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to give a little colouring to the thing, and obviate the suspicion which might attach, if only one was concerned in the business, as to have the assistance of an adept in the practices of legerdemain ; he employs the crafty Aaron to make known these things to the gaping multitude. This person informs them that the God of Moses, is the LORD JEHOVAH ; the life of all that moveth ; the beginning and the end of all things ; High and Mighty; great above every other God; Lord for evermore : and, that moreover, he is not a strange God ; for he hath commanded Moses to tell the people of Isarel, saying, “1, the Lord Jehovah, am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; yea 1 am your own God, and I have seen your affliction, and am come down to deliver you. I have, it is true, thought proper to change my name; and likewise I shall henceforth require an observance of such laws as hitherto ye bave not known; but marvel not, I AM THAT I AM. If ye will hearken unto the voice of my servant Moses ; if ye keep the commandments which he will give you, and obey the statutes which he shall ordain, then shall ye see what I will do for you-I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, unto a good and large land, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; and I will overthrow them that rise up against thee: yea my wrath shall consume them as stubble, for I am a man of war, and I have sworn it, saith the Lord."
This mode of proceeding would, as it appears to me, be well suited to the ends' which Moses had in view. It would feed the superstition of this deluded people; it would sharpen their groveling appetites, and call their dormant spirits into action, at the same time that it would silently and certainly establish his system, and lay the ground-work for his future project. A people thus circumstanced-holding the strongest faith in the tutelar governance of their God, absolutely believing him superior to every other God, and being assured that he had pledged himself to lead them to the highest sensual enjoyments
, that iheir delased minds could conceive--would necessarily be subject to strong sensations. The most lively anticipations would originate--the most ardent desires prevail-expectation would be on the tip-toe, and their migration, or flight, seeming to be a kind of earnest of what had been promised seeming to be one step towards those pleasures which they were looking at-they would, no doubt, ascribe it to the mighty workings of JeuoVAH, and exclaim," who is like unto Israel's God?"
Thus might a foundation be laid, on which, by means perfectly natural, by a succession of duplicity and fraud on the one hand, and ignorance and credulity on the other, might be reared the stupenduous fabric-Judaism and Christianity.
In forming an opinion of the probable causes and consequeirces of those events, which seem long to have bordered on the verge of oblivion, it is presumed we have the privilege of borrowing, from the imperfect narratives we possess, any thing which we deem of service to our tonjectures; and that without thereby seeming, tacitly, to admit of the absolute validity of these accounts. Under this idea I have taken as much from the sacred writings as I thought would suit my purpose ; and in which I conceived myself justified by the principle of free enquiry. Whether or not, by so doing, I have hit upon any thing like the exact circumstances of the case, I will not pretend to say: nor indeed is it of material consequence, since the most that I am at present aiming at is, to prove that the known course of nature may have been adequate to those effects, which others assert could not have been produced but by a divine revelation.
And now, Sir, having by the prefatory and other remarks, which I have thought it necessary to introduce, run my paper to rather an unusual length, I shall perhaps best consult my prudence, and your convenience, if I take my leave of you for a while : and promising to resume the subject in my next, I. shall, for the present, bid adieu, and subscribe myself,
Your's, &c. Stepney.
A. B. For the Freethinking Christians' Magazine.
“ In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies.” F all the obstacles that are opposed to the progress of
virtue, pride is the most dangerous and formidable. We shall not be astonished at its being so universal a passion, when we consider that it arises out of the natural situation of man; for as the human mind is ever more busily employed about its own feelings and pursuits, than about those of others, it must necessarily give preference to those ideas which make the strongest and most frequent impression : and it is this preference, when carried beyond the bounds of propriety, that constitutes pride. Pride, therefore, consists in giving an undue consequence to ourselves or to our opinions, the effects of which are fatal to the progress' of virtue. The first evil tendency which it has, is to bewilder the judgment, and to prevent a man from forming clear conceptions of things. Every man, in proportion as he is proud, imagines himself wiser and better than he really is ; this imagination is unquestionably a false one, but so long as his pride continues that will continue ; and
so long as his mind is overshadowed by such false ideas, it will be impossible for him to discriminate clearly between right and wrong. Hence the cause of our unwillingness to bear reproof, and to have our failings and foibles pointed out. We wish the world to think us faultless, and we even persuade ourselves that they do think so : and then we consider that the discovery of any fault would lessen' us in their estimation ; and so it would if men were fools enough to believe what we are foolish enough to wish them to believe: but the wish itself is ridiculously extravagant, and the supposition that men believe it is equally absurd.
Pride would have us be faultless without discovering our faults : she is always thrusting before us our perfections, but our failings are kept in the back ground; and while we magnify the former to a most enormous degree, the latter are dwindled to a mere speck. This unjust increase and diminution, together with the unpleasant sensations which we experience at the sight of reproof, are surely the effects of pride. There is no just reason why a man should be offended when his errors are detected; the road to perfection is through the correction of error, and that man will never advance far in it who does not frequently discover and correct his faults. Ra. ther than be angry, therefore, when our failings are noticed, we ought to be pleased; and so we should be, if pride did Bot interfere, and tell us that our false consequence is in danger. By this means we are blinded to all our defects--for when any one is kind enough to mention them to us, the mind is so busy in supporting her imaginary consequence, that the idea of defect is not once thought of; thus it is that pride bewilders and confuses our judgments, and the advantages which a wise man would gather from the admonition are to a proud one entirely, lost.
Another evil tendency of pride is, that instead of teaching us to command and regulate our passions, it tends to inflame them-the anger of a proud man is quickly kindled, because anger is nothing but offended pride ; but the man who has subdued his pride, is never seen to be angry; sometimes the proud man is too artful to be angry, lest it should degrade him, and he then reserves his spleen for the more direful passions of malice, envy, and revenge.
The man who suffers.pride to remain in his bosom can never be uniform in his conduct, because he cannot uniformly distinguish between right and wrong ; in cases where his pride is not concerned he will probably see clearly and act consistently; but the moment any thing affects it, perspicuity is banished, and he immediately becomes the pupil of his passion.
The most difficult pride of all to detect and subdue is the pride of virtue and of talent-when a man is proud of something which is not in itself amiable, or which he does not really possess, the world will frequently detect his error, and he himself in bis social intercourse will often do the same; but when a man is proud of something which all acknowledge him to be possessed of, and to be in itself amiable, who shall point out his failing then? If a man of acknowledged talent be proud of that talent, that is, if he over-rate its excellence, or if a man of superior virtue be proud of that virtue, who shall tell him of his defect, or rather who shall be competent to disa cover it? Will it not, with propriety, be urged, that he who is the most virtuous is the best judge of virtue ? Such men must rely on their own judgments for detection, unless they are fortunate enough to meet in friendship with men of equal virtue to themselves; they cannot however guard themselves too closely against being proud of their best qualities.
Pride frequently she ws itself under the disguise of self-defence, independence, indignation, &c. but we may always discover it in ourselves by looking at its object : the universal object of pride is fame; whenever therefore we discover the action to be praise or fame, we may be assured that pride is at the bot. tom of it; but it is not equally easy to discover it in others, for sometimes it is so nicely wrapt up in deception, that it will baffle the keenest discernment. The object, however, of pride being in all men the same, whenever we see a man giving most of his attention to those actions which procure the most fame, we may naturally conclude that pride stimulates him to perform them.
The best method of detecting and subduing pride in ourselves is to enter into a daily examination of the motives which have led us to action; and whenever we discover any that have had for their immediate object the praise of man, to mark them as the offsprings of pride, and as motives unworthy of their possessor ;--for although all good actions are in themselves praiseworthy, yet the man of virtue never performs them because they are so, but rather, because they are consokant with the eternal principles of justice and propriety. By: this means we shall acquire correct ideas of our proper object and station in life, and by habituating ourselves to the detection of error, we shall soon be sufficiently expert to arrest the evil motive before it is carried into action.
To be ever mindful of our entire dependence on the Univer. sal Parent of all will also materially assist us in removing pride from our dispositions. We cannot contemplate the excellence of so kind and generous a Parent, without feeling the humility of our situation ; neither can we come near so bright a light, without having some of his rays reflected on ourselves!
CURSORY REMARKS ON THE JEWISH REVELATION.
To the Editor of the Freethinking Christians' Magasine.
of controversy; and it is certainly a point on which much difference of opinion may reasonably be expected, considering that those dealings arose out of a state of things with which we are but imperfectly acquainted, and were modified by a number of existing circumstances which have never reached down to our own times.
The Jews, in their national capacity, are denominated the people of God-his people, as being governed by laws political as well as religious, appointed by him through the medium of Moses. A just estimate of the national character of the children of Israel remains perhaps yet to be made. Christians have too often extolled their virtues with unqualified praise, whilst on the other hand they have been the subjects of much wanton and indiscriminate abuse. In the Magazine for April, page 168, your Correspondent, “A Deist," designates the Jews as “a tribe of ignorant and hateful barbarians," and in this way contrasts them with their contemporaries, whom he styles the great and polished nations of the earth.”-Such language as this is calculated to convey a very exalted idea of the nations of antiquity, and no very favourable one of the Jewish ; but if we divest ourselves of the prejudice of system, if we attend to the voice of history instead of the rant of declamation, the matter may appear in a somewhat different light.
The crimes, the follies, and the bigotry of the Jews, have been amply detailed by their own historians ; nor have the overflowings of generous pity stifled the expression of virtuous censure and manly indignation. The lovers of the arts, men of taste and letters, have not failed to set forth in high-toned eloquence the learning, wisdom, and virtues of the ancients; but what is the history of these great and polished nations but a history of ignorance, a history of superstition, a history of moral turpitude ?
The excellence of the ancients in the arts and sciences is deservedly the subject of admiration, and must continue to be so as long as taste and genius shall exist; but whilst the imagination is lost in contemplating the stupendous labours of past ages-whilst the eye wanders amid the broken monuments of antiquity-and the fragments of dilapidated art, every thing conspires to declare low little of moral perfection or intellectual attainment belonged to the ancients. The specimens of architecture or of sculpture, which have survived the wreck