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cannot be said in praise of morality. But if, in the sight of GOD, an imperfect obedience to a moral system could have answered the purposes of futurity; (I say imperfect obedience, because no one upon earth will venture, I ́ imagine, to think higher of his practical attainments in this science, than that they come short of perfection;) the religion of Christianity would have been an unnecessary revelation. What nation ever exceeded, in point of morals, the 'Roman and the Lacedemonian commonwealths? And yet, after all, we can only place them in the class of unenlightened heathens, in respect to religion. Is there not some grand deficiency in that system, which totally shuts out, or at least throws far into the back ground of the piece, the acknowledgment of Him, who, one should suppose, would form the first and principal character?"

'Permit me to place the argument in a point of view, which may in some measure tend to decide it. If I mistake not, you have a large family of children, all branched out in life; and you have already made for them a most ample provision and it is by your liberality that they are enabled to move in a sphere suited to their rank and circumstances. Put the case now, that these children of your's live in



the greatest love and harmony with each other; and, not content with the bare practice of moral honesty and justice, are kind, affectionate, friendly, tender, even to the anticipation of what one conceives may promote the other's happiness. But suppose, that in the midst of all this attention to the mutual and general felicity of each other, they are never heard to express an affection towards the person of a father, from whom, as the source, they have derived all their enjoyments; would not any man consider them as deficient in the first and best of all possible obligations? And is not this the very state of those who, priding themselves in the discharge of moral duties to their neighbour, pass by the reverence, the love, the gra titude, and obedience they owe to God.

Bear with me, I beseech you, Sir, and correct me if I am wrong. I merely state the objections to what you have advanced, as they appear to me, in order that your better judgment may remove them. But, indeed, it hath often struck my mind very forcibly, that there must be some latent principle of evil lurking under a fair form; when I have beheld characters of the greatest respectability, who appear to be every thing which is amiable to their fellow-creatures-generous, noble, affectionate;

but at the same time totally dead to devout sentiments. Often it hath been my lot, in times past, to have been introduced to their tables; where the plentiful provisions of all the bounties of God's providence, seemed to be continually inviting the conversation to some remarks on the goodness of the Great Provider. But, alas! during the many hours which I have sometimes spent at one meal, not a word hath dropped in honour of the Almighty Master of the feast. The gifts have been enjoyed, but the Giver totally forgotten. It hath been frequently my reproach, I assure you, Sir, when returning from such tables, in the days while I attended them, (for I have long since given them up,) that there must be some baleful principle in the human mind to produce such effects. Will you help me to account for it?”;

My neighbour seemed a little hurt at the closeness of the question. You will excuse me, Sir, (he replied,) it is not my province to preach. I would recommend you rather to the worthy Vicar of our parish, who is allowed by all who attend his church, to be one of the most elegant preachers of the age. Perhaps he may be able to satisfy your inquiries; and I shall very much rejoice, if your mind can be made easy.'

Disappointed as I found myself in the information proposed from my visit, I could not but be thankful for my neighbour's candour; and finding my anxiety increase rather than diminish, in desires after the attainment of something, which I knew not by what term to distinguish; I thought it might be right to follow up my neighbour's advice; and accordingly, on the next Sunday, I went to hear


He took his text from the prophecy of Micah, chap. vi. ver. 8. 'He hath showed thee, O man, what is good. And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.' I felt much pleasure in the very idea of the subject proposed from this text of scripture, the moment it was mentioned; and therefore listened with the more attention, in order to discover some leading points, which might be brought forward to give me comfort. The substance of the preacher's sermon, when separated front the flowery ornaments of it, was directed to show, that the path to happiness was set before every one; that God had shown man what was good; and that it was man's own fault if he did not

follow it; that what the Lord required, was nothing harsh, or unrcasonable, or difficult; but the plain, easy, self-rewarding virtues of moral obligation. And that if, in addition to the line of doing justly, the circumstances favoured the love of mercy, in relieving the wants of the wretched, where ability reached, anddropping over them the tear of sympathy where it did not; and instead of studying to be wise above what is written, respecting Divine things, to walk humbly with GOD;' these made up the sum and substance of all moral and religious concerns.

'Well, Sir, cried my neighbour, (who had attended also the church that morning, and was coming out of the porch at the same moment with myself,)-well, Sir, what are your sentiments now? I hope our worthy Vicar has fully satisfied your mind.' And this he said loud enough to be heard by those around, and with that kind of triumph which a man feels when he fancies he has fully established an opinion long disputed.

"It is my mercy,' replied a poor man, (who overheard my neighbour's observation,) ‹ that I have not so learned Christ.' God hath indeed shown me what is good; and could I look up and say that I have followed it, all might be

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