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FIRE IN FLEET STREET.
We have had something like a Christian fire since the great one on the 14th instant. On Saturday morning, the 20th, about seven o'clock, when the shopman and the servant were proceeding to business; they found the house full of dense smoke, and it turned out, that a fire had somehow kindled in the back part of our premises on the ground floor. The smoke was such as scarcely to admit of passing below, on first discovering it; and before Mrs. Carlile could dress, all passage was impeded. The two children at home, Tom Paine and Hypatia, were handed out of a window in their bed-clothes, and Mrs. Carlile had to wait until a ladder could be put to her bed room window, by which she descended under the hearty commendations of an assembled crowd at her coolness and fortitude.
The first fire burnt the upper part of the house, but this has destroyed our warehouse, which formed a kind of back shop. The front shop and first floor are still sound; but the City Surveyor has stepped in with his fiat to say, that the house must come down. The Christians seem determined to have us out by fire or by some other means; but we shall fight on every inch of ground here until we can get a better position.
Our stock has sustained great damage by fire and water, but nothing that will seriously impede our progress. We have removed the bulk of it to a more secure place.
The following extract of a letter will exhibit a little of the London Christian feeling upon the subject.
Extract of a Letter written in London to a Friend in Edinburgh, dated November 19, 1824.
WE have had two dreadful fires in London this week, one of which nearly laid in ruin the shop of Richard Carlile, with all its
valuable productions. Providence, however, to use a cant phrase, has been very kind to this assemblage of blasphemy, and yesterday I was happy to observe, that matters were so far arranged from the consequent confusion, that the sale in the shop had again regularly commenced. The dwelling house, especially the upper part, suffered much, and I believe Mrs. Carlile and the family have taken up their abode elsewhere.
It was amusing to hear the remarks concerning this conflagration. Carlile's shop formed an interesting topic, and has given rise, I verily believe, to some notions among the Christians, that their Deity, does not always act agreeable to their wishes: "what a pity it was, that Carlile escaped the fire," were words, that I heard from a lady, in conversation with another, when passing up Ludgate Hill yesterday. I smiled with indignation, and could not help thinking, that were it no other circumstance than this alone, it would be sufficient to expose the fraud of the whole system; but, minds who do not possess rationality, can never receive an useful lesson. They cannot perceive that the elements are sometimes uncontrollable, and that they direct their fury upon the interests of human individuals whatever creed they happen to embrace:-in fact, such is the perversity of intellect, when directed by religious dogmas, that in an instance of this kind, it cannot discover, that Jehovah, had he wished to retard the advancement of blasphemy, or in other words the progress of science, he would have overwhelmed in one devouring flame the only emporium that now exists against him, on the face of the earth.
Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 84, Fleet Street.-All Correspondences for "The Republican" to be left at the place of publication.
No. 22, VOL. 10.] LONDON, Friday, Dec. 3, 1824. [PRICE 6d.
TO THE CHRISTIAN JUDGE BAILEY.
Dorchester Gaol, Nov. 20, year 1824 of man's degradation-of man's fall.
HAVING fairly humanized or dogmatized the "Sermon on the Mount," I will proceed to make an epitome of the Epistles of the New Testament and append to it an article from Mr. Taylor's Clerical Review, drawing a parallell between Crishna and Christ, and also a Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ. I lay it down as a settled point amongst all who have taken the pains to examine the matter, that no such person as the Jesus Christ which Christianity preaches ever existed. My neighbour, Parson Richman, must by this time be pretty well conviced upon that point: though he will doubtless preach Jesus Christ, so long as he can get Christian pay for doing it. So my motive in copying here
Soon after the above was written, indeed, almost at the moment that I was pointing and paging it, this old gentlemen and his wife were killed in bed, by the falling of a chimney upon the roof and beating it through upon them. The accident was the result of a hideous hurricane which blew on this coast on the night of the 22d and morning of the 23d inst. From the apparent length of the night I had began to think, that the wind had blown the sun out, or that by a lurch of the earth it had become midsummer at the South Pole. At the moment that Mr. Richman was killed, about six in the morning, I was consoling myself with the comfort of having a strong building about me; for there are some advantages in a Gaol! The havoc made with property and persons nearer the sea is quite distressing; and I dare say, that half a million of pounds sterling would not cover the damage done to houses, ships, &c. on the coast of Dorset alone. And yet there is an Editor, or a writer, in the Dorchester Journal, silly enough to call it a dispensation from divine providence! The Devil take such a
Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 84, Fleet Street.
the Gospel of the Infancy is to give further proof of the whole of the Gospels being fabulous; and because, as there is no Gospel of the Infancy in the New Testament, it is evidently so far defective and should be followed as far as
providence! Had they said it was a visit from his Satanic Majesty, the thing would have been more consistent with the Christian Creed; though it must be allowed, that their God has been at times taken in strange fits, and has played some odd pranks with his gracelings! We may look upon the case of Mr. Richman as
one of them.
My readers will recollect, that this is the old clergyman, the Vicar of Trinity parish in Dorchester, who paid me two visits last year, under a pretence of holding a discussion; but who in reality, met me and submitted like a child. There is something curious in his history, which I will relate and illustrate for the instruction of the Christians of this neighbourhood.
He was so excessively timid and fearful of accidents, contagious infections, and other evils, as to keep himself in an almost continual state of alarm. And this is a full proof that religion was no support nor assurance to such a mind. He could hold no confidence in his God or Gods on any point, or at any time. I am informed, that nothing could induce him to visit a sick person, and that if an infant were born, and not likely to live, he would not go into the house of its parent to baptize it; but have it brought to his house! This timid disposition was carried so far, that some of the wise simpletons of Dorchester do not hesitate to find that the accident which gave him death was a judgment from Divine Providence! Providence again! Poor Providence! If it provides nothing, it has to bear much in the shape of accusation.
His timidity was even carried to his Church! he could not trust himself to Divine Providence in Divine Providence's House! but was afraid, that it would fall about his ears whilst preaching er praying! and though some of his respectable parishioners felt assured that it would stand another fifty years, the old Vicar persevered and had it down! He had only preached twice in his New Church, before Divine Providence tumbled the chimney and roof of his house upon him! So that, where he thought himself most sure, he found that which every where else he dreaded!
I wonder the Christians cannot see that Divine Providence takes a great deal of care of me, and baffles their every effort to put me down. They say it is the Devil with whom I am connected; but I deny it, and assert, that I killed the Devil before I began to war with the other Gods!
My Divine Providence is TRUTH and a good disposition in a RIGHTEOUS CAUSE! I invoke the spirit of old Parson Richman to come and teach me that which he, or it, for I do not know that spirits are sexual, could not teach me when in the body.
possible with a co-extended circulation of such a Gospel: the one having the same claim to credit as the others.
Giving Christianity a date of ten years higher than we can trace it, we shall fix its origin, as a version of the stories of Crishna, Prometheus, and Bacchus, grafted upon the Jewish Scriptures, at the year 100 of our present era, or 850 from the building of the city of Rome. If the name of Jesus Christ had been invented before that time, it had not been so preached as to excite the attention of the public authorities, and to exist in public records. The year 850 from the building of the city of Rome was the first of Trajan, and Trajan was the first public officer whose name is on record connected with Christianism. Though I have truly said, that the story of Jesus Christ is a new version of the stories of Crishna, Prometheus, and Bacchus, grafted upon the Jewish scriptures, it may not be amiss to notice that these very Jewish Scriptures, that the stories of Moses, Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, are mere versions of the same tales, and clearly bave some common foundation. One of the names of Bacchus was Myses, which like Moses, signifies taken out of the water: and this Myses, or Bacchus, is said to have divided the Red Sea to lead an army to India. Now as these names among learned men who have examined the subject are agreed to be names and personifications of the solar planet, I will venture a conjecture as to the origin of the story about the dividing the waters of the Red Sea. We have the most authentic accounts of the gradual retiring of the waters of the sea from that part of Asia and Africa, in addition to which the country itself now exhibits such proofs; and there is not a questiou, but that the Red Sea was once navigable throughout from the Mediterranean to the Indian Sea. At the particulcur time at which the sea retired, so as to form the Isthmus of Suez, this fable about Bacchus, or Myses, or Moses, dividing the waters, must have originated; for the powers of the sun, to a people ignorant of the motious of the earth, were sure to be the powers sought for this apparent drying up of the waters of the Red Sea, leaving dry land, or a neck of land with a sea still approaching on each side more or less with its tides; and thus, at an interval, an army might seem to have actually passed through, and to have caused the division of the two seas. Those who have any knowledge of the polar motions of the earth, and the certain gradual change of position in the waters of the earth, will find no difficulty in supporting my conjecture.
There is again but little difficulty in conjecturing the ori