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80 simple, so minule, so steady, so habitual, that they will carry a conviction of the singleness and purity of the beart from which they proceed. Such goodness is never lost. The very bumility in which it would wrap itself lends it new attraction and glory, just as the lights of heaven often change into their own splendour the cloud wbich threatened 10 obscure them.
A pure example, which is found to be more consistent in proportion as it is more known, is the best method of preaching and extending christianity. Without it, zeal for converting men brings reproach on the cause. A bad man, or a man of only ordinary goodness, who puts himself forward in this work, throws a suspiciousness over the efforts of better men, and thus the world come to set down all labour for spreading christianity as mere pretence. Let not him who will not submit to the toil of making himself better, become a reformer at home or abroad. Let not him who is known to be mean, or dishonest or intriguing, or censorious, or unkind in his neighbourhood, talk of bis concern for other men's souls. His life is an injury to religion, which his contributions, of zeal or even of wealth cannot repair, and its injuriousness is aggravated by these very attempts to expiate its guilt, to reconcile him to himself.
It is well known, that the greatest obstruction to christianity in heathen countries is, the palpable and undeniable depravity of christian nations. They abhor our religion, because we are such unhappy specimens of it. They are unable to read our books, but they can read our lives, and what wonder, if they reject with scorn a system under wbich the vices seem to have flourished so luxuriantly. The Indian of both hemispheres has reason to set down the christian as little better than himself. He associates with the name perfidy, fraud, rapacity, and slaughter. Can we wonder that he is unwilling to receive a religion from the hand, which has chained or robbed him? Thus bad example is the great obstruction to christianity, abroad as well as at home; and perhaps little good is to be done abroad, until we become better at home, until real christians understand and practice their religion more thoroughly,and by theirexample and influence spread it among their neighbours and through their country, so that the aspect of christian nations will be less shocking and repolsive to the Jew, Mahometan, and Pagan. Our first labour should be upon ourselves; and indeed if our religion be incapable of bearing more fruit among ourselves, it hardly seems to de. serve a very burning zeal for its propagation. The question is an important one; would much be gained to heathen countries, were we to make them precisely what nations called Christian now are? That the change would be beneficial, we grant; but how many dark stains would remain on their characters. They would continue to fight and shed blood as they now do, to resent inju. ries hotly, to worship present gain and distinction, and to pursue the common business of life on the principles of undisguised selfisbness, and they would learn one lesson of iniquity which they have not yet acquired, and that is, to condemn and revile their brethren, w bo should happen to view the most perplexed points of theology differently from themselves. The truth is, Chris- . tian nations want a genuine reformation, one worthy of the name. They need to have their zeal directed, not so much to the spreading of the gospel abroad, as to the application of its plain precepts to their daily business, to the education of their children, to the treatment of their domestics and dependants, and to their social and religious intercourse. They need to understand, that a man's piety is to be estimated not so much by his professions or direct religious exercises, as by a conscientious surrender of his will, passions, worldly interests, and prejudices to the acknowledged duties of christianity, and especially by a philanthropy resembling in its great features of mildness, activity and endurance, that of Jesus Christ. They need to give up their severe inquisition into their neighbour's opinions, and to begin in earnest to seek for themselves, and to communicate to others a nobler standard of temper and practice,tban they have yet derived from the scriptures. In a word, they need to learn the real value and design of christianity by the only thorough and effectual process ; that is, by drinking deeply into its spirit of love to God and man. If, in this age of socie. ties, we should think it wise to recommend another institution for the propagation of christianity, it would be one, the members of which should be pledged to assist and animate one another in following strictly all the precepts of Christ, in living ac. cording to the sermon on the mount, and we should hope more service to religion from such an association, could men be found to enter it honestly, than from almost any other, which is receiving the patronage of the cbristian world.
[The following eloquent character of Grotius is from 'A Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations ; introductory to a course of lectures on that science,' by Sir James Mackintosh published in the year 1800. It is connected with a criticism of his works on the laws of war and peace. It is almost unnecessary to say that the theological writings of Grotius, particularly his commentaries, still retain a high degree of value.)
"So great is the uncertainty of posthumous reputation, and 10 liable is the fame of even the greatest men to be obscured by those new fasbions of thinking and writing, which succeed each other so rapidly among polished nations, that Grotius, w bo filled so large a space in the eye of his contemporaries, is now perhaps known to some of my readers only by name. Yet if we fully estimate both his endowments and his virtues, we may justly consider him as one of the most memorable inen who have done honour to modern times. He combined the discharge of the most important duties of active and public life with the attainment of that exact and various learning wbich is generally the portion only of the recluse student. He was distinguished as an advocate and a magistrate, and he composed the most valuable works of the law of his own country; he was almost equally celebrated as an historian, an orator, a poet, and a divine; a disinterested statesman, a philosophical lawyer, a patriot who united moderation with firmness, and a theologian, who was taught candour by his learning. With singular merit and singular felicity he preserved a life so blameless, that in times of ihe most furious civil and religious faction, the sagacity of fierce and acute adversaries was vainly exerted to discover a stain upon his character. It was bis fate to be exposed to the severest tests of human virtue ; but such was the happy temperature of his mind, that he was too firm to be subdued by adversity, and too mild and honest to be provoked to violence by injustice. Amidst all the hard trials and galling vexations of a turbulent political life, he never once deserted his friends when they were unfortunate, nor insulted his enemies when they were weak. Unmerited exile did not damp his patriotism ; the bitterness of controversy did not extinguish bis cbarity. He was just, even to his persecutors, and faithful to his ungrateful country.
[The following is an extract from one of the works of the celebrated Dr. Courayer ; who though born a Roman Catholic, and distinguished by genius and learning, that would bave secured him valuable ecclesiastical preferment, was led in the course of his inquiries to opinions contrary to the church of Rome, and took refuge in England from the obloquy and persecution, which he found to be the consequence of his dissent. There he found distinguished patrons and friends; was highly esteemed for his virtues and talents, and particularly by bis instructive, entertaining, and inoffensive manner of conversation, obtained a cordial welcome in the houses of some of the first families of the kingdom. He was honoured with the friendship of Queen Caroline, who bestowed upon him a liberal pension. Though he never formally renounced the communion of the church of Rome, yet he disapproved of many of its opinions and superstitions. He died in Oct. 1776, at the advanced age of 95 ; and towards the close of his life he wrote and subscribed with his own hand “A declaration of his last sentiments on the different doctrines of religion ;" which from a writer of such celebrity and on a subject so important has excited the curiosity of the learned, and will be found interesting to every serious inquirer in religion. As the work is rare in this country, we shall, as we have opportunity, preseot some extracts.)
“On the point of appearing before God, both to fulfil the duty of sincerity, and to furnish all, into whose hands this writing may fall, with a testimony, which every person living owes 10 truth; urged moreover by my conscience to declare my thoughts on the doctrines of christianity, and the differences, which divide christian societies, I proceed to do it with that simplicity, which becomes integrity in the near view of death.
"1. I firmly believe, that there is a God. Atheism appears to me a sentiment as pernicious as it is unreasonable. Equally contrary to the light of nature, the purity of manners, and the good of society. It is the interest of the whole world to proscribe a doctrine founded only on blindness and corruption. It is making too bad a use of liberty and reason to employ them both in declaring a truth, which all nature announces, against wbich the heart struggles in vain, to abandon itself to its passions with less scruple and remorse.
“ I believe not only that there is a God, but moreover that there is but One: and wbile I ascribe to God the glory of all good, I believe I can bave recourse only to the will of man, for the discovery of the origin of moral evil.
“ The more I have studied the gospel, the more worthy it has appeared to me of approbation, and the more worthy of being adhered to. Nothing is so pure, as the worship it proposes; nothing so exact as the rules it prescribes; nothing so boly as the life it enjoins ; nothing so noble as the recompense it leads us to hope for ; nothing is so proper to render men and societies happy, since by subduing onr passions 10 reason and religion, it takes away the source of our miseries by taking away the source of our disorders. It supposes all natural truths and destroys none. It reforms all vices, and conducts to the practice of all virtues. 'It re-establishes in the minds of men ihose ideas of justice, of charity, of temperance, of modesty, and of piety, which the author of nature had formed in us, and which sin had destroyed. Nothing is so true, as that which is said by St. Paul, that Jesus Christ bath made all things new; and by a kind of second creation hath rendered us again capable of righteousness and true holiness. The gospel is a new mission, in which religion is no more confined within the limits of a people, or a province; and in which all men, having the same Creator, are recalled without distinction to the same laws and to the same hopes. It is a new worship, in which we are taught that there is no other, which is agreeable to Him, but that which is in spirit and in truth. It is a new morality, which does not confine itself to the repressing those outward actions, wbich are sinfnl, but teaches us to dry up the sources of evil actions in condemning even evil thoughts and desires. It operates upon is by new hopes and new fears; and it is no more the expectation of temporal good or the fear of temporal evil, by which we are excited to practise virtue and to avoid vice. Whatever is confined to the present life only appears unworthy of us : and man, better instructed in the grandeur of liis origin and of his end, cherishes no thoughts but those which relate to eternity, for which he perceives that his soul was destined.”
[As some inquiry bas lately been made with respect to the person and character of Mary Magdalene, who is mentioned in ihe gospels as one of the earliest disciples of our Lord, it may be useful to addoce a few extracts from a letter, written by the candid and learned Dr. Lardner to Jonas Hanway, Esq. in 1758, the object of which was to redeem her memory from a common but most injurious imputation, and to assign the reasons, why houses for the reception of penitent women, who bad been disorderly in their lives, should not, as was then proposed by that zealous pbilantbropist, be called Magdalen houses. We give only an abstract of the whole, which may be read with