« PoprzedniaDalej »
of Christ, for the scripture maketh affirmation to this point. (See Matthews, Chapter first.)
Thus it is that this system of theology inverts and distorts all ideas of common sense, and leaves to the human heart no fix'd point of confidence on which it can rely with satisfaction, it is important that we believe theological truth but the fables of antiquity vitiate the heart and overwhelm the judgment of the human understanding.
(To be Continved.)
Great is the mystery of Godliness, or Christianity not in
tended to enlighten the world-proved from external
and internal evidence. T.
o form a true estimate of the character of christianity, believers ought not only to examine the doctrine and sentiments it contains but also to ascertain by what means and to what extent it has been propagated in different parts of the world. It is believed that the opinion is current with the majority of believers that christianity embraces by far the greatest part of the human race, and that its diffusion through the world was by means extremely mild and peaceful, partaking even of celestial benevolence. How far this last idea is consistent with truth will be more fully shewn in some future numbers; at present our remarks shall be confined to a moral demonstration of the opinion contained in the caption of this paragraph. It is proper however, first to observe, that the adherents of reveal. ed religion as well as natural theists, hold to the universal goodness of god, and in their fervent ejaculations address him in language demonstrative of this assertion. Their sacred books also declare that his tender mercies are over all the works of his hands the same books declare that he that believeth not shall be damned. Historical and geographical fucts declare that three quarters of mankind have been and still are ignorant of the christian religion. There is then a knotty point for the household of faith to settle ; for if the mercies of the creator are universal, and if this mercy is to be experienced only by a belief in christianity, and if by far the greater part of mankind have no knowledge of its principles, how can they believe it? and if they do not believe it they must be damned, and if they are left in a state of inoral darkness, here, and exposed to a fiery hell of damnation hereafter-where is the truth of the remark that the tender mercies of the lord are over all his works? is, there any mercy in keeping mankind in a state of ignorance and afterward damning them for that ignorance? Yet, such is the fact the Asiatick world contains five hundred millione of human beings, more than half of the human species, and yet all these, with exceptions that amount'to nothing, are left to perish in a state of heathenish darkness and ignorance, nothwithstanding the universal charity of the Jewish divinity. But great is the mystery of God.iness, and it may be the mark of a good christian to bow with great humility before what he cannot understand, but it is a mark also of a very foolish man. This proves the truth of what the great apostle Paul asserts, that god has chosen the weak and foolish things of this world to confound the wise and prudent. In farther proof of the truth of our proposition we may cite the sable sons of Africa, another great division of the globe, .where all the inhabitants are left in a state of religious darkness, equal to that which the physical powers of the universe have imposed upon the surface of their bodiesthe Aborigenes of the western hemisphere have not experienced in a more fortunate manner the benignity of the great Jehovah. They too have been thrust without the cir. cle of his universal goodness, nothwithstanding it is said to embrace all the works of his hands. If it was the intention of the christian god to enlighten the world by this reli, gion, the knowledge of it should have been diffused from pole to pole, should have encircled the globe, spread through every nation and saluted the understanding of every individual of the human race. But the mystery of Godliness, great as it is, works upon a different plan, and no wonder since it is declared in the sacred writings of the christians, that all those out of the pale of the church should be kept in profound ignorance. In proof whereof we cite Mark, chapter 4, verse 11th: unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kinga dom of God; but unto them that are without all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive ; and hearing they may hear, and not understand ; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. This is abundant proof of an internal kind-it is positive evidence that the christian religion was not given to enlighten the world; but for the express pur. pose of holding a majority of the world in a state of moral darkness and deplorable ignorance. The consequence of this is that they must be damned because their sins could not be forgiven, and of course great is the mystery of Godliness, so very great as to surpass every clear view of the powers
APHORISMS. Man is born ignorant-it is the expansion of his intellet: tual powers that constitutes his glory, and his happiness.
Science is the sun of the moral world ; when its rays shall have penetrated the darkness of every understanding, a new #ra will be commenced in history, and man will become universally the friend of sensative existence.
UPERSTITION has shed the blood of millions-she must answer for her crimes at the bar of reason, and there she will receive a condemnatory sentence-depart ye cursed and trouble thę world no more.
I, the murders which have been committed in the name of religion could be placed distinctly before the minds of believers, it would least induce this interrogatory—is that religion holy and divine whose effects have been so destructive among the human race.
He energy of thought will one day teach fanaticism that ther native home is hell!
War is the curse and scourge of the world—yet revealed religion has generated more wars than any other cause by which they have been produced.
W .£look at all mankind through the mirror of history but he who reads history without discriminative reflection, might as well pass away his existence under the influence of the mospheap God.
Why does superstition calumniate philosophy? Answer, because philosophy teaches the puresť morals.
Hilosophy labors to convince by mild and peaceful means -religious fanaticism by fire and faggot.
HILOSOPHY' teaches that belief must be founded uponevi. dencé-christianity destroys this moral axiom, in the sentence, he that believeth not shall be damned.
UMAN merit is in proportion'to talents and virtues-celes. tial mèrit cannot be transferred from heaven to earth. "
HE unjust man shall perish in his rapacity, and the tyrant in his usurpation."
Tre following to our subscribers in Baltimore was uninteptionally omited in the first number. When the proposals for this paper'were first issued, Baltimore was mentioned as the place of its publication; finding however, that by far the greatest number of subscribers were in this city, and the adjacent country this circumstance we presume will form a sufficient apology for commencing the paper here, in preference to any other place.
The following prize Subjects are proposed by the Mary.
land Society for promoting useful knowledge. 1st. The History of the State of Maryland.
2d. The best mode of punishing criminals. A gold medal with an appropriate motto, and relief, will be adjudged to each of the best productions on those subjects, received previous to the first of January, 1805, Candidates for the abovę prizes will be pleased to direct their paper to Dr. John Owen, secretary of the society at Baltimore, and annexed to them a sealed note, containing the author's name and residence, under cover of directions for the disposal of the papers
in case they fail to obtain a prize.
FOR sale by the editor, (price 1 dollar) at No. 26 Chat. ham-street, the PRINCIPLES OF NATURE; or a Develope. ment of the Moral Causes of Happiness and Misery among the Human Species, second edition, with five new chapters, upon the following subjects :-Origin of Moral Evil, and the means of its Ultimate Extirpation from the Earth; that Moral Principles are not founded upon Theological Ideas, nor upon any Sectarian Modification of these Ideas, but upon a basis as immortal and as indestructible as Human Existence itself; Universal Benevolence; Moses, Jesus, and Mahomet; Philosophical Immortality.
PUBLIC DISCOURSES, UPON MORAL and PhiloSOPHICAL SUBJECTS, will be delivered by the Editor every Sunday evening, at 6 o'clock, at Snow's long room, No. 89 Broad-Way.
... NEW-YORK: PRINTED and published by the editor, at No. 26 Chatham. street, price 2 dollars per annum, one half paid in advance every six months.