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Now, I saw at once the folly and inconsistency of Mr. Taylor's proposition, to be allowed to swear by the works of Nature, and it consists in this, that the works of Nature, considered merely as such, involve no belief nor lead to any belief in the mind of a Deist, in a posthumous, undeceivable tribunal, whereby truth and falsehood will be tried and therefore the simple assertion of a Deist or Atheist must have as much validity as his oath by the works of Nature, or any thing else. Mr. Taylor's mode of proceeding, in many cases; seems more like the coquetry of Infidelity than the open, consistent conduct of what you seem to think him, an Atheist. I am less surprized at his attempt to draw down the notice of the House on the prevailing progress of Deism, than I am at the paucity of observations on the part of the learned lawyers in the House on the subject of testimony, and the foundations of legal jurisprudence, which the debate seemed calculated to elicit. That some young Members should feel, and some old ones affect alarm, at the progress which Infidelity is making, is no matter of wonder; it is the case in all countries where freedom of conscience in matters of religion is partially allowed and miserably misunderstood. Protestantism is the dawn of Atheism; it is the first effect which is manifested of that progressive action in the human mind of which free enquiry is the spring, and a disbelief in God the upshot. A metaphysical philosopher of real depth can see the evidence for a final cause of all phenomena--but the bulk of enquirers after truth being superficial, make, the moment they begin to enquire, a regular progress towards Atheism, the interstitial spaces and progressive degrees between which and the earliest dawn of enquiry, being stained by the blood of those who have been by turns the martyrs of each other's mutual absurdities. The consummate wisdom of Catholic polity recognizes no such priuciple as the right of private judgment in matters of religion. And I think it nearly demonstrable, that all States had better be decidedly Catholic or decidedly Atheistical, where contentment and brotherly love among the people is the real object of their legislators. 'If Mr. Taylor really desires to obtain for himself and his sectarian followers, the wise:acres of Lothbury Chapel,, an exemption from the formality of an oath, I have no doubt he may obtain it by perseverance. The Quakers obtained it after a century of persecution, borne with unshaken firmness tempered with humility. The law has granted to them what seems a very unjust and dangerous privilege, one which wbile it deprives them of seeking legal redress under heavy grievances, disqualifies them for giving testimony in cases of murder and other capital offences which actually require an oath, and wherein the affirmation allowed to Quakers in civil actions is unavailable as evidence. This is a crying shame, as privilege implies partiality, but their quietude and peaceable manners helped them to the victory; and the very Reverend Robert Taylor must employ the same means if he wish
to obtain the same ends. I can recommend him for the discussions of Lothbury Chapel to substitute silent meetings, and half the battle is won. From the nature of oaths, it is natural to proceed to the nature of lies, which render oaths necessary. Lyiug has never been properly understood, nor its source really ever approfunded, or it must clearly have been perceived zhat the root of the evil is the existence of SECRECY. Children should be taught to abhor a secret as much as they are now taught to abhor a lie. But since imperfect moralists have confused themselves with proscribing the ramifications of falsehood without eradicating the germ, so the real stem which nourishes the evil remains the perpetual and perennial bad tree, which brings forth the evil fruits of lying, cunning, and mendacity, in all its shapes, whenever its noxious branches are fanned by the germinating influence of temptation. In a future paper, I hope to be able to prove, that in a perfect state of society there could be no such a thing as a SECRET.
TO THE EDITOR OF “ THE REPUBLICAN."
Sir, The following excellent query, being from that collection of orthodoxy, the “ Gentleman's Magazine,” may not be deemed ynworthy of a corner in “ The Republican." · X, Y., says "much has been lately said and written respecting the Apocrypha, in the Old Testament; which induces to my mind the following question :--If the scriptures are written by the im-. mediate inspiration of the Supreme Being, ought they not to con tain such self evident proofs of this inspiration, as not to allow the admission of any doubt whatever, as to what is real and what is merely Apocryphal? Has the book of Esther (for example) any better claim to divine inspiration than the book of Esdras ?”
A CONSTANT READER.
The loss of Richard Hassell has induced me to postpone the commencement of the newspaper for a year, as I cannot get into a convenient condition for its management by the first of January New presses, new types, and a new room for the presses, are among the conditions of a new
paper, and though I could prepare as to this point, I cannot, for the moment, fill up the hiatus which the death of Hassell has occasioned in my late arrangements. I have always a strong objection to be foiled in a project ; but, here, at this time, and under present circumstances, I think delay will be wisdom. In the interval, I purpose' to make a complete lodex to the fourteen volumes of The Republican,” to complete a volume or volumes of “The Moralist,” to finish the publication of the report of my“ Mock Trials," and to write a history of the persecutions with which I have been associated. These are inatters, the publication of which not being weekly or periodical, I can work at in town or country and shall thus be able to complete my promise of visiting many country friends, or country friends in general. These things can all be done within the next year, they are all necessary to be done, and I can only do them with the delay of the paper. Should circumstances arise to make it useful to continue "The Republican," or to write supplementary numbers, I can do it, as I shall hold myself ready to do it; but from all present appearances, I think that fourteen volumes should be the extent of the work. In its present state, it will sustain a high character, as a body of bold and free diseussion on all 'important subjects. I know not how to add to it in that point of view, and the present number of volumes, with a good general index, will make it legible and a desirable work in future for all libraries.
I have an encouragement for the delay of the newspaper, in the probability, that the stamp and advertisement duties will soon be considerably diminished. They are now injuriously high to all the parties interested, injurious éven to the revenue. A two penny stamp for such papers as are sent through the post office as a price for sending them, or a light charge for postage and no stamp, with no advertisement duty, would greatly facilitate the commercial transactions of the country and be a source of profit to the revenue in another shape.
The present session of parliament promises nothing interesting in the way of reformation. No question that is worth a moment's thought is likely to be seriously agitated. The old standing bores of corn and Catholics seem likely to be the leading topics, and this will continue the case, until the state of the coun
try sends into that parliament some honest, sensible and fearless man-a man who will truckle to none of their bad precedents, prejudices or etiquettes, who sees what the country really wants in the way of relief, and seeing will propose it.
I deem it useful and necessary, that I should have a periodical publication at my command, and therefore hope not to be more than a year without it, for purposes stated; but as I can begin one at a fortnight's preparation, either with or without a stamp, I shall lie on my oars prepared to act as circumstances. may require. i fo the steady subscribers to “The Republican" Í return my thanks and remind them that their support has not been useless. Much good has been done by “The Republican;" perhaps it will not be too much to say, that it has done more public good than any other periodical publication, or all others put together, from its peculiar and unique character; and, though the work is my own, I boast without a blush that it will stand a monument of good and good example to future ages.
There is a correspondent who signs his letters E. B. Singly, and who, under the pretence of friendship, very often sends an unpaid post letter. If he reads “ The Republican," let him be informed, that his folly is confined to his own waste of time and paper, and his mischief to the trouble, which he gives to the people of the post-office, as they never require payment for an improper communication. The design of the fellow is, clearly, to put the individual to whom his letter is addressed to an expence for postage. The malignity of scoundrels of this class, though they lurk undetected and unpunished, is defeated by the honourable manner in which the Post Office Establishment is conducted, and their own waste of time and paper is the only penalty on the occasion.
Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 62, Fleet Street.-AU Cortespob
dences for “ The Republican," to be left at the place of publication.
No. 23. Vol. 14.] LONDON, Friday, Dec. 15, 1826. [Price 6d.
TO THE REPUBLICANS OF THE ISLAND OF GREAT BRITAIN, ON THE (PROBABLE) WAR, THAT IS LIKELY TO END IN UNIVERSAL EURO
London, Dec. 14, 1826. The neglect of the Government of this country to protect the Constitutional Spaniards against the French Invasion in 1828, has but deferred the necessity, and it has now to do it under great disadvantages, and to commence its operations in a corner of Portugal, with a part of the Portuguese nation in arms against it. Something under the
name of a royal constitution has been restored to Portugal. The French and Spanish and Portuguese : Priests attribute it to British influence, and they have made open war upon
it. Portugal has been formally invaded on the Spanish side by armed bands of refugee Portuguese; and it is scarcely qnestionable but that all the despots on the Continent of Europe are the patrons of the project.
Mr. Canning has so far stirred himself, as to talk about fighting and to put troops in motion for the purpose. Popular cry has given the circumstance the name of WAR WITH SPAIN, and, for sundry reasons, if it really be a war with Spain, and with the present des pots disposed to support the present state of things in Spain, it will be the most popular war into which this or any couptry ever entered. It will evidently be a war where the knowledge of one part will be opposed to the ignorance of the other part of mankind. Such a war has long appeared to me necessary and eventually inevitable; for priests in power are not to be instructed by milder means. Their conduct, and their interest, is a constant war with knowledge and philosophy, and they will not negociate with those principles. The question must be settled on its broadest base, that of superstition or no superstition ; priests or no priests ;. religious taxation or no religious taxation ; and the priests will not yield without an appeal to the sword.
Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 62, Fleet-street.