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regions of ignorance, horror, and despair, which dawn commenced in the sixteenth century, but so great a work (as the sun) requires its proper time to arrive at its zenith, or meridian plenitude, which unfathomable,, inebriating and in-. effable blessing now is perssected in this our enlightened age and northern hemisphere, as y.ou know, and will give ample testimony, which will foe a convincing exumple to all suture generations.
Item, The old christian world being thought in the^beginning to be a fabric impeccable, our first progenitors, or great patriarchs, wink at the spirit. This they knew proper, as the enormous fabric of the christian world was built upon the spirit, which was deep-rooted in our hearts; but to our great and immortal splendour, darkness has taken her flight, the day-star is seated in the midst of our hearts, the little remains of spiritual anguish, shame and remorse lest standing in the times of our protestant forefathers and unweeded, are now, by our decree, .done away, or rather sanctioned, ratified, and confirmed, by this broad seal of our authority, being and proceeding from the centre of unity, or grand link os refinement, which uncloisters the heretofore protestant church of the pretended spiritual clouts or rags, that she, through shame, pride, or remorse, sufsered to remain; but now, in our enlightened age, is cleansed, and, like polished steel, springs and with heartselt joy cling to the adamant, with embraces of enchanting, social love, clasp, hug, welcome, and, with energetic zeal, engender, refinement *
( ) of the most: exquisite and soft delights, reposed in the lap of amorous inclination.
Item, It is, theresore, decreed, from the date of these presents, and it is decreed and enacted accordingly, that from hencesorward, that as it was thought protestantism and materialism were two opinions, we have set forth, explained and proved this supposition to be erroneous, and that it issued from, and through ignorance of our liege pigs, or malice of our adversaries, we now repeat and establish firm and substantially, absolutely and bona fide, that Materialimi is Protestantism refined, polished and made perfect; and from this date it is so decreed. Given under our broad seal, 1785.
Moses. 1 observe, in some parts of your decree, you consider the heart as the most noble part of man. •
Club. Most truly the heart principally governs; it is the seat of the will; it accepts or repels, without subjection, the will; commands, directs, desires, purposes, makes its resolves, places its afsections. and in distress, sorrow, pleasure, or'any part whatsoever is the pare afsected, in this seat or repository (the heart) the old spiritual errors governed and inflicted man; and it is an old observation, that the stings of conscience wounds the heart, or wounds the sQul. putting them upon an equality without distinction. It was, we allow, in the days of error, the proper part to seat the foul, the quality^ t>r property of which, conscience being there placed, fixed, 'and crowned Kinc, enthroned, wielding the royal sceptre, issuing his
euicts, edicts, attended with rrtenaefis, which stung and griped the poor deluded captive with remorse when not complied with. Your scriptures abound with threatenings against the obstinate, flinty and stony heart; also due praise is given to the loving and dutisul. I have found David a man aster my own heart, seeking the Lord; and another scripture, Son, give me your heart; so that we sind in all matters, commendable and discommendable, the heart is agent, to whom all things were intrusted and enjoined, and from whom due obedience was expected. All the asoresaid we are apprized of, and was sound necessary while they were under the rule and subject to a superior or spiritual jurisdiction. But now the spirit is exploded and taken away, it is sound necessary to remove the seat of empire, in imitation of Constantine the Great, who considered it proper not to erect Christianity on the spot of heathenism. So we, in like sort, have removed the seat of empire from the heart, and confirmed it on the brain.
Moses. The soul animates and gives life to man; will, memory, and understanding are the qualities or faculties of the soul; it acts on the brain, its seat, where it displays its understanding and memory; its will is lodged in the hearr, which is more immediately the seat of freeagency, where all matters and concerns are reserred to, and are there ratified and resolved upon or rejected. The will, according to scripture, and our own seelings, is the superior and chies agent, from Whom a scrutiny will be exacted ; the brain is busy investigating and paint
•ing a thousand images •, but the soul is accountable for nothing more to her God than what the heart or will consents to or rejects.
Club. You then suppose the soul animates, rules and governs the body; but displays her faculties more familiarly in the brain and, heart, but the heart more powerssully,
Moses. This is my belies. . Club. We cannot believe what comes- not under our cognizance-, for seeing is believing, but seeling is the naked truth. A spiritual substance we neither see or seel, theresore has no weight in our new philosophy of this our enlightened age and northern hemisphere, its firm being substantially proved by the senses.
Moses. Your philosophy, being absurd -and ridiculous to a degree of phreazy, gains no credit with me, neither can 1 take it into my conception, that reasunable creatures by choice can degrade themselves below the vilest bruteIt is not in the power of man, pretend wha-i he will, either through lust, presumption, or. despair, to unsoul himself.
Club. We are men of honour and philosuphers. Can you be so base born as to lupposo that persons of our rank can depreciate arfd roi> ourselves,, if we conceived a spiritual substance. You have more sagacity not to understand thac you are a pig, and, if a fit opportunity offered, wallow yourself among the herd. We know one another, although we do not wish to be known.
Moses. Sir, you put yourself foremost in your presumption, 1 seldom wager, but on this occasion rifion I Will^ture one 'hdndrecP dahts^rttl db-rtot stand the test of your philosophy. ''
-Ignatius.I accept your challenge and sfkkfe tfeesum. '• ..< —* V ^
- Moses. There it is; the wager is sealed.' ' '\ ^Ignatius. Propose your test. t- Moses. One of your new philosophers'of^tffts' your enlightened age and northern hemispnert^' isio'be- buried ordaid in *a vault underSti Se-'. pulchre near-by, this night. What I wager,fs>s that you will not suffer yourself to' be fastened, to the corpse, close linked, and pass this slight alone without light, but remain totally secluded from every living creature, (rr pitch darkrjejfsl,'5 the whole nighr, and there remain quiet 'irrjtil^ our return with the key, (which I ffiali keep) to take you out in the morning; on this cdndfcj tion the wager is your-s.
Ignatius. I expected a difficult task frdm a mln of your years and knowledge. and a Jew Rabbi;. The talk you purpose is what the rel-gious are'i trained to from the time of their entering thdT novitiate, in order to remove sears and terrors' that might prevent that due attention they owe their sick neighbour, when pnested, in waters-' ing and admin;string the sacraments, and other*comforts. I theresore, in honour, speak tan'*' didly, and offl-r to relinquish and return'y*o.d*'. money, or put some test more difficult and ho- \ nourable.'
Moses. I never retract, but yield to your tin*' crerior., either to bind or reject the proffered wager. - '•' -' f "--*