and posterity. Wonderful were the means by which these schemes were accomplished ; always seasonable, always adequate, the suggestions of an understanding animated by ardour and enlightened by prophecy. The ordinary feelings which make life amiable and indolent, were unknown to him. No domestic difficulties ever reached him; but aloof from the sordid occurrences of life, and unsullied by its intercourse, he came occasionlly into our system to enlighten and to decide. His eloquence was an Era in the senate, peculiar and spontaneous, familiarly expressing gigantic sentiments and instinctive wisdom; not like the torrent of Demosthenes, or the splendid conflagration of Tully; it resembled sometimes the thunder, and sometimes the music of the spheres. Nor was he, like Townshend, for ever on the rack of exertion; but rather lightened upon the subject, and reached the point by the flashings of the mind, which, like those of his eye, might be felt, but could not be followed. Upon the whole, there was something in this man that could create, subvert, or reform : an understanding, a spirit, and an eloquence, to summon mankind to society, or to break the bands of slavery asunder, and to rule the wilderness of free minds with unbounded authority; something that could establish or overwhelm empire, and strike a blow in the world that should resound through the universe.

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I call it atheism by establishment, when any state, as such, shall not acknowledge the existence of a God as a moral Governor of the world: when it shall offer him no religious or moral worship;—when it shall abolish the Christian religion by a regular decree; when it shall persecute with a cold, unrelenting, steady cruelty, by every mode of confiscation, imprisonment, exile and death, aīl its ministers ;—when it shall generally shut up, or pull down, places of religious worship;when the few buildings which remain of this kind shall be opened only for the purpose of making a profane apotheosis of monsters, whose vices and crimes have no parrallel among men, and whom all other men consider as objects of general detestation, and the severest animadversions of law, When, in the place of that religion of social benevolence, and of individual self denial, in mockery of all religion, they institute impious, blasphemous, and indecent theatrick rites, in honour of their vitiated perverted reason, and erect altars to the personification of their own corrupted and bloody republic; when schools and seminaries are founded at public expense to poison mankind, from generation to generation with the horrible maxims of this impiety; when wearied out with incessant martyrdom, and the cries of a people hungering and thirsting for religion, they permit it, only as a tolerated evil.-I call this atheism by establishment.



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The doctrine of moral sense has furnished the first objection to the necessity of moral science. It has often been said that the heart is the best casuist, and its natural promptings the safest guides to duty. But in respect to this objection it must be carefully remembered, that we are not to form our estimate of the value of natural conscience from the prevalent opinions of civilized and christian countries. The moral sense of the most unlearned at the present day is not the sense of nature, but of cultivation; it has been modified by the studies and experience of ages, and, above all, by the christian religion. It is not denied that we have from nature a moral as well as an intellectual capacity; but the former, no less than the latter, is to be improved and enlarged by observation and thought. Many duties arise from relations, which are complicated and remote; these relations must be investigated and brought together, and general principles, which may be settled into rules, deduced from them. The necessity of this is sufficiently shewn by the different and contradictory maxims of duty, that have prevailed in different ages and nations. Were, however, the original suggestions of uncultivated conscience far


clearer and more decisive than experience will allow us to believe, still the necessity of philosophy would not be superseded.

The unremitted labors of the moralist would still be necessary, to relieve the sentiments of mankind, from those associations of prejudice, of fashion and of false opinion, which have so constant an influence in perverting the judgment and corrupting the heart, and to bring them back to the unbiassed dictates of common sense and of nature. Besides, the moral constitution of man, his relations, and duties, are subjects too interesting, and too fruitful of remark, to be neglected in the speculations of the ingenious and enquiring While indeed these speculations of false philosophy are wrapped in metaphysical subtleties, they may excite little alarm, and serve rather to amuse the learned; they are those eccentrick lightnings, that play harmlessly in the evening of life; but when they are made the maxims of common life, or embodied in popular fiction, find their way into the hearts of men, they are these same lightnings, concentrated and brought down to earth, blasting and consuming.

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The atheist, then, may with enlarged understanding and skill, contemplate the structure of the heavenly bodies. He may, with the eye of a naturalist, explore the organization of the vegetable kingdom; may analyze the chemical principles, and combinations of plants and minerals; and may trace, to use his own language, the hidden walks of nature in her mysterious progress through the system. Or, with the imagination of the poet, and the science of the astronomer, he may be fascinated with the beauty, splendor and sublimity of the landscape, or delighted with the distances, magnitudes, motions, harmony and magnificence of the planetary and stellary systems; still his views of all these, and all other natural objects, although in his mind the most illustrious objects that exist, will be poor and pitiable. All of these, in his opinion, owe their being to fate, accident, or the blind action of stupid matter. They exist for no end, and accomplish none. They spring from no wisdom, and display none. They are, therefore, what they would have been, had they been made, and moved by an intelligent cause, without any purpose or design in their creation : a vast apparatus of splendor and magnificence, assembled together for nothing: an immense show, in which nothing was intended, and from which nothing can be gained. The mind in surveying them, asks instinctively, and irresistibly, How came this train of wonders into being ? and is answered with nothing but perplexity and folly, doubt and despair. In the same manner it inquires, of what use will this mighty assemblage of worlds and all their furniture prove? The only reply is, of none. All with all their motions furniture and inhabitants, are the result,

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