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or play of the Imagination. It would indeed be futile to call in the aid of Imagination, when the frightful reality is so clearly unveiled before us.It is indeed what I seriously and solemnly believe; what, judging not merely from past history, but from the publications of Frances Wright, Robert Owen and co. I know would be the malign effects of that headless, heartless, heedless system, if system it can be called, which is now openly attempted to be established in this favored land of morality and religion; this land of science, freedom and humanity; this land which our pious and gallant ancestors redeemed; firstly, from the condition of a useless, uncultivated clod, trodden for ages by the feet of savages and beasts of prey alone; and secondly, when improved by the hand of science and civilization, from the grasp of a foreign Tyrant;, and in which we, as well as they, have partaken so profusely of the bounties of Divine Providence, flowing through a thousand streams; and have rejoiced, on each returning Sabbath, to offer up, in, grateful return for those bounties, to the giver of every good and perfect gift, the incense of a pure and hallowed devotion, from lips and hearts, glowing with love and reverence for his Holy Name, and touched by the “living coal from his altar.”
And can you, Mr. Herttell, contemplate, in imagination merely, the devotional attitude of thousands, nay millions, of human beings, whose lips are quivering with reverential accents, and songs of praise, while their hearts are swelled with un
speakable emotions of love and gratitude to God-to the Christian's pure, spiritual, intellectual and ever-living God! Can you, when contemplating such a scene of high, and holy, and heart-felt devotion, coldly sneer at the altar, or the devotee! or calmly doubt the efficacy of such adoration of such a Being, in purifying the asỉections and sanctifying the hearts of the worshippers. Indeed, the Divinity of the Christian's God is made manifest, in this very attraction of his creatures to do him such pure and exalted homage.
Pause, then, I besseech you, my old friend, bęfore you go a step further in your present career. If you love your country, as I believe you do, suffer not a mere phantom, which you and your colleagues denominate Priestcraft, to lead you to lose sight of those bulwarks of religion and morality, which alone can obstruct the ravages of vice and corruption, and save the sinking liberties of the land: The sinking liberties of the land, did I say?
Alas! is there not too much reason to fear they ' have sunk already beyond redemption! But be this
as it mayhere, as yet, no man pays a Priest, who does not do it voluntarily, and without the least compulsion--here, too, the Priest earns his pay by the laborious discharge-and no sınall degree of labor is it--of those pastoral dụties, to which he is called by the Providence of God: For it is God, my dear sir, and God alone, who holds in his almighty grasp the destinies of Priests, as well as those of their congregations or people. Not a sparrow falls
to the ground but through his permission. If Priests go astray, rely upon it, God will chastise and chasten them: his piercing arrows will reach their hearts, and convince them that they have to deal with à God of Justice as well as Mercy. All their secret sins will he bring to light, and all their shame will he make manifest. We have seen this in our own day, in our own state; and have had reason to bless God for unmasking the hypocrite, and purging the church of his enormities. The numerous facts of this kind, which have come under my own ob-, servation, satisfy me, that the transgressors who pollute the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctity of the altar, by their heaven-daring hypocrisy and corruption, will no more escape detection, disgrace, and punishment, than the man who wilfully and malignantly sheds the blood of innocence, and stains his soul with the guilt of murder: For while they vainly imagine themselves safe in their secret transgressions; while they exclaim, like their prototypes in Ezekiel, the Lord seeth us not!--and while their congregations suspect not their foul hypocrisy, God sees that they are nought but whited Sepulchres! and smites them accordingly, by exposing their crimes, and casting thein down from their high places: So was it of old. His eyes are upon the ways of man, said Job, and he seeth all his goings. Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them, so that they are destroyed. He striketh them as wicked men, in the open 'sight of others. Job, 34. 22, 26, And so, I fear not to pre
dict, will it ever be with the servants of the sanctuary, who forget the duty which they owe to their Divine Master, and the people whom he has committed to their charge. Remember the words of Job, ye hypocrites of the altar, and repent, or tremble for the fate that speedily awaits you.
For one, then, Mr. Herttell; I do not fear the Priest of this country, so much as I do the hypocritical and the heartless Demagogue. They were the Demagogues, and not the Priests, who destroyed the Grecian and Roman Republics. Nor do I fear the influence of pious and faithful Christians in our public councils. I could pray heartiły, in-, deed for a great deal more of it. Think you, sir, that we have more to fear from men who study Moses and the Prophets, and the pure and holy corresponding system of Jesus of Nazareth, than from those who look to Cardinal De Retz, the most accomplished and perfidious hypocrite of Modern Europe, and whose book is the epitome of all venality and corruption, for their moral and political ethics; who make his vile and infamous Memoirs their Political Text Book, their guide to the seats of power and the spoils of patronage! Think you, that we had better take for our morning and evening monitor, the work of De Retz, which expressly teaches politicians how they may succeed in ob taining influence and power by relinquishing integ. rity and principle; which in fact derides all virtue, all principle, as the mere ignis fatuus of weak minds : Think you, I say, sir, that we had better take the work of that High Priest of Iniquity for our guide--although one of our statesmen has made it so, and another recommended to a lawyer of Middlebury, in Vermont, to study it as a text book-than to be guided by that pure and sacred volume, which is replete with such wise and virtuous in- ' junctions as this:- Thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God; men of truth, hating covetousness, and place such over them to be rulers ?—Exod. 18. 21. If you think so, I do no Leave me Moses and the Prophets, and the New Testament, with Locke, Sidney, Harrington, Paley, Reid, Stewart and Brown, as my guides in intellectual philosophy, religion, morals and politics; and I cheerfully resign to you the Cardinal De Retz, and his kindred moral and political spirits; and Voltaire, Thomas Paine, and their fellow-laborers in the vineyard, or rather weed-yard of Infidelity; not, however, that I mean to reduce Paine to the level of De Retz; for his politics were pure, and his Infidelity, like that which I fear my friend Herttell cherishes, was more the error of his understanding than the corruption of his heart. Paine, in the prime of his life, and the vigor of his intellectPaine, the companion of Washington, Greene, and Kosciusko—wrote for Christianity, as well as civil and political liberty; but in his dotage, and surrounded by the Jacobins of Paris, he drew his feeble Javelin against the bulwark of our faith, fell from his high career into oblivion, and in darkness and doubt went down to the tomb.[M.]