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partial local interests: our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a by-word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter, fron this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest. I, therefore, beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers, imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business: and that one or more of the clergy of this city,,be requested to officiate in that service.” (Franklin's Works, vol. i. 474.)
The opinion of Washington in regard to the necessity of religion to sustain the morals of a nation, cannot be reprinted too often. In his Farewell Address, he says, “ Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instru ments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious princi. ple.” See also 5 Marshall's Washington, pp. 44.57.
Sir W. Scott, speaking of this conspiracy to destroy Christianity in Europe, and especially in France, says:- This work, the philosophers, as they termed themselves, carried on with such an unlimited and eager zeal, as plairly to show that infidelity, as well as divinity, has its fanaticism. An envenomed fury against religion and all its doctrines; a promptitude to avail themselves of every circumstance by which Christianity could be misrepresented; an ingenuity in mixing up their opinions in works, which seemed the least fitting to involve such discussions; above all, a pertinacity in slandering, ridiculing, and vilifying all who ventured to oppose their principles, distinguished the correspondents in this celebrated conspiracy against a religion, which, however, it may be defaced by human inventions, breathes only that peace on earth, and good will to the children of men, which was proclaimed by Heaven at its divine origin.
If these prejudiced and envenomed opponents had possesed half the desire of truth, or half the benevolence towards mankind, which were eternally on their lips, they would have formed the true estimate of the spirit of Christianity, not from the use which had been made of the mere name by ambitious priests or enthusiastic fools, but by its vital effects upon mankind at large. They would have seen, that under its influence a thousand brutal and sanguinary superstitions had died away; that polygamy had been abolished, and with polygamy all the obstacles which it offers to domestic happiness, as well as to the due "education of youth, aud the natural and gradual civilization of society. They must then have owned, that slavery, which they regarded or affected to regard with such horror, had first been gradually ameliorated, and finally abolished by the influence of the Christian doctrines:-that there was no one vtrtue teaching to elevate mankind or benefit society,
which was not enjoined by the precepts they endeavoured to misrepresent and weaket ) no one vice by which humanity is degraded and society endangered, upon which Christia nity hath not imposed a solemn anathema. They might also, in their capacity of philosophers, have considered the peculiar aptitude of the Christian religion, not only to all ranks and conditions of mankind, but to all climates and to all stages of society.
Unhappily blinded by self-conceit, heated with the ardour of controversy, gratifying their literary pride by becoming members of a league, in which kings and princes were included, and procuring followers by flattering the vanity of some, and stimulating the cupidity of others, the men of the most distinguished parts in France became allied iu a sort of anti-crusade against Christianity, and indeed against religious principles of every kind. How they succeeded is too universally known: and when it is considered that these men of letters, who ended by degrading the morals, and destroying the religion of so many of the citizens of France, had been first called into publie estimation by the patronage of the higher orders, it is impossible not to think of the Israelitish champion, who, brought into the house of Dagon to make sport for the festive assembly, ended by pulling it down upon the heads of the guests—and upon his own.” Life of Napoleon, vol. i. pp. 36. 37.
It is understood, that within a few years, a society of professed infidels has been formed in New-York, ( See Gospel Messenger, vol. v. p. 217.) and the author has observed by the newspapers, that within a few weeks, the birth day of Thomas Paine, has been celebrated in that city;-it is presumed by this society. If these humble pages shall by chance meet the eye of any one who has celebrated the birth day of Ir. Paine, he may, perhaps, be instructed by perusing the following passages from the correspondence of Gouverneur Morris.
Writing to Mr. Jefferson, under date of 21st January, 1794, Mr. Morris says, “I must mention, that Thomas Paine is in prison, where he amuses himself with publishing a pamphlet against Jesus Christ. I do not recollect whether I mentioned to you, that he would have been executed along with the rest of the Brissotines, if the adverse party had not viewed him with contempt. I incline to think, that if he is quiet in prison, he
have the good luck to be forgotten.” (Life by Sparks, vol. ii. 393.) Again, under date of 6th March, 1794, Mr. Morris says, “in the best of times, he had a larger share of every other sense than of common sense, and lately the intemperate use of ardent spirits has, I am told, considerably impaired the small stock which he originally possessed. (vol. ii. 409.)
The 42d of the Letters on the Study of the Law, ascribed to the late Sir James Mackintosh, furnishes the most valuable illustrations of this subject. The gifted author was not only distinguished as a jurist and a statesman, but he was familiar with almost every walk of literature and philosophy.
"I am now to treat of religion, and of the claims which it has upon the acknowledgement and support of him, who sustains the character of an advocate in our courts of justice. The worship of a Supreme Cause and the belief of a future state, have not only, in in general, been concomitant, but have so universally engaged the concurrence of mankind, that they who have pretended to teach the contrary, have been looked upon in every age and state of society, as men opposing the pure emotions of our nature.
seen prefigured to the imagination by symbols suited to the darku 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 digious a progress in the ruind of man. The opinions of men have experienced a susand 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 starling doubts and proposing questions, which being artfully calculated for every turn, are apt to dazzle and confound the common apprehension, like that fainous 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 unmaniy nature, do many men, of no inferior learning or capacity, suffer their time and their attention to be miserably wasted ! But do you 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 duty and 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 scarcher 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 unh py 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 adherenc to the pure principles of which, mankind may be kept in peace and virtue, (how delusiv 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 ! 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 importanc 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 my true of certainty, which is a contrary influence. And need I point out to you the ne 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 i 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 I 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 opr practice ? whence is this knowledge primarily to be acquired ? from books ? from men ? No; contemplation of these, it is true our knowledge may be enriched and aigmented ; ! 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, ndfinesse, no
be tlety, to discover the truth ; truth is of a certain simple nature, and accoréngly all certainty and simplicity here.”-pp. 307-308.
“Do you wish to obtain the rare and valuable faculty of solving dilalties and obviating doubts, by the exercise of which obscurity is in a moment rendex 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 Constitution 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
olumbia, S. C. for Oct. 11, 1833.-Charleston Observer of November 20, 1833.)