Sivut kuvina

of honour, in the exercise of the duties of his function, preaching the gospel, writing in vindication of the truth, and comforting the sick, &c.

The eloquent tongue of Mr. Daille and Mr. Morus, from the pulpit of Charenton, the tears of the whole congregation that day and the next, when they committed his body to the grave, in expectation of a joyful resurrection, in a word, the commendation of people of both religions, sufficiently verified the saying of Solomon, “ The memory of the just is blessed.” The portraiture of this excellent, learned, and religious mind, may be seen in his works, particularly in this useful and comfortable treatise, The Consolations against the Fears of Death,

We doubt not but he is gone to receive in heaven the incorruptible crown of glory, which the great God and Redeemer of our souls promiseth of his mercy to all faithful servants. God grant we may imitate his excellent life, and follow him in his happy end !


Duty and Importance of inculcating Religious Principles



TT is one mark of that wisdom by which the world is goI verned, that the assistance afforded is proportioned to the necessities of the times wherein such assistance is called for. When the darkness which covers a land becomes so thick as to make men despair of its removal, light shall suddenly arise from an unexpected quarter; small, indeed, and scarce discernible, at first ; but gently and gradually increasing, till the darkness vanishes, and the perfect day is formed. When corruption of one kind or other has in such a manner overspread the face of religion, that its features are scarcely any longer to be distinguished, a reforming hand shall appear, to do away the soil contracted in a course of ages, and restore the picture to its original beauty.

If a preacher mentions the iniquity of the age, it is regarded by many as a sort of cant; as a necessary ingredient in the composition of a sermon; and we are asked, if we think na. tions have not been as bad formerly? Undoubtedly many have ; for which reason God destroyed them, and raised up others to supply their places. In the days of Noah, and in those of Lot, men were as wicked as they are now; they were more so ; for a flood came upon them in one case, a storm


of fire and brimstone in the other. And whenever we shall be altogether like them, (wlich God forbid we ever should be,) judgment, in some shape, will seize upon us. “The kingdom of God shall be taken from us, and given to a na. tion that will bring forth the fruits thereof." Such is the rule of Heaven's proceedings, and it altereth not. We are not yet overthrown, because our measure is not yet filled up; but if we continue daily employed in filling it, that measure must in time be full.

The matter is, however, of late "come home to our business and our bosoms.” A lawless tribe of profligate, desperate, unfeeling villains, have broken loose upon the public, to rob, to maim, and to murder; so that we can no longer travel with comfort upon the road, or sleep with security in our beds. Numbers of these wretches are from time to time apprehended, and crowded together in prisons; froni whence some come forth again to make fresh ravages in society, tenfold more the children of hell, if possible, than they went in; while others furnish out mournful and horrible executions of twenty or thirty at a time, to the astonishment of the kingdoms around us, and our own shame and confusion of face. How bappens it, say 'foreigners to our countrymen, when upon their travels abroad-how happens it, that under a constitution of which you boast, as the glory of the world, monthly scenes are exhibited, which would shock the minds of Turks and Tartars? This is a question more easily asked, than answered. The fact, alas, is certain; and even the public prints begin to exclaim, that there is no police amongst us, no remedy for these disorders; and, in short, that all is over.

But let us not by any means despair. This would only make bad worse. If we once bring ourselves to fancy that no remedy can be found, no remedy ever will be found; for none will ever be sought.

· It is a great happiness that men, in their present state, áre not immortal. An evil generation passes away: and therefore, if proper care be taken, it may be succeeded by a good one. Else were the case of the world lamentable indeed. With old offenders little can be done. Hard labour, spare diet, and, above all, solitude, might do something; and the experiment, it is greatly hoped, will be made. But, in general, if the husbandman has in vain dug about the trees in his garden, and taken every other step necessary for their improvement ; his method must be to train up younger and better plants, which may answer the end of their plantation, and bear fruit, when the others shall no longer be suffered to cumber the ground.

Of every community, as it has pleased God to ordain in the present system of things, the poor must always form a very considerable majority. The necessities of mankind could never else be supplied ; for the rich will not labour, but they are constrained to pay those, who for their own, and the common good, can and will labour. In return for these services, the rich, if they were wise, should do every thing in their power to make and to keep the poor honest, virtuous, and religious; to instruct, or procure them to be instructed, in the knowledge and practice of their duty to God and man; more especially to set them a proper example. This, I say, would be to act the part of wise men, as well as good men. For when the religious principle is once perished and gone in the poor, human laws will lose their effect, and be set at nought.

I will mention a remarkable instance of this, well attested. A servant, who had made the improvement that might have been expected, from hearing the irreligious and blasphemous conversation continually passing at his master's table, where it was his place to wait, took an opportunity to rob his master. Being apprehended, and urged to give a reason for this infa. mous behaviour, “Sir, (said he,) I had heard you so often " talk of the impossibility of a future state, and that after « death there was no reward for virtue, nor punishment for « vice, that I was tempted to commit the robbery.”— “ Well, but (replied the master,) had you no fear of the “ death which the laws of your country inflict upon the “crime?” “Sir, (rejoined the servant, looking sternly at “ his master,) what is that to you, if I had a mind to ven“ ture that? You had removed my greatest terror ; wby “ should I fear the less ?”

Behold the wisdom of propagating infidelity and atheism in a nation! As the middle and lower orders of mankind are always ready to imitate the conduct of their betters, this is one woeful specimen, among millions, of the manner in which the general corruption of faith and morals has descended, and infected the world. We must now therefore take up the matter at the other end, and try, if by reforming the poor, we cannot shame the rich into better manners, and better principles. And for our encouragement, in opposi. tion to a master perverting his servant, let us recollect that mentioned in the scriptures of a female servant, who waited on Naaman, a general officer of the Syrians, and converted her master to the belief and worship of the God of Israel. To the poor the gospel was at first preached : to the poor let it still be preached. The rich must do as they please ; but for the promotion of their interest, temporal and eternal, they cannot do better than to believe and practise it them. selves, and to see that every body belonging to them does the same. God defend all masters from free-thinking servants |--and all servants from free-thinking masters!


« EdellinenJatka »