Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:35 am

Part 2 of 2

110. That man is endued with higher intellectual powers, and capable of carrying his reasoning faculties to a more transcendent pitch, we readily grant; but -- why will not human pride rest satisfied with this superiority, without aiming to divest the next great work of his Creator of the portion which he has graciously and evidently bestowed upon it, as necessary to their temporal existence? -- If therefore the brute soul, as some (we will not call them philosophers) have taught, is material, and perishes with the body, it is time to tremble for the soul of man; for it is too true and melancholy a fact, that it stands not entitled to a better lot: -- the spirituality and future separate existence of the one, rests on no surer a foundation that the other; and all appearances are as strong in favor of the one as of the other. -- Thus our prejudices and false reasoning, arising from ignorance of our real state and nature, leads us into an uncomfortable dilemma, and we are plunged into a labyrinth of confusion, from which nothing can disentangle and extricate us, but -- the doctrine of the Metempsychosis, which elucidates and reconciles every difficulty by teaching, that the soul of man and brute is one and the same spirit, first in a state of greater degradation, a preparatory state of punishment and purgation, previously necessary to his passing into his state of probation, in the superior and more enlightened form of man. In further support of this conclusion, it remains that we consider the brute creation as beings subjected to misery.

111. The justice, the goodness of GOD stands most evidently impeached in the wild supposition that he could possibly create a race of beings subjected to misery, without some cause of offence on their parts. -- Let us with a becoming indignation reject an opinion so unworthy our GOD, and conclude there must have been a cause, and an efficient one, although no hypothesis hitherto produced has pointed it out to the satisfaction of a rational enquirer. -- The state and existence of man stands in the same predicament, doomed through the progress of his life to a series of natural and moral evils, without any apparent cause, or without possibly having been capable of deserving them by any transgression here; therefore our firm belief in God's justice, and our reason directed us to search for that cause of offence in some former state of the soul's existence, in which we happily succeeded, at least to our full conviction, and we hope to that of our candid readers. To that source we must again apply to solve the present difficulty respecting the brute soul, which must undoubtedly have sinned in a preexistent state, to reconcile its many sufferings here with the idea of a just and good GOD. -- The sensible reflections and sentiments of the ingenious Mr. Dean of Middleton, are apposite to our subject, and so pertinent to what we have further to allege, that we will take the freedom of transplanting them. After presupposing that pains, diseases, death, &c. evils got entrance into the world by sin, he proceeds as follows: "Now brutes as well as men are subject to the same sorts of pains and diseases; so far their cases coincide. In all general desolations they have suffered together; in this they conform. They suffered with man the injuries of the fall (we wish he had said the angelic fall; possibly he meant it). -- They have perished with him in deluges, in conflagrations, in famines, in pestilences, in destructions of the sword; in short, in all capital calamities they have had their share, as well as man (to which he might have added, the many miseries they endure from the tyranny of man). Now, if there is any reason to believe, that such evils are of God's appointment, and occasioned by sin, must not brutes then in some respect or other be supposed to be faulty? We do not pretend to say, or even to insinuate, that they are capable of moral rules, and become criminal after the manner of men; but we allege, that they must have some kind of demerit, they must have contracted defilements some way or other. If we cannot show how this is, it is only an instance, amongst many others, of our ignorance. The facts insisted on are deducible from the preceding cases, and the justice of God. -- God cannot punish his creatures without a cause, and this cause must be guilt or demerit of some kind or other; infinite justice necessarily supposes it." This Gentleman stops not here, but goes a step much higher in his conclusion from the above premises: "that as brute animals have attended man in all great and capital calamities, so they will also attend him in his final deliverance, and be restored with him." How he proves this from scripture, we refer our readers to his "Essay on the Future Life of Brutes," whilst we proceed on our way.

112. Thus have we demonstrated, the creation and state of man and beast are utterly inexplicable upon any other hypothesis than the ancient doctrine of the Metempsychosis, which alone rationally accounts for, and reconciles their existence, as intelligent free agents doomed to misery, in every stage and circumstance of it, to be strictly consistent with the goodness, the justice, and mercy of GOD; the state of the brute creation, and the cause of their sufferings no longer remains a matter of difficulty, nor incompatible with divine justice, but conformable thereto; their mortal bodies being formed for no other end or purpose but the punishment and vehicles of conveyance for the same offending spirit, to a form, which, although still a prison for the soul, was yet so marvelously fabricated (by a modus and construction imperceptible to us), as to afford a greater scope and latitude to the exertion of those intellectual faculties and free agency, which it was only capable of exerting in a limited degree, whilst in its state of deeper degradation; for, touching the portion of cogitation and conscientiousness the brute creation are possessed of, it is impossible for us to say; it may, for aught we know to the contrary, be equal to our own: we are barely authorized in our conception drawn from visible phenomena, that their powers are under some kind of restraint, but of what nature we know not; nor does it follow from the premises, if granted, that their cogitative faculties should be under any restraint at all. We see that they are in general miserable, without remedy or comfort; but that man is only so by predilection, having resources within himself, if he pleases to employ them, that are capable at all times of constituting his felicity; and this privilege marks to us the specific difference and superiority of the same soul in brute and man. In the first, it may be said to be in a close prison, and in the last, a prisoner more at large, and capable of working out its full and final liberty; a privilege it cannot obtain by issuing from the mortal brute form, which is destined to be its state of punishment and purgation, as before observed, and that of man only, kits state of trial and probation; from which form alone it can possibly emerge to its pristine celestial state. It seems to have been the sentiments of Lucian, as well as of Pythagoras, and many others of the ancient philosophers, that what constitutes the greatest punishment of the brutes, is their consciousness of having animated the form of man, and of not having benefited thereby; and that it is by their retaining the ideas of their former state of humanity, that many of their species, by small training, so readily comprehend his language and instructions. Chimerical as this opinion may seem to some, it appears in our judgment to have a good foundation.

113. From what has been said, we have the pleasure of thinking the philosophic reasoning of the learned Baxter stands confirmed and illustrated; the sensible suggestions of the Rev. Mr. Berrow enforced and verified; the doubts and perplexities of the Rev. Mr. Dean, touching the cause for which the brutes are doomed to misery, fully satisfied; and the bold assertions of Mr. John Ilive well grounded, from whom we candidly confess we took our first hints, and became a thorough convert to his hypothesis, upon finding on enquiry, and the exertion of our own reason, that it was built on the first divine revelation that had been graciously delivered to man, to wit, THE CHARTAH BHADE OF BRAMAH; although it is very plain Mr. Ilive was ignorant of the doctrine of the Metempsychosis, by confining his conceptions only to the angelic fall, man's being the apostate angels, and that this earth was the only hell; passing over in silence the rest of the animal creation.

114. As the ancient doctrine of the Metempsychosis alone accounts, as has been said, for the creation, nature, and state of man and beast, so it also clears up many difficulties and objections that have frequently been started concerning the true nature of Christ; some conceiving him to be "very God of very God," that is, God himself, if they mean anything: others conceive him to be God and man, but in what sense we believe infinite wisdom itself could not explain to the comprehension of a finite understanding -- Others conceive Christ to have been mere man, enlightened or inspired by God to a superlative degree, and disavow the preexistent state of his soul or spirit. Touching the two first of these opinions, we have already given our conceptions, esteeming them enthusiastic, if not blasphemous; but respecting the supporters of the third, they shun (we fear) Sylla, and fall upon Carybdis.

115. A Treatise (which we never saw or heard of before we had closed our Second General Head, although published in 1767) entitled, "The true Doctrine of the New Testament concerning Jesus Christ considered," contains a plausible chain of objections to his supposed preexistence. Although in that book, and the appendix, we have the singular pleasure of finding our sentiments upon the evil tendency of the Athanasian doctrine, and the true meaning and reading of the first chapter of St. John's Gospel, supported by so learned and judicious an advocate for truth; yet -- we cannot avoid thinking that this author hurts the cause of Christianity in a most tender part, by contesting the preexistent state of Christ, and thereby divesting him of his original divinity, the criterion, the sine qua non of his doctrines; for when he considers him as only mere enlightened man, he most certainly goes counter to the express declarations of Christ, in many places of the Gospels touching himself, his preexistency, and nature of his mission, as being a delegate immediately from heaven; but more particularly in St. John's Gospel, chap. iii, 16, 17, and 18th verses. We concur in sentiment with this writer, and feel very distinct ideas respecting the DEITY of the Father, and the divinity of the Son; but when he could without scruple admit, that divinity and humanity may unite, or rather, as the learned Baxter states it, that God, by his omnipotency, can unite a spiritual being to any material form he pleases; we cannot conceive why he should stumble at allowing the preexistence of the divine Spirit of Christ. The creation and miserable existence of every mortal intelligent being, we have fully proved, can only be compatible with the justice of God, upon the supposition of the preexistent state of their spiritual part or soul; then where lies the difficulty of supposing the preexistent nature of Christ? as the first created, the first begotten of God of all celestial beings, before all worlds, delegated by the Father to unite for a time with the mortal form of man, for the great purpose of salvation to a race of offending intelligent beings -- Thus Christ may literally, with propriety, and without any mystery or confusion of ideas, be styled and acknowledged THE SON OF GOD AND MAN, as he himself occasionally uses both those titles. -- When this learned and ingenious writer gives an unprejudiced hearing, and full force to the doctrines of the Metempsychosis, and duly weighs the insufficiency of every other human hypothesis, to account for the phenomena of our present existence, and indeed of all nature; he will, we flatter ourselves, receive full conviction that his doubts and disbelieve of the preexistent state and original divinity of Christ, were ill-founded, and not the true doctrine of the New Testament.

116. If reason and religion are deemed worthy a place in the argument, man has now the fullest conviction from both, of the true relation in which he stands to the whole brute creation, and that he can lay no rational claim to the power he has assumed for a multitude of ages past over some of their species; nor has he any the smallest justifiable pretence for the uses to which he has converted others of them, murdering some for the gratification of his depraved unnatural appetites, subjecting others to the most cruel labors without humanity or remorse, devoting others for his wanton sport to premeditated deaths, attended with all the cruel and affecting circumstances of protracted terror; training, exasperating, aiding, and abetting others to bloody combats of death against one another of the same species; spiriting up and encouraging others of them, of different species, to discord, contention, and battle, worrying each other, sometimes to death itself, for man's inhuman diversion; imprisoning and divesting others of the species of that liberty which was originally given to them by their Creator, upon a tenure equal with man's own; and this only for the sake of a trifling amusement and indulgence to the ear; exhausting the strength, and abridging the lives of multitudes of the most noble of the brute creation in contentions of speed, for the base purposes of iniquitous gain and worthless same, acquired not without the application of many cruel ruthless stripes, gaping wounds, and languid sweats, that human pity, if it had existence, would shudder at.

117. The above catalog of evils, which man has hitherto, without scruple or feeling, wantonly loaded the brute creation with, we will suppose may be ascribed to his having lost sight of their original dignity, and the relation they truly stand in to himself; therefore this ignorance may, in some degree, be pleaded in extenuation of his guilt: but now he is fully evinced of both, he in future remains without excuse, if he does not recede from practices that are neither warranted by reason, religion, justice, or the common dictates of humanity. The further to induce him to this worthy recession, we beg leave to remind him, that every brute is animated with a soul identical to his own, advancing only in a progressive state TO MAN; and that he has no right either to hasten or retard that progression, that being an act which God has reserved to himself alone: GOD has said, -- "Thou shalt do NO murder," and man has had the boldness, either totally to disregard this commandment, or by putting his own construction upon it, has infringed it in every sense, where power gave him the means: how could we then expect mercy for the brute creation, when he has shown none for his own species? But this is a kind of murder we shall not speak to here, intending in this place further to examine his pretensions not only to murder, but to eat the animal beings, and the fatal consequences of this transgression to the world, requesting our readers will have the goodness to advert to what has been already presented to them on this subject in our 103rd and few following paragraphs. We know, that in this discussion we shall meet with potent enemies to contend with, no less than a most formidable train of all the sensual appetites and passions, but that shall not deter us; human reason, although long debased, and subjected to the dominion of Circe, is not quite extinct, and only wants to be roused by application of the celestial Moly, to shine forth in its native and original lustre.

118. Besides man's conceit of his right of dominion over the brute creation (which has been sufficiently refuted) he urges two other pleas in support of his practice of killing and eating his fellow-creatures; these he thinks are unanswerable -- The first is the obvious course and destination of Providence, whereby we see that every race of the animal creation are in a perpetual state of war, and doomed to be a prey, the one to nourish and sustain the other; [Vide Part II. from page 77, to 86.] -- the fact, if laid down as a general position, may be admitted, but with large exceptions, as many tribes of quadrupeds are exempted from that general law of nature, as the horse, the cow, the deer, the goat, the sheep, &c. but allowing this plea to have its full force respecting the carnivorous tribes of the brute creation, yet man cannot avail himself of this law; they deviate not from the line prescribed them by the God of nature, but man, in becoming a beast of prey, acts not only in violation of his order and rank in the scale of beings, but also in opposition to an express interdict of GOD, as promulged in the Bramanical and Mosaic history of his creation before cited; and indeed, upon a survey of the natural construction of his form, the quadrupeds above specified might gorge and regale their appetites upon animal food with equal propriety as man, who cannot plead the law of necessity, which carnivorous animals seem to be subjected to for their daily subsistence.

119. Let us not, however, in our abundant zeal for the brute creation, be wanting in our due applause to the amazing and unaccountable moderation and forbearance of man, in that he has not in Europe yet arrived, to what most certainly must be the highest perfection of good eating, the flesh of his own species; which, from the nature of its regimen, and the repletion of animal salts and juices, must yield a much more exalted flavor, and higher enjoyment, than any other kind of brutal flesh can possibly afford. -- Swift, of ever witty and sarcastic memory, was ludicrous on this subject; but we are quite serious, and think man's abstinence from this supreme indulgence the more to be honored, and the more wonderful, as he is not without precedents for the practice, on the authentic records of America, and other savage nations; besides -- his virtue shines brighter in this great self-denial, when he may with propriety urge very cogent political reasons, that would fully justify his transplanting that luscious delicacy and fashion into Europe, to wit, the increasing scarcity and high price of all animal food, both which evils would be effectually and speedily averted from us, by the project of -- KILLING AND EATING THE CONSUMERS; from which practice, the too great population of the human species would also be prevented. A consideration which leads us to man's second plea for killing and devouring the brute creation.

120. The immense increase of the animal creation, which it has been supposed would overrun the world, and endanger man's safety and existence, has been urged as an unanswerable plea of necessity for their destruction; -- to say nothing of the wickedness of this argument, which directly and openly arraigns the wisdom, goodness, and mercy of GOD, we will consider the force of it, and hope to prove it as ill-grounded as the former; for, in the first place, supposing (although not allowing) the fact, it can only give a sanction to man for killing, but not for eating: nor can this argument possibly be applied, even with the semblance of propriety, against any species of the brutes, but those that are obviously obnoxious to him, and these shun his society. -- Any superabundant increase of the sinny race cannot possibly affect man's safety or existence, yet he destroys and devours them in common with their terrestrial and aerial brethren. -- But to show the fallacy of this plea, we find it leveled only against those unoffending animals which man has destined for his prey, and no pretended inconvenience is felt from the increase of those selected for our pleasure or our labor, as witness the elephant, the horse, &c. -- But to cut this plea short, and divest it even of plausibility, let us appeal to facts, which set all reasoning at defiance; -- let us cast our eyes back on the ancient extensive empire of Indostan, where, for a long succession of ages, to the late period of their subjection to Tamerlane, no animal was ever bereaved of life, but left to its natural decay and dissolution, and yet their increase was never found, or objected to as an evil, or obnoxious to man. -- On the contrary, it is most evident, throughout the whole animal creation, man not excepted, that GOD has wisely adjusted the principles of decay in each, in a just proportion to their increase or prolific qualities, in such an equipoise, that the one shall not exceed the other, to the confusion or detriment of his works -- If we admit, that some parts may be overstocked, and that the increase may exceed the means for their support, yet this affords no plea or sanction for slaughtering and eating them; -- since man has, without any authority from GOD or nature, doomed them to labor, to evade and set at nought that part of his sentence which decreed "that he should till the ground by the sweat of his own brow," let him, in case of a superabundant increase, as the least sinful, export them to other regions that may stand in need of them for similar purposes, in place of devoting them to death, for the gratification of his unnatural appetites. -- There may be one situation, and one only, wherein man can possibly, with seeming justice, destroy the animal creation; and that is, when there should be such an increase of those species of similar construction with his own respecting mastication, &c. that should rob or divest him of that food which God and his own nature originally marked and pointed out for his sole subsistence; in such a case, provided he had no other means of freeing himself of them, he possibly might stand vindicated in killing, but in no case in eating them. -- What has been above alleged respecting the empire of Indostan, may be as justly applied to other regions and people of early times, as we shall have occasion to specify below, where we purpose to enquire, when the vice of slaughtering and devouring the brute creation began, and consider its fatal consequences, as one of the great roots of physical and moral evil in the world. But before we proceed to this inquiry, it is necessary to obviate another plea in defense of this error, which just now starts up, and arrests our intended course.

121. Man, when hard pressed, and at a loss for rational argument (for he cannot easily and with a good grace give up the savory flesh-pots of Egypt), has advanced a third plea in support of his practice, which he would also sanctify into a plea of necessity, which is, that without the use of animal food, and vinous and spiritous potations, the human form could not be sustained in full health and vigor. -- Surely man cannot be in earnest, when he urges this as argument, for not only the experience of nations, but daily instances in multitudes of individuals are against him. -- The superlatively wise and inspired DANIEL, in his first chapter, exhibits to mankind a fine lesson, which comes in point to invalidate this futile plea. -- The King of Babylon, desirous of having some youths of the royal Hebrew line trained up in his court, "to stand before the King," he appointed them a daily provision of the King's meat, and the wine which he drank; but Daniel, anxious that neither himself nor the royal youths should be defiled, rejected the meat and wine, and making an interest with the governor that was set over them, "beseeched him to give them pulse to eat; and water to drink;" the result was, that at the expiration of the time prefixed by way of experiment, "their countenances appeared fairer, and fatter in flesh than all the children who had eat the portion of the King's meat." -- Thus we humbly conceive that we have fairly driven man from every subterfuge, every retrenchment, which he has cast up in defense of the cruel and unnatural practice of killing and eating his fellow-brethren of the animal creation, without any necessity, or other rational plea, for so doing.

122. When, or in what period of the world, man fell into the fatal error of murdering and feeding upon his elder brethren of the creation, is difficult to fix with any precision, although we may with much probability conclude it had a very early rise; as it has been observed, man grows not wicked all at once, so we may rationally conjecture this vice became not general, until within the space of three thousand years back; -- that copious fountain of wisdom and knowledge, that incessant advocate for the rationality and morals of the brute creation, the learned author of the Turkish Spy, recites many authorities in proof, that this vice was not practiced in the first times, but was an innovation on the primitive manners of mankind; he honors the Brachmans of India, and seems to be a convert to the doctrine of the Metempsychosis; he stands amazed at the signal circumstances, peculiar only to the SANSCRIT, and the four books of the law (i.e. the Chartah Bhade of Bramah), written in that language; he thinks it strange that no history should mention so divine a speech, and draws his conclusion of the superior antiquity of the Bramins, their language and books, to the rest of the world, -- "in regard that they fall not within any records, save their own." -- He then, with great truth, remarks, that the people of Indostan are the only people in the world who have, in all ages to this day, paid a strict obedience to that first injunction and law of GOD, Thou shalt neither kill, nor eat thy fellow-creatures of the brute creation. He also instances, that the primitive Persian and Egyptian Magi abstained from and prohibited this vice to their followers, and this abstinence remained inviolate so long as they retained the pure theology which had been communicated to them by their neighbors the Bramins of Indostan. -- He also notes, that the ancient Druids of Gaul and Britain, who taught the doctrine of the Metempsychosis, abstained from killing and eating animal food, and remarks likewise, that the first people of the world made offerings to the gods only of the fruits and flowers of the earth, which has been, and is uniformly the practice of the people of Indostan to this time. -- He recites, that the precepts of Triptolemus and Draco, the first lawgivers of the Athenians, comprehended the whole system of virtue and piety in practicing these few following rules: "Let it be an eternal sanction to the Athenians, to adore the immortal Gods, to revere the departed heroes, to celebrate their praise with songs, and the first-fruits of the earth, and neither to kill man or beast."

123. In whatsoever age this depravity took its rise, it is plain it obtained not generally all at once, but by slow degrees; and as every other species of wickedness gained footing and flourished in the world, so we may suppose this also grew to maturity with them, and became universal, except in the single instance of a whole nation, marked above. The use of vinous, and afterwards spiritous potations, we conceive had a later rise, and was a natural consequent of an appetite previously vitiated by the unnatural relish of animal food; and we think it most probable, that both these vices first took possession of man in some period of what Bramah calls the Tirtah Jogue, or second age, immediately succeeding the Suttee Jogue, or age of truth and righteousness; for it was in the Tirtah Jogue [Vide Part II. p. 68 and 69.] (which may be properly styled the first age of evil) that the influence of Moisasoor or Satan brought about the second defection of one-third of the angelic spirits; and as his power increased during the succeeding Duapaar and Kolee Jogues [Ibid, p. 70 and 71.], so we may rationally conclude the two vices under consideration became universal (excepting the Gentoos) about the middle of the Kolee Jogue or age of corruption, that is, about three thousand years ago: how it happened that the Gentoos alone, either never fell into the vice of killing and eating the animal beings, or were reclaimed from it, is easily accounted for, from God's positive injunctions against it [Ibid, p. 51 and 52.], delivered by the mouth and scriptures of Bramah; for as to the use of vinous and spiritous liquors, it should seem that was a vice not in being at the period in which that inspired legislator revealed his Chartah Bhade Shastah to the Gentoos, to wit, 4,870 years ago, for if it had, it is most probable it would not have escaped his notice and prohibition; -- and yet the Gentoos abstain as religiously from the one vice as the other, probably from some positive injunctions laid upon them in the Insoff Bhade, or fourth book of Bramah's Shastah.

124. To give the devil his due, it must in justice be acknowledged, that the introduction of these two first-rate vices was a masterpiece of politics in Moisasoor or Satan, who alone was capable of working so diabolical a change in rational intellectual beings. He had prescience enough to foresee, by reasoning from causes to effects, that if he succeeded in the attempt, he should be able in time to counteract and utterly circumvent the merciful intentions of GOD towards the delinquent spirits. To this he was stimulated by several different motives, all tending to the same end; -- he considered them, from their persevering in penitence and holiness throughout the Suttee Jogue, as in a state of rebellion against himself, and with good reason, as they had acknowledged him for their King and Leader in heaven; -- he had also, with grief and indignation observed, that during that age multitudes of them (on whose fidelity he had depended) had escaped out of his reach, and were advancing through the regions of purification towards their lost seats, and that probably the next age would leave him without any other subjects but those of his own tribe, whose allegiance to him he knew was inviolable; therefore, effectually to guard against a farther revolt of his old associates, he meditated the infernal scheme of tempting them to the use of animal food, and intoxicating drinks, as an infallible expedient that would fully answer all his diabolical purposes. For, first, he knew he should thereby lead them into sin and disobedience, by a breach of an express command and prohibition of their GOD. Secondly, he was sensible that those unnatural aliments would inflame and exalt the desires of the flesh, above the rule and dominion of the spirit. Thirdly, he knew also, that by natural consequence diseases would ensue, that must assuredly abridge their term of probation in the form of man, which would be no inconsiderable point gained. Fourthly, his penetration made it obvious to him, that this inflamed state of the human body (from the continued accession of animal salts and juices, heated and fermented by the auxiliary force of spiritous liquors) would be propagated through the species; and that the sure effects would be, their giving birth amongst them to a train of monstrous, unnatural, violent, and consequently ungovernable passions, as lusts of every kind and species, ambition, avarice, envy, hatred, and malice, &c. that would regularly produce a progeny of concomitant actions and effects; as, invasions of property, contentions, wars, battles, murders, and sudden deaths. Fifthly, he foresaw a farther favorable consequence from the indulgence of these passions, as that they would, by the natural force of their operation, engage and confine their pursuits to the temporary sensual enjoyments and acquisitions of this world only, and cause them to lose sight of the next, as well as of the means by which they were destined to regain it. These deviations from the path marked out for them, Satan knew would in the end estrange their GOD from them, and that they and their posterity would become his own, from generation to generation.

125. It is worth inquiry, by what system of craft Moisasoor, or Satan, could possibly induce rational beings so widely to swerve from their obedience, and from their original nature and dignity, into that of lions, tigers, wolves, &c. beasts of prey; nay, to exceed them in every kind of vicious refinement, and to leave them so far behind in the race of luxurious, voluptuous gluttony, besides the exalted invention of either entirely divesting themselves of their senses and reason, or of turning them from their bias, by the licentious guzzle of wine and spirits; an enchanting relish and enjoyment, which the brutes have not yet arrived to, one species of them only excepted, which approach in kind the nearest to our own, viz. the Satyr, Oronootan, Baboon, and others of the same race, all of which (the first excepted) we have seen smoke and drink until they became as completely beasts as man himself; so that man has not so much cause to plume himself upon this glorious acquisition, as he possibly and vainly may have flattered himself withal. -- But, not to lose sight of our inquiry by any farther reflections on these grievous truths, so degrading to humanity, -- we may suppose, that Satan, having had experience that the angelic spirits, in their superior and preexistent state, had not been proof against his artful seductions, began his operations, and exerted his influence, first upon those who were appointed to preside over the ceremonies of religious worship, rightly judging, that if he could corrupt those who had the lead on earth, the rest would fall an easy prey' he was aware, that if he abruptly proposed the destruction of their fellow-creatures, without some specious plea, human nature might start at the proposition: he therefore cunningly suggested the sanctifying their murder by offering them up in sacrifice, as a work that would be most acceptable to the Deity; he doubtless likewise insinuated, they would thereby not only do a thing pleasing to GOD, but also render a signal service to their delinquent brethren, who they knew were imprisoned in the brute forms, the shortening whose lives would expedite their progressive advance to that of man, from which form alone they could regain their lost stations in the celestial regions. That this was an argument Satan laid no small stress on, appears obvious from this, that it has been frequently made use of by several ancient priests and philosophers, his faithful deputies, in justification of the inhuman practice. -- This great point gained, Satan met with little difficulty in prevailing on them to taste; and thus by degrees the killing and eating the most innocent species of these devoted miserable beings, became an established religious custom all over the world; a practice, say the Bramins, which the devil himself could only have forged. -- Yet Satan thought himself not quite secure of his votaries, without playing an after-game that would infallibly work out their future perdition; therefore his next step was to influence them to extend their religious sacrifices to their own species: to bring them to this supreme pitch of wicked superstition, he found some difficulty, but at length prevailed, by insinuating, that they would thereby not only more effectually deprecate the displeasure and vengeance of the gods, but also free the souls of those who were thus devoted, from future transmigrations through the mortal brute forms of punishment and purgation. -- If any of our readers doubt the address and success of Satan in this arduous attempt, we have only to recommend them to the perusal of the histories of the ancient Phoenicians, Tyrians, and Carthaginians, who were all shoots from the Chaldean stock, and also the history of the Canaanites in our Old Testament. -- Satan still thinking his scheme defective, gave the finishing stroke to it, by suggesting the practice of pouring out libations of wine to the gods, without which the ceremonies of religious sacrifices would be imperfect; this obtained, he left them to themselves, knowing, that as they had so readily been induced to eat of the one, they would of course make as licentious a use of the other; and that he should, from the natural united effects of both, always find them in a proper state to receive any diabolical impressions he should in future suggest to them, by his own immediate operation on them, or by those of his infernal agents: -- and thus, although he had failed of acquiring supreme worship in heaven, he at length effectually obtained it on earth.

126. We may with probability conclude, that some ages (although not many) might have elapsed before the laity came in either for a bit or a sup of those religious sacrifices; that these observing (by the instigation of Satan) how their priests piously devoured them, began to demur against supplying them with victims, unless they also came in for a share, which at last they obtained; the priests still reserving the most delicious morsels for themselves. -- And thus, in process of time, both priests and laity killed and eat the brute creation in common, without even the pretence of religious motives, or indeed any principle at all; a point which Satan foresaw they would in the end arrive at, and the event confirmed the sagacity of his judgment in forming a plan which at once afforded him a triumph over GOD and man.

127. Having above, we humbly conceive, made it manifestly appear, to the full conviction of every unprejudiced reader, that the two vices which we are combating have been, and still are, the pernicious roots from which all moral evils sprang, and continue to flourish in the world; permit us next to repeat, that (according to the showing of the philosophers, moralists, divines, and historians of all nations) there has been an utter depravity in mankind in every part of the known earth, from the earliest records of time. Let any casuist assign any other adequate cause for this universal depravity and corruption of the species, that will account for this phenomenon, better than those which we have above attributed it to, and we will most readily give up our system; -- a cause there must be somewhere, and that a general one too, that could produce such uniform effects. -- Divines point out no other cause than that we are undoubtedly under the influence of the devil. This we know as well as they, but they seem not to know how it happened that we came under that direction; all the learned of the world concur in the opinion that there was a time when primitive man was not under his dominion: the angels continued good for a long space before they fell a sacrifice to his seductions, and their own ambitious folly; and so they did again for an age, when doomed to animate mortal forms on earth, for their first transgression; and they persevered in angelic virtue until Satan projected the introduction of those two vices, which he was sensible would infallibly work such a change in the human body as would of course impair it, and consequently that the free use, exercise, and operation of the spirit's intellectual powers of rectitude would be impeded, and liable to perversion by foreign influence, which otherwise would have remained in full force and vigor, as is verified by many instances on record, where man, by abstaining from these capital vices, has kept his soul in such a state as to resist every effort of Satan to provoke him to sin.

128. When the cause of any disease is discovered, it amounts to more than half a cure. Would man exert his intellectual powers, he would soon pull down what Satan has been so many ages erecting; his empire has acquired no stability but from our easy submission to his diabolical suggestions; and that in such wise, that we can now hardly be said to have any claim to that original free agency given to us, for the very purpose of withstanding his influence; remove the cause, the effect ceases. When man returns to his natural, primitive, simple aliments, his inordinate desires, his passions, and their direful issue, will as naturally subside, as they rose; then we may form a well-grounded hope of the renewal and restoration of the primitive age of purity and holiness; that halcyon age, when man banqueted with innocence and content upon the delicious produce of his parent earth, without a thought of killing and eating his fellow animals; -- that age, wherein the feathered tribe could in freedom and security range in their proper element without dread or apprehension of the cruel fowler; -- when the roes and hinds, with the timorous hares, might gambol and scamper at pleasure over the boundless plains, without the risk of being scattered and drove, in protracted terrors and dismay, to the mountains, rocks, and brakes for sanctuary against the pursuit of the ruthless hunter; -- when the scaly independent race enjoyed at large their watery course, without molestation, from the artful wiles of the insidious angler; -- when the sea remained yet unexplored, and COMMERCE, that bane (falsely called the cement) of mankind, had not a being, and was not, as now, an instrument in the hands of Satan to excite the species to invasions, fraud, and blood; the natural produce of the earth in every region supplied its offspring with all that was useful and necessary, because men were strangers to irregular desires, and we have no solid reason to imagine its inhabitants were less numerous then, than now. As the wickedness and unbounded violence of man brought on a rueful change on the face of the globe, so we might rationally hope and expect, that on an universal return to his primitive goodness, GOD would restore to him his habitation, in all its original beauty and natural fertility. -- This happy restoration would man easily accomplish, if he prevailed with himself to abstain from these two capital vices, which were, as before observed, the parents of every other subsequent transgression on earth; -- JUSTICE would then return in fresh lustre from her long banishment, accompanied by the lovely train of temperance, harmony, reciprocal benevolence, and lasting peace; HAGGARD DISEASE would be drove into a longer banishment than even Justice suffered, and (like her) only be known by name. -- DEATH would be commanded to stand aloof, that man's happy term of probation on earth might be extended to a greater length, as a means for his future salvation. -- Then, and then only, may we hope to see and feel the sacred doctrines of Christ's gospel operate universally on mankind, by producing a general rectitude of morals and piety. -- We are not so sanguine as to expect that this wondrous change would be brought about in one generation, but the next would most sensibly experience its happy effects, and Satan would soon find himself repulsed and baffled in all his cunning and deep planned machinations, and be obliged to retreat with disgrace, and seek an empire in some other region of the universe.

129. Now, as it appears beyond a controversy, that the depravity herein lamented began in the priesthood, who first unhappily fell under the influence of Satan's wicked suggestions; so it is undoubtedly incumbent on popes, patriarchs, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, pastors, and rulers of every church on earth, to set the pious example of beginning a general reformation of these two execrable evils, the killing and eating the rational brute creation, and guzzling vinous, &c. potations, -- They would do well to consider, that the persevering in these vices themselves, burdens them with a double weight of sin, as being the first aggressors, and as being specially commissioned to guard the morals, and point out the right road of worshiping the Deity to the laity; considerations which, joined to their know assiduity and anxiety for the salvation of mankind, leaves us not the smallest room to suspect, that they would hesitate a moment to set so laudable and essentially necessary a precedent. To one unskilled in the workings of human nature, and the powerful sway of the prince of the air, it may appear astonishing, that so learned and holy a body of men should continue so long immersed in such gross enormities; -- but when we reflect, that the (now human) angelic spirit fell when it was more pure, and endued with more superior and enlarged powers, let us cease to wonder at its errors in its present degraded state, and aim only at the correction of them. -- As an encouragement to attempt and prosecute this great work (we may justly say) of salvation, we shall remark, that as the laity too readily followed the example of their ancient reverend teachers, so it may be reasonably presumed, they will as readily, in these our times, joyfully subscribe to and support their sacerdotal leaders in the pious reformations of these unnatural and impious practices, as it would so manifestly insure to them their present, as well as future happy existence.

130. Before we quit this our Third General Head, we will, to enforce our arguments, take leave to present our readers with a lively picture of man's primitive state in the age which we are laboring to restore him to; and also the progress of evil, superstition, and idolatry which Satan reduced mankind to, after he had prepared them, as above, to receive any impressions he was pleased to meditate for their destruction. -- Both these are drawn by an author profoundly skilled in every species of learning and wisdom -- "They went out and in, slept and waked, labored and rested, in safety and quiet. Avarice, envy, and injustice, had not as yet corrupted the minds of mortals. The earth brought forth corn, herbage, and fruits, without the husbandman's or gardener's labor. All places abounded with plenty of innocent refreshments, and those primitive inhabitants coveted no more. The cattle and the bees afforded them milk and honey, and the fountain-waters were generous as wine. This globe was a complete paradise, and no mistaken zeal had taught men religiously to invade another's rights, and in a pious fury to murder their neighbors, in hopes of meriting heaven hereafter. -- The law of nature was in universal force. Every man pursued the dictates of Reason, without hearkening to religious sophistry, and sacred fables." -- "But -- when (at Satan's instigation) the lucre of gold had corrupted men's manners, and they, not contented with the riches and sweets which the surface of the earth daily afforded them, had found a way to descend into her bowels, stung with an insatiable desire of hidden treasures; then began injustice, oppression, and cruelty to take place. Men made enclosures for themselves, and encompassed a certain portion of land, with hedges, ditches, and pales, to fence them from the invasions of others; for the guilty of their own vicious inclinations filled them with fears, and made them jealous of one another. They built themselves strong holds, fortresses, castles, and cities; and their terrors increasing with their criminal possessions, they persuaded themselves that the very elements would prove their enemies, if not pacified by bribes and presents. Hence sprang the first invention of altars and sacrifices, and from these panic fears of mortals, the gods derived their pedigree; for one built a temple to the Sun, another to the Moon, a third to Jupiter, Mars, or the rest of the planets. Some adored the Fire, others the Water or Wind. Every one set up to himself such a god as he fancied would be propitious to him. Thus error. Being equally propagated with human nature, they created an infinite rabble of imaginary deities, paying to those idols the supreme incommunicable honors due only to the Eternal Essence, Father, and Source of all things."
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:20 am

FOURTH GENERAL HEAD.

131. With our readers permission, we will open this head with the following texts of Bramah's Chartah Bhade, [Vide Part II. p. 57.] -- "THE ETERNAL ONE spoke again and said -- I have not withheld my mercy from Moisasoor, Rhaboon, and the rest of the rebellious debtah; -- but as they thirsted for power, I will enlarge their powers of evil; -- they shall have liberty to pervade the eight boboons of purgation and probation, and the delinquent debtah shall be exposed and open to the same temptations that first instigated their revolt: but the exertion of those enlarged powers which I will give to the rebellious leaders shall be to them the source of aggravated guilt and punishment; and the resistance made to their temptations by the perverted debtah, shall be TO ME the great proof of the sincerity of their sorrow and repentance." -- "THE ETERNAL ONE ceased -- And the faithful host shouted forth songs of praise and adoration, mixed with grief and lamentation for the fate of their lapsed brethren. -- They communed amongst themselves, and with one voice, by the mouth of Bistnoo, besought THE ETERNAL ONE, that they might have permission to descend occasionally to the eight boboons of punishment, purgation, and probation, to assume the form of Mhurd, and by their presence, council and example, guard the unhappy and perverted debtah, against the further temptations of Moisasoor and the rebellious leaders. -- THE ETERNAL ONE assented, and the faithful heavenly bands shouted their songs of gladness and thanksgiving."

132. Before we proceed, it may to some appear necessary that we clear up a seeming contradiction in this part of Braman's scriptures. -- It may be objected, that GOD, first by his sentence exposes the delinquent angels to the same temptations that influenced their revolt; and then, immediately after, permits the faithful host occasionally to descend, and guard them from the artful wiles of the tempters, -- or in other words, to counteract his own decrees. -- To reconcile this seeming absurdity, we have only to conceive that the faithful host foresaw, that the delinquents might not of themselves be able to withstand the superior faculties of the revolted leaders; who, it may rationally be supposed, were endued with higher powers in proportion to their original rank: -- this circumstance premised, we say, it is easy to imagine why GOD should relent at the warm and pious intercession of his faithful angels, and assent to the auxiliary force petitioned for by the same intercession HE had before been prevailed upon to reverse their first doom, and emerge them from their place of utter darkness and anguish, into a pleasing state of probation, comparatively considered; for, although they were sentenced to a state of degradation in their passage through the brute forms, yet being conscious, from the sentence pronounced to them by Birmah, that through these they should arrive at a form, wherein they should have powers to work out their restoration, their present state must have appeared delectable to them, put in comparison with the former, a state of eternal despair and bitterness. Now, as the faithful host had succeeded in the first instance, why should they not in the second? -- They did. -- Thus the seeming contradiction in the text vanishes, and at the same time conveys to us a useful and comfortable moral, to wit, that the prayers and ardent solicitations of good beings are not without their effect with a merciful deity. -- The apprehensions too of the faithful host were well grounded; for even with their assistance, Satan proved an overmatch for them both, and so continues to this day.

133. The visible or invisible ministration, or interposition of angelic beings in the concerns of mortals, is a doctrine which carries with it the sanction of the three great divine revelations, the Shastah, the Old and New Testament, as well as the concurring opinion of all mankind; and therefore we may justly rank it as one of the primitive truths, which had the most undoubted evidence for its birth and propagation in the first times. -- From this doctrine (a relative of the Metempsychosis) flowed the first principle of the Manichean system originally broached by the Persian Magi, amongst other mutilated tenets of the Chartah Bhade; -- the first principles of this primitive truth were simple and intelligible, but (in common with the rest of the primitive truths) mankind in process of time lost sight of it; and being unable to account for the mixture of good and evil which appeared in their existence, they rashly propagated the horrible doctrine of two absolute and independent divinities that governed the universe, each of diametrically opposite natures; not adverting, that a single consideration which presented itself daily to them, was sufficient to refute a doctrine which at once wickedly destroyed the very existence of a Deity and Providence; whereas, had not Satan hoodwinked their understanding, they might have seen, that as no state whatsoever could possibly be governed by two independent powers, without falling into anarchy and confusion; so much less could the universe: -- but from the causes above and elsewhere assigned, it is no wonder that mankind fell into a million of absurdities, not less iniquitous than this.

134. The mixture of good and evil in this world flowed naturally from the second angelic defection in the human form, as inevitable effects from adequate causes; for these beings were so struck with the unexpected mercy of their Creator, in affording them a trial and term of probation, in a world replete with every beauty and accommodation beyond their desert; that they continued truly sensible of that grace for a space, distinguished by the ancient poets and philosophers by the title of the golden age, by Bramah, as the age of truth and holiness; and it is reasonable to believe, that during that period, many of them regained their celestial habitations; and equally probable, that whilst they continued in this state of general contrition, neither natural or moral evil had a footing in this globe, but that the former commenced and kept pace with the latter; and it is a well grounded opinion of philosophers and divines, that during the primitive age, this globe was not subject to those convulsive vicissitudes of storms, earthquakes, deluges, &c. nor the animal forms to pestilential or other diseases, which moral evils produced at the beginning of the second age, when the second defection of the angelic beings under mortal forms took place as before noticed: then it was, that man began to kill and eat his brethren of the creation, the brute animals; and in process of time to kill and eat one another; -- then began contentions for property and power, which produced invasions, murders, and every species of cruelty amongst themselves; -- then began the contention between the elements by the designation of GOD, for the punishment of the ungrateful delinquents; and then also began the contention between the good and evil spiritual beings, the one laboring to recover them to their duty, the other to seduce them from it. Here we would strenuously recommend to our readers the perusal of the pious, forcible, and judicious reasoning of the Rev. Mr. Dean, (before cited) in the first volume of his essay on the future lives of the brute creation, where he unanswerably proves that moral transgressions were the causes of physical evils, although he seems a stranger to the true reason, a priori, why they should be so.

135. The learned Baxter concurs with the Bramins, touching the existence of evil spirits; and reason, joined to the consideration of the goodness of GOD, naturally leads us to conclude, that if evil spirits have existence and power, there must also be good ones. -- His words are these: "The eastern philosophers assert, that there are living beings existing separate from matter; that they act in that state upon our bodies, and provoke our sleeping visions." -- And he cites Plutarch in the instances of Brutus and Dion, saying, "We must own with the old philosophers, that there are bad spirits who envy good men, and endeavor to stumble them, left going on in the ways of virtue, they should enjoy a better lot than themselves." And our learned divine adds in another place, "That these bad spirits are permitted to excite dreams that frequently degenerate into awaking possessions, madness, idiotism, &c. and by such an ascendance, misleaa [??] the soul:" -- From the same eastern sages, he might have known that there exist also good spirits who voluntarily endeavor to counteract the bad.

136. During the primitive age, it should seem that Satan and his associate leaders had small, if any influence in the world; he appears (like an able politician) only to wait for proper times and seasons to exert his abilities in: -- he could not but know that the delinquents were now as much stunned with the unhoped-for mercy of GOD, as they had been before by his vengeance, and therefore that this could be no favorable juncture to operate upon them: -- But he also knew (as is the case with all rebels) that mercy would have no long effect upon them; that the embers of rebellion in them were only smothered, but not extinguished; and that there was only wanting a proper period and occasion to blow them up, and make them blaze again with greater fury: he judged that they would in time (allured by the delicious enjoyments of their region of probation) forget both the torments and despairing anguish they had suffered in the region of utter darkness, as well as the mercy that had redeemed them from it; and he was perfectly right in his conclusion. -- The means this arch-traitor adopted to bring about his purposes of evil, both natural and moral, we have developed in our foregoing General Head, omitting one circumstance of encouragement as more properly applicable here -- Satan and his leaders, although sensible that the powers of the faithful angelic beings they had to contend with, were equal with their own, yet they were not dismayed; knowing that the propensity to evil in the objects on whom their efforts were to be tried, would turn the balance in their favor.

137. It is most probable, that the earliest records that we have of the world, and the transactions of it, may be properly termed modern times, when put in comparison with those that preceded; at least we have no solid reasons, or certain guides, for our thinking otherwise. Howsoever the ancient records of the universe asserted to be in the possession of the Indians, Chinese, and Egyptians, stand discountenanced by the narrow and limited conjectures of the moderns, yet unprejudiced reason (as before hinted) recoils at the supposition of the world's being in the juvenile state given to it by the chronologers of Europe; when, from all its interior and external phenomena, it appears to stand on its last legs, or rather supported only on its crutches; -- Herodotus was certainly a wise man, and although he recites many extravagant legends of the Egyptian priests, yet it is easy to distinguish by his manner of transmitting them to posterity, what he really had sufficient grounds to credit, and what to laugh at, as fabulous: amongst the former, is the antiquity of their records; -- if these extended eighteen thousand years back from the period in which he wrote, then who knows what revolutions in states, empires, learning, arts and sciences may not have happened in the times preceding their records? all those phenomena, like birds of passage, taking their flight from one region to settle for a time in another; or, to pursue our simile in a different species of those animals, diving and sinking in one place to rise in another far distant; as we have observed to have happened to them all, within the period of our scanty as they are, it is from these alone, we are enabled to form a rational surmise, or judge with any precision of the past; from these then we are supported in saying, that the foundation of every known empire, kingdom, and state of the world, was originally laid in blood and carnage; and by these rose to the summit of their greatness, and by these fell to perdition.

138. On a retrospect into authentic history, we survey the fatal and sanguinary issue of the civil wars of all nations; wherein those allied by the most sacred ties, engaging on different parties, cut the throats of each other, and gloried in the sacrifice. -- Let us next take a view of the lamentable effects of invasion, from the Pagan and idolatrous Sesostris, to the Christian Spaniard's invasion of Peru and Mexico, in the prosecution of which last only, no less than twenty millions of unoffending people were slaughtered without mercy. -- Let us observe the horrid concomitants of those contentions, impiously styled, religious wars; wherein religion, intended to correct our morals, and establish peace on earth, has been made the stalking-horse, to cover the perpetration of the most cruel and atrocious crimes, dictated by ambition, and an insatiable thirst for dominion and property; witness the progress of the Koran, established by fire and sword throughout the greatest part of the world, the crusades, (let us not call them Christian) and the endless contentions between the professors of Christianity themselves, and the dire massacres they have been the cause of; -- religious wars had no existence in the annals of antiquity; this was a species of wickedness reserved for later, and more enlightened times, introduced by the perversion of Christ's gospel. -- Let us lastly consider the dismal effects of all wars, even to the present hour, and the universal depravity of man; and then see if we can find any adequate cause for these horrible enormous effects, than that above assigned, namely, the influence of Satan, under which the whole race of angelic delinquent human beings unhappily fell, at the close of the primitive age; a dominion he has preserved ever since over the species, a very few individuals in every age and every region excepted, who have nobly withstood his wicked machinations, and utmost efforts, to pervert them; a consideration which amounts to proof, that all might partake of this celestial triumph if they would, by joining the exertion of their own powers with the faithful angelic beings, who are ever at their call; for we have no more cause to doubt their existence and activity, than we have to doubt those of the air and wind, although invisible to us.

139. GOD, conscious that he has endowed us with sufficient powers of resistance, abandons us to ourselves; and it is by the neglect of those powers that still man goes on as the devil drives him, and must necessarily so continue, until he again, by the full exertion of his divine intellectual faculties, recovers that purity he possessed in the primitive age; the full exertion of those powers he can only acquire, by restoring the body, and its plastic juices, to their primitive natures, thereby freeing the soul from those impeding chains which he himself has forged for her; the sure means for accomplishing this great end, and setting Satan at defiance, we have already pointed out; until then, we remain entangled in the snares and nets of the devil, and, like other animals so caught, shall persist in biting, scratching, worrying and murdering one another to the end of time. -- Here we beg leave to dissent from the too generally received opinion, that the ancient and modern heroes, conquerors, leaders of battles and invasion, allies of death and the devil, so much celebrated in story (as your Sesostrises, Semiramises, Cyruses, Craesuses, Cambyses, Dariuses, Xerxes, Alexanders, Caesars, Mahommeds, and a very long &c. &c. &c.), were or are instruments, or a scourge in the hands of GOD for the chastisement of mankind, because we think there appears no necessity for such an interposition; nor can we bring ourselves to believe that GOD ever did, or does consent, to those furious massacres of the species, recorded in the annals of the world, and perpetrated to this day: why should we be driven to so unnecessary a conclusion, when we see, that the genius of man, by the guidance of Satan, is quite adequate to the purpose? nor have we a doubt, but that he takes special care, first to infuse into his hero a proper disposition for blood and conquest, and then places a prime leader of his own at his elbow, to keep him steady, and proof against the horrid and piercing groans, shrieks, and cries, of slaughtered parents, husbands, and brothers, ravished wives and daughters, entertained at the same time with the heart-rending screams of their expiring infants; for howsoever heroes and their blood-thirsty followers may, by custom and practice, be inured to these glorious scenes, yet it might sometimes so happen, that the feelings of humanity would start up in their breast, and were they not immediately suppressed, Satan's main purpose would be defeated; for the greater number of the species cut off sort of their term of probation, the farther his iniquitous end is answered; and therefore he never fails to excite to murder upon every favorable occasion, no matter of what kind, whether of man or brute; -- we likewise think it most probable, that, upon extraordinary incidents, where he might have doubts of the address or influence of a deputy, he did some of the first-rate heroes the honor of accompanying them himself in their expeditions, particularly Cyrus, Alexander, Caesar, Mahommed, and Fernando Cortez, with other captains both of ancient and modern date, needless to mention. -- Respecting the destruction of Babylon, so minutely foretold by the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah, where "their young men and their host were to be utterly cut off by the sword, their houses spoiled, their wives and virgins ravished, those in the womb not spared, and their children's brains dashed out against the stones before their eyes;" -- if we allow the prophets to have been justly inspired in the circumstances of this desolation, yet they certainly were mistaken as to the first mover of it, and, by some egregious error or other, deprived Satan of the honor of this glorious enterprise.

140. By what has been said, and with a reference to the Metempsychosis, it need not appear strange, that the world has at all times been equally populous, respecting both man and beast, or very nearly so; for so few of the delinquent spirits in every age have transmigrated to heaven, that they have been hardly missed on earth. -- Here, we know, will be objected to us Moses's account of the deluge, and the new propagation of all the animal species, from the stock which Noah saved in the ark. -- To this we say, that there have been many solid arguments urged against the universality of Moses's deluge, which have never been refuted to the full satisfaction of inquisitive reason. -- It is true, we have Moses's ipse dixit for the destruction of all, in whose nostrils were the breath of life; but how came it to pass, that a race of animals, as numerous, if not more so, than those of the earth, escaped his notice so far, as not even to be worthy the mention, namely, the fishes of the seas and rivers? in their nostrils were surely the breath of life. But the cause of Moses's silence respecting them is obvious; he knew the difficulty of conceiving how their destruction could be accomplished in their proper element, on which the most tremendous storms and hurricanes are matters of sport and pastime to them; therefore he took the wiser part in passing them over in silence, as having no existence in the scale of beings. This consideration proves, that whatsoever the deluge might have been, the destruction of the animal creation was not universal; then suffer us to ask, in justice to the rest of the devoted animals, what exemption this peculiar race as entitled to, that they did not participate in the general wreck? -- GOD's justice, mercy, and providence are equal to all, "a sparrow falls not to the ground unnoticed of him" -- therefore it should seem, that the spirits animating the inhabitants of the waters, should at that period have been less guilty than the other terrestrial species; but that that might not have been the case, we shall show presently, and demonstrate, that the seeming partial favor of Providence for that race can be only accounted for from the doctrine of the Metempsychosis.

141. Let us suppose, for argument-sake only (making a large allowance for the liberal genius of travelers), that every nation in the world retains a tradition of a deluge, yet this by no means invalidates the opinion that that of Moses was only local and partial. -- Men had sinned, although probably not in equal degree, nor at the same period of time, in every region of the habitable world, and therefore all might merit the chastisement of GOD, some at one time, and some at another; therefore why may we not suppose, that he was pleased to make use of a similar mode of punishment to them all at different periods: -- thus, in our own times, we see some nations suffer under earthquakes, storms, inundations, and pestilences, &c. at one time, and others at another; and thus all nations may have retained a tradition of a deluge; universal as to each particular, but strictly and properly speaking, local only. -- On this probable surmise we need no longer puzzle ourselves with the difficulty of peopling America either with man or beasts, or any of those numerous islands which lie very far detached from any continent, and yet at their first discovery were found populous and flourishing in both. -- But leaving this disputed point of the universality of Moses's deluge, as many others have done before us, just as we found it, and as one of those occult events in which mankind will never universally concur, we will suppose it to have been precisely and minutely as Moses has described it.

142. Then it follows, that the souls of every being were ousted of their mortal habitation for a space, except those which animated the marine forms. Now, by Moses's showing, GOD attributes no evil or wickedness to any of the brute creation; nor to the myriads of infant innocents struggling under the bitter pangs of death in that dreadful catastrophe; and yet these suffered indiscriminately, and in common with guilty man. Now, ye divines, philosophers, sages, and moralists of the world! account for this general and undistinguished ruin of animal life, consistent with our ideas of a just and merciful GOD, upon any other hypothesis than that of the Metempsychosis of Bramah, and ye shall be to us more than our Magnus Apollo. -- On the principles of this doctrine alone, those two divine attributes of the Deity stand confessed, and vindicated, whether applied to an universal, or partial deluge on the earth, or to any other marks of his displeasure: -- death, to which man was doomed at the deluge, was no more than he was subject to before; but the destruction being so general, made it more signal: the measure of man's iniquity was more than full, it ran over; and God seemed determined, at one tremendous blow, to try if terror would not in future operate more powerfully upon them than his goodness had done. The brutes, animated by the same delinquent spirits, although under other mortal forms, had been equally guilty in their former transmigration of man, and therefore justly suffered; the infant human race were taken off, and the term of the spirits' probation, with that of their parents, cut short, as the severest stroke of GOD's displeasure to man. -- The fish, although exempted for the present from their share of the general calamity, yet partook of its consequences equal with the rest, in their future course of transmigration through other mortal forms, from the dire change in the nature of this habitable globe, whose delightful surface became rugged and inhospitable; its pure circumambient atmosphere, so essential to health and longevity, became vitiated; which, with other new and injurious phenomena in nature, contributed to shorten the date of animal life. -- Then pestilence, famine, earthquakes, tempests, inundations, &c. became instruments in the hands of GOD for the chastisement of the delinquent spirit's second apostasy: and thus man brought upon himself accumulated natural evils, in consequence of his moral transgressions; oppression, war, ambition, and their cruel effects, in the hands of those spoilers of mankind called heroes, were instigated, as before shown, by another mover.

143. We have said above, that the cutting short man's term of probation was the severest stroke of GOD's displeasure; for he alone knows how many direful vicissitudes, and variety of irksome forms the delinquent soul must pass through, before it receives the grace of reentering the human form, for a new combat betwixt vice and virtue. -- The Egyptians, according to Herodotus, fix the precise term of three thousand years between the spirit's banishment from the human form, and its regaining that state of probation, from which only they can hope to transmigrate to heaven. In this opinion they were followed by Pythagoras, who averred his spirit animated the mortal form of Euphorbus, slain at the siege of Troy. -- The Bramins affix no precise space of time for the completion of this event; and teach only, that the delinquent spirit passes through eighty-eight mortal forms, the species appointed by GOD alone; so that, according to this doctrine, the space may be long or short, in proportion to the longevity or quick decay (consistent with the common course of nature) of the mortal bodies it is doomed to animate. That the determined space assigned by the Egyptians, was void of any solid foundation, and an innovation on the original doctrine of the Metempsychosis, appears from the consideration of the uncertain term between the dissolution of the human form, and the spirit's being allowed the grace of reentering any mortal form at all: -- Thus THE ETERNAL ONE, speaking in the text of Bramah, part 2nd, p. 55. -- "But it shall be, -- that if the rebellious debtah do not benefit of my favor in the eighty-ninth transmigration of mhurd (man) according to the powers wherewith I will invest them; -- thou, Sieb, shalt return them for a space into the onderah, and from thence, after a time which I shall appoint, Bistnoo shall replace them in the lowest boboon of punishment and purgation for a second trial: -- and in this wise shall they suffer, until, by their repentance and perseverance in good works during their eighty-ninth transmigration of mhurd, they shall attain the ninth boboon, even the first of the seven boboons of purification. -- For it is decreed, that the rebellious debtah shall not enter the mahah furgo, nor behold my face, until they have passed the eight boboons of punishment, and the seven boboons of purification." -- Now it is most rational to conclude, that the term, or space and degree of the spirit's sufferings, both before it is permitted to enter any mortal body, and during its imprisonment therein, are (conformable to infinite justice and mercy) proportioned to its greater or lesser degree of guilt, in its lapsed state of probation in the human form. -- This being the case, how greatly incumbent is it not on mankind, to exert with vigor that portion of GOD's divine spirit with which he is endowed, that he may rise from this gracious state of trial, to those mansions of bliss still kept open for him; the more especially as he has a moral certainty, that should his own powers (from impeding causes to which he stands self-subjected) prove insufficient, there is an invisible angelic aid ready to second and support his pious endeavors.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:17 am

FIFTH AND LAST GENERAL HEAD.

144. It may be remarked, that there are two points of Bramah's doctrine, respecting the state of the spirit, after the dissolution of the human body; the first, its residence for a space in the onderah, the seat of darkness and anguish, before it is suffered to animate any mortal form at all; -- The second, its state of purification, when by a life of purity and virtue, during its previous state of probation, it ceases from its mortal transmigrations. -- We need to expatiate on the temporal pecuniary trade and advantages the church of Rome makes of the first of these doctrines; the leaders of that church will answer before a supreme and infallible judge, for that, and the multitude of other gross and extravagant principles of faith, by which they pervert the pure doctrines of Christ, and mislead the people committed to their charge; from whom the true GOD, and his worship, are as effectually obscured, as ever they were from the Canaanites, Egyptians, and Tyrians of old. -- But this by the bye; nor should we have been provoked to these reflections, had we not so lately been an eyewitness of the corruptions, idolatries, vicious parade, and legerdemain of that mother-church of Europe. -- That there is an intermediate state of the spirit's purification between its deliverance from the human body, and its admission to the presence of GOD, is the opinion of all divines and philosophers; and countenanced by the Christian system: no wonder then, that these two points of doctrine should have so universally obtained, when it appears, that they hold a rank amongst the primitive truths, revealed to the apostate angels, when doomed to take the mortal forms upon them, and are consequently relative tenets of the Metempsychosis.

145. The doctrine of the spirit's purification is evidently founded on the rational conclusion, that its various and many defilements contracted in the flesh, render it an object unworthy of admission to GOD, or of the society of those pure beings who had not known pollution, until it undergoes a perfect depuration; to accomplish which, it was necessary it should pass through seven regions or stages of purification, according to the text of Bramah: matter, we know, when grossly soiled, cannot be sufficiently cleansed at once; but will require the frequent reiteration of the same process; and thus we may conceive of the soul: but why precisely Seven gradations of cleansings, we will not pretend to explain, nor is it a matter of much importance. -- It is reasonable to imagine, that the spirit's passage through these seven pure regions is retarded, or expedited, in proportion to the stains it had contracted during its abode in the flesh, and the degree of its original transgression; for we have no solid reason for thinking, that the apostate angels all equally sinned; the first movers to sedition and rebellion being certainly most culpable. -- That seven was a mystical number with all antiquity appears beyond all doubt: GOD rested on the Seventh day according to Moses; the universe is divided by astronomers into seven primary planets; the seven angels, and the seven vials of the Revelations; the seven wise men; the seven wonders of the world; the seven divisions, or parts of the world, according to Zoroaster, specified in the voyage of the curious, and industrious Monsieur de Perron; wherein the reader, if he has nothing better to do, may amuse himself with the rhapsodies, and theological dreams of that legislator of the Persians; and when he has done, we dare promise him he will not find either his heart or his understanding much enlightened: -- The seven heavens, and the heaven of heavens so frequently mentioned by the Jewish Rabbis, and by Mahommed, and the Arabian doctors, so correspondent with Bramah's seven celestial regions of purification, and the mahah surgo, or supreme heaven; and it is pretty plain, that Mahommed, whose olio, or hodge-podge of religion, was composed from every system then extant, borrowed his seven heavens, and heaven of heavens, from the Bramins.

146. Respecting the dissolution or destruction of the universe, or fifteen boboons of punishment and purification, Bramah's doctrine differs from all others; in that he teaches, the destruction of the first eight will precede that of the last seven; at the destruction of the first, he marks the final day of judgment, but his text will speak better for him than we can. -- "When all was hushed! THE ETERNAL ONE said -- It shall be -- that, when the space of time, which I have decreed for the duration of the Dunneahoudah, and the space which my mercy has allotted for the probation of the fallen debtah, shall be accomplished by the revolutions of the four Joques -- in that day, should there be any of them, who, remaining reprobate, have not passed the eighth boboon of punishment and probation, and have not entered the ninth boboon, even the first boboon of purification; -- thou, Sieb, shalt, armed with my power, CAST THEM INTO THE ONDERAH FOR EVER. -- And thou shalt then destroy the eight boboons of punishment, purgation and probation, and THEY SHALL BE NO MORE. -- And thou, Bistnoo, shalt yet for a space preserve the seven boboons of purification, until the debtah, who have benefited of my grace and mercy, have by thee been purified from their sin: -- and in the day when that shall be accomplished, and they are restored to their state, and admitted to my presence, -- thou, Sieb, shalt then destroy the seven boboons of purification, and -- THEY SHALL BE NO MORE." -- Thus, according to Bramah, as GOD has constructed the first eight regions for the reception, punishment, and probation of the apostate angels; so, when the term allotted for its duration, and their trial, expires, and the remaining reprobates are plunged into the place of darkness and anguish, these eight regions becoming useless, their form is destined for destruction, whilst the other seven are yet to be preserved for the gracious purposes expressed in the text.

147. This partial destruction of part of the universe carries nothing with it, incongruous to the wisdom and goodness of GOD, but rather exalts both. -- Of all the numerous spheres or subdivisions of the fifteen primary boboons of Bramah, fabricated for the reception of the myriads of apostate beings, no mortal can know how many still exist in their original form, or what changes they may not have undergone; -- many of them scattered through the vast expanse, may have been long (for aught we know to the contrary) reduced to their primitive chaos, without being missed by us, notwithstanding our busy, prying, artificial optics, to explore what does not belong to us; which researches only afford us futile matter of conjecture, whereon to found imaginary planetary systems; the one exploded, as soon as birth is given to another with more plausible appearances; thereby drawing off man's wisdom and attention from matters of more immediate and important concern to him. -- Man has nothing to do in this world, if he keeps his talents properly employed, but to explore himself, and secure his immortal part (at its exit from the body) from future mortal chains, either in the brute or human forms. -- Had that profusion of wisdom, and divine powers in man, which has in all ages been squandered away in the pursuit of non-essentials, been applied to its proper objects; the primitive truths of his salvation would not have lain so long hid from him, nor he so long been a stranger to his real state and relative nature.

148. The ancient Gentoos celebrated the anniversary of their birth with solemn fasts and thanksgiving, succeeded by a feast of joy: this they did, upon the pious reflection, that the spirit had ceased from its transmigrations through the brute forms, and had attained to its state of probation in man; and upon this principle it was, that they celebrated in like manner the birth of their children. -- We likewise celebrate the birth of our children, and theirs, and our own anniversaries; but alas! in a very different manner, and upon very different considerations; -- the man who celebrates a birth-day, upon any other principle than that of the Metempsychosis, does it either from the incentives of folly, pride, self-love, and vanity, or from interested views of succession; motives, all most unworthy of a rational being: for man, abstractedly considered, has, GOD knows, little cause for pluming himself, or celebrating and rejoicing for an event which introduces him into a life fraught with many evils, inevitable, or of his own procuring; so that the best of us would more sensibly commemorate the day of his nativity, as the poet Dryden makes Marcus Antonius, in double pomp of sadness; but, -- when we consider the same event with a retrospect to the Metempsychosis, and behold an offending angelic being freed from the brutal mortal chains, and entering into a state wherein, by progressive degrees, he arrives to the full exercise of his divine intellectual powers, and is enabled thereby to reascend to those regions of bliss, which he had too justly forfeited, -- then he may with well-grounded reason annually celebrate so gracious an incident with pious praise and thanksgiving, and temperate social joy and festivity; whether ourselves, or any connected to us, are the objects: -- otherwise, a ceremonial of this kind must appear to every thinking being, an empty parade of vain-glory; and a mark of unaccountable infatuation, repugnant to common sense.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:55 am

CONCLUSION.

149. We have now, candid reader, brought our five General Heads to a close; in the discussion of which, our chief aim has been the restoring to mankind those essential PRIMITIVE TRUTHS, on which his real state and nature originally existed, and still exists; and on a due regard to which, his temporal and spiritual happiness ever did, and ever must depend; -- but yet, our task is not finished; it remains, that we discipline the principal subjects of our labor, and draw them together in one compact body, that they may thereby acquire more strength and influence than they possibly can, scattered as they are, at such a distance from each other, as the nature of our disquisition required: it is also requisite that we obviate some objections and difficulties attending our general system, which have not yet been noticed, although we know they will start up against us, in prejudiced, narrow, and self interested minds; -- but these are no less the objects of our benevolence, than the more enlarged and enlightened: we shall then conclude with a few persuasive reflections, that will naturally rise from our subject.

150. With all humility we conceive, that we have proved beyond the power of refutation, 1st, That original sin took its rise in heaven, and that we have no grounds to look for it in the transgressions of Adam and Eve, or anywhere else. -- 2ndly, That man and beast are either animated by the apostate angels, or, -- that they are nothing -- a mere vegetative portion of matter in the creation, and that their existence at all, as intelligent beings, can only rationally be accounted for, from the pure doctrine of the Metempsychosis. -- 3rdly, That the brute creation was not made either for the use or dominion of man, in the sense he has been pleased to adopt and practice. -- 4thly, That man, by murdering and eating the brute animals, was guilty of a manifest violation of his creator's commands, and of his own original nature. -- 5thly, That those unnatural violations, with the auxiliary force of intoxicating potations, proved the source on earth of all evil, both physical and moral; producing the second defection from GOD of the angelic delinquents in their mortal form of probation in man, and thereby affording Satan an open field, and full scope, for all his diabolical purposes against the species. -- 6thly, That man has no chance for setting Satan at defiance, and for subduing the universal depravity of the species, and restoring piety and morals, and consequently no chance for salvation, but by putting a total stop to those two (or rather three, including murder) primary vices: -- cut off the root, and the branches will necessarily perish; hereby the primitive age would be restored, and a reform in morals would probably restore also the globe to its pristine beauty and natural fertility as before urged. -- 7thly, That it rests on the Clergy of all nations to begin this general reform, for reasons before given.

151. We are sensible that there are many tribes amongst the inhabitants of every kingdom on the globe, who will be more deeply affected than others, should our general system of reducing mankind to their primitive regimen take place. Upon the return of moral rectitude into the world, laws would become useless, and consequently lawyers, and their mischievous train of retainers, will have no employment. -- Physicians and their coadjutors, upon the restoration of the human body to its original nature, will, in the second generation at least, have no friendly disease for their support. -- Wine-merchants, distillers, brewers, vintners, dealers in spiritous liquors, cooks, (those dangerous instruments of luxury, disease and death) and butchers, &c. will all be turned adrift, and be forced to seek for other means of subsistence. When we become, bona fide, Christians, the art and destructive practice of war would cease to be the bane of mankind, and the inoffensive brute creation; and a numerous race of able-bodied beings, who have hitherto been employed only to work out the perdition of the species, would contribute to their support and maintenance, by being employed in the cultivation of the lands of the state they belong to; a work they would most certainly prefer to the trade of spilling the blood of their fellow-creatures, they know not why, or in support of the tyranny and wanton ambition of others.

152. Respecting the first of the two learned professions, it has long been the opinion of wise men, that laws, which were at first intended for the security of property and peace, are, by a strange fatality in the course of human affairs, become the greatest cause of manifold grievances to the subjects of all nations, and the great fomentors of discord: the cause of this general perversion is best known to the learned professors; whilst the effects are felt only by their clients: and yet we think it is no very difficult task to account for, and explain this seeming paradox. -- That there is a litigious, craving, Satanic spirit in man, that too generally takes the rule and guidance of his actions, we believe no one will be hardy enough to dispute with us: this unhappy disposition is encouraged by the chicane of the laws, and the address of making black appear white, and white black; but far be it from us to impute these evils to the professors of the law, or to any defect in the laws themselves, which can only be justly applied in the first instance to the client's litigiousness, who deservedly suffers when that spirit will not allow him to submit the decision of any matters in dispute to two or three of his rational neighbors. The one half of mankind subsist and grow opulent by the stupidity, wickedness and folly of the other: man is man's natural prey; and he that has the best talents will be best fed. -- Be this as it may, we think, when our system takes place, mankind will not suffer any great loss by the demolition of this learned tribe. -- It is said of a wise Emperor, when on a visit to this and a neighboring kingdom, where he attended the courts of justice, "that he declared he had but two lawyers in his kingdom, and that he would hang up one of them as soon as he got home." Our historians record one of our parliaments that obtained the title of the holy parliament, because -- there was not one lawyer that had a seat in its. -- But these are sentiments and suggestions most unworthy, and can be only excused by the savageness and barbarity of those times.

153. Touching the second of the learned professions, it has ever been a moot point, whether it has not, at all times, and in all nations, been rather injurious than beneficial to mankind; and it has been esteemed a mark of the best regulated governments, where the fewest of this tribe have been tolerated: but this must have been in barbarous times too.

154. With regard to the next six tribes upon the list, and their confederates, we, in Christian charity, congratulate them upon the inexpressible joy and comfort they must experience, upon the near prospect of being freed from that daily load of guilt which must oppress and be a heavy weight upon their consciences, for poisoning their fellow-subjects: an unhappy necessity this, which they labor under, in order to suit their liquors and eatables to the vitiated taste of their customers. -- As the professors of these crafts are generally men skilled in cunning devices, we earnestly recommend them to turn their genius to the improvement of their country's manufactures and agriculture, in which necessary branches hands are wanting: moving in these salutary spheres, they would become an universal benefit and honor to their country; whereas hitherto they have only been the dangerous instruments of destruction to their species. -- But now, they will (some of them at least) be the happy instruments of increase in every species of grain, so essential to the life of man; and thereby make some atonement for the immense quantities consumed in fiery distillations, compositions, and potations, calculated for no other purpose but to burn out, with wicked speed, the thread of human life.

155. Respecting the butchers, who merit a paragraph to themselves, as being a tribe for whom we find ourselves more deeply concerned than for all the rest put together, because -- humanity and tender feelings being their peculiar characteristic, what must they not endure, at finding themselves under the fatal necessity of daily, nay hourly, shedding torrents of innocent blood, to gratify the unnatural appetites of man? -- We solemnly protest, that we think there are no species of mankind more the objects of commiseration; -- we have known many of the most conscientious among them deeply and piously lament, that ever the trade of killing and butchering the animal creation was transferred from the priesthood, by whom it was first set up. -- But we trust the time is not far distant, when we shall be able to felicitate their being relieved from their sanguinary task, for which we are most sensible they entertain a well-rooted and righteous aversion: -- when that happy day arrives, we warmly recommend to them to turn bakers, for which craft an increase of professors will be much wanted; and, to atone in some degree for the deluges of innocent blood they have spilt, we earnestly entreat that they will put a stop -- to the adulteration of bread, that necessary staff of life. -- In recompense for the present difficulties and inconveniences which every one of these tribes will be liable to at their first setting off from their old track, we will start one suggestion of comfort, which will be applicable to them all, and to all mankind; -- whatsoever property they may be possessed of when our general system commences, it will be preserved to them for the noble purposes of support for themselves and families, and to distribute in acts of charity and benevolence to their poor neighbors: for now they will no longer be under the temptation, nor be stimulated to any desire of gormandizing and guzzling their substance away in what is too commonly, but erroneously, termed good living and good fellowship; terms vague and unmeaning, as we hourly see them the source of the deepest miseries to multitudes of individuals, whom we behold reduced from opulence to penury and want by this mode of evil living and evil fellowship.

156. Having thus obviated and removed, we hope to the satisfaction of our readers, the few foregoing difficulties which seemed to obstruct our conclusion, we think it necessary to add, that woman, that great mover of man, whose true characteristics are sobriety, mercy, delicacy, and tenderness, will prove the strongest support to the Reverend Clergy in the reform of those two (three we should say again) deadly vices we are meditating to abolish; and this for many other reasons than barely the consideration of those amiable qualities just enumerated, although these cannot fail of their due influence. -- On the principles of the Metempsychosis they will have a purer enjoyment and amusement in their favorite animals, when it proceeds from, not only rational, but pious motives; an intellectual felicity they have never yet tasted -- in this way; -- they will have the unspeakable pleasure of imagining, upon solid grounds, that the spirits which now animate their favorite lapdogs, cats, parrots, squirrels, monkeys, &c. &c. heretofore animated the form of a beloved friend, tender parent, husband, brother, child, lover, &c. and their extravagant (and now irrational) fondness for these animals will then appear to be founded on principle: -- mankind also, by their human example, will cherish the brute creation, and become their defenders, in place of murdering them for sport and pastime, and then devouring them; a sport and pastime still more inhuman.

157. We have hitherto spoken to mankind in general, but we now, with all humility and deference, address ourselves to the inhabitants of GREAT BRITAIN and IRELAND, but more particularly to their clergy of every denomination. -- As you, Most Reverend, Right Reverend, and Reverend Sirs, are justly celebrated for your profound learning and abilities; and (what is much more to your honor and glory) distinguished for the sanctity of your lives and manners above anybody of priesthood in the known world; so it is the more incumbent on you to stand forth to that world, as the first champions for the universal restoration of morals; and by your example to suppress three capital vices, which are the only incentives to debauchery of every species, in every rank of mankind; the great fountain from which the torrent of immorality overflows all bounds, and must soon overwhelm us all, unless the timely check of some powerful dam be erected against it. -- This has been the language of all times; divines have preached, moralists have wrote for successive ages, but all in vain: immorality still acquired fresh force. Is not the reason of this failure most obvious? -- the direful causes of this general depravity have never been attended to. -- The soul (as before urged) reasons, and moves in conformity to the present state of the organs and fluids of the body which it animates, and from which it receives its powers of action: this is evident from frequent instances of idiotism and insanity: when the organs and fluids are vitiated, and reduced to any unnatural state, the soul loses, in a proportionate degree, its freedom and rational active powers; their influence on each other is invariable and reciprocal: hence it is, that mankind by the use of unnatural aliment, may be justly said to have been in one uninterrupted state of delirium from the expiration of the primitive age; therefore it is no wonder that all reasoning is cast away upon beings whose intellectual faculties are disordered, and in no capacity of receiving it: -- mankind must be first brought to their senses, before reason, or your pious exhortations, Reverend Sirs, can possibly operate upon them; but this once accomplished, they will then be open to every salutary discipline both of divines and moralists: but this most desirable state can be only obtained by the immediate prohibition of all animal food, and intoxicating drinks, as before often (but not too often) forcibly urged: until this is done, the daily marks of GOD's displeasure, in his visitations of pestilences, storms, inundations, famines, and earthquakes, brought to our very doors, and your spiritual remonstrances will have none effect. -- This being manifestly the case, and as the indulgence of any sensual appetites ought not to stand in competition with the present and future salvation of the souls committed to your care and guidance, you will, Most Reverend, Right Reverend, and Reverend Sirs, no longer give a sanction by your practice to daily murders and vices, which have proved the bane of mankind in all ages, to the present hour; but nobly sustain the superior character you have so worthily acquired, by presenting yourselves as the first great example of reformation.

158. As it has evidently been the general course of GOD's providence, that a righteous nation shall be happy, it is no marvel that the inhabitants of the globe should have been, from the earliest accounts of time to the present, plunged in distractions, and visited by dire calamities; for none have been righteous, no not one; at least to perseverance. -- The whole continued history of the Jews affords a striking instance in point: whilst they walked in righteousness, they prospered and were happy; when they deviated from that path, they were punished, by GOD's withdrawing from them his immediate protection, and leaving them a prey to their enemies, which we conceive to be his usual mode of punishment; for, as to the portrait of him exhibited by Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Samuel, and others of the prophets, who represent him as a being subject to the passions of revenge, wrath, hatred, and violence; we cannot help concluding they exceeded their commissions, and humanized their GOD to an unpardonable degree, to cover their own sanguinary dispositions and views: therefore we cannot prevail on ourselves to pay a compliment to the veracity of those prophets, at the expense of our GOD; -- for we cannot consistently conceive that GOD can be endued with any passions but those of love and pity, without derogating from his divine nature: when he finds it necessary to punish us for our offences, in hopes of turning us to our duty, it is not done from motives of revenge and wrath, but those of love; accompanied by commiseration for our blindness and folly -- whom the Lord loveth he chastiseth. -- In the above predicament stood the primitive Hindoos, who subsisted for a long series of ages in holiness, peace, tranquility, and happiness; but in process of time, although they still kept themselves free from the stains of murdering and eating their fellow-creatures, and the use of fascinating drinks; yet, by blending idolatrous worship with that due only to the true GOD, and their neglect of the primitive truths bequeathed to them by their inspired prophet and legislator Bramah; they, in the end lost the protection of GOD, who gave them up a prey to intestine divisions, and to the Mahommedan invaders. Thus also it is recorded of the primitive Scythians, whose extreme purity in morals and manners procured them the protection of GOD, but a deviation from that state of purity left them at last open to the successful invasions of many nations. -- These signal instances, with many more which might be cited to the same purpose, prove, that no nation can expect or hope to prosper, or be happy, but by persevering in righteousness; and that the stake, although great, may be easily won.

159. Piety and Virtue, with tears and loud laments, call out for a reform throughout all the earth! -- Reformation must begin somewhere. -- Europe, the most enlightened portion of it at present, presumptuously usurps the title of CHRISTIAN, until she exert all her powers to effect this great work: -- the way is cleared for her, -- the reign of superstition and fanaticism are nearly extinct, -- the cursed spirit of religious persecution (that wicked weapon in the hands of Satan) is laid, -- philosophy has enlarged the minds of the superior ranks of people, and a dawn of unprejudiced reason begins to shine upon the inferior, leaving them open to the reception of truth, when conveyed to them free from unintelligible mysteries. -- Great Britain stands in the first rank of religious reformers; she has now an opportunity of taking the lead to Europe in the reform and restoration of morals. -- All reforms which men may meditate in matters of religion, are purely ideal and vague; and will prove, alas! no reform at all, but a mere pretense to one, without a reform in morals; as faith without works will assuredly stand us in little stead. -- Great Britain and her respectable clergy have it now in their power to shine forth in celestial lustre, a new star of guidance and instruction to Europe; and, by the reflection of her example, to enlighten the rest of the world: -- in order to this, we most anxiously recommend the consideration of this most important of all subjects TO THE BEST OF KINGS AND MEN, and to the Legislature and people of Great Britain and Ireland in general; but -- our first hope rests on the pious example and preaching of our Most Reverend, Right Reverend, and Reverend Pastors: by their unwearied endeavors, we doubt not but we shall soon see effectually (although not literally) verified, the spirit of that remarkable prophecy of the famous wandering Jew, recorded in the Turkish Spy, which conveys a suggestion so greatly honorable to the British nation. [Vide Turkish Spy, vol. vii. p. 216.]

160. As a reform in spiritual matters (as above hinted) without a previous reform of morals, as the state of human nature now stands, is, as it were, beginning at the wrong end of things; so, when our Reverend Clergy observe, that, by a return to natural aliments, the return of reason and morals make a rapid progress amongst their countrymen; then will be the happy time to make a thorough reform in the ceremonials and principles of religious worship; for then, and not before, will they be in a proper frame of mind to receive it; their bodies being temperate and cool, their souls will not be inflamed nor excited to irregular and violent passions or desires; but in their place calm and unclouded reason and rectitude will take the rule. -- Our Reverend Pastors will then doubtless abolish, not only the use of the Athanasian Creed, but the Nicene also, and correct that commonly called The Apostles. -- They will pay some regard to the injunctions of Christ, who says, "But when ye pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the Heathens do, for they think they shall be heard by much speaking," and cut short the tedious tautology and worrying of the Deity in the course of the Liturgy, and leave not the smallest semblance of polytheism in any part of our worship. -- They will studiously garble the unintelligible Thirty-nine Articles of Faith, and correct the modes of ordination and absolution; and no longer swear to the belief and observance of tenets which they neither can, or do believe or observe; nor presume to be endued with powers which they know they have not, and which they also know belong to no being on earth. -- These, and many more dregs of Paganism and Popery, which we still erroneously retain, they will assuredly cast away from us; and thus -- on the whole, we should become a new people: by quick gradations the pure spirit of Christ's doctrines would take root in our hearts; power would not longer constitute the rule of justice; the primitive truths and the primitive age would be restored; mankind, who has from that period hitherto been, by nature, principle, and practice, very devils, would revert to a perfect sense of their original dignity and angelic source, and no longer disgrace it; all jarring sects would be reconciled; peace and harmony would return to the earth; an effectual stop would be put to the carnage of man and brute; and all united, would produce a sure and happy transmigration to eternity. -- GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND would blaze out as the torch of righteousness to all the world; her nations would prosper; her people be happy; their pious flame would be caught by their neighboring states, and from thence be spread over the face of the whole earth; and THE KINGDOM OF SATAN WOULD BE NO MORE.

161. We are most sensible, that in this age of dissipation, infidelity, and sensuality, our labors and system will be deemed by the dissolute and unthinking part of mankind, utterly chimerical and impracticable: be it so; it is not from those we expect a reform: our hopes rest on the efforts of the many, who, although they swim with the current of vice, have yet at heart a reverence for the sublime truths of religion and morality, and would gladly join in stemming the tide, howsoever they are, by a fatal complacence, borne down by the prevailing torrent of folly and fashion: would these but exert their powers in the cause of virtue; those would soon be ashamed of being out of the mode. -- The marks of the divine displeasure which hovers round us are tremendous! we know not how soon they may light upon us; therefore let us, by a general reform, effectually deprecate the "pestilence that walketh in darkness," and thereby excite our GOD to "give his angels charge over us."

162. Thus we have finished a Dissertation, begun from no other motives but the glory of God, and the present and future good of all mankind, and the rest of the animal intelligent beings: -- it must be allowed that our attempt is laudable, howsoever imperfect the execution. -- And now we take our final leave of the Public, to whom some apology is due, for the tardy performance of our engagement, owing to unavoidable hindrances, as, bad health, a necessity for change of climate, &c.

163. We could have swelled the size of our book with the addition of many more learned quotations and notes, from ancient and modern productions, to illustrate and support our system; but, as we benefit not ourselves in any shape by the sale of our publications, so we have studiously avoided taxing the Public for the emolument of our bookseller.

164. Before we put an absolute FINIS to our work, we think some apology is also due to those individuals amongst our readers, who, either from a weak mind, hard head, or soft and tender conscience, may possibly be offended with some parts of our doctrines which bear a tendency so diametrically opposite to the sensual passions and appetites of one class, and to others so repugnant to the opinions they have imbibed in the early states of life, which they have been taught to cherish, and look upon as orthodox and established articles of faith: -- to such we only recommend, that they would endeavor to enlarge their intellectuals, by divesting their souls of all prejudice, and thinking for themselves; and then we rest assured that we shall stand exculpated from all intention of offence. -- We have already had occasion, more than once, to assert, that our great and leading motive for this Essay was the revival of the PRIMITIVE TRUTHS, as the only sure basis for the restoration of morals and true religion; and with this principle we close: conceiving, at the same time, that our laudable endeavors must share the same fate with those of others (much more equal to a task of this nature) and prove abortive of the end proposed, whilst a common error in the political institutes of all nations subsists, namely, the provision of penal laws for the public punishment OF VICE, without establishing laws for the encouragement and public reward of VIRTUE. -- The principles of shame, and thirst of applause, so firmly implanted in every human breast, seem to have been utterly neglected, whilst they might, in the hands of a wise legislator or administration, be converted to the most salutary purposes of every well-governed state. -- Some universal causes there must be, why every age proves more depraved than the last: some of the most fatal we have occasionally marked in the body of our work, but the political error above noticed is not amongst the least -- The tendency of all human laws seems calculated, not to make mankind better, but to prevent their growing worse: how ineffectual all penal laws have proved to answer this partial purpose, every day's experience evinces; and yet we persevere without varying our system, although thereby we tacitly give up the cause of humanity; declaring in effect, that human nature is incapable of amendment, without trying whether in fact it is so, or not. -- GOD himself has pointed out a short institute of laws for man's example, which man has never yet followed; he had decreed punishment for sin, and rewards for righteousness: man punishes evil actions, but rewards not good ones, by an established laws: herein GOD proves himself a just judge, and man shows himself an unjust one, by leaving virtuous actions to their own reward in this life, in the breast only of the possessor, which, in general, proves but a weak excitement to universal practice. -- All government is supposed to have taken its rise from parental authority: although the just parent, in imitation of GOD, chastises the faults of his children, yet he rewards them for being good, notwithstanding duty, and their own interest, prompt them to be so, for their own sakes. -- Hence it is most obvious, that in the established laws of all nations, legislators have deviated from the invariable economy of GOD, as well as from the first maxims of human government in the world, in punishing crimes, without establishing laws, either pecuniary or honorary, or both, for the reward and encouragement of virtue, in whatsoever objects or lights she may appear. -- Herein also, we would stimulate the legislature of our country to take the lead to Europe: let virtue be honored and rewarded by authority, and vice would soon fall into disesteem, as unprofitable.

We make no apology to the Public for the matter of our Essay, but as many inadvertencies may have escaped us in the execution, respecting want of strict connection, diction, &c. for these we rely on the good-nature and indulgence of the learned world: -- we have wrote from the full conviction of our heart and understanding; therefore, should our style sometimes appear too dogmatic and dictatorial, we hope (the cause considered) candor will kindly overlook it.

Milford Haven, near Haverford West,
South Wales, 1st Nov. 1770.

FINIS.
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