« AnteriorContinuar »
rent-religious established in the land ? I do not intend to enlarge on this point, it being evident to the whole nation that this prosecution is unlawful, I shall not trespass farther on your time, but intend to prove, that, if the Christian religion is the foundation of all the administration of justice in this country, this prosecution is in direct opposition and contrary to the precepis and established principles of that religion. You will certainly acknowledge this prosecution to be unlawful, upjust, and also irreligious—and give your verdict accordingly. I would first have you, Gentlemen, to consider what I am charged with doing; whose ox, or whose ass have I stolen ? Whom bave I injured? Is the community or any private individual injured or molested by my disorderly conduct, that they find it necessary to shut me up in prison for three, five, or seven years as I have been threatened with, in order to preserve tbeir lives, their proporty, or their chastity ? No, Gentlemen, no man layeth any of these things to my charge. I have done nothing more than publish a book, an opinion, upon another book, another opinion; in fact, nothing more than my opinion upon the Bishop of Clogher's opinion. This book, containing the Bishop of Clogher's opinion, you have thought proper to consider holy; because your foolish forefathers, who thought that the earth had ends and corners, and would cast a man into pri-. son for maintaining its rotundity, also thought that God would be alarmed, should man attempt to build a tower that would reach as high as Graham went the other day in his balloon, and who actually put men and women to the most cruel deaths, if accused of witchcraft. For ought I know, this book might have been produced from the filthy rags which were used by me in a state of infancy, which being converted into paper were formed into this book, and now called holy. You know that those men were ignorant Catholics, who were accustomed to call alınost every thing holy. There were holy Saints, holy water, holy candles, holy books, and a number of other holy things, which you yourselves impugn and treat as ridiculous and absurd. If you consider this to be the word of God, and it is this which constitutes it holiness, why do you not obey it, why prevent others from rendering obedience to this word? for we are commanded to s search the scriptures,” and to examine them like the noble Berians. Read Acts xvii. and see whether those things be so or not. I cannot spare you this Bible, for which I gave five shillings on this occasion; but as I suppose, in a Court of Justice, there are copies, I wish some of them to be hand
ed to the Jury, as I intend to refer to several passages, and wish them to have one at the least.
(To be continued.)
A CORRESPONDENT under the signature of Christianus has sent a copy of the forged letter of a Publius Lentulus, and to the Senate of Rome, describing the person and character of Jesus Christ, as a proof that such a person
existed. He might have sent other such proofs in abundance; for instance, the correspondence between Jesus and the King Edessar; the pocket handkerchief with which Jesus miraculously took his own portrait, by wiping the sweat from his face; some of the nails and wood of the real cross; or one of the garments of Jesus for which the Roman Soldiers cast lots. The existence of these are all so many valid proofs, that Jesus Christ once existed.
Let him read Lardner or Mosheim, and try how far back he can trace the letter of Publius Pentulus, or what these impartial bistorians will say for it.
PEN KNIVES. Price 1s. cach.
Ar the request of a friend, we have undertaken to sell a penknife made under the direction of Mr. J. B. Smith, the writing master. Its only recommendation is its shape for conveniency of grasp and position of the blade; for the goodness of the blade the maker, Mr. William Cross, West Street, Sheffield, must be answerable. It is desirable to see good writing--this cannot be done without a good pen-that cannot be made without a good knife. I am pleased to see the great improvement in writing many of my correspondonts have made, by following the instructions of Mr. Smith's book. Attention and resolution are all that are necessary to acquire a good hand writing.
Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 84, Fleet Street.-All Correspon
dences for “ The Republican” to be left at the place of publication.
No. 2, Vol. 10.] LONDON, Friday, July 16, 1824. [PRICE 6d.
TO THE TWELVE JURYMEN WHO MAY BE CALLED UPON TO PASS THEIR VERDICT UPON THOMAS RILEY PERRY, AT THE OLD BAILEY SESSIONS, FOR JULY.
FELLOW CITIZENS, Dorchester Gaol, July 6, 1824.. I HAVE written upon many important subjects, but upon none more momentarily important than the present: and though we hear much about the impropriety of a Juryman's previously knowing and prejudging a case on which he is to sit in judgment in a Court of Law, I see nothing but prejudice in the notion, and shall not therefore respect it. It is as right and as important, that you shall previously know the case I am about to write upon, consider and prejudge the matter about wbich you are to be called to sit in judgment, as that a Judge should have to pass a routine of legal and judicial study before he sits upon the bench. You are to be judges in the case before you, and upon that case you cannot enter your box with too much knowledge, any more than a judge can have too much knowledge of the law of the country and of the practice of the Courts. So from all impropriety in my address to you at this moment, I feel an exculpation; and that, in so doing, I am performing nothing more than a duty to myself, to the defendant, to you, the Jury, and to the country at large which you represent.
Thomas Riley Perry, a man of unimpeached moral character, expects to come before you in the ensuing Sessions, under a charge of having published a blasphemous book, entitled Palmer's Principles of Nature; and common as such cases have been of late, there is more than ordinary interest connected with this; for, from all present appearances,
it seems likely to be the last of the kind; and if so, it is of very great importance, that yours should be a right verdict, which
Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 84, Fleet Street.
has never yet been given upon such a charge, in consequence of the ignorance or depravity of former Juries.
You will be told, by one of those Judges whicb, in these cases, are such an abomivable disgrace to the Bench of this day, that Christianity is a part and parcel of the law of the land, and that to question its good foundation is an offence at law. If I were to admit the first assertion, I can shew you that the second does not follow as a consequence; for, if Christianity be part and parcel of the law of the land, the laws of this land are not like the laws of the Medes and Persians which changed not; and that it is not an offence at law, to revile or blaspbeme any part or all of the law, to say that all or a part is bad, to advise the abolition of all or of a part, or in any way to impugn by words, so as you do not violate by actions. At any rate, the publication in question can be nothing more than an impugning of the law of the land by words; and it happens, that there is an express statute, which says, that to impugu this part of the law called Christianity, or the doctrine of the Trinity, is lawful.
I take a deeper ground than this, though this is deep enough to warrant a verdict of Not Guilty from you, and from every Jury in such a case, and to shew that every verdict of Guilty in such a case has been an act of perjury and villainy, or of the most gross ignorance. I deny, altogether, that Christianity is any part or parcel of the law of this or of any other land. I deny, that it is possible to legislate upon such a matter, or to combine it with law; and that, because, Christianity is not only no fixed and definable thing; but it cannot be defined as a system of words and actions on the part of its followers. It never was declared to be a part and parcel of the law of the land by any part of the legislature of this country. It is no where so written in any of our statute books; and if it were so written, the indefinite character of the word Christianity would render it a matter impossible to be justly acted upon. It never was identified with the common law of our ancestors, before statutes began to be formed and preserved, and every judge, every lawyer, who has asserted that it has been a part and parcel of the law, has been both liar and villain. Liar, because it was utterly and notoriously false; villain, because be sought to injure and oppress some honest man thereby and succeeded therein: and you, the Jury, will be both liars and villains, if you return å verdict of Guilly against Thomas Riley Perry. This is very strong language; but as strongly true and strongly just. I and others have suffered too much and too
long, through such villainy, to mince the matter, or to feel any thing like respect for our tyrant and brutal persecutors, or for you if you join them.
It has been asked why we do not appeal against the judgments given against us. I will give you the best of all reasons-because, we should appeal from enemy to enemy, at a very great expence, and finally we should bave to appeal to the basest and most bigoted of all our enemies—the Lord Chancellor Eldon; for he reigos not more Lord Paramount in the Court of Chancery, than in the House of Lords. In one place he issues decrees in his individual name;-- in the other, in the name of the Lords; and the fellow has more power over property and liberty than any absolute monarch in the world. He fears nor cares for any thing but those who dare to impeach his conduct through the press, as I dare to do. This fellow is the life and soul of those persecutions; and with him they will certainly die, if we do not beat him first and hasten his death by our triumph: for, be assured, that be has not moral virtue enough to sustain bim in life one year, after he loses his present power and situation. Under retirement or rejection from office he cannot live.
Another reason for not appealing is, that, if we had the will, and a fair chance, we have not the money required to do it: whilst in prison, we can do nothing in person, nothing but through lawyers, and these are men, to a man, who, to live, must, to a certain degree, run with the practice and system of the day. I never found any encouragement to employ any one of them a second time, in a matter that concerned myself as to the prosecutious for blasphemy.
To you, as the last Jury likely to be assembled on such an occasion, l solemoly appeal against all the verdicts of Guilty that bare been given upon the publication of Paine's Age of Reason-Palmer's Principles of Nature-or any piece of my writing or publishing against the Christian religion. The few words I have advanced are enough to shew, that Christianity cannot be associated with the law, nor can any legislation exist and be justly acted upon in this matter, beyond an ordinance as to forms and ceremonies. But my grand argument is—that Christianity is idolatry—that it is wholly vicious—that it is founded wholly in fable~that no such person as the Jesus Christ of the New Testament existed.
These are so many opanswered aud unanswerable points which I maintain in my weekly publication; and the Christian world is silent under them, evincing, that the profits connected with the system form its last maiustay. I