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ment to all that are in want, it would produce every thing that our nature requires; and why should we ask in charity of man, for that wbich nature has sent in common for us all.* England contains about 33 million of acres. The population does not exceed 8 milliontaking it for granted that there are four million of males, and four million females, and two million boys, old men, and sick, and lame, that are unable to labour, there then remains two million of men that are able. Now here are 33 million of acres for two million of men to cultivate, which is rather more than sixteen acres for each man, and sixteen acres would be labour enough for any one man. Supposing eight million of acres to be covered with water, roads, and houses, they would produce as much labour, or more than that quantity of good land would; and if half the two million were employed in making and manufacturing for the others, there would then be 32 acres for each of the other half to cultivate. Now, is it not an insult to our understanding, to be told there is not a sufficiency of employment for those who wish to live by the sweat of their brow, but that they must be dependent on the will, the caprice, and charity of those that have the property?
THOMAS SINGLE. August 7, 1820.
* Our correspondent should recollect that if there was a more exten. sive cultivation of the land, and a greater number of inhabitants, confining themselves to their own produce, and relinquishing the luxuries of life, our virtuous rulers could not raise a sufficiency of taxes from the land to satisfy them and their dependent's wants. This is the obstacle to improvement.
CONTINUATION OF REPLY TO THE REV. THO
MAS HARTWELL HORNE'S PAMPHLET, ENTITLED “ DEISM REFUTED.”_From p. 576.
As I have before observed, that it is very difficult to say who is and who is not a bastard, so also ought we to be cautious in attempting to fix any odium on such as are known to be so: in my humble opinion, the law should only know them as citizens, and the parent, when sworn to, should be registered as in a case of baptism, and bound equally to protect and provide for them to the same extent as for children born in wedlock. There can be nothing scandalous in the laws of natura; and where social laws attempt to attach scandal to the laws of nature, it rather injures than benefits the society at large. What would it matter to me if my father or mother had been deemed bastards, which I am satisfied was not the case, I should not consider it the slightest dishonour to them or myself; and even if I myself were a bastard, agreeable to the vulgar appellation, it would not trouble me a moment, and I should think myself of equal importance to the community, as if I had been born from wedded and what is commonly called noble parents. As to the idle talk about royal or noble blood, it is all a farce: and the child of the peasant has his blood perhaps less contaminated with the effects of vice and disease, than the child of a king and queen, duke and duchess, lord and lady, or any other nick-named gentry. The most noble part of a commonwealth are those who produce an healthy offspring, and support them by their own industry.
In the twenty-fifth chapter we find the following passage-
“ When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that siniteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets : Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her."
Of course we must believe that this came from the mouth of Jehovah, as well as some of the former passages quoted. As it will not bear comment, I must leave the reader to laug over it. I really wonder how the English females, who have more cause to boast their liberty than the males, can bear
the sight of this book. It is one continued seandal upon them.
There is one thing worthy of commendation in this chapter, and that is, that no more than forty stripes should be given for one offence, and this too, we are informed by the Rabbinical Commentators, was inflicted in the least painful manner; for the lash had three stripes, and each stripe of the hand counted for three, so that in fact, the sufferer bore only thirteen stripes according to the present mode of counting. In many other respects the Jewish law was very severe, such as allowing parents to stone to death a stubborn child, and stoning to death for other frivolous matters, such as gathering sticks on a Sabbath, or the vague and indefinite charge of blasphemy. When we consider the English mode of flogging, particularly in the army and navy, we are compelled to pronounce it not a jot less brutal, than the Indian mode of scalping and torture. Ilappily this barbarity is on the decline and must soon cease. To me it appears, that if the act to prevent cutting and maiming, commonly called Lord Ellenboroughi's Act, was fully and fairly put into force, it must apply to that species of dogging which shall lacerate the skin and flesh. What is it but a cutting and maiming to see a soldier receive 500 lashes, and perhaps 450 of them are laid on after the back is quite raw and streaming with blood? This is a cutting and mairning in the worst sense of the word, and often leaves the sufferer a cripple for life. Yet even in the last war, there were instances, where 999 lashes were inflicted on the same individual for the same offence, and many were actually flogged to death! The continental modes of torture were all mild when compared with this, and it is astonishing, how nations, as well as individuals, can cry out against the cruelty and barbarity of others, and overlook their own at the same time, which is perhaps the worst of the two. We hear the Russian Knout, the Turkish Bastinado, and several other modes of punishment condemned, still I doubt whether any of them are half so bad as the English mode of flogging. The English flogging cat has nine lashes, each of which is made to bear on the back and to count but as one. The Jews took this into consideration, and inflicted their flogging in the mildest manner possible, by counting every lash that touched the back. The failure of Lord Macartney's embassy to China arose, in a great measure, from the disgust which the Chinese took at seeing an English soldier, in the suite, flogged; by which they concluded, that the English were a barbarous and
uncivilized people, and unworthy a negociation and friendship with the more enlightened and humane Chinese. I have witmessed what the English magistrate calls a judicial whipping in various places, but I never witnessed any that equalled for severity, I might say barbarity, that which is practised in this gaol of Dorchester. Although I have never been present at a flogging in this gaol, yet the cries, the moans, the groans, and the resounding lash have reached my ears and tortured my feelings. I am told, that it is equally severe with military flogging, in fact, there is a worthless and brutal character hired for the purpose, who has been a drummer in the army, and accustomed to flog; and the surgeon is present just as it were a military flogging: and what is still worse is, that exient of flogging is discretionary; and where this is left to be the case, in my opinion, the magistrate or judge who imposes the sentence ought to execute it, and not leave the extent of it to the discretion of another. Such was the effect, of what I heard, on my mind after the April Sessions, that I really rejoiced at finding that there was to be no private whipping after the July Sessions. The customs of this gaol, I might say this county, are about a century behind any other parts of England, which I have witnessed; for the inhabitants by no means keep pace with the other parts of the country in intelligence, and are as indisferent to what is passing, as if it was an island like Guernsey and Jersey.
In the twenty-eighth chapter of this book, begins what is considered to be the prophetic language of Moses as to the future condition of the children of Israel: but to the close observer, there is sufficient internal evidence to shew, that il was actually written aller the Jews had been subject to captivity, and after they had experienced the evils which are here menaced. This is the ground work of all their prophecies, and he, who can believe that it has ever been in the power of any human being to foretel the future, unless it be from past and existing causes, has a mind that deserves to be imposed on: for whilst there are such dupes in existence there will be always knaves to impose upon and to alarm them. There appears to be a general feeling in the human breast that delights in the idea of superiorily over our fellows, and it too often happens that in our attempt to convince another of our knowledge and ability, we launch into extreme and improbable things, for no other purpose whatever, than the mere gratification of exciting surprise. The person surprised receives a very different impression from what he has heard, to what remains on the mind of
he who utters to create surprise. It is by such means that trifles insignificant in their origin have been worked up into miracles, into prophecies, and into every thing that is marvellous. All such wonderful stories are the result of falsehoods, or continued exaggeration : they have no foundation in truth.
If any Jew or Christian can shew me that the Pentateuch existed before the Babylonish captivity, then, and not until then, will I believe thal it contains a word that deserves to be called prophecy: and even then it would be doubtful, as the interpolations have been so extensive, that it has become like an old stocking, darned all over, so that but a few threads of the original remain. It is very easy, and nothing more easy, than to prophecy what shall befall a nation subject to misrule or tyranny. I could venture to prophecy that this country will abolish monarchical government within a century, and this is speaking within compass, which the Jew or Christian has never done, whereas the priests of every age have made the supposed prophecies of the Old and New Testament apply to that age: their fulfilment has been said to have been verified, or about to be verified immediately, and each age has predicted the immediate second coming of the Messiah. At the origin of Christianity, it was taught, and its progress might in some ineasure be accounted for by such doctrine, that the Messiah was to come among them immediately, even in that first age of Christianity, that the fulfilment of time had arrived, and that the earth was to pass away. It was this fanatical notion that produced the book of Revelations, which we find in the New Testament, and many other books of Revelation which were afloat and believed in, in the first age of Christianity, but which have since been rejected as apocryphal to support the orthodoxy of the present received copy. This idea of the second coming of the Messiah has been preached up ever since, only the oftener it is deferred, the greater distance it seems to be. Even in the present day, those seminaries of fanaticism, the Universities, and other holes of corruption and superstition, are sending forth printed papers announcing that the
signs of the present times” are verifications of the prophecies of the New Testament, and that the end of all things is at hand. The same ridiculous cry was raised in the progress of the French revolution, and antichrist had come indeed then. Buonaparte was incontestibly proved to be the great beast mentioned in the Revelations, even his namę proved it by the old mode of putting it into figures, and the number of