Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

corn

Sen

pears to me so obviously unscriptural that I am pretty sure, from my own experience and That of others, that no one possessed of merely common sense will fail to find its unscripturality after a methodical study of the Old and New Testaments, unless previously impressed in the early part of his life wiih creeds and forms of speech preparing the way to that doc. trine. No pride therefore can be supposed for a moment to have arisen from commonly at. tainable success. The Editor might be fully convinced of this fact, were he to engage a few independent and diligent natives to study attentively both the Old and New Testaments in their original languages, and then to offer their sentiments as to ihe doctrine of the Trinity being scriptural or a mere human invention.

To hold up to ridicule my surgestions in the second appeal to study first the books of the Old Testament unbiassed by ecclesiastic opinions imbibed in early life, and then to study ihe New Testament, the Revd. Editor states that “could it be relied on iodeed” my compendious method “ would deserve notice with a view to Christian education; as" on my plan, " the most certain way of enabling any one to discover in a superior manner ihe truths and doctrines of Christianily is to leave him till the age of thirty or forty without any religious impression." (Page 503) I do not in the least wonder at his disapprobation of my suggestion ; as the Editor, in common with other professors of traditional opinions, is sure of supporters of bis favorite doctine so long as it is inculcated on the minds of youths and even infants ; who, being once thorougbly impressed with the name of the Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity, long before they can think for themselves, . must be always inclined, even after their reason has become matured, to interpret the scared books, even those texts which are evidently inconsistent with this doctrine, in a manner favourable to their prepossessed opinion, whether their study be continued for three, or thirty, or twice thirty years. Could Hindooism continue after the present generation, or bear the studious examination of a sin. gle vear, if the belief of their idols being endued with animation were not carefully impressed on the young before they come to years of understanding ?

Let me here suggest that in my humble opinion no truly liberal and wise parent can ever take advantage of the mosuspecting and confiding credulily, of his children to impress

then with an implicit belief in any set of ab. struse doctrines, and intolerance of all other opinions, the truth or reasonableness of which they are incapable of estimating. Still less would he urge by threats the danger of present and eternal punishment for withholding a blind assent to opinions. they are unable to comprehend. Parents are bound by every moral tie to give their children such an education as may be sufficient to render them capable of exercising their reason as rational and social beings, and of forming their opinion on religious poiuts without illwill towards others, from a thorough investigation of the Scriptures and of the evidence and arguments adduced by tea. chers of different persuasions. Judgments thus formed have a real claim to respect from those who have not the means of judging for themselves. But of what cousequence is it, in a question of truth or error, to know how the matter at issue has been considered, even for a hundred generations, by those who have biindly adop'ed the creed of their fathers ? Surely the unbiasseit judgment of a person who has proceeded to the study of the Sacred Scriptures with an anxious desire to discover the truth they contain, even if his researches were to be continued but for a single twelvemonth, ought as far as authority goes

D

in such matters, to outweigh the opinions of any number who have either not thonght at all for themselves or have studied after prr-judice had laid hold of thci minds. What fair enquiry respecting the doc rine of the Trinity can be expected from one who has been on the bosom of his mother constantly tigh to ask the blessing of God the Father, Got the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and to hear the very name of Unit:rian with horro? Have the doctrines of the Vedant ever succeeded in soppressing polytheism amongst the generality of Hindous brongot up with the notion of tne Godhead of the sun, of fire, and of water, and of the separate and independent existence of the allegorical representations of the attributes of God? Were the sublime works written by the learned among the Greeks everablet, shake the early acquired superstitions notions and polytheistical faith of the generality of their countrymen? Nay even when Christian converts became numerous, did not those who were brought up in the ancient superstition introduce some vestiges of their idolatry into their new persuasion? In fact nothing can mo e surely impede the progress of truth than prejije dice instilled into minds blank to receive im. pressions, and the more unreasonable are the doctrines of a religion, the greater pains are

[blocks in formation]

taken by the supporters of them to plant them in the readily susceptible minds of youth.

O

OW

The Editor has filled a complete page in proving that besides early impressed prejudices There are also other causes of error in judr. ment-an attempt which might have been despensei wiih; for, I never limited the sources of inistake in examiuing religious matters to early impression alone. I aitributed only the prevailing errors in Christianity to traditional instructions inculcated in childhood as the Janguage of my second appeal will shew. “ Having derived my own opinions on this subje, t entirely from the scriptures themselves, I may perliaps be excused for the confidence with which I maintain them against those of so great a majority, who appeal to the same authority for their's; in as much as I attribute their different views, not to any inferiority of judgment compared with my own limited abj. lity, but to the powerful effects of early religious impressions ; for when these are deep, reason is seldom allowed its natural scope in examining them to the bottow” (Page 160) If the Editor doubt the accuracy of this remark, he mightsoon satisfy himself of its justice, were he to listen to the suggestion offered in the preceding paragraph with a view to ascertain whether the

« AnteriorContinuar »