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MR . BELSHAM ' s STRICTURES UPON" MR . B . CARPENTER ' S DEFENCE OF ARIANISM IN HIS LECTURES * LETTER III . To the Editor of the Monthly Repository \ Sir , My worthy friend ' s third Lecture professes to treat on Different Religious Systems / ' and here he introduces ci a few observations on the writings of Mr . Wilberforce" and myself , which he informs his readers cc have been the principal cause of his publication . " In Mr . Wilberforce ' s Practical View of Christianity , my
friend finds " much to approve and even to admire . " But he confesses ( p . 22 . ) that when he had finished and shut the book * , u he felt that it left upon his mind an unfavourable impression , of the Author of his existence / ' " Has God ( saith he with
great propriety ) created an order of beings amongst whom vice and misery are more prevalent tnan virtue and happiness ! and will be more prevalent through eternal ages ? O distressing and horrid thought i Nothing short of demonstration shall convince me of its truth , and against such demonstration I would wish
to close my eyes in everlasting sleep . " And after reasoning upon the whole very justly and conclusively against this dismal doctrine , the worthy author adds , ( p . 31 . ) 4 C With such ideas of the creation of God we ought rather to grieve than rejoice , when anv addition is made to the number of God ' s rational
offspring here upon earth . And yet I have heard that Mr , W . indulged no common degree of joy when a son was born to him ; though if I do not mistake the system of this gentleman , there is a probability that his son will not be delivered from that deeprooted corruption which is implanted in his nature , and from that eternal misery to which it will conduct him if he is not delivered from it . "
All this I hold to be perfectly just , and hig hly important . But will my friend now say , that ' " with these sentiments he cannot feel solicitous to make proselytes to his own system V It is allowed that the gentleman upon whose book he animadverts , admits all the primary doctrines of religion , and that he is himself an eminent example of Christian virtue . Is it then oi no moment that his mind is clogged and embarrassed with a system which represents the benevolent Ruler of the universe as auierci * - less tyrant , and which teaches him to look with horror and dread
upon his infant offspring . ? And woiild not that instructor act the part of a kind friend who would relieve his mind from those painful feelings which must occasionally oppress him , by con ^
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Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), April 2, 1807, page 195, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2379/page/27/