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OHRISTIAN BAPTIS,

PUBLISHED MONTHLY.

DITED BY

ALEXR. CAMPBELL

Style no man on earth your Father; for he alone is your father whis is in heaven; and all ye are brethren. Assume not the title of Rubbi; for you

have only one teacher. Neither assume the title of Leader; for you have only one leader—the Messiah."

Matt. xxiii. 8-10. Prove all things: hold fust that which is good.

Paul the Apostle. "What a glorious freedom of thought do the Apostles recommend! And how contemptible in their account is a blind and implicit faith!

May all Christians use this liberty of judging for themselves in matters "sof Religion, and allow it to one another, and to all mankind.

Benson.

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{No. 1. }

{ vol. VII.

BETHANY, BROOKE CO. VA.

MONDAY, AUG. 3, 1829.

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PREFACE TO TIIL 7th VOLUME OF THE CHRISTIAN

BAPTIST THIS is the fourth day of July, the clay on which this nation was born), and the day on which Thomas Jefferson and John Adams 'died. On this day I wrote the preface to the first volume of the Christian Baptist, and it is the day on which I write the preface to the seventh and last volume of this work. On this day the Materialists of the Old World. founded the city, and proclaimel the era, of Mental Independence. Like the French decree whici abolished the christian times and seasons, this new epoch of the line Inqurers is like to die before its own progenitors.

Every year, natural and political, teems with new and unexpected events. On the thirteenth of April last thre king of Great Britain signed the law of emancipation, which broke to pieces the Protestant yoke of proscription, so long fastened on the necks of the Catholic worshippers of the image of St. Peter; and on the same day Robert Owen, Esq. and myself commenced a discussion which we have some

reason to expect will emancipate some hundreds of the Free Thinkers from the chains of their own philosophic necessity. How absurd it is to claim the honors of free thinkers and free inquirers in a world wheye circumstances alone are free from human control, and where free agency and "free will” are aliens from the commonwealth of reason and philosophy, and exiles from the land of New Harmony and the city of free inquirers!

The weak heads and the strong heads are likely to become parties in the new war. The strong heads are on the side of the world, the Acsh, and the grave: while the weak heads are thinking about heaven, future bliss, and a glorious immortakty. The strong heads are pronouncing eulogies upon reason and common sense; while she weak heads are only following the former, and practising the latter. But this pen of mine is too soft in the point, and needs to be mendesi. We shall therefore apply it to the kife, as the philosopher would say; or, as the man of common sense, we shall apply the knife to it.

I have sharpened my pen; but u hile it is so well pointed I must not touch the Free Inquirers. Sharp instruments are for hard substances, and therefore we shall proceed to the word rights. This word, physically, politically, and morally considered, has had many a sermon preached on it. Some argue that a man has a right to be born black-another has a right to be born white., One has a right to be a nobleman without a noble sentiment, a noble idea, or a noble action. Another contends that he has a right to get drunk when he pleases; and some aver that any class of citizens has a right to go to perdition just in whativer way they please, either under the decent garb of hypocrisy, or in the rough homespun of profanity and vice.

it would be endless to enumerate all the various sorts of the rights of men, for which there are many pleaders; or to show by wh:

sophisms men wish to make their own interests nchurai and unalienable rights, and to vindicate with sword and faggot that every thing is right which gives them advantage over others. The Pope has a right to the keys the King, to the crown-the Bishop, to his tithes and the Free Inquirer to have no wife, or two, or three, as he pleases. Liberty, too, (what a sweet word!)has her different sects of worshippers and admirers. The King has liberty to sway the sceptre; the High Priest liberty to wear the mitre; the Sceptic liberty to laugh at superstition, and to pity the weak heads; and the Free Inquirer has a liberty to repudiate his wife after the honey moon. But it is right that I should keep to the rights of man, as I have proposed to w car out one pen upon them; and it is wrong that I should indulge in this liberty of roaming from theme to theme, as my fancy wanders over the wide fields of speculation.

By glancing at the natural rights of men, I may, perchance, hit upon some of the natural rights of ehristians.

Whatever the natural rights of men are, they belong to all mennaturally; consequently the natural rights of men are cqual rights." For whatever belongs to all men naturally, must equally belong to all. To give to others what belongs to then, is a duty we owe them to withhold from them what belongs to them, is a sin. There cani be no favor, donation, or gift, in conferring natural rights upon others; for natural rights cannot be conferred; they belong to man merely because he exists. Now if it be duty to give to others what belongs to them, it is our duty not to invade the rights of others, but to protect and guarantee them,

Whatever a man has received from his Creator it is right for him to preserve. He owes it to Heaven and himself. He is bound by the relation in which he stands to the donor, and by the laws of his own constitution to preserve it. And, in the second place, whatever a man has acquired by the consent of the society in which he lives, he has a right to possess and maintain. The former is the principle or basis of natural rights; the latter is the principle or basis of political rights. The former are invariably the same; the latter vary accord-. ing to circumstances. Man has received certain animal and intellectual endowments. These he has an underived right, as rexpects buman society, to possess and retain. To preserve life, to pursue happiness, or to seek food and entertainment for mind and body, is the right and the duty of all men.

Dependance is the lot of the infant man. The new-born infant is necessarily dependant on its parent for support and protection. From dependance naturally arises obligation. Hence gratitude and obedience, or subjection, originate from our circumstances and from nature. Children are not naturally free. They are, and must be, under l'estraint. This restraint must continue while necessary. The period of its continuance is called minority. Minors are not to decide when this period terminates. This is a question for fathers and seniors to determine. Whenever this restraint is taken off, then liberty of action becomes the right of all who are released. All persons, then, who are of full age, are equally free. Of these we say that liberty is a natural, inherent, and unalienable right. To preserve life, to form

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