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materials for the picture of its similitude; and though thus figured out by the choicest emblems, they do no more represent it, than the name of Shepherd does the guardianship of Christ, or the name of Father the love of Almighty God..

Then, Brethren, let me persuade you to make much of the volume which contains the password to the city of God, and without which it is hid both from your knowledge and your search. And if in this volume there be one truth more prizes: worthy than another, it is this, that Christ hath set open to you the gates of the city, and that he alone is the way by which it is to be reached. He hath gone before to prepare its mansions for : your reception, and he will come again to those who look for his appearing. For his sake be ye reconciled to God, that ye may have a right to the tree of life, and enter by the gate into the city.

Thus by the combined considerations which have been set before you in succession-by the awfulness of God's presence in his word-by the necessity of listening to it-by the terrific issues of disobeying it-and now by these, the present and eternal gains of obedience

have we pleaded at length for the oracles of God, being convinced that until they be taken up and perused and obeyed under the solemn impression of such feelings, they will never have their proper place in the minds of men, but continue as they are to most, a book purchased, but little réad; esteemed, but little acted on. It

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is shameful to men of talents and power that they should allow themselves in such indecision upon the subject of religion, which by its effects upon the world is more entitled to preference, in their consideration, than science or literature, or policy

It proves the grossness rather than the refinement, the bondage rather than the liberty of their minds, that they should be so engrossed with fame, and wealth, and power, and the other rewards which wait on eminence in any profession, as to have no thoughts to spare upon revelation and futurity, but go to their graves as ignorant and undecided, and uninfluenced in these matters, as if they were living in the ages before. the birth of Christ. I have more respect infinitely for one who having dealt with the subject of the Scriptures finds a verdict against them, than I have for those who have not soul enough to see in the subject aught worthy of their thoughts, although they take up with the merest novelties in fashion and politics, and arts and science, pluming themselves upon the high walk of human interest which they are choosing. Would they know, would they think, would they come to a conclusion, would they justify their neglect of God's great commandments, by a manifesto of reason or feeling or interest, shewing that it is silly, ignoble or useless, to give heed to the Almighty, then they would acquit themselves like men; but it doth bespeak in them a frivolity of mind and a lightness of heart, of which the age' and country may well feel ashamed, that they see

no good in that heartfelt vital godliness which hath written its blessed fruits in every characteristic page of our history, and in almost every article in the charter of English rights. No wonder that venality and factious self-interest should come to play in public affairs such leading parts, and that the names of principle and virtue should be smiled on with sceptical scorn by public men, when thus are cast away the fear of God, and the expectation of heaven—that fulcrum upon which magnanimity and disinterestedness in former times did rest when they poised up rooted corruption and arbitrary power from their ancient seats.

Would mathematical science thrive, if Euclid and the Principia were to cease from the studies of our youth? Would the public watchfulness of the people over their rulers thrive, if they were to refrain from perusing the daily intelligence, and conversing of public affairs ? Will religion thrive, if the word of God be not studied and its topics conferred on?. If at that season when our youth of first family and ambition are preparing their minds for guiding affairs, by courses of early discipline in public schools, and those of second rạnk are entered to the various professions of life, if then no pains be taken to draw their attention to the sacred writings and impress principles of piety and virtue upon their minds, how can it be expected that religion should even have a chance! One cannot always be learning: youth is for learning, manhood for acting, and old age for en


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joying the fruits of both. I ask, why, when the

I future lawyer is studying Blackstone or Lyttleton; the future physician, Hippocrates and Sydenham; the future economist, Smith and Malthus; the future statesman, Locke and Sydney; each that he may prepare for filling a reputable station in the present world—why the future immortal is not at the same time studying the two testaments of God, in order to prepare for the world 'to come, in which every one of us hath a more valuable stake? If immortality be nothing but the conjuration of priests to cheat the world, then let it pass, and our books go to the wind like the Sibyls' leaves; but if immortality be neither the dream of fond enthusiasts, nor the trick of artful priests, but the revelation of the righteous God; then let us have the literature and the science, and the practice for the long after-stage of our being, as well as for the present time which is but its porch. These pleadings are to men who believe immortality, (we may hereafter plead with those otherwise minded ;) therefore justify your belief, and show your gratitude by taking thought and pains about the great concerns of that immortality which


believe. If a man is fed on unwholesome foods, his health and strength decay, and if he be greedy after such, it proves his whole constitution to be diseased; therefore it troubleth our mind to see what shoals of literary works circulate through the minds of this people day by day, week by week, month by month, quarter by quarter,

eagerly longed for and as greedily devoured, in which there is not one christian sentiment for a thousand that are unchristian. Such virulence of party feeling and violence of personal abuse, and cruel anatomy of men's faults and failings, such inventions of wit and humour, to disguise truth and season falsehood, issue forth from the press amongst the people; that if the contrary influences of religion do not counteract the poison and nourish the noble and generous parts of nature, the public character of this nation for truth and sincerity must fall away, and the people come under the leading of those who write for fame or spite, or hire themselves for pay. This is not meant to bring a railing accusation against the circulating literature, but to hold up to all interested in religion how they are called upon to labour in behalf of the oracles of God now more than ever, when the oracles of vanity and calumny and party rage are so borne abroad upon a thousand wings. The culture which these circulating works give to the faculty of thought, is all in our favour, for our religion stands by thought, and hath been always the mother of thought; but the culture given to bad passions and unholy feelings, is all against us, creating habits and liking's which our religion must reverse in its progress over the mind. This, zeal alone will not affect; the character of the age calls for argument and deep feeling and eloquence. You may keep a few devotees together by the hereditary reverence of ecclesiastical canons,

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