Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

a

Pyrrho could not imagine what the other bad consequence of implicit faith could be; for Theophilus had already named more than had occurred to him, before the mention of them. But Theophilus put him out of his pain, and said that he had a tender concern for the wellmeaning part of Pyrrho's old friends, though he abhorred their principles.

What friends of mine do you mean, said Pyrrho, with some eagerness, for I do not yet understand you ? Theophilus let him know, that he designed those gentlemen, who are inclined to infidelity; and that, as to all those who are men of integrity and good morals, he should be sorry to do anything to lead them to infidelity, or to establish them therein ; and that he could not but think, that to contend for believing what we cannot understand, was the way to tempt thinking men to infidelity. Not that the Bible itself pleads for such a faith, but the ridiculous notions, and groundless opinions and arguments of some Jews and Christians have furnished those, who have wrote against revelation, with their most formidable objections.

It is a pity, indeed, that such persons have not looked further, and examined the Scriptures themselves. But, on the other hand, the friends of revelation should be very careful not to lay stumbling blocks in the way of those, who are perhaps but too ready to be pleased, when they can find any advantage against their adversaries. However, if all the friends of revelation had been of my sentiments, and as frankly declared their minds, neither Dr Tyndal, nor any of his brethren, could have flourished and triumphed on this head, as they have done.

Pyrrho thanked his friend for the pains he had taken in his behalf, and said, that by parting with what cannot be defended, and separating the chaff from the pure wheat, the friends of truth would be best able to satisfy their own minds, and to give the most thorough and lasting satisfaction unto all other attentive and well

minded persons.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

THOMAS EMLYN.

Among the victims of religious persecution, few have been more conspicuous, or suffered with a purer or nobler mind, than the subject of the present memoir. His case is the more remarkable as belonging to a period, when the ignorance of barbarous times had retired before the opening day of truth and rational investigation, and as occurring in a country, where the protestant principles had already been made the foundation of the national church, and where it was the boast of the laws, that they protected the innocent, and secured the rights of conscience. An instance of persecution, even under circumstances like these, needs not be cited, it is true, to prove that fanaticism and bigotry heed not the voice of law, and are deaf to the eloquence of justice and reason; the history of the church is black with the records of this fact, so dishonourable to the christian name and character ; yet there were incidents attending Mr Emlyn's case, which distinguished it from almost every other, and which, at the same time they illustrate the mischievous tendency of perverted sentiment and

« ForrigeFortsæt »