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65 No rapture dawns, no treasure is revealed !
Oh ! let her read, nor loudly, nor elate,
How wonderful the process by which a man can grow to the immense intelligence that can know that there is no God. What ages and what lights are ne
cessary for this stupendous attainment! This intelli5 gence involves the very attributes of Divinity, while a
God is denied. For unless this man is omnipresent, unless he is at this moment in every place in the universe, he cannot know but there may be in some place
manifestations of a Deity by which even he would be 10 overpowered. If he does not know absolutely every
agent in the universe, the one that he does not know may be God. If he is not himself the chief agent in the universe, and does not know what is so, that which
is so may be God. If he is not in absolute possession 15 of all the propositions that constitute universal truth,
the one which he wants may be, that there is a God. If he cannot with certainty assign the cause of all that he perceives to exist, that cause may be a God. If he
does not know every thing that has been done in the 20 immeasurable ages that are past, some things may have
been done by a God. Thus, unless he knows all things, that is, unless he precludes another Deity by being one himself, he cannot know that the Being whose existence
he rejects, does not exist. But he must know that he 25 does not exist, else he deserves equal contempt and
compassion for the temerity with which he firmly avows his rejection and acts accordingly. And yet a man of ordinary age and intelligence may present himself to
you with an 'avowal of being thus distinguished from 30 the wd; an if he would des ibe the manner in
which he has attained this eminence, you would feel a melancholy interest in contemplating that process of which the result is so portentous.
Surely the creature that thus lifts his voice, and de35 fies all invisible power within the possibilities of infini
ty, challenging whatever unknown being may hear him, and who may, if he will, appropriate that title of Almighty which is pronounced in scorn, to evince his existence,
by his vengeance; surely this man was not as yesterday 40 a little child, that would tremble and cry at the approach of a diminutive reptile.
107. Duelling.' And now let me ask you solemnly ; will you persist in your attachment to these guilty men
? Will you any longer, either deliberately or thoughtlessly, vote for
them? Will you renounce allegiance to your Maker, 5 and cast the bible behind your back?
Will you confide in men void of the fear of God and destitute of moral principle? Will you intrust life to murderers-liberty to despots ? Are you patriots, and will you consti
tute those legislators who despise you, and despise equal 10 laws, and wage war with the eternal principles of jus
tice ? Are you christians, and by upholding duellists will you deluge the land with blood, and fill it with wid. ows and with orphans ? Will you aid in the prostration
of justice--in the escape of criminals--in the extinc15 tion of liberty ? Will you place in the chair of state
in the senate-on the bench of justice, or in the assembly, men who, if able, would murder you for speaking truth! Shall your elections turn on expert shooting,
and your deliberative bodies become an host of armed 20 men? Will you destroy public morality by tolerating,
yea, rewarding, the most infamous crimes ? Will you teach your children that there is no guilt in murder ? -Will you instruct them to think lightly of duelling, and train them up to destroy or be destroyed in the bloody field ? Will you bestow your suffrage, when you know that by withholding it you may arrest this deadly evil—when this too is the only way in which it can be done, and when the present is perhaps the only period
in which resistance can avail-when the remedy is so 30 easy, so entirely in your power; and when God, if you
do not punish these guilty men, will most inevitably punish you ?
If the widows and the orphans, which this wasting
evil has created and is yearly multiplying, might all 35 stand before you, could you witness their tears ; listen
to their details of anguish? Should they point to the murderers of their fathers, their husbands, and their children, and lift up their voice and implore your aid to
arrest an evil which had made them desolate—could 40 you disregard their cry? Before their
you approach the poll and patronize by your vote the destroyers of their peace? Had you beheld a dying father, conveyed bleeding and agonizing to his distracted
family: had you heard their piercing shrieks, and wit45 nessed their frantic agony-would you reward the sav
age man who had plunged them in distress? Had the duellist destroyed your neighbour-had your own father been killed by the man who solicits your suffrage--had
your son been brought to your door, pale in death, and 55 weltering in blood, laid low by his hand—would you
then think the crime a small one ? Would you honour with your confidence, and elevate to power by your vote, the guilty monster? And what would you think of
your neighbours, if, regardless of your agony, they 55 should reward him ? And yet, such scenes of unuttera
ble anguish, are multiplied every year. Every year the duellist is cutting down the neighbour of somebody. Every year, and many times in the year, a father is
brought dead or dying to his family, or a son laid breath60 less at the feet of his parents. And every year you are
patronizing, bý your votes, the men who commit these crimes, and looking with cold indifference upon, and even mocking the sorrows of your neighbour.--Beware
-I admonish you solemnly to beware, and especially 65 such of you as have promising sons preparing for active
life, lest, having no feeling for the sorrows of another, you be called to weep for your own sorrow ; lest your sons fall by the hand of the very murderer you vote for,
or by the hand of some one whom his example has train70 ed to the work of blood. With such considerations before you, why, int'
name of heaven, do you wish to vote for such men ? What have they done for you—what can they do, that
better men cannot as happily accomplish ? And will 75 you incur all this guilt and hazard all these consequen
ces for nothing ? Have you no religion--no conscience -no love to your country? No attachment to liberty --no humanity-no sympathy-no regard to your own
welfare in this life; and no fear of consequences in the 80 life to come ?
Oh, my countrymen, awake! Awake to crimes which are your disgrace--to miseries which know not a limit --to judgments which will make you desolate.
The Puritans were men whose minds had derived a peculiar character from the daily contemplation of superior beings and eternal interests. Not content with
acknowledging, in general terms, an overruling Prov. 5 idence, they habitually ascribed every event to the will
of the Great Being, for whose power nothing was too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too minute. To know him, to serve him, to enjoy him, was with them
the great end of existence. They rejected with con10 tempt the ceremonious homage which other sects sub
stituted for the pure worship of the soul. Instead of catching occasional glimpses of the Deity through an obscuring veil, they aspired to gaze full on the intolera
ble brightness, and to commune with him face to face. 15 Hence originated their contempt for terrestrial distinc
tions. The difference between the greatest and meanest of mankind seemed to vanish, when compared with the boundless interval which separated the whole race
from him on whom their own eyes were constantly fix20 ed. They recognized no title to superiority but his fa
vour; and, confident of that favour, they despised all the accomplishments and all the dignities of the world. If they were unacquainted with the works of philoso
phers and poets, they were deeply read in the oracles of 25 God. If their names were not found in the registers of
heralds, they felt assured that they were recorded in the Book of Life. If their steps were not accompanied by a splendid train of menials, legions of ministering an
gels had charge over them. Their palaces were houses 30 not made with hands; their diadems crowns of glory which should never fade away !
On the rich and the eloquent, on nobles and priests, they looked down with contempt: for they esteemed
themselves rich in a more precious treasure, and elo35 quent in a more sublime language, nobles by the right
of an earlier creation, and priests by the imposition of a mightier hand. The very meanest of them was a being to whose fate a mysterious and terrible importance
belonged--on whose slightest action the spirits of light 40 and darkness looked with anxious interest, who had
been destined, before heaven and earth were created, to enjoy a felicity which should continue when heaven and earth should have passed away.
Events which shortsighted politicians ascribed to earthly causes, had been 45 ordained on his account. For his sake empires had
risen, and flourished, and decayed. For his sake the Almighty had proclaimed his will by the pen of the evangelist, and the harp of the prophet. He had been res
cued by no common deliverer from the grasp of no com50 mon foe. He had been ransomed by the sweat of no
vulgar agony, by the blood of no earthly sacrifice. It was for him that the sun had been darkened, that the rocks had been rent, that the dead had arisen, that all
nature had shuddered at the sufferings of her expiring 55 God!'
Thus the Puritan was made up of two different men, the one all self-abasement, penitence, gratitude, passion; the other proud, calm, inflexible, sagacious. He pros
trated himself in the dust before his Maker : but he set 60 his foot on the neck of the king. In his devotional re
tirement, he prayed with convulsions, and groans, and tears. He was half maddened by glorious or terrible illusions. He heard the lyres of angels, or the tempting
whispers of fiends. He caught a gleam of the beatifick 65 vision, or woke screaming from dreams of everlasting