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النشر الإلكتروني

ADDRESSED TO

MR. PAINE,

IN ANSWER TO HIS PAMPHLET

ENTITLED

THE AGE OF REASON:

CONTAINING

SOME CLEAR AND SATISFYING EVIDENCES OF THE TRUTH OF DIVINE REVELATION; AND ESPECIALLY OF THE RESURRECTION

AND ASCENSION OF JESUS.

BY ELHANAN WINCHESTER.

"Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."-David.

THIRD EDITION.

PHILADELPHIA:

GIHON, FAIRCHILD & Co.

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LETTER TO THE PUBLISHERS.

MESSRS. GIHON, FAIRCHILD & Co.,-I send | plain good sense, most happily adapted to you Mr. Winchester's Ten Letters, addressed supply the wants of the great mass of a readto Thomas Paine, in answer to his Pamphlet, ing community. entitled, The Age of Reason. This little book is a very rare one, by far too much so, for one of its intrinsic worth. In all my travels, I have no recollection, that I have ever seen another copy of the same work. Mr. Winchester's Dialogues have been often published, while these letters, though a smaller work, have been long overlooked. Undoubtedly the principal reason of this, which has exist ed since the multiplication of books in our order, is the very fact, that they have not been known. Formerly, Universalists rarely published any book, except it embraced the then new and interesting topic of vindicating the final salvation of all men. These letters are not of this peculiar character. They go to vindicate Christianity as resting upon the basis of the sacred pages, without calling any aid from sectarian views. The Bible is made by them to speak its own language, and thus to become its own vindicator. While they embrace less philological criticism than Bishop Watson's Apology, addressed to the same Thomas Paine, they abound in a rich fund of

What seems to enrich every portion of this little book, in which our author was called to contend with the continued revilings of a scoffer, is the clear tokens of a most kind and conciliatory spirit, that pervades the whole from beginning to end. True, we find occasionally a turn of pleasantry and rebuke that must appear in the light of no small expense to the author of the Age of reason, in the estimation of an enlightened public. Yet, in no instance, do we perceive an uncalled for and cruel reflection, or a mere biting sarcasm.

This little book has long been a resident in the family of my library. I now part with it for a similar motive that the house of Bethuel parted with their sister, Rebekah. Although I do not claim authority to pronounce upon it an equal prophetic blessing, my best wishes for its prosperity strongly mingle in that oriental hyperbole; "Be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them." SAMUEL C. LOVELAND. Weston, Vt., Aug. 8, 1843.

NSWER TO THE AGE OF REASON.

LETTER I.

IR‚—I am very sorry that I have any oc-
ion to take up the pen against such an
e writer as you are; but having devoted
principal part of my life to the study,
ctice, and propagation of that religion,
ich you are pleased to style "fabulous
ology," you must not be surprised at my
empting to vindicate it with the zeal and
Letion of a lover, who has found more real |
asure therein than in all other things.
If in this great, and to me infinitely impor-
it and interesting debate, I should gain any
vantage over you, who are so far my supe-
or in writing, it will evidently appear to be
ving to the goodness of my cause, and the
ore extensive knowledge of the Bible that I
ive attained beyond what you possess. If
u had known the Scriptures better, I am
rsuaded that you would never have attempt-
I to represent them in the ridiculous light|
at you have done.

As your book, called "The Age of Reason,"
c. is wrote in a miscellaneous manner, I
ave chosen the form of letters to communi-
ate my thoughts to you and the public upon
e several subjects therein treated of.

In this first letter I shall endeavour to show, bat the ideas of the infinite wisdom, power, goodness and mercy of God, which you pro-ven against all ungodliness and unrighteousess to learn from the great book of the crea- ness of men, who hold the truth in unrightjon, I am able to learn, even from the New eousness. Because that which may be known l'estament which you treat with so much of God is manifest in them, for God hath showcontempt. And I shall also, in some of these ed it unto them. For the invisible things of letters, prove (I hope to your satisfaction) Him from the creation of the world are clearthat there is abundance more said in the Bible ly seen, being understood by the things respecting the Deity and his works, than you that are made, even His eternal power and are willing to allow for in order to render Godhead: so that they are without excuse. that book of very little importance, you affect Because that when they knew God, they gloto represent that there is little or nothing in rified Him not as God, but became vain in it respecting those subjects, except in the 19th their imaginations, and their foolish heart Psalm and some chapters of the book of Job. was darkened. Professing themselves to be But I am apt to think, that you would never wise, they became fools; and changed the have had the tenth part of the knowledge of glory of the uncorruptible God into an image the Divine perfections that you have, if you made like to corruptible man, and to birds, had never read the Bible; for those who are and four-footed beasts, and creeping things," without the knowledge of that despised book &c. Rom. i. 18-23. It is a well known and appear, as far as we can learn, to be almost melancholy fact, that all the nations who totally ignorant of the true God, his glori- have had only the book of creation to read, ous character, and his amiable perfections. have been gross idolators, or stupid Atheists; I shall begin with your very extraordinary and generally extremely vicious in their morassertion, given out in these words: "I recol- als: their horrid crimes are mentioned by St. lect not a single passage ascribed to the men Paul in the subsequent part of this chapter, called Apostles, that conveys any idea of what and he shows that God justly "gave them up God is. The only passage that occurs to me, to uncleanness, because they changed the that has any reference to the works of God, truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and by which only his wisdom and power can be served the creature more than the Creator, known, is related to have been spoken by who is blessed forever. Amen." Ver. 24, 25. Jesus Christ, as a remedy against distrustful In the book of the Revelations which ve care: 'Behold the lilies of the field, they toil call a book of riddles, there may be found not, neither do they spin.' This however is eral beautiful expressions relating to C

far inferior to the allusions in Job, and in the 19th Psalm; but it is familiar in idea, and the modesty of the imagery is correspondent to the modesty of the man."

How could you have forgotten that most beautiful and sublime passage in Acts xvii. 24-29, delivered by St. Paul to the Athenians: "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands: neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needeth any thing, seeing he giveth to all life and breath and all things: and hath made of one blood all nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art or man's device." And in the beginning of his epistle to the Romans, he mentions the works of creation, and observes that God may be known thereby, as follows: "For the wrath of God is revealed from hea

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