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it can only reason on phenomena with ultimate correctness. What are the functions of animals, but satiety of appetite and propagation of its species? Will these satisfy the immortal soul? The question spontaneously arises, at death, if not before, who and what are we? The animal extends next to the lowest organization of man's nature, and man extends, by mind's elasticity of ultimate capacity, to the highest order of organization. Where is that?
It is not visible as existent in this sphere.
What, then, are we to conclude? That it is in another state of existence. Death then must be a change, a passport, to that state of existence, of the immortal part, the soul.
The succession of generations keeps up the continuity of mind that thus always exists, but the reality of soul organization is elevated to its own spheres. God's creation is his pleasure, and that he will dispose of as almighty Omniscience knows best. What is the ultimate object of creation of the universe, of the earth? Can it be less than the highest attainable good? Can that be attained, by the shortest or longest duration? But how is it possible to render the soul immortal ? This earth is not prepared for its immortal happiness. Then another scene is the one fitted. It is a singular phenomenon that any thing short of rational religion will not begin to do for mind. What, then, is the position ? Ultimate relations, in the last great change.
One of the great principles of matter is, that it cannot be added to nor diminished. How then can the soul be translated to other spheres? By the best of course of the various universal means, most obviously. Our best affections originate a hope about immortality. Affection lingers around this subject, and rationality confirms the best appreciation of the rationalist.
How came we here on earth? For some ulterior object? What can be fully accomplished here? Is not this a scene for future preparation, the state of chrysalis ? Change of life is change of state. The universe is exhaustless, and could not God adapt mind, soul, as here? In this, God has illimitable power, beyond mind's conception. Will he not act to answer universal requisitions ? Relative orders of intellectual rational beings may fill the scale of existence in the universe, from the lowest intelligence to that which stands next to God. How are these in regard to another state ? Has there been no advance ? Man's mind does not stand still, as about that time it declines. The organs decline, through which mind's functions are displayed. The soul needs a better organization and sphere. It seems that the constant progression of mind from generation to generation will not answer for the soul's immortality or requisitions.
Religion is an institution of God for the human mind. Can brute animal mind recognise such? Is there, then, any thing in common for their final disposition? If any religious cognizance could be taken by the last, then we might discuss the final question as much as lies in our power.
The animal enjoys the good things of the earth, but the mind of man contributes to their origination, culture and multiplication, enjoying the subservient benefit of the animal. The whole makes unity of design. How can we prove that there is nothing made in vain by God? From his perfect character and attributes. But is man made perfect ? He is made in perfect accordance of fitness to creation ; were he a god on this earth, he could not be contented with his situation; as it is, he is desirous of a higher sphere. Mind is made then as it is, excluding all the false pretences of libelous bibles. 'Who can justly criticise one iota, the whole creation? The very attempt impeaches its propriety, as the whole question cannot be solved on earth. Nearly all nations, it has been remarked by others, seem more or less to have an idea of a future state impressed on their belief. The nearest we can come to the proof of a future state that I know is through religion, that only presents a partial completion of God's whole design, requiring the universe-solution to complete the problem. How can religion, God's own problem, be solved but by immortality of soul? How is it possible that mind should stop short, and neutralize God's whole comprehension ? When the Creator gave life to rational mind, he instituted it as the noblest creation, and compatibly with his own sublime attributes gave the greatest good to the soul, and to comprehend the whole, that was for eternity.
Retributive justice must be equal, and equitable here or hereafter. If not practicable here, immortality is certain, and the soul is the illustrious being. This is well proved, because God is perfectly just. We know that proper justice is not dispensed here.
The soul is taken hence in all ages, and under all circumstances, to meet another state of existence. We know the God of the Universe by what he has done. This state of existence only advances the soul to prepare for action. Monotheism, practical, not professed, is a provision of the soul, to adjust itself most sublimely for all eternity without doubt. Conscience bespeaks the existence of man's soul. It may be callous by peculiar education, that teaches superstition and peculiar faith. Rational education can only fairly elicit, to the noblest aspirations of its creation and Creator. What conscience is in man, instinct meets the wants of animals. They are the conservative gifts of the Creator. Instinct premises self-preservation here, the soul both here and hereafter. What essential learning do we get of Moses of the immortality of the soul? This is an illustrious proof of the soul, through religion, the pure creation of God-inspiring mind. To elevate man to the highest, God doubtlessly gave him a rational soul. Man and brute differ in this, whereas both are created for wise purposes. Man may become irrational by peculiar education ; the brute is rational all the time of health by instinct. The law of nature is correct reason, to govern rational beings.
By the unity of design the mind is the recipient of the religious law, that is orthodox right reason or judgment, with nothing insidious.
We recognise in all rational minds, souls, the materials for morals and religion. I go for all the soul, that is possible to be proved and saved, and as I go for all the perfection of Deity and all the holiness and purity of religion, I cannot possibly conceive of a Messiah or a peculiar faith, other than the interested invention of the world priestocracy. Of these I have friends whom I respect only as men through God's kindness and grace, not through their supposed actions.
They speak of righteousness in peculiar faith, that damns itself and all its advocates by their blasphemy. If man can prove the immortality of the soul more clearly than what the facts of cause and effect warrant, then let him do so. But he can avail himself of no other truthful means, in the Universe.
Mind, soul, is a Universe problem to be thus elaborated. Mind's free moral agency, gives us the idea of the immortality of the soul. It is in the circumstance, of conservative principles. The immortality of the soul is necessarily the result of God's perfection, as he creates nothing in vain. How absurd, that He, the Creator of the Universe, as the Great First Cause, should endow mind, as the chief of earth, and of course of creation, with all the habiliments of destruction, misery and suffering, when as Almighty he could accomplish its infinite perfection and happiness. The thought is a libel on Deity.
Mind, the embodiment of soul, has to accomplish its glorious mission, by appropriate use of all its faculties, and seeking thereby the best earnest and security of all desirable in the future.
The immortal soul must desire the choice parts of the universe, and all that can render them desirable. Its main question is the appropriate preparation.
He who undertakes to deny the immortality of the soul, to first do so effectually, must deny religion, an utter impossibility that puts to the deepest scorn, the atheist and polytheist. Their feeble and meagre pretence must certify that mind's mission is only to the world alone, and not to the universe, that the supremacy of mind and the sublimity of the Creator most clearly confound.
The pure organizations of Deity, place a halo around the immortal soul.
Mortality implies injustice to soul from God, who requires of soul as the best earnest of immortality, its best religion. This, the universe police requires.
Rationality impels mind to its duty, where sophistry cannot, as exemplified in the history of the Jews, that ran after other peculiar gods besides theirs that the priestocracy invented themselves, composing the most efficient eating and drinking portion.
All peculiar faith is what is made by such, the world over. All their books and contents, all their teaching, are no more than other oracle false pretences. Churches or temples cannot consecrate, but partake of all their desecrated fooleries.
What a mockery of mind, humanity, creation, would mortality of the soul be? No mind most rational aspires to less than the purification of the soul, its pure organization in immortal bliss.
We must look at the capacity and property of mind, the most elevated organizationan immortal element possessed of functions, principles, and attributes, elevated most by its most refined purity to reach most refined immortality.
Do the priestocracy treat the mind as becoming immortal, to continue it subservient to this odious, fanatical, degrading compulsion of faith? And yet they take away reason from mind, the noblest position for religious attainment and elevation. Mind to reach its best state, has to be fully guarded against all such, the various schools of its perversions. It is utterly impossible for the mind to be inferior to principles, that are pure as God's functions and attributes that are immortal. Priestocracy trash, bibles and creeds, are unworthy the dignity and immortal purity of the soul,--for when we talk of reason and mind, we must embrace all their most legitimate and enlightened capacity by rational education on this earth, that must yield in due time its soul-treasure for ecstatic enjoyments. Mind, then, cannot be too guarded in such an invaluable jewel as the soul, committed to its most rational care.
The position of Faith without reason, would establish a miserable state of morals.
It would be inconsistent with the lights of mind, not enslaved by feudal vassalage and man-worship.
Who makes any proper impression, religious or other, without mind and reason ?
What gives the brightest jewel in religion, an enlightened and pure conscience, but mind ? Can you succe
successfully address any mind in religion in any other than rational principles? But faith is a mystery! Religion, then, is a mystery !
That position impeaches the character of the mind of those asserting it, the sincerity of mind affecting it.
Man's systems of peculiar faith affect to be mysteries, prophecies and miracles, while Deity's religion results in the purest and plainest best action of reason, proper sense and truth, that exclude all such clearly. None but the most arrant humbuggery can deny this-none but hypocrisy can knowingly do so.
God's works decide this test question.
If peculiar faith, that is blind credulity, is to prevail, how can we know the difference and the merit between sectarianism and true religion?
Why was any reformation original or subsequent, unless founded on the vices of the parent stock, and the relative merits of correction?
Why prevail so many orders and sects of peculiar faith, in all ages and countries? The inference to the contrary, is a suicidal position.
When peculiarity, selection, election, or partiality, is advanced in any system of faith, that moment all such is self-impeached, as libeling the universal attributes of Deity.
Intelligent freemen cannot overlook their own best advantages, the pure gifts of mind, that give the best faith by reason. All other faiths arise from improper sources, as fear, superstition, base passions, but what good can all that do? It must do harm.
Reason brings with rational religion, the adoration of God. All others bring in their train idolatry or man-worship.
All such being a host of evils, shown in the sorrowful history of the world, misdirecting the mind's devotion, character and communion. And what is that character, among the best systems, short of the true faith?
Where is the intrinsic protection, but in the fundamental principles, that respect the only supreme authority all the time?
The essentials of faith are reasonable and just. Pure and sincere men aim to be right, but are too often deceived, misled, and sorely disappointed, under any existing regime, that leaves out principles essential and conservative.
Freemen need what mind can receive, adopt, and faithfully defend for ever, on true conservative principles, that have their full inherent and intrinsic elements, that always vindicate themselves and triumphantly protect all espousing them.
Our faith must be properly founded on the nature of creation and Creator of mind, the Universe of things, time, matter and eternity.
When time, that discloses the motion of each revolving sphere, and eternity, that sublimely speaks for that of the Universe, declare unmistakable facts, mind in due humility founds its unmistakable faith in the God of Nature.
Man's professions must be appreciated, as referring to silence, while his actions declare their character in all necessary respects.
But some who have not fully analyzed this whole subject, might think that it made but little difference what faith mind adopted.
A military despot who sought the conquest of the world, might affect this selfishly, degradingly, and hypocritically, in being Mahomedan, or Christian, or any others, as circumstances governed him ; but a freeman decides otherwise on principle, as he respects dignity of character and the good and universal peace of mankind.
There can be from the very nature of things, but one true faith for religion in this whole world, as universe, and none but that can ever keep the people united in one brotherhood, peace and general good-will throughout the globe. As well assert that there can be two or numerous principles of gravitation for the preservation of the universe, as for man's pretences in numerous faiths to conflict with God's certain laws of principles, the very quintessence of rational religion.
What chaos and confusion at once there would be in the spheres, as what endless bloody results on earth do prevail from such false views of faith.
There may be innumerable faiths of superstition, but the unity of faith identified
with religion, is as indissoluble as the unity of God mirrored in the universe, whose very name declares its character.
Superficial, nay, awfully deficient must that mind be, that asserts the contrary, an opinion not worthy the name of principle.
Yes, it does matter with mind what faith is adopted, for rational beings only, need and must have the right one.
If false ones be adopted, never can the proper elements of union be disposed of, as the volcano is always subject to eruption, for there are the materials in the magazine of conflict and war, strife and bloodshed, ever disregarded by charlatan bigotry and a soulless superstition.
Many are nurtured in creeds and faith of peculiar education, compelled from force of custom, habit, authority of the family, social circles, public perverted opinion, priests and state by absolutism, to do that which their reason revolts at above all things.
Tyranny, essential despotism, has kept peculiar-faith alive.
Many are forever enslaved by ignorant custom and barbarous fashion, and most stupidly as most insincerely, adhere to any taught faith not inwardly respected nor duly respectful to the Great First Cause.
Unfortunately authority is brought as stupid, that one faith is as good as another, only let the believer be sincere. This is the language of irrational minds, in abeyance to peculiar-faith, tyrant of reason.
Hence we see many changing from one sect to another, and actually dissatisfied with all of that class, not independent enough to declare for the pure rights of mind and its rightful deductions.
No emoluments unworthy an immortal soul, whether in church or state, no public enginery of superstition and inquisition, should cause acquiescence in bible untruths, to restrict mind in full respect to God alone.
No future worldly rewards in any place or emolument, should bribe, no brute force should bully, no insidious sophistry should seduce mind to permit impositions by any bible of priestocracy, on the people.
How much in this world that should premise one universal brotherhood, demands mind's truly conservative exertions for correct faith and action!
There will be many opinions about peculiar faith, how can mind combat'then successfully and rationally, to attain to the right one, as there can only be one right?
Faith with no analysis or analogy of reason, is absurd. The Mormons, if cotemporary with the bibles of tradition, by aid of that credulous age that unfortunately is not peculiar, might have just as good authority by record, for if we believe their disciples, they have saints, patrons and prophets too.
They are only the younger, not less authentic tribe. It is only a peculiarly increased credulous age of ignorance that is needed, to beget all the miracles of superstition. The light of science expels all this, as the sun dispels the fogs of night. If the world was deeply skilled in philosophical science, superstition could not exist. Let the lights of such science be then diffused. How then can we mortals distinguish all such peculiar faiths from the right?
By one universal rule, by right reason, and that alone; and when any person or sect advances, for a moment, faith over reason, that moment decides that character dishonest and untruthful, for it is irrational.
The greatest absurdity and difficulty of any age is to deny what conflicts with preconceived opinions, backed especially by self-interest, whether they lead to the worst of superstition or criminality. All such faith must be criminal.
What demoralization, to say the least of faithocracy that comes of priestocracy.
What can you do with any mass bigoted to peculiar faith, that enervates the mind and destroys its noble manliness and independence, inherent? Truth is not sought, and religion is not improved; hence the good of all is to be superseded by that of the first dictating opinion.
But, say some of the older faithites, the Mormons are superstitious. Are not all peculiar faiths truly so too? being based on the rankest superstition?
There is no difference, unless action decides the conduct.
But, then, the tenets of the Mormons lead to vice? But do not the tenets of all peculiar faiths lead to the same, only as the light of mind prevents ?
Mind, the beneficiary, is in everything in the universe ; if perverted in faith, that faith is peculiar; if good, that faith is rational, for its Creator is most rational.
We see the consequence of conflict of faith in Mormonism, that produced war and disturbance in several States already; not that all the other peculiar faiths were less obnoxious to rational faith. Rationality is the only means to effectually get rid of all
If we allow due credit to the bible-faith of others, they must be bound to furnish froper reasons, or have that faith utterly rejected on that principle, the only path of safety for mind.
If others allow us due credit for our reasons, of course they can, then, say nothing about the certain conclusions. All minds must be in abeyance to reason and philosophy, and be silent to their teachings and requirements, consequently the faith that grows up is the legitimate consequence, and not manufactured to order of priestocracy.
But "faith is the evidence of things not seen, and the substance of things hoped for.”
Now, all rational minds can only hope for reasonable, just things, and confide reasonably in unseen things. Any other faith is not worth the thoughts of mind, for its fruit will be of no account, but most noxious. Substantial results can only accrue on substantial basis.
Respect appropriate to all rightful authority is the first principle of rational religion necessarily to be right; then faith is identified aways with reason and reason's God, a fit companion in the universal whole, and can know but one God. Has peculiar faith ever acknowledged this principle? True religion investigates and reveres true authority.
Mind decides, on reason, that faith must be just and right to be faith, else faith becomes nonsense or untruth. Faith rests on eternal principles of right and justice, that rest on reason and reason's God, whose attributes are right and justice in their purest sense.
Hence, no messiah can be smuggled in at any time under the pretence of sophisticated
God is immutable, necessarily consistent, never inconsistent. Wherever his authority prevails, and that is as far as the universe, man's error about faith must be corrected.
Faith and reason cannot possibly be inconsistent in any respect; if there be any error it is book or man's opinion. The book opinion, as man's peculiar written opinion, is abominably false.
The cognizant facts of faith and reason unveiled, rest for mind's cognizance on testimony that must be consistent, else the testimony is inconsistent, and necessarily to be rejected in the highest earthly court, that of conscience.
If any testimony offers plurality of gods, it is inconsistent with the conservative principles of the universe, the highest known to mind.
That testimony impeaches itself, as self-destructive.
There must be an end of such testimony, and it is ruled out in respect to reason's God.
That testimony is also convicted of impure morals.
That testimony involves impiety and blasphemy towards the Most High God, and imposition on man.
That testimony commits high treason towards mind, in destroying its independence of sophistry, in production of man-worship, that excludes the pure duty towards God, of mind from itself, to receive the tradition of others on their mere assertions and perjuries, without analysis of the facts on rightful reason, and reason's aid, analogy.
In faith, the sum total of belief founded on facts, else the faith is identified with the fraud, the right mind requires a sound decision, and God commands it eternally, or God has never given mind, nor its best protector, reason.
Faith received on any kind of tradition, that skulks from reason and reason's God, is demoralizing and criminal.
Proper faith can be most clearly defined, without mistake.
Could any organized resistance exist in the breasts of any refined people, who enjoy a correct and beneficial true constitutional representative government, to that government?
Never if that be wise, for all others fail to benefit the most with the greatest good.
If that position apply to civil institutions, how much more forcibly does the argument apply to divine rights of mind ?
Who resists true religion, the highest duty to the Supreme ? Can any sane person, if a good citizen?
Can any such resist the true adoration of Deity, and his highest, holiest attributes ? None.
Well, who are they that do resist God in his exclusive attributes? Sectarians, and all those of peculiar faith.
What is to stop the whole error ?
The conservative revolution of free intelligent mind, acting on mind rightly, productive of proper faith.
The highest victory of truth rests on moral and intellectual grounds, and on none other.
How, then can the advocates of pure religion call for blind, peculiar, impure belief or blind faith, but from fraud, superstition, sophistry, falsehood ?