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have forfeited it; for conscience tells us that the folly, the error is all our own. What then must be the happiness of fixing the heart on God, where there is nothing unlovely, nothing fickle, nothing false or dying! From our best affections toward creatures up to the love of God, there is a height as lofty as his ways and attributes are above the attributes and ways of mortals. No fear can haunt the mind, that he may change in his character, or in his love. He is above the reach of accident, or mutation, perfect in benevolence and power, and to those who trust in him is a sure and perpetually increasing source, of joy. Men no longer grasp at shadows, when they fix their hearts on God. They think of him, and are happy; they contemplate his nature, and their best affections and purest happiness become more exalted and more pure, the greater their love. Solicitude subsides into tranquillity, peace is in vigorated to confidence, love awakes to joy, and not unfrequently joy to transport, at a view of the divine excellence and glory. And then to receive love for love; to lean on the bosom of divine faithfulness; to make the Eternal God our refuge and portion—this is the blessedness for which the spiritual nature of man is formed. This is that great law of moral attraction by which the soul enjoys even a sort of sympathy with the divine nature and participates in his blessedness,
The world has no substitute for such a source of joy. You may be happy my young friends, with
out power, without influence, without learning, without wealth; but you cannot be happy without God. Give man all of this world that he desires; multiply around him the gratifications of sense and the pleasures of thought; and if he have not God for his refuge and joy, the day is not far distant when he will feel that he is like the prodigal in a far country, feeding upon husks and clothing himself with rágs. Nothing can make you miserable so long as you enjoy the presence of God. To feel every where surrounded with Deity; to see him every where, and every where enjoy himthis is the blessedness which 'the Bible is capable of imparting. Nothing separates such a mind“ from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus his Lord.” This “green earth” may be parched up, and all its sources of pleasure dried away; but such a mind ranges more delectable mountains, and quenches the ardour of its desires at fountains of living water. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
he leadeth me beside the still waters; he restoreth my soul."
Such is the influence of this holy book on human happiness. No matter where, or on whom its blessings descend, its legitimate influence is to make men happy. Wherever it finds him on this vast sea of trouble, however far from land, however shattered by the storm, it fills the torn sails of the tempest-tost, and wafts him to the shore. Nay, it calms the tempest. The voice of the waves
is hushed by its power, and the heaving ocean is stilled into a peaceful haven.
“ Chose admirable," exclaims the great Montesquieu, “la religion Chrétienne, qui ne semble avoir d'objet que la felicite de l'autre vie, fait encore notre bonheur dans celle-ci." Higher authority has said, “Godliness is profitable for all things; having the promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come.” There are few errors more to be regretted than that the religion of the Bible is not adapted to promote human happiness. Its very sacrifices have more than an adequate compensation. If it commands us to give up self, it is only for the love of God; if it teaches us to give up time, it gives us eternity in return; and in doing this, it does not even diminish our happiness in time. It is a reproach to Christianity that its disciples are not more uniformly cheerful and happy. The religion of the Bible is not a cheerless religion. Unhappy Christians there are, but unhappy religion there is none. God grant, my young friends, that you may possess an humble piety, a self-denying, laborious piety, a piety that lives above the world and walks with God, but at the same time, a cheerful, happy piety.
We have been considering in the preceding lectures, some of the particulars in which the world is under obligations to the Bible. I would cheerfully extend this discussion, did I not believe that a more protracted illustration would be an unseasonable demand upon the patience of my audience. It was my design to have detained you by the consideration of one other topic, and to have shown the obligations of men to the Bible for a religion that satisfies the conscience when it is roused to that great inquiry, “How shall man be just with God ?" But as this topic has more than once been incidentally alluded to, and to some extent illustrated, I pass this evening to the concluding lecture.
The design of this exercise is to request you, without any particular recapitulation on my part,
to review the ground we have gone over, and in this review, to institute the following inquiries:
IS NOT THE RELIGION OF THE BIBLE UNIVERSALLY ADAPTED TO THE CHARACTER AND CONDITION OF OUR RACE? Whatever may be the varieties of his locality and condition, every individual of the human family is, by nature, ignorant, depraved, subject to infirmities and sorrows, destined to the grave, and the heir of immortality. The religion which he needs, and which alone is adapted to all the varieties of his species, and all the peculiarities of his condition, is one that meets the ex gencies of his condition for both worlds. It is one which, while it appreciates the importance of the life which is to come, does not depreciate the true interests of the life that now is. It is one which, while it does not overlook his intellectual worth, and his social and public relations; his freedom, his dignity, his happiness, his usefulness, as a citizen of this world; provides mainly for his moral purity, and the glory and immortality that await him at the termination of his earthly career. It is one which consults the claims, not of one class of human society merely, but of all classes; not of one period of time merely, but of all periods; not of one clime merely, but of all climes; not of one form of government merely, but of all forms
government; not of one locality, or a limited circle, but of all localities, and the most enlarged circle; not of one particular nation, or people, but of all nations, languages, and men, under the face