תמונות בעמוד

wish or desire that would stop them, would be like a wish to stop the motion of the universe.

If any advance is made in righteousness, it must be by individuals breaking through those trammels that encircle them, sacrificing forms, which as soon as they have been established, have become idols in every sect; and no longer believing that their Creator has delegated to other men, in no respect better than themselves, the right to direct what their faith and practice shall be in his Divine sight; this will lead them from men to God; and they will feel and know that his power is sufficient for them, without being members of sects, or leaning up. on the foundations of other men; and without religious forms of any kind. This will lead them from all the uncertain standards without them, to that universal principle within them, which has been testified of in all countries and ages, and which, however clouded by the devices of men, is perfect in its operations, and contains in itself alone, that which can satisfy the soul. In it is the sabbath of rest, in which nothing can disturb or destroy. Wherein the mind, centered in calmness, may see the secta. rian pursue his task, or the drunkard his gambols, and may trace the selfish principle in its various operations without being offended; ful,

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ly knowing that there is no natural evil, but that in this one selfish principle all evil has its existence; and that it is perfectly consistent with the Divine will, that it should operate, and that men should choose whom they will serve, God or Baal.

This sabbath is the rest appointed for the people of God. It is alike unknown to those who are anxious for the welfare of sects for the promotion of religion--for the increase of science, or for the accumulation of wealth; anxiety is its antipode ; as one lives the other dies; the perfection of this rest is not fully entered into, till by a conformity of man's will to the Divine will, that state is experienced which Jesus Christ spoke of. “ Henceforth all power is given to me both in Heaven and in earth ;" yet men enter into it by degrees; whenever one single sin is removed from us, whenever our will is wholly given up in one thing, we enter into rest as respects that thing, and are so far entered into the kingdom of Heaven,-here is a touchstone by which men may examine themselves, when they are preaching, or circulating Bibles, or supporting the ordinances of their sects; if desire, or fear, or anxiety is alive in them; if any thing interrupts the tranquillity of their minds, then in

deed have they not entered into their Heavenly Father's rest. As it is attained bŷ operations in individual minds, independent of societies ; their dogmas and forms are so far from opening the road to it, that as they are depended upon, they tend to obstruct it.

This is the rest, that man naturally seeks after, but as he seeks it in lower objects, he is constantly disappointed; ask the votaries of the sciences and the arts, whether they have therein. found rest? ask each lust and appetite, that has been gratified by its full enjoyment, whether there is any rest therein? the answer will be no!

The pursuits which engage the attention of every class of men, from the king to the beggar, as they are in earthly things equally fail in yielding it.

We may traverse the world in pursuit of knowledge, explore every country, penetrate into the bowels of the earth, or measure the planets; and be further from finding rest, than the moment we set out. Still the ignus fatuus is pursued; still it eludes our grasp, there is yet some darling object before us, which when it is obtained, yields perhaps no more happi. ness than each one that preceded it. This is a picture of the life of a majority of men, spent in an unsuccessful pursuit of happiness, because

they seek it where it never can be found. It is just as it should be, it never was designed that men should find rest, but in the principle of truth itself, and this is alike within the reach of every individual. We may give this principle names which other men do not understand, and dispute about them. Many turn away at the idea of revelation, being unwilling to believe themselves the subjects of it. Some can easily speak of an omnipresent God; their catechism or creed has taught them the term, but they do not appear to realize its truth: a God omnipresent to whom they are always accountable, and who looks on unconcerned, and sees them commit sin for which he is about to punish them, is an inconsistency which they can more easily realize, than that they are the subjects of revelation. Are such ideas consistent with the most common justice, which men would exercise towards their fellow-men, that they should have the power and intention to punish them for doing wrong, be present and see them err, and yet not inform them of it ;-can we believe this of a merciful Creator?

By whatever name this principle of truth may be called, I view it entirely as the revelation of God upon the mind of man, operating continu. ally and universally, it is this which preserves

the degree of harmony we witness, ten thousand times more than all the laws, that ever did or ever can exist; it operates upon all, and every true principle of honesty and justice is attributable to this revelation which has shown it to men though they have never read the Bible, or heard a sermon-Those who pro. nounce the punishment of the laws upon robo bers or murderers, probably seldom ask them, whether they have read the Bible, or been told that such things were wrong; they appeal to their own feelings, in the certain knowledge, that they knew it independent of any outward circumstances. Every ct of attention or obe. dience to this revelation is an advance on the road to Heaven.

But as the feelings of men are prejudiced by priest-craft in its various devices, they are also liable to be carried off by the flights of imagination : after being allured for a period of years, by every syren voice that has called ; can it be imagined that the whisperings of the true Shepherd shall always be distinctly recognized. But poor frail man, so liable to err himself and yet so ready to judge others; pretends to deny that there is a true voice, because people sometime mistake it; and even so greatly magnify the errors which may arise from this cause, as


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