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the notion that all was imaginary, knock called, are equally miraculous, no one kind of us head against brick walls. Upon one oc- moral or physical phenomena being more or asion, he was well nigh drowned, but true to less astonishing than another ; so that all is, sis principle, he made no effort to save him with me, a miracle, or rather, I admit no miracle sell. Pyrrho was called a philosopher, else at all. If men were content with the dead vould one think him a madman. I have not stop, they would have attained the real end of he Oracles lying by me, but if I mistake not, philosophy; but a an early number, it is stated that the exist

They are skilful to invent most serious names Pace of matter is taken for granted as some

To hide their ignorance. thing, if not indisputable, practically certain ; I agree with “ An Investigator," that the and without the admission of which all reason word chance has been of much use to the ing is at an end. In No. 7, there is something priests, but not of more use than any other in like the following: “ The universe exists, the language. The word god is unquestionthat I know, if I know anything ; but who ably the most useful to them. The whole will affirm that the most divine theologians “family" of hazards, accidents, chances, &c. knows as well that an immaterial god exists. may, I think, be advantageously dispensed Mine is absolute knowledge, the fact; his at with in philosophising, so that myself and “An best mere hypothesis. The if shows that I Investigator," agree in that particular; but did not assert the existence of an external 'shuffle" is rather too harsh a word for Volworld as CERTAIN. When Berkeley was carry- taire's definition ; for unquestionably it has ing his famous book, in which he has shown been usual to give the senseless name of the impossibility of knowing by reason the chance to those effects, the causes of which (I existence of matter," he ran against a post, speak now of antecedents merely) and terribly bruised his shins, but even that understood. did not cure him of his theory; and it is cer- I have put the question to myself, as sugtain, reason could not. I agree with “An gested by “ An Investigator,"

is What ideas Investigator,” that an abridgment of his have I when I use the words—a something work would do much good, making all parties must have existed from all eternity ?” And less positive, and, as a consequence, more this was the reply of the little gentleman in modest in assertion, though it is a book cal- my cranium Mustand all,like cause culated rather to strain than to expand the in- and effect, are relative, not absolute terms. The tellect. "An Investigator" will perceive that admission is “forced upon me," that matter we are both in the “dark estate ;" both exists, and I have made free to call it the fact.

compelled to admit, or take for granted, the Another admission is also forced upon me, and existence of two tisings: first, matter; second, that is the indestructibility of matter; so that Belf, &c. : yet is it true, that I see no solid my argument, thrown into a syllogistic form, feason to believe in anything but maTTER.” would stand thus : matter exists ; matter can

As to the word eternity, in a number of the not be destroyed ; ergo, matter is eternal. It Oracle, it will be seen that I define what I imports not whether I dogmatise, by saying mean by the term : TIME, that has no conceiv- the admission is forced upon me that matter uble limit ; as infinity is extent, that has no con- cannot be destroyed, or that matter cannot be ceivable limit. This definition is, in fact, a created. Like my friend, "An Investigator," confession of ignorance, which I perfectly agree I take the liberty to expect that we shall agree with " An Investigator," is " better than any in this particular, and if so, we agree in all ; attempt to hide it.

for the must and the all have no absolute meanWhat Dr. Samuel Clarke may have meant ing. Nor do I see how it appears, from such by saying that “nothing is without a suffi- reasoning, that I am "a little superstitious.” cient cause why it is,” I will not pretend to Perhaps " An Investigator,” in his next, will say; indeed, my opinion is, that his so much enlarge upon that point. cracked-up demonstrative reasonings on the Spinosa asserted, would have been far better existence of a god, are but learned sophistries. than “Spinosa clearly established that someHe is one of the best specimens of clever men, thing exists,” for, in truth, we can only asin whom the preacher stifled the philosopher. sume that matter exists, it not being possible, I agree, that “of cause and effect we can as it appears to me, either to prove, by reason. knuno nothing," if the condition of knowing ing, our own existence, or the existence of be contingent upon the impossible conception any external world. This verbal viciousness of " necessary connection, for “all we can should be avoided, if possible. As to the know is an inference from analogy." The rest philosophy of Kant, I confess, with sorrow, of that paragraph precisely sets forth my that I could never understand it, and have views, therefore comment would be superflu- been tempted to think that he hardly under. 015. I may simply mark, that everything is stood it himself. All this under correction, A miracle, which I have taken some pains to however; for I would fain avoid the vulgar show in the Oracle; but then all things, causes injustice of depreciating what I do not, or can. 35 they are called, and effects as they are not understand. Reasoning à priori, I should

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say that the theory of Kant is eminently qua-) ion, qualified though it was, and could I have lified to craze both master and disciples. got, within an hour of bis visit, by the side of

By “inberent properties,” I understand pro- a clear stream, it is likely I should have sufperties inseparable from matter, as they ap- fered the fate of Narcissus. Must not omit pear to us, whether in the moonbeam, rose, to mention, that he flatly denied having issued, insect, stone, or man. As to withins and or caused to be issued, the second warrant; withouts, they are not admitted by me, so that adding, that he was sorry his duty, as a Cbris. " inherent” merely signifies a force belonging tian magistrate, compelled bim to issue the to matter-matter being the subject, properties first. I was incredulous, and if incredulity be, its accidents. With submission to " An In- as Aristotle affirmed, the parent of wisdom, vestigator,” this is a precise idea; at all events, I shall soon be “as ladies wish to be who love as precise as my idea at the present moment, their lords.” I wished to say amen, but amen that a pen is in my hand.

stuck in my throat. I verily believe that if C. S. one of the “twelve," instead of Thomas, called

Didymus, I should have been every wbit as incredulous ; for unless I saw, in his (Jesus)

hands, the print of the nails, and put my A VOICE FROM BRISTOL GAOL. finger into the print of the nails, and thrust

my hands into his side, I should not bave Sunday night, Feb. 27, 1842.

believed. So you won't wonder that Mr. DEAR CRONY,

Wood did not make me whole, or produce This is my Patmos. You may look for the entire conviction. Some book or person told wonderful revelation of Saint Charles-a reve

me, a short time since, that in the Bay of lation novel in all respects, not needing another Biscay, when it blows tolerably bard, it takes revelation to explain it. The revelation of an

two men to keep one man's hair on. Did Atheist will be a curiosity, you may laugh,or cry not believe that neither. So, you see, I still oh, oh, as it please thee so to do, but it will. In remain yours, a shocking sceptic.

C. S. sober seriousness; I dreamt a dream last night, of which, in imitation of Saint John, I would now bear record; but is dangerous to be

The most intelligent and philosophical among safe here, and anything but safe to record out-Cbristians, become Deists; and the most stu. of-the-way things. One cannot speak truth or dious and talented among Deists, become falsehood well with a gag in the mouth, or

Atheists.-Anon. write in comfort with dark hole in perspective, So my awful revelation must be postponed sine die, but thus much I may say, we have

NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS. reached le commencement du fin. The end, you

LETTERS TO SOUTHWELL. In answer to various know, must have a beginning, and the begin- all letters that have been addressed to him; and, we

inquiries, we can say that Mr. Southwell has received ning must have an end. To leave dreams for believe, without interference. Direct, "Úr, South. realities, I have been honoured by a visit from well, Prisoner, Common Gaol, Bristol.” Mr. James Wood, my own true knight. As

SUBSCRIPTIONS. It is desirable that the monies col

lected should be sent in as early as possible. Send, much expected to see Mephistophiles at my by Post Office order, to the Secretary, Mr. Ryali, 3 elbow; but the ways of providence are partly North Place, Lambeth, London; or, Mr. Hethering straight and partly crooked, no man knowing ton, Wine-Office Court, Fleet Street, London. what the morrow will bring forth. He was presented for organizing a society for the purpose ol

ANTI-PERSECUTION UNION. A plan will shortly be kind, affable, and all that, aud highly compli- protecting all victims in the struggle against mesta) mented my intellect, though at the expense of my oppression. reason, but that's a trifle: Any compliment received by the Secretary of the Defence Committee

We would be happy to publish the numerous lettere is better than none : wisbed uncommonly you and the Editor, from various parts of the country. had been a little way up the chimney, just to co-operating, sympathising, &c., but it is utterly inhear bis astonishment that one who owed so possible with our present limits; and even, in a sup, much to god, should not even know that he plementary number, the heads only could be given.

The Trial, in Twopenny Weekly Parts, may be was in debt, and even to deny the existence of obtained from booksellers or newsvenders in any his creditor. His opinion of me may be town. summed up in a sentence filched from Sbaftes- the locality, can be usually obtained by order from

The Oracle, if there be not a liberal bookseller in bury—"that god gave me my talents, and the a bookseller to whom the applicant is known : devil the application of them.” What a pity otherwise, stamps remitted to the publisher to the it is that “goramity no kill devil," as simple of the numbers required, will ensure

amount of the back postage, in addition to the price hearted Friday thought he should do, it would

a promit

supply. prevent much mischief.

If the devil were No. 4, containing the “Jew Book," is now ready. killed, and god showed himself in his true colors, there would be an extinguisher put Printed by G. J. HOLYOAKE, 179, Broomhall Street, upon all sorts of mischief. I felt, as you may

Sheffield; and Published for him by all Liberu

Booksellers. suppose, rather flattered by Mr. Wood's opin. 104

Saturday, March 12, 1842.

ORACLE OF REASON;

Or, Philosophy Findicated.(EDINBURGH

" FAITH'S EMPIRE IS THE WORLD; ITS MONARCH, GOD; ITS MINISTERS, NE PRIESTS ;

ITS ST.AVES, THE PEOPLE.'

No. 13.]

EDITED FOR CHARLES SOUTHWELL, DURING HIS IMPRISONMENT,

BY G. JACOB HOLYOAKE.

[Price 1d.

NOT BY SHELLEY.

And covered from the cold.

a worthless production, a lilliputian printed disTHE “PROMETHEAN,"

grace, a pigmean illiterate dishonour to the cause

of dissent from christianity." This is excellent. "Formy part, I had rather be damned with Plato and Gulliver would say so too, it being formed Lord Bacon, than go to heaven with Paley and

on his chaste model. It is description refreshMalthus." —Shelley's Preface to his Prometheus ing itself. The “exoteric echoes of the esUnbound.

oteric,” never surely produced anything better. * GENERAL appreciation in the pulpit," said a Water and time are referable to known standgood clergyman, one day, "is condemnation.'' | ards, by which their quantity and duration are So it is of all writinys and sayings against measured. By what rule Mr. Barmby has popular idols. The world is not yet sufficiently estimated our lilliputian” pigmy paper it free from leading strings to dare to approve would puzzle St. Simon to tell. The Promeopenly that which it sanctions inwardly. It thean rejoices in a quarto sheet, luxuriates in is not prudent, politic, safe, respectable, or sixpence cost, and is clothed in a yellow cover. something : certain it is, it is not done; and a book in a similar case has been compared to those who expect it will be deceived. In all a cinnamon tree, the bark being the more valuefforts at improvement, all exertions made un- able part. Granting it rude to be without a der that delirium the Scotch philosopher styled cover, the Oracle should excite compassion not "a passion for reforming the world,” must contempt. The Promethean should sing, as its proceed upon the calculation that the satisfac- motto, the lines of Watts adapted to its feeltion of doing rightly will be the sufficient ings : reward : and one that will repay the loss of How many pigmies in the street friends, the vengeance of enemies, and sacrifice

Quite naked I behold,

While I am clothed from head to foot of life. Anything short of this will lead to certain misery, mortification, and disappoiniment. No man with his eyes open seeks these Then, we charge but one penny-shockingly latter things. We trust Mr. SOUTHWELL has" illiterate.” Tbe“ elite" will never forgive 80 weighed matters, and "rash" as be is held us. Of the other five things said we must be to be, we give bim credit for being as cool- silent, having no words at band at all suited headed on these points as a stock-broker over to convey our conceptions, and having no a bargain.

skill at coining new ones, a privation Mr. We are fresh from the perusal of the second Barmby never felt. “ When we say” (connumber of a monthly work, by name the tinues the Promethean) " the Oracle attacks Promethean, edited by Goodwyn Barmby: It christianity with the same bigotry and intolercontains, to our minds, some queer remarks on ance, and with the same Billingsgate abuse as CHARLES SOUTHWELL, wbich must not be that with which the Christian att acks the passed by unnoticed. Barmby is young, Infidel, we speak the truth, and say enough to elever, and promising, but we think mistaken dishonour it." We are not quite sure these a little in the matter before us. A more care- remarks are not more redolent of dogmatism ful study of bis great prototype, Shelley, who than truth. We bave not the advantage of a seems to live in all his dreams, will do every- sufficiently intimate acquaintance with “Bilthing tu correct that of which we complain. lingsgate abuse” to be able to judge how

Any hesitation observed in these comments, correctly the comparison is made. But we have must not be judged too harshly of. It is sufficient experience to know, that some are in gravely stated by the editor of the Promethean che babit of calling everything “bigoted," that his work is read only by the elite of the which is bold; every argument or position buman race! Now, no man would willingly intolerant,” which is well deported against offend this assembly, if bis organs of ven popular prejudice; and every word "abuse,” ration or cautiousness are at all developed. wbicb is not of the coinaye of their own

First, tbe Promethean says " of the Oracle oy idiosyncrasy. “ We should resolve,” said a Reason we should not scruple to say, that it is amous love-spirit, of the school to which the action of speaking from old memory, and Mr. Barmby belongs, " to cease altogether

we

utter alone from new being." We sup ose it, cedes Mr. SOUTHWELL's right to stand by hiy is from this "being" Mr. B. bas spoken. own opinions, but as they are not alocated

Few things, to artificial minils, are more to his mind be dealt a somewbat peevish blow, offensive than plain speaking, notwithstanding with the view of knocking him down. Good that Euripides bas stated that truth loves it. sense dictates the concession—the “new re Our stated propriety of speech has been ligion" the condemnation. He ends with : styled a cheat upon the understanding. It barren wish for that success he should ep. deceives us with appearances, instead of deavour to promote. things; and makes us think we see reason, The extract placed at the head of this artes wbilst it is only tickling our sense.

contains a wish, or perhaps more correctly, We have never dwelt in the mystic regions liking, we can most heartily reciprocate. Per of Fourierite sublimity, and so can tell little dition, either on this earth or any other, with of the new religion of which Mr. B. is an men who with Byron can say, apostle and teacher. Hitherto we bave never

Though I stand alone, known a good one. From its cheerless apatby I would not change my free thoughts for a throne, displayed toward all noble affections and manlike struggles for freedom, it may set the is infinitely more welcome than palaces or head in a Hame but leaves the heart an icicle. paradise with men, who "with candied tongue It falls like the moom beams, not to warm but | lick absurd pomp, and crook the pregnant to freeze. Its rays are colder than the shade. hinge of the knee that wealth may follow We would escape from the world and wander fawning.” In every fresh view the world preon high, but the time is not yet come for it; sents, instead of beholding the open plain where

the rebuke of the Thracian maid, who ingenuousness and truth may walk in peace, watched Thales astronomizing till he fell into we see only labyrinths where nought but cun a well—"Give over searching into the heavens, ning can hope to escape, and simplicity is sure till you are better acquainted with the earth."

to be entangled in mazes. In society the The subtle refinements of proud and spiri- tracks of respectability and selfishness are so tual philosophy should never usurp the place well beaten that their dust prevents any other of common sense.

Should a fresh
It was a wise saying of road from being seen.

green Socrates, that “what man is, and what a na

one be discovered by some searching, restless ture of this kind ought principally to do, or to spirit, the opposition of foes is triding com. suffer, should be the

first object of bis inquiry pared with the hindrances of friends. Yet & and earnest investigation.” Which just con

little month, as Hamlet would say, and Mr. sideration, as we take it, would lead to juster SOUTHWELL moved with the busy stream, his thoughts on the way Mr. SOUTHWELL has talents admired, his friendship valued, his taken. Mr. Barmby would have never looked usefulness appreciated. Now the cold 'dunon human wrongs in the soft spirit of poesy. geon entombs him. Foes triumph over bis But those who are more familiar with the sad sufferings; his friends have dwindled or lave realities of every-day life, cannot guild with passed like the parabled Samaritan on the golden hues the pains and miseries they taste. other side, and their cold regards wither more Nor would it be just or useful to throw a

than his enemies' taunts. mantle over iniquity. It must be eradicated,

He dared to throw off the yoke so many not concealed. The mirror must be held up were proud to bear; and proud slaves of to injustice, the horror of the sight is with its custom were mortified that their meanness perpetrators and perpetuators. Nero fiddled should be censured by a bold and deviating while Rome was burning-we cannot. No- spirit. The purity of his motives no man can thing goads the indignant mind like the soft impugn, the cause in which he laboured the and honied words of apology for wrong, and noblest spirits of all ages have espoused. We sycophantish tenderness for oppressors.

remember once when W. J. Fox was review, The teachings of the world, the fashionable, ing the early productions of a young poet, be safe, and respectable teachings—we mean not remarked, " that we observe many defects any particular party's, are of the character of but these time and care will correct. We those addressed to the Dumb Boy of Silvio have found a poet—a rare thing in these days, Pelico, to whom a man and a poet sang

and, moreover, a man: we cannot stay to dwell

on failings.” Would that a similar spirit There are men would teach thee if they could,

were evinced towards the antagonist of superTo shiver, shrink, recoil and creep;

stition. Would turn to ill each drop of good, And o'er thee charitably weep.

In conclusion, if we have fallen into un.

justifiable acerbity we offer as an apology one Time, chance, fate keep thee from their hold, God keep thee from their charity,

prayer, that we may soon see the last of Their warmth yields only blighting cold,

priestcraft;" such a sight would be the

grave Their pity but enslaves the free.

of millions of differences entertained by better

men than ourselves. In SOUTHWELL's person We must not forget that Mr. Barmby con- we have seen the Prometheus of mental 106

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out.

LETTER VII.

liberty again chained to the rocks of supersti-though I take it public pipers would be far tion and religion ; or rather, we discover that more acceptable to wise men than public priests. he is not yet " unbound.” Astræa we take But, you say, that in a rational state of society 198 the presiding genius of the Oracle. No there will be a rationul religion, a religion criticism however severe is d-precated—it without priests, without faith, without worship just. And no quarter is asked from any one -a religion, I take it, that genuine religionists where fair ground of atiаck is supposed to be will call flat Atheism, and with reason, for

Mr. SOUTHWELL will profit by, and be there can be no religion without mystery. grateful for, advice and censure, where bonestly And upon her forehead was a name wri ten, intended. But we have ventured to think he mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of basdeserved less of blame iban he has received, Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.” and that generous and noble spirits might find | Those who can so accurately distinguish more to approve than has yet been pointed between superstition and rational religion,

have “ theological eyes,” eyes to see distincG. J. H, tions, where there are no differences, and

tongues dexterous in the use of “ vain words"

that “fill men's bellies with the east wind.” POLICY versus PRINCIPLE.

They labour well in their vocation, for baving, from political motives, called themselves Ka

tional Religionists, they strive admirably to TO THE SOCIALISTS OF ENGLAND. prove religion rational. To borrow a riddle

Why is rational religion like a curtain ? You

won't give it up-because you know it serves "Honesty IS the best Policy.”

for a blind. "To speak my mind, and to act as my conscience directs, are two branches of liberty that I can never this, that those who pronounce the oracles of

If any truth may be called indisputable it is part with. Sincerity in speech, and integrity in action, are entertaining qualities; they will stick god, whether called parsons, priests, talaby a man when every thing else takes its leave ; poins, bonzes, brahmins, or mystery-men, and I inust not resign them upon any considera- have been in all ages the deceivers and betraytion."— Bishop GARDINER.

ers of mankind. The character given by FRIENDS, Wuere there is smoke, there is fire ; where christianity, applies just as well in the gross to

Volney of the primitive missionaries of there is religion, there is mystery ; where there Christian missionaries or priests in our own is mystery, there is mischief; where there is time.

These men,” says be, “ were robbers mischief, there stands the priest. Your reli- and hypocrites, preaching simplicity, to invei. gion of peace, charity, and love, is a chimera, gle confidence; humility, the more easily to "the dream of honest citizens."

Religion enslave; poverty, in order to appropriate all concerns the gods, all that concerns only men riches to themselves; another world, the better and social order, belongs to the science of to invade this.” It is usual to make apologies morals. The North American Indians call for religions, by saying that because bad men their priests mystery-men, and a better name

are found among their teachers and advocates, they could not have chosen. The mysterious that is not to be admitted against the religions and the miraculous are the never-failing stock- tbemselves. They may be pure, though all in-trade of religionists, who live by faith, and priests should be corrupt, but surely such 22 surely die by reason. All genuine mystery general depravity in the teachers of godliness, men despise while they cheat those who trust should make men suspicious, and lead them to them.

look narrowly into the principles of godliness. They shall have mysteries, precious stuff, A divine religion could never have inhuman For kuaves to thrive by, mysteries enough ; priests, and yet the inbumanity of priests is They shall have miracles, sound ones too, Seeu, heard, attested, every thing but true.

proverbial ; they burn, slay, and imprison with

the most savage fury. Their frightful perseIt may be, that in any state of society, some cutions are matters of bistory, every page of men will be religious, and desire to worship which is stained by the recital of their bloody the gods. Let them, there is little barm in deeds; as though instinctively cruel, the individual religions, but there is all the barm work of infamy is done without pity or rein the world in party or national religions. If morse ; as if they relished such labours of some men dream, and think their dreaming love," their enthusiasm for religion stifling pleasant, in the name of sense let them dream their humanity. The sentence" on; but in the name of reason don't reduce priest,” usually means every inch a colddreaming to a system. If those who dance blooded, hypocritical tyrant. Surely the pay the piper, it would be strangely illiberal system which generates ch depravity must ta prohibit dancing; and if those who worship be a þad system ; surely those principles and pay the priest, he must be a bigot who would practices cannot be divine which lead to such probibit worship. The cases are parallel, results. Any religion, says Mr. Owen, that

every inch a

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