« הקודםהמשך »
It may be ten per cent., or twenty, or those who cannot read or write may be as few and far between as the righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah-I enter pot into such a disquisition ; but I appeal to your readers, who must and do know what is passing in their respective localities, whether there is not a dearth of education. It is well known to nine men out of every ten that unless the working classes choose to have theological views, adverse to their own it may be, instilled into the minds of their offspring, they must remain uneducated. Now, to obviate this is proposed this plan of secular education; and it is because the people will have the means of acquiring intelligence without theology that the measure is so unanimously opposed by the clergy of all denominations. It has been said, but I use the phrase merely for illustration, that God blinds those whom he intends to destroy. If true, priestcraft is already doomed, its hours numbered, and the last sands on the point of running out. Rational men are beginning to see and to feel as described in a very powerful article on the subject of education in the Coventry Herald and Observer, of March 22nd. It says:-' At this juncture comes Mr. Fox's Bill, offering to all schools alike secular education without religious inspection ; but neither will this do. It is not secular enough, cries one party; and, it is Godless, cries another. In this dilemma one is tempted to wish some beneficent despotism would stop the eternal .quibblings of these noisy, querulous, and thoroughly impracticable people, by enacting some measure not framed to their peculiar views at all, but based upon the real merits of the question. There is no doubt this will be the upshot of the affair. All the good and sensible men of every sect will in time get disgusted and alienated by the neverending sectarian opposition to the education of the people. Universal suffrage is looming over. Let church and dissent, as the result of their past opposition, reckon upon being altogether shelved in the future provision for the education of the people.'
I do not think, sir, the facts of the case and the feelings of society could be more expressively delineated. Mankind have been the sheep who, persuaded by the wolves (priests), have sent away their dogs (intelligence), upon the supposition that they would take care of their moral and intellectual interests. The result has been, in the absence of their only genuine protection intellect), priestcraft has absorbed all the advantages and emoluments, and devoured the irsubstance at their leisure. We therefore can expect no less but that the priests will do battle stoutly against a measure that at once lays the axe to the root of their power; and we should expect, on the other hand, to see the people, whose interest it is so manifestly to obtain good, cheap, and undiluted intelligence, do battle bravely and fearlessly in this holy cause against their intellectual oppressors ; always bearing in mind that heaven helps only those who help themselves—and that, as told in the fable, until the waggoner whipped his horses and put his own shoulder resolutely to the wheel, Jupiter would render no assistance in getting his waggon out of the bog.
R. L. B.
TO THE PUBLIC OF EDINBURGH.
CITIZENS,-On the 25th January last, I received a summons from James Aitken, the collector of the annuity tax, being the only notice but one I got within the last five years; also, on the 2nd of March, the following notice :
'In her Majesty's name and authority, and in the name and authority of the said sheriff, John Thomson Gordon, lawfully command and charge you, the said H. Robinson, defender,' &c., and that to the said James Aitken, as collector foresaid, pursuer, within fifteen days after this my charge, under the pain of poind
ing and imprisonment. This I do upon the second day of March, eighteen hundred and fifty years, before and in the presence of John Davidson, witness, residenter in Edinburgh. Per Messrs. Dymock and Paterson, Solicitors-at-law.
• Wm. M-CULLOCH, Jun., Sheriff-officer.' The amount claimed by James Aitken is £17 53. 50., and I am told that the expenses will bring it to nearly £30.
Citizens and Friends, – I ask why I am to be dragged violently from my family, or my shop to be stript of its contents ? If I am told it is to support my minister, it is false, for I know him not. Dr. Glover is said to be the minister of my parish, in which I have been a residenter these last ten years. In reply to this, I can only say, if Dr. Glover was, with a few other gentlemen, put into a room, and I was asked to point out Dr. Glover, I could not do it. He never on any occasion paid me or my family a visit; I, nor my family, never received a moment's advice or consolation; and yet I am not only called on to pay for this Dr. Glover's support, but I am told if I do not do so, and with interest, freely, I will be dragged to gaol or plundered of my goods.' Plundered, because I never received a shadow of benefit. Again, some of the friends of this blasphemous tax (blasphemous, because, in my opinion, it violates one of the most beautiful and righteous commands of Christ, that the widow and the fatherless shall, at all times, be protected : who will say that the widow and the fatherless have not been distressed for this tax ? It is in this, then, I say, that to do this in the name of Christ, is that which is a violation of his sacred views, is blasphemy). These friends to the tax have told me it is the law of the land. Shall the Jews be justified in putting Christ to death, because it was the law of the land ? and yet the Jews got law, but where was justice? I have been rebuked that the Jews were ordained to put Christ to death ; but who will say that these annuity tax shepherds are ordained in his (Christ's) name, to distress the widow and the fatherless, and the homes of the poor? Where, in all Christ's commands to his disciples, can they find command for compulsory payment ?
Fellow Citizens,-I am of opinion that these men are not ministers of Christ; if they were, they would look through a different medium than £600 a-year. Ia no instance can it be pointed out that the disciples of Christ received a fixed tax, or their followers compelled to pay. It was left to the freedom of their own minds. Again I have been rebuked by the defenders of this tax, in the words of Christ, ' render to Cæsar that which is Cæsar's.' To attempt to carry this splendid rebuke of Christ to the knavish crew who attempted to entrap him, to the defence of the annuity tax, is horrid blasphemy. I would carry out to the letter Christ's sublime remarks, render to Cæsar that which is Cæsar's, so I may render to Christ that which is Christ's; but do not let them render to Christ that which should make a devil blush. The tax is got up for, and in the name of Christ, and for the support of his church ; so say the annuity tax supporters, and on this plea say, render to Cæsar that which is Cæsar's. I have endeavoured to discover this, and have failed. I have conversed with many, and they are of opinion with myself, that the tax is a violation of Christ's sacred views. Therefore, to render this annuity tax to Christ as Christ's, is, as I have said in the forepart of this address, shameful blasphemy. On these grounds, then, fellow citizens, I hold it to be a high and moral duty in us to use every legal means in our power to get rid of this urchristian tax. You will see by the above, that on or after Saturday next, the 16th March, is the day fixed on which I am given to understand I shall be dragged to gaol.
Fellow Citizens,-1 have been told by the annuity tax defenders that you, the public, have no sympathy for its victims and martyrs. I call on you in this instance to give the lie direct to this slander, by at once coming forward with your mite. Nothing would give the supporters of this iniquitous tax greater joy than to see its victims ruined and imprisoned. I know and feel that you will not permit this, but at once come to my assistance. Fellow Citizens, every farthing you subscribe shall be accounted for; and I pledge my word that the surplus shall go towards the support of the next victim that comes forward to show the iniquity of this tax.
I am, Citizens, your obedient and humble servant, March 10, 1850. HENRY ROBinson, Publisher, 11, Greenside-street.
THE REASONER' AND VICTORIA PARK,
MR. Editor,- I cannot subdue into silence the satisfaction I feel at the promised 'enlarged and illustrated issue of the Reasoner,' and I have a plan in view for extending its circulation, which, if approved, may perhaps be followed by other friends in town and country with advantage.
There is in existence a society called the Victoria Park Mission,' the members of which being provided with moveable pulpits, station themselves at the various entrances to the park on Sundays, and shout incessantly anathemas against the pleasure-seekers passing to and fro. During the summer of last year, myself and others commenced a crusade in the other direction, and this year the locality promises to become a natural amphitheatre for intellectual gladiators, certain missionaries being specially appointed to oppose the torrent of infidelity wbich, Dr. Oxley declares, is unlike any he has ever met with, although he has visited every quarter of the globe. Now as the audiences constantly vary, and often exceed three hundred, I propose to have a suppiy of Reasoners at hand, and ever and anon to publish the fact, that those interested may become purchasers. I expect to dispose of from two to three dozens of the Reasoner weekly, especially as the quantity and attractiveness will remove the supposition that pecuniary gain is the object, for the freethinker, like the Roman matron, must not only be pure, but without suspicion,
Our head-quarters are at the Temperance Hall, Warner-place, Hackney-road, an establishment already causing much uneasiness to the clerical gentlemen who supply orthodoxy to the neighbourhood.
J. P. A.
GUIDE TO THE LECTURE ROOM.
, Literary and Scientific Institution, John Street, and Family Hotel, 10, Williamson Square, Fitzroy Square. - April 5th  Mr. J. B. O'Brien, Liverpool. Five Minutes' walk from the Railways • The National Resorın League.' 6th, , Mr. and Exchange. Well.aired Beds.
Good Storage Holyoake's Logic Class. 7th (7), Thomas Cooper, for Luggage. Every information given to persons * Pizarro, and the Conquest of Peru.'
Emigrating to the United States, Canada, or other Hail of Science, City Road.- April 7th , parts of the world. Letters, prepaid, attended to. Mr. G. J. Holyoake, 'Examination of a Book full of Appalling Plates, catitled “Hell Opened to Christians,” being extensively circulated by the THE PEOPLE'S REVIEW of LITERATURE
Eclectic Institute, 72, Newman Street, Ox- and Progress.' Now realy, price 6d., No. 3, for ford Street. --- April 7th , J. B. O'Brien, B.A., April, containing :-Art. 1. Calculations of Pro* Principles of Political, Moral, and Social Science,
gress. 2. Literature of American Individuality. Young Men's Mutual lastruction Society, 2, 3. Foreign Colonisation debated. 4. Importance Little Dean Street, Soho.-April 5th, Discussion of the Polish Question in the Politics of Europe. -Question, “Would the Study of Chemistry by the 5. Ancient and Modern Notions of Democracy. Working Classes improve their Condition ?'
Bob Thin's concluding Cuts at the Times. South Place, Moortields. - April 7th (11} a.m.),
Vol. 1. of 'The People's Review,' in an illusMr. Travers (it is expected) will Lecture.
trated wrapper, price 18. Od., will be ready in a few Institute of Progress, 1, George Street, Sloane days. Square.-April 7th 1721, Mr. Baker, History of the Bible
C. Mitchell, Red Lion-court, Eleet-street.
Elliistratibe Notices. Tue Young Man's Mutual Instruction Society, 2, Little Dean Street, Soho, celebrated its first Anniversary on Tuesday, March 26, by a tea party and soirée, at which Mr. Walter Cooper presided. M. Lechevalier was present. Mr. Turley, Mr. Beeny, and several menibers of the society, spoke to the various sentiments. Some members of the John Street Apollonic Society attended, and sang several beautiful duets and choruses.
Mr. Robert Norris, of Redland, having had his property distrained for Church Rates, has put out a placard concluding thus:- This is to give notice, that a reward of £50 will be paid to any person who will, by fair argument and remonstrance, or by any other righteous means, convince the said Stephen Tedder, constable; Thomas Easterling, collector; William Fripp, John Evans Lunell (!) A. G. H. Battersby, and Charles L. Walker, Magistrates; Henry Grainger and Charles Watkins Bowden, Church wardens; and the Rev. William Cartwright, Minister of the parish of Westbury, that they have, all and each of them, been guilty of a grievous offence against Religion and Justice, and induce them to resolve that they will never again be parties to the perpetration of the like iniquity and wrong.'
On Sunday evening Mr. Holyoake lectured at John Street, on Mr. Fox's Secular Instruction Bill. He stated the case between Civis' of the Leeds Times, and Mr. Baines of the Leeds Mercury. The chief issue of the lecture, in reference to the clergy, lay in the showing that if Theology were true, or thought to be true by the clergy, Secular Instruction should receive their strenuous support.
'Blandy's Edition of the Logic of Death will be ready with the next number.
Next Wednesday will appear No. 1 of the 9th Vol. of the Reasoner, 16 pages, price ld., with an Engraving of Him who goes about 'seeking whom he may devour'—from original sources.
Thomas Moore, the Irish poet, was the author of the following lines on the Irish Church Establishment: • The longer one lives the more one learns,' So on from street to street I strode : Said I as off to sleep I went,
And you can't conceive how vastly odd Bemused with thinking of tythe concerns, The butchers look'd: a roseate crew And reading a book by the Bishop of Ferns Inshrined in stalls with nought to do:
On the Irish Church Establishment. While some on a Bench hali dozing sat, But lo! in sleep not long I lay
And the sacred cows were not more fat. When Fancy her usual tricks began, Still posed to think what all this scene And I found myself bewitch'd away
Of sinecure trade was meant to mean, To a goodly city in Hindoostan :
* And pray,' asked I, óby whom is paid A city, where he who dares to dine The expense of this strange masquerade?
On ought but rice, is deemed a sinner; “The expense --oh, that's of course defray'd' Where sheep and kine are held divine, (Said one of those well-fed hecatombers) And, accordingly, never drest for dinner. “By yonder rascally rice-consumers'
“What! they who must’nt eat meat ?? — ‘But how is this,' I wondering cried,
No matter, As I walked that city far and wide, (And while he spoke his cheeks grew fatter) And saw in every marble street
* The rogues may munch their Paddy crop, A row of beatiful butchers' shops But the rogtes must still support our shop: • What means for men who can't eat meat, And, depend upon it, the way to treat
This grand display of loins and chops ?' Heretical stomachs that thus dissent, In vain I ask'd—'twas plain to see
Is to burden all that won't eat meat That nobody dar'd to answer me.
With a costly meat Establishment.'
London : Printed by Holyoake Brothers, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row; and Published
by J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster-row.-- Wednesday, April 3rd, 1850.
[The Title-page and Index to the volume are given with this number.]