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bed of the best among us, were he not comforted and sustained by Christ's merits. The realization of it, and who shall say that it may not be realized in his case ?-might make him sink before the judgement-seat of Christ, and almost poison the very joys of heaven. Think of hearing a cry from the very midst of that miserable company on the left hand; If thou hadst done thy duty by me, I should not be here; thou hast ruined my soul.
But I would have you all remember, my Christian brethren, that it is not the ministers of our Lord alone, who are liable to be the objects of a cry so fearful. Every parent, every guardian of youth, every head of a head of a family, every friend, has opportunities entrusted to him, more or less, of instructing and improving some one or more of his fellow-creatures. And if he have neglected those opportunities, what has he to look to, except the prospect of a like cry? But for thy negligence I should not be here: through thee am I descending into that place of torment.
How then should we all pray for God's Holy Spirit, to assist us in fulfilling every trust, moral or religious, which may fall to us! How should we of the Clergy more especially pray!-join, good people, in that prayer; pray for us your pastors, and for yourselves also,-that God would
be pleased to watch over us, and to overrule all our doings to your good; that he would prosper our labours, supply our deficiencies, pardon our failings, and make them harmless to the souls of others; that he would raise us above a vain and perishable world, to a life of active holiness, and meek and humble brotherly love; that he would teach us to avoid all offenses, real or imaginary, which might hinder you in your Christian journey; finally, that he would give us strength and wisdom faithfully to discharge all our duties as your appointed shepherds under Christ, feeding his flock, and nourishing, and increasing it, and leading it through the wilderness of this world to the land of everlasting rest. Grant this, O heavenly Father! for the sake of thy dear Son, the chief Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.
RELIGION THE HUMANIZER OF MAN,
AND SUPPORTER OF SOCIETY.
A VISITATION SERMON,
Preached at Marlborough, July 12, 1831, before the Venerable the Archdeacon of Wilts, and published by desire of the Clergy.
VENERABLE ARCHDEACON MACDONALD,
MY DEAR SIR,-You will be a little surprised perhaps at the sight of this dedication, considering the time which has elapsed since the accompanying sermon was preached before you. But having been called upon by the Bishop and his Clergy, in a way which I could not decline, to print my this year's sermon at Devizes, I am forcibly reminded that a
similar request from yourself and the other clerical friends whom I met at Marlborough, is still un complied with, though made a year ago. Some apology is due for this delay: permit me now to tender that apology to you and them, in the shape of the sermon itself, with all its deficiencies upon its head.
Could those defects have been cured by a little pains, they would have been long ago. But the chief fault is one which there would have been no remedying, except by writing another longer sermon, and tacking it on to the one I preached. I allude to my having omitted taking any thing like a positive view of the subject. The current of opinions I had to contend against, in maintaining religion to be the great humanizer of society, carried me too far out of my course. The previous questions, which our clearsighted ancestors would have passed over as indisputable, but which in these days cannot be taken for granted, occupied me so long, that no time was left for pursuing the main branch of the subject. May it hereafter be taken up by some one more qualified to do it justice! Though too vast for any single sermon, without far exceeding modern limits, it is one of the noblest secondary truths which a Christian could set forth and establish. That it is a truth both of fact and of speculation, I
hold to be most certain. The fact, as regards the past, may be easily proved from history; which abundantly testifies that hitherto the prime instrument in humanizing and civilizing the world has been religion: while, as regards the future, all the probabilities deducible from the nature of Christianity, and from the tendency of its influences direct and indirect upon the human character, lead plainly, I think, to the conclusion, that the faith of Jesus with its accompaniments is the engine we ought to look to for working great and lasting improvements in the moral condition of mankind. What might not be expected from the influence of Christian marriages on families? from the opportunities of reflexion forced upon the rich, and secured to the poor, by Christian Sundays? from the general study of such a divine collection of biography, history, poetry, and morals, as is comprised in the one volume of the Bible? from the existence of a body of men in every land, set apart for the oral instruction of the poor, and for keeping alive among all classes the great seminal ideas of God, and faith, and duty? We have only to look at what the Gospel has done already,-how it has elevated and softened the hearts of thousands upon thousands; we have only to keep in mind the marvellous changes it has wrought in individuals of all coun