TO JOHN MASON, ONE OF THE MINISTERS OF THE SCOTCH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF NEW YORK, WITH REMARKS ON HIS ACCOUNT OF THE VISIT HE MADE TO THE LATE GENERAL HAMILTON
let us REASON
together saith the Lord."
This is one of the passages you quoted from your Bible, in your
conversation with General Hamilton,
as given in your letter, signed with your name, and published in the
Commercial Advertiser, and
other New York papers, and I requote the passage to show that your text
and your religion contradict each other.
It is impossible to reason upon things
not comprehensible by reason;
and therefore, if you keep to your text, which priests seldom do, (for
they are generally either above it, or below it, or forget it,) you must
admit a religion to which reason can apply, and this certainly is not
the Christian religion.
There is not an article in the Christian religion that
is cognizable by reason.
The Deistical article of your religion,
the belief of a God, is no
more a Christian article than it is a Mahometan article. It is an
universal article, common to all religions, and which is held in greater
purity by Turks than by Christians; but the Deistical church is the only
one which holds it in real purity; because that church acknowledges no
co-partnership with God. It
believes in Him solely; and knows nothing of sons, married virgins, nor
ghosts. It holds all these things to be the fables of priestcraft.
Why then do you talk of reason, or refer to it, since
your religion has nothing to do with reason, nor reason with that?
You tell people as you told Hamilton, that they must have
Faith in what? You
ought to know that before the mind can have faith in anything, it must
either know it as a fact, or see cause to believe it on the probability
of that kind of evidence that is cognizable by reason.
But your religion is not within either of these cases;
for, in the first place, you cannot prove it to be fact; and in the
second place, you cannot support it by reason, not only because it is
not cognizable by reason, but because it is contrary to reason.
What reason can there be in supposing, or believing
that God put Himself to death to
satisfy Himself, and be revenged on the Devil on account of Adam?
For, tell the story which way you will it comes to this at last.
As you can make no appeal to reason in support of an
unreasonable religion, you then (and others of your profession) bring
yourselves off by telling people they must not believe in reason but in
This is the artifice of habit without reflection.
It is putting words in
the place of things; for do
you not see that when you tell people to believe in revelation, you must
first prove that what you call
revelation, is revelation;
and as you cannot do this, you put the
word, which is easily spoken,
in the place of the thing you
You have no more evidence that your Gospel is
revelation than the Turks have that their Koran is revelation, and the
only difference between them and you is, that they preach their delusion
and you preach yours.
In your conversation with General Hamilton, you say to
him, "The simple truths of
the Gospel which require no
abstruse investigation, but faith in the veracity of
God who cannot lie, are best
suited to your present condition."
If those matters you call
"simple truths" are what you
call them, and require no abstruse investigation, they would be so
obvious that reason would easily comprehend them; yet the doctrine you
preach at other times is, that
the mysteries of the Gospel are beyond the reach of reason.
If your first position be true, that they are
simple truths, priests are
unnecessary, for we do not want preachers to tell us the sun shines; and
if your second be true, the case, as to effect, is the same, for it is
waste of money to pay a man to explain unexplainable things, and loss of
time to listen to him.
That God cannot
lie, is no advantage to your argument, because it is no proof that
priests cannot, or, that the Bible does not.
Did not Paul lie when he told the Thessalonians that the general
resurrection of the dead would be in his life- time, and that he should
go up alive along with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air?
I Thes. iv. 17.
You spoke of what you call,
"the precious blood of Christ."
This savage style of language belongs to the priests of the
Christian religion. The professors of this religion say they are shocked
at the accounts of human sacrifices of which they read in the histories
of some countries. Do they not see that their own religion is founded on
a human sacrifice, the blood of man, of which their priests talk like so
It is no wonder the Christian religion has been so
bloody in its effects, for it began in blood, and many thousands of
human sacrifices have since been offered on the altar of the Christian
It is necessary to the character of a religion, as
being true, and immutable as God Himself is, that the evidence of it be
equally the same through all periods of time and circumstance.
This is not the case with the
Christian religion, nor with that of the Jews that preceded it, (for
there was a time and that within the knowledge of history, when these
religions did not exist,) nor is it the case with any religion we know
of but the religion of Deism.
In this the evidences are eternal and universal.
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the
firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night
unto nigh showeth knowledge."
But all other religions are made to arise from some local circumstance,
and are introduced by some temporary trifle which its partisans call a
miracle, but of which there is no proof but the story of it.
The Jewish religion, according to the history of it,
began in a wilderness, and
the Christian religion in a
stable. The Jewish books tell us of wonders exhibited upon Mount
Sinai. It happened that nobody lived there to contradict the account.
The Christian books tell us of a star that hung over
the stable at the birth of
Jesus. There is no star there now, nor any person living that saw it.
But all the stars in the heavens bear eternal evidence to the truth of
Deism. It did not begin in a stable, nor in a wilderness. It began
everywhere. The theater of the universe is the place of its birth.
As adoration paid to any being but GOD Himself is
idolatry: the Christian religion by paying adoration to a man, born of a
woman called Mary, belongs to the idolatrous class of religions;
consequently the consolation drawn from it is delusion.
Between you and your rival in communion ceremonies,
Dr. Moore of the Episcopal Church, you have, in order to make yourselves
appear of some importance, reduced General Hamilton's character to that
of a feeble minded man, who in going out of the world wanted a passport
from a priest. Which of you was first or last applied to for this
purpose is a matter of no consequence.
The man, Sir, who puts his trust and confidence in God, that leads a just and moral life, and endeavors to do good, does not trouble himself about priests when his hour of departure comes, nor permit priests to trouble themselves about him. They are in general mischievous beings where character is concerned; a consultation of priests is worse than a consultation of physicians.
 Alexander Hamilton who was dying from a gunshot he received in a duel. Editor.
 This Psalm (19) which is a Deistical Psalm, is so much in the manner of some parts of the book of Job (which is not a book of the Jews, and does not belong to the Bible), that it has the appearance of having been translated into Hebrew from the same language in which the book of Job was originally written, and brought by the Jews from Chaldea or Persia, when they returned from captivity. The contemplation of the heavens made a great part of the religious devotion of the Chaldeans and Persians, and their religious festivals were regulated by the progress of the sun through the twelve signs of the zodiac. But the Jews knew nothing about the heavens, or they would not have told the foolish story of the sun’s standing still upon a hill, and the moon in a valley. What could they want the moon for in the day time?
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Click here to read the actual survey. (It's in PDF)
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