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If it were only the exercise of the body, the moving of the lips, the bending of the knee, men would as commonly step to heaven as they go to visit a friend; but to separate our thoughts and affections from the world, to draw forth all our graces, and increase each in its proper object, and to hold them to it till the work prospers in our hands, this-this is the difficulty. Baxter.
The principles of the Christian religion are beautiful, its consequences natural, and its origin ancient; that it enlightens the mind, comforts the heart, and establishes the welfare of society. C. Ramsay. RELIGION-Gospel Effects of.
Oh, the wonders it will accomplish! It wipes guilt from the conscience, rolls the world out of the heart, and darkness from the mind. It will brighten the most gloomy scene, smoothe the most rugged path, and cheer the most despairing mind. It will put honey into the bitterest cup, and health into the most diseased soul. It will give hope to the heart, health to the face, oil to the head, light to the eye, strength to the hand, and swiftness to the foot. It will make life pleasant, labour sweet, and death triumphant. It gives faith to the fearful, courage to the timid, and strength to the weak. It robs the grave of its terrors, and death of its sting. It subdues sin, severs from self, makes faith strong, love active, hope lively, and zeal invincible. It gives sonship for slavery, robes for rags, makes the cross light, and reproach pleasant; it will transform a dungeon into a palace, and make the fires of martyrdom as refreshing as the cool breeze of summer. It snaps legal bonds, loosens the soul, clarifies the mind, purifies the affections, and often lifts the saint to the very gates of heaven. No man can deserve it; money cannot buy it, or good deeds procure it; grace reigns here! Balfern.
RELIGION (A Little)-Evils of.
"Drink deep, or taste not," is a direction fully as applicable to religion, if we would find it a source of pleasure, as it is to knowledge. A little religion is, it must be confessed, apt to make men gloomy, as a little knowledge is to render them vain; hence the unjust imputation often brought upon religion by those whose degree of religion is just sufficient, by condemning their course of conduct, to render them uneasy; enough merely to impair the sweetness of the pleasures of sin,
and not enough to compensate for the relinquishment of them by its own peculiar comThus then men bring up, as it were, forts. an ill report of that land of promise, which, in truth, abounds with whatever, in our journey through life, can best refresh and strengthen Wilberforce.
It is an excellent thing when men's religion makes them generous, free-hearted, and openhanded, scorning to do a thing that is paltry and sneaking. Matthew Heary, RELIGION-with Civil Freedom.
Religion grows and blooms among the highest and most palmy branches of the tree of liberty, and ripens in luxuriance amongst its topmost boughs. . . It is by a favourable arrangement of political circumstances that religion is most likely to be advanced; by the establishment of that genuine and legitimate freedom which is equally removed from the extremes of anarchy on the one side, and tyranny on the other. Robert Hall.
Religion, whether natural or revealed, has always the same beneficial influence on the mind. In youth, in health, and prosperity, it awakens feelings of gratitude, and sublime love, and purifies at the same time that which it exalts: but it is in misfortune, in sickness, in age, that its effects are most truly and beneficially felt: when submission in faith, and humble trust in the divine will, from duties become pleasures, undecaying sources of consolation; then it creates powers which were believed to be extinet, and gives a freshness to the mind which was supposed to have passed away for ever, but which is now renovated as an immortal hope. Its influence outlives all earthly enjoyments, and becomes stronger, as the organs decay, and the frame dissolves; it appears, as that evening star of light, in the horizon of life, which we are sure is to become, in another season, a morning star, and it throws its radiance through the gloom and shadow of death.
Sir Humphrey Davy. RELIGION-in Common Life. There are in this loud stunning tide
Of human care and crime With whom the melodies abide
Of th' everlasting clime: Who carry music in their beart Through dusky lane and wrangling mart, And ply their daily task with busier feet Because their hearts some holy strain repeat. Kebia
It is highly worthy of observation, that the inspired writings received by Christians are distinguishable from all other books pretending to inspiration, from the scriptures of the Brahmins, and even from the Koran, in their strong and frequent recommendations of truth. I do not here mean veracity, which cannot but be enforced in every code which appeals to the religious principle of man; but knowledge. This is not only extolled as the crown and honour of a man, but to seek after it is again and again commanded us as one of our most sacred duties. Yea, the very perfection and final bliss of the glorified spirit is represented by the Apostle as a plain aspect, or intuitive beholding of truth in its eternal and immutable source. Not that knowledge can of itself do all! The light of Religion is not that of the moon, light without heat; but neither is its warmth that of the stove, warmth without light. Religion is the sun whose warmth swells, and stirs, and actuates the life of nature, but who at the same time beholds all the growth of life with a master eye, makes all objects glorious on which he looks, and by that glory visible to all others.
A prince who loves and fears religion is a lion, who stoops to the hand that strokes, or to the voice that appeases him. He who fears and hates religion, is like the savage beast that growls and bites the chain, which prevents his flying on the passenger. He who has no religion at all, is that terrible animal, who perceives his liberty only when he tears in pieces, and when he devours. Montesquieu.
Religion finds the love of happiness and the principle of duty separated in us; and its mission-its masterpiece-is to reunite them. Vinet.
He is a pious man who, contemplating all things with a serene and quiet soul, conceiveth aright of God, and worshippeth Him in his mind; not induced thereto by hope or reward, but for His supreme nature and excellent majesty. Epicurus.
I have lived long enough to know what I did not at one time believe-that no society can be upheld in happiness and honour without the sentiment of religion. La Place.
loaded with labours and clogged with cares, and their souls are as unfit to converse with God, as a man to walk with a mountain on his back; and as unapt to soar in meditation, as their bodies to leap above the sun! And when they have lost that heaven upon earth, which they might have had, they take up with a few rotten arguments to prove it lawful; Baxter. though indeed they cannot.
Nothing exposes religion more to the reproach of its enemies than the worldliness and hard-heartedness of the professors of it. Matthew Henry.
Religion consists not in knowledge, but in a holy life. Bishop Taylor,
The calm, composed, and strictly-reasonable character of a religion, which so entirely relates to things invisible as that delivered in the Gospel, has always afforded to my mind the most conclusive internal evidence of the divine authority of its author. Such a system could not have emanated from an enthusiast; for the points on which the enthusiast would have enlarged and insisted the most, the Gospel absolutely excludes. Neither could such a system have proceeded from an impostor; for where the impostor would have delighted to expatiate, in attractive inventions respecting the circumstances of the higher and unseen world, the Gospel is altogether silent. There is a certain plain, severe, direct, substantial impression of the truth stamped upon the Christian revelation, which declares its origin to be derived from the very source of truth. It is, at the same time, purely spiritual, and strictly practical. It represents the earth as the school for heaven; our moral duties are God's service; our domestic and social affections, purified by faith, are identified with the graces of His Spirit; and the active business of a Christian life-its labours, its temptations, and its anxieties-constitute the discipline by which we are prepared for that more exalted state of being in a better world, of which we only know that it will be a social state, and secure from the intrusion of sin, and care, and death. Harness.
It is rare to see a rich man religious; for
Pure religion and undefiled before God and religion preaches restraint, and riches prompt
to unlicensed freedom.
the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and
RELIGION—the Surest Refuge.
RELIGION-Unjust Representation of.
How common it is for men first to throw dirt in the face of religion, and then persuade themselves it is its natural complexion! They represent it to themselves in a shape least pleasing to them, and then bring that as a plea why they give it no better entertainment. Stillingfleet.
Faith is not built on disquisitions vain ;
And every man will make himself a creed,
There are few instances, I believe, to be met with, in any situation, of a regular and supported conduct, without the aid of religion. This is necessary to fill up and quicken those dull intervals which happen in the busiest life, and to preserve a retired one from a total stagnation. It is religion which must plant in the soul that motive principle, which will display itself in a useful course of employment, whatever be the circumstances in which we are placed, like a perennial spring, that still sends forth a pure and salubrious stream, notwithstanding every alteration of weather or vicissitude of seasons.
The activity of man, as a rational being, depends chiefly on the end he has in view. Now the end presented to him by religion, is of the most excellent and interesting nature, and, if duly apprehended, will always command a vigorous exercise of his moral and intellectual powers; and thus furnish him with the noblest occupation, even in the midst of a desert. He who is fully conscious that he has a soul to save, and an eternity to secure, and,
still further, to animate his endeavours, that REMEMBRANCE — of Divine BenefiGod and angels are the spectators of his conduct, can never want motives for exertion in Bates. the most sequestered solitude.
RELIGION-the Best Teacher.
Man has called in the friendly assistance of Philosophy, and Heaven, seeing the incapacity of that to console him, has given him the aid of Religion. The consolations of philosophy are very amusing, but often fallacious. It tells us that life is filled with comforts, if we will but enjoy them: and, on the other hand, that though we unavoidably have miseries here, life is short, and it will soon be over. Thus do these consolations destroy each other; for if life is a place of comfort, its shortness must be misery; and if it be long, our griefs are protracted. Thus philosophy is weak, but religion comforts in a higher strain. Man is here, it tells us, fitting up his mind, and proparing for another abode. To religion then we must hold in every circumstance of life, for our truest comforts: for if already we are happy it is a pleasure to think we can make that happiness unending; and if we are miserable, it is very consoling to think there is a place of rest. Thus to the fortunate, religion holds out a continuance of bliss, to the wretched a Goldsmith. change from pain.
Take away God and religion, and men live to no purpose, without proposing any worthy and considerable end of life to themselves.
! RELIGION-Virtues of.
It is heaven upon earth to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in Providence, and turn upon the poles of truth. Bacon.
RELIGION AND MORALITY.
They that cry down moral honesty, cry down that which is a great part of my religion, -my duty towards God, and my duty towards man. What care I to see a man run after a sermon, if he cozens and cheats as soon as he cornes home? On the other side, morality must not be without religion; for if so, it may change as I see convenience. Religion must govern it. Seldon.
Dispute it like a man.—
I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me
Let never day nor night unhallow'd pass,
Remembrance is the only paradise out of which we cannot be driven away. Indeed, our first parents were not to be deprived of it.
One of those terrible moments when the wheel of passion stands suddenly still. Ibid. REMORSE-before actual Sin.
Sin and hedgehogs are born without spikes, but how they prick and wound after their birth we all know. The most unhappy being is he who feels remorse before the (sinful) deed, and brings forth a sin already furnished with teeth in its birth, the bite of which is soon prolonged into an incurable wound of the conscience.
High minds, of native pride and force,
Sir Walter Scott.
O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
But to confront the visage of offence?
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Shakspeare. Out, damned spot! out, I say!
Remorse is as the heart in which it grows:
Man has an unlucky tendency in his evil hour, after having received an injury, to rake together all the moon-spots on his antagonist, and thus change a single deed into a whole life, so as more fully to relish the pleasure of wrath. Fortunately, with regard to love, he has the opposite tendency, that of pressing together all the lights-all the rays emitted from the beloved object by the burning-glass of fantasy-into one focus, and making of them one radiant sun without any spots. But, alas, man too often does so for the first time when his beloved one-yes, often blamed onehas passed beyond the cloudy sky of this life. Now, in order that we may act thus sooner and oftener, we should follow Winckelmann's example; only in another way: viz., as this man spent one half-hour every day barely in contemplating and reflecting upon his unfortunate existence in Rome, so ought we daily or weekly to dedicate and sanctify a solitary hour to the reckoning up of all the virtues of one's belongings,-Wife, children, friends, and contemplating them then in a beautiful collection. And we should do so now, that we may not pardon and love in vain and too late, after the beloved one has been taken away from us to a better world. Richter.
RENEGADE-Malice of the.
There is no malice like the malice of the renegade. Macaulay.
Try what repentance can: what can it not?
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe;
Good ruffians, give me leave; my blood is yours;
The wheel's prepared, and you shall have it all;
And art thou dead? so is my enmity:
I war not with the dust; the great, the proud,