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Thou art my friend, companion of my youth ;
DEFENCE OF INFIDEL ADVOCATES.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DEFENDER.
avail myself of
your Open Page, to reply, to the remarks of your correspondent Observer in relation to the return of Mr. Joseph Barker, to England, and his general remarks on Infidels and their
He insinuates, that Mr. Barker has taken away lots of money,' and, that it is the magnetic attraction, which induces the advocates of infidelity, to maintain their principles and oppose Christianity,
I will thank him to inforın me, how many Public Christian Advocates, never receive money, and if he goes to their Church? If the Rev. J. H. Rutherford is a Tent-maker, and low many Preachers of the 'Word' their are in Liverpool, who receive no salaries ? I ask him, what seems to be the 'one thing needful' to the Bishops of the Country, who think it absolutely needful to have the
snug livings' which are dotted over this Christian land? How it is that among all denominations of Christians, some preachers are better paid than others? Is it necessary for Peter to have more than Paul ? If they despised the one thing needful, would the preaching of God's word, be more valuable in price in one place, and by one man than another ? Do not the GREAT GUNS' go to the various chapels, at certain times and seasons, especially to draw full houses, and obtain plenty of the one thing needful ?
I would ask if it has been proved, Infidels have no stomacks to be fed, or bodies to be clothed, or rent to pay for their hàbitations, or printing presses to be bought, and printers to hire ; if they have free passes on all the railways, &c., &c.; and if not, after these things have been paid for, they live at home at ease,' with the surplus of their receipts arising from their lectures. If Christian ministers were as energetic as Mr. Joseph Barker or Mr. Holyoake, and endeavoured to get the talent
of those men, the better to advocate their cause, would it not be a proof, that the love of the truth was more the cause of their Labours, than the possession of Wealth?
49 Ite speaks of the failure of certain Infidels to maintain á Foundation in Liverpool. In answer to this, I call his attention to a similar fact, Christ told his disciples, that, if in the course of their travels, any city refused to receive them, they should shake the dust from their feet, and that it would be more tolerable for Sodom, than for that city:
I suppose a Christiani would not reject Christianity because his party could not make converts in a certain place. Neither will an Infidel think the worse of his opinions, because his party were unable to make a permanent stand in Liverpool.
Not wishing to occupy too inuch of your paper, I conclude, with a few remarks on Observers.' exhortation to all those who profess to call themselves Christians, to do battle for the Cross. I would not like to join the ranks if my right hand man were like many I know, who 'profess to call themselves Christians,' among whom there are liars, evil speakers, adulterers, drunkards, despoilers of widow's houses, instance the bankers of London, who have lately failed. I sometimes work on Sundays for people who profess to call themselves Christians.'
However, I will willingly be exiled with 'Infidelity and Sceptism,' if all who profess to call themselves Christians, and are not such, will go with r..é. There would be a splendid echo in England.
ÁPPROPRIÁTION AND REFUTATION.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DEFENDER.
Under the title of ' Appropriation not Refutation,' J. M. sends a cominunication, to my last, in reply to which he labours hard to make the worst appear the better reason.
In answer to J. M's former note, I said, “If a man is not necessitated to be what he is, he can be different from what he is, without being necessitated, but man cannot be different from what he is without some cause for his difference, and the fact of requiring a cause, proves he is necessitated to be what he is,' this is à fact clear and convincing. But how does J. M. attempt to answer it ?
· Admitting that man would not change from a present state to a different one without some cause, it would not by any means follow that man was necessitated inasmuch as his will might and according to us would be the cause of that difference.' It is well J. M., tells us, 'the will might be the "might be,' will not do in debates of this kind, we want more proof and less might be's,' more logical demonstration, and less assumption,
Of course,' says J. M.,' the fact of requiring some external cause, to enable man to change would prove, that he was not an agent, but it is absolutely impossible to establish that fact.' That is a very easy way of answering Think you not, readers, that the above extract savours very much of dogmatism, and but little of argument, it needs only to be re-penned to be refuted.
'If the human will does not act independent of external causes it is not the efficient cause of its own volition,',this is evident enough, 'says J. M.,' and is just our definition of freedom, put into a negitive form,' to which I added, and to act independent of any other cause,' here J. M. seems to say, by inuendo, that evidence is no cause.
What will your readers think of that, after being told in the preface, to Vol. 1, of the Defender, that many who were infidels but a few months ago, are now
earnest Christians, and what has been the cause of this change? According to the above named
preface, the circulation of the Defender, the evidence it has given in favour of Christianity, thus, evidence is proved to be a cause.
Let J. M. stand in one of the police courts, and he will soon discover the fact, (which he does not appear to have discovered) that evidence, is a very strong cause.—Mr. A.is called as witness against Mr. B.; Mr. A. declares upon oath, that he saw Mr. B. pick the pocket of Mr. C.; Mr. C. swears that he felt some one's hand in his pocket, he caught hold of B.'s hand and held it there; (for it was Mr. B.) B. knocked him down and ran away, he could positively swear Mr. B. was the man. A policeman in court stepped forward and declares Mr. B. was a notorious pick-pocket, the case is then adjourned for a week. What would be J. M.'s opinion upon such a case? Would he not conclude that the man B., was guilty of picking the pocket of Mr. C.? But let us suppose when the case is heard upon the following week, Mr. D., a very respectable man appears as witness for the prisoner, B., and states upon his sacred oath, that he, B., could not have committed the robbery, because he was in his company, at the time the robbery was committed, about 50 miles from where it took place, this was also corroborated by Messrs. E. & F. I contend, that J. M.'s former conviction would be materially shaken, if not entirely changed, any way, it matters not (to my argument) whether he believes or disbelieves, it would be the result of evidence he had heard, acting upon his organization, and thus it would prove evidence to be a cause.
After proceeding thus far J. M. appears to get himself into a metaphysical fog and remains in it throughout the remainder of his letter, notwithstanding he labours hard to make himself understood, and, in his endeavours to do so he says, 'it is much easier for Mr. C. to repeat my words than to refute them.' I would just refer your readers to pages 334 and 364 vol. 1, of the Defender, and they will discover I have not only "repeated the words of J. M. but that I have also refuted them.
SAMUEL COOMBES. .
NORTHAMPTON. –On the 18th ult. Mr. John Bowes, of Cheltenham, lectured on the subject of Mr. Barker's Objections to the Bible at the Stockport Discussion.' Mr. J. S. Jones occupied the chair. The Hall was well filled by an attentive audience. The points dealt with were necessarily of the usual character, from the hackneyed nature of the objections to which they referred, but they were honestly and vigorously handled. The manner in which the palpable dishonesty of the criticism by which St. Paul is inade to depreciate marriage was exposed was, perhaps, one of the happiest features of the lecture. A few such clumsy artifices as these thoroughly exposed furnish the hearer with keys by which he may unlock many a cavil he may afterwards meet with. Only one gentleman, Mr. Carey, offered observations in opposition, which were principally directed to the question of eternal punishments, which had not been matter of consideration in the lecture. Mr. Bowes expressed his opinion that they were deducible from the Scriptures,—which could not be said of one the following evening, where Mormonism was the subject. This meeting was unusually stormy, but the exposure was thorough, and the discomfiture of the Mormon Secularists complete.
One truth is the seed of other truths. It is sown in us to bear fruit, not to lie torpid. The power of mind by which truth becomes prolific, is freedom. Our great duty is to encourage vigorous action of mind. The greater number of free and vigorous minds brought to bear upon a subject, the more truth is promoted.
SELF-KNOWLEDGE. Self-knowledge is that acquaintance with ourselves which shows us what we are, and ought to do, and be, in order to our living comfortably and usefully here, and being happy hereafter. The means of it is self-examination ; the end of it self-government and self-fruition. It principally consists in a knowledge of our souls. For a man's soul is properly himself. The body is but the house, the soul is the tenant that inhabits it. Self-knowledge has these three peculiar properties :- 1. It is equally attainable by all. It requires no strength of memory, no force of genius, no depth of penetration, as many other sciences do. Every one of a common capacity hath the opportunity and ability to acquire it, if he will but recollect his rambling thoughts, turn them in upon himself, watch the motions of his heart, and compare them with his rule. 2. It is of the highest importance to all and every one, and in all the various conditions of life. 3. Other knowledge is apt to make a man vain ; this always keeps him humble. Nay, it is always for want of this knowledge that men are vain of what they have. A small degree of knowledge often hath this effect on weak minds; and the reason why greater attainments in it have not so generally the same effect is, because they open and enlarge the mind, and let in at the same time a good degree of self-knowledge ; for the more true knowledge a man hath, the more sensible is hė of the wants which keep him humble. -Mason.
If thou wouldet be happy and easy in thy family, above all things observe discipline.
Every one in it should know his duty; and there should be a time and place for everything; and whatever else is done or omitted, be sure to begin and end with God,
NOTES OF THE WEEK.
Sir Bulwer Lytton did not press his motion against the government. Lord John Russell having tendered his resignation. It is difficult to account for Lord John's conduct. Perhaps, he felt that depending too much already upon Austria, we could not, with our present expenditure of means attain the objects of the war without her help, and was anxious to secure her co-operation. The intelligence, which reached London shortly after his return, that Austria would not þind hersels to make his propositions an ultimatum, which she would secure by force of arms, if Russia did not accept it, seems to have left upon his mind, the conviction, that there was no course open to this country and her allies, but energetically to prosecute the war. We cannot understand why some papers that but recently advocated even more humiliating terms, labour só assiduously from day to day, to write Lord John down. Reason, not clamour, should govern the nation.
The Irish Members have been at their old game, 'trying to make political capital' out of the necessities of government. They have tried hard to get the lost clauses of the Fenant's Compensation Bill restored.
Sir Wm. Clay, althongh he has sufficient majorities for the Abolition of Church Rates does not succeed.
The Anti-Maynooth Bill is shelved for another session by the whipper-in of the government, to defeat Mr. Roebuck, the debate on whose motion is adjourned till Thursday.
The general feeling on the motion of censure on the late government is, that bygones should be bygones" if we should have any assurance no such comedy of errors will again be acted. But should not justice be done ?
Some publicans annoyed at the emptying of their houses by the preaching of the Rev. 'Newman Hall, in the open air in Blackfriars Road, induced the police to interfere with him. Through the Earl of Shaftesbury he appealed to the authorities, and Sir Richard Mayne has given instructions that the police shall not disturb him nor any one else engaged in so laudable a work.
The Rev. Dr. McNeile, of Liverpool, has been prevented from preaching in the open air in that city by the chief constable, under protest.
Large open-air meetings have been held on Sabbaths in Newcastle-onTyne since the end of April in the most spiritually destitute parts of the town. 14 The people have listened attentively, and even when there have been discussions with Infidels and Romanists, have conducted themselves with propriety.
A most enthusiastic meeting in favour of the Maine Law has been held this week in the Lecture Room, Newcastle, at which Dr. Lees delivered an able lecture. The Licensed Victuallers, though invited to attend and defend their position, did not make their appearance. They seem to be galled, and have issued a scurrilous bill hcaded, *** Down with the Puritans,