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6. God is
rejects this ground of consolation, yet if things be as he has represented them, I do not perceive why he should be terrified. He writes as though he stood on a very respectable footing with his Cre- . ator; he is not" an outcast, a beggar, or a worm ;" he needs no mediator: no indeed! He “ stands in the same relative condition with his Maker he ever did stand fince man existed."* Very well; of what then is he afraid ? good, and will exceed the very best of us in goodness.” On this ground Lord Shaftesbury affures us, Deists can have no dread or suspicion to render them uneasy: for it is malice only, and not goodness, which can make them afraid.”+ Very well, I say again, of what then is Mr. Paine afraid? If a Being full of goodness will not hurt him, he will not be hurt. Why should he be terrified. at a certain hereafter ? Why not meet his Creator with cheerfulness, and confidence ? Instead of this, he knows of no method by which he may be exempted from terror but that of reducing future judgment to a mere possibility; leaving room for fome faint hope at least that what he . profefses to believe as true, may in the end prove
false, Such is the courage of your blustering hero. Unhappy man! Unhappy, people! Your principles will not support you in death, nor so much as in the contemplation of a hereafter.
Let Mr. Paine's hypothesis be admitted, and that in its lowest form, that there is only a pollibility of a judgment to come, this is sufficient to evince your folly, and if you thought on the subject, to destroy your peace. This alone has in
duced many of you in your last moments to wish that you had lived like Christians. If it be posible that there may be a judgment to come, why fhould it not be equally pofsible that Christianity itself may be true ? And if it fhould, on what ground do you stand ? If it be otherwise, Chriftians have nothing to fear. While they are taught to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, whatever may prove true with refpect to another, it is prefumed they are safe : but if that Saviour whom you have defpised should be indeed the Son of God; if that name which you have blafphemed fhould be the only one given under heaven and among men by which you can be saved; what a situation must you be in ! You may wish at present not to be told of him; yea, even in death, it may be a vexation, as it was to Voltaire, to hear of him ; but hear of him you must, and what is more, you must appear before him.
I cannot conclude this address without expreffing my earnest defire for your falvation; and, whether you will hear, or whether you will for bear, reminding you that our Redeemer is merciful. He can have compassion on the ignorant, and them who are out of the way. The door of mercy is not yet fhut. At present you are invited, and even intreated to enter in. ftill continue hardened against him, you may find to your cost that the abuse of mercy gives an edge to justice; and that to be crushed to atoms by falling rocks, or buried in oblivion at the bottom of mountains, were rather to be chosen than an exposure to the wrath of the Lamb.
But if you TO THE JEWS.
Beloved for the fathers" sakes !
E whom you have long rejected, looked upon Jerusalem and wept over it. With tears he pronounced upon that famous city a doom, which according to your own writer, Josephus, was soon afterwards accomplished. In imitation of our Lord and Saviour we also could weep over your present situation. There are thousands in Britain, as well as in other nations, whose daily prayer is, that you may be saved. Hear me patiently, and candidly. Your present and everlasting good is the object of my desire.
It is not my design in this brief address to go over the various topics in dispute between us. Many have engaged in this work, and I hope to fome good purpose. The late addresses to you,
. both from the pulpit and the press, as they were dictated by pure benevolence, certainly deserve, and I trust have gained in some degree, your candid attention. All that I shall say will be comprised in a few suggestions, which I suppose to arise from the subject of the preceding pages.
You have long fojourned among men who have been called Chriftians. You have seen much evil in them; and they have feen much in you. The
. history of your own nation, and that of every other, confirms one of the leading doctrines of both your and our Scriptures, the depravity of his
man nature. But in your commerce with mankind, you must have had opportunity of distinguishing between nominal and serious Christians. Great numbers in your nation, even in its best days, were wicked men ; and great numbers in every nation, at present, are the fame. But can you not perceive a people scattered through various denominations of Christians, who fear God, and regard man ; who instead of treating you with
a haughty contempt, as being strangers scattered • among the nations, discover a tender regard to
wards you on that very account; who, while they are grieved for the hardness of your hearts, and hurt at your fcornful rejection of Him whom their foul loveth, are nevertheless ardently defirous of your falvation ? Are you not acquainted with Christians whofe utmost revenge, if they could have their will of you, for all your hard speeches, would be to be instrumental in turning you from what they believe to be the power of Satan, unto God?
Let me farther appeal to you, Whether Chriftians of this description be not the true children of Abraham, the true fucceffors of your patriarchs and prophets, rather than those of an oppofite spirit, though literally descended from their loins. You must be aware that even in the times of David, a genuine Israelite was a man of a pure heart; and in the times of the prophets, apostate Ifraelites were accounted as Ethiopians. Your ancestors were men of whom the world was not worthy : but where will you now look for such characters among you as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; as Sa+ anuel, David, Hezekiah, and Fosiah; as Daniel, Ez
* Pfal. lxxiü. I. Amos ix. 7.
ra, Nehemiah, and many others? While you garnish their fepulchres, have you not manifestly loft their fpirit ? This is a fact that ought to alarm you, and lead you seriously to examine whether you have not forsaken their faith.
There is one thing which has particularly struck my mind, and which I would earnestly recommend to your confideration, namely the temper of modern infidels tom wards your fathers, towards you, and towards us.
You need not be told that deistical writers invariably treat your fathers with fcorn and dislike. Just as Appion and other Greek writers poured contempt upon your nation; just as the more aneient Moabites reproached, and proudly magnified
themselves against the people of the Lord of Hofts ; * ' fo do all our modern infidels. But from the time
that your fathers rejected Him in whom we believe as the Lord Mefliah, though you have been exposed to the chastisements of heaven, and to much injurious treatment from pretended Christians ; yet deifts, the common enemies of revelation, have been, comparatively speaking, reconciled to you. So however it appears to me. I do not recollect to have met with a fingle reflection upon you in any of their writings. On the contrary, they feem to feel themselves near akin to you. Your enmity to Jefus feems to be the price of their forgivenefs : like Herod and Pontius Pilate, you became friends in the day of his crucifixion. Mr. Paine, tho' his writings abound in fneers against your nation, prior to its rejection of Christ, yet appears to be well reconciled to you, and willing to admit your lame account of the body of Jefus being stolen away.t Ought you not to be alarmed at these things?
* Zeph. ii. 10. + Age of Reafur, Part I. p. 6, 7,