liberty of appealing to you, whether a state of greater peace, order, and virtue, may not be confidently predicted, without credulity, or rashness? Do men ever expect, or require, on the most important subjects, better evidence, on which to rest their opinions, than that which has now been exhibited? Is there any peculiar ambiguity in those passages of scripture, which have now been cited? Of that variety of figures, which they embrace, is the general import questionable? If then the scriptures are of divine origin, and do contain promises of universal and perpetual peace on earth, we are not only permitted, but required to believe, that the time is coming, when wars shall no longer disturb the nations. "God is not a man that he should lie, neither the Son of man, that he should repent. Hath he said, and shall not he do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" But in the present instance, our faith is confirmed, by seeing the manner in which the event foretold shall be accomplished. There is an obvious connexion between the influence of christianity and the annihilation of war. No philosophical statesman can attribute war to any other cause, than that, which has been assigned to it by the pen of inspiration. "Whence come wars and fightings? Come they not hence even of your lusts, that war in your members?" Had the king of Assyria imbibed a spirit, similar to that, which christianity inculcates, would he have boasted, saying, "I have removed the bounds of the people and have robbed their treasures, and have put down the inhabitants as a valiant man?" Had the states of Greece cordially imbibed a religion, like that of Jesus, should we ever have heard of a Peloponnesian war? Had the son of Phillip embraced such a religion, would he have invaded Scythia, and crossed the Indus? Had Rome, whether under kings, consuls, or emperors, known the doctrines of Him, who spake from heaven, and received the truth in the love of it, would she have been perpetually engaged in wars of conquest and ambition? Or if Europe, for the last twenty years, had been, really, as she was, nominally, christian,

would the whole earth and ocean have resounded with the noise of her battles? We do not attempt to maintain, that' there is any power, in the christian name, which will frighten from the earth the demon of war. Christianity will render communities good and pacific, so far only, as they adopt its principles, submit to its restraints, and obey its injunctions?

If any person doubts, that the tendency of this religion. corresponds with the proclamation, by which angels announced the advent of its Author;-if any one doubts, that its genuine influence is to promote "peace on earth, and good will towards men," he may readily obtain satisfaction by consulting the doctrines of Christ, or the writings of his inspired apostles. "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be called the children of God.Love your enemies; do good to them, that hate you; pray for them, that despitefully use you, and persecute you. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.-Be not overcome of evil; but overcome evil with good." Christianity strikes at the root of angry contention; its object is to seize upon the heart. Streams are rendered salutary, if you can first exhale from the fountain its deadly qualities.

But is there any thing, you may ask, in the present state or aspect of the world, which indicates the approach of better days? May tranquillity, among the nations, be more rationally anticipated, at present, than at any former period? Doubtless it may. The world exhibits many symptoms of moral convalescence. The christian religion has become an object of peculiar interest, in the christian world. Believers in this religion have recently begun to feel, with a sensibility, hitherto unknown, both their privileges and their obligations. As they attempt to open the eyes of the heath

en, their own visual perception becomes more clear and distinct. In whatever nation, community, or family, much effort is made to teach pagans the way of salvation, some alteration for the better will be experienced in its own religious knowledge, in its moral habits and character. But we have shown, that as the knowledge and spirit of christianity are diffused, the temper and practices of men become more pacific, reason is more regarded, and the passions of the human heart, if not subdued, are chastened and restrained.

It is known to most of my hearers, that on the 26th of September, 1815, was formed at Paris, a confederation, denominated the Holy League, between the emperors of Austria and Russia, and the king of Prussia. These princes declare "solemnly, that the present act has no other object than to show in the face of the universe, their unwavering determination to adopt, for the rule of their conduct, both in the administration of their respective states and in their political relations with every other government, the precepts of this holy religion, the precepts of justice, of charity, and of peace." Other powers have since, it appears, acceded to this solemn covenant.

In whatever view the matter is contemplated, it is impossible not to consider this coalition among the most extraordinary and interesting occurrences of modern times. What is the real character of these potentates, in respect to religion, can not be determined by a public document of this kind. But that they wish to be considered by their respective subjects, and by the world, as the patrons of christianity, there can be no doubt. To maintain this character, they will, at least, discountenance infidelity, and make provision, that their subjects may enjoy the advan tages of religious instruction. In this way, kings do become nursing fathers to the church. In this way is the gospel honored in the view of men, its doctrines become more known, and its precepts more regarded. But, in this imperial covenant, there is not only an express and solemn re

cognition of christianity in general; but its pacific principles are distinctly specified; "the precepts of justice, of charity and peace."

Another consideration, well calculated to animate the friends of peace, is the unexpected success, with which, at the present day, God sees fit to crown almost every effort, made for purposes of benevolence or piety. Whether we contemplate societies, whose object is to employ missionaries, to distribute the scriptures, or pamphlets of moral and religious tendency; whether we contemplate the education. of heathen youth, either in their own countries, or in ours; or confine our views to Sunday and Charity Schools, we clearly perceive, that the blessing of God surpasses the calculations of men. "A little one becomes a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. There is a handful of corn in the earth, on the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof is seen to shake like Lebanon."

But since christianity is itself a religion of peace, the very object, which this society professes to have in view, is secured, so far as christianity gains influence; why then, it may be asked, should societies be instituted distinctly for this purpose? I observe, in reply, it is doubtless true, that every genuine christian does something towards effecting the design, for which these societies are formed. We view every person of this description, as our friend and coadjutor. So is every christian, acting in character, a friend to all benevolent institutions; but this does not render the existence of such institutions unnecessary. Every christian, acting in character, is a friend to humanity, to justice, and rational freedom, and therefore an enemy to the slave trade. But unless abolition societies had been formed, that most unrighteous traffic might have continued to the end of the world. Something was necessary to awaken sensibility, and to fix the public attention.

My hearers will have the goodness to remark, that we make no high pretensions. Knowing, that our influence is neither weighty nor extensive, our claims and expectations

are of a chastened and moderate kind. We are not, I hope, insensible, that all our sufficiency is of God,-that we have no strength, nor wisdom, nor resolution, but what we derive from him. To him, therefore, we would daily address the poet's prayer, and say,

"From Thee is all, that sooths the life of man,
His high endeavours, and his glad success,
His strength to suffer, and his will to serve."

This society and others, formed for the same object, both in this country and in Europe, may now be compared to light clouds, far distant from each other, and " no bigger, than a man's hand." It is for divine wisdom to determine, whether these clouds shall be speedily attenuated and dissolved; or whether they shall be thickened and enlarged, and, uniting with others, yet to be formed in the intermediate spaces, shall cover all the heavens, and shall distil "the dew of Hermon; the dew, that descended on the mountains of Zion."

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