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found the truth of this remark. And it will not be found less true under the blessings of Gospel light, and of a free republican government. In the latter, the moral cliaracter of the mass of the people will be indicated by that of their rulers. If their rulers be men of irreligion, and such be continued from time to time in office, irreligion marks the character of the mass of the people, ' In such a case, the Most High is insulted; and may be expected to manifest his displeasure in judgments. Notwithstanding the sentiment of many in modern times, that an infidel will make as good a civil ruler, as a believer; yet in sacred Writ, we find it otherwise taught. It is a sentiment running through the Bible, that He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. Hence men, notoriously of the opposite character, ought never to be elected for our rulers. And when they are, God is contemned; and Infidelity is encouraged. The experience of men, as well as the word of God, confutes the opinion, that infidels, or openly irreligious men, may make the best of rulers. The examples and influence of such men will operate with dreadful effect against the cause of re. ligion, and in favor of the cause of wickedness. Such men are not to be confided in. They have no correct principles of morality in their hearts. If men reject ihe word of the Lord, we are divinely informed, that there is no wisdom in them;* unless it be a subtile kind of wisdom to do evil. And the judgments of Heaven in such a case may be expected. It is indeed striking to read of wicked rulers, Jer. iv, 22, “They are wise to do evil; but to do good they have no un. derstanding.” This is said of the abominable rulers of the last days.
The modern sentiment, that there is no connexion between religion and national concerns, is among the deceptive arts of the Infidelity of the last days. Had the arch tempter believed this sentiment, he would not have instigated his agents of Illuminism to bave com. bined in their object, "revolutions, and the doctrines
• Jer viii, 9.
of Atheism.” He well knows the connexion there is between religion and good civil government; and their kind influence on each other. The sentiment, that there is no connexion between them, however ma. ny well meaning people may be deceived into the belief of it, inust have originated in wicked design. Listen to its import. What is it short of this? Religion has nothing to do with worldy concerns! And world. ly concerns have nothing to do with religion! They are so disconnected, as to have no influence on each other. Consequently there is nothing of a moral na. ture in worldly affairs: And no religious discourse ought ever to contain any thing concerning them! Are such sentiments as these imbibed in a Gospel land? The ancient heathen, who believed there were gods, would have blushed at them! Would it do the above sentiments much injustice to read them in the follow. ing language; “God doth not see, neither doth the “Most High regard - The Lord seeth us not; the Lord “hath forsaken the earth.-God hath forgotten; he hid. "eth his face. The Lord shali not see; neither shall
'the God of Jacob regard it.--Our tongue is our own; swho is Lord over us? -Thou wilt not require it.“We are lords; we will come no more unto thee." In other words: We are not accountable for our conduct; and we will hear no more of any accountability.
We are sure this sentiment, of “no connexion be“tween religion and the secular concerns of a nation," was not the sentiment of the god of ancient Israel. He ever taught that people, that religion and their national concerns mere most intimately connected. Will it be said, We have learned more wisdom, or are more correct? The prediction of the Most High to the Church in the Millennium, that Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy nursing mothers, indicates, that He is indeed of one mind” upon this point; however men have changed. The above prediction more than hints the intimate connexion there shall be between religion and national concerns, when the unnatural distortions of Infidelity, and the days of licentiousness, shall cease; and things shall come to be as they ought. Rulers, whatever may be their
forms of government, will be eminently pious, and nursing fathers to the Church; and all the concerns of nations will be made subordinate to her best interest. The kings of the earth will bring their glory and honor into the new Jerusalem.
In the choice of rulers, beware of flatterers. Remember the ambitious, deceptive flatteries of ancient Absalom.* Remember those of the great French assassin, Marat; whose profession of republicanism, and of concern for the people, in the midst of all his horrid murders of a countless throng of innocent men, women, and children, were in the most pathetic and soft strains of a lover. Men of the worst views may make the high
professions of concern for your welfare. Words are cheap. And such a profession is an old, and most convenient and fatal disguise. Judas betrayed the Son of God with a kiss. It must be done under cover of the purest friendship! The old serpent ruined the race of man, by seducing the woman in paradise with the kindest expressions of concern for the abridgement of their rights, and for their liberty and welfare. In histories, sacred and profane, we learn, that such professions have ever been the most convenient cover for the blackest designs. This cover is by no means exclud. ed from the refined arts of modern innovation. On no one principle beside, is so much dependence made, as on this.
And no other principle is so powerful and fatal, in "binding the world with invisible hands." Men are so fond of having others regard them and cel for their interest, that if one but subtilly pretends to do it, he may readily gain their confidence, and the management of their concerns. Remember, that real worth is modest, and must be sought for. Men of real virtue will not descend to flattery. While designing and ambitious men will force themselves, or be forced upon you under specious pretences. Such men are, in the Oracles of truth, set in direct contrast with men of faithfulness. Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness; but a faithful man who can
* 2 Sam. xv, love
finda Here the Holy Ghost teaches, that declaimers on their own goodness are the very opposite of faithful men. Why do not this, and similar Divine testimo. nies, put self eulogists to shame? Perhaps they never read them! Or do not view them as of divine authority!
Let your solemn prayers, and your influence, ever be in favor of able men for civil rulers, who fear God, and hare covetousness.
11. A vigilant eye upon the movements of the enemy; and a solemn attention to the signs of the times.
Concealment is the policy and strength of the propagators of Infidelity and disorganization. Their scheme is subtilly calculated, while binding the world, to keep their hands invisible. One important mode of their defence is, to discourage, by rendering hazardous, every attempt to detect them. This principle, together with the native inattention of man to whatever does not address itself to his senses; and our usual lothness to believe that we are in danger from designing men, has rendered it unpopular with thousands, to this day, to speak of the existence of the modern system of disorganizers and infidels; even after all that profusion of evidence which has exposed this horrid system to the world. But this is idle. Such men have existed, and do exist. And the effects of their operations are visible as the sun; and are putting to hazard every thing most dear to man.
Shall such evil be disregarded? Shall hordes of latent enemies prey upon the vitals of a nation, and be unheeded? Such heedlessness has already rendered nations an easy prey to the devourer! Shall our great and fair Republic be added to the list? May gracious Heaven forbid! Let the evidence relative to this wicked system be weighed, and have its proper effect. Let it put us upon our guard. Let the fates of other nations induce us to apply with assiduity the proper means of escape. Concerning impostors, the Oracles of heaven inform us, By their fruits ye shall know them. Their professioni will be fair; but mischief is in their hearts. Their words will be smoother than oil; yet are they drawn swords. Sheep's clothing is stolen to conceal ravening wolves. It is the part of the friends of Zion, to observe their fruits with a jealous eye.
And it is their duty likewise to observe with solemn awe the impending judgments of the present day; and not to overlook the hand and design of God in the signal events of this period. Such pious attention will discern powerful motives to diligence in withstanding the wicked agency of Antichrist; and in being pre. pared for every event. The Church, at the dawn of the Millennium, adores God in the following language, “Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we "waited for thee:"* In the way of believing in them; seeing them coming; and being prepared for them. The wicked are represented as being blind to the hand and judgments of God. "Lord, when thy hand is lifted "up, they will not see. Thy judgments are far above, "out of his sight.” But so it ought not to be with us. Says our blessed Lord, “Ye can discern the face of the “sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? The “wise sball understand." To them it is said; “Ye are not “in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a “thief. When ye see all these things, then know that “it (the day of Christ) is nigh, even at the doors." The predictions relative to the last days clearly suggest that good people will discern and improve the signs of those times; will see Christ coming; and will look up with solemn joy and attention, knowing that their re. demption draweth nigh. And this believing, solemn attention is essential to a preparation for the trials of that day; to an escape from the snares of Infidelity; and to a maintaining of the character of the witnesses of Jesus C!ırist. This leads to note in the last place,
12. IVatchfulness and special prayer.
By watchfulness here, I mean particularly, guarding the heart against the wiles of that system, which has been noted as in operation;-against the various impositions which are practised;-against those prejudic.
Isa. xxvi, 8.