Page images
PDF
EPUB

own interest ; make him, upon occasion, become the greatest enemy to himself; and necessitate him to act as such.

But though it were allowed the interest and good of a creature, by all courses and means whatsoever, in any circumstances, or at apy rate, to preserve life; yet would it be against his interest still to have this passion in a high degree. For it would by this means prove ineffectual, and no way conducing to its end. Various instances need not be given. For what is there, better known, than that at all times an excessive fear betrays to danger, instead of saving from it? It is impossible for any one to act sensibly, and with presence of mind, even in his own preservation and defence, when he is strongly pressed by such a passion. On all extraordinary emergencies, its courage, and resolution saves ; whilst cowardice robs us of the means of safety, and not only deprives us of our defensive faculties, but even runs us to the brink of ruin, and makes us meet that evil which of itself would never have invaded us.

But were the consequences of this passion less injurious than we have represented ; it must be allowed still that in itself it can be no other than miserable ; if it be misery to feel cowardice, and be haunted by those spectres and horrors which are proper to the character of one who has a thorough dread of death. For it is not only when dangers happen, and hazards are incurred, that this sort of fear oppresses and distracts. If it in the least prevails, it gives no quarter, so much as at the safest, stillest hour of retreat and quiet. Every object suggests thought enough to employ it. It operates when it is least observed by others; and enters at all times into the pleasantest parts of life, so as to corrupt and poison all enjoyment and content. One may safely aver, that by. reason of this passion alone, many a life, if inwardly and closely viewed, would be found to be thoroughly miserable, though attended with all other circumstances which in appearance render it happy. But when we add to this, the meannesses, and base condescensions, occasioned by such a passionate concern for living ; when we consider how by means of it we are driven to actions we can never view without dislike, and forced by degrees from our natural conduct, into still greater crookednesses and perplexity; there is no one, surely, so disengenuous as not to allow, that life in this case becomes a sorry purchase, and is passed with little freedom or satisfaction.

For how can this be otherwise, whilst every thing which is generous and worthy, even the chief relish, happiness, and good of life, is for life's sake abandoned and renounced ? '

A man of courage may be cautious without real fear. And a man of temper may resist or punish without anger. But in ordinary characters there must necessarily be some mixture of the real passions themselves, which, however, in the main, are able to allay and temper one another. And thus anger in a manner becomes necessary. It is by this passion that one creature offer

ing violence to another, is deterred from the execution, whilst he observes how the attempt affects his fellow, and knows by the very signs which accompany this rising motion, that if the inquiry be carried further, it will not pass easily, or with impunity. It is this passion withal, which after violence and hostility executed, rouses a creature in opposition, and assists him in returning like hostility and harm on the invader. For thus, as rage and despair increase, a creature grows still inore terrible, and being urged to the greatest extremity, finds a degree of strength and boldness, unexperienced till then, and which had never risen except through the height of provocation. As to this affection, therefore, notwithstanding immediate aim be indeed the ill or punishment of another, yet it is plainly of the sort of those which tend to the advantage and interest of the self-system, the animal himself, and is withal in other respects contributing to the good and interest of the species. But there is hardly need we should explain how mischievous and self-destructive anger is, if it be what we commonly understand by that word: if it be such a passion as is rash, and violent in the instant of provocation; or such as imprints itself deeply, and causes a settled revenge, and an eager, vindictive pursuit.

The dormant sury, Revenge, being raised once, and wrought up to her highest pitch, rests not till she attains her end ; and, that attained, is easy and reposes, making our succeeding relief and ease so much the more enjoyed as our preceding anguish and incumbent pain was of long duration and bitter sense. So, if among lovers, and in the language of gallantry, the success of ardent love is called the assuaging of a pain ; this other success may be far more justly termed so. However soft or flattering the former pain may be esteemed, this latter surely can be no pleasing one; nor can it be possibly esteemed other than sound and thorough wretchedness, a grating and disgustful feeling, without the least mixture of any thing soft, gentle, or agreeable.

What has been said, may be enough perhaps to make this evident, “That to be subject to such a passion as we have been mentioning, is, in reality, to be very unhappy.” And,“ That the habit itself is a disease of the worst sort, from which misery is inseparable.”

Now as to luxury, and what the world calls pleasure, were it true (as has been proved the contrary) that the most considerabie enjoyments were those merely of the sense, and were it true, witbal, that those enjoyments of the sense lay in certain outward things capable of yielding always to a due and certain portion of pleasure, according to their degree and quality it would then follow, that the certain way to obtain happiness, would be to procure largely of these subjects, to which happiness and pleasure were thus infallibly annexed. But however fashionably we may

And'

[ocr errors]

apply the notion of good living, it will hardly be found that our inward faculties are able to keep pace with these outward supplies.' of a luxuriant fortune.

It may be observed in those who by excess have gained a cobstant nauseating and distaste, that they have nevertheless as constant a craving or eagerness of stomach. But the appetite of this kind is false and unnatural, as is that of thirst arising from a fever, or contracted by habitual debauch. Now the satisfactions of the natural appetite, in a plain way, are infinitely beyond those indulgences of the most refined and elegant luxury. often perceived by the luxurious themselves. It has been experienced in people bred after the sumptuous way, and used never to wait, but to prevent appetite, that when by any new turn of life they come to fall into a more natural course, or for a while, as on a journey, or a day of sport, came accidentally to experience the sweets of a plain diet, recommended by due abstinence and · exercise, they have with freedom owned, that it was then they received the highest satisfaction and delight which a table could possibly afford.

It is plain, that by úrging nature, forcing the appetite, and in citing sense, the keenness of the natural sensations is lost. though through vice or ill habit the same subjects of appetite may, every day, be sought with great ardour, they are enjoyed with less satisfaction. Though the impatience of abstaining be greater, the pleasure of indulgence is really less. The palls or nauseatings which continually intervene, are of the worst and most hatefal kind of sensation. Hardly is there any thing tasted which is wholly free from this ill relish of a surfeited sense and ruined'appetite. So that instead of a constant and flowing delight afforded in such a state of life, the very state itself is in reality a sickness and infirmity,'a corruption of pleasure, and destructive of every natural and agreeable sensation. So far is it from being true, " That in this licentious course we enjoy life best, or are likely to make the most of it."

As to the consequences of such an indulgence, how fatal to the body, by diseases of many kinds, and to the mind by sottishness and stupidity; this needs not any explanation.

The consequences as to interest are plain enough. Such a state of impotent and unrestrained desire, as it increases our wants, so it must subject us to a greater dependence on others. Our private circumstances, however plentiful or easy they may be, can less easily content us. Ways and means must be invented io pro-, cure what may administer to such an imperious luxury, as forces us to sacrifice honour to fortune, and runs ns out into all irregularities and extravagance of conduct.

(To be continued.) Printed and Published by RICHARD CARLILE, 62, Fleel-street, where all

Communications, post paid, or free of expence, are requested to be left.

!

[graphic][merged small]

No. 7. VOL. 4.] LONDON, Friday, August 14, 1829. [PRICE 6d.

INFIDEL MISSION-TWELFTH BULLETIN...

Liverpool, August 11, 1829.. We left Bolton early on the morning of yesterday, after spending in it full twelve days. I visited Wigan on the 6th, inst. and made arrangements for our public appearance there at any contenient time. Waiting in Bolton, for the convenience of having correspondences with other places, induced us to fill out a week after we had done with the theatre. It was not uselessly spent, if Time tell the tale, we mean it to tell, by our endeavours in the course of that week. That Bolton, which the world unfairly conspires to call rude, has before been and has again been to me a sort of fairy land. The attractions in the house in which we lodged, would excuse a week's stay, beyond the pressure of business; but one of those romances of real life, which greatly add to the pleasures of a romantic spirit, befel us, and we have aimed to convert it to the world's good. There is a witch in Lancashire, who promises to assist us in unwitching the bewitched world. There is a lady in Bolton, whose personal, or whose mental charms are not mean but truly great, and who, by her prophets, the Infidel Missionaries, gives the world assurance that Miss Frances Wright shall not in this country long want an aspiring imitatress. We can say no more at present. And, with the mention of such an agreeable hope, I cannot at this moment draw that picture of the dark side of Lancashire, which is so very necessary to be done, and which will not be done by our newspaper reporters. Before, or soon after I leave the county, the public shall have such a picture of its wretchedness, as would shame any thing but a Christian; but the men who teach and preach the Christian religion, do here, in the midst of this wretchedness, this real starvation, teach and preach, that it is a

Printed and Published by R. CarlILE, 62, Fleet Street No. 7,--Vol. 4.

disguised blessing for the humiliation and good of the soul ! Horrid villains to mankind! There never were such criminals on earth before, as the preachers and teachers of the Christian religion.

Our circular challenge has been sent to the following preachers, in Liverpool :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.

Rev. Samuel Renshaw, A.M.

R. H. Roughsedge, A. M.
Thomas Kidd, A. M.
John Pulford, B. D.
Peter Bulmer, A. M.
Thomas Johnson, A. M.
W. Goddard, A. M.
George Monk, A. B.
John H. Smyth, B. D.
Richard Loxham, A. M.
A. Dawson.
Thomas Moss, A. M.
Jonathan Brooks, A. M.
Thomas Bowstead, A. M.
Richard Blacow, A.M.
J. Augustus Campbell.
John C. Prince, A. M.
Thomas Lloyd Pain, A. M.
George Monk.
R. H. Formby.
Thomas Hornby.
Richard Cardwell.
James Aspinall.
John B. Monk.
Nicholas Robinson.
William Blundell.
Thomas H. Heathcote.
John Smith.
Richard Loxham.
Thomas Stringer.
Wheeler Milner.
Joseph Hilton.
John Rich. Tetlow, A.M.
John Lingard, B. D.
Thomas Tattershall.
John Jones.
Thomas S. Bowstead.
R. Latewood Townsend.
Robert Davies.
Edward Hull.
Samuel Heathcote.

Rev. Thomas Moss.

William Badnell.
R. P. Buddicom.
Matson Vincent.
Charles L. Swainson.
William Hesketh.
William Rawson.
John Gladstone.
John Wilson,
R. Gwillym.
A. Knox.
William Scoresby.
H. T. Turner.
Andrew Wilson.
Hugh Ralph.
John Stewart, D. D.
John Grundy.
John Hincks.
F. B. Wright.
Samuel Saunders.
James Lister.
David Wylie.
J. Underhill.
Moses Fisher.
John Kelly.
Robert Maclean.
Thomas Raffles, D. D.
James Widdows.
Thomas Fisher.
Thomas Fairclough.
Thomas Robinson.
Vincent Glover.
William White,
John Pratt.
Mr. Wilcock.
H. Orre.
John Walkers.
Francis Murphy.
Robert Newton.
Thomas Alleyn.

.

« PreviousContinue »