« 前へ次へ »
LIT. another? May we adore Jehovah, or II. Baal; the Creator of the Universe, haps the most wicked, that can be let. imagined. For what comparison is 11. there between one who commits a . crime of which he may repent, or, at worst, it may die with hiin; and one who, though he do not himself commit it, teaches and encourages all the world to commit it, by removing out of the way the strongest sanctions and obligations to the contrary, in writings which may carry on the blessed work from generation to generation? Let not these errors be called errors of speculation only. Action flows from speculation. No man ventures upon sin, till he has, for the tiine at least, adopted some false principle. And “when men begin to look about “ for arguments in vindication of “impiety and immorality, such spe" culations as those of Mr. Hume
or a Monkey, or Matter, or Chance, or Nothing, as the whim takes us, and be blameless ? Tell it not to the believers ; publish it not among the Christians ! · The matter of fact is--that life cannot be in the right, which is spent in doing wrong. And if to question all the doctrines of Religion, even to the providence and existence of a God, and to put Morality on no other foot than that of utility--if to do this, be not to do wrong—then farewell all distinction between right and wrong, for evermore. To maintain and diffuse the truth of God, is to do bis will; to deny, corrupt, or hinder it, is to work iniquity; and a life so employed is a wicked lifc-per
let. « become interesting, and can hardly 11. “ fail of a powerful and numerous pa
“tronage. The corrupt judge; the “ prostituted courtier; the statesman, “ who enriches himself by the plun“ der and blood of his country; the " petty-fogger, who fattens on the “ spoils of the fatherless and widow; “ the oppressor, who, to pamper his own “ beastly appetite, abandons the de“ serving peasant to beggary and del“ pair; the hypocrite, the debauchee, “ the gamelter, the blasphemer-all “ prick up their ears, when they are “ told, that a celebrated author has “ written Essays, containing such “ doctrines, and leading to such con“ sequences.” Weighed against a conduct like this, the moralities of social life (a system of which, by the way, according to Mr. H. every man
is left to compound for himself) are let. duft upon the balance; they are like. 11. the salutation of Joab, when he smote Amasa to the heart—" And Joab said “ to Amasa, Art thou in health, my “ brother? And Joab took Amala ss by the beard with the right hand, " to kiss him. But Amasa took no " heed to the sword that was in Joab's " hand; so he smote him therewith 66 in the fifth rib, and shed out his 6 bowels to the ground.”* - In short, if faith in God be not the effect of superstition and impofture, which no man has yet proved it to be, we are bound to regard it as our most valua. ble poffeffion, and to esteem those who would rob the world of it as the worst of thieves; however, towards each other, they may practise what
LET. the A. styles the duties, the decencies, II.
and the charities.*
P. 12. “ Perhaps it is one of the “ very worst circumstances against “ Christianity, that very few of it's “ professors were ever either so mo“ ral, fo humane, or could fo philofo“phically govern their paffions, as “ the sceptical David Hume."
And yet, we do not every day hear of a Christian running round a counter with his drawn sword after a Reviewer, or quicting a room on the entrance of his antagonist. It appears, from a variety of instances, that Mr. H. when his literary character was concerned, could by no means “ go“ vern his passions fo philosophically” as his A. wishes to have it believed. But it is not my desire to depreciate * P.13.