Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

PREFACE.

Woe unto ye Lawgivers !* For ye have taken away the key

of knowledge: Ye enter not in yourselves, and them that were entering ye hindered.

GOSPEL OF ST LUKE, chap. xi. v. 22.

In offering this little work to the Public, I am urged by no party-feeling, or partial sentiment whatever, beyond the desire of establishing this sacred truth,-namely, that all our knowledge of good and evil, of law, order, virtue, harmony and perfection, originate with God; and that, consequently, being creatures of his Almighty work, we are bound to obey his commands. This conviction has shown me the pressing necessity, in these times of infidelity, of endeavouring to fix, firmly, the faith of the wavering and the doubtful. There are many who adopt opinions and dogmas without understanding them, and which are in direct contradiction to the commands of God, from bad examples, or a carelessness to inquire more deeply into those matters. In this way they are led to embrace principles in op

* I apply this word to leaders,

PRLFACE.

pusilica iv truth and nature, without giving themceļves time to reflect upon their criminal and perI.icivus tendency. As many honest men are thus burne away upon the tide and fashion of the times, It is to them we must address ourselves : Those, whom the wisdom of God has not left altogether ia total darkness, and have some religious feelirgs and principles remaining : who believe in an all-wise omnipotent and omnipresent God; in the coming of Jisus Christ ; in the commands of the firs', and in the precepts and the example of the laiter: to men of this description, we may address ourselves, with the hope of convincing their understandings; but the words of the Gospel would be thrown away upon hardened disbelievers, freethinkers, and athiests. In St Matthew, chap. vii. verse 6th, it is said: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your perils before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." No; we must leave those obdurate and inflexible men in the perversion of their minds, to Him, whose power is eternal, and immutable; whose works are infinite and incomprehensible ; and whose mercy is unspeakable. That He may guide them, at last, into the paths of truth and obedience, is the sincere wish of him who has the honour to subscribe himself the Public's most obedient servant,

THE AUTHOR.

RELIGION AND POLITICS;

OR,

CHURCH AND STATE.

Deteriores omnes sumus licentia. -Terence.
We are all deteriorated by license.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

CHAPTER I. UNTIL the introduction of the impious doctrines of the new school, the divine faith and reverence we owe to our Creator, and the science of government, were always considered as being necessarily and intimately blended and united. Indeed, when we permit ourselves to reflect seriously on their origin, we cannot, in reason, truth, and justice, discover a plausible motive to separate them. The first principles and ordinances of legislation, jurisprudence, and laws, for the regulation of our conduct, our duty to God, and to our neighbour, emanated from God himself to us, through Moses. Many of the laws of this primeval vicegerent legislator remain to the present hour in their original form and force--an indisputable proof of their wisdom and fitness, and, equally so, of their divine source! He, then, who denies the necessity of blending religion wo state affairs, or cannot perceive the prop

their union,

tabé sibl

ma

[graphic]

must have banished from his bosom every feeling and sentiment of our natural dependence upon our Creator, and repelled from his mind the conviction of the celestial truths which have been revealed to him. Our forefathers thought, wisely and conscientjously, as experience has proved, that the aid of religion is absolutely necessary to the maintainance of order and regularity, and the solidity and prosperity of all human institutions. Deprived of this celestial coadjutor, they may be compared to a ship, on the boisterous ocean, without sails or rudder, that is liable to be drawn ashore and dashed to pieces against the rocks, at every instant : so is the vessel of humanity on the stormy ocean of the passions without religion. From whom are we to derive support ? In whom are we to put our trust? Who can know better than our Creator what is good for us? -He, who spake to us by Moses, his lawgiver, appointed by him to instruct us? The

Ominipotent has placed an example before our Leyes, 'in his management of the universe by fixed and unchangeable rules, an order, immutable; a constancy and steadiness which are incomparable! Now, since law and order have their beginning in, and emanate from God, and are, consequently, the prototypes of his most 11 Wonderful works, we should invariably and constantly keep in mind the divine source from whence they spring; from whence we have derived the little that'is given us to know ;; and should copy the examples he has placed before our eyes for our instruction. All men cannot be; wise; all' men cannot be rich ; all men cannot be put in possession of the same power and authority: equality of rights, privileges, talents, and fortune, was not ordained by heaven, nor

« ForrigeFortsæt »