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proclaiming truth, I know nothing of indivi- and openly before the public and say "I AM dual friendships or mere party societies. The an ATHEIST, AND I GLORY IN MY PRINCIOracle of Reason was intended “to maintain PLES!'”-now beginning with what is vulgarly the right to publish any and every kind of called a lie, is a bad beginning for those who speculative opinion,"-" to deal out Atheist affect to teach that truth alone can make men as freely as ever Christianity was dealt out to wise and happy. In a case of this kind, there the people," — and to aid the best minds is nothing like appealing to facts--one fact to among the liberal party in casting “off the the purpose being here just as good as a thouswindling kind of morality that frames itself to sand. Now if tlfe reader will look at the article į every occasion, including all the abominations “ Is there a God ?” in the first number of this of jesuitry, without its character, grandeur, or paper, printed and published, be it remembered, consistency," nor will I allow any pretend- four clear weeks before the Atheist was in Ets, of mushroom growth, the honour, if existence, they will find the following :there be any, of being the first honestly,without

Not ourselves believing in any designing principle, mental reservation of any kind, to proclaim mind, intelligence, cause, or what you will, distinct myself a perfect Atheist, and teach the whole from the material world; believing, on the contrary, truth “ without mystery, mixture of error, or therefore uncaused, and that uncaused something the

that something must have been from all eternity, fear of man."

universe-we are PERFECT ATHEISTS. The above remarks refer to a weekly paper, In the third paperatipon the same subject,when styled the Atheist and Republican, the first speaking of the immorality of the belief in the number of which appeared without date; but existence of any kind of god, I observed, 2% everybody knows, and the paper itself carries internal evidence of, after some three or four vice, falsehood, and misery, and au the religious buf

Upon the belief or a god hangs nine-tenths of the numbers of the Oracle of Reason were pub- soonery which are the disgrace of civilized societies. lished. When it was announced through the press, An Atlas of error, it bears upon is broad shoulders a that a paper proclaiming the truth, consistency,

world of immoralities. and moral grandeur of Atheism, with the su- In the fifth paper I was, if possible, yet more periority of republicanism over every, or any explicit, and lest it should be supposed that it other, form of government was about to appear, was in consequence of what has appeared in the I was greatly delighted, for my vanity led mne Atheist, I need only say that it was written io consider it one of the first fruits of my la- long before I had any notion that such an atbours; for who could doubt that the Oracle of tack was to be made, the substance of what Reason opened, paved, and showed the way for appeared having been made known to me by the Atheist and Republican? The child a never to be forgotten friend, through the bars proved a froward one, but I will not cast it off of my prison. The passage to which I allude or disown it, nevertheless; and though it is a runs thusprinciple with me that in general more is done The Atheism of these papers is not INSINUATIVE but by love than fear, in this case a little sound DIRECT; not sham but Real; and, good or bad, chastisement will not be amiss, and this I hope about the opinions we have ventured to broach there

is no mistake; THERE CAN BE NO MISTAKE; THERE to administer without“ bluster," “ mere abuse,” SHALL BE NO MISTAKE! or "bombastic bravado." Certainly all will ac- We DENY the rationality of all belief in a god or knowledge that I have good reason to be upon my gods ; in which denial is included the AFFIRMATION, p's and q's, when the great unknown of the that there is good and sufficient reason to disbelieve

in any such existence. Atheist has been kind enough to inform us By the word god we understand a PERSONALITY that

a gentleman of distinguished talents (let supernaturalists call it what they will) distinct Chimself, gentle reader !) has been engaged as from, and independent of, matter. editor, and more than thirty able writers in It may be said, that though I declared myscience and literature,”-surely this is enough to self an Atheist, yet I did not “glory” in being scare one out of one's wits; and no one in his wits one; I would just hint, that to "glory” in any would willingly provoke this terrible thirty- kind of belief, is the part of a fool, not a phiheaded giant, not to speak of the editor, who losopher. There is nothing glorious in any will be a sort of shield-bearer or page to a more kind of belief whatever, and if any of the thirtythan Falstaff; who tells us that the thirty will and-one had taken the trouble to read my“Inattack existing prejudices in the boldest manner, troduction” they would have seen it declared notwithstanding they “run great risk from that “ If men have not yet known they should bigoted persecution." I strongly suspect, now be taught, that it is neither creditable nor however, that this monstrous moral giant, like discreditable, honourable nor dishonourable, to Polypbemus, has but one eye, at least only one be an Atheist, a Christian, or a Mussulman. eve that can be depended upon, so that, if un- Surely it would have been better, more honest, luckily that one should be put out or seriously and far more social of my calumniators, to have damaged, the boasted strength of the monster attacked the philosophy of the thing, instead of will be worse than weakness, and only fatal to running a tilt at me for not doing that which hinself.

can only be done by half-bred infidels and thoIn the first number the writer finds fault that rough bred fanatics. yet no one has had the courage to come fairly Having convicted the Atheist and Republi

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can of barefaced falsehood, to take any more sequence, illogical,” to which I demur not; no pains about its moral character would be but one is more sensible than myself that my stylo slaying the slain, yet I must upbraid them with is wordy, diffuse, &c. I am no logician, and their want of filial affection. "King Lear says fear I never shall be, for the character of my of the ingratitude of his daughters, that it was mind is precisely that of my writings-hasty, as though the mouth should tear the hand for irregular, bold, and enthusiastic ; I write as I lifting food to it; and so I may say of the one, speak, and speak exactly as I think, so that my or thirty-one who have honoured me and dis- writings and speeches have always one grand graced themselves by foul slander. They tell merit, they are the fuc-similies of my mind. us that they are tired of the old mode of pro- My style is to have no style; and, as the writer ceeding, and desirous of seeing Atheism advo- in the Odd Fellovo shrewdly hinted, being fur cated in a proper manner by an organ worthy more apt with my tongue than with my pen, of it, modestly adding that it will be their there is in all I have written the vice of orator“ task to supply this desideratum;" they are ship, not close and connected, but rambling to “ clear the stage of quacks, impostors, and and discursive; less likely to please logicians madmen” of all descriptions, never to use fine than honest men. The pen is not my forte, I words, that they may " appear learned;" they am more happy with the tongue ; writing clogs are to be " perspicuous in composition,” and as my impatient thoughts, which, whatever may to all “ other faults, the fact that they have be their value, are always in a hurry to display pointed them out in their contemporaries, is the themselves, generally rushing pell-mell, heltersufficient guarantee that they will avoid them skelter, without regard to order, precision; and themselves ;" then, by way of a wind-up, it is the decencies of logic. Therefore it is that I hinted that they have opened communication have always loved speaking better than writing, with intelligent correspondents in all parts as being less troublesome, and more in harmony of our own country, in America, and on the with my temper and feelings. I never wrote Continent;" adding, that “it will thus be half-a-dozen lectures in my life, though I have seen that no pains or expense has been spared delivered some hundreds, upon a great variety to ensure ORIGINALITY, VARIETY, and CARE- of subjects: the most successful, and decidedly FUL SUPERVISION.” Alas, poor Oracle! thy the best, of which cost least in preparation. Ta Priest must hide his diminished head. Now be a close reasoner I never pretended, still less the sun of atheism has risen all mere stars will to the character of a first-rate logician. I do become invisible. Thirty and one literary not despise those who have this happy talent, cooks! pray heaven they spoil not the broth, no one can more admire them, but I admini nor that this huge mountain, after so much la- only, and do not aim at rivalry, or hope to bour, bring not forth a mouse!

reach the same degree of excellence; at the Upon the present occasion, I have confined same time candour, and not vanity, prompts myself exclusively to the lies, conceit, and me to say that there are in my writings and puffery of this paper; and if I live, out of speeches excellences of another kind, which prison or even in prison, should I be allowed the close reasoner and adept in logic may strive my pen, I will expose the ignorance of these in vain to imitate. There are as many kinds of writers, and prove by reason and sound ar- mind as of human faces, and therefore in jurggument” that their first paper, not to speak ing of mind we should, in justice, judge of it of the rest, abounds in blunders and errors in after its kind. All men cannot fill the same philosophy, of the most serious kind. Having departments, whether of science, of art, or of been the first openly to teach atheism, it will literature-it is enough that we fill our own be my duty to expose those who, not having department well. My department in the work sufficient knowledge on the subject, bring it of reform, and my competency to fill it, is not into discredit by their swaggering impertinence fairly estimated at present, and how should it and ridiculous assertions. I will show, that, in be, when those who criticise neither know the the so-called refutation of the á posteriori ar- materials with which I have to deal, nor the gument in proof of the existence of a god, great objects I have in view. I am also charged the writer has really deserted the atheistical with the use of a fou admixture of scurrility position, and that he is properly what is called and abuse.” There is nothing more casy than in another part of the paper, by the same to make such a charge, but it is sometimes exwriter, if I mistake not, a Causationist, not ceedingly difficult to determine what is, and is an Atheist; and if not a Universal chance-mon- not,, scurrility and abuse. Scurrility and ger, something equally silly-a Universal cause abuse forsooth! why there is hardly a modern monger. So far at present the Atheist and writer, of any note, ho has not been Republican.

charged by his enemies with being scurrilous There are other writers whose open and ho- and abusive; it is the common cuckoo-cry of nourable strictures upon my proceedings, though all who are well lashed. Expose bigotry in severe, are worthy of the most respectful at- homely phrase, tell the truth in good rongh tention. By many such, the style of my articles English, you are at once denounced as a low has been objected to, as being “ diffuse, wordy, and vulgar-minded fellow. Paine is now acloose, and the matter wanting method and knowledged as the best among political writers,

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yet he was anything but choice in his phrase- truth, for the first time, without shocking hualugy, or gentlemanlike in his diction. “ Pub- man prejudices ? To shock unnecessarily is icola” is now our most popular, if not our best, cruel, but the science of justice alone can teach political writer; yet I never heard that he was whether I have unnecessarily shocked. There remarkable for softness and delicacy of expres- are feelings we ought to lacerate---prejudices it tion. Why, who has not heard a thousand is criminal not to expose. Why does a surgeon times both Paine and Publicola denounced as amputate a mortified limb bat to preserve the foul-mouthed, scurrilous, and abusive scamps ? rest? Amputation is a bad thing but someThe Dispatch newspaper is the very pillar of times necessary, nevertheless. Surely mind freedom, and greatest terror of evil-doers, un- requires analagous treatment; its errors are its questionably the most extensively useful that rotten and mortified parts, in poetic phrase, ever was published; but whoever thought of the gangreens of the soul, which should be cut looking into the Dispatch for choice flowers of off or out that the sounder parts may be pre

rhetoric or namby-pamby phrase ? I could served. Who could be so blinded by his charity s extract sentences and paragraphs by the score as not to see that there are prejudices it is from the columns of that paper that my censors criminal not to expose, just the sort of crimiwould at once acknowledge throw my abuse, nality of a man-who, seeing the assassin's arm 3r., far into the shade. And just so with ban- uplifted to destroy those he should protect and it and ridicule, which even the clergy, who cherish, would hesitate to run him through the In such nice inen and so easily shocked, have body, because, poor fellow, he couldn't help uut the slightest objection to, when used against being what he was, and his nerves might be the horr.d tribe of infidels; but if used by Deists unpleasantly shocked. and Atheists against Cliristians, it is trumpeted But I should not do justice to my feelings, lorth as something profane and shockingly im- did I not express my gratitude for the acute moral. I know fully as well as my censors, and manly strictures of such writers as the trat foul language cannot serve any but a bad Odd Fellow. I think them what they think me cause, but I deny most emphatically that a -honest, but mistaken. I would rather have

ugle foul sentence, or even word, has been this censure in such a spirit, than the most published in the Oracle. There is nothing foul extravagant praises from the lips of folly. The sive that which is inimical to morals and hu- would-be critics, who are the unclean birds of mian freedom. I do not deny that “the offen- the press, and in every sense, have hardly a surely thrusting forward one's opinions—singu- feather to fly with, I heartily despise; in my lar or not—without charitable regard to the warfare with such I will neither give nor take opinions, prejudices they may be, of others," quarter. is not justifiable: that is, I ayree that it is Such is my defence of the Oracle, its leading vzmetimes not justifiable ; as, for example, I principles, and the style in which it has been is not think that a certain noted reverend written. It is a mere outline, that I may fill Featleman was justified upon the score of utility up hereafter. A defence of its principles may xud there can be no other justification for any be considered superfluous, seeing that none act), when delivering a mock sermon on the have yet ventured to attack them, all opposidathi and sufferings of Jesus Christ, he said, tion being confined to the manner, and not the - 1 tone most pathetically ludicrous, “ there, matter, of the thing. my dear friends, there was the blessed saviour Having, for the present, disposed of these siled upon the cross like a dead rat upon a subjects, I must, before I conclude, say a few iarn door;" and I am still of the opinion that words more particularly to yourselves, to whom I was a useless, and therefore unjustifiable, this letter is addressed. I have been accused trifling with human feelings. But let us be of a desire to break up your party, and from careful lest criticism degenerate into cant; let its wreck form one of my own; but for this, as 2-beware best we strain charity for human pre- well as other calumnies, I was fully prepared. utice too far; let us be watchful that we make I most emphatically deny that I ever had any 1191 the weakness of others an apology for our desire to break up your party ; for though your wa laziness; and that we hold not back those present practices by no means square with truths which ought to be told, from fear of being my notions of the just and useful, I am clearly accused of needlesslythrusting forward ouropini- of opinion that your party, with all its faults, ofis, " Truth (says Milton) can no more be soiled is the most advanced, the most liberal, and dehy haman toncti than a sunbeam ; though this cidedly the most useful now in existence—but ill-hap trait on her nativity, that she has never then I wish it to be known as what it really is, # been born into the world, except to the and not to hang out false colours. Your leaders

Dominy of those who brought her forth.” would fain have you thought progressors and Tian away with this cant about liberality, if it free inquirers, whilst you are no such thing,

to interfere with our highest and most sacred buta mere JOINT-STOCK ASSOCIATION,banded duty, which manifestly is to “be cruel only to together for the laudable purpose of bettering e kind,” and to pronounce truth, even though your physical and moral condition. This, I 3 give pain to morbid human feeling. Who, say, is á laudable, a most admirable object; the world's history, ever prouounced a great but, in the name of consisteney and honour, be content to stand before the world in naked question is included in that writer's article of truthfulness as what you really are, and pretend December 19, which is so complete a refutation not to a character that does not belong to you. of vulgar fallacies upon this subject, that I If ever I had an interest in flattering you, it is would willingly, did space permit, transcribe at this moment-but I disdain to do it, and the whole. The following passage teaches all would rather rot in gaol than obtain your sup- that is just in principle and just in action, as port by the crooked ways of falsehool. I hear regards opinion :-" I know nothing of Mr. S. that your party has nobly exerted itself in my or his book, nor do I care a fraction about what behalf--not directly, but indirectly-not as a that book may, or may not, contain; but I party, but as a body of enlightened reformers. hold it an essential principle of liberty, that ha This shows that you are sound at the core ; it has as much right to publish his opinions as shows that you feel there is a great principle any prelate, orthodox divine, or dissenter, If at stake, when you thus sacrifice individual dit- | there be error or indecency in his works, which ferences upon the altar of public liberty. 1 I do not assert, the antidote is not to be found thank you for myself; I thank you yet more in a prosecution, for the remedy is immeasnrafor the sake of the noble cause by which I am bly worse than the disease. Where then is the prepared to stand or fall; for be assured of solid remedy to be found, for this real or fancied! this-come what may, I shall remain true to evil? Educate the people, not in prejudices of the great principles of civil and religious liberty. any sort, but in principles, with a thorough You have seen the proclaimers of great truths latitude of inquiry, of expression, and publicadragged into prisons and courts of law, like tion. At present the phrase, National Educasheep to the slaughter; you have seen men tion, is little else than a fraudulent device to murdered, under colour and pretext of law, continue the old system of supporting preju legal butcheries and judicial assassinations-yes, dices." Aye, truly is it, and well the clergy such atrocities you have seen or heard of In know the

fact ; neither really instructing themthis land of boasted liberty. scaffolds have selves, nor, if they can help it, allowing others to streamed with blood, multitudes been mowed do it. They care very little about errors and down en masse, and dungeons crowded with indecencies—'tis simple naked truth terrifies victims, that the Great Whore--the worse them; and it is precisely because they are cunthan Babylonish harlot-might be maintained ning enough to know that real education would in all her shameful glory. You will, if opinion release mankind from the grasp of all tyrannies, be not aroused and shaken from its death-like that they will not give it to the people. I deny sleep, see in me one more victim of her brutal that there is a single indecent expression, or 4 lusts and fierce intolerance. It is for you and single philosophical error to be found in the the People of England to determine whether I Oracle. From its first to its last page there is am to have the mockery, or the reality, of a not a single paragraph that I would not defend trial--the mere forms, or the spirit of justice. upon any rostrum, or even in any court of "There must be money and there must be agita- law; but let it be remembered, that even though tion--these are the ingredients to be thrown it could be proved to contain the most execrainto the great cauldron of opinion, before it is ble, indecent, and stupid trash that ever was possible the charm of mental freedom can be penned, yet to persecute its author would be to extracted therefrom. Money finds all ways open, outrage the liberty of the mind, and shock all aye, even courts of law ; let us see if enough common sense. As “ Publicola ” wisely says, cannot be gathered to open that of the Queen's “the remedy is not to be found in prosecutions, Bench. It is only by a monied agitation public but in the general diffusion of education." liberty can be protected.

This number, the reader will please to consider Let the public remember that the real ques- as supplementary ; and in future the Priest of tion is not whether my opinions are correct or the Oracle will speak as usual, and proceed incorrect; or my manner of expressing them with the consideration of those subjeets he had vulgar or refined; but this, ånd this only, is proposed to treat, before honoured by a notice the question-Shall men suffer persecution for from the authorities. Should it happen that holding any set or kind of opinions, or for any my mouth is stopped, the paper will be edited manner of expressing them? Once admit the and conducted by friends, whose principles are moral right of any man or set of men to punish my principles, and upon whose integrity and others, either for the matter or manner of their talent I have the fullest reliance. So that, wheopinions, and you at once unchain a legion of ther I am in or out of prison, the Oracle will tyrannies, and open wide the door to every spe- still boldly pronounce nature's decrees, in spite cies of cruelty. * Liberty of the mind” is all of human decrees, and proclain philosophy or nothing, to confine, is to crush, it; and like without asking the license of folly. that noble writer“ Publicola,” “my principles

Your well wisher, apply with equal force to any and all books,

CHARLES SOUTHWELL. whether the name be Bible, Testament, Talmud, Koran, Milton's Paradise Lost,or Shelley's BRISTOL:-Printed & Published by FIELD, SOUTHWELL, Queen Mab. The principle is general, and all

and Co., 6, Narrow Wine-street.-LONDON : Hether

ington, Watson.-Glasgow : Paton and Love. cases the same." Indeed, all the wisdom of the

Saturday, January 1, 1841.

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LETTER IV.

convulsed with rage if the plain, simple fact be POLICY versus PRINCIPLE.

pointed out to them. Oh, no! they would fain be

thought men of principle, at the very moment To the SOCIALISTS of ENGLAND. they violate it; like greedy children, they would

swallow, and yet desire to have, the lolly-pop.

Such individuals are not rare-shows, but may " Honesty IS the best Policy."

be seen in every street and be picked up by the FRIENDS,

score in every party. Any one who should go

a-fishing for such in the great sea of public life, T SHALL now proceed to call your attention to must get strong nets, for without supernatural what I maintain was, and is not now, the prin- assistance I will promise them a " miraculous ciple taught by Robert Owen.

draught.” All associated bodies are expected to have It is the principle of the honest Catholic, some principle, by which I mean some philoso- that the church of Rome is the true apostolic phic conclusion, as to what is right, what is church, and only authority in matters of faith. wrong ; what ought to be done, and what He holds that the bible contains the word of ought not to be done. Some principles affect his god, but not all the word, the rest being the members of societies in their aggregate or handed down in those traditions of which his corporate capacity, and should be common to church is the repository. It is with him a all the members; whilst others, which only re- principle that the bible, as interpreted by his late to individual thought and action, are of church, is true, but that much knowledge, comparatively trivial importance. No matter merely traditional, and therefore not contained for what purpose men are banded together, in the bible, is also to be received as true upon some one common object they must have, and the same authority. The genuine Catholic also some one common conclusion or principle, else believes that Peter was the rock upon which Do bond of union can possibly subsist.

Christ built his church, the holder of the keys Principles are either good or bad, accord- of heaven and hell; and that the Popes, his ing to their application; which is here ex- legitimate successors, are de facto heirs to his pressly stated, because I have met with some authority, his god's vicegerents upon earth, the who have thought principle in itself good or appointed and infallible agents of his will. bad, whereas all principles are abstractions-- Such are some of the leading principles of conclusions of the mind, to be tested by their Catholicism ; they are clear, distinct, and wellapplication, and their value determined by the defined ; acknowledged by the great body of conduct they induce; in short, the effects of the faithful, and from which many honest Cawhich they are the parents. We speak of true tholics would rather die than swerve. principles and of false principles; those which These principles, if detestable are not deceitare beneficial, and those which are pernicious ; ful; they have all the merit of clearness—a by which are meant conclusions drawn from child may understand them, and children may things, and the infinitude of human relations. act upon them. The Catholic and the old

A party or associated body is said to be con- Social principle are the antipodes of each other sistent with its principles when the conduct of the opposites, if not antagonists—the north its members, in their corporate capacity, is in and south poles of the mental world—and the barnony with their published conclusions; the glory of a Socialist would be the shame of a idea of consistency not being necessarily ident- Catholic. The one proclaims the sufficiency of iral with that of truthfulness or justness of ac- reason and the absurdities of faith, the other ton, as a party may be equally consistent in proclaims the sufficiency of faith and the deCTPOT 23 in truth, the consistent advocacy of a ceitfulness of reason. The Social principle was principle proving nothing for the principle it- PROGRESSIVE; and the cry of its advocates-wolf, "There is much more consistent action FORWARD! Catholic principle is inimical to upon false, than upon true, principles ; indeed, progression; it fears, it hates it; and all the wothing.js more rare than to see men act con- Popes, from Peter downward, with the faitliful sistentie opon the principles which they not only at their heels, have stood upon the ancient ways, Arknowledge to be true, but declare should be far better loving a backward than a forward scted upon ; yet such inconsistent people are motion. Socialism was based upon philosophy, 87

[SECOND EDITion.)

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