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No. 21, Vol. 10.) LONDON, Friday, Nov. 26, 1824. [Price 6d.
TO THE CHRISTIAN JUDGE BAILEY.
Concluded from page 632.
Twenty-seventh bead. “ Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They bave their reward. But thou, wben thou fastest, anoint thine bead, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Falber wbich is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, sball reward thee openly."
Fasting bas long made a part of religion; but it is evidently a trick set up by the Priests, that the labourer may have more to spare and to give for his consumption.
As an essential to health, it is only necessary or useful after excess of eating or drinking. Where a man be a frugal eater, and always has an unpalled appetite, or an appetite never fully satiated, he bas no need of fasting to preserve his health and keep bim free from fevers. It is to the glutton and the drunkard, that fasting becomes necessary, as a means of extending life and health. He who feeds on vegetables aud drinks water only can be sure of continued health without an occasional fast. But to him who occasionally indulges his appetites to an excess, an alternative fast is essential to the preservation of health. It is a law of nature, in all cases of life, that a continuance of excess gluts the channels of the circulation of the fluids, corrupts them, and brings on premature rottenness, decay, and death. It is in reality a greater source of pain than a scanty support. Moderation is po where more wbolesome than in supplying the sources of life. Your Gospel writer, Bailey, seems to bave known no. thing of this, and, consequently, displays no " peculiar wis- . dom” in his essay on fasting.
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But I award bim meed for instructiug the Christians to wash their faces. This was a very useful instruction to the present race of Christians, some of whom are intolerably filtby on this head; and, I presume, tbat be sa w it to be a necessary recommendation to the first Christians. I have seen a woman pass a whole week without washing her skin; and I also know, that this is quite a common thing among both men and women in this country. It is inexcuseable on every ground. It is unhealthy in the neglect and offensive to tbose who come near them. And it is further inexcuseable on the ground of the easy attainment of water in this country. The regulations of the Jewish and Mahometan codes, for ablutions, purifications, &c. were most wise, and it would be well, if law could now induce every man, woman, and child, to go into either a bot or a cold bath every day. I inost heartily commend the Gospel writer for advising the Christians to wash their faces; and I would so far improve upon his wisdom on that head, as to advise them to wash wben feasting, as well as when fasting; as the more the body be glutted with food, the more necessary it becomes to purify and keep clean the surface, for a better perspirations not only of their faces, but of every part from head to foot, inore particularly the glandular parts.
Twenty-eighth head. “ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust both corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust dotb corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
This is really a cuoning recommendation for the Priests. Give, give, give, is their maxim; to which a wise people would answer-work, work, work, as we do, before we have any tbing to give.
It has been a common maxim with the Christian Priests to tell their dupes, that whatever is given to the church, that is, to themselves, will be found by the donors when they get to heaven! Before the reign of the first Edward in this country, matters bad grown to such a height, that the Priests, through the medium of grants and legacies, seemed likely soon to become the possessors of all the land and property in the country: which, doubtless, would bave been the case, bad not Edward obtained the Statute of Mortmaio, and prevented the further making over of estates to any corporate body that was incompetent to alineate them by sale or gift. This statute put a stop to the evil. Another statute is wantjoy it.
ed to take back for the public good all such lands and profits as the Priests now enjoy, and leave them to barter their abi- ; lities with the public, as every honest and useful man is compelled to do.
There was a deal of cunuing in the recommendation of this head, Bailey; but there was nothing of morality in it. The promise of preparing a treasure in heaven, for those who gave freely of their properties to the Priests, was, in fact, nothing superior to a plunder of ignorance; because, there was no heaveu to contain a treasure, por a future life to en
It was a deprivation of pleasures that might have been enjoyed in this life; and, as such, a crime on the part of the impostors who regaled themselves in idleness by the reception and consumption of such treasures. The thievery of the priests was as base as would bave been the thievery of those “ who break through and steal.” A most cupuing trick of the Priests certainly to say to an ignorant laborious people: “ Pray don't think of accumulating property: you are liable to have it moth-eaten, or rusty, or stolen by thieves: bring it to us (Priests, and we will lay it up in store in heaven for you, that when you die and get there you shall have nothing to do but to enjoy it!" This is the true intrepretation of the riddle: and if there were justice to be found in all cases, a priest would be put upon the footing of a fortune-teller. In the two professions, there is not a shade of difference. I see this quite clear and will prove it before any disputant. A PRIEST IS BOTH A SWINDLER AND A THIEF.
Twenty-ninth head. “ The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkpess, how great that darkness!"
This, I confess, Bailey, is a species of physics, or metaphysics, or spirituality, that passeth my understanding. I suppose, that it alludes to that spiritual light and darkness about which I am so ignorant, and so far incorrigible: but I am really willing and anxious to leard, if you can find me a competent teacher, that is, a person who knows more about it than myself. I bave introduced this matter about which I am igrorant, that I may not be said to have evaded a point in this wonderful sermon. To me it is wonderful how even a Christian could praise it.
Thirtieth head. “ No man can serve two masters : for either he svill bate the one, and love the other; or else he will
hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Bebold the fowls of the air: for they sow pot, neither do they reap, por gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedetb them. Are ye not much better than they? which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider tbe lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was pot arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall be not much more clothe you, () ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or, wherewithall shall we be clothed ? (For after all these things do the gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye bave need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
The whole of this long paragraph is a continuation of the swindling effort to induce the poor Christian dupes to carry all their property to the priests. It is decidedly immoral; and as base a fraud as ever was practised by man upon man. In relation to society and social happiness, it is heinous; and 'had Christians generally acted upon it, Europe, at this day, would bave been a continent of mere ourang outaogs. Nakedness is even recommended! The property, the possession of which is here denounced, is all that distinguishes man from the ou rang outang: and human happiness can only be increased with the quantity and nearly equal distribution of such property. Wise were the Gentiles who sought after such things: foolish were the Christians who have been seduced by such a swindling, poverty, and misery begetting doctrine, as this divine sermon on the mount teaches.
When we are told that we cannot serve God and Mammon, we may truly carry the matter further and say, that we can neither serve God nor Mammon, unless the priests or tyrants of the earth can identify themselves under either title. THE WORD GOD IS THE FIRST OF TYRANTS; but it is a gratification to know, that is is but a word invented and
used by the little human tyrauts of the earth, as a cloak for their villainy. It is the HocUS POCUS of state conjurors! The LEGERDEMAIN that has amused and cheated the whole of mankind at once! We will by and by have an act of Parliament, a real act of the representatives of the people in Parliament, that shall reach even those who swindle and juggle with the word God. Why should it not be so? Why should one class of swindlers be punished and another protected ? What is there more worthy of protection in swindling with the word God and a book called the Bible or his Divine Revelation, than in swindling under a pretence of revealing futurity by a pack of cards, by palmistry, by astrology, by tea cups, or by any other trick? Come, answer me, sapient Judge Bailey! if I indict the Vicar of Cerne,
he Bishop of London, or the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the King as the head of the church, as a swindler, and get a jury of twelve honest and most intelligent men to convict him, will you, as a Judge of the Court of King's Bench, do your duty, and give him a sentence, equivalent in effect to that which you passed upon me for denouncing such swindlers? Come, here is a test for your honesty!
The Society which is or was called a Socieiy for the suppression of Vice, is or was a nest of swindlers: and if any of them survive the struggle now carrying on between honesty and dishonesty they shall be indicted as such. If I do not live to accomplish this point, I hereby bequeath this duty to my survivors, to my children. I now understand well how it was that I incurred the “high displeasure of almighty God.” Wbat I did towards exposing a cheat upon my countrymen incurred for me the bigh displeasure of a relatively, relative with respect to myself at that time, almighty host of swindlers.' I saw as much at the time; but I could not then as now express it so well, and make it appear so plain to every reader,
With the exception of his trick to swindle the Christians out of their property, the writer of this sermon exbibits under this head the most gross ignorance.
First, he says: No man can serve two masters without hating the one and loving the other. This is ridiculous: he will love them accordingly as they reward him for his servitude. If tbe rewards be equal, and the carriage of the masters equal towards bim, his love will be equal. I rather think, Judge Bailey, that you have served more than two masters at one time, sioce you bave been a Judge of the Court of King's Bench: and I will engage, that eveu your