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every where the same; that their should have been neither mountains, nor valleys. It would be endless, were I to attend to and dwell on every circumstance of this nature..
To a mind devoid of penetration, num berless difficulties of this nature will present themselves. But the absurdity of them would be striking, were such a mind able to analize them. The mind of man general. ly skims the surface ; averse to toil and labour, it wishes always to avoid the pain: of thought and deep meditation; and some. times it dreads still more the discovery of truth.
If, therefore, it was not consistent with this state of things, that all men should posses the same endowments, or the same share of them, why should I be surprised that they have not all the same belief?
But is this holy religion, which appears to advance by such slow degrees, and which, agreeably to the wish of every benevolent heart, should enlighten the whole world ; is this religion to remain confined for ever within its present limits ?- This is by no,
means necessary. By how many various ways, which Providence has perhaps prepared, may it not one day break out with splendor through the narrow limits to which it is now confined? How many striking, how many irresistible proofs of its truth may there be still buried in the bowels of the earth, or hidden under ruins, which Divine Wisdom may cause to be discovered at thetime appointed by that same All-seeing Wisdom ! How many revolutions, in the great political bodies which divide our world, may hereafter occur, when the Su. preme Wisdom shall see fit! That people, the most antient, the most extraordinary of all people; that people, dispersed and disseminated, as it were, among the great mass of all mankind, forthese seventeen centuries, without being ever incorporated with that mass, without having even formed itself into a distinct nation or government; that people, the faithful depository of the most antient prophecies, and at the same time a perpetual and living monument of the truth of the new prophecy; may not that people, at an appointed time, become, through the hand of Providence, one of the chief instrų. ments of its designs in favour of this reli
gion, * though these designsbe still unknown to that people? That chain of events, which served by certain unknown principles to connect causes with effects even of a miracu, lous nature; may it not likewise extend to certain other effects ? and may not these unknown principles produce changes in the state of human society, even more consi. derable than that which was effected seventeen centuries ago??
May that people, so venerable by its antiquity, and from whom the bealth of all people cometh, soon open their eyes to the light, and with the Christians celebrate the Holy one of Israel, the bead and consummation of our faith! May the wild olive-tree never forget it has been grafted on the true one! May the children of Christ no longer bar up their hearts against that unfortunate people, whom God has loved, and still loves, and seems to have entrusted to their care, and placed under their protection, and whose conversion will one day be our comfort and joy! Would to God, that my earnest desire might hasten and bring forwards those liappy moments; and that it were in my power to prove to the numerous descendants of Abraham, the ardent prayers formed in my heart for their re-establishment! Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid! but rather, through their full, salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now, if the fall of them be the riches of the world, ant ibe diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles: bow much more their fullness ? For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world; wbat sball the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? Rom. Chap. xi. ver. 11, 12, 15.
of See what I have said on the Miracles, in Book i. Cap. iv.. v. vi. and Book ii. Chap. ix.
If this doctrine benot productive of greater moral effects, amidst the number of those who profess it, shall I call in question either its perfection, or its want of sufficient mo: tives? But, is there any doctrine, the principles of which have a more direct tendency to the happiness of universal society, and that of all its members? Is there any which offers motives better calculated to influence the mind and heart? It elevates mortal man to the throne of God, and carries his hopes even into eternity.
But the legislator of the universe, in promulgating this sublime law, has not transformed the intelligent beings to whom he gave it into mere machines. He has given them the physical power either to follow or infringe this law; he has placed in their hands the decision of their own destiny ; he has laid before them good and evil, happiness and misery
Itis no objedion to the doctrine of Christ, that all those who profess it are not saints.; it would not be less absurd to object against philosophy, that all those who profess it are not philosophers ! But does it follow from this, that philosophy is not well calculated to make philosophers ? Am I to judge of a doctrine merely by its effects? Would it not be more equitable to judge of it by its principles, its maxims, its motives, and by the appropriation of all these things to the views which I discover in this doctrine ? If, notwithstanding the excellence of this doctrine, and its being so well adapted to its purpose, I perceive that it has not always answered its end, the only just conclusion I can draw from that circumstance is thisthat the prejudices, the passions, and the constitution of man frequently weaken or destroy the impression which that doctrine tends naturally to produce on the soul. I ought not to be surprised; for I can easily conceive, that a free and intelligent being cannot be necessarily compelled by motives, and that reasons are not causes which have certain and necessary effects, like weights, levers or springs. I ought further to observe, that all those, who make an external profession of a doctrine, are not always really and effectually convinced of its truth,