Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine,  3rd ser. 1 (1822), 318–19.

Christian Retrospect of General Occurrences Interesting to those who Fear God, on Account of Their Influence on Religion, or on Public Morals and Happiness. No. V.—Applications to the Lord Chancellor Respecting Lord Byron's 'Cain' and Lawrence's 'Lectures'.—Guilt of Being Accessory to the Circulation of Mischievous Books



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Government, Infidelity, Biblical Authority, Publishing, Lecturing, Medical Practitioners, Education, Immortality, Materialism, Libraries, Reading, Gender

    Applauds the decision of the Lord Chancellor (John Scott (1st Earl of Eldon)) to refuse copyright protection to George G N, 6th Baron Byron's Cain and William Lawrence's Lectures on Physiology, Zoology, and the Natural History of Man, on the grounds that they contained attacks on the Bible. Welcomes the fact that 'not merely the inferior offenders have been visited, but that the great culprits, those who make taste and science the media through which to convey the poison, have been told that they are making a market of vice, and that the laws of an insulted country shall not be employed in their favour'. Argues that the issue is not one of 'freedom of discussion' since poetry and lectures for medical students are not the proper place for theological investigation, and the 'introduction of infidel principles' in such cases is 'gratuitous'. (318) Observes that the 'reading and studious youth of our country, are the class of persons most endangered by these publications', and urges: 'The sin of reading bad books ought to be pointed out by Minister, and their circulation as much as possible prevented by Parents, Guardians, and the Managers of Public Libraries'. Discusses this point at some length, and observes: 'Books are put within the reach of females, which it is a stain upon their virtue to say they have read, and an insult to them to inquire whether they have read through'. (319)

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