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W. C., an active friend in Harwick, writes :-'In No. 194 of the Reasoner you remark, that “We have the happiness to know that several clergymen in the metropolis are lecturing against the Reasoner.” Perhaps it may add to your happiness to know that the Rev. W. Munro of this place lately gave a lecture on “ Infidelity Destitute of the Elements of Life.” It is needless to say tbat he gave a very unfair statement of the infidel's case. From the explanations given in the course of the lecture, it would appear that the “elements of life” which he main. tained infidelity to be destitute of, principally arose from the want of “faith” and the want of “motive,” as he styled it. Another reason was that "the infidel had no grand object to stimulate him to a virtuous life.” He explained Hume's argument of Experience to mean that a man could only believe in what his own experience alone taught him. Again, he argued that the infidel could not deny the truth of Christianity, inasmuch as he was not in Judea while the grand drama was being performed.” Should anything appear in the Reasoner suitable to any part of the lecture, I intend making him a present of one.'
"On Sunday last, the Rev. George Row, sen., superintendent of the Wesleyan connection in Maidstone, whilst on his knees in prayer (in the chapel) at the administration of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, was seized with a fit, and became unconscious, and expired on Monday afternoon-an exemplification of the solemo truth that “in the midst of life we are in death.") [G. H., who cuts this from the Weekly Times, asks what would have been said touching ‘judgments’ had the same have happened to an atheist while lecturing?]
A Family, writing to G. J. Holyoake, observes :- There is a letter by Publicola in this week's Dispatch calling upon all advocates of secular education to arouse themselves to obtain petitions in favour of W. J. Fox's bill now before parliament, and setting forth “that one signature before Easter will be worth scores of resolutions from multitudes after that time.” We suggest that you notice this in the current Reasoner, if possible.'
Mr. Mallalieu admonishes us not to unfit this journal for general circulation by inserting in it sundry things deemed fit for general circulation in the Bible.
Mrs. Napier Bailey is conducting a Girls' School at John Street, as a previous i advertisement indicated. We have pleasure in reminding metropolitan families, including daughters, of the fact.
Mr. Baragwanath, of Watford, is now on the way to the United States.
Mr. James Daly and family sailed from Liverpool on the 4th of December last, in the ship Transit, for New Orleans. News has arrived here this week that Mr. Daly, his wife, and one child died of cholera on the passage. Mr. Daly was greatly respected by a large circle of friends in Rochdale.
W. M. I have lately received a visit from Mr. Clifton Crick, of Paris, who was intimate with the late Mr. Thornton. He informs me that he saw him in his usual health in the afternoon of one day, and he died the same night of cholera. After leaving him, Mr, Crick did not hear of him till the day after, when he was informed of his burial.
G. J. H.
London : Printed by Holvoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Hend Passage, Paternoster-row; and Published
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row.-Wednesday, March 27th, 1850.
[A SUPPLEMENT IS GIVEN WITH THIS Number.]
They who believe that they have Truth ask no favour, save that of being heard: they dare the
judgment of Mankind : refused Co-operation, they invoke Opposition, for Opposition is their Opportunity.-EDITOR.
COMING DEBATES. [In announcing the new Series for April 3, we overlooked the duty of presenting the proper title-page and index to the closing volume, and the second Supplement of last week (which we did not foresee) prevented it being given then. We have no alternative, therefore, but to occupy this number with the arrears of matter proper to this volume, and commence the Enlarged Issue next week. This is rather an advantage, as we can make more sure of our ground. We have lately seen the People's Review close rather than endanger the estimation of a public cause by inefficiency. The Reasoner has frequently been open to this charge, but the fact of there being no other advocate of the same class of truth in the field, seemed to justify the temerity of continuing it under disadvantages. But for the future, with the help of friends chivalrous and devoted, of which daily accessions are being received, we trust to assume and maintain a position commensurate with the value of our ains.]
I have received invitations to lecture at Diss, in Norfolk, with which I have signified my intention of complying.
Friends in Bradford apprise me that Mr. John Bowes, of Manchester, editor of the Christian Magazine, The Truth, &c., has been lecturing there to large audiences on the truth of Christianity and the folly of Infidelity, and inviting discussion. At the conclusion he was asked if he would meet Mr. Holyoake-in reply he said he would, and I have written to say that I am at Mr. Bowes's service.
In Ipswich there exists a ' Young Men's Christian Association,' a mixture of Church of England and Dissenting Reverends, and Sunday school teachers of both parties. One of the local newspapers, the Suffolk Chronicle, does not notice the existence of this body (does it deem the alliance suspicious ?) This association have had lately a lecture from a Wesleyan preacher upon Infidelity. After the lecture (a very carefully-worded one, and one in which the absence of all coarseness was observable), a challenge was handed in by our utilitarian friends to the chairman, a Church of England minister, which he refused to read, whereupon Mr. Cook attempted to read it himself. The platform protested in a violent manner against him, and great confusion ensued. Although a policeman was brought in Mr. Cook would not be put down until it was put to the meeting whether he should be heard. The meeting decided almost unanimously that he should not.
The Ipswich Express, No, 551, keeps silence on this disreputable treatment, and quietly reports thus:--Our readers may remember, on Friday week, the Rev. T. Fice delivered, in connection with the Ipswich Young Men's Christian Associa
[No. 13, Vol. VIII.)
tion, a lecture on Infidelity. In consequence of that lecture, the following challenge was sent in :-" To the Committee of the Young Men's Christian Association (Ipswich branch). Gentlemen,—The gauntlet that you have thrown down, by bringing the Rev. Mr. Fice forward to misrepresent (as we believe) Scepticism, we, the Ipswich Utilitarians, at once take up, by challenging you to bring forward any person to meet a gentleman who will appear on our behalf to discuss, honourably and honestly, the relative merits of Religion and Scepticism. Signed on behalf of the Ipswich Utilitarians, John Swan, George Gibbs, Thos. Mercer, Samuel Cookson, William Harrold. John Cook, Sec.-An early answer to the foregoing is expected, as the committee are waiting to make the necessary arrangements. I am also requested to state that if this obviously fair challenge is not accepted, we shall deem it a duty to ourselves and to society to publish to the world that you are capable of appearing valorous only when opposition is scarcely possible, and that our opinions of your doctrines are participated in by yourselves. Respectfully yours, a lover of truth unmixed with error. J. Cook, Upper Orwell-street. March 12, 1850.”—To the above, the following is the reply:-“ To the Committee of the Ipswich Utilitarian Society. Gentlemen,-In reply to your communication I beg to state that, while the Young Men's Christian Association of this town recognises (as its vame implies) the divine origin of Christianity, it has been organ. ised to afford its members additional means of increasing their acquaintance with the sacred truths revelation, and deepening their convictions of its supreme importance, and not for the purpose of vindicating, by public discussion, the claims of that revelation from the attacks of parties who, unhappily, disown its authority. Since they could not, therefore, adopt the course you have proposed, without infringing the constitution on which their society is founded, and thereby setting an injurious precedent, they decline the acceptance of your challenge. Moreover, I am authorised to signify that it is the intention of Mr. Fice to pablish the lecture against which you and others have taken exception; and thus an opportunity will be afforded you and them to attempt a refutation of its priuciples and arguments, in any way that may be deemed most expedient. I remain, sir, on behalf of the Ipswich branch of the Young Men's Christian Association, yours respectfully, FREDK. OLDING, Hon. Secretary. Ipswich, 18th March, 1850."
In Ipswich and in London we are anxiously expecting Mr. Fice's publication. I propose to go and examine it in Ipswich, and if a place caunot be procured (no reverend gentleman will, I fear, lend me a chapel) I have consented to speak in the open air. We shall publish our reply in the · Reasoner Tract' Department.
Since the lecture was delivered two of our friends have waited upon the Rev. Mr. Gay, an Independent preacher, to induce him to accept their challenge. This gentleman, at the meeting which we have mentioned, spoke as though he was quite willing to enter into a controversy upon the question of religion and scepticism; and since the meeting he has paid Mr. Couk a visit, and asked him to supply him with something that would give him an idea of our principles. Mr. Cook handed him a copy of the 'Logic of Death,' for which he would have paid, but Mr. C. told him that he had procured some on purpose to send to various parties in the town, and as one was intended for him, his taking it would prevent the necessity of Mr. Cook's sending it to him. We understand that Mr. Gay waits to first see our reply to the Rev. Mr. Fice before he appears as an opponent. We are afraid to do it well, lest we should discourage the reverend gentleman.
From Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne word comes of my being wanted there, which places I shall be happy to visit. In whatever districts I am desired,
I trust early communications will reach me that I may make suitable arrangements for a serviceable tour. The enemy are appearing in the field, and we must be there also.
Last, but not least, from information I shall be able to communicate next week, we shall have Mr. Gavan Duffy, of the Nation, out against us shortly, and what is also good, there is reason to believe, from his great fairness in controversy, that we shall be able to reply in his own paper.
G. J. HOLYOAKE.
ON CRAMPS IN THE CHURCHES.
An anonymous correspondent in Stoke calls our attention to p. 76 of No. 9 of this series, where we say that a hand-bill there given has been handed to us. We believe it has been circulated among a provincial congregation. Our correspondent thinks we have been imposed on. We
e beg to tell him that what we published was an exact copy of a bill which we received. That it was circulated' as described we presume is true, or our correspondent would never have written to inquire about it. We infer this from the fact that he writes from the locality in which it was circulated, and which we did not mention. The bill in question was a parody of course—a parody so palpable that we needed not to say so: it was a parody, we take it, of the following bill, which we give in the same form as we found it :
"TRINITY CHURCH, HOPE. “The Inhabitants of the Parish are respectfully informed that a PATENT HEATING APPARATUS, constructed by Messrs. Haden, Engineers, is now in operation in this Church, by which it is efficiently Warmed and Ventilated.
'Divine Service on Sunday Morning, at Half-past Ten, and in the Evening, at Half-past six o'Clock.
66 The Poor have the Gospel preached unto them.” • February 1st, 1850.
Samuel FISHER, Incumbent.' * Patent HEATING APPARATUs' was in conspicuous type, as we have represented it, and we doubt not it was this draper-and-auctioneer-bill air which suggested to some facetious observer the parody we published. Be it clear, however, that though we think this bill, as we said of the parody, indicates the mixture of a business spirit with evangelism,' we do not object to it on that account. If souls can be saved only at Church, by all means let them be saved as comfortably as possible. We have painful recollections of the old church to which in childhood we were driven, of the
Which used to rack rheumatic bones; and how we pitied the aged people who shivered on the Winter Sabbaths through the tiresome and endless Collects.
G. J. H.
THE CONFLICT ON SECULAR EDUCATION.
MR. EDITOR,-I am a regular reader of those prints usually termed religious; and have constantly observed (however much they may differ with each other) that whenever a subject is before the public of primary importance, they immediately, like the Spartans and Athenians of old, suppress for a time their almost interminable disputes, and run in a body, open mouthed, at their common enemy. Knowledge and freedom of thought and expression are altogether incompatible with the present system of theology; the clergy know that as well and better than
the people: therefore it is that private feuds are suppressed so that what is left of collective strength in their mouldering institutions may, with undivided aim, beat back the ever-advancing tide of opposition. But can these Canutes of the nineteenth century more effectually counteract a law of nature than could the Danish freebooter of old ?
Is progress to halt when bidden by a priest ? or shall it be forth with proclaimed the people will no longer be taught and led by a class whose aims are narrow, whose policy is selfish, and whose ultimatum appears to be their own advancement and aggrandisement? Of course, as they say in St. Stephen's, I speak in a parliamentary sense, and impute not charges to any particular individual or sect, but against the system,
I take it for granted, whenever the clergy of all sects attack unanimously any proposition, that two deductions may safely be drawn from the fact : firstly, there must be in the proposition something of advantage to the people; and, secondly, that that knowledge, if possessed, would in some way or other trench upon the inte. rests of the clergy as a class. Now there is at this moment a bill before the legislature having for its ohject the more efficient education of the people. But as in the main religion is excluded from the contemplated plan, episcopacy and dissent, for the nonce unanimous, have commenced a strenuous opposition to the measure. Now why is this? Is it not good that spelling, reading, grammar, and cyphering should be within the reach of all? or are they to be deemed advantages only when the clergy are the teachers ? Are we to have no education for the people, because the advocates of passive obedience and non-resistance will not have an opportunity of implanting their sophisms with their syntax, their ideas of the Trinity with the role of three, and their views of orthodoxy simultaneously with orthography ? Surely it can be no secret (to your readers it is none) that all attempts made by the various religious bodies to educate even the children of their own flocks have notoriously and utterly failed. In addition to which every plan for the purpose proposed by the more influential sects has been overwhelmed by the hurricane of opposition got up by other sects, solely on the ground, not of faults in the proposed plans or modes of tuition, but because there was afforded to some isms more opportunities for proselyting than some other isms considered it to be to their interest to allow them to have. Thus hitherto all schools founded by the various sects may have obtained their subscriptions upon the supposition that the various projectors were disinterested, and had the public good solely at heart; but the undisguised truth is these scholars thus educated are looked upon but as prospective supporters of the divers systems under which they were taught, and who, as I have heard teachers say, could not be so ungrateful as to decline to adhere to and support the forms and worship of that particular church under whose auspices they were educated : forgetting to inform their pupils that they have ever been the great and absolute opponents of every comprehensive measure that has been propounded for giving to children education as a right, which it is only the interest of priestcraft they should have (if at all) as a charity. But the voluntary principle-even with the evident interest which priestcraft has in keeping up a system where reading and writing nominally, but theology of the lowest kind actually, has been the order of the day, has signally failed. The Nonconformist may write a long article on Mr. Fox's Bill, headed “Wanted a Foundation,' finding fault with the measure; but the people, for whose benefit the measura is brought forward, will readily see the priest who penned this article was advocating leather-that he was writing for himself and not for mankind. And the Leeds Mercury may, in a cloud of figures, make an onslaught upon the righteous