Imatges de pÓgina
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he less versed than Mr. Paine in the superstitions of the world? No, they were the subject of his immortal song; and though shut out from all recurrence to them, he poured them forth from the stores of a memory rich with all that man ever knew; and laid them in their order as the illustration of that real and exalted faith, the anquestionable source of that fervid genius, which cast a sort of shade upon all the other works of man

" Je passed the bounds of flaming space,

Where angels tremble while they gaze;
He saw, till blasted with excess of light,
He closed his eyes in endless light.”

But it was the light of the body only that was extinguished; “ The celestial light shone inward, and enabled him to justify the ways of God to man.”—The result of his thinking was nevertheless not the same as the au. thor's, The mysterious incarnation of our blessed saviour (which this work blasphemes in words so wholly unfit for the mouth of a christian, or for the ear of a court of justice, that I dare not, and will not, give them utterance) Milton made the grand conclusion of the Pa. radise Lost, the rest of his finished labours, and the ultimate hope, expectation, and glory of the world.

* A virgin is his mother, but his sire,

The power of the most high; he shall ascend
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign
With earth's wide bounds, his glory with the heav'ns."

The immortal poet having thus put into the mouth of the angel the prophecy of man's redemption, follows it with that solemn and beautiful admonition, addressed in the poem to our great first -parent, but intended as an ada dress to his posterity through all generations.

" This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum

Of wisdom, hope no higher, tho' all the stars
Thou knew'st by name, and all th’ ethereai pow'rs,.
All secrets of the deep, all nature's works,
Or works of God in heav'n, air, earth, sea,
And all the riches of this world enjoy'st,
And all the rule, one empire ; only add
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith,
Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love,

By name to come call'd charity, the soul
of all the rest : then wilt thou not be loth.
To leave this paradise, but shall possess

A paradise within thee, happier far. Thus you find all that is great, or wise, or splendid, or illastrious, amongst created beings; all the minds gifted beyond ordinary nature, if not inspired by its universal author for the advancement and dignity of the world, though divided by distant ages, and by the clashing opinions, distinguishing them from one another, yet joining as it were in one sublime chorus, to celebrate the truths of christianity, and laying upon its holy altars the never-fading offerings of their immortal wisdom.

Against all this concurring testimony, we find sud: denly, from the author of this book, that the bible teaches nothing but “lies, obscenity, cruelty, and injustice." Had he ever read our saviour's sermon on the mount?in which the great principles of our faith and duty are summed ap!--Let us all but read and practise it, and lies, obscenity, cruelty, and injustice, and all human wickedness would be banished from the world!

Gentlemen, there is but one consideration more wbich I cannot possibly omit, because I confess it affects me Tery deeply. The author of this book has written largely on public liberty and government; and this last performance has on that account been more widely cir. culated, and principally among those who attached them. selves from principle to his former works. This circum. stance renders a public attack upon all rerealed religion from such a writer infinitely more dangerous. The reli. gious and moral sense of the people of Great Britain, is the great anchor which alone can hold the vessel of the state amidst the storms which agitate the world, and if I could believe for a moment, that the mass of the people were to be debauched from the principles of religion, which forms the true basis of that humanity, charity, and benevolence, that has been so long the national characteristic, instead of mixing myself, as I sometimes have done, in political reformations, I would rather retire to the uttermost corner of the earth to avoid their agita. tion; and would bear, not only the imperfections and abuses complained of in our own wise establishment, but oven the worst government that ever existed in the world,

rather than go to the work of reformation with a multi tude set free from all the charities of christianity, who had no sense of God's existence, but from Mr. Paine's observation of nature, which the mass of markind have no leisure to contemplate; nor any belief of future rewards and punishments, to animate the good in the glo. rious pursuit of human happiness, nor to deter the wicked from destroying it even in its birth. But I know the people of England better. They are a religious people, and with the blessing of God, as far as it is in my power, I will lend my aid to keep thein so.

I have no objection to the freest and most extended discussions

u pon doctrinal points of the christian religion, and though the law of England does not permit it, I do not dread the reasoned arguments of deists against the existence of christianity itself, because, as was said by its divine authors, if it is of God, it will stand. An intellectual book, however crroneous, addressed to the intellectual world upon so profound and complicated a subject can never work the mischief which this indict. ment is calculated to repress.

Such works will only employ the minds of men enlightened by study, to deeper investigation of a subject well worthy of their deepest and continued contemplation. The powers of the mind are given for liuman improvement in the pro. gress of human existence. The changes produced by sach reciprocations of lights and intelligences are certain in their progressions, and make their way imperceptibly, as conviction comes upon the world, by the final and irresistible power of truth. If christianity be founded in falsehood, let us become deists in this manner, and I am contented. But this book has no such object, and tio such capacity: it presents no'arguments to the wise and enlightened. On the contrary, it treats the faith and opinions of the wisest with the most shocking contempt, and stirs up men without the advantages of learning, or sober thinking, to a total disbelief of every thing hitherto held sacred; and consequently to a rejection of all the laws and ordinances of the state, which stand only upon the assumption of their truth.

Gentlemen! I cannot conclude without expressing the deepest regret at all attacks upon the christian religion by authors who profess to promote the civil liberties of the world. For under what other auspices than chris. tianity have the lost and subverted liberties of mankind in former ages been re-asserted ? By what zeal, but the warm zeal of devoted christians have English liberties been redeemed and consecrated ? Under what other sanctions, even in our own days, have liberty and happiness been extending and spreading to the uttermost corners of the earth? What work of civilization, what common wealth of greatness has this bold religion of nature ever established ? We see on the contrary, the nations that have no other light than that of nature to direct them, sunk in barbarism or slaves to arbitrary governments; whilst since the christian æra, the great career of the world has been slowly, but clearly ado vancing, lighter at every step, from the awful prophecies of the gospel, and leading, I trust, in the end to universal and eternal happiness. Each generation of mankind can see but a few revolving links of this mighty and mysterious chain; but by doing our several duties in our allotted stations, we are sure that we are fulớlling the purposes of our existence. You, I trust, will fultil yours this day! !

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XII. Speech dictated by Doctor Johnson in defence

of a schoolmaster, in Scotland, charged with seve. rity in the chastisement of his scholars, who had been deprived of his office by an inferior court, and afterwards restored by the court of session; the court considering it to be dangerous to the interests of learning and education, to lessen the dignity of teachers, and make them afraid of too indulgent parents, instigated by the complaints of their chil. dren; which was appealed against by his enemies to the house of lords.

Tue charge is, that he has used immoderate and cruel correction. Correction, in itself, is not cruel; children being not reasonable, can be governed only by fear. To impress this fear, is therefore one of the first duties of those who have the care of children. It is the duty of a parent, and it has never been thought inconsistent

with parental tenderness. It is the duty of a master who is in his highest exaltation when he is loco parentis. Yet, as good things become evil by excess, correction, by being immoderate, may become cruel. But when is correction immoderate ? When it is more frequent or more severe than is required ad monendum et docendum, for reformation and instruction. No severity is cruel which obstinacy makes necessary; for the greatest cruel. ty would be to desist, and leave the scholar too careless for instruction, and too much hardened for reproof. Locke, in his treatise of education, mentions a mother, with applause, who whipped an infant eight times before she subdued it; for had she stopped at the seventh act of correction, her daughter, says he, would have been ruined. The degrees of obstinacy in young minds, are very different; as different must be the degrees of perse. vering severity. A stubborn scholar must be corrected till he is subdued. The discipline of a school is military. There must be either unbounded licence or absolute au. thority. The master, who punishes, not only consults the future happiness of him who is the immediate subject of correction, but propagates obedience through the whole school, and establishes regularity by exemplary justice. The victorious obstinacy

of a single boy would make his future endeavours of reformation or instruction totally ineffectual. Obstinacy, therefore, must never be victorious. Yet it is well known that there sometimes occurs a sullen and hardy resolution, that laughs at all eommon degrees of pain. Correction must be proportioned to occasions. The flexible will be reformed by. gentle discipline, and the refractory must be subdued by harsher methods. The degrees of scholastic, as of military punishment, no stated rules can ascertain. It must be enforced till.it overpowers temptation; till stubborn, ness becomes flexible, and perverseness regular. · Cusa tom and reason have, indeed, set some bounds to scho. lastic penalties... The schoolmaster inflicts no capital punishments; nor enforces his-edicts by, either death or: mutilation. The civil law has wisely determined, that a: master who strikes at a scholar's eye shall be considered as criminal. But punishments, however: severe, that. produce no lasting evil, may be just and reasonables because they may be necessary. Such have been the

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