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leads me to censure his writings entitled THELYPHTHORA. I do not say that this publication has sprung from the dregs of libertine principles, which Law and Divinity united cannot remove, or indeed from any bad motive; its declared design is of a contrary complexion, and I do not call in question, but readily subscribe to, its fincerity. I suppose that Madan, as well as many other good men, lamenting the profligacy of the times, and especially that shameful prostitution, which obtains so much among the abandoned
part of the female world, turned his thoughts to a mode for its prevention ; but unfortunately in pursuit of this benevolent scheme, he fixed upon a very wrong expedient, big with mischiefs the most fatal to fociety, and eventually productive of as great evils as it was intended to remedy. That this has not yet been acknowledged by a discerning man, may be attributed to the imperiousness of temper, and the predominancy of human pride. But let us with candour examine the work itself. Before I ceed, I will say of it in general, that it is Judaism modernized, and a second edition of
Before I pro
Polygamia Triumphatrix * with large additions and emendations.
In my Remarks upon it, as well as in the subsequent thoughts, I thall not “ blush to reason upon principles,
which are grown unfashionable among
men,” whose narrow views, in a public capacity, extend only to the purpose of feeding their vanity and their avarice, without paying any attention to those duties they owe to God and Man. I shall also acquaint my readers, that, regardless of the Critic's räge, or the Libertine's sneer, as well as equally uninfluenced by, or averse to, human fyftems, I shall proceed with that confidence which the love of truth inspires : and I more readily engage in this business, because I must ufe such arguments as cannot be very remote from that Holy Profession, and those studies, which I am in a particular manner obliged to dedicate myself to.
* Published at London by a Native of Saxony.
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REMARKS on the INTRODUCTION and
HEN there are faults in any inftitu
tion, human or divine, they can only be removed, I admit, by reverting to first principles : but it is common with weak and designing men, who see those faults, or imagine they see them, (for they are sometimes invented, when they cannot be found) to point out their Prevention and Remedy by a favourite fcheme, the object of which is often far from being commendable. Hence many absurd Hypotheses are industriously propagated and laboriously defended. If these were acknowledged to be, what they really are, the offspring of fancy and imagination, they would have more claim to our pardon, and be less injurious to the uninformed part of mankind; but to father them on the Holy Scriptures is really unpardonable, and shocking to reflection. The author before us, at his first setting out, gravely and modestly tells
us that his treatise is << on the authority “ of the Holy + Scriptures.” Such affertions should be proved before advanced, and till this is done consistently, fully, and satisfactorily, they deserve no credit. Many have abused the Gospel-dispensation to sanctify vile schemes, and the learned, as well as the unlearned, have sometimes wrested the Scriptures to their own fanciful ideas : whether or not this is applicable in the present case, is an enquiry of some importance, and will meet in these Remarks full discuffion,
I am glad to find in the author's preface to his second edition of Thelyphthora, which edition is the object of my
animadversions, that he is sensible of the abuse of $ partial quotations, and that the consequence is mifrepresentation. He says he is a Freethinker, and I believe him, according to the common acceptation of the word ; and from his contempt of rational customs, human systems, councils, writings of the Primitive Fathers, Christians, &c. I should not wonder at his disclaiming all authority but his own. + Pref. p. 5.
It is asserted that the evils, which The, lyphthora is designed to prevent and remedy, “ arise from the neglect and contempt of the “ divine law, and the substitution of human “ laws in its | stead.” When marriage, according to its fcriptural description, ceases to have the sanction of human laws, and when adultery and fornication do not call down the resentment of courts; then, but not till then, this obfervation will be literally true. But at present this is not the case, as will appear hereafter ; therefore in direct opposition to Madan, I assert that the “ laws « of Heaven” are the foundation of our municipal laws. When I contemplate this idea, I cannot but be shocked at hearing them called “ a system of baseness and barbarity? This is an unbecoming warmth, and deserves censure, Probably they may want a Revision and Amendment; but I am confident, that neither Holy Scripture, nor Reason, nor Necessity, warrant such an alteration of our national system of laws, as. is here recommended.