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so inconsistent in their influence with that illumination of mind and melioration of heart, which, it is predicted, shall prevail, and which the blessed Gospel never fails to produce. Hence it may be expected, that despots will take counsel against the Lord, as the march of intellect, and piety, and civil liberty, shall minister alarm.
To what extent forcible resistance will be made to the Gospel, it is not our object now to inquire; or whether republican forms of government will supplant the ancient dynasties. It is enough to know, that all the governments who yield to the intimations of that Providence which sends out religion and civil liberty upon the earth, will be safe and happy; and that all who make resistance, will be agitated by revolution's, and destroyed by heavy judgments. Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings; and be instructed, ye judges of the earth: serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling: kiss the Son, lest he be
ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little.
5. Andther source of resistance to Christianity, is that of crime in its varied forms. A vast amount of capital is embarked in enterprises, which directly or indirectly war against morality. All this, when the spirit of Christianity shall prevail, will be contraband, and be withdrawn. The power of steam shall not needlessly violate holy time, nor the sail, without cause, whiten in the Sabbath sun, and spread itself to pervert the breath of heaven. Theatres, those "schools of morality,” falsely so called, shall cease to beguile unstable souls, whose feet go down to death,
whose steps take hold on hell. Christianity, as she prevails, will form a public sentiment that will make virtue blush at the thought of meeting within the same walls, and breathing the same polluted air, and applauding the same exhibitions, with the most debased and wretched portion of the community. All who thrive and grow rich amid the desolations of inebriation, and all who desire to do wickedly without loss of reputation, or annoyance of conscience, will feel instinctively the approach of religion: and as their craft shall be in danger, will raise a loud and bitter cry—'Great is Diana. Great is Diana.'
Nor are the maxims of more reputable trade in such nice accordance with the “golden rule," as to need no revision, or to present no resistauce to Christianity as she moves on to make it the universal actual law of commercial intercourse: while the entire world of honor must be expected to stand against that Gospel which forbids murder, and inculcates forgiveness, and arrays public sentiment against the guilty.
If the Gospel would prohibit only acknowledged immoralities, and wink at human weaknesses, the whole pleasure-loving world would consent to an armistice, and permit her to move on without much complaint. But the inexorable requisitions of purity of heart and self-denial, cannot fail to bring out against her a multitudinous and determined resist
The haters of her uncharitableness, and the lovers of a more liberal way, and all classes of the openly wicked, will, it may be expected, as the light increases and enmity rises, be condensed into a firmer and firmer phalanx of opposition. And now will thic
alarm be sounded about popery and priest-craft, by just that class of men, who, in papal countries, love darkness, and most cheerfully purchase indulgences to sin; and who, in this country, should the darkness of popery be permitted to come upon us, would be the first to hail it as a covert for their crimes and a quietus for their consciences. And yet panic-struck will many become about liberty of conscience, who long since have ceased to have any conscience; and suddenly will many fall in love with civil liberty, who, all their days and with all their might, have, by their pernicious influence, been employed in attempts to undermine her deep foundations.
6. To cover the nakedness of this forlorn hope of opposition to the Gospel, a more liberal sort of religion must be introduced, which shall keep them in countenance, and enable them to wield the name and institutions of Christianity against Christianityincluding so much truth as may serve to beguile, but so little as cannot avail to save-sustained by such as live in pleasure, and will not bow the knee to Christ. The time will have come, when the light of science and of Christianity will have rendered obsolete the grossness of idolatry, the imposture of Mahommed, the superstitions of popery, and the impurity of infidelity. A religion must rise, therefore, under the last touchings and finishings of art, where infidels may be received without conversion; and where they may be converted with scarce a perceptible change in doctrine, heart, or life; and where, as in papal countries, the thoughtless, and the gay, and the beautiful, and the dissipated, may float to
gether down the stream, to the sounds of music, and drink the lethean cup, and wake not till their redemption has ceased for ever. All this abomination of desolation is predicted, as, attending the last triumphs of pure Christianity. And he said, Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up, and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried: but the wicked shall, do. wickedly, and, none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
7. One other source of opposition to the progress of vital Christianity remains to be mentioned. There may be an attempt to wield, the church against herself, by. corrupting the purity of revivals of religion. Terrible, by the power of revivals, as an army with banners, her, victory is . secure, unless fanaticism can be substituted for pure religion, and her. compact masses be broken and scattered by the commotion of unballowed passions within. 'In this manner, was the glory of the Reformation eclipsed, and vital religion, in the time of Cromwell, made a scoff and a by-word. The same attempt was made in New-England early in the days of our fathers. It was repeated in the time of Whitefield and the immortal Edwards, with. lamentable, though with but, partial success. As revivals shall become more extensive, and the Spirit of God: shall awaken larger portions of the community at once, opportunity will be, afforded to the enemy-and, apprised of his devices, we ought not to think that the opportunity will be neglected--of mingling. false, fire, with holy zeal, for the. purpose of throwing discredit upon a
work which threatens a speedy overthrow of his empire.
All these great divisions of systematic opposition to the Gospel have, where circumstances allowed, been defended by the sword. Christianity, in: her first attempts to disenthral the world, met the storms of ten persecutions, protracted through 'a period of three hundred years.
The false prophet: established, and still maintains, his empire by force. It is death to turn from Mahommed to Jesus Christ. And as to Popery, in her dominions, all the wiles and corruptions of idolatry and, imposture have been condensed and wielded with infernal wisdom and malignity against the Gospel, ever since the apocalyptic kings gave their power to the beast. And when atheism, for: a little moment, abolished, popery, its terrific power was, at the same moment, directed, with indiscriminate fury against Christianity. The Bible was burnt: the Sabbath blotted out: the existence of God denied: and death proclaimed an eternal sleep.
The Arian heresy, protected by the sword, wielded against the truth a furious persecution. In Holland, Arminius attempted to enlist both literature and the civil arm. for the propagation of his sentiments, and, to some extent, succeeded. At Geneva, the enemies of evangelical sentiment, as appears from recent events,, do not rely on charity, and enlightened reason, and liberty of conscience; but upon the civil power, to protect them in their usurpations, and to keep back the truth.
And now, can such varied and mighty resistance