Letter to James Arlington Bennet, 13 November 1843

  • Source Note
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, Ill. Nov. 13 1843.
Dear : your letter of the 24th ult. has been regularly received; its contents duly appreciated; and its whole tenor candidly considered; and, according to my manner of judging all things in righteousness, I proceed to answer you, and shall leave you to meditate whether mathematical problems founded upon the truth of revelation, or religion as promulgated by me or Moses can be solved by rules and principles existing in the system of common knowledge.
How far you are capable of being “a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence,” will best be decided by your survivors, as all past experience most assuredly proves: without controversy that friendship while intelligent beings would accept as sincere, must arise from love, and that love, grow out of virtue which is as much a part of religion, as light is a part of Jehovah. Hence the saying of Jesus: greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
You observe; “as I have proved myself to be a philosophical divine, I must excuse you, when you say that we must leave these influences to the mass.” The meani[n]g of “philosophical divine” may be taken in various ways: If, as the learned world apply the term, you infer that I have acheived a victory, and been strenghtened by a scientific religion as as practised by the sects popular sects of the age, through <the> aid of Colleges seminars Bible societies, Mission<ary> boards, financial organozations, and gospel money then schemes, then you are wrong: such a combination of men and means, shows a form of Godliness without the power: for it is written “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit. after the rudiments of the world and not after doctrines [p. 1]
, Ill. Nov. 13 1843.
Dear : your letter of the 24th ult. has been regularly received; its contents duly appreciated; and its whole tenor candidly considered; and, according to my manner of judging all things in righteousness, I proceed to answer you, and shall leave you to meditate whether mathematical problems founded upon the truth of revelation, or religion as promulgated by me or Moses can be solved by rules and principles existing in the system of common knowledge.
How far you are capable of being “a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence,” will best be decided by your survivors, as all past experience most assuredly proves: without controversy that friendship while intelligent beings would accept as sincere, must arise from love, and that love, grow out of virtue which is as much a part of religion, as light is a part of Jehovah. Hence the saying of Jesus: greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
You observe; “as I have proved myself to be a philosophical divine, I must excuse you, when you say that we must leave these influences to the mass.” The meaning of “philosophical divine” may be taken in various ways: If, as the learned world apply the term, you infer that I have acheived a victory, and been strenghtened by a scientific religion as practised by the popular sects of the age, through the aid of Colleges seminars Bible societies, Missionary boards, financial organozations, and gospel money schemes, then you are wrong: such a combination of men and means, shows a form of Godliness without the power: for it is written “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit. after the rudiments of the world and not after doctrines [p. 1]
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