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of his love, inclines us to be reconciled now contemplate with wonder, the
In the first or Elemental, Light and Darkness.
Action and Passion.
In the seventh or Moral, . . Right and Wrong. As this scale is expressive of the fect state; so it points to a state of whole experience of the Christian in glory, to which it constantly tends, this life ; and as the vicissitudes and even to that state of perfection, contrarieties by which it is distin- which, when arrived at, that which guished, are expressive of an imper- | is in part shall be done away.
(To be concluded in our next.)
“ GOD'S ARROW AGAINST ATHEISM AND soon after had the additional misforIRRELIGION.”
tune to lose his liberty ; but this com
ing to the knowledge of Ademonaples, ( Concluded from col. 932.)
one of his relations, who had a regard for bim on account of the quickness
of his understanding, he redeemed The Religion of Mohammed is false servant and factor in bis merchandise.
him from captivity, and made him his and wicked.
On his master's decease, he married In the year of our Lord 597, in the his mistress; and she soon after dying, reign of the Emperor Mauricius, he found himself in the possession of when Gregory the Great was Bishop considerable property and credit, of Rome, Mohammed was born in the which he resolved to use for the furcity of Mecca, in Arabia ; his parents therance of a plan, which, before this, being Abdara and Emma, of the seed he had begun to lay the foundation of. of Ismael, the son of Abraham. Hav- Mohammed was subject to epilepsy, ing lost his parents in bis infancy, he or the falling sickness, a disease which
seems always to have been regarded over the many nominal Christians who with superstitious abhorrence in times embraced it, when we reflect that they of antiquity. To obviate this re- were Christians only in name ; but proach, Mohammed cunningly sug- that their minds were earthly, sengested to his wife, that what appeared sual, and devilish : the very disposito her and others as the accession of tions which this new law was particuan ominous disease, was, in fact, the larly disposed to suit. Accordingly, effect caused by the appearance to they are permitted to possess a pluhim of angelic beings, who were sentrality of wives, who are regarded, not from God to communicate to him what as friends, fellow-helpers, and workthe Deity was pleased to reveal. So ers in things both of this life, and of pleasing an interpretation of what on that which is to come, but as mere all hands was considered as a re- instruments of sensual pleasureproach, it must have been desirable beings without souls.
In the parato the wife to have spread abroad, dise of Mohammed, his followers though perbaps she herself was not shall be clothed in garments of silk of thoroughly persuaded of its truth. By all kinds of colours, with bracelets of frequent repetition, some were indu- gold and amber; they shall possess ced to give it credit, and report spread parlours and banqueting houses near far and near; so that between the lakes and rivers, with beautiful founwealth and dignity which he had re- tains, gardens full of the finest fruit; ceived by marriage with his master's angels shall serve them with every wife, bis own natural talents, and his delicacy; and the most beautiful woclaim to the prophetic dignity, he had men, with radiant eyes, shall be ever no difficulty in getting together a con- ready to serve their pleasure. This siderable number of followers, by Paradise, and particularly the last whose assistance, preferring the use mentioned article of it, are formed on of the sword in all cases of difficulty, the prophet's own taste; for it is well he was enabled to subdue a large part known that his own character was far of Asia. His death is supposed to from being immaculate ; and that in have been caused by poison. The regard to women, his conduct in this vanity of the religion of Mohammed life anticipatedthe enjoyment of hisown may be deduced from the following heaven. Avicenna, a Mohammedan observations: It is a new religion, himself, finds fault with his prophet's inasmuch as no prophet that went doctrine on this account: "Because before ever prophesied of such a pro- Mohammed hath given us a law, phet to come, or of such a doctrine. which shews the perfection of felicity All his authority must depend on our to consist in those things which concredence to his own unsupported cern the body; whereas the wise of word ; for he makes no pretension to old time had a greater desire to exthe power of working miracles. In press the felicity of the soul than of his lifetime, this seems to have been the body: as for the bodily felicity, felt by Mohammed as his weak side ; though it were granted to them, yet for in answer to his adversaries, who they neither esteemed nor regarded it urged this proof of his divine mission in comparison of the felicity which on him, he is at great pains to clear the soul requires." The law of Mohimself. He promised that within hammed is tyrannical, for it is made three days after his death, he would death to dispute of it; and the culprit rise again and ascend into heaven; in this case is not to be allowed to a circumstance which is well known give his defence. “He that slayeth never to have happened. This reve- his enemy, or is slain by his enemy, lation, which professes to be the con- let him enter and possess Paradise;" summation and final revelation of the a doctrine this, which, besides incul. divine will, is sensual in its nature, cating a revengeful and bloody spirit, and totally distinct from that spiritu- implies an atter ignorance of that ality, which it is the business of the frame of mind, which even our reason gospel to inculcate. Those, there- teaches us is necessary, in order to fore, who experience in their minds enjoy the presence of a holy God. the nature of the religion of Jesus, Indeed, the only mental gift which stand in no need of argument to guard this law inculcates, is zeal for its prothem against Mohammedanism; and pagation; love, peace, gentleness, our wonder will cease at its prevailing long-suffering, patience, resignation,
are nothing regarded. The contradic- foundations are, on which the Church tions, also, which are acknowledged of Rome builds her assertion, that she to exist in the Koran, are a strong is, exclusively, the Church of Christ proof of the forgery. Mohammedans on earth. The members of this church allege that these are not contradic- hold that the Church of God militant tions, but that any doctrine or revela- on earth, is visible to the outward tion that is contrary to a former one, eye, and may be pointed out by the is a repeal of it. This might do if the finger at all times, so that any one Koran be acknowledged by them to may know wbither to resort, as to the have been framed according to the congregation of God's people. Let varying circumstances of the prophet; us see how far this is consistent with but if, as they say, the whole book history. In the time of the Emperor was in existence in heaven from all Dioclesian, the Christians were so eternity, at least we might presume wasted, that in the judgment of all, on finding it consistent. The only none of them were left; their books circumstance to which Mobammed were burned, the churches destroyed, appealed in proof of the divine authen- and the teachers martyred. Some ticity of his book, is its eloquent lan- few did indeed remain in secret, whom guage. In this, however, it falls far God knew ; but where was the visible short of much of the Old Testament church? Where was it, when, in conprophets, or the Book of Job; and sequence of persecution, all the discieven of the Pagans, Piato and De- ples were scattered abroad? (Acts mosthenes. And even the excellence viii. 1.) When our Lord was seized, of which it boasts, resides only in the and his disciples had escaped, if a Auency and musical arrangement of visible church existed any where, it the words; for the sentiments are was among the Scribes and Pharisees. often frivolous and childish. Moham- Does not St. John bear witness that med bears testimony to the divine the Church of Christ (Revel. xii. 6, 7.) mission of the prophets that were signified by a woman, fled into the before him, and also of Jesus Christ. wilderness, where she had a place Out of his own mouth then we can prepared for her of God, that for a convict him; for nothing can be more season she might not be found out by at variance with those prophets, than her persecutors? The church was not his own book; which, therefore, we visible in the time of Elias the procannot suppose to proceed from a phet, when he complained that he was God, whose purposes change not, and left alone—“O Lord, (said he,) they whose nature never fails.
have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword ; and I, even I
only, am left.” Elias does not speak The Church of Rome is not the true of himself as the only prophet left, Church of God.
but the only true worshipper, as is Between the Protestants and the plain from the consolation afforded to Church of Rome, a contention has him, that beside him there were seven existed, as to which of them is to be thousand that had not bowed the knee considered as the true Christian to Baal. Here we see the church so Church, and whose members are the concealed, that even a prophet knew true worshippers of God. They both not of its existence. In the scriptures acknowledge the existence and attri- we see the true altar of God removed, butes of the one living and true God, and the worship of idols established and Jesus Christ to be his true and in the temple. * Where then was the only Son; likewise, that all the sacred visible ehurch of God to be found, and canonical books of the scriptures when those who assumed to be the are revealed by the Spirit of God. "temple of the Lord,” would admit The last mentioned article being ad- none to public worship but idolaters ? mitted, it might be expected that a It is therefore clear, that a true speedy end would be put to all church may exist, though they know controversy between them; for it is not a congregation of God to resort good reason that both parties should to; yea, even though its members abide by the judgment of these books, know not one another, nor are known of which both sides admit the autho- to the world. According to the sayrity. But, first, let us hear what the ings of the Papists, Elias and the
seven thousand who would not bow | cil of Nice, nor thou the council of the knee to Baal, were no better than Arrimine, to take advantage thereby; a company of heretics, dissenting for neither am I bound or held by the from the outward and visible church authority of this, nor thou of that: of Israel. Chrysostom says, (on Matt. set matter with matter, cause with xxiv.) that in the time of the abomina- cause, and reason with reason, try the tion of desolation—that is, in the time matter by the authority of the scripof wicked heresy, which is the army tures, which are not partial witnesses of Antichrist, as he expounds it, for any of us, but indifferent to us proof can be made of Christianity, both.” neither can there be any other refuge In the time of the Emperor Confor Christians, who are desirous to stantine was held the council of know the true faith, but only the Nice, wherein it was decreed that divine scriptures.” Here, then, we Christ was God as well as man. In perceive, from undeniable authority, the reign of his son Constantius, the that the true church of God may be council of Arrimine decreed that hidden in obscurity, trampled on, and Christ was not God, but only man: persecuted; and that consequently here we see two general councils flatly visibility is no proof whatever of the contradicting each other in an importruth of that bod of men which tant article of faith; and the same builds so much upon it.
thing may be remarked of the coun: Another position is, that the church cils of Constantinople and of Nice; capnot err; and hence it is concluded the former of which condemned the that, because the church of Rome was setting up of images in the church, once a true church, it must necessa- and the latter allowed of it. And the rily be so now. This position, short fact that it is possible for a general as the terms are in which it is laid council to err, is further supported by down, contains a great many errors : the authority of general councils themfirst, in regard to its general truth, it selves, for in a form of prayer, apis at variance with the declaration of pointed to be used at the conclusion the apostle Paul, that a falling away of every such council, they pray God is not only possible, but shall actually to spare their ignorance, and pardon come. Again, even Papists confess their error.” That the Pope of Rome that particular churches may err, for may err, we are told on the authothey accuse some of having done it. rity of St. Augustine, who condemns Yet they are no more, at best, than a Pope Innocent for teaching, “that particular church, as is plain from the young children cannot be saved exwritings of St. Paul, who directs an cept they receive the baptism of epistle to them as such; and it is plain Christ, and also the communion of that there are other churches who the body and blood of Christ.” Morenever were under subjection to them, over, in the decrees, the canon law nor in any way related to them, but says, that if the Pope be found neglias acknowledging allegiance to one gent of his own and his brethren's Lord and Saviour-witness the church salvation; yea, though he lead innuof Constantinople, of Egypt, of Ethi- merable people to hell, no mortal man opia, and many others.
may presume to reprove him; because That general councils may err, he, being to judge all, is to be judged although they represent the whole of none, except he be found erring Christian church, appears from the from the faith,” an exception comauthority of Augustine, who is quoted pletely establishing the thing contendas one, to whom Romanists will led for.
soonere submithan to the holys seriped for examination of some of their
tures : he says, (against the Dona- peculiar doctrines will prove the same tists,)“ General councils, which are thing.--It is laid down as an axiom, gathered of all the Christian world, that the people should be kept in igare often corrected, the former by the norance of the scriptures, that they latter, when by any trial of things may the more easily walk in the right that is opened which was shut, and way; on the contrary, our Lord says, that is known which was hidden;" the people of his day erred because and therefore the same author speaks they knew not the scriptures, (Matt, to Maximian, the bishop of the Arians, xxii. 29.) St. Paul also contradicts "Neither ought I to allege the coun- the pretended successor of St. Peter, by recommending that the word of solved to credit whatever this church God should dwell plentifully in the teaches, may freely enough believe people, (Col. iii. 19.). The people of this; but they who require something Berea are commended for comparing more than the assertion of the Pope, the things taught by Paul with the will inquire, on wbat part of the sawritten word, and for not receiving cred scripture this is grounded? and his doctrine, until, by such examina- after careful inquiry in the sacred tion, they found it to be of God. And volume, the conclusion must be, that even if an angel from heaven, or an it is not, as many of the popish docapostle himself, teach doctrines con- trines are, a corruption of the truth, trary to the written word, St. Paul but completely an invented thing, to pronounces him accursed.--The use which the Bible does not in any manof an unknown tongue in the scrip- ner allude. Indirectly, the scriptures tures, and in the public service of the completely condemn it, by pointing church, is so flatly contrary to the out the complete ability of Jesus Epistle to the Corinthians, that it is Christ to save to the uttermost, and wonderful it should have been perse asserting that the saints are immedivered in. But it is said, in justifica-ately with him in Paradise.-Transubtion of this unedifying practice, that stantiation is another of their promithe Latin language is in truth the most nent doctrines, which they ground on universally understood of all tongues, the literal meaning of that assertion of and it is a great advantage for the our Lord, “This is my body;" but if professors of this religion, and who this be admitted, not only is the conmay chance to travel into foreign version of the bread into the body nations, to be able to find there a form fully proved, (and every separate of service to which they have been piece into a separate body,) bat anaccustomed, and in which, therefore, other transubstantiation must be adthey may be able to join. In answer mitted, of our Lord's body into a door, to this plea, it should be remarked, a vine, and a road. Again, it is conthat not one Romanist in five hundred tended, that beside the conversion of understands the Latin language, nor the substance of the bread into the is able, if required, to translate his substance of the flesh, bones, blood, common church service into his mo- and every other part of our Lord's ther tongue; therefore his being able natural body, the wine of the sacrato join in the public service in any ment undergoes a change of substance place where he may be, amounts to into the same thing. For this, bownothing ; for he does not understand ever, the word of our Lord cannot be it in any place.-One of the chief doc- quoted ; and if the words must be trines of Popery is the belief of purga- taken literally, as in the former case, tory ; which, as they teach, is a place then the wine is not the blood, bat where the members of their church go the cup wbich held the wine is the previous to their entrance into heaven. new testament, a doctrine which the Romanists believe that none beside Papists have not yet arrived at, members of their church can go to though we presume not to guess how that holy place; but that these, soon this also may be the case. I though in some measure fitted for this will add a few more doctrines, without by being joined to their church, for insulting the reader's understanding whom alone the blood of Christ is by entering on the refutation of them. efficacious, yet have impurities in (They have been taught, and as far as then, from which neither the blood of their power lay, practised, by Popes, Christ, nor a union with their church, who are believed by their church to be is completely capable of freeing them; infallible: and let it not be said that they are therefore compelled to go, this church has ceased to make any immediately after death, to this place such pretensions ; for another article called purgatory; where, in due time, of faith is, that she is unchangeable ; they find the fire powerful enough to and therefore we may suppose it is raburn out that which the blood of ther a politic compliance with the Christ could not wash out; although spirit of the times that keeps her quiet this blood is sufficiently cleansing to now.) One of these doctrines is, that render the garments of the saints the Pope has a right to depose from mentioned in the book of Revelation their thrones, independent princes, white as snow. Those who are re- king's of nations to absolve their sub