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PLEA FOR RELIGION
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He that believeth shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
IT has been said by bishop Horne, that, “in times when erroneous tenets are diffused, all men should embrace some opportunity to bear their testimony against them.” If erroneous tenets were ever diffused among men in any age, they are eminently so in the present. I am so far, however, from considering this in the light of a misfortune to the general cause of truth, that I am persuaded, purposes of the most important nature are to be answered by it. But, notwithstanding this persuasion, I have thought it my duty, to bear a decided testimony against some of the most pernicious of those errors which prevail among us, and to stand forward as an advocate in behalf of religion in general, and the Sacred Writings in particular. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do : o
One might suppose, infidelity was a thing of so gloomy and uncomfortable a nature, that no man of the least decency of character could be found, who would embark in the desperate scheme. But, when we consider the many awful threatenings recorded in the Bible against persons of a certain description, the numerous passages apparently liable to very serious objections, the natural darkness of the human understanding, the perverseness of the human will, and the imperious calls of contending passions, we need not be surprised, that a large proportion of irreligious characters, who have little to hope from divine mercy, and much to fear from divine justice, should be induced to embark in any scheme, which is calculated to afford them present indulgence, and to free them from apprehensions of future danger. Thomas Paine's principles may buoy up the minds of persons of this