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the priesthood of the Established Church is formed into a kind of divine police to check the sale of my publications, and to bulls and threaten all who assist in it, whom they feel that they can is. jure. In this county no individual can visit me from any parish, but the priest of that parish is acquainted with it before that individual returns home. Not a word can these divipe devils say to my face; but this is the method which they have now adopted to lengthen the period of their final downfal. I shall shortly shes up Mr. Parson Justice Parsons of Sherborne in an amusing light. Of the Vicar of Cerne I hear not a word, He is at least cautious and silent.
The dissenting preachers are quite ready to join the priests of the church in this real crusade; and what with the Catholics on one side, and the Atheists on the other, all dissension among them will cease, and we shall see these late most bitter enemies unite as one church.
This being my situation, and such the power against which I have to contend, it behoves every spirited friend to become for me both agent and bookseller. I have almost daily experience that there is a large scattered body of people who are anxious to read the Republican, but who are baffled in every effort to get it through a regular channel. This evil I wish my present regular readers to remove as far as they can. Assured that it is a work which begins to condense and to make plain the most powerful arguments against Christianity and Christians, I can now make free to push it with a good grace and good purpose.
l'he Christians give me proofs, that they now seriously begin to feel my blows: and seeing this, I shall go on to increase their weight and exhibit a constant increasing force. Of course, the priests will stick to their gains, until we can find a legislature to take them away; and this can only be done by the force of public opinion and a thorough desertion of the priesthood by the disinterested part of the community, or such a desertion as shall leave the idolatry too naked to be practised in public. Even then, the priests and their immediate friends will preach and pray to one another so long as they can make gain by it. But I shall now begin, so to force it upon the notice of all the authorities of the country, that the Christian religion is wholly indefensible, as to place them in the most ridiculous and perplexing light. I know well the ground on which I stand, and have examined every spot where I shall have need to make a footstep. The keeping me ib prison will but heighten my powers of attack. I purpose to begin the new year with redoubled efforts; and I hope every present and future friend will be giving me a corresponding aid.
Yours, with thanks for the past, and full assurance of your aid for the future,
Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 84, Fleet Street.-All Correspon
dences for “ The Republican” to be left at the place of publication.
No. 24, Vol. 10.] LONDON, Friday, Dec. 17, 1824. [Price 6d.
TO JOHN PARSONS, THE REVEREND, A VICAR
AND JUSTICE IN SHERBORNE, DORSET.
Dorchester Gaol, Dec. 10, 1724 of “ WICKED ONE!”
the Religion of Dreams. HAVE you read “ Dorchester Gaol” at the superscription and date of this letter? If not, go back and be sure from whence it comes. There are two hells in England, governed by two devils. The Court of Chancery is a hell to all honest persons who slip into it, and Lord Eldon its Devil: Dorchester Gaol becomes a bell to every Parson who puts his foot into it, and I bave the honour to reign here as the Parson's Devil. I have a hold of your leg, Mr. Parson Parsons, and now I am about to drive my two pronged * pitch fork right into your breech. I have tortured the Vicar of Cerne until I begin to feel for him, what my persecutors are never likely to feel for me, a little qualmishness, mercy, pity, remorse, or whatever it may be called: for devils are paiteras of mercy to Christians; and Divine Providence has providentially rescued Parson Richman from all further fears and punishments at my bands. Dr. England and Mr. Wollaston are never likely to lend me more books, so that I want two or three new parsons, as the necessary clerical -. butts at which I may shoot my Christianical arrows. I now and hereby appoint you to be one of them: and there to be fixed until Divine Providence comes to your assistauce. • The subject of this letter is a continuation of that address. ed to you on the 1st ult., as I have more information upon the matter than I then had; so I shall begin with copying an extract from a letter wbicb I have received from John Vicary. May you like it. Sir,
Sberborne, November 19, 1824.
* The pen.
Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 81, Fleet Street.
between Mr. Parsons and myself. As I returned one day to the printing office, I was desired to take a note to Mr. Parsons. I took it and was desired to walk in. Being seated, he said, “ Where have you been ?” “ Been," exclaimed I, greatly astonished, not knowing what he was about. “ Yes," said the parson, looking me full in the face as if to frighten me; “ Where were you on Monday?” Considering a moment, and looking him bold in the face, and with a firm voice, to show him that I was not afraid of him, I answered, that “I was with Mr. Carlile, at Dorchester Gaol, the greatest part of the day.” At his seeing that I was not to be frightened, he said in a very humble manner, “Oh! John! do not give yourself up to the wicked one; consider your situation in life," and stopped awhile, but again said, “ Carlile is always glad to meet with young men of your description; but do not give up to him.” Here he made a pause again. “How long have you been acquainted with him,” enquired the parson. “Three or four months," answered I. - How many of his infamous publications have you ?” “ About one hundred," said I, willing to make the most of it. “ One hundred !” he exclaimed. “ Have you ever read the Bible?" “ Yes.” “What do you think of it?"
Why it is a composition of lies and fables.” “ How can you prove it to be so?” “From the book itself,” “Oh! who are you that can call the book of God a collection of lies and fables ? You may depend, that you will repent of what you now say; or if you do not, you may depend upon it, that if you do not repent, your soul will suffer for it hereafter." Here I was compelled to stop him, and said, for I was obliged to say something to impede a burst of laughter, “ Prove the existence of a soul first, and then talk of its punishments." Here he seemed surprised, and asked me what I knew of a soul. I told him that I knew nothing of a soul, but wished to be informed of what he knew.
Here our conversation was broken up by the appearance of Mr. Harker, my master, who went on arguing upon different subjects, not worthy to be committed to paper. The day after, I received, from the hands of Mr. Harker, “ Watson's Apology for the Bible.” After reading it through, I wrote my remarks upon different things interspersed through the work and sent them to Mr. H. who said he “had not learning enough to answer me, but should advise me to read, which was the best way to obtain knowledge.” The day after, I received “Burnet's Records of the Creation," from Parsons, which I likewise read and returned, without being converted. Since then I have received “ Erskine's Internal Evidence of Revealed Religion,”read and returned; but I am the same now as I was before. It has occasioned such an uproar in Sherborne, that I scarcely know what to be about.
The first circumstance that must strike the reader, is your consummate impudence, and trickery with Mr. Harker, to
draw this young man to your house to attempt to frighten bim for having visited me; but the sequel is delightful, and makes us to excuse the trick and impudence, when we see how smartly you were met, and how humble a bonest youth of eighteen could make you. It is the very counterpart of what passed at Cerne between John Davis the Reverend Vicar, and Richard Hassell the Rustic and Irreverend Philosopber. Both Hassell and Vicary, young as they are, were pbilosophers when standing before Davis and you : and with all your God-Books and Divine Revelations, I would, in one hour instruct a child of four years old to confound you. It is only necessary to ask you what you are talking about: two or three questions are enough to shut your mouth; such as, what is a soul? Where is Christ ? What is God? Where is Heaven? These questions are : enough for the overthrow of Christianity and every other kind of religion, and a well instructed infant that can ask questions may be soon made more wise than your oldest babes of grace.
And pray to what wicked one do you allude? Do you mean the Christian Devil? If so, you must tell us who, what, and where, be is. I have called you the wicked one, and that truly, for no wickedness has existed among mankind as the parallel of that in which you participate as a preacher of Christianity. Pray how many hundred pounds a year do you bag as a preacher of lies? How many families do you rob in a year in the shape of marriage, churching, christening, and burial, fees? How many, in tithes, smoke-peunies, peter-pence, hen-offerings, easter-offerings and other forced oblations? How many wretched beings do you distract and make miserable with your religious dogmas, every one of which is a lie? There never was a wickedness on earth to equal the Christian Religion, as it exists in this country; and as you are a preacher of the Christian religion, I have justly stiled you a wicked one. When John Vicary left you in Sherborne to come and see me in Dorchester Gaol, he left the company of the wicked one, never more to return to it! We conversed but a few hours; but I defy you to make a Christian of him again. He sa w plainly that I had none of that sophistry, and deceit, and cajolery, and impudence, wbich you exhibit to him.
Yes, Carlile is glad to meet with young men of the description of Jobu Vicary; because, he finds in them, more honesty, more boldness, more sincerity, less corruption, than be finds in older men; but Carlile is also very glad when he gets a Parson to put a foot into his prison-chamber; and he will be much more
delighted to see you, than he was to see John Vicary. Il you could come and shew Carlile to be in error, you need not fear his influence on Jobo Vicary, or on any other out of your parishioners: but until you can do tbis, they w: continue, one by one, to discover the cheat wbicb you practise upon thein: and what is, or will be more painful to you. some of them will tell you of it.
I tell you and your parishioners two things: that no such person as the Jesus Christ which you preach ever existea; and that no such a God as you preach ever e.risted! You have my proofs in the letter to Mr. Wollaston. You have a proof in the fact, that intelligence is the result of animated matter, and cannot be separated from it: and that animal. ed matter is not a result of intelligence. There, make that sentence a text for your next sermon. You will then, if you keep to your text, preach something worth hearing to the poor benighted and be-devilled inbabitants of Sherborce. They will then be in an uproar indeed ; but in such an uproar as will lead them to great good, and the most solid bappiness.
Atheism carries with it every thing that can give happiness to mankind. With Atheism we should see pone of the social inequalities which cow afdict society: nove of that beggary, and starvation, and nakedness, which Cbristian cbarity fosters as it feeds. It would leave do priests to take the tithe of every man's produce, to waste a large portion of his time, and to distract his mind with reveries and fictioas. Good laws and good government would follow it as a mai. ter of necessity: every man would see his fellow in every other man: all power in society would be delegated: and there would be no source open for bad laws and bad go. vern inent such as has perpetually existed with Christianity. With equal laws justly administerell, morality would rise resplendent; for it would be every man's interest to be moral; he would see no other means of advancing bis condition in life, or of obtaining a proportionate share of happiness. It is with Atheism alone that morality and mutual kindness can be free to flourish. Atheism is in truth the only source of man's solid bappiness. Manhood and priesthood can never associate. Under the influence of a priest of any description, man cannot be a moral and a sociable being; beca'ise, the foundation of a priesthood must of necessity b? falsehood, and every species of trick and deceit will be used for its support. When mankind are med enough to look after themselves and their own affairs, they will live without