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unnecessary to confess my faith to God; for omni. science knows it without any communication from me.”
What God knows of his creatures, and what would be grateful to him on their part, are distinct considerations. Though God knows our faith in him-(when I speak of God, I mean the sacred Trinity)-yet that does not prove, by any means, that we do not make an acceptable offering to him, when in our prayers we acknowledge that faith, and through it ask of him those blessings which our frail nature requires at his hands.
Your assertion proves, that you, as an individual, do not feel the necessity of communing with God; that you do not derive enjoyment or pleasure from looking up to him in contrition, prayer or praise. But others may feel deeply this necessity, and be glad to realize this enjoyment. It is indeed remarkable, that since you do not consider yourself bound to confess your faith to God, that you should have deemed it necessary to confess it to the House of Assembly. I do not envy you the state of mind, which leads you to confess yourself to the popular branch of the Legislature, while you have no confessions to make to him, in whose eyes the Legisla. ture is but a congregation of “the potsherds of the earth :" For although it may contribute to your happiness, it would not to mine. Faith is the gift of God; and if he has not deigned to bestow it up. on you, the reason is perhaps that you have not sought it. We find in history, both sacred and pro
fane, that some very great men-great in letters, in arts, and in arms—were glad to seek for it, glad to receive it, and were very thankful for it. As great a law-giver as Moses, as great a general as Joshua, and as great a poet and potentate as David, were among those who not only confessed their faith, but their sins, before God; nor did they think it beneath their dignity to do so: And much as I respect Thomas Herttell, he must excuse me if in this case I prefer the example of Moses, Joshua and David, to that of the Infidel School of Frances Wright and Robert Owen, to which, if he do not belong, it is unfortunate that he is promoting their wild, and visionary, and unhallowed views, on the floor of the House of Assembly.
As to faith, Paul said to the Ephesians "Ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Eph. 2. 8. David said “Quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.' p. 80.-18. In this passage David evidently prays for faith, that he might with the better grace, the more appropriately call upon God in the hour of neces. sity and tribulation.[E.]
So of confession to God, as well as of faith in him, some very good and very great men of anti. quity, as well as some modern good and great men, have thought it salutary to their souls, to confess their sins to God, and to each other; and to con. fess Christ before men.
“ Moses returned unto the Lord and said, Oh this
people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.”. Exod. 22, 31.
fu Joshua said unto Achan-Give glory to the God of Israel, and make confession.” Josh. 8, 10.
“David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord.” 2 Sam. 12, 13..
“ David's heart smote him—And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done.” 2 Sam. 24, 10.
Job confessed Christ in these words :-"I know my Redeemer liveth ; and that he shall stand upon the earth.” Job, 19, 25.
Our blessed Saviour, himself, declared—Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father, which is in heaven: but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father, which is in heaven." Matth. 10, 32, 33.
Here we see, my dear sir, that men who were great in every sense of the term, eminent for talents of the highest order, and achicvements of the mightiest magnitude, pre-eminent indeed over all their cotemporaries, did not think piety and prayer unbecoming, were not ashamed to confess their sins, as well as their faith, before God. We see, likę. wise, what Christ says of those who do or do not confess him, or their FAITH IN HIM, before men: And may God, of his goodness and mercy, grant, that my friend Herttell may not finally come with. in the last clause of the Divine Declaration.
But as you may not think so much of the scrip.
tural Sages, as I do, though I presume you will not deny that the Bible is both genuine and authentic, as a record of history; I will cite, for your reflection, as well as that of the reader, and especially the young reader, a few cases from profane history. Even among the ancient heathens, there were many eminent men, like Socrates, Plato, Cicero, and others, who both prayed and confessed to the God of Nature. But we will pass over these, and bring up to your recollection, if that be necessary, some modern names, from whom, I trust, you will not withhold the meed of respect and veneration.
You will not deny that COLUMBUS was a great and a good man. Whoever reads his life by Washington Irving, will be satisfied that he was not merely great by nature, but pre eminently so Unless it be Saint Paul, I know not a man in history who can stand his rival in strength of mind, dignity of soul, calm perseverance, sublime moral courage, and that lofty and unyielding spirit of enthusiasm, which constitutes altogether the perfection and glory of the human mind and character: And yet how often, when encountering the perils of the mighty, and to all but him and his followers. the unknown deep, assailed by the mutinous spirit of his misguided crews, exposed to all the horrors of shipwreck, famine and savage warfare; and above all, pierced to the heart by the ingratitude and barbarity of his rebellious host, towards the unhappy natives of the new world, which he had discovered; how often, I repeat it, under all these bitter tri.
als, was this pre-eminently great and good man seen to bend the knee in prayer to the Almighty ; and how often did he confess Christ as his Redeemer ? Indeed, with all his greatness in other respects, it is the religious spirit of Columbus that sheds un. fading lustre upon his name. He took no important step, without first imploring the Divine Benediction. He met with no reverse or defeat, without mani. festing his entire resignation to the will of God; nor did any success crown his exertions for which he did not express his gratitude to the same Divine Being, both in prayer and praise. “All his great enterprises,” says Irving, “were undertaken in the name of the Holy Trinity, and he partook of the holy sacrament previous to embarkation. Whenever he made any great discovery, he celebrated it by solemn thanks to God. The voice of prayer, and the melody of praise, rose from his ships, when they first beheld the new world, and his first action on landing, was to prostrate himself upon the earth, and render up thanksgivings. The Sabbath was with him a day of sacred rest.” To this I may add, that he composed no document for the information of his earthly sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabelle, which did not begin with invoking the name of the Redeemer. His last words were-" In manus tuus, Domine, commendo spiritum meum ;" — “Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” It is worthy of remark here, that while too many of his followers, thought it unnecessary to confess their faith to God, or had no faith to confess, and