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“The temple, the most worthy of the divinity, in the eyes of the Theophilanthropists, is the universe. Abandoned sometimes under the vault of heaven to the contemplation of the beauties of nature, they render its author the homage of adoration and gratitude. They nevertheless have temples erected by the hands of men, in which it is more commodious for them to assemble to listen to lessons concerning his wisdom. Certain moral inscriptions, a simple altar on which they deposit, as a sign of gratitude for the benefits of the Creator, such flowers or fruits as the seasons afford, and a tribune of the lectures and discourses, form the whole of the ornaments of their temples.
“ The first inscription placed above the altar, recalls to remembrance the two religious dogmas, which are the foundation of their moral.
« First Inscription. “We believe in the existence of a God, in the immortality of the soul.
. “ Second Inscription. “Worship God, cherish your kind, render yourselves useful to your country.
“ Third Inscription, “Good is every thing which tends to the preservation or the perfection of man.
“Evil is every thing which tends to destroy or deterioratę him,
“ Fourth Inscription. « Children, honour your fathers and mothers, Obey them with affection. Comfort their old age. “Fathers and mothers, instruct your children.
« Fifth Inscription. " Wives, regard in your husbands the chiefs of your houses. .
“ Husbands, love your wives, and render yourselves reciprocally happycor Росату парру
: “ The assembly sits to hear lessons or discourses on morality, principles of religion, of benevolence, and of universal' salvation, principles equally remote from the severity of Stoicism and Epicurean indolence. These lectures and discourses are diversified by hymns. Their assemblies are holden on the first day of the week, and on the decades.” Mr. Belsham, in his. answer to Mr. Wilberforce, speaking of this new French sect of Deists, remarks Its professed principles comprehend the essence of the Christian religion ; but not adınitting the resurrection of Christ, the Theophilanthropists deprive themselves of the only solid ground on which to build the hope of a future existence.”
The concluding part of the manual of the Theophilanthropists being still further explanatory of their tenets and conduct, shall be here introduced :-" If any one ask you'what is the
origin of your religion and of your worship, you can answer him thus:-Open the most ancient books which are known, seek there what was the religion, what the worship of the first human beings of which history has preserved the remembrance. There you will see that their religion was what we now call natural religion, because it has for its principle even the Author of nature. It is he that has engraven it in the heart of the first human beings, in ours, in that of all the inhabitants of the earth: this religion, which consists in worshipping God and cherishing our kind, is what we express by one single word, that of Theophilanthropy. Thus our religion is that of our first parents ; it is yours ; it is ours; it is the universal religion. As to our worship, it is also that of our first fathers. See even in the most ancient writings, that the exterior signs by which they rendered their homage to the Creator, were of great simplicity. They dressed for him an altar of earth, they offered him, in sign of their gratitude and of their submission, some of the productions which they held of his liberal hand. The fathers exhorted their children to virtue; they all encouraged one another under the auspices of the Divinity to the accomplishment of their duties. This simple worship, the sages of all nations have not ceased
to profess, and they have transmitted it down to us without interruption.
« If they yet ask you of whom you hold your mission, answer, We hold it of God himself, who in giving us two-arms to aid our kind, has also given us intelligence to mutually enlighten us, and the love of good to bring us together to virtue; of God, who has given experience and wisdom to the aged to guide the young, and authority to fathers to conduct their children.
“If they are not struck with the force of these reasons, do not farther discuss the subject, and do not engage yourself in controversies, which tend 10 diminish the love of our neighbours. Our principles are the eternal truth ; they will subsist, whatever individuals may support or attack them, and the efforts of the wicked will not even prevail against them. Rest firmly attached to them, without attacking or defending any religious system; and remember, that similar discussions have never produced good, and that they have often
tinged the earth with the blood of men. Let us - lay aside systems, and apply ourselves to doing good. It is the only road to happiness.”
The Christian reader will admire the practical tendency of this new species of Deism, but lament the defects by which it stands charac, terized. It wants the broad basis of revelation, which would give permanency to its doctrines,
and energy to its precepts, beside the glorious discoveries of immortality! It was hoped at one time that the profession of this system in France would have prepared the way for the reception of pure Christianity.
As to the present state of religion in France, the reader is referred to the French Catechism translated by the Rev. D. Bogue. This Catechism is drawn up by the order, some say by the pen of Bonaparte, and is taught throughout the French empire. The section entitled a continuation of the Fourth Commandment, is particularly worthy of attention. It shews that the present emperor has not only the art of reigning, but of perpetuating that reign amongst his subjects.Superstition is the ally of tyranny.
JUDAISM is the religious doctrines and rites of the Jews, who are the descendants of Abraham, a person of eminence, chosen by God, soon after the flood, to preserve the doctrine of the Divine Unity among the idolatrous nations of the earth. A complete system of Judaism is contained in the five books of Moses, their great lawgiver, who was raised up to deliver them from their bondage in Egypt, and to conduct them to the possession