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kind; not speculative disbelief, not profligate scoffing against religion, not incompliance with the ceremonies it enjoins; but no penetration of christianity into the realcharacter; little influence of the gospel upon the daily conduct; a cold, careless, and unfruitful belief. Let it be our care to steer between these opposite extremes; to be serious without being enthusiastic; and to be reasonable without being cold ;—alike to curb the excesses of those who have zeal without discretion, and to stimulate the feelings of others, who have conformity without zeal; remembering, always, that every thing intended to endure, must be regulated by moderation, discretion, and knowledge.
In looking abroad, my brethren, to consider the relation which this country bears to the other nations of the world, and the probable destiny which awaits it, it is impossible not to tremble at the perilous uncertainty of human affairs, and to bow before the judgments of Almighty God. The state of the world is like the vision of a sick man, and the thoughts of a dreamer
of dreams, when he is awakened by the light of the morning;-the pageantry of the earth is vanished away, and the powers and principalities which existed in the days. of our youth, known only by their names, are still fast fading away from the memory of mankind. All these have fallen before the bad ambition of him, who is directing against us the last efforts of his genius and his power; a man powerful to do evil, not wise, and far-sighted; and patient enough to do good; not caring for, not wishing it; dedicated to universal conquest and destruction; wishing only to walk over the smoking ashes of the world, and to be remembered by future ages as a passing storm. In the midst of this outward wretchedness, we enjoy, in this island, the internal spectacle of a people, unanimous in discharging the great duties which they owe to their country, and quite prepared to submit to every privation, if the only price of quiet affluence is submission to indignity. If it is beautiful to behold this, it is still more pleasing to reflect upon the causes by which that unanimity has been occasioned; to remember those laws, which have long administered equal
justice to the rich, and poor, that constitution, which has defined the power of those who govern, and the privileges of those who are governed; and that church, which for three centuries has been instilling the precepts of justice, and manly piety, into the hearts of the people. These are beautiful institutions, which have always been praised, but are now felt; they are the institutions which have kept us in life, and strength, amid the ruin of nations, that had nothing to fight for but the caprices of their tyrants; and nothing to guide them, but the superstitions of their false religion ;—these are principles which must secure to us a safe existence, or a majestic fall; if our sun does set, it will set in splendor; if we are to be blotted out from the powers of the world, we shall light up, in ages yet unborn, the flame of freedom; whenever the fulness of our time is come, we shall leave behind us a page of history, which will appal tyrants, instruct the wise, and animate the brave; we shall teach mankind, that the sword is used abroad with the greatest strength, where the sceptre is wielded at home with the most
perfect justice;we shall teach them, that in the great convulsions of the world, the people which remain the longest, and suffer the least, are those who are excited to resistance by a sense of the enjoyments which they are about to lose, and who are inured to a confidence in Almighty God; by the precepts of a wise, a temperate, and a feeling piety.