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to estimate the blessings of peace. Hence, also, individuals learn the invaluable truths, that no man's happiness is, or can be, entirely independent of others; that all stand in need of each other for their own individual good ; that as “the eye cannot say unto the hand, I “ have no need of thee; nor the head to the “ feet, I have no need of you”;” so, in the great body of human society, it is manifestly the ordinance of God, that all should be instrumental to their own and the general welfare, by a faithful discharge of their personal duties, and by co-operation with each other.
Nor may we omit to notice a still more important circumstance, that the sacred truths of Revealed Religion find thus access to countries where they would otherwise be unknown. With the spirit of commerce and of colonization may go forth the laudable desire of bringing into the fold“ other sheep,” who have never yet heard the voice of the “Great
Shepherd.” To the blessings of civilization and social order may be superadded those of that pure and undefiled Religion, which can alone instruct men how to improve those blessings to the highest and noblest ends. Discreet and well-regulated zeal may avail itself of the favourable prepossessions wrought by temporal good offices, to subdue the prejudices of ignorant superstition, and to substitute for them higher hopes and
n i Cor. xii. 21.
hopes and purer practices, founded on the basis of rational conviction and an enlightened Faith.
These moral and spiritual blessings the genuine Philanthropist (guided by the steady light of sober truth and sound discernment, not by the false glare of enthusiastic vanity) would delight to contemplate, even if more remotely connected than they really are, with an Establishment which so largely contributes to spead far and wide the knowledge of the British name. Subordinate, however, to these, are many charitable purposes immediately connected with it, which, without reference to views of greater magnitude, would amply entitle it to a place in the foremost rank of our national designs. The life of the Mariner is unavoidably a life of peril and of toil; of peril, which no human skill or foresight can altogether provide against ; of toil, which knows not the regular and periodical intermissions by which most other occupations are relieved. Whatever tends to lessen the magnitude of the former, or to provide a fit recompense for the latter, is a debt of bene
volence, of gratitude, nay, of justice, to those who devote their lives to such a service.
I deem it wholly unnecessary to occupy the time of those who hear me, in specifying the means by which these important objects are rendered attainable, through this ancient and venerable Corporation ; which, originating in views the most patriotic and benevolent, has progressively enlarged its designs, receiving from the Government of the country a continued encouragement and support, highly creditable to our national character. The very extensive provisions made for lighting our Coasts, for marking the safest course of Navigation, and for ensuring the ready aid of skilful Pilots to act on every occasion of distress or danger, leave nothing unattended to in the main department of its operations:while its noble eleemosynary establishments for the retreat of exhausted veterans in these labours, and the pensionary relief afforded to multitudes of their distressed families, abundantly shew that the ample resources of the Institution are not less laudably expended, than they have been judiciously bestowed.
Reverting, then, to the subject taken for the groundwork of these observations; we have here a proud and gratifying proof of what may be effected by a great political and
CHRISTIAN State, when its energies are put forth for the public good ;-a proof that Christianity neither weakens those energies, nor obstructs their operation ; but rather gives additional vigour to the Patriot passion, and enlarged scope to real Philanthropy.
With this impresson on our minds, let it be our endeavour, individually, as well as jointly, to preserve inviolable the connection between genuine Benevolence and
Religion ; — to discountenance those theories which, by separating the one from the other, would diminish the effect of both; to venerate those Establishments which, being founded on the solid basis of Christian duty, are the ornament and support of our country, and may
be expected to survive the wreck of ages ;—and lastly, to shew our sense of such blessings, by endeavouring to transmit them unimpaired to posterity, and by “ letting our
light so shine before men, that they may
see our good works, and glorify our Father 66 which is in Heaven o.'
The effect of such conduct upon the public weal requires no further illustration. Nor is its advantage to ourselves, individually, less clear and certain. It will enable us so to
o Matt. v. 16.