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What arbitration between the oppressed and their oppressor; between Liberty and Despotism?
Do the arbitrators' propose to arbitrate in the case of Ireland ?
Arbitration now could mean but one thing: a convention of all the existing GOVERNMENTS, an agreement never more to quarrel but to uphold each other against their Peoples. Well! that was pretty well understood before the advent of the Níember for the West-Riding.
For, say the supreine arbitration is agreed upon. What is that to Sicily, to Rome, to Lombardy, to Hungary, to Poland ?
Say Poland. Poland will not be recognised or represented in your Court. She revolts against the “Three' Powers. She can never arbi. trate, What becomes of your peaceful arbitrement ? We do not ask this of Mr. Cobden. We know that he is the enemy of Poland, albeit it was a corn-country. We ask it of those who may honestly think that any supreme court of arbitration can prevent war so long as Injustice rules the earth.
There may be such a Supreme Court of Arbitration when the earth shall be divided into Nations, instead of Kingdoms—when the world shall be organised, not as now parcelled out to please the caprices of statecraft, without regard to nationality, in defiance even of geographical position and peculiar constitution.
But there can be no arbitration till Despotism is no more ; no Peace till Justice rules the world. Let the Utopian peace-men cease to be Utopian; and, no longer giving countenance to the Traders-in-peace, consider how practically to advance Peace. They will so accomplish more than by repeating a parrot cry, or by any premature conventions.
For, though Peace is yet an unmeaning word upon the Earth, Duty should have significance. And only by close following of Duty, though it be through the cannon-smoke, and over blood-stained fields, can Peace be perinanently secured.
If a robber would attack my house, meaning to outrage my sister or slay my children, shall I seek peace with him to-day, knowing that he would return to-morrow to repeat his attack ? Or shall I stand courteously on the thresh hold, and bid him pass to his work, in the name of Peace objecting to interfere? Will I not rather slay him on the spot ?
Would I talk of Peace in the forests, till the last wolf's head was on my spear?
Aid the wronged and the weak! Gird up thy loins dutifully to follow Justice wherever she may lead thee.
O most desired Peace! whom the true, the beautiful-natured, alone can really love or perceive, where shall I worship thee? Shall it not be first in my own conscience? There, at least, will I maintain a service, whatever storms may rage around me, overthrowing thine altars in the high places of the world.
And how at peace with conscience, if I shirk, for any quiet's sake, my duty to the suffering?
Yes ! for the sake of true Peace, the peace which passeth the understanding of the non-interveners, I will make no dishonourable truce with Injustice, whatever may be its geographical position or peculiar constitution.
W. J. LINTON.
POVERTY AND CHRISTIANITY.
SIR,-- An orthodox Christian’ friend of mine, in the Staffordshire Potteries, referring to an article that appeared a week or two ago in the Reasoner, headed Poverty; its necessary Existence ? writes thus to me: -'I quite agree with you, that there is no necessity for any to be paupers, just as there is no necessity for any to be wicked or immoral; but while men are wicked or immoral there will be paupers. The poor will not cease out of the land as long as wickedness continue in it; and this, I believe, will be the case during the continuance of the present dispensation. I believe your way of thinking and your teaching are doing away with the only remedy we have for pauperism and poverty—the love of Christ constraining us—and, whatever you may think to the contrary, I am convinced that you, by your teachings, reduce that love of Christ to a nullity.'
This view of the question is, I know, prevalent amongst those who regard the Bible as the Word of God, and interpret it without the aid of Reason. These professing Christians seem to say, ' love Christ and you shall be rich,' but I would simply ask them whether, taking a survey of the entire Christian Church, wealth is found to bear an exact ratio to the intensity of faith possessed by its individual members. I would put it to them, whether food and raiment and the luxuries of life are so portioned out in the Christian world as to lead to the conclusion that there is any connection between sincere adoration of the Holy Cross and the amount of material enjoyment diffused throughout that world. And I would beg them to cast their eyes around society and see if they cannot find many, ah! too many, wallowing in the best and richest blessings this earth can produce, and who are yet living lives notoriously immoral; who are unjust, oppressors, extortioners, and slanderers, and who openly set at defiance all laws, human and divine. Let each man look within the narrower circle of his own acquaintance, and let him say to himself, is my rich neighbour, who fares sumptuously every day, dresses in superfine broadcloth, decks his body out in gold rings and gaudy trappings, and attends his parish church or his unsteepled little Bethel twice or thrice every Sunday, a more affectionate husband, a more tender father, a more honest tradesman, a sincerer friend, and a more virtuous man, than another whose dwelling is a humble hut, whose daintiest food a hard crust, and whose only worship the worship of nature and humanity ? And if to this reflection his heart cannot respond a fervent 'yes,' how can he think there is any affinity between worldly prosperity on the one side and Christian faith and moral practice on the other? As society stands now, the purest love of Christ, the most spotless morality, and the loftiest genius will not ensure us from the invasion of poverty. Individual virtue and religion are at a disadvantage, and must remain so while the majority, who keep together the present artificial social organisation, stand in antagonism to the practical establishment of Truth and Justice. In this sense it is quite true what my
friend says, that " while men are wicked and immoral there will be paupers.' It is what I am contending for, that as long as society is founded upon a wicked and immoral' basis, as long as idleness is rewarded and labour despised, as long as vice is crowned and virtue scorned, war deified and
peace ridiculed, pauperism, destitution, and misery must exist. When the 'love of Christ shall predominate, then will pauperism cease from the land. Yes, I believe it firmly; but then it is not such a 'love' as orthodox Christians mean by the term. It is when the moral teaching of Christ shall be believed practical and sought to be realised that the true fruits of true Christian love will bless and sanctify mankind. Equality will then reign where puppet-privilege now has its seat. A social community will dawn where a robber-shielding darkness now spreads ils horrid shade. The Rights of property will then be recognised, not merely in word, but in fact. But until this hour of regeneration arrive the love of Christ will indeed be a nullity.'
Surely, sir, to this interpretation of Christianity you can have nothing to object. You, I believe, lean towards the doctrines of Socialism, and Cbrist was a Communist.
FRANK GRANT. [We have no objection to this ó interpretation of Christianity,' as we are interested in the moralisation of whatever tenets men do receive; but we are no more able to deduce these views of Mr. Grant, exclusively or coherently, from the doctrines imputed to Christ, than we are able to see the utility of styling, as Panthea elsewhere does, the harmony of the intellect and the affections—the "religion of the heart.' It is of no avail to us to quote Christ as a Communist. He did not understand Political Economy, and he would not be received as of the slightest authority on Communism in the House of Commons, although he should give his evidence in person, and on the true faith of a Christian.'—ED.]
SUNDAY TRADING BILL.
[The second reading of this Bill being appointed for the 18th, Mr. Dyson thinks that it should not be left without attention; and for this end he has sent the following petition to Mr. Roebuck, and trusts others will do likewise. Mr. Dyson anticipates that success with this small-fry measure will be but the precursor to others, and that Sunday travellers and Sunday Teachers will next be subjected to the strait waistcoat of saintly legislation. We have abridged Mr. Dyson's petition-not, we fear, without weakening its force in the writer's judgment; but the chance of any petition being extensively reproduced (which we take to be Mr. Dyson's object) depends upon its brevity.—Ed.) To the Honourable the House of Commons, etc. The Petition of the undersigned,
residing at 231, Shoreditch, SHEWETH—That your petitioner is informed that a Bill on the subject of Sunday Trading is now before your Honourable House. In the opinion of your petitioner such a subject does not legitimately come within the scope of the functions of your Honourable House-being, in its religious aspect, an interference with liberty of conscience. The religious observance of Sunday is already more than sufficiently protected by the existing law. Those who regard Sunday as a day set apart exclusively for religious purposes have ample protection while acting in accordance with their convictions, and they have no right to appeal to law and coercion, and ought not to be sanctioned by your Honourable House, in their desire to enforce outward conformity on the part of others to opinions in which they do not participate.
In the opinion of your petitioner, the true way to promote the decorous observance of Sunday as a day of religious exercise on the one hand, and of rest and rational recreation on the other, would be to provide, for that portion of the people who attach no religious importance to the day called Sunday, instructive enjoyments, by removing such obstructions as may exist to the throwing open to the people, parks and pleasure grounds, museums, libraries, reading rooms, and even the theatres--thus withdrawing society, or at least a certain portion of it, from the debasing allurements which abound, and promoting that which, in the opinion of your petitioner, is of more importance than the sanctimonious observance of the Sabbath-namely, the wise enjoyment of it; for why should the British Museum and National Gallery be closed while the gin palace and beer shop are open ?
The Bill now before your Honourable House is based on no de. terminate principle; is inconsistent with itself, and with the avowed opinions of its promoters (being, your petitioner is credibly informed, but the prelude to the carrying out of intentions of a nature still more inquisitorial and tyrannous); it proposes to punish a mere law-made offence, without moral turpitude, with ruinous fines and degrading imprisonment; presses with severity on the poor; arms with increased and odious power the police (a body already regarded by the people with suspicion). The Bill is opposed, in the highest-degree, to the spirit of the time and the opinions of the people, and altogether unsuited to the intelligence of the age and the present circumstances of society.
Your petitioner, therefore, prays your Honourable House not to pas the said Bill, nor any Bill having for its professed object the repression of Sunday Trading, or in any way interfering with the liberty of the people in regard to the observance of the Sabbath, but to leave such matters entirely to the discretion, intelligence, good sense, and good feeling of the people of the United Kingdom.
ARTHUR Dyson. THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF MAZZINI.
AMID the causalities of war it is not known whether the names of the subscribers to the Roman orphans were inserted in the Italian journals. To prevent the money itself falling into the hands of Oudinot (who is in want of cash), Mazzini was instructed to draw, in the first instance, £100, on account of the subscriptions. Below is a copy of his first Bill, now in possession of the Treasurer.
26th June. B 6611. 1st Bill. TOME, 3rd June, 18 19. First Bill For £100. St. g.
At three days' sight, Please pay, for this my First of Exchange,
TORLONIA & Co.
'X. G. B.,' the author of the 'Reply to the Rev. E. Noyes's Sermon on the “Freedom of the Human Will," ' himself formerly belonged to the Baptist body, and his 'Reply' is addressed to his late associates of that persuasion. The questions of Necessity and Free-Will are argued with ability. Christians of any denomination might read it with profit. The writer displays much controversial good taste. He has not descended to a recriminative or disparaging word.
Our old Nobility' were well defeated in the last week's election in the city, and Baron Rothschild was returned by a significant majority. The electors nobly resented the indignity put upon them. When the Commons have declared that they are willing to accept the baron to sit among them, it is more than intolerance -it is insolence-in the Lords to dictate, and declare they shall not do so. From the readiness with which many Members of Parliament took part in the canvass for the Baron, we suppose that they took the same view of the matter.
The second number of the Democratic Review, edited by Mr. Harney, continues its expositions of Chartism. We hope it will attain the eminence of being the accredited organ of those views, as we believe the exposition to be in faithful hands; and the public will learn from Mr. Harney's desk, without double meaning or contradictory assertions, what to war with or what to accept.
Warrants have been issued by the Southampton magistrates against a number of persons in the Earl of Guildford's parish for church-rates. The churchwarden applied to the earl to repair the church himself, and render the enforcement of the distress warrants unnecessary; but the rev. earl was inexorable, and ordered the church warden to enforce the law, declaring that if the latter faltered in the least he would call on the archdeacon to prosecute him.
Mr. Jollet's lecture-concert for the benefit of the French-made widows and orphans of Rome, took place on Monday, July 2nd, at the National Hall, and was numerously attended. A warm sympathy in the heroic behaviour of the Romans, and an equally warm indignation at the unrivalled treachery of France, was manifested both by the lecturer and the audience, and a tribute to the exalted worth of Mazzini was enthusiastically received. The John-street Choir lent their valuable aid in the choruses. Miss S. D. Collet performed the accompaniments on the pianoforte; which, together with the execution by the Misses Thornton and Norman, by Messrs. Collet, Curtain, and Harper, and the excellent taste in which the whole was produced by Mr. Collet, was generally felt (and no higher praise can be expressed of it) to be in keeping with the occasion. The pleasing fact was announced by Mr. Moore that the services of all present, and also of the printers of the posters and hand-bills, were entirely gratuitous. A flag of the Roman tricolor-red, white, and green-was suspended at the back of the platform ; it was made by the children at Mazzini's school, and bore the motto Italia UnaRoma la Capitale (one Italy— Rome its capital.) In the Hall was offered for sale a contribution to the cause from Mr. Linton-a little collection of poems (not entirely new, but well worth perusal), 'For Rome.' Though not unmixed with criticisable doctrines, they contain some of his noblest efforts. A capital print (lithographed by E. Pistrucci), called “Fair Play,' was also sold in the Hall. It represents Italy assailed by all the powers of Europe, while the British Lion lies quietly on the top of his white cliffs 'non-interfering. Yet there is a look about his face as if he were rather uneasy in his mind after all. Will not he yet come down and give those fellows the right-about? The print and Mr. Linton's poems are to be had at Watson's, and the proceeds will go to the defence of Republican Rome.
An illustrated sketch of the siege of Badajoz, as exhibited at the Surrey Zoological Gardens, has just been executed by Mr. Edward Gilks. The designs add much to the interest of the public in this entertainment, and the letter-press accompaniment is calculated to cause the terrible ravages of war to be estimated at their propor value.
G. J. H.