« הקודםהמשך »
had any of these mad, crack-brained" people brought before you to be legally dealt with? One of the young men, who was locked up in the Compter on Tuesday night, was detained for remonstrating with Cope, the Marshal, on his conduct in detaining the other, not knowing his authority. Respectable bail was offered for them both; and why was it refused ? Magistrates and others in office should see nothing but the law and breaches of the law: they should not judge of opinions nor of the common sectarianism of mankind : they should not join parties.
I exhort you, my Lord Mayor, to better behaviour in future : and though, comparatively speaking, you are not a fool of the first order, do not slander men who have more knowledge than you have; do not, in your magisterial capacity, trnckle to the support of a party: and Christians, now, are but a party in this country.
SIR, The annexed song was suggested by the somewhat romantic incident in the Founder's Hall drama of last Tuesday evening. If deemed worthy of a place in “ The Republican,” the writer would be happy to see it there. Yours respectfully,
A LOVER OF TRUTH.FI
A SONG FOR THE SAINTS.
Tun E-All the blue bonnets," &c."
Pray! pray! Collier and Irving, pray!
Bid him, in holy songs,
• For why, aş Saint Rowland Hill says, should the Devil have all the good tunes ?
So shall we learnedly preach in good order ;
All the blasphemers are over our border!
Charge, charge, Chester and Durham, charge!
Come, Canterbury !
Rise, York, in fury!
Gracious defender of Zion's fair border!
March! march! knight of the fiery head,
Brother, so perfect grown,
Thee for our chief we own-
Southey, in loyal lay,
Shall sing the holy fray,
A person of the name of Tonquet has been condemned by the Court of Correctional Police at Paris, to nme months' imprisonment, and a fine of 100 francs, for having published what he called the historical and moral portion of the Gospels, without the miracles or supernatural occurrences which afford the evidence of the Saviour's divine mission. No charge of perversion or blasphemy was laid against the defendant. He was accused only of mutilating the sacred volume.
SIR, It is really too bad. We have a serious charge against you. Scarcely a week passes without some insinuation against us from your pen. How can we refrain from accusing you of beastly ingratitude, for know, Sir, you are under the greatest obligation to us? Without our support, your Registers would not be worth reading: deprived of us, your arguments would be as feeble as those found in the broad sheet. And yet strange it is, you not only insinuate that we are frequently false, but you even sometimes assert that we are so. At other times you express doubts of our being true; although it is absolutely impossible in all cases, and at all times, that we should be false. It is true, we are liable like yourself to be shamefully misrepresented. There are. false statements of us; there are distorted accounts of us; but to apply the epithet false to us, is as absurd as to talk about « false” truths. You, Mr. Cobbett, who write so forcibly against injustice; you who write lessons for the use of statesmen, ought surely to do justice to every word and thing. In future, there. fore, learn to do us justice. Your very last Register of the 23d September, says we are “false." So far from that, we are most truly, Sir, Your faithful servants,
Note. I do not understand what the writer of the above means, unless it be to shew the grammarian and grammatical critic that he occasionally makes grammatical as well as other errors.-R. C.
To Mr. Carlile, for “ The Republican."
OBSERVING among your list of books one entitled, “. Lives of Persons who have written against Superstition," I send you for insertion in “ The Republican,” and afterwards, if you please, among the Lives, the following anecdotes of the late Baron Maseres, of whose will Mr. Cobbett has given such a ludicrous account in a late Nuarber of the Register.
Francis Maseres, Cursitor Baron of the Court of Exchequer, was the son of a French Protestant, and began his scientific career at Cambridge about the year 1753. He was a pensioner of Clare Hall, and made a considerable figure in mathematics; he was educated to the law, and made Baron of the Exchequer, solely from his merits as a Barrister. He was Plenipotentiary at Quebec, and held many other offices of respectability. But it is not my intention here to give the details of his life, which I can furnish on a future occasion, if you wish it for the “ Lives,” &c. but to confine myself in this short notice in “ The Republican,” to his religious opinions; and I can do this in an authentic manner; from the recollection of the frequent discussions I have had with him respecting the pretended truth of Christianity.
Baron Maseres had the reputation of being what is commonly called a Unitarian, and he used to avow it, and excuse himself for a certain old-fashioned habit he had of going to Church, by saying, “ That God knew how sincerely he scorned and reprobated the absurd contradiction of the Trinity, and could also duly appreciate his political motives for an apparent acquiescence in the religious forms of his country.” He laughed heartily whenever the doctrine of the miraculous conception was named; and used to call Jesus Christ the Carpenter's Son. In his many argu. ments with me on the truth of Christianity, he always was temperate, and said that he was a very philosophical Christian: but being at last beaten in the arguments which he set up for the existence of a providential God and a divine Viceroy on earth, he
Well, well, I am aware of the difficulties a believer has to encounter, and of the powerful nature of your objections, but it amonnts to this I like to believe it, and I like to believe it with as little superstitious absurdity as possible, and therefore I
used to say,
have chosen for my little creed these short declarations: I believe in one God, (not in three, and one at the same time !) maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, son of Mary and the Carpenter, whom God has sent.” Again: “I consider Jesus Christ as endowed by God, by some to me unknown means, with the power of telling mankind what is best for their happiness ; and I denounce all mystery and superstition in matters of religion as not only absurd, but as mischievous, and diverting the mind away from the pursuit of truth into the mazes of error." He went on to say,
“ For the same reason, I have written a book against the existerice of the negative sign in algebra, as being a ghost of the imagination ; and for the same reason, I dissuade young mathematicians from reading Sir Isaac Newton's “ Principia,” it being an unintelligible work, and one that I could never understand in my life.”
Now, the worthy Baron forgot, that like the turkey in Gay's Fables, he could see the fault in others which he overlooked in himself; and that his believing in the divine legation of Jesus Christ could be classed among no other set of ideas than those very notions he so strongly condemned in the Church of England people. He agreed with me in the probability, that eternal space was filled with worlds, and the inhabitants of worlds—and yet did not see the absurdity of this great source of all this boundless and eternal theatre of animal life, descending to instruct a Carpenter's Son, in one of the smaller planets of a certain solar system, lying between Sirius and Arcturus, in the method of bringing the inhabitants of the said planet to a state of salvation !!! As he grew older, his religious absurdities were strengthened, and exhibited, though in a less degrée than most people, a striking example of the recurrence of the early impressions made on infancy, during the gradual decline of old age. This principle in the animal economy, of the forcible recurrence of early-acquired ideas in old age, at a time when more recent impressions are obliteràted, illustrates the cause of what is called a death-bed repenta ance in matters of religion, and explains why people, who have turned Deists and Atheists in their manly vigour, have died Christians and recurred to the absurd belief in supernatural things, which were impressed on their lively and inquiring infantine minds; and it shows how careful we ought to be to guard against wrong notions in children.
Baron Maseres wrote many political tracts, all which tended to support the cause of liberty. He was a prodigious admirer of Milton, the poet; and used to say he was sure that Milton was not a Trinitarian, a thing of which Milton's posthumous work, On the Christian Doctrine, has since convinced the world.
Milton indeed was at least a Deist, if not an Atheist. His manner of confounding Jehovah with Jupiter, and Jesus Christ