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neral, is the constant wish, and fervent prayer of, dear Sir, your very sincere friend and admirer,
C. W. HARRIS. P. S. You are, beyond a doubt, as yet, the bravest of the brave.
TO MR. RICHARD CARLILE, LONDON.
Bristol, Dec. 12th, 1825. With very great pleasure, I have to inform you, that a large party of your true friends, dined together a few days since to congratulate yon most heartily on your liberation, and on your triumph over your Christian persecutors, weak and silly enemies, to wish you every success in your future career of life, and farther to express their high sense of approbation, for the noble and spirited conduct which you have so ably displayed while so basely incarcerated by an English Inquisition in a Bastile.
The meeting, Sir, was formed on the present occasion for the above named purpose; but it is intended for the future to hold an anniversary on the 18th of November, as the day of your liberation, and I believe also of your first entering that prison, from whence emanated the only Free Press during your term of confinement, a period to be hailed with true joy and triumph by all friends of freedom to independence and happiness.
A general wish, Sir, also prevailed that as early a period as convenient you would make a visit among us, and as I feel confident that you will do so, I can only add that to no part of the country can your talent be so usefully directed as where bigotry, hypocrisy, ignorance and selfishness prevail to the utmost i extent.
The meeting afforded the greatest gratification to all the party, which broke up at an early hour, regretting however that not one fire shovel hat gentleman was present to communicate to his gang that a large party of Materialists could meet, discuss morality, and depart without that noise and confusion that generally prevails at their Bible and Missionary meetings.
I have selected the subjoined Toasts and Sentiments given on the occasion, to show our friends, in all parts of the country, that how ever we may be deficient in number, we endeavour to compensate for it, by soundness of principle.
Mr. Richard Carlile, the honest and noble advocate of the people and their rights.
The Printing Press, may it continue to be free, and flourish under such an able Champion as Mr. Richard Carlile.
The immortal memory of Thomas Paine, author of the Rights of Man, Common Sense, &c. with reformation to his Calumniators.
The immortal memory of Elihu Palmer,author of the Principles of Nature. (Given by a worthy and veteran friend who was personally acquainted with him.)
The brave Prisoners in Newgate, William Campion, Richard Hassel,
Thomas Riley Perry, and John Clarke, may they be speedily released, and all Mr. Carlile's assistants, who have suffered in the noble struggle for Religious Freedom.
The Joint Stock Book Company, with its supporters, and may the volumes it sends forth speedily displace the Jew Books or Bible.
Mrs. Carlile, may she riever forsake the good cause for which she has been so vilely persecuted.
Miss Mary Ann Carlile, inay she ever continue in the principles she so ably advocated.
The Females of Great Britain, may they all speedily become Materialists. The American form of Government.
Total Annihilation to the Black Slugs, that devour the seventh part of the produce of the land.
The Pen Kvife that deprived the Country of a Tyrant.
Mr. William Cobbett, every possible praise for his great exertions and success against the paper money system; may he speedily be honest enough to acknowiedge his error in advocating religion, and follow Mr. Richard Carlile in the true path to human happiness.
The American Editor of Thomas Paine's Age of Reason.-Colonel Fel. lows,
Jeremy Bentham, Esq.
Dr. Kentish, the tried Friend of the People and of Religious and Poliaical Liberty.
Mr. Sampson Mackey.
The immortal memories of Mirabaud, Volney and Voltaire were severally drunk.
May Men of Science be honest, and cease to support Religious Superstition in opposition to their own better knowledge.
May Materialists rapidly increase and every sect in Religion disappear.
May the Image of the immortal Thomas Paine haunt the imaginations of Kings and Courtiers, till they acknowledge the goodness of his writings.
The Stones of the Churches, Chapels, and Meeting Houses in the highways; theParsons, and Soldiers breaking them; Mr.R. Carlile their General Surveyor for twelve months, and only what they earn for them to eat.
The Majesty of the People, the only true Majesty.
These, Sir, contain the sentiments of the party assembled to a man and though composed of able and respectable men, I greatly regret a certain part of the proceeding, I mean privacy, for had such a meeting been held in a public room a loss of licence would have been sure to follow, and possibly ruin to a worthy family; even in a private one many whose good wishes, were with
ere prevented by fear from attending, lest their bread now so bardly earned should be wrenched from them by their ignorant and narrow-minded employers, though in every way worthy and respectable as tradesmen. As it was, I make not the least doubt, had our retreat been known, it would have been broken in on by some Drunken Magistrate, as was the case lately when some young people were innocently amusing .themselves with a dance.
I doubt not but the next meeting will be an open one, as I trust, by that time, the petty power of local despotism will be crushed, and, consequently, fear unknown.
Your friend, Mr. Green, was present with a party of his friends, and desires that his name may not be kept secret.
I remain, dear Sir, with the greatest respect for self and friends, yours, ever truly,
SUBSCRIPTIONS. £. $. d.
£. s. d. Mr. J. D. Dawson, of Be
A disciple of John Wesley verley, Yorkshire 2 0 0 converted to Materialism 0 2 0 A Friend
0 Mr. Pratt, for the men in W. J. for Oct, and Nov. 0 0 Newgate
O 3 0 Ditto for W. Campion
2 0 Having arrived in London, I beg leave, most sincerely, to thank all those persons who have supported me by their subscriptions during my imprisonment. To them, I owe the advantages which I have gained during the last six years, and toward them, I feel the due measure of gratitude. But grateful as I am, and as I oughtịto be, for the past, I feel it to be a duty to say, that I hope no new subscriptions will be opened for me so long as I am at liberty to strive for myself. The men in Newgate, Hassell, Perry, Clarke and Campion, are deserving of whatever support can be given to them in the way of subscription, so long as they remain prisoners. Jeffries is liberated, and will be able to support himself.
Useful as these subscriptions are, when a man is struggling with oppression or disaster, they cease to be useful, they become mischievous, when sought and obtained by men who are free to support themselves by labour. For myself, I can say, that I had rather be left to make a fortune by my own bodily and mental labour, than to have one given to me.
Subscriptions to the Joint Stock Book Company, either in hundred pounds, or in any aliquot part of a hundred, of or above five pounds, are now the desirable thing. And it will be also necessary to have them before the first of January, where the subscriber wishes to partake of the benefits of the concern from the commencement, or in the first quarter. Benefits there certainly will be, and they will be greatest at the onset; because we shall first print books that have never before been printed in this country, I entertain not a doubt of the success of this thing, and I will stake my reputation on its well being, so long as it adheres to the prospectus.
RICHARD CARLILE. Printing Office, Dec. 13.
Notice.--Country Agents are desired not to remit country bank notes, as we cannot be responsible for them amid the pretent crash of banks and wreck of paper money,
TO THE EDITOR OF “THE REPUBLICAN.”
On the Great Check given to Learning and Science, by the Intro
duction of Christianity. From the days of Homer, who flourished upwards of 700 years before the Christian era, to the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, in the 4th century, when Christianity became general in Europe, we find a long list of enlightened philosophers, historians, moralists, poets, and inen generally eminent for their learning and abilities. From the days of Constantine, to the discovery of the Art of Printing, in the 15th century, learning was very much, nay, almost entirely neglected. A thousand years passed away, without producing a single person, at all eminent in any description of literature: but soon after the printing-press was established, there sprung up in Europe, a host of the most eminent men, in every department of philosophy and letters; which have been succeeded to the present day. This being the case, as unquestionably it is, we naturally look about, for a cause of the general ignorance that prevailed between the 4th and the 15th centuries. It cannot be supposed that nature withheld from man, during that long period, the same degree of mental capacity and intellect, which she bestowed upon preceding and subsequent generations, and we are constrained to look for some external cause, which produced those “dark ages" of mankind, after they had been surrounded with philosophy, arts and sciences.
Before the establishment of Christianity by Constantine, the minds of men were less shackled by a religious and superstitious education, than under the Christian dispensation. The Romans and Grecians, as is abundantly evident from their histories, cultivated learning and the sciences inore than religious dogmas and creeds. Religion and religious sects seem to have been rather tolerated than enforced; while men of real learning and genius never failed to meet with countenance and support. But when Christianity had gotten a solid footing, it acted like a canker worm to every thing rational and useful among mankind. Learn ing was disregarded, if not discouraged, as having a tendency to draw mens' minds to an affection for temporal things, rather than for “spiritual.” The religion of Jesus taught men to pay no attention to the affairs of this world, not even so much as to food and raiment. The doctrines of “Take no thought for to-morrow,” and “the wisdom of this world, is foolishness in the sight of the Lord,” are found amongst the wise maxims of the Gospel. No wonder then that such precious doctrines, when embraced by men ir power, should in a few generations, reduce mankind to a state of ignorance and superstition. Philosophers, Moralists, and
Historians, were superseded by Bishops, Friars, and Monks, and the latter found out the art of enriching themselves at the expence of the people; by persuading them to bestow the most abject veneration on the relics of those, who by the most frantic and incoherent preaching, or acting, when alive, had acquired the appellation of saints. These they sold to the people at extravagant prices, and persuaded them, when on their death-beds, to leave their possessions for pious purposes, in other words, to give them to the priesthood, who revelled upon them in the grossest luxury, debauchery and indolence. The truth of this is abundantly testified by Dr. Mosheim and most other writers on ecclesiastical history. At length, however, the printing press came forth like the bright sun, to disperse the mist that so long had obscured the mind of man. The writings of the most eminent among the ancient Greek and Latin authors were laid before the public in large editions; so that learning might now be acquired at a comparatively cheap rate. This state of things soon produced a host of literati in Christendom, and wherever the influence of that mighty engine has extended learning has gotten too firma hold among mankind to be again rooted out by a priesthood, whose policy has at all times been, to keep mankind in a state of superstitious ignorance. The“ Mechanics’ Institutions” are a still further powerful means of distributing useful knowledge among the operatives of the country.
You, too, Mr. Carlile, though last, are not the least in promoting this good work. You have, after a struggle of 6 or 8 years, obtained a complete victory over your enemies, who were also the enemies of every description of useful knowledge. You have established FREE DISCUssion in Britain, so that, hence forward, we need not look to the universities, as the only seminaries of science. We may now look forward for the brightest ornaments of the Senate, the Bar, and the Stage, to rise from among our Mechanics. As to the pulpit, I hope and expect, that, ere long, it will be filled for very different purposes, than to preach to the people the most stupid, extravagant, absurd and immoral doctrines, that ever disgraced any age or nation. December 5th, 1825.
PAINE'S BIRTH DAY.
VARIOUS suggestions about a public dinner to congratulate me on the end of my imprisonment have been made ; but I have entreated all friends who have made such suggestions, to defer it until the Anniversary of Mr. Paine's Birth-day, to make but one dinner, and that in the best manner of doing those things. Further and early notice as to place, price of tickets, &c. will be given.