion—Mrs. C. and the children are all quite safe and well.
The folLwing account ofthe fire is taken from the Morning Chronicle of Monday the 15th Inst.
EXTENSIVE FIRE IN FLEET STREET.
About the hour of three o'clock on Sunday morning a fire was discovered in the interior of the shop of Mr. Bond a draper and silk mercer, in Fleet Street, near Bride church; the watchmen instantly sprung his rattle, and raised an alarm of " fire." It is impossible to describe the consternation of the inhahitants between St. Paul's and Temple Bar, persons of both sexes were seen rushing to their doors and windows, in a state of nudity, stricken with the utmost terror. The watchman broke open Mr. Bond's shop door with a crow har, and awakened the inmates, who escaped with great difficulty, in their night clothes only. Before any engines had arrived the house was enveloped from the shop to the attic in flames, which extended to the buildings at the hack so rapidly, that in a few minutes the adjoining house, in the possession of Mr. Male, a chemist, caught fire and before property of any value could be removed to a place of safety, the whole tenement was in one blaze from top to bottom, and communicated to the next premises occupied by Messrs. Pittman and Ashford, oilmen, in which were deposited casks of powder, harrels of oil, &c. The exertions of the watchmen and police, assisted by Mr. Pittman, very soon removed the powder, or the damage to the premises, by the explosion of the powder, must have been very extensive. The wind blew westerly very strong, and the houses at the hack, in Bride Court, notwithstanding the activity of the fire-men, whose intrepidity put their lives in imminent danger, soon became a heap of ruins. The hack houses were occupied chiefly by lodgers, with