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not had the opportunity of collecting for themselves. It was under this impression, that I began my remarks on the lecture before me. When you first produced it as “excellent and admirable,” you, no doubt, imagined that you were placing an excellent piece of sophistry in the bands of one who would not be able to detect it, But for this once you were mistaken: I consider myself equal to the task, I conceived that my remarks might prove useful to others. Not to the general readers of the Republican, through the medium of which I now address you, they are in most cases so far my superior as to be beyond the possibility of receiving instructions from me; but to some of those casual readers, into whose hands they may chance to fall. These observations may, perbaps, appear ill-timed; if so, I cannot help it - I pen my ideas, as they arise in my my own mind if they are out of order, I am sorry for it, I wish I was master of more knowledge and experience. But as trifling difficulties should not prevent us from doing the best we can, I proceed to notice the remainder of your "excellent and admirable” Lecture.
“ That he (God) is not perceived by any of our senses is po objection at all against his being.” I presume that it is a decisive objection against such a being as this God is described to be—an almighty governor and director of the universe: for if this being be all-powerful, bę must be the whole of nature; my arm and the pen it wields must be a part, as well as the immense globe we inbabit, and the many others we see scattered around us. Matter or nature as a whole is not possessed of senses-of intelligence; it is only certain small portions of matter, under a peculiar organization, that are possessed of the sense of feeling. Consequently, there cannot be a thinking, intelligent being, at the same time allpowerful; for intelligence is evidently the result of arrangements of matter, and governed solely by material objects. Man possesses the highest known state of intelligence; but should there exist beings possessed of more, still they cannot be all-powerful, for intelligence cannot cause matter to act otherwise than by ber own energies or powers. No located being can be almighty: the whole of nature is alone almighty; but the whole of
nature is not intelligent, does not act from design.
« For our minds also are imperceptible by sense; but as they notwithstanding, shew their existence by moving our bodies according to their pleasure, so God doth show his by moving and disposing of all things as he wills.” If the mind was not dependant on sensation, it may apply to the
to the sun,
d visible objects-might others to the moon
in others, our limited
Bishop's argument; but as it is, it is totally irrelevant to the subject The animal world is distinguished from the vegetable and mineral, by the sense of feeling; and this sense being more or less acute in different animals, occasions the variety and degree of mind which they are found to possess. But be this degree what it may, it cannot neither add to nor diminish the powers of nature. The imagination might rove
' but it cannot find tangible objects to answer to the phantoms (it creates. Could the mind move our bodies according to its pleasure, I believe we should soon see some rapid move. ments taking place: some would be for a trip
some to one planet, some to another ; helps some to the North Pole, others to the South ; and speaking
for myself, I should prefer a trip over the fine open downs in Dorsetshire, to a continuance within these walls." But this is not the case: mind without matter is a nonentity, Sa thing of pought; and where it is found connected with
matter with those peculiar organizations which compose e the animal world-from whence alone intelligence is found sto proceed, it is still to be governed by the immutable laws
of nature. Here then, the argument by analogy, is decidedly against the belief of an immaterial being, or great spirit,
ruling the universe. The mind, as we find it in man, may zeinvent plans; but material substances, and their inherent
" properties or powers, can alone carry them into execution. atirour plans are not consonant to the known powers
of nature, they inevitably fail. How many plans have been inIstented to obtain a perpetual motion, but those known powof nature
which we are enabled to put into action, are incompetent to the task ; consequently, the results have never aniswered the object in view.
And the same argument proves his presence with all 3things, for wherever he acts there be certainly is: and there3®fore he is every where.” We do not want argum to prove,
that there is a power every where acting, experience is conb tinually convincing us of this truth, but that this is a feeling, thinking, intelligent, designing power, we have not the least in shadow
Whenevera phenomenon strikes our senses, we are convinced this power is acting: in some cases, we Uknowledge denies us this satisfaction. But of all these phenomena, of which we are enabled to discover the
the cause, not econe is found to proceed from design. Then why should we Silattribute these causes to a designing power,
of a proof.
understand which we cannot, at present, fathom, seeing that all those we do understand, are not governed by design? I cannot expect that you will answer me conscientiouslythat
you will own the errors, and worse than uselessness of your profession-of course not--you must keep up imaginary monarchs, or the people will not consider themselves in want of you and
bretbren of the cloth as intercessors. I think I can pretty accurately describe, what will be the passing ideas in your mind, when the above question meets your eye. If I am not mistaken in your character, you will immediately allow, that no one possessed of even a moderate sbare of the knowledge of the present day, cap believe in such a God as you preach to the people. But then you will mentally exclaim," the ignorant do believe, they are the most pomerous party, and while we can support our profitable profession by continuing the delusion, we should be to blame to give it up. We are now driven to the last possible shift; and when scientific knowledge, which it is but too evident is rapidly increasing, is arrived at such a height as to turn the stream against us, why then, of course, we must give it up; and those who have not made a purse out of their present abundance, must seek a livelibood by some other meads. But we must hold to it so long as we possibly can. 1, for one, will maintain my ground against truth and reason, while there is a chance remaining. And the complicated cunning and sophistry of so many ages, so many metaphysical brains are not to be easily thrown aside; especially while we ba ve the aid of the civil power, and the prejudices of education acting in our favour.” I will not vouch for the correctness of the above, but I believe, if you would but bonestly avow it, I should be found more correct than propbets in general. Be this as it may, I have no chance of ascertaining its correctness, and must content myself with imagining that I am not far wrong. 2 The remaining part of this Lecture bas nothing to do with the question at issue, (the being of a God) it is merely a repetition of those contradictory attributes, which, I believe, I have already sufficiently answered. There is something about“ duties owing to this our lawful sovereign ;”, but, as I have already said, let us first discover that a God exists, and then it will be quite time enough to talk of his attributes. And, as to duties, they are only reciprocal; and under this view, I believe mankind are indebted to Gods, neither for good nor evil. I shall now close my remaeks, with again calling to your attention those particulars wherein I dissent
from your “excellent and admirable," and right reverend author.
The Archbishop's avowed purpose was to support, by bis writing, a Creed, or system of religious faith. This Creed is founded on the first article, the belief in an Almighty supernatural power, or God. This article I consider to be founded on falsehood and sophistry, and, of course, all the others. But willing to see what every one bas to say in behalf of his opinions, and having had them' recommended by you as something out of the common, I determined to examine them, and to give you my opinions as to their real merit. This I have done; and I find them ill deserving the encomiums you bestowed upon them. In the first paragraph, the Bishop discovers the weakness of his cause, when be calls in the aid of universal opinion. Experience bath often proved, that universal opinions may be erroneous; consequently they can be no proof: it is not the number of those who support an opiuion, that give it an air of authenticity ; but the knowledge which the parties have of the subject on wbich they decide. That the majority of mankind have not sufficient knowledge to decide on this subject, is fully evident. But they have ever considered the decisions of others sufficient, without examing themselves, or attempting to ascertain whether those who decided for them had pot other views than to elucidate truth. A few have always undertaken to decide for the many; self-interest directed these few to decide after a certaiu manner; the many abided by it; and thus the partial opinions of a few interested individuals, have become the opinions of the multitude. But the eye of the philosopher penetrates deeper. Something more than vague declamation, popular opinion, or specious argument is required to convince him of the truth of a disputed and difficult problem. The Bishop next proceeds to notice "many wonderful things;" and because he does not understand how these things should be as he sees them, he adduces them as proofs of his favourite phantom : thus he makes bis want of knowledge on one subject serve to cover his ignorance on another; and be imagines that he has proved the existence of a God or supernatural power, merely because he cannot comprehend how natural powers could produce the phenomena which surround him! But, after having imagined that there must be a being, a something above pature, he is still compelled to return to pature, for materials of wbich to compose it. He saw the superiority wbich the mind of man gave him over other animals, and to exaggerate the qualities which com
posed, or resulted from the mind, to the utmost stretch of bis imagination, was his only aim. And this done, be vainly presumes that he has discovered and described bis God; for he commences bis next paragraph in the following style of assurance: “Such then is the nature of God.” But here the Bishop ended his enquiry. He built his God with qualities found to combine in an imperfect state, and he did not see that when attributed to a divinity in an all-perfect state, they must destroy each other.
You have now, Sir, a few of my reasons for not believing in supernaturals. If you can remove these reasons, if you can remove the objections I bave stated, you will confér a lasting benefit on your profession; for if not removed, I shall continue to war against the Priest, as the supporter of the most useless and mischievous of all useless and mischievous crafts. If such a God as you preach exists, it falls on you to prove it; all I can do, is to examine, and to refute, if I consider them unfounded, the arguments you may adduce; for the "onus probandi” falls on the person who affirms, not on him who denies. Your religion is built on the belief of a supernatural God; after the most laboured examination, I cannot find any proof of such an existence; consequently, I cannot believe in it. Prove that your God exists, and I will support theistical opinions, as warmly as I now oppose them and you.
“ Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; iny country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
Tallington Park, 1824. SPAIN has again fallen! The tyrants of the world are again triumphant; and another preeedent is recorded in the annals of despotism, to justify other invasions, which the enemies of man, may think necessary for the security of the monarchi. cal principle. Yes, the bloody tragedy has been performed,