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SUPERSTITION AND TYRANNY.
THE insertion of these verses in the next LION, will oblige a constant reader:
J. B. WALKER.
NOTE BY EDITOR.-On the question of liberty and slavery, there is in this country much less fault in the rulers than in the people themselves. Wretches, who have no daring in them to be individually free, are not justly entitled to complain of general slavery.
INFIDEL MISSION.-SEVENTH BULLETIN.
Head-quarters, Manchester, July 7, 1829. HERE on the seventh day since our arrival, we have so far succeeded, as to have obtained the Manor Court-room, a hall of audience of the very highest character of respectability, situated in the most central part of the town, disposed after the manner of a court of justice, with judge's throne, lawyers' table, jury box, seats for counsel, &c., and capable of accommodating about eight hundred people. So as to authorize the terms of our card, Admission to the boxes, 38.-To the area of the room, 2s. The seats were covered with scarlet baize, and stuffed: the room well lighted, the approaches to it magnificent, and the whole presentation worthy of the attendance of the highest order of company that could be convened in Manchester.
The ministers and preachers of this vicinity can, with no show of plausibility, decline our challenge, under any pretext of our want of respectability of appearance, or of suitableness of accommodation for the conducting of the discussion to which we invite them. Nor can they complain of any strength of terms or offence of language, of any "tone of sarcasm or coarseness employed on our part, or of an inuendo or a cadence from the purpose of the most solemn, serious, and deliberate argument." I had composed an oration, de novo, entirely on the principle of conciliation, with a laborious jealousy, avoiding every term that might involve offence, and not using the words Christ or Christianity, till the whole stock of all possible periphrases, ambages, and synonymes for the same sense was fairly exhausted. I was heard by an audience consisting of about a hundred persons, with an animated and interested attention, and an intellectuality that sufficiently showed that my caution was appreciated, and my allusions understood.
I delivered my oration from the table appointed for the counsel, immediately under the judge's throne, (a frightfully ominous situation,) and as the magnificence of our apparatus in every other respect, seemed to call for it, I declaimed in full pontificals. I had no reason to regret this: for though I know by great experience that no entertainment that can be supplied to the human mind can equal the interest of an animated discussion; yet till discussion can be elicited, no situation in which man can be placed is more arduous, more trying, more difficult, more in need of all possible appliances, aids, and settings-off of circumstance and appearance, or can call for a hundredth part of the real and substantial cost of talent and expence of mind required from one who has to sustain and keep up in the strength of his own unseconded powers, the full two hours' interest and entertainment of
such an audience as would be likely to be convened to the art of contraband theology. Take into the account the immense anxiety, and extreme doubtfulness up to the last hour of possible preparation, as to whether we should be allowed to occupy the room even after our having engaged it; our consciousness of the counterworkings and machinations of powerful and influential enemies, in all respects infinitely more powerful and influential than ourselves, to thwart our objects, the fear of interruption at the time, and of consequences that might follow even our best success: with all other anxieties which must necessarily press on the spirits and feelings of any one engaged in such a cause, under such disparagements, and then let it be told, as it cannot be denied, that an oration on criticism, history, and theology, was rendered interesting and entertaining: that an audience that paid their money expressed themselves instructed, gratified, and delighted; that attention never flagged, that interest never droopt, that sentiments of admiration and respect, and feelings of pleasure and improvement were sustained to the last sentence of a two hours' declamation. And imagination might exhaust itself ere it could define a paramount achievement-the actor has his stage, and his part laid down for him-the senator has his right possession and command on the attention of his auditory-the advocate has his guarantee for the impression his eloquence shall make in the interest of the parties to be immediately affected by it-the preacher has his hold on the admiration, or at least on the favour of his congregation, ensured beyond the liability of failure.
None of them, in any case approximate to the intellectual effort of the Infidel Missionary: none of their performances will admit of a comparison with the labour of making a display of critical talent, and historical research interesting to friends, respectable to enemies, and achieving the entertainment and satisfaction of an audience, convened by no motives but the pursuit of knowledge, and to be satisfied with nothing short of the attainment of it.
I have done this, I can do it again. I find the great advantage of introducing poetical illustrations and all possible rhetorical display the eye as well as the ear is a portal to the mind, and toll must be paid there, ere entrance will be allowed even to the most valuable importation.
At the close of the discussion, yesterday evening, the 7th inst., our second public appearance, a gentleman introduced himself to me before the company, the Rev. Mr. Nunn, the very popular Minister of St, Clement's Church, in this town, and as the most popular Ministers generally are, one of the higher order of supraTapsarian Calvinism allowed within the pale of canonicity. I immediately recognized my quondam friend and associate.
My comrade true
Who had formerly, heen my Pu-.
He has politely invited me to call on him at his house. He has taken the way to have a house, and all appliances and means to boot, and has certainly the best of the argument against me, if good management be wisdom, and prudence be virtue. He has played the winning card. I shall accept his invitation, purposely to show him that heresy has not made me a savage, and that I can be as agreeable, social, and friendly with him, notwithstanding our wide difference of sentiment, as when we pulled the same way. In truth, I do not carry my shop upon my back: and in general company should not be found out if I were not drawn out.
Though I never conceal, I never obtrude my Infidelity. I hope (as all men do,) our next bulletin may be more interesting. ROBERT TAYLOR.
OF THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF THOMAS PAINE, IN AMERICA. (From the New York Correspondent.)
TO MR. GEORGE HOUSTON, NEW YORK. Woodstock, (Vermont) Jan. 30, 1829. SIR-We have taken the liberty to forward a few minutes of the celebration of the birth-day of Thomas Paine, in this place, by the "Woodstock Free Reading Society." If you think them worthy of notice, you are at liberty to insert them in your useful paper, the Correspondent.
Pursuant to a former resolution, a very respectable number of individuals met at the house of Colonel Cutting, who had prepared a supper in fine style. After doing ample justice to the hospitality of our host, the cloth was removed; when the chairman rose and delivered the following address:
Gentlemen-This day, I presume you are aware, is the anniversary of the birth of THOMAS PAINE; a man whose memory ought to be dear to every friend of civil and religious liberty; but a man whom we have been taught to despise, because he could not be trammeled by bigotry and superstition; and be-. cause he was bold enough to be honest. We find this illustrious individual among the first ranks of veterans of the American revolution, doing more, perhaps, by his inimitable writings, to advance the great cause, than any other person. Firm and true to the last, he beheld the triumph of freedom. Yet he wished to see the chains of mental bondage crumbling with those of civil fyrants. He wrote Common Sense," "Rights, of Man," and the Crisis." They were ained at political tyranny; every
person acknowledged their worth, and all who read admired. He added to that list the "Age of Reason," aimed at priestly aggrandizement; and the priesthood (not able to confute) con-* demned the author and all his works, while thousands joined in the popular chorus. Still let bigots hold up the writings of that "darling Infidel," Tom Paine, (as they are pleased to call him) to frighten the ignorant into spiritual obedience, I trust the day is fast approaching when the shades of error and superstition shall be driven from the abodes of civilized life, and man be allowed to think and reason for himself in spiritual, as well as temporal matters. The progress of liberal sentiments has already become alarming to the orthodox. We see them making every effort to gain the ascendency, not only in spiritual but in temporal affairs. The system of begging, which has been carried on through the country for several years, under the mask of benevolence and humanity, has been the indirect means of enriching a class of men who are pleased to call themselves God's peculiar people. When once this peculiar people have got the management of temporal affairs into their own hands, (which is their boasted aim) where will be the liberty and freedom of those who may be so unfortunate as not to inherit God's peculiar regard? This is a home question, and there are some who are willing to apply it. We may hope, however, the period is far distant when the American people, who have ever boasted of their religious freedom, shall be brought under ecclesiastical tyranny. This day is celebrated by many respectable citizens both in England and America, as an anniversary of a kind of birth of mental freedom. Societies are forming in all parts of the country, who are determined to restore Reason to her throne in the mind of man; and we may reasonably hope that this age may be the age of Reason. Magna est veritas et prevalebit. Gentlemen, I will offer as a sentiment-the Memory of Thomas Paine;" which was received with applause.
The following toasts were then given from the chair:
Liberal principles-may they continue to spread until the bric of superstition is prostrated at the feet of Reason.
Bigotry and intolerance-twin sisters-may we soon hear their funeral dirge.
Education-the brazen serpent lifted up to heal mankind— may the children of ignorance look and live.
The days of " auld lang syne"-when there was more temperance and less physic-more honesty and less law-more practice and less preaching.
The proselyting clergyman, the pettifogging lawyer, and the quack doctor-if they must live, may they live on each other.
The memory of Ethan Allen, the hero of the Green Mountains -he could eat the chains of tyrants, but he scorned to wear them.