On this page
- Text (2)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
the fabric of elevated reason . Persecu - tion and cruelty alone can retard the progress of the holy faith . Christianity is a xock of imperishable strength and durability , against which the surges of unbelief may dash and foam , but the rock is destined to be coeval with time , and remains unmoved and immoviable . " —P . 365 .
We quote these passages , because &he writer not only avows himself a Christian , but also expresses great anxiety for the prevalence of rational Christianity . In the following remark , he strikes at a palpable inconsistency in the sentiments and conduct of some of otir zealous religionists : " It is worthy of attention that the reason which some very patrons of missions assign for punishing Unbelievers , for the dispersion of their tracts , is an argument against their own missionary system . They complain that the minds of the poor are unprepared to investigate . Are not the uncivilized Heathens much more so ?"—P . 47 .
We say , with this author , lc It is extraordinary that many Christians bend at the mention of Christ ' s name , but not when terms to express the great Goo are used /'—P . 50 . The author exposes the hypocrisy of some of the advocates of national religious estahlishmerits : " The excuse often alleged for national religious establishments is , that the opinion of the majority should be treated at
least with respect by those who are in the minority . This proposition as applied to the subject , is either true or untrue . If true , why has Protestantism been established in Ireland ? If untrue , there is an end to this view of the subject . "—p . 54 . He takes notice of one of Mr . Belsham ' s arguments in favour of a national establishment of Christianity : " I have heard the Rev . Mr . Hclsham , m one of his discourses , state , as an argument in favour of religious establishments , the fact , that iu those places in which the Christian religion has been unpr otected by the civil power , as in A ^ a , such faith has degenerated , until it bas been utterly extinguished . Hut he omitted to add , that such degeneracy has » r i 8 ui from the active protection afforded ° J the body politic to another profession a religion substituted in the place of the K ^ uine faith . WP fi 7
The maxim and the question in the following passage are obviously just ai * d pertinent : cc Any law which binds men to a particular form of marriage hostile to their consciences , is a legal prohibition of marriage . What necessity is there to force religions opinions into a civil contract ?" ^^ MT if tJ
There is sound theology in the reraark , " The works of art are as much the productions of the Deity as the works of nature . " —P . 99 . We fully agree with the author in the observation ( to descend to a lower subject , )
" It is rather singular that amidst the refinements of this literary age , the letters ' u * and c v * are still confounded together in dictionaries , to the -great anno yauce of readers , and in opposition to the facility of alphabetical reference , "P . 103 .
Mr . Benthatn ' s faith is , we apprehend , sufficiently comprehensive to admit the following aphorism : c € The grand object of the creation Is , doubtless , to do the greatest possible good to the greatest possible number . "P . 131 .
The author ' s estimate of what are called " historical novels /* is by no means peculiar : " The historical novels lately published , I am so presumptuous as to think ,
have not the useful tendency so generally ascribed to them . They distort facts for the purpose of ingenious and inviting embellishment , and they therefore distract and confound the attention of the young- reader in the consideration and recollection of historical subjects . "—P .
164 . The author ' s politics are free , bjut moderate . He is a reformer , but not a revolutionist , though he ma , kes more excuses than we can luring qurselvpa to approve for public abuses . He
writes in warm praise of Sir Francis Burdett , especially on account of the Baronet ' s having moderated his toae as a reformer . In one sentence our author puts in a striking form one of the intelligible doctrines of the Political Economists .
* Restrictions upon commercial importation are in general very unwise . By enriching aur cwtomers toe enrich our ~ selves . "—P . 195 .
Review *—Thvmas ' s Tliought-Book * 367
VO 1 - xxi . 3 a
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1826, page 357, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2549/page/41/