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this zeal, sometimes carries the Philosophers to a pitch of intolerance, that is repugnant to the feelings of a Hindoo. Never did the most bigotted derveish" of the Mussulmans, betray more abhorrence at the sight of the Idols of the Pagoda, than is evinced by the worshipper of system towards a Christian priest : And yet, so far are the latter from returning any portion of this dislike, that the majority of them 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 insuperable antipathy. All the Philosophers now at Ardent-Hall, 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 distinguish by the name of The Age of Reason.
* The antipathy of the Mussulmans to every species of Idolatry, is still the occasion of frequent disturbances to the Hindoos, in the performance of the superstitious ceremonies of their religion.
In this blessed aera of purity and perfection, it is believed by each of the Philosophers, that the worship of his Idol shall be established; and the doctrines of his priest, be the faith of the world.
“Then,” says 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 it be to the dignity 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 forest The similarity is already too conspicuous. Like them, he is doomed slowly to advance to maturity; shortly to flourish, and quickly to decay. Like them too, according to the faith of Mr. Puzzledorf, he is doomcd to iroulder into dust, from 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 bigotted of all sects, against the opinions of their adversaries:—viz. That it is nonsense. He says, moreover, that in the age of reason, it will incontestably appear, that every particle is alike liable to the decomposition which these poor bodies of our's must undergo in the laboratory of death, who is too good a chemist to suffer the little favourite Stamina of Mr. Axiom, to escape him. Both Philosophers appeal for the
truth of their systems, to the experiments of Doctor Severan. Alas! 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 gloom of discontent. It seems to have been the endeavour of his life, to eradicate from his bosom, those social feelVol. In . 16
ings 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 :