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love has extended in ratio with the several rewards. You were the servant of the almighty host of swindlers, when you sentenced me to five years of imprisonment in Dorchester Gaol.
Second. He tells then to take no thought about life, meat, drink, or apparel, and immediately states as a reason, a question, if life be not more than meat, aud the body more than raiment. Life is nothing without meat. Life is the action of meat in the body. The body may do without raiment. The whole verse is the most abominable nonsense. It begins with saying, take no thought about life, and ends with a question, wbether that life ought not to be thought of as more importaut than food or raiment; without the former of which it could not exist! Other sorts of jugglers would not succeed, did they not exbibit more ability than this divide juggler. Third. He
the fowls of the air neither sow, por reap, nor gatber into barns; yet the heavenly Father feedeth them. But they do reap, wherever they can lind food, and are often left to starve by their heavenly Father in the wiuter, when the snow is deep and long on the ground.
Fourth and last. The recommendation to take no thought for the morrow is only suited to the character of the disso. lute drunkard.
Thirty-first head. Judge not, that ye may not be judg. ed. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged : and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own ege? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye: and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”
This is not a miss, or pot such nonsense and mischief as the last bead; though it is a jumble of bad language. The sentiment may be better expressed in two sentences- Judge with justice.- Be not forward to accuse thy brother, or others, with those vices which thou thyself inheritest. The beam and the mote make but a ditch of a story.
Thirty-second head. “Give not that wbich is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearis before swipe, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
This figure has its beauties and its defects. It has beau
ties as a piece of instruction to avoid unworthy company or those who will set at nought your good instructions. But it has also defects in pointing out a class of mankind as unworthy of instruction, or that should not be instructed. I suppose, that Henry Banks of Corse Castle counts it a casting of pearls before swine to instruct the labouring class to read and write: and sure enough, from this acquirement, · they will turn upon and rend their swindlers. I recollect, that when in Gosport, in the year 1812, I was disputing a point on theology with a master's son who was very religious and one of David Bogue's congregation, another journeymen in the same employ, a lurking hypocrite of a Methodist as ignorant as a borse, on seeing that I had sometbing of the besi of the argument cried out as he walked away, “ Ab, George, you had better not cast your pearls before swine!" I ought io bave knocked him down, for be was as base a hypocrite as ever canted methodism; but I turned the merited blow into contempt and ever after despised the fellow. Whoever knows Bill Tinsley the quondam sexton in the Gosport Methodist Chapel, and I know that my friend and reader, William Paine, knows bin, if not known by other Hampshire readers, will know and see exactly the fellow to whom I allude. I was then a strictly sober, and in comparison with this fellow, a respectable young man, scorning, willingly, to put a foot into an ale-house or into any immoral company; and this Christian dog who called me a swide would get drunk at any ope's expence, and do any dirty or dishonest act for a shilling. I was somewhat disposed to become religious; before I fell into the company ofa few such characters as Bill Tinsley, and began to suspect that religion was nothing but vice. You, Bailey, have put the seal of truth and martyrdom upon that conviction!
Thirty-third head. “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seekeih findeth; and to him that knocketb it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will be give bin a stoue? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent ? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsover ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets.
There is no connection wbatever in the subject matter of this sermon. It is a disjointed string of precepts which the writer compiled without knowing the meaning of balf of them. The last sentence of this bead is alone so far intelligible as to admit of comment.
It has been supposed, that the maxim of doing as we would be done unto is one of general application ; but it is pot and has many exceptions. The most striking exception is seen in the supposition of a Christian criminal being about to receive sentence of death, and on being asked why the sentence of the law should not be passed upon bim, thus answers :-"My Lord. The Christian religion requires, that
whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them.' It is also stated in the Gospel by St. Matthew, as the language of our blessed Saviour, that this is the divive law, and the inspired instruction of the Prophets. Therefore, my Lord, unless you would like to be hanged yourself, you are forbidden by our holy religion to pass a sentence of death ироп
me! Here, we clearly see, that human, clashes with divine law, and that all sacred writings are mischieveous, when they are implicitly obeyed by those in power. Were such a sentence in the Koran, which is made to supersede all law witb the Mabometan, it would, if enforced, root out all justice upon offenders.
And how a judge could act, if opposing parties were to make the same appeal to him, I leave to your “ peculiar wisdom,” Judge Bailey, to reconcile. A just application of the maxim is confined to a very narrow circle; it is insignificant, and vever yet influenced the action of a human being. Confucius taught the same maxim, five hundred years before this Gospel was written, and put just the same comment upon it, in saying, that it was the foundation of all morality and just law. The wbole story of the Carpenter and Carpenter's son travelled from East to West : from China aud Hindostan to Greece and Egypt, as we sball by and by see.
Thirty-fourth head. “ Enter ye in at the straight gale: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be wbich go in thereat: Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Then the fault is not so much in those who miss the narrow way and straight gate, as in him who so ordered it. This nonsense is only suited to those who read Jobn Buuyan’s Pilgrim's Progress.
Thirty-fifth head. “ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is bewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye sball know them.”
The caution to beware of false propbets was a mere jealousy in trade. All were false alike; but it was cunning in some to denounce others as false. This is the way of all cheats to this day: and wherever you see a tradesman put forth a caution against a counterfeit, be assured that his pretensions are nothing superior. The metaphor as to the trees is very interior. There is neither good nor evil in a tree, as a tree; nor is a bad fruit tree more corrupt than a good one : the difference in the fruit makes all the difference, and that difference as to palate only. A crab apple may be as good in one sense as a golden pippin. It generally happens that the most pleasing food to our palate is not the most wholesome for the stomach.
It is certainly correct to say, that we can only know men by their actions. The words of a man weigb nothing with me, until I have been accustomed to see him cautious to support them by bis actions.
Thirty-sixth head. “ Not every one that saith unto me; Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but be that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, bave we not prophecied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? aod in ihy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Here is some very poor comfort for the Christian world; for how can they be sure that they are doing the will of the father when that will is unknown? This Gospel writer would persuade the Christians that calling upon the name of Jesus Christ was vain; and St. Paul contradicts bim, by saying, that, by that name alone can inan be saved! They cannot be both right. I decide against both. What say you, Bailey ?
There is a word here about casting out devils which deserves a notice, if it be one of reprobation. The life of Jesus, like the life of Chrishna, is made to be a series of combats with devils or enemies: and devils are the ordinary enemies of modern gods.
The doctrine of the possession of devils by individuals must have arisen from witnessing the various diseases and passions to wbich they were subject, and the then common custom of personifying such influences. And to shew how soon words and ideas grow corrupted that do not relate to some visible and tangible thing, it is only necessary to observe, that the word demon, with the more learned Greeks, signified spirit, genius, that distinguishing principle of the 'mind which exalted one man above another. When the ig. norant Greek Christians began to use the word, they made it to personify all the evil and debasing influences, wbetber they arose from passion or disease.
No man of superior knowledge could have taught the doctrine of personified devils. It is a doctrine that strikes at the root of all morality; for it leares no man a hope of amending his character, or of curing bis disease, without the aid of superhuman power, which he knows he cannot command, though he may assuage and entice it by entreaty. Hence the abominable system of prayer, and hence the more abominable doctrines of grace, election, pardon and cure from God, the necessity of faith more than of good works, &c. &c.
The right way to cast out devils is, if they be devils of the temper, to resolve to conquer every bad passion by the encouragement of the better feelings: and if they be devils of disease, to diet and medicate the body, or to give it that quanlity of air, bathings, exercise, and regularity of habit, which sball act as a specific to the peculiar disease. Au auxiliary to the completion of both cures is sure to be found in a desire to accumulate knowledge: and as a first principle to that end, to hold the conviction, that all kinds of knowledge are attainable by all men and all women. The gnide to it consists of the resolution and industry necessary to ob. tain it.
Thirty-seventh bead. “ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of miue, and doelh them, I will liken him anto a wise man, whicle built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heare!h these sayings of mine, and doeth them pot, shall be likened unto a foolish man, wbich built bis house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house ; and it tell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonisbed at bis doctrine: for he taught them as one baving authority, and not as the Scribes."