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philosophical clergyman himself, with all his boasted wisdom is carried away from the central point of bliss by the same pride, the same impulse. To no purpose does he barangue, or sermonize on the fluctuation of all things, and on the excellency of moral rectitude, while his conduct is at variance with his eloquence. His supercilious physiognomy, his powdered hair, the gold ring on his finger, his sacerdotal robes of silk and cambrick, demonstrate that he infringes the rights of God in a compendious way, merely because he puts himself in his place. When such men, with all their self-consequence and pride, are exhibit. ed as a pattern for our youth, who are imitative animals, what can we expect, but wretchedness and misery? The fact is, a grateful sense of an omnipresent Deity, will change a cottage to a pa. lace: and the want of it, will metamor. phose even a superb church to a prison.
When a man thinks of nothing but his own aggrandizement, he puts himself in the place of God. In vain do such men make bulwarks around them, of the gifts of fortune ; when a senti: ment of the Deity is excluded from the heart of man, misery takes possession of it; he sinks into despair, and often closes the scene by suicide ! And is not his dreadful end a just re-action of Providence? without any manner of doubt. When the inconceivable benefactions of Jehovah, with which this man was crowned, his wealth, his servants, bis horses and his hounds, his health of body, his vigour of mind, the knowledge he bad of his obligations to God, who by his divine Spirit was continually entreating him, to learn from the divine kindness to him, to be also kind to the miserable-I say, when these mercies are contrasted with his ingratitude to God, and cruelty to his fellow-men, we cannot wonder at his unhappy end. He is the author of his own misery, and God remains impartial, just and good.
I know a man who professes mucb religion, and belongs to a very religi-: ous society, who is worth at least 150,000 dollars, and in the decline of
life; yet I would sooner entreat the vilest sinner in behalf of the poor, than this man; he can behold misery at bis very door, without shedding a tear, or giving a cent. This man has got but one child, a young lad, who has received a finished education, as it is called, and is brought up in all the gaiety of fashionable life. Was this abundant wealth appropriated to bene. volent purposes, and only an annuity of 500 dollars per annum, reserved for the maintenance of the son, how much good might be done with the overplus ! It would be a comfort to the father in his dying moments, to reflect that he provided plentifully for his child, and at the same time remembered God, bis poor, and the prosperity of Zion; but the best of all, this superfluous wealth would not (which without a miracle it will) be the means to convey the wretch: ed son to the prison of eternal death. Now if this man meets a just re-action of Providence, surely it is his own fault: God is not impeachable for his delinquency, or the punishment of it. I
could point out many characters* of a similar cast, but alas! it will answer no purpose. As well might I attempt to prevail upon a hungry lion to relin quish his mangled prey, as to induce them to distribute their superfluous wealth.
Ah! paradise is even on earth, for the delight of such wealthy . men, to whom God has given the power of do. ing much good, if they would but improve the blessed opportunity, as they will most assuredly wish they had done when they find sickness seize, medicine fail, and the icy arms of death encircling them. I must confess, that the parsimonious and tyrannical conduct of some distinguished
• I know an eloquent preacher belonging to a very religious society, an excellent man in many respects, who possesses a handsome paternal fortune and many thousands of dollars beside ; yet there is not a preacher belonging to his professional denomination, more penurious than he, although a majority of them are very poor : This man is a bachelor, and has no fami. ly, and no relation, but a very rich brother. Surely his keeping the eyes of the blind, and the feet of the lame locked up in his coffers is a stumbling-block to his hearers! A hint to the wise I hope will suffice.
professors of religion, has been a stum. bling block to me. I associated with them, with a view of putting myself under the protection of virtue, because I found the word religion continually, in their mouths; but because I would not be a dependent partizan, I was calumniated : however, their oppression and calumny has cured me of my bigotry, and sectarian predilections ; their disorders, of which I have been the victim, have inspired me, with the love of order; and their defects have taught me to take my eyes from man, and to look only to God for relief, for reşt, for refuge. But I yet love and forgive them from my heart, because I also have had much forgiven; and only lament, that the arbitrary few, in either church or state, should have the power to oppress and persecute, the comparatively innocent many. Here I intend my animadversions relative to them shall cease; and I hope they will not be considered acrimonious, when my sufferings, privations, and losses, are remembered with my services..