A silly objection of this and other enemies to religion, to think to disgrace it by applying heathenism, which only concerns the political part wherein they were as wise as others, and might give rules. Instance in some, &c. "How differently from this do the great pretenders to primitive practice act, &c." This is a remarkable passage. Doth he condemn or allow this mysterious way?
The clearest vindication of the severities of the Old Testament Theocracy, in its wars of extermination against the Canaanites and Phoenicians, is to be found in a careful study of the foul and cruel types of heathenism which those nations carried with them wherever their colonies extended.
It is all very well for men to speak of the final reign of grace; and some are very eloquent along that line, never turning their eyes backward on the uncounted millions of the past who lived and died in heathenism. What has become of them? That is the question; and it calls for an answer that as Milton says, will "justify the ways of God to men."
In his will he had directed that he desired to be buried, like a Moor, at the very place where he first saw her, at the foot of a rock by a spring in the fields. The clergy of the village had been aroused by this and other directions in the will, which they considered smacked of heathenism, and objected to the carrying out of the will.
They believed that it was Jehovah's will to keep the first day holy. The reverse was a distinctive mark of Heathenism. The first traces of a new Social Order began to rise visibly on the delighted eye. The whole inhabitants, young and old, now attended School, three generations sometimes at the one copy or A B C book!
The people, respectful and sad, gathered round the grave the grave of a twin! and one of the women, a leader in heathenism, praised the white Mother's God for the child, and prayed that they might all have her hope in the Beyond.
Heathenism, therefore, as in other respects erroneous, was erroneous in point of persecution. I do not say every heathen who persecuted was therefore an impious man: I only say he was mistaken, as such a man is now. But, says the honorable gentleman, they did not persecute Epicureans. No: the Epicureans had no quarrel with their religious establishment, nor desired any religion for themselves.
Of that He is mainly speaking when He says, 'Them also I must bring. Here, then, are some truths which ought to underlie and shape as well as animate our efforts for heathenism. And first, remember that the same sovereign necessity which was laid on Him presses on us. The 'Spirit of life' which was in Christ had its 'law, which was the will of God.
Considering education one of the rights of man, the abolitionists persistently rebuked the North and South for their inhuman policy. On every opportune occasion they appealed to the world in behalf of the oppressed race, which the hostile laws had removed from humanizing influences, reduced to the plane of beasts, and made to die in heathenism.
Now the last remains went down, to the very feet, and the Romans believed that it foretold the end of the Amal dynasty. There was a Sibylline oracle too; 'Quintili mense Roma nihil Geticum metuet. Here, too, we find the last trace of heathenism, of that political mythology which had so inextricably interwoven itself with the life and history of the city.