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to depart, and to be with Christ: which is far better." And how many thousands are there at this day, even in our own nation, young men and maidens, old men and children, who are able to witness the same good confession?

7. But who is able to do this, by the force of his reason, be it ever so highly improved? One of the most sensible and most amiable Heathens that have lived since our Lord died, even though he governed the greatest empire in the world, was the Emperor Adrian. It is a well-known saying of his, "A Prince. ought to resemble the sun; he ́ought to shine on every part of his dominion, and to diffuse his salutary rays in every place where he comes." And his life was a comment upon his word: wherever he went, he was executing justice and shewing mercy. Was he not then at the close of a long life, full of immortal hope? We are able to answer this from unquestionable authority, from his own dying words. How inimitably pathetic! Adriani morientis ad animam suam.

Dying Adrian to his soul:

Animula, vagula, blandula,

Hospes, comesque corporis,

Quæ nunc abibis in loca,
Pallidula, rigida, nudula

Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos!

Which our English reader may see translated into our own language, with all the spirit of the original.

"Poor, little, pretty, fluttering thing,
Must we no longer live together?
And dost thou prune thy trembling wing,

To take thy flight, thou know'st not whither?

Thy pleasing vein, thy humorous folly,

Lies all neglected, all forgot!:

And pensive, wavering, melancholy,

Thou hop'st, and fear'st, thou know'st not what."

8. Thirdly, Reason, however cultivated and improved, cannot produce the love of God; which is plain from


hence it cannot produce either faith or hope, from which alone this love can flow. It is then only when we "behold," by faith, "what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us," in giving his only Son, that we might not perish, but have everlasting life, that "the love of God is shed abroad in our heart, by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” It is only then, when we "rejoice in hope of the glory of God," that "we love him, because he first loved us.' But what can reason do in this matter? It may present us with fair ideas: it can draw a fine picture of love: but this is only a painted fire. And farther than this," reason cannot go. I made the trial for many years. I collected the finest hymns, prayers, and meditations, which I could find in any language: and I said, sung, or read them over and over, with all possible seriousness and attention. But still 1 was like the bones in Ezekiel's vision: "the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them."

9. And as reason cannot produce the love of God, so neither can it produce the love of our neighbour, a calm, generous, disinterested benevolence to every child of man. This earnest, steady good-will to our fellow-creatures, never flowed from any fountain, but gratitude to our Creator. And if this be (as a very ingenious man supposes) the very essence of virtue, it follows that virtue can have no being, unless it spring from the love of God. Therefore, as reason cannot produce this love, so neither can it produce virtue.

10. And as it cannot give either faith, hope, love, or virtue, so it cannot give happiness, since, separate from these, there can be no happiness for any intelligent have creature. It is true, those who are void of all virtue, may pleasures, such as they are; but happiness they have not, cannot have. No:

"Their joy is all sadness, Their mirth is all vain :

Their laughter is madness; Their pleasure is pain!"

Pleasures! Shadows! Dreams! fleeting as the wind: un


substantial as the rainbow! As unsatisfying to the poor, gasping soul,

"As the gay colours of an eastern cloud."

None of these will stand the test of reflection: if thought comes, the bubble breaks.

Suffer me now to add a few plain words, first to you who under-value reason. Never more declaim in that wild, loose, ranting manner, against this precious gift of God. Acknowledge the candle of the Lord, which he hath fixed in our souls for excellent purposes. You see how many admirable ends it answers, were it only in the things of this life of what unspeakable use is even a moderate share of reason, in all our worldly employments, from the lowest and meanest offices of life, through all the intermediate branches of business, till we ascend to those that are of the highest importance and the greatest difficulty.


When, therefore, you despice or depreciate reason, you must not imagine you are doing God service; least of all, are you promoting the cause of God, when you are endeavouring to exclude reason out of religion. Unless you wilfully shut your eyes, you cannot but see, of what service it is both in laying the foundation of true religion, under the guidance of the Spirit of God, and in raising the superstructure. You see, it directs us in every point, both of faith and practice: it guides us with regard to every branch both of inward and outward holiness. Do we not glory in this, that the whole of our religion is a reasonable service? Yea, and that every part of it, when it is duly performed, is the highest exercise of our understanding.

Permit me to add a few words to you, likewise, who overvalue reason. Why should you run from one extreme to the other? Is not the middle way best? Let reason do all that reason can employ it as far as it will go. But, at the same time, acknowledge it is utterly incapable, of giving either faith, or hope, or love: and consequently, of producing either real virtue, or substantial happiness. Expect these from a higher source, even from the Father of the spirits of

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all flesh. Seek and receive them, not as your own acquisition, but as the gift of God. Lift up your hearts to him who "giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not." He alone can give that faith which is "the evidence and conviction of things not seen." He alone can "beget you unto a lively hope of an inheritance eternal in the heavens. And he alone can "shed his love abroad in your heart, by the Holy Ghost given unto you." Ask, therefore, and it shall be given you: cry unto him, and you shall not cry in vain. How can you doubt? "If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven, give the Holy Ghost unto them that ask him?" So shall you be living witnesses that wisdom, holiness, and happiness, are one, are inseparably united: and are, indeed, the beginning of that eternal life, which God hath given us in his Son.



HEBREWS i. 14.

“Are they not all ministering Spirits, sent forth to minister unto them that shall be Heirs of Salvation ?"

1. MANY of the ancient heathens had (probably from tradition) some notion of good and evil angels. They had some conception of a superior order of beings, between men and God, whom the Greeks generally termed Demons, (knowing ones,) and the Romans Genii. Some of these they supposed to be kind and benevolent, delighting in doing good; others, to be malicious and cruel, delighting in doing evil. But their conceptions both of one and the other, were crude, imperfect, and confused; being only fragments of truth, partly delivered down by their forefathers, and partly borrowed from the inspired Writings.

2. Of the former, the benevolent kind, seems to have been the celebrated Demon of Socrates, concerning which so many and so various conjectures have been made in suc

ceeding ages. "This gives me notice," said he, "every morning, of an evil which will befall me that day." A late writer, indeed, (I suppose one that hardly believes the existence of either angel or spirit,) has published a dissertation wherein he labours to prove, That the Demon of VOL. IX.

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