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public those, with whom thou art familiar in private ; if thou allow in private what thou condemnest în public; if the fear of passing for an innovator, a broacher of new opinions, prevent thine opposing abuses, which custom hath authorized ; and if the fear of being reputed a reformer of the public, prevent thine attacking the public licentiousness ; if thou say, Peace, peace, when there is no peace, Ezek. xiii. 10. most assuredly thy fast was a vain ceremony, and thy communion will be a ceremony as vain as thy fast.
Thou ! thou art a member of a family, and of a society, which doubtless have their portion of the general corruption, for as I said before, each hath its particular vice, and its favorite false maxim : a maxim of pride, interest, arrogance, vanity. If thou be united to thy family and to thy society by a corrupt tie; if the fear, lest either should
of thee, he is a troublesome fellow, he is a morose ünsocial soul, he is a mopish creature, prevent thy declaring for Jesus Christ : most assuredly thou art a false christian ; most assuredly thy fast was a vain ceremony, and thy communion will be as vain as thy fast.
Too many articles might be added to this enumeration, my brethren. I comprise all in one, the peace of society. I do not say that peace, which sociсty ought to cherish : but that peace, after which society aspires. It is a general agreement among mankind, by which they mutually engage themselves to let one another go quietly to hell, and, on no occasion whatever, to obstruct each other in the way. Every man, who refuseth to accede to this contract, (this refusal, however, is our calling) shall be considered by the world as a disturber of public peace.
Where, then, will be the christian's peace, peace, af
Where, then, will the christian find the ter which he aspires ? In another world, my brethren. 'This is only a tempestuous ocean, in which we can promise ourselves very little calm, and in which we seem always to lie at the mercy of the wind and the sea. Yes, which way soever I look, I discover only objects of the formidable kind. Nature opens to me scenes of misery. Society, far from alleviating them, seems only to aggravate them. I see enmity, discord, falshood, treachery, perfidy. Disgusted with the sight of so many miseries, I enter into the sanctuary, I lay hold on the horns of the altar, I embrace religion. I find, indeed, a sincerity in its promises. I find, if there be an enjoyment of happiness in this world, it is to be obtained by a punctual adherence to its maxims. I find, indeed, that the surest way of passing through life with tranquillity and ease is to throw one's self into the arms of Jesus Christ. Yet, the religion of this Jesus hath its crosses, and its peculiar tribulations. It leads me through paths edged with fires and flames. It raiseth up in anger against me my fellow-citizens, relations, and friends.
What consequences shall we derive from this principle! He, who is able and willing to reason, may derive very important consequences; consequences, with which I would conclude all our discourses, all our sermons, all our pleasures, all our solemnities; consequences, which I would engrave on the walls of our churches, on the walls of your houses, on the frontispieces of your doors, particularly, on the tables of your hearts. The consequences are these, That this is not the place of our felicity; that this world is a valley of tears : that man is in a continual warfare on earth; that nature with all its treasures, society with all its advantages, religion with all its excellencies, cannot procure us a perfect felicity on earth. Happy we ! if the endless vicissitudes of the present world conduct us to rest in the world to come, according to this expression of the Spirit of God. Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord, they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them, Rev. xiv. 13, To God be honor and glory for ever. Amen.
CHRIST THE KING OF TRUTH.
John xviii. 36, 37, 38.
Jesus said, My kingdom is not of this world.
Pilate suid unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king; to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
AVE you ever considered, my brethren, the
plain conclusion, that resulteth from the two motives, which St. Paul addresseth to Timothy ? Timothy was the apostle's favorite. The attachment, which that young disciple manifested to him, entirely gained a heart, which his talents had conciliated before. The apostle took the greatest pleasure in cultivating a genius, which was formed to elevate truth and virtue to their utmost height. Having guarded him against the temptations, to which his age, his character, and his circumstances, might expose him ; having exhorted him to keep clear of the two rocks, against which so many ecclesiastics had been shipwrecked, ambition, and avarice; he adds to his instructions this solemn charge. I give thee charge, in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession, that thou keep this commandment, 1 Tim.
vi. 13, 14. God quickeneth all things. Jesus Christ, before Pontius Pilate, witnessed a good confession. From the union of these two motives ariseth that conclusion, which I would remark to you.
The first may be called the motive of a philosopher: the second may be called the motive of a christian. A philosopher, I mean a man of sound reason, who finds himself placed a little while in this world, concludes, from the objects that surround him, that there is a Supreme Being, a God who quickeneth all things. His mind being penetrated with this truth, he cannot but attach himself to the service of the Supreme Being, whose existence and perfections he is able to demonstrate. He assures himself, that the same Being, whose power and wisdom adorned the firmament with stars, covered the earth with riches, and filled the sea with gifts of beneficence, will reward those, who sacrifice their inclinations to that obedience, which his nature requires.
But, let us own, my brethren, the ideas we form of the Creator are, in some sense, confounded, when we attend to the miseries, to which he seems to abandon some of his most devoted servants, How can the great Supreme, who quickeneth all things, leave'those men to languish in obscurity and indigence, who live and move only for the glory of him? In order to remove this objection, which hath
lways formed insuperable difficulties against the belief of a God, and of a Providence, it is necessary to add the motive of a christian to that of a philosopher. This motive follows, that God, who quickeneth all things, who disposeth all events, who bestoweth a sceptre, or a crook, as he pleaseth, hath wise reasons for deferring the happiness of his children to another ceconomy; and hence a