« EdellinenJatka »
are very careful not to offend the Philosophers, by too rigid an adherence to the precepts of that Shaster, to which they know their adversaries have such an iusupcrable antipathy.
All the Philosophers now at ArdentHall, perform poojah to different systems: and seem to have no opinion in common, except the expectation of the return of the Suttee Jogue, which they distinguished by the name of The Age of Reason.
In this blessed æra of purity and perfection, it is believed by each of the Philosophers, that the worship of his Jdol shall be established; and the doctrines of his piiest, be the faith of the world.
"Then," fays Mr. Puzzledorf, "will be evinced the dignity of man.'" for this is the Idol to which Mr. Puzzledorf, professes the performance of poojah. You are, perhaps, curious to know in what this dignity consists? Know, then, that it appears, from the researches of the priest of Mr. Puzzledorf—that some difference in point of organization- doth actually exist between him and a Bamboo, or a Bramble-bush: no brain having as yet been discovered in any of the vegetable tribes. Should such a discovery crown the labours of some future Philosopher, what a sad stroke will i: be to the dig
nity of Man! He will then be reduced to a level, not only with- the beasts of the field, but with the very trees of the sorest! The similarity is already too conspicuous. Like them, he is doomed flowly to advance to maturity; shortly to flourish, and quickly to decay. Like them too, according to the faith of Mr. Puzzledors, he is doomed to moulder into dust, si om which, there is no hopes of resuscitation, no prospect of revival!—Such in the eyes of the adherents of this system, is the vaunted dignity of Man!
The Idol of Mr. Axiom, is the little stamina-at the top of the nose. This, he declares to be imperishable, and that it must of necessity exist to all eternity.— To the faith of Mr. Axiom, Mr. Puzzledorf opposes an argument, that is frequently made use of by the biggoted of all sects, against the opinions of their idveifaries:— viz. That it is nonsense. He fays, moreover, that in the age of reason, it will incontestibly appear, that every panicle is alike liable to the decomposition which those poor bodies of our's must undergo in the laboratory of death, who ' is too good a chemist to luster a little favourite Stamiua of Mr. Axiom, to elcape him. Both. Philosophers appeal for the truth of their systems, Jo the experiments of Dcctcr Severao. Alas 1 little does the good Doctor think, that the existence of a future state, depends upon the management of his crucible!
I have not been able to discover the name of the System, to which Doctor Sceptic pays his vows, the only thing I have ever heard him attempt to prove, is, that nothing ever was, will, or can be proved. All religions being, in his opinion, equally false, ridiculous, and absurd. But, though he performs not poojah to the Idols of any of his brother Philosophers, it is the religion of Christianity, against which, the arrows of his sarcasm are chiefly pointed. When an opportunity occurs of venting the overflowings of his zeal, in a sneer at any of the opinions or practices of the Christians, his rigid features relax into a smile of triumph, which, for a moment, dispels from his countenance the gloora of discontent. It seems to have been the endeavour of his life, to eradicate from his bosom, those social feelings and affections, which form so great a part of the felicity of common mortals.—A stranger to the animating glow of friendship, and the tender confidence of esteem; he considers all attachments, as a proof of weakness—into which, if he has ever in any degree relaxed—it is in favour of
a nephew, a hopeful youth, whom he piques himself upon having freed from the prejudices he had contracted from a pious father, . at whose piety, and whose prejudices, the young man now laughs in a very becoming manner!
The idol to whose service this young man hath devoted himself, is called Atheism. From all that I have been able to learn, Atheism is an infernal deity, who demands of his votaries, such cruel sacrifices—that every one initiated into the mysteries of this faith, must make a solemn and absolute renunciation of the use of his senses—shut his eyes upon the fair volume of Nature—and deny to his .heart, the pleasurable emotions of admiration and gratitude!
Such are the sacrifices required by this Idol, even from its speculative votaries. The zeal of its practical proselytes, carries them still farther,—I am told, that the female converts seldom fail to make an offering to Atheism, of their peace, purity, and good fame; and that of its worshippers, among the lower orders of men, numbers every year suffer martyrdom, at a place called Newgate; which I suppose to be a temple dedicated to this superstition. »
What are the posthumous honours, which the martyrs of Atheism, receive
Vol. II. G
rom iheiv brethren, the philosophers, I have not been able to discover, as it is a subject on which the philosophers modestly decline to expatiate.
From the conversations that I have overheard, between the nephew of Doctor Sceptic, and Mr. Vapour, who is one of the most renowned teachers of this Faith, 1 find, that its adherents perform poojah to certain inferior Dewtah, called Existing, or External, circumstances, energies, aud powers, of whom, I am not yet sufficiently prepared to speak.
PvTr. Vapour is particularly tenacious of his faith, which is, indeed, of a very extraordinary nature. Rejecting all the received opinions that have hitherto prevailed in the world, and utterly discrediting the circumstances upon which they have been founded; he reserves his whole stock of credulity for futurity. Here his faith is so strong, as to bound over the barriers of probability, to unite all that is discordant in nature, and to believe in things impoffible.
The age of reason, is thought, by Mr. Vapour, to be very near at hand. Nothing. he fays, is so easy, as to bring it about immediately. It is only to persuade the people in power to resign its exercise; the rich to part with their property.; and with one consent, to abolish all laws,