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their minds, and teach us the true nature of that which we may call the intolerance of free thinkers.

Whatever may be the cause, the fact is pretty evident, that in no one instance of those whose writings we have alluded to, can a clear and impartial judgment be expected from them, scarcely can we say an honest one. They write, as it has been eloquently said of this class of authors, each of them as if he had been avenging a personal injury to himself;' they adopt arguments that if they understand the subject which they handle, they must be conscious are unjust and untrue; and they show an undue bias of their sentiments

their giving up the existence of a God, and the immortality of the soul, was not the work of a day, and that weak stomachs cannot take strong meats. They must not despise leading strings because they no longer want them, and in recollecting that they have been novices in scepticism, they should then make allowances for this little book, which may not unappropriately be termed Milk for Babes in Infidelity.'

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Should it meet with success, the translator will, as a supplement, extract the best of their moral discourses, from their RELIGIOUS YEAR,' and other works, the whole of which he has in his possession.'

upon every one of those very points upon which they call for our confidence and attention.

Is there any person who in the conduct of his affairs in civil life, would place reliance on testimony so given? or is there any court of justice where it would be received without caution and distrust, not only felt but openly expressed. Certainly there is none, nor can there be a reason why we should regulate the tribunal of our own conscience on different terms, or why after such an evident bias is shown, such writers should obtain an hearing from any one who thinks for himself.

But they are themselves deceived! the vain and half learned may glory in assuming the title of atheists and philosophers, if they please: but let them be told they are neither one nor the other. A man does not become a philosopher by a few years of speculation, nor does he become an atheist until he can really prove that there is no God.

B B

370

CHAPTER X.

Recapitulation-Practical use of the Bible-Views of the Philosophers as to the Perfectibility of the Human Species-Instances of Improvement—The Testimonies of the Philosophers themselves-Conclusion.

WE originally commenced our inquiry under the impression that the evils which had grown ⚫out of the increase of knowledge, would in time be eradicated by that same knowledge itself: and that the imperfections perceptible in its growing state, would vanish in part, when it should be more matured.

We found several vague and unsatisfactory ideas floating in the world, and operating together to produce an indifference to religious feeling on the part of a vast number of people, who were otherwise well disposed. These ideas therefore we examined in succession.

The first subject which came under review was the nature of good and evil, and in the course of our investigation, we found reason

to believe, that what we call evil is but another name for that stimulus which the Cre

ator has provided for the promotion of activity throughout his works: and that even if there might be some few cases in which our limited views did not allow us to distinguish the precise operation of this principle, yet we saw enough to convince us, that such was part of the great scheme of Providence: we believe it therefore to be carried into effect in all things, whether to us perceptibly or otherwise. We saw then at once the untenable nature of the argument which some persons had urged against the benevolence of the Supreme Being; and we felt the folly of those who allege the imperfection of His schemes, when so small a part of their extent is opened to our mortal view. The truth of the observation in holy writ was thus fully impressed upon our minds, that the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God stronger than men.'-1 Cor. i. 29.

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In endeavouring to extend our views still further, and to come to a better understanding of those favourite doctrines of the sceptic, touching freewill and fatalism, we saw, that

the belief of the advocates of necessity, was merely a speculative course of argument, not a practical belief; or, in other words, amounted to what was no real belief at all: and next, after examining the nature of our will, and the fashion of our intellectual powers, we found sufficient ground, philosophically speaking, for the natural and common sentiment of man as to what is called his freewill. We showed also, that the speculative inquiry as to the foreknowledge of God, simply regarded the nature of time; that foreknowledge was necessarily a part of universal knowledge, and years or days were alike to him.

The next inquiry led us to examine the arguments brought forward by the modern materialist; we saw that the idea of the existence of an incorporeal spirit, independent of the conditions that belong to the world of matter, is the only one by which certain difficulties of the physiologists and metaphysicians can be satisfactorily explained. And that, if we separate in our opinions the immaterial and thinking soul, from the principle of material and mortal life-from the flesh with the blood thereof,

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