« PreviousContinue »
kingdom of the Deist Frederick. Has / which it was formed have been abanthe Christianity of the present mo- doned. No notice, as far as I have narch retrieved its destiny? I shall not been able to discover, has been taken notice the pretext of arrondisement: of it in any of our newspapers, or It would be only the plea of universal other periodical publications. monarchy in its extreme; no arrondise- ciety with such liberal and enlarged ment could be complete, but the cir- views, could not fail, in my opinion, cumference of the globe. In my next to meet with generous support were its I shall offer with your perinission, a few intentions made suthiciently public, and remarks on the pretension of Russia to why these should be kept in reserve, Poland.
JUVENIS. if the association now exists, is a pro
blem that seenis very difficult to solve.
It would gratify many of your readers, THE PILLORY.
if any of your correspondents could SIR.---The remarks which lately ap- give some information respecting this peared in your journal on the subject society, which might, with great proof the pillory, do equal credit to the priety, and withont any departure from head and to the heart of Benevolus. its original views.connect the subject of It is rather extraordinary in these en- the pillory with the other important lightened times, when we hear so much reformis for which it was instituted. about converting the heathen, emanci- While, however, it may be said, that pating the slaves, and encouraging the I have been liberal in my censure Bible Societies, that scarcely one pub- of our public writers for neglecting lic writer should be found, who pos- this vital subject, let me not be ac. sessed the courage, or the inclination, cused of partiality.--From this general to reprobate a practice so disgraceful reprehension I am glad to find there is to our law, and marked with so many one exception, who has done the subfeatures of a barbarous policy. The ject anple justice, though his modesty, public press every where teems with which is always a proof of talent, haso idle and contradictory speculations as led him to conceal his name. I allude to the probable result of the discus- to the observations on the pillory, sions at Vienna; whether the system which appeared in the last number of of aggrandisement attributed to the the periorical work, entitled the Emperor Napoleon, is to be adopted Pamphletecr. They appear to me as the law of nations, or whether that excellent, and the writer has discussed state of things which existed previous the subject in so masterly a manner, to the French Revolution, is to be re- that I shouki like to see the whole of stored. These and some contemptible bis remarks published in your Register. matters as to a new order of knight. But as this may not be altogether couie hood, are the only topics for which sistent with your other arrangements, the people of this highly cultivated I have subjoined to this letter a short nation seem at present to have any extract, to which I hope you will relish, or on which the pen of the phi- the more readily give insertion that its lanthropist or of the philosopher is en- whole tendency is to inforce and illusgaged. The amelioration of our laws, trate the arguments of Benerolus, who the state of our prisons, the remains so strenously and so laudably contended of that rudeness which still pervades against the existence of a mode of pumany of our customs, and presents a nishment possessing so many features of formidable barrier to civilization, are savage cruelty and barbarity. points that few writers appear inter
Yours, &c. A. B. ested in, nor which have found many partizans among the people. Some “ It may indeed be said, that some of years ago, I heard something of the the crimes thus visited are well deservexistence of a society in the nietropolis ing the utmost fury of an enraged peofor the diffusion of knowledge on the ple, and that there is no punishment punishment of death, and the improvedenounced against them by our penal ment of prison discipline ; but I have code at all equal to the darkness of their yet to learn that any thing was effected guilt. Be it so. That affords no reaby this institution, or if the objects for son why the defects of the law should
be made up by the assistance of popular | arrayed against their authority; and a tumult, or its necessities supplied by competition is ercited where it is the violence and outrage. In short, the noblest policy to conciliate. In the pillory is in direct opposition to the latter, the people act the part of unprinciple upon which all laws are foun-authorized erecutioners, and become faded, and inust serve, as far as its infiu- miliar with the most brutal of pleasures, ence extends, to undermine the founda- the delight in pain, the horrible laugh tion of their authority. They were erect- of demoniac exultation at the sufferings ed to control the unbridlei passions of of a follow being. They who look on man, to take from individuals the power ihe tortures inflicted at a bull-baiting of revenge, to render punishments the or a cock-fight with a virtuous horror, determinate effect of firm and substan- unless they measure out their disgust tial enaciments, insteail of fluctuating according to law, should feel a much with the rage and the sympathies of stronger indignation at the sight of a individuals, to prevent parties from fellow crcature set up to be pelted al being judges of their own injuries, to most to death amidst the drunken accla humanize society by takin from the mation and infernal revelry of the low strongest the pow?r of inflicting arbi. est and most depraved of our species trary penalties by uliich it was reduced And if thus pernicious in its immedito a state of perpetual warfare, and to ate influence, it is not less dangerous in impress the mind with are by the its example. Those whom you suffer to weight and the soicmnity of their deci- riot on the side of the law's may soon learn sions. But this strange infliction ac- to oppose them with similar outrages. tually rererses all these benign inten- By, allowing them thus to supply the tions which the collective wisdom of ages deficiency of the laugiver, we educate has gradually matured ; it proceeds on them for rerolution and carnage. We antisocial principles, and tends to bring give them arms to be awakened against us back to our state of original barbar- our bosoms, whenever the breeze of disism. We have all been taught that the content shall sweep them. The sacred tirrone of justice should be ex- hands that have learned to throw bricks alled far above the passions and the and filth on the criminal, may erercise ever-finctuating sympathies of man; the same discipline on the judges, if they that its voice should be as certain as it should be so unfortunate as to incur is auful, and its sentences untainted their displeasure. with any of the grosser particles that It is sufficiently melancholy to see move in a lowlier atmosphere. We have such a monument of savage life standing Tearnt that while increasing wisdom uninjured amidst the trophies of goodshould improve our laws, their actual ness and of virtue ; but it is still more dictates should be received during their offensive to see it regarded as a pillar of eristence with a noble and generous our legislative system. It saddens us obedience. But here, in opposition to to see riots at all existing in a well all these marims, we see in them a regulated state; but we are doubly principle which tends to their own provoked by the strange anomaly which destruction, a secret cancer which by makes the laws appear to excite them. insensible degrecs is eating away the We regret to see a popular demagogue rital principle on which their vigor lead his followers to confuston and disand their majesty depend. A judg- order; but our vexation has no bounds 90nt of the pillory is the worst of when a judge is compelled by the duties their enemies. If the mob applaud, of his office to give up the reigns to the they arc set openly at defiance; and if frenzy of the shameless and the degras on the other hand they break out into ded." «qiolence, the peace they should preserve is broken, the personal feelings they should subdue are excited, and the bar
@DIPUS JUDAICUS. barous spirit of man unsoftened by civilization which they were formed to The Ancients searched for Truth; the Moderne represe, is aroused by their powerful
pretend they possess it.-VOLxBY. sanction. In the former case, the best Mr. COBBETT.When I sent you smolions of the heart erę injudiciously my two former letters, I endeavoured
to call your readers, not only to con- 1 explained to me the design and intensider the situation of Mr. G. Houston, lion of its author; since which I have bui also to request they would examine had a sight of the book. It has fully into the liberty of the press in this answered my expectation, and again conntry; on whose altar that writer is I say displays a fund of prodigious now a victim; for until this “thinking erudition. The following short er“ nation” really understand his situation, tract will shew its intention, and deand the motives for which he is punished, sign, “ I contend (preface page ii.) that he will not be the last that will suffer in the Ancient Jews, like other nations its cause,
of antiquity, had their esoterit, and I knew I touched a sore place, when iheir exoteric doctrines ; they
00:I attempted to shew to your readers cealed the former under innumerable the discordant opinionis entertained of types and symbols, the meaning of that old book for which Eaton, Hous- which is generally unknown among ton, and thousands more may be sent their descendents. It is the object ci to prison. I knew that I might be a my book to explain the hidden sense trinitarian, a unitarian, a Southcotearian, of many passages in the Hebrew Script or any other foolarian ; but that I must ture.” Page 22, he says, “I seculcet not bring the contradictions, and (what "
“that Moses was learned in all the wisthey call) the arguments of one tribe to “ dom of the Epicalis, and leypect is combat the whims of the other, without“ find traces of ihan wisten in his works. exciting the suspicions of those who " 'l he learned among the ancient type call themselves Just! But I have done “ dans were pure theists, as Cuixouth to; and while I delight in the deed, 1 “ has proveel. 'They were deeply skilled smile at their suspicions and contempt. " in the sciences: but they caretully Before I reply to your correspondent “ concealed their musteries inder imJustus, permit me to introduce the origin “ werable syubols and allegories. May of my acquaintance with the work in we not look then for the salle thing question. You must know there is a " in the writings which are ascribed to town designated by one of the most “ the Jewish Langiver. It is what I corrupt of his time as
“ the toyshop
“ bave done, and I submit to the judga of Europe; whose inhabitants, (I speak “ment of a few individuals, the result of generally) in my estimation, rank lower my researches." for liberality of sentiment, general in- Of the 250 copies only, which I stated formation, and Christian charity, than to have been printed, 100 now remain any other on the surface of the globe. in the bands of the publisher. You will, The scale by which I estimate them is, therefore, judge whether I have been unthat in and about the place, there are fair in any former communication. As to the remains of half-mutilated houses, quibbling about its method of publication because their inhabitants opposed the and circulation, it would be a ridiculous origin of our war with the French Re-waste of time. I wish a copy was in the public, burnt by Church and King hands of every person in the kingdom; mobs; and that in those receptacles of for Sir Wm. Drunmond would then make resort, where its people go to drink a better and more practical use of his mildale and talk wisdom, there are abilities fiud learning. With regard to scrolls inscribed with legible English the cruel bint about a prosecution, for characters
Jacobins admitted blasphemy, and the pillory, its author, “ here." I was leaving this town last like D. J. Eaton, will receive more praise, Sutimer in the Mail, and in passing and of a better description, than it be one of those houses whose uniserable were to be bespangled with orders and appearance appeals, in silent and pa- titles by every King in Christendom. thetic language, to the frigid faculties, 0, Sir, it is cruel? You kuow it is, to and would bush to silence their un- talk of law in a country where it is manly prejudices, if reflection ever an- possible a picked jury may be closeu imated their torpid brains; when I by those who fatten on the wages of cotsoon discovered from the observations ruption, and who delight in persecuting of a gentleman in the coach, that he such as attempt to nndeceive the people, was the father of the engraver of ibe As to the writers, whose books I liave plates, in the Edipus Judaicus. He fainly quoted, being Sir W. D. ha roself,
I guess no man in his senses will main-1 what principle of rule or right any one "tain so wild a position."--- Indeed, from dares to interfere and prescribe the the wording of your Correspondent's inethod by which another is to exerletter, I do not believe he is serious cise his judgment. That a deal of in his assertion. But I challeuge him mischief has been the result of this into the proof; for Candidus, one of the terference, no one, acquainted with three, tells Sir Wm. Drummond that lie the history of his own country, much prefers the old version best, and con- more with the history of the world, can sures him for ridiculing the Bible. Sup-deny; and whether the same quantum pose, however, I am wrong in my opi- of mischief would have taken place nion of the author of the dipus Ju- provided the bible had never been daicus ; suppose he is the story teller, the known, is, in my opinion, difficult to fool, and the vain jackdaw, they wish prove. At any rate, the system of to represent him, what " necessity" was priestcraft las bad a sufficient trial; there for this great and mighty parson, and it would be more becoming in the Christian Advocate, to notice his those who' profess such anxiety for the production? Why did he make such circulation of the bible, to let it take endeavours to obtain a copy, he best its chance. Let them, at any rate, knows how? Surely, the “ pious, think shew their disinterestedness, by giving “ ing people of this country,” could up the pounds, shillings, and pence not have their “ minds tainted” by an it produces; or take pay only in that octavo book of not quite 500 pages, “ of manner, and in those quantities, which " the most hollow and fallacious de- those who receive their assistance can " scription." But these are the rules agree and afford to give. the hypocrites act upon. I was a boy should find that they do not thrive so when Thomas Paine's works were pub- well under this systein, I hope they lished; but I recollect the writer was will recollect, there will be more manat first held too contemptible for no- liness in their adopting the following tice, and the “ friends to social order, maxim, than in returning to the old “ and our holy religion,” were told they practice: had nothing to fear. After a while, the Sonic other scheme must occupy their brain ; Attorney General interfered, who got a For those who once have eat musl eat again. jury to condemnPaine's books, and then the
VARRO. canting junto asserted they were answered and refuted. “ Read our side, (said they,)“ see what Bishop. Watson says.”) ON RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION. So says Justus; he calls the author of the Cdipus Judaicus a vain jackdaw; tells the people to read the book ; “ Advise, but force not.” (which he knows cannot be had), ex
ST. BERNARD's Letters. horts them to attend to the Christian SIR.-.-Marmontel, in his Bellisarius, Advocate, and censures those who take [the fifteenth chapter of which, I would part against him. Come, come, Justus, particularly recommend to the perusal give up your prejudices. Let the "Si- of every person who has not read it] * cilian Knight and British Privy Coun- says, “Truth cannot fail to triumph, but “ cellor," interpret the Bible his own " it must not be by the arm of flesh. way. You may depend on it I will let “ By putting the sword of Vengeance the Archbishop's Chaplain, (who ap- “ into the hand of TRUTH, you entrust pears blessed with all those amiable “ ERROR with it also. The very posqualities that adorned his predecessor" session of that sword, will always be in the ever memorable time of William" deemed a sufficient authority to wield Penn) put what interpretation on it he " it without mercy, and PersecuTION pleases. Every one that reads the “ will always be on the side of the bible may undoubtedly find both in- " strongest. ” struction and delight; but he will be How simple, and yet how forcible is more likely to become a rational being, the mode of reasoning adopted by this if he be allowed to put his own con- beautiful writer.
If kings were supstruction upon it, and interpret it his posed to be God's vicegerents upon earth, own way. I should like to know by and, in that capacity were allowed to
commit whatever enormities they pleased, not examined history for myself; for in defence of what they considered, or being of a curious and speculative turn, were told by their priests was the truth, is I have made myself acquainted with most it not evident, from the diversity of denominations of Christians at present sentiments of different sovereigns, and existing in the Christian world; and after the opposite persuasions of their various having carefully examined their tenets, teachers, that they must necessarily, at one studied their prejudices, and observed time, and in one country, be punishing their conduct, I do affirm, that howtheir subjects for entertaining opinions ever tame and tolerant they may be, which, at another time, and in another while low in the world, they all possess country, were deemed perfectly ortho- the latent seeds of persecution. These dox. Does not this prove incontestably, only want fostering, by the genial that by once admitting the principle, warmth of power, to shoot forth with that the magistrate is to defend Truth, an enthusiastic fury, compounded of he will much oftener be found defend- envy, ambition, pride, hatred, and faing ERROR? Every one will easily agree, natic zeal; as if it were commissionert by that all systems cannot be right. “ Er- heaven. I would except the Quakers “ror,” says the same author, “ has an from the charge of being likely to evince
immensity of space, and Truth is like a persecuting spirit towards other sects, “ a mathematical point in the prodigious though they are capable of doing it as “ void.” Now, although every one claims to their own people ;* but tlie Friends of that point to himself, is it not palpable, the present day are not a religious society, as Truth is one, and Error multifarious, like the Weslian or Whitfieldian Methothat the greater portion of religious disis. They are an Aristocratical civil murders, barbarities, robberies, and in- community; a trading company, and a set carceration, must have been in defence of respectable, industrious, economical, of Error rather than of Truth. How money-getting disciplinarians; who posmodest, how humble, ought such con- no more practical religion than the siderations to make us? How cautious members of the Church of England. 1 ought these reflections to render us, of But to return to the sentiment of arrogating to ourselves the sole possession Franklin, respecting the early Christians. of the truth, when we find that thou- It was shewn in my last, that they were sands who think different from us, claim persecuted by the Romans, at the instithe same happiness? Ought it not to gation of their priests, in the same manner make us ditfident of ourselves, and for- as the Deists are molested by us, at the bearing towards others? Those who have instance of our priests, on account of the studied human nature, will have perceived simplicity of their tenets. I cannot illusthat this violent animosity and furious trate the subject better, than by quoting persecuting zeal, does not arise so much Justin Martyr, one of the earliest and from a generous love of virtue, or an most learned writers of the Eastern enthusiastic admiration of abstract truth, Church, born of heathen parents, eduas from the inordinate thirst for power | cated a pagan, and who was a platonic which pervades the heart of every hu- philosopher, previous to his becoming a man being. We wish others to think as Christian, He resided at Rome, during we do, and the greater part of us would the reign of Antonius Pius; and upon if we had the power
, compel them to a persecution breaking out against the do it. The sword of religious persecno Christiaus, he presented an Apology in tion is an instrument upon which every their belialf, pointing out in a very able party has played its tune, when raised to manner, the impropriety and absurdity power. The celebrated Dr. Franklin re- of religious persecution; which A pology marks, that if we look into history, for caused the Emperor to send a letter to “ the character of the ancient Christians, the States of Asia, not only forbidding “ we shall find few who have not in their the Christians to be persecuted, but en “ turn been persecutors, and complainers joining, " that if any one bereaster shall
The primitive Chris- go on to inform against this sort of " tians thought persecution extremely “ wrong in the pagans, but practised it « on one another." I could easily give Ratclift Munthily Meeting, for being susreta
* See the case of Thoinas Fuster, disowned by sredit to this assertion, even if I bad of bulieving in 0.VIX Use God.