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done all the good that might have been desired or expected, yet it has already accomplished great things for the world. To the Bible we owe all the best laws in our best civil institutions. To the Bible, Europe is indebted for much of the liberty which it now enjoys; and, little as we may think of it, the Bible too was the means of preserving the small share of learning which was cultivated during the dark ages*. We may close these observations in the wirds of that great French writer, Montesquieu—“ To assert that religion has no restraining power, because it does not always restrain, is to assert, that civil laws have likewise no restraining power. He reasons falsely against religion, who enumerates at great length the evils which it has produced, and overlooks the advantages. Were I to recount all the evils which civil laws, monarchical and republican governments, have produced in the world, I might exhibit a dreadful picture.—Let us set before our eyes the continual massacres of Greeks and Roman kings and generals on the one end, and on the other the destruction of cities and nations by those very kings and generals; a Timur and a JENGIZKAN ravaging Asia ; and we shall see, that we owe to religion a certain political law in government, and in war a certain law of nations; advantages which human nature cannot sufficiently acknowledge t'
" If the Gospel is such a blessing to mankind, why, in all " these ages, has it not been published in every nation?"
It is answer sufficient, that God giveth account of none of his matters, and every man shall be judged according to the privileges he hath enjoyed, and not according to thosewith which he has not been favoured. No nation hatha any right to the blessing. God is a sovereign, and may dispense his favours as his own wisdom shall direct. Moreover, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed with it in the due course of DIVINE PROVIDENCE.
« Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
" Does his successive journeys run; bloody, illiberal, and intolerant of us Parsons ! What has the rejection of Christianity, and the introduction of Philosophy done for that enslaved, yet triumphant country?
* See this proved by JORTIN, vol. 7. p. 3534-377. 4 Spirit of Laws, book 24. ch. 2, 3.
“ His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
" Till suns shall wax and wane no more *." “ But if God was the original author of the Jewish and “ Christian dispensati ns, why were they permitted to con
tract such a mass of ceremonial corruptions ?”
The fault lay not in either of the institutions, but in the low and superstitious staie of human nature. The institutions were good, but the folly of men hath perverted them to unworthy purposes. Is the fountain to be blamed, because the streams have been polluted by the feet of men?
“Be it so; but why was man created in so low and de
graded a state ? or rather, why was he permitted, by the “ benevolent and all powerful CREATOR, to sink down
into such an idolatrous and superstitious condition?"
This is a difficulty, be it observed, which affects natural as well as revealed religion, Deism as well as Christianity. There is no end to questions of this nature. With equal propriety may we ask why man was not created an angel, a seraph, a God?
Presumptuous Man! the reason wouldst thou find,
“ Why form’d no weaker, blinder, and no less." “ Can you say that Thomas Painet has not brought “ many very heavy charges against the writings both of “ the Old and Nero Testaments, and such as cannot easily « be answered ?"
* The reader may consult the 20th section of Simpson's Key to the Prophecies, for a concise view of the millennial reign of CHRIST.
ť Parne’s books against the Bible can never stagger the faith of any man, who is well informed upon the subject of religion; yet they will have great effect upon all our immoral and lukewarm professors of the Gispcl. But where is the difference between a wicked Infidel and a wicked Christinn? Immoral men are incapable of happiness under any dispen-sation of religion whatever. They must be changed or perish. And it is of little consequence whether a man goes to hell as a Deist or a Christian; only, it is presumed, the lost Christian will perish under greater aggravations.
A lecter now lies before me, which I this day, July 20th, 1798, re. ceived from a Correspondent, who was intimately acquainted with Tho
We grant this objecion in all its force. He is a man of shrewd abilities, ard has a method of setting difficulties in a strong point of view. But, if you yourself are a per. ' son of any discernment, you cannot help seeing, that he discovers great pride of understanding, much rancour and malignity of heart, and most invincible ignorance of the subject upon which he writes. His intention in his Rights of Man, wăs plainly to subvert, as far as in him lay, the civil government of this country; and, in his Age of Reason, he meant no other than to convert the common people of England to a state of Infidelity, and so to overturn the religious government of the country; and, in both, he eridently meant no other than to involve us as a nation in civil and religious destruction. To men of sense, moderation, and information, there is no danger, either from his political or religious efforts; but there is danger to every reader of his writings, who is not possessed of these qualifications. Biskop Watson's Apology; may perfecily satisfy any man that THOMAS PAINE is by no means qualified to write against the Bible. Any fool, indeed, may sneer, revile, abuse, and ridicule, the most valuable objects in nature. The late atheistical King of Prussia has had the impudence to treat the Deity himself in this manner. But what shall the end be of them that know not GOD, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord JESUS CHRIST?
If the audacity of this scurrilous Infidel were not equal to his ignorance, he never would have attacked the Clergy on the score of literature, as he does, when he insinuates they are acquainted with little more than a b ab, e beb, and bic, hæc, hoc. Where does he find, in any period or country of the world, men of more deep, various, and extensive learning, than are large numbers of the Clergy, among the several denominations of Christians ? Abundance of MAS PAINE before he went to France, and in whose house he spent pretty much of his time, which assures me, “ that Mr. Paine, notwithstanding - his superior powers of natural reason, was a fiey to chagrin, arid ” apparent disappointment—that he was never at rest in his mind, but " truly like the troubled seo, throwing up mire and fil: h.”-- This Gen. ileman further adds.--and I have seen the same information in the public prints "I now understand that Mr. Paine is lost to all sense of de. “cency in Paris, being intoxicated froin morning till right."
names are to be found, with whom he is no more fit to be compared, than a dwarf with a giant. One does not wonder, indeed, to hear himexplodeanacquaintance with languages, when, according to his own confession, he is a stranger to all but the English. To see such an Ignoramus prate about the science of astronomy, and the properties of triangles, is enough to sicken any man, of a smattering of knowledge. Let this empty and vain-glorious boaster call to minda small number even of Priests, who have been an honour to human nature, in point of mathematical, philosophical, and literary attainments, at least, and then let him blush, if he is ca. pable of blushing, at his own vile perversions of Scripture, and misrepresentations of the characters of the friends of Religion. Whatever faults some of the Clergy may have been guilty of, or whatever defects there may be in the Ecclesiastical constitution of this, or any other country, a large number of clerical names will be handed down with honour, as the benefactors of mankind, while his shall be damned to fame, as a base caluniniator of the Sacred Writing's, and the characters of men much better than himself. What shall we say, when such scholars as BARROW, CUDWORTH, WILKINS, PEARSON, DERHAM, FLAMSTEED, HALES, BENTLEY, BOCHART, DESAGULIERS, MEDE, BAXTER, CHILLINGWORTH, CLARKE, BERKLEY, BUTLER, WARBURTON, WATTS, DODDRIDGE, LOWMAN, JORTIN, LARDNER, WITHERSPOON, ROBERTSON, and a thousand others, both living and dead, are involved in the censure of this scurrilous Sciolist 2--It is true, the church has had a very long and dark eclipse. Priests have been highly to blame on many occasions. But no age can be produced when they have not been, at least, as learned and religious as any other body of nien. There was a time, indeed, when VIGILIUS was condemned to be burnt for asserting the existence of the Antipodes; and, even so late as the beginning of the seventeenth century, GALILEO, who discovered and introduced the use of telescopes, instead of being rewarded for bis pains, was imprisoned, and compelled to renounce his opinions resulting from such discoveries, as damnable heresies. These are lamentable facts, and the Priests concerned in the persecution, deserved to be hanged. But I will take upon me to aver, that even in this enlightened, literary, and philosophical age, at the very close of the eighteenth century, Thomas Paine himself bath submitted to the view of the world a number of as palpable instances of ignorance, or maliciousness, or both, as ever an insulted public was cursed with, in any one person, who pretended to write for the improvement of mankind. The Age of Reason, as applied to this vain man's pamphlets, is a burlesque ; it is an insult upon common sense ; it ought rather to be called, The Age of Falsehood -The Age of Infidelity-The Age of Ignorance--The Age of Calimny—The Age of Manianism--or, in short, The Age of any Thing, but that of Reason.
I will give the reader a few specimens, and leave him to judge.
1. Mr. PAINE alleges, that Moses could not be the author of the five books, which go under his name, ben cause they are frequently written in the third person.
XENOPHON and CÆSAR will answer this difficulty.
2. Mr. PAINE confounds mathematical with historical evidence.
Any novice in science, however, knows the difference.
3. Mr. PAINE confounds also a book that is genuine with one that is authentic.
He ought to have known that the difference is extremely great and important.
4. He declares the prodigies recorded by Livy and Tacitus to be attended with as good evidence as the miracles of CHRIST.
No man of any information can justisy such an assertion. 5. He asserts, that miracles adnit not of proof.
Let the reader turn to CAMPBELL on the subject, and judge. The testimony of 500, or 50, or even io credible persons, is sufficient to establish the validity of any of the scriptural miracles, where there is no counter evidence.
6. Mr. PAINE assures us, there is no affirmative evidente. that Moses is the author of the Pentateuch.
No books in the world ever had more affirmative esi-a dence. Bisbop Watson has brought it into one view. Abundance of the most respectable authors, who have