صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

ever wilfully violate this rule.

.......You say you gave very good reasons for the act.

No reasons on your side-no silence on mine could be sufficient in such a case. In fact this point is made quite a subject of contention through the whole of the correspondence. Mr. H. says there is no case on record in which they wilfully violate the rule requiring the joint consent of the writers previous to publishing any correspondence. Now I can state most distinctly that if there was no case on record then there is now. Whose consent did he obtain to publish the Liverpool correspondence which appears on pp. 139, 154, 165, vol. 17, of "The Reasoner ?” Certainly he never asked the permission of the Young Mens' Christian Association. Possibly he may have had permission from Mr. John Finch, but I can confidently state that he never got the consent of Mr. Leyland! Although this may not to

some minds seem important and worth noticing in The Defender, yet I lay great stress upon it as evidence that Mr. Holyoake's word, is not to be trusted. He even contradicts himself! His professions are contradictory to his practice. Witness the fact I have cited amongst many others. The lesson I would wish your readers to learn from this is—to read and search for themselves. Do not take infidel Lecturers' words for anything they say about the Bible or Christian teachers. Search and try their statements by the unerring compass of Holy Writ-for if they, in their profession, say they do not do things, which they really and positively do, how can they be believed in other things ?' I confess I should like to see Mr. Holyoake try to defend himself in this instance, for it is such a glaring proof of the inconsistency of his practice with his professions.

OBSERVER. Liverpool, Feb. 1855.

Our Opru Page.

“Omega" has sent us an article with the above title, which, we have no doubt, has been written with the best intentions, but which is not quite up to our standard. To have prepared it for the compositor, would have cost us as much time as writing an original article of the same length. As, however, we are deeply anxious that The Defender should be an organ of the people's thoughts and inquiries, we should have endeavoured to give the substance of it, if time and space had allowed. If “ Omega," in future, will write a little more carefully, and on one side of the paper only, we may have the pleasure of presenting some useful lucubrations to our readers.

We make room here for a few of his statements, and he will be convinced that we wish to do him justice, and are willing to hear him speak. He believes that the true gospel is adapted to every child of Adam, and that there is no greater advocate of labour's rights than the Bible. The transgression of the immutable, unchangeable, and eternal principles, which God has established, is the fertile source of nearly all the misery, the vice, and the infidelity which flood these islands."

“It is a well-known fact, that true Christianity is opposed to all kinds of slavery, and cannot sanction that condition of things, which places a virtuous man, within the power of the most wealthy, and most oppressive of English capitalists. "What can be more painful to any reflecting Christian than the spectacle, now presented in this country, of labour degraded, virtue weeping, vice triumphing with unblushing effrontery, while thousands are sent to early graves in the Crimea, victims to the avarice, ambition, and selfishness, of the Eastern and Western aristocracies. Let the pages of your magazine be open to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


the defenders of right against wrong and much good may be done."

“Labour is the foundation stone of all human society. It is impossible for any community to prosper so long as the most useful and valuable portion of society is deprived of its rights. Men must have their rights before they can perform their duties. Let us do justice, and then afterwards we can claim to walk humbly with God. How can we Christianize England, amid laws the most inhuman, barbarous, and unjust. Sneering at unbelief will not mend matters; something more must be done ; you must look about you to see if there is not some duty neglected, some benevolent act omitted, and more than all, if you are not yourselves infected with a practical unbelief of the gospel of Jesus Christ.''

“Education is the second principle that is neglected; and more especially that kind of education, that shall teach the future men of England their social, moral, and political duties."

Marriage is the third principle, which we would do well to attend to, if we wish to overthrow injustice and infidelity. The marriage of the labourer is a speculation, more than a Christian marriage."

Such is the substance of “Omega’s” communication. We have been at the trouble of transcribing it, and have not omitted more than a dozen sentences, the insertion of which would not have strengthened his remarks. We have done this to satisfy him, and all our correspondents, that, as far as space permits, we shall endeavour to do them justice ; although we cannot undertake to iranscribe their papers.

In reference to Omega's remarks, we have only to say, that the prevalence of Christianity in its purity, would give the best encouragement and recompence to labour, the most powerful incentive to a complete education of our whole nature, and the highest sanction, the greatest strength and beauty, to the marriage union. For ourselves, we despair of seeing all these blessings secured to human society, till it has been more thoroughly impregnated with the principles of the gospel.






You will perhaps excuse me if I honestly tell you that I consider that a progressive revelation is a weakening point of theologians. It looks too manlike for God to grope, like as men grope in their necessities, for a fuller development of the thing needed. If God has waited always to give a Revelation of his will, only to be in accordance with the wants and civilisation of the age, civilisation then, in that degree, has been attained independent of such Revelation. If civilisation has been attained without the aid of such Revelation, no credit is therefore due to Revelation for such a result. . But the question here occurs :—How can God

be justified in waiting for men's fitness for a Revelation, when we consider that God's revelation might make men fit? You say God is all-powerful ; but how can this be when your progressive-revelation-doctrine represents God as waiting until man in his puny weakness toddles on to fitness for such Revelation ? God's good and wise character (according to your notions of it) is lost when you consider him waiting idly in the heavens for man's fitness for his revelation. It is like a useless government, which knows that a Repeal of the Newspaper Stamp would cheapen knowledge, and instruct and elevate mankind, but still will idly and criminally defer repealing such stamp duties, until the power from without forces them to it. If the Newspaper stamp

repealed, all the world might know that mankind would the sooner beşeirie instructed, enlightened, and purified. And if God had, grauted his


Revelations to make men fit, instead of waiting till men were fit for his Revelations, who knows but that the world would have been greatly in advance of its present state. And, again, if our Government is criminal for deferring the repeal of the taxes on knowledge, how can you rid God of criminality for deferring his revelations until man was prepared for them ? And if our Government were to repeal the taxes on knowledge, so that the aristocratic class only could have the benefit

, to the exclusion of the middle and working classes, would this be just ? How then can you clear God's character of injustice, when

you know that he only gave his revelations to so small a part of mankind as the Jews, to the exclusion of the rest ? And, again, you damage your revelation cause when you compare God's unfoiding of it, to, the development of science, and the progress of philosophy and the laws of the state. There is no com. parison, you yourself will admit, between the standing-point of Newton, Ross, Leibnitz, Adam Smith, and that of God. God—the all-wise and all-powerful, can have no impediment in his way of at once granting complete Revelatiou of his will, character, and laws,—but man compared to God (you say) is as an atom infinitely divided, in the balance against the world! How then can you be logical in comparing God's actions to man's ? If you say that it was only reasonable for God to give his A, B, C,—his Reading made-easy, and his spelling-book Revelations, at different times according to man's capacity, and that he is justified in so doing because the school-master does so with children,I if you say this, you may think that you make out a reasonable case, but let us try it in the justice guage. A school-master can take a child and learn it to progress froin A, B, C, to all that he himself knows (and there is progression here); but your progressive-revelation-doctrine causes God to have kept men for generations in the A, B, C, and if the Christian dispensation is the second step in progress, we are still only in the spelling- book of civilisation even yet. But there is this difference between the school-master and God (and here lies the injustice), while the former teaches only for time, Gorl reveals (or ought to reveal) for eternity; and if the school-master is criminal for keeping children continually in the A, B, C, it will require an infinitesimal rule to measure the criminality of God, because he not only makes the children as they are, but he keeps them (according to Bible Chronology) for five thousand years in the A, B, C, Revelation, when a full and entire Revelation was needed to their eternal salvation. In conclusion I would proffer my advice, (though you may not be able to take it) as I myself have been a Wesleyan and can therefore form an idea of your freedom, with reference to my advice ; I say, my advice is, say as little about the Bible as possible ; "the Teast said is the soonest mended; for the motto, “ Its ablest exposition is its best defence,” will not hold good,and the more you stir it up the more muddled it will become, and the more destructive to your theology it will then be.

W. T.






You may have been a Wesleyan, but we have no evidence that you have ever been an intelligent Christian; and unless you have been a Christian, you can have very little idea of the liberty which Christians enjoy. Your proffered advice to say as little about the Bible as possible,” however much our taking it might gratify its enemies, we are not likely to take, till it rests on something weightier than your dogmatic assertions. If it was on such grounds that you once made a profession of Christianity, it is little wonder that you gave it up. The motto, "Its ablest exposition is its best defence,' has always held good. The more it is tried the more it is valued ; and the better it is


[ocr errors]

men, whose

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

known, the more destructive it will prove to the professions of the
love for the working classes is manifested in charging them two pence for every
infidel lecture they deliver.

You dislike a progressive revelation, and in your dislike, you entirely distort the views given in No. 3. of the Defender. Your supposition that God waits for a fuller development "of the thing needed,” is all your own, and it is not our business to answer it. Yon entirely misrepresent our views, in speaking of God," às waiting always to give a revelation of his will

, to be in accordance with the wants and civilisation of the age," as you will perceive, on referring to the original article. Our convictions are the very opposite. We believe that if there had been no supernatural revelation, there would have been no civilisation at all. It is a fact in the history of our species that no tribe of savages has ever been known to attain the simplest rudiments of civilisation, without the instruction of those more advanced in the scale of being. There must, therefore, originally, have been a superhuman instructor. Civilisation has not been attained without the aid of revelation. Such aid was indispensable and has been vouchsafed. Your arguments and illustrations, then, are founded on entirely false lıypotheses, on a misstatement of our case. God's promised revelation prepared men for a higher. “Our progressive-revelation-doctrine” does not represent “God, as waiting until man in his puny weakness toddles on to fitness for such a revelation,” but as teaching man as he is able to bear, and step by step, gently leading him on into the fulness of the truth. Nó right-thinking man would represent a teacher as opposed or indifferent to the education of a child, because he commences with the rudiments of learning; and not with the doctrine of logarithms, and the differential calculus. Your newspaper-stamp-illustration to the contrary, notwithstanding, God has not waited idly in the heavens for man's fitness for his revelation, but has created that fitness by his communications to man, We are as earnest advocates for the repeal of all the the taxes on knowledge as you can be ; but of what use would it be that a government should repeal the newspaper-stamp or the duty on paper, if no one had learned to read? When you ask how we can clear God's character of injustice, in giving his revelations to so small a part of mankind as the Jews, to the exclusion of the rest, you overlook the fact that God had given a revelation to mankind, long before the Jews as a race had any existence, and that the Jews had not to confine the truth to themselves, but to be witnesses for God," to all the nations of the earth.

Infidels generally represent themselves as " the friends of progress," but you seem to wish that there had been no room for it at all. The development of the human mind—its growth in knowledge, and wisdom-is one of the most teeming sources of its happiness; there is perhaps equal pleasure in communicating instruction to others, but you would dry them all up at once by having every one born a full-fledged philosopher. Now, with all deference to infidels, we prefer God's plan to theirs. Your wisdom seems to us nothing but folly.' As you seem ignorant of the fact, you will excuse my telling you, that the Old Testament contains a revelation of the mind of God, sufficient for man's salvațion, and that therefore, your charging God with criminality for keeping from man, what was needed to his eternal salvation, is as false, as your own argument is futile. Your chronology is as much at fault as your logic, for according to Bible chronology, to which you appeal, our ráce had not existed five thousand years previous to the Christian dispensation, but if it had existed fifty thousand, it would not have proved your charge, unless you can show that God had not revealed to man enough for his salvation, and that he held man responsible for priveleges which he has never enjoyed.

As you have been so free in proffering advice, allow us to give you a word in turn, Ių future, be a little more careful in stating your opponent's case, a little more just in your suppositions, and a little more logical in your conclusions and if you believe we are only in the spelling-book of civilisation, will you in the ex uberance of your generosity and wisdom, believing that we can do without divine revelations, disclose to us some truths, like those which the Christian dispensation has given us, and the world will have greater reason to thank you, than if you only find fault with a revelation which you may copy, but can never supplant with a better.



[ocr errors][merged small]

A person, adopting the above title, has written to us about a statement, made on page 82nd, last paragraph, to the effect that even if Christianity were false, it exerts a beneficial influence upon those who believe it. He refuses, however, to give his name, unless we prove that his argument cannot be understood without it. We never dreamt of asking the names or addresses of our correspondents, in order that light should be thrown upon their arguments; but to save ourselves and the public from the “imposture” of which he declares himself “an enemy.

We do not seek them for publication, but to give us the security that our correspondents write in good faith. If the gentleman, who has addressed us, cannot see the propriety of this, we despair of him, and our readers, I fear will be inclined to look upon him as a friend of imposture. He must not think we are to be intimidated, and driven from the course that we deem right. His withholdment of his future favours will never lead us to abandon a safe and honourable principle. If, however, he will take off the mask, we shall allow him to speak for himself, if he only speaks briefly and to the point.



[ocr errors]

In a few weeks, the first of a series of " dialogues with Secularists." Thanks to “ Observer." We shall return the “Constitution and Rules” in a few days. M. A. H. T's address received with thanks. CHRISTIAN PROPAGANDIST FUND; for the support and gratuitous circulation of The Defender -- Already acknowledged, 128 shillings.---Liverpool.--"Observer,” 5s; “Wilson,” ls; P. H. Bailey, 1s; a colporteur, ls; T. M. Lelland, 1s; E. Gill, 1s; John Jones, 1s In all 139 shillings.--A shilling from each of our subscribers would enable us to do much for the dissemination of truth. P. O. orders, or remittances to be made in favour of Hunter & Co., 50, Grainger St., Newcastle-on Tyne.

The real names and addresses of correspondents required, though not for publication. The Editor does not undertake to return rejected communications.

Our correspondents in different places will do us service by giving us prompt informasion of what goes on in their localities.

Where our friends in country places have difficulty in getting copies, if they can secure twenty-four subscribers, we shall send copies direct from the office, 50, Grainger Street Newcastle-upon-Tyne, pre-paid by post.

A friend has suggested that twelve subscribers might have copics sent fortnightly by post. We should be happy to do this.

Communications and works for review to be addressorl to the Editor, 50, Grainger Street Newcastle-on-Tyne, either direct, or through the publishers.

London : HOULSTON & STONEMAN, 65, Paternoster Row.


Hunter & Co; Printers, Grainger Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

« السابقةمتابعة »