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many of yotir readers would gladly see your reply to the following question ; viz , If some members of a congregation have heard other members of it deny the divine mission , miracles and resurrection
of the Lord Jesus Christ ; would the former , on seeing the latter come to his table , be guilty of a breach of Christian charity , in declining communion with them , as he who doubts is condemned if he eat , because he eats not in faith , for whatsoever is not of faith is sin . Paul , Rom . xiv . 23 . Religious hypocrisy i * of all other sins most abhorrt d in the sight of God , and most polluting to the conscience . An old Unitarian Minister , or , J . Strephon .
Death . beds of Unbelievers . Birmingham , Nov . 17 , 1812 * Sir , I chanced the other day to meet with a Sermon , preached and published some time ago by the Rev . John Evans , of Islington , upon
the death of Mr . Stephen Lowdell ( one of his congregation ) , in the preface to which is the following passage : " A celebrated atheist , distinguished for his parts and learning , was known through life to be afraid of being left alone
and when his physician assured him ( at the age of ninety ~ two ) that his disease was mortal , his only remark was , c I shall be glad to find a hole to creep out of the world at . ' " In order to apply this anecdote as a proof of the greater strength of mind , and consequent increase of happiness , to be derived from a belief of the
existence of a Deity and of a divine revelation ( for which purpose it is here introduced ) , I con-
ceive it would be necessary to shew that it was in consequence of his . disbelief upon these points , that the Atheist here alluded to ,
was affected with this weakness , and that the fear of being left alone could not be attributed to the silly tales of nurses , or the errors of early education ; at all events , it would be necessary to prove that all who happily have no doubts of the existence of a
Deity , or the truths of Christianity , are never affected by such fears as that of being left alone * Now I much doubt whether there are not many instances upon
record , and within the knowledge of most persons , of the firmest believers being subject to foolish fears of the same kind , attributable to disease or the defects of
education . If I am not much mistaken , the late Dr . Priestley always felt some degree of fear from being alone in the dark . The Rev . Gentleman has therefore I
think been rather unhappy in the application of this part of his anecdote . With regard to the second part of the story , which relates the manner in which he received the
report of his physician that " his disease was mortal , " so far from its being a proof that he would have looked upon death with greater firmness , or that his mind would
have been in a happier frame bad he been a believer , 1 really think that had this part of the story been related of a Christian , it might have been brought as a proof of the excellence of a belief which would enable a man to con *
template death so firmly— I shall be glad to find « hole to creep out of the wo ^ ld at . " I would therefore wish to injures
32 Death-beds of Unbelievers ^
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1813, page 32, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2424/page/32/