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In Leeds, too, let him fail,
Knows not truth when its shown.
In print, a grave rogue,
Should be kept well in vogue.
His poor paper, reject,
And call heaven a bubble.
MISS FRANCES WRIGHT.
To the Editor of " The Lion."
SIR-The following extract from the Dublin Evening Post, is I think worthy insertion in the LION:
"Extract of a letter from New York, dated April 30, 1829:Miss Frances Wright has been in New York for two or three months past, giving lectures on knowledge, in opposition to the Christian religion, and the Yankees here say, that if ever religion tottered from its foundation, it does so at this moment. Miss W. was born in Dundee. Her eloquence surpasses every thing in former times: those that have heard the great Mrs. Siddons yield the supremacy to the former. Miss W. is editor of a weekly paper entitled the Free Enquirer, in conjunction with R. D. Owen, son of Owen the philanthropist, and a Mr. Jennings. It meets with a rapid sale, and they are generally obliged to throw off a second series. Miss W. contends, that no republic can exist, unless education is equally divided among the rich and the poor, even where the fanaticism and superstition of the present day are thrown off. There is no lecture of her's but can be listened to even by the greatest fanatic, with pleasure. Her arguments are the strongest, the most forcible, the most impressive and conclusive, that human imagination can invent. I confess, I myself felt a little startled, and begin to consider whether it can be a delusion which pervades the civilized world. Miss Wright, however, has met with powerful opposition. Just before locating herself here, every effort was made by the priestgoing community to prevent the transportation of the mail on Sunday. Innumerable petitions pro and con were presented to Congress-it was referred to a Select Committee, and that ComNo. 1.-Vol. 4.
mittee reported, that the Government of the United States was not a religious but a civil Government-that it would be an infringement upon the rights of the community to suppress the Sunday mail; and that while it acknowledges one sect of religionists, it tolerates another sect, viz. the Jews, who enjoyed equal rights with any other denomination."-Dublin Evening Post.
The mission of Miss Frances Wright is one of the few exhilarating occurrences, that cheers and enlivens the rugged path of the truly philosophic mind, amidst the surrounding clouds of religious bigotry, and the mania of sectarianism. The manly, independent, and unfettered decision of the United States' Congress, speaks volumes in proof of that noble maxim, that the state has nothing more to do with religion than to protect every sect in their just rights as citizens; and as a great emperor said, " That the empire of the law ends, where the empire of the conscience begins; neither the law nor the prince must infringe on this empire." In nothing is the ignorant bigotry of the Christian more amply exemplified than in seeking the arm of the law to protect his sabbath. The meaning is evident. It is thus, "Give us every seventh day to plead for our system, and prohibit the people from attending to other things, and we may then engross their attention and enslave their minds."
The fact is, they have no other foundation for their sabbath. We may defy them to prove a single command in their whole book of inspiration, as an authority for keeping their sabbath. The Jews alone have the law of keeping the sabbath in the Bible. The direction of the Master, whom the Christian pretends to follow, is directly opposed to their mode of keeping the sabbath, "When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are, they love to pray standing in the synagogues. But when thou prayest, enter into thy closet," &c. The Christians follow their Master's direction when it suits their convenience ; were they to follow it in the latter case, the trade of public preaching and praying would be ended.
The Select Committee of Congress very wisely determined, that the granting any exclusive privileges in keeping the Christian sabbath, would be opposed to the Jewish sabbath, and it would be hostile to the Sabbatarian and Freethinking Christians; as also to thousands, who know that it is "lawful to do good on the sabbath-day," and what is wrong on one day, is wrong on any day. It is impossible for the government of any country to grant exclusive privileges to the mania of religious sectarianism, without infringing on the rights of the community. Bristol, June 6, 1829.
E. K. D.
Delivered before the Society of Universal Benevolence, in their Chapel, Founders' Hall, London,
On Sunday, Nov. 19, 1826,
On Truth.-PART II.
By the Rev. ROBERT TAYLOR, A. B. Orator of the Society.
MEN AND BRETHREN-Your good remembrance, (yours I mean, whose regular attention has observed the method of these Discourses, and seen the entire system of morals, established upon the basis of mathematical demonstration;) will call to mind, that our last stage brought us to the consideration of the nature of truth:-which grand mathematical principle, (for it is a mathematical principle, and nothing else,) comprehends and determines all the proprieties and fitnesses of moral conduct, appertaining to our powers of communication.
Within the limits of that Discourse, it was competent to enter upon so extensive a subject, and to carry your convictions, (as we seemed to do) to the correction of the many erroneous conceits, and to the exposure of the incalculable ignorance of mankind, upon this subject, especially of the religious part of mankind, who always were and always will be, the most ignorant;-and who, by the necessity of their religion, whatever it be, are cut off from the possibility of attaining to this perfection, as necessarily as the blind are cut off from skill in colours, the dumb, from eloquence, and the deaf, from music.
The faculty which has never been developed by exercise, at last perishes altogether from the mind in which it had been originally implanted. And the faculty of perceiving truth, which, as it is that which distinguishes our nature and raises us above the level of the brute creation, so it is of more delicate and exquisite fabric, and held by too frail a tenure, to endure the boisterous counter-action of any overbearing impressions, and must necessarily, by degrees, yield, melt, decline, and resolve it away-before the withering winter and the blasting fog of cloud-invested faith!
So that of millions of religious fanatics, it would be no paradox to predicate, that they could not tell the truth, if they were to try at it. The faculty itself is quite gone from them.
Philosophy, is grieved, but not irritated at the contemplation of this fatal issue of human imbecility: and only raises her hope and her exertion in more strenuous effort, to counteract in time, the tendency to this fatal lethargy of the mind: by calling upon
all who have hitherto escaped its influence, or who are still but young in the Circean cup, to bestir themselves in time, and shake the freezing sluggishness from the mind. Awake! awake! have all your wits about you! summon them to the gates that let in knowledge. Be clever men, 'tis the first, the last, the all comprehensive injunction of moral righteousness.-Be clever men; or say your prayers, and go to bed for ever.
Under this summons, I feel that you are at home now in the competent recollection that, we have demonstrated to you, that truth is in words, sentiments, and speculations, what justice is in actions; that its presidency is over all the means and powers of human communication; that it is, in relation to our faculty of communicating what we know, what science is in relation to the faculty of acquiring knowledge, the perfection and excellence of all that is harmonious, beautiful, and pleasurable.-Without science, we could have no perception to ourselves of the knowledge we had attained, and the furniture of the mind would be thrown together in wild disorder, and derangement: and without the corresponding faculty, (which is that of truth) to bring forth the knowledge we have attained, our science would be useless and unprofitable.
"As lamps that burn
To light the dead, or warm th' unfruitful urn."
"Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter"-Thy knowledge would be nothing, (said the ancients) unless thou can'st cause another to know, what thou knowest.
To do this with accuracy and precision is the art of truth, To have a strong desire to do it, is the morality of truth. Not to be able to produce the impression on the mind of another, which we wish to produce, when the fault is on our side, is ignorance. To produce an impression which we ought not to have produced, in the place of the impression which we ought to have produced, is vice-Nature is abhorent to it-The faculty which she hath given to us is perverted from its intended use and end, whenever we do so. This definition will enable us clearly to determine the proprieties or improprieties of communication, and prevent our falling into the egregious blunder, of attributing vice, to the producing of an erroneous impression merely; or truth, to the statement itself, separately from the impression intended to be produced.
It will be evident, that in innumerable cases, the impression of mind which we ought to produce upon the person to whom we communicate, may be such as will and must deceive him. For truth, is reason appearing in words: as justice, is reason exhibited in actions. And as we say, "Summun jus, summa injuria"-An extreme degree of justice would be the highest degree of injustice and there could be no justice, where there was no reason.