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faneness and his blasphemies. Or they may even be strongly and insensibly induced to accommodate themselves to prevailing customs, and to pay an outward homage to the faith of the New Testatment, by occasionally attending its institutions, though they are all the while regarding it as a mere harmless fable, if not as a contemptible or a pernicious superstition.

But look at them when placed in those circumstances which put no such restraints upon what they may say and do as the enemies of Christianity; observe them when the pride of intellect tempts them to display their learning or their ingenuity in contending against the vulgar faith-or when they have a passion to gratify which needs the aid of some principle to vindicate its indulgence-or when they have nothing to fear from giving utterance to what they think and feel--or when they happen to be associated with those among whom the quality of freethinking prevailsobserve them as to the language which they employ, and the practice which they maintain with respect to religion, in the ordinary course and tenour of their lives; and then say what positive proofs they give you of the reality or of the efficacy of those religious principles which they profess to have retained, after putting away from them the doctrine of Christ.

Say, if instead of affording you positive proofs of such re'manent and distinctive piety, they are not displaying daily and inveterate symptoms that God, and Providence, and immortality, are not in all their thoughts. Say, if you have not seen many a melancholy demonstration of that general irreligion which we have ascribed to them as the consequence of their throwing off the dominion of the Gospel. And say if you have not been able to trace this down through all the gradations of infidelity, from the speculative philosopher, who has decided that there is no Saviour, till you come to the fool, who says, in the weakness and the wickedness of his heart, that there is no God.

LESSON CXII.

Same Subject, Concluded.

Ir is amidst trials and sorrows that infidelity appears in its justest and most frightful aspect. When subjected to the

multifarious ills which flesh is heir to, what is there to uphold our spirit, but the discoveries and the prospects that are unfolded to us by revelation? What, for this purpose, can be compared with the belief that every thing here below is under the management of infinite wisdom and goodness, and that there is an immortality of bliss awaiting us in another world? If this conviction be taken away, what is it that we can have recourse to, on which the mind may patiently and safely repose in the season of adversity? Where is the balm which I may apply with effect to my wounded heart, after I have rejected the aid of the Almighty Physician?

Impose upon me whatever hardships you please; give me nothing but the bread of sorrow to eat; take from me the friends in whom I had placed my confidence; lay me in the cold hut of poverty, and on the thorny bed of disease; set death before me in all its terrours; do all this,-only let me trust in my Saviour, and I will "fear no evil,”—I will rise superiour to affliction,-I will rejoice in my tribulation." But let infidelity interpose between God and my soul, and draw its impenetrable veil over a future state of existence, and limit all my trust to the creatures of a day, and all my expectations to a few years as uncertain as they are short, and how shall I bear up, with fortitude or with cheerfulness, under the burden of distress? Or where shall I find one drop of consolation to put into the bitter draught which has been given me to drink? I look over the whole range of this wilderness in which I dwell, but I see not one covert from the storm, nor one leaf for the healing of my soul, nor one cup of cold water to refresh me in the weariness and the faintings of my pilgrimage.

The very conduct of infidels, in spreading their system with so much eagerness and industry, affords a striking proof that its influence is essentially hostile to human happiness. For what is their conduct? Why, they allow that religion contributes largely to the comfort of man,—that in this respect, as well as with respect to morality, it would be a great evil were it to lose its hold over their affections,—and that those are no friends to the world who would shake or destroy their belief in it. And yet, in the very face of this acknowledgment, they scruple not to publish their doubts and their unbelief concerning it among their fellow-men, and with all the cool deliberation of philosophy, and sometimes with all the keenness and ardour of a zealot, to do the

very thing which they profess to deprecate as pernicious to the well-being and comfort of the species. Whether they are sincere in this profession, or whether they are only trifling with the sense and feeling of mankind, still it demonstrates the hardening influence of their principles; and from principles, which make those who hold them so reckless of the peace and order and happiness of their brethren, what can be reasonably expected, but every thing which is most destructive of human comfort?

It is true, the infidel may be very humane in the intercourse of life; but, after all, what dependence can be placed upon that humanity of his, which deals out bread to the hungry, and clothing to the naked, and yet would sacrifice to literary vanity, or to something worse, whatever can give support in trial, and consolation at death? He may sympathize with me in my distress, and speak to me of immortality, and, at the very moment, his constitutional kindness may be triumphing over his cold-blooded and gloomy speculations. But his speculations have shed a misery over my heart, which no language of his can dissipate, and which makes his most affectionate words sound in my ear like the words of mockery and scorn.

He has destroyed me, and he cannot save me, and he cannot comfort me. At his bidding I have renounced that Saviour in whom I once trusted and was happy, and he now pities me;—as if his most pitying tones could charm away the anguish of my bosom, and make me forget that it was he himself who planted it there, and planted it so deep, and nourished it so well, that nothing but the power of that heaven, whose power I have denied, is able to pluck it out!

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Yes, after he has destroyed my belief in the superintending providence of God,-after he has taught me that the prospect of a hereafter is but the baseless fabrick of a vision,

after he has bred and nourished in me a contempt for that sacred volume which alone throws light over this be nighted world, after having argued me out of my faith by his sophistries, or laughed me out of it by his ridicule,-after having thus wrung from my soul every drop of consolation, and dried up my very spirit within me,-yes, after having accomplished this in the season of my health and my pros perity, he would come to me while I mourn, and treat me like a drivelling idiot, whom he may sport with, because he has ruined me, and to whom, in the plenitude of his com

passion,-too late, and too unavailing, he may talk of truths in which he himself does not believe, and which he has long exhorted me, and has at last persuaded me, to cast away as the dreams and the delusions of human folly!From such comforters may heaven preserve me! "My soul come not thou into their secrets. Unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united !"

LESSON CXIII.

Death-Scene in Gertrude of Wyoming.*--CAMPBELL.

Bur short that contemplation-sad and short
The pause to bid each much loved scene adieu !
Beneath the very shadow of the fort,

Where friendly swords were drawn, and banners flew,
Ah! who could deem that foot of Indian crew

Was near?-yet there, with lust of murderous deeds,
Gleamed like a basilisk, from woods in view,
The ambushed foeman's eye-his volley speeds,
And Albert-Albert-falls! the dear old father bleeds!

And tranced in giddy horrour Gertrude swooned;
Yet, while she clasps him lifeless to her zone,
Say, burst they, borrowed from her father's wound,

These drops ?-Oh God! the life-blood is her own; And faltering, on her Waldegrave's bosom thrown"Weep not, O Love!"-she cries, " to see me bleed— Thee, Gertrude's sad survivor, thee aloneHeaven's peace commiserate; for scarce I heed These wounds;-yet thee to leave is death, is death indeed.

*The three characters mentioned in the above passage, being warned of the approach of a hostile tribe of North American Indians, are forced to abandon their peaceful retreat, in the vale of Wy'oming, and fly for safety to a neighbouring fort. On the following morning, at sunrise, while Gertrude, together with Albert, her father, and Waldegrave, her husband, are looking from the battlements on the havock and desolation which had marked the progress of the barbarous enemy, an Indian marksman fires a mortal shot from his ambush at Albert; and, as Gertrude clasps him in agony to her heart, another shot lays her bleeding by his side. She then takes farewell of her husband in a speech which our greatest modern critick has described as more sweetly pathetick than any thing ever written in rhyme."-M'Diar

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mid.

"Clasp me a little longer, on the brink

Of fate! while I can feel thy dear caress;

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And, when this heart hath ceased to beat-oh! think,

And let it mitigate thy wo's excess,

That thou hast been to me all tenderness,

A friend, to more than human friendship just.

Oh! by that retrospect of happiness,

And by the hopes of an immortal trust,
God shall assuage thy pangs-when I am laid in dust!
"Go, Henry, go not back, when I depart;

The scene thy bursting tears too deep will move,
Where my dear father took thee to his heart,
And Gertrude thought it ecstasy to rove
With thee, as with an angel, through the grove
Of peace,-imagining her lot was cast

In heaven; for ours was not like earthly love,
And must this parting be our very last?

No! I shall love thee still, when death itself is past.".

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*

Hushed were his Gertrude's lips! but still their bland
And beautiful expression seemed to melt

With love that could not die! and still his hand

She presses to the heart no more that felt.

Ah, heart! where once each fond affection dwelt,
And features yet that spoke a soul more fair.
Mute, gazing, agonizing as he knelt,-
Of them that stood encircling his despair,
He heard some friendly words;-but knew not what
they were.

LESSON CXIV.

To a Waterfowl.-Bryant.

WHITHER, 'midst falling dew,

While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler's eye

Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,

Thy figure floats along.

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