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had been many blacks in the room, for he had been waited on by them day and night for many years; also that the mind had not been diseased in some other re. spect : when he told me the names of two others, (his patients,) men of similar lives, who were tormented with the same fancy, and in the same way, whilst dying.
A young female who called the Man of Calvary her greatest friend, was, when dying, in her senses, in all but one particular. “Mother," she would say, point. ing in a certain direction, “Do you see those beau. tiful creatures ?" Her mother would answer, “No, there is no one there, my dear.” She would reply, “Well, that is strange. I never saw such counte. nances and such attire. My eye never rested on any thing so lovely.” Oh, says one, this is all imagination, and the notions of a mind collapsing, wherefore tell of it? My answer is, that I am not about to dispute, or to deny that it is fancy; but the fancies differ in fea. tures and in texture. Some in their derangement call out, “Catch me, I am sinking: hold me, I am falling;" others say, “Do you hear that music? O were ever notes so celestial!” This kind of notes, and these classes of fancies belonged to different classes of individuals, and who they were, was the item which attracted my wonder. Such things are noticed by few, and remembered by almost none; but I am inclined to believe that if notes were kept of such cases, volumes of interest might be formed.
My last remark here, reader, is that we necessarily speak somewhat in the dark of such matters, but you and I will know more shortly. Both of us will see and feel for ourselves, where we cannot be mistaken, in the course of a very few months, or years.
PREJUDICES-THE MOSAIC LAW.
Whilst prosecuting the inquiry “Is the infidel, or the Christian in the right," my surprise was somewhat ex. cited when I looked at disposition attentively. My companions around the card-table, or the festive board, spoke bitterly of the ancient Jews, or early Christians. They were like the man who resolved to believe that the Israelites were eaters of human flesh, because the pro. phet called to the fowls of the air to feast on the
ain at a certain battle. The slightest sentence, or part of a sentence in the Bible seemed sufficient, (as soon as they put upon it their own construction,) to cause them to believe any thing concerning the Jews, or Christians, no matter how abominable, or how dreadful. This has been true, according to my experience, for the last thirty years, that unbelievers think so lightly of be. lievers, that on very faint evidence they will receive against them, and coolly credit accusations the most detestable, and to any variety. My companions in unbe. lief, and all who wrote for them, seemed to feel very differently toward the heathen. The
every age enjoyed their admiration, and their most charitable conjectures. They praised their poetry, extolled their oratory, stood in ecstasy at their paintings, wondered at their bravery, saw mines of wisdom in all their customs, and passed their defects in silence, or spoke of them in tones of excuse, or mitigation. I could not but notice the difference when I opened a volume of some unbeliever, or listened to the conversation of others, whilst speaking
of the descendants of Abraham. They avowed that they believed these Israelites the most contemptible, and abominable people on the earth. I observed, for I could not avoid it, this disposition to hear of that an. cient people, things the most hateful, and to believe readily, and with a kind of pleasure; but I did not let this weigh with me, or influence me until I had noticed the grounds of their belief, and the reasons we all have to think well or ill of either Jew or Pagan. My companions offered the writings of these ancient people, of course, as the evidence from which their views origi. nated. We all judge of those who lived long since, from the books of antiquity. I cannot place before the reader clearly, the light in which I viewed this disposition promptly and ardently to admire the heathen, whilst the worshippers of Jehovah were as readily and as heartily detested, unless I notice the books on either side from which we draw our estimates.
Let us for a short space observe justly and fairly, the reasons they have to think well of Pagan morality, and then the reasons for thinking poorly of the principles belonging to that people amongst whom the Old Testament was first promulgated.
Reasons for thinking well of the heathen.—At the age of fourteen, an old man, a gray-headed preacher, put into my hands to read some of the Latin poets.*
* Centuries will hardly surpass the character of this old man for excellence. He had learned at Princeton to read and to admire the classics. The Church in that day, honoured the heathen songs more than the infidels. They could read them with more ability, and were more
These writers (Virgil and Horace,) lived near the time when Matthew. lived, and wrote not far from the time when Luke and John wrote. Their poetic talents were enough to make even a boy feel them. I was, however, inexpressibly astonished to find that it was sodomy which one of them was extolling ! Those far famed love songs, so much read, were sung to boys, by the leading authors, in the age so much celebrated for its polish: the reading age. Sins too abominable for the most depraved mind to think of, even an instant, were, I discovered, dressed up with all the taste of the ablest and most musical verse. If I inquired within myself whether or not the most fashionable, and the most accomplished people read the writings of their own most accomplished authors at that time, I was brought, as seemed to me, to something like an understanding of what another writer states, who lived near the same time. He said, “It is a shame even to speak of those things, which are done of them in secret.”* After reading the history of many of their principal men, (see Plutarch's Lives, I discovered that things too detesta. bly disgusting to name, were not considered amongst them as the least out of the way or improper. After this I read of their human sacrifices, their cruel amusements, long-continued tortures, &c. until compelled to confess that it would not be strange if some should begin to hate the ancient Pagans for their hard. heartedness and obscenity. Their disgusting cus
capable of appreciating their beauties. I am not certain that there has been, or is like to be any material alteration.
* Ephesians, 5:12.
toms, and their bloody rites were not a matter of conjecture, or ambiguous supposition. It was known of them, that their doings were too nauseous to write par. ticularly about, but my infidel associates appeared not to know this, or at least not to notice it. They spoke but seldom, and only in extenuation. I then turned to the Jewish writings, (to Old or New Testament authors,) determined to look at what my infidel friends declared proof enough to consider the children of Jacob the most abominable people upon earth. If I read Luke and compared it with one Latin poet, who lived then, or St. John, and placed it beside another, the result need not be named. Any one will see how such a comparison must terminate. But this would not be entirely fair, because it was mainly from the Old Testament page that the declaimers supposed they could prove the Jews the most detestable people on earth.
Reasons for thinking ill of the Jews.—When I went to Moses and the prophets, to see why the world at large so readily believed in the cruelty, the ignorance, the pollution, and the injustice of the circumcised nation ; the first things I read in their laws and domestic regu. lations, were fair and just enough. I read further and was ready to confess, that thus far I had met with that which seemed to me wise, and proper, and impartial. After reading on, my admiration was excited, and I was ready to search, and to meditate, and to weigh the spirit and the principle, contained in these statutes. I then read many things such as follow. I wish the reader would observe closely the spirit of all the verses I am about to quote. I wish the reader in some amiable dis. position of soul, in some quiet hour, in some evening of sunshine, and in a sensitive condition of the affections,