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ye that are heavily laden with religious burthens, and I will give you rest. I will remove the yoke from your shoulders, and give you that spiritual joy; which you will seek in vain elsewhere. Rally round the No. 62, Fleet-street, pick up the spiritual food that you will there find scattered for your use, and feed and be happy. I do not desire such a crowd about my windows, as I left at 55. I should be sorry to see sich a crowd as would injure the business of my neighbours, as was then the case ; but I do hope to find a constant shop full of customers, as the consequence will be an accelerated removal of your manifold grievances: My publications are they which are chiefly calculated to produce the desired i political changes. This I can be bold to say without a symptom of quackery.
I deserted my narrative, lest it should become tedious, so now I return to it. 13 In breaking forth into the political world, humble and obscure asub was, my
acquaintances were the chief clamourers of the day, and all those who followed political clamour as they would follow any other trade. Men without any knowledge of or attachment to good political principles. Mine was a purpose very different from theirs, and I found neither encouragement nor sympathy from them, as I passed through the ordeal wbich I had courted. Indeed, they were my first powerful secret-enensies; for to defend their own line of conduct, they decried mine; and strenuously sought to undernine what little of popular support ! first received. I have worn them out, and now I see them disa posed to hang about me, as if they had been my most fast friends. With these men, I shall hold no intercourse, and check every attempt they may make to renew an acquaintance. I reject them not as old acquaintances; but as men who have been tried and found wanting-men, with whom to associate, would now be my disgrace. Further, I hold myself ready to prevent any political mischief that they may be disposed to do, and, if necessary, will war with them, as I have warred with Cobbett. Political reforms are only to be accomplished by honest, earnest, and wellinformed men ; your mere clamouter about politics and patriotism is a' nuisance in the pursuit, and it becomes a matter of importance to sliake off such assuming assistants, which, if not shaken off, will assuredly impede if not wholly frustrate your purpose. The present is a inanifesto of my future intentions, as well as a tarrative of past deeds, and I much wish that all parties and all person's should know how I feel disposed towards them. Rather disposed to conciliate than to offend, Thave still the duty to keep a pure connection, and to give no countenance to any person that does not participate in my views.
The futile political clamour of the “ Radical Reform" era; that which was to preserve and only to purify the constitution, as by law established in Church and State, to purify the God ! the
King ! the Lords ! the Priests ! 'That which was to preserve all the dolls for the national nursery, and merely to take away their costly dresses, that nonsensical clamour, of which the great Henry Hunt was the leader, is now extinct. That clamour has been a considerable check to the welfare of the people; because, with it was allied both treachery and hypocrisy, and the whole thing was carried on and ended as a general delusion. There was nothing good about it. There was nothing wise and well managed in it. All was trick, political and party intrigue, personal quarrel and imbecility. Where is now your Great Northern Union Subscription? Where your Radical Reforming M. P.'s? Where your brave Knights of Saint Henry of Ilchester?' Where your white hats? I am no apostate from you. I countenanced none of these things. I exposed them as they arose ; and was in my return exposed to the rancour of those whose tricks were foiled. This reminiscence is not revengeful ; it is meant to illust trate to you the superiority of those political principles which I then advocated. still advocate ; and which I purpose successfully to advocate until some great public change be produced. These political principles I maintained through six years of incarceration and gave them so much weight by sincere maintenance that their most bitter opponents have ceased to reproach them, and have tacitly admitted them to take their station in the field of political discussion. But where are your political, your radical reforming, principles? Reproached as insincere, reviled as futile, and beaten down as impracticable.
The condensed history of my persecution, and of those who haře been persecuted with me, must form the subject of a distinct volume. Many things, yet remain undone that are to be connected with it, and this general allusion to the matter will here suffice.
My prospects as to the future are successive of that which I have begun and continued to the extent of my means. To print and publish whatever useful political and theological books fear or prejudice might have elsewhere suppressed ; to maintain the obtained reputation of this country as ihe most free on the face of the earth. To pursue the overthrow of whatever doctrines are not founded in truth, and to seek to give the political institutions of the country a better foundation. To attack abuses wherever I see them and can make time for them, and, above all things, to shew that an attachment to the existing state of things, when corrupt, is not the highest degree of social order. Other prospects may open and be embraced; but these are all that present themselves at this moment, and, with these, I desire to pursue as quiet a career, as the subjects to be discussed will admit of. Persecution has worked its own cure; and a relapse would but aggravate the matter complained of. This comes not in the shape of threat. I speak with the conviction of one who feels that he has not yio
Játed any law to procure his long imprisonment, and who now contemplates not the violation of any law. Discussion is a matter above the law, it is the just foundation of law, and he, who most extends it and makes it most free, will do most toward the support and amendment of law.
0:-: ON THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF PRIESTS.
WITHOUT entering into speculations relative to the antiquity of the human race, whether all the species of man are co-eval, or that the revolutions of matter formed them at different periods, I shall start from an indefinite epoch. The earliest operations of mad must have been those prompted by his wants, by his passions, by his desires; bodily feeling demanded its appropriate supply; his first task would be to connteract the pain of hunger by food, thirst by drink, and cold by warmth; the agreeable would be preferred to the disagreeable, repose to fatigue, pleasure to pain: in this plain state all the passions would be simple, there would be neither envy, avarice, nor superstition; these perspective passions could only arise as men became sufficiently numerous to form bodies and gathered experience from practice; a man most useful to his fellows, would be honoured in preference to one that neither could nor would contribute to the public benefit. The individual most skilled in the rude arts would be regarded as a benefactor; in a rude state of society homage would be commanded by bodily force, as that faculty in every generation would reach its acme, while the power of the mind would be of slow growth, and many ages would be required to gain the knowledge of a child of this day: the congregate mind of the people would only accumulate by the slowest stages, sometimes progressive, at others retrograde, as experience could only accelerate its course, it must be remembered how every effort would be retarded, when both language was wanted to convey ideas, as well as a want of ideas; in the infancy of society there would be a greater want of language than ideas, which would make abortive useful conceptions of things; this is still known by those who study the character of isolated bodies of the people who are still ignorant of the commonest things. If it is suppused that the people of Terra Australis, 'a race distinct from the European, have existed as long as the European, the slower progress of knowledge in the one must be evident, and if they are supposed to be a recent race, and as well organized as Europeans, il might be assumed in the progress of time, that had they had no inter.
course with foreigners, they would have arrived ap a similar state
In this slow, imperceptible, and nightly progress of the human
One condition of society is best calculated to advance the pros gress of priestcraft: it would best flourish in the epocha of demibarbarism, when the people would be too ignorant to reason, and too learned to be savage: in the former state any speculations relative to a Deity wonld not exist, priesicraft would be unknown and unprofitable, the savace would not want any spiritual guide, his simple senses would make hiin laugh if a brother savage saw any thing but the operations of nature, the priests' eniginas, mysteries, prodigies, miracles, and speculations, would bring no rewards; and if there were no rewards, there would be no priests ; and if there were no priests, there would be no religion; and if there was no religion, the savage would lead a happy life and
close it in nitranquility, as an infinite number of his forefathers had done: the harvest of the priest is between ignorance and the dawn of reason; the savage and the reasoner are equally unprofitable to priests, they are those extremes of the human mind he cannot controul to his gain: so it is in childhood and dotage that man is the prey of priests.
If it could be proved that any religion existed in the savage state of man, it would not be so barbarous as in its subsequent states; man being surrounded by natural objects, ignorant of sophistry, and untutored in those subtle and wicked practices that mark the priest's progress, he would be totally void of religion, and when the priests began to successfully exercise their tricks upou his ignorance, he would only pay homage to some of the most striking objects that surrounded him: this worship; although useless in itself, would not be stained by those absurd deeds and horrid tragedies that were afterwards engrafted upon it. Although the worship of a river, a tree, or a stone might be foolish, yet if such simple idolatry was unattended by merit, it was not marked by crime: as this simple worship was less favourable to the venal views of the priests, than the complex and mysterious, it was changed by their order into absurd rites and ceremonies tbat disgraced human nature; but a return to the worship of nature is the only one that can wisely be practised, a simple condition of idolatry is not likely to be advocated, by priests; a mysterious, doctrine the people cannot understand makes them resort to the priests for advice and instruction, one God would not produce much of a harvest, but the pope, the devil, and a thousand saints have brought in abundance of riches. The people are never devout until they are bewildered, the priests lead their dupes joto mazes and bewilder them, till at last they forget common sense. Deism, whether savage or philosophic, will never be supported by priests; as it would be without parade and ceremony it would bring a far less revenue than superstition accompanied with a multitude of mysteries and rites.
It has been regarded as a phenomenon, that priests of all ages, all nations, and all dogmas have been the same, men resorting to a profession founded upon imposture, as acting upon similar principles of policy, must ever identify themselves without concert, with fraud, evasion, and hypocrisy: to preserve dominion over the human mind, ignorance must be inculcated on one hand, . and deceit acted on the other; the priests by pretension to divine agency soon ceased to be restrained by those moral obligations that ehecked the licentious passions of other men; professing to be more than mortal, they despised men who continued to be actuated by reason and honourable motives. The progress of priestcraft proves, that it has always been the intention of priests to create spiritual empires and elect themselves governors, so that they might reign absolute over the life and property of their dupes :