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offered to act upon their instructions, and that this last, this one more effort, to try what further prosecutions and sentences of three years imprisonment would do, was undertaken at the e.cpress recommendation of the Bishops; but that these very Bishops, on witnessing the effect produced by the defences made by CAMPION, HASSEL, CLARKE, and HALEY, cried out to the Ministers, to stay all further proceedings, for the sake of the poor expiring Gods, who were worked in. to a raging fever by the proceedings intended to cure and save them, and were likely, if such treatment were continued, to be sent out of existence in fits of madness!
Tbese are your Gods, Old Bailey! this your religion ! -As soon as I have told you that I shall enter on my sixth year of imprisonment, on the 16th of October, I will go to prayers, to your book of Common Prayer with notes.
I have reached page 154, or the Collect for Whitsunday, and have said something to the purpose about the ascension of Jesus on Ascension Day; but I will step back to ask a question or two further upon that subject. Hast thou yet discovered towards which sign of the Zodiac Jesus rose ? Caust thou yet say in wbat position heaven lies; for ups and downs are getting out of fashion with astronomers? Hast thou considered the distance of the first fixed star, between which and the earth heaven cannot be situated, or we should see the Gods, Goddesses, and Godlings, and their Swedenborgian Mansions ? Dost thou not know that some confounding infidels have calculated, that if the motion of Jesus had been as rapid as the rays of the sun, he could not yet have passed that part of thie planetary system which is visible by the aid of the telescope? Ye Christian Gods! and Christians! these are astounding questions to my, disposition to become a sincere believing Christian! The early Christians expected, that Jesas would return, as a comet returns in its orbit; but they know nothing of the extent of the elliptic curve he had to make, before he passed the planetary system; and fifty generations have passed in disappoinment of this second coming! Besides, he might have been molested in his passage, by a comet, and carried among the sinners of another world, to expiate their Christian propensity to crime. It is impossible for the most skilful astrovomer to calculate his return to this minute and insignificant orb which we inhabit; therefore, ye Christians! ye bad better not expect it.
The art of flying has long been a speculation, in this and
other countries. One of your Bishops ventured to say, that the time would come, when a man, about to take a journey, would call for his wings, with as little concern as he bad been accustomed to calls for his boots. I am of the Bishop's notion; but wings do not seem to be the precise thing for human flying. Some vestment sufficiently distended with gas, to make the bulk of the body lighter than the same bulk of atmosphere, seem to be the necessary thing. For this object, I propose a balloon cloak of silk, the lining of which sball be made to fit and fasten well on the body, whilst the outer part shall be so folded and gathered, as to admit of a sufficient distension for ascension. The hood of such a cloak may be so constructed as to contain a large volume of gas; but the body and sleeves, if sleeves can be introduced, with the hood, can certainly be made sufficiently capacious. Ask the Bishops, if they will consent to my making an escape from the Gaol Garden by this means. It will do one thing for
you; it will prove the practicability of the ascension of Jesus.
Other aids may be given to motion, after the principle of suspension in the atmosphere be accomplished, in imitation of wings and tail, or other mechanical means. The first object of ærostation is ascension from the earth; until that be done, nothing to the purpose is done. All spiritual discussions are flighty matters; and so much for this flight to improve the art of iyiug.
At page 155, you say, in a note: “ In every thought and action it would be well for us to put to ourselves this question, Is this the thought or action of one in whom Cbrist or the spirit of truth is dwelling? Can Christ or the spirit of truth be considered as animating us, or dwelling in us, whilst we so act or think ?” Did you put this question to yourself in all your sentences of fine and imprisonment upon Anti-Christians? Or with you, is the judge a distinct man from the Christian? As well as a spiritual and a carpal nature; have you a Christian and a judicial nature equally distinct? I wish you would answer some of my questions, that are put to a purpose; this would soon put your Christ or spirit of truth to the test.
In a note, at page 157, we are told, that “ the true Christian doctrine is this: that the sins of those who are conscious of their own unworthiness, who acknowledge that they have do colour to claim any recompence from God as matter of right, who are sensible that they have sinned, and who bumbly look up for pardop through the merits and media
tion of Jesus Christ, will be forgiven ; that their sins will not be imputed to (or brought into account against) them.” The true construction of wbich is, that he who has committed the most crime, and bas the highest sense of bis depravity, has the best chance of reward bereafter. This is a horrible doctrine, if it be that of the true Christian ; and we may not wonder at the abundance of crime, of every kind of vice, among them.
We are further told, that the honest man, “ who thinks he can stand upon his own merits,” and no man can be honest unless he bas, and acts upon, this seuse, cannot be a Christian, has no share in a Christian salvation. Did I believe the reality of your fictions about Heaven and Hell, I should certainly prefer the company, at least, of the latter, to that of the former place. Pope has written, that
an honest man is the noblest work of God;" Judge Bailey bas written, that God prefers the man who is most sensible of having committed crime. You are both wrong; but you, to physical add moral error. There is no God to be consulted, to be pleased or displeased, in the matter. Were there such a God as you paint, he would be an abominable God: —the prospects of mankind would be horrible indeed!
Following up your Christian elucidations, you tell us, that Ghost is Spirit. You might as well have said that Spirit is Ghost, for what we are the wiser. Tell us what spirit is. We are told, that God is Spirit; but tell us what a spirit is, that we may know something. Until you can do this, every man must remain, what every man has been, an Atheist. You are an Atheist, Judge Bailey; I will prove it to you indisputably, if you will come and sit a quarter of an hour with me.
I will tell you so, if ever I am again brought be. fore you in the Court of King's Bench. You are a Christian Atheist, which may be translated-a foolish Atheist. I am a rational Atheist, in saying, that I know notbing about Gods or Spirit; but in the misery wbich these empty ridiculous words bring upon mankind; therefore I detest and lament the use of such words.
At page 150, you contradict yourself. In commenting upon the third chapter of Jobu's Gospel, where it is said: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the ligbt, lest bis deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God." However applicable this migbt bave been from the
early Christian mythologist to the Pagan mythologist, it is not now in any case to be applied by the Christian. The Christian religion is now the only religion on the face of the earth that feareth the light. All others court examiration, or do not punish men for examining. Christianity alone bas now the merit of forbidding an enquiry into its origin and foundation. You cannot say, that I love darkness rather than light. You tremble lest my deeds and principles should come to light; and have used every means in your power to keep me in the shade. It is you, Christian Judge Bailey, and your fellow Christians, who see, that light is come into the world, and who love darkness rather than light, because your deeds are evil. The Court of King's Bench may be truly termed a Christian Pandemonium,
In your note on the foregoing extract, you say, 66. This is the condemnation,' i. e. 'perhaps,' (well might you say perhaps) this justifies it, this shews its propriety and reasonableness, that it is sin only that obstructs this belief: whoever has a good disposition, is ready to walk in God's.commandments, and to do his will, must be convinced: the proofs are so decisive, it is only where the disposition to examine and judge is obstructed by sinful habits and sinful propensities, that belief can be with beld.” This, from you, Christian Judge Bailey, is a wicked and abominable falsehood! You have done all that you could do, to forbid a fair examination and sound judgment of the Christian religion, and have here the audacity to tell us, that the proofs are so decisive in its favour, that a want of belief is a sinful want of examination! Woe to you, if Satan were not a fabled being, and if there were such a place as a hell for liars, hypocrites, and wicked men. I should like nothing better than a private interview, or a public discussion with you, to find what decisive proofs you cau adduce. We have none of them in your notes on the book of Common Prayer. I am not aware, that you have published any other book. Never did man more bonestly and more deliberately examine the origin, foundation, and character of the Christian religion, than I have done; and I proclaim, that there is not a word of truth in the words that describe its system.
First- There is no such a God, as the Trinity in Unity, nor any such Gods, as Jehovah, Jesus, and Holy Ghost, in existence, other than as fabled personages, as the Gods of the Pagans were personifically fabled.
Second-Such a nation as the Israelites of the first fourteen books of the Bible never inhabited any part of Asia
Minor, prior to the the Babylonish Colonization at Jerusalem. And it is altogether a question, whether such a people as the Israelites existed, or, if they did exist, where. There is further, no proof whatever, that the Jews w.ere descendants of this people of Israel. Such a people as the Jews, we have now in existence, and can trace them up to the colunization by Cyrus at Jerusalem; but no where beyond that point can we find a trace of them, other than as captives to the Persians. If the Jews descended from the Israelites, give us the origin of the epithet Jew, as one proof, and a most necessary, though most simple proof, of prior existence as a distinct nation.
Third.-No such a person as the Jesus titled Christ existed in Jerusalem or Judea as the books falsely called Gospels have fabled.
These are my tbree grand points in opposing the Christian Religion, and the fact, that I have condensed, and can maintain, these points, against all opposition; for I find none, is a fact in proof of an intense examination of the subject. What say you to these three grand points, Christian Judge Bailey ? I arraign you as a criminal before the iron bars of that window, wbich you have fixed for me. Here is a charge against you plainly stated; have you any thing to say in answer? Your silence will be received as a plea of guilty. And, by and by, I hope you will meet that punishment, wbich is your just due, for assisting to punish me in the absence of all crime; for an act, or a series of acts, most highly meritorious, most strictly virtuous, most publicly useful. It is my glory, a glory exceeding any that you can obtain here or hereafter, that I have been, and am now, punished for being honest. My very enemies are obliged to coufess so much. I had rather have to boast of this, than of all that a Wellington, or a Buonaparte, or a Judge Bailey can boast. And what a government! what must be the men or women who compose such a Government! that avows the necessity of punishing a nan for being honest, and in the ratio of bis honesty ?
I will give you the conclusion of the note under consideration, being as complete a piece of Christian drivelling as was ever put upon paper, or spoken by a Christian tongue: it is thus: “ If when our saviour has put into our hands the power of driving out Satan we do not choose to co-operate, but rather prepare ourselves to give him a welcome reception, we have no right to complain if we are worse off than if our Saviour had not given us this power.” The