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It may be supposed that none but priests, ministers, or others, educated for the duty, are in the position to make this examination, or that the study requires not only a suitable frame of mind, but a second divine revelation, to enable us to understand the first. But it is clear to me that truth should not be fettered till, like the notion of a rich sect, 'The spirit moves it to speak,' but whenever it detects an error, where it finds iguorance, to implant wisdom. We see daily and hourly that genius and rectitude are not confined to men of high degree, for we know a noble may possibly be a noodle, a priest a pander, and a knock on the head may make an idiot of a Socrates. In fact it should be the pride and the boast, as well as the duty of thinking men, to teach that if a systein of theology be an emanation from a divine and beneficent being, it must be a system of universality, in which all mankind have the same interest, in which all are equal, in which all are priests. It is the duty of none to wait either for the laying on of hands, or till men are in the much vaunted frame of mind (which may never be), but when we see our friend and brother on the edge of a moral precipice, to rush and endeavour to rescue him, irrespective of consequences, and without a view of any other reward save what is sure to follow the performance of a good action. Wishing, sir, every success to your publication, and a better year for all than the last, I remain, yours faithfully,

R, L. B.

PERSIAN IDEAS OF GENEROSITY.

WILL eulogists of the Gospels tell us if there is anything more beautiful than this gem of oriental literature, contained in a passage from the Persian poet Sadi, quoted hy Sir Wm. Jones, the sentiment of which is embodied in these lines :

The sandal tree perfumes, when riven,
The axe that laid it low;
Let man, who hopes to be forgiven,
Forgire and bless his foe.

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GUIDE TO THE LECTURE ROOM.

THE
HE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF HENRY

HETHERINGTON, from the Eloge by T. Literary and Scientific Institution, John Street, Cooper, author of the Purgatory of Suicides:' the Fitzroy Square.-- Jan. 18ta, (8}],Mr. J.B. O'Brien, Oration at Kensal Green Cemetery, by G. J. Holy"The National Reform League.' 19th [8]], Mr. oake, editor of the Reasoner: the Speech of James Holyoake's Eclectic Class. 20th [7], Richard Hart, Watson: a Tribute, hy W.J. Linton: with Hether‘State of Parties and Opinions.'

ington's 'Last Will and Testament.' Hall of Science, City Road.-Jan. 20th [7], Mr. Thomas Cooper, ' Myths of the Four Gospels-the

Works Published by the late H. Hetherington. Passion and Crucifixion.'

Cheap Salvation, by H. Hetherington

0 3 South London Hall, Webber Street, Blackfriars Trial of Henry Hetherington lor Blasphemy, Road.- Jan 20th [7], Mr. G. J. Holyoake, * Revolu before Lord Denman, with his excellent tions of Reason contrasted with Revolutions of defence...

6 Force.

The Questions of Zapata..

04 Farringdon Hall, Snow Hill.-Jan. 20th(11 a.m.), The Celebrated Speech of Robert Emmett, Robert Owen, Esq., will Lecture. [7 p.m.), a Lec. the Irish Patriot.

0 1 ture.

A Letter on Superstition, by William Pitt,
Finsbury Hall, Bunhill Row. — Jan. 21st 18+], first Lord Chatham
Mr. P. Jones' On Genius.'

A View of all Religions

0 South Place, Moorfields.-Jan. 20th [11 a.m.], Baheut's Conspiracy for Equality. I vol.,

cloth bds....

0 W.J. Fox, M.P., will Lecture.

[Only a very few copies remain unsold.]

The Yahoo, a satirical Rhapsody. 1 vol.,
Сол
OALS.-JOHN CRAMP, of the firm of NEAL

cloth boards

2 0 and Co., Coal Merchants, Old Jamaica Wharf, Ditto in wrapper

8 Surrey side of Blackfriars Bridge, informs his Social Friends that he is desirous of giving them the advan. tage of the wholesale market, hy supplying Coal of No. I will be ready on the 1st of February. Price

The People's Review, of Literature and Progress. the best quality at the lowest price for ready money ; Sixpence. the rate of charges being always only four shillings advanice on the prices in the Pool, as advertised London: J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, from the Coal Exchange. Present Price, 24s. Paternoster Row

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#Ilustrative Notices.

A Tea Party will be given in the Coffee Room of the John Street Institution on Monday, January 21st, at eight in the evening, to Mr. Jones, previous to his tour in the country. Mr. Owen will take the chair.

The Plate of the design of the Carlile Monument can still be had with Reasoner No. 188, of the last Series,

In a review of Miranda ; or, Three Steps, and which is the Best,' the Spectator, No. 1123, remarks—The three steps in this fairy tale are knowledge, kindness, religion : the heroine, in pursuit of happiness, tries the first with only a temporary success: and is not much happier in the practice of charity, till it is founded on religion. If any persons will take the first two steps with us, we shall be very glad to forego the other.

Mr. Tozer, of 59, Mark Lane, has invented a 'Repellent' fluid, by the use of which 'Leather becomes quite waterproof—more durable-softer and more elastic -pleasant in wear-not liable to crack-comfortable to tender feet—advantageous to health-and the shoe being rendered waterproof, a thinner sole can be used with the same effect.' We wish some one would invent a fluid which should be a 'Repellent' of popular divinity as well as of damp. Souls might be rendered errorproof with as much advantage as soles are rendered waterproof.

Twenty-five shillings have been added this week to the new Reasoner Fund.

Twelve sixpences to the Newspaper Stamp Abolition Fund. In both cases particulars, as announced, will appear on the wrapper of the Monthly Part.

A Sunderland captain, says the North and South Shields Gazette, of Dec. 21st, when in Russia, received a copy of the Herald from home. All articles relating to Russia, Hungary, or Austria, were carefully cut out by the authorities; and 3s. 6d. charged for postage.

J. W., who sends his address, has twenty numbers of the Zoist, in perfect state, to dispose of, at a quarter the published price.

The Cosmopolite is a new Magazine, intended to present a series of essays on politics, poetry, and literature. The first number, practical, light, and various, was issued on the first of January.

The Morning Herald, of the 13th December, 1849, has an excellent leading article on the trial Gorham v. Bishop of Exeter, in which the Morning Herald states—Then,' says the Bishop, 'I maintain that every infant, in baptism, receives a new nature, a new heart, and leaves the church a totally different creature from what he entered it.' The Morning Herald then goes on to say ' people are entitled to ask, where he finds the facts on which to rest his belief ?* We quite agree with the observation. No other comment is necessary than to repeat that it is the facts which we require.

The letter of Mr. C. Cook, upon the suspension of the Lancashire Beacon, we are sorry to say, has arrived too late for insertion.

Next week we shall have the pleasure of presenting an essay by Aliquis, entitled, “Is the Design Argument a Sound Ope?' Also, a letter on Rush and the Mannings, by 'A Subscriber to the Oracle, Movement, and Reasoner.'

G. J. H.

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, Jan. 16, 1850.

AND

THEOLOGICAL REGISTER.

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.

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE DESIGN ARGUMENT ?

Tue Edinburgh Review, for October 1849, contains a very able article, entitled 'Reason and Faith; their Claims and Conflicts,' from which the following extract, commencing at page 312, is made :

"Without entering into the many different sources of argument for the existence of a Supreme Intelligence, we shall only refer to that proof on which all theists, savage and civilised, in some form or other, rely—the traces of an “eternal power and godhead” in the visible creation. The argument depends on a principle which, whatever may be its metaphysical history or origin, is one which man perpetually recognises, which every act of his own consciousness verifies, which he applies fearlessly to every phenomenon, known or urknown; and it is this—That every effect has a cause (though he knows nothing of their connection), and that effects which bear marks of design have a designing cause. This principle is so familiar that if he were to affect to doubt it in any practical case in human life, he would only be laughed at as a fool, or pitied as insane, The evidence, then, which substantiates the greatest and first of truths mainly depends on a principle perfectly familiar and perfectly recognised. Man can estimate the nature of that evidence; and the amount of it, in this instance, he sees to be as vast as the sum of created objects; nay,

far

more, for it is as vast as the sum of their relations. So that if (as is apt to be the case) the difficulties of realising this tremenduous truth are in proportion to the extent of knowledge and the powers of reflection, the evidence we can perfectly appreciate is cumulative in an equal or still higher proportion. Obvious as are the marks of design in each individual object, the sum of proof is not merely the sum of such indications, but that sum infinitely multiplied by the relations established and preserved amongst all these objects; by the adjustment which harmonises them all into one system, and impresses on all the parts of the universe a palpable order and subordination. While even in a single part of an organised being (as a hand or an eye) the traces of design are not to be mistaken, these are indefinitely multiplied by similar proofs of contrivance in the many individual organs of one such being—as of an entire animal or vegetable. These are yet to be multiplied by the harmonious relations which are established of mutual proportion and subserviency amongst all the organs of any one such being. And as many beings even of that one species or class as there are, so many multiples are there of the same proofs. Similar indications yield similar proofs of design in each individual part, and in the whole individual of all the individuals of every other class of beings; and this sum of proof is again to be

(No. 191).

[No. 3, Vol. VIII.)

LONE PENNY.]

multiplied by the proofs of design in the adjustment and mutual dependence and subordination of each of these classes of organised beings to every other, and to all; of the vegetable to the animal of the lower animal to the higher. Their magnitudes, numbers, physical force, faculties, functions, duration of life, rates of multiplication and development, sources of subsistence, must all have been determined in exact ratios, and could not transgress certain limits without involving the whole universe in confusion. This amazing sum of probabilities is yet to be further augmented by the fact that all these classes of organised substances are intimately related to those great elements of the material world in which they live, to which they are adapted, and which are adapted to them; that all of them are subject to the influence of certain mighty and subtle agencies which pervade all nature-and which are of such tremendous potency that any chance error in their proportions of activity would be sufficient to destroy all, and which yet are exquisitely balanced and inscrutably harmonised.

The proofs of design arising from the relations thus maintained between all the parts, from the most minute to the most vast, of our own world, are still to be further multiplied by the inconceivably momentous relations subsisting between our own and other planets and their common centre; amidst whose sublime and solemn phenomena science has most clearly discovered that everything is accurately adjusted by geometrical precision of force and movement; where the chances of error are infinite, and the proofs of intelligence, therefore, equal. These proofs of design in each fragment of the universe, and in all combined, are continually further multiplied by every fresh discovery, whether in the minute or the vast—by the microscope or the telescope ; for every fresh law that is discovered, being in harmony with all that has previously been discovered, not only yields its own proof of design, but infinitely more, by all the relations in which it stands to other laws: it yields, in fact, as many as there are adjustments which have been effected between itself and all besides. Each new proof of design, therefore, is not a solitary fact; but one which, entering as another element into a most complex machinery, indefinitely multiplies the combinations, in any one of which chance might have gone astray. From this infinite array of proofs of design, it seems to man's reason, in ordinary moods, stark madness to account for the phenomena of the universe upon any other supposition than that which does account, and can alone account, for them all-the supposition of a Presiding Intelligence, illimitable alike in power and in wisdom.'

For the purpose of keeping the real nature of the design argument steadily before the reader,I will convert it into this short proposition-Objects which bear marks of design have an intelligent cause, The material universe bears unequivocal marks of profound desigu. The material universe, therefore, has an Intelligent Cause.

When theists say that. Objects which bear marks of design have an intelligent cause,' they, in reality, assert that all objects which bear marks of design have an intelligent cause. But how have they ascertained this ? Simply by assuming it.

Now, as no argument can be sound whose premises are untrue, it must be obvious that, if the premises from which the design argument is evolved are untrue, the design argument can be of no value whatever.

The premises from which the design argument is evolved are the assumption that all objects which bear marks of design have an intelligent cause. These premises I shall show to be untrue, by exhibiting numerous objects bearing uneqnivocal marks of profound design, which have not an intelligent cause.

Here is an acorn. I plant it in the ground; whence will issue, in time, a young

tree, which, through the influences of air, moisture, &c., will become a magnificent oak, bearing unequivocal marks of profound design.*

If I substitute the seeds of the beech tree, the plane tree, &c., for the acorn, analogous objects, bearing marks of profound design, will be obtained.

Here then we have a group of objects, bearing unequivocal marks of profound design, which have not an intelligent cause.

Here are a number of eggs. I place them in a box kept at a regulated temperature. After the lapse of a certain time chickens will be obtained, which, through the influences of food, air, moisture, &c., will become adult birds, bearing unequivocal marks of profound design.

If I substitute the eggs of eagles, pheasants, grouse, &c., for those of the hen, analogous objects, bearing unequivocal marks of profound design, will be obtained.

Here then we have another group, of a different description, of objects bearing unequivocal marks of profound design, which have not an intelligent cause.

Here is a living, breathing horse. Every part of him bears marks of profound design-of adaptation means to ends--of nice adjustment of parts. And has he an intelligent cause ? No. A little fluid has been to him the origin of life, which, by assimilating to itself suitable fluids from the female parent, became a young animal, which, through the influences of food, air, moisture, &c., passed into the creature we behold.

Lions, tigers, &c., are produced in a manner similar to the horse.

Here then we have a third group of objects dissimilar to either of the preceding ones, bearing unequivocal marks of profound design, and which have not an intelligent cause.

Now, as no argument can be sound whose premises are untrue, and as the premises from which the design argument is evolved are the assumption that all objects which bear marks of design have an intelligent cause, and as I have shown these premises to be untrue, by exhibiting numerous objects bearing unequivocal marks of profound design which have not an intelligent cause-it follows that the design argument is of no value whatever.

ALIQUIS, P.S.-I beg to invite the author of 'Reason and Faith,' or any other able Christian advocate, to join me in a written discussion on these important questions— What is the value of the evidence offered in support of the existence of a Supreme Intelligence? What is the value of the evidence offered in support of the truth of Christianity?

A.

[Nearly three years since we published a paper of Aliquis’s, entitled . Have we sufficient proof of the Existence of God ?' copies of which we sent to the leading clergy and literary men who support Christianity, requesting (if we were in error) the favour of their enlightenment. The only replies received were from Mr. Burke, Professor Young, and James Martineau. Aliquis has now sent us the above paper, conceived in a comprehensive, and expressed in a lucid manner, in which he assails one of the strongest fortresses of theology. We shall forward it also to selections of the clergy and others, from whom we trust to hear in reply.- Ed.]

Theists inform us that there is not a plant, fish, bird, or animal, which does not bear unequivocal marks of profound design. Although I am not convinced that the application of the term design to natural objects is correct, I am, nevertheless, for the present, willing to allow the theist to be right.

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