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the realms of its jurisdiction.” Without thority, human or divine, does it rest? And I attempting to adduce the shadow of an ar- answer, UPON NONE WHATEVER ! Where is gument against this impregnable position, it written, in any divine or human law ? NoARGUS exclaims, that he has discovered in WHERE! Then let it sink into well-merited it “ the cloven foot;" and of course the well- contempt! Not another word is necessary, known owner of that foot-also, lurking to annihilate it. under its dangerous principle! and, he Meantime, I ask, Does Christianity imthen asks, “ Is this Protestantism? Is this pose no moral obligations upon its disciples, Christianity?" I reply, I am sure it is sound and votaries, for its protection and preservaChristianity, and, therefore, it ought to be tion ? And is there no power upon earth stanch Protestantism,
competent to take cognizance of, and resist Horror-struck, like the witch of Endor, the violation of its precepts ? Must the God with the spectre which his own fears have of Christianity be blasphemed and insulted ; conjured up, Argus cries out, “What, sir! his laws trampled under foot, and his worshall we acknowledge that the civil power ship suppressed, for the establishment of has a right to tolerate or proscribe, in matters idolatry in its stead? and all this in a of conscience ?" And then he flies to Mr. christian country? (for christian counLocke for protection, who asks, “ What tries there are, and shall be, in the world, to power can be granted to the magistrate for the end of time, though opposed by arguthe suppression of a false religion, which ments ten thousand times stronger than those may not, in time and place, be applied to adduced by Argus !) And must the gothe subversion of truth itself?'' If it were vernment of that country not dare to move possible that Mr. Locke could have been a finger in the suppression of these enormiincapable of answering this question, I shall ties, and for the vindication of its own reanswer it for both bim, and his zealous mo. ligious truths ? Preposterous absurdity! dern disciple: and I say, Let the magistrate Advocacy of infidelity! Such licentious be authorized to support and protect the doctrines should be for ever scouted from RELIGION OF THE BIBLE, and that only, the face of the earth, as opening the very and he can never abuse that power to the floodgates of blasphemy and impiety ! subversion of the truth! And it is equally Are not magistrates expressly constituted certain, on the other hand, that no man can the guardians of the moral "interests of the have any right, on a plea of what he calls nations over which the providence of God “conscience,” to introduce an antichristian has called them to preside, in Romans establishment into a christian country. xiii. 1—5.?—And are they not there armed Where, I ask, could he obtain such right? Is with the sword of justice, and declared to it from the God of nature ? Nay, the God be God's ministers, yea, revengers, to exeof nature is the author of Christianity, and cute his wrath upon him that doeth evil? he has commanded its universal adoption; And are not all men there required to obey and he can give no man a right to transgress them, for conscience sake, and upon pain of his own commandments. Is it from the damnation for disobedience ?' And has laws of the country? Then those laws are Argus the temerity to assert that these themselves antichristian, and, as such, can commands of the Holy Ghost convey no have no moral obligation for their support. authority to christian magistrates, to enThe Bible, sir, is the only authorized force christian precepts ? and lay no obli
. guide of any man's conscience, and the gation on their subjects to obey them? Can conscience that opposes its authority can any man, in his right mind, suppose, that have no legitimate claim upon protection the jealous God of Christianity would deleor respect, either from God, or from any gate such ample powers to christian magischristian government upon earth. It is at trates, without any reference to the purity war with both God and his church.
of his own worship, the first of all moral I now beg leave, once for all, to silence and religious duties? or the preservation the formidable battery of my opponent, .of the precepts which he hath himself above quoted. Its first principle is, that issued for the government of the world ? the civil magistrate should have no coercive Does Argus dare to charge the Almighty authority in matters of religion, either for with such imbecility and folly as this the suppression of heresy, or the mainte- absurd theory nust presuppose ? nance of truth.” Here, sir, is a grand fun- does, I hope he stands alone in the awful damental principle in polito-theology, laid responsibility be thereby incurs ! down ex officio for the government and di- But, sir, if these principles be absurd in rection of the whole christian world, by theory, they are absolutely horrific in their an anonymous and self-constituted dictator. practical results. See these illustrated in I ask, therefore, upon what legitimate au. the worship of Juggernaut, and in the self
of the country.
torture and self-immolation of thousands of their natural results. I have now exemhuman victims, annually sacrificed at the plified the practical issue of his system of shrines of idolatry in British India. Ac- non-interference with what he calls “liberty cording to the exquisite doctrines of Argus, of conscience,” illustrated by incontrothese horrible superstitions should be held vertible matters of fact; and I have proved as sacred by the British christian governors it to be naturally productive of the most of that peninsula, as the most hallowed awful and disastrous consequences to the institutions of our own holy religion, be. interests of religion, and the welfare of cause, forsooth, they are the offspring of mankind. If Argus was ignorant of those the purblind consciences and depraved consequences when he wrote, he is inexhearts of their wretched votaries. And it cusable in assuming so dictatorial a style would be a sacrilegious violation of their of argument as he has adopted, while exprecious “liberty of conscience,” to put a posed to the possibility of being in error. stop to them! Do not the united voices of If he was aware of them, and yet conCharity, Wisdom, Philanthropy and Piety, cealed them for the purpose of strengthin this instance, imperatively demand the ening his own argument, bis insincerity "coercive" interference of the British go- reflects disgrace upon his integrity : and in verament, to suppress those diabolical either case he is proved to be unfit for the rites ?–Most certainly they do; por could oifice he appears to have assumed, namely, " the secular power,” with which the pro- that of giving polito-theological principles to vidence of God hath armed that govern- the British nation, if not to the whole world. ment in India, be employed in any thing If it be said that the case I have alluded more pleasing to Him, or more advan- to is an extraordinary one, and therefore tageous to the moral and religious interests improperly urged against a general prin.
ciple ; I answer, the very possibility of the Indeed, sir, as all political power is existence of such a case is sufficient to con. expressly said, (Rom. xiii. 1.) to be of demn the system under which it is perGod, that is, derived from him, and as mitted to operate : for it proves it to be the interests of true religion are both the fundamentally wrong, and totally inadeprimary and ultimate objects of all the quate to answer its intended purposes : providential arrangements of this world; so whereas, that which I advocate is not the secular government which does not use only incapable of any such results, but is its power in a co-operative direction with the proper, the legitimate, and the divinely those objects, is not answering the end de- authorized palladium, for both the cure signed by God in its institution; and, con- and the prevention of such atrocious enorsequently, is much more likely to inherit mities; namely, to require the civil magishis curse than his blessing. But, according trate to aid the ecclesiastical insiitutions to the reasoning of Argus, this whole na- of the realm in protecting the religion of tion might become idolatrous, the churches the Bible. be all turned into heathen temples or I believe, sir, the first pillar of ARGUS's Turkish mosques, Juggernaut himself im- fabric is now completely demolished; and ported from Hindostan, his statue erected bis second, equally fragile, antiscriptural, in every market-town in England, and and fallacious, is soon likely to share the thousands of victims annually sacrificed at fate of its fallen predecessor. It runs thus : his shrine; while those persons, whom " Religion being purely a matter of individual " the only true God” hath invested with and moral responsibility, cannot be adopted all the legitimate power in the nation, and by a nation, as a sovereign, a form of who are emphatically styled “the minis- government, or a code of laws, may be. ters of that God, for good to the nation, National religion of such a kind is a mere (Rom. xiii, 4.) must be tame and idle worldly contrivance, and has contributed spectators of all this “abomination of de- more than any thing else to the corruption solation,” without daring to move a finger and dishonour of religion.” The fallacy for its suppression—because such inter- of these assertions is self-evident to every ference would be an arbitrary and tyran- candid mind which bestows a moment's nical encroachment upon the “liberty of reflection upon them. The very first posconscience" of the nation!!!”
tulate strikes at the root of all religious I might here, sir, with great advantage, associations; and, if true, would totally retort the sarcastic sneer of your corre- demolish all those divinely authorized spondent, in the shape of a contemptuous institutions described in the New Testament apology for my supposed delinquency, in as ecclesiastical, yea, and episcopal also, advocating dangerous principles, upon the which were enjoined on the primitive score of inadvertency and ignorance of Christians, as essential parts of their reli
gion; and for the establishment and regu- But why not? Is a nation, either physically, lation of which, both the Son of God and morally, or intellectually, incapable of sethe Holy Spirit made so ample and so lecting its own God, of embracing his word special a provision.
as the guide of its faith and practice, and The evident and direct tendency of this instituting and supporting a ministry for the postulate is totally to unchurch Christianity, extension and preservation of its religion ? and to excommunicate it from all religious Do not both Judaism and Christianity, yea, association, and thus to annihilate the “ and even Popery itself, plainly contradict this munion of saints” upon earth! It goes to equally groundless assertion?
Most cerundermine the very existence of a public tainly they do! Must such an adoption, for ministry, as well as to destroy all minis- instance, of genuine “ Bible Christianity," terial authority and responsibility; and, necessarily be “a mere worldly contriconsequently, all church government, in the vance,” and “contribute more than" even world. Let any man of common sense the grossest impiety aad blasphemy, “ to and common honesty, compare those de. the corruption and dishonour of religion?" structive, infidel-tending principles, laid Perhaps the fault lies in Christianity itdown by your correspondent, with the self! Is it incapable of infusing its benign fourth chapter of St. Paul's epistle to the influence into the minds of kings and states. Ephesians, and especially with verses men? Can it not stem the torrent of political 11, 12, 13, “ And he gave some apostles; corruption ? And must it, in every such inand some, prophets; and some, evangelists; stance, in spite of the omnipotence and hoand some, pastors and teachers; for the liness of its divine Author, yield the palm perfecting of the saints, for the work of the of victory to the prince of darkness? If ministry, for the edifying of the body of so, then it is incapable of evangelizing the Christ; till we all come in the UNITY of world, and totally inadequate to the purthe faith, and of the knowledge of the Son poses for which its infinitely wise and graof God, unto a perfect man,” &c.--And cious founder designed it! If neither of again, “Obey them which have the rule these causes operates to prevent the adopover you, and submit yourselves : for they tion of Christianity as a "national religion," watch for your souls, as they that must the impossibility of such an event ever give account ; that they may do it with taking place, must be ascribed to the decree joy, and not with grief, for that is unprofit. of your correspondent Argus, which has fitable for you,” (Hebrews xiii. 17.) And prohibited the experiment from ever again finally, God saith to Ezek.ch. xxxiii. ver. 8: being attempted! And yet this man talks “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked about “Christianity containing within itself man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not a principle of dissemination, whose power speak to warn the wicked from his way, that is co-extensive with human necessity!!!" wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his Is there then, I ask, no “ human necesblood will I require at thine hand." I say, let sity” for the conversion of kings and statesany man compare those scriptural declara- men to the truth and power of genuine tions of corporate association and minis- Christianity? And must “ the kingdoms of terial responsibility, with Argus's assertion, this world” never “ become the kingdoms that “religion is purely a matter of individual of our God, and of his Christ ?” How inand moral responsibility,” and its dangerous consistent is such reasoning, if I may honour fallacy will at once appear. In fact, sir, it with that name! if this postulate were true, there would be As if ambitious to reach the climax of an end at once to the whole system of absurdity, your correspondent boasts that Christianity as a social compact; and if any he has “ laid down," (ex officio, solus, et pastors existed, being equally destitute of per se, of course, for I see no other authoauthority and responsibility, they would be- rity,) “ that even in a nation wherein the come the natural subjects of ridicule and utmost freedom of representation subsists, contempt. Sir, the king of Nineveh, heathen the people have no right to tax themselves as he was, could have taught your corre- for the support of a national religion; nor spondent a better lesson, and have shewn has the government, as the delegates of that him that a public act of religion, enjoined nation, any right to employ its powers for by the authority, and enforced by the com- the support of that religion.” Sir, it would mand of even the secular government, ap- be waste of my time, and of your columns, peased the wrath of God, and secured that to attempt a refutation of such self-evident whole city from destruction.
absurdity. “ But,” says Argus,“ religion cannot be Your correspondent compares such a adopted by a nation, as a sovereign, a form provision for religion to human slavery; of government, or a code of laws may be.” and says that “ both are subversive of the christian law of reciprocal justice and the actual encouragement, of these vipers mercy;" and that “the principle of the one of “the carval mind, which is enmity against is equally forbidden by Christianity with God, and which cannot be subject to his that of the other;" and that “the one robs a law,” that your correspondent appears inman of that personal freedom, the other of advertently to cherish, under the specious, that religious liberty, which are the inalien- but insidious character, of "the most unable right of humanity.” Sir, I am not fettered religious freedom. This expression about to advocate the cause of man-stealing, alone, sir, (to retort his own phraseology,) but I well know, that it was God himself fully exhibits the genuine “cloven-foot” of who doomed the posterity of Ham and his cause. The principle is antinomian in Canaan to the degradation of slavery (see the highest degree, and rejective of all reGen. ix. 25, and Dr. A. Clarke's commen- straint, as well as of all counsel and directary thereon); and I also know, that Onesi- tion, from both God and man. It is the mus was the slave of Philemon, and that, very flood-gate of infidelity, the sluice of when he ran away from his master, St. spiritual rebellion, and the precise principle Paul met with, and sent him back to his which drove the fallen angels out of heaven, master, converted to Christianity, but with- and Adam and Eve out of paradise ! out the slightest intimation that Philemon In perfect conformity with this rebellious had violated any principle of Christianity principle, your correspondent avows his by being the master or owner of a slave. conviction that the renunciation of the But be that as it may, it is palpably ridi- degrading yoke of national Christianity by culous to say, that for a free nation to tax the British empire, would “tend, more than itself, by its representatives, for the support any thing else, to give her a vast elevation of its adopted religion, is to rob itself of above the rank of heathenism, and confer its religious liberty'; on the contrary, it is upon her the true dignity of religious prinone of the noblest instances that can possibly ciple !!!" Does this theologian not know, exist, of the perfection of that liberty. that the moment a nation renounces Chris
To conclude-for this controversy has far tianity,it instantaneously sinks into heathenish exceeded all the limits I had originally infidelity? Was not this fact proved, beyond contemplated of its extent-Argus finally the possibility of contradiction, by the asserts, that “Mr. Tucker's principle reduces French revolution of 1789 and 1790? And him to this dilemma: either a government does Argus now wish to see it confirmed must subsidize every system of religion, by the woeful experience of England ? So whether Christian, Mahometan, or Pagan, it appears, sir ! professed within its jurisdiction; or it must In support of this hopeful and patriotic support, and even tolerate, only such as project, Argus asks, “ if Christianity forbid happen to be approved by itself: in the all compulsory measures for supporting its one case rendering the civil power ridicu- institutions, how can a nation possibly be lous, and subservient to the propagation of degraded by acting fully up to the prinerror and falsehood as well as truth; in the ciples of the religion it professes ?". The other, making it the engine of intolerance fallacy of this delusive proposition lies in and oppression, as it would be altogether a the hypothetical assumption if; and in the pure ent, depending on the caprice of sophistical conclusion founded upon it. But the ruler, whether the true religion or the where does Christianity forbid those mea. false one should be patronized or pro- sures? Nowhere--but quite the reverse ! scribed.”—p. 561.
By compulsory, your correspondent must This, sir, is another instance of your here mean what is mandatory, obligatory, correspondent's misrepresentation of my and punitive, for all other mental compulprinciples. I am reduced to no such di. sion is out of the question.* And
my lemma, as to suppose that the advocacy and protection of the religion of the bible
. As the phrase liberty of conscience," so also involves either the patronage of paganism, the word "compulsory," in this discussion, requires or the propagation of error and falsehood,
some definitive explanation :--Compulsion is always
opposed to the will of the person against whom its or the exercise of unjust intolerance and force is directed; yet it may often be for his benefit oppression. There is, indeed, a species of to endure it. It is of three kinds, viz. physical, intolerance which the bible inculcates, and
intellectual, and moral : the first is effected by force,
the second by conviction, and the third by persua. in which all its faithful advocates must par- sion. The first is the popish method of gaining ticipate, or else betray the important trust
converts to its delusions; the second and third are
those adopted by the Spirit of God, and the true reposed in them; viz. it is eternally into- ministers of Christianity, for the promotion of lerant of infidelity and corruption, in all genuine religion. There is no possibility of infusing professedly religious institutions. But, I physical coercion into the belief of any given truth,
or the practice of genuine piety. Conclusive eviam sorry to say, it is the toleration, if not dence may compel a man to believe a demonstrated 2D. SERIES, NO. 18.--VOL. II.
turn I ask, “ Is Christianity really destitute a power, the very essence of whose constiof all such means of support ? and has it tution is, spiritual tyranny and religious ever been so ? from whence then came the despotism, of the very worst character; and apostolical authority for punishing with which has ever been exerted for the preserdeath, blindness, and delivery to Satan, vation of the most intolerant and superthe violators of both its moral and religious stitious heresies ; and a power which, precepts, and its economical institutions, acknowledging no superior power upon and the contempt of its authority? And earth, has ever claimed the political, as what means the following promise made by well as religious, subjugation of the whole the great Head of all the institutions of world to its despotic sway; and a power Christianity ? ' And he that overcometh, and which has ever infused into its own political keepeth my works unto the end, to him will institutions, both the spirit and the practice of I give power over the nations : And he shall that arbitrary, dictatorial, and tyrannical rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels character, which marks it as the destructive of a potter, shall they be broken to shivers; adversary of both piety and humanity, in even as I received of my Father,' (Rev. ii. every age and country where its direful 26, 27.) Is there nothing compulsory' in influence has prevailed. Sir, I would desire these divinely-authorized acts of judicial no greater proof of the infatuation of that vindication of Christianity ?"
man's mind, who, professing to be a friend With these observations, sir, I take my to “civil and religious freedom,” ranks the leave of the spiritual and ecclesiastical investment of popery with political power, portion of your anonymous correspondent's among the means of securing those inessay; and now beg leave, as he has, in its estimable blessings. conclusion, glanced, with apparent satis- Your correspondent says,
“ He who faction, at the admission of Papists into would exclude another from the fullest political power within these realms, to say rights of citizenship, on account of his reone word or two in reply to that sentiment, ligious belief, must be unacquainted with, and I shall then bring this long letter to a or inimical to, the true basis of civil liberty." close.
To this strange misrepresentation of the He calls it “the triumph of civil and case, I am unwilling to give an appropriate religious freedom, in the settlement of the
It is not, sir, as your correspondent Catholic question.”. Is then that question ought to know, for the mere holding of settled ? Far, very far, from it! so far from heretical and destructive dogmata of theoit, that the concessions already made to the logy, however atrocious these may be; but votaries of popish, superstition, have only it is because the principles of popery place inflamed the agitation of the question to a its deluded votaries beyond the reach of tenfold degree! The consequences of those any moral obligation to support the inconcessions are only just beginning to de- terests of a protestant establishment or velop themselves; and they will most pro- government; and, because those principles bably advance, through their natural channels contain the stamina of inveterate and inof civil war, rebellion, and massacre, to terminable hostility to protestantism; it is their legitimate end, viz. the total subversion for these causes that I say, and every true of the Protestant establishments, both in protestant ought also to say, that no papist church and state, in these realms.
should be entrusted with political power in The human mind, Sir, cannot well con- these realms. For, sir, in spite of all soceive a more absurd anomaly in principle, phistical evasions of the fact, it remains an than is involved in the assertion of “a impregnable truth, that no papist can be triumph gained to civil and religious free- true to his principles, or conscientiously dom,” by investing with political influence support his character as such, who would
not, when brought to a crisis, violate every fact or statement; and Divine authority may, by its moral influence, persuade a man to do what is
other obligation, and sacrifice every other agreeable to the will of God; and by operating upon interest, and use all his political power for his fears, his hopes, or his affections, enforce, by a the benefit and extension of his own church, kind of spiritual compulsion, obedience to the Divine commandments. The man then says, with
and its pernicious doctrines. A papist, his resigned Saviour, “Not my will, but thine be therefore, can support a protestant church
Hence it is certain, that no physical compulsion can ever enforce either the belief or the
or state, only in so far as he is a traitor to practice of true religion ; but it may and ought to his own principles !* restrain the open and flagrant violation of the precepts of true religion, both for the honour of God and the benefit of society. As religion is in its • While the popish clergy retain the power of nature mandatory and obligatory upon man, so absolving their subjects from the sacred obligation both divine and human authority may be lawfully of an oath, and, especially, from one sworn upon combined in enforcing its practice by intcllectual the protestant scriptures, no man of common sense and moral compulsion.
will place any value upon such oaths. And, still