תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

mystified excites curiosity; but nonsense exposed excites disgust. That Freemasonry has excited much curiosity is well known; but that it is wholly worthless and even mischievous as an institution is now to be seen. It has been a game for rogues and fools to play at, to convert fools into rogues.

My wext letter will commence a review of the four addressed to you, with further illustrations, historical, ceremonial and moral. For the present, I leave you to enjoy them as they now appear, and remain the founder of a morality that shall extend to all, and embrace all, and be practised and felt by all, more moral than a Mason can be.

RICHARD CARLILE.

COPY OF A LETTER SENT TO THE KING, CARLTON

PALACE.

Sir,

Dorchester Gaol, July 22, 1825. I beg of you to submit the petition, which the accompanying No. 2, Vol. 12, of The Republican contains, to your Law Officers, and to see, if they can shake my exposition of the law on matters of blasphemy towards the Christian religion,

I am, Sir, your prisoner,

RICHARD CARLILE.

TO CORRESPONDENTS.

We have published Palmer's Oration on the Anniversary of American Independence separate from the Republican, at fuurpence.

Also, a Demonstration, for a penuy, that evil cannot cxist in conjunction with such a God as Christians or Deists worship.

We have not been able to get ready a sufficient supply of the likeness of the Jewish and Christian God. Some of the Chris, tian Lithographists are ashamed or afraid of this phantom of theirs aod their predecessors' brains. In a few days, we hope to be for. ward enough to meet all demands. The “ John Bull" newspaper has obliged us with the following advertisement :

TO JOHN BULL. Sir, For some weeks past, a Caricature of the most infamous pature has been exhibited in the window of Carlile's shop, in Fleet-street. The subject is a hideous personification of the Deity, composed, 23 appears by the quotations appended to it, from the figurative expressions made use of in the prophetical writings of the Old Testament, taken in a literal sense. I shall not disgust your religious readers by describing this appalling outrage on public deceucy more minutely—that its object should not be misiaken, ihe inscriptions about the picture state what the figure is intended for: at the top is written, “ Jews and Christians behold your God

the Great Jehovah, or Trinity in Unity ;" and at the bottom. " A God for a shilling." I have only to observe further, that it is a matter of surprise no steps have been taken to put a stop to an exibition so disgraceful. Surely the Lord Mayor would be justified in directing his officers to remove a picture displaying a subject so decidedly blasphemous.'

E I. C. A hideous personification of the Deity it may be, John, or E. I. C.: but it is not a caricature, further than the Bible is caricature of the same thing: not more a caricature, than the Wesleyan prints of the Indian Gods. It stings, John, and I am glad to see it. It forms a point in that moral revenge which I will take of my persecutors for my six years imprisonment. The Lord Mayor · remove it! He would find it a more difficult job than to make St.

Paul's and the Mansion House exchange places. You, John, I know, do not like the Methodists, but why should not I describe this god as you and brother Christians describe the gods of other ignorant pagans? Get it prosecuted, John, and I will improve upon the next.

I am very glad to see the first number of “The TRADES' NewsPAPER AND MECHANICS Weekly JOURNAL,”a paper professedly in the hands of journeymen mechanics. I have not yet read it through; but the very title, if well supported, deserves the undivided support of every journeyman. This is evidently a day's march gained upon the enemy-ignorance and its companions, superstition and mechanic-degradation.

R. C.

SUBSCRIPTION.

Hiburnicus of Bath for Mrs. Jeffreys

8. d. 2 6

Erratum in last week's Subscription list.
A Christian but no persecutor, for 1s. read £l.

Privled and Published by R. CARLILE, 135, Fleet Strcot.-All Correspon,

dences for the “ Republican" to be left at the place of publication.

No. 5, Vol. 12.) London, Friday, August 5, 1825. [Price 6d.

TO MR. RICHARD CARLILE DORCHESTER GAOL.

SIR, 1. I LATELY received the 25th number of your paper, entitled the Republican, which was transmitted under cover directed to me at Bradford, and although I am not in the babit of reading your periodical work (the principles and spirit of wbicb I cannot approve of, yet,) being both challenged and invited to enter your arena, I feel myself compelled (although very reluctantly) to do so.

2. With respect to tbe great question between you and the public, I do not scruple to avow, that I consider you as a most unjustly, cruelly, and wickedly persecuted man; and I am not greatly surprised at your entertaining strong prejudices against a religion, wbich you have hastily and most unjustly accused as the root of such bitter and corrupted fruits. When, in your own person, and in the persons of your relatives and friends, you bave witnessed sucb enormiijes of oppression, and injustice, under the pretended sanctions of Law and Religion ; it is not altogether unnatural, that you should entertain a contempt for the civil institutions of the country; and designate the Priesthood, as a cover for fraud, bypocrisy, and tyranny. When you asked for a fish, they gave you a serpent; and when you desired bread, they gave you a stone. But while, Sir, I bave no hesitation, in proclaiming my opinion concerning the cruelty, and the injustice of your lot; my abhorrence of the motives wbich determined that lot; and my detestation of the hypocrisy, and cowardice, which suggested those motives; you must allow me with equal frankness, to say, tbat I think you have most unjustly, attributed to Christianity*, those effects which have been directly contrary to

* Pray, Sir, tell me wbat is Christianity, other than those current principles which do and which have passed here and in other countries under

Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 135, Fleet Street.

its spirit, and principles; and (judging from some numbers of your work, wbich I have only occasionally seen) you appear to me, to have allowed some of your correspondents, to treat long cherished, and generally venerated religious Tenets, with a levity and indecency, disgraceful to enquirers after Truth; hostile to every thing like free and impartial investigation ; and highly injurious to your own reputation; against wbich, the public opinion has for so long a time been setting with such an overwhelming current.

3. While, however, I think it right, and honest, to protest against such an unbecoming mode of investigating opinions, which, (to say the least,) bave received the sanction of age, of talent, and of virtue ; it is but just to acknowledge, that your correspondent who signs himself Leucippus, bas met the most momentous question respecting the divine existence and goverument, in a fair and dispassionate manner ; and although I cannot belp deploring, what appears to me to be a lamentable delusion of tbe judgment, and a very mysterious blindness to the most obvious facts; yet I would most willingly, give bim full credit, for sincerity ; and do feel, a very earnest desire, to satisfy (as far as it is in my power) the doubts of your unbelieving friend.

4. From his observations on the first part of my sermon, respecting the application of the term Fool to infidels in practice; it seems that your correspondent bas understood me as implying, that vice is the proper practice of the infidel; which certainly was not my meanjug, as I am well persuad. ed, that many of those, who have taken their rank in the schools of Ipfidelity, bave exhibited such brilliant examples of the social virtues, as might well bave put many professing Christians to the blush.

5. By an infidel in practice, I mean one, wbo although professedly a believer in the being and attributes of God, yet, babitually lives in open violation of the divine laws, and contempt of the divine authority, and such a man, I consider, as a fool, in the strictest sense of the word; and as a fool of no ordinary magnitude; but with respect to infidels in theory; although I would be far from asserting, that there is a necessary connection between infidelity and vice;

that pame? I take it as I see it in practice: and if I go to the New Testa ment, I find the very theory wicked. I could not refrain from this observation; but I leave the general reply to Leucippus.

R. .C

yet I bave no hesitation in maintaining, that infidelity is highly favourable to the growth of vice, and can bardly fail of producing it, if the mind has not been well cultivated by education, and the passions are not restrained by the sugges. tions of prudence.

6. That Cicero (who must be allowed to have been a rery competent judge of the real state of the heathen world) considered not only the absolute denial, but also degrading notions of the supreme being, as very unfavourable to morality, is evident; for in the second chapter of his Treatise de natura Deorum, he has these words: “sunt enim Philosophi et fuerunt, qui animo nullum habere censerunt humanarum rerum, procurationem Deos. Quorum si vera sententia est, quæ potest esse pietas? quæ sanctitas? quæ religio?--hand scio an pietate adversus, Deos sublata, fides etiam, et societas humani generis, et una excellentissima virtus justitia tollatur--and again in the fortieth cbapter, addressing himself to Velleius, he says, Non arbitror te Vel.. lei, similem esse Epicurorum reliquorum; (quos pudeat earum Epicuri vocum), quibus ille testatur, se non intelligere quidem ullum bonum, quod sit sejunctum a delicatis et obscænis voluptatibus; quas quidem non erubescens persequitur ompes nominatim.”

7. Your correspondent Leucippus in proceeding, makes the following observation. “The Lecturer acknowledges the Deity to be quite incomprehensible but still insists that such a being must be the creator of all things, and infers the existence of this being, to whom he ascribes unlimited perfections; from the appearauces exbibited in the world.” Io reply to this observation, I would ask; what more natural, or Philosopbical course can reason possibly pursue, iban to infer the existence of a Creator from the works of nature; and from the general order and harmony of the upiverse, to conclude, that this Creator is absolutely perfect, although his real nature, and the mode of his existence, may be iucomprehensible to the very limited powers of the human understanding. Your correspondent can hardly be so absurd, as to maintain, that the objects around him, and even man himself, the proud Lord of the lower Creation, bave sprung into existence spontaneously, by equivocal generation, or from a fortuitous concourse of Atoms: and bis own illustration, (I hope he will excuse the robbery) sball also be mine upon this point. .

8. 'Take a watch--(I am sure it will suit my purpose, much better than it can answer his)— We infer says be, from its

« הקודםהמשך »