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JOURNAL OF FREETHOUGHT AND POSITIVE PHILOSOPHY.
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No.  596

LONDON, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1857

PRICE TWOPENCE

Sceptics and Sepoys.

Gazette of Secularist Societies.

Birmingham Conference on Social Science.

Propagandist Fund.

The Hard Church and Freethought.

Bullock and Rapson v.  Brindlay.

The Autobiography of a Living Publicist.

Glover v.  Brindley.

Sunday Bands and the London Hospitals.

The American Pulpit Habit.

Public Affairs.

Mr. Holyoake's Lectures.

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It is not enough to believe what you maintain, you must maintain what you believe,
and maintain it because you believe it.—Archbishop Whately.

 
SCEPTICS AND SEPOYS.
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AN important speech has been made at Chester by the Bishop of Oxford.  He advised that India should be settled on a Christian basis.  'By a Christian basis,' exclaimed his Grace, 'God forbid that I should teach you to understand that we should use one iota of force, or fraud, or earthly favour, to draw one man into the profession of the faith of Christ.'  Not if his soul be in danger, good Bishop?   Is eternal perdition the consequence of unbelief?—and is eternal perdition so light a matter that no 'iota of force, fraud, or earthly favour' of compulsion or bribe is to be employed in avoiding this terrible end?   Believest thou, O Bishop, in the 'fire that is never quenched?'  His Grace of Oxford continued, 'Our duty is perfectly simple.  It is that we should maintain in the first place peace, truth, and quietness—that we should say, no man shall suffer for religion, be disgraced for religion, or be punished for his religion.'  These sound nobler words than Bishop has uttered before in England.  Suppose a man considers himself a moralist, and has 'no religion,' what then?   Do these words apply in such a case?   Suppose a man hold Secular views of life merely—(views independent of religion)—and stand apart from Christianity, is he to be included in this amnesty proclaimed by the Bishop of Oxford?   Will the Bishop treat the Secularist with as much fairness as he proposes to treat the Hindoo?   Is not an English sceptic in his eyes as respectable as an Indian Sepoy?   When the Bishop says that 'no man is to suffer, be disgraced, or punished for his religion,' he alludes to the religion of Brahmins, Mussulmen, etc., to religions he knows to be false, and which be regards as superstitions; if, therefore, Sepoys are not to be punished for their false religion, nor be disgraced for it, nor suffer for it, we ask are loyal English sceptics to be outlawed, insulted, disgraced, and punished for theirs?   Speak a little plainer, good Bishop, and there shall be no end of the reverence we will owe you.        G. J. H.

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THE BIRMINGHAM CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL SCIENCE.
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Mr. OWEN AND LOUIS BLANC.


IT is certainly a feature of the age that a Conference under the influential auspieces of Lord Brougham, Lord John Russell, and other noblemen, should assemble to promote what may be described as the life-long objects of Mr. [Robert] Owen—the development of Social Science.  We must congratulate Mr. Owen on having lived to witness the triumph of his views.  We are quite aware that very few of the eminent men present at this conference would accept Mr. Owen's plan for remedying social evils; but the existence of social evils is now recognised in the most conspicuous manner—they have become the subjects of public study, and every member of the conference has agreed that they must be remedied somehow.

    We are glad to find that Mr. Owen's presence in Birmingham was the occasion of an Address being delivered to him from a meeting of social friends, to the following effect:—

Sir,—We gladly avail ourselves of this opportunity to express to you our feelings of gratitude and respect for your advocacy of freedom of thought, speech, and action—for your generous endeavours to elevate the people called 'the working classes.'  We have extreme pleasure in associating with your name the origin of 'Infant Schools,' and 'The Ten Hours' Bill.'  It is our conviction that the health of towns and the habitations of the poor have been vastly improved by your discovery and advocacy of the laws of nature m their relation to the constitution of man.  The declaration first made by you' that man's character is the result of his organisation and his surroundings,' we believe to be a profound truth—and that the views you have advocated, which are founded on that truth, have greatly contributed to the welfare of society.  Your views regarding the formation of human character, affecting as they do the science of society, entitle you to be considered the pioneer, if not the father, of social science.  We desire to express our admiration of your life of active labour and devotion to the cause of truth and justice.  We are thankful you have had the courage to dare the judgment of mankind, and regret that some of the present generation fail to perceive the value of your past and present efforts.  The future generation, when strife of party has subsided, will doubtless be more intelligent and virtuous than the present, and such will form a true estimate of your useful life and noble, unimpeachable character.  These sentiments are not pre-arranged, but are the simple expressions of the feelings of our hearts.

(Signed)

CHARLES C.  CATTELL, Chairman.

    Various notices of Mr. Owen's part in these proceedings, and that of eminent disciples of his, we shall, as far as we can collect them from the press, record in these columns.  The Manchester Guardian, which had a special reporter there, says that in the department of Punishment and Reformation, over which Mr. Recorder Hill presided, there was a multiplicity of papers.  Amongst these was one entitled 'The government of the world without punishment,' by Mr. Robert Owen.—The President undertook to read this paper; Mr. Owen being present, but not sufficiently strong to make himself audible.  The paper contained a clear expansion of the venerable author's views, and set forth that all punishment and fear of punishment might safely be withdrawn from the human race, as to every created being God gave the power of possessing every good quality which it was possible to obtain.  The author had governed for a quarter of a century without punishment a population of 2,000 or 3,000 in New Lanark; he did so by instructing children up to six years of age by natural objects, or the best representations of them which could be obtained; these being fully explained to them by familiar conversation between the teacher and pupils, and by making their school, and recreation resorts pleasant and attractive.  They were taught the principles of mercy and pure and undefiled Christianity.  He thought the time would come when the inhabitants of the world would be governed solely by the influence of love and charity.—The learned president remarked that he visited, in 1828, the colony of New Lanark, and he never saw so interesting a people.  He was delighted with everything, and he never saw any better proof—he did not think there could be a better—of the truth and accuracy of all that Mr. Owen had stated relating to that establishment (applause).  No questions were put by gentlemen to Mr. Owen, and the section proceeded to the next paper.

    At the public meeting in the Town Hall (we follow the report of the Morning Star), Lord Brougham paid a prompt tribute to the character and merits of Mr. Owen.  Mr. Owen addressed.  the meeting, but some impatience was manifested.  Lord Brougham said Mr. Owen had told him that this would be the last occasion on which he expected to address a public meeting; but he trusted such would not be the case.  He had known Mr. Owen for many years, and whatever difference of opinion might exist between them, he could truly say that he had spent a lengthened, useful, innocent, and honest life.

    The significance of this conference as a testimony of the importance of social science, is well described in the words of one of its greatest advocates, Louis Blanc, who has expressed satisfaction in reading Lord Brougham's summary of the objects to be attained by the Association for Promoting Social Science, and declares that 'These are the very objects which the French Socialists, in spite of mis-statements, misrepresentations, and calumnies of every kind, have ceaselessly endeavoured to promote, as is well known to any one acquainted, ever so little, with their writings.  Socialism is nothing more than a sincere and scientific inquiry into matters which Lord Brougham declares to be "eminently deserving of attentive study."   Nor is there, to the best of my knowledge, any French Socialist who will object to "steering a middle course between those who regard all change as pernicious, and those whom no change will satisfy."   I would humbly suggest that there is no arguing against men foolish enough to be satisfied with no change whatever, or so wicked as to aim at nothing but destruction.  At all events, if thinkers of that description be in existence, I make no doubt that their views will be easily and quickly disposed of by the united action of Lord Brougham and his illustrious fellow-labourers.  I take, therefore, the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science to be a fact of paramount importance.  I trust it will go far to prove that those great criminals—the French Socialists—may be pardoned, who find amongst their accomplices such men as Lord Brougham, Lord John Russell, the Earl of Carlisle, and Sir John Pakington.'

    We shall resume our notice of these important proceedings.

 G. J. H.

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Books of the Day.
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THE HARD CHURCH IN CONTROVERSY WITH FREETHOUGHT.

 
No apology should be necessary for introducing to the readers of the Reasoner, though somewhat too late, one of the best written works that have of late years appeared on the side of orthodox Christianity.  The 'Restoration of Belief' [Macmillan and Co., Cambridge] is the title of a work, to which those who have not read it will be glad to have their attention called; and a review of which may not be wholly unacceptable to such as have been impressed, without being converted, by the arguments which it sets forth, or the sweeping assertions in which its author too freely deals on behalf of his own peculiar view of Religion.  He belongs to the Hard Church party, as the National Review several months ago designated the school of Rogers and Conybeare; and his is one of many books on the same plan with which, if I had time and strength, I should be glad to deal in detail; the features common to the whole class being good writing, clearness rather of expression than of thought, a larger share of knowledge than of wisdom, and a spirit of cold, hard, disagreeable dogmatism breathed forth in language at once forcible and fluent, calm and intolerant.  This feature of their character always reminds me of an expression in a sermon which I had the misfortune to hear from the Rev. Francis Close; who, when expatiating on the liberality of his own doctrine, graciously intimated that he considered no Christians as incapable of salvation; adding parenthetically 'except of course those who disbelieve in the divinity of our blessed Lord, who cannot be saved.'  Even such is the cool, confident tone of the disciples of Whately and Rogers, when they damn in a parenthesis nine-tenths of the human race.  So quietly is it done, and so completely does it appear as a matter of course, that the reader forgets to be wroth with the author who damns him, until lie is roused by reflection or a reviewer to a sense of the wrong which has been done to him.

    The 'Restoration of Belief' is rather an essay upon the conflict between orthodoxy and heresy, than an argument on behalf of the former.  It is a reviewer's account of the case put forward on the Christian side, with a strongly marked contempt for that alluded to as being the defence of the sceptic.  The author will not condescend to deal with single objections, or to meet individual assaults in detail; forgetting and even denying that if a single flaw be found in any part of a system claiming to be of divine origin, and therefore infallible, the authority of the whole is annihilated, and the claim proved to be a forgery, 'To follow severally those who of late have assailed the Christian belief of the people, in the way of reply, would be on our part to descend from our true position, and implicitly to give way to an utterly false idea of Christianity itself.  We should thus come to think of it as a something artificial and fragile, which the bringing forward of objections, difficulties, flaws on its surface, this and that, ten, twenty, a hundred doubts, might and must destroy.'  Such is the writer's language; and such language, used by one, who asserts Christianity to be a divine system and the Bible to he an inspired book, is so utterly unfair and preposterous, that it needs a large exercise of charity to believe in the good faith of him who uses it.  One single successful objection against any point of the fabric destroys the whole; for if any part of the work be vulnerable, the whole cannot be the work of Him who is perfection.  He cannot have clothed Truth in garments of falsehood; He can have given us nothing untrue or immoral in a religion of His making; and if we find a lie against Nature, no matter how small, or an error in fact, no matter how trivial, then the inference is clear—this work is no work of God.

    It must be carefully borne in mind just where and how far this argument applies.  It is of no avail except as against the extreme school of orthodoxy.  For them, it is a complete, crushing, overwhelming blow, to which there is no reply, and against which silent obstinacy, or laborious, perpetual, exhausting harmonization are their only means of defence.  But it belongs to us in common with the rational Christian or the liberal Theist; and against these it avails us nothing.  The religion of Christ may be true, and vet the book which contains the history of his teachings may be full of error.  Nay, Christ may be God, and yet His Apostles may have erred, and His Evangelists have forgotten or misreported His words.  Again, Christ may be regarded as a Man, excellent in nature and intent, and endowed with supernatural wisdom, yet liable to human error; and those who hold these views may honestly defend them by the language we have quoted.  No verbal inaccuracy, no historical blunder, no ethical mistake, no flaw in logic, can invalidate their case.  With them we must deal, and often have dealt, in a different manner.  Hosts of blunders prove the utter unreliability of Biblical evidence; utter falsehood in principle disproves the divine authority attributed to Christ; but no 'ten, twenty, nor a hundred doubts' about this passage or that dogma can shake or ought to shake a faith like theirs.  It rests on a different foundation, and must be assailed by different means.

    We return to our Author—intolerant enough to believe England the only Christian country in the world, and inconsistent enough to see in this fact a strong proof of the truth of Christianity; as well as unjust enough to attribute to the Gospel the moral character of the people—which moral character he regards as the power which obtained for them the monopoly of true religion.  That is, he believes the superiority of the English character to be the cause of England's Christianity, which again he represents as the cause of that superiority of character.

    His tone of assertion and argument as regards the evidences of Christianity is offensive and irritating.  He asserts in the boldest manner the unimpeachable authenticity of the books of the Canon as the result of critical inquiry—an assertion which is certainly untrue.  He misrepresents the views of anti-Christian, writers, and narrows the question to a single issue—that the Apostles were either fools or knaves, or that Christianity is true.  Again, he represents the question of the genuineness of a book as one solely between the theories of absolute truth or deliberate forgery; the former of which many, not to say most candid inquirers disbelieve, while very few are disposed to adopt the latter hypothesis.  He indulges, while professing gentlemanliness of language and liberality of feeling, in the most offensive imputations against all who dare to differ from his decisions.  Any one who questions the genuineness of a book which he approves, must do so 'because the gratification of a pedantic ambition, and the craving for paradox, may find a momentary opportunity in an instance of this sort.'  He calls all religion which dissents from Christianity by the false and obviously inapplicable name of 'Disbelief.'  It may be—and I know that it is—the case that they, and especially Professor Newman, who is obviously the enemy chiefly aimed at, believe with a faith far more intense and a devotion far more pure than his own in a God by whose side the God of orthodoxy is a dwarf and a fiend.

    He starts from the period of time between the reigns of Trajan and Alexander Severus, during the suffering childhood of the Church.  He regards the martyr-principle as first introduced by Christianity an historical misrepresentation of the grossest kind; and confines the duty of martyrdom to the case of belief in a Person—an atrocious offence against the moral feeling of mankind.  The religious obligation of Truth is independent of fact or subject; it implies simply the duty to say, at all costs, nothing but the truth—that is 'the truth to the best of our knowledge and belief.'  Martyrdom became a necessity from the moment that truth became doubtful, where heresy was obnoxious to the powers that be; and among the first of European sufferers for conscience sake were the 'infidel' philosophers of ancient Greece.  Then he proceeds to accuse those who have in modern times died or suffered in testimony to their conscientious disbelief in Christianity as having stolen 'the Martyr Principle won for us by the ancient Church'—an insolence as gross as it is gratuitous.  Truth is no patented article; and if it were, the martyr-principle is older by centuries than Christianity.  'Risu solvuntur tabulœ;' the plaintiff is non-suited amid general laughter; a laughter which perhaps may contain something of bitterness as well as of contempt, when we think what Freethinkers have suffered at the hands of such men as this!

    I shall not follow him through a long dissertation upon the Epistles, in which no proof is ever alleged, though sweeping assertions are constantly made; and the result of the whole of which is an assertion that we have twenty-one epistles, belonging to Apostles or to the Apostolic age—that is, to the first century—in several of which the reality of Christ's resurrection and the present power of working miracles are repeatedly but vaguely asserted.  Grant that this is so—what does it prove?   For Christianity, nothing, save the existence of Christ, which few familiar with history think of doubting.  We must have far other testimony before we believe that a man returned to life from the dead; we must know something more definite about these 'mighty signs and wonders' before we accept them as evidence of the divine religion whose early teachers are said to have claimed the power of working them.  The whole argument of this section, which constitutes a third of the book, consists of a weak and disingenuous attempt to represent those who deny the truth of Christianity as considering the Apostles either knaves or madmen, and is thus summed up:

'Our alternative is just this—to yield our belief to Christianity as a supernatural dispensation; or to suppose, I do not well know how to put such a supposition into words, that the apostolic men, not one of them but all, stand as a class by themselves, of which no other samples have occurred among the myriad varieties of the species; for they are wise and mad—they are always virtuous and wicked—they are prudent and absurd in an extreme degree, and they are at all times consistently inconsistent with themselves, and with human nature.

'Language has been framed for expressing things that are, or things that may be intelligibly conceived of.  You will therefore find an extreme difficulty in endeavouring to give me, in any definite shape, your own idea of the apostles, the facts duly taken into the account, on the supposition that no miracles were wrought in attestation of their ministry.  In this attempt you will never succeed to your own satisfaction.  I will not tell you that your supposition as to the Apostolic character is "uncharitable," is "unwarrantable," is "ungenerous," and the like; for I am content to tell you what is simply the fact, that it is a jumble of incoherencies to which no semblance of moral or of immoral unity can be given.  I do not tell you that your conception is wrong and unfair; for it is no conception at all—it is a naked absurdity.  I will return to this subject at any time if you will only put before me, in a form which I can understand, your idea of the Apostles—all the facts allowed for—on the hypothesis of DISBELIEF.'

    This stupendous attempt I am about to make, as soon as I have made the reader acquainted with the rest of the performance so highly rated by its very confident author.  That done, I hope to give, as an antidote, a Freethinker's view of the early history of Christianity as it may possibly have been, in accordance with the known facts which have come down to us.  In so doing I shall altogether set aside the presumptuous assertion of the author before me, that 'Strauss, by general acknowledgment, has failed in his endeavour to solve the historic problem of the origin of Christianity on the assumption that it is false.'  Strauss has conclusively shown, what he undertook to show, that the evangelical narratives give a wholly unreliable account of the life and conduct of Christ; and has thereby conclusively established the falsehood of the system at present recognised as Christianity.  More than this he can hardly be said to have attempted; more than this it hardly seems that he wished to accomplish.

    There is one argument in the 'Restoration of Belief which deserves notice from its peculiarity, and from the still more peculiar manner in which the writer employs it.  This argument -suspiciously akin to the 'vicious circle' so dear to feminine logicians—he entitles the argument from congruity.  It does not exactly run ' Because the miracles were really worked, therefore Christianity is true, and because the truth of Christianity is certain, therefore the miracles are true,' but in the way in which we here find it employed it is nearly as inconclusive, and far more subtle in its power of mischief.  It is used to establish an impression of the truth of Christianity—independent of reasoning—from the alleged accordance and harmony of its theology and its history, its morals and its miracles.  Now this is wholly unfair and unworthy of one who professes an appeal to Reason.  Inconsistency would be an overwhelming weapon in the hands of the sceptic, who has the advantage of position in this respect; for it is a maxim of logic as well as of law that 'melior est conditio prohibentis, the denier holdeth the vantage.'  But the mere fact of congruity merely enables the advocate of a consistent system to put it on its trial without being instantly laughed out of court.  Thus much premised, we may follow' our' author through his disquisition on the mission of Christ, upon which he enters with the assumption that Christianity is true.  It is at this point of the argument that we especially perceive how judicious is the line adopted by our author in avoiding the moral to deal with the historical question.  In the former, the sceptic has a strong prima facie case against the Christian, who is generally very much at a loss to make good his defence of the morality which is so highly extolled from the pulpit.  In the latter, there is no evidence against Christianity, and from the nature of the case we could expect none, except in the difficulty found in obtaining acceptance for it in the earliest period of its existence, when according to the Christian its evidences were most clear and striking.  The Christian brings forward his evidence; the 'advocate of the Devil' as the phrase goes, has but to cross-examine and object; and this before a hostile jury.  A skilled controversialist and imputative debater like the one we are now considering, well knows how to avail himself of such a position.

    I now come to the last portion of the work, in which the purposes of Jesus, as authenticated by his miracles, are considered.  He is regarded by the author in the light of a Secular Reformer, of a High priest endeavouring to form a Church around himself, of a Prophet offering to mankind the prospect of salvation.  With the last two aspects of this character, I shall not concern myself, as on these the book contains nothing that is new and little that is rational.  But as the first is really a true view of the character of Jesus, as well as one that is too generally kept in the back-ground by his soi-disant followers at the present day, it may be worth while to consider first how this view is dealt with in the volume before us, and secondly, in what light it presents itself to the non-Christian inquirer; a course which will lead naturally and gradually to the consideration of the two other questions which arise out of the subject of this review—the obligations of modern forms of Religion to Christianity, and the history of Christianity as it appears from our own point of view.

    We are told then, that Christ first gave to morality an authoritative sanction, and first set before the world a motive to right-doing, by the announcement of a future retribution.  Such is the sense of many pages, compressed into three lines.  And this assertion, Secularism meets with a distinct negative—It is not so.

    Morality carries with it its own sanction; and that sanction is one which no authority from Heaven is needed to confirm, and which no such authority could give, were not morality already an inherent part of nature.  The fact that God wills a certain ethical course to be pursued could not constitute an obligation on man to pursue that course unless man were first conscious of a tie binding him to obey the will of God.  That is to say, God did not create duty by announcing morality in the form of a Heaven-sent code.  Even if we admitted to the fullest extent the divine mission of Christ, no words of his could have the force of a moral law—could impose a duty upon us—unless we had first learned to recognise God as one not only supremely wise and supremely powerful, but also absolutely good—one whose will we are bound to obey not as the will of an Almighty Master, but as the most perfect standard of moral right attainable.  And this involves what, to such logicians as the author I am now reviewing, must seem an unintelligible paradox; namely, that though the ethical laws of Jesus might be of Divine origin, we yet might be bound to disobey them—bound by a law which no Prophet instituted, and which no Prophet can do away.  If I find in those laws any principle which is clearly and certainly pernicious to the human family, and concerning the actual tendency of which I have no assurance from my knowledge of the moral character of God; then it becomes my duty not only not to act upon that principle, but to labour in every possible way to prevent its acceptance among my brethren of mankind.  There is a law within us and around us, anterior to the idea of God's existence, and to the knowledge of a Revelation; a law so clear and cogent that it could not need the assistance of Christian ethics to enforce its sanctity; a law from which the laws of Christianity derive whatever force and vitality they have, and to which Christian writers make perpetual appeal on behalf of their own Religion.  All that Jesus can be admitted to have done in his capacity of lawgiver, was to enunciate a code of regulations, dependent on this supreme principle of Duty, fortified by the authority of Him who derives His power over the minds of those who believe in His existence from His being accepted as the most perfect personification of this same principle, and from the fact that He is recognised as the All-wise Commander-in-Chief of an army enlisted under its standard.

    Then, with regard to the motive assigned by Jesus for the guidance of human conduct in this life, I must say that I believe it will be repudiated, directly or indirectly, by all elevated minds and noble hearts—by Jesus himself among the first, were he to see laid before him the moral consequence of selfishness and isolation which grows inevitably out of such an idea.  Had he been asked whether he were willing, in order to save his brethren from the assumed penalty destined for their sins, to endure in their stead the agony of eternal torments, without hope and without alleviation—what true disciple of his can doubt what the answer would have been?  Let the same question be asked of the martyrs and confessors who have been tortured and murdered by Christianity and by Royalism—and who cannot read the answer in the earthly lives of such men as Paine, Newman, Parker—and that greater than all these—that more than 'the Christ of the nineteenth century'—Giuseppe Mazzini?  It is plain that, though men of Tertullian's stamp were led to endure and to strive by the hope of a Heaven for themselves and a Hell for their foes, such is not the motive that can influence Poets and philanthropists, Prophets and Apostles.

'The fear of Hell's a hangman's whip
 To hand the wretch in order'

and we may freely grant to Christianity the credit of having brought to perfection, if not invented, this useful and sometimes necessary implement.  This praise—valeat quantum—may be fairly conceded to it.  We do not covet the patent.

    The share of Christianity in modern civilisation has I believe been grossly overrated.  It has been little more than an accelerating force—never a directing one; Western Orthodoxy is too pliable for that.  Christianity becomes with us exactly what each generation chooses to demand of it.  It was barbaric under the Saxon regime; it was despotic under the Conqueror; chivalric under Richard Cœur de Lion and Edward III.; it was sternly Catholic under the House of Lancaster; and savagely Protestant under the House of Tudor; it was royalist under Elizabeth and her successor, and madly republican afterwards; it was persecuting in the times of Laud and the Covenanters, it was mild and charitable when Tillotson became an Archbishop; in a word, it has always been whatever would suit the temper of the times.  So far from moulding modern civilization, it has received its own temporary character from every fleeting phase of that civilization; it has been the passive matter, not the agent Principle.  It is the Teutonic character which has fashioned, as a part of the modern civilization, the modern Christian theology: which it has at divers times used as an instrument.  It certainly is not the Christian theology which has moulded the Teutonic character.  One dogma or another repugnant to that character has been dropped out of Christianity, because it could not otherwise maintain its hold on western Europe; and our present Christianity has been anglicized, far more than our English disposition has been Christianized.

    Nevertheless, I would not be understood as denying to Christianity the credit of its actual influence on the minds of men.  There is no question that the Gospel gave the direction to that progress of religious thought which has gone on from the time of Jesus until now; that it turned the minds of men from chaotic systems of Atheism and Polytheism to a pure Monotheism, which is now gradually tending towards a religious Atheism.  There is no doubt that the Theism of Newman is greatly indebted to Jesus Christ; there is no doubt that our own Secularism has been benefited by the existence and the teachings of the carpenter's son of Nazareth.  There is no doubt that each form of modern religion has assimilated to itself much of what was good in the teaching of Jesus, rejecting much that was logically or morally wrong.  This much we may fearlessly grant to our author, who indignantly accuses us of having drawn whatever is excellent in our faith from the Bible.  But here I stop; here I turn round upon him, and meet his arrogance of assertion with a flat and forcible denial.  The idea of a Father-God is not original with Jesus, though its development was much aided and advanced by him; and his idea of that Father is inferior—and naturally and inevitably so, from our point of view—to that attained by the most advanced Theistic minds of the present age.  There is much good in modern Theism which is not to be found in the New Testament; there is but little good in the latter which the modern Theism has not assimilated to itself.  Conscience, the moral judgment of the disciplined man, is an authority for which Jesus cared little, and to which he makes no appeal.  Sacrifice for the sake of others, not in the hope of future reward, is a principle which, though glimpses of it were occasionally visible through the mists of the future to Prophets and Apostles, waited for its full recognition until a faith arose which knew nothing of an eternal retribution.  Secularism did not borrow from Christianity its high ideas of human brotherhood; for these rest not upon a Christian basis; nor its lofty spirit of reverence for duty; for this Christianity knows not, and cannot understand.  All that the different forms of religion now extant or arising owe to the Man of Nazareth, is that commencement of a reform in the popular conceptions of religion which he sketched, but failed to achieve; and it has been left for the sceptic to clear the original view of Jesus from the mysteries and errors by which his followers have obscured it.  This being the case, it ill becomes the latter to advance the charge of plagiary; and it is a proof of the strange blindness almost as much as of the lowness of spirit which distinguishes the writer in question, that he has not scrupled to advance and to reiterate it.

    How Christianity could have come to exist and to be successful, if it were not absolutely true, is a question which is pressed in these pages upon the sceptic with great confidence, arid as it were an overbearing demeanour on the part of the writer; as a great and difficult problem, which in the opinion of the propounder cannot be answered, yet not to answer which is, on the part of the sceptic, to confess himself either a hypocrite or a fool.  Now, in the first place, this is a question which the advocate of Christianity has no right to put.  We are not bound to account for the fact that he is, and others before him have been, Christian; and when we have shown that Christianity is not true, it is no reply to us to say, 'How then do I, how did all these my ancestors and predecessors, come to believe it?'  Our answer might well be 'That is not our affair; see you to it;' and were I as arrogant of temper as the author of this book, I should be tempted to add 'It is not our fault that you and your forefathers before you have been deficient in sense and in judgment.'  Or to the question itself it would be reply sufficient that as Christianity in the West, so is Islamism dominant in the East; the false religion equally prevalent with the true.  There is nothing in the history of Christianity inconsistent with the idea of its being just such another impostor as its co-partner in empire over the minds of men.  There is no other evidence in its favour than its own character; and this is I think quite sufficient to establish it as a genuine, if not a true religion.  Nay, it was even true relatively, bearing in mind the time of its appearance, and the state of religious feeling at that period.  Pauline, and still more Jesuan Christianity was a step in the right direction; and as such there is nothing at which we need marvel in the fact of its ready reception among a people like the Jews, ground by a severe spiritual tyranny, even had that reception been general.  Yet more natural was its acceptance amid the universal darkness and perplexity that had overspread the heathen mind in regard to theology and to the deeper questions of existence.  Men never like an utter vague uncertainty on these topics; and thus the eagerness with which the new faith was grasped at, though childish and irrational, can by no means be considered as unnatural or surprising.  It is another question how we are to explain the part taken by the Apostles of Christ, if we are to regard the existing accounts of their course after his death as in any degree correct.  But my own view—and I beg my readers to remember that it is merely a conjecture, on a subject whereon certainty is forbidden—that they had been sufficiently penetrated with admiration for the teachings and the personal character of Jesus to retain their faith in him even after his death—a faith which became gradually intensified and exaggerated, until they really came to regard him as something more than human.  Meantime they went forth, but with the exception of Paul almost solely among their own people, preaching the doctrine they had received from him; perhaps confirming its truth by' mighty signs and wonders,' whatever those words may indicate; which in that age and country would not be closely scrutinized either by their performers or the audience.  Finally, it would appear that there are many things uncertain and difficult to explain about the early history of Christianity, but nothing so difficult as to believe in the doctrines now set forth as Christian; that there is no adequate historical evidence in support of Christianity; and in a word, that whatever may be uncertain, thus much is perfectly clear, that Christianity, as commonly understood and received, is a baseless, incongruous, reasonless vision.  What there is between this and Atheism, or whether there is any logically tenable middle ground, I do not propose to investigate at present, though the author before me offers a tempting opportunity for doing so.  Thus much I may say; that if ever such a Restoration of Belief as is here desired and prophesied should occur, it will have much the same result as a certain Restoration in English history—the speedy, utter, and final re-expulsion of that which is to be restored, as an intolerable, iniquitous, and oppressive burden, which may no longer be endured by free and rational men.                     LIONEL H.  HOLDRETH.

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Special Papers.
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These Articles are inserted on account of their intrinsic value, or otherwise as likely to prove of interest or importance to our readers, irrespective of coincidence with our own principles or opinions, tone or terms of statement.

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THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A LIVING PUBLICIST.
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BY J.  C.  FARN.

THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT: CAUSES OF FAILURE, AND
CONDITIONS OF SUCCESS.

v.—Continued from page 236.


MY object in these papers is by the narration of personal incident, and stating the results of subsequent observation and reflection, to point out the causes of the failure of the various movements with which I have been connected, with a view of indicating the conditions of success for the future; the incidents, therefore, may be considered in the same light as the incidents in an 'instructive novel'—viz., as subordinate to the purpose in view.

    It was the custom of the temperance men, at the outset of the movement, to induce a number of I reformed drunkards' to come forward and state their experiences of drunkenness, moderation, and total abstinence from all intoxicating drinks; what the speeches of men were who had passed all their leisure time in the ale-house or the spirit-shop may be more easily imagined than described.  My opinion, both at that time and the present, was, and is, that they did much towards the advocacy of temperance into contempt with intelligent and orderly citizens, precisely the class upon whom all the success of societies, of whatever description, mainly depends.  We were often in great difficulty about chairmen for our weekly meetings, and in our desire to gain proselytes often placed professed friends-but in reality real enemies—in the chair, and these were often ministers of religion, men who were supposed to be willing to do anything to diminish that drunkenness against which they were expected sometimes, at least, to preach.  We found, however, that in the mass they were not at all disposed to make the smallest sacrifice on its account, indeed they were so fond of their own 'drop in moderation' that they often made damaging speeches, which the other speeches of the evening failed to neutralise; ultimately they kept aloof altogether; we may presently discover the reason why.  On one occasion it was my duty to preside, when some reformed drunkards were to make their first speeches.  Shade of Demosthenes! what speeches were delivered on that occasion.  I should certainly have vacated the chair and left the meeting, had there been the slightest chance of my doing so; but no, the windows were too high.  I could not escape in that direction, and the doorway was literally blocked up by the contemptuously laughing audience, which the speakers mistook for applause.  I never presided again under similar circumstance s indeed, my popularity among temperance men began to be on the decline.  Soon after, oh, dreadful to state, I had delivered a lecture in which I had endeavoured to show that there were other causes at work to produce the vast amount of drunkenness against which we were working, than the mere drinking of intoxicating drinks.  I gave a picture of the growth of drunkenness, from the time the youth thought it very great to have his pipe and his pot, until they became to him, in the absence of mental culture and rational amusement, his only gratifications.  I endeavoured to show that excessive labour in ill-ventilated workshops often produced a depression of spirits that made the victims resort to intoxicating stimulants to restore the balance.

    I denounced the conduct of those who affirmed, as many of the parsons had done, that morality was of no use without religion.  I affirmed that sobriety was a good thing of itself, and ought not, in any way, to be discouraged; and I proclaimed that henceforth we ought to know who were our friends and who were our enemies.  I quoted Chambers to show that the factory system and the spirit drinking system grew up together.  I appealed to the experience of our streets, neighbourhoods, and police-courts, to show that most of our drunkards were men of little or no education, and oh, greatest crime of all, I did not tell the drunkard that lie would be sure to go to hell if he did not reform, and pray for divine grace to help him in the work of self-reformation.

    On leaving the platform a local preacher said, 'such speeches won't do here; if he speaks I will not.'  The orthdox resolved to follow his example, and I and a few others, who coincided in my treatment of the subject, were literally 'sent to Coventry' at our committee meetings.  This was the first, but by no means the last, specimen of religious bigotry against which I had to contend.  You might preach that drunkenness was the cause of all the poverty, all the vice, and all the crime as long as you pleased; you might 'deal damnation round the land' to your heart's content; but as soon as you claimed for yourself the right to express your opinions in your own way the same as other people, then it became ' heretic damnable error.'  By such means as those now described the temperance cause has been deprived of the services of the most useful men.  I did not then see, I do not now see, why a temperance society should become a mere recruiting agency for the parsonocracy; and yet such they have in many instances become.  We were in the habit of urging people to take the 'pledge,' and many people did so, but the pledges were for the most part soon broken, and people left the societies faster than they joined—a system of desertion which has continued to the present hour.  I set myself to work to discover the causes of this state of things, and, if possible, to remove them; but even in this I received no aid from religious people.  I discovered that we had withdrawn the drunkard from his usual sources of enjoyment, and had supplied nothing in their place.  After considerable labour a reading-room was established, a discussion-class was brought into existence, and a sort of amusement meeting held weekly; but religious people would not help the reading-room, because it was not sufficiently religious; the discussion-class was broken up, because it sometimes, but not often, took into consideration religious questions; and the amusement was discountenanced as absolutely profane.  They who were not disposed to go to church or chapel were slighted by those who did, and the whole arrangements were broken up.  I may say, however, that if these causes had not produced the failures I have mentioned, there were other causes at work that would.  A work on the physiology of individual drunkenness has vet to be written.  I noticed that most of our reformed drunkards were spiritless (pardon the pun) men that did not seem to enjoy life as many other people do; a temperance meeting of an amusing character is the most lugubrious thing imaginable when composed of such individuals.  If I were asked to state briefly the causes of the failure of the temperance movement (for failed it certainly has) I should do it in something like the following fashion:—It failed because its absurd and extravagant advocacy did not make any impression on intelligent people; thus they were told that intoxicating drinks were absolutely poisonous, and yet people lived and thrived by taking these poisons from day to day.  It failed because it sanctioned the doctrine that moderation was the cause of drunkenness; that 'moderators' were the most to blame for setting a bad example; the fact being that the majority of moderators do not become drunkards, the majority of moderators do not even attend the public-house, or, indeed, sanction anything that leads to excessive gratification.  If the majority of he members of general society should, at any future day (a thing by no means likely) become drunkards, it will soon break up from its own rottenness; for in fact it requires a large measure of sobriety to hold it together under ordinary circumstances.  I never bad any sympathy with these extravagant notions, and never preached them; I confined myself to showing—1st.  That intoxicating drinks were not worth what they cost.  2nd.  That they were not necessary to health, strength, and enjoyment.  3rd.  That their habitual use had a great tendency to lead to their abuse; and 4th.  That their abuse is one of the most mischievous evils with which the promoters of societarian well-being have to contend.  These things established, what need was there for anything more?

    In brief papers of this kind I cannot of course enter into detailed causes of failure and success, for they would require a volume; all I can do is to record experience and stimulate thought.  That there are causes at work to produce the drunkenness we see around us, of which the ordinary temperance advocate does not dream, I feel fully assured.  No coercive Maine Law, no discouragement of mere morality, no ignoring of excessive and insalubrious employment, no disparaging observations about the inefficiency of education and knowledge to prevent drunkenness, can remove or explain away; no fierce tirades against drinking customs can possibly succeed.  While the appetite for intoxicants exists, that appetite will be gratified, Maine Law or no Maine Law.  If it is not gratified in one way it will be in another.  In Mahometan countries drunkenness is immoral, irreligious, and illegal, yet it exists in the shape of opium-eating, and brings with it some greater evils than is found in connexion with even our own drinking system.  You cannot make men moral by Act of Parliament—the experiment has been tried and failed, temperance advocates being the witnesses.  You cannot cheat people into morality by telling them extravagant stories—that experiment has also been tried and failed.  You cannot neutralise yourself more effectually than by being blind to the fact that any one panacea must fail to cure all the 'evils which flesh is heir to,' a thing to which temperance advocates are very prone.

    Allow me, then, in conclusion, to call attention to the fact that, as drunkards are usually men of very defective ' moral culture, that improvement in these respects count among the causes of future success.  That as the majority of the reformed drunkards really go back again to their old excesses, that we must begin with the young; that as the young require amusement we must not frown upon or discourage them; that as all the amusements of society are in the hands of the agents of the drinking system, every available means should be used to make them independent of them, and thus do something to train up the young in the way that they should go, that when they are old they may not depart from it.  Amusements, when wisely indulged, tend to the formation of those cheerful dispositions which are the charm of the domestic circle in after life, and make pleasant companionship in declining age.  If the temperance advocate will henceforth content himself with moderate advocacy, sound argument, and measured expectations of success; if he will avoid all kinds of religious bigotry and social intolerance, and accept of help whenever and wherever it can be had on equal condition; if he will be on the look out for minor as well as major causes of intoxicational immorality, and seek to remove them by every means in his power; if he will not claim for the temperance movement more than it is entitled to, then I predict for him as large a measure of success as he has had of failure.  Then I predict that his labour will not be in vain; but if he will, in spite of experience to the contrary, be a moral Ishmaelite, whose hand is against every man, and every man's hand against him, he must fail as heretofore.  I am as anxious for the diminution of the drunkenness of our day as much as any man; but I cannot close my eyes to the fact that the beginning is not yet begun.  Who does not wish drunkenness to disappear?  The priest finds in its existence an apology for the depravity of the human heart, and an apology for his eternal hell.  The employer seeks in its existence a defence for being careless of the interests of those he employs.  The political economist points to it as a justification of his lack of human sympathy, and the exclusive politician exclaims, See, people waste what they have—why give them any more?

    The temperance men, notwithstanding the comparative soundness of their case, have failed to make any tangible impression on the public mind; they have even failed to retain the apparent converts they once made, and the causes of drunkenness, though removable, remain unremoved.  They may rest assured that where persuasion has failed, Maine Law coercion will not succeed.  The promoters of temperance societies should be first and foremost in providing amusements for the people.  Where labour is excessive, or carried on under depressing conditions, amusement becomes one of the moral necessaries of life.  They should be first and foremost in the work of mental and moral instruction by tile establishment of cheap reading-rooms, libraries, and literary institutions, and conversation meetings; by these, or a similar means of counteraction, they may retain their conquests from the army of drunkards, and thus riot find their labour in vain.  In the work of reformation the drunkard's wife should not be forgotten; if she is at all approachable, some means of an inoffensive character may be used to intimate to her that one way of making her husband's reformation permanent is for her to increase the attractions of home.  Where there is little or nothing of this kind, it is no wonder that men seek it in a public-house.  It is by no means certain that the present coffee-house system will be able to compete with the advantages that the publican is able to give either in amusement, 'accommodation for travellers,' or indeed in anything else, the charges are too great, and the benefits too small for anything of the kind.

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Letters to the Editor.
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The writers of these Letters are, of course, alone responsible for the sentiments or facts contained in them.  Brevity, fairness, and public interest constitute the best claim to insertion.

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SUNDAY BANDS AND THE LONDON HOSPITALS.

53, West Street, Mile End, Oct.  24th, 1857.


WILL you oblige the committee of the Sunday Band in the Victoria Park, by inserting the following statement in reference to the extra day's performance that took place on Sunday, Sept.  13th, in aid of the funds of the Consumption Hospital near the Park?  We had heard with regret that the funds of the above Institution were very low, and we felt a great desire to assist them; consequently, we made an appeal to the gentlemen comprising the band for a performance gratuitously.  They all, without hesitation, acceded to our request.  We at once issued bills and subscription cards (6d.  each) amongst our neighbours and friends, who all highly approved of the object we had in view.  On the Saturday afternoon previous to the Sunday on which the performance was announced to take place, to our great astonishment the Hospital authorities placarded the neighbourhood with a bill headed CAUTION, stating that we had made use of the name of their institution without their consent, etc.  Indeed, the wording of the bill was evidently intended to convey an impression that we had got up the performance with the intention of obtaining money under false pretences.  Our committee was called together, and, after mature deliberation, resolved to issue a poster in answer to it.  It was to the effect that notwithstanding the ungenerous opposition of the Hospital officials, our committee were determined to carry out their original intentions.  Our only object being to do good, we did not think it necessary to consult the Hospital officials; and in the event of the proceeds of the day being refused, they would be given to some other charitable institution.  Well, sir, the performance took place, and we found, after deducting the printing and other necessary expenses, that we had a balance of eight guineas.  Our secretary was directed to communicate with the Hospital to know whether they would accept it.  After waiting a week, we got the following reply:—

City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest.
Office, 6, Liverpool Street, Finsbury, London, 28th of Sep., 1857.

Sir,— I am directed by the committee of this Institution to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21st inst., and to inform you that while they appreciate the desire expressed to aid the funds of the charity, they cannot accept the proceeds arising from the performance of the Sunday Band.—I am, sir, your obedient servant,

Mr. James Gilding.                                                                               W. R. P. SLATER, Secretary.

Our committee, on receipt of this reply, resolved to offer it to the Adelaide Dispensary, in the Bethnal Green Road.  The following reply has been received:—

6, Newmarket Terrace, Cambridge Heath Road, London, October 15th, 1857.

Sir,—In reply to your communication of Oct.  3, I am instructed by the committee of Queen Adelaide Dispensary for the sick poor of Bethnal Green, to inform you that they, disapproving the principle of such Sunday recreation as the Sunday Band, feel themselves compelled to decline the offer of pecuniary assistance made to this Charity, through you as secretary of the Victoria Park Sunday Band.—I am sir, yours faithfully in Christ Jesus,

THOS. PECKSTAN.

To Mr. J. Gilding, 32, Green Street, Bethnal Green.


    We resolved to try for the third time.  The following resolution was carried at our last committee meeting:—'Resolved—That the balance in hand arising from the sales of programmes and subscription cards at the performance of the Sunday Band in the Victoria Park on Sunday, Sep. 13th, be given to the poor-boxes of the Thames and Worship Street Police Courts, and that Wm. Palmer, chairman, J. Gilding, secretary, and Wm. Cox, band-master, form a deputation to the above courts.'

    The deputation accordingly waited upon the magistrates at the courts mentioned, who willingly accepted the proffered donations.  Mr. Hammill, of Worship Street, said that so far from entertaining any scrupulous feelings upon the subject, he was much gratified at receiving such a charitable offering, derived as it was from what he believed to be an innocent and healthful recreation, which was materially conducive to the moral improvement of the humbler classes, and it happened at the present moment to be peculiarly acceptable, as the poor box of the court was literally in a state of bankruptcy.

 WM. PALMER.

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Public Affairs.
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WE shall have ere long to insert a correspondence we have had occasion to hold with the Board of Inland Revenue.  The Morning Star reports that 'the Lords of the Treasury have, at the instance of Mr. Scott, an envelope maker in Charlotte Street, Blackfriars Road, directed the Board of Inland Revenue to grant a drawback, under careful regulations, to the waste cut from envelopes not made at a paper mill.  This act of justice puts an end to the unfair advantage now possessed by paper makers who manufacture envelopes in their mills, and of course use their waste to make fresh paper, paying duty only on the envelopes themselves, The effect was a differential duty of about four or five pounds per ton to the detriment of the domestic envelope maker.  The correspondence, on the part of Mr. Scott, was carried on under the advice of the Association for Promoting the Repeal of the Taxes on Knowledge.'

    'We are concerned (says the Westminster Review) to find that a new method of getting up Prayer-books and Bibles for church use enables the ladies to find their own amusement.  It seems to be really the fact that the ladies' Prayer-books have a small mirror bound up with the covers, probably of about the same size as that in the hat-crowns of dandies, which they consult while very devoutly covering their faces on entering the pews.'  Why not?  Told that they are 'miserable sinners,' ladies naturally look to see whether they answer the description.

    Lord Ellenborough, in an address to the Winchomb Agricultural Association, puts the Indian difficulty and British duty in a European light, which we think a true one:—'Do you suppose that, if we could submit to this in India we should not be threatened with it in England?  Do you imagine that the great military powers of Europe, always prepared for war, offended by our pride, resentful of our former victories, and coveting our present wealth, would long permit us to enjoy in peace the luxuries we cling to, and the dreams of irresistible strength in which we fatuously indulge?  Be assured that if, under the strongest necessity ever imposed upon a people, we do not rise as one man to vindicate our national honour and to re-establish our Indian empire, the horrors we read of with shuddering as perpetrated at Meerut and at Delhi, will not for ever be averted from our island home.'

    The return of Mr. Fox for Oldham without opposition, says the Daily News, 'is highly creditable to a constituency which, six months ago, was inadvertently betrayed into apparent forgetfulness of the services and claims of that distinguished man.  Mr. Fox is one of those single-minded and gifted men who, having won his own way—the way of frugal toil and unavaricious merit—to political and literary eminence, refuse to accept honours or rewards, even from the people, on any other plea than that of having fairly earned them.  Far from suing for restitution of what he deemed his equitable right to the representation of a town he had served so long and so well, Mr. Fox, we believe, has abstained altogether front solicitation or canvass of the electors since the death of Mr. Platt.  Ample time was thus afforded for either millocrats or ministerialists to fly what they could do to secure his permanent exclusion from the legislature, and the return of some dumb or docile jobber in his stead.  With unpretentious dignity he seems to have resolved to take no part in an unworthy competition for the seat he felt he had not forfeited, and the position he had legitimately made his own.  The people of Oldham have the character of being plain blunt men but they are , happily for themselves, too numerous to be bullied, and too intelligent to be duped.  They appreciated as it deserved the honest pride of their old member, and he said they would have him for their member again.

    Unlike other places, says the Spectator, Belfast issued no newspapers on the Fast Day: 'but,' explains the Northern Whig, 'we are so virtuous and religious.'
 
BULLOCK, RAPSON, AND GLOVER v.  BRINDLEY.—If Dr. Brindley confined himself to legitimate criticism of Secular principles, the law courts report which we propose to quote next week from a Birmingham paper would not appear in our columns.  Since, however, he directs his attack upon personal character, we think it right to insert a sample of objections which lie at his own door.  His Liverpool proceedings would also very much interest his opponents.

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General Propagandist Fund. 
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FOR THE EXPENSES IN THOMAS POOLEY'S CASE.—Anti-Priestcraft, £2; Paisley Secular Friends, 3s.; Joseph Hemingway, Lancaster, 1s.; John Pilkington, Turton, 1s.  4d.
Per Mr. H.  Morland, Doncaster:—Mr. Watson, 2s. 6d.; J.  Bell, 2s. 6d.; F. W. S., 2s. 6d.; S. Laycock, 1s.; W. Carrol, 1s.; H. Morland, 1s.; G. Armfield, 6d.—Amount of the above, £2 16s. 4d.

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Replies to Readers.
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W. H.—The person to whom we lately alluded, the Baron de Gleichen, has left town.  His

 address is not known to us.  If he should call upon any correspondents of the Reasoner, we wish to be informed.

J. CRABTREE.—We agree with the spirit of his rhymed answer, and consider it better than the

verses answered.

G. G. GILHAM.—The article is too long for our columns, so we have forwarded the MS,

to Mr. Farn.

G. ROBSON.—It is our intention to insert the admirable notice of Secularism which

appeared in the Aberdeen Herald.

FRANK GRANT.—Yes; and his suggestion also shall be attended to.
RECEIVED.—S. G.—Anti-Superstition.—Henry Clark.—Querist.—H. V. M.  -L. H. H.—A.

Marks.—J. C.  Farn.—J. Boyce—J. Bates.—J. Anderson.  James Brown.—John Dawson.—F. Field.—R. E.

The Editor of the Reasoner would be happy to convey any aid to the tradesman in question,

and will receive subscriptions ,for tickets:—To be raffled for, at the house of Mr. Chadwick, 11, Cases Street, Liverpool, a full set of the London Journal (being vols.  1 to 25, in numbers, in good condition), on Wednesday, October 28, 18.57, at eight o'clock, for the benefit of a small tradesman, and to prevent a distraint from being levied on his goods.—Tickets, 1s. each.

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M

R. HOLYOAKE'S LECTURES.—At the John Street Institution, London, on Sunday, November 1, 1857, Mr. G. J. HOLYOAKE will lecture on the 'Mischiefs of Missionaryism in India: incapacity of a Sectarian People to Govern great Nations—Christianity at home, as respects toleration, is but modified Sepoyism.'  Commence at seven o'clock.

    At the Cabinet Theatre, Liverpool Street, King's Cross, on Sunday, November 8th, the lecture announced to be delivered by Mr. A. Holyoake is deferred, that Mr. G. J. Holyoake, whose engagements in the North preclude his speaking on any other night, may lecture on 'New Forms of Freethought represented by Secularism,' with a view to indicate to a new audience the principles and policy which should characterise the proceedings of a Freethought Society.  The attendance of strangers is requested on this night.  Commence at seven o'clock.

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, November 10th and 11th, Mr. Holyoake will lecture in the Public Hall, Rochdale, on 'New Forms of Freethought,' and the 'Principles of Secularism distinguished from Atheism and Orthodoxy.'  Commence at eight o'clock.

    Mr. Holyoake has been requested to discuss with Mr. Lomax, in Blackburn, on November 17th and 18th.

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ETROPOLITAN CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY.—A public meeting will be held in the Coffee Room of the Literary Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square, on Thursday evening, October 29th inst., at eight o'clock, to explain the objects and principles of the above Society, to enrol members, and elect officers.

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Secularist and Progressionist Societies.
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    LONDON SECULAR SOCIETY.—On Wednesday, November 4th, at eight o'clock, at the Class Rooms, 101, High Street, Hoxton, the adjourned half-yearly meeting of the members will be held, when business of importance will he brought before them.—At the Cabinet Theatre, Liverpool Street, King's Cross, on Sunday, October 25th, Mr, J. B. Bebbington lectured on 'God in History not recognised by Science.'  The lecturer quoted from 'The Hand of God in History,' a work written by an American clergyman, and reproduced in England, to show what the doctrines really held by Christians were on the subject of Providence and special interpositions of Deity.  He described the theory, in the words of the Leader, as a ransacking of history to discover teeth opposite each other, after the example of the old woman who had but two teeth in her head, and who said that it was by the mercy of Providence they were opposite each other, not being able to credit nature with power to perform such a miracle.  The recent humiliation and fast was referred to, and the whimsical and amusing variety of causes for the Indian revolt, suggested by the preachers on that day, was commented on, The lecturer said, that the theology of the fast day would be repudiated on the meeting of Parliament, and none would cry out louder than those who applauded that theology, if a Parliamentary committee were to report that the mutinies were to be attributed to the hand of God.  It was further urged that science broadly discountenanced the theological theory—as, indeed, an admission of it would render science impossible.  The lecture was characterised by that solidity and carefulness which have distinguished Mr. Bebbington's papers in the Reasoner.—Mr. G. J. Holyoake, who was in the chair, took the opportunity, after the lecture, to give an interesting report of Secular proceedings in Scotland and the North of England.  Mr. Binyon, Mr. Ford, Mr. Savage, and others, spoke after the lecture.  A very respectable audience attended this pretty and convenient place of meeting.—F. FARRAH, Sec.

    SOUTH LONDON SECULAR HALL, Blackfriars Road.—The discussion on the 'Resurrection of Christ' was resumed last Sunday afternoon, when upwards of 200 persons were present, as on former occasions.  After an interesting discussion, the subject was again adjourned till nest Sunday afternoon.—In the evening Mr. John Watts gave a highly satisfactory lecture on 'The Theories of Jesus Christ,' noticing Strauss's and Dupuis' arguments, and examined the texts of Scripture where Christ speaks, and is spoken of, as divine; and showed how incompatible his sayings and deeds were with 'divinity.'  The lecturer then examined the arguments of those who believe Christ to have been a mere man, but one of the greatest men of ancient and modern times, showing how fallacious such arguments were, since Christ must either be supposed divine, or considered as an enthusiast who put forth claims to which he was not entitled.  After the lecture, Mr. Noah Green combatted, in a vigorous speech, the arguments of the lecturer, who replied to Mr. Green's objections in detail.—The lecturer made a further appeal for subscriptions to obtain a new Hall in that district, and stated that about £23 had been subscribed.  A gentleman present, who gave £5, promised to lend £20, payable out of future profits.  The committee earnestly solicit subscriptions or donations for the above object.  All amounts will be acknowledged in the Reasoner, and placed in the bank by Mr. G. J. Holyoake, who has been requested to act as treasurer.  The committee intend holding a tea meeting early in next month, when they hope to have a large number of persons present.  Due notice of particulars will be given.  J. BABBS, Sec.

    EAST LONDON SECULAR SOCIETY, Philpot Street, Commercial Road East.  -On October 25th, 'Iconoclast' lectured on 'New Testament Christianity,' urging that Jesus was incoherent and contradictory in His teachings; and that the whole of the system of Christianity was founded on a mistake—i.e., that men had power to believe in alleged existences, with which they have no possible connexion, and of which they could not by any possibility obtain any knowledge.—On Thursday, 29th inst, at eight p.m., 'Iconoclast' will deliver the first of a series of controversial lectures.  Subject:—'The Pentateuch.'

    LITERARY INSTITUTION, John Street, Fitzroy Square.—On Monday evening, November 23, 1857, a Musical and Dramatic Entertainment will be given.  The proceeds will be devoted to the liquidation of the liabilities of the Institution.  Friends in all parts of London are solicited to assist in making it a success, that the committee at the termination of their present office may be free to devote themselves to the new Institution to be erected in Howland Street, Fitzroy Square.  Admission, Hall 4d., Gallery 6d.  Full details will be given.

    ROCHDALE SECULAR SOCIETY.—A member will read an Essay to the above Society on Sunday, November 1st, at six o'clock in the evening, in the Public Hall, Baillie Street.—A. G.

    SHEFFIELD.—On Sunday, October 18th, Councillor Beal lectured on the ' Antagonism of Science and Revelation.'  The lecture was introduced by a view of the various religions, and lengthened references as to the facts established in geology, botany, astronomy, etc., were given.  Comparisons were also made to show the want of dependence to be placed on the Bible account.  Mr. Blake and a stranger offered observations, to which Mr. Beal made a most happy reply.  Mr. Adcroft was chairman, and at the commencement recited one of Critchley Prince's poems.  There was a numerous and respectable audience.  Messrs. Priest, Nelson, Sayles, and Jackson also stated their views.—The municipal elections being at hand, friends were counselled to send men favourable to opening libraries and museums on Sundays.  The opening of the North Church Street School-room appears to be approved of by an intelligent body of inquiring young men.—At Scotland Street Chapel, a Sunday or two ago, a Revivalist was preaching what he calls a 'Death Sermon.'  At the conclusion he declared that he never preached that sermon, but the week after two of the congregation died, and one went to hell the other to heaven.  You will not be surprised when I tell you that young people, who never before were subject to fits, have, after hearing sermons from this prophet, been subject to them.—H. T.

    BOLTON SECULAR SOCIETY.—On Sunday, October 25th, Mr. H. Turner, of Sheffield, delivered two lectures to very attentive audiences; in the afternoon, on 'Friendly Societies and their Improvement,' and in the evening, on the 'Nature and Influence of Poetry.'  On the first subject the lecturer spoke on the evils of such societies being held at public-houses, and the useless expenditure of money by a great majority of such clubs in feasts and paraphernalia.  Mr. T. had well studied his subject, and was thoroughly prepared to defend the ground he took.  Some discussion ensued, after which about two dozen of our friends took tea together.—The evening's subject was made very interesting indeed.  It might be called a 'History of Poetry and the Poets,' and was well illustrated with recitations and readings.  Many of our friends expressed themselves well pleased with the instructive and entertaining discourse, and at its close passed a vote of thanks to the lecturer.  Mr. Turner, in acknowledging the same, briefly introduced the Sunday question, suggesting the importance of getting up a requisition to the Town Council on the propriety of opening the Free Library on Sunday, Sheffield and other towns are moving in the matter, and it is expected Manchester will shortly do the same.—Wm. HILTON.

    NORTHAMPTON SECULAR SOCIETY.—On Sunday, October 25th, the Northampton Secularists held the first meeting of the Society for the present season; but owing to the fact that no public announcement had been made, there was not a largo attendance.  Those present consisted principally of the Secularists and friends, except a few who had come by mistake.  During the summer the room in which we meet had been lot to the Reform Ranters (who still meet there in the morning and afternoon), and as no public notice had been made of the change, they had come, expecting to find the usual occupants.  Great was their surprise to find the meeting opened without singing and prayer; but greater still it became when they heard Mr. Bryan commence his lecture on 'Paine and his Detractor's.  'They, however, waited and listened; and as the first part consisted of extracts from Christian writers against Paine, in which he was pictured as a base, unprincipled, wretched drunkard, they did not seem to feel much troubled; but when the lecturer got as far as the quotations from friendly biographers, one, more bold than the rest, started away hurriedly, as if he had heard a secret voice saving, 'Come out from among them;' and he was instantly followed by all the others, who rushed down the long flight of stairs with the greatest precipitation; no doubt in a similar state of feeling to that of the apostles, when they shook the dust off their feet upon the city which would not willingly receive them.  The incident caused a smile; but the lecturer proceeded to the end without further interruption.  It was an interesting lecture, and the extracts from different writers were well selected. —At the close some remarks were made by Messrs.  Gurney and Jackson, to which the lecturer replied, and the meeting separated.—Next Sunday Mr. Jackson will lecture on 'Human Egotism,' commencing at half-past six o'clock.—It is intended to hold our monthly Sunday tea-meeting on the first Sunday in the month, as usual, at half-past four o'clock.  It is open to all Secularists and their friends, and we shall be glad to sec as many of them as can make it convenient to attend.  The place of meeting is the same as last season—No.  6, front room, Corn Exchange.—G.  C., pro J. BATES.

    SCOTLAND.—Recent lectures delivered by Mr. Holyoake in Scotland, will be the subject of future reports.

    PRESTON.—We have seventeen members, who attend very regularly, We have had offers of support from many quarters in the town, so we have thought it advisable to print the following circular, and leave it at the residences of Freethinkers, and then call again in a week's time.  One gentleman made us a present of 8s.  worth of books, and a subscription for Pooley.  It any of our members fall sick, or are in any way disabled from their work, if their circumstances are such as to require it, we contribute towards their support.  We meet every Sunday night at seven o'clock, when we listen to a lecture, generally delivered by one of the members.  We had Anthony Collins in our room a few weeks since.  He promised to lecture for us gratuitously.  We meet also on Monday nights, when we have a debate, generally opened by one of the members.  The following is the circular we issued:—'An Appeal to the Friends of Freethought and Free Discussion in Preston.'  It has been thought desirable by the committee and members of the Preston Free Debating Society, to make an appeal to the lovers of Freethought and Free Discussion residing in and around Preston.  The Society's present place of meeting is one ill adapted for the purposes which the society has in view.  We are about to take a larger room, and we hope to be able to have it well furnished.  We have a hope too that we shall be able to take in journals of the highest character, both in politics, literature, art, and religion.  We have also in prospect the establishment of a library in connection with the society, to consist of the most approved books on history, poetry, politics, religion, etc.  We trust to be able to take a room that shall be large enough for public lectures.  We hope also to be able to establish a fund for the relief of the deserving poor and sick amongst us, so that they may not need to depend on the conditional charity of religious bodies.  We may add that we have in view the building of a Hall that shall be free in the widest meaning of that word.  All this will require much time, much exertion, and much self-sacrifice on the part of some individuals.  Individuals have been found who are willing to devote that time, to make that exertion, and to endure that sacrifice.  We therefore wish respectfully to say, that it remains for you who are outside the immediate working of the organisation to subscribe, that we may have the means to work out our objects.  Besides your subscriptions, we shall always be most willing to receive and apply any advice which those amongst you who have had more experience may give us.—W.  SINGLETON, Sec.; R. BAXENDALE, President; T. HOSKINSON, Treasurer.'

    SOCIETY OF MATERLIALISTS.—At the weekly meeting of Wednesday, the 21st inst.—Mr. O'Neill (V. P.) in the chair—Mr. Adams tendered his resignation as hon.  sec.  Various measures were proposed and accepted to extend the operations of the society.  The question, 'Is Mind a Material Function?'  was then discussed by the Mutual Instruction Class, and unanimously adjourned.—W. H. H., Hon, Sec.

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THE AMERICAN PULPIT HABIT.—A correspondent of the American Christian Reflector says.—'I notice in some cases a handkerchief habit in the pulpit which has led me to inquire if the use of that very necessary article is a part of theological training, I notice some ministers take it out of their pockets as they do their sermon, and lay it on the pulpit.  Some spread it out lengthwise through the middle of the Bible; some roll it up and tuck it under the Bible; some shake it every few moments over their heads; some clench it in their hand, as if they were going to throw it at the audience; and some keep crowding it into their pockets and pulling it out again with a nervous movement, as if they did not know what other use to make of their hands.  I went once to hear a popular young preacher, and as much as half his sermon was made up of pocket handkerchief; and the most of the other half was gold watch and scraps of poetry.'
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REPORT OF THE CASE OF THOMAS POOLEY.—We have published the entire Report, thirty-two pages, price 3d., with an engraving of the 'wretched' Gate of the Rev. Paul Bush.  We ask our friends everywhere, and especially in Cornwall, to promote its circulation.  They can be had at 2s. 6d, per dozen, post free.

 

LECTURES, DISCUSSIONS, CLASSES, ETC.
[N
OTICES for this Department must reach us not later than the first post, on Monday morning.]

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    John Street Institution, Fitzroy Square.—Friday [8.30], Discussion; Saturday [8.30], Harmonic Meeting.—Meeting of Materialists every Wednesday evening.—Nov.  1 [7], Mr. G. J. Holyoake, 'The Mischiefs of Missionaryism in India.'

    Cabinet Theatre, Liverpool Street, King's Cross.—Sunday, Nov.  1 (7), 'Iconoclast,' 'Is Atheism preferable to Theism?'

    South London Secular Hall, 58, Blackfriars Rd.  November 1 (11.30), Mr. John Watts, 'A Secular Address.' —[3], a Discussion on the 'Resurrection of Christ.' —(7), Dr. Sexton, 'Popular Men of the Present Age—No.  1, the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.'

    Hoxton Class Rooms, 101, High Street.—November 1 (7), a lecture.

    Philpot Street Hall, Commercial Road East.—Thursday October 29 (8½pm), 'Iconoclast' 'The Pentateuch.'  — November 1 [7.30 p.m.], Mr. Wynn, 'Jesus, Moses, and Mahomet.'

    Literary Institution, Friar Street, Doctors' Commons.—November 1 [7.30], Mr. Bronterre O'Brien, 'The Monetary Crisis.'

    South Place Chapel, Finsbury.—November 1 [7] P. W. Perfltt, 'The Aztec Empire: Religion of the Ancient Mexicans.'

    Preston Free Discussion Society, Weavers' Committee Room, over the old [Chronicle] Office, Market Place.—November 1, (7), Mr. W. Singleton, 'Has man any idea of eternity?'—Monday, Nov.  2, (8) a Debate on 'Is Mind independent of Matter?'

    Manchester Secularist Society, St.  John's Temperance Hall, Hewitt Street, Knott Mill, adjoining the Railway Station.—November 1 (6.30 p.m.), a lecture.

    Sheffield Secular Society, North Church Street School Room.—November 1 [6.30], Mr. Glaves, 'Parliamentary Reform.'

    Smith's Temperance Hotel, Commercial Court, Briggate, Leeds.—Public Discussion every Sunday evening.

    Doncaster Secularist Society, at Mr. Mason's, Bower's Fold.—Wednesdays [8 p.m.], Reading and Discussion.  Inquiries to be made of Mr. B. Watson, St.  Sepulchre Gate.

    Birmingham Secularist Society, 124, Brearley St., meet Sunday mornings and evenings.—Nov.  1 [7] discussion.  Tuesdays, 7.

    Terry's Temperance Hotel, Union Street, near the Railway Station, Dewsbury.—Nov.  1 (6.30), a lecture.

    Bolton Secular Society, 15, Cheapside.—Nov.  1, [6.30], Mr. R. S. Hilton, 'Remarks on the Life of Peter the Great, with his relation to the Russian Empire.'

    Edinburgh Secular Society, Trades' Hall, Carrubber's Close, High Street.—Discussion every Sunday evening at 6.30.

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Advertisements.
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No more than in the case of other Journals can the R
EASONER be held responsible for Advertisements.

THE TRIAL OF THEISM.—By G. J. Holyoake.  Published in Penny Numbers on the 1st and 15th of each month.  Contents of No.  9:—
    Mr. Newman's axiom of human thought.  His answer to Byron's question.
    The transmutation of attributes into entities one of the habits of Theists.
    New statement of the argument of Design.
    A God uncaused to explanation of a world uncaused.
    Francis Place's definition of Faith. 
    Naturalism not without morals.
    'We must not buy the patience of the poor by propagating delusion.'
    The duty of approval as well as censure.

London: Holyoake and Co., 147, Fleet Street.

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THE WAVERLEY.  A Working-Woman's Journal; devoted to the legal and industrial interests of women.  Edited by Bessie Rayner Parkes.  Published fortnightly.  Price 4d.  To be had from the office, 14A, Princes Street, Cavendish Square; and from Tweedie, 337, Strand.  Also at 147, Fleet Street.

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FURNISHED APARTMENTS, for a single gentleman, in a Secular Family, in the Queen's-road, Dalston.—Apply 147, Fleet-street.

LIST OF RARE AND OTHER BOOKS TO be disposed of by Holyoake and Co., 147, Fleet Street.  If sent by post 2d. extra for every shilling.
    Sermons, by the Rev. Thomas Gisborne, M.A. 3s.
    Essays on the Spirit of Legislation in the Encouragement of Agriculture, Population, Manufactures, and Commerce; containing observations on the Political Systems at present pursued in various countries of Europe for the advancement of those essential interests.  Translated from the original French.  (A book of interest to the political student.) 3s.
    Observations on the Writings of the Craftsman.  2s. 6d.
   History of the Westminster and Middlesex Elections, in the month of November, 1800.  1 vol.  bound in calf, with a large coloured print.  With speeches of Burdett, Hume, etc.  3s.
    The Grave of Human Philosophies, Ancient and Modern; or, the Universal System of the Brahmins Unveiled.  By R. de Bécourt.  Translated from the French, with additional notes, by A. Dalmas.  With large engraved view of the universe divided in two hemispheres.  2s. 6d.

London: Holyoake and Co., 147, Fleet Street.

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BOOKS ON FREE INQUIRY.
    Owen and Bachelor's Discussion on the Existence of God, and the Authenticity of the Bible. 1 vol., cloth lettered.  4s. 6d.
    Owen and Bacheler's Discussion on the Existence of God.  In a wrapper.  1s. 4d.
    Do.  do.  on the Authenticity of the Bible.  In a wrapper.  2s. 8d. 
    Paine's Political Works, in one vol., cloth lettered.  5s.
    Do.  Theological Works, do.  3s.
    Volney's Ruins of Empires and Law of Nature.  1 vol., cloth lettered.  3s.
    F. Wright's Popular Lectures.  1 vo1., cloth lettered.  3s.
    Do.  Few Days in Athens.  do.  1s.  6d.
    Do.  do.  In a wrapper.  1s.
    Haslam's Letters to the Clergy.  1 vol., cloth lettered.  2s.  6d.
    Do.  Letters to the Bishop of Exeter.  do.  2s.  6d.
    Bible of Reason.  1 vol., cloth lettered.  10s.
    Palmer's Principles of Nature.  1 vol., cloth lettered.  2s.
    Godwin's Political Justice.  2 vols.  in one.  do.  5s.
    John Clark's Letters to Dr.  Adam Clarke, on the Life, Miracles, etc., of Jesus Christ.  1 vol., cloth lettered.  5s.
    R. D. Owen's Popular Tracts.  1 vol., cloth lettered.  2s. 6d.
    Shelley's Queen Mab, with notes, 1 vol., cloth lettered.  1s. 6d.
    Do.  do.  do.  In a wrapper.  1s,
    The Connection between Geology and the Pentateuch.  By T. Cooper, M.D.  9d.
    The Right of Free Discussion.  By T. Cooper, M.D.  3d.
    Robert Cooper's Scriptures Analysed.  8d.
    Cerebral Physiology and Materialism.  By W. C. Engledue.  4d.
    Library of Reason.  1 vol., in a wrapper.  1s. 6d.

Published and sold for J. Watson, by Holyoake and Co., 147, Fleet Street.
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THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS.  Being No.  l, price 2d., of a new edition of the Rev. Robert Taylor's 'Devil's Pulpit' (to be published fortnightly), is now ready.  No. 2 'Belief not the Safe Side' was published on the 15th. 'Ahab; or, the Lying Spirit,' will be ready on the 29th.
    'The curious scholar, the relisher of sharp wit, the logician, the antiquary, though indifferent to all but his own speciality, will find ample satisfaction in Taylor's Astronomico-Theological Lectures; and free and independent thinkers will find it difficult to treat themselves to such another "feast" of reason.' —Boston Investigator.

E. Truelove, Reformers' Library, 240, Strand.
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THE BIBLE: What it Is!—A Freethinking Commentary on the Bible.  Fortnightly, price One Penny.  Parts I.  and Il.  carry the commentary to the end of the Pentateuch.  Each Part complete in itself, containing six numbers, bound in neat wrapper, price 6½ Nos.  13, 14, and 15 treat of the Books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.—No 16 contains carefully selected quotations from Volney's 'Life of Samuel.'
    Communications from those who approve and wish to assist the compiler of this work, to be addressed to 'Iconoclast,' 147, Fleet Street, London, E. C.

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THE SPY.  Mr. D.  URQUHART EXPOSED; being a Discussion between Major S. E. Rolland, of Worthing, and Mr. A. F. Bain of Newcastle, on 'Palmerston and the People.'  Reprinted from the 'North of England Advertiser,' with some wholesome advice to Mr. Urquhart and his followers.  Just published, price 6d.—The usual allowance to the trade.  Orders to be sent to Mr. Ward, printer, Dean Street, Newcastle, or Mr. Bain, Spring Garden Lane, Newcastle.

METROPOLITAN INSTITUTION COMPANY (Limited), Office, 30, Howland Street, Fitzroy Sq.  Attendance from Ten to Twelve a.m.  daily, and at Eight p.m.  on Thursday evenings.  Capital, £5,000.  Shares, £1 each.  Deposit, 6d. per share.  Calls not to exceed 1s. per share per month.'  The object of the Company is, by means of donations and shares, to raise a fund for erecting a commodious Institution, wherein the industrious classes may assemble to acquire and communicate useful knowledge, and where they may have innocent recreation and amusement at a trifling expense—such Institution to contain a large Lecture Hall, with appropriate Committee Rooms, Museum, Library, Reading Rooms, Class Rooms for the tuition of adults, and School Rooms for the education of children of both sexes.  Donations of Money, Books, and Models, and of any materials applicable to scholastic purposes, will be highly acceptable.  In case the gifts are objects of Natural History, Geological Specimens, etc., the donors will oblige by affixing the description to each.  Applications for shares, etc., to be made to Mr. Thomas Whitaker, Secretary, at the Office, 30, Howland Sheet, Fitzroy Square, between the hours of Eight and Ten on Thursday evenings; or to Mr. Frederick Farrah, 147, Fleet Street, City, any day from Nine a.m.  till Eight p.m.
    NOTICE.—The Directors have made the twelfth call on the shares payable on November 9th, 1857.—N.B.  It is particularly requested that the calls be paid immediately, as the Directors are making arrangements to commence the new Institution.
Oct.  10th, 1857.  T
HOS. Whittaker, Sec.

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HALL of SCIENCE, near Finsbury Square, City Road.—Sunday Evening Discourses in defence of Christianity, including an examination of Paine's 'Age of Reason,' to be delivered in the month of November, 1857, by THOMAS COOPER, author of the 'Purgatory of Suicides.'
    November 1st.—Noble personal character of Thomas Paine, and the high value of his services to Freedom: causes of his errors on religion: his misconceptions and mis-statement of the facts of Gospel History, arising from hasty and imperfect inquiry: his testimony to the moral excellence of the character of Christ: his utter want of critical information respecting the text of the Old Testament, and the errors into which his want of correct knowledge led him.
    November 8th.—Proof from Thomas Paine's mode of treating the New Testament that he never understood Christianity: theologians and their mis-teachings partly to be blamed for this: Paine's own confession of his want of patient examination of the system of Christianity, and his confession—'I keep no Bible:' his testimony against Atheism, and his ideas of Natural Religion: his very curious and contradictory observations on 'Mystery, Miracle, and Prophecy.'
    November 15th.—Second part of the 'Age of Reason:' Thomas Paine says, 'I have furnished myself with a Bible and Testament:' the correctness of some of his criticisms on the Pentateuch: question whether Paine, as a Deist, was consistent in his condemnation of other parts of the Pentateuch: the errors contained in his remarks on other parts of the Old Testament.
    November 22nd.—Inconsideration and rashness with which Thomas Paine opened the New Testament: his criticisms upon it most unworthy of himself: their gross coarseness the cause why cultivated men lay aside the 'Age of Reason' when they open on these pages: proofs that, although Paine had now 'furnished himself with a Testament,' he had not the patience to read it carefully; and so, yielding to prejudice, he fell to reviling it.
    November 29th.—Third part of 'The Age of Reason: Paine's Examination of the passages in the New Testament quoted from the Old, and called Prophecies:' the random and indifferent mode in which his 'examination' is performed, a proof that Paine's mind was not in a fit state to undertake it: whimsicality of his 'Private Thoughts on a Future State,' appended to the 'Age of Reason.'
    Conversations with objectors to be held at the end of each Discourse.  To commence at Seven.  Admission: Gallery, or Platform, 3d.; Hall, 2d.

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AMERICAN AUSTRALIAN and Inland Forwarding Office.  —GEORGE RAMSDEN, 25 Hunter Street, Liverpool.  All letters prepaid will receive immediate attention, and a circular of useful information forwarded by return of post.  Good beds and free storage for luggage.
    G. R.'s arrangements are complete to forward passengers by railway to any part of the United States and td Canada.  Passengers can know the actual cost to their destination before leaving home which will save them considerable expense and trouble by writing to this establishment.



Printed and Published for the 'Promoters of Freethought,' by Holyoake and Co., at the REASONER Office 147, Fleet Street, in the City of London.  (E.C.)

 


 

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