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trines, and cast its commands behind their back. Let any one just look over the circle of his own acquaintance, or round about him in the locality in which he dwells, and see whether those who are true Christiansbelievers of the Bible, and practisers of its precepts--or those who are not, treat woman best ; and it may be left his common sense, from such alone, to conclude whether the Bible be or be not the friend of woman,-The Association.

Our Opru Pagr.


See No. 11, p. 171.


favour me with a very

small part of your open page for the purpose of replying to “The Chairman” anent my report of " Mr. Cooper's lecture ;" and in the first place, I emphatically deny that the account given is a "curiosity of incorrectness.” It is correct in every particular if looked at with the eye of discerning honesty.

I said that the Investigator was the “most prominent publication” from the fact of its being recommended in a very prominent manner by the chairman. Although he denies this and says that it was another book which he recommended. I distinctly adhere to my statement that the “Investigator" was the book mentioned, and I am further satisfied that I am correct in this matter from the fact that until then I was not aware that Mr. Cooper was editor of that publication. The “chairman” might mean some other book, I am not responsible for any mistake of that sort. I stated what I heard and what every one must have heard that paid any attention. I was at the lecture on the Monday night, and what I said of number was tolerably correct, there were a few additions during the course of the evening. I did not of course count them, I only made a rough guess, and on this subject I am prepared to submit to the more correct know

Ι ledge of the “ chairman” as he had the the best means of knowing; the number of twopences being a demonstration both complete and satisfactory. The slightly elevated pulpit or platform is not worth noticing. I know nothing positively about its peculiar construction. I only have to say that Mr. Cooper appeared to me just like a man in a pulpit which was too high for him, as it was with great difficulty you could catch a glance of his head above it.

The chairman did not recommend them to purchase the “Investigator.” Of the correctness of that statement I am so perfectly convinced that I would make affi davit before any one at any time. chairman"

says “there was applause both before Egomet came in and after he left, now I can see no contradiction here, as I only gave a report of what transpired during the time I was present, and I again repeat that it was the tamest lecture to which I ever listened. It seemed scarcely to draw the least attention, and certainly during the whole of its delivery never elicited more than a very small laugh. Egomet has no objection to listen to a lecture in silence, yet he thinks that a lecturer would be a little gratified by an occasional recognition of its beauties, and further he thinks the “chairman” will agree with him when he says that an evident want of attention in the audience is a sure indication of want of power in the lecturer.

I think the “chairman” has mistaken some other person for Egomet, he speaks very knowingly of his whereabouts and yet he makes a great mistake, as I did not sit with the back of the audience to me. I sat nearly in the centre and had a good opportunity of beholding in the countenances of those who were about me the indifference with which they listened to the lecture. I did not in the least wish to throw contempt on any one when I described the audience as

The 56


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composed chiefly of the "lowest of the working classes.” I merely stated what I believad to be a fact, and if that be called in question, then I say that the “ chairman“ must have taken for granted, (contrary to custom) that as he was a “superfine" therefore the whole group must have been “ superfines” also. As we are told that the common people heard Christ gladly, might we not have expected to have found the uncommon people hearing Mr. Cooper, it seems however, that the common people hear Belial as well as Christ, whether gladly or not is another matter. The chairman' seems to quote scripture like the devil, that is, when he thinks it suits his purpose. I think, however, that in his quotation from Paul he has signally failed, for if the wise men after the flesh, the mighty and the noble are not called by Christ ; then may we not infer that they are left in the ranks of the Secularists, and so according to the “chairman," it would appear that they are, for he will not allow that the audience was composed of the "lowest of the working classes,” but wishes us to infer that it was composed of the wise, mighty and noble, who by Christ are not called to Christianity; and he seems to rejoice in the fact that they, like the Saviour of men, are the denounces of the priests of the day, forgetting at the same time that in Christianity there are no priests, but all are brethren, one in him. “Egomet's acquaintance with the chapel is not limited, and he does not know of any "" who make a charge except the Seculars." If the “chairman” knew of any, why did he not state who they were ?

To oppose Mr. Cooper would have been useless so far as edification was concerned, and indeed my opinion is that Mr. Cooper chose the course he did for the purpose


preventing any one from replying to him, of what avail would it have been to have quoted from Euesbius Clement, Polycarp and others; when Secularists do not believe in anything they say, and the more especially, when the audience was in so miserably quiescent a state. As well might you attempt to prove to every sceptic that the chairman" wrote the letter to which I am replying, as to prove to the audience under consideration that the early fathers believed the Bible to be the word of God; they would in the one case doubt in spite of the evidence, whilst in the other case, they would believe without any evidence whatever.

I cannot plead guilty to the charge of being unjust towards Secularists. In my report I adhere to truth, I still adhered to it, and defy the “chairman” to call in question anything of the least importance contained in that report. What is truth, may be a question with him. Like a Secularist whom I met with the other day, he may believe that what is truth to-day may be false to-morrow. I take a different view, I believe that time cannot make falsehood truth, that truth is truth in spite either of time, opinions, or conduct, and that Christianity is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Yours respectfully,





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There is an article in No. 10 of " The Defender," signed "Silverwater;" this article I have just read together with your answer.

And though I think your answer abundantly suficient for your Northampton” correspondent, yet a few thoughts have arisen in my mind, which I cannot refrain from sending you. Mr.“ Silverwater" says, “ If the reader will carefully examine the çliapters Matthew 24; Mark 13; and Luke 21; he will he prepared to judge of



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the correctness of my statements, and if he expresses his honest conviction he will allow that my remark respecting the veracity of Jesus, or of the three evangelists before named is established on gospel truth." This paragraph like the rest of his letter, smacks more of the coxcomb than of the inquirer ; he seems to think he has accomplished a feat, and given the Editor a poser; and that every reader of his article must be a fool if he is not convinced by it, and a knave if he does not say so. For no man it appears can “express his honest conviction" unless“ by allowing that his remarks, &c., are established on gospel truth." Now Sir, I, for one, have carefully read the chapters referred to, for the purpose of ascertaining if his charge is founded on “gospel truth," and I express my“honest conviction”-his insinuation to the contrary notwithstanding, that his “remark is established” only in his own gospel; ignorance. First, he entirely overlooks all those other statements in the New Testament which throw light upon the passages referred to, and assist in their correct interpretation, and which would consequently, correct the erroneous impressions which readers of the “Silverwater" class appear to be in danger of receiving. So far therefore, as they are concerned, no further statements need have been made on this subject. Now this may be ingenious, but it is not honest. "It may suit a caviller but not a sincere inquirer after the truth. Secondly. In his haste to prove either Christ or the Evangelists liars, he passes by two important statements in the chapters themselves, which tend to correct such a notion as his respecting the time within the limits of which Jesus taught his disciples to expect that the general judgment would take place, viz. "The duration of the then existing generation of men." These statements are found in Matthew 24. 14. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come. -Mark 13. 10. “ And the gospel must first be published among all nations.”--Luke 21. 24. " And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Does Silverwater think that Jesus Christ taught, and that his disciples believed, the Gospel, which has not even yet been preached to all nations, would be so, and that all the predictions concerning “the treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles," and " the times of the Gentiles," would be fulfilled, and the whole wound up and ended within the lifetime of that generation ? Hem but men of sense, who are acquainted with the New Testament will say, "No."

Thirdly. He entirely forgets, that his friend Robert Cooper told his audience at Newcastle (See “ Defender" No. 8, p. 120) that he thought the New Testament was not written till 2 or 300 years after the time at which it claims to have been written (and others of the same fraternity make similar statements.) Now does Silverwater think that the authors of the gospels would write and publish to the world as predictions, statements which ought to have been fulfilled, at least 200 years before, but were not ? Does he think that any man possessing common sense enough to be an impostor—to say nothing of making such a work as any one of the gospels--would deliberately furnish the world with such a convincing proof of his imposture ? Now, unless this has been the case, Cooper &c. must be awfully out in their dates, or “ Silverwater" in his interpretation. My “honest conviction” is that they are all out together, and will know it if they will but use their brains honestly like other men. Should “Silverwater" write again I would advise him to lay aside his conceited tone, and write as if he thought some one else had some brains and used them, as well as he.

Yours truly,

AUFSEHER. Macclesfield, March 16, 1855,

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Northampton, March 18, 1855: MR. EDITOR,

In number 4 of the Defender you informed your readers that Secularism has not and cannot have any poetry. I send you a sonnet on Death written by a secularist. I think there are many themes for a poet when such persons may rise among that body of “ Dissenters.' I hope you will find room for this in your Open Page and I will endeavour to deserve the space by my brevity. Per. haps some of your readers may require to be informed that Nature is the mother of the Secularist.


To sleep at last upon his mother's breast,

And rest in peace beneath her starry eyes :-
That lot is his who lives by Honor's hest :

Nor is he lost to Nature when he dies.

All things subserve her vast and mystic plan ;

From atoms grow green fields and skies of blue.
And life for ever young-for ever new,

The scented flower, blythe bird, and Godlike man.
What though unknown was quenched the vital spark,

In desert, garret, cave, or prison foul ;
The noble dead still move the noble heart :

Their atoms wander to the kindred soul-
Avoid the herd of weakly servile men,
And in the steadfast hearts of freemen live again.

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KWEXÆ. SAYINGS OF THE WISE. CENSORIOUSNESS.-We are apt to be very quick at censuring others, where we will not endure advice onrselves. But nothing shows our weakness more than to be sharp-sighted at spying other men's faults, and so purblind about our

Much of this comes from ill-nature, as well as from an inordinate value of ourselves; for we love rambling after, other people's faults, better than staying at home to mend our own, and blaming the unhappy, instead of protecting and relieving them.

NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. RECEIVED.-R. T., Hartlepool ; W. B., Glasgow ; S. T., Macclesfield.

Unpublished letter of John Locke, and replies to several correspondents must be deferred to our next.

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 information 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-Tyne.

a Weekly Magazine ,


Who knows not that truth is strong, next to the Almighty; she needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings to make her victorious, those are the shifts and the defences that error uses against her power.-MILTON.

No. 14.]


[PRICE 11.

Eighth Night's Discussion on the Bible.... 209 Barker's Lecture at Glasgow
Some of the horrors and miseries of War 211 Questions about Death
A few serious Words to all unbelievers... 213 About “the Infidel Dodge.”
The Blank Bible

215 The Innocent for the Guilty Unpublished Letter of John Locke........... 217 The Burnett Prize Essays...

219 22 ib. 222 22+




On Friday, the 2nd February, the discussion between Mr. Joseph Barker and the Rev. B. Grant, on the origin of the Bible, was continued in the Odd Fellows' Hall. Mr. Jennings again presided. The attendance was still more meagre than on the two previous evenings, a fact indicating the interest in the debate to be subsiding.

Mr. Grant opened the discussion by remarking that he accepted the opinions of Professor Norton, as he would those of any other great scholar, if, like his, they were in accordance with justice and reason. If Professor Norton did not admit the inspiration of the Old and New Testaments, infidels could not say he was influenced by the priesthood in his investigations as to the authority of the authorised translation of the scriptures, and the many observations made by Mr. Barker upon the opinions of Mr. Norton were without date. Mr. Grant then read an extract from a volume of Professor Norton, showing that nineteen twentieths of the discrepancies found by him in our translation of the Bible were of an unimportant character, and the remarkable manner in which the Biblical documents had been preserved. Mr. Barker must have known that the interpretation he had given to many passages was unreasonable, and that it had

No. 14, Vol. 1.

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