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haviour of the former, however extra- way of dying, as it is only opening the ordinary it might appear. In my mouth, catching the flame, and expirRemarks on the Truth of the Christian ing immediately ; but hic has fallen on Religion, I have given a brief analysis this expedient, I suppose, because it of this Treatise of Lucian, to which I is grand and magnificent for a man to must refer the reader. It is necessary, be burned on a sacred ground, where however, to produce one or two pas- no corpse can be buried. You all, no sages in order to establish the truth of doubt, remember him who wanted to the view which I have of it. The aul- be immortal, and could find no other thor thus opens the piece :: " The way of becoming so, but by setting fire wretched Peregrinus or Proteus (for 30 to the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. he always chooses to style himself) This man, such is his love of glory, is has at length met the fate of his name- ambitious of the same fate." sake in Homer : for after taking a Now I propose briefly to shew, that thousand shapes, he is at last turned this and the rest is but a mock account into fire: such was his insatiable thirst of the death of Jesus, and that it is after glory. Yes, my friend, this first applied to Peregrinus as a set-off; and and greatest of inen is reduced to a that not a syllable of it has ever been cinder, following the example of Em- realized in the life of that impostor. pedocles, with this difference only, that There are two arguments which prove he seemed willing to conccal himself the truth of this assertion, and they from the eyes of men, when he threw carry the force of demonstration ; for himself into the flames, while our most no man, whether in his senses or out noble hero chose the most public fes- of his senses, ever put himself to death tival, built a magnificent funeral pile, in the manner, and from the motives, and leaped in before innumerable wit- which Lucian here ascribes to Peregrinesses, after having harangued the nus. The narrative is negatived by the Grecians, and acquainting them with known laws of the moral world : nohis intentions some days before the thing parallel is to be found in the ceremony.” On this topic the writer history of man; and Lucian himself is enlarges in sections 21, 22: “ Pere- obliged to refer for illustration to the grinus gave out among the Grecians death of Hercules and Empedocles, the that he should burn himself in a very former of which is known to be fabushort time. For this purpose he began lous, the other to be false, in fact. The immediately to dig the dítch, bring the other argument is, that the person wood, and prepare every thing with which Lucian principally has in view wonderful fortitude and magnanimity. under the name of Peregrinus, and But true bravery, in my opinion, is whom it is his object to wound, is shewn by patiently waiting for death, Jesus Christ; and all the facts which and not fying froin life; or, if he must he imputes to the impostor, are copied, die, why not depart by some other distorted indeed, and disguised, from means, so many thousands as there the New Testament. Thus the dewere, and not by fire, and with all that scription he gives of Peregrinus, is, in tragical preparation? If he was so its leading points, a description chafond of flame, as being more after the racteristic of Christ; and if we substimanner of Hercules, why could not he tute the fire and Olympia for the cross have chosen some secret woody moun- and Calvary, the death of Jesus and tain, where he might have gone and the death of Peregrinus are precisely burnt himself in silence alone, or ac- the same. Jesus foretold his death, companied only by his Theaganes, by went up to Jerusalem, he died during way of a faithfuil Philoctetes? But he a festival, when Jews and others, to an must needs do it at the Olympic games, immense multitude, were there coland in a full assembly roasting himself, lected. The death and resurrection of as it were, on the stage ; not but it is Christ were predicted by the Propliets ; a death, by Hercules, he long since the death of Peregrinus and his re-apdeserved, if parricides and atheists are pearance are predicted by the Sibyl. worthy of it. In this respect he was Going,” says Lucian, some time rather late; he should have been after this into the assembly, I met a roasted long ago in Phalaris's bull, and grey-haired old man, whom by his not have perished in a moment: for I beard and grave appearance one would have often heard this is the shortest have taken for a creditable witness, and who told us how he had seen him ing the jest so far." Fortunately, after he was burned, in a white gar- Lucian himself has given us an incident ment, crowned with olive, and walking which developes the whole imposture. about.” § 40.

“ Jesus," we are told, “when he had The object of Jesus in dying was to cried again with a loud voice, yielded save mankind; the object of Peregrinus up the ghost. And behold the veil of was of a similar nature. $ 23. Jesus the temple was rent in twain, from the after his resurrection commissioned top to the bottom; and the earth his followers to go and baptize all shook, and the rocks rent, and the dations ; Peregrinus gave a similar graves opened, and many bodies of commission after his re-appearance saints, which slept, arose, and came from the fire. “They say he has out of the graves after his resurrection, already written epistles to all the prin- and went into the holy city and apcipal. 'cities, and certain covenants, peared unto many.” Matt. xxvii. 50. exhortations and laws, which he sent in ridicule of this account, Lucian them by ambassadors chosen from writes of Peregrinus, “ When the pile among his followers, and whom he had was lighted, and Proteus had thrown dignified with the title of messengers himself upon it, a great noise was from the dead, or runners to the shades heard, the earth shook, and a vulture below.” § 41. Jesus ascended to was seen to rise out of the flame and heaven, so did Peregrinus. “Where. fly towards heaven, crying with a loud fore God hath highly exalted him, and voice, I have left earth, and go to given him a name 'above every other Olympus." $ 39. Now Lucian allows name, that in the name of Jesus every that he himself was the author of this knee should bow, of things in heaven tragic story. We are infinitely obliged and those on earth, and under the to him for the acknowledgment; for earth ; and every tongue should con- we may then conclude with the utmost fess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the confidence, that as Lucian was an glory of God the Father.” The oracle inventor of one part of the story, he of the Sibyl is thus represented as or Peregrinus, or some other worthy speaking of Peregrinus : “ When Pro- coadjutor in the same cause, or all of teus, by far the best of the Cynics, them together, invented the rest. And after jumping into the faines, and thus we are able to trace the whole burning himself in the holy place of narrative to its proper source. This high Jove, shall ascend to heaven, I is but a brief sketch of the treatise. command all those who eat the fruits Those who wish to be fully informed of the earth to worship this night on the subject, should with this clue guardian, this greatest of herves, seated read the original, and they will become on the same throne with Vulcan and sensible that in all the records of antiHercules."

quity, nothing is to be met with so Now, as it appears beyond contra- calculated to establish and illustrate diction, that the history of the death the truth of the Christian religion as of Peregrinus is but a burlesque of the this work of Lucian. My next paper death of Christ, it follows that no such shall be on this subject. events as in this treatise are ascribed

J. JONES. to that impostor, did ever take place; in other words, the story of Peregrinus burning himself, and the like, was a

London, December 22, 1820. mere contrivance between that impos- Quali sono e sentimenti de ciascuno sulla tor and his colleagues to furnish the pena de Morte? Leggiamoli negli alti enemies of the gospel with a set-off d'indegnazione e di disprezzo, con cui against its founder. Franklin, the ciascuno guarda il carnefice.

BECCARIA. translator of Lucian, makes this shrewd remark on Peregrinus disappearing in SIR, the flames : “ It is not improbable that S it possible that this country can this arch impostor, for such he undoubtedly was, might after all escape repetition of such sanguinary exhibiby some secret passage under ground, tions as have taken place at the Old which he had prepared on the occasion, Bailey since the commencement of the as we cannot otherwise well account current month? Fourteen human for a scoundrel like Peregrinus carry, beings (one of them of the softer sex) deliberately put to death in the course broadly termed theft. That good man of ten days! Monstrous ! And of and distinguished moralist, Johnson, these fourteen victims, four of them in the CXiVth Number of the Ramfor forgery and the lesser offence of bler, (a paper which I earnestly reuttering forged notes ! What, Mr. commend to the perusal of those who Editor, is become of the “ Committee advocate the cause of justice and appointed to consider of so much of humanity, but more particularly to the the Criminal Laws as relates to Capital attentive consideration of such persons Punishments for Felonies"? I believe as, from an erroneous idea of the nethey have recommended the substitu- cessity of sanguinary inflictions, have tion of some other penalty in the place hitherto opposed all amendment of our of the ultimum supplicium in cases of criininal code,), thus speaks of the forgery, or at least of the uttering of confusion of crime: “The frequency forged notes. If so, why is it not of capital punishments, therefore, attended to ? If our rulers will persist rarely hinders the commission of a in hanging up, by the dozen and the crime, but naturally and commonly score, their fellow-creatures, upon their prevents its detection, and is, if we heads let the blood light. The people proceed only upon prudential princihave no hand in it; they disclaiin such ples, chiefly for that reason to be an infernal system; they are no less avoided. Whatever may be urged by hostile to the Draconian code, that ensuists or politicians, the greater part condemns to an equal punishment the of mankind, as they can never think stripling who passes a forged bill for that to pick the pocket and to pierce 208., and the inidnight assassin who the heart is equally criminal, will bathes himself in the blood of his vic. scarcely believe that two malefactors tim, than those great and good men of so different in guilt can be justly the past and present century, Beccaria, doomed to the same punishinent; Montesquieu, Blackstone, Johnson, nor is the necessity of submitting the Goldsmith, Romilly, Mackintosh, Bux- conscience to human laws so plainly ton, &c. What can induce those in evinced, so clearly stated, or so genewhose hands rests the dread but un- rally allowed, but that the pious, the envied power of life and death, thus tender and the just will always scruple pertinaciously to adhere to a practice to concur with the community in an so revolting to the Creator and the act which their private judgment cancreature, and, as is proved by the not approve.” When the Dr. wrote multiplicity of examples, ineffectual as the above, the absurdity, the wickeda preventive of crime--the great, the ness of the doctrine of equal penalties sole object of punishment? And why for unequal offences, was not so geneis it inefficacious ? Why does it fail of rally admitted, nor had the public its aiin? Let us hear what that able sympathy for poor wretches, the vicwriter and distinguished philanthropist tíms of a code " the reproach of above quoted says on this subject : neighbouring states,” been so geneIn proportion as punishments be- rally excited as it has of late years. It come more cruel, the human mind, is not so now. Englishmen, Sir, I which, like fluids, rises to a level with repeat, renounce a code that is at once the surrounding objects, becomes hard- an outrage on their feelings and their ened ; and, the force of the passions judgment; a code that condemns to still continuing, after a century of cruel an equal penalty a Maddon and a punishments, the wheel terrifies no Nesbitt. If the arguments of those more than formerly did the prison." celebrated philosophers and philan

I shall give no opinion on the sub- thropists before mentioned, and others ject of crimes accompanied with vio- on this side of the question, are unlence, though I am disposed to think sound; if either their premises are that offenders of this sort might be false or their deductions erroneous, let prevented from injuring society in them be refuted, let the “ Mighty future, be made useful to the state, Mother” in Threadneedle Street,

and and even eventually reclaimed, if we her mammon-worshiping children, sit were as ready to reform as we are to down and subvert the reasoning of their launch them into eternity; my busi- opponents, which, indeed, they must ness is, at present, as well with the do by arguments à priori, since they crimen falsi as with what may be cannot appeal to erperience, in favour

VOL. XVI.

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of their view of the question, by shew- portion of that which represents the ing the inefficacy of a milder legisla- commodities of life, a human being, tion, and a more humane administration their fellow-creature, made, as the of the law in this country; and the Scriptures tell us, after God's own universal practice on the continents of image, a little lower than the angels, Europe and America, loudly, practi- and born to immortality? Are they, cally refutes their odious system. We do they think themselves, justified in have two hundred and twenty-three thus sending to his account one of offences capital ly Act of Parliament. their own kind, in the bloom of manThere is one statute, passed within a hood, to await his final doom before century, which contains seventeen ca. that great Being from whom no secrets pital felonies, one of which is for are hid, at whose hands he must expect, maliciously shooting at a man, and if that indeed His mercy were not over another for destroying a rabbit in a all his works, and His justice a very warren! What can be the cause of different attribute from that so misthis ? Are we worse than our neigh- called here below, an irrevocable senbours ? Will nothing but “ breaking tence of condemnation. Good God! into the bloody house of life,” restrain I tremble at a thought so horrible. Englishmen from invading the property After all, Mr. Editor, notwithstanding of others ? Is blood the only cement the fair exterior of religion held ont to hold us together in the social state ? to us by our governors, I cannot help What is the cause of this moral degra- thinking that there is something at dation? For moral degradation of the bottom very different from what they lowest degree is imputed by these would have us believe. There certainly “strict statutes and most biting laws :" must be a very different feeling in and if these be necessary to our well- petto; they cannot in their hearts have being in society, all our vaunted supe- any true faith in that which they proriority in morals over other nations is fess, but only assume the appearance either gross cant or lamentable delu- to avoid scandal. Certain it is, that sion. One of these two things must men who, from some constitutional be; either our laws are the cause of our obtundity of intellect, or from false manners, or our manners the effect of reasoning, the effect of depraved habits, our laws; if the former, then are we, have been persuaded to doubt that if vice and happiness be incompatible, which they wish not to credit, would “ of all men most miserable ;" if the act just in this sort of way, believing latter, then the sooner we set about the Creator and Preserver of all things the reformation of our penal code the to be, as Lucretius taught, better. But if this reasoning be disputed, at least it must be admitted,

“ Wrapt up in self, a God without a that if bad legislation does not create

thought, all the evil of our corrupt morals, it

Regardless of our merit or default." contributes to increase and promote They would (as our Christian rulers it; vicious habits and sanguinary laws do) immolate at the altar of lucre as mutually acting upon and producing many fellow-beings as suited their one another in a sort of vicious circle. interest or policy. What imports it

I trust it will not be impertinent to to hang annually three or four score offer a word or two on the score of of human creatures, endowed with religion to men who are now laudably mere animal existence, and who, when engaged in building new churches, who destroyed, will contribute more, by are continually inveighing against those the decomposition of their bodies in who are disseminating blasphemy and the earth, to the service of their surviinfidelity, and whose zeal in the holy ving brethren, than they ever did cause of piety and virtue, if we may during their lives? Such, it appears contide in their “ mouth honour,” is to me, must be in secret the opinions exceeding. As they are Christians, of those who can thus outrage religion they doubtless believe the Almighty to and humanity by persisting, in defiance be 'the moral as well as the natural of every good feeling, in putting to Governor of the universe, and conse- death so many of their own species. quently man to be a responsible being. Away, then, at once with this mockery What is it, then, they do, when they of Christianity! Let them be at least destroy, for the sake of a very small consistent; let thein talk to us

no

more of him who addressed the thief tendant upon such establishments is on the cross, who said to the adulteress, thought to form an insuperable one,

Go, and sin no more." Let them particularly when it is considered that boldly come forward and avow their the funds required for their support unbelief. Let them preach Materialism must be derived from contributions as well as practise it. By so doing, casual and irregular, and that consethey will at least diminish the number quently a scheme well-digested, and of their vices by the abstraction of for some time successfully carried on, hypocrisy.

might be suddenly rendered entirely PHILADELPHOS. abortive. There are, however, let us

hope, other modes by which the imSir, December 12, 1820.

portant object may be attained ; and I I has

HAVE perused with much interest beg to suggest to your readers some passed at a meeting of the subscribers As it is evident from the increased to the Fellowship Fund at Liverpool, zeal which is apparent among Unitarespecting the re-establishment of an rians, and from the establishment of academical institution similar to the Fellowship Funds, that something conone which, a few years ago, existed at siderable may be raised towards the Hackney.

furtherance of this object, I would That some increased means should recommend that young men who are be adopted for the purpose of provi- desirous of devoting themselves to the ding a supply of ministers for those ministry, should be encouraged to do congregations which are now vacant, so; and that ministers, duly qualified as well

as for those whose pastors are to direct their studies, should be infar advanced in years, seems to be duced, by adequate remuneration, to generally admitted ; and, without doubt, undertake that charge ; that six or it is a subject which should engage the eight students should be placed under attention of all those individuals, and the care of one minister; that a comthose associated bodies, who are im- mittee, consisting partly of ministers pressed with a sense of the importance and partly of laymen, and residing in of promoting the spread of those views some central part of the kingdom, (in of Christianity which they believe to and near Birmingham, for instance,) be truly evangelical. It is also gene- should be appointed to manage the rally admitted, that the highly respec- affairs of the institution; to receive table college at York cannot be con- and appropriate the funds ; to receive sidered as fully providing for the and decide upon the applications of exigencies of the case. That a regular preceptors and students, and to arrange succession of ministers, well versed in the terms to be paid, and the plan of biblical criticism and the more abstruse tuition to be adopted, according to the parts of science, and competent to circumstances and qualifications of the defend the Unitarian faith against the respective parties. One advantage to assaults of learned objectors, will be be derived from the adoption of this provided by that Institution, is a source plan would be, that something might of high gratification and confidence. speedily be done, without incurring But it is reasonable to suppose, that any serious risk, even if it were not ulyoung men thus educated will be called timately found to answer. Another is, upon to take the charge of congrega- that as a variety of preceptors would tions in the large towns, and therefore, be employed, perhaps greater benefit in order to provide for the supply of would result than from an academical ministers for smaller congregations, institution upon a large scale, where the number of which is every year certain notions are apt to prevail on increasing, some additional the subjects of doctrine, style and should be put into active operation. manner, which often produce too great .. While the importance of this subject an uniformity among the students. is generally allowed, there are, in the Another is, that by being located in opinion of many judicious persons, different parts of the kingdom, the serious objections to the attempt to young men would have more opportuestablish an additional acadernical in- nities afforded for improving themstitution. Among numerous other selves in pulpit-exercises, previous to obstacles, the expense necessarily at- the completion of their studies. Many

means

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