« 上一頁繼續 »
are not prepared to make the sacrifice, wait a while longer before you avow yourself a reformer, or you will make nothing of it. The world is not wanting in talent; but sadly wanting of men who to great talent unite a generous self-devotion to the public good. Are you a parent ? Make it a prime object to impart to your children just notions of their rights and their duties; and to inspire them with a rational and manly resolution to maintain their rights, and to discharge their duties. Whatever may be your condition in life, determine to give to your country one good man and true. Would all act on this principle, bad and discouraging as times are, think you not they would soon mend?
AN OLD MAN.
THE GOLDEN PRIZE. Five Hundred Pounds Prize.—Seven Questions, (bearing upon the present Ecclesiastical
Crisis,) addressed to the Bishops, the Clergy, and the People of England. By AGATHOX. The above Prize will be awarded to any Person who can give a satisfaetory Solution.
London : Charles DOLMAN, 61, New Bond-street. This Pamphlet is evidently the production of a Roman Catholic, and the author has introduced it to the public under circumstances which will no doubt ensure it an extensive circulation. Not that we think many persons will flatter themselves that they are destined to win the golden prize offered ; but curiosity alone will induce hundreds to spend their shilling merely to see what these seven questions” are about. It is not our intention to gratify that curiosity here, by extracting the questions' from the pamphlet, our object simply being to speak of their design,.--to show what the querist is driv. ing at in his interrogatories. Be it known, then, that the author, as a Papist, strikes a blow at the Protestant Established Church of England. He puts into the Anglican episcopal mouth nuts to crack which he knows, and every body else knows, are absolutely uncrackable. He asks questions that cannot be answered by any supporter of the Church of England, without admitting that the Romish Faith is the true faith of Christ and bis Apostles ; or, at any rate, that the English Church is not the true church. Every thinking mind reading this pamphlet must see that between Romanism and Free-thinking there is no consistent ground to stand on; that it is absurd to look for a middle path between implicit obedience to some infallible authority in religious matters, and the most unlimited liberty of opinion. If the exercise of private judgment is to be permitted, as Protestantism says it is, how dares the Church of England attempt to place fetters on human thought ? If man has a right to think differently from the church, how dares any clergyman to speak of the sin of schism---the sin of dissenting from the doctrines, and not conforming to the discipline of the Church of England ? If, as .Agathon' asks, the Bible be the rule of faith, where is the text of Scripture that says so ! But if, on the other hand, Human Reason is to fall prostrate before Revelation, and to obey the voice of some apostolic authority whose interpretation of that Revelation is unerring truth,—then the Roman Communion is our only refuge,-no other Christian Church professing infallibility in its teaching the consequence is that, to be consistent, we must be either Romanists or Rationalists. There is no way out of this dilemma, and this is the grand fight to which the world is approaching. The fight not between England and Rome, but between the principles of religious despotism and religious liberty.
The pamphlet of - Agathon' cuts both ways. If his arguments fall upon a timid mind that loves to lean on the dictum of another, they, may lead that mind to Popery ; but the bold spirit that rejoices in its own freedom will be driven by them to renounce the dogmatism of all creeds and all churches. The remarks of Agathon' on the question relating to the Sabbath are interesting just now, when fanaticism about “Sunday observance' is so rife. He says :
“ It is strictly enjoined in Exodus, to do no work on the Sabbath day or Saturday, and never has this commandment been annulled in Scripture. Now, let us apply the Protestant principle to this fact. Protestants maintain that the Scripture is the sole rule of faith, and that nothing is to be enjoined as necessary to salvation but what is found in Scripture ; and yet Protestants regard the duc observance of Sunday, and the cessation from work on that day, as necessary to salvation-although in the Scriptures, Saturday and not Sunday, is the day expressly mentioned as obligatory. I am,
therefore, jus. tified in making use of the following argument, which of itself is quite sufficient to show the utter inconsistency of Protestant principles. Either the Seripture is the only rule of faith, or it is not. If it is, then, Protestants in keeping holy the Sunday and not the Saturday, have flown in the face of the plain and express declaration of Scripture, violated the rulo of faith, and made this violation a standing practice necessary to salvation ; and in so doing have necessarily fallen into the grossest contradiction of their own principles, and thereby forfeited any sort of claim to be the true church. If it is not, then Protestants, in declaring that it is, have laid down a false principle, based their very system on a vital error, and thereby equally forfeited any sort of claim to be the True Church. Therefore, in either ease, (one of the two suppositions must be the case), Protestants are necessarily in a false, inconsistent, and therefore most awfully dangerous position.”
This reasoning is conclusive against the Sunday observance party, and places the Established Church in a 'fix.' 'Agathon' has
' Agathon' has a logical mind, and though he writes in favour of Popery, his pamphlet is calculated to ad. vance the cause of free enquiry and rational religion.
His £500 will never be called for.
Co Correspondents. Till the 30th instant, correspondents will please address " Thomas Cooper, Mr. Barlow's, bookseller, 2, Nelson Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne." I leave Newcastle on Monday morning, July 1st, for Stockton and Middlesborough, and proceed thence to York, on Thursday, July 4th, and so to Leeds. Letters intended to reach me after June 30th and before July 4th, may be addressed “ care of Mr. John Wilson, bookseller, 11, High Street, Stockton-on-Tees;"' to reach me on July 4th or 5th, “care of Mr. John Brown, bookseller, Colliergate, York;"—to reach me up to July 8th, “ care of Mr. David Green, bookseller, Briggate, Leeds."
• Truth Seeker.'—The answer depends in a great degree on each individual's judgment : for myself, I should say, Christ's Temptation by the Devil.
"SUBSCRIBER.'- I wish you would write me again when I reach home : I have no means of referring to Campbell's poem here.
* An Old Friend.'—The oldest manuseripts, of the Gospels are in Greek, and that language is always understood to be the original. There is no question raised on this point, except about Matthew ; but there is no evidence that our Matthew is a translation from the book which Eusebius says that Papias says was written in Hebrew by Matthew,
Thomas Day.—A letter addressed to · Mr. Capern, Tiverton,' will find him. Mr: Scoble has been silent ever since my last letter to him; so that I conclude he has declined the contest. Information respecting Quentin Matsys may be found in Charles Knight's cheap volumes “The Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties.'
• Veritas.'—His lines are most respectfully declined, not because I do not most heartily approve of their sentiment; but because they are not metre. GEORGE Hardy.—Not quite perfect : try again.
THE TRUE SABBATH.
0! how I love to see when Sunday comes,
The day used truly as 'a day of rest,'
Going forth happy, as he feels he's blest
Of the great city; as the Sabbath day'
To urge the smoke-dried citizen away
Like children loose from school, sportive and free
To make, at least, one day go pleasantly:
Such men as labour for their every meal ?
Without a mind or soul, to think or feel !
Who enwalls beauteous spots and God's own ground !
Intruders on his solitary round;-
With heart and head, as well as hands and feet;
To have no sunny spots, no friends to greet:
HORACE, L, I. ODE 22.
o Fuscus ! needs nor lance nor bow,
With darts, whose points with poison flow.
Inhospitable Caucasus !
Or Syrte's boiling shoals to pass.
Singing my darling Lalagè,
A wolf before my glance did flee.
Feeds not in all her forests wide,
Though lions breed in savage pride.
Is nourished by a summer's breath,
Where Jove iu wrath deals want and death.
Where home nor friends mine eye can see ;
JOUX ALFRED LANGFORD.
THE DEMON OF DESPOTISM.
AN ALLEGORIC HISTORY.
BY RICHARD OTLEY.
(Continued from last number.) Thus did I fill the air, as if seated upon a throne of light, overshadowing the earth as it were the valley of death, and holding supreme and omnipotent power over the bodies and souls of men. The earth rolled round on her axis, and moved with unerring velocity in her orbit, giving to man summer and winter, spring and autumn; the sun ripened the blushing fruits, inviting man to the rich and abundant feast; but my power, the supremacy of the spirit of Despotism, seated on the throne of 'fanaticism and superstition, converted the fertile plains and luxuriant vallies into a wilderness or desert. The sons of men trembled with fear, sickened from want, and died in thousands. From this scene I turned, with that pride which a spirit can only feel and know, for other conquests animated and filled me with an enlarged ambition. Again I passed the wide world of waters, riding on the storm and the whirlwind, when my comprehensive spiritual vision, beheld with renewed extasy another vast continent covered with cities, villages and the growing and ripening fruits of the earth; a people living in contentment, cultivating the peaceful arts and sciences, worshipping no sanguinary, revengeful gods, visible or invisible. They hailed the sun as the creator and progenitor of all things and beings, offering to him, in a few simple rites, frankincense and the first fruits of the earth. A hardy, strong, intellectual race, submitting to equal laws, and holding equal possession, living in prosperous contentment. When I beheld them in the midst of the luxuriance of life, I felt, as a human being feels, when he sickens at the heart from fear, envy, and malice, but inconceivably more intense, and inwardly tormenting and heart-burning. This enterprise appeared to me most difficult of achievement; yet I exclaimed, it must, it shall, be accomplished ! In the invisible world of imagination, must be called up from the vast and deep resources of thought, beings to people the earth, the air, and the remotest heavens. Gently must the silken chain be thrown over them, pleasure in anticipation, torments in reserve; individual sanctity, for the assumption of individual power and despotism. The father must be absolute over his children, the master over his slave, the king over those whom he governs, and the priest over all. How this race of men shall fall before my power!
Years passed away, and generations of men, as clouds before the morning sun, to be no more seen for ever, and the work was not yet commenced. Fear with men is the great motive power, and hope the safety-valve ; fear creates, and the imagination peoples the other worlds; and anticipation, beyond life, deludes the mind. A race of priests must first spring up: how can I first sow the holy seed ? I must touch the mental powers of some devotees, draw them apart from the people ; and these the latter must revere and obey. Ambition amongst the holy ones of the earth, will work out my will, enslave the millions, and exalt the Few. This dark race believe they are the first of men: the priests shall make them the most eminent of fools. The idea is noble and dignified: they claim to be the first who adored the gods: this ambition will lead them on to be the meanest of mankind. Their glory must be their ruin. Gods, kings, priests, slaves, are bound together in an eternal unity. Gorgeous rites, pompous sacrifices, and sacred and solemn assemblies, must awe the mind into dwarfish imbecility. At present they are free, were never subjugated by any other people; but they must fall lower than the most savage and degraded. They now love peace, but must, for the future, be for ever embroiled in war. Ah! the priesthood are already separated from the vulgar. What fantastic dresses have they assumed, now they are devoted to a fictitious purity and a delusive religion,--to the divine service'! They shave their heads, wear stoles or long gowns, carry in their processions ploughshare sceptres, have high-crowned caps, tufted on the top, orna. mented with a wreath of serpents. They are thus fair to the eye, but sting the nation to the heart, and poison it to the soul; dazzle the imaginations of the people, lead men into the quagmires of error, into the cold and dreary regions of superstition and mental death.
Thus the work proceeds gloriously, and I, the Demon of spiritual power, add another laurel to those I have already reaped, and add fresh triumphs to those already achieved.—Alas, for this weak and fallen race of man! persuaded that he is made in the image of God or the gods,--glorious and pure as the stars of heaven; but more polluted and corrupted than the stagnant pools and marshes, filled with reptiles and crawling vermin. Created in the image of God! Why, he is sunk below the reptiles he so much despises. They arrive at the perfection of their nature, fulfil the destinies of their being, recede from the stage of life and are succeeded by other generations equal to themselves. But man, degraded man, there he lies,-his noblest powers prostrated,--his whole nature blasted, a mere passive slave in body and spirit! How he bows, and trembles, and fears, whilst that mortal passes him!—why? who is he? He is the Ethiopian king elect, selected
from amongst the priests, by the revelling god, seizing him as his own by some visible sign; he then becomes high-priest and king, and the multitude kneel down and worship him as a divinity. Thus the authority of a God is united with that of priestly-king. In the name of the Divinity he is surrounded with guards, attendants, and servants who reverence him as a spark of the essence of this Deity. They must live only whilst he lives, die when he dies. If he loses an eye, if he loses an arm if he is maimed of a leg, they must be maimed; each of these must have one amputated; that they may thus manifest their sympathy for the divinely elected, priestly king:- This priestly power spread over the land is like the darkness of midnight blotting out the meridian day: Reason and Nature are lost in the unfathomable depths of the troubled ocean of ignorance, cruelty, and vice.
Having succeeded in unseating Reason and dethroning Nature, the work proceeded with a rapidity and certainty that even astonished the priesthood themselves; and diffused an unhallowed pleasure through my victorious soul, Thus the future historian of human events shall have nothing more to record than the fallen, wretched condition of man, and the glittering deceptive great. ness of the Few. The Ethiopian race is now in my power, bow to my supremacy, and bend to my galling yoke; they are and shall be only “distinguished by their dark colour, flat faces, curled hair, their exceeding fierceness and cruelty, and in their manners they are like beasts, not so much in their natural temper, as in their contrived pieces of wickedness. Their whole bodies are filthy and nasty, and their nails long like wild beasts, and cruel one towards another.” So infuriated have they become in their nature that they arm even their women for war, and their ideas are so deformed, that they