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destroy the affections of inen, but to regulate, and restore them to due order and harmony, and so to promote the felicity of human life. And, wherever it bath its proper, full, and mtwal effect, there it always forms a virtuous, respectable and happy character. The grand intention of it, however, is to train mankind for glory and immortality in a future state of existence.
“ If the human race are all sprung from one original pair, and if the several species of animals, insects, and birds, were produced in the garden of Eden, as the Bible seems to insinuate, how is it possible they should be found dispersed into the several countries of the world at an immense distance, and, in many cases, separated by extensive oceans *?"
If we refuse to believe in God, till we understand all the difficulties attending bis existence, and in Jesus Christ, till we are acquainted with all the mysteries of Providence and Grace, we must continue, not only Unbelievers, but Atheists to eternity. How often must it be repeated, that our comprehension is not the standard of truth? The evidence for the genuineness and authenticity of the Sacred Records must be the measure of our faith.
“ Is it at all probable, that we, and the several kinds of black men, should be spring from the same parents, as the Bible affirms, all huinan creatures were ?"
At first view, this is a considerable difficulty, but has been accounted for upon principles perfectly satisfactory, whick me cannot stop here at length to detail +.
“ Why is the Gospel attended with so many difficulties and why did not infinite wisdom, if infinite wisdom had any conceru in the business, take care to make every thing plain and easy to the meanest capacity I?”. * See STACKHOUSE on this sitticultv.
* Consult Mr. BRYANT's Treatise on the Christian Religion, p. 267~-277. See the same work tuo for answers to several other objections. But for a solution of the greatest nun ber of difficul ties, I repeat again, turn to STACKHOUSE's large work on the Bible.
+ The religion of Jesus Christ, any more than the dispensation of Moses, was never atended to be free from difficulties. It was rather designed to be a touchstone for ingenuous and curable dispositions. If we are honest enquirers after saving truth, and
It is answered, with triuinphant gratitude, every thing necessary to salvation is plain and easy to the most common apprehension, if we are humbly disposed to submit our wills and understandings to the will and understanding of God. And if there are some things in the Sacred IVritings, and in the scheme of redemption, difficult to comprehend, it is not less so in the course of nature, and in the principles of unrevealed religion. But if the Gospel of CHRIST were attended with abundantly more difficulties than it is, still there could be no solid objectiou against substantial proof. A poor illiterate man, in a dark corner of the earth, has preached a scheme of doctrines and morals superior to all human wisdom, and calculated to make all mankind happy, if all mankind would submit to its authority. This he hath spread abroad to the ends of the world, in opposition to all the powers of earth and hell. Let
any man account for this phenomenon, on principles merely human, if he can.
“ Has not the Gospel been the cause of the greatest misery and destruction to the human race, upon various occasions, almost ever since it was introduced ?"
It has. And this is among the proofs that it came from above. The Author of it predicted that so it should be. But the Gospel itself was no otherwise the cause of misery and destruction to the human race, than as Philosophy has been the cause of inisery and destruction to the inhabitants of France. As in the latter case, it was not Philosophy, but the abuse of it, which has done so much mischief; so in the former, it was not the Gospel, but a most wicked perversion of its pure and benevolent doctrines, which has produced so much havock among mankind*. And though it has persevere in our pursuit, we shall not be disappointed. What we know not to-day, we shall kuow to-morrow. That is a fine anecdote which is given us by JACOB BRYANT, Esq. in the above Treatise on the Christian Religion, concerning the Queen and the Princess MARY. See that Work, and SIMPSON's Essay on the Nex• Testament,
* See this difficulty answered in BONNET's Interesting Virwe of Christianity, p. 230-237, and still more fully in the first vol. of Bishop PORTEUs's Sermons, Discourse the twelfth.
The Roman emperors of the three first centuries after the birth of Christ are somewhere said by St. JEROME, if I remember right, to have martyred 5000 Christians a day every day in the year, except one; that is, they put to death at ditterenit times, during those centuries, 1,820,000 souls !-These Heathens; however, ac
not 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 one 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 mean of preserving the small share of learning which was cultivated during the dark ages *. We may close these observations in the words of that great French writer, Montesquieu-" To assert that religion has no restraining power, because it does not always re'strain, 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 las 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 Greek and Roman kings and generals on the one hand, and on the other the destruction of cities and nations by those very kings and generals; a Timur and a "JENCIŻKAN ravaging Asia ; and we shall see, that we owe to religion a certai political law in government, and in war à certain law of nations; advantages which human nature cannot sufficiently acknowledge +."
“ If the Gospel be such a blessing to mankind, why, in these ages, has it not been published in every natiou :"
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 those cording to this calculation, were not half so bloudy as the Roman Catholic Christians have been.. The infidel Philosophers of France, who are evermore charging the Gospel with cruelty and murder, though it prohibits every thing of the kind under the most awful sanction, by a most tremendous retaliation, have turned their arms one against another, and have murdered upwards of two millions of their own countrymen in the course of seven years! Hence it appears, that your vain glorious Philosophers have been, and are now, at least as bloody, illiberal, and intolerant as the inost bloody, illiberal, and intolerant of us Parsons! What has the rejection of Christianity, and the introduction of Philosophy doue for that enslaved, yet triumphant country? * See this proved by JORTIN, vol. 7.
*: † Spirit of Laws, book 24. ch. 2, 3.
with ubich he has not been favoured. No nation hath any
“ JEsus shall reign where'er the sun
Till suns shall wax and wane no more *.”
The fault lay not in either of the institutions, but in the low and superstitious state of human nature. The institutions were good, but the folly of men bath perverted them to unworthy purposes. Is the fountain to be blamed, because the streams have been polluted by the feet of inen?
“ Be it so; but why was man created in so low and 'degraded a state? or rather, why was he permitted, by the benevolent and all powerful CREATOR, 'to sink down into such an idolatrous and superstitious condîtion?"
- This is a difficulty, be it observed, which affects natural as
“ Presumptuous Man! the reason wouldst thou find,
Why form’d no weaker, blinder, and no less.",
* The reader may consult the goth section of SIMPSON's Key to the Prophecies, for a concise view of the millennial reign of CHRIST
+ PAINE's book against the Bible can never stagger the faith of any nian, who is well formed upoii the subject of religion; yet. they will have great effect upon all our immoral and lukewarm pro fessors of the Gospel. But where is the difference between a wicked
We grant this objection in all its force. He is a man of shrewd abilities, and has a method of setting difficulties in a strong point of view. But, if you yourself are a person of any discernment, you cannot help seeing, that he discovers great pride of understanding, much rancour aud malignity of heart, and most invincible ignorance of the subject upon which he writes. His intention in his Rights of Man was plainly to subvert, as far as in himn 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 evidently 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. Bishop WATson's Apology may perfectly 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 trad 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 bis ignorance, he never would have attacked the Clergy
Infidel and a wicked Christinn? Immoral men are incapable of happiness under any dispensation of religion whatever. They must be changed or perishı. And it is of litile consequence whether a man goes to hell as a Deist or a Christian ; only, it is presumed, the lust Christian will perish under greater aggravations.
A letter pow lies before me, which I this day, July 20th, 1798, received from a Correspondent, who was intimately acquainted with THOMAS 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 prey to chagrin, and apparent disappointment that he was never at rest in his mind, but truly like the troubled sea, throwing up mire and filth." This gentleman further adds--and I have seen ihe same information in the public prints--" I now understaud that Mr. PAINE* iş lost to all sense of decency in Paris, being intoxicated from morir ing till night."