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The Louisville gazette. (Louisville, Ga.) 1799-1800, March 05, 1799, Image 1

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Vot. I.J * T U E S D A Y, M arch 5, 1799. [No. 7, ' - REASON AND TRUTH IMPARTIAL (JUiDE THE TV:,T. " 10 JISVILDE: — 'every I uefday, by AMBROSE DAY, at three dollars per anti, payable half yearly in advance. Tite RECANTATION : | Beincr^antiripatedValcdiaoryl Acidrcrs of Thomas Paine, to the French Directory; Entigfctned and Patriotic Rulers \ °of the French Republic, I HAVE, with the great?ft admiration, beheld your lauda ble efforts, lor th-fe fcveral years pah, in at tempting to promote and per petuate the intereft of your con ftituents; and 1 do moft hear lily congratulate you on the great and magnanimous plans which you have formed and execu'ed, in conjunction with vour brave and patriotic fellow citizens —-plans which appeared to the aftonifhed and admiring world beyond the power of man to accompblh. You have d elated and rati fied many abufes in the political and eccle (radical economy of your long opprelfed country ! As I am now addreffing philofo phers, and I hope, men of can dor and forbearance, I fhall therefore deliver my fcnliments freely, being happily fecure from the invidious power of Pitt or Robefpierrey With due deference, I there fore beg leave to announce, that, in my opinion, you and I alfo in our enthufiafm to cflablifh the Rights of Man , have gone to g r eat excels. For fuch is the intemperance of the human paf fions, even thole of the rnofl laudable kind, when ftrongly excited, that tire ardor of patrio tifm, and indignation at pad op preflions, frequently impel even good men to purfuc a conduft, perhaps, quite repugnant to the 1 principle of equity and benefi cence which they are defirous to ellablilh. Incur firft paroxifms cfar oour for liberty, we have, per haps, not duly confidered that I the Divine Ruler of the univerfe ■ may take vengeance on nations, lor individuals who prefump- I boufly attempt to infringe on I his appointments. ■ Being now about to leave this hofpitable land of li )erty and rational equality, wherein I h:ive received a mofl Lonoura-I hie and cordial reception, after' the i on rod of perfecution had: o‘iven me from rny native coun-l t r y. Permit me, previous to ! my deputure, to communicate j t j °u fome ferious and impor-j I tant Mcas which have lately I cn £ a gcd my attention ; and how- I e , Ver ran ge and inconfidcnt I { ' lcv ' may appear to you, they I U ’ e f i ruck my mind with awful I convi&ion f * wN * n o» hor fome time THE LOUISVILLE GAZETTE. experienced great compnmflion of mind, by refledion on my late p eiumptious and inronfide rate a; Lack on the chrijlian rcli gion : I fay inconfiderate, be caufe I did not, at that time, fuflicicntly conlider the argu ments in vindication of its di vine original, which abound in the works of many < f its able and diftinguifhed defenders ; efpecially thofe advanced by the celebrated Mr. Locke y in his ex cellent effay on truth and rea fon, and the rnallerly and con cluhve arguments in its favour, drawn fiorn a confideration of its internal evidences, by the ingenious Soame Jennings ; a man, who, like my Rif, at one lime difearded every idea of re vealed religion. And, as I h ;ve ever wifhed to fupport the cha ndler of a naan of candour, I have always thought it my duty attentively to weigh, and im partially toconfider the various publications that have appeared to the wo!Id, as anfwers either to my political or religious prin ciples ; hence 1 have been led to purlue ti e late anfvver to my : Age of Realon, written by the j learned Dr. Watfon. I believe| it is a fadl well known, that I j have never been much attached to the priellhood ; hut, howe ver, in confidering his wodc, I endeavoured to lofe fight of the local profeflions of the man, 1 and applied myfelf to a dole; and impartial inveftigaiion ofi his arguments: he is certainly a I man that dees honour to his profeflion. In his Apology for the Bible, he makes a full dif play of thofe peculiar talents which he fo eminently polTelies for vindicating the caufe he has efpoufed. In him the learned and ingenious Gibbon found an opponent, whom he dared not attempt to oppole : I mult can didly avow, whatever odium and difgrace it may expole me to, from thofe men whofe mind are not open to convi&ion, ard will not acknowledge their error, merely becaule of having per il (led in it, that in his book I found all my objedlions anlwer ed, and all the imaginary difti jculties, which lay in the way of | my receiving chriflianity, fully .removed. I have, therefore, been led to re-perufe the Rup tures, in a much more unpreju | diced and attentive manner than 1 1 ever did—the refult of whief 1 is, that I am now fully convinc- j ed, upon clear and rational prin-; ciplcs, of my mi (lake n zea 1 , n vainly attempting to lap lbs foundation of the chriflian’s hope, and endeavouring to pro -1 mote the caufe of infidelity s And I do hereby publicly and folernnly RETRACT, and re gret my infatuated prefumption, in engaging to attempt the de- Ibudion of that divine ftrudure which is built upon the lock of ages ! and which will a (fa redly flourilb, after my name, and that of all its oppofers, for up wards of feventccn bundled years, are buried in cblivion ! whatever iny former prejudices again!! revelation may have been, they are now all vaniflicd! and I fiimly believe, that Cod hath been graciou(ly p’eafed, at lundry times, to make known ins will to man, as an aid to the | great but fallible gift of reafon : and I do rnofl fmccrcly lament my temerity, in having given 10 much offence to the pious and well difpofed part of the com munity, both in Europe and America, Permit me now, with the ut moll diffidence, to recommend to your ferious confideration, the ncceffity and propriety of reforming that parr of your conftitution, which relates to the ancient fabbath : the innovation of which nothing could juflify, but the urgent ncceffity and laudable motives, which im pelled you to commit it, name ly, your ardent zeal to eftabliffi the Rights of Man, on the firm bans of law and equity ; which defirable objedl appeared to j you and to me likcwife, utterly i impradticahle to attain, without 1 firft rejedling the ellablilhed cuftoms, and I hereby removing the prejudices of the people in favour of kings, nobles and priefts, who had too long exc elled an undue influence over the minds of the well meaning, but too credulous and unthink ing-rnultilud*. But as the ori o ginal object is now happily fccu red, might not this defperate auxiliary towards obtaining if, be now wifely relinquifhcd. However contraffed and ob flinate minds may think fit to to peifevere in erronious piinci plcs once avowed, rather than tetrad and acknowledge their errors, may you, as becometh the augufl rulers of a great na tion. let a noble example of candour and magnanimity to the world by publicly retracing your edids relative to the holy fabbath !—lnflituted by divine authority, and long venciated by your worthy anceftors. This j will enfure you the confidence, I the affedion, and the efteem of 1 the pious and virtuous patt of mankind, and efpecially that of your real friends and allies, the American and Batavian rCpub llvS • I admire your laudable and patiiotic endeavours to pciTcdr and reform your plans of educa tion, on judicious and liberal principles ; but beg leave to remark, that, in my opinion, you adhere too much to ancient precedents, by imitating the piinciplos of education, among the Romans and Lacedemo nians many centuries ago ; which are not well calcu lated for the prefent Pate of locicty. I bus the jndicious and patriotic founders of the federal conftitution of the American republic erred, perhaps , in copy. | ing too much cf the Englifh cun ft i union ; though the be ft precedent at tint lime extant, it duly aJminiflcrcd . 1 hough 1 am not in the ha bit of quoting from other men's works in my cnrnpofitions. yet lire following fentiments, lately delivered on a public occafion, by a citizen of the Batavian ?e -publi c, appears vciy judicious and well founded, that 1 have concluded to infeit them here, as worthy of your mod ferious confideration :—“ Whoever at tempts to crcdl any fyftcm of policy to the cxclufion of reli gion, betrays great ignorance of human nature, and great indiffe rence of human happinefs. Man is a religious crcatuie, and is drawn to his Creator by all the principles of his conflitu tion—by the fenfe of his imbe cility, by confcience, by grati tude and admiration, and by his reafon, when duly improved. The grand requifue then, is to procure for hun a religion pure, Ample, beneficent and confola tory. This will be found only in the religion of |ESUS CHRIS F, as it is exhibited in the (acred writings. Here the j moft peifcdl flandard of duty is erected, in order to engage man to an endlefs progrels in virtue, and a diffident icmcdy is pro vided for lus deviations bom it, 1 when accompanied with peni tencc, the moft gloiious rewards are offered to his perfeveiing endeavours, and the llrongeft f . C 5 fuccours arc provided for his weaknefs : Inch a religion pow eifully {Lengthens every focial i civil obligation, and prepares men for heaven, by rendering them hole, virtuous, and uleful on earth.' See, gent’emen, if the grand fyftem of Clniilian morals can not he made more plain, ealy and engaging to the young and fifing generation, who h ive now OO , a* blighter pio'pcdl of obtaining a much belter education in reli gion and morality than the youth of France ever enjoyed, when