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have required the aid of that very religion they had ridiculed. We have often seen those, who have called superstition to assist religion; and who have turned pale, trembled, and shaken, at the bare sight of our habit, beforethey had heard the sentence, which God pronounced by our mouths.But we have never seen an individual, no, not one, who died in his pretended scepticism : It remains with you to account for these facts. You are to inquire, whether you yourselves will be more courageous. It belongs to you to examine, whetiser you can bear those dying agonies, those devouring regrets, those terrible misgivings, which made your predecessors unsay all, and discover as much cowardice at death, as they had discovered brutality in their lives.

VII. Perhaps you have been surprized, my brethren, that we have reserved the weakest of our attacks for the last. Perhaps you object, that morives, taken from what is called politeness, and a knowledge of the world, can make no impressions on the minds of those, who did not feel the force of our former attacks. It is not without reason, however, that we have placed this last. Libertines and infidels often pique themselves on their gentility, and good-breeding. They frequently take up their system of infidelity, and pursue their course of profaneness, merely through their false notions of gentility. Reason, they think, too scholastic, and faith, pedantry. They imagine, that, in order to distinguish themselves in the world, they must affect neither to believe nor to reason.

Well ! you accomplished gentleman ! do you know what the world thinks of you? The prophet tells you; but it is not on the authority of the prophet only, it is on the opinions of your fellow citizens,

that I mean to persuade you. You are considered in the world as the most brutish of mankind. Understand, ye most brutish among the people ! What is an accomplished gentleman ? What is politeness and good breeding? It is the art of accommodating one's self to the genius of that society, and of seeming to enter into the sentiments of that company, in which we are; of appearing to honor what they honor; of respecting what they respect ; and of paying a regard even to their prejudices, and their weaknesses. On these principles, are you not the rudest and most unpolished of mankind ? Or, to repeat the language of my text, are you not the most brutish among the people? You live among people, who believe a God, and a religion ; among people, who were educated in these principles, and who desire to die in these principles ; among people, who have, many of them, sacrificed their reputation, their ease, and their fortune, to religion. Moreover, you live in a society, the foundations of which sink with those of religion, so that were the latter undermined, the former would, therefore, be sunk. All the members of society are interested in supporting this edifice, wbich you are endeavoring to destroy. The magistrate commands you not to publish principles that tend to the subversion of his authority. The people request you not to propagate opinions, which tend to subject them to the passions of a magistrate, who will imagine, he hath no judge superior to himself. This distressed mother, mourning for the loss of her only son, prays you not to deprive her of the consolation, which she derives from her present persuasion, that the son, whom she laments, is in possession of immortal glory. That sick man beseecheth you not to disabuse him of an error, that sweetens all his sorrows, Yon dying man begs you would not rob him of his only hope. The whole world conjures you not to establish truths, (even supposing they were truths, an hypothesis wbich I deny and detest,) the whole world conjures you not to establish truths, the knowledge of which would be fatal to all mankind. In spite of so many voices, in spite of so many prayers, in spite of so many intreaties, and among so inany people interested in the establishment of religion; to affirm that religion is a fable, to oppose it with eagerness and obstinacy, to try all your strength, and to place all your glory, in destroying it : What is this but the height of rudeness, brutality, and madness ? Understand, ye most brutish among the people ? Ye fools? When will ye be wise?

Let us put a period to this discoure. We come to you, my brethren! When we preach against characters of these kinds, we think, we read what passes in our hearts. You congratulate yourselves, for the most part, for not being of the number, for detesting infidelty, and for respecting religion. But shall we tell you my brethren? How odious soever the men are, whom we have described, we know others more odious still. There is a restriction in the judgment, which the prophet forms of the first, when he calls them in the text. The most foolish, and the most brutish among the people ; and there are some men, who surpass them in brutality and extravagance.

Do not think we exceed the truth of the matter, or that we are endeavoring to obtain your attention by paradoxes. Really, I speak as I think; I think, there is more ingeniousness, and even, (if I may venture to say so,) a less fund of turpitude in men, who, having resolved to roll on with the torrent of their passions, endeavor to persuade them. selves, either that tliere is no God, or that he pays no regard to the actions of men; than in those, who, believing the existence, and providence of God, live as if they believed neither. Infidels were not able to support, in their excesses, the ideas of an injured benefactor, of an angry Supreme Judge, of an eternal salvation neglected, of daring hell, a lake burning with fire and brimstone, and smoke ascending up for ever and ever, Rev. xxi. 8. and xiv. 11. In order to give their passions a free scope, they found it necessary to divert their attention from all these terrifying objects, and to efface such shocking truths from their minds.


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But you ! who believe the being of a God! You! who believe yourselves under his eye, and who insult him every day without repentance, or remorse! You ! who believe, God holds thunder in his hand to crush sinners, and yet live in sin ! You ! who think, there are devouring flames, and chains of darkness, and yet presumptuously brave their horrors! You ! who believe the immortality of your souls, and yet occupy yourselves about nothing but the present life! What a front ! What a brazen front is YOURS !"

You consider a revelation proceeding from heaven, and supported by a thousand authentic proofs. But, if your faith be well grounded, how dangerous is your condition! For, after all, the number of evidences, who attest the religion, which you believe; this number of witnesses depose the truth of the practical part of religion, as well as the truth of the speculative part. These witnesses attest, that without holiness, no man shall see the Lord ; that neither thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God, Heb. xii. 14. 1 Cor. vi. 10. And consequently, these evidences attest that you thieves, that you covetous, that you drunkards, that you revilers, that you extortioners, shall be excluded from that happy mansion. Do you reject this proposition? Class yourselves then with infidels. Contradict nature; contradict conscience; contradict the church; deny the recovery of strength to the lame ; the giving of sight to the blind; the raising of the dead; contradict heaven, and earth, and sea, nature, and every element. Do you admit the proposition ? Acknowledge then, that you must be irretrievably lost unless your ideas be reformed and renewed, unless you renounce the world, that enchants and fascinates your eyes.

This, my brethren, this is your remedy. This is what we hope for you. This is that, to which we exhort you by the compassion of God, and by the great salvation, which religion presents to you. Respect this religion. Study it every day. Apply its comforts to your sorrows, and its precepts to your lives. And joining promises to precepts, and precepts to promises, assort your christianity. Assure yourselves, then, of the peace of God in this life, and of a participation of his glory after death. God grant you this grace! Amen.

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