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said exclamation : and that there is, my sabsequent « HUMBLE SOLICITATIONS," published in the Mercantile Advertiser, and published in vain, will demonstrate. Truth will neither bend nor bow to the selfish opinion and the delusive anticipations of any man. God will remain the source of truth, let who will perish. The humble penitent, who confesses, deprecates, and laments his delinquency, God can, and will most assuredly pity and relieve. But the proud pharisee, who boasts in his religion, and looks with contempt, and without pity, upon his wretched and guilty neighbour, God cannot, and will not, pity or relieve.*.
As my limits will not permit me to enlarge, we will suppose, for the sake of argumentation, that each of the aforesaid characters are called suddenly from the meeting house, or the steeple house, to the august tribunal of the immortal Divinity, to give a strict account of their ministerial labours, and of their stewardship. We will suppose the almighty Judge seated upon his great white throne, supported on the wings of cherubims, accosting them thus: “ And first, ye wbo were called my ministers, and who
* There is a witness of God, in the conscience of my pegurious or hypocritical reader, who will en.. force these truths in spite of his prejudice, his selfislness, or his pride..
entreated sinners, in my stead, to be recon. ciled to God, behold what mighty mischief ye have done! and count, if you can, the mental lies ye have told. Intelligent men, beholding your covetousness and lack of common philanthropy, have despised your hypocrisy, and through your means rejected my sovereignty. Did not your own reason, not to speak of revelation, convince you that you greatly injured the best of causes by your hypocrisy; and did not my witness in your consciences oftentimes de. clare against the fallacy and futility of such conduct. This, therefore, is your condemnation: My light came to you and was rejected--go, therefore, and receive your just recompence; the mercy you to others shewed, the same I shew to you.--And secondly, you, who professed to be my followers, and whom I entrusted with superfluous wealth for the relief of your fellow creatures, wherefore did you hoard up your wealth, to the scandal of my blessed and benevolent religion?"--Says one, “ I gave 20,000 dollars for the support of the poor."-". Tell me not," rejoins the impartial Judge, “ what thou gavest, but rather acknowledge what thou hast purloined from me and my poor: did I not deposit 100,000 dollars in thy care, for thy own economical support, and for benevolent purposes? My witness in
thy conscience ofttimes told thee, that thou shouldst use only a competency for thy own support, and leave the same for the support of thy children, and appropriate the rest to charitable purposes. Behold the impolicy as well as the uncharitableness of thy conduct: thou hast left 80,000 dollars to thy son, which will prove his everlasting ruin, and what a fund of charity has thereby failed. Hadst thou left him an annuity of 500 dollars, to be received only quarterly, and appropriated the residue for the support of my poor, thou wouldst have removed far from him the cause of his destruction, and been a blessing to thousands in so doing-But now behold the fruit of thy folly, and receive thy just recompence.” They will forthwith be compelled to acknowledge the justness of their sentence: and the truth may as well be acknowledged here as hereafter, in time as in eternity.
The fact is, no man can be at the same time a saint and a sinner, a holy and unholy, a religious and irreligious person. If we keep the whole decalogue, except that wherein we are enjoined to love our neighbour as ourselves, and fail in that point, we are guilty of the whole; and we should therefore honestly renounce our profession of religion, and, with the publican, humbly set down on the stool of repentance, and
then and there would we find some hope of salvation. Alas! how ridiculous it is for reasonable men thus to deceive themselves to their own destruction.
We will, in a few words, delineate what pure religion is, in addition to the cogent remarks of our deceased friend, that the uncharitable professors thereof may be convinced of their fatal delusion before it is for ever too late for remedy. There is a divine purity connected with pure religion, in motive as well as practice. Hence, though I could remove mountains, and cast out devils, and do many wonderful works, and speak with the tongues of angels, and preach the true Christian divinity with more than mortal eloquence, and attend every social meeting, and appear ever só sanctimonious,--if my motive is not disin terested, generous and pure, I am nothing. A man may be the friend of man, and the favourite of Heaven, and may, at the same time, labour under many infirmities, which will greatly humble, grieve, and distress him; yet love, pure love to God and man, is always predominant, and benevolence is his prominent characteristic. The precious and benevolent saints of the Old Testament we find made many slips, and always rose again. But no where do we find one soli. tary instance of a covetous, narrow-hearted,
pitiless, bigoted, penurious person, finding the grace of the new covenant, the favour of Heaven, or the all-important penitence of the gospel. Pure religion, alias charity, is patient, and suffereth long; is mild, kind, and beneficent; is not envious, nor rash, nor hasty; is not puffed up, nor disdainful ; doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not casily provoked, is not suspicious, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Reader, art thou a professor of religion, and yet dost thou act contrary to these punctilios? If so, rest assured thou art an enemy to the cross of Christ, and attachest odium to his most excellent religion; and thou art a most deleterious stumbling block to philosophical unbelievers, and weak believers--who through thy infidelity, pierce themselves with many sorrows.
I do contend, that it is impossible for a son, that loves his kind father with a pure and ardent affection, to cease from loving him; though his own improper conduct should canse his father to turn him from the parlour to the kitchen, or even immure him in a dungeon; yet even there he will love and strive to please him. Love that can be changed by local circumstances is