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to believe that your superior intellect enables you to see farther and deeper and higher than all the christian world, and that you know to be false what they receive as divine truth. When you can feel and resolve thus, and not till then, will your mind be in a fit state to examine on what evidence the christian faith rests."
George made no reply to these remarks, and his mother after a short silence added_" We will dismiss this subject now, for I find there is too much excitement in the prospect, to allow the mind to dwell on anything else."
George did not feel satisfied with the turn the conversation had taken ; nor with the situation in which it left him. He was somewhat tired of the subject, which his mother perceived, and on that account had changed it for a lighter one; still he did not like to leave the argument resting in this manner. He was not easy in his new predicament, but he saw no ready way to extricate him-. self, and therefore acquiesced in his mother's proposal of suspending the conversation. They soon arrived at Nahant, where they found a numerous company, and a new and livelier train of thought took possession of his mind.
When his mother after dinner retired to her chainber to refresh herself by a little sleep, George rambled out alone among the rocks, and indulged his disposition to
He tried to comply with his mother's request, and to discover the advantages that would result to him if he could be convinced that the christian religion was founded in truth. But this was a new subject of investigation; he had never thought upon it, and was quite unprepared to look deeply and thoroughly into it. His reasonings and his facts had been altogether in another path. To meet the arguments of those who defend the system,
and to oppose to them, all he had been able to collect, or could himself suggest, had been his aim and his habit; and any other mode of examining the subject, he had not attempted. At one time he resolved, that he would modestly acknowledge to his mother bis inability to comply with her wishes, and request her aid in pointing out the benefit, in our temporal state, of a belief in Christianity; but his pride revolted at such an idea, and he at length determined he would take longer time to consider the subject and say nothing more respecting it at present.
In this state of mind, after tea, he brought the chaise to the door and handed his mother into it. She had no intention of alluding again to religion. If she excelled in any talent, it was in watching nicely the state of feel. ing of those with whom she associated; and in a delicate tact, that enabled her to adapt her treatment to the ever changing and complicated tone of their spirits, and the degree of light, at the moment beaming on their understandings. The conversation during their ride home was various and pleasant. Mrs Henderson manifested her usual affectionate attentions to her son ; entertained him with anecdotes of her early days, a theme always delightful to the young ; encouraged him by acknowledging and approving his good qualities ; listened with complacency to his gay and juvenile remarks, and repressing the disposition, often so strong in maternal bosoms, to reprove and give advice, she strove to render the excursion so pleasing as to leave on his feelings a happy impression.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
A DIALOGUE ON PROVIDENCE, FAITH AND PRAYER.
PRINTED FOR THE
American Unitarian Association.
Price 4 Cents.
It is hoped that the writer's object in the series of dialogues, of which this is one, will not be misunderstood. To bring forward the Evidences of Christianity was not a part of the main design. It has been observed, that few persons whose minds are poisoned by deistical views, are so happy as to meet with individuals or books, who candidly examine into the state of their feelings, or urge on them the importance of doing it themselves. The peculiar circumstances in which they were placed in early life, the false notions combined with their first instructions in Christianity, the imperfect preparation of their hearts, the influence of deistical companions, while they were ignorant of the grounds of true Christian faith, and many other particulars are overlooked or disregarded ; and prejudices are confirmed and feelings irritated, by contemptuous expressions and positive contradictions, and by denying to such persons, solely on the ground of their religious opinions, any claim to esteem or respect. To mark out a line of conduct that might, with more justice and with greater prospect of success, be adopted by those, who are so unfortunate as to have deistical friends or acquaintances, is the simple and humble object of these dialogues.
George HENDERSON had an affectionate disposition; on which the system of deism embraced by him had not yet produced its benumbing and selfish effects. Yet he could not at once yield himself up to the train of thought proposed by his mother. She had desired him to look deeply into his own heart, and to examine, both in regard to himself and to mankind at large, how a faith in the christian religion might be expected to affect temporal happiness. She was indeed aware that his mind was not properly prepared for this investigation, either by a sufficient collection of facts, or by a just method of viewing those he possessed; but she wished him to discover his own ignorance and inability, before she offered to assist him. She was not anxious to produce a sudden change in his views; for she thought it much better to wait the gradual unfolding of his own thoughts and feelings. As le paced up and down the Mall at the soft twilight hour soon after his ride to Nahant, he resumed the subject and endeavored to comply with his mother's request. But pride, prejudice, and ignorance still combined to stimulate him to maintain his chosen systein. “ What need have I,” he said, mentally, "of a belief in