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seen prefigured to the imagination by symbols suited to the dark
of unlettered ages ; but the great and secret original has nevertheless in the contemplation of the simplest heathen and the most refined Chrissre must have been something exceedingly powerful in an idea that has made aigious a progress in the mind of man. The opinions of men have experienced a vusand changes; kingdoms that have been most powerful have been removed; the form of the earth itself has undergone various alterations ; but amidst these grand and ruinous concussions, religion has remained unshaken ; and a principle so consentaneous to the first formation of our nature must remain, until by some power, of which, at present we have no conception, the laws of that nature are universally dissolved. Powers thus singular must have their foundation in truth; for men may rest in truth, but they can never rest in error. To charm the human mind, and to maintain its monstrous empire, error must, ere this, have chosen innumerable shapes, all, too, wearing, more or less, the semblance of truth. And what is thus true must be also just ; and of course, to acknowledge its influences must be the spontaneous and natural effusion of a love of truth ; and the love of truth either is really, or is affected to be, the character of those who have dedicated themselves to the study of our laws. Thus naturally, even upon the first glance, do the characters of the lawyer and the supporter of religion meet; the conclusion must be, that he who affects to doubt of the fundamental truths of religion, much more he who dares to deride them, is dissolving by fraud and violence, a tie which all good men have agreed to hold in respect, and the violation of which must render the violator unworthy the esteem and support of his fellow creatures."-pp. 299–300.
“It is the nature of religion to preserve unbroken that secret chain by which men are united, and, as it were, bound together; and as you are interested in common with the rest of your species in its preservation, particularly does it become you, as a professor of those laws which are one of its instruments, to display an anxiety to guard it from violence or contempt. Yet how do you do this, if you are either forging doubts yourself, or listening to them who forge doubts of the existence or authenticity of religion! It is the great aim of those who would overturn the peace and order of mankind to undermine the foundations of religion, by starting doubts and proposing questions, which being artfully calculated for every turn, are apt to dazzle and confound the common apprehension, like that famous question of the Elean philosopher ;-Can there be any such thing as motion, since a thing cannot move where it is, nor where it is not ? Yet, by questions of an equally foolish and unmanly nature, do many men, of no inferior learning or capacity, suffer their time and their attention to be miserably wasted ! But do yon not perceive the mischievous tendency of such questions? Do you not see that, by rendering every principle doubtful, they loosen all those sacred obligations by which men are kept within the bounds of duly ani subordination ? And shall you, who are continually in public to call out for the interposition of the law against injustice and wrong, be forever in your private parties and conversations labouring to weaken every known and settled principle of justice and of right?
Give me leave to say, it is a weak pretence that is made use of by those who are thus unworthily engaged, that they are searching after truth; and indeed it is merely a pretence ; for it is curious enough to observe, that many of these searchers after truth are men who have been employed nearly half a century in this pretended pursuit, and yel have they not settled one single principle ; nay, they are more full than ever of doubts and conjectures ; and as age and fatigue have exhausted their strength and robbed them of their wit, their questions gain in childishness and folly, what they loose in subtlety and invention ;
nor is this a single case ; I never in my life met with an old searcher after truth, but I found him at once the most wretched and most contemptible of all earthly beings. The fact is, the men I mean, are not searching after the truth ; for where is it to be found ? or who is to be the judge of it, when every certain principle is shaken or overthrown by which the decision is to be made ? They have robbed their own minds of a resting place, and they would reduce the minds of others to the same unhappy and unsettled condition. With this spirit they attack every sentiment whereon men have been accustomed to rely ; and as words are the common medium through which ideas are delivered, they play upon the meanings of words, till they have thrown every thing into that confusion which, unfortunately for themselves and for others, is so congenial with their debased inclinations.
“The propagation of doubt, with respect to religion, is at all times an injudicious, and frequently becomes an immoral act. He who seeks to destroy a system by an adherenci to the pure principles of which, mankind may be kept in peace and virtue, (how delusiy soever he may esteem that system to be) without proposing a better for that important py pose, ought to be considered as an enemy to the public welfare. I am here naturally 1 to consider religion as peculiarly powerful in settling the mind. It is impossible fo great and expanded intellect to be untouched by considerations of so great importanci those which religion presents to the contemplation ; it will therefore either decide in tainty, or it will wander in doubt ; for, to a thinking mind, what intermediate state there be ? And he that is in doubt, as I have before observed, connot be at rest; ar who is not at rest cannot be happy. Now if this be true of doubt, the reverse mu true of certainty, which is a contrary influence. And need I point out to you the ned of such a state to a mind engaged in the pursuit of a science so various and profo the law? Or, on the contrary, how utterly impossible it is for a mind entangled il ticism, according to the modern idea of that term, to attend with regularity and ha to an object so important ? Let me advise you to rest satisfied with those clear an mental truths upon which so many great and wise men have resied before you : a not merely because they have thus rested, for that would not be to be like them, but ! they are sustained by your uncorrupted sentiments, and produce clear ideas of the virtues that adorn and elevate the mind, and also, which is of still greater impo that stimulate you to the continual practice of them.”-pp. 304-307.
“Why then not be content to argue in this respect from the effect to the cause, an satisfied with that as a matter of faith which the reason of man has never yet been a explain ? Reflect upon the thousands who are now in their graves, whose lives spent in endeavours to ascertain that power which mocked all their efforts and baffle their ingenuity ; learn from them to confide in that first Great Cause, which, though hidden from your sight, you most sensibly feel, and against which your feeble arm is ra in vain. What is the grand aim and end of knowledge, but to regulate oor practice ? whence is this knowledge primarily to be acquired ? from books ? fiom men? No; contemplation of these, it is true our knowledge may be enriched and augmented ; & it must first spring from the secret source of our own bosoms; these let us search w impartiality, and we shall need the assistance of no fine-spun theories, nqfinesse, ng
be tlety, to discover the truth; truth is of a certain simple nature, and accorángly all certainty and simplicity here."-pp. 307-308.
“Do you wish to obtain the rare and valuable faculty of solving dilulties and obviating doubts, by the exercise of which obscurity is in a moment renderd clear, and dark
ness changed into light ? It is to be acquired only by industrious reading and profound contemplation. Do you desire to know upon what subject this power can be most worthily exercised? I answer, Religion in all its varieties ; of its purity as it came forth from the hand of its Omnipotent Founder, and of its degeneracy under the operation of human influences.-p.311.
Since this form was set up, the author has seen the opinion of Judge William D. Martin in the case of the Town Council of Columbia vs. C. 0. Duke and Alexander Marks.
By an Ordinance of Council of 18th July 1833, Duke and Marks were fined each $12 for opening their shops and selling on Sunday. The relators complained of the ordinance as unconstitutional, and relied for protection against its enforcement, on the first amendnient to the Constitution of the United States ;-and more especially on Art. 8. Sec. 1. of the Constilution of this State. (See p. 15.) Judge Martin decided that the ordinance of the Council was constitutional, and accompanied his decision with a luminous and highly convincing argument. (See the Southern Times and State Gazette printed at Columbia, S. C. for Oct. 11, 1833.-Charleston Observer of November 20, 1833.)