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the parent of many murders. It has acted as a repellant power among mankind, retarding the growth of civilization, producing dissensions and weakness in families and kingdoms, and preventing the combined efforts of human nature for the general good. It sacrificed Socrates by poison, and Christ upon the cross. It hath produced enmity and hate, and, as St. John says, chap. iii. 15, “ Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” The scriptural inference is clear against every class and degree of Intolerants.
Look at the injury it did to the Christian religion in Japan, in the seventeenth century, when Christianity was tolerated, and was making rapid strides over the country : the Christians, not content with toleration, conspired against the Emperor, and from letters intercepted by the Dutch, from a Portuguese gentleman of great influence in Japan, called Moro, they were expecting soldiers from Europe and Asia, to assist in the undertaking. The Dutch sent the letters to the Emperor. Moro acknowledged his handwriting, and was burnt for his zeal and perfidy, and all foreigners were banished from the country. In China, also, the frenzy of fanaticism among the missionaries made them quarrel with each other, and made the Emperor Yont-Ching dread disturbances similar to those which had happened in Japan. He selected those who were mathematicians for his colleges, and sent those whom he considered useless and dangerous out of the country. One of his speeches recorded by the Jesuits, is remarkable for its deep reflection, and political wisdom.
“What would you say, (said he,) if I was to send a number of bonzes and lamas into your country? How would you receive them? Although you found means to impose upon my father, do not think I will suffer you to deceive me in the same manner. You would have the Chinese embrace your religion ; now I very well know that you will not allow of any worship different from your own; what, then, must become of me and my people? Shall we not be the subjects of your princes, since the proselytes you make acknowledge no other authority than yours? In times of trouble and distraction they would listen only to you. I am sensible that, at present, we have nothing to fear; but when your vassals shall find the way hither by thousands, times of trouble and distraction may ensue.”
This sensible address, and the circumstances which produced it, instruct us that even the semblance of intolerance is destructive of the cause it endeavours to support; and that in our exertions to diffuse the blessings of genuine Christianity, love to God, love to man, and the belief of a future state of rewards and punishments, we should “ teach as though we taught not;" bear in remembrance that belief depends not on volition; that “those who have no law, are a law unto themselves;” and without declamation or supercilious arrogance,
God's Foreknowledge is Predestination. 17
address ourselves to the understanding of our fellow-men in the mild and conciliating language of scripture—“Come now, and let us reason together.”
To proceed: it may be argued, that if God has foreknowledge, and that every thing past, present, and future, is before Him, man could not have free will, as the Deity, foreseeing His actions and their results, is equivalent to FATE, and that prayer could not alter what was foreseen.
The believer in revelation, and of a particular Providence, to be consistent, must believe in the eternity of matter-THAT THE EARTH ABIDETH FOR EVER,* to be able to overcome the above argument in favour of fate, and against free will, and the efficacy of prayer, and argue, that as matter existed in space, God, although through all space, did not fill all space; that there was something in which He was not, which he could modify and arrange, but not destroy; that in arranging the spheres, he
* Eccles. i. 4.
knew the consequences, and took advantage of the inherent motions of matter, to produce order and harmony, (i.e. what we call the laws of nature,) but with respect to animals, they were imbued with a portion of himself, and, consequently, that' portion, whilst connected with matter, although subject to the laws He had ordained, was independent of Himself.--It had, in a limited degree, His attributes; and if we, being a portion of the breath or spirit which He breathed into us, cannot foresee, in any degree, beyond probable effects from causes, in what regards animals, it may be presumed from analogy, that He does not foresee all the effects of the portion of His spirit He has breathed into man—that portion, as far as it goes, being, whilst connected with matter, independent of Him, and filling a space where He collectively, as a spiritual being, unconnected with matter, is not.-Were this not the case, man could not have free will; he could only produce the effects of original causes. The foreknow