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blind; of water gushing from a rock when Moses applied his cane to it; of Mahomet's frequent interviews with the God of Abraham: of the good demon of Socrates; and of the brilliant succession of miracles, performed by the author of Christianity : when he talks of these things, I listen to him, I confess, without the slightest conviction or assent; and I imagine that I see clearly, in reason and common sense, a foundation for this distinction.--You, Mr. Editor, look at these things in a very different light. Well: let' us not quarrel by the way: speculative opinions, I believe, are not unfrequently overvalued. To live well, is our great concern. With the best intentions, we often lose ourselves in the mazes of intricate speculation. But, meaning right, it is scarcely possible we should mistake thể path of honour, reputation, and true enjoyment. I am, Sir, your's, &c.
A DEIST. cromosomwwwww
THE LORD'S SUPPER-QUERIES.
to prevent misrepresenta: tion, and to correct error in judgment, I beg, through the medium of your valuable publication, to offer a few thoughts on what is inserted in your Magazine for last March, “On the Lord's Supper,” signed W. C.
I acknowledge myself indebted to W. C. and other correspondents, for the able manner in which that subject has been investigated in several preceding numbers; but does not W. C. (in page 116) appear to triumph too much on account of the apparent inconsistency of those who plead for what they call the Lord's Supper, while they neglect the injunction which Jesus gave to his disciples to wash one another's feet? He speaks of all “the adyocates for the bread and wine ceremony,” except the Sandemanians, as totally overlooking or avoiding the ceremony of washing the feet of their fellow Christians.
Does W. C. not know that there are other Christians besides the Sandemanians who obey that command, as well as the other of the supper? The inconsistency is not so general as he supposes. I wish to inform him there are many among the general baptistş in the present time who consider it to be a duty, and practically regard it. I observe then, that they cannot be so partial and inconsistent as he has represented Christians in general to be-they must be less so than the Sandemanians he has referred to, and probably are not all so idle, and short sighted as he (før want of information) had imagined them to be.
I could enlarge with pleasure on this subject, did not the want of time prescribe limits to my pen. Enough, I trust, is said to convince W. C. and your readers, that his reasoning will not apply with the same force against all the advocates for the Lord's Supper.
On reading his note (pape 120) I had some objections arise in my
mind to one of his assertions. I don't mean to object to what he says against the parson factory," or of the priests with their trumpets-nor do I intend to ohject at this time to the argument he advances against the Lord's Supper ; but I have somedoubt if all be true
which he has asserted. He says, a view of Jesus extended on the cross, &c." uttering forth a prayer to God for his real murderers.” This assertion, to me, appears not well founded ; my objections may be seen in the following questions, viz.
The Jews were addressed by the Apostles indiscriminately, as having killed the prince of life, and murdered the just one. Does this prove them to be individually guilty, any more than when Peter tells them “I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers;" proves them to be individually ig. norant and innnocent?
Is it not clear that the Roman soldiers, who were only doing their duty in the execution of Jesus, and the rabble who attended at his crucifixion, but who were ignorant of the real character of Christ, were not his real murderers?
Is it not equally clear that it is the unmerciful priests and certain others who saw the works, and knew the character of Jesus, and who though they thought him to be innocent yet sought his life, that we may judge to be his real murderers ?
Supposing there were some persons present at the crucifixion of Jesus who had no murderous design againt bim, and who though ignorant of the character of Christ, yet insulted and railed on him, might not such, though not particularly dis. criminated by Jesus, be the objects for whom he asked for giveness,' rather than the malicious unmerciful priests ?
Is it not contrary to the rules of divine revelation to suppose that real murderers” are fit objects of forgiveness, or that there are any promises in the sacred scriptures which warrant such characters to expect it?
Can any person be the “ real murderer" of another, without designing and pursuing means to take away his life unjustly?
Is it possible for a person to possess such a murdering disposition and design without knowing it?
Is it probable in the instance before us, for.Jesus to be mistaken in the character for whom he prayed, when ite said, " for they know not what they do ;" or that his forgiving disposition led him to pray his heavenly father to go out
of his prescribed ! method of forgiving sin in behalf of those who were his murderers?
If repentance he necessary to qualify persons to receive the forgiveness of sins, is it not an ill-judged compliment paid to the compassion of Jesus, that in the agonies of his cruel death he sought forgiveness for his “ real murderers,” who were destitute of that qualification, and whom he knew must be condemned by the law of God?
In a word, is it not easy to conceive of a character, which is not that of a murderer, in whose behalf the compassionate Jesus thus interceded; or are we bound to believe this memorable petition was for his "real murderers ?”
If W. C. thinks proper to support the assertion, I shall be pleased to see an answer to the above, free from error and absurdity, which will oblige your constant reader, Cranbrook, May 16, 1812.
J. D. wwpornrownicornsons
REMARKS ON THE EVIDENCES OF REVEALED RELIGION.
To the Editor of the Freethinking Christians' Magazine. WHEN we survey the various objects in creation, and re
flect upon their origin, we not only conceive there must have been a cause, but, from the ideas we have of objects and their makers, we conceive also, that this cause must have been an entity : and hence it is we personify the Deity. From a parity of reasoning we likewise derive the inference of the unity of godhead; for if we were to suppose a plurality of gods—if, because we can discover many worlds, we were to suppose as many individual first causes-other ideas would necessarily associate themselves. We might suppose the possibility of jealousy, contention, and many of the extravagances of poetical romance, which would subvert that idea of omnipotence and government, which otherwise we attach to the nature of God. Thus, though the express image, or nature, of the person of our Maker, is not demonstrable to the senses of man, whether he be infidel or believer; yet the idea of one God being so congenial to the conceptions of our enlightened mind, and seeing that nature does not oppose it, we are perfectly justified in adopting the conclusion.
This sublime notion, then, wbich men so much admire, is said to have been derived from the Jews. Be it somand for my own part, knowing that it must have originated somewhere, I will honour the Jew as willingly as I would the most renowned Gentile. But because it was entertained first by them, docs it follow that there is something super-human in
it.? . Is it necessary, that systems should spring up spontaneously in every corner to prove that they are not of divine origin? When it was ascertained that the earth was not the centre of the solar system, was it required that other men should, independently, make the same discovery, in order to prove that the philosopher
, was not divinely inspired ? If we trace discoveries and inventions up to their beginning, we shall find, ! think, that most of them have sprung from individuals; and that sometimes mere chance, as it were, has given to obşeure persons the means of making discoveries which the most profound philosophers never would arrive at, or of which perhaps they never thought.
But it is said the Jews were an ignorant people : and it is thought to be unlikely that they, without having more than natural means, should establish a system which appears to be an immediate approximation to the standard of reason and truth : and at the same time their learned neighbours should continue bigotted in the most extravagant forms of idolatry. I must confess that ignorance seems little calculated to effect this; but if the Jews, as a people, were in a state of ignorance, it does not appear that the supposed author of the system was an illiterate man. It is generally thought, I believe, that Moses was a man possessed of considerable abilities, being naturally quick and discerning, and having had an education which brought to maturity the powers of his mind. It is likewise probable that he was a bold and enterprizing character, endowed with a mind capable of conceiving vast projects, and possessing a spirit adequate to the undertaking of them; and if any depen. dence can be placed upon the history of the Jews, as given in the Old Testament, he was placed in circumstances eminently calculated to move the compassion of a benevolent and patriotic breast, or to instigate the fire of an ambitious and aspiring soul. He was one of a race of men, whose prejudices and peculiarities had already marked them out as a separate people; but whose misfortunes had reduced them to the lowest possible state of servility and degradation: and was he actuated by philanthropic and paternal affection, to reflect that be had res. cued his friends from the iron grasp of tyrranny and oppression, would be the richest enjoyment his generous heart could desire: or did he yield to the influence of views less laudable, a thousand anticipations might combine to spur him on to the ar. duous undertaking,
The inquisitive disposition of Moses might lead him to the examination of the various religious institutions which came within his knowledge; and it is probable that his discriminat, ing mind would be struck with the glaring absurdities, with which these deplorable systemas abounded. And if he were
but little more than an ordinary observer of the propensities, the foibles, and the prejudices of human nature, he would not be ignorant of the influence of 'religion on the mind of man; nor would be fail to discern some of
the effects produced by it. He would perceive the blind perseverance of the bigot-he would see the desperate fury of the fanatic-he would see that the weak, the timid man-'the pusillanimous, the inglorious character the base, the survile wretch-that even these, when intoxicated with religious zeal, would dare to act the part of warriors, and hazard their very existence to support an ideal phantom and consequently, when meditating the emancipation of his 'brethren, and viewing the means to be employed, he would find that he could not have a more formidable auxiliary than religious enthusiasm; and more especially if the minds of his countrymen were prepossessed in favour of a system in which himself was considered the immediate agent, and the only person that could avert the judgments, deal out the 'mercy, and distribute the favour of his God. We will suppose, then, that Moses, seeing and deploring the monstrous errors of the day, would determine upon a system of religion, which would be better suited to his peculiar ideas than any he had met with; and, finding that if this system was established, it would greatly tend to promote his political views, that he would endeavour to effect that change in the sentiments and views of his countrymen, which would be necessary to its reception.
There would, no doubt, be considerable difficulties attend the accomplishing of this object. To remove, immediately, the long-standing, the confirmed prejudices of this ignorant tribe, would be no easy matter : for most likely their pride in themselves, and their veneration for their ancestors, were too great to allow them to suppose that they were deceived. But, notwithstanding, there would be no obstacle that would not be surmounted without the necessity of a divine revelation. There would be no difficulties that would not yield to the artful projects, the wily schemes, of a subtle and designing cha'racter; none that would not give way to the cunning measures which Moses had recourse to. He found that all which could be directed to the reasoning powers of the minds of these men, would be inadequate to the effects which he wanted to see produced, and therefore he must have recourse to stratagems.. Accordingly he commences a series, by pretending to be upon the most intimate footing with his God. He can retire and eonverse with this Divine Being in the most familiar manner; is made acquainted with his intentions; is informed of the nature and design of what is to take place, and is commissioned to give instruction and laws to his fellow men. And as well