« 上一頁繼續 »
morning, in the large square, where are held our public meetings. It is an awful sight,--a terrific gathering,—when men thus assemble ; and it adds much to the solemn grandeur of the scene, when their united voices ascend to heaven loaded with the burthen of those sufferings which oppression has heaped upon them; and they thus breathe vengeance upon the heads of their oppressors. It is a volcano boiling and moving in burning liquid surges before the bursting of the storm.
In these meetings were to be seen the vivid flashes,—were to be heard the distant rumblings of concealed but irresistible forces, when the multitudes sung in the words of the poet :
“ Hands, and hearts, and minds are ours :
Reason is our citadel.
Not the might of wickedness.
Thou didst, man of Huntingdon !*
Bring not down the avalanche.
Stormily or tranquilly!" These hymns were printed and circulated separately, though the poet was not at the time in great favour with the people ; for, as they thought, he only sought to give them bread: they demanded, and continue to demand-political freedom.
R. OTLEY. (To be concluded in our next number.)
* One Oliver Cromwell, a brewer.
INDOLENCE OF THE HUMAN MIND.—The human mind is fitted, from its own indolence to be dazzled by the glare of a proposition: and to receive and utter for truth, what it never gives itself the trouble to examine. There is no paradox among all the enormities of despotism, but what finds its advocates from this very circumstance. We must not therefore scorn to encounter an argument because it is foolish. The business of sober philosophy is often a task of drudgery; it must sometimes listen to the most incoherent clamours, which would be unworthy of its attention, did they not form a part of the general din, by which mankind are deafened and misled.-Barlow's Advice to the Privi leged Orders.
Lectures, in London, for the ensuing Weck. SUNDAY, June 2, at half-past 7, Hall of Science, (near Finsbury Square,) City Road.
“ Mistakes about Toleration”—George J. Holyoake. Monday, June 3, at half-past 8, Mechanics’ Institute, Gould Square, Crutched Friars.
Life and Writings of Algernon Sydney”-S. M. Kydd. At half-past 8, Finsbury Hall, 66, Bunhill Row. “ Random Recitations"-H. Tyrrell. At half-past 8, Pentonville Athenæum, 23, Henry Street. “ Life of Alfred the Great"-T. H. Rees. At half-past 8, Soho Mutual Instruction Society, 2, Little Dean Street. “Life
and Writings of Thomas Moore"-Austin Holyoake. TUESDAY, June 4, at 8, British Coffee Rooms, Edgeware Road.--Weekly Meeting of the
Free Enquirers' Society.
Sir,— The excellent article in No. 20 of your Journal, on the subject of Associative Labour will, I hope, be extensively read and deeply pondered on by the working-men here, in the Staffordshire Potteries. In no part of the kingdom is the deplorable conflict between Capital and Labour carried on with greater virulence than it is in this district. Masters and men are for ever at war with each other, and all mutual confidence is destroyed. Just now, there is plenty of employment and no idle hands are in the market, because the spring orders from America are being executed. These orders came in so heavily, and pressed so hard upon the master Potters, that the working-men determined to take their advantage of the moment; and consequently a general “strike' for higher wages took place from one end of the Potteries to the other. The men were resolute, and at last the masters were obliged to accede to the proposed terms. By and bye trade will be slack, the labour-market will be full, the unemployed will bid against the unemployed, and wages will of course fall. Then, the masters will have their turn, and endeavour to recover at the ebb-tide what they lost at the flood. And the fruits of this desolating competition are discontent, vindictive unsocial feeling, pauperism, and starvation. Talk of Peace Societies and international arbitration instead of war! Yes, these are admirable movements, and all good men must wish them “God speed'; but what we want most is some power that shall allay the strife amongst the trading classes at home, and 'set at one' those two elements of commerce--Labour and Capital. This, I believe, might be effected by substituting Association for Competition ; and would the working classes reflect on their position, they would soon discover that the remedy for a large majority of the evils they endure is in their own hands. Surely some four or five hundred might practise a little self-denial, now labour is plentiful, in order to raise a sufficient capital that would enable them to carry on a business on their own account.
I know that many are beginning to fancy there is something radically wrong in the system, and would be but too happy to “reform it altogether"; only they don't seem to understand how to begin, or have not the courage to commence an agitation on the subject. As a proof that there is dissatisfaction with the present arraugements, I need but mention, that a short time ago, a working potter proposed to his fellows that they should try and compel their employer to exhibit his books to them with a full statement of his profits accruing every month, and that an average of wages should be struck by that scale. This, however clumsy a proposition it may be, shows that we are thinking about the matter of Labour and Capital down here. In time, perhaps, we shall get hold of the right end of the stick. Feel ing certain you will render us what help you can in this vital question,
I remain, Sir, yours most respectfully,
ONE OF THE PEOPLE IN THE POTTERIES. Mr. Thomas Cooper.
To Correspondents. Correspondents who wish their communications to reach me at once, will please ad dress « Thomas Cooper, at Mr. Barlow's, Bookseller, 2, Nelson Street, Newcastle-onTyne.” This address will serve from June 1st to June 16th. Let it be understood, however, that all letters sent to my home “5, Park Row, Knightsbridge, London,” will be duly forwarded to me.
James Finler ; •Humanitas' ; M. L. Shrewsbury; Occleve the Younger'; Samuel Amour; “ Barnsley Franklinian." Their poetry is most respectfully declined.
D. C.-He will find his most important question answered in No. 7. of this Journal,
* Un Incrédule,' Paisley. Will this correspondent favour me with his real address, that I may write to him privately ?
W. BARBER.-Obliged to him for the correction, that it is not a new house which the Associated Builders are erecting for Mr. Neale, in May Fair; but a large one which they are completely repairing.
C. Crisp. —Obliged to him. I have made a note of the matter for use, very shortly. George HARDY.-Of course, John Bright, M.P. for Manchester was the man.
• Ignoramus' (a strange signature—but it is the correspondent's own). The lines are not a quotation, but Gerald Massey's own.
• LEARNER.' Let him try again. He will do better next time,
THINKINGS FROM THOMAS PAINE.
TESTIMONY TO Christ.—He was a virtuous and an amiable man. The morality that he preached and practised was of the most benevolent kind; and though similar systems of morality had been preached by Confucius, and by some of the Greek philosophers, may years before; by the Quakers since; and by many good men in all ages, it has not been exceeded by any.
CAUSE OF CHRIST'S DEATH.—That such a person as Jesus Christexisted, and that he was crucified, which was the mode of execution at that day, are historical relations strictly within the limits of probability. He preached most excellent morality and the equality of man; but he preached also against the corruptions and avarice of the Jewish priests, and this brought upon him the hatred and vengeance of the whole order of priesthood. The accusation which those priests brought against him, was that of sedition and conspiracy against the Roman government, to which the Jews were then subjeet and tributary; and it is not improbable that the Roman government might have some secret apprehension of the effects of his doctrine as well as the Jewish priests; neither is it improbable that Jesus Christ had in contemplation the delivery of the Jewish nation from the bondage of the Romans. Between the two, however, this virtuous Reformer and Revolutionist lost his life.
HUMBLE PARENTAGES.—It is somewhat curious, that the three persons whose names are the most universally recorded, were of very obscure parentage. Moses was a foundling; Jesus Christ was born in a stable; and Mahomet was a a mule-driver. The first and the last of these men were founders of different systems of religion: but Jesus Christ founded no new system. He called men to the practice of moral virtues, and the belief of one God. The great trait in his character is philanthropy.
THE TRUE THEOLOGY.—That which is now called natural philosophy, embracing the whole circle of science, of which astronomy occupies the chief place, is the study of the works of God, and of the power and wisdom of God in his works, and is the true theology. As to the theology that is now studied in its place, it is the study of human opinions, and of human fancies concerning God. It is not the study of God himself in the works that he has made, but in the works or writings that man has made. It is a fraud to call the sciences human invention; it is only the application of them that is human. Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles ; he can only discover them. Since then man cannot make principles, from whence did he gain a knowledge of them, so as to be able to apply them, not only to things on earth, but to ascertain the motion of bodies so immensely distant from him as all the heavenly bodies are ? From whence, I ask, could he gain that knowledge, but from the study of the true theology ?
GOD, THE GREAT TEACHER. It is from the study of the true theology that all our knowledge of science is derived, and it is from that knowledge that all the arts have originated. The Almighty Lecturer, by displaying the principles of science in the structure of the universe,' has invited man to study and to imitation. It is as if he had said to the inhabitants of this globe, that we call ours, “I have made an earth for man to dwell upon, and I have rendered the starry heavens visible, to teach him science and the arts. He can now provide for his own comfort, AND LEARN FROM MY MUNIFICENCE TO ALL, TO BE KIND TO EACH OTHER.” Of what use is it, unless it be to teach man something, that his eye is endowed with the power of beholding to an incomprehensible distance, an immensity of worlds revolving in the ocean of space? Or of what use is it that this immensity of worlds is visible to man? What has man to do with the Pleïades, with Orion, with Sirius, with the star he calls the North Star, with the moving orbs he has named Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, if no uses are to follow from their being visible ? A less power of vision would have been sufficient for man, if the immensity he now possesses were given only to waste itself, as it were, on an immense desert of space glittering with shows.
THE FAMINE-SMITTEN. In the tears of the morning
But to see earth's flowers springing And smiles of the sun,
O'er human flowers' graveThe green earth's adorning
Oh, God ! what heart-wringing Told Spring had begun :
Their tender looks gave ! The woods donn’d their beauty, wrought They died !-died of hungerThrough long, still nights ;
By bitter want blasted, And soft winds and kisses, brought
While Wealth for the Wronger Flowery delights.
Ran over untasted !The humming leaves flashed
While Pomp in joy's rosy bowers Rich in light, with sweet sound,
Wasted life's measureAnd the glad waters dashed
Chiding the lagging hours, Their starry spray round ;
Wearied of pleasure ! The woodbines up-climbing
They died, while men hoarded Laugh’d out, pink-and-golden;
The free gifts of God ! And bees made sweet chiming
They died !-'tis recorded In roses half folden.
In letters of blood ! But where is that infant band
Yet the corn on the hill Wont, in spring-weather,
Waves its showery-gold crown,To wander forth hand. in-hand
Still nature's lap fills Violets to gather ?
With the good heav'n rains down ! Whose hearts like plumed powers
Oh, this world might be lighted Leap'd up from the sod
With Eden's first smile, Raining music in showers
Angel-haunted, unblighted,As guesting a god!
With freedom of toil ! Alas ! they are sleeping
Hark! mirth rings from palace, Dear blossoms of Love !
From hall, dome, and rafter ! Where green grass is creeping,
Ah, laugh on ye callousAnd boughs bend above.
In hell there'll be laughter ! With musical gladness
But tremble inhuman The golden air swells,
Oppressors of men ! But there's mourning and madness
They have risen from your shadows; In Poverty's cells!
And will rise again! For Famine hath smitten
There be stern days a-comingTheir pride of life low,
The dark days of reckoning! And agony's written
The clouds are up-loomingOn heart, brain, and brow !
The long-nurs'd storms wak'ning ! Sweet from the boughs the birds
On heaven blood shall call Sang in their mirth;
Earthquake with pent thunder ; The lark messaged heavenwards
And shackle and thrall Blessings from earth ;
Shall be riven asunder! But I turn’d to the Lost,
It will come ! it shall come! Where they lay in their dearth:
Impede it what may :They heard not nor heeded
Up, People ! and welcome
Your glorious day !
A LAY OF FREE-THOUGHT.
And criogingly fawn for a pittance of pelf ;
Whose dignified soul is not centred in self.
And the temple of faith with its wrath still resound;
And we'll bow to the Truth, wheresoe-er it is found.
And tho' crushed and despised we at present may be ;
And the poor and oppressed shall arise and be free.
Careering along o'er the hut and the hall,
And the sword, crown, and mitre for ever shall fall!
LOOK UP, YE TOILING MILLIONS!
Look up, ye toiling millions!
There are better days in store, When the shackles that enslave you
Shall be loosed for evermore.. Your long-enduring patience
Sball receive its just reward, In universal freedoin,
Which no armed hosts shall guard. Look up, ye toiling inillions !
'Tis a great and glorious causeMan's moral reformation,
And th' enthroning equal laws : The tyrant-chosen rulers
Who have dared to spurn your power, Now feel its force and tremble ;
Then look upward from this hour!
There's a lion-hearted band,
From your tyrant-ridden land ;-
Wide unfurled for sovereign peace,
Till the cry of Wrong shall cease.
Look up, ye toiling millions !
'Tis the Great Eternal's word
Shall supplant the spear and sword :
Shall receive no slaughter-prize ;
Shall prevail beneath the skies.
Let your hearts and hopes be one ;
With the evil it hath done :
'Tis a firm and faithful friend,
And will crush it in the end.
Never think your labour vain,
And insult you with disdain :
Till the mighty work be done
J. W. King.
CRITICAL EXEGESIS OF GOSPEL HISTORY,
ON THE BASIS OF STRAUSS'S 'LEBEN JESU.' A SERIES OF EIGHT DISCOURSES ; DELIVERED AT THE LITERARY INSTITUTION, JOHN
STREET, TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD, AND AT THE HALL OF SCIENCE, CITY ROAD, ON
BY THOMAS COOPER,
VI.—THE PASSION, CRUCIFIXION, &c.
* Rob the Gospel of the Atonement' says the orthodox believer, and you rob Christianity of its core. If I have no longer the precious sacrifice of my Saviour's blood to rely upon, I am without a refuge. If there be no Mediator between God and Man, there is no hope of deliverance for my
sin-sick soul.' And is it not most weak and irrational in thee to give up all hope for thy sin-sick soul and its deliverance, for lack of a Mediator between God and thee? What sort of a God is it that thou dost worship, if their needs a Mediator between Him and thee? Is there anything god-like about such an object of worship? Are His attributes consistent, if He be Almighty and yet cannot forgive the offence of a human worm, of His Own freewill and without an atonement? "The precious sacrifice of thy Saviour's blood'! Why, is it the pouring out of a red fluid, which has been formed by the digestion of bread and meat and vegetables, that can alone satisfy an Infinite Existence for transgression, not of the being who suffers, but of the other denumbered millions of the world ? If thy brother had offended thee would not thy nature feel it to be more noble to forgive freely, without a human slaughter?. And do you really form to yourself a God for worship with a less exalted nature than your own?
But God is the governor of the Universe. He must preserve the harmony