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It is not worth while for any part of the world to affect under self-delusion or mercenary bribery, that any part of pagan faith is the thing for the world, that has exclusively to look at religion. The people should rule all such, as false doctrinists and teachers. The world does not need any masters, but principles. If it were not for the priestocracy, we should not have heard of peculiar faiths, messiahs or Christs, and if it were not for speculation, trade, power and all worldly objects, we should never have heard of the priestocracy. There is a whole universe reality in religion, but not one iota of all the priestocracies' claim to it. We can attain no excellence of faith without religion, and for that mind and soul are exclusively indebted to the Creator-savior.
RATIONAL, NOT SECTARIAN DISCUSSION.
What benefit results to religious institutions, when the essential principles are not settled thereby, but warm feelings are aroused, and old opinions, however obsolete, are adhered to about peculiar faith?
Such discussion elicits the position, that baptism or sprinkling is not essential to salvation, as the churches do not agree, having interminable disputes about words never to be settled, and about unimportant rites.
It was important that all this, if necessary, should never have been left to any doubt, when Christ or any vicegerent should be specific and definite, yet deep controversy eliciting talents on both sides, is needlessly and endlessly maintained.
Principles of God are free from all this interminable difficulty, defined by monotheism in rational religion.
The very language of the position is indefinite, it is contended. There can be nothing definite in all such bibles.
If there be no room for doubt, assuredly there is a most awful account for the hosts arrayed against baptism or immersion, even by sophistry.
Can the motives of all such opposition be impure? We cannot think so.
But then, why employ talents and valuable tiine in useless rites, when the noble principles of Deity furnish the noblest and the only life-subject of religion ?
It is like one having a good memory, constantly recurring to deeds of the past, when his highest faculties of judgment and duty are invoked for the present and future.
The advocates of baptism decide immersion to be the rite, and any word vague, if baptize don't mean to immerse.
The converse maintains that baptism is purification, and ceremonious freeing from pollution, and that sprinkling is the rite.
And all this brings in a relative disputation about children, the operations of the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, &c. Preaching is one thing, and essential practice is another. The Pedo-Baptists are all hostile to the Baptists.
Of course, it cannot matter as long as such feeling prevails, if spiritual baptism of the Holy Ghost from his heaven, cannot keep the mind from crimes. How can immersion do it? Has God defined it specifically, by his works so unmistakably proved ?
What has the mind to do with ceremonies that are nonentities, if their base is a nonentity? But if essential, and the Romanists and Protestants changed the ancient rite, claiming it by church authority, then they can do anything else. The discipline of peculiar churches governs the rites.
It is contended, that if immersion be used, it ought to be thrice done, or triune immersion.
Can all the hosts of discrepancies about church doctrines and rites, ever be reconciled ? It is impracticable.
That about infant baptism, is immense. It is contended that the institution of this rite, with exceptions, creates serious difficulties irreconcilable to the laws of nature, and that, if adopted, causes mothers to leave out their children. Then why the base, that is unnatural ?
Most of these difficulties have been caused by Christian councils, as that of Carthage, that first announced infant baptism. This is considered a corrupt innovation on the church, that also then received additions to its rites and ceremonies.
The influence of infant baptism is considered by its church opponents, as demoralizing on the world.
Then, how demoralizing all peculiar faiths that originate church corruptions !
How often is it, that rites and ceremonies are impracticable. Rational religion asks for no such mummery as all these.
All must be rational construction as to life's principles.
Who can now deny after all the various discrepancies of peculiar faith, and its irreconcilable differences about rites and ceremonies, but that obscurity to say the least of it, covers the early ages of the church history?
After all the rites and ceremonies of churches, is devotion rendered better and more sacred ?
The profession of peculiar faith is only promoted all over the world, by its peculiar tuition.
But science is to be extended to the youthful mind, by appropriate instruction at the proper moment, and then the whole world will do a paramount duty of civilization.
If necessary to baptize infants, what is the error of those rejecting it? If unneces. sary, what mummery ?
The doctrine of falling from grace is considered demoralizing, and is inet by the doctrine of predestination.
Which is freest from error ?
These doctrines just show the libellous assumption of man about God, clashing with principles of reason, and contradictory of God's attributes.
Thus, creeds and articles of peculiar faith are dangerous and demoralizing, especially when directed by inquisitions, the talisman of power, of money, government or hierarchy.
The advocacy of the doctrines, falling from grace and predestination, says enough to cut down Christ at once, as imbecile and incompetent, or self-degraded and unjust.
He who opposes falling from grace, quotes, " But divine grace accompanies passengers to their journey's end, and without aid, so that the meanest pilgrim in Zion, may shout with David, in full certainty of faith, surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all my days, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever!'" with David who had been pronounced the man after God's own heart, yet became a murderer and adulterer, and not fallen from grace! Then, this grace declares God associated with murder and adultery! O solecism! O vanity of logic !
Again, in opposition to falling from grace, the same author says, " Who will venture with such views of his character, (supposing him, that is, God, incapable of executing what he undertook !) to commit with full faith and interests to his guardianship and fidelity." • The doctrine which tends, in any degree, to impair our confidence in him, we declare that doctrine as demoralizing." That doctrine is, positively, that of messiahship.
A right estimate of human nature will refer to its general frailties, and that perseverance is for all men, whose last end declares the conclusive eulogy of least sin.
We must declare all doctrines that libel man's nature, or that impair God's attributes, as demoralizing or blasphemous.
The pen is so prolific in this theme, that it is difficult to curtail.
The whole subject of religion merges in monotheism, and that discards all the petty conflicts of sectarianism and antagonism of creeds.
The bible of rational mind thus elegantly and substantially sustains itself, while the best advocates involve themselves in inextricable quagmires of the bibles of tradition.
Discuss all things to be right, not vainly to master in words that ought not to be uttered, as valuable time and thoughts are fruitlessly thrown away. Free discussion is to find out only, and adopt all what is right and rational.
We are indebted to rational discussion, for much in life.
Do not decide about faith and religion, till you read and discuss both sides of the question. Who oppose this position ? Bigots and sectarians, priests, ininisters, and preachers of peculiar faith.
THE DYNASTY OF THE PRIESTOCRACY, CLERGY, PREACHERS,
Well may it be asked, if all such people be blasphemous for worldly profit, towards God, how can they be sincere and faithful to man and their own conscience ?
Have they hesitated to use all manner of means, bloody as history paints them, to attain all worldly power?
Here, then, is outrage for the past, of the worst description of wrong, and that of a powerful character, where no rightful apology can possibly be made, to the suffering millions of that courteous and forgiving gentleman the people, who has been hoodwinked as to his sufferings, mocked and deluded, in all time, by so many impostors.
What but mind, and its right use, is to give us exemption from the evils, and security for the future ?
The proper responsibility is with each individual, not with priests, preachers, or clergy, yet pretenders of ordinary intellects and morality, especially by example, assume to become confessors, in monopoly and usurpation of the confessor Lord God, conscience keepers !
Gracious God! The impiety, the blasphemy, of these assuming mental midwives to corruption of mind!
But for thy established self-preservarion principles, the world had been ruined by such corruptors. The
very act of confession betrays the highest iniquity in the confessor, the lowest state of mind of the dupes confessing, in the sight of the Creator confessor.
We mortals, ourselves are accountable, have the free-agency of mind for thought, word, and deed, are our own conscience-keepers, and responsible for investigation, that none others of any absolutism dare arrest with impunity before God; then let us arraign all unprincipled opposition at the tribunal of reason, the only one where accountability can be proved as l'esting, and where responsibility is investigated. Confession, then, is not only vain, as messiahship, but criminal and blasphemous.
It is a pity, forever deplorable, if we do not profit before general loss, as much of this world's experience comes too late. Then it will not do to trust man too far in anything, especially in regard to the power over our liberty, conscience, rights, and control of mind, or anything of such fundamental importance; so liable is civil and religious power to abuse.
All ages present the corruption-collusion of absolutism exists too wide and farspread, to stop at the right point.
Power is safer in our own possession, that is rightful.
We cannot, in justice to our social and moral position, concede to man more than a fair and proper courtesy.
The law of self-preservation first begins, and is never to be lost sight of, in any of life's departments, never ends.
This is universal, and never to be forgotten.
It will not do to delegate any powers, that mind should retain ; if so, the act enslaves and debases mind, surely.
We ask for the recognition of a sincere and safe position, sure and certain, written in the human mind, long before open confession recognises it.
This makes mind, the guardian pilot in life, as the work and the rightful property of God.
The Creator must have the affection and the power of action. But how is it with all this class?
What innate faculties can they, in all their pomp of show and force of power, exhibit?
What a collusion of priestocracy!
This hierarchy, that has been despotic with selfish power, from ancient times, over mind, that it has traduced and vilified, is defined by the best proof in modern science and freedom.
What a curse, that the people should hold on to all the exploded absurdities of dotard doctrines and their propagators. What good have they ever done them ?.
What horrible curses have they not entailed on them?
Did the reigning Jewish priestocracy slay the Christ and some of his followers, to secure all the power to themselves? Then it shows that priestocracy is powerful indeed, in such triumphs.
But what is more rational, did not their corrupt priestocracy lay foundations for many evils of this kind ?
This designing order, in all ages, when left alone, political or other, assumes and arrogates to itself what belongs to the people's mind's power.
Such power being thus obtained, is maintained with frauds, proportionate to its usurpation.
It is assumed to be of divine delegation, and is mind's master, not its subject-triumphant over that mind, that is indebted so much, according to its revelations.
The usurpation once established, new sects thus make inroads into previous jurisdictions, and the people, who lawfully need the light of mind, acquiesce in merited impositions.
How could the priestocracy, at the first or afterwards, with its unjust power, have been competent to bear evidence to truth, that it constantly violated?
Its temporal interest was supreme, and that was enough. It never could be equally involved, with any people that was ruled by bigotry, that is ever a companion insepara... ble of any peculiar faith.
Approach this question, and the alarm is sprung ; to arms, are the cry, the watchword, and the call, from the chiefs and the whole clans; and the echo is rung among all the affiliated, until fanaticism rears her mob vindictive for blood, slaughter, and conquest, down to the social proscription and ostracism of the very freest.
The intelligent and most refined part of hierarchy do know the awful corruption of hierarchies, and should estimate truly the deplorable condition of mind and country most subject to it. Any, at all subject, should be freed.
The least of the evil is universal freedom.
Not only is its direct power brought to bear, for sinister purposes, but its reflective power is felt in the very vitals of social relations and virtues.
No one, able to obtain his bread by his honest labor, should countenance such a state of things.
Where toleration is the least of all evils, action of mind should not be suspended at any proper moment, that must not be delayed for correction of all these injuries.
Let the world get rid of all state-power unions, of all the profits of professional trade and speculation in the gospel, of all the preferments of worldly honors, and let the word of God stand by itself, for pure results, on its own merits.
Does any intelligent person doubt the protection that mind, cultivated, brings to itself and the world?
Is this doubtful, except to bigots, who especially have but little common sense, and are made more simple by books, who disregard the good of mankind, in their own selfish pretences and professions ?
wonder the impression on those dull plotters, that receive all such as faith that is at their fireside, or at the church, in the state or country.
Stupid, contracted, and bigoted minds are affected to know where can they get any more faith, if that, though false, be removed.
So far from investigating the truth, the inquirers under priestocracy shrink back, with fear, as to other sources.
The bibles of tradition are the word of God, says the priest. What say mind and truth, not man, who is interested ? Investigate all aright now, and whatever is by principle, is right; then all such peculiar gods and priestocracies are synonymous.
We are now in the ages of light, and must read the world by that light, else we are recreant to God's best gifts.
The greatest incentives to idolatry and bad government have been through evil priests and politicians, as Jesuitical, of analogous mould of mind, who sought the profits. What cared they, the worst of demagogues, for the people, but to seek their substance ?
Such have caused to be built up creeds of faith, to which mind was to be tortured on the rack, to suit.
Whilst mind can only declare, as truthful and honest, that none but reason can decide faith, the history of her oppression, by all these, is awful and hideous,
The polytheists caused a Socrates to drink poison, because he proclaimed, like a martyr, a better system than theirs. While we cannot portray, by a hundredth part, the iniquitous butchery of priestocracy, all must see the rabid malignity of ferocious, unprincipled opposition, and jealous rivalry for popular and mental tyranny.
The mildest platform of the most provable, has been polluted by reeking blood.
The Romanists excommunicated from church and banished from country, cursed and slayed by all the engines of cruelty, thousands and thousands who refused to assent to their peculiar creeds.
The people on whom all this intolerable evil bore were not bettered, but in despite of all such ignoble creeds of spurious faith, indebted for its hold to sophistry, bigotry, and brute force above all, not on the minds but on the bodies of the people, by the potency of the innate principles of God.
Nothing has been done effectually, but by the very principles so outraged that operated on all for good.
Who were the ancient priests, but the lackey and obsequious subministers of state, to carry out the general policy of superstition throughout the world?
What cared alĩ these arch intriguers for the morals of the people present or of pos
terity, when the all-absorbing matters of selfish finance and policy were predominant ? It was the universal hold on the world's mind, whereby they could manage it best.
They have managed from the remotest antiquity, by various and adroit devices to the people's shame, ignominy and bitterest sufferings.
The history of the priests, is the saddest history of humanity, and of its vassal mind.
But some may affect that the modern priests are better than the ancient.
If we duly estimate the cause of some recent wars, we can hardly think so. Can you, republican Roman?
Their goodness is due to the general light of minds, and the proper policy-use that mind has made of its light, but for that blessing the true inspiration of God, inquisitions and proscriptions would still be the order of the day.
Skepticism, which is nothing but the due effect of the light of liberal mind that philosophy and science have reared, has been sweeping away superstition, the stuff that makes priestocracy for women and womanish childish men, who are in their first or second imbecile state.
The history of Alexander furnishes examples enough for the wise, to profit by the complete instruction.
He was met in his successful career by the Jewish priests, who were willing to do obeisance to him as a God-sent conqueror! And he affected to have had a dream most politically devised, to secure the most politic results.
But in Egypt, prolifis in craftship, he availed himself of the collusion of the priests of the Nile, to speculate for more universal conquests. He negotiated for the highest game.
Alexander affected to be the son of Jupiter Ammon, whose compliant priests gave a servile response of the oracle to suit the popularity and power of the military hero, and declared him the son, and “ that his father liad destined him to become universal lord of mankind."
“ The chief priest addressed him as the son of that God, to which Alexander replied that he accepted the title.”
“ And with ready flattery the priests told the followers, that Ammon willingly consented they should adore his son.
But the oracle could not secure from even the vulgar, a full benefit of this organized imposture.
Superstition and credulity that affect faith, flourish by ignorance. The materials of this kind were suitable for Mahomet and Christ, but could not succeed with the philosophical pagans, which conclusively proves them the superior of the parties compared.
The political more than faith stratagem was aimed at by this pretence, and answered to a certain extent.
Alexander, however, was vain enough to enjoy any idolatry, and like the other two, paid forfeit from his acts by his life.
Poison destroyed two, the cross ends the third god, while shot-guns terminate the existence of recent prophets and propagators of another form of superstition among the Mormons. Blasphemy is fatal to most.
Characters base enough can be found as long as false ambition can be nurtured, avarice cherished, and superstition rewarded, to prostitute themselves to the basest assumption and imposition of public opinion, and thereby guide and regulate peculiar faith opinion. What are the heads of many nations now doing, but thus acting ?
Let the people forever examine for themselves ; if they do not befriend themselves, who will ?
They must ever seek the irresistible sway of science-education, as broad as the lightning's play, to free the human mind from its vulgar and tyrannical prejudices, created by ignorance of terrestrial wonders, which have been estimated as miracles of physical nature.
Whoever will not learn from all this, is unworthy of the blessings of mind, a confirmed idolator, a perfect reprobate, he must suffer all its ignominy and penalty.
This now brings us to say boldly, that the God of the universe is too sacred to be approached by all such priestocracy, but must be appreciated through his works, and reverenced for his attributes thus evinced.
How could priests win or maintain the confidence of the world, which is the phalanx of mind, as they lack important characteristics of ability to command time or place, and of course to dispense favors vouchsafed from their god.
The priests of any peculiar faith can only dispense those peculiar favors, mere trifles in the universe of God.
Remove, citizens of the world, these difficulties that are in the way of universal