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| D E F E N C E, &c.
YOUR long-expected performance has at
* A Scotch physician, who styles himself Michael Servetus.
to offer my incense at the shrine of merit. But the tendency of your performance is to deny the Divinity of Christ, and the immortality of the souł. In denying the first, you fap the foundations of religion ; you cut off, at one blow, the merit of our faith, the comfort of our hope, and the motives of our charity. In denying the imniortality of the foul, you degrade human natúre, and confound man with the vile and perifhable insect. In denying both, you overturn the whole system of religion, whether natural or revealed. And in denying religion, you deprive the poor of the only comfort which supports them under their distresses and afflictions; you wrest from the hands of the powerful and richi, the only bridle to their in- , justices and paflions; and pluck from the hearts of the guilty, the greatest check to their crimes,
I mean, this remorse of conscience, which; can never be the result of a handful of organized matter,--this interior monitor which makes us blush, in the morning, at the diforders of the foregoing night!-which erects in , the breaff of the tyrant, a tribunal superior to
his power,--and whose importunate voice up> braids a Cain, in the wilderness, with the mur
der of his brother,--and a Nero, in his palace, with that of his mother. Such the consequences naturally resulting from the principles laid down in your writings.
It is no intention of mine to faften the odium . of wilful infidelity on any person, who professes his belief of the scriptures ; though I am equally concerned and surprized that a gentleman, whose understanding has been enlightened by the Christian revelation, and enlarged by all the aids of human learning, should broach tenets, which equally militate against the first principles of reason, and the oracles of the Divinity, and which if true would be of no service to mankind. Whoever is so unhappy as to work himself into a conviction, that his soul is no more than a subtile vapour, which in death is to be breathed out into the air, to mix confusedly with its kindred element, and there to perish, would still do well to conceal his horrid belief with more secrecy than the Druids concealed their mysteries. In doing otherwise he only brings disgrace on himself; for the notion of religion is so deeply impressed on our minds, that the bold champions who would fajn destroy it, are considered by the generality of mankind, as public pests, spreading disorder and mortality wherever they appear; and in our feelings we discover the delusions of a cheating Philofophy, which can never introduce a religion more pure than that of the Chriftians, nor confer a more glorious privilege on man, than that of an immortal soul. In a word, if it be a crime