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per to degrade man, to debafe him in his own 66 eyes, to stifle all defire of rendering himself useful to fociety, &c." In another place he tells us, that it is evident that in Chriftianity "marriage is regarded "as a state of imperfection." Prayer,-Reft on fabbaths, and festivals, fall under his severest ridicule. Such is the pictureth is writer has drawn of Chriftian morality. We are able to trace in it fome ideas which may have been fuggefted by the celibacy of the papal clergy, the folitude and rigour of monaftic life, and the extravagance of fome fects of fanatics, at fome few places, and for fhort periods; but how wonderfully distorted and overcharged is the portraiture even of those, and what have they to do with the morality of the gofpel?-Yet in other places the picture is drawn in colours ftill more hideous. But I have quoted enough to give my readers a specimen of the turn of thought of writers fuch as this, fuffici ent, I fhould hope, to induce them to weigh their opinions and their proofs with great care, before they adopt them as juft and conclufive, and to compare their representations accurately with the origi nals which they pretend to describe, before they fuppofe a resemblance.-After this view of Christian morality we are not to wonder that the fame writer fpeaks in the fame ftile of the firft teachers of Chrif tianity. Of the Jews, he fays, that "the Jew was

d Boulanger, tome 7, p. 240

Vid. Ib p. 59.



always the victim, and the dupe of his infpired "teachers, and that in his greatest miseries his pre"fumptuous fanaticifm, his fenfeless hopes, his cre

dulity, which could not be tired out, fustained him against the strokes of fortune; in fine, conઘઉં quered with the rest of the world, Judæa submit❝ted to the Roman yoke. Then, chagrined by "misfortune, the Jew became more feditious, more "fanatical, and more blind; proud of the promises "of his God, and full of confidence in those oracles which annotinced to him a state of happiness "he never has enjoyed, encouraged by enthusiasts છંદ or impoftors, who inceffantly sported with its cre❝dulity, the Jewish nation always looked for a "Meffiah, a monarch, a deliverer, who should dif:


કંટ engage it from the yoke under which it groaned, "and exalt it to reign over all the nations of the " universe."

Speaking of the difciples of our Lord, he says, "these men, either impoftors or dupes, gave the "most striking teftimony of his power, and pretend❝ed that his miffion was proved by miracles without "number." And afterwards, h❝ Paul, the most am

f This is certainly true; how then happened it that Christ fhould be the only person who, claiming the character of the the Meffiah, renounced all temporal views, and the only one' whofe claim has been fuccefsful.

8 Boul. ib. p. 61 and 64. Vid. in answer the 1st, 2d, and 3d chapters.

h Vid. Boul. tome 7, p. 118, and in answer, the 1st and 2d chapters of the following work.


"bitious, and the most enthusiastic of the disciples of

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Jefus, carried this doctrine (viz. that of Plato "combined with Christianity) feasoned with the "fublime and the marvellous, to the people of "Greece and Afia, and even to the inhabitants of "Rome; he had followers, because every man who "addreffes himself to the imagination of the vulgar, "will engage them in his interefts." And again, "The pretended miracles which Christianity relates, "like thofe of all other religions, have no other "foundations but the credulity, the enthusiasm, and "the ignorance of the populace, and the address of impoftors." Speaking of the martyrs, he says, "all strong paffions have their martyrs, Pride, "Vanity, Prejudices, Love, Enthusiasm for the pub lic good. Even Guilt itself produces martyrs

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every day, or at least makes thofe, whom fuch ob "jects intoxicate, close their eyes against dangers

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is it then wonderful that enthufiafm and fanati

ticism, two paffions the strongest amongst men, fhould have fo often made those who are intoxicat

ed with the hopes which they infpire, encounter "death." And again" the firmness of the first "Christians muft, by a natural effect, have formed profelytes, and the martyrs prove nothing but the "force of enthusiasm, of blindness, of obftinacy,

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i Vid. Boul. tom. 7, p. 118, and in answer 1ft and 2d chapters of the following work.

* Ib. p. 132, 133.


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"which fuperftition can produce, and the fenfeleis cruelty of all those who perfecute their fellow"creatures for religious opinions."



Speaking of the scriptures, he tells us—“ 1 in the "Old Testament every thing breathes enthusiasm, fanaticism, and madnefs, often dreffed up in pompous language."-Of the New, he fays, "that if 66 we caft our eyes over the New Teftament, we "fhall in the fame manner fee in it nothing which announces that "fpirit of truth which it is fuppofed "has dictated that work." Of "St. Paul, he says, we find the fame errors in that pompous nonfenfe, "attributed to St. Paul; this man, filled with the "divine fpirit, exhibits nothing in his difcourfes " and his epiftles but the enthusiasm of a madman. "The most studied commentaries cannot enable us "to understand or reconcile thofe incoherent contra"dictions with which his works are filled, or the un❝fteadiness of his conduct, fometimes favourable,


and fometimes oppofed to Judaifm." In one word he tells us, "Paul became the foul of his fect, "his enthufiafm communicated itfelf; he braved "dangers, while bufied in encreafing the number "of his partizans."

Such are the opinions and language of this writer.

1 Vid. Boulanger, tome 7, p. 179 and 180. mVid. in anfwer, chap. iii. iv. v. and vi, of the following work.

Vid. Infra, chap. iii. fect. 4, in anfwer to this charge.



If they were peculiar to himself, they would perhaps merit little attention; but unhappily fuch opinions and fuch language are too generally adopted, particularly by this author's countrymen. In that general revolution of opinion which has taken place in that great nation, we have seen it pass, from an apparently blind acquiefcence, in all the corruptions and abuses which had been engrafted on the gofpel during the dark ages of Gothic ignorance, and papal ufurpation, to as blind and indifcriminate a condemnation of the entire Chriftian scheme. The abuses and corruptions of the gospel have been mistaken for the gofpel itself, and both have too frequently been rejected together: hence we find, that in the pamphlets and journals of the day, in the language of the populace, and fometimes in more grave writings, and more dignified affemblies, fanaticism and Christianity have paffed for fynonymous terms. "That fanatical priests wifh to delude the

people, by preaching fanatical doctrines, and re"viving a fanatical worship," is the frequent fubject of complaint and alarin. I am far from accufing or fufpecting the majority of the nation, or its rulers, of entertaining errors fuch as thefe; but they have extended fo widely, as fhould roufe every friend to truth and piety to prevent their further fpread. If

*Mr. Paine in his Age of Reafon, part 2d, revives the charge of fanaticism against St. Paul; he however dwells on it only in a single fentence, and confeffes that he only copies Boulanger.

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