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and to ourselves it would feel unseemly, did we not reassure ourselves by looking around. They are ruling and they are ruled, but God's oracles rule them not. They are studying every record of antiquity in their seats of learning, but the record of God and of him whom he hath sent is almost unheeded. They enjoy every communion of society, of pleasure, of enterprise, this world affords ; but little communion with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. They carry on commerce with all lands, the bustle and noise of their traffic fill the whole earth : they go to and fro and knowledge is increased,—but how few in the hasting crowd are hasting after the kingdom of God. Meanwhile death sweepeth on with his chilling blast, freezing up the life of generations, catching their spirits unblessed with any preparation of peace, quenching hope and binding destiny for evermore. Their graves are dressed, and their tombs are adorned. But their spirits, where are they? How oft hath this city, where I now write these lamentations over a thoughtless age, been filled and emptied of her people since first she reared her imperial head! How many generations of her revellers have gone to another kind of revelry; how many generations of her gay courtiers to a royal residence where courtier-arts are not; how many generations of her toilsome tradesmen to the place of silence, whither no gain can follow them! How time hath swept over her, age after age, with its consuming wave, swallowing every living thing, and bearing it away unto the shores of eternity! The sight and thought of all which is our assurance, that we have not in the heat of our feelings surpassed the merit of the case. The theme is fitter for an indignant prophet, than an uninspired sinful
But the increase is of the Lord. May He honour these thoughts to find a welcome in every breast which weighs them-may He carry these warnings to the conscience of every one whose eye peruseth them. And may his oracles come forth to guide the proceedings of all mankind, that they may dwell together in love and unity, and come at length to the everlasting habitation of his holiness. Amen.
END OF THE ORATIONS.
OT JUDGMENT TO COME.
IN NINE PARTS.
ACES, XVII, 30, 31. GOD COMMANDETH ALL MEN TO REPENT :
HATH APPOINTED A DAY, IN THE WHICH HE WILL JUDGE THE WORLD IK
REV. ROBERT GORDON,
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL, EDINBURGH.
MI WORTHI FRIEND,
The design of the following Argument, which with all affection and esteem I dedicate to you, is to recover the great subject of Judgment to Come, from poetical visionaries on the one hand, and from religious rhapsodists on the other; and to place it upon the foundation of divine revelation, of human understanding, and the common good. The revelation of God upon the subject is brought forward, and I endeavour to show that it commends itself to every noble sentiment of the human breast, and to every worthy interest of human life. For it seems to me that upon religion we are growing wiser than our fathers, who were content with a train of human authorities, and that this age requireth religious truth to be justified, like other truth, by showing its benefits to the mind itself, and to society at large. The poets and the economists are quite alive to this advancement of the public mind, and alteration of the public taste, of whom the former address our imagination and our heart, the latter our interests ;-bases upon which they have reared up by far the most rival influences to religion—the school of Sentiment, which holds of the former; and the school of Politics, which holds of the latter. Now being convinced that besides a Creed, there is in our religion the most elevated sentiment, and the greatest advantage both public and pri. vate, I see not but we should fight and overthrow these rivals with their own weapons, by addressing their disciples upon that side on which their ear is open. For their ear is shut, and I hope the ear of all men is for ever shut, to the authority of names; and it is vain now to quote the opinions of saints or reformers, or councils or assemblies, in support of any truth. They even hold cheap our venerable theological language, though it can boast of great antiquity, and they insist upon its being translated into common phrases, that they may understand its meaning. And the misery is, they will not listen unless we gratify them in this reasonable request, but allow us to have our disputations to ourselves while we cover them with that venerable disguise. In order, therefore, to have a chance of a
hearing, I have refrained from systematic forms of speech, and endeavoured to speak of each subject in terms proper to it, and to address each feeling in language that seemed most likely to move it-in short, to argue like a man, not a theologian ; like a Christian, not a churchman.
It seems to me, my dear friend, that, like the Bota. nists, we should give up our artificial and adopt a natural method, of treating religion; and, instead of steering wide among disputed questions, bear down at once upon the occupations of the heart and life of man. They care not for our controversial warfare, they laugh at our antiquated method of handling questions-and so they perish from the way of truth, because of the unintelligible signals that we hang out. For this noble
purpose, of delivering the truth from a contemptible imprisonment, and enshrining it in the good feelings, good sense, and common weal of men, which, being unchangeable in their nature, are the only proper receptacles for the unchangeable truth of revelation, I know not among my clerical friends any one better qualified than yourself. Your general knowledge, your familiarity with the accurate methods of science, your estimation of divine truth, and, above all, your catholic spirit and emancipation from churchman or sectarian intolerance, present you to my mind as eminently fitted for bringing the public affection back again to the doctrines of re. vealed truth. I crave your forgiveness for saying so much; but my heart's desire is to see that thing in which the world is most interested, established before the world in the highest and most honourable style, in