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transient is the excitement of by nature, and distinguished by party. Thus readily does time circumstances, with no other correct the decisions of passion. claim to respect, the excitement It is to me, evident, that to teach of party which upheld them having us this lesson is one of the designs subsided, both would have sunk of Divine Providence in the presinto unhonoured graves. And ent dispensation. In it, I hear thus must it be always.
Party the voice of God calling upon the distinction must, of necessity, be citizens of this country to bury in as evanescent as the excitement this common grave every vestige from which it arises is fluctuof party animosity, and to treas- ating. It must always be the ure up the instruction of this day's sport of circumstances, beyond recollections for the benefit of the foresight and out of the consucceeding ages.
trol of any being but the Omnis2. The events which we have cient and Almighty God. 'The noticed teach us the utter worth- man who yesterday rode upon the lessness of party distinctions. curling crest of its topmost wave,
These venerable were | is to day descending to the abyss, once, as we have remarked, the and it is well if he be not to-morleaders of two opposite political row cast off the helpless and pitiparties. Each held as uncontrollable victim of misguided ambition. ed a sway over the moveinents of 3. We are taught by these his adherents, and each was as events the true basis of political worthy of that rank as any men reputation. who have ever been thus elevated. The meteor glare which once But now that the excitement of shone upon the names of John party has subsided, who considers Adams and Thomas Jefferson is this as adding one iota to their extinguished, but these names are well earned reputation ? Who re- yet resplendent with glory. No cords this upon the catalogue of one thinks of them as politicians, their glories ? Of ail the millions and yet they are remembered, and who have mourned their deaths | will be remembered forever. and honoured their memories, They lived for their country, and who is there that has thought or although they were by accident has cared which was the federal- | the leaders of party, they loved ist and which was the republican not their party, but their country. We see every where a disposi- They conferred substantial benefits tion universal, as it is honourable, upon man, and man will never -to pass over this question in si- forget them. On this adamantine lence, and to consider these events basis rests their hope of earthas accidents, which, though they ly immortality. could not be avoided, are not now A momentary popularity. may to be remembered. This silence confer evanescent distinction, or teaches us, that at this moment, it may conduct to elevated office, we consider their party elevation but it cannot work impossibilities. as forming the shade, rather than It cannot make falsehood fact, the light upon the picture of their nor turn the truth into a lie. It history. We do not so readily cannot make the man who has not forget what is illustrious in the sought his country's good his counmemory of the beloved dead.
try's benefactor. And let us all You cannot then but perceive, remember that history will in. that in the deliberate opinion of quire, nay, the deliberate judgtheir fellow citizens, party emi- ment of our own age will inquire, nence adds nothing to their repu- not what a man has said, but what tation. No, great as they were | he has done ; and the need of
But this ques
praise will be awarded to him praise-worthy, or wrong, accordalone who has done worthily. ing to the circumstances of the
Here then, we pray you, ye particular case. men of the world, learn a lesson tion decided, we beg leave to of wisdom. Ye would be num- say, that a christian has no right bered among your country's bene- any where or under any circuinfactors, be then what ye profess to stances to be any thing else than be, the benefactors of your coun- a christian. He must ask about try. Ye inveigh continually a political as well as any other against hypocrisy in religion, and act, the question, Is it right or in this we cordially join with you. wrong-and by the answer to But tell us, can any hypocrisy that question must he be guidbe more disgusting than that ed. It is just as wicked to lie which is ringing perpetual changes about politics as to lie about meron the sacred names of country, chandise. It is just as immoral and principles, and freedom, and to act without reference to the patriotism, when every reflecting law of God at a caucus as any man knows that
believe not the where else. To prefer our own one half of what ye utter, and are interests or the interests of party only promoting the interests of a to that of our country is treason particular party, or grasping at against that country, and sin the emoluments of an ardently de-against God. And it makes no sired office.
matter whether that treason be And here permit me to remark, perpetrated with a ballot or a baythat unless I have utterly mis- onet, at the caucus or in the field. judged, a laxity of sentiment is And still more, no man can more liable to prevail to a most alarm- surely be putting an end to his ing degree upon this very impor-religion, than by frequenting any tant subject.
It seems now al-circle which he must enter withmost taken for granted, that a out his religion. That man may man who takes any share in polit- yet find himself in eternity with ical arrangements must, under out his religion, and it may not be all circumstances, act with his there quite so easy as it is on earth party, let them act right or wrong. to resume it. 66 There, is no shufForswearing at the outset allegi- fling.” “Whosoever denieth me beance to conscience and to com-fore men, bim will I deny before mon sense, he must obey his po- my Father which is in heaven.” litical leader, let him
4. I remark, in the last place, mend what he will, and applaud that the lives which we have conor decry a citizen in office or templated, will furnish to religa candidate for office, not onious men a pleasing illustration of account of his merits or demerits, || the nature of faith. but because he is or is not num- Faith, we have often told you, bered with the adherents to a par- is that which brings the future to ticular name. And what is worse bear upon the present, with all than all, I fear that there are not the power of a visible reality. It wanting professors of the religion is the substance of things hoped for, of Jesus Christ to whom these re- and the evidence of things not seen. marks do in simple truth apply. It was by political faith, that
Now, whether a christian may these illustrious men, and their no or may not be a politician, I have less illustrious associates, overno question whatever to raise.
I can illustrate this in no It must be left to his own con- manner so well, as by an extract science and to the providence of from a letter written by one of God, and may be innocent, or || them on the fifth of July, 1776,
the day after the signature of the de- || loose from the fetters which surclaration of Independence. “ Yes-round you, to set your affections terday the greatest question was on things above, and notion things decided which was ever debated in on the earth. The crown of eterAmerica, that these United States nal life is promised unto him that are and ought to be free and inde- overcometh. The retribution of a pendent. The 4th of July will be happy or a lost immortality are set a memorable epoch in the history before you, and Jesus Christ hath of America. I am apt to believe said, Unless a man deny himself, it will be celebrated by succeeding and take up his cross and follow generations as the great American me, he cannot be my disciple. festival. I am well aware of the Such, my hearers, is the condition toil and blood and treasure it will of our being. God hath ordained cost to maintain this declaration, that the future can only be obtainand support and defend these ed by a contempt of the present ; States; yet through all the gloom, nay, more, the present can only I can see the rays of light and be enjoyed by living for the future. glory. I can see that the end is The great question of this short worth more than all the means, l life, then is, whether we will live and that posterity will triumph, al- | by faith or by sight, for this life or though you and I may rue it, which the next, for time or for eternity. I hope we shall not.“ Now it was | The difference of result in either precisely by this noble disdain of case, is precisely similar to that the present and the visible, and by which we have noticed when the yet more noble, acting for the speaking of political faith. He invisible and the future, that our who lives for the world that now fathers achieved the independence is, loses the approbation of the of their country, and surrounded heart-searching God, and his end their names with imperishable is shame and everlasting contempt. glory. And on the contrary, the He who, at the present, denies men who on that trying hour acted himself ungodliness and worldly only for the present and the visible, lusts, and lives soberly, rightlost even the too well beloved ob- eously, and godly, enjoys while ject of their base born idolatry, and here, the peace which passeth all have consigned their names to mer- understanding, and is crowned at ited and enduring contempt.
the last, with glory, honour, We all duly appreciate the vic. and immortality. To this choice tories achieved by political faith. every one of you is called ; and let We all can estimate the glory of me tell you, every one of you is, articipating the events of a coming of necessity, making it.
You conhalf century. Tell me then how template with wonder the mighty much more glorious is it to antici- | interests which were suspended pate the events of a coming eter- on that moment which decided nity? It is to this that the gospel this nation's independence. But exhorts us.
of you are each one of you is called to a at this moment under a bondage graver and more momentous demore galling than the yoke of po- cision. It is not, whether the solitical oppression.
The visible journers on earth shall for a few and tangible world engrosses all years govern or be governed, but your cares and occupies all your whether immortal beings, and affections. In the mean time eter- those beings yourselves, shall sufnity is forgotten, and ye are living fer or enjoy throughout the long, utterly reckless of your weal or long ages of an infinite eternity. wo beyond the grave. The voice I have spoken of the glories of of God is calling you to break patriotism and of the honours be
stowed by an approving country. || bending before me in grateful adBut here it is my duty to tell you niration of patriotick service, that the record of the patriot is much as I might prize her tribute written upon a world that shall be before everything earthly, I
The praise of man would turn away from the overbreaks not the silence of the whelming spectacle, and renouncgrave, nor is it heard in that|ing every claim to merit, would region which is beyond it. The draw near to the throne of the only freedom celebrated there, is Holy One of Israel with the prevthe freedom from sin. The song alent plea of the self-condeinned which is sung by the multitude publican, “God, be merciful to which no man can number, is unto me a sinner." Let us then by Him that hath loved us, and faith anticipate that solemn half washed us in his own blood, and hour, and the judginent day triat is made us kings and priests unto God.beyond it, and whilst we labour Better were it then, and therefore, without ceasing for the welfare of better is it now, that the tear of the country which is our dwelling penitence gathered in your eye, place for the night, fix our eye than that the plaudits of a stedfastly on the morning of the world should burst upon your ear. resurrection, and look for a city And at the last half hour of my which hath foundations, whose life, were the country that I love builder and maker is God. Amen.
IN PRAYER AT
ON COMPLIMENTARY EXPRESSIONS , idence, that a more correct taste
is making its way into the christ
ian community. PUBLICK WORSHIP.
Editors, to offer a few remarks on In your Magazine for November another evil, which somewhat prelast, there is a communication on vails, and which is not less offenthe subject of praising ministers. sive to good taste, than it is to The great impropriety, and mani- i christian piety. I refer to the fest evil tendency of that practice, usage, when there is more than are, I think there, justly describ-one minister in the pulpit, of coned. Most cordially approving the verting the last prayer into a comsentiments contained in that Es- plimentary address on the talents say, I have watched with some and zeal of the speaker. It is solicitude for proofs of its good quite too common, in this part of effects. If not greatly mistaken, worship, for brother ministers to I have already seen them. We express themselves in the followhave not so many pompous ac- || ing words. “ We thank thee, O counts of ministerial services. God, for the interesting, approThe language of unmeasured priate, and excellent discourse praise is not dealt out so freely in which thy servant has delivered." relation to every ordination, ded. Sometimes thanks are given that ication, or missionary sermon that “ such a burning and shining light is preached. This is as it should i has been raised up,” with the pebe. It exhibits the gratifying ev-tition, that he may shine with SEPT. 1826.
increasing lustre as he advances there were so few expressions of in years; and that his sun may be approbation. largest at its setting.” The terms It is time that we have done pathetick, solemn, judicious, able, with all this. The object of a eloquent, are in frequent use. short address to the throne of Applause is occasionally adminis- grace, at the close of a sermon, tered with a little more delicacy, should be, not to eulogize the by informing the Lord how speaker, but to supplicate the • agreeably the people have been blessing of Almighty God, on entertained."
what, at best, has been spoken in This very questionable prac- much weakness. Instead of ditice bas indeed become so com- rectly or indirectly applauding mon, that the last prayer is look- the preacher, the earnest desire of ed upon as a kind of thermome- the person who conducts the closter, by which the congregation is ing devotion, should be, that the to ascertain the degree of indif- gospel of Christ which has been ference, approbation, or astonish- dispensed may be the power of ment, which marks the feelings Gud unto salvation to those who of him, at least, who offers it. And have just heard it; and that they should a minister dare to be singu- may leave the place, not so much lar by rising superior to this fol- in admiration of the preacher, as in ly; should he feel a contempt for a deep and humble conviction of it, as altogether inconsistent with their own utter worthlessness. the simplicity and humility which Much more might be said why should always characterize christ- | this practice, so far as it has exian worship, it is more than prob- isted, should cease. To flatter able that his motives will be mis
the vanity and pride of man in judged. It will be decided at any religious service is very imonce, that his feelings towards the proper. But it is peculiarly so to preacher are below the freezing do it in prayer. Were I officipoint.
ating as a minister in the presence Nor are its evil effects by any of the most august assembly in means confined to hearers. While the world, I would not on any acthey are listening with anxiety, count speak of them in prayer, as not indeed, to hear the fervent a respectable, talented, or digniand effectual prayer,” but the opin- fied body of men. In the interion which may be given of their fa- course of life I would show the vourite preacher, he himself is in individuals composing this assemdanger of being lifted up with bly, all the respect due to their pride by ill-timed encomiums ; or worth, office, and talents ; but of being mortified by supposed when presenting them before God, neglect. Ministers have been I could only speak of them as accustomed so long to this kind of creatures dependent upon him ; compliment, that they naturally as men holding responsible stalook for it, especially if they have tions, but who can do nothing pronounced discourses which have without a divine blessing; or as cost them considerable labour. sinners, who like all others can What is the consequence? Why, have no hope of salvation except if they do not receive the usual through the mercy of God in our quantum sufficit of praise ; and Lord Jesus Christ. Neither should especially if they receive none at 1 dare while in the attitude of an all, they feel disappointed. It humble suppliant to give glory to will be well if there be no wbis-a minister, whatever inight be his perings, no jealousies, no private eminence. To use flattering exinquiries, why, in the last prayer, ll pressions in relation either to his