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of our Lord in the holy supper with ever so much transient emotion; all this gives us no just title to real sanctity; all this, the hypocrite, the libertine, can observe and do, equally with the good.

What ideas are formed of God by him who un, happily has a propensity, whether arising from natural or accidental causes, to melancholy and dejection, or in whom envy and discontent reside! He generally views him no otherwise thạn as an almighty despot, an austere inexorable judge and avenger. He beholds him constantly armed with thunder and lightning, surrounded by an hoșt of plagues and judgments, always prompt arbitrarily to punish the transgressor of his laws, and make him feel the whole weight of his ireful indignation. Every misfortune that befalls bimself or others, every natural calamity happening to mankind in the course and order of things, is, in his eyes, a mark of the terrible displeasure of God, and of bis avenging arm stretched out for destrucs tion. Whenever the skies are blackened, over with tempestuous clouds, whenever the chilling blast, or bail-storms, or blighting insects, do some damage to the fruits of the field; whenever sicknesses or contagious distempers prevail among mankind, or among the cattle; be directly adverts to the wrath of the Almighty, and trembles at bis fury. As harshly as he censures, as severely as he judges, so harshly and severely he pretends God also judges and censures. If he, from ill bumour, can endure no contradiction, if he condemns those who in opinions and ceremonies dissent from him ; $o must. God also act, and exclude from his felicity all those who depart from the received dogmas of his sect or church. If he, from his unforgiving temper, spares no fault, excuses no weakness, baş no compassion for the criminal, but takes pleasure in summary grievous penalties; so be imagines, that God will likewise deal with mankind. Hence the gloomy, horrible doctrine, of the arbitrary destination of some men to bliss, and of others to everlasting misery.

Such doctrines certainly derive their origin from

no sprightly mind, no cheerful temper, but are the monstrous births of a sullen and morose disposition. And what effects may these dispositions and these ideas produce among mankind ? They may inspire them with a servile dread of this all-powerful Being, restrain them from flagrant crimes, and urge them to an anxious, slavish obedience. A man will not dare to cast off the yoke imposed on him by Religion and duty; but he will bear it with more constraint than free-will. He will rather slavishly dread and obey, than filially fear and love God; rather submit to him, than trust in him. And this in a thousand instances must prove irksome to him, and in numerous others render it impossible for him to fulfil his duty to God.

The superstitious man despises reason, misapprehends its value, exaggerates the complaints of its imperfection and weakness, hurls her from the throne the Creator has assigned her, and sets up feeling and imagination in her place. He will not reason, not examine, not deliberately draw just conclusions, but insists upon seeing, and hearing, and feeling. Every appearance that dazzles bis sense, every image that heats his fancy, every gloomy idea that sets his blood in a ferment, is welcome to him; he prefers it to the sober maxims of reason, to ascertained and evident truths, because these leave him cool and sedate, and neither agitate his mind nor give scope to his imagination. The more mysterious, the more incomprehensible any phenomenon, any experience, any doctrine, any system, the more greedily does he seize it, the firmer does he adhere to it, because it leaves his understanding at rest, and promises him magnificent discoveries without trouble and exertion.

We must distinguish between Christian and Monkish morality. Monkish morality consists in such precepts of ethics, such rules of life, as arose during the time when the monastic state was held to be the only holy condition of life, the only one well-pleasing to God, and almost the only, at least safe, means of becoming happy; when the whole of piety was made to consist in praying and singing; in a solitary, inactive, and contemplative life; when it was believed that the greatest honour we could pay to God, the Father of mankind, was by despising his gifts, and tormenting ourselves. From this morality, which even at present has too great an influence in religious instruction, the Christian morality is very remote. It is certainly not calculated to form hermits or monks, but busy, useful, beneficent citizens, and humane characters. It condemns covetousness, it warns us of the dangers and temptations to which riches expose us, and cautions us against the excesses of voluptuousness; but nowhere does it reprobate riches and sensual pleasures themselves without limitation. The test to which our Saviour put the young man who wished to follow him, viz. that he should sell all he had, and give the produce to the poor, related solely to, and was rendered alone necessary by, the particular situation to which he aspired, as a chosen apostle of the gospel; a situation, indeed, to which no rich man, enamoured of riches, was at all adapted. The apostles tell not the rich that they ought to be poor, but that they should not be proud of their riches; that being rich, they should also be rich in good works. As little do they absolutely condemn all endeavour after honour and sensual pleasure. They encourage the elders of congregations to render themselves worthy of higher and better offices in them. They require not of married persons, that, from a mistaken holiness, they should refrain from converse with each other. They exhort Christians to cultivate whatever is laudable and of good report, to give honour to whom honour is due, under proper restrictions to take care of their body, and to enjoy with thankfulness and a cheerful temper all the good that God bestows upon them....)

The justice of God and his benignity can never be at strife with each other. Never can the one demand what is adverse to the other; never can one gain the preponderance, or obtain a victory, over the other. .. In God is pure harmony, pure truth, and always the same unbounded, unalterable perfection. 15.

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He surveys all at once, knows all with the utmost accuracy, is obnoxious to no passion, his knowledge is undeceivable, his judgment infallible, his infinite intelligence is free from all doubt, from all irresolution. How then could his justice ever be in conflict with his kindness, or this lay the smallest restraint upon the other. Both are one and the same just judgment and treatment of every subject, and every creature.

We have no reason to fear God as an enemy. The only enemy we need to fear is sin. Sin is contagious. It weakens and enervates not only those who commit it; its noxious consequences extend over a larger or smaller circumference among the residue of society. A person that is held in respect, occupies a public station, fills important offices, a magistrate, a judge, a teacher, a superior, is guilty of a greater crime, in chuing ill, than another, who has few distinguishing qualities, and is not placed in such close and particu lar relations to his countrymen. How powerfully the example of the former operates! All eyes are in a manner turned on him; his conduct generally makes more impression on the great mass, than all bis lessons and precepts. Is it faulty and bad, it will be cited, it will be appealed to in extenuation, it will be a comfort and solace to numbers: the disgrace which usually attends upon vice, and sets bounds to its sallies, is thus diminished. Nay, a certain species of false honour is even assumed, from treading in the footsteps of such respected, and, in other points of view, respectable persons. And thus vice is continually extending farther the limits of her empire. According to this observation, how great must be the guilt of fathers or mothers, who sin in the presence of their children, corrupt their tender and susceptible hearts by their fascinating example, and familiarize them to acts of vice from their earliest infancy, which otherwise they perhaps would never have known even by name! Such persons frequently continue to sin whole ages after their decease; they bear not only the guilt of their personal iniquities. hat have like wise to answer for the sins and iniquities to which, by their misconduct, they have given rise in the generations that succeed them. What a reckoning! What a responsibility!

Christianity admonishes us against every vice; it incites us to every virtue; it comprises all our duties; it propounds them in such a manner, that every one may easily comprehend and apply them; it enforces them by the most powerful motives; it gives them the sanction of the divine command. It is no less adapted to improve our heart than to regulate our outward deportment. It interdicts us no innocent pleasures; but it forbids us the immoderate enjoyment of them, and the sensuality that results from their unhallowed pursuit. It tends not to make us insensible towards the evils and misfortunes of life; but it gives us the most powerful inducements to bear them with patience, and thence to become wiser and better. It teaches us, moreover, as sinners who are in need of pardon, forbearance, and lenity towards the unavoidable infirmities of others. It assures us that God will graciously regard our sincere and persevering endeavours to please him, and perfect our holiness, though we ourselves should not attain tó perfection. It teaches us to consider this life as a state of discipline, of exercise, and trial, and directs our principal attention to the future. It acquaints us satisfactorily with what, when this life is ended, we have to hope or to fear; of the account we are hereafter to give of our conduct, and of the eternal retribution we have to expect; and thus adds a divine efficacy to all its injunctions, sufficient to conquer onr corruption, and to make us new creatures.

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