« הקודםהמשך »
THE LIGHT OF TRUTH, &c.
There has been no period of latter time, in which so much agitation has prevailed in that portion of mankind calling itself by the name of Christ, as in the present age.
Each society appears to be striving to disseminate that particular form of religion, which it deems right. Bible societies have multiplied, in many countries among every class of men, to spread the scriptures; they have been translated into various languages, and circulated among heathen nations. Missionary societies have been established, and men have been educated and set apart for the express purpose of spreading the Gospel; and the piety of individuals is in some degree measured by their zeal and munificence in supporting these things.
I have no reason to doubt the integrity of many, who are devoting their time and their substance to what they think right; but I trust, I may, without giving offence, enter into the exa
mination of the proper rule of life, for every man, the world over, by whatever name he may be called, whether Jew, Gentile, Christian, Pa. gan or Infidel; and if I should expose the formality and idolatry of sects, it will be under no feelings which would condemn them.
The knowledge of good and evil—the perception of right and wrong-beginning in childhood, and ripening with maturity of age,
is what makes man a moral agent: as God himself, it is universal, omnipotent and eternal; acknowledged in every age, country and climate, among every description of men; so that amid all the discoveries of modern geographers, no people have yet been found without a knowledge of God.
Although the reality of moral obligation is universally admitted, yet there are some who consider it the result of education and habit that men are dependant upon the Bible, and upon their fellow-men, for a rule of faith and conduct-others will believe with me, that this principle is nothing less than the impress of God upon the mind of man, given to him as a guide to direct his path. Those who by attending to it, have felt its power, have no need of being told, either that it is from God, or that nothing else can be the guide of their lives.
holy religion, in which, under feelings separated from sectarian views, the traditions of the Romanist, the Quaker, the Calvinist, the Unitarian, &c. will no longer mark boundaries between men; and this religion is altogether in that one eternal, unchangeable, indivisible Principle, to which I have referred, which applies to all mankind, which embraces every thing that is excellent in religion, which knows no sect among men or distinction between individuals; and though it may be true that many are not prepared for it, yet those who through the power of divine love embrace it, find all partition walls as perfectly broken down, as if all the world were subjected to it.
I have freely stated my feelings, I ask no one to adopt them, and presenting them without a name, they will stand simply upon their own merits or demerits,