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CHARACTERS IN THE CHRISTIAN DRAMA.

Continued

from our last.) Wherever human beings have been drawn isto a system of theology, it has been the policy of believe i in such system to extol their characters to the highest poir: , and surround them with the honors and attributes of divini: itself. Jesus the second person in the trinity is made by t: nitarians an object of adoration-to him they address the prayers and suplications, believing that his merit-histoning blood, will become the ground of their eternal happ: ness. Jesus Christ appeared in the shape and form of a ma, and the physical demonstration that he was human, is r.o. superior to the moral evidence, which makes in favor to he was composed of terrestrial materials—that he partook is many respects of the infirmities of man-that he was inferi.. in talents and virtues to Socrates, Seneca, and many oth eminent philosophers, both ancient and modern. If he is: been equal to God, or if he had partaken in any respect the divine nature, his conduct would have been more dis fied, his answers to the multitude more decisive, his view moral and theological truth more comprehensive-ics! he would have displayed to the world a manding character, and marked the progress of his life v indeliable testimonies of his divinity. Instead of this, h . ever, he appears timid and irresolute--too ignorant to e a satisfactory explanation to questions with which he ou to have been perfectly well acquainted. If he preached doctrine of a moral regeneration, he ought to have l:. both able and willing to have given compleat informa concerning so important a change. The reverse, howeve the fact, for he evades the explicit inquiry of Nicode who was anxious to know in what manner men coul

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born again-he says the wind bloweth where it listeth, and no man knows whence it cometh or whither it goeth, so is every one that is born of the spirit. This on the part of Jesus amounts to an affirmation, that upon the important subject of regeneration there is a total and universal ignorance. It also includes in it a very strong suspicion that Jesus himself was incapable of giving any satisfactory explanation. Moral philosophers, or the instructors of mankind labor to render clear and intelligible, every principle which they developethey mark its properties with just and accurate discriminations—they present it with all possible perspicuity to the human understanding, and rejoice whenever they find that success has crowned their efforts. Not so with the divine Jesus -equivocation and mystery are essential ingredients in his character-he discloses to his chosen few the extent of his knowledge, and this we have no reason to believe was very great; but to the herd of mankind to the swinish multitude which were without, he took delight in dealing in parăbles, and in mysteries. Was this man destined by the creator, to be the great saviour of the world, the moral instructor of the human race ! we believe not-for every instrustor should be candid, intelligent and communicative--mystery and reserve are evidences of conceited folly, or dark design. It is fairly to be presumed that if God thought proper to improve upon his natural system by one which was supernatural, it must have been a real and not a spurious improvement. In addition, therefore, to the marvellous works which Jesus was sent to perform, he ought also to have been impowered by his father, or expressly commanded to furnish an apostate world with a moral system of a pure and excellent nature. This has not been done ; for if the gospel contains solitary maxims of useful morality—it furnishes nothing systematic in this respect; and of course is inferior to the productions of philosophers who lay no claim to inspiration or divinity of character. These philosophers acting by the force of their natural powers have discovered more important principles, and exhibited a greater perspicuity in moral precept than either Jesus, Paul, or any other character concerned in this theological drama.

SUPERSTITION has always been at war with science this will be extremely evident if we resort to the declarations of sacred writ and the decisions of ecclesiastical councils in its favor. All heritics are proscribed by the church and denounced as bad men. But what is heresy, or what is it to be a bad man in the estimation of the church? The following bitter decree against Galileo, one of the greatest men that ever existed on earth, will demonstrate sufficiently the rancourous hostility in which christian superstition formerly indulged itself. If modern christian philosophers have be. come more civil, it is because the demonstrations of New. ton and others, have thrown in the way an everlasting bar to their calumnies against these physicaľtruth. The following is the decree to which we have referrence.

GALILEO The following literary curiosity is said to be a correct

translation of the famous sentence of the inquisition passed upon GALILEO for his heretical opinions in

astronomy and natural philosophy, · W:

E, Gaspar, of the title of the holy cross of Jerusalem, Borgia, brother Felix Certinus, of the title of St. Anastatia, surnamed of Asculum.

Guides of the title of St. Mary, of the people, Bentivo. lus, brother Desiderius Coaglia, of the title of Saint Charles, surnamed of Cremona.

Brother Antonius Barbarinas, surnamed of St. Onu. phrins, Landivious Zacchia, of the title of St. Peter in Vinculis, surnamed of St. Sixtus.

Belingerious, of the title of St. Augustine Gyposius. Fabaricius of St. Lawrence, Francis of St. Lawrence. Martin of the new St. Mary and Ginethis, Deacons, by the mercy of God, cardinals of the holy Roman catholic church, and specially deputed by the holy apostolical see, as inquisi. tors general against heretical perverseness throughout the whole christian commonwealth.

Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vincent Galileo, of Florence, being seventy years of age, had a charge brought against you, in the year 1615, in this holy office, that you held as true an erroneous opinion held by many, namely, that the sun is the centre of the world, and immoveable, and that the earth moves even with a diurnal motion : also, that you had certain scholars into whom you instilled the same doctrine: also, that you maintained a correspondence on this point with certain mathematicians of Germany: also, that

you published certain epistles, treating of the solar spots, in thich you explained the same doctrine as true, because you cuswered to the objections, which, from time to time were I rought against you, taken from the holy scripture, by glossing der the said scripture according to your own sense; and that afterwards, when a copy of writing in the form of an epistle, x; ritten by you to a certain great scholar of yours was presene id to you (it following the hypothesis of Copernicus) you tood up for and defended, certain propositions in it, which are against the true sense and authority of the holy scripture,

This holy tribunal desiring, therefore, to provide against the inconveniences and mischief, which have issued hence, and acreased to the danger of our holy faith-agreeable to the mandate of Lord Nand the very eminent doctors, car. (inals of this supreme and universal inquisition, two propositions respecting the immobility of the sun, and the motion of the earth, were and propounded, aş under :

That the sun is in the centre of the world, and immoveable in respect to local motion, is an absurd proposition, false in philosophy, and formerly heretical, seeing it is expressly contrary to holy scripture.

That the earth is not the centre of the world, nor immove, able, but moves even with a diurnal motion, is also an ab. { urd proposition, false in philosophy, and considered the clogically, is at least an error in faith.

To the end such pernicious doctrine might be intirely extirpated, and spread no farther to the grevious detrement of the catholic verity, a decree was issued by the holy congregation Indicis, prohibiting the printing of books which treat of such sort of doctrine, which was therein pronounced false, and altogether contrary to holy and divine scripture.

But that your grieyous and pernicious error and transpression may not remain unpunished, and that you may herea’ter be more cautious, serving as an example to others, that they mar abstain from the like offences, we decree that the 1:ook of the dialogue of Galileo be prohibited by public edict,

id we condemn yourself to the prison of this holy office, to i time to be limited by our discretion; and we enjoin, under tie title of salutary penance, that during three years to come, su recite once a week, the seven penitential psalms, reserv. j:s to ourselves the power of moderating, changing or taken away intirely or in part, the aforesaid penalties and peni.

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And so we say, pronounce and by our sentence declare, enact, condemn, and reserve, by this and every other better mode of formula, by which of right, we can and ought.

So we, the underwritten cardinals, pronounce, F. Cardi. nal de Asculo, G. Cardinal Bentivolus, F. Cardinal de Cremona, Fr. Antony Cardinal S. Onuphrii, B. Cardinal Gypsius, F. Cardinal Verospius, M. Cardinal Gin ettus.

THE ABJURATION OF GALILEO. 1, Galileo Galilei, son of the late Vincent Galileo, a Florentine, of the age of seventy, appearing personally in judgment, and being on my knees in the presence of you, most eminent and most reverend Lords, Cardinals of the Universal christian Commonwealth, Inquisitors General against heretical depravity, having before my eyes the holy gospels, on which I now lay my hands, swear that I always believed, and now believe, and, God helping, that I shall for the future always believe whatever the holy catholic and a. postolic Roman church holds, preaches, and teaches. But because this holy office had enjoined me byp recept, entirely to relinquish the false dogma, which maintains that the sun is the centre of the world and immoveable, and that the earth is not the centre and moves-nor to hold, defend, and teach by any means, or by writing, the aforesaid false doctrineand after it had been notified to me, that the aforesaid doctrine is repugnant to the holy scripture, I have written and printed a book in which I treat of the same doctrine already condemned, and adduce reasons with great efficacy in favor of it, not offering any solution of them; therefore I have been adjudged and vehemently suspected of heresy, namely, that I maintained and believed, that the sun is the centre of the world, and immoveable, and that the earth is not the centre, and moves.

Therefore, being willing to take out of the minds of your eminences, and of every catholic christian this vehement suspicion, of right conceived against me, 1, with sincere heart and faith unfeigned, abjure execrate, and detest the above said errors and heresies, and generally every othererror and sect contrary to the above said holy church: and I swear that I will never any more hereafter say or assert, by speech or writing, any thing through which the like suspicion may be had of me but if I shall know any one heretical, or suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this holy office, or to the inquisitors and ordinary of the place in which I shall be. I moreover

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