« PreviousContinue »
* Let them thew us, if they can, how the use of reason and their damning creeds agree; and the consistency of cursing in churches, or that it is less shocking for men to damn their neighbours in the worship of God, than in an ale-house or a gin-shop!
It can never be a just defence of these things, to tell us, that they are established by law. Human authority is not the standard of Truth; nor is it in the power of any men to make that which is wrong, to be right. A law compelling us to eat what we do not relish, or cannot digest, would be less unnatural than a law commanding us to believe what we do not understand, or judge to be false. '. If our laws are inconsistent with reason and truth and public good, have we not a right to abolish them? If not; what a ridiculous and contemptible, what a base and unworthy nation are we, to boast of knowledge and freedom?
Sir, I mention not thefe things for your instruction, but for your edification ; to animate and fortify you in the noble opposition you have hitherto made to established falfhood and folly. In matters of Religion, neither the great vulgar, nor the small, have any concern what they profess or act. Where honours, wealth, and preferments are annexed to any opinions, the great will ever profess and maintain them, how false and wicked foever they be; whilst truths that are åttended with reproach and poverty, or any degree of perfecution, will have few friends, few advocates and followers in this world. But if there be a God, the love of truth is a sure title to his favouri and hereafter They fhall shine with diftinguished honour, that here ftood up for Truth and Liberty in a degenerate age; and by their exanıple, influence, and all their abilities, studied to promote their interest amongst men. Who would de
sert so glorious a cause, with such rewards in prospect? That you will never desert it, I have the greatest reason to believe; and Therefore I thus publicly declare myself to be, with great esteem and affection,
Your bigbly obliged friend,
And most bumble fervant,
January 16, 1752
HE death of the Reverend Mi.
Baron, the Editor of the following valuable Tracts, has not only given his friends much concern, but has likewise disappointed them in their expectation of a spirited address by way of preface.
Mr. Baron's character was one of the most artless and undisguised that ever appeared in the world.
He was a man of real and great learning—of fixed and steady integrity -and atender and sympathizing heart.
He firmly believed in Revelation, and for this very reason was infinitely more concerned to promote the cause of Truth and Virtue in the world, than to procure any emoluments or advantages to himself. VOL. I. [ A ]