« PreviousContinue »
that great efforts are being made to insinuate atheism and infidelity into the minds of the working classes. Having been an attendant at various of the Socialist and infidel halls of London for the purpose of pursuing my studies upon the subject, I have observed this fact with much pain. Men who have really some pretensions to learning, are found frequently indoctrinating the minds of others with the subtle poison of infidelity, in a manner which proves they know the falsity of what they promulgate as truth. The following is an instance :
in the waters under the earth, innumerable proof of adaptation, utility, power, and beauty. Here again let us meet the atheist in the common walks of life--Does he not intuitively reason from the watch to the maker, from the artistic edifice to the builder?--does he not day by day intuitively reason in ten thousand instances from the development of intelligent design unto an intelligent cause ? There is but one replyhe does. By a parity of reasoning he does not, therefore, deny an intelligent cause to the intelligently designed creation which is around him, without perpetrating sheer and unmitigated folly, and palpable anomaly and self-contradiction.
Is there no adaptation to the wants of man in the fruits of the earth? Is not the eye adapted to sight, the ear to hearing, the mouth and larynx to speaking? Is not the hand as cunningly devised as a rake or a spade ? “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man ; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth ?.. Whereupon are the foundations thereof
I have alluded to Victoria Park. Several of the avenues leading to this park have been occupied all day on Sundays, and nearly every evening on week days, by infidels, who seek to proselytize with a zeal worthy of a better cause. A party to whom I have been made useful, occasionally circulates tracts for me amongst these persons,
with them. He came to me one morning, some time since, and said he felt much cast down, in consequence of having met with objections to which he could not reply. Amongst his opponents was a gentleman, who,
fastened ? . . Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know its place ?”—JOB.
Surely there is as much design in the wing of the bird as in a garment made by hands. To concede, therefore, intelligent causation of the one, and to deny it to the other, would be but for the consequences involved-simply ridiculous.
Who taught the bee the results of intricate mathematical fluxions ?
“ Profound geometer, who taught the bee
Intricate science, and to rival thee?
The appointed customs of each busy kind
after the discussion, went into a neighbouring house of respectability; a Jew was also opposed to my poor friend, who had been completely puzzled.
One objection raised was this: Is it not said by Christ, he was asked, in Matthew xii. 40, “As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth ?” This, the infidel said, contradicted the account elsewhere given, of our Lord) Christ dying on the Friday evening, and rising on the morn of
Fountain of science, spring of all that's wise,
Startling as the statement may be, it is proved that a drop of water, tenanted by the smallest animalcules known, termed monads, contains a number equal to that of the whole human population of the globe.
An experimenter with some of the larger orders of animalcules, but quite invisible to the naked eye, (Dr. Dick,) dropped by accident two minute portions of the matter containing different classes of animalcules into a little water, one portion sunk and the other remained on the surface. He brought
the Sabbath. I could not gainsay this, said my friend, and it appeared to produce much effect on the crowd present, which consisted principally of poor labouring men like himself-men who were out strolling on the Sabbath morning, and who had strolled there, to hear the discussions that are continually taking place.
This objection, which is one of a large class utterly baseless, but most plausible and telling until explained—and which are continually brought forward by men who know better, I mention for the purpose of illustrating the pains taken to leaven the lower orders with infidelity. Those poor uneducated men, would leave the ground increasingly divested of that moral restraint, which belief of Christianity throws around minds but even partially enlightened; they would
the microscope to bear upon the water, to examine what effect would be produced by the contact of such immense numbers of beings of different orders and habits. He found that as those armies which inhabited the matter upon the surface in their descent from it, came near those who had been disengaged from the sunken matter in their ascent, no confusion occurred, as the latter, evidently designedly and by instinct, separated into two bodies, allowing the descending myriads to pass between them, which they did, keeping close together. The creation we thus see is full of design, even beneath the ken of man's natural powers of vision.
depart sadly strengthened in the practices of drunkenness, debauchery, and other sins.*
Some of the objections brought forward by atheists and others, to confute the chronology of Moses, are very specious, exceedingly calculated to beguile ignorant persons, ready and willing to evade their responsibility to God in any way. The following extract from my journal will probably be read with interest :
“Mr. H---, a sweep, who resides here, still persists in avowing his unbelief in the existence of à devil. I said to him, 'I shall put it to you in this way, Mr. H.'-I am compelled to use the plainest form of speech to these people, as many monosyllables as possible, otherwise I should not be understood.--I said, 'I shall first prove to you that the Bible is the Word of God; next, that the Bible declares there is a devil, so that if the Bible be true, and the Bible says there is a devil, of course there must be a devil.' Mr. Harvey, who can neither read nor write, acquiesced, and I proceeded
* The reader is referred to a number of learned authorities for the explanation of this objection, which is very simple. Space only can be found here to name, that amongst the Jews, whom our Saviour was addressing, an onah (or, in the Greek, nuchthemeron) was a day and night, or any part of a day or night. This may be seen by Esther iv. 16, and is confirmed as the method of reckoning time amongst the Jews by various of their leading Rabbies, of which a full account may be seen in Dr. Clarke, who quotes from Lightfoot, etc.