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THIOMAS RILEY PERRY.
On Monday, July 19, this individual was tried for the publication of Palmer's Principles of Nature, found Guilty without a moment's hesitation by the Jury, and immediately sentenced to three years' imprisonment by the Christian Recorder of the City of London ; who urged this very exquisite reason for the severity of the sentence: that the defendant was a man of knowledge and ability, and therefore the more dangerous to be at large!
The following is a copy of a letter sent to the Recorder by Mrs. Perry, who, since the conviction of her husband, has determined to succeed him in the publishing of moral and useful publica tions. TO NEWMAN KNOWLYS, RECORDER OF THE CITY
· OF LONDON. Sir,
84, Fleet Street, July 19. Tue wife of the man whom you have this day sentenced to three years' imprisonment, congratulates herself and you on the speedy propagation of those principles, to which you, as well as all the Republicans of this Island, feel such devoted attachment. The only difference between you, a Judge on the bench, and the openly avowed Republicans and Materialists of this country is, that they, noble-minded even to their enemies, wish, by the force of reason alone, gradually to enlighten the minds of their fellow citizens, that they might one by one root out those cvils which have crept into the very heart of society; those evils which are now making youth a scene of misery, and dragging down old age with sorrow to the grave.
But you, Sir, are determined that no such slow process shall take place. Ardent, courageous, eagerly assiduous for the hap. piness of your fellow creatures, you are, or appear to be, determined that tyranny shall fall at once. You are above dissimulation. Your actions speak a noble mind. You knew, your were well aware, that nothing would so soon arouse the spirit of the noble-minded part of your countrymen as to see the husband torn from his wife, the father from his children, and all for no crime; all for being an honest and a moral man. You knew that this would have more effect in one day than the sale of Anti-Christian publications in ten years, and yon nobly resolved to risk your own safety that you might aid the people in the obtaining of their rights.
Rest satisfied, Sir, you have bravely done your duty. You may now go to your repose without one thorn in your pillow, conscious that you have done as much as one man can do to awake the sleeping spirit of every honest Englishman. :.
I am, Sir, your obliged Servant,
Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 84, Fleet Street.-All Correspon
dences for “ The Republican” to be left at the place of publication.
No. 4, Vol. 10.) London, Friday, July 30, 1824. [Price bd.
TRIAL OF WILLIAM COCHRANE,
Friday, June 11. .
WILLIAM 'COCHRANE was chargest with publishing a blas: pleinous, wicked, and prophápe libel, tending to vilify tbe. Holy Scriptures, and the Christian religion, and to bring the same into ridicule and contempt. "..
for that Mr. Barnard conducted the prosecution. He stated that the defendant at the bar stood there to answer for publishing a wicked and impious libel against our holy religion, contained in No, 21, of a periodical work published at 84, Fleet Street, in the name of R. Carlile, entitled the Repub-, lican. The question was, whether these men, who were the agents of Carlile, were to be allowed so defy the law; and whether the tide of blasphemy was to be allowed, by flowing all over the empire, poisoning and corrupting !".*. pls of the weak and, igiorant, or w bether the evil was to be stopped in its progress, by enforcing the law-against those offenders, who, notwithstanding the warning they had received, continced to proceed in their illegal and wicked courses. The libel wbich the defendant published was of a * most dangerous tendency; and it was no defence for the accused to say, that other persons were not prosecuted for publisbiog matter equally offensive, or for him to attack the Uni-, tarian for denying the divinity of Christ. He was satisfied the jury, would see the necessity of suppressing such vile pablications. The libel states- :.
“I'have now to shew you upon what ground I attack the *: priests, upon what ground Christiavity is assailable.
“I assail them upon every ground that they can take. If they talk about the moral utility of Coristianity";, I shew them that its practical character, in alleountries, throughout, its bistory, is bad. If they refer me to the moral worth of
Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 84, Fleet Street.
the New Testament as a book, 1 shew them, by an analysis, that it exbibits more of immorality than moralitý. If they talk to me about Jesus Christ, as a Saviour for a future life, I explain to them, that there is no future lise, that shall be conscious of the present; that there is no such place ip be. ing as they call heaven and bell; and that, consequently, no such a being as Jesus Christ or Devil cau be in existence. If they refer me to the long standing history of the tale, I go to its origin, shew it to be fabulous, and that antiquity does not convert a fable to truth. I can controvert all their positions, either physically or historically. If they seek a refuge in the Old Testament, the history and present condition of the Jews, or the pretended prophecies, I shew them the bad foundation of such a refuge, by showing that the Jews were not known in Asia Minor two thousand tour hundred years ago; whilst their sacred books pretend to place their residence as a people in that country a thousand years before we have any authentic history of them. Such a circumstance proclaims their first fourteen books to be fabulous. For my part, I never either conversed or corespond. ed witb a Jew upon the subject, who did not avow bis abomination of the superstition of bis ancestors; and I have known many to make that avowal. I understand that the case is almost universal with them, at least with the educated part; for the uneducated are evidence of nothing, in any sect or party. If they talk to me about a God, I ask them, what they mean or refer to by the word? To this they can give me to answer: for no one man knows any thing further about a God than any other man; and let every mau put the question to himself, whether be knows any thing about God? and he will be constrained to say, that no one man is more of an Atheist than any other man. We are all Atheists alike, when we examine the matter fairly, and rest upon our knowledge instead of our ignorance and su perstition.”
The learned Gentleman said he should call a witness to prove the publication.
George Leadbetter sworn-Is a Bow Street patrol. On the 27th of May last he went to Carlile's shop, 84, Fleet Street; tbe defendant was there; be asked for the last No. of the Republicau, which had been published on the Friday before. The defendant said it was probibited. Witness told him that he had been there some days before, and that they promised to send it to his lodgings. The defendant then said, “ Ob! very well, you shall bave it;" and then brought him the No., for which he paid sixpence. Witness marked it with his initials, so that he could afterwards identify it.
Mr. Freuch, Counsel for the defendant, said he would ask the witness no questions. ,
Mr. Barpard said that was his case.
Mr. French then rose and addressed the court for the defandant. He said that after the disgusting scene exbibited in that Court, the day before, by the defence of tbe deluded man wbo was on his trial, a scene which must have been to the mind of the learned Judge, and all then present, a source of the most excruciating torment; how pleasing must it appear to them now, to have a Christian advocate, however uneloquent, lo rivet the attention of a Christian audience, Yes, Gentlemen, one who glories in a lowly, unaffected, unreserved belief in the pages of that sacred volume, and in the assistance of its inspiring God, even at the present moment, as a man of his sublime capacity can possibly do in rejecting it with sentiments of disdain and horror. It was no later than yesterday, Gentlemen, that I expressed my disinclination to act as counsel in causes of this nature; nor, should I have had the bonour of addressing you this day, bad I not been remiuded of a promise to my present client, which I had really forgotten. Not, Gentlemen, that I feel any thing like tbe sting of remorse from my feeble exertions in bebalf of these most unfortupate of men, but that my heart really sickens at the constant repetition of the word blasphemy, to which my ears hitherto bad not been accustomed, either in private or in public life. It is but justice, however, to my learned friends, the gentlemen who have opened the indictments for these few days past, to observe, that, incongruous and unbeseeming as these altercations must pecessarily be to the dig. nified character of a Christian, they seem, as it were, divested of balf their borrors, by the the animating mapper with which those learned gentlemen brighten into eloquence, in defending Christianity from the calumpiating aspersions of ber enemies. But now, Gentlemen, to come more immediately to the point. If the majesty and holiness of religion has no longer any resource or prop to sustain it, flourishing ustainted and unadulterated amongst us, but by recurring to prosecutions that familiarise the ears of the people of this country to the sounds of blasphemy, (sounds constantly reiterated in these indictments) will it not, Gentlemen, be natural to think, that the great oracle of our law, Sir Edward Coke, was not unauthorised by the dictates of deep and pondering wisdom when he said, “ That the cognizance of these matters-to wit, beresy and blasphemy--belongs not to the common laws of England; for tbat the inatters are of too grave a nature to be agitated, except according to the King's Ecclesiastical Laws of this realm.” Gentlemen, far be it from me to call in question the coguizance of this court in these matters, arrogantly opposing my opinion to that of the learned Judge, wbo presides in this court with so much dignity, impartiality, and intelligence, and who has already laid down with tbe utmost accuracy what the law really is upon these occasions. I merely cited this passage from my Lord Coke, in order to prove the inevitable aptitude that these sounds must bave to soil and profane-if I may use the expression -- the temple of the mind, in which a reverential awe for religion constitutes the chief ornament. To these seats of justice, Gentlemen, tbe people of this country resort in crowds, if pot in expectation of being recreated by the charms of eloquence, at least of being rather edified and instructed by the sages of the law, than shocked or scandalized by the accents of a blaspbemer. I am well aware, Gentlemen, that according to our poet, ibe illustrious Milton
“ Evil into the mind of God or man,
No spot or stain behind.” But still, Gentlemen, I do maintain, that the constant reechoing of these unballowed sounds in courts of Justice, from one mouth to another, cannot but be injurious to the interests of that religion, which the Solicitor of the Treasury is so zealously anxious to uphold in all its dignity and lustre. And yet, Gentlemen, to whom are we indebted for this ruggedness and asperity of blaspbeming sound, from which a Christian ear recoils with borror? Is it not to tbose, who permit blasphemy to be embodied into a system, under the protecting name of Unitarianism, and yet prosecute the poor, abject, insignificant mortals, who dare to blaspheme wiibout the ingenuity of having first invented some bigb sounding name, such as that of Unitarian, to rescue them from the indignation of the law, that scorns to be violated by the poor and tbe ignoble? Why does not Mr. Maule, tbe Solicitor to the Treasury, send bis well-paid myrmidons to the Unitarian Meeting-houses, where blasphemy is weekly poured forth to large congregations where the divivity of Christ is opeuly denied, not probably in language so coarse and direct as that used by the defendant, but in language more fas