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Religious Faith the safeguard and consolation of Man.

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the people; patience, industry, honesty, and temperance to the low and indigent, active and protecting benevolence, with a spirit of munificence, to the affluent and elevated.

In any state the temper of its laws will partake of the temper of its religion. The genuine Christian virtues cannot.publicly flourish, except under the protection of laws, which draw their spirit, their support, and sanction, from the religion of Christ. Can

any man, then, who has the right use of his reason, contemplating human nature as it has appeared to his own observation, and as it is exhibited in the chronicles of the world, think that, if this country, which has so long been under the fostering hand of a kind providence, should fall under the calamity of receiving laws from those, who profess no religion at all, or only natural religion; any description of its inhabitants would be happier than they are at present under the equitable laws, and in the influence of the pure religion, which have both been built up, and improved together, by the successive wisdom of ages? Would a republic of deists, of atheists, of idolaters,

Religious Faith the safeguard and consolation of Man.

give us a securer enjoyment of our rights; or an ampler supply of our wants ? more healing to disease? more alleviation to pain? more support to infirmity? Under their auspices, would our public charities, and institutions of benevolence be long upheld? Would there be receptacles for the naked, the fatherless, and the foundling ? an asylum and support for indigent old age ? hospitals for the sick ? provision for the helpless poor? a protection of property, so that the first noble in the land should not, with impunity, gather even an herb from the garden of the meanest cottage, without the consent of its owner?

But, says the modern apostle of liberty and infidelity, consider the march of man's intellect in refinement, learning, and civilization. Consider the discoveries of science, which has penetrated the arcana of nature, ascertained 60 minutely the before hidden laws of matter, and explored the recesses of the human mind. Consider the effects of philosophy on the manners of men, the mild spirit it has infused, the high sense of duty it has inspired, the correct rules for practice, which it has prescribed.

Yes Religious Faith the safeguard and consolation of Man.

Yes—Reason and philosophy may boast of : : their liberality, urbanity, and universal phi- ; lanthropy; of their generous, mild, and tolerant principles. But, where, except in Chris » tian communities, shall we find a practice any way consistent with the boast ? : If reason and philosophy could form the heart to exalted virtue, and establish, in the various ramifica-. tions of society, the habits of justice, temper. ance, continence, chastity, humility, candour, gentleness, patience, brotherly love, universal good will, a reciprocal regard to the claims and feelings, which are common to all; why did they not do it in the ages of old, and preclude: or supersede the moral effects of the Gospel of Heaven? They had time and opportunity enough to prove their influence before Christ t was revealed, and afterward in the early progress of his religion. The productions of hu-man learning and genius, in ancient Greece and Rome, have since been rarely equalled, and never surpassed ; even to this day, in litera ture and the arts, they are regarded as the models of excellence. I need not tell you, my brethren, that Athens was the emporium of

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Religious Faith the safeguard and consolation of Man.

science and philosophy for all the civilized world ; the most distinguished seat of learning that history records. The philosophers, that flourished there, have filled the earth and the ages with their celebrity And, yet, even there, or in any part of European or Asiatic Greece, or even in imperial Rome, were the rulers so eminent for integrity and justice; was the state of society so orderly and tranquil, so exempt from faction and ambition, from violence and cruelty ; were the public manners so chaste, was the condition of the lower orders so happy, that we should wish to resemble those nations in our civil polity, or in the moral government of our lives?

The answer to these questions is ready and obvious to every person, who has read the history of these renowned people, and has only a superficial knowledge of their genius and learning. The morals of the Romans, as they are depicted, either by one of their most admired historians, or by the gravest of their satirists, can have no attractions for

any

friend to virtue, or of the human race. But I need only refer you to the general picture, which

St.

Religious Faith the safeguard and consolation of Man.

St. Paul has given of the learned and polished heathens. He represents them as treacherous to the advantages of their enlightened reason, and, instead of improving the knowledge, they had acquired of God, to his glory and the reformation of their lives in obedience to his law, perverting it to his dishonour in the practice of the most loathsome, detestable, and malignant vices. When they knew God, saith the apostle, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful ; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and

fourfooted beasts and creeping things. And, even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind; who being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, with

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