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tresses, their bottles and their bowls, with their sports on the turf, and at the gaming table, on the one hand; or their impious, if not blasphemous volumes, and their quills spreading sophistry and falsehood upon the unsullied page, on the other. What did Voltaire-or Hume care for the happiness of mankind, or the good order of society, when assail. ing by their sneers and sarcasms the mysteries of religion? Evidently nothing. Whoever will, ob serve carefully how much pains the one takes to show off his splendid and pungent wit, in his correspondence with that Arch Infidel, commonly, but not with strict justice, I think, called Frederic the Great, and the other to spin out or weave cold and heartless sophisms, in his Essay on Miracles, which by the bye, Campbell has entirely refuted; will be satisfied of the truth of what I now advance. But wit is not wisdom, nor is sophistry truth; much less the wisdom and the truth that descend from above, which have God for their author, and which shine in all the splendor of his Divinity on the page of revelation. The pride of learning, the self-conceit, the vanity, (and perhaps, in some of them, the malignity,) of these men, were gratified; but if these, their weak and wicked passions, were gratified at the expense of their eternal salvation, and led them at last to those gloomy shades, where, instead of the mistress, the bottle and the bowl, the turf and the billiard table, they have found nought but "weeping, and wailing and gnashing of teeth," amid the tormenting fires of perdition; then I ask,
who can envy them in this awful termination of their guilty pleasures, and their impious and hea. ven-daring labors? I do not believe my friend Heritell to be one of these men. I think I can account for his scepticism, or Infidelity, on different ground; on ground more honorable both to his head and his heart, affecting only his want of zeal and inclination to study the subject thoroughly, which I do not despair he will yet do to his own honor and the glory of his Redeemer. I cannot readily believe-I will not indeed believe—that a man of his endowments of mind, and heart, will go down to the grave, unregenerated by the holy spirit, unconsoled by the promises of the gospel ! No I hope to see the day, when his mind, instead of ruminating or resting on the cheerless system of the sceptic and the infidel, will turn its thoughts into a purer channel, which will lead him sincerely to exclaim, in the language of Campbell :
“ Ah me! the laurell'd wreathe that murder rears,
And sink, ye stars, that light me to the tomb!
and fourth articles of it may be passed over by me, without the slightest disregard of the cause I am defending. I am not, any more than yourself, the advocate of a church and state alliance : It is, indeed, a part of my own creed to believe, that all such alliances have tended to the corruption and defilement of Christianity. Vo sound believer, no man who believes Christianity to be, as it is, the
Divine Science of the Heart, wishes to see it trammelled or perverted by any connection that shall impair its influence on the heart, and render it the mere instrument of human policy and expediency, instead of the demonstration and power of the holy spirit. One of the main obstacles, indeed, to the propagation of Christianity in its out-set, was, that it warred expressly with that connection of the civil and political government, with the religion of the land, which then prevailed in all the governments, whether among the Jews or Gentiles. Paul found this church and state alliance the most powerful bulwark against the introduction of the doctrines of the cross, as promulgated by the Saviour: For it was our blessed Redeemer himself, who first dissolved, by his preaching and practice, the entanga ling alliance between religion and human or civil and political government; who first taught the people of all nations the distinction between their duty to CÆSAR and to God. .
But when you come on to the fifth article, or negative portion of your creed, and undertake to tell us what you do not believe, there are several items, which require consideration.
“I cannot,” you say, “be induced to believe that to be a good religion for society, which excites a disposition in its advocates to trench on the equal rights of other men.”
You undoubtedly mean to be understood here, as speaking of the Christian Religion; for as a very important ceremony, or ordinance of that religion was under discussion, I cannot so far impeach your understanding, as to suppose you had reference to Paganism, or the system of the Arabian Impostor; nor will I impeach your moral courage, by supposing you capable of insinuating what you dare not assert. You do, then, and I presume you will not deny it, mean to be understood as saying, that the Divine Religion (as I justly style it) of our Saviour, "excites a disposition in its advocates to trench on the equal rights of other men!" + As a lawyer, as a man of science, you know full well, that the nature of a creed is to be tested by its articles, as declared by its author, or authors; and not by the practice of those who profess it. The Christian creed is to be found in its primitive purity in the sermon of its Divine Author upon the mount. Let us turn to it for a few moments; and see whether it contains a solitary sentence, calculated to excite its followers to acts of injustice or oppression.
Passing over the beatitudes, with which that sermon commences, and which are of themselves an
ample refutation of your assertion, as applied to Christianity; the first positive injunction it contains, is in these words :-“ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Is there any apology, much less authority, in this injunction of the Saviour himself, for the conduct of any of his professed disciples, who should attempt, or evince the disposition to attempt, even the slightest infringement of “thc equal rights of other men ?” Certainly not—but the sermon from the beginning to the end, abounds in maxims even stronger to the purpose than this; and does not contain a solitary syllable the reverse of it: such are the following:
*“ Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”.
I could multiply these quotations; but it would be useless : For when I challenge you to show a precept, a rule, or a law, emanating from Christ, or any of the Evangelists or Apostles, contrary to the letter or spirit of these quotations, I do all that any rational being can ask me to do, on this occa. sion: And if we take it for granted, since such is the truth, that there is nothing which contradicts them in any portion of the revealed word and will of God; then it is clearly proven that “the law and the prophets," and Christ and his Evangelists and Apostles, all concur in condemning expressly