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daw of the land, it was not fit that he to aspire after eternal blessings, wbie or any other person should openly it set aside the great mass of maan deny its truth. That must be taken kind as too insignificant for the sofor granted in a court of justice. But tice of the Creator of the world. It in estimating the motives, it was not was remarkable too, that the latter unreasonable to look at the object as- part of the defence, which turned a sailed, and compare it with that which the danger of restraining free dis it was proposed to substitute. The cussion, was all taken from those who Christian system had advantages were professed believers in Chris which never existed under any other tianity, but who, according to this religious system. By the institution publication, were infidels to God. I of the Sabbath, a day of rest was af. had been argued that Christianity forded. Man had never been so kind did not require the aid of the cire to man as the Author of our religion government. He for one firmly rs had been in establishing this regula. lied on its divine character, and be tion. Christianity, likewise, gave lieved it would go on till it comprethe best support to the afflicted, and hended, in God's good time, the taught them to bear their sufferings whole human race; but although i with patience and resignation, in could not be extirpated, it might for holding out to them a hope of the a time be superseded. They had highest kind-that of an eternity of seen an example of this in a neighjoy hereafter. Now, before any man bouring country, where it had been assailed an establishment thus offer- formally set aside. All the boods ing blessings to all classes, he might of society were immediately loosed, be expected to pause and consider and a dreadful anarchy took place what he would substitute for that The question turned on the characwhich he was anxious to destroy. ter of the work, and that must not The jury, not he, were to decide the be collected from it as a whole. Was question; but he thought no man, it fair and candid inquiry? Look at wishing well to his fellow-creatures,
his fellow-creatures, the epithets applied to the Scripwould approach the subject without tures :-" a book full of lies," u'a awe and reverence, without decorum dangerous heresy,” “ an impious both of thought and expression. Let falsehood.”. These were a few spethem consider for a moment what cimens, and he found none other to was this creed of Deism which had soften their effect, or that indicated been so eulogised. Christianity was any other object, than to defame the addressed to all ; it was intended for Bible, and bring it into universal disall, and especially for the poor and belief and contempt. So thinking, it humble. What did Deism, as ex- was his duty to express his opinion pounded by the author of this work, to the jury; and that opinion was, present to them? Cold, proud, and that this publication was a work of presumptuous, he reserved the bless- calumny and scoffing, and therefore ings of a future state for a few, and an unlawful publication. He desired condemned the great body of man- them, however, to think and judge for kind to merciless annihilation, saying themselves. Other juries had thought that they were neither worthy of be- with him; but they were to form their ing damned nor saved. Such a sys- own verdict without any reference tem enabled all those who had the to former decisions. Some witnesses vanity to conceive that they had had been called, the relevancy of done great good in their generation whose evidence might well be doubted, because moral character had no part to put down a class of publicageneral connection with profane pub- tions, which, were they to succeed lications. He doubted not that their in their objects, would dissolve all verdict would be such as their judg. the bonds by which civil society is ments dictated, and their consciences held together. The indictment imapproved.
puted to the defendant, that, with the The jury, after being closeted a- design of bringing the Holy Scripbout half an hour, returned to Court, tures into disbelief, he had publishand pronounced a verdict of Guilty. ed a certain scandalous, impious, and
blasphemous libel, of and concerning the Holy Scriptures and the Chris
tian religion. The book which was CARLILE'S TRIAL FOR PUBLISHING imputed as a libel to the defendant,
PALMER'S “ PRINCIPLES OF Na- was entitled, “ Principles of Nature ; TURE.”
or a Developement of the Moral
Causes of Happiness and Misery aCourt of King's Bench, Guildhall, mong the Human Species.” It proFriday, Oct. 15.
fessed to be by Elihu Palmer ; and
the imprint stated that it was origiThe defendant entered the Court nally a production of the American attended by two officers. He look. press, but reprinted and published ed extremely ill.
in London by R. Carlile, 55. Fleet The Lord Chief Justice took his Street. Whether all these stateseat on the Bench exactly at half ments were true or false, he knew past nine, and the cause of “ The not; whether there existed any such King against Carlile” was immedi- person as this Elihu Palmer, or wheately called.
ther the book had ever been beThe jury being sworn, Mr Marryat fore printed, he neither knew nor stated the case to them, after which cared. It was enough that he found
Mr Gurney rose, and said, that this the defendant openly publishing it prosecution had been instituted by with his own hand; and, as it would the Society for the Suppression of be his business to show them, pubVice, which conceived that the re. lishing it with no other purpose than ligion of the country, on which all that charged in the indictment—the morality was founded, was not less profane and wicked purpose of revilentitled to the protection of the laws ing the Christian religion and the than any other part of their invalua- Holy Scriptures. It was painful to ble institutions. And when they give utterance to such passages as saw, in one of the most public streets he would be obliged to read to them of the metropolis, works exhibited in support of his case ; passages so for sale which attacked and reviled abominable, that except certain parts the Holy Scriptures ; when they saw of that infamous work with the consuch works daringly and ostenta. sideration of which the Court had tiously sold at the shop of this defen- for these three days past been ocdant, which he had been pleased, in cupied, he remembered not to have the effrontery of his impiety, to style read or heard of any thing so re“ The Temple of Reason,
," " The markable for wickedness and atrociOffice of the Republican and Deist;" ty. (Here the Learned Gentleman when they saw all this, they thought read the introduction to the chapter themselves called upon to do their entitled, “ The Bible, or the Sacred
VOL. XII. PART II.
Writings of the Jews and Christians.”) the Holy Scriptures by that fervid For what purpose but that of revil- and powerful thinker; and such tesing the Christian religion could any timony, he should contend, was not man think of coupling together two to be shaken by all the profanity, such names as these, (Moses and Mo- and bold and impious assertions of hammed,) one the most exalted and all the ignorant infidels in existence. beneficent character God ever sent On this subject he would forbear to upon earth ; the other, the most im- enlarge, remembering that he was in pious impostor that ever lived ? A.
a court of law, in a country which trocious as it was, they could little had founded all its institutions on the expect what followed. (Here Mr Christian religion. If one man was Gurney read passages from the work, to be called in question for reviling in which the immaculate conception and holding up another to contempt, is spoken of in the most horrible and was he justified in attacking and redisgusting terms.) This, they were viling religion? And could be who was told, was the freedom with which the not allowed to scoff at an individual, principles of the Christian religion be permitted to revile that most saought to be discussed. The learned cred institution which was the foundacounsel declared that he could not tion of all the laws that bind soabstain from repeating the expres- ciety together? It had pleased God sive language of one of the greatest to permit the Christian world to be scholars that had ever lived, who, pos. divided into different sects, for reasessing all those acquisitions which sons which it was not given to man could be made in this world, added to comprehend. But there were obto that which was commonly called vious advantages arising from this learning, the most intimate know- divine regulation. The Scriptures ledge of the languages and manners were prevented from being interpoof the nations of the East. That dis- lated, and a vigour was excited in tinguished individual, whose life was the exercise of charity, which was the best comment on his writings, greater than faith and hope. It and who had possessed himself of would be absurd to doubt, that the such stores of learning as perhaps no God of mercy had so ordained for other man could ever boast of, Sir the good of his creatures. But the William Jones, upon a blank leaf of defendant might say, that we were his Bible, and a short time before his not justified in bringing the offence death, had written a few lines in his charged into court, for it amounted own handwriting, which, however of- only to a difference of opinion, and ten they had been quoted, he was there was no law by which such a sure the jury would excuse him for supposed offence could be tried. A repeating in that place : “ I have man charged with robbing another, , read with the deepest attention the and put upon his trial at the Old Holy Scriptures throughout, and am Bailey, might say, “ By what law of opinion that they contain, inde- am I brought here?” Upon being pendently of their divine origin, more told, by the common law; “ No," genuine sublimity and beauty, more he might say, “there is no law to jusinteresting historicalinformation, and tify this : it is unjust to put me here: higher strains of eloquence and mo- I am at liberty to do as I please, rality, than could be collected from and he who attempts to prevent me all the books that ever were written.” places an unwarrantable restriction Such was the character attached to upon me. I may pick a man's pocket: You may think that wrong, but that Mr Carlile, in his defence, pursued s only a difference of opinion.” a course similar to that which he had
Here there was a laugh in Court.) adopted on his former trial, for the A man might argue in this manner publication of Paine's Age of Reaopon murder, and the indulgence of son ; attempting to justify, till interodious passions; and this was the rupted by the foreman of the jury, reasoning of the defendant. Good who declared, that “ they were unaGod! and was a man to reckon himself nimously of opinion that Mr Carlile persecuted who was called in ques. was pursuing a very improper line tion for such a crime as he had been of defence;' and resting his claim to describing? He was not to be deter- an acquittal on his construction of red from declaring these to be his the act of the 53d of the King, ensentiments by the apprehension that titled, “An Act to relieve from certhey would be called the cant of one tain penalties persons who conscienwho was an enemy to a free press. tiously disbelieved the doctrine of Irreligion and sedition had, indeed, the Trinity.” After this the Lord a cant, and pretended to support Chief Justice summed up, and the what they were calculated and in- Jury having consulted about two tended to destroy. Did the defend. minutes, returned a verdict of Guilty. ant think that the press sanctified what was polluted? The gentlemen of the jury were the conservators of the liberty of the press : “ And if," On the 16th day of November, Mr said the learned counsel, “ I have in. Carlile, who had been convicted of vaded it, you will stand up as its pro- a blasphemous libel at the last Nisi tectors. I call upon you to protect Prius sittings in the city of London, the press against the attempts of was brought up to receive judgthose who render it odious by abuse, ment. Mr Denman made a motion by reviling religion, until every good in arrest of judgment, which was man begins to think, that the bene- unsuccessful, and Mr Carlile spoke fits issuing from the liberty of the in mitigation of punishment. Mr press are more than counterbalan. Justice Bailey, after an impressive ced by the vice and immorality with address to the defendant, awarded which the nation is deluged." the sentence of the Court as follows:
He called upon the jury to give a “ The sentence of the Court upon patient hearing to all that the law you, Richard Carlile, is, that for the would allow the defendant to state first offence of which you have been in bis defence; and having done so, found guilty, the publication of he was confident, that they, by their Paine's Age of Reason, you pay a verdict of condemnation, would con- fine to the King of L.1000, and be tribute to stem that torrent of infi- imprisoned for two years in the coundelity which had threatened to carry ty jail of Dorset, in the town of Doraway all our institutions, all our laws, chester; and that for the second, and with them all our happiness. the publication of Palmer's Princi
The sale of the publication in ples of Nature, you pay a further question being proved, the indict. fine to the King of 1.500, and be ment was read by the desire of the further imprisoned for one year in Lord Chief-Justice, and some pas- the said jail of Dorchester: And sages were read at the special request that you be further imprisoned unof the defendant.
til those fines are paid, and also un.