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Thus mankind are united by an almost infinite number of links, either essential to the subsistence or conducive to the enjoyment of each individual. While this should engage their mutual good-will and benevolence, it should raise their common gratitude to that Providence which has so admirably entwined their destinies, and rendered them so productive of reciprocal benefits.We might moreover notice the various advantages which every observant peri son may remark in the incidental circumstances of his life; some of them he must feel to have been greatly advantageous, and others, though attended with pain and disappointment in the first instance, yet are afterwards, perhaps, productive of some of the best influences on his temper and character, being in the number of those kind chastenings of our heavenly Father by which the heart is made better; and though under the immediate pressure of evil the ultimate beneficial tendency may be far from apparent, yet to the more cool reflections of after-times it may often be rendered evident; and well-disposed minds will in general discern upon the whole a great preponderance in the beneficial over the unfavourable incidents attendant on their lives. Though they are merely incidental as it respects ourselves, they are all appointed by our Creator, without whose superintendence not a sparrow falleth to the ground, and should therefore call forth the lively emotions of gratitude and the softened feelings of resignation, from the conviction that, whether felt as benefits by us or not at the present moment, they are really ordered for the best, and that the few instances in which we perceive it not, assume this appearance through the imperfections of our judgment, and indicate no deficiency in the goodness of God-that God, whose breath animates, whose sun warms and illumines, and whose intellectual ray informs and exalts us!
But we hasten to remark his goodness in the Christian revelation, which brings life and immortality to light. Can imagination forin an idea of a greater instance even of divine beneficence than that manifested in the predicted transformation of this mortal existence into a state in which there will be no more death, and from whence every evil attendant upon mortality will be absolutely removed?a state in which, provided there is a suitable preparation for it in this, by a moderate use and grateful return for its blessings, there will be fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore This felicity it proposes to accomplish through the
only effectual means, the correction of our errors, the ame lioration of our hearts, the general improvement of our minds. The Christian revelation was not consequent to the prevalence of virtue in mankind; it did not proceed from the favour of God to his obedient children. No; it arose from his compassion to a world so deeply immersed in error and sin, that nothing short of such a supernatural communication of his will could dispel their mental darkness, and recall them to a state of penitence and amend, ment. Powerful was its influence, by the evidence of its miracles, the purity of its doctrine, and the weight of its sanctions, in converting the Gentiles from insane, lewd and cruel idolatries, to the knowledge and worship of the one true God-from vices most debasing to humanity, to the virtues of men and of Christians. The most turbulent and vindictive spirits," observes one of its early converts and martyrs, were, transformed into quite another nature, meek and gentle as the lamb. The amiable manners, the cogent arguments, the steadfast fortitude, the unwearied perseverance, and the patient sufferings of its professors, wrought so favourably on its determined enemies, that they gradually dropped their resistance, relinquished their bloody persecutions, and at length came over to its standard. With this reformation in religion, morals and manners, civil institutions participated; those murderous combats which Paganism sanctioned for popular amusement, were abolished by royal authority, and all those vile and criminal practices which were the attendants of Heathen worship, and arose immediately out of the vices it created, in a great measure ceased with it. Slavery was gradually abolished in Europe through the influence of Christianity, and the rigid aspect of war considerably relaxed its features. Science, learning and right reason, in all their more useful applications, are much indebted to the illuminating, the animating and benign influences which the Christian revelation sheds in every direction." But if such are the beneficial effects of the mère revelation or disclosure of the gracious purposes of God, what will the realization of them be but "life. from the dead," in a moral as well as in its literal and proper sense? If the glad-tidings of immortality awakened so many gross idolators from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, what shall immortality itself effect but a far more complete deliverance from error and vice? When both these objects are accomplished, and sin and
death are cast into the lake of destruction, what will remaini but life without death, virtue without impurity? The felicity which will result from this state of things must vastly exceed what eye hath yet seen, ear hath heard, or hath entered into the mind of man. In these circumstances, indeed, the votaries of vice will lose all the favourite objects of their vicious gratifications; virtue alone will receive its pure enjoyments. The proud will suffer a most humiliating debasement, and the humble as glorious an elevation. Those in whom each genuine virtue has taken root here, will there unfold their richest foliage, and yield their best fruition, while each weed of vice must wither and disappear. Then will the infinite benevolence of God shine forth in unclouded splendour, and bring its gracious purposes to their full accomplishment. E. S.
Letter of the late venerable Ex-President Adams's on Intemperance.
WE hear that the patriotic and virtuous JOHN ADAMS, formerly President of the United States of America, and one of, the enlightened and intrepid band that drew up the Declaration of Independence, died by a singular coincidence on the 4th of July, the day of the celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and in fact the Jubilee or 50th Celebration. [By another still more remarkable coincidence, the venerable Ex-President JEFFERSON died, it is reported, the same day.] Every writing of his appears now to be valuable, and we extract, in order to preserve on our pages, the following letter lately made known to the American public in a periodical directed against the habit of intemperance. The letter from "the Sage of Quincy,” as Mr. Adams is denominated by the American Editor from his residence, was occasioned by a communication from a society having the same laudable object..
Quincy, Feb. 21st, 1819. "I THANK you for your address to the New Bedford auxiliary society for the suppression of intemperance, which I have read with pleasure and edification; it is elegant and pathetic; it is pious and virtuous; it addresses itself to the understanding and the heart.
"A drunkard is the most selfish being in the universe. He has no sense of modesty, shame or disgrace. He has
no sense of duty, or sympathy of affection with his father or mother, his brother or sister, his friend or neighbour, his wife or children; no reverence to his God; no sense of futurity in this world or the other-all is swallowed up in the mad, selfish joy of the moment.
"Is it not humiliating, that Mahometans and Hindoos should put to shame the whole Christian world by their superior examples of temperance?
"Is it not degrading to Englishmen and Americans, that they are so infinitely exceeded by the French in this cardinal virtue? And is it not mortifying beyond all expression, that we Americans should exceed all other eight millions of people on the globe, as I verily believe we do, in this degrading, beastly vice of intemperance?
"I am, Sir, your obliged friend and humble servant, "JOHN ADAMS."
The Curse of Disobedience.
[From "Devotional Verses." By Bernard Barton. 12mo. 1826.] "And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron." Deut. xxviii. 23.
APPALLING doom! yet hearts there are
Have known a heaven where sun nor star
A heaven of brass from whose stern cope
An earth of iron whose barren breast
Oh! such a heaven and such an earth
To which wild phantasy gives birth,
They who have trod that hopeless path,
Have known the hour of righteous wrath
These know how God's most holy will
One only hope for such remains-
Simple obedience shall restore
Mr. Worsley on Lay Preaching with an Account of a Tribute of Gratitude and Respect to Mr. S. Gibbs, from the Congregation at Devonport.
Plymouth, June 12, 1826. THE distinctive mark of the Independents and Presbyterians in the Church History of England, at one period was this--that the latter would not admit into the number of its ordained ministers any persons who had not been educated with a view to the pulpit; whereas the former were not so particular on this head, but freely admitted among the number of its preachers any persons who rendered themselves acceptable to their congregations by good natural parts and a facility in public speaking. This distinction has long ceased. Both these classes had shewn their contempt of what was called holy orders, and soon they learned to respect pretended holy orders as little they may well be all given together to the winds. Yet the Independents have been of late much more guarded as to the qualifications of their ministers; while the old Presbyterian societies, which are now for the most part become Unitarian, have had the advantage of ministers educated under the respectable names of Kippis and Rees, Enfield and Barnes, Ashworth, Robins and Belsham; and, more, recently still, of those gentlemen who are at the head of the York College, and are now sending out young men eminently qualified to supply in our larger and wealthy congregations the places of their fathers as they retire off the stage; many of whom, there is reason to believe, will be able champions and zealous friends of the pure doctrine