An Apology for Atheism (Addressed to Religious Investigators of Every Denomination by One of Its Apostles) by Charles Southwell

An Apology for Atheism (Addressed to Religious Investigators of Every Denomination by One of Its Apostles) by Charles Southwell

Author:Charles Southwell [Southwell, Charles]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Atheism
Published: 2005-08-10T14:00:00+00:00


Tell us, ye men of mystery, shall a God need praises beneath the dignity of a man? Shall the Creator of Nature act less worthily than one of his creatures? To do God homage, we are quite aware, is reckoned by Christians among their highest duties. But, nevertheless, it seems to us impossible that any one can love an existence or creature of which he never had any experience. Love is a feeling generated in the human breast, by certain objects that strike the sense—and in no other conceivable way can love be generated! But God, according to Newton, is neither an object nor a subject, and though, all eyes, all ears, all brains, all arms, all feeling, all intelligence, and all action, he is totally unknown to us. If Christians allow this to be a true description of the God they worship, we wish to understand how they can love Him so vehemently as they affect to do—or how they can pay any other than lip homage to so mysterious a Deity? It is usual for slaves to feign an affection for their masters that they do not, cannot feel—but that believers in a God should imagine that he who 'searcheth all hearts,' can be ignorant of what is passing in theirs, or make the tremendous mistake of supposing that their lip homage, or interested expressions of love, are not properly appreciated by the Most High God, and 'Universal Emperor,' is indeed very strange. To overreach or deceive a God who created the heavens and the earth, is altogether beyond the power of puny mortals. Let not therefore those who bend the knee, while the heart is unbent, and raise the voice of thankful devotion, while all within is frost and barrenness, fancy they have stolen a march upon their Deity; for surely if the lord liveth, he judgeth rightly of these things. But it were vain to expect that those who think God is related to his creatures as a despot is related to his slaves, will hope to please that God by aught save paltry, cringing, and dishonestly despicable practices. Yet, no other than a despotic God has the great Newton taught us to adore—no other than mere slaves of such a God, has he taught us to deem ourselves. So much for the Theism of Europe's chief religious philosopher. Turn we now to the Theism of Dr. Samuel Clarke.

He wrote a book about the being and attributes of God, in which he endeavoured to establish, first, that 'something has existed from all eternity;' second, that 'there has existed from eternity some one unchangeable and independent Being;' third, that 'such unchangeable and independent Being, which has existed from all eternity, without any external cause of its existence, must be necessarily existent;' fourth, that 'what is the substance or essence of that Being, which is necessarily existing, or self-existent, we have no idea—neither is it possible for us to comprehend it;' fifth, that 'the self-existent Being must of



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