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they are thus compelled to yield to honesty does to the swindler; it enaher authority.
bles them both to practise upon the The influence of the cause just men- credulity of mankind to a much greater tioned is much assisted by that lassi extent than a rigid consistency of chatude, which is the natural consequence racter and conduct would admit. Furof the gratification of the more violent ther, it deserves to be noticed, that if
passions. The fervid impiety by which the insidious commendation which is ; many of the writers in question are sometimes bestowed by Anti-Chrisí animated, urges thein to so eager and tian authors be accompanied with an
intense a pursuit of their object, that air of buffoonery or irony, the effect the wearied spirit at length calls for upon the minds of many is superior to
intermission and repose; and there that of the most unqualified vitupera' are moments, in which the most tho- tion or the most virulent invective.
rough-bred persecutor feels himself These considerations render it evident, : disposed to exclaim with the poet that the main object may be promoted -Parce, precor, precol;
by those very means which appear to Non sum qualis eram.
counteract it; and that, Parthian like, The passion, however, only rests to the enemy may be conquering even refresh itself: it only sleeps to recruit when he scems to yield. But this is its strength for new exertions and new not all: there is observable in the gratifications.
writings of those who have distinguishIt
may be observed, that falsehood ed themselves by their hostility to the naturally produces its own remedy, by Christian cause, an evident affectation destroying the credit of its author. of imitating the manners of the classiHence arises the necessity, in those cal philosophers and historians of anwho have an interest in its success, tiquity, on the subject of religion. not to frustrate its effect by exhausting They study them as models, and entheir reputation; but, at intervals, to deavour to exhibit the same affection repair the waste of that important in- of mind towards the Christian Relistrument of influence, by a gubmission gion, which is apparent in those heato truth.
then writers towards the superstition But the indulgence which our Reli- of their country. The inference upon gion occasionally experiences at the which they presume, and which is the hands of its enemies, is not the effect very end and reward of their exertions, of the force of truin, of lassitude, or is, that both religions are of the same of necessity alone. There is a policy authority ; or, in other words, that in it. Their apparent suspension of neither possesses any. The resemhostilities is only a varied method of blance, however, is not quite so perconducting them with more effect : fect as it is intended to be. The heathey assume the mask of friendship, then surveys the Religion of his counthat the wound which they inflict may try with no apparent emotion of rebe the deeper. For we are not to ima- sentment: he contemplates it with gine that by their partial concessions the placidity and composure of one, any sacrifice is actually made. The who is convinced of its falsehood; he enemies of our faith are contented to betrays no apprehension with respect be believed in what they concede, pro- to the result of an inquiry into the vided they may be believed in what subject.* On the contrary, the adthey assert. They are secure of the event. They are satisfied what judg, tation, that Epicurus and his disciple Lucre
* If it should be objected to this represenment must be formed of a religion, of tius discover a considerable degree of irritawhich much that is dishonourable, and bility upon the subject of Religion, it must be something that is favourable, may be recollected that the object of their attack was affirmed. We are likewise to under not the superstition of their country alone, stand, that a well-placed exhibition of but Religion in general. In this circumstance
they agree with the characters next to be concandour gives the same advantage to sidered; and he who reflects upon the anxious the infidel, which an occasional act of solicitude which Lucretius, throughout the
versary and assailant of Christianity, truth of the one 'and the falsehood of in spite of the disposition which he af. the other, is fundamental and invincifects to discover, appears to regard the ble, and will always produce a corresReligion which he desires to destroy ponding difference in the regards of with considerable perturbation. It is men towards them, whatever artifice continually in his thoughts, and seems and labour may be employed to conto haunt his imagination like a spectre. ceal it. Under the ill-supported character of a We feel, therefore, no extravagant philosopher, but with the irritability emotions of gratitude for the favour and rancour of a petty sectarist, he, in which our adversaries are occasionally general, calumniates and insults it pleased to show to us; and all we dewith a brutal malignity. Though for- sire of them is, to know that they are tified by an obstinate determination not understood. to yield to conviction, le pertinaciously April 27.
J. M. declines a sober and impartial inquiry into the subject; not daring, from a dread of the issue, to commit himself
FRENCH ANECDOTE. to such a state of mind. The whole of A FRENCH Emigrant, while endeahis opposition to the Religion in ques. vouring in the reign of Robespierre to tion betrays symptoms of a heart ill at escape out of France, arrived in a pro. case, and as much oppressed by fear vincial town of that country at the same as irritated by resentment: the flimsy time with an Emissary of the governveil with which he endeavours to con ment, who was charged with the duty ceal his agitation, serving rather, by of directing the people in the choice of attracting attention, to make it more a sound Jacobin to an important situaconspicuous, and recalling to our minds tion in the department. The Emi
the pitiable condition of those, con- grant had the curiosity to go with the cerning whom the philosophical histoe mob into the church where the elec. rian observes—" Quanto magis occul. tion was to take place. Some leading tare et abdere pavorem nitebantur, ma persons among the multitude intronifestius pavidi.”'t How then are we duced three men to the Emissary, the to reconcile this matter? how are we principles of every one of whom they to account for so remarkable a diffe- warranted to be excellent, though rence, where a perfect resemblance there was one of the three whom they was intended ? It can be accounted for specially recommended, declaring him rationally on no other supposition, than to be more fully established in the true that they are different subjecis, upon French philosophy than either of the which the minds of the different par- others. The Emissary, somewhat to ties operated; and that the Religion the surprise of the assembly, paid little which the zealots of impiety are so attention to what was said of the sound. anxious to put upon a level with one ness of the principles of the individual confessedly fabulous, is distinguished candidate who was presented to him, from it by every mark which can dis- but abruptly asked this short question tinguish a true from a false Religion. -A’t il des passions? Is he a man of. This distinction, resulting from the strong passions? The leaders of the
mob replied, that if strength of paswhole of his work, betrays, to inculcate upon sions was to be the test, one of the mankind their obligations to his master, for other candidates had certainly the adhaving delivered them from fear, by overturning the belief of a providence, a moral governor
vantage, and the man who was distinof the world, and a future state, will find cause guished by the violence of his temper to think, that there was some truth in the ob. was instantly nominated by the Emis. servation which Cicero puts into the mouth of sary, and elected by the people. Cotta concerning Epicurus—" Nec querquam Let me add a few words of applicavidi, qui magis ea, quæ timenda esse negaret, ti.
tion. meret ; mortem dico et Deos," De Nat. Deor.
It would appear from this anecLib.i. c. 86.
dote (which is a perfectly true one, the † Tac. Hist. Lib.i. $ 88.
writer having heard it from the Emi
grant who was present) that not only a not allow her ideas of that future state Jacobin is, as we all know, a man of to be modified by the notions of judg: strong passions, but also that every man ment and retribution." of strong passions may be said to be a Now let us hear the progress of this Jacobin.
self-created religion. It led her, first, I conceive, Mr. Editor, that, accord- to remissness in attending public woring to this principle, we have now some ship, and, at length to discontinue itenJacobins among us, who by no means tirely. Mr. Godwin indeed thinks, "it possess that name. For instance, I may be admitted as a maxim, lhat no doubt much whether certain men, who person, of a well-furnished mind, that take the very name of Anti-jacobins, I has shaken off the implicit subjection mean some of those who conduct the of youth, and is not the zealous partizan Anti-jacobin Review, (I include indeed of a sect, can bring himself to conform only a part of them in my remark,) do to the public and regular routine of not come under a suspicion of being of sermons and prayers." that very sect which they oppose.
Ont Her religion was as chaste as it was ils des passions ? is the question ; Are devout. It allowed her to live as a wife they men of strong passions? I think with Mr. Imlay, without being married they are, and as such I denounce them to him, and afterwards on the same as Jacobins before the tribunal of the terms with Mr. Godwin, to whom she public. I own, however, that I am dis was at length married, only to prevent posed to denounce some of their anta- her complete exclusion from decent gonists in like manner, and among society. these I reckon every violent separatist Her attachment to Inlay seems to and every fierce and passionate conten have been violent. His neglect of her der for even the soundest doctrines of gave her the most poignant distress. our religion.
The religion of her own creating, totally I hope, Mr. Editor, that you will re unlike that which God teaches, affordmember this definition of a Jacobin, and ing no resource for her wretched mind, that in your future numbers you will she twice, in the course of five months, judge of men’s principles, both in poli- resolved on suicide. One attempt 10 tics and religion, by the test which I destroy herself, is thus related by Godhave just proposed." I hope, in short, win : « She took a boat, and rowed to that you will reckon Christian gentle Putney. It was night when she arrivness and candour, to be a symptom both ed at Putney, and by that time it had of loyalty and of orthodoxy, and an un begun to rain with great violence. The governed temper to be a mark of dis rain suggested to her the idea of walkaffection both to Church and State.
ing up and down the bridge, till her · S. P.
cloaths were thoroughly drenched and
heavy with the wet, which she did for INFIDELITY BROUGHT TO THE TEST OF half an hour, without meeting a human EXPERIMENT.
being. She then leaped from the top Fas est et ab hoste doceri.
of the bridge, but still seemed to find a MR. Godwin, in writing the life of Ma- difficulty in sinking which she endeary Woolstencraft, meanl, without doubt, voured to counteract by pressing her to recommend infidelity to mankind; clothes closely round her." She, howbut, happily for them, he has in these ever, was discovered, and taken out of memoirs exhibited what may be term
the water, " After having been for a ed a series of experiments, from which considerable time insensible," contithey may learn its tendency, both as to nues her biographer, “she was recomorals and happiness.
vered by the exertions of those by whom In the beginning of the work he in the body was found.” forms us, that Mrs.Woolstencraft “ had But let us hasten to the conclusion. received few lessons of religion in her She died in child bed. In the detail of youth, and that her religion was almost this awful scene, we have the following entirely of her own creating”-that affecting passage; “Her religion, as I “ she expected a future state, but would have already shewn, was not calculated
to be the torment of a sick bed ; and in paralleled by what is done every day by fact, during her whole illness, not one a great part of mankind. A little reword of a religious cast fell from her flection supplied me with many
instanlips.” In other words, she died like an ces of an affirmative solution of my queatheist.
ry; to every Christian observer of the The paradoxical cast of her mind was transactions of the world they will reavisible in other things, as well as in the dily occur. affairs of religion. She ridiculed the When, for instance, men confine all fashion of the English women in keep- their care to their bodies, and abandon ing their chamber for a month ; and for their souls to destruction--when they herself, proposed “coming down to grasp, with trembling eagerness, the dinner on the day immediately following treasures of this world, but carelessly her being brought to bed;" but she was suffer those of a better to slip for ever too ill to execute her design. The hour from their hands--when they toil to obwas at hand, the awful hour that was to tain the applauses of mortals, like put a period to all ber visionary ideas, themselves, but disdainfully reject that and all her opportunities of preparing“ honour which cometh from God”for another world; yet she would still when they impatiently pursue the gra. utter her philosophical reveries. De- tifications of sensual luxury, but forego scribing what she had suffered, she told all the solid and lasting pleasures of reGodwin, “that she should have died the ligion-when (in short) men hold fast preceding night, but that she was deter- the trifles of time, but prodigally relinmined not to leave him."
quish the inestimable blessings of eterSuch is the good sense, such the pie. nity—what do they bút emulate, or raty and comforts of the new philosophy, ther surpass the folly, without possesThese are the enlighteners of mankind. sing the excuse of him, who, while he These are the people who undertake to pocketted a pebble, threw his watch cure us of our prejudices !!
For the Christian Observer.
WRITTEN IN A WINTER'S WALK. On looking the other day into the first As the earth, when enwrapped in a mantle of
snow, volume of the Spectator, I met with the
From the centre diffuses a beat, following passage-"A little before our
That prepares every seed in due season to club-time, last night, we were walking blow, together in Somerset Garden, where And each flow'ret to scatter its sweet; Will Honeycomb had picked up a small So the soul, robed in innocence, proudly depebble of so odd a make that he said
fies he would present it to a friend of bis, Of cold malice and envy the blast, an eininent virtuoso. After we had And, within, forms its blossom and fruit for walked some time, I made a fuil stop,
Till the storm of affliction be past.— with my face towards the west, which Will knowing to be my usual method My moral was finished, when changed by a
thaw, of asking what's o'clock in an afternoon,
The snow ran in torrents around; immediately pulled out his watch, and Vain mortal, said I, with humility draw told me we had seven minutes good. The instruction that speaks from the We took a turn or two more, when, to
ground.my great surprise, i saw him squir Thine innocent robe should a Saviour remove, away his watch a considerable
How naked thine heart would appear ;the Thames, and with great sedateness And dissolved by the beams of his mercy and
love, in his looks, put up the pebble he had
How fast flow the penitent tear.before found in his fob."
After indulging a hearty laugh at the But be who thus softens the clods of the earth, ludicrous circumstance with which the
And thus waters the furrows below,
To man's deadened nature can give a new foregoing narrative concludes, I began
birth, to consider seriously, whether the mis And make bis sins whiter than snow. take of this absent man might not be
1. REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
XV. Mrs. West's Letters on important sub man be born again, , he cannot enter jects.
into the kingdom of heaven;" and the (Concluded from p. 244)
apostles teach that we are all “by naIn a popular explanation of the thirty- ture children of wrath,” that we are to nine articles, much novelty of thought "be renewed in the spirit of our is not to be expected. Without ser minds ;” must “put off the old man, vilely copying any expositor,Mrs. West which is corrupt, &c." pays a high degree of deference to the
Much useless controversy on this opinions of Bishop Pretty man and Dr. subject might be avoided, were a proHey; but in many instances deviating per distinction made between absolute from both, she boldly adventures to il- and relative qualities. God judges of lustraté abstract subjects by natural actions, from the motives which causobjects*, and too frequently allows, ed them; if the motives, therefore, be where the tenets and practice of Dis. wrong, that is, have no reference to senters are concerned, the full force of the divine will, the actions, however truth to common report. Can she con- fair may be their appearance, are also ceive that the doctrine of original sin wrong. This judgment comprehends is elucidated by a plant or a flower not the whole case, and referring only to appearing as a standard of perfection one rule, is absolute. But man cannot to a fastidious imagination? The crit- judge actions by their motives, which ic on a flower may be deceived in his do not appear; he, therefore, deterestimate of its properties; or if he be mines them to be right or wrong from not, there is a mighty difference be- the preponderance of apparent good or tween perfection and corruption. God, evil. He often, also, allows his judgwho uses not comparative, but positive ment to refer to different standards of terms on this subject, has confirmed rectitude and obliquity in morals and his numerous declarations of the cor. religion. This relative judgement ruption of man, ly the strongest proof must necessarily be defective, and dein the power of omnipotence; by giving fective in proportion to the want of his only begotten son, himself the bles- knowledge and the imperfection of the sed God, to die for the sins of all men. standard by which it is formed. Such stupendous means would not The most important advantage imhave been used for the restoration of mediately resulting from the belief of human nature, were its fault only the the doctrine of human corruption, as absence of perfection. The angels now stated, is the production of Chrismay be charged with folly, when scru- tian humility. This primary virtue tinized by the eye of Omniscience, correcis that misanthropic spirit frebut no Saviour is made an offering for quently observable in people of the them. - The carnal mind” being world, when compelled by experience "enmity against God,” it must not to admit the existence of that inherent only be frail and prone to evil, but de- depravity which they would not believe terminedly averse to all that is good. on the declaration of Scripture. But This state, as the article declares, “de- the Christian, esteeming others better serveth God's wrath and damnation.” than himself, and being filled with Mrs. West considers this representa- gratitude for divine blessings bestowtion of human nature as more likely to cd notwithstanding the greatest degratify an uncharitable temper, than to merits, is not in "danger of becoming benefit mankind. Unless, however, capricious, morose, and unattractive,” the extent of the corruption of man be from a consideration of the "guilt of ascertained, trifling remedies will be his fellow-creatures.' used, serving only to quiet just alarms, In proportion as the power of natuand to sooth into fatal security; when ral corruption is felt, the necessity of Christ has declared, that except a conversion or regeneration, and of the * Vol. ii. p. 131.
agency of the Holy Spirit, will be per Christ. Obsery: No. 5.