Saturday, March 24, 2007

Lewis Masquerier, "Propagandists" (862)

For the Boston Investigator.

Propagandists.

By Lewis Masquerier

The mind of man being nothing more than impressions received through the medium of the senses upon a blank brain, associating much in the order in which things are arranged in the surrounding world, and subject to be only slightly modified by the organization of the brain, becomes almost a plaster cast of surrounding institutions. How great, then is the crime of one who deliberately propagates a false principle or system! But it is hoped for the credit of humanity, that erroneous principles are generally disseminated through an unconscious selfishness, blinding the reasoning capacity. When, therefore, Calhoun and other Southern politicians, with cool impudence, dogmatized that "chattel slavery is the corner stone in the temple of liberty," and "that all who labor in field or shop, should be owned by masters as chattels," they should have been furiously hissed and groaned, and their funerals sounded around the world with muffled drum and bell.

The Christian world was shocked at the daring impudence of Mahomet, for feigning a revelation that fired his dupes to battle with the Koran in one hand and the sword in the other. But we have had in our own time the impudent pretensions of a Mormon, who with the power, would be an imitator of Mahomet. We have too, an oligarchy, now battling with their brethren to establish a slave empire—rivalling that of the Ottomans in barbarity. We have too, another Davis, who impudently published a book, called "divine revelations." By courting science with the most agreeable dogma of religion, an after life, he hopes to dupe mankind to his system, but, perhaps, with better intentions. But the trance lectures, rappings, and now the spiritual photographs of his disciples are enough to gag the most simple credulity.

[Boston Investigator, XXXII, 35 (Dec. 31, 1862), p. 275.]

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