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path and decomposition of all animals, man's , and ending with the 43rd. In the 43rd par.,

or death forming no exception to a general bowever, Mr.M. has slipped from the question He. On the other hand, if men love one of the probability of god EXISTENCE into that Mother, and labour together for one common of the moral influence of god BELIEF! Upon Hect, the happiness of their race, if they the latter ground Mr. Mackintosh ought to sert themselves to increase the number and have taken his stand in the first place, it apgree of pleasurable sensations, and are a3. pearing to me clear from his writings in the enous in their endeavours to preserve and Oracle, taken in connection with portions of Etend their lives, still have their actions his “ Dissertation,” that even while writing brely a local and not a general effect. the latter work he had not the slightest susMen cannot by the practice of virtue pre- picion of the existence of any such being as ent earthquakes, simooms, storms, or devas- that for which he contended, namely, a god ating hurricanes. They may by their know who governed the universe-excepting in the edge take measures for the preservation of minds of the superstitious and bigotted. hemselves from the consequences of such Mr. Mackintosh, I conceive, has proved benomena, but that would be very different himself to he AN ATHEIST! but one who concoutrolling or preventing such occurrences. siders god belief beneficial or injurious to man nation of virtuous, just, and honourable in proportion to the moral attributes with leo, if forewarned of an earthquake or an which men endow their gods. But what has urricane, could not preserve their country this to do with the question of probable exom destruction by means of their virtue and istence? – the disbelief in which constitutes an ractice of justice. How then could a belief Atheist, and the belief in which the Theist. 1 a being virtuous, just, and good, and of The real question with Mr. Mackintosh is mnipotent power to boot protect them, if one of expediency. He has not contended for beir own practice of virtue, justice, and good the being of a god, because he imagined there tess would not do it? But not only are we was one, but simply because he fancied soo imagine them capable of doing this trifle ciety would be injured by the general rejection y means of this helief, but we are also to of god belief. tuagine them possessed of the power of per- Why does not Mr. M. openly declare his orming the inconceivable task of governing real feelings and convictions ? and say, “I be universe through its agency.

consider god belief conducive to morality in Does Mr. Mackintosh mean to affirm, be- certain conditions of society, and would upause justice was worshipped at one time, hold that or any other belief producing a and because men then had a moral idea of moral result, though convinced of its fallacy. justice, which was their god--that such moral But I do not consider god belief uncondition. dea governed the universe then differently to ally necessary to morality. Morality car *hat it is governed now that men have not subsist without it. I do not myself require this idea ? Or, that if justice were worship- the fear or hope of a god to induce me to do ped throughout the whole length and breadth right. I am virtuous from a knowledge of of the earth, that the universe, that the earth the happiness to be derived from it, and the pren would be affected generally by it? What inisery that follows the contrary course. To rufluence can an abstract idea have upon the sum up all, 1 am what the world understands motion of the earth round the sun, or upon its by an Atheist, though an advocate for the

axis? Would it influence the elements continuance of god belief until convinced it -producing rain in time of drought; and fair can he dispensed with without danger.” weather in harvest? Would it prevent earth- Mr. M. would readily admit that some men gnakes, shipwrecks, plagues, accidents, dis- may be virtuous, just, and good, and yet be appointments, death? Would it, in fact, in- Atheists, wanting not the fear of a god to inuence in the smallest conceivable iota the duce them to do good. He says in his preusual course of natural phenomena? If it face, “ If the actions of all men, or even of will not do all or any of these, what does the the iriajority of men, were the result of reasonmean by calling an abstract idea a god, un-, ing from abstract inoral principles, the belief derstanding by that god an “omnipotent, in a wise and good god would not be so imomnipresent power,” by whom “ the universe portant as it is with things as they are at 3 actuated, controlled, and guided in all its present.” It is then, with Mr. Mackintosh, marinonious movements?”' (Par. 27, “Diss.") la question of what men inay do without a god

It would extend this article to too great a what men it is necessary to yive a god to, ength were I to give the numerous passages and what men do not require oue.

Just as I have marked, on reading Mr. Mackintosh's soine children require whipping and coaxing • Dissertation,” in which he endeavours to to induce them to do good, whilst others are how the reasonableness of a belief in a being good without. * powerful, wire, and good,” a “pure mind” It will be unnecessary to dispute further zod, who controlls and governs the universe, about the existence of a god, but confine the and I shall therefore refer the reader to the question to the moral influence of belief. work itself, begiuning with the 24th paragraph

W. C.

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THE NEW ARGUMENT

the animal, and therefore, we find it dit “A POSTERIORI"

pensed with, and a spinal contrivance prom FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.

vided by means of which every tiine the crea. ture closes its mouth, the water it encloses

is driven with great force upward through the "Is there evil in the city, and the lord hath not orifices of the nose to a height of from 20 to done it?':-JEW.BOOK.

30 feet. We have a firined, and we maintain that the At the close of this explanation we were writers and lecturers on the part of god are called to praise for his power and wisdom, the cause of atheism. Perhaps it will be useful and goodiess," the being who was drived to before laying down one of our series of such an extremity as to be obliged to gire reasoning (which, be it remembered, is to up one of the senses, to make the blowing amount to demonstration of the fact of the apparatus of the whole. But we had a existence of god), if we devote a little time better instance, still, in the habits and to explode the blunders of the bluuderers, modes of life of the salmon. It has been and show where and why the former advo- the practice of naturalists to tell us, that at 3 cates of deity hare failed. We listened a few vertain season of the year this aniinal leaves evenings ago to a popular lecturer on animal its usual place of habitation, aud alter wait inechanics, an interesting sunject, and calcu- ling a few days at the mouth of a rives, L:l! lated, if treated properly, to be rendered its gills become accustomed to the fresh water, eminently useful, but the lecturer, Christian. asceuds its stream to spawn. But in this like, was not satisfied with explaining to his case we were destined to have a revelatiou. audience the existences around us in the It was asked, why does not the salmon natural world, it was not enough to speak spawn in the sea, are there vot crevices of the form and structure, and habits of enough for the purpose? We know that various animals, but he set up for one of some have dove so, and their young hare god's councillors, and being in the secret told arrived at maturity, why not all? Whoy us the why and wherefore of every particular with a moment's reflection, sees not the rea. habit, and what was god-almighty's motive son? Who sees not that there is a band in the work. The gullible audience were so that guides, and a finger that points to the pleased with the gratuitious assumption, that mouth of the river ? Who sees not that they were pleased to increase the annoyance there is help at hand to assist the animal to of all who were not as pleased as themselves, follow the course of the river to its source, to by clapping their hands and stamping their enable it to spend its last strength iu leaping feet, to cheer on the presumptuous teacher, the cataracts which impede its progress, and who had placed the optical glass of infinity with a moment's thought, who is there cannot to his ere, and read the laws of the ever- discover the reason? Is it to spawo? Is it lasting universe, written in his own imagina. to leave its eggs in the most secure place! tion ! The first evening we stepped into the No! It is to lay its body down an offering lecture-room, the subject was “the whale," at the feet of man, in the interior of conti. and the consideration for the time being nents which could not otherwise have been in “the blowing apparatus.” It was explained habited! This is the language of a popular that the whale gathers its food by swimming lecturery and if this be the last reasoning for through the water with its mouth open, and design, who would not turn Atheist ? We when it has obtained a supply of food, a thought at the time of that part of divine question is raised, must it swallow a little revelation, which speaks of the erection of ocean of water with every mouthful, or if the tower of Babel, where god-almighty was not, how dispose of the liquid ? The inner offended because the children of men were portion of the nostril is in connexion with trying to get to heaven by the same means the mouth, and now we find the peculiar use

acob's angel came down, i.e. by a ladder, of the curious apparatus connected with it. turning to his assuciates he is reported Iu soine animals the sense of smell is very to have said, as if he thought he had lost keen, but this sense is, and must be in accord command of us siuful mortals for ever :" and ance with the delicacy of the membrane of now this they do; and nothing will be se the olfactory nerve, just as we person strained from them now which they have of the nervous temperament more sensitive imagined to do," and then, as than the bilious or lymphatic; now it will thought had struck him, “ go to, let us go be readily seen that, as the whale frequently down and there confound their language, co descends in the water mavy fathoms, the that they shall not understand one another's existence of a very delicate membrane for speech.” We thought of this, we say, and sm is impossible, for the pressure of water seeing what noble results had been brought at 30 feet, is 15 lbs, on the square inch, and out by our lecturer, we began tu reason increases in proportion to the depth: this design fashion upon it, and remembering that sense, if possessed, would not be valuable to god did, scatter the people abroad from

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To the second question, I would say, a know whether the larger and respectable class of fact is the same yesterday, to-day, and for persons alluded to be the Socialists or not, it seems ever; so with probabilities based upon facts. very likely to be them, for they do assert in almost Atheism is a question of probability, and so

express terms that inan is of no more worth than is theism. If it be more probable to-day, any other animal, for they do not allow him to make from all facts known to man, that there is himself the standard by which to test the valne of not a god in the universe, no subsequent facts of animals, and why? But who says it? Man. Who

created beings. It is said that man is the paragon which might be discovered or revealed can

hears it? Man. Who is fiattered by it? Man. Thas do destroy the probability.

Our friend says,

some fatten on the arrogant delusions they teach, “Let my children believe in a god, if they while the many who are taught, starve. Why see reason to do so." Very good, but it the dog is doubtless conscious that he is the parashould be the parent's care to prevent such gon of animals, and why ? Simply because he alone belief taking possession of their minds, by is able justly to appreciate the qualities of his own prestuting them with facts alone, leaving nature; and so of all animals possessing consciousthem to draw their own conclusions, when ness, each in its own estimation is the paragon of there is no reason to fear they will believe in animals. What are the qualities in man which in a god. “If our children do not see the rea- his estimation constitute his worth? First, his beson for disgust with religion we do so much ing made in the image of his creator.

Is the dog the better.” So much the worse, say 1, if made in the image of his creator ? Most assuredly religion be the world's curse,' which our

not ! Second, man possesses an immaterial and imfriend admits it is. If they are not disgusted mortal soul. Does the horse possess an iinmaterial

Perish the thought! Third, with religion, either we are grossly deceived and immortal soul ?

man is gifted with a free will, ab-olutely indepenand deceiving, or they will be blinded and besotted by superstition.

dent of mental or physical influences. Does the hog What is the principle of atheism that will possess this gift? Profane conception! Fourth, for

man there will be a literal resurrection from the infallibly keep us Atheists in spite of all dead, will not the echoing voice of the shrill the reasons for becoming goddists that un- thimpet at the judgment day awaken from their known time and thought can produce?” io. almbers the ass, the horse, the hog? Out upon quires our friend. The principle of the you blasphemer! would you vilily the name and at eternity and infinity of natter, upon which tributes of our living god and traduce his sacred all reasonings for or against atheism should word? Gently, good Christians, no , start — is, in my opinion, the principle just told me that all that is held most holy, all the

which will infallibly keep us Atheists, in godlike men whom religious tradition glorities are spite of all the fallacies for becoming goddists but forms of a divine idea, which philosophy exthatunknown tiine and thvught can produce.” plains ? assuredly then I may speak of an idea as Permit me to say, in conclusion, that had

such? No Christians, no! My tongue should swell I the power to make all men Atheists by the and burst ere I would say ought in disparagement same process as our friend describes converted of the reality of your god, your iinmortal soul, your bin, i would not use it, for I should dread free will, and final judgment. It is not with these,

but with those terrible shadows of priestly conjuraan unreasoning Atheist more than an unrea

tion, those chimeras dire which have swayed so ill soning Christian. I would rather live in a society of goddites from conviction than in battle-field, forbade the teening soil to yield sup

the destiny of man, made this fair earth a bloody one coinposed of Atheists from feeling.

plies, and held sacred craft, cruelty, and crime. W.C.

Did not our forefathers believe in ghosts? and how

is it then that we of the present day believe them THE WORTH OF MAN.

not? Simply because it is an idea only, an idea “ There is one remark which reflections of this kind are almost certain to call forth in a large and re

which philosophy has explained, and what philosospectable class of persons among us, namely, that phy has done for a plurality it will do for unity. If to assert the worth of man is an arrogant delu. ordinary commonplace ghosts are discarded as real sion, and one that puffs up man with vanity. But existences, the last remaining one, nicknamed the this objection implies the absurd mi-take of sup holy.ghost, will vanish at the cock-crow of science posing that the loftier the standard by which we judge ourselves, the more and more, and not the and philosophy. The day is at hand when this will less nearly shall we seem to reach its full height; be. Man will cease to be flattered by the priestly what is all that is held inost holy, what all the hypocrites, that he stands erect in the image of his godlike inen whom religious tradition canonizes maker, while his mind is prostrate at the shrine of and glorities but forms of a divine idea ever to be kept before us and

approached, though in each in ignorance and snperstition. dividual most imperfectly realised, and wben in Truth has professed to be taught by the Infidel other words we speak of the worth of man, which pbilosopher of all ages, and althongh he has conphilosophy explains, history displays in action, ducted his inquiries with the most persevering deand poetry sings of and makes visible to the soul, termination, with refined intellect, and the most We but declare that there is a greatness of human nature which rebukes the littleness of each, and

subtle re:earch, with the most scrupulous and scruyet is the cominon blessing and support of us all.' tinising inve tigation, and with the accumulated

knowledge of preceding ages at his hand, he has neHERE then, my friends, is an admission, hardly, to vertheless, with all these advantages, but partly be expected by the high church Times. I do not succeeded in the accomplishment of his object, and

343

- Times.

why? From the simple fact that he has neglected to

THE BANNER OF FAITH. apply himsell to the extermination of that funda

( For the Orucle.) inental conceit'in the human mind--that conceit

HER flaunting red banner bay waved o'er the world, bearing upon its broad base the whole superstruc

And insulted homanity's feelings, too long; ture of error, I mean the snperior worth of man re

For it taontingly tells us how reason was burled latively to the universe. I have before me a paper en- From her throne, by the faggot, the dungeon, the titled “ Truth," written by the editor of the Dundee thong. Chronicle, in which occurs the following passage:

Then arouse! ye dull sleepers, and let it be furled;

'Tis the symbol of terror, and torture, and wrong; 'speaking of the degraded position of the British me

'Tis the standard where gather the tyrant and lave; chanic, he pr. pl ... Did the divine author of his Tis the curse of the noble, the free, and the brave. being conter, äve such a restriction of moral law in breathing life and intellect into his frame? Was 'Tis the flag of the týrant, who revels in woe, he formed by his creator only to fulfil an an anal

Who derisively langis at humanity's groan,

Who, through the deep ocean of blood, made to any destiny, and to perform animal duties at the expense

To cement its corruption, wades on to a throne! of every nobler gitt with which nature has so boan.

And the flag of the slave, who encountered the foe, teously supplied him ? For what purpose has he And now utters, unpitied, his agonized moan, been endowed with senses, feelings, and mental

As dying, he kisses adversity's rod; organz ? Surely it is not to fulfil an animal destiny? Contented to fall for his tyrant and god. For then certain reflective organs are unnecessary, 'Tis the flag of the bigot, who, burning with hate, except with the object of accumulating the means Preacheslove,while his dagger is reeking with yore, of

support necessary to animal existence." Now, Faith's own fearful annals too truly relate sir, this, to use à vulgarism, is about the size of the The deeds that the bigot committed of yore;

And the spirit that prompted them cannot abate, argument, though often differently put forth, of all

Till the cause that produced it ishonoured so mord ; that has ever been said or written by all parties on Till that tianoting red banner no longer sball wave, this subject. Man has always been supposed a su- O'er the world it has rendered a desert and grave. perior sort of animal, and why? Simply because man is the supposer; and thus has man been ever

Turn, O! turn to past ages of sorrow and pain; placed in 'an anomolous position. Conceiving him.

Look back on past scenes of oppression and crime:

Trace the rise and the progress of faith's bloody self a superior being to the rest of the animal world,

reign he is too prond to treat them as of the fainily, and Till its records be lost in the thick mists of time; yet he cannot, do what he will, discover who and Mark how wrongs, and how suflrings, her empire where and what are the imagined beings with whom

sustaita, in his proud conceit he considers himself wholly She, whose banner has drunk the sangaitmus food

Then say, thus supported, can faith be sublime? entitled to associate. He has in his in-atiable long. Of the inillions who purchased their freedom with Ing3 determined on a future abode he does not know blood! where; yet, nevertheless, like our ship-builders, he has given his futnre home a name before even a It is red with the blood of the sages of Greece; plank is laid, and with great inconsistency and with Egypt gave sweet Hypatia's to deepen the stain;

Rome added a tinge, yet its thirst did not cease; the pride of an aristocrat he determines none of those

And Syria's red draught was given in vain ; shall enter therein whom he has so scrupulously Then in Palestine, raised as the symbol of peace, shunned on earth (see Byron's epitaph on his dog). With rigard to the above extract, although its fiim. Nay, there is not a land, or time present, or past,

But has shuddered to see it stream forth on the blast siness is apparent, it will serve any purpose to say a word or two upon it. Just previous to the passage Shall it ever be thus-will inan never be free quoted, the writer exclaims, “ What a position for

To act by the dictates of nature's just laws? rational man!" How can it be said that man is ra. Will he ever thus bend to faith's tyrant decree? tional ? Man, an animal spurning with contempt Smiling hope answers-No, even now see him his own kindred, the common offspring of earth's pause!

He a wakes from the torpor of ages to see teeming womb, with his h ad ever lost in a maze

His deep degradation, and banish the cause! beyond the clouds, while with the wild antics of a

Soon, soon, will his dream of delusion be o'er; confirmed and desperate lunatic he roams the fell And that flaunting red tiag wave in triumph no destroyer of his species! Maa rational ! when hias

more!

M.A.L. he been so ? Scan the history of the world-search the scriptures, Christian, Jew, or Pagan, and report its amount; look abroad in society, that is, human

NOTICE. society-what see you? Universal lying, knavery, RECEIVED.-“ Christianity against Atheism," by covetonsness, whoredom, superstition, and murder, Richard Carlile.--" A Scourge for the Godmongers,

openly sanctioned and every where defended. except M.Q.R._"Cerebral Physiology and Materialism," by precept, which goes for nothing i : the practice of our famous and much belauded human society. T.P.—“Persecution," from the Cheltenham Free P.

CHARLES DENT. (To be continued.)

Printed and Pablished by THOMAS PATERSON,

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Saturday, October 1, 1812,

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EDINBURGH

SECU

THE

ORACLE OF RETURUN

BUNS

Or, Philosophy Yindicated.

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

ITS SLAVES, THE PEOPLE."

No. 42.]

EDITED BY THOMAS PATERSON.
Originally Edited by CHARLES SOUTHWELL, sentenced, on January 15, 1842,

to Twelve Months' Imprisonment in Bristol Gavl, and to pay a fine of £100, (Price ld.
for Blasphemy contained in No. 4.
Second Editor, G. J. HOLYOAKE, sentenced, on August 15, 1812, to Sir Months'

Imprisonment in Gloucester Gaul, for Blasphemy, at Cheltenham.

3

CEREBRAL PHYSIOLOGY AND the tender nurseling, who is often long in re-
MATERIALISM.*

covering from the spasm. The sciences each That this is in many respects a drivelling service of creeds and dogmas, and joyfully do

in their turn have thus been pressed into the and laggard age is too frequently apparent in

we hail the advent of a more fortunate period. the trembling and apprehension with which men of science approach any subject which We scarcely appreciate with sufficient armay be distorted by the alarmists into an at- dour the benefits that have been conferred up

upon their favourite dogmas. That the on society by a Priestly, a Franklin, a Combe, age bus some redeeming traits, however, we and a Lawrence. Now that we have the are glad to acknowledge. The lumináries phirenological views freed from the mysterious *ho, liu the midst of this general thraldom gabble of the pietist and hypocrite, we may and distrust calmly and inflexibly pursue espect to advance at a railroad pace. Thanks, their inquiries, have additional claims upon hearty thanks to the man of sufficient moral pur regard and esteem.

courage and contempt of clap-trap for tearing Wadaily read and hear of rapid strides in aside the mask of duplicity and cowardice, all Watches of educational and mechanical and exhibiting the true priuciples of the Lice. While appreciating the exertions

science ! and genius of those who have made improve

Dr. Engledue has, by his respect for truth, ments in the scientific world, we cannot but commanded the esteem of all true lovers of deprecate the pandering and shuffling policy science, while by the vain and shallow preol'those hackneyed writers who have conformed tender he wis of course be paid by the usual to the prejudices and to the vulgar and illiter coin current amongst the class-calumny and ate stupidities of theological disputation. It ridicule, it may be persecution, for the more would be unjust to compare with the man of important the truth the greater the opposition. clear perception and consistent practice, the But let the pamphlet speak for itself: dreamy speculatist, the explorer of mysticisms V which his senses can take po cognizance, iom of our science is erroneous—The brain

“ It appears to us, that the very first axmbo bewilders his brain to foice conclusions is the organ of the mind.' in accordance with the knavish and imbecile dumas of worn out creeds and priestly life know mind as one entity and body as

“ Mr. Combe states, “We do not in this We live in a progressive age.

New dis

another, but we are acquainted only with the eweries in science are continually bursting act constantly together, and are so intimately

compound existence of mind and body, which lupon the astonished world, delighting inves- connected that every state of the mind involves mucators and alarming the timid. Chemistry, Xology, magnetism, phrenology, have in turn

a corresponding state of certain corporeal orsirupzled against and overcome the bigot rail- gans, and every state of these organs involves

a certain condition of the mind.' As of wily priests and deluded inultitudes.

" A similar doctrine we shall find inculcaAt length having gone through the cu-tomary ted by almost all writers on cerebral physiology, stages of neglect, alarm, and hostility, they

“This is mere assumption.

We boast bare had to pass the more critical period of that our science is purely inductive, and yet

luptiau hy the orthodox. Then coines the in the enunciation of our axioms we assume time of tribulation-then has the infant sci. a position which all our facts tend to disprove. ence most to fear froin the embraces of its To evade the charge of materialism, we con, lew foster-mother-the church, whose hoaconstrictor like gripe nearly proves fatal to makes use of the material to show forth its

tent ourselves with stating that the immaterial Cerebral Physiology and Materialism, with powers. What is the result of this? We the result of the application of Animal Magnetism have the man of theory and believer in spirit. z Porenological Association in London, June 20th, ualism, quarrelling with the man of fact and

By W.C. Engledue, M.D. Price 1s. supporter of materialism. We have two par

devices.

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