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And hence the disgraceful prevalence throughout society, from its very highest to its lowest grades, of tricks of dissimulation, hypocrisy, and lying, so gross and palpable, that every body can see through it, every body is disgusted at it, every body is ashamed of it, and nobody has any thing to say to it better than God mend us all.
Men, made to be ingenuous, frank, and honourable, to bear the index of the heart upon the forehead, and the mind's expression in the tongue's utterance, meet together, as if the very terms of their covenant had been, that not a word of truth should be told by any of them. And instead of that Godlike sincerity, whose simple eloquence once thundered in the Areopagus, and made the ermined tyrant shudder under the guilty weight of a crown unhonoured by the administration of justice; pomp without dignity, and splendour without usefulness; and which told the Grecian nation that to fill the chair of power without the effect of power, is usurpation: and "though the structure of a tyrant's throne rises on the necks of half the suffering world, fear trembles in the cement, and curses not loud but deep, sap its foundations, and steal the pillars of allegiance from it.'
Our best bursts of modern eloquence are the cold dictation of unfeeling imbecility, or doating plethora, which interpreted to the significancy of all that was signified, might be read in two words―ROGUES ALL!-Conceive but the contrasted majesty of a single honest man in such a presence: multiply that idea by the united power of twenty honest men, who would neither utter falsehoods, nor suffer them to be uttered by Jove himself, and you will recognise the inseparable sentiment of power and greatness, which attaches to sincerity of character. Amidst the blaze of heraldry, and pomp of power, the man who loved and spake the truth, would be the man to your mind whom Nature had made noble; to him the ear would listen, on him the eye would fix itself. Malignity and intolerance would surrender their enforced and conquered homage,
"Onward he moves, Deceit and Fraud retire,
Men and Brethren-Could I have set before you the noble virtue of sincerity by more convincing arguments, or with cleare demonstrations have established your mind's distinction of it from any possible qualities of boorish rudeness, or wild fanaticism? You have understood it, I trust, as a perfection which ignorance can never attain, nor superstition desire. You understood it to be no low or ordinary quality, nor will again ascribe its transcendent merit to men of low and ordinary qualities. Like all other virtues, it is the result of a cultivated, and not of an uncultivated, understanding: and the way to acquire it, and to become really sincere characters, (which it is next to impossible for us, who
have nothing to hinder us from being so, not to desire to be,)-the way is, as it is the way to all other virtues, to cultivate our minds as much as we possibly can, and by all means in our power.
Where there were no perfection to be displayed, and no consciousness of intellectual wealth, the sincerity which exposed the mind's internal poverty, would be rather an inconvenience and an indiscretion, than so great a virtue.
It were better that ignorance should be concealed, and that vice, which is the inseparable effect and consequence of ignorance, should be disguised and hidden, as much as may be: for they are in nature hideous and ugly. 'Tis but a decent economy in Nature's commerce, not to hang up rubbish in the shop-window, and hence arises the absolute necessity of cunning, craft, chicane, and management; to the rude, the boorish, and the barbarous mind-they cannot do without them.
The real secret of all disingenuous, uncandid, artful, cunning, and deceitful persons, is, that they are ashamed of themselves, and the real truth is, that they have very good reason to be so. For when they come to take stock of their mind's furniture they find it to be such desperate rubbish, and so out of all order, collocation, and method, that if the trick of gilding and varnishing the outside won't serve the turn, 'tis bankruptcy and beggary confessed, with them. And such a poverty and wretchedness of mind, is oftenest to be found, and most to be suspected, where the varnishing and gilding are laid on the thickest.
Is sincerity so noble, so glorious a quality, as that by a sort of irresistible charm, it commands the affections of all good men, and conquers the hostility of all bad men? It is, because it cannot be assumed, cannot be counterfeited, cannot exist but in the congress and combination of all virtues.
Then it is, that the accomplished creature man, appears as the completed xupepyos of Nature's great design, her image of a Deity" a piece of a work, how noble in reason, how excellent in faculties, in form and movement how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a God."
It is the physical operation of sincerity of heart; when all that is without is in perfect accordance with all that is within, and all that is within is fair and innocent, that produces that ever pleasing and agreeable expression, and in general, that exquisite beauty of countenance which we observe in young persons, and in those especially whom not without reason we call the fair sex.
This beauty would continue to the human animal, increasing only with increasing intelligence, from the mild lustre of its blooming morn, to the full radiance of its perfect day. But, that the first moment in the history of life, that renders dissimulation and artifice necessary, inoculates it with the moral disease that eventually proves fatal to it. And that moment is the precise crisis, (though sometimes earlier and sometimes later in life)
when the mind has reached that point of developement at which it can no longer be ignorant, or no longer be innocent, when if a stock of intelligence and information be not brought in to supply the mature capacity for receiving them, the balance of the one to the other, on which beauty depended, is broken up, and the vacant glare of idiotcy, can only be hidden under frowns of sullenness, or grimaces of affectation.
To recommend sincerity, is therefore to recommend the laying in a stock of intellectual wealth, to admit of our affording to be sincere. The love of knowledge, the diligent and earnest pursuit of it, especially by my young friends, is virtue itself; and if ye have not that, I recommend you to read your Bibles, to study Doddridge's Rise and Progress, the Evangelical Magazine, the History of the Seven Champions of Christendom, and Reading made Easy to the meanest Capacity.
But if you would be good men, there is no other way to become so, than by being wise men. If you would be sincere you must be clever, and so alone can you secure to yourselves that prize,
"Which nothing else can give nor can destroy,
Which may it ever be the portion of them who deserve it, and of nobody else.
DELEND A EST CARTHAGO.
TO THE INFIDEL MISSIONARIES.
GENTLEMEN-I beg leave to inform you, that the Rev. Robert Newton, of Liverpool, preached two sermons on Sunday last, at Hindestreet Chapel, Marylebone, for the benefit of the trust funds of the said chapel. As this gentleman is one of those with whom you have come in contact, I attended to hear if he had any thing to say about you, and to report the same to head-quarters.
In the morning sermon, his only allusion to you worth notice, was, that a Rev. Gentleman at Edinburgh had told him, that "there was a disposition there more prone to dispute than to pray," which I was very happy to hear.
In the evening sermon, he alluded to the "Infidel philosophy" of the French republic, and told his hearers that they, the French philosophers, wanted to carry their project by "abolishing the Sabbath," and "casting aside the Bible;" and he mentioned that
he had received a letter from the notorious individuals, who called themselves Infidel Missionaries forsooth!" but he did not read the letter or state what it contained. He stated, "that the Infidel argument against Christianity formerly was, that the Chris
tians formed so small a part of the numerical proportion of human beings in the world; but that now, when Christianity is preached in every clime, the Infidels had changed their ground, and now they say, keep your Christianity to yourselves." That, I believe, was all he said in allusion to Infidel philosophy. It was not a proper subject for him to dwell long upon before a Methodist congregation of 800 persons, for fear of the consequences.
He stated, with a view of exciting his hearers to a liberal subscription, "that he had travelled north, east, south, and west, and that although there was great distress in trade, great want of money, much greater than at the same period last year, yet, that wherever he had been, there had been greater collections made this year, notwithstanding these circumstances, than last; which convinced him that the congregations subscribed from principle, and that they would rather retrench their expences at home, than suffer the cause of God to languish."* As we know that these gentlemen will draw a long bow, and never think it too long, when they have the thoughts of the needful in them; all that I have to say to the above assertion, is, that I hope it isn't true. I was sorry to see a number of the poor miserable beings subscribe their single pennies. Poor wretches! how long will ye subscribe your money to make the preacher fat, while ye yourselves shall starve at home! Oh! had ye but moral courage sufficient to work out your emancipation from this vile delusion! did ye but know how many fellows live a life of luxury and idleness with the money, the hard-earned money of the mechanic and artisan! did ye but reflect, that ye pay the physician only to increase your disease! you would leave the cause of God, (where it ought to be left) to languish, and keep your hard-earned pence to be employed to a better purpose.
London, June 30, 1829.
* Q. E. D. Money is the cause of God.
TO THE INFIDEL MISSIONARIES.
You have indeed, "thrown a stone into the stagnant pool of human ignorance," here in Cambridge, and have prevented the frogs and toads that are created by its filth" from sitting down again easy; for they begin to croak now there are no stones at hand to throw at them. On Sunday, 14th instant, at All Saints' Church, the Rev. Jenkin Jones, M. A., of St. John's College, pronounced the eternal vengeance of his Christian God upon the "Infidels that had come from the metropolis to challenge the University, and pretend to dispute the truth of divine revelation, asserting things they cannot prove, and perplexing the
minds of the unlearned." Aye! and learned too! or they would have accepted the noble challenge you gave them, instead of exhibiting their own perplexity, by taking away the license and still withholding it, from the person in whose house you lodged. The Rev. J. Jones was truly terrified, the chief of his sermon was on your visit to Cambridge.
The placards announcing the contents of No. 22, of the LION, vol. 3., which was posted about Cambridge, have frightened the Monks, as much as if one of the lions had escaped from Wombwell's menagerie. Masters of Arts were seen pulling down the bills that so much alarmed them.
The Latin challenge too, was a source of terror to them. A M. A. tore it off the door, and with his hair standing on its ends, demanded of the library-keeper," Who had put it there?" Not finding out who had done it, he pocketed what had so frightened him.
I am happy to find there is a prospect of a future INFIDEL CHURCH in Nottingham, and I hope soon to see the example followed in other towns.
Your constant reader,
A FRIEND AND NO CHRISTIAN.
Cambridge, June 25, 1829.
OF SHAFTSBURY'S " CHARACTERISTICS."
(EXTRACTED BY H. D. R.)
The theology, or theogony, of the heathens, could admit of such different terms and figurative expressions, as suited the fancy and judgment of each philosopher or poet. But the purity of our faith will admit of no such variation. The Christian theology, the birth, procedure, generation, and personal distinction of the divinity, are mysteries only to be determined by the initiated, or ordained, to whom the state has assigned the guardianship and promulgation of the divine oracles. It becomes not those who are uninspired from heaven, and uncommissioned from earth, to search with curiosity into the original of those holy rites and records, by law established. Should we make such an attempt, we should in all probability find the less satisfaction, the further we presumed to carry our speculations. Having dared once to quit the authority and direction of the law, we should easily be subject to heterodoxy and error, where we found no better