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gree, change any true faith in his Divinity: be. cause it is founded on a different basis: while indeed a belief that has its origin in outward circumstances, must change or come to an end with them.
Miserable indeed must be our conceptions of the Divinity of Christ, when we are leaving the only certain evidence that we can have of it, to dispute about the manner of his birth, his death, or resurrection.
A dependance upon outward sacrifices originated in the darkest ages of superstition : though different animals were sacrificed in different countries; yet one general ceremony was every where obscrved ; of praying the Gods to divert every calamity upon the head of the victim; and hence the death of Christ is called the great atonement. It is believed in, by those who hold fast to the traditions of the fathers, which have been handed down from one generation to ano. ther; but where is the unbiassed mind that can suppose that we are to look to an outward Christ, or to any act done without us, as an atonement for our sins ? where is the individual who has found one solitary sin removed by the atoning blood of Christ shed upon the cross? Such ideas can hardly be seriously entertained, and yet it is the professed belief of many men.
The time will probably come, when the knowledge that such views ever did exist, will be confined to the pages of history.
The sentiments that I have given upon the . subject, will be viewed very differently by different men ; we cannot see alike, but through the same medium of vision; some may call them Deistical, Unitarian, and others perhaps blasphemous. None can believe them, but those who have had every outward support taken from them, and come to feel that reliance is not to be placed therein.
Just in proportion as the views of men are outward, will they be ready to judge those which are of a contrary nature, nothing else can be expected; they have not seen or understood, therefore they cannot believe even though they should wish to do so. And though there may be but few that can go the full length that I have done; yet there are many who partly believe these views to be true: the same power that has partially opened their eyes can alone effectually do it, and they will then see that not only parte ly, but wholly and altogether, the kingdom of Christ is a spiritual kingdom ; and that no out. ward hope or dependance can introduce them into it. Seeing then, that an outward belief in the
scriptures-or the precepts or example of Christ, neither is, nor can be a perfect rule to walk by; we must look for it.elsewhere ; and and we shall look in vain, but in our own souls.
I wish not to speak of individual men or so• cieties; but it is not too much to say, that there is no sect of professing Christians, that believe that in the heart alone, is the test and touchstone of faith; examine the gravest authors in each society, such as are approved and recommended, and we every where see, that their faith is to be brought to the tribunal of the scriptures to be judged: though some of them say in words, that they are not the word of God; yet in reality they make them so; they bring that which they say is the word of God, to be judged by that which they declare not to be the word of God! Singular as this contradiction may appear, yet it is literally and exactly true! Do such not make the scriptures, the infallible word of God ? I believe they do, as effectually as if they confessed it in words: they call them the scriptures of truth, every thing is referred to them: but like the Delphic Oracle, many of the questions they answer are still left uncertain ;--men may understand their language as they please ; hence the origin of most of the
controversies on religious subjects amongst Bible Christians.
If their language was less ambiguous, there would be less controversy-but it serves to amuse men: Those that come to the principle of truth within themselves, know, that in thật alone is the fulness of joy and peace.
There is less essential difference, either between the different sects of Christians, or those in the heathen world, as to the real spirituality of the sentiments approved by them as bodies of men, than there appears to be; their modes of expression are different; but analize them strip them of their exterior appearance,-and they are much the same-they worship different idols, have different forms and ceremonies; can see plainly the errors of each other, while their eyes are closed to their own. But in making this assertion I may repeat what I have before said, that it is not words that makes a true Christian. No doubt there are many individuals in every sect, who while they subscribe to the formula that is ordained, bow to the idols that are worshipped, confess, in words, to the atoning blood of a visible Christ ; have yet no real faith in them, it was the same in ancient times. Plutarch, as quoted by Rollin, speaks thus of the image worship of former ages.
Philosophers honour the image of God wherever they find it, even in inanimate beings, and consequently more in those which have life. We are therefore to approve, not the worshippers of these animals, but those who, by their means, ascend to the Deity ; they are to be considered as so many mirrors which nature holds forth, and in which the Supreme Being display's himself in a wonderful manner; or, as so many instruments, which he makes use of, to manifest outwardly, his incomprehensible wisdom. Should men therefore, for the embellishing of statues, amass together all the gold and precious stones in the world, the worship must not be referred to the statues, for the Deity does not exist in colours, artfully disposed, nor in frail matter destitute of sense and motion."
A late writer on Hindoo mythology, says, " that though the numerous titles of the Deity are all referable to the sun, yet it is only consi. dered as a type of that divine intellect, which pervades all things.” The same writer quotes the following among other texts from the Veda. “ That being from which these created beings proceed; through which having pro. ceeded from, they live: toward which they tend; and in which they are ultimately absorb