The Origin, Character, and Influence of Idolatry
D C S
Ancient Authorities, Biblical Authority, Plenitude, Immaterialism, Astronomy, Natural Theology
Argues from the Bible that the better tenets of the 'heathen philosophy as it has been falsely called' were derived from 'a purer faith which must have preceded it', corrupted by intellectual arrogance (51). Reports that the later heathen philosophers saw 'the short-coming of their previous conceptions, and their utter incapacity to "glance a thought half-way to God," or rise from any created object to the immortal, eternal, and invisible Jehovah'. Relates of 'the votaries of what is unwarrantably called Platonism' that while they 'regarded the various intelligences of the heavenly world as so many steps in the ladder' they hesitated 'before they instituted a connection between even the very lowest of these, and any thing so debased as matter'. (52) Quotes from 'one of our own poets' five stanzas which look up through the heavens to the 'First Mover', which the essay describes as 'an adaptation merely of the ancient heathen systems, to the brighter discoveries of Revelation' (52–53).
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