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is subdued, or his silence is purchased. But where the people lose one friend on these accounts, they lose ten whose pride is outraged by finding themselves always dependent,* and rather than be thought to live upon the people as (paid agitators,' they voluntarily lay down what no persecution would force them, no price would induce them, to give up. This is simply the case of the present writer, who now passes to work that may prove self-sustaining. Not that his convictions are changed. Every day makes more clear to him the truth expressed by Quinet — It is not possible to destroy political servitude while allowing religious servitude to remain; the political springs by necessity from religious slavery. In that place where the Priest may say to an entire people: “Surrender to me your reason without conditions,” the Prince, by an infallible logic, may repeat also: “Surrender to me your liberty without control.”

In the career of my various publications issued on behalf of free-thought, I have (speaking for a paragraph in my own person) served the publichowever imperfectly, at least undeviatingly, and under that forfeiture of liberty which deters so many, and at a cost of conventional regard which few will risk. But I charge no obligations on others, and I prefer no claims for myself. If I have struggled for freedom and for truth, it was also because I wanted them for myself. I should have worked less effectively had not others helped ; but I should have worked no less earnestly had I been alone. I would have freedom for myself if all the world were content with slavery. Opposition to error is but a wellunderstood system of self-defence. Truth is the condition of the highest life; and he who is convinced of this will, wherever he may be, make war on error till he dies.

Tbe advocacy pursued in the Reasoner has not pleased everybody. We did not expect it. Independent in all things, and neutral in nothing practical or dutiful, has been the characteristic of the paper-and hence we have, at times, found it a necessity to differ from some with whom it would have been a pleasure and a profit to have agreed.

That there are variations in modes of thought and expression, between earlier and later volumes of the Reasoner, is probable. It ought to be so, or we should

The entire proceeds of the present volume of the Reasoner, including the subscriptions of the Shilling List,' will but cover the printing and publishing expenses. Some further subscriptions promised, which will no doubt arrive, may form some surplus for editing.

† In the Review announced in another part of this paper, I shall, in the departments of general Literature and Education, enjoy opportunities of public usefulness; and it will greatly add to my pleasure to believe that I am still addressing, among others, those readers with whom I have so long had the satisfaction of communicating. To realise one object of interest to many, there will shortly be issued from the Reasoner office the Lecturer, each number of which will contain a select Lecture, carefully, familiarly, and plainly delivered—suitable for use as a tract, and intended to be so circulated. After each lecture, the Lecturer, as it is the custom in other places, will give out a few notices which it concerns the audience to hear.

G. J. H. I Those who care to know what these are, and wish to do it with less trouble than examining the Reasoner, are referred to my Life of Carlile. It is the last work I have written on the exposition and defence of heretical opinion; and I had an impression when writing it that it would be the last for some time.

G. J. H.

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be in the condition of those who, urging others to advance, have remained stationary themselves. But the main points we set out to enforce, it will be seen, we have steadily progressed in realising. The motto selected from Sir James Mackintosh indicated that we intended to hazard a bolder navigation in politics as well as theology. The preface of the first volume indicated that we should endeavour to mark the bounds between the enlightened and the dark part of things—that we should acquiesce in leaving the unknown alone, and employ our thoughts and discourse on things of this life. Hence political, educational, and competitive reformation were as much our legitimate objects as theological reformation. In developing these aims, we have often taken a course which has been considered irregular, and which has sometimes been punished by the loss of readers. This may have been matter of regret; but we could not qualify what appeared to us to be the truth for the sake of retaining adherents. There are many free-thinkers, who are as much fetteredthinkers as are the priests, and who always say what they are expected to say, lest they should be derided for a new opinion. To change a form of expression is often to lose caste. Few pause to examine into the difference between conviction-serving and time-serving, and the priest calls you an 'apostate' and the liberal a trimmer,' and both words hold thousands in bondage who affirm themselves, and who believe themselves, free. It has been our habit to dare many things for the truth. We have dared the opinion of the world—and, what is much harder, and much more rarely done, we have dared the opinion of our own party.

Better on this occasion than any previous one (as no request is preferred) a special word may be said to those calling themselves freethinkers. There are hundreds who hold, and plume themselves on holding the principles of the Reasoner, but who have never accorded it any support-although to have paid a shilling a number would have made no sensible diminution in their means. When put before them they have contented themselves with remarking, 'Oh, we have passed through all that. Our minds are made up upon the subject.' Supposing them to be so well informed that no new thought, no fresh illustration, can add to their wisdom-there is a thoughtless and intense selfishness in such conduct. We believe Christians to be in error—we know them often to be unjust and vindictive, but, to their credit be it said, they display virtue in endeavouring to spread what they believe to be truth. They, too, have passed through it all, but they wish others to pass through it also. Their minds are made up,' but they wish others to make up their minds likewise ; and they give money that their convictions may be shared by the forlorn savage at the remotest bounds of the earth. • Old infidelity' has none of this spirit, and it deserves to be abandoned to the contempt which it seems to invite. We exempt from this accusation a few of the old school, whose generous assistance we have often had to acknowledge. The band of propagandists—the Working circle' -whose resources have been expended in our warfare, are composed mostly of a new order of thinkers of their opinions. Upon these devolve the duty of creating the future. When we next appeal to them, it will be to aid in constructing a new party, who shall unite a lofty chivalry to utilitarian truth.

The natural history of a course of independent thinking would illustrate the principles inculcated by the Reasoner. The priest never impresses one with an idea of authority. He rather seems egotistical, presumptuous, arrogant, and intrusive. If we retrace the steps of consciousness, we arrive at the point when we first found ourselves inhabitants of the earth. Experience taught us the relation of man to man and to the external world. Out of this relation grew a consciousness of the value of Reason as a guide, of Truth as a source of innocence and courage, and of Justice as the perennial bond of union among men. Thus we learned morality primarily and independently. On this experience and reflection Theology is an interpolation. It cannot ignore life, or conscience, or our relation to nature and society. It comes as an addition, and affects to shed new light over the path we tread. This pretension we question. It talks of God in language which we understand not, and we refuse to adopt a nomenclature which conveys to us no distinct ideas. It threatens us for our disregard of its mission. We despise its arrogance. At the last day of which it speaks, it will not take our responsibility—and yet it would impose upon us its belief, and leave us to answer for it. We will answer only for our own. Where we must suffer if wrong, we will think for ourselves. It babbles to us of the origin of Christianity, of Miracles, of Prophecies, of the Evidences, and the Fathers. But what care we how Christianity originated unless it be an addition to the economy of life or conquests of thought ? Miracles, Prophecies, and the Fathers are nothing to those who will believe in Christianity without them, if Christianity be morally and intellectually tenable—but who will not accept it if it be not coherent and consonant to the moral sense, whatever Prophecy may bave foretold, or Miracle imposed, or the Fathers threatened.

Thus may be broadly indicated the general teachings of the Reasoner. The usual accusations of the churches and the newspapers do not reach us. We do not cavil about interpretations of Scriptures—we accept any interpretation which gives us a new and useful idea. We do not, as is pretended, hate God, we merely do not understand his

self-elected interpreters. We have no aversion to another life, but simply doubt if any grounds of credibility can be made out in its favour free from presumption. We are not disbelievers from antagonism-our dissent originates in the nonunderstanding the topics of the churches. We refuse therefore to be uselessly diverted from the realisation of such happiness as reason, frater

• Letters to the following effect occasionally come to hand. We quote the last, received a few days ago. It is inserted, being the testimony of a stranger that the influence exercised is not that ascribed to us by those who have denied us a hearing.

Dear Sir, I enclose you another sum (58.) towards the Reasoner Fand, and another Chronotype. I am quite personally unknown to you, and know you only through the medium of your little publications, and your useful lectures. Let me say, with a grateful heart, that I have received valuable discipline froin pour efforts. I am employed in a manner that my labours reach the public eye, and it is an ever-recurring thought with me that it is to your teachings I owe a great part of my best decisions. The conviction of a like influence you must have exerted upon others beside myself, surely is your exceeding reward, when you contemplate the course of your life. And I think that you will say it is the best of all rewards.

J. B.'



nity, and study can furnish, in this the only life which we know. Inasmuch as the theologian may approach us not to intimidate us—not to ignore our conscience, or convictions, but to submit his views for our unfettered examination—we respect his motives, accord him our attention, and answer according to the impression made by the evidence presented.

On these principles of judgment and procedure, myself and coadjutors have conducted the Reasoner. What distinction of terms we have suggested, what practical example set, what abbreviations of controversy introduced, what tactics we have recast, what new opinions (if any) we have advanced, are before the world. It will be the fulness of reward if these exertions shall be so far remembered that any who shall engage in the same advocacy will not suffer it to go back, permitting us to indulge the hope that our seven volumes of the Reasoner will furnish a page in the history of the permanent development of independent opinion in this country.

No. 1.--New SERIES.]


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OF ACTION IN LONDON. LOOKING round this assembly, I think I may venture to say that the opinions of every fourth person are known to me; and should I put the interrogation, I believe that each one would dissent from the proposition which I am prepared to establish. And the majority of those unknown to me wonld dissent from it also. Yet I doubt not that I shall obtain coincidence with my own conclusion. It is not the monarchy, nor the aristocracy, nor the middle class, nor any enemies of the people who have prevented us from having had a revolution in England. My proposition is that the causes which prevented us having a revolution in 1848, in this country, will prevent us from having anything great or national, in the sense of a preconceived movement. The hindrance has come, not from our enemies, but from our friends from those who give laws to popular thought among us; and while the exaggerated philosophy now cherished by all who think for the people remains uncorrected, there is no hope for combinative action, or associative progress.

Let me not be understood to regret that we have had no revolution of violence here. We do not want one. We have a proverb that “they manage these things better in France.' I trust the distinction will be ours of saying that we manage these things better in England.'

There are three physical impediments to a revolution of physical force in England :

1. Our populace are unused to arms. 2. We have an equality of towns. When Paris is conquered, France submits ; but when London shall be possessed, there will be Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh to subdue. A revolation here could only be effected by a protracted civil war. A provisional government in London would be useless without a Cromwell.

3. The mixed interest of our commercial nobility and the people make political compromise the only ground on which society in England can exist.

But, greater than these, there has existed a moral impediment. Revolutions originate in leading ideas. It can be shown that Luther, Locke, Newton, Priestley, have founded revolutions which no arms could effect, and have put up by ideas what the artillery of Europe cannot batter down. Men unused to arms would have found their use equality of

No. 162, Vol. VII.]

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