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Religious Faith the safeguard and consolation of Man.

their duty to God and man, but in the chastisement of the law ; if they have noted in the conduct of those above them, little respect to réligion, with an anxious attention to secular interests ; if many of them have never opened the Bible, others have read it only as a task for a short period at school, and very few have heard its momentous truths explained or enforced; if they have never prostrated themselves in a feeling of faith to God their Saviour, 'either in public or private ; if from childhood to the meridian of manhood, they have never entered the house of prayer, nor named the names of God, and of Christ, but to prophane them; is it wonderful that their minds are depraved, demoralized, impious ? and may we not expect, do we not deserve the calamity, which the torrent of irreligion and vice spreading around would bring upon us, sweeping away the venerably beautiful fabric of our religion and laws indissolubly bound together, and containing all that is valuable to us, either as Christians, or civilized men ? If these reflections be, as I think they are,

warranted purpose

Religious Faith the safeguard and consolation of Man.

warranted by the state of the public mind with regard to the interests of morality and religion; the work, which we have to do, is, very evident, and, although not very easy, yet such, as we may accomplish with due exertion. We have to confess ourselves to God, to pray, that He will strengthen our failing faith, and assist our renewed efforts in the fulfilment of the last command of our glorified Saviour that He will enable us, in spirit and in practice, to propagate his holy religion, wheresoever the influence of our example or admonition may

extend. Let us, then my brethren, whatever others may do, who profess not to believe in Christ let us live up to our profession. As we believe the sublime and consistent truths of the Gospel ; let us perform all its reasonable service. Let us not make our religion a cloak of covetousness, and of carnal appetites ; but a shield of faith, and a robe of righteousness. Do others place their hopes in the perishable things on earth? be it the fixed

of our souls to rejoice in God our Saviour, to rest our hopes both here and hereafter, in the I 2

mercies

Religious Paith the safeguard and consolation of Man.

mercies of our Heavenly Father, through Christ erueified. If bad men threaten trouble, and discontented or ambitious men excite or countenance commotion, with liberty, humanity, and reformation in their mouths, but selfishness in their hearts; be it our care to live in quiet subjection to the law, as faithful followers of the humble and peaceable Jesus, contributing every thing in our power to draw the multitude to a right course of thinking and acting; to diffuse in a spirit of religion, a due sense of moral obligation among the poor ; to silence the licentious tongue of disaffection, and disappoint the malignant designs of infidelity. We shall thus act our parts to bring down upon our country the blessings of Heaven, and to transmit the conjoined structure of our civil and ecclesiastical government unimpaired to generations yet unborn · If the majority of those, who have character and influence among us, will thus put forth their efforts, to set a salutary example, and direct the tide of public opinion; the fate of our country will not then like Jerusalem of

old,

Religious faith the safeguard and consolation of Man.

old, be a tale of woe to after times, a warning to the faithful, an example of the divine vengeance on impiety and ingratitude. Our hearts being fixed on the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, on the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, Ile will keep us both individually and collectively in perfect peace: in public danger, and in the calamities of the world, He will gather us to the asylum of his mercy, as a hen gathereth yer young; and we shall be safe under his feathers,

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