תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

priests; and uniil they are men enough so to live, they will be wbat they are, mere cbildren in the leading-strings of a priest as their nurse, who takes care that they shall never reach manhood wbilst they respect him as a guide.

But the “infamous publications,” Parson Justice Parsons ! In what are they infamous? They publish lies or truths. If lies, why do you fear them ? why do you uot expose them? If truths, wby infamous ? Come, Sir, this is the whole of the question between us, and mere abusive epithets will not change its character. What can more become you, as a pastor of a flock, even if they be mere geese, than to shew them, that I am a real enemy, and that my publications are really a publication of lies? It is thus, tbat I deal with whoever will join my flock of truth-seekers: and mere goose-like bissing neither alarms nor confounds us. We are ever cool and collected to examine wbatever you or any other goose driver can say against us. I do not only tell them, that the Bible is an infamous publication; but I say, if you cannot see it, bring me a Bible and I will explain it to you.Why cannot you do so by my publications.

See what a pretty figure you and Mr. Harker make before Jobu Vicary! All that you can say in the way of instruction is: “Oh! John! do not give yourself to the wicked one;" without a word of explanation as to wbat you mean by the wicked one : without a word that can shew bim to be in an error; without a word of instruction of any kind. And there is his master Harker! sending him to you for correction and instruction, and confessing that he has not learving enough to dispute a simple question of trutb or falsebood with him!

This same Harker, who is the proprietor of the Sherborne mercury, the most contemptible provincial newspaper that I have seen, or that I can suppose to exist in Englaud: a paper wholly edited with the scissors, as we say in London of pirates and plagiarists; this same Harker, just after Richard Hassell bad made a defence at the bar of the Old Bailey Sessions Court, which equally surprised his friends and bis enemies for its pith and excellence: this same Johnny Harker put a paragraph in his paper to say, that the said Ricbard Hassell was a very ignorant young man! This very ignorant young man bas not left his fellow in Dorsetshire, and goes on fair, soon to be one of the brightest and most learned men in existence. Already be assures me, that he bas a very longing to come in contact again with his old Vicar, John Davis, with you, John Parsons, with Parson Justice Venables of Buckland, and with a few more such, in your neighbourhood. Jobo Vicary would be quite enough for you, did not his youth and situation preclude bim from exhibiting the necessary independence. Ob! bow it delights me, to see these mere boys with my principles putting to flight in fright such old corrupt Christian Grey. Beards as you and the Vicar of Cerne!' Truly, I do enjoy the company and association of such young men!

John Vicary's picture of you, in the extract of bis letter which I print, is most correct. No painter, not even Cruikshank himself, could add another stroke to complete the priest. First haughty, as an effort to frighten : then, wben fairly met, quite humble and pathetic, all persuasion, but with feelings cloaked, that would at once bave led Jobo Vicary to the stake, if the power had existed. You, priests, are the realities of the character which you give to your devil: black, base, and treacherous: furious with power: canlı ing in its absence: cajoling when cajolery is necessary to carry a purpose: but when you have the victim at your altar, you riot on bis agonies with the most hellisb delight! Thou! thou! John Parsons! art one of the “ WICKED ones”! says,

RICHARD CARLILE.

TO MR. GEORGE HARRIS, PRIEST TO THE IDOL JEHOVAH, MINISTERING TO THAT PORTION OF THE SAINTS CALLED UNITARIAN CHRISTIANS, AT BOLTON, LANCASHIRE.

SIR,

Dorchester Gaol, December 12, Year

6 of my war with the Gods, and the Year Proper to sing Idolatry's

Dirge. SOME time in the early part of the last year, you pablished a sermon, the text of which was, that the orthodox or Trinitarian Christianity was the cause of the Deism and Atheism that prevailed; and you modestly asserted, that a fair examination of Unitarian Christianity was sufficient to recall those to participate of it whom Trinitarianism and Orthodoxy bad driven to Deism and Atheism, or to a general infi

delity towards every kiod of Christianity! In the notes published with your sermon, you made several extracts from “ The Republican,” doubtless, with a view to support your doctrine. In No. 8 of Vol. VIII, l addressed a letter to you, shewing the impossibility of your bringing back an individual to any kind of Christianity, who had once acquired sufficient knowledge to renounce it: and in a little ebullition of feeling, I said, that I would not only strip you paked, but skin you, for putting forth sucb a palpable untruth. This assertion seems to have offended you; but every one except yourself must bave read it as an innocent figurative expression in reprobation of an assertion which I knew to be false: that it was rather meant to operate upon your nerves than upon your skin: and that all that was meant by it was exposure; in which, you have given me every proof, that I have succeeded, by not giving proof of your first assertion, and in the evasion of every serious senteuce with wbich I opposed it.

It is near a year since I was informed, that you had announced your intention from the pulpit to reply to my letter and to others addressed to you by the Trinitarians. I take all these matters very easy : they do not even raise a curi-osity in me: so I made uo enquiry about your reply, assured, that I bad friends io your neighbourhood who would soon acquaint me of its appearance. Early in October, my Manchester Agent bought and sent me a copy. I read it through, found that my pame and letter to you was but slightly noticed, and concluded, that the best thing I could . do with your pamphlet was, to endeavour to turn it into the half a crowo that it had cost me. I sent it to London for this purpose, and never felt even an inclination to notice it. - Since then, some of the yet unchristianized Materialists of Bolton have sent me a copy, fearful that I had pot seen it, and have expressed an anxiety to have it noticed by me. In this communication they have assured me of the truth of what I asserted about the stripping and skinning, that there is not one knowu Materialist converted by your preaching ja Bolton ; that for want of more instructive lectures, in attending to wbich they might occupy their time, they have attended yours; but, after two years' attendance, still remain Materialists. I was as certain, as of my own existence, that such was the case, and needed not that inquiry which you have said that I should bave first made before I denied your assertion. And now tbat I have begun to comply with the wish of my Bolton friends to notice your pamphlet, I will

give you some further grounds and reasons on which my denial was made.

As I intend to be all meekuess and good nature in this let. ter, I will inform you, that my Bolton friends speak witb the highest praise of your general liberality, and of the great good you bave done in Bolton, by exciting an enquiry amoug the Trinitarians which can never be appeased so long as they remain Trinitarians. When you bave made them Unitarians, I will advance them towards ZEROTARIANISM. There is a new name for a new sect. It may please some weak minds better than Atheism, and for aught I know may be a better expression of the relation in which we Materialists stand towards you Unitarians and Trinitarians. Zerotarianism is Notarianism. It makes your God all that can be made of him, a mere cipher: a word or sign that stands for nothing. You Unitarians and Tripitarians are in reality all Zerotarians. Not one of you know any thing more about a God or Gods than an infant of twelve months old. I am serious, Mr. Harris, and it is with great delight, that I have found out, that I and you and all mankind are in reality the same sort of Atheists as we were at a year old. If you know any thing more about God or Gods than you did when you were a year old, I most respectfully ask you to communicate that knowledge to me. And if you find that you cannot communicate such knowledge, I as respectfully en. treat you to cease from preaching that about one God which is evidently false, or evidently not within your koowledge. The God which you preach is but au idol. Your religion is but idolatry. I give you my one plain and all sufficient proof, that intelligence is a result of animated matter and not a power per se, or of itself. Have you a counter proof? If you have, you will assuredly produce it: if you have not, you can no longer honestly preach even one intelligent God. There, Sir, that is a complete refutation of every sentence that every Unitarian has publisbed about one God. You refer me to the lectures of a Mr. Russell Scott of Portsea, who, I am informed, has disembodied the Devil: but I bave done more than Mr. Scott, I have disembodied both God and Devil. And I now call upon you, or any other tarian, again to embody this your God. But if Mr. Scott has disembodied ihe devil, you cannot separate the stories about embodied devils from the general story of Jesus Christ. He is continually brought into a warfare with embodied devils. Your rejection of embodied devils is one proof that you and Mr. Scott are not bonest Christians: one proof that your Christianity is, what I have said, a mere disguise. An embodied devil is one of the heroes of the. New Testament, and if you reject one part, you spoil the drama. Every sensible man in this Island has given up the notion of a personified devil: but the writers of your Gospels were not sensible, but very ignorant men. It is one of the greatest and most lamentable scandals of the day, that the intelligence of this age should worsbip a tale got up by the most ignorant and most depraved part of the Grecians, above seventeen hundred years ago. Christians scout the moral pbilosophy of the better part of the Greeks, and adhere to the most stupid and mosi detestable fable that emanated from the worst part of them!

To give you one proof, that this fable is of Grecian origin, . I will observe, tbat bad such a person as Jesus been a Jew, and so lived and so died in Judea, he had verer been called Christ. There is no word in the Hebrew language that resembles the word Christos. It is purely Greek: the characters of which are XPLOTOS. Great stress was laid upon the words which composed the name of a God among the ancieut idolators, and here we find the cross, or X, the first letter of this name, whicb accounts to me for much of the story about Christ crucified. The Jews never uttered the name of their God in common conversation, agreeable to their tbird comandment; but spake of it as the unutlerable name. Nor is it at all probable, that the Jews would have called for the crucifixion of a malefactor: a death unknown to their law and custoins. In the Gospels, the high Priest and many other Jews, even one of the thieves said to bave been crucified with him, are made to call Jesus either Christ or the Christ. Now, can you shew, that such a word as Christ was in use among the Jews? To put the words Jesus Christ, or Jesus the Christ into the mouth of a Jew or Jewish historian, is about as wise as it would be for an English historian of this day, when writing of George tbe Fourth, to say the king le roi, that is to mention his title both in English and French at the same time.

There is another point which is a strong proof, that Christianity is wholly of Grecian origin. The names of all the characters mentioned as its first preacbers are either Greek or Latin : but had they been Jews, would it not have followed as a consequence, that the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament would have been written in Hebrew ? And can you show, tbat any one of them originally existed in the Hebrew language ?

I conjecture the origin of this double name Jesus Christ

« הקודםהמשך »