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Had I fabricated this language for infidelity with the purpose of stamping greater deteftation upon its audacity, I had rather bear the blame of having overcharged the character, than to be able (as I now am) to point out a recent publication, which openly avows this shameless do&rine: But as I do not wish to help any anonymous blasphemer into notice, let the toleration of the times be his shelter, and their contempt his answer! In the mean time I will take leave to oppose to it a short passage from a tract, lately translated into English, in.' .titled Philosophical and Critical Enquiries concerning Christianity, by Mr. Bonnet of Geneva; a work well deserving an attentive perusal.
Here I invite that reader, who can elevate his mind to the contemplation of the ways of Providence, to meditate with me on the admirable methods of divine wisdom in the establishment of Christianity; a religion, the univerfality of which was to comprehend all ages, all places, nations, ranks, and situations in life; a religion, which made no distin&tion between the crowned head and that of the lowest subject; formed to disengage the heart from terref
trial things, to ennoble, to refine, to sublime the thoughts and affections of man; to render him conscious of the dignity of his nature, the importance of his end, to carry his hopes even to eternity, and thus associate him with superior intelligences; a religion, which gave every thing 10 the spirit and nothing to the flesh; which called its disciples to the greatest sacrifices, because men who are taught to fear God alone, can undergo the feverest trials; a religion in Short (to conclude my weak conceptions on so sublime a subjeet) which was the perfection or completion of natural law, the science of the truly wise, the refuge of the humble, the consolation of the wretched; so majestic in its fimplicity, so sublime in its doĉtrine, so great in its object, so astonishing in its effects. I have endeavoured (says this excellent author in his conclusions) to explore the inmost receses of my heart, and having discovered no secret motive there, which should induce me to reject a religion so well calculated to supply the defects of my reafon, to comfort me under affliction and to advance the perfection of my nature, I receive this religion as the greatest bleffing Heaven in its goodness could confer upon mankind; and I Should Aill receive it with gratitude, were I to
consider it only as the very best and most perfect system of practical philofophy.
That man, hurried away by the impetuosity of his passions, is capable of strange and monstrous irregularities I am not to learn ; even vanity and the mean ambition of being eccentric may draw out very wild expressions from him in his unguarded hours; but that any creature should be deliberately blasphemous, and reason himself (if I may press it) into irrationality, surpasses my conception, and is a species of desperation for which I have no name.
If the voice of universal nature, the experience of all ages, the light of reason and the immediate evidence of my senses cannot awaken me to a dependence upon my God, a reverence for his religion and an humble opinion of myself, what a loft creature
Where can we meet a more touching description of God's omnipresence and providence than in the 139th pfalm? and how can I better conclude this paper than by the following humble attempt at a translation of
that most beautiful address to the Creator of mankind.
O Lord, who by thy mighty power
2 In whatsoever path I stray,
Where'er I make my bed at night,
conceal my way,
3 Nor can my tongue pronounce a word;
How secretly foe'er 'twere said,
4 In every particle I see
The fashion of thy plastic hand : s Knowledge too excellent for me,
Me, wretched man, to understand,
6 Whither, ah! whither then can I
From thine all-present spirit go? 7 To Heav'n? 'tis there thou’rt thrond on high :
To Hell ? 'tis there thou rul'st below.
$ Lend me, O Morning, lend me wings !
On the first beam of op'ning day
9 Ah fool ! if there I meant to hide,
For thou, my God, shalt reach me there ;
10 Again, if calling out for night,
I bid it shroud me from thine eyes,
11 Nay, darkness cannot intervene
Betwixt the universe and Thee;
12 Thine is each atom of my frame;
Thy fingers ftrung my inmoft reins,
13 Oh! what a fearful work is man!
A wonder of creative art!
upon my heart,
+4 My very bones, tho' deep conceal'd
And buried in this living clay,
15 That eye, which thro' creation darts,
My substance, yet imperfect, fcan'd,