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As the most remarkable Comets have been generally attended with extraordinary tides and tempests, it were to be wished that those who have an opportunity, would be partieularly careful in noticing such natural phenomena as may take place during the appearance of this Comet. Such an opportunity may not again present itself for many years.
John Woon. Richmond, September 15.
Some of the moderns, particularly Sir Isaac Newton, are. of opinion, that the Comets are ordained by Providence to supply the Sun, at stated periods, with matter peculiar to its nature, and to make up the deficiency which must arise from the continual emission of the particles of light. These however are mere hypotheses. The same also may be said of every thing that can be advanced concerning their being inhabited worlds ; for, if animals can exist there, they must be creatures very far different from any of which we have the least conception. Some who have indulged themselves in visionary ideas, think they are appointed as the place of torment for the damned ; that each Comet is properly and literally speaking, a hell, from the intolerable and inconceivable heat and cold which alternately takes place in these bodies.
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. “ Religious liberty is a liberty to choose our own religion, to worship God according to our own consciences, according to the best light we have. Every man living as man, has a right to this, as he is a rational creature. The Creator gave him this right, when he endowed him with understanding; and every man must judge for himself, because every man must give an account of himself to God. Consequently this is an indefeasible right; it is inseperable from humanity ; and God did never give authority to any man, or number of men, to deprive any child of man thereof, under any color or pretence whatever. What an amazing thing is it then, that the governing power of almost every nation under heaven should take upon them, in all ages, to rob all under their power of this liberty! Yea, should take upon them at this day so to do! To force rational creatures into their own religion! Would one think it possible, that the most sensible men in the world should say to their fellow-creatures, • Either be of my religion, or I will take away your food, and you, and your wife and children shall starve? If that will not convince you, I will fetter your hands and feet, and throw you into a dungeon ; and is still you will not see as I sce; I will burn you alive. It would not be altogether so astonishing, if this were the manner of American savages. But what shall we say, if namberless instances of it bave occurred in the politest nations of Europe? Have no instances of the kind been seen in Britain ? Have not England and Scotland seen the horrid fires? Have not the flames burning the flesh of heretics, shone in London as well as in Paris and Lisbon."
JOHN WESLEY. Be it the care of republicans, that they never shine in America !
PHILOSOPHERS. Unless either philosophers bear rule in states, or those who are called kings and potentates learn to philosophize justly and properly, and thus both civil power and philosophy are united in the same person, it appears to me that there can be no cessation of calamities, either to states or to the whole-human race."--So said Plato, one of the wisest and best men of antiquity-and so says common sense; but fools and knaves in our day denounce philosophers as a disgrace to the people over whom they preside!
COMMENT ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND,
Extracted from the writings of Mr. John Wesley, and recommended to the serious consideration of the Legislature of this state.
“ In the beginning of July, 1761, I was desired to call on a poor prisoner in the castle of York, (England.)—I had fornierly occasion to take notice of a hideous monster, called a Chancery Bill-I now saw the fellow to it called a Declaration. The plain fact was this : Some time since, a man: who lived near Yarm, assisted others in running some brandy; his share was worth nearly four pounds. After he had wholly left off that work, and was following his own business, that of a weaver, he was arrested, and sent to York gaol. And not long after came down a Declaration, that Jack, who had landed a vessel laden with brandy and Geneva, whereby he was indebted to his Sovereign Lord the King, in the sun of 576). and upwards. And to tell this worthy story, the lawyer takes up 13 or 14 sheets of the treble stampt paper.
“O England! Will this, reproach never be rolled away from thee! Is there any thing like this to be found, either among Turks or heathens? In the name of justice, mercy, and common sense, I ask, 1st.-Why do men lie for lying sake? Is it only to keep their hands in? What need else of saying it was the port of London ? When every one knew the brandy was landed 300 miles from thence.
What a monstrous contempt of truth does this shew, or rather hatred to it? 20.- Where is the justice of swelling 41. into 5761. ? 3d.- Where is the common sense of taking up 14 sheets of paper to tell a story, that may be told in ten lines? 4th.-_Where is the mercy of thus grinding the face of the poor beggared prisoner? Would not this be execrable villainy, if the paper and writing together, were only 6d. a sheet, when they had stript him already of his little all, and had not left him 14 groats in the world?
• It is certain that nothing can be said in defence of our law proceedings. They are often absurd, highly oppressive to the subject, and disgraceful to a civilized nation. In criminal cases, how often does the indictment magnify and exaggerate both the crime and every circumstance connected with it, beyond all the bounds of truth and probability! Hence it becomes extremely difficult for the Jurymen to discharge their duty with a good conscience. And we seldom see punishments duly proportioned to the crimes committed. What shall we say in other cases where the tautology and circumlocution peculiar to the language of our law, the delay of judgment in the courts, and the tergiversation permitted through the whole proceedings, render it impossible for an honest man in middling life to obtain his right against a villain, without the utmost danger of being ruined ? A man who robs on the highway is hung-but a villain who robs by means of the chicanery, delay and expence of the law, escapes with impunity, and is applauded."
BIRTH OF PLATO, In the Aristippe of Weiland, translated into French, by Henry Coiffier, in 5 vols. 8vo. Paris, 1802, vol. 2, p. 233, is the following note :-" It is said that the father of Plato having married his cousin Germaine, Apollo appeared to him, and commanded him not to approach his wife, who was with child by him. Aristo obeyed, his wife was brought to bed; and behold Plato the son of a God, and born of a vir
Query. Did the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ arise out of this story, or some other ?—Plato was born 46% years before Christ.
SPANISH CLERGY. According to the royal census of Spain, (says a late writer) taken in 1801, there were in that country, 2,424,772 male inhabitants, between the ages of fifteen and sixty: of these 152,285 were regular and secular clergy, making about one for every fifteen men in the country.
ESTABLISHED CHURCH OF ENGLAND. The following is said to be an accurate list of the Ecclesiastical Officers of the Church of England, with the revenue attached to each per annum. It exhibits the deplorable state of society in a country where the church is blended with the government, and where the government has the filling of all good livings, so called.
1. 35,000 100,000 20,000 15,000 100,000 30,000
7,000 1,000,000 500,000 50,000
Total l. 1,857,000
Equal to 8,253,333 dollars. Exclusive of Rural Deans, Officers in Collegiate Churches, Lecturers, &c.
FUNERAL DIRECTIONS. The following are part of the directions which Mr. Hugh Kirk, who lately died at Belfast, left in writing with his executors, respecting his funeral, and which we think very worthy of imitation,
“ It is my particular request, that as little money as possible be expended on my funeral, my fixed opinion being that whatever is so spent, more than common decency requires, is worse than lost; it is a robbery on the surviving part of the family. Let my coffin be plain deal, painted black or oak color, as you please ; no escutcheons, except the two handles at the ends ; neither age nor name on it ; no hearse, no head stone, no scarfs, no gloves, no spirits, tobacco or pipes ; all these are utterly vain and useless, not meaning hereby to restrain you from exercising your discretion with respect to such necessary refreshment as my house will afford to my particular friends, and to the bearers of the bier. The poor-house grave yard being the nearest, and no more expensive than others, I suppose, and the money paid being applied to charitable purposes, I wish you to give it the preference, especially for the reasons last mentioned."
ART OF PRINTING. The Art of Printing is the only true black art that is known to us. It is the magician, that works wonders. A free press transforms a political desert into a paradise, the might of superstition into the day-tide of truth. • Introduce