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Quit Epicureanism* without pain,
For who but cowards will even then complain ?
Then when your mother earth has got her own,
And mourning friends retire and hasten home,
Then will the chat go round, then friends will say,
Who feared death so much is turn’d to clay,
What pity 'tis he thought there was no God-
Oh! may his soul not feel the wrathful rod.
Some learning is a curse, not worth our care,
Such debauchees its zealous vot'ries are.
Our friend deceas'd had much humanity,
But tinctur'd much with childish vanity;
Tenets he held which were a shame to man,
That there's no God, that nougbt we see began.
But since our friend has so much fame acquir’d,
And as the god of science been admir'd,
A trifling view we'll of bis learning take,
Nor with too partial mind, nor with mistake.
Now see what light his wond'rous scheme affords,
His undigested heap of meanless words :
Now can this man, this vague inquirer, show
The spring whence motion did begin to flow :
Since nothing of itself e'er moves or strives,
Tell what begins, what the first impulse gives ?
Hear how this man, who all in fame surmounts,
For motion's spring and principles accounts:
For a supreme incommutable God,
He the first sphere appoints for fate's abode.
If we demand by what impulsive force
The worlds at first began their circling course,
He says, as things desirable excite
Desire and objects move the appetite,
So harmony of springs a sympathy produce,
For things the fittest, to all motion use;
Thus nerv'd, they move like wheels of fiery cars,
Deck'd with a gorgeous equipage of stars ;
Froin world to world communicate their dance,
Like Handel's choir harmoniously advance.
“ Thus from this motion propagated rise
“ All motion in the earth, and air, and skies."
Now prudent 'tis one question just to ask,
And sure it is a very easy task.
I think, I move, I therefore know I am,
While I have been, I still have been the same,
Since from an infant I a man became.
“ But tho' I am, few circling years are gone,
“ Since I in nature's number was unknown;"
And since 'tis plain I have not always been,
I ask, from whence my being could begin ?
I did not to myself beginning give,
Nor from myself the sacred pow'r receive
By which I reason, and by which I live.
• The Doctrine of Epicurus, a famous Athenian Philosopher, who made the Supreme Good to consist in pleasure.
If I had form’d myself, I had desigu'd
A stronger body, and a wiser mind;
From sorrow free, nor liable to pain,
My passions should obey, and reason reign.
Nor could my being from my parents flow,
Who neither did my parts or structure kuow :
Nor did my mind or body understand
The sex determin'd, nor my shape command :
Had they the organ of my senses wrought,
And form’d the wond'rous principles of thought,
Their artful work they must have better known,
Explain'd its springs, and its contrivance shown.
If to myself I did not being give,
Nor from immediate parents did receive;
It could not from my predecessors flow,
They, than my parents could no more bestow.
Should we the long depending scale ascend
Of sons and fathers, will it never end ?
If 'twill, then must we thro' the order run
To some one man, whose being ne'er begun.
If that one man was supernatural, why
Did he since independent ever die ?
If from himself his own existence came,
The cause that could destroy his being, name.
To seek my Maker, thus in vain I trace
The whole successive train of human race;
Bewilder'd, I my Author cannot find,
Till soine great first some self-existent mind,
Who form'd, and rules all nature, is assigned.
When first my mother's woonb that speck did hold,
From whence my future self did so unfold ;
What natural cause did o'er this work preside?
What vigour gave, and did each motion guide ?
What kindled in this state the vital flame,
And ere the heart was forin'd, pusli’d on the stream?
Then for the heart, the fittest fibres strung,
And in the breast the impulsive engine hung.
“ Tell what the various bones so wisely wrought,
How was their frame to such perfection brought ?
What did their figures for their uses fit,
Their numbers fix, and joints adapted knit ?"*
The wondrous whole stupendous is as this,
Therefore to see a God you cannot miss.
I'm told by authors pot of lies suspected,
That Galen,t by this study was converted.
The fabric man in pieces did he take,
Due observation of each part to make;
All which such skill discover'd to his view,
He cry'd, that there's a God there's nought so true.
The Atheist, if to search for truth's inclin'd,
May in himself a full conviction find,
And from his body teach his erring mind.
# Blackmore. A noted Physician, who flourished in the reign of the Emperor Commodus.
I kuow you'll persist, and foully will maintain, 16:31
Of causes and effects, an endless train;
That this successive series still bas been,
Will never cease, and never did begin ;
That things did always, as they do, proceed,
And no first cause, uo wise director need ;
And thus in learned Richard Carlile's mind,
All things were form'd, nor any thing design'd.
He owns no choice, no arbitrary will,
No artist's hand, and no exerted skill;
All motion flows from necessary fate,
Which nothing does resist, or can abate;
Things sink and rise, a being lose or gain,
In a coherent updissolved chain ;
And thus from fate all artful order springs,
This rear'd the world, this is the rise of things.
How does learn'd Carlile this one cause unfold,
With equal swiftness why the sun is rollid?
Still east and west, to mark the niglit and day,
To form the year, why through th' ecliptic way!
What magic, n hat nucessily confiues
The solar orb betwixt the tropic lines ?
What charm in those inchanting circles dwell,
Pray let me know, for surely you can tell?
But further yet, applauded Sir, suppose,
Celestial motion from your spring arose ;
That motion down to all the world below,
From the first sphere may propagated fow.
Since you of things to shew th' efficient source,
Have always to necessity recourse ;
From what necessity do spheres proceed,
With such a nieasur'd such a certain speed ?
I fain would this mysterious cause explore,
Wly motion was not either less or more;
But in this due proportion and degree,
As suits with nature's just economy.
This is a cause, a right one too, we grant,
But 'tis the final, we the efficient want.
With greater swiftness if the spheres were whirld,
The motion given to this inferior world,
Too violent had been for nature's use,
Of too great force mix d bodies to produce;
The elements, air, water, earth, and fire,
Whicb row to make compounds of things conspire,
By their rude shocks could never have combin'd,
Or had been disengag'd as soon as join'd ;
But had a motion ip a less degree
Been given, than that which we in nature see,
Of greater vigour they had stood in need,
To mix and blend the elemental seed ;
To temper, work, incorporate, and bind
Those principles, that thence of ev'ry kind,
The various conipound beings might arise,
Which fill the earth and sea, qud store the skies?
Say wbat necessity, what fatal lawa,
Did in such due proportion wotido cause ;
Nor more or less, but just so much as tends
To frame the world, and serve all sture's ends.
Tell why the highest of the rolling spheres,
Deck'd to profüsion with refulgent stars ;
And why one planet satellites bas seren,
Why fate to Jove has not so many given. "
Say, if the world uncaus'd, did ne'er begin,
If nature, what it is has always been,
Why do no wars the poet's song employ
Before the Theban broils, or siege of Troy?
And why no older histories relate
The rise of empires, and the turns of state?
It generations infinite are gone,
Tell why so late were arts and letters known;
Man in mechanic arts did late excel,
That succour life, and noxious pow'rs repel,
Which yield supplies for necessary use,
Or which to pleasure, or to pomp conduce.
How late was found the loadstone's magic force,
That seeks the north, and guides the sailor's course.
But pray forgive nie my prolixity,
Nor term it, Sir, an impropriety ;
For on the whole, the reasons which you give,
To make in this necessity believe,
So trifling are, absurd, and trite, and dry,
That those should blush who make a grave reply.
So since these things your reas'ning ne'er can shew,
Be just for once, and ignorance allow;
Say nature bows to the almighty nod."
Call it the will, the pow'r, the band of God:
For why should man pure reason's path retrain,
And thus his Maker's wondrous works disdam ?
It must proceed from ignorance and pride,
Whoever does th' Omnipotent deride,
And will not in his providence confide.
TO MR. RICHARD CARLILE, 62, FLEET STREET.
Woodside, near Aberdeen, June 22, 1826. | Rejoice that you are again at liberty after six years of cruel imprisonment by your Christian persecutors. You have, singlehanded, done wonders. You have fought a battle without parallel in the annals of history, and have conquered. Your noble perseverance, and undaunted courage, have done more than the Phi. losophers, Statesmen, or Warriors, that ever lived. You have set at liberty not the body, but the mind. You have made thousands to think for themselves who were deeply 'sunk in the den of ignorance and superstition and received without inquiry or
examination whatever was told them by the priest." But for all that has been effected, there is still much more to do. In this remote part of the country, thousands are yet in a most deplorable state; superstition and priestcraft still reign with unlimited sway, except with only a few; and gods, devils, ghosts, witches, and fairies, still haunt the habitation of the labouring man ; who possibly has neither heard of the name of Carlile, nor of any of
pour publications, or by reason of their expensiveness has not been able to purchase them. Now, Sir, if I may take the liberty to tell you, their cheapness is an object of the greatest importance to the cause of free discussion, and the propagation of the principles you so nobly advocate. The general part of them is by far too dear for a poor man, and of course greatly hurts their circulation, for we must proceed more by stealth than by storm, and for that purpose cheap publications are the most proper. The Bon Sens, a work of great merit, has been published at such a price, as to deter most people from purchasing it; for, to my knowledge, six copies for one would have been ordered from this place had the price been moderate. The Doubts of Infidels; the System of Nature, and the God of the Jews, from their perspicuity and wit are irresistible. Print editions of such works as these in the cheapest manner you possibly can, with hand-bill catalogues, and the prices and small descriptions of each work : a few sent to your friends throughout the country, to be handed about, would greatly advance the cause of free discussion and annoy the priests, whose greatest safety is to keep them from being known. Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in Askalon, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. By paying a little attention to the above hints, you will greatly oblige your friend and admirer,
P. S. Being a constant reader of your Republican,” I have got a look at the annexed, and I agree with Wm. Innan as to the contents of his letter; but I would suggest to you if you cannot afford to let us have these principal works cheaper, to publish them in weekly numbers, the same as Clarke's Letters, and I am confident you would extend the sale of them in this and in every other place where your publications are read. Your constant admirer,
It must be laid down as a certainty that all books cannot be brought within the scale as to price of the poor man's pocket,