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a bold front as to 'defy both persecution and | tive energy, capable of forming a chrystal, is prosecution. The cause of infidelity is the incapable of forming an eye, a brain, or a cause of truth, and must prevail.” This letter band—how, finally, they know that lime or mud has extended to a greater length than I in- can produce a worm, a serpent, or a crocodile, tended; allow me to remark in conclusion, that and not produce a man. If they cannot I think that opposing superstition was one of "how" satisfactorily, in the name of modesty the objects of our society; the founder him- and truth let them say so, and no longer insoself in by-gone times has set the example ; lently palm upon the credulous their pious even now occasionally he does so, though not inventions as undoubted facts. “The heavens strongly enough for many of his disciples. declare the glory of god, and the firmament That the objects of the society included some showeth bis bandywork,” saith the psalmist; thing more than this, I freely admit, but that but begging the psalmist's pardon, the beavens this was considered a stepping-stone to that declare nothing but moons, suns, and starry something more, all acquainted with the bis-hosts, while the“ dark blue sky" shows neither tory of our society must be aware. I do not more nor less than dark blue sky. How strange believe that theological discussion will prevent that men should still be so hoodwinked by us from obtaining money to establish some priests as to accept ignorance of wbat is, as colonies ; capitalists would lend their money “confirmation strong” of what is not, and to the devil himself, if he could give them as credulously receive as solvent of the universal good security and greater interest than they difficulty one that is ten thousand times greater. could obtain elsewhere. There is nothing to It is a rule of sense as well as of logic, that of fear on that account, and as the “politics and two difficulties it is wise to choose the leastreligions” of the world are wrong let both but there is little wisdom in theology and those he opposed in so far as they are in error, and who teach its “solemn nonsense,

;"wben they then shall we go forth conquering and to con- strenuously assert there must have been, or quer, and leave the world better than we rather must be an uncreated god who designed found it. Trusting that you may live long to and created the universe, because the idea of an assist in the great work,

uncreated universe is inconceivable; so that I remain, yours in the cause, according to such wiseacres, an uncreated

J. C. F. spirit is conceivable enough, quite a trifle to

believe in, but uncreated matter shocks the nerves of their faith. It is plain that the study

of nature is insufficient for the discovery of a IS THERE A GOD?

god, and all that has been written about the

“clear evidences of design in the universe,” is " In whatever direction we pursue our researches, mere moonshine. Now upon that rock the ardiother in space or time, we every where discover Atheist takes his stand; for to him the visible clear marks of creative intelligence.”-LYEL. or invisible relations of Christians with Christ He that made the eye, shall he not see? He are of no more consequence than the same rethat made the ear, shall be not hear? It is lations of Mohammedans with Mohammed, or demanded by Theists, with an air of triumph, the Jews with Moses ; to him all such ima. as though Atheists contended that he who ginary relationships are the work of priests, made the eye could not see, or be who made the who first obtained and still hold authority, by ear could not bear. What they DO deny is, nicknaming “divine oracles,humun inventions. that sophists, however dexterous, can prove Atheists feel what is so beautifully expressed that anything bas been absolutely made by a by the poet Wordsworthhe, a she, or an it, in short, by an intelligent

The impulse from a vernal wood being, of the masculine, féminine, or neuter

Will teach us more of man, gender. To admit that the eye was made or Of moral evil and of good,

Than all such sages can. obesigned to see, would be, in effect, to give up the whole question ; a virtual abandonment of But vernal woods teach not final causes, as Atheism ; for that which is made, must have bad they are termed, nor do the dark and pathless a maker, and clear marks of creative intelligence forests whisper god. Nothing but human deinonstrate independent intelligence capable imaginations, the dangerous offspring of igof creating. All iben theologians have to do norant hopes and fears, fortifies the belief or 13, simply to prove that human or inferior or- supposition that the material universe sprung ganisms, in short, anything from pebbles to out of some inconceivable, immaterial essence. planets, were designed or created. “Let them Such monstrous fancies are not countenanced have railing, and honestly tell how they know by the study of nature, which gives the lie to the universe was made--how they know there is the arrogant assumptions of theologians. It a first cause, itself uncaused—how they know gives the lie to the assumption, that matte that unassisted matter is incapable of pro- must have been created, and verifies the teachcucing those effects at which wondering folly ings of an Eastern sage, that “the thing that marvels, how they know that matter by its na- 1 bath been, it is that which shall be ; and that

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which is done, it is that which shall be done ; | analogists have endeavoured to establish the and there is no new thing under the sun.” It fact," that "all things are double one against gives the lie to the assumption, that the reason- another, and god hath made nothing in perfect," ing faculty, or mental conditions, could not which fact will be best answered by other facts proceed from what they choose to call irra- of a less suspicious character. King Edward tional atoms. It gives the loud lie to the most the second was 'deposed by the intrigues of a impudent of assumptions, that "all is for the wife and ber paramour, thrust into the Tower, best,” in a world which savage beasts and yet where some ruffians held the unfortunate more savage men have deluged with crime, monarch down on a bed, and thrusting a tube blood, and misery. Let the triumphs of a up his fundament, passed a red-hot iron intu Cæsar, a Zingis, a Timour, an Alaric, an At- bis bowels; none who heard could ever forget tila, and a Napoleon, tell their bloody tale. the aged king's shrieks of agony while his Let the bones of the slaughtered for the glory bowels were consuming.

What will the gen. of religion and the honour of god, attest that| tlemen sophists of the Butler school, double all is not for the best ; but the great truth that against that act of horror, wbat in heaven or all is of necessity in itself, neither for the best hell is the good that even a god could do to comnor for the worst, but in relation to humanity, pensate such evil? Surely it was not, cannot a compound of good and evil, folly and wis- now be, in the eye of reason, "all for the best," dom, justice and injustice, the proportions of that an aged, inoffensive, and far from abwhich necessarily fluctuate with the fluctua- amiable monarch, should have bis bowels tions of civilization. It is probable there is burnt to cinders by order of an adulterous less of actual evil suffered, and more of actual wife and her cruel paramour. How is the good enjoyed now than at a former period, for existence of a good and almighty god to be the simple reason, that opinion bas to a certain reconciled with the permission of such horrible extent been enlarged and purified by experience, enormities? The nations would be edified if but the nations are not yet prepared to beat religious analogists would reconcile their fact, their swords into ploughshares, and their that god has made nothing imperfect, with spears into peuning hooks; not yet cured of their preaching about the imperfections of our superstition and the accursed spirit it en- mortal nature; their fact, that all things genders, a spirit that delights in persecution, double one against the other, with their war, and rapine--a spirit which, in its mildest pathetic lamentations about Christ crucified 10 form, is the deadliest enemy to freedom and ransom and redeem a ruined world ; their virtue. Then bow in the face of endless proofs, ract, tbat gorl is a god of inexorable justice, that the universe if designed could not bave with their pulpit hurangues about sin and in. been designed wisely, can Theists maintain justice; and, finally, their fact, that god's ten

every where discover the clear der mercies are over all his works, with their marks of creative intelligence ?" In a former whining cant about the miseries of human life. paper upon this subject, I have ventured to If there be a god, Peter rightly said, “verily, assert, that “to the Atheist a moth in the and of a truth, he is no respecter of persons, candle's flame, or a poor fly in the fangs of a Thousands, nay, millions of unhappy beings spider, is a proof that the world could not have have been torn asunder by wild horses, sown been created by a being infinitely wise, infi- up in sacks and fung to wild beasis, sawn into nitely good, and infinitely powerful;" an asser- slips, buried alive, flogged, flayed, and starvel tion which may at first seem hard, if not to death, so that the eartb, manured by the presumptious, but if fairly examined, it will blood and bones of its inbabitants, has disbe found that the denial of it involves a moral played the appalling and sickening sight of one contradiction. An infinitely wise and infinitely vast human shamble! True, oh, Peter, your good god would design perfect moral as well god is no respecter of persons, mowing down, as physical excellence, while infinite power with ruthless justice, the noble with the mean, could not fail in the execution ; so that those the wise with the foolish, the innocent tenwho say that all was designed by god, and in der babe with the guilty blood-stained tyrant. the same breath acknowledge the existence of Tlist royal tiger, Henry the eighth, died in Luis evil will, if reasonable people," be constrained bul, with a strong, "lope of a joyful resurrecto admit that he (god) cannot be infinitely tion;" the gallant, the great, Henri Quatre, fell wise, infinitely good, and infinitely powerfui. by the poinard of the extra-religious RavailBut here another difficulty presses and lac; Cæsar, it may be said, justly paid the affrights the believer, which is, the danger of penalty of his ambition ; but what is to bu thinking disrespectfully of deity; for all be- "dcuble.". against the glorious suicide of lievers in a god, at least all I have met with, Cato, or the cowardly assassination of immoragree with Plutarch and Lord Bacon, that it tal Cicero. Nar would it be one whit less is better not to think of god at all than to think edifying or useful, it analogists and" all for the evil of him. Sound advice, but how to be fol. best" men, would reconcile with god's wisdom, lowed by Atheists, it is impossible to under-child-birth agonies, abortioval mistakes, with stand. I am aware that the Butler school of the endless train of torturing diseases, “ Hesh

that they

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seems heir to.” Hume has remarked, that a ) and I cordially recommend it to the attention wise providence, by a wave higher or a wave of the readers of the Oracle. lower, might, without any visible disturbance Although agreeing with the idea of the of natural operations, have buried Casar and writer of the above extract, I do not with the his fortunes; nor can I conceive how the har- language he has used, when he says, “ Matter monies of nature would have been seriously moves by its own energy.” When we speak of disturbed, if a wise god or providence had energy, we usually mean power or force dithought proper to design less suffering and rected for a specific purpose, to accomplish a more enjoyment, less hypocrisy and more sin- desirable object, and of course is inseparably cerity, fewer rapes, frauds, pious and impious connected with mental phenomena. This, it is butcheries; with far more peace and happiness. almost needless to say, is not the idea intended By barying Cæsar with his fortunes, the to be conveyed by the author, because he conliberties of Rome and millions of lives migbt cludes the sentence by saying, that it moves“ by have been spared; an overruling providence necessary consequence of its heterogeneity, could easily bave done that. By a little less which I conceive to be nearer the truth. At of the brute, and a little more of the rational, present matter is divided into forty or fifty in human brains, the earth might have been a simple substances, out of which small number paradise ; and so it would be easy to proceed, philosophers assert all the innumerable varieud infinitum, with what might have been, and ties of form, colour, quality, condition, &c., to what might be, IF. a wise god or providence be compounded. Here we may see what'stu. controlled the operations of nature. But I am pendous results may proceed from apparently of opinion, that all would be better employed trifling causes. We perceive changes so in understanding wbat is than what might varied that any portion, however large, that have been, or might be, if nature was not the mind of man is capable of grasping, is so nature, reason pot reason, and absurdity not inconceivable small in comparison to the whole, absurdity. Gibbon, in his notice of Zoroaster, * as to afford no adequate notion of it-all of observes, that “the great and fundamental which is produced from a few units. If this be article of the system, was the celebrated doc- the fact, we may next inquire, how this is trine of the two principles, a bold and inju- effected, or at any rate, how it would appear to dicious attempt of Eastern philosophy, 10 be effected ? reconcile the existence of moral and physical Fifty-four elements are presented to us by rvil with the attributes of a beneficent creator nature ; of these, only four are employed in und governor of the universe." Now it is a lame the elaboration of all the wonderful creations attempt of theologians to escape the inju- of living matter. Flowers and perfumes, diciousness of Zoroaster, which it is the secret of leaves and wood, food and poisons-flesh, their exertions to subdue, for it is impossible bone, fat, hair, feathers—when the chemist to convince the reason of mankind that there comes to look at all these, he finds such wonis no such thing as physical or moral evil; derful diversity is the result, not of the emThat the world, whatever it may seem to the ployment of a multiplicity of elements, but of unilluminated, is absolutely perfect; and there the combination of a very few, in varied profore, the belief in one god infinitely wise, infi- portions, and under the influence of vital uitely good, and infinitely powerful, is both agency; for, having resolved organic matreasonable and consistent, and that from the ter into its ultimate elements, we in vain enanalogies of things in this world may be fairly deavour so to recombine them as to form what deduced a state of immortal bliss in some we set out with. We can resolve wbeat-flour, other.

for instance, into carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, C. s. and bydrogen; but we in vain attempt to re

produce wheat flour, or anything remotely approaching to it, by any possible artificial

re-union of these four elements; and accordTHEORY OF REGULAR GRADATION. ingly it has sometimes been supposed that

some error must of necessity contaminate our "Matter moves by its own energy, by a necessary reasoning upon these matters; but the truth consequence of its heterogencity. The diversity of is, that the cause of our failure apparently lies motion, constitutes alone the diversity of matter: \in our utter inability so to present these eleWe distinguish beings from one another, only by the different impressions or motions which they wents to each other as they doubtless are precommunicate to our organs.”—GooD SENSE. sented to each other in the organs and vessels Turabore is from a work often quoted in the of living beings. Although, therefore, we Oracle under the title of “ Common Sense,” can prove by irrefragable evidence, that the but published by Cousins as “Good Sense,” elements of sugar are carbon and water, we and is translated from the French; it is the certainly cannot re-make sugar by any purely best exposition of Atheism I have met with, artificial combinati those bodies; and

this, in all probability, for no other reason • Page 54, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. than that we want the command of the circum

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stances under which the carbon and water, and inert, produce motion of themselves, when or, in other words, the carbon, the hydrogen, placed in a fit situation to act upon one another. and the oxygen, are presented to each other in For instance : phosphorus, when exposed to the miraculous organisation of the plant. Yet air, immediately takes fire. Meal and water, is nothing easier than to show that by feeding when mixed, ferment. Tbus dead matter be a plant with carbon, and with water, or its gets motion of itself. Matter has then the elements, these will so combine within its power of self-motion; and nature, to act, has vessels, as actually to constitute sugar. In no need of a mover, whose pretended essence fact, it all amounts to this : that the same ele- would binder him fronı acting. Whence come ments which in orgnaic bodies are united in man? What is his origin? Is he then the ternary and quarternary combinations (that is, effect of a fortuitous concourse of atoms? three or four together), have in inorganic Did the first man spring, ready formed, from bodies, a singular tendency to combine in the dust of the earth ? I know not. Mar binary proportions (that is, two and two to appears to me, like all other beings, a produce gether). For instance, carbonate of' ammonia is tion of nature. I should be equally embar. an artificial product, and gelatin is a natural or rassed to tell, whence came the first stones, organic product; the ultimate elements are the the first trees, the first lions, the first elephants, same in both, namely, carbon, oxygen, hydro- the first ants, the first acorns, &c., as to 12 gen, ‘and nitrogen : in the artificial compound plain the origin of man. We are incessantly the carbon and oxygen are so united as to told to acknowledge and revere the hand of form carbonic acid, and the nitrogen, and hydro- god, of an infinitely intelligent and powerful gen constitute ammonia ; so that carbonic acid maker, in so wonderful a work as the human and ammonia are binary compounds, and they machine. I readily confess, that the human are the proximate components of curbonate of machine appears to me surprising. But a ammonia, which is also a binary compound. man exists in nature, I am not authorised , But in gelatin (or common glue), which is say, that his formation is above the power

of exclusively an organic product, the same ulti- nature. But I can much less conceive of this mate elements are united in one quarternary formation, when to explain it, I am told, that whole; and if I decompose glue, I can resolve a pure spirit, who has neither eyes, feet, hands, it into carbonate of ammonia : but I cannot head, lungs, mouth, nor breath, made man by: therefore convert carbonate of ammonia into taking a little clay, and breathing upon ita glue, because I cannot subject carbon, hydro

One atom of matter cannot meet gen, nitrogen, and oxygen (its ultimate ele- another by chance ; this meeting is the effect ments) to each other's action, under circum- permanent laws (modes], which cause every stances which shall in any way correspond being necessarily to act as it does, and hinder with those in which gelatin was formed."* it from acting otherwise, in given circula

From this, then, it would appear that it is stances. To talk of the fortuitous concours only our imperfect knowledge which prevents atoms, is to attribute some effects to chance ; our producing organic forms, with all their is to say nothing, except that we are ignorant vital energies, precisely as we find them in of the laws (modes], by which bodies act; nature, and of course, if it be our ignorance meet, combine or separate." only which presents a barrier to our forming Not only does certain elements when mixed wheat from the simple elements of which it is or associated together exhibit the phenomen known to be composed, and not the want of of motion as described in the quotation ; but supernatural power, it follows, that an incapa- animal form and life would seem to result city to make man, also, must result from the from the decomposition of animal and vegna

So that here we have strong table substances, which is nothing more than grounds to hope, that man may ultimately the various elements separating from each othen manufacture man from the “raw material, and entering into new associations; which of as the market may require, and thus pre-course includes action or motion.

a redundancy of population, unless From the foregoing, I would infer that there should be a probibitory duty, suffici- local motion (general motion there cannot ent to crush his industry, established by the be) is a result arising from the difference in "collective wisdomn.” May not the rising form and size of the various molecules or atom generation see a monument' erected in West-of matter, as well, perhaps, as from the influence minster, or St. Paul's to the memory of Frank- of attraction; which necessarily produces enstein ?

changing or shifting of position of those not in I again quote from “Good Sense,” and with a state of rest, or comparative rest, from the pleasure acknowledge my obligations: “Should aggregation of attraction, as we suppose stones any deny that motion is essential and neces- and metals to be. But even these are 00tsary to matter they cannot, at least, help tinually feeling the effects arising from contact acknowledging, that bodies, which seem dead with the air, water, &c.; every particle

which is continually changing its position in Magazine of Popular Science, vol. iii. p. 1.

relation to other particles, as may be seen by

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atching the dancing of the dust in a sunbeam, | Kinross, accused of an assault on James Smart, hough there be no wind stirring that can be weaver, in Kinross, and on William Simpson, etected. Whatever, then, is in immediate criminal officer, when in the discharge of his mnexion with matter in motion, however duty as an officer of the law, pleaded “Not enige and hard the quiescent body be, it must guilty.” The following rather remarkable ocrentually suffer from such contact, that is to currence took place connected with this trial : ly, be decomposed to a certain extent, re- -On William Simpson (the criminal-officer) olved into a more simple form, again and being called to give his evidence, Mr. Logan, jain to be recombined and decomposed the prisoner's counsel, objected to his being ernally.

put on oath, on the ground that he professed Motion being an essential condition of mat- atheism. This fact, he (Mr. Logan) was T, the argument urged by supernaturalists ready to prove by witnesses, and referred to ninst materialism—that that which is in Alison, vol. 2. p. 437, for the validity of the self inert cannot produce motion-fails from objection. Mr. Logan was then proceeding

incorrectness. The extracts in No. 15, to argue this point, when the Lord Justice on Chambers's Information, in relation to the Clerk said it was quite unnecessary to refer to rmation of worlds, must have led practised any authority in support of the validity of the azoners upon the subject of materialism to objection. If Mr. Logan could make out the 8 conclusion, that if matter, from its own point of atheism, there could be no doubt that berent properties, would assume the form the witness's testimony could not be received. planets, comets, &c., having a regular and Four witnesses were then called by Mr. Logan, rticular motion or revolution, there surely who proved that Simpson, in conversation is nothing to prevent the same matter, under with them, denied the existence of a divine per circumstances, resulting in organic form, being and a state of future rewards or punishhibiting vital phenomena. In the language ments. The Lord Justice Clerk then stated, divinity, this fact is one of the corner-stones that from what had taken place, it would be . the temple of Atheism.

impossible to receive Simpson's evidence ; Motion is not always a proof of life, but whereupon the advocate-depute for the crown is always inseparable from motion, and passed from the charge of assault against the

terms are convertible in reference to officer of justice (Simpson, the Atheist); and phenomena exhibited by organised bodies. the prisoner having pleaded “Guilty" to the fact, tbe modes which produce motion, in assault on Smart was sentenced to be imgir operation upon inorganic bodies, are the prisoned in the gaol of Kinross, for one he which, acting upon organic forms, cause calendar month.-Times, May 3, 1842. im to present certain appearances which call life, being no other than a series of itions. “We cannot (says Dr. Carpenter) o the fabled Prometheus of old, breathe REASONS AGAINST ATHEISM.-Some person the lifeless clay the animating fire ; forwards the five following items, and on their cannot by a judicious and skilful ar

account sets down Atheism as being genent of those elements, combine thein sonable and imprudent.”--1. Be cause it gives o new and artificial fornis so as to produce no tolerable account of the existence of the w and unexpected phenomena ; and almost world.—2. Nor does it give any reasonable our knowledge of the laws of life must account of the universal consent of mankind in Refore be derived from obserration only. this apprehension, that there is a god.—3. It periment can conduct us very little further requires more evidence for things than they Bbis inquiry than the determination of the are capable of.–4. The Atheist pretends to uudence of the functions upon one another, know that which

can know.-5. pion the external agents, heat, light, &c., Atheism contradicts itself. *action of which upon the organism the

Answers.-1. Atheism refers the “existence Pusmena of life are produced." I shall, for of the worll” to natural causes, goddism to present, conclude this subject.

super-natural. Which is the more “ tolerable," W, C. that we can understand, or that we cannot ?-

2. O, yes, it does! It ascribes the “univer

sal” (if it be universal) “ consent of mankind CHRISTIAN JUSTICE.

in the apprehension, that there is a god,” to To the Editor of the Oracle of Reuson.

UNIVERSAL IGNORANCE.—3. Very true, in the

case in question. It requires some reasonable 1,- Thinking that the following is within evidence for belief in a god, which is very protunpe of your labours, 1 have forwarded it perly admitted as being " more than the thing

ANTI-THEIST. is capable of.”—4. This is wrong, if god

knowledge is meant by the thing of pretence. AllEJSNI-At the StirlingiCircuit Court of The Atheist does not

• pretend

to « know" bu tary last week, James Henry, carter, god His prstence and offence is of the con

" unrea

no

man

itxertion in your paper.

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