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priesthood, as is generally the case, zius, Reinhard, Lowth, Gries.
A library is attached to the afforded to the children of those establishment at Bessestad, con. who hold civil offices, or possess taining probably twelve or four- landed property, and to the sons teen hundred volumes ; among of some of the wealthier among which are a few good editions of the clergy of the country. The the classics. The greater part of number of students, however, who the library consists of Icelandic enjoy such opportunities is very and Danish works; beside which limited ; and the remainder, opthere are a considerable nuinber pressed by poverty and the neces. of volumes in the Gernian lan. sities of their situation, are gene. guage, and a few in the English rally compelled 10 take up their and French. The number of abode for life in solitary spots, manrscripts is very inconsiderable, where their intercourse even with and they appear to be of little each other, is almost wholly sus. value. The private library of pended, and where any future pro. the Lector Theologiæ, though gress in knowledge can only be smaller, is more select, and cop. effected by their independent and tains the works of Mosheim, Hein- unaided exertions.
Comments on Paine's “
Age of your pages as the historian of the Reason," Part, iji.
York Baptists :) is under prosecu. London, Feb. 21, 1812.
tion by the Attorney-General ; a SIR,
way of defending Chris. I had lately put into my hands, tianity. The copy which I have Thomas Paine's“ Age of Reason,” is valuable, on account of some Pt.iij.-a wretched compilation manuscript comments, by a pen, of falsehood and calumny, the dipped as I conceive, in the very dregs of a genius always coarse. spirit of the New Testament; For the publication of it, a book. these I now send you for your use, seller [Daniel Isaac Eaton, of if you shall judge them serviceable Ave-Maria Lanc ; not I presume to your great object of promoting the D. Eaton, who is known on rational religion,
On a blank page opposite to then the justness of representing the title, are the following re. these as undisputed Christian doc. marks:-
trines ?" “ Whatever may be thought of In some blank leaves at the the “ Reason" of Mr. Paine, or end of the work, the commentator of the prudence of his publisher, has thus written :highly we cannot deem of the What is the great gain of inChristianity of the Attorney Gen. fidelity --It relieves the mind eral, quasi Attorney General. In- from superstition ! But Voltaire fidelity is not more anti-christian, was eminently superstitious ; and / than is the coercion of conscience the Parisians, in the heat of the by the civil power. It would be French Revolution, bowed down curious to see what sort of an in. before a naked harlot, as the god. dictment, Sir V. G. with all his dess of reason.-It explodes priesto acuteness and desterity, would be craft! But priests may be infidels; able to draw from the New Tes. there have been infidel bishops tament, againsi D. I. Eaton !'' and infidel popes; of one of the
Paine concludes his work with latter it is told that he once re. the definition of infidelity, thus- marked, 'What a profitable fable “ He that believes in the story of is this of Jesus Christ !'-—and if Christ is an infidel to God:” men become infidels, there is no upon which the annoiator re. longer any reason in morals, wby marks,
they should not be priests or bish“ He that comes to Mr. Paine's ops or popes, or impostors, usurpconclusion upon his premises, ers and tyrants of any other de. must be an infidel to common scription : to such, there is no sense. He attacks tlie corruptions rule of right but their own interof Christianity, rather than Chris. ests; and what a rule is that for tianity itself. Unable to distin. human conduct! What citizen guish between spurious and au. would wish his magistrate govern. thentic scripture, he confounds ed by it! what master his servant ! and opposes both : one might what parent his child !—Infidelity give him almost all his arguments, was, for a time, accidentally as. (his scurrilities are out of the sociated with free principles in question,) and leave Christianity, government; but nothing can be as really contained in the New more fallacious than the associa: Testament, untouched.
tion. Robespierre was an infidel, “ Did Mr. Paine know that and a bold, zealous and consistent Christians do not all believe in the one; so, I dare say, was H.miraculous conception, or in the D.-- and possibly Thomas Paine infallibility of the Evangelists ? and Bp. H. might, in secret, have This he must have known, (for he understood each other, on the was formerly usher in the school subject of religion. Hume (to of Mr. Noble, who was a Chris. whom every other infidel is a pige tian and a divine of the class of my,) was the advocate of the Dr. Foster ;) as also that the doc. despotic, wretched house of the trines of election, &c. are as Stuarts ; and Bolingbroke !(next much reprobated by some believers in ability perhaps to Hume, in as by any unbelievers. Where she ranks of infidelity,) was one of the framers and promoters of some expectation of reward, act. the Schism Bill, (providentially ing constantly upon their minds. smothered by the seasonable death " If a man has a vicious habit, of Queen Anne), by which no what motive to correct it, will man was to have been allowed he find in iufidelity? say that he to educate his children, without is inclined to intemperance ; and subscribing the 39 articles. Gib. what will be his motto, but that bon, too, hated equally Christi. of the Epicureans, rebuked by the anity and civil and religious liberty. Apostle Paul-Let us eat and
-Away, then, the plea that in. drink, for to-morrow we die'fidelity would abolish priestcraft, we perish. It is not contended -it tends directly to favour it, that infidel principles impel a man by providing a license for deceit at once into vice; but that if he and wickedness,—and that it is fall into vice, they have no power not more prevalent, is owing, not to raise him from it. Who can to infidels but, to Christians, un. say that Mr. Paine would not have derstanding Christianity. The New been a temperate man, if he had Testament is the Magna Charta of lived under the influence of the the “ Rights of Man:'-in every powers of the world to come ! and age, it has inspired and embol. who but must lament that intem. dened our Hampdens and Hollises, perate indulgence should have our Russels and Sydneys, our brought on, in his case, such well. Washingtons, our Palmers and our known, premature dotage,--that Priestleys, to expose and resist dotage in which this book was hypocritical churchmen and in. written, and of which it exhibits fidel ministers of state. The so many melancholy tokens. Christian bas a reason, a motive
" What then is the great gain for patriotism; he is called to of infidelity ?-This: that it takes glory.
off all moral excitements and re. " It is not meant to be insinu- straints in life, and extinguishes ated by the foregoing remarks, all hope in death; in other words, that unbelievers are necessarily that it enables a man to sin with. bad men; their habits are, happily, out fear, and rewards him with formed before their principles; the assurance that he shall perish and to that 'religion which they like a beast ! despise they owe it, perhaps, that " The greatest prostitution of they are not pilferers or ruffians, terms-next to the foul calum. voluptuaries or sots. But the his. nies cast upon religion--is the tory of mankind warrants me in calling of such a wretched, debas, saying that, there is no instance ing, corrupting system, as infideli. on record, of heroic virtue at- ty, a fruit of REASON.” chieved by an infidel. Men can. So far, Sir, the annotator: not become heroically virtuous some of his remarks may be deemby habit; or because their judg. ed too strong, some of his allusions ment coolly approves of heroism : too particular; but it will be re. they can attain this moral height membered that he wrote for the only by the force of some great private reader of Paine's book and principle, some sense of duty, not for the public: I judged his reflections too valuable to be con- An answer to this question is fined to the shelf of a library, 'earnestly requested by, Sir, and I could not allow myself to Your constant reader, prune or correct them.
M. H. EPISCOPUS.
Want of Candour towards Unbe.
lievers. Question relating to the Holy Sre, Spirit.
The exercise of reason and li. MR. EDITOR,
berality, are, I think amongst the Will you favour me with a cor. more conspicuous excellencies, by ner in your excellent miscellany which that sect of Christians, callfor a question which I wish to ed Unitarians, would be thought to propose to your trinitarian rea. distinguish themselves; and there ders and correspondents, hoping certainly can be no quality more that some one of them will esteem calculated than these, to win the it worthy of serious consideration. affections, and to make a prose
If the Holy Spirit is indeed an lyte of the honest and amiable en. individual person distinct from the quirer, who may be led to doubt. Father; if he is according to the the correctness of the doctrines orthodox creed, his equul; or in and principles, he has elsewhere other words, if he is the One acquired. Reason leads us to an Jehovah ! .“ in whom we live acquaintance with the unlimited and move, and have our being !” liberality and benevolence of the 6. For whom, and to whom, and Deity towards all his creatures, through whom, are all things!” This benevolence, or liberality, is If he is the “ High and Lotty One, not;less a celestial quality, ihan who inhabiteth eternity!" to whom is the infinite wisdom, or the all created beings owe their exist. boundless power of the Almighty, ence, and look for their future and being more attractive and preservation !-and to be equal lovely in the eyes of his creatures with the Father he must be all and dependents, it will ever be this; why did Jesus Christ, who sought for by ingenuous minds, as spent whole night in prayers to the first feature in every system the Father, and devoutly addressed which claims the Father of all for him, on a variety of recorded oc. iis author. casions, never offer up a single I have witnessed and have felt petition, to this equal in Omnipo. the power of this supposed liber. tence, or give the slightest hint ality, in a community which I to his disciples to do so? Why, have been induced to join, chiefly by his own uniform and most im. from a belief that it was more pressive example, and by that largely endowed with this heavenly most striking and comprehensive attribute than others; I confess. Í form of words which he delivered think so still; or I would instantly to us, does he exclusively teach abandon its meetings, for the one us to pray to the Father, if there most congenial to my sentiments are indeed three persons equally in this respect. Yet I have found entitled to our worship and adora. limits to this virtue, not before tion?
observed by me, and it is on a
circumstance, which I conceive arts, and in opposition to piety to be a lamentable departure from and virtue ; and this must doubt. this most estimable quality, that I less bave been the meaning of this am now induced to address you. respectable minister. But while I regret the occasion for this: and I am sensible that talents are too, I particularly regret that the want frequently thus misapplied, I think of liberality, which is but another thoy seldom or never lead to Athename for charity,' for justice! ism, as he appeared to intimate ; should have been evinced by one, much less, is this unhappy state of who, in most respects, is an orna. mind to be ascribed to the enquiries meni to‘the church to which he of philosophy, the parent, rather, belongs, and a conspicuous ex. I conceive, of genuine and elevated ample of talent combined with un- piety. remitting zeal in the discharge of This, however, which I regard every apprehended duty. as an unfair and injurious dispa.
The instance of which I have ragement of philosophy and talents, to complain, occurred in a sermon is not the material object of my I am just returned from hearing, present appeal to you. I lament and, as I cannnot suppose that the that I have to complain of inpuworthy minister, of whom, in this tations of the very worst kind, case, I am induced to disapprove, against men, who, though they stands alone in the fault, I am de. may be “ faithful friends, good sirous through your publication citizens, lovers of truth and attachof submiuing to the consderation ed to what is good," yet without of others, as well as to that of the Christian principles, would not be person more immediately concern. found to stand in the moment of ed, the propriety of avoiding the temptation. Give them but an defect in future, and of revising opportunity of promoting their and eradicating the erroneous opi. own advantage," of supplanting nions, from which it springs. a rival, or of overcoming an
The discourse alluded to, was enemy, and “they will not be designed chiefly to shew the worth. scrupulous about the means ;” lessness of the applause and honour whilst “ he who is under the in. of men, inasniuch as such honour Auence of Christian principles," is not paid to piety and Christian will persevere in the discharge of holiness, but rather to the disqui. his duty, even unto death. Now sitions of philosophy, the display what ingenuous mind, I may be of talents, and the successful arti. permitted to ask, what unsuspect. fices of the ambitious conqueror. ing mind, would not infer from In contemning the praises bestow, this, that the influence of Chris. ed on the latter I freely partici. tian principles could, alone, enable pate, but I can by no means ac. a man to withstand the tempta. cord with the preacher in, what I tions and the sufferings of the understood to be, his sentiments world, and to brave the terrors of with respect to the futility and death? But is ibis true in fact? even pernicious tendency of the I believe not, and I think it would former. Such praise is certainly be difficult for this gentlemen to futile, and of injurious conse. shew, why that man is not to be quences, when bestowed on vicious trusted, who does not believe and