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In the first chapter of this book, I have, in a minute analytical manner, demonstrated the truth of revelation, and shewn the necessity of it in teaching man the most important relations, and interests which he bears, or can conceive of. From the very nature, and necessity of things, without the divine light, the motives, and considerations which are exhibited, and disclosed to the human mind by the christian religion, our republican form of government could neither have been organized, nor can it be perpetuated. No other principles than those of a supernatural character, developed in the religion of Jesus Christ, can govern the minds, and conduct of men, so as to advance the intellectual, and moral perfection of his nature, and promote the interest, and happiness of the species. Take the influence of these away, and a free government must cease to exist, with its attendant felicities; while a government, correspondently high toned, and arbitrary, with the force, and influences of sensuality, avarice, and ambition, must be superinduced in order to preserve the social state, and restrain the fell passions of infuriate man. Sophistry may invent new forms of objection to these sentiments; while the sceptic, the infidel, and the libertine, will be ever ready to listen to arguments so congenial to their wishes. The conceited philo, sopher may insinuate, with a malignant sneer, that the christian religion was the primary cause of the intellectual darkness of the middle ages: he may describe in specious terms the lamentable consequences of a pernicious superstition, or the poisonous rancour of theological hatred. The artful historian may paint in the most striking colours, the arbitrary decrees of councils, and popes; the vices of eccle. siastics, and the horrors of religious wars; the sulien gloominess of the recluse, and the wanton penance of the ascetic. But, when they have lavished all their understanding, and ingenuity upon the subject, they have merely been detailing the passions, and errors of men equally fallible as themselves-passions, and errors too, which nothing prevents them from manifesting, and being guilty of, but the influence of that very christianity enlightened upon the manners, customs, and laws of the country in which they live, and by which they are only restrained. Could we unravel the fine, and
intricate web of the human mind, and develope its mysterious springs; could we, with absolute certainty, investigate its various dependancies, connexions, and relations; and trace its motions from the dawn of reason through the prejudices of education, and the diversified habits of life, we should be able to trace all of those excellencies to the force, and influence derived from the precepts of christianity. What is a conscience, entirely insensible to the precepts of revealed truth, either from the direct perception of their divine verity, and importance, or from those manners, and customs which they establish amongst men? What else can restrain man but the arm of arbitrary laws from acts of outrage, and cruelty? A people who have a free government, and are destitute of the principles, and influences of the Gospel upon their consciences, and conduct, must, of necessity, be licentious-exhibiting all that misrule, and sanginary violence, which are consequential upon furious gusts of passion, projects of ambition, and usurpation. It was on this account that Atheistical France were incapable of a free government, after having broken the neck of despotism and unrivited the chains of slavery. With the destruction of monarchy, they also annihilated every idea of religion which is calculated to bind the conscience and govern the passions. When thus emancipated from regal authority and religious restraint, there were no countervailing principles which could arrest, or at all impede its rapid march from Liberty and Equality through the storms of anarchy and blood, (most shocking to christianized humanity) to a military despotism; which is now the scourge, and curse of an unjust, and sinful world, under the overruling providences of an offended heaven, through the desolations of which, and a regenerating Gospel, God will overturn, overturn, overturn, until he establish the reign of the Prince of Peace on earth. That nation, after having assumed the name of Freedom, never saw the hour when it stood self-poised, and with a calm discriminating eye viewed the rights of man in their proper relations and character, bottomed upon a just foundation. The reason was, that having rejected the revelations of God through which the true, and most important relations and interests of man are alone disernible, that
mation, of necessity were precluded that light by which suck views, could be had; and being destitute of those views and the considerations which arise from them, their chief objects were those of sensuality, avarice and ambition. It is an eternity to come, of which we are only informed by revelation, that makes the christain religion so awful, and its motives so powerful. The American people were not like those of France when they had obtained their independence, and freedom. Reli gious liberty was the great, and leading inducement which actuated the first European settlers in America to emigrate from the old world; and the principles of christianity were esteemed the greatest boon which a merciful heaven had ever bestowed upon our sinful, miserable world. After the American war closed, which was a war of great difficulty, and suffering, and was prosecuted with christian bravery, and perseverance; the great patriots, and warriors, with hearts beating high with gratitude to God for their success, laid by their swords, and organized the plan of the American Republic. A dependance upon the great Creaator through Jesus Christ, and the light of his word, gave wisdom, union, and decision to their councils, banished far from them the projects of ambition, and made them to their foes terrible as an army with banners. Through the revelations of God's Spirit in the Gospel, they beheld the rights, and interests of men explained as consisting in, and arising from not only earthly privileges, and enjoyments, but more especially from their invisible relations to their creator, which are established, and supported by his everlasting truth, and goodness. It is according to the decrees of God's throne, and the immutable order of its establishment that a people or nation will, and must be happy who are directed, and animated by his religion. It is that, which under individual or national sufferings can alone awaken in the bosom of mankind an infallible umpire, to point out the moral rectitude, or pravity of their actions. The judg ment thus quickened, and regulated, dictates with authority to the angry passions, and commands them to be still. It imposes restraints upon sensuality, avarice, and ambition, which are drenching our world in blood, and pouring the most malignant poison into the hearts of men. It says un
to them, pointing to the rights, and interests of men, according to Gospel requisitions, "hitherto shalt thou come, but no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed." It is by reason of the benign, and prefective influences of the christian religion, blended with the contexture, and operations of the American Republics, that they stand DIVINELY distinguished from the Republic of Rome: which in its meridian greatness was tarnished by gladiatorial shows, and the butcheries of human beings to the number of tens of thousands annually, in their amphitheatrical combats with ferocious wild beasts for the amusement of her philosophers, statesmen, &c. It is indeed impossible to approximate to a conception, much less to a calculation of the beneficial consequences of the christian religion in ameliorating the condition of man, and improving his intellectual, moral, and social nature. Every destructive vice it has prevented, every pernicious usage it has removed—it pours into the bosom the softest sensibilities of humanity, and raises to the highest point of intellectual greatness the soul of man. Without the plastic, and equalizing powers, and operations of the christian religion upon the mind, and character of man, his great intellectual capacities, and bodily strength, only qualify him for being a terror, and a curse to his species. His intellectual, and moral powers cannot either be directed to, employed upon, or regulated by, those objects, and principles; those considerations, and motives, in which consist his greatest perfection, and happiness without the divine lights of heaven which emanated from the throne of God through the Prince of Peace. This is not less true in civil governments than in individual persons: it applies universally to all orders, and conditions of the intelligent subjects of this fallen province of God's universal dominion, whether in their individual, social, civil, or religious relations. In the present momentous crisis of the world, if it be asked why are kingdoms rising against kingdoms, and nations against nations; why the universal horrors, and desolations of war? the answer is supplied by the word of God; they spring from the lusts of men, the vile fevers of their hearts, ungoverned by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yes, this is the great source of the universal suffer.
ings at this time, which extort the groans of expiring humanity from every quarter of the globe-the disregard, and contempt of the necessary practical connexion between the revealed religion of heaven, and the just, and sound policy of the nations of the world. God is as well the moral, as he is the natural governor of our earth. He has erected a kingdom amongst men; he has explained their duties, and published his laws for the regulation of their conduct their official, and divine character, are attested by the blazing signature of the Holy Ghost. They are armed with heavy penalties against transgression, not only of an eternal, but also of a temporal nature, as they secure the highest bles sings, the safest protection, and greatest security to the obedient, in time, and through eternity. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 1 Tim. 4. 8. God haying established his Gospel, (a government of grace) and demonstrated the indissoluble connexion between obedience to his laws, and commandments, and the prosperity of a nation, and people, by his administrations in the Jewish theocracy, which are written for our instruction, he has been waiting to be gracious; proclaiming himself The LORD The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; but who will by no means clear the guilty. The nations through all Christendom denying by their conduct their dependance upon him or his revelations for their administrations of government, although God had revealed his wrath from heaven against all ungodliness, and unrighteousness of men wIO HOLD THE TRUTH IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, he is at this time chasti sing the iniquities of the earth by the operations of those very passions, and that ambition, rage, and false honour, which necessarily spring from the human heart unsubdued by the principles of the Gospel. It can no longer be said, as was predicted of scoffers, who were to come in the last days, walking after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? for, since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning." The world is approaching the millenial æra-its approximation is written in blood. The Lord is not slack concerning his