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of anger, of jealousy, and of a just regard to our own honour. Lord Shaftesbury himself would have ridiculed the man, and still more the magistrate that should have been incapable of these properties on certain occasions. They are planted in our nature by the Divine Being, and are adapted to anfwer valuable purposes. If they be perverted and abused to fordid ends, which is too frequently the cafe, this does not alter their nature or lessen their utility. What would Lord Shaftesbury have thought of a magistrate, who should have witnessed a train of affaflinations and murders without being in the least offended at them, or angry with the perpetrators, or inclined to take ve ence on them for the public good ? What would he think of a British House of Commons, who should exercise no jealouSy over the encroachments of a minister, or of a king of Great Britain who Thould suffer, with perfect indifference, his just authority to be treated with contempt?
But we are limited beings, and are therefore in danger of having our just rights invaded. True ; and though God be unlimited, and so in no danger of being deprived of his essential glory, yet he may lose his just authority in the esteem of creatures ; and were this to take place universally, the whole creation would be a scene of anarchy and misery. But we understand Lord Shaftesbury. He wishes to compliment his Maker out of all his moral excellencies. He has no objection to a God, provided he be one after his own heart, one who shall pay no such regard to human affairs as to call men to account for their ungodly deeds. If he thought the Creator of the world to bear such a character, it is no wonder that he should speak of him with what he calls
good humour, or pleasantry.** In speaking of such a God, he can, as Mr. Hume expreffes it, “ feel more at ease" than if he conceived of him as he is characterized in the Holy Scriptures. But let men beware how they play with such subjects. Their conceptions do not alter the nature of God: and however they suffer themselves to trifle now, they may find in the end that there is not only a GOD, but a God that judgeth in the earth.
Christianity teaches us to acknowledge God, and to des
vote ourselves to his service : but Deism, though it confelles One Supreme Being, get refuses to worship. bim.
F there be a God, he ought to be worshipped. This is a principle which no man will be able to eradicate from his bofom; or even to suppress, but at great labour and expence. The Scriptures, it is well known, both inculcate and inspire the worfhip of God.
Their language is, o, come let us, fing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto hiin with pfalms-0 come, let us worship and bow down : let us kneel before the Lord our maker-Give unto the Lord glory and strength : give unto the Lord the glo
due to his Name. Bring an offering, and come into his courts—o worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness : fear before' him all the earth-Give thanks unto
Characteristics, Vol. I. S III.
the Lord, call upon his Name ; make known his deeds among the people glory ye in his holy Name ; let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength ; seek his face continually.
The spirit also which the Scriptures inspire is favourable to divine worship. The grand leffon which they teach is love ;. and love to God delights to express itself in acts of obedience, adoration, fupplication, and praise. The natural language of a heart well affected to God, is, I will call upon him as long as I live-Bless the Lord, O my soul ; and all that is within me bless his holy Name~Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.
Is it thus with our adversaries? They speak indeed of “true and fabulous theology,” and of“ true and false religion ;” and often talk of “ adoring” the Supreme Being. But if there be no true religion amongst Christians, where are we to look for it? Surely not amongst deists. Their “ adorations" seem to be a kind of exercises much resembling the benevolent acts of certain persons, who are so extremely averse to oftentation, that nobody knows of their being charitable but themselves.
Mr. Paine professes to “believe in the equality of man, and that religious duties confift in doing justice, loving mercy, and”—and what? I thought to be sure he had been going to add, walking huma bly with God. But I was mistaken. Mr. Paine supplies the place of walking humbly with God, by adding, “and endeavouring to make our fellowcreatures happy."* Some people would have thought that this was included in doing justice, and loving mera
* Age of Reafon, Part I. p. 2.
by : but Mr. Paine had rather use words without meaning than write in favour of godliness. Walking humbly with God is not comprehended in the list of his " religious duties.” The very phrase offends him. It is that to him, in quoting scripture, which a nonconductor is to the electrical fluid: it causes him to fly off in an oblique direction; and, rather than say any thing on fo offensive a subject, to deal in unmeaning tautology.
Mr. Paine not only avoids the mention of walking humbly with God, but attempts to load the practice itself with the fouleft abuse. * He does not confider himself as “ an out-cast, a beggar, or a worm;"
; he does not approach his Maker through a Mediator; he confiders “Redemption as a fable,"and himself as standing in an honourable situation with regard to his relation to the Deity. Some of this may be true ; but not the whole. The latter part is only a piece of religious gasconade. If Mr. Paine really think so well of his situation as he pretends, the belief of a hereafter would not render him “ the slave of terror.”+. But allowing the whole to be true, it proves nothing. A high conceit of one's self is no proof of excellence. If he chuse to rest upon this foundation, he must abide the consequence : but he had better have forborne to calumniate others. What is it that has transported this child of reason into a paroxism of fury against devout people ? By what fpirit is he inspired in pouring forth such a torrent of flander ? Why is it that he must accuse their humility of “ingratitude,” their grief of “affectation," and their prayers of being “ dictatorial” to the al
* Age of Reafon, Part I. p. 21. + Part II. near the end..
mighty? Cain hated his brother ; and wherefore hated he him ? because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Prayer and devotion are things that Mr. Paine should have let alone, as being out of his province. By attempting however to run them down, he has borne witness to the devotion of Christians, and fulfilled what is written in a book which he affects to despise, Speaking evil of the things which he understands not.
To admit a God, and yet refuse to worship him, is a modern and inconsistent practice. It is a dictate of reason as well as of Revelation, If the Lord be God, worsbip him; and if Baal, worship him. It never was made a question whether the God in whom we believe should receive our adorations. All nations in all ages paid religious homage to the refpective deities or supposed deities, in which they believed. Modern unbelievers are the only men who have deviated from this practice. How this is to be accounted for is a subject worthy of enquiry. To me it appears as follows-
In former times, when men were weary of the worship of the true God, they exchanged it for that of idols. I know of no account of the origin of idolatry fo rational as that which is given by Revelation. Men did not like to retain God in their knowledge : therefore they were given up to a mind void of judgment ; to change the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beafts, and creeping things : and to defile their bodies by every species of lewdness, and wickedness.*
It was thus with the people who came to inhabit the country of Samaria af
* Rom. i.