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is best known, and most prized, that civil and ecclesiastical tyranny are rendered impossible. He was good at making assertions and proving nothing. Ho dwelt largely upon the accounts in the Bible of the destruction of various peoples, but he did not remind his hearers that the same thing occurs under the operations of nature, which, I suppose, is now his God. He seemed to have forgotten that thousands of innocent beings ar swallowed by the earthquake and destroyed by the tornado. Another of his assertions was that the Bible sanctioned one man's having seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, but did he prove it ? He did not and could not show that the Bible sanctions Solomon's conduct. He did not tell us that the Bible law was one woman for one man; that it represents the two as being one flesh;" that Christ said, “Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Mr. Barker went on to tell us that the miracles that Moses and Christ wrought could not prove the divine origin of the book; because those historians that substantiate that the miracles were wrought did not live till many years after they are said to have taken place. Neither Porphyry, Justin Martyr, nor Tertullian lived and saw the miracles done by Christ. It was mere floating human tradition. And this was his admirable argument! Were there any force in it, we must not regard Hume and Smollet's History of England as an authentic narrative, because they did not live at the time they wrote about. They did not see anything with their own eyes, nor hear it with their own ears; therefore their testimony must be thrown aside!

He went on to tell us that none of the four Evangelists agree about the death of Christ. He advised that his hearers should buy four cheap copies of the Bible, and take a sheet of paper, and cut out what each of the four writers says, and you will be astonished that none of them tells the same story. Well, we shall see what that will bring us to. There are different newspaper correspondents at the seat of war. Suppose we take what the correspondents of the “ Times," the " Morning Chronicle," the “ Morning Herald," the “Globe," and the “Daily News," say about the battle of Inkermann, and that Mr. Barker has to paste those side by side on a sheet of paper. Will he not find that they do not use the same words, that they do not all give the same number of incidents, or in the same order ? Who would, therefore, say that their statements were contradictory? They all agree as to the fact that a battle was fought, that General Cathcart fell, that about fifteen thousand Russians were killed. And so with the Evangelists. They all agree that Christ was brought before Pilate, that Pilate gave the Jews liberty to crucify Christ, that Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to his disciples

, and ascended up into heaven ; and the diversity in detail only proves that there was no collusion or imposture.

again, Mr. Barker told his audience that the Bible was very good for preaching in the pulpit, when you are not allowed a minute to reply. Oh, Joseph ! how did you forget that at Newcastle you only allowed the Rev. Mr. Rutherford ten minutes, while you took nearly twenty-five to reply; and that you would not meet him at Liverpool, because the people were to be admitted freo and there would be no money to be divided ?" A ten-pound note might, perhaps, have tempted this meek, but money-loving gentleman.

As there was no opposition on the Sunday morning when Mr. Barker delivered his lecture, he favoured the audience with a song, and asked them to join in the chorus. They wish to ignore man's immortal nature altogether, and if they had their own way would turn our churches and chapels into singing saloons and dancing halls. It would be “elevating" the people downwards, making them more like cattle than human beings.

A WORKING MAN, North Hanover Street, Glasgow.

Our Opru Pagr.


Instead of anything like a spirit of bitterness displayed to infidels in your Periodical, as stated by the Vice-President of the London Secular Society, I have hitherto been exceedingly gratitied by observing a spirit of charity, and of fairness. I hope this spirit will always characterize your journal, and that it will have a mighty influence in spreading it far and wide.

I wish to say a few words on death, and then ask the solution of two qnestions in respect to it, and its connection with the judgment. Death is an awful catastrophe. To the infidel it is unspeakably awful. It stamps, “ Final,” on all the pleasures that may arise from literary, scientific, political, educational, or philanthropic pursuits which to a reflective and generous mind must be a stinging thought. Try if possible to imagine the bitterness of the thought to such a mind, that after spending a long series of years in spreading light and knowledge, and assisting benevolent institutions, death will come with a rude hand and end all. Oh! it must be harrowing to the soul. But add to this, that his creed causes him to endure all the sorrows, trials, bereavements, and all that flesh is heir to, and then death comes, and opens his terrible gates, and drops him into eternal nothingness; and then I think the thought is like being plunged into a terrible wrath-ocean. Infidelity seems to me to be a revolt against the highest pleasures and loftiest hopes of humanity.

To the Christian it is in some degree awful, for it finishes all his eflorts for the regeneration and salvation of his fellowmen, but the awfulness is very much softened down by the sure and certain hope that he will obtain an everlasting inheritance in heaven.

Now for the questions : Is it probable that when the spirit leaves the body, it will go at once to Heaven or Hell? If so is it a correct idea that the judgment will be at some future period ?



Market Street, Hyde,

March 29th, 1855.


Dear Sir,

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I trust you are a lover of truth, as well as a Defender" of truth. In looking over No. 12 of the “ Defender," I'find an article headed :-"An Old Dodge Tried Over Again." "Truly,' the writer does appear to be having a Dodge' with your readers, in the latter part of his report, on Mr. J. Barker's first lecture at Hyde, and the circumstances which followed at the close of that lecture.

An old gentleman' did oppose Mr. Barker, and occupied 25 minutes in his first speech on the Christian ' side, as good a defence perhaps, as he could make in the time; ' but all that he said was mere moonshine.' So says the report. Be it so. What was the writer of the report doing, that he could not step forward and relieve the old gentleman,' by occupying his time for a few minutes in defence of Christianity, at Mr. Barker's lecture,' (Tuesday Evening, Feby. 27th.), On the Bible; its Human Origin proved; and the doctrine of its Supernatural Origin and Divine Authority shown to be injurious ?

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But the reporter says in reference to the old gentleman'-" This unknown man came, and departed with Mr. Barker."

This assertion is simply untrue.

1st The old gentleman' did come to Mr. Barker's first lecture, but not with him, and he did not depart with Mr. Barker.

2nd. The old gentleman ’ departed on Tuesday night, and was not seen again, at the other two lectures on Wednesday and Thursday Evenings by Mr. J. Barker, nor any one else in Hyde, that I know of !

At the close of the 'old gentleman's speech on Tuesday Evening, Mr. Barker asked me who he was; I answered, 'I do not know, he is a stranger to me.' And I do not know yet, nor any of my friends either, that I have seen, respecting the 'old gentleman's name.

But it is this circumstance of the old gentleman' departing, without leaving his name, that enables the reporter to work. Now does not this look very much like a

Dodge”? If an old gentleman' who speaks in opposition to the Lecturer, and withholds his name from the meeting, be a “dodge,” is it not a

dodge” also to send a report about it, to the Defender' without giving a real name, and a proper address to the readers of that journal ? but simply signing the said report —"Fairplay ”

After the reporter had objected to no name being given by an old gentleman' why should a false one be taken and appropiated to his own report ?

Strange anomaly to sign himself-“ Fairplay:

It would have been more suitable in his case of an "old dodge tried over again," to have signed—“Foulplay”!

Yours, Respectfully,

WILLIS KNOWLES. Chairman to Mr. Barker's Lectures at Hyde.




March 25th, 1855. Dear Sir,

Will you oblige me by inserting the following in your open Mr. John Gray has submitted what I, with many other Christians, grant to be a correct syllogism. We reply to him:

The Bible, as we understand it, teaches no such dogmaas that God punishes the innocent for the guilty. The holy record throughout deprecates such idea. The death of the Lord Jesus was no satisfaction rendered to the Father, but the grandest manifestation of that Father's love to us. In the sense that the mercy and benignity thus displayed should operate to draw our rebel hearts back to the bosom of Divinity. “And I, if I he lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me. “ We love him because he first loved us," and kindred passages we would commend to his serious thoughtfulness.

One of the early Christian fathers, Clement of Rome writes thus" Beloved, God is not indigent of anything ; nor does he demand anything of ue but that we should confess our sins unto him. For so says the holy David, 'I will confess unto the Lord and it shall please him better than a young bullock that bath horns and hoofs.

The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.”

Believe me, Sir,
Truly yours,


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P. S.-From an accident that happened in imposing the forms, we are prevented from inserting other communications, as well as replies.



The parable of the man who fell among thieves, or of the goo:l Samaritan, is supposed by many to have been intended as a rebuke to the narrow, clannish spirit of the Jews, and to teach a cosmopolitan or universal philanthropy. It is, therefore, a favourite passage with a certain class of reformers, who are generally distinguished for their dislike to the Old Testament and the Mosaic law. The mention, too, of the priest and Levite gratifies another feeling, by giving them an occasion of railing against the present church and ministry. The Jewish legislation, among its other faults, was deficient, they say, in not defining the word neighbour, or in giving it too narrow and local an acceptation. Christ, they affirm, meant to take from it this clannish meaning, and to give it a significance coextensive with humanity. Such a view, however, is itself definite, and would seem to have come from allowing their own one-sidedness to blind them to some of the most important inferences from this striking parable. The clannish spirit may be rebuked in it. This, doubtless, was one object, although it is fairly to be inferred that the man who fell among

thieves was himself a Jew as well as the priest and Levite who passed by. But may it not have been designed also as a rebuke to that spirit of abstract and ideal benevolence which would equally destroy the true meaning of the word neighbour, by expanding it to an inflated bubble, to a heartless and vague conception of humanity,” or “being in general ?" The one perversion is as bad as the other, and, therefore, the spirit of the parable seems to be in like opposition to both. Our true neighbour is not merely the man allied to us by blood, or by family neighbourhood, or national ties, although these have also their own appropriate sacredness; neither is he, on the other hand, merely one who possesses that thing so ill defined, and so little capable of exciting any warm and kindly feeling-our common nature, or a share in our common being. This, even if it had the requisite power to move, would still be liable to the same objection as the first. It would still be clannish, although on a larger, and therefore weaker scale. It would still be allied to selfishness. It would still present, if not a false motive, at least one lower than the true. The strong claim upon us is not that the man possesses our common being, or our common nature, or our common humanity, any more than that he possesses our common kindred blood. It is no one of these so much as the simple yet touching fact, that he is a being capable of being distressed, and actually in distress, and that it is in our power to help him. The motive presented in God's Word is of no generic, or abstract, any more than it is of any clannish kind. more grounded on the idea of race, in the widest sense of the term, or of nature, or of humanity, than on that of family. It is simply a recognition of the authority, and loving-kindness, and tender mercy of the Lord our God, who commands us to relieve the miserable and the needy, because we ourselves are needy, very needy; and we must, therefore, be kind to our neighbour, and love our neighbour, as we would expect our common God to love and pity us.

This is the simple morality of the Old Testament, which the transcendental philanthropist would affect to hold so lightly in his search for some more abstract and philosophical motive.

It is no

" What ye

would that men should do to you, that do ye to them; for this is the lave and the prophets." "Love ye, therefore, the stranger, for ye were stran

“, gers once, and the Lord your God loveth the stranger."


From notices in the Lincolnshire Chronicle, the Durham Advertiser, and the Newcastle Journal, we gather the following particulars relative to the Rev. R. A. Thompson, who carried off the first of the Burnett prizes. Mr. T. is a native of the city of Durham. He received his early education at Durham School, matriculated at Durham University, (as an engineer student), went subsequently to Cambridge, where he obtained the distinction of fourteenth Wrangler; and was successively mathematical master of Repton School, and Observer at the Durham Observatory. He was next appointed to the curacy of Louth in Lincolnshire, and is now curate of Binbrooke, Market Rasen, in the same county. He is author of a work containing astronomical observations, taken while en. gaged at the University of Durham, and has also recently_(1853) given to the public a volume of sermons, under the title of “ Christian Realities; or, Sermons addressed to Christians in Name.” These sermons have been highly prized where they have become known, and have been favourably noticed by reviewers. Judging from the warm expressions of our contemporaries above-named, Mr. Thompson is held in high estimation within the sphere of his labours and acquaintance. He is, we believe, comparatively a young man; and it is a fact worthy of note, that during the storm at the new year of 1854, when the posts were detained, Mr. T. travelled to Aberdeen fiom Laurencekirk, on horseback, and deliyered personally his essay to Mr. Webster, at a late hour in in the evening of the last day of which the treaties could be received, departing; as he came, unknown. The author of the essay, No. 1, in Mr. Webster's list, which approached so near to Dr. Tulloch's in point of merit (according to the opinion of the judges), has, we learn, positively refused to give his name, and the secret probably will remain with himself. We believe he is a Scotchman—at least resident in Edinburgh. As to the authors of the other essays distinguished by the judges, we believe two of them have signified their willingness to adopt the recommendation of the trustees, and allow their names to be published. The whole of the essays have been returned to the trustees by the judges, and a considerable number of them have already been sent, on application, to their authors. -Aberdeen Journal.



RECEIVED.-W. T. H., Newcastle ; M. A., London. Verax must give us his name to authenticate his communication, otherwise it cannot appear.

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 informa. 'ion of what goes on in their localities.

Communications and works for review to be addressed 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-Type.

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