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publish against christianity? “He'd singe his “ beard at it.” To deny, write, or publish against the doctrine of the Trinity in this country, for example, would be fatal to the interest, credit, character, and safety of any man. Dr. Priestley, one of the first philosophers of the age, to the disgrace of the country where it happened, having written against it, had his property devoted to an Auto da fe, and the only regret of some was, that he had himself escaped the flames. In fear of it; he was forced to exile himself. Let no man falsely infer, that I mean to deny or impugn the doctrine. It is an established doctrine, which, be it scriptural or unscriptural, it is unlawful to deny. When H. More determined the ruin of the Curate of Blagdon, she, against her own conscience and better information, instructed the Bishop that he had preached and spoke against that doctrine, neglected to read the Athanasian creed ; and she called one other clergyman at least, without proof, Socinian. The lady has yet to learn what christianity is, and wants truth, as well as force of mind, to reason on the subject.
In p. 170, she says .
“ It is the beauty of our religion, that it is not held out “ exclusively to a few select spirits ; that it is not an object “ of speculation, or an exercise of ingenuity, but a rule of “ life, suited to every condition, capacity, and temper."
Now this is true of the religion itself, as it was intended to be, and is contained, in the scriptures; but the doctors of christianity tell and teach us, and enact by their decrees, that though “ many : 6 are called, few will be saved.” She adds
" It is the glory of the Christian religion to be, what it “ was the glory of every ancient philosophic system not “to be, the religion of the people; and that which con, “stitutes its characteristic value, is its suitableness to the “ genius, condition, and necessities of all mankind.”
Every religion has the same object and preten. sions. Among the ancients, the philosophers did not believe the whole můmmery of the mythology, and Strabo expressly tells us, that the state made use of a superstitious mythology as a bugbear to govern the people. If there were less system and speculative doctrines, “after the rudiments of the “ world,” there perhaps would have been less oça casion to repeat the same observation of christian Europe. But though an attentive reader can easily perceive that H. M. thinks the Athanasian creed, and some parts of the liturgy very exceptionable, for the world she would not refuse them the highest general praise, nor oppose craft, nor the general stream, nor publish aught but what she knew would be acceptable, well knowing the tendency to superstition natural to the human mind; that the dissemination of mysticism would be by the people more readily received, and to some of their superiors more agreeable, than true and genuine christianity. Į repeat it again, H. More possesses moderate talents, greatly puffed; but her most prominent feature is qunning, artful-, ness and deceit. H, M, is no fool!
It is remarkable, that there is not in all her werks one expression of disapprobation of wars
and bloodshed, or any anxiety, for the eternal fate of those who have fallen in battle, or à wish that the day may arrive when “ wars shall be no more." She seems perfectly to assent to that article that says, “ It is lawful for christian men to serve in “ war." What becomes now of her doctrine of t forbearance and self-denial?” Her doctrines are either false, or the practice of christian societies wrong. She ought to aim her feeble blows at the root of the evil, or grant herself to be inconsistent, or an hypocrite. Why not object to fighting altogether? Why not disapprove of fighting battles on Sunday, murdering the human species on the Sabbath day, and selling mackarel, as well as hair-dressers combing out our hair? What is the difference, the moral turpitude, in the eye of reason, of virtue, of genuine christianity, and in the sight of God, between letters of marque to“ take, “ sink, burn, and destroy" a French, Dutch, or American vessel, on the high seas, and two highwaymen or footpads taking the liberty to stop, put in bodily fear, rob, maim, and murder a man on the highway? What is the difference, in turpitude, between stabbing, by “ private accusa« tions,” by day, an honest man's character, and murdering his person by night? Society is not likely to be much mended by this lady's writings. The inference is lamentable, that nonsense always did, and is likely always to sell better than sense, and fanaticism to be more acceptable than genuine christianity. I never yet read any thing more excellent, nor more congruous to the spirit of the :
gospel, than “ our duties,” as described in the church catechism. With her, to be a good christian, seems to be cunning and craft for this world; and she takes care in her gospel novels that her profligates reclaimed, as the methodists indeed often do, whatever befals them in the next, shall, in this world, arrive at “ good circumstances." She herself in her early years, in the high days of youth, without going to the church; secured “two « hundred pounds a year for life;" and now in advanced years, she, by her“ bloody piety," has got more.-" Godliness is great gain" to soine people.
In p. 192, the modern philosopher has afforded her matter for an unmeaning paragraph, antithetically constructed. Whether the soul of man be material or immaterial, does not weaken the obligations to virtue. The space intervening between death and the resurrection, is, to the materialist, as a “ punctum stans;" the myriads of years that flow between are as the sleep of one night; he sleeps to night, and awakes to-morrow, the resurrection; he dies to night, and awakes at the resurrection to-morrow. He is unconscious of the time elapsed between. A disadvantage and an advantage attends the lot of the immate- . rialist, that the years that pass between death and the last judgment are added to his happiness or sufferings. Many pious christians have adopted both opinions, and though I am of the latter opinion, I do not think the other unreasonable. For Mrs. More, therefore, to carp at the materialist, was but idleness and vanity. The invisible world
is altogether unknown to us; departed spirits re: turn not to us, to relate the condition of that state; , and revelation has only assured us, that our Lord is gone to prepare a place for us, and that God, for that end, and our comfort and hope, raised him from the dead.
The position (p. 197) that “ the pride of great “ acquirements, and of great wealth, equally ob“ structs the reception of divine truth into the “ heart,” is not fact. Sir Isaac Newton, and very many other luminaries, have been, and will be on the side of christianity, and it will influence their general lives. Learning, indeed, always revolts at mystical and non-descript, but will ever approve of and embrace rational, christianity. · Page 206, Mrs. More says .
. . “ But these unfruitful professors would do well to recol. 6 lect that, by a conduct so little worthy of their high cal. “ ling, they not only violate, the law to which they have
vowed obedience, but occasion many to disbelieve or to “ despise it; that they are thus in a great measure account" able for the infidelity of others, and of course will have “ to answer for more than their own personal offences : . “ For did they in any respect live up to the principles they “ profess; did they adorn the doctrines of Christianity by “ a life in any degree consonant to their faith; did they ex“hibit any thing of the beauty of holiness' in their daily, “ conversation; they would then give such a demonstra" tive proof, not only of the sincerity of their own obe. “ dience, but of the brightness of that divine light by which " they profess to walk, that the most determined unbe" liever would at last begin to think there must be some. " thing in a religion of which the effects were so visible, of and the fruits so amiable; and might in time be led to