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they promised to do, every man would have been, long ere this, a panper, and consequently the laws of no avail. In spite of the Poor Laws want has carried off the redundant population, and will continue to do so, in spite of all laws, all the measures which the ingenuity of man can devise.
3. It is supposed by many who are aware of the bad conse-quences arising from the Poor Laws, that they cannot now be repealed, that the attempt would be ruinous to the country. The Committee of Mendicity, in the Constitutional Assembly of France, speaking of the ill effects of our system of Poor Laws, said, “ But this example is a great and important lesson for us, for independently of the vast expence, the necessary encouragement of idleness, and the many vices which it presents to us, it discovers to us the most devouring disease in the English Constitution, which to attempt to remove or to allow to remain is equally dangerous for its tranquillity.” For my own part, I think it may be done without danger to the existing government, and with a certainty of producing ultimate good to the community at large. I would not advocate an immediate cessation of the operation of the Poor Laws, but a gradual withdrawing, so as to effect none of those who have been led to depend upon them for assistance. An act should be passed declaring that all persons born after such a date should have no claim on the Poor Laws. Besides this, directions should be given to all clergymen throughout the kingdom to explain to their congregations the necessity of this change; and also to teach, by frequent discourses, so much of the science of political economy as relates to the regulation of the price of labour, and to explain, by familiar illustrations, the advantages to be obtained, both individually and generally, by restricting the number of children in each family. Let such a repeal of the Poor Laws take place, and no ruinous, nothing but beneficial effects could follow.
Lastly. A few years previous to the passing of the celebrated act which : laid the foundation of the present system of Poor Laws, an act was passed which prohibited the building of cottages unless four acres of ground were laid to each of them, together with a prohibition against more families or households than one inhabiting each cottage. Had this act been strictly enforced, and the compulsory-relief act never passed, it is pretty certain that this country would never have suffered a tenth part of what it has. This act relating to cottages is one of the
very few of ancient times calculated to raise the condition of the labouring class; but it is not probable that those who made it understood what it was calculated to effect, or they never would have passed a coupulsory-relief act, making it imperative on overseers to find house-room for all who wanted. Had this act been in full force a man could not have married and begun rearing a family till some old family had dropped away; and such a restraint
would have effectually kept the population within bounds. The only good feature in our present system that it effects, is a partial restraint in this way ; fearing an increase of settlements upon their parish, the overseers are generally very careful not to allow cottages to be built on waste land.
In Ireland every man who, has skill and strength enough to build a mud cabin can marry; and hence the Irish generally marry very young, and produce long families.
“ While this system continues,” says a writer on the Principle of Population, and while a rood of land capable of producing potatoes can be had, the population may continue to increase, and must remain in its present deplorable condition, ill-fed, worse taught, ill-clothed, idle, dirty, ragged, and wretched in the extreme, constantly pressing against the means of subsistence, and occasionally cut down by disease.” A measure calculated to prevent these evils must certainly be hailed with pleasure: the philanthropist cannot look on them without shuddering; the man-hater can scarcely wish them more severe.
That putting off marriages to a later period of life would have the effect of restricting the population, is quite evident; but some may ask, Is it humane to compel a man to do so? I reply that any thing is better than to allow him to perpetuate the present wretched system; far better that he should lose a few pleasurable sensations in his youth, than have to live a life of misery in continual dread of being cut off by starvation. But I have said enough before to show that I do not consider even such a sacrifice necessary; he may enjoy every pleasurable sensation which an early attachment and union can afford, and yet go down to old age unencumbered with a numerous progeny. Let the Poor Laws be repealed, and the people taught that their duty does not consist, as they have been long told, it did, in giving birth to a long family, but in confining the number of their children to their means of comfortable subsistence, and the labouring class would soon be above the reach of want.
JOHN CLARKE'S “ LETTERS TO DR. ADAM CLARKE."
I am upbraided by the author for not noticing these Letters sufficiently in " The Republican," while I, on the other hand, think I have noticed them almost to puffing. It is a difficult matter to please every body, and there are some who will not be pleased on any terms; but if I have neglected to do any thing that I ought to have done for those who have been imprisoned for the sale of my publications, I invite reproach. Whether I have sufficiently
noticed Clarke's Letters, the readers of " The Republican" will, each judge for himself. The book has sold well; but because the whole edition has not sold, with a reprint of several Numbers, the author is displeased with me, in not making profit enough of it for myself
and with the public, because they leave any unsold. He should quarrel with his old friend, Maule, for not pro-. secuting it ; that being the best sort of advertisement. He has tried the Recorder, Knowlys, who will not take the book under his judicial protection. If Clarke remains dissatisfied, and no one else will prosecute the book or publisher, I must indict myself or get a friend to do it. · The book is one of the best examinations of the Bible extant. I have repeatedly said this, when once would have been enough for the readers of “The Fiepublican;" but I now recommend it to their notice upon another ground, and that is, if they can push it off among strangers, they will do a double good, in relieving one who at least has encountered persecution and suffered imprisonment from a pure love of the principles which he espoused, while they present a powerful book to a mind impregnated with: religious errors. · I am an interested party, and it hardly becomes me to stir in it; but I think that the continued imprisonment of Clarke, Perry, and Campion, should not pass on without receiving every possible mark of public reprobation. The continuation of the sale of the books for which they were prosecuted, the discontinuance of the prosecutions for the last two years, and the liberation of all other persons convected with such publications, make that continued imprisonment a fair subject for bitter and biting reproach upon the King, his Ministers, his Judges, or Legal Advisers, and upon Mr. Peel in particular. To ask or to call for mercy in such a case is to degrade one's self, as well as to degrade the prisoners. To see a vile character like William Haley liberated because he was vile enough to be a lying hypocrite, and to see these men imprisoned because and merely because they will not succumb to hypocrisy, is a very pretty feather in the cap of Mr. Peel or his Masters.
Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 62, Fleet Street.--All Correspone
dences for “ The Republican,” to be left at the place of publication.
No. 5. Vol. 14.] LONDON, Friday, Aug. 11, 1826. [Price 6d.
THE REV. ROBERT TAYLOR, PREACHER OF DEISM; AND THE REV. MR. IRVING, PREACHER OF RANT, CANT, AND DELUSION.
I am not about to defend Deism. In any kind of fiction I have no delight. Still, I cannot but consent that the preaching of Mr. Taylor is to be preferred to the preaching of Mr. Irving. Deism is good sense compared with the wretched, miserable nonsense preached in most of the English Dissenting Chapels.
On Sạnday last, I entered two chapels. In the morning, to hear what passed at the Founders' Hall Chapel, lately occupied by Mr. Taylor and his Christian Evidence Society: in the evening, for the first time, to hear Mr. Irving.
Mr. Taylor has formed what he calls a liturgy, which is but a paltry parody on, or variation from, the Church liturgy, and utterly unworthy of his abilities and other high pretensions. He has also a Catechism for children, which, from what I could collect, iu-hearing it badly read, was one string of crude absurdities and totally inapplicable to the moral instruction of a child. Children need no such catechisms. They are mischievous formulas, which fill the memory to the injury of the growing mind. One parental good example is worth all the precepts that can be impressed on the memory of the child. Children want litile more than good examples to make them good children.
The drift of Mr. Taylor's liturgy is an address of praise to the sun, as Almighty God! and we hear such absurdities as the following:-“ When thou tookest upon thee to irradiate man, thou didst pass through the constellation of the Virgin!” That the Christian mythological nonsense was made up of the Pagan my. thological nonsense, all industrious readers of ancient history discover, and also, that the Pagan mythology sprung from a petversion of the science of astronomy. But this is no reason why Mr. Taylor should adopt such nonsense, as that the
passing of the sun through the constellation of Virgo, should be connected with the irradiating of man. The intelligence of man bas been a matter of slow artificial growth, a matter of human Jabour, and
Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 62, Fleet Street.
owes no more to the Sun than to the Moon. If, on the other hand, we thank the Sun for his rays of light and heat, we may as well thank our candles or gas lights, or the fires that warm us and give heat to the pots, kettles, and pans, for the preparation of our food.
To preserve a similarity of form and sound with the Church liturgy, instead of saying, the goodly company of the prophets praise thee; Mr. Taylor says, the goodly company of the Pleiades praise thee! There is some sense and meaning in saying, that the company of prophets praise their Lord; because they do but praise the system that has kept them in idleness. But we, the creeping things of this earth, know no more of any relation between the Pleïades and the Sun, than between the Pleïades and any other the most remote planet. Such trash as this new liturgy is not instructive, is hypocritical, must be read without emphasis and without effect in such a place, and is a disgrace to the other pretensions of Mr. Tavlor and his flock.
But Mr. Taylor, in the pulpit of his chapel, becomes a very different man. Here he was listened to with delight. Here he said nothing about Almighty God; nothing about Sun, Moon, or stars. His discourse was fitting to his high pretensions, and formed by far the best sermon that was preached on that day. His discourse, on the first Sunday of opening the Chapel, or the Sunday before the last, was on the right of private judgment and publie expression of opinion. That on last Sunday was on the power of moral suasion, shewing that the preachers of all other sects did not encourage, but did discourage, all fair and moral suasion among their hearers.
In the pulpit, Mr. Taylor acquits himself well. At the reading desk, as a reader, he exhibits imperfections both in voice and manner. This place is beneath him and should be filled by some good plodding reader, who has no other oratorical qualifications.
Between the Rev. Mr. Taylor and the Rev. Mr. Irving, there is a great contrast, though the former is, from the impressions of education and other early associations, still a priesi in all the inessentials of a priest. He is not a priest in trying to deceive his hearers by his doctrines; but he is a priest in seeking to amuse them with forms aná ceremonies, little pomps and lesser fineries.
Mr. Taylor's Chapel was well and fully attended; the seats I am informed are all let; and the success of this new sect of religionists and God-praisers seems certain. Like the Unitarians, they will break up some part of the superstition of other sects. Though not themselves free from superstition, they will lessen the sum total among all the sects, and, in so doing, do a certain good.
Mr. Irving stands before us in a very different light. He has all the vices and none of the reforming virtues of his predecessor,