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REVELATIONS OF TRUTH.
Therein have I read and considered the destinies of humanity : the past and present aspects of great nations.
How, o ye sons of clay! shall I impress those lessons upon your hearts?
There is one who styleth herself, The first among the Nations; who hath devoted herself to be the priestess of Liberty-yet she is not free.
She standeth aloof from all, oppressing and oppressed, scornful yet despised, kissing the hand that scourgeth her, licking the very feet of those whose folly hath degraded her.
Another hath twice planted the myrtle in a pool of blood : it flourisheth not, the strenuous toil hath not conquered, they have turned away in despair; yet is there hope—the withered shall revive.
Behold a third, the conqueror, idol, slave of all: her enervated hand rendeth her own breast, and the dogs of her foemen lick up her blood.
Another--hydra-headed, subtle, profound, and mighty; a chained lion that slumbereth at a palace-gate: but his dreamings are terrible; dark, and power-filled, and prophetic.
Another—fertile and beautiful: a wild and melancholy waste.
Another--the page is smeared with blood, the very name hath been obliterated; but on the next leaf, in the annals of an adjoining country, I read of a nation whose sons rebelled against a tyrant that had usurped dominion over them, who in their madness preferred Liberty to servitude, peace and justice to oppression and insult.
Long and obstinate were their struggles, but they were at length overwhelmed by a race of serfs, whose enlightened faith was in the sublime truth that millions were made for the sport of one.
The merciful and generous conqueror forgave the vanquished, and exterminated them.
Dark and gloomy is the kennel of the serfs : the spring-time hath not yet dawned upon their sterile soil; the thaw hath not yet commenced, and the seeds of Truth lie buried beneath the snows of many winters.
Mine eyes travelled over many pages: the tale was the same in all, written with blood, by the finger of oppression. Woe unto the lands ! thé dark cloud of corruption still broodeth over them.
Freedom! a few scattered embers are all we have of thee. But the hand of the Saviour shall collect them; the breath of the Eternal awaken a flame, whose light shall illumine the earth: there is yet a remnant whose knees have not bowed unto Baal, a few brave hearts untainted by corruption.
Soldiers of Liberty, when ye take up arms, be ye men without fear! Your adversary is in the field and shouteth for the battle : be not dismayed though that battle appear against you! Many of the army of Liberty have indeed fallen, many lives must yet be sacrificed; but from every drop of the martyrs' blood that falleth upon the ground, springeth up a new foe to tyranny.
Crowd ye around the Standard of Freedom! halt not for petty advantages ; turn neither to the right hand nor to the left; be ye unflinching, uncompromising, desirous of peace—even for the enemy's sake, but determined to obtain justice!
The earnest desirer of freedom seeketh not only his own good: he desireth freedom for his wife, for his children, for his neighbours, even for his opponents. He desireth the world's freedom: he, who would tyrannize over any, is a traitor to the cause of Justice.
Be ye well-organized, prepared and united : hand joined to hand, as brothers pledged to achieve each other's freedom! Many and powerful are the foes banded against you: in dissension is no power of worth; division is ignominious death.
BE UNION YOUR MOTTO! VICTORY SHALL BE YOUR GUERDON. +
A View of the Evidences of Christianity. By William Paley, D.D.,
Archdeacon of Carlisle.
Preparatory considerations.---SUPPOSE the world we live in to have bal a Creator; SUPPOSE that the Deity, when he formed it, consulted for the happiness of his sensitive creation (excellently manifested in his predetermining man's fall, and punishment of misery here and damnation hereafter); SUPPOSE the disposition which dictated this counsel to continue (evidenced by the continuance of damnation in spite of the Redemption); SUPPOSE a part of the creation to have received faculties from their Maker, by which they are capable of voluntarily pursuing any end for which he has designed them (that is, of choosing to do that which they cannot help doing); SUPPOSE the Creator to intend "for these, his accountable agents, a second state of existence (suppose the Creator to intend nothing of the kind), in which their situation will be regulated by their behaviour in the first state (which behaviour was regulated by the Creator's predetermination), by which supposition, and by no other, the objection to the divine government in not putting a difference between the good and the bad, and the inconsistency of this confusion with the care and benevolence discoverable in the works of the Deity, is done away (the greater “objection to the divine government” is the essential difference between the good and the bad. God made both bad and good : is the inconsistency of this confusion" to be done away by his intending an after state of punishment for those who are no better than the work of his own hands”?); SUPPOSE it to be of the utmost importance to the subjects of this dispensation to know what is intended for them, that is, suppose the knowledge of it to be highly conducive to the happiness of the species (does not experience contradict this supposition ?); SUPPOSE, nevertheless, almost the whole racı, either by the imperfection of their faculties, the misfortune of their sination, or by the loss of some prior revelation, to want this knowledge, and not to be likely, without the aid of a new revelation, to attain it: Under these circumstances, is it improbable that a revelation should be made ?”—
“Now, in what way can a revelation be maile, but by miracles ?" The logician proceeds to combat Hume's objections to miracles.
"To this length does a modern objection to miracles go, viz. that no human testimony can in any case render them credible. I think the reflection that, if there be a revelation there must be miracles; and that, under the circumstances in which the human species are placed, a revelation is not improbable, or not improbable in any great degree, to be a fair answer to the whole objection.” In plain language, a miracle is probable because a revelation, improbable in a degree, cannot do without it.
The Work is divided into three parts : 1. Of the direct evidence of Christianity; 2. Of the auxiliary evidences; and 3. Concerning popular objections. Part 1 contains two propositions to be established: the first, that “there is satisfactory evidence that (there were) many professing to be original witnesses of the Christian miracles," (in fact there were none so professing except the authors of the New Testament; the only evidence of whose truth is in their own writings, certainly not the most satisfactory), and that they were honest witnesses: all which is worth nothing without satisfactory proof that it was imposssible for them to BE DECEIVED. The honestest men may be imposed upon. Proposition 2 is merely that there is not satisfactory evidence of any other religion; which may be, and yet the one in question be no nearer to the truth.
Such being the “ direct evidence" collected by the Christian Advocate, surely it cannot be necessary to notice the mere auxiliary. We pass to Part :3 -Considerations of some popular objections. “The discrepancies between the several Gospels” he seems to consider rather an argument for their truth, tban a proof of their falsehood; though, we suspect, few juries, unless espe
cially endowed with “ that large competency of blindness which so eminently qualifies a man for a good churchman,” would agree with him. He also allows that the Apostles might have held "erroneous opinions” when they spoke of casting out devils; and declares it to be very necessary to distinguish between the apostolic doctrines and arguments--the one being revelation, the other not; that is, though the premises be evidently false, the deduction may yet be divinely true. They who delight in sophistry, may teast even to surfeiting throughout this book, a work well worthy of him who collected the will of God from expediency, and defended a religion which he deemed "a complication of probabilities." His whole argument is built upon probabilities. He neither proves the genuineness of the Scriptures, nor even the existence of Christ or the Apostles; but he does show that there were other writings of similar pretension, which were declared spurious and were suppressed, and that nearly all the writings, which were very many, against the present Scriptures, have been destroyed. His language is ambiguous; he prevaricates grossly ; and gives reason to suspect that he too could suppress opposing evidence. His argument is that of a special pleader. His client is Church-of-Englandism, and not Truth.
The Way to Universal Suffrage. By a Tyne Chartist. Northern Liberator
Office, Newcastle upon Tyne; Hetherington, Watson, and Cleave, London : 1839.
This is the best work we have yet seen on what ought to be the conduct of the Working Classes and their Leaders in the present state of affairs; evidently written by a clear-sighted, and far-minded man, whose suggestions will, we trust, meet with the regard they deserve from the People and their Representatives. We subjoin a few extracts as a specimen, in place of comment. The pamphlet, at its low price of sixpence, ought to be extensively circulated among the desirers of Freedom.
“ If the middle classes rose to make common cause against the common tyrant, there would hardly be any 'trial by combat', and, if there should, the result would not be doubtful.
“The middle classes must be brought to a sense of their duty; at least all means must be tried to bring them to it—this is part, and a most important part, of the duty of the popular agitators.
“Let every large town in the kingdom, say fifty in number, issue an address to the middle classes. Let Newcastle print 50,000 copies of its own address, distribute 1,000 copies at home, and send 1,000 for distribution to each of the large towns. Let each of the other large towns perform the same duty, and return the compliment to Newcastle, having it so arranged, that the different addresses may succeed each other every three or four days, as shall be deemed most effectual. These addresses, though breathing, pretty nearly the same spirit, would be each different in style, impressed, as it were, with the genius of the several districts from which they emanated. These succeeding addresses, repeated and again repeated, will produce effect, if anything can produce it-would produce much effect on the middle classes, perhaps all we could desire.”
Then follows an excellent sample of what the Addresses should be. “Similar addresses might be presented to the Soldiers, the Sailors, the landed Aristocracy, and the Clergy :-the duty is not done unless all classes by solemnly and repeatedly appealed to."
The author proceeds to give some valuable hints relative to “the constitution, regulations, and duties of Political Unions. THIS SUBJECT IS ONE OF INCALCULABLE IMPORTANCE. Indeed, upon the efficiency of the Political Unions the success or defeat of the Movement' mainly depends.
"I do not believe," he continues, “ that holding frequent meetings, is sufficient to ro use the people to a sense of their wrongs, and a determination to put an end to them. Such meetings will be attended in succession, chiefly
by those who approve of the principles of liberty, whilst those, who most require instruction, will decline, through prejudice, to attend the meetings at all.
“Let every centre, therefore, or head quarters of a Union carry on a manufacture of TRACTS. Brief, simple, and perspicuous let them be, embodying the facts of the hideous system. Once fully in possession of the facts, the common sense of the People will furnish the commentary."
We must refer our readers to the pamphlet for very capital specimens of these most serviceable Tracts. A few words on arming are also appended.
"It is necessary that the people be armed (and, more especially, defensively armoured)—whatever cost or inconvenience that arming may put them to. Whilst the people ought to cultivate a friendly understanding with the unfortunate and oppressed soldiery, it is also their duty to calculate against all chances.”—
Most earnestly do we entreat attention to the Tyne Chartist's concluding remarks, “ that the time has not yet arrived for 'Ulterior Measures’; that we are not, as yet, thoroughly prepared to assume the offensive ; that a twelve-months' compaign=positively moral, preparatory physical—is before us; that, in fine, by courting a collision just now, we may make a mighty sacrifice in the attainment of our rights, and, perhaps, miss them after all. Whereas, if the Convention dissolve not, but DISPERSE, and-supported as they now are supported—set vigorously to work over the United Kingdom, one year's uprousing would put the people in a position to safely, and, I believe, quietly settle the whole question.”
NOTES OF THE MONTH. The presentation of the National Petition is deferred, the British Senate having toiled so long, though to no purpose, that they are now holiday-making -no business pressing. Whether the Petition be presented, or not, matters little. Its rejection is not needed to prove that the Right of petitioning is a mere farce. The People's Parliament have transferred their sittings from London to Birmingham. We must think London their proper place. If the power
of the Masses is insufficient to support them here, they should“ dissolve, not DISPERSE" (having, indeed, accomplished their main object) to prepare the People for the future.-Already the impolicy of certain among us has given the throned Anarchs a plea for numerous arrests. Let us play a better game than was played by the brave men of Paris, last Sunday week. What is the use of 300, or 3000, or 30,000 undisciplined men without plans or proper union, taking up arms against a well-appointed army of 100,000? Let us at least endeavour to win the co-operation of these our brethren. Let us keep out of the reach of the Law till we have strength to wrestle with it. Why retard our noblest Cause, by an abortive attempt? We say this, not to discourage, but to warn. WE MUST NEGLECT NO MEANS. Everywhere combine! Mature your plans! Arm! Then let your voice be heard — Tyranny shall, for then it must, obey you.
We are well-pleased in correcting an error in our last “ Notes.” No new Act to suppress“ seditious” meetings was debated of by the Commons. But such an Act, now in force, contained a clause for the punishment of sellers of pamphlets not having the printer's name on both sides ; and it was the repeal of this absurd clause which was under consideration. Let credit be given for this act of justice, though it be tardy, though little reparation to those who have lost health through imprisonment for such law-made offences.-Less worthy of notice is the late downfall and replacing of the Whig Ministry, and the brief elevation of the Tories. What change? The spirit of both factions is the same. Yet it was hardly decent that a nation's government should depend upon the private partialities of an individual. But it is the mode. Ao People's will may be mocked at—a Queen's caprice is to be consulted.
May 25, 1839.