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tray the secret of their association, or break up any of the securities by which it was held together. And, in like manner, may we be the members of a wider combination, yet brought together by the tie of reciprocal interest; and all the virtues essential to the existence, or to the good of such a combination, may come to be idolized amongst us; and the breath of human applause may fan them into a lustre of splendid estimation ; and yet the good man of society on earth be, in common with all his fellows, an utter outcast from the society of heaven-with his heart altogether bereft of that allegiance to God which forms the reigning principle of his unfallen creation and in a state of entire destitution either as to that love of the Supreme Being, or as to that disinterested love of those around us, which form the graces and the virtues of eternity.
We have not affirmed that there is no such thing as a native and disinterested principle of honour among men. But we have affirmed, on a former occasion, that a sense of honour may be in the heart, and the sense of God be utterly away from
it. And we affirm now, that much of the honest practice of the world is not due to honesty of principle at all, but takes its origin from a baser ingredient of our constitution altogether. How wide is the operation of selfishness on the one hand, and how limited is the operation of abstract principle on the other, it were difficult to determine; and such a labyrinth to man is his own heart, that he may be utterly unable, from his own consciousness, to answer this question. But amid all the difficulties of such an analysis to himself, we ask him to think of another who is unseen by us, but who is represented to us as seeing all things. We know not in what characters this heavenly witness can be more impressively set forth, than as pondering the heart, as weighing the secrets of the heart, as fastening an attentive and a judging eye on all the movements of it, as treasuring up the whole of man's outward and inward history in a book of remembrance; and as keeping it in reserve for that day when, it is said, that the secrets of all hearts shall be laid open; and God shall bring out every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Your consciousness may not distinctly inform you, in how far the integrity of your habits is due to the latent operation of selfishness, or to the more direct and obvious operation of honour. But your consciousness may, perhaps, inform you, distinctly enough, how little a share the will of God has in the way of influence on any
of your doings. Your own sense and memory of what passes within you may charge you with the truth of this monstrous indictment—that you live without God in the world ; that however you may be signalized among your fellows, by that worth of character which is held in highest value and demand amongst the individuals of a mercantile society, it is at least without the influence of a godly principle that you have reached the maturity of an established reputation ; that either the proud emotions of rectitude which glow within your bosom are totally untinctured by a feeling of homage to the Deity-or that, without any such emotions, Self is the divinity you have all along worshipped, and your very virtues are so many offerings of reverence at her shrine. If such be, in fact, the nakedness of your spiritual condition, is it not high time, we ask, that you awaken out of this delusion, and that you
shake the lying spirit of deep and heavy slumber away from you? Is it not high time, when eternity is so fast coming on, that examine
your accounts with God, and seek for a settlement with that Being who will so soon meet your disembodied spirits with the question of—what have you
done unto me? And if all the virtues which adorn you are but the subserviencies of time, and of its accommodations-if either done altogether unto yourselves, or done without the recognition of God on the spontaneous instigation of your own feelings is it not high time that you lean no longer to the securities on which you have rested, and that you seek for acceptance with your Maker on a more firm and unalterable foundation ?
This, then, is the terminating object of all the experience that we have tried to set before you, . We want it to be a schoolmaster to bring you unto Christ. We want you to open your eyes to the accordancy which obtains between the theology of the New Testament, and the actual state and history of man. Above all, we want you to turn your eyes inwardly upon yourselves,
and there to behold a character without one trace or lineament of godliness—there to behold a heart, set upon totally other things than those which constitute the portion and the reward of eternity—there to behold every principle of action resolvable into the idolatry of self, or, at least, into something independent of the authority of God—there to behold how worthless in their substance are those virtues which look so imposing in their semblance and their display, and draw around them here a popularity and an applause which will all be dissipated into nothing, when hereafter they are brought up for examination to the judgment-seat. We want you, when the revelation of the gospel charges you with the totality and magnitude of your corruption, that you acquiesce in that charge; and that you may perceive the trueness of it, under the disguise of all those hollow and unsubstantial accomplishments with which nature may deck her own fallen and degenerate children. It is easy to be amused, and interested, and intellectually regaled, by an analysis of the human character, and a survey of human society. But it is not so easy to reach the individual conscience with the lesson-we are un