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THEOPHILUS and Pyrrho, who had spent so much time in conversing about the Reasonableness of the Christian Religion as delivered in the Scriptures, * continued the same friendly regards as formerly, and freely imparted their sentiments to each other, upon all subjects that occurred.

One evening they were talking over public affairs; and Theophilus was expatiating upon the insolence and boundless ambition of such tyrannical and aspiring monarchs, who can sacrifice the lives of thousands to their pride and vanity ; who care not how many are made widows or orphans; how much trade languishes; how much the course of law is stopped ; and how many towns and countries become a heap of desolation and ruin, especially where the seat of war happens to be; or how much all the liberal arts and sciences languish, amidst the sound of arms, and the hoarse voice of war.

* The reference here is to the author's work with this title, parts of which are in the form of a dialogue between two persons distinguished by the above fictitious names. This essay was written chiefly in reply to some popular objections, which had been advanced against that work.-ED.

Have such ambitious monarchs no bowels, no humanity, none of the tender sentiments, and kind affections? I hope the time approaches, when they shall receive a proper rebuke; and be disabled, at least for one generation, from molesting the surrounding nations, and disturbing the repose and tranquillity of Europe.

But Pyrrho stopped Theophilus, in the midst of his pathetic oration, and gave a turn to the conversation, by saying, he knew that moral and religious subjects were most agreeable to his friend Theophilus, that there was one interesting subject, on which he had touched in his Reasonableness of the Christian Religion, and in the Appendix; that what he had there said was entirely satisfactory to some, but that others either hesitated, or absolutely denied the truth of what he had asserted.

When Theophilus was going to inquire, what he referred to, Pyrrho said he had lately received a letter from a friend of his, who corresponded with him upon many occasions; that the letter was entirely upon the subject he now referred to; and that therefore he would read it, if Theophilus pleased.

Theophilus gratefully accepted of his offer ; upon which he read, as follows.

" Dear Sir, “When I have no news to impart, I collect what materials I can, of any other kind, to show how desirous I am to keep up a correspondence with you. An ingenious gentleman of my acquaintance, whom I will call Novatianus, was in company with the lady Aspasia, who was exclaiming bitterly against a certain preacher, whose historical name shall be Eusebius. For Eusebius had asserted something, in one of his sermons, which gave the lady great offence. Upon which she condemned him, with a warm zeal, and great fluency of speech; and declared, she would never hear him more as long as she lived.

This occasioned the following dialogue between her and my friend.

" Novatianus. What was it, madam, in Eusebius's sermon, which offended you so much?

Aspasia. He asserted that we are to believe nothing but what we can understand.

« Novatianus. Was that the thing which gave you so much offence ?

Aspasia. Yes, Sir, and enough too. I wonder how any body can venture to assert such a thing.

“So far the dialogue proceeded; and then they conversed, for an hour or two, about other matters; by which means this affair was quite forgot. Then Novatianus begged the favour of a pen and ink, and

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a small piece of paper; all which a servant readily brought him. Upon the paper he wrote down the following words in Greek, ο Θεός αγάπη εστίν. and then very gravely gave them to the lady, and desired her to read them. That revived the dialogue, which proceeded as follows. Aspasia, looking first upon the paper, and then looking earnestly, and with sur

, prise and confusion, in Novatianus's face, said, sir, I cannot read them. What do you mean by this ? It is not English, and they are strange letters to me. I cannot imagine what you design, by asking me to read what I know nothing about. Novatianus gravely said, do you believe them, madam ?

“How can I, answered Aspasia, with great quickness, unless I understand them?

“ Hold, madam, replied Novatianus, you may surely believe things, which you cannot understand.

Aspasia. That is impossible.

Novatianus. Then I find that you are, after all, of Eusebius's opinion, notwithstanding his sermon offended you so much.

“ This startled the lady, and caused her to say ; I profess, I believe I am wrong. The thing never appeared to me in this light before. I really begin to suspect that I was mistaken, and that Eusebius was in the right. I beg his pardon for condemning him before I had duly considered the reasonableness of what he said. But what is the meaning of these words? For I cannot so much as read thein.

“ Novatianus said, I will assure you, madam, they are the words of holy Scripture; and that according to the original. They contain a plain truth, and a very great and important truth. I would therefore have

you try once more whether you cannot believe them before you understand them. Aspasia was now impatient to have them explained ; and said to Novatianus, teaze me no longer. I freely acknowledge, that I was too rash and inconsiderate; and I am now fully convinced, that I cannot tell whether I believe what you propose to me, or not, till I understand what is meant thereby. Pray tell me, therefore, what the words signify; and keep me no longer in suspense. As soon as I understand them, I will then tell you frankly whether I believe them or not.

“Well then, said Novatianus, I will gratify you by telling you that you may find the passage, 1 John iv. 8. and the English of it is, God is love.

“That proposition, said Aspasia, I most readily and firmly believe; but I find that I could not believe it, till I understood it. I heartily beg Eusebius's pardon, and sincerely condemn my own folly and imprudence, in censuring what I ought to have applauded. I will promise you I will go and hear him again, and shall now have a better opinion of him than ever.

“The next time that Novatianus visited Aspasia, she continued of the same mind, and severely condemned herself, but applauded Eusebius, and thanked Novatianus for taking so kind and ingenious a

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