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pleasure. Walk then before him and be ye perfect. Let your conversation be such as becometh godliness. Adorn the doctrine of God our savior.
Attend to the education of your children as a matter of the first importance. If you wish them to be governed by motives, and not by stripes ; as free men and not as slaves ; you must be at pains to furnish their minds with necessary knowledge, especially with the knowledge of religion. You may leave them liberty ; but it is a blessing which they cannot long enjoy, unless their understandings are enlightened by science, and their hearts sanctified by grace.
Imitate then the example of your pious ancestors ; nurture your sons and your daughters in piety ; train up your household in the admonition of the Lord. Early teach them subordination. Let their habits of thinking and acting be formed, not from the camelion pages of a newspaper, whose morality is the interest of a party, and whose precepts change with the result of an election; but from the oracles of God. These teach the truest politics ; these the purest morals. Hence let them learn to pay tribute cheerfully unto Cæsar, and that to speak evil unjustly of the ruler of God's people is sin.
Guard them against, and guard yourselves against visionary notions of government, founded on mistak. en ideas of human nature. Consider that man an enemy who endeavours to make you believe mankind are not depraved, when God and conscience both
teach you a contrary doctrine. Such insinuations are at once an incitement to your vanity, and an insult to your understanding.
The scriptures contain the only true philosophy on this subject. They teach, that the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.
From this source arises your greatest danger. If you lose your virtue, liberty will be a curse. You feel secure, because the people govern. But if the people become corrupt, where is your security ? The officers of government are taken from among yourselves. And do you believe an impure fountain will send forth pure streams ? The only way to have virtuous rulers is to be virtuous yourselves. If you make yourselves vile, you must expect they will be vile also. You say public officers are your servants, and that you will watch their conduct. But can you believe there will be peace or safety when corruption only is left to watch corruption, and satan to reprove sin ?
The government of our country is a government of opinion, rather than of force. More is therefore to be feared from the depravity of ourselves than of our rulers. If they become corrupt, the people can displace them ; but if the people themselves become corrupt, it is an evil without a remedy. While the will of the people is on the side of virtue, we shall remain happy ; but whenever it preponderates to the side of vice, we must be miserable.
Act then at all times a decided part in favour of religion. On this the safety of your country, as well as the salvation of your souls, depends. Without this no people can long be prosperous and happy" This is the cement of society ; this the tie that binds man to man, and man to God.” Without religion the sanctions of an oath have no validity ; contracts cannot be supported ; crimes cannot be investigated and courts of justice must ceas.. Without this, how is your reputation to be secured from the slanderer's tongue, your property from the robber's
grasp or your life from the assassin's dagger ? Imperfect indeed must be that security which results only from the civil law.
Revere therefore public worship, and sanctify the sabbaths of the Lord. When the public institutions of the gospel are brought into disgrace, private virtue will cease. It is in the churches of Christ that men are taught to dread the judgments of heaven, and believe in the providence of God.
Avoid the pollutions, and reist the influence of infidelity. Yield not to its flatteries; be not deceived by its smiles. It never approaches virtue, but that it may pollute her ; it never takes liberty by the hand, but when it designs her as its victim. Its doctrines are, that all future responsibility is a chimera ; that death is an eternal sleep; and that the end sanctifies the means. Doctrines, which put in practice, must revive the pollutions of Sodom, and the abominations of Gomorrah. Thus by corrupting the heart, de
praving the morals, and taking off all restraint from the wicked, infidelity sunders the very bonds, and undermines the very foundations of society.
Infidelity has already converted Europe into one vast Golgotha. Around its seat the earth is covered with bones and soaked in blood. Still hungry as the grave it shakes its bloody sceptre, and growls destruction to the world.
A departure from the pure principles of religion has been, in all
ages, and in every country, the sad prelude to destruction. When the Jews became hardened in sin, when they rejected the Saviour who died for them, judgment came upon them to the uttermost. Their city was rased to its foundations, their land given unto strangers, and they were driven out from Judea and scattered abroad over the face of the whole world. In like manner God is now scourging the nations of Europe, who have lost their first love, and provoked him to anger by their disobedience.
With these examples before your eyes, can you madly act over the part which they have acted, and rush to that destruction to which they have rushed ?
Your fathers were pious. When they landed on these shores, they made a covenant with God, and solemnly dedicated themselves and their offspring to the Almighty. For their sakes hitherto, you have been blessed. But can you imagine if you deny the God they worshipped, if you blaspheme the Savior
ye go out.
they trusted, and turn aside from the paths in which they walked, that you will enjoy the protection they enjoyed, and hand down to your posterity the blessings they handed down to you ? No; if there be any truth in God, ye shall not prosper. For he who holds your country's destiny in his hand, hath sworn by himself, that if ye do these things, wrath shall fall upon you, and judgment from the Almighty shall overtake you. And you shall be cursed in the city and cursed in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and
Cursed the fruit of your body and the fruit of your land, the increase of your kine and the flocks of your sheep. Cursed when ye come in and cursed when
“ For, saith the Lord, I lift mine hand to heaven, and I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me."
God is not a disinterested spectator of the conduct of men. With holy indignation he looks down and beholds the abominations of the earth. He has already come forth out of his place to punish the nations for their sins. A fire is kindling in his anger, that shall burn to the lowest hell, and shall consume the carth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. Hitherto he hath borne with us ; but there is something fearful even in this forbearance. For the longer his mercy spares us, unless we repent, the fuller will be the vials of his wrath, and the more dreadful the day of our visitation.
Turn therefore from your evil ways ; for why will ye die, O house of Israel.