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Ilis soul, proud seience never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk or milky way;
Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n
Behind the cloud-topt hill an humbler heav'n;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'u,
Some happier inland in the wat'ry waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no christians thirst for gold.

COL

PRINCE OF WALES CONVERTED !!

An Editor of a Baltimore paper says, “ that an enlightened and philanthropic gentleman Jately returned from Europe states, that the Prince of Wales had thrown aside his dissolute morals, cast off his profligate manners, turned away from the path of vice, and attended strictly and devoutly to his religious duties, in short, that an intire reformation in his politics, as well as morals, has been manifested in a very striking man. ner.” He adds, “ it is a matter of notoriety in London that he had become so regularly a churchman, that his old comrades tauntingly call bim the Methodist Prince.” The inference, which this p!uilanthropic editor draws from the information of his philanthropic friend, is, that the Prince of Wales will tread in the footsteps of his honoured Father; and that blood and slaughter will continue to desolate the face of the earth. Later accounts, state that the Prince had been appointed Regent, liad taken the sacrament, and was preparing to clothe himself with the regal power. He must be at this time about fifty years of age; his conversion comes rather late, and is certainly of the Methodistical kind, that is, instantaneous ; but no matter, he may pass for an eleventh hour convert; and will no doubt make as good, and as pious a king as his father. Thus are the-fools of this world hoaxed, and managed by the knowing ones!

No. 8.

« Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, “ But looks through Nature up to Nature's God.”Port.

LETTER VI.

ON RELIGIOUS EVILS.

BY SOAME JENTNS.

[Concluded from page 252.]

I NOW come to my last head of evils, which I call reli. gious; by which I mean all that madness, and folly, into which mankind have perpetually fallen under the name of religion; together with all those persecutions, massacres, and martyrdoms, which some have been induced to inflict, and others to suffer, from an enthusiastic zeal for those orrors and absurdities : evils of the most enormous size, and which of all others are the most difficult to be accounted for, as their existence seems most inconsistent with infinite goodness, and most easily preventable by infinite power. For, though human nature could not be exempted from natural and moral evil (as has been shewn) even by omnipotence, yet, one would think, a far less degree of power might have been sufficient to have defended it from religious; by imparting to mankind, a true, rational, and explicit system of the. ology and ethies; by which means all the absurdities of false religions, and all the calamities flowing from those absurdi. ties, would have been effectually prevented. Wonderfuð therefore must it appear, since the happiqess of men, through every part of their existepee, so much depends on their religion, that is, on their entertaining right notions of God and his attributes, of their daty te hin, and their behaviour to each other; most wonderful, I say, and astonishing it musi appear, that a wise and benevoleat Creator should so far have deserted his creatures on this important cecasioa, as to have suffered them. through all generales, to have wandered amidst suck perilous precipicas in the dark; or if at any . time he has vouchsafed them any supereatural light, that it should have been so faint and glimmering that it has rather served to terrify them with the gloomy prospect of their danger, than to enable them to avoid it.

If we look back as far as history will carry us, we shall find all ages and nations practising, under the name of relizion, such inhuman, obscene, stupid and execrable idolatries, that it would disgrace human nature but ta enumerate them: we shall see the wisest men of the wisest countries consulting oracles of wood and stone, and confiding in the foolish superstition of the flight of birds, the entrails of beasts, and the pecking of chickens; we shall see them butchering their innocent herds and focks as an atonement for their vices, and sacrificing their enemies, their slaves, their children, and sometimes themselves, to appease the wrath of their imaginary deities, of whose worship no cruelty was too horrid to be made a part; and by whose infamous examples no wickedness was too execrable to be patronised.* At length chris.

* Our author goes perhaps too far, in saying, That the wisest men of the wisest countries consulted oracles, and confided in the flight of birds,” &c. We presume that socrates, Plato, and Marcus T. Cicero had no faith in the foolish superstitions of their time. It is however a serious fact, that men of understanding and learning, from sinister motives, have in all ages too generally given encouragement to superstition among the mass of the people. The wickedness tianity appeared, which, if ever God condescended to reveal his will to man, undoubtedly makes the fairest pretensions to be that revelation: far from answering that idea of perfection which we might expect from the divine interposition, it was but a sketch, whose out-lines indeed appear the work of a

and eruelties caused by fostering this destructive demon, is shocking to humanity. Those who are infected with its deleterious influence, can see no impropriety in Abraham's at. tempt to sacrifice his son Isaac, as related in the 22d chapter. of Genesis; nor in the rash vow of Jephthah to sacrifice the first person zoho came out of his house on his return from a predatory warfare against the Ammonites; upon condition that the Lord should without fail deliver the children of Ammon into his hands." This, as the story states, was done, and he accordingly offered up his only daughter for a burnt offering unto the Lord. See the 11th chapter of Judges. There is nothing in the life and character of Jephthah to justify the supposition of a divine interference in his favour. He was the son of a harlot,and having no legal claims to inherit any portion of his father's estate, he fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him." There can be no doubt but this was a band of choice spirits, and that they went out to plunder. Jephthah like the rest of his nation, considered every thing gained by. warfare as the gift of God. For, to the messenger sent from the Ammonites, demanding a peaceable restoration of the lands they had been despoiled of by the Israelites, he said, Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy God giveth thee to possess? So whomsoeder the Lord our God shall drite out from before us, them will we possess.Judges, chapter xi.

With regard to those devoted to the Lord, by the Jewish law there was no redemption. No man shall be redeemed buf shall surely be put to death. Lev. 27. 28.

consummate master, but filled up from time to time by upequal and injudicious hands. It had many defects in its institution, and was attended with many and great evils in its consequences; in its institution it wanted universality, authenticity, * perspicuity, and policy, and in its consequences it was 8001 corrupted, and from that corruption productive of the most mischievous effects. Its great anthor designed it not to be exempted from any of these imperfections. He revealed it only to a small and obscure corner of the world in parables and mysteries: He guarded not its original purity, which seems to have died with himself, by committing it to any written records, but left it in the hands of illiterate men, who, though they were honest enough to die for it, were never wise enough perfectly to understand it. All policy he disclaims in express words, saying, My kingdom is not of this world; that is, I meddle not with the political affairs of mankind; I teach men to despise the world, but not to govern it. Nor did he expect any better consequences from its pro. gress than those which actually followed: he was by no means ignorant of its future corruption, and that, though his primitive institution breathed nothing but peace, and forbearance, good-will and benevolence: yet that in mixing with the poli. cies and interests of mankind, it would be productive of tyranny and oppression, of martyrdoms and massacros, of na

* The want of perspicuity in this revelation needs surely no other testimony, than the millions of writers, who for seventeen centuries have laboured to demonstratè, harmonise, systemise, illustrate, and explain every one of its doctrines; and the no less numberless, and various opinions, that remain to this day concerning them all: much indeed of this obscurity has proceeded from men's endeavours to make it what they fancied it should have been, but for which it was never intended: that is, a regular, clear, and explicit body of moral and political institutes.

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