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present order of things. My reason for so thinking is, the similarity of this Deist's language and sentiments, and mode ofarguing, with those used by " a Lover of Truth” (pages 331 and 401, vol. i.); so much so, that I identify them both as one person. (If I am wrong, I beg pardon.) At page 403 of the last mentioned letter, he writes, that the attention ought to be fixed on the ordinary course of events, and to discard as fabulous and incredible, every story which implies a state of the world, and an ora der of things, essentially different from the present.” These ideas run through all his writings, and are, only put into other words,again to be found in his fifth preliminary, where he says “ That as far back as authentic history will carry us, the course of nature appears to have been uniformly constant," &c. &c.

This is not a new sentiinent; near 1800 years back, Peter wrote (2 Epis. iii. 3, 4,) That in his days there were scoffers who said, “ That since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as from the beginning of creation." As this is the subject, he wishes to argue, if I guess right, Mr. Editor, with your permission and this gentleman's consent, I will allow the stability of the laws of nature, and on that allowanoc contend against him, that so far from disearding, as fabulous and incredible, every story which implies a state of the world, and an order of things, essentially different from the present, I must, on the contrary, believe, if the laws of nature are stable, the past and future order of things have been, and will be, essentially different from the present.

But, Mr. Editor, should we enter into this controversy, I trust you will keep the conditions, and lop off extraneous matter. It will never do to admit such dogmatism and wildfire as at the end of the letter, page 401. In the letter last month on my essay there is but about six lines in the first page, and about five lines in the two last pages, that have any thing to do with the subject; and even the major part of the remaining argument is irrelevant. I am sure that this gentleman, if he is "a Deist," or " a Lover of Truth,” would, if the case was his own, think such language and manner to be monstrous.

In this letter, it is said, that I use the word dead most vaguely and indeterminately. As I understand the peculiar sense which I mean to convey by it, 1 think not; but it is not for me, but my readers, who are to determine this. I have argued that our Lord says, God can destroy the animal faculties, sensitive powers, living principle, conscious identity, or bodily faculties (or by whatever other name any one may please to call it), in the grave ; and if our Lord's observation is true, death does not destroy this living principle. At p. 541, I have said, " That the Scriptures expect all men to die, and from their dead bodies, to be produced the future being.” This, and indeed the whole of my argument, proyes, that by death, I mean


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the cessation of organization, as a preparation to a more perfect organization of the future being ; not an extinction of the living principle, bnt a giving it more perfect cloathing than flesh and blood. On this

ground, I make a distinction between the resurrection of Jesus and the general resurrection of man, saying " If all men

were first to die, and then were to have their identical bodies raised from the tomb, as Jesus had, there would be some reason to say, that it was opposite to the general process of nature, and therefore most probably not true. That these expressions are too rague and indeterminale to prove, that the living principle is extinguished by death, is true; but, that they are not sufficiently explicit to be explanatory of the writer's ideas, I cannot believe, and I hope,“ A Deist” will excuse, in this instance, my infidelity.

On the resurrection of Jesus, I think, my observations were both intelligible, and to the point. If it is to be granted, by allowing the stability of the laws of nature, that all things go on in one continual round ; that what is to-day was yesterday, and ten thousand years back, and farther even, without beginning; then they were not in point; but as the Deist says, “There is not sufficient reason to believe, that from the creation to this day, the laws of nature have, in a single instance, been disturbed." By such an allowance, of there having once been a creation, the argument is in point, and it is his place to prove, that God did not make man a dead body, and then breathe into him the breath of life; to prove that my argument is not analagous to breathing again a renovated life into the dead body of Jesus. If, ih e first instance, it was not unnatural, because done by the God of Nature; in the second instance, it was not a disturbance of the general laws of nature ; because, though such had not before been done, it was enly because there was not the same occasion and combined circumstances to cause it to be done. This action of Deity was, therefore, not a gross violation of his own laws, but his acting upon those laws at a right time, place, and for a just and wise end.

But whilst I thus reason on Deistical principles, I may, I trust, be permitted to say, that a Christian's argument is still stronger ; for, if in the * language of Jesus, the principle of

“ Fear not them who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

The contrast is hero evidently, between man, who can only murder the human body, but not inurder the soul, (That the word signifies murder, slay, or kill

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appear evident by turning to Matthow xiv. 5. xxi. 36, 39, &c.) and the Deity who could slay somothing of greater importance helonging to inan. This same word is, in the Greek psuzan, and its primary senso seems to be puzis, refrigeration; and, according to Hesychius, signifies to breathe. It is used for animal life, Matt. vi. 26. x, 39. *2 28.

• Matt. X. 28.

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life is not destroyed by death, there is no disturbance of the laws of nature by calling that living principle into action. Be. lievers in the Scripture, and indeed in human history, &c. have multitudes of well-authenticated facts of such things in vegetation and diseases. With regard to lobsters shedding their claws, &c. they were adduced solely as evidences to prove, that the living principle is not flesh and blood, though it does not act without a medium; not to demonstrate the reality of the resurrection, but its possibility and probability.

But I am asked, “ if it is impossible to examine and arrive at certainty concerning things that we really do know?” I answer, so far as we know any thing, of that thing we are certain, and so far only. But are we able to be certain of any thing we do not know? To use this gentleman's own illustration—The Catkolic, who sees the wafer and the wine, does he know it to be flesh and blood? If he does, he is certain of it, but if he does not so know it, and yet believes it, his faith is only founded on his opinion; and opinion is always uncertain. It may be truth; it may be error-knowledge founded on ade. quate evidence can alone determine which.

On this subject, Mr. Editor, at present I have not more to advance, but turn with pain to the notice of your Christian correspondent. By it, I am given to understand, that my essay contains opinions not entertained by the Freethinking Christiang. Prior to this information, I had, for many years, understood, that the bond of union among the Freethinking Chris. tians, was an acknowledgment of the death, resurrection, and messiahship of Jesus, and an expectation of a future judgment by him—the fact and not the manner. If I understand this notice aright, I have been much nistaken, and this Freethinking Church have not quite so much freedom of thought and liberty of discussion as they profess. I'hey, it appears, like other churches, are sticklers, not for facts, but for opinions; and their Shibboleth must not be examined. Though they have no:

Mark x. 45. Thess. v. 23. And for the mind and dispositions in Matt. xii, 18. xxij. 37. Acts iv. 32. xiv. 2 ; and this being contrasted with some unorgenized body, either animal or vegetable, Matt. vi. 25. X. 28. 1 Cor. xv. 37, it is evident, that if any meaning is annexed to the passage, it is, that the principle of animal life is not necessarily extinguished by death; but, That when it is so extinguisb-ed, it is by the power of God, as a punishment. Quere, is not this what the Revelator calls the second death, or death after the body? As for Gehenna, rendered Hell, I consider it as synonimous with the Hebrew Shaul, and that both mean the grave, the craver, and hiding place.

I cannot agree with Crito in his essay on the inınortality of the soul, at page 28, vol. i. For if Soma signifies life, and Psuzan signifies future life, the contrast in this place will be destroyed; and if Gehenna signifies complete destructiun, the doctrine of destruction is established, I believe, contrary to the opinion of lhe writer, who, I think, expects the restoration of all human beings.,

found it necessary to avow their creed, they have found it necessary to avow their 'unbelief, without defining their faith. Such avowal, if I have read aright past history, is the first step to persecution. I hope more will be said of this matter ; and to shew, that if I have done evil, I desire not shelter from blame, I thus publicly announce myself the writer of these two condemned pieces, by subscribing myself, your's, &c. Mile End, Dec. 8, 1811.



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To the Editor of the Freethinking Christians' Magasine.


VARIETY of circumstances having prevented the fulfil

ment of my promise repecting the 9th chapter of Romans till now, I hope the few thoughts submitted at this time, to the consideration of your readers, will obviate some of the difficulties in that chapter. To men of unprejudiced minds they may not be unacceptable, but hy those who are wedded to a system, they may be accounted in the highest degree erroneous, especially by Calvinists, who are taught to believe the doctrines they have imbibed are proved irrefragably thereby, notwithstanding they are contrary to reason, and are a blasphemous libel against the author of all good. Should my conceptions of the Apostle's meaning prove just, however strong his language,

the abettors of the doctrines of Calvin will be driven from one of their strongest holds, and be sadly put to it, to find any other part of the New Testament in their favour.

The doctrines generally deduced from this chapter, are the personal election of a few, and the reprobation of the rest of mankind; the absolute sovereignty of the decrees of God exercised in such a manner as to militate against his justice, thereby setting his attributes at variance, and rendering him an object of fear, instead of love, to the utter annihilation of that confidence which his creatures ought ever to place in him. This Apostle has generally been allowed to possess learning, and to be a close reasoner ; but to understand him fully, the scope of his argument ought to be taken into consideration ; yet his meaning cannot be known by selecting particular expressions or detached passages, as too generally has been the case, and which, as it appears to me, has been the chief support, though not the true source, of many of those erroneous opinions now maintained among the professors of Christianity

Making then the drift of the Apostle's argument the basis of judgment, I think it will appear that he always keeps one lead, ing object in view, namely the goodness of God in granting nan a revelation of his will, but chiefly the gospel revelation, which is the clearest manifestation of his character and the designs of his goodness, that can be afforded.

He conmences his epistle by shewing that every previous revelation had been disregarded, though intended for a general benefit ; that the gospel was a further means of perfecting the plan of divine goodness, shadowed forth under former dispensations, and the fulfilment of the special promise inade to Abraham, how regardless soever his posterity had been, or how averse soever men might generally be, to accept the offered mercy. Ile endeavours to prove that the darkness under which mankind were, was not from any lack of information respecting their duty to each other, or the knowledge of God's character, and their obligations to him, but because they did not like to retain the knowledge of him among them. I'hat, however, under all the disadvantages arising from such folly, a view of his works in creation, and providence, fully proved his superintending care, and at the same time exhibited the most convincing proofs of his infinite wisdom, and almighty power. He also shews that the posterity of Abraham, with all the advantages they possessed, had acted an equally sottish part; yet in spite of all these seeming obstacles to the designs of his love, every thing was concurring to produce that which he ever had in view--- the ultimate happiness of all his creatures. That such was Paul's view, may, I think, be fairly inferred; and by reverting to the forcible expressions used in the 19th, 20th, and 21st, verses of the preceding chapter, and the tenor of his reasoning in that under consideration, it will be more fully demonstrated.

This chapter commences with expressions of the most exquisite feelings for his kinsmen according to the flesh, which, it'understood literally, would be impossible, were there such a thing as an eternal separation from blessedness. He seems aware that he might be misunderstood; and therefore, to guard against such a consequence he shew's that the unbelief of the majority of the nation of the Jews, could not militate against the effect capable of being produced by the worthy few, through whom the divine plan was as certain of accomplishment, as though the whole nation had been obedient to the faith ; and the examples he adduces prove, that there is an election, not indeed according to the view of the Calvinist, but agreeable to the statement thereof I presented to your read. ers in May and July last ; but none of the examples exhibited in this chapter support in the smallest degree the doctrine of reprobation, as no relation whatever is had to the final state either of the righteous or wicked. However strong the expressions are respecting the love of Jacob or hatred of Esau, they have no reference whatever to the men themselves,


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