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No. 6. VOL. 4.] LONDON, Friday, August 7, 1829. [PRICE 6d.
Bolton, August 3, 1829.
My reverend and brother Infidel apostle and Missionary, details so minutely the theological character and effects of our progress, that I necessarily fly to some other subject, to save the reader the tautology, which we have in some places imposed upon him. Our present mission must soon draw to a close; because the funds in hand for its support are nearly exhausted. We have not grace enough to travel as beggars, as other apostles have done. We cannot risk that imputation of vagabondage or vagrancy, which was characteristic of St. Paul and his compeers; because, the laws of this country would, and wisely too, send such characters to the gaol and its tread-mill. I aspire, on my own part, and I must sustain, on the part of Mr. Taylor, that condition, that appearance, and that carriage, which will challenge its propriety and fitness for the best company that this or any other country affords. I find Mr. Taylor has no talent for a pothouse, no grace for a barn, no oratory for the hedge-side, or market-place. To be seen, as what he really is, he must be seen surrounded with those appendages, which are to him the necessary stimulants to a display of his talents. He does not shine in low discussions, where there is no conflicting talent. His inspiration is drawn, and to be only drawn, from a well-dressed audience, and a respectable place of assembly, a splendid structure. I have perceived, that, on the stage of the theatre at Bolton, he possessed more oratorical powers than in the assemblyrooms of Leeds, Manchester, Ashton-under-Line, and Staley Bridge. Respectability of appearance is not more essential to our success as Infidel Missionaries, than essential to our habits and determined standing in society; therefore, the moment we
Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 62, Fleet Street No. 6.-Vol. 4.
want the funds to stop at the best places of accommodation in a town, I shall deem our task suspended. All that we have in prospect to do at present, is to visit Wigan and Liverpool, with Huddersfield and a few other places that may be in our path. We have done as much as I could promise myself, before I left London, and Mr. Taylor will do me the justice to say, that I have pressed him forward through anticipated, and even real difficulties, from which alone, and being less acquainted with the country, he would have, prospectively, shrunk. At this time, we are driven to the borrowing of money for our procedure, and must therefore limit it, as we have no hope of profit, or a covering of expenses, in any of the towns before us. Our arrangements were, at starting, for a three or four months' absence from London, which we shall complete, and after which we shall endeavour to obtain in London, in the next winter, an avowedly Infidel chapel, and keep up a sort of Home Mission, within the circuit of a to and fro day's journey from London, leaving for the summer a further progress in the more distant parts of the country.
We have, in Bolton, sent our circular challenge to the following preachers, which, we anticipate, will be received, as all the others have been received, with the answer of "NO DISCUS. SION-WELL AS WE ARE, &c."
Rev. James Slade, M. A.
H. C. Boutflower.
Rev. Mr. Edwards.
INFIDEL MISSION.—ELEVENTH BULLETIN.
Head-Quarters, Bolton, Saturday,
WE arrived here in Bolton, on Wednesday evening, and not without the usual quantum of anxiety, doubtfulness, and apprehension, succeeded in obtaining the theatre, for Thursday.
To the very fair, and sufficiently liberal account which this number of the LION, extracts from the Bolton Chronicle of this morning; I have only to add that the theatre here, is a very neat and pretty theatre, situated in a central part of this very neat and respectable town; and interiorly, when lighted up with gas, as it was for our convenience, is above the mark that would throw ridicule on its being called splendid. Had it contained such an audience as it is
manifestly worthy of, I could hardly choose or wish a more suitable arena. However, there was a full gallery, a decent pit, and a little galaxy of pretty ladies in the boxes.
As far as I could gather, it was upon the whole, as good a house as was to be expected. I exerted myself with my best spirit, and it was impossible not to observe, that I did so with the happiest effect.
A Bolton gallery audience, I am told, is wont to be as uproarious as a booth at Bartholomew-fair; but on this occasion, I am sure, that Madame Catalini's finest notes were never listened to with a profounder attention. I cannot give those who know me a better idea of the whole effect than they will form from my assurance-that I enjoyed it exceedingly, and was satisfied with myself.
In the cant of the tabernacle, it would run-" Great good was done, the power of the Lord was present, and I had souls for my hire." In reason and fact it was apparent, that there is in this town, as every where throughout England, a growing disgust and hatred against Christianity.
There is a much higher character of intellectuality, and consequently greater apparent comfort and decency in the habitations of the operative classes of society here, than in the neighbouring
THE PICTURE GALLERY.
Bolton le Moors, in the heart of Lancashire, would stand in report, as but an outlandish, semi-barbarous place; but it is in fact so far from being so, that one would look in vain, even in the vicinity of London, for such evidences of good taste as surround us here. I write this, in a splendid picture gallery, apter to be thought a part of the establishment of a wealthy lord, than an ante-room of the Red Lion Inn. Mr. Singleton Cooper, our highly respectable host, has indulged his manly and rational taste in forming a selection of paintings and pictures not at all inferior to the second or third apartments of the exhibition at Somersethouse. I am surrounded by the works of Rubens, Carracci, Guido, Zuccarelli, Hemskerch, Ruysdael, Vandyck, and others not to them inferior among the ancients; and of Lawrence, West, Parry, Cooper, Harding, and innumerable satellites of pictorial excellence of the present day. Among the engravings, all of them richly framed and meriting to be so, are the Joshua, and Belshazzar's Feast of Martin-Harlow's Trial of Queen Katharine-Wilkie's Rent Day, Blind Fiddler, Village Politician, and Reading of a Will: and none unworthy to be set in juxtaposition with those paragons of the graphic art. There are besides, cases ofcurious stuffed birds, a most exquisite musical clock. A fine painting that charms both eye and ear at once, tells the time of day, and gives you a pretty waltz into the bargain; and to crown
all, here is Clementi's new invented piano-forte, a perfect satire upon our animal machinery; for it plays itself; and like our animal machinery, when once set a going, never knows when to leave off.
There is something vastly atheistical in these Promethean arts, that imitate and surpass Nature. They suggest wicked thoughts. One would be puzzled to resolve to one's self, what distinctive effects of muscles and nerves have ever been observed in the machine that learns to perform a concerto, that should challenge the superiority above the machine that performs without learning. Had Handel or Mozart overheard, how Jack-i'-the-box could execute their best pieces, they would n't have hesitated to ascribe genius, taste, and talent of the highest order, to the unseen performer, and have assumed that such precision and accuracy, such judgment and execution, were only attributable to the energies of an immaterial and immortal soul. Lord Chesterfield's contempt for learning to fiddle, may now extend to learning any other sort of music. The man or woman that shall have spent a fortune or wasted a life in the acquisition, may be surpassed by an apparatus of wheels and wires. For all the pleasure of which the ear is susceptible, you may have an oratorio for a shilling. So for certain; there will be no more fortune-making, for tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee.
Our performance last night, (Saturday) was more thinly attended, than we had been led to anticipate.
An attempt at discussion was made on the part of two Catholics, who soon discovered, as Catholics rarely fail to do, their invincible esprit-du-corps, and their utter incapacity to perceive when they had been answered. So we had the changes rung on, "I don't see that, and that's no answer to my question-that which you assert, I deny, and why is not my denial as good as your assertion?"-and so on, till pertinacity itself grew sick on't.
There is however one great historical inference that emerges on our conviction, from this characterism of Roman Catholic piety at this day.
It is impossible not to apprehend and feel, that as there could have been nothing in the intenser piety of Paganism, to possess its votaries of an openness to conviction, and an accessibility to argument, of which the dog, nay the collar on the dog's neck, is as capable as a Papist. So it is sheerly impossible in sobriety to imagine that religionists or any race of religionists, ever did or could surrender their darling first-born conceits, to any power of argument or force of evidence whatever.
Slide the butcher was the game.
A new nomenclature gra
dually slipt on to old forms of doctrine, but neither reason nor miracles, nor God himself, could induce a Papist to change his opinions. The esprit du corps, that high church passion, stronger than love, fiercer than jealousy, more yielded to than lust, more clung to than life, against which reason remonstrates, evidence pleads, and interest conflicts in vain-forbids all capitulation to adverse argument: a thorough Papist would deny the existence of his own hand, would refuse to know the number of his own fingers, would abjure his own reason, would give the lie to his own senses, would not see what he saw, would see what he saw not. Whole generations of them would exterminate others, or be exterminated themselves, rather than yield an iota from the tenets of their creed.
"For Faith, fanatic Faith, once wedded fast
When we shall have done our minds the violence of supposing that there could never have been any fools in the world but Christians, and that it was utterly impossible that the worshippers of Adonis and Bacchus, could have been as hard to be persuaded or reasoned with, as Papists-we shall be of full ripe folly to admit the conceit of the world's having at some time renounced one faith and embraced another. If ever it did so, it must have been when faith was a matter of indifference, when fools were not obstinate, when knaves were not dishonest, when priests were not imperious, when Rome was not in Italy, when men's heads grew under their shoulders. It was in Brobdignag.
Monday morning, Aug. 3.-We are on the wing for Bury, Wigan, and Liverpool. We are earnestly invited to Scotland. It would be hard to withstand the importunities and pressing assurances of support and patronage pledged to our holy mission, in Glasgow and Edinburgh; if it were not a little harder to withstand the rational fear of subjecting ourselves to still existing Scottish law, which for what we are doing in England without penalty and without offence, would ship us off for seven years to New Holland, by so brief a process as would not leave us time to bid our friends farewell.
To be sure, they might not put their Christian law in force against us. But out on't again, there's as heavy a "to be sure that they might:" and if, perchance, (an equal chance) they should do so; what consolation should we find in the thousand who'd a' thought it?" and ten thousand expressions of sympathy with us and indignation against our prosecutors, which would be sighed out from hollow hearts, not one of which would have a word to say for us, where it was possible a word could do us service. Mr. Hume would present a petitition to Parliament for