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Cross-examined by Mr. Curlile.-Was there any besitation on my part to serve you?
Witness - None at all. You did it rather cheerfully. You asked me if I did not want half a dozen copies.
The Chief Justice now said, that as the defendant wished the information to be read, the counts, and the passages in the book to which they referred had better now be read to the Jury.
The information was then read by Mr. Bellamy, the officer of the Court.
Mr. Carlife admitted that the passages in the book corresponded with the passages
set forth in the information, and added, that it was unnecessary to read the passages twice over, as he should read the book himself as a part of his defence.
During the reading of the information, the Archbishop of Canterbury entered the Court and took his seat beside the Chief Justice.
Mr. Hunt, Mr. Carlile, and some other persons, friends of the latter, were busily engaged in taking notes of the Atorney-General's speech, and of the evidence.
The case for the prosecution having been closed, Mr. Carlile then rose to make his defence.
“Gentlemen of the Jury-I now rise to make my defence agaiñst the charge against me by the Attorney-General, and believe me I am deeply im. pressed with the great importance of the subject. Of deep importance, indeed, it is ; for it is no less a question, than to try, whether a man may, or may not, be tolerated in indulging whatever creed or opinion he pleases in religious affairs. The Attorney-General has boasted much of the liberty of the press, and of free discussion : but I do not think that he has evinced much of this spirit of liberality on the present occasion. It is my desire, therefore, Gentlemen, to go into this case more fully than he has done, and to examine it in all its bearings, for I think iť a question of the first magnitude. In doing this, I shall endeavour to convince you, Gentlemen, of not alone what were my motives for publishing Paine's Age of Reason, but what were the motives of Paine himself, in the original publication. I will shew you, also, I am sure, that it is is not that blasphemous work it is described to be nor am I that impious and wicked individual deseribed in the Attorney Ge. neral's information. That Learned Gentleman has said, that the eyes of the country, and Europe, are upon you this day. I say so too, for I have hadi communications from all quarters, expressing the deepest anxiety upon the subject, and even letters of condolence that I should thus be persecnted, and of a sympathy which is, I believe, in accordance with the public feeling, under the influence of which I have no doubt that you will this day pronounce me--Not Guilty. For, who are those gentlemen who seek a verdict against me on the present occasion ? Are they not those who, as in times of old, lit up fires in-Smithfield, and sanctioned the massacres, and murders, and tortures of their fellow creatures? It is not upon such a principle, surely, that the Attorney-Generel would this day defend the Christian Religion. The speech of the Attorney-General, he continued, was a repetition of common place expressions from one end to the other; and as to religion, it was but a parody upon all the Attorney-Generals who had gone before him. He had talked as they did of the liberty of the press, and as they would have done, charged him with licentiousness, but he denied it. The At torney-General saiủ, that the present prosecution was founded on tbe law of the land, but he had not shewn it, nor could he prove it. The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Christian Religion, it was true, contained the doctrine of the Trinity, the very first article in particular. It was well known, however, that in order to relieve individuals from persecution, who did not believe in the Trinity, there was a Toleration Act. This was as just as it was rational, for the Article mentioned was irreconcileable, one part describing the Deity as a Being without substance or matter; and the other shewing that there was an nuity of three persons with substance and matter. The Act of Toleration he contended, went to the repeal of this very Article, b ecause wen were allowed, by law, to fworship God, without being call upon to believe in the Trinity. The Attorney General, therefore, in saying that the Christian Religion was the law of the land, might have added that Deism was also the law of the land, for the Act protected those who did not be lieve the Christian doctrines. There was no law he knew of, which defined or took cognizance of blasphemy; and it was therefore he felt himself juş. tified in publishing Paine's Age of Reason. He denied that he had any malicious or impious intention, as alleged against him, and reminded the Jury that the Jews considered the Christian Religion a cheat; the Christians thought the same of the Jews; both thought alike of the Hindoos, and all thought the religion of the Mahometans a cheat.
He then cited at length the cases of those who had been convicted before, but on different grounds, for publishing the Age of Reason, and charged the Attorney-General himself with being a professed Unitarian. His father, brothers, and relations, he could undertake tu say, were of that sect; but it was probable that the exaltation of the Attorney-General might have induced an abandonment of those religious principles.
Mr. Carlile went on expressing his conviction of an acquittal, and having obtained leave to band to a few of the Jury, copies of the Age of Reason, we left him, reading and descanting upon it, page by page, and sentence by sentende. CHRISTIAN TOLERANCE, AND CHRISTIAN
We cannot avoid noticing a paragraph of a most maligrtant tendency, which appeared in The Courier a few evenings since, relative to the approaching trial of Mr. Carlile.
That vile Print, after informing its readers that the above Gentleman had issued subpoenas against several persons of distinction in the ecclesiastical and astronomical world, (amongst whom is the Astronomer from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich,) observes that they are not compelled to attend, unless their expenses are tendered to them beforehand. The malicious intention of this remark is easily seen through; the Editor of that prop to religious as well. as political tyranny, wishes to throw every obstacle in Mr. Carlile's way, that he may not be able to meet the advocates of Christianity on fair grounds. If this be Christian charity, we disclaim it, as being unjust in its principle; but when, we ask, were any sect of Christians actuated by principles of justice ?-Never. Every other sect cries out against the Catholics for their cruelty, intolerance, and rapacity, when power was vested or reposed in their hands, and truly they made a cloak of religion to sanctify their wickedness and villainy. Thus an inveterate hatred is kept up amongst the Protestants of this country for that religion, and they are told that their own is the most authentic, the most just
in principle, and the most tolerant of all others. Those lessons being instilled in childhood, are not easily erased or forgotten; but let us just see how the Protestants acted when they got into power, and if we find that their conduct was as gross as that of their Catholic brethren, it is but fair to conclude that the foundation of the doctrines of both is false and absurd. We will take the Inquisition of Spain as the criterion of Catholic enormities, and seek for a parallel in these free, happy, and contented countries. In Ireland, when first the Protestant religion was established there by the Government, penal laws were instituted against those who adhered to the Catholic faith, inflicting pains and penalties of a description, if not so‘atrocious as those of the Inquisition, were at least as abhorrent to every principle of justice, honor, filial love, and every nobler sentiment of the heart. We will quote from memory a few examples of those laws, in support of our assertion, and leave it to the unbiassed judgment of the reader, if the Christian religion has not been rather a curse than a blessing to the world.
- If a Protestant stabbed, or in any other manner put a Catholic to death ; by paying a fine of one mark to the. King, he was discharged. If, however, a Catholic put to death a Protestant, instant death was the forfeit of his crime, nor would any fine in such case be received as an atonement."*--Christian justice !!!
“ If any Catholic clergyman was observed to perform the service of the mass, himself and his followers might be massacred with impunity.”—Christian mercy
any Catholic be possessed of property, and that any of his children (the eldest always having the preference) choose to read their recantation, they are forthwith put in possession of such property, and the unfortunate parent is driven forth, houseless and pennyless, together with those children who, like their father, proudly refuse to be compelled to give up à religion, of the absurdity of which, reason and argument would convince them, without resorting to force. Should the unfortunate parent retire to some other part of the country, and there by his industry and application to business accumulate a comfortable independence, this same child, or any other of them who chose to take advantage of the offers held out to them as a reward for abandoning every principle of virtue and honor, might again turn their aged and miserable father a wanderer
*The Courier absolutely has this week held forth, that it would be less criminal for a constable to murder à Radical Reformer, than for a Radical Reformer to murder a constable! God forbid that thie constables should take the hint!
upon the world, without even a place to hide his head: and thus ad infinitum.”-Christian tolerànce, and Christian humanity!!!
Such laws as the foregoing show the spirit of intolerance which characterized Protestant ascendancy, and who can wonder that the Catholics of Ireland were not delighted at the opportunity of embracing a religion, of the justice and lenity of which they had ocular demonstration ? The truth is, that every sect of Christianity, when in power, displayed a spirit of cruelty, rapacity, and injustice, as opposite to religion and piety as any of the atrocities of Mahomet, Moses, or any of the other fraudulent impostors, who plundered the world of its treasures, and revelled in the forced embraces of virtuous maidens, in the name of their Creator.
Alas! poor Ireland, how hast thou been abused and degraded. The time, however, is now fast approaching which will reinstate thee in thy rank amongst the nations of Europe. Be prepared for the convulsion; for doubtless a desperate attempt will be made by the military despots to retain their ill used authority : such attempts, however, will be frustrated. In England the laws allow every man to wear arms, and in many parts the People are taking advantage of those laws, and learning to use them; thus preparing themselves to fulfill their duty to their country. Will Ireland be backward in the approaching contest for freedom? Is the spirit which animated a Borhime and a Sarsfield nowhere to be found? Will not Limerick, which for two successive years shed the blood of her citizens in support of the last shadow of freedom in the “ Emerald Isle of the Ocean," be amongst the first to hail the return of the smiling Goddess, and put forth their hearts' blood upon the soil which cherished them, till her banners wave in triumph over the green hills of liberated Erin. The departed spirits of those heroes who conducted their ancestors to victory will hover over them in the day of trial --will point to those trophies and those fields which registered the greatness of their country's struggles, and even
to those fatal hills* where every defeat was hallowed by the tears of the virtuous, the patriotic, and the independent. If any country in this world has stronger reasons than another for asserting her independence vi et armis, that country is Ireland; her accumulated wrongs-her plundered treasury-her galling chains--all, all conspire to induce an union between the sister kingdoms, for the purpose of giving a death-blow to the system of despotism which has crushed both nations to the dust, and crippled their every effort to free.themselves from their tyrants. Laws have been passed prohibiting the inhabitants of Ireland from wearing arms, or even from having them in their houses, unless licensed ; but we are of opinion that the House of Commons has not, nor ever had a right to abrogate or curtail the liberties of the People. Such authority is a gross usurpation, and therefore we imagine that the People are justifiable in their disobedience of it. Eng. land is doing her duty, and we trust that in the hour of danger Irishmen will not shrink from the assertion of their independence, but continue to be what they always have been-the firm, and in this instance, we hope, not unfortunate, advocates of freedom.
It is true that the Reformers of England are many (perhaps most) of them Deists; but all that Deists require is that tolerance, equal tolerance, should be given to every Religion, and that none should in any way be connected with Government. Thus, in the event of success to our united efforts, Ireland has every thing to gain-nothing to lose.
The Jury is now impannelled to try, we might almost say the validity of the Christian Religion: at all events they are to decide whether enquiry after truth is henceforth to be permitted. Upon their verdict depends the fate of millions. What that verdict will be we know not; but this we know, that despotism will benefit in a most dangerous degree byą verdict of guilty. If a contrary verdict be registered, freedom will triumph; and the supporters of arbitrary power will fall, never again to raise their impious heads amidst the good and virtuous part of the community.
SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PEOPLE.
We have hitherto maintained that the sovereignty is in the People, and we now declare that it is a principle which we will surrender only with our lives. If this axiom be allowed, (and what English monarch will dare to disallow it?) it follows of course that all are equal in their rights and privileges, however unequal in the gifts of fortune. How artfally bave the Ministerial hirelings played upon this word, and enforced the idea of an equality of wealth, as being the summum bonum at which all those aimed who were loud in their outcries for Reforın, We can call to mind the chorus of an old ditty on this head, which will tend to exemplify the meaning which Government deduce from the word “equal."
“ If equal all, then all would fail;
“ Old England sure would rue it. “ We all should like to drink good ale,
6. But tell me who wonld brew it”