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Religion, on the contrary, feels and proves a regard for the sorrows of man infinitely more tender, soothing, and supporting. Like the fabled power of inchantment, she changes the thorny couch into a bed of down, closes with a touch the wounds of the soul, and converts a wilderness of woe into the borders of paradise. Whenever you are forced to drink the cup of bitterness, mercy, at her call, will stand by your side, and mingle sweetness with the draught ; while, with a voice of mildness and consolation, she will whisper to you, that the potion, though unpleasant, is necessary and balsamic; that you have diseases to be removed, and morbid principles to be exterminated; and that the unpalatable administration will assuredly establish in you health immortal. The same sweetener of life will accompany you to the end, and, seating herself by your dying bed, will draw aside the curtains of eternity, will bid you lift your closing eyes on the end of sorrow, pain, and care, and in the opened gates of peace and glory will point to you, in full view, the friends of Christ waiting to hail

your arrival.

That Christianity gives all these blessings, and gives them certainly; that it produces no loss and great gain in the pregent world; that it makes nothing worse, and every thing better; is clearly evident from the nature of the Christian

sys. tem. The doctrines, precepts, and promises, contain and secure all this, and much more. At the same time, every Christian is a witness to this truth. Every Christian has, by experience, known the pleasures of sin, and, by the same experience also, has known the pleasures of religion. To whatever degree, therefore, his experience has extended, he is a complete judge of both. Many, very many Christians have also fully enjoyed the highest pleasures of science and intellect, and are of course unexceptionable judges of these plea

But no Christian was ever found, who for a moment admitted that any pleasures were to be compared with those of religion ; not one, who would not say, that for the loss of religion worlds would be a poor compensation. In every other case this evidence would be acknowledged as complete.

Nor is it balanced or lessened by any contrary evidence. Infidels

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have never tasted the pleasures of religion, and, in the decision of this question, are therefore without a voice.

With these blessings in view, you will, I trust, without a sigh, leave to the infidel his peculiar gratifications. In every innocent enjoyment you can partake at least as largely as he. You will not therefore repine that you cannot shine at a horse-race, bet at a cockpit, vin at a gaming-table, riot at the board of intemperance, drink deep at the midnight debauch, or steal to infamous enjoyments at the brothel.

But the most important consideration is yet to be suggested; a consideration infinitely awful and glorious. There may be an hereafter. There may be a future judgment, a future retribution. The course of sin, begun here, may continue

The seed of virtue, sown in the present world, and raised to a young and feeble stem, may be destined to growth immortal. The misery produced here by sin may be unceasingly generated by the same wretched cause, through ages which cannot end. The peace and joy which virtue creates during this transient life, the same illustrious power may expand and prolong through an ever-enlarging progress.

What the natural eye thus sees with dim and probable vision, Christianity, possessed of superior optics, discerns and promises with clear prophetic certainty. Endless death and endless life are written in full and glowing characters in the book, sealed to unenlightened and unassisted men with seven seals. That book a hand infinite and supreme unrolls to every humble, penitent, believing mind, and discloses to the enraptured view the page of eternity, on which things divine and immortal are pencilled with sun-beams. A residence finished with infinite workmanship, employments pure and ravishing, a character completely dignified and lovely, companions the first and best in the universe, a system of providence composed wholly of good, refining, ascending, and brightening for ever, and a God seen, known, and enjoyed in all his combined perfection, are there drawn in colours of light and life.

In the same volume is disclosed by the same hand the immense wóe destined to reward the perpetration of iniquity, voluntary blindness, and immoveable impenitence. Allured and

charmed by supreme endearments on the one hand, the mind is, on the other, equally awakened and alarmed. Good and it evil passing conception, passing limits, are offered to thest choice; and by that choice 'alone the good maył be secured it and evil avoided for ever.

With respect to these amazing things philosophy knows nothing, threatens nothing, promises ' nothing. To philosophy the invisible world is an unknown vast, over which, like the raven sent out of the ark, she wanders with a wearied wing, seeking rest and finding none. To her exploring eye the universe is one immense unfathomable ocean. Above, around, beneath, all is doubt, anxiety, and despair. Her accounts are, like her views, uncertain and conjectural only, the foundations of no assent, no satisfaction. If you adhere to them, you cannot gain, and you may infinitely lose. An infinite difference of possible good and evil, therefore, demands your adoption of Christianity. I need not place the subject on higher ground. To every thinking man there is here a motive infinite to embrace Christianity, and reject infidel philosophy.

If there is a God, (and that there is is more certain and evident than that there is any being beside one's self,) he is doubtless perfect in holiness, as well as in power and knowledge. With holy or virtuous creatures he must of course be pleased; because holiness is obedience to his will, and because it is a resemblance to his character. As he must be pleased with his own character, so he must be pleased with his creatures whenever they possess a character similar to his own. That he should not be pleased to have his will obeyed is impossible. The very supposition, that the ruler has a will, involves in it necessarily that he must be pleased to be obeyed. All the doctrines of revelation, all the precepts, are summed up in this memorable sentence, “ Be ye holy, as I the Lord

your God am holy.” To accomplish holiness or virtue in man is the single end of the Christian system. Christianity therefore teaches, enjoins, and with infinite motives pursues what reason dictates as the highest wisdom of man. But in all this infidel philosophy has no part, nor lot, nor memorial.

Thus, in every view, the state and the prospects of the

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Christian are full of comfort, peace, and hope, of medicines for grief, and seasonings for joy. The present state of the infidel is, destitute of both, and prospects he has none. Here, the religion, of the Christian brings with it, in hand, worth, use. fulness, and dignity; and hereafter, in bright reversion, and through an interminable progress, life, wisdom, virtue, happiness, and glory. Philosophy, on the contrary, adds to him here no enjoyment, and robs him of the chief support of suffering; and, beyond the grave, plunders him of heaven, and consigns him to annihilation and despair. *

Since these discourses were sent to the press, I have seen a work lately published in Great Britain, and republished in America, written by J. Robi. son, Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, and Secretary of the Royal Society in that city, and intituled, A Conspiracy against all the Governments and Religions in Europe. In this work the reader may see the dangers of infidel philosophy set in the strongest light possible. He may see a plan formed, and to an alarming degree executed, for exterminating Christianity, natural religion, the belief of a God, of the immortality of the soul, and moral obligation ; for rooting out of the world civil and domestic government, the right of property, marriage, natural affection, chastity, and decency; and in a word for destroying whatever is virtuous, refined, or desirable, and introducing again universal savageness and brutism. All this is to be done under the pretence of enlarged philanthropy, and of giving mankind liberty and equality. By this mask is carefully concealed the true end, which is no less than to reduce the whole human race under a complete subjugation to these philosophers; a subjugation of mind as well as of body.

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SERMON XXI.

LIFE-A RACE.

To the Candidates for the Baccalaureate in 1799, 1806, and 1812.

1 CORINTHIANS IX. 24.

Know ye not, that they which run in a race run all, but one

receiveth the prize ? So run, that ye may obtain."

The chapter, of which these words are a part, is chiefly occupied in answering certain objections made against St. Paul by some individuals of the Corinthian church. These persons, having formed themselves into a party against their brethren, undertook to deny the apostleship of St. Paul; and, among other things, objected against him that he did not receive a support from the Christians of that city while labouring there as a minister of the Gospel. This, they insinuated, he durst not do, because he was not truly an Apostle, and therefore was conscious that he had no right to receive a maintenance from those to whom he ministered. However strange it may seem to us, this objection was not without weight among the Corinthians, and contributed not a little to disturb the peace of their church, and to unsettle among them the authority of the Apostle. He therefore replies to it in form ; and, after asserting his absolute right to all the privileges claimed by any of the Apostles, declares to them the true reasons of his conduct. These, summarily, amounted to this general one, that he ex

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