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This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum
Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars
Thou knew'st by name, and all th' ethereal pow'rs,
All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works,
Or works of God in heav'n, air, earth, or 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 shalt possess
A Paradise within thee, happier far.

Thus you find all that is great, or wise, or splendid, or illustrious, 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 clashing opinions, yet joining as it were in one sublime chorus, to celebrate the truths of Christianity, and laying upon its holy altars the neverfading offerings of their immortal wisdom.

Against all this concurring testimony, we find suddenly, 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 up?-Let us all but read and practise it; and lies, obscenity, cruelty and injustice, and all human wickedness, will be banished from the world!

Gentlemen, there is but one consideration more, which I cannot possibly omit, because I confess it affects me very deeply. The author of this book has written largely on public liberty and government; and this last performance, which I am now prosecuting, has, on that account, been more widely circulated, and principally among those who attached themselves from principle to his former works. This circumstance renders a public attack upon all revealed religion from such a writer infinitely more dangerous. The religious 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 the mass of the people were debauched from the principles of religion,-the true basis of that humanity, charity, and benevolence, which have been so long the national characteristic instead of mixing myself, as I sometimes have done, in political reformations,-I would retire to the uttermost corners of the earth, to avoid their agitation; and would bear, not only the imperfections and abuses complained of in our own wise establishment, but even the worst government that ever existed in the world, rather than go to the work of reformation with a multitude set free from all the charities of Christianity, who had no other sense of God's existence, than was to be collected from Mr. Paine's observation of nature, which the mass of mankind have no leisure to contemplate;-which promises .no future rewards, to animate the good in

the glorious pursuit of human happiness, nor pur nishments to deter the wicked from destroying it even in its birth. The people of England are a religious people, and, with the blessing of God, so far as it is in my power, I will lend my aid to keep them so.

I have no objections to the most extended and free discussions upon doctrinal points of the Christian religion; and though the law of England does not permit it, I do not dread the reasonings of Deists against the existence of Christianity itself, because, as was said by its divine Author, if it be of God it will stand. An intellectual book, however erroneous, addressed to the intellectual world upon so profound and complicated a subject, can never work the mischief which this Indictment is calculated to repress. Such works will only incite the minds of men enlightened by study, to a deeper investigation of a subject well worthy of their deepest and continued contemplation. The powers of the mind are given for human improvement in the progress of human existence. The changes produced by such reciprocations of lights and intelligences are certain in their progressions, and make their way imperceptibly, by the final and irresistible power of truth. If Christianity be founded in falschood, let us become Deists in this manner, and I am contented. this book has no such object, and no such capacity : -it presents no arguments to the wise and enlightened. On the contrary, it treats the faith and opi

But

nions 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 Christianity have the lost and subverted liberties of mankind in former ages been re-asserted?

-By what zeal, but the warm zeal of devout Christians, have English liberties been redeemed and consecrated?-Under what other sanctions, even in our own days, have liberty and happiness been spreading to the uttermost corners of the earth ?What work of civilization, what commonwealth of greatness, has this bald 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, under the Christian dispensation, the great career of the world has been slowly, but clearly advancing,-lighter at every step, from the encouraging 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 fulfilling the purposes of our existence. You, I trust, will fulfil YOURS this day.

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