« AnteriorContinuar »
priests; and until they are men enough so to live, they will be what they are, mere children in the leading-strings of a priest as their nurse, who takes care that they shall never reach manhood wbilst they respect him as a guide.
But the “infamous publicatious,” Parson Justice Parsons ! In what are they infamous? They publish lies or truths. If lies, why do you fear them? why do you not expose them? If truths, wby infamous? Come, Sir, this is the whole of the question between us, and mere abusive epithets will not change its character. What can more become you, as a pastor of a flock, even if they be mere geese, than to shew them, that I am a real enemy, and that my publications are really a publication of lies. It is thus, that I deal with whoever will join my flock of truth-seekers: and mere goose-like bissing neither alarms nor confounds us. We are ever cool and collected to examine whatever you or any other goose-driver can say against us. I do not only tell them, that the Bible is an infamous publication; but I say, “ if you cannot see it, bring me a Bible and I will explain it lo you.” Why cannot you do so by my publications.
See what a pretty figure you and Mr. Harker make before John Vicary! All that you can say in the way of instruction is: “Oh! John! do not give yourself to the wicked one:" without a word of explanation as to wbąt you mean by the wicked one: without a word that can shew him to be in an error; without a word of instruction of any kind. And there is his master Harker! sending him to you for correction and instruction, and confessing that he has not learving enough to dispute a simple question of truth or falsehood with him!
This same Harker, who is the proprietor of the Sherborne mercury, the most contemptible provincial dewspaper that I have seen, or that I can suppose to exist in Englaud: a paper wholly edited with the scissors, as we say in London of pirates and plagiarists ; this same Harker, just after Richard Hassell had made a defence at the bar of the Old Bailey Sessions Court, which equally surprised bis friends and his enemies for its pith and excellence: this same Johnny Harker put a paragraph in his paper to say, that the said Richard Hassell was a very ignorant yoning man! This very ignorant young man has not left bis ellow in Dorsetshire, and goes on fair, soon to be one of the brightest and most learned men in existence. Already he assures me, that he has a very longing to come in contact again with his old Vicar, John Davis, with you, John Parsons, with Parson
Justice Venables of Buckland, and with a few more such, in your neighbourhood. John Vicary would be quite enough for you, did not his youth and situation preclude him from exhibiting the necessary independence. Oh! how it delights me, to see these mere boys with my principles putting to flight in fright such old corrupt Christian GreyBeards as you and the Vicar of Cerne! Truly, I do enjoy the company and association of such young men!
John Vicary's picture of you, in the extract of his letter which I print, is most correct. No painter, not even Cruikshank himself, could add another stroke to complete the priest. First haughty, as an effort to frighten: then, when fairly met, quite humble and pathetic, all persuasion; but with feelings cloaked, that would at once have led John Vicary to the stake, if the power had existed. You, priests, are the realities of the character wbich you give to your devil: black, base, and treacherous: furious with power: canting in its absence: cajoling when cajolery is necessary to carry a purpose: but when you have the victim at your altar, you riot on bis agonies with the most hellish delight! Thou! thou! John Parsons! art one of the WICKED ONES”! says,
TO MR. GEORGE HARRIS, PRIEST TO THE
IDOL JEHOVAH, MINISTERING TO THAT
Dorchester Gaol, December 12
the Year Proper to sing Idolatry's SIR,
Dirge. SOME time in the early part of the last year, yon published a sermon, the text of which was, that the orthodox or Trinitarian Christianity was the cause of the Deism and Atheism that prevailed; and you modestly asserted, that a fair examination of Unitarian Christianity was sufficient to recall those to participate of it whom Trinitarianism and, Orthodoxy bad driven to Deism and Atheism, or to a general infi
delity towards every kind of Christianity! In the notes published with your sermon, you made several extracts from 6. The Republican,” doubtless, with a view to support your doctrine. In No. 8 of Vol. VIII, 1 addressed a letter to you, shewing the impossibility of your bringing back an individual to any kind of Christianity, who had once acquired sufficient knowledge to renounce it: and in a little ebullition of feeling, I said, that I would not only strip you naked, but skin you, for putting forth sucb a palpable untruth. This assertion seems to have offended you; but every one except yourself must bave read it as an innocent figurative expression in reprobation of an assertion which I knew to be false: that it was rather meant to operate upon your nerves than upon your skin: and that all that was meant by it was exposure; in which, you bave given me every proof, that I have succeeded, by not giving proof of your first assertion, and in the evasion of every serious senteuce with which I opposed it.
It is near a year since I was informed, that you had announced your intention from the pulpit to reply to my letter and to others addressed to you by the Trinitarians. I take all these matters very easy: they do not even raise a curiosity in me: so I made no enquiry about your reply, assured, that I had friends in your neighbourhood who would soon acquaint me of its appearance. Early in October, my Manchester Agent bought and sent me a copy. I read it through, found that my name and letter to you was but slightly noticed, and concluded, that the best thing I could do with your pamphlet was, to endeavour to turn it into the half a crown that it had cost me. I sent it to London for this purpose, and never felt even an inclination to potice it. Since then, some of the yet unchristianized Materialists of Bolton have sent me a copy, fearful that I had noo seen it, and have expressed an anxiety to have it noticed by me. In this communication they bave assured me of the truth of what I asserted about the stripping and skinning, that there is not one known Materialist converted by your preaching in Bolton; that for want of more instructive lectures, in attending to which they might occupy their time, they have attended yours; but, after two years attendance, still remain Materialists. I was as certain, as of my own existence, that such was the case, and needed not that inquiry which you have said that I should have first made before I denied your assertion. And now that I have begun to comply with the wish of my Bolton friends to notice your pamphlet, I will
give you some further grounds and reasons on which my denial was made.
As I intend to be all meekness and good nature in this letter, I will inform you, that my Bolton friends.speak with the highest praise of your general liberality, and of the great good you have done in Bolton, by exciting an enquiry amoug the Trinitarians wbich can never be appeased so long as they remain Trinitarians. When you have made them Unitarians, I will advance them towards ZEROTARIANISM. There is a new name for a new sect. It may please some weak minds better than Atheism, and for aught I know may be a better expression of the relation in which we Materialists stand towards you Unitarians and Trinitarians. Zerotarianism is Notarianism. It makes your God all that can be made of him, a mere cipher: a word or sign that stands for nothing. You Unitarians and Trinitarians are in reality all Zerotarians. Not one of you know any thing more about a God or Gods than an infant of twelve months old. I am serious, Mr. Harris, and it is with great delight, that I have found out, that I and you and all mankind are in reality the same sort of Atheists as we were at a year old. If you know any thing more about God or Gods than you did when you were a year old, I most respectfully ask you to communicate that knowledge to me. And if you find that you cannot communicate such knowledge, I as respectfully entreat you to cease from preaching that about one God which is evidently false, or evidently not within your knowledge. The God which you preach is but au idol. Your religion is but idolatry. I give you my one plain and all sufficient proof, that intelligence is a result of animated matter and not a power per se, or of itself. Have you a counter proof? If you have, you will assuredly produce it: if you have not, you can no longer honestly preach even one intelligent God. There, Sir, that is a complete refutation of every sentence that every Unitarian has published about God. You refer me to the lectures of a Mr. Russell Scott of Portsea, wbo, I am informed, has disembodied the Devil: but I bave done more than Mr. Scott, I have disembodied both God and Devil. And I now call upon you, or any other tarian, again to embody this your God. But if Mr. Scott has disembodied the devil, you cannot separate the stories about embodied devils from the general story of Jesus Christ. He is continually brought into a warfare with embodied devils. Your rejection of embodied devils is one proof that you and Mr. Scott are not honest Christians : one proof that your Christianity is, what I have said, a mere
disguise. An embodied devil is one of the heroes of the New Testament, and if you reject one part, you spoil the dra
Every sensible man in this Island has given up the notion of a personified devil: but the writers of your Gospels were not sensible, but very ignorant men.
It is one of the greatest and most lamentable scandals of the day, that the intelligence of this age should worship a tale got up by the inost ignorant and most depraved part of the Grecians, above seventeen hundred years ago.
Christians scout the moral pbilosophy of the better part of the Greeks, and adhere to the most stupid and most detestable fable that emanated from the worst part of them!
To give you one proof, that this fable is of Grecian origin, I will observe, that had such a person as Jesus been a Jew, and so lived and so died in Judea, he had never been called Christ. There is no word in the Hebrew language that resembles the word Christos. It is purely Greek: the characters of wbicb are Xplotoc. Great stress was laid upon the words which composed the name of a God among the ancient idolators, and here we find the cross, or X, the first letter of this name, which accounts to me for much of the story about Christ crucified. The Jews never uttered the name of their God in common conversation, agreeable to their third commandment; but spake of it as the unutterable name.
. Nor is it at all probable, that the Jews would have called for the crucifixion of a malefactor: a death unknown to their law and customs. In the Gospels, the high Priest and many other Jews, even one of the thieves said to have been crucified with him, are made to call Jesus either Christ or the Christ. Now, can you shew, that such a word as Christ was in use among the Jews? To put the words Jesus Christ, or Jesus the Christ into the mouth of a Jew or Jew-' ish historian, is about as wise as it would be for an English historian of this day, when writing of George the Fourth, to say the king le roi, that is to mention his title both in English and French at the same time. There is another point
wbich is a strong proof, that Christianity is wholly of Grecian origin. The names of all the characters mentioned as its first preachers are either Greek or Latin : but had they been Jews, would it not have followed as a consequence, that the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament would have been written in Hebrew ? And can you show, that any one of them originally existed in tbe Hebrew language?
I conjecture the origin of this double name Jesus Christ