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machus, was decidedly imperfect, either in duration, or else in purity.

Mr. Beard says, that the end of the first century was 66 a period of great intellectual exertion, of great inquiry, a period of criticism." So it may have been, comparatively speaking. But Mr. B. may recollect, that the criticisms of the ancients were generally verbal, and that they seldom, if ever, doubted any matter-offact assertion, however impossible it might appear, being content with saying parenthetically," so it is related." so it is related." Condorcet, in whom, some years ago, I found this important hint, adduces as an instance, (I think) the Natural History of Pliny, written about A. D. 70. Mr. Beard will also recollect, that the Pagans never denied the Christian miracles, nor the Christians the Pagan; although it was not until the middle of the third century, that the Pagans, under the influence of the modern Platonic philosophy, seem to have become equally superstitious even with the Christians. When you answer Mr. B., you will of course notice his quoting Justin Martyr, &c. as instances of want of ignorance. You will remind him that Justin has made a horrible mistake, (about Semo Sancus) in which he has been followed by most of the Fathers of the church. As to Tertullian, who, like Justin, believed in the millenium, and in the love of angels for women, his assertion about the appearance in the air for forty days, of the heavenly Jerusalem, and his conversion to the opinions of the two old women, Priscilla and Maximilla, sufficiently evince his credulity. Not, however, that I blame Tertullian for saying, that God, although a spirit, is corporeal; and, when the great African Doctor affirms, (according to Daillé) that " plants are endued both with sense and understanding too," he seems to go even farther than any ordinary Materialist. Irenæus is the third Father, whom Mr. B. quotes as an instance of want of ignorance. Yet this Bishop affirms, that "Jesus" meant the "Heavens"- "Adonai"-" the Wonderful," &c. It is Irenæus too-who maintains, that Christ was more than forty years old, perhaps even fifty, when he died-and who says, that, according to Papias, the hearer of John, Christ (it appears to have been Christ) said, that "the days should come, when certain vines should have 10,000 branches, and each branch 10,000 bunches, and each bunch, &c. &c." (vid. Iren. contr. Hær. c. xxxiii. p. 333.) Minutius Felix, the fourth person quoted, was perhaps as sensible a Christian as any of his times; but we may recollect, that, in his very short work, he, like most of the other ancient Christian apologists, says little in favour of Christianity, although a great deal against Paganism; so that we might almost as well call him a Deist as a Christian. Origen is the last person who precedes the " &c. &c.," which so comfortably supplies the want of memory, and harmonizes the termination of a sentence. But, without examining the real value of this "&c." you may observe, that Origen was an allegorist, and con

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sequently might believe or disbelieve whatever he chose. these formidable Christians, Mr. Beard brings us to Josephus, who, it appears, mentions John the Baptist. But, if Mr. B. will turn to the passage of Lardner which he quotes, (vol. iii. p. 534. 4to edit.) he will find that this passage of Josephus is not without its difficulties, and, at any rate, made Blondell hesitate. Origen quotes the passage rather inaccurately, and Jerom quotes it very inaccurately. Besides, the imprisonment and execution of John in the castle of Macharus, seems not exactly to tally with the Evangelical account. I should wish also that Mr. B. had spoken with less assurance of part of the passage of Tacitus, which has a very parenthetical appearance. Indeed, the following word, or words, Repressa que," do not seem to occur in a very natural construction. Besides, the original MS. of the greater part of Tacitus's Annals and Histories may perhaps have been tampered with; probably about the eleventh or twelfth centuries, although from the use of the wor s, "hic" and " ille," in Ernesti's Preface, I cannot make out what was the date of the unique MS. seems, at any rate, to be allowed, that the copy of (or belonging to) Giacomo Giocondo is apocryphal-the which Giacomo Giocondo, by the bye, was, I suppose, the same ecclesiastic who (about probably the year 1500 or 1510) discovered the greater part of Pliny's Letters in a library at Paris. But to return: Mr. Beard will do well to examine whether any ancient writer ever quoted the above-mentioned passage of Tacitus; and if he cannot find any quotation of it, he had perhaps better pass it over. Returning, with Mr. Beard, to the investigation of Josephus, or, rather, of Dr. Lardner's extracts from that Jewish historian, we find Mr. B. quoting from Dr. Lardner what is perhaps the weakest part of all the Doctor's writings. Indeed, I cannot help thinking it rather a want of candour in Mr. B. not to have given us any sufficient instances of Josephus's wilful silence, especially as Dr. Lardner only mentions the omission, first, of the history of the golden calf; and, secondly, of the use of the word "Zion." If such slight omissions can explain the silence of an almost contemporary historian, with regard to the incarnation of the Almighty, and the frequent suspension of many of the known laws of nature, the logic of Dr. Lardner and his follower may be considered very Christian, but not very satisfactory.

N. B. If Mr. Beard be an Unitarian, (as one might guess from his fondness for Lardner and Priestley, and as I think I understood from something you said yesterday evening) I would recommend you just to ask him, how he can fly in the face of all Christian writers, (either heterodox or orthodox) beginning with Ignatius, and can deny the divinity of Christ, which was denied perhaps by only a fourth part of one of the most insignificant sects of all the first centuries? Whether it is you, or Mr. Beard, who has blundered about the word "Calvary," I do not rightly perceive, but

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I mention for your mutual service, that I do not think the word any where occurs in the Greek New Testament, although in the Latin Vulgate it is, I believe, always used instead of, or in explanation of, Golgotha; and, in the gospel of Luke, the English Royal translators have adopted it. In a note under the 824th page, Mr. B. quotes, with evident satisfaction, Dr. Lardner's remark about Dio Cassius. Mr. B. might as well have added, (what Dr. Lardner and probably every body else may tell us) that Dio Cassius did not write until A. D. 230. Mr. B. might also have instructed us, whether it is certain that Dio has not been Christianized in this, as probably in other places, by his epitomizer, John Xiphilin, nephew to the patriarch of Constantinople; although I confess, this Christianization has not in this instance been very great; for it is not, after all, absolutely certain, that the historian does mean Christianity, when he talks about "Atheism and Jewish manners.' Not but what indeed I am willing to grant Mr. B. all he wishes to prove, nay, I would grant him far more than he wishes; for I would sooner place the origin of Christianity a thousand years before the Dionysian era, than, as you do, a hundred years after. By the bye, as to Dr Lardner's three other historians, the first is the poet Juvenal, who has given us three obscure verses, of which the last is untranslateable; the second historian is Suetonius, who certainly, as it appears to me, does not mention the Christians by name, although it is possible he may allude to them; and the third historian is Bruttius (Præsens), who is only mentioned in what is called the Chronicle, of that best of all authorities, Eusebius !

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APHORISMS.

TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN OF DESIDERIUS ERASMUS.

ALL men are citizens of the world.

Man has no greater enemy than himself.

To love a woman we must love her mind.

There is no employment so low, but can be dignified by good conduct,

Honesty is the true nobility.

The nobility, that is but inherited, is not one's own, but one's

ancestors.

The good man's only aim is how he may be most useful to his fellow-citizens.

Virtue is her own reward.

The nearer we approach to death, the more we must hasten to be virtuous.

Overcome by benefits rather than by power.

Truth needs but few words; and the less said, the more remembered.

He is truly free, whom philosophy has made free.

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TO THE EDITOR OF "THE REPUBLICAN.” .

SIR,

Sheffield, July 24, 1825. IN your Republican of the 15th, you gave insertion to a communication from a person signing himself "Candid," who, among other things, expressed a particular desire that you should change the title of your Republican, and promulgate the doctrine of Fatalism or Necessity; to do which you cannot assent. On the latter point, or the doctrine of necessity, I have wished for your opposition. Candid says:-Let any man come forward now, who thinks that he is a free agent, and state those actions wherein he thinks that he is free, and he will soon receive a satisfactory reply, which will convince him of the truth he has never known before. Viewing as I do, the importance of the subject, and not as though the words Fatalism and Necessity, were" idle and mischievous words," any more than the word Atheist, which has often received a similar condemnation, and has been pronounced as a word that justifies vice, which neither you nor I are free enough to believe unless truth be vice.

The effects of the words in question on society shew that they are not so mischievous, as a justification for vice, as some people may imagine; but when it is demonstrated to be true, you and I of necessity must either believe them to be such or become corrupt and hypocritical individuals, and, in either case, I imagine, we cannot do otherwise under the same circum

stances.

You say, "admitting the doctrine of fatalism here, as far as Candid wishes to carry it, I must be candid enough to say, that he has shaken his own arguments, by calling upon me to do that, as a matter of course, at his request, the contrary of which, I feel compelled or fated to do." Here you acknowledge you are not free to change the title of the Republican, and yet you think that Candid has shaken his own argument; can it possibly be so. If you had the same view of the importance of the change at this moment, as you had when you first gave it that title, would you not of necessity, act up to that decision; for you still say, you prefer the same title; because you think it the most useful title that can at this time be adopted?+

What changes have you effected in the minds of individuals, from your superior motive or necessitating powers to produce conviction in them of the fallacy of the Christian system, that otherwise would, of the same necessity, have remained ignorant, and in some measure, cruel Christians? Are not all the Christian preachers and advocates necessitated to preach, defend and support the Christian religion; because they think it is the best system either to themselves as individuals deriving large profit from it, or as a system of salvation for what they call immortal souls, or of morals for society; and yet I may say hundreds, nay thousands, have changed and relinquished the Christian religion from your more powerful motives, necessitating them to such a change. But now they are Atheists, they can no more act and think as they did when Christians, than they could

I am free to do it, if I found reasons weighty enough; Candid called on me to make the change at his suggestion, without any reference to my own motives. R. C.

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But the word necessity, according to my definition of it, a something irresistible in its influence, is too harsh a word for the choice that is the effect of reasoning motives. R. C.

when Christians act and think as an Atheist. Their free agency consists in being determined like yours by the strongest motives, or such as they think conducive to their own or society's good.*

Is it not the case, that some time back, you would not have hesitated to promote acts immoral from a conviction of their being so, of which, now, from different circumstances or motives, you have come to different conclusions: and yet, at these two periods, could you have reversed your decisions? If not, in what does your free agency consist.†

Much pruning is required, before we can come at a correct system of what is moral and what is immoral. You have done much (the Lord be praised, the Methodist would say,) but whether you have a good foundation or not, we must leave to be determined by discussion. Public utility or happiness to the greatest number, has been the touchstone with many moralists for determining what is virtue and what is vice. What you have done for the welfare of mankind is incalculable, and posterity will duly appreciate your labours, if denied by your contemporaries; but if society is to determine what is, to its views of utility, &c. you have been in the eyes of many the greatest llain, or the most vicious man that ever lived. A great number in this society condemn you as being inimical to their happiness. If virtue is relative to existing customs, as you and others have said, the prevailing custom of this country, pronounces your indefatigable and virtuous course to be vicious. Under my present view of the subject, custom cannot make virtue vice or vice virtue. What is virtue or vice must be so under all circumstances.

The quality of any action performed by any individual, may be determined by asking what would be the consequence, if the same action be generally permitted. Imerely suggest, whether we may not by this, determine what are really good or bad acts. What nation, or custom of a nation, ever sincerely made such an action as the murder of Mr. Weare, or the actions of our midnight robbers, acts to be called virtuous. All these and every act really bad would, if more general, be fatal to society. And such acts as you are so unmercifully and barbarously suffering for, would, if ever so general, be the more felt as good.

Necessity has received a condemnation by E. Palmer similar to yours, and in like manner, unsupported, as to proof. He said, or meant, that it had not its foundation in truth. If it can be proved a system of truth, then it will be one thing, that will at the same time prove (I should think) truth vice. What inan, apparently moral, ever became immoral, from a knowledge of the doctrine of necessity as inculcated by Mirabaud and others? Does not the knowledge, that man, in all his actions, could not act different under the same circumstances, make such individuals more tolerant and humane, towards those who have the misfortune to deviate from what is thought to be moral rectitude, than the free-agent? Would not humanity, &c. in Peel and Co. be virtuous? Yes, for this reason; because he must be sensible that the only difference between the culprit and himself, is that he is not the same individual, and under precisely the same circumstances, or he should have done the same acts, and the rewards and punishment awarded to individuals, should be what would be the most conducive to operate on individuals and on society, so as to en

*What necessity does a man find to be a hypocrite or to be dishonest, when we know that throughout life, honesty is the best policy, and yields the greater amount of pleasure? R. C.

In the power of making comparisons. What impels me to make a comparison that deserves to be called necessity? What impels me to study one subject in preference to another? R. C.

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