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A NUT FOR MR. MACKINTOSH.

and toils all day under the inspection of a number to be, until all become disgusted and throw away this fheartless tyrants, at whose nod he trembles, and most mischievous of all mischievous books. Therefore who exercise absolute power over him. When his make it known to your utmost, I pray you, with the tay': labour is ended, he crawls to his miserable most earnest sincerity, a man cannot be an infidel {arret or cellar, for which he pays an enormous rent to the bible until he has read it, until he has como some unprincipled money-scraper. He partakes pared part with part, and words with existing things. bř a seanty meal with his half-naked and spiritless Then and then only can he be an infidel to the bible; hildren, and eagerly hastens to rest his exhausted so you may be assured that I cannot finish Infidels imba, in order to prepare for the labour of the fol faster than you prepare them for my hands. So get lowing day. His life is spent in the same round of all mankind to read the bible, then the ninth volume monotonous and unrequited slavery, and when of the Republicun, which I dedicate to your notice turned off to make way for a more youthful machine, and support, and then we shall all become of one he ends his days in the poor-law bastile, amidst the mind; sectarianism, horrid sectarianism will end. clanking of iron doors and the insults of sancy of. So prays your co-operator, RICHARD CARLILE.” Gcials, separated from all he held dear, and if his friends are not acquainted with his death, he is

A correspondent writes,“ From a paragraph handed over to the surgeon for dissection.

Go now, you moving automatons, go to the fat, in the Times of Monday, 8th Aug., it appears well clad, and well housed lazy, lying, priest. Go that the senate of the Berlin University have and hear him preach a sermon on “contentment,” received a reprimand from the minister of and the necessity of quietly submitting to the “ pow. religious affairs and education for refusing ers that be," and then skulk home like drivelling to sanction a society amongst the students idiots to witness the squalid looks of your innocent children, and sing some of Wesley's hymns, which of divinity, for supporting the historical view were taught you to hinder you from thinking. of christianity against the attacks of the moA CHARTIST PRISONER.

dern school of philosophers. The senate modified its refusal, it seems, on the ground

of its not being able to refuse to sanction a CORRESPONDENCE.

scientific union in an opposite sense, if such

societies were at all authorized; but M. To the Editor of the Oracle of Reason.

Eickhorn intimated that no ceremony should

be observed in suppressing any tendency to Sir.—Having often observed in your paper an ad- unchristian principles in the University. mission from W. C. that the existence of god could Now, this 'refusal,' and the ground thereof not be disproved, allow me to say that I think it can, of the Berlin senate, and the no less notable and moreover that I consider the following argument intimation' of M. Eickhorn may have is as strong a proof as proof can be of the non-exist. escaped you. They strike, me thinks, at ence of god. In the first place, Mr. Mackintosh must Dr. Strauss, who has so unceremoniously admit that no power or thing can make anything and skilfully handled the orthodox German superior or equal to itself, and upon this fact I build professors in his masterly Leben Jesu* (Life my argument. In the next place, as matter and its of Jesus). His last work, I mean the Historiessential and circumstantial properties are infinite, cal Developement of Christianity, in Oppoand as there is nothing superior to infinity, there sition with Modern Science, has created can be no god, or rather, matter can have no inaker.

great alarm in Germany. The Leben Jesu R. N. K.

was accounted only deistical in its tendencies,

but if we may believe the Foreiyn Quarterly To the Editor of the Oracle of Reason.

Review, the historical development has un. BIR.-I shonld like to know from Mr. Carlile how he masked an Atheist. Nothing can furnish reconciles the following dedication of the ninth vol. clearer evidence of alarm this discovery has of the Republican, with what he now says respecting caused than the fact already stated, that the the bible.

JAMES MONK.

Berlin senate has refused to sanction a soci“Dedication to the bible societies.-- Here! my ety among divinity students for supporting friends, read here, and see what your bible is worth the historical view of christianity, lest it But above all things, go on to put it into the hands should be compelled in common fairness to of every human being! for I, who abhor it as a whole allow a scientific union in an opposite sense, book, am convinced that it can only generate disgust namely, spoiling the historical view. This is 24 far as it is fairly read. Before it was read, there

a confession of fear on the part of Berlin's was neither Jew nor Christian but thought it to senate--but to have livers white as milk,' have been written by a superhuman power, for a su

is a thing so common amongst those who perhuman purpose ; but since the art of printing has have law, and nought but law on their sidebeen known to the people of Europe, since printed that surprise is out of the question.” bibles have begin to circulate among them, dreadful 683 been the sectarianism which its unintelligible, * There are now, we perceive, 53 Nos. of this contradictory, and incongruous contents have occa. celebrated work published-completing the Second noned ; and dreadful will that sectarianism continue Volume.

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JONAH'S WHALE AND GOURD. - The COUNTER MARCU OF INTELLECT.-Dure Rev. Dr. Scott, of Costorphine, in a paper ing a scientific congress at Oxford, Mr. Fa. read before the Wernerian Society, in 1828, rady was exhibiting privately to a few friends has shown that the great fish that swallowed his experiment of obtaining the electric spark up Jonah could not be a whale, as often sup: from the magnet. While this was proceed. posed, but was, probably, a white shark. Iting, the head of one of the colleges (Dr. F.) is true that" a whale" is not used in the entered, and inquired what was going on. text of Jonah, but “ a great fish ;' still “ He was told that the professor of the Royal whale" is mentioned in the reference to this Institution was demonstrating a proof of his passage which our saviour makes in Matt. late very important discovery, the nature xii. 40. While the Greek version makes which was explained to the reverend docthe plant under which Jonah sat a gourd, tor. “ I am sorry to hear it," said the very the vulgate reckons it a species of ivy. The sapient rector, “Jam exceedingly sorry to castor-oil tree, with its broad palmate leaves, hear it; it will only put new arms into the has, however, been more closely identified hands of Infidels !» with “ the gourd” of Jonah ; which is corro

SUGGESTION TO THE DEAN AND CHAPTER boiated by local traditions, as well as by the Of Gloucester CATHEDRAL.-Economy fact that it abounds near the Tigris, where being a great thing to divines, especially when it sometimes grows to a size more consider the savings go into their own pockets; the able than it is commonly supposed to attain, following hint is respectfully submitted. Near - Popular Errors.

one of the entrances of Gloucester Cathedral

is a tablet in memory of some modern saint, INTERNAL EVIDENCES OF DIVINE bearing at the bottom this, to an English AUTHENTICITY.-(Jew-book. Old edition.) ear, very felicitous ivscription—"orer, Jork 2 Kings, 22.“ And Hilkiah the high priest over.” Now, on a pillar nearly opposite is said unto Shaphan the chanceller, I have a charity box, and the expense of repairing found the booke of the law in the house of the the long inscription upon it would be for Lord; and Hilkiah gave the booke to Shaphan ever saved, should the box itself be placed and he read it."

above the tablet, as then the motto of the 2 Esdras, 14. “For thy law is burnt, there-tablet “ over, fork over,'' would serve for the fore no man knoweth the things that are box and Christian pilgrims would of cours done of thee, or the works that shall be done." fork out as they passed by.

Ibid. “The most high gave understanding unto the five men, that they wrote the high

SUBSCRIPTIONS. things of the night which they understood

For the Anti- Persecution Union. not. But in the night they did eate bread, Mr. Wrighton, Birmingham, per card

..10) 5 but I spake by day, and held my tongue by A Member, A. 1 night. `In fortie days, they wrote two hun- T. E...

0 20 dred and foure books. And when the fortie G. Alexander days were fulfilled, the most high spake, W. B. saying, the first that thou hast written, pub- | A few friends of Free Inquiry, by T. S. 0 10 ) lish openly, that the worthy and unworthy Harmony as under :may read it. And keepe the seventy last that Mr. Wood

02 thou mayst give them to the wise among thy « Restienux ..

Chetham 1 Maccabees, 1. " And the bookes of the

Graham law, which they found, they burnt in the fire “ Richardson. and cut in pieces. Whosoever had a booke of

« Clark .. the Testament found by him, or whosoever

“ Shipland, jun. consented unto the law, the king's commandment was, that they should put him to death by their authoritie. And they executed these things every month upon the people

“ J. Watts, Manchester

0 1

" Redburn of Israel that were found in the cities."

London.

M, RYALL, S. NOTICE. A Meeting will take place on Saturday evening, Printed and Published by THOMAS PATERSOS, November 12th, at half-past eight, at No. 8, Holy. No. 8, Holywell-street, Strand, London, to what well street, to enquire into mythological systems all Communications should be addressed and overthrow religious error.

for Sheffield, George Julian Harney, Booke, Received J. R., Brighton; J. Griffin H.; B. H.;

11, Hartshead; Bristol, J.Chappell, Newa Agri, and W , B.

Narrow Wine-street; Macclesfield, Mr. Rob

Hall of Science; Barnsley, Mr. Thos. Lingar Received by Mrs. Holyoake, from a Few Friends at

New-street ; Coventry, J. Morris, 35, Union-plas Manchester, per Mr.J. Watts, S.M. 0 11 6

Butts; Preston, Jas. Drummond, 112, Friarra Mr. Holyoake has received from some old

And Sold by all Liberal Booksellers. friends in Worcester, per Mrs. Allen 1 5 0

Saturday, November 12, 1842.

people.

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66 Bennett 66 Sprales “ Taylor

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EDINDHET

THE

ORACLE OF

CLAR UNION

Or, Philosophy Vindicated. "FAITH'S EMPIRE IS THE WORLD; ITS MONARCH, GOD; ITS MINISTERS, THE PRIESTS;

ITS SLAVES, THE PEOPLE."

No. 48.]

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

to Twelve Months' Imprisonment in Bristol Gaul, and to pay a fine of £ 100,
for Blasphemy contained in No. 4.

[Price ID. Second Editor, G. J. HOLYOAKE, sentenced, on August 15, 1842, to Sir Months'

Imprisonment in Gloucester Gaol, for Blasphemy, at Cheltenham.

DEISTS.

improved without wounding truth. That

some of the most eminent Infidel writers of That whatsoever is considered adoreable, Europe were nominal Deists and real A theists, amiable, and inimitable by mankind, is em- cannot be denied. That they laughed (in bodied in one supreme, infinite, and perfect their sleeves) at all religion—notwithstanding being -ix the Deists' opinion of god. As to they conformed externally to the religion their origin, I find in Bayle's Dictionary, ar- of those with whom they were obliged to live, ticle Vizet, that “ The name of Deists, as from a desire to please, or that yet stronger npplied to those who are no friends to revealed motive, a dread of giving offence-is no less religion, is said to have been first assumed undenialle. It is hard to say what such about the middle of the sixteenth century, by philosophers as Blount, Shaftesbury, Bolingsome gentlemen in France and Italy, who broke, Collins, Morgan, Chubb, and Tindal were willing to cover their opposition to the would have written had they dared. Like Christian revelation by a more honourable canses produced like effects upon the philosoDame than that of Atheists. The earliest phers of France and Germany. Their oppoauthor who mentions them is Vizet, a divine sition to all religion assumed a deistical form, of great eminence among the first reformers, which, though mere sham and deceit, served who, in the epistle dedicatory prefixed to the admirably well as a stalking-horse. Of the first volume of his . Instruction Chretienne' morality of such conduct I say nothing, but (Christian Instruction), published in 1563, I do say that such will ever be the effect of speaks of some persons at that time who called power when arrayed against sincerity. Mr. themselves by a new name, that of Deists. Thomas Hartwell Horne, in his “IntroducThese, he tells us, professed to believe in a tion to the Critical Study and Knowledge of god, but showed no regard to Jesus Christ, the Holy Scriptures,” says that modern inand considered the doctrines of the apostles fidelity, though it may assume the title of deand evangelists as fables and dreams. He ism, is in fact little better than disguised adds, that they laughed at all religion, not- atheism. He adds. “A man seldom retains withstanding they conformed themselves ex- for any length of time his first deistical opiniternally to the religion of those with whom ons; his errors gradually multiply till be they were obliged to live, or whom they were sinks to the last gradation of impiety," and desirous of pleasing, or whom they feared. then, by way of substantiating his point, quotes Some of them, he observes, professed to believe the testimony of Brittan, an Infidel writer,

rtality of the soul, others were of the who, in his " Modern Infidelity Pourtrayed," Epicurean opinion in this point, as well as declares that “ Deism is but the first step of about the providence of god with respect to reason out of superstition. No person (says mankind, as if he did not concern himself in he) remains a Deist but through want of rethe government of human affairs. He adds, flection, timidity, passion, or obstinacy,' that many among them set up for learning which it must be confessed was hitting the and philosophy, and were considered as per- gentlemen Deists very hard, pummelling them sons of an acute and subtile genius; and that in a style none but atheistical infidels would not content to perish alone in their error, they venture upon. I do not however agree that took pains to spread the poison, and to infect modern infidelity is little better than disguised and corrupt others by their impious discourses atheism, being most decidedly of opinion that and their bad examples.” Thus Vizet, as bona fide deistical infidelity, ancient and quoted by Bayle. The character here given modern, is undisguised outrageous nonsense. of gentlemen Deists it must be confessed is I do agree with Brittan that deism is but the but so-so, indeed I dont know what worse first step of reason out of superstition, and could be said an' they were blackguards. It that no person remains a Deist but through would perhaps be too much to say that Vizet want of reflection, timidity, passion, or obstihas hit them off to the life, though for my own nacy. None but an able and experienced part I know not how the character could be shot could have struck the target of truth so

the ima

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nicely in the bull's eye, and Brittan is as | tality and is improved by our admitting much entitled to a monument for printing providence. that spicy bit of wisdom, as Lord Exmouth, 7. That when we err from the rules of our Laumaréz, and Sir Sidney Smith for doings duty we onght to repent and trust in god's of much more questionable utility. But that mercy for pardon. our modern gentlemen Deists will agree with this opinion I very much doubt.

Such were deistical notions about what they It is worthy of observation that there are called god in the seventeenth century, and almost as many kinds of Deists as professors concerning the manner in which it (god) of deism. I am rarely lucky enough to light should be worshipped. The following, taken upon two Deists in any one company who en

from the same book of reason's oracles, is tirely agree in opinion. They all allow there

curiously nonsensical: must be one god, but what sort of personage

First, negatively, it is not to be by an be, she, or it is (not knowing the gender, image, for the first being is not sensible' but the it being neuter is safest), how employed, intelligible. Pinge sonum, puts us upon 20 how to be worshipped, or whether to be wor- impossibility, no more can an infinite mind shipped at all.

be represented in matter.

“ Second, nor by sacrifices, for sponsio non What is it, how produced, and to what end, Whence drew it being, or to what it does tend ?

valet ut alter pro altero puniatur. However,

no such sponsio can be made with a brute are questions Deists by no means agree about. creature; nor if god loves himself, as he is They do however all agree that there is a god the highest good, can any external rite or or omnipotent cause, who having well fur- worship reinstate the creature after sin, in nished brutes, insects, &c. left not the brain his favour, but only repentance and obedience or mind of man without its director in this for the future, ending in an assimilation to maze and lottery of things, giving reason as himself as he is the highest good; and this its sovereign rule and touchstone to examine is the error in all particular religions, that them by, and to fit our choice to the double external things or bare opinions of the mind advantage of body and mind. All this, and can after sin propitiate god. Hereby parmuch more to the same purpose, I find in de- ticular legislators have endeared themselves istical books of the seventeenth and eighteenth and flattered their proselytes into good opinicenturies. One that has very lately fallen in ons of them, and mankind willingly submitted my way, called “The Oracles of Reason," to the cheat. Enini facilius est superstitiose, published in 1693, is uncommonly entertain- quam juste vivere. ing and instructive. Nor does it mortify me “ Third, not by a mediator, for 1st, it is to think that our Oracles of Reason were not unncessary, misericodia dei being sufficiens (as before supposed) the first that had dis- justitie suce ; 2nd, god must appoint this turbed the slumbers of good Christian people. 'mediator, and so was really reconciled to the Now in this really very choice little work I world before; and 3rd, a mediator derogates find deism defended and christianity attacked from the infinite mercy of god, equally as an with skill, wit, and to the clergy, no doubt, image doth from his spiritualitie and infinitie most provoking good homolir. Deistical or “Fourth, positively, by an inviolable ad. natural religion, according to one of the afore- herence in our lives to all the things Quori said oracles (for many priests appear to have doxand, by an imitation of god in all his inbeen concerned in their pronunciation), is the imitable perfections, especially his goodness, belief we have of an eternal intellectual being, and believing magnificently of it.” and of the duty which we owe bim, manifested to us by our reason, without revelation or This specimen of deism may, to the readers positive law, the chief heads whereof seem of our oracle, seem silly rhodomontadish stuff, contained in these few particulars :

but then it ought to be remembered that if

any man had been audacious enough to write 1. That there is one infinite eternal god, plain sense in the seventeeth century, be creator of all things.

would have paid for his whistle by the loss 2. That he governs the world by provi- of his ears, or perhaps bis head. A their dence.

would not have been tolerated in those "good 3. That it is our duty to worship and obey old times," and anything short of atheism, him as our creator and governor.

that is, anything short of uncompromising 4. That our worship consists in prayer to antisupernaturalism must be chimerical and him and praise of him.

radically erroneous. The inconsistencies and 5. That our obedience consists in the rules absurdities which disfigure the pages of of right reason, the practice whereof is moral Blount, Chubb, Tindal, Collins, Bolingbroke, virtue.

and indeed all reputed Deists, were, I am 6. That we are to expect rewards and pun- persuaded, not so much a consequence of ishments hereafter, according to our actions their errors in philosophy, as fear of fanatical in this life, which includes the soul's immor- intolerance.

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WHAT IS GOD ?

must needs set them down as the drivellings

of big babies on the altar of idolatry. Man is a material being-formed of matter, What then is god hut a being like ourselves, depending on matter for his existence, and and if he exists at all subject to all“ the ills constituting nothing more than a part of mat- that flesh is heir to ?” as is well exemplified ter. All his cominunications too with the in the history of his beloved son. What is world are necessarily conducted through the god but a part of matter? the purest worship medium of material senses.

of which is gross idolatry. Hence, all his thoughts are material, his

To the man of reason this worship is feeling material, and his brain filled with abominable, and the Christian is expressly nought but material pictures or ideas. He commanded, “ Thou shall not make unto thee «an entertain no thought higher than, or any graven image or the likeness of anything superior to, matter--no conception foreign that is in heaven above, or that is in the to the world in which he lives — no feelings earth beneath, or that is in the water under but sach as are implanted by material sob. the earth,” stances around, for dust he is and unto

But if god is not to be likened to anything dust shall be return."

we have seen or felt, we can have no idea of From this we may deduce an argument him-he cannot exist to us. Hence this against the immateriality of the soul. For command alone would make us all Atheists, as the mind, like the body, requires food and

“ Men drop into truth they know not how." exercise, it were a most palpable absurdity

Thus, between the Atheist and the Idolater to talk of feeding an immaterial being with

-the man of reason and the worshipper of material substance. And as the brain is or stocks and stones—there can be do middle can be filled with nought but material ideas, class or gradation of belief. or the pictures of “stern realities," seen, heard, On the horns of this dilemma let fanatics or felt—the images of sensations already writhe and bigots rave. Society will soon experienced, it is clearly impossible to en- learn to estimate them at their true worth, tertain any idea of things we have never seen, as fools “ who live without god in the world, heard, or felt, or picture forth in the likeness

or knaves professing one thing and living by of the material, things immaterial,

the practice of its opposite. Indeed, should it be called a thing? Should

Jos. B. LEAR. it be called anything—but an absurdity ?

Now, words are sounds or material signs by which we express our ideas. And each THE FREE INQUIRER'S WHY AND word has its idea, and each thought its ex

BECAUSE pression,

Hence, as the mind can only entertain material ideas, it is utterly impossible to ex. press any but such ideas. Nay more, though Why are men sometimes said to be naturally it were possible, which it is not, to entertain responsible ? an immaterial idea, still wonld it be impos

Because the precise meaning of the term sible for us to utter any sound or sign equiva- law does not appear to have been well underlent to it. Immaterial ideas would require stood by those who are the readiest to use it immaterial sounds, which are no sounds at all. upon all occasions. Coombe's definition,

Christians then should never forget that that a law is a rule of action, is clear, and total, ineffable

has the merit of conciseness. Now, a rule Silence is the least injurious praise.

implies a ruler, and a ruler a personal agent,

as the term divine government implies a Whenever we use the term god, we must divine governor.

If then we insist that men attach to it some material idea or representa are naturally responsible, we get into an tion of something seen, beard, or felt.

awkward dilemma, and are constrained to Thus we may percbance liken him to one

admit one of two things : either that nature of ourselves-a little bigger than a good is a being of some kind or other, which pun. sized giant-one that knows “ a sight more " ishes man, in revenge for a fault he has comthan the best of us, a little more than Sir mitted-if so, it will only be proved that man Isaac Newton- and who can see farther than is responsible to nature by showing that naa hawk. Others may liken him to some

ture is god, and what is worse, a god that such a subtle agent as electricity or magnet- understands not the character of the creaism, or a spirit stronger than brandy and tures he has made, and though capable of mor e proof than the best gin. Others again “ weighing the hills in scales and the dust in may liken him to the earth, and tell us that a balance,” is filled with cruelty and all those his perfection “is longer than the earth and diabolical feelings which are held disgraceful broader than the sea.

even when found in the human form- we say All these definitions are doubtless sublime, this conclusion must be arrived at, or the but they are also so often ridiculous that one word responsible must be shown to possess or

WRITTEN BY CHARLES SOUTHWELL.

VII.

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