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the precious blood of the Son of God, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; wherefore glorify God in your bodies and spirits, which are his.'' this diminishing the motives to moral virtue ? love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but to him that died for them and rose again." Is this weakening the force of moral obligation ? 66 Do we make void the law through faith? Yea, we establish the law.” “This do, and thou shall live," is to the transgressor an impracticable condition. It is too late for a sinner to dream of being justified by deeds of law. But there is another law. Believe, and thou shalt be maved.” Under the first covenant, obedience secures salvation; under the second, salvation secures obedience. He “ loves much, who has much forgiven;" and he only obeys, who loves.
If I urge upon you then, my young friends, the claims of morality, it is the morality of the Bible. It is not the morality of Seneca or Plato. Nor is it the morality of the young man who said, “ All these have I kept from my youth up;" but whose “heart was bound in fetters of gold." There is a morality that will never become the possessor of heavenly treasures. Nay, it were "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," than for such a morality to enter into the kingdom of God. You must practically acknowledge the God of heaven as your King, and love him with an undivided heart. You must take up your cross and follow your Saviour, or you are not worthy of him. True morality will lead you to love him above all others, and prefer his service above that of all other masters. Without this, it were
vain to think of governing your life by his example and laws. A mere outward morality will serve you and your generation a little while; it may even diminish the aggravation of your guilt, and the weight of your sufferings in the future world. But it can avert neither; and if this is all you have to plead in the presence of your Judge, it will “profit you nothing."
By social institutions, I mean those which form the basis, or grow out of the various relations of human society. Man is a social being. His physical, intellectual, and moral constitution, have a manifest reference to a state of social existence. Destitute of that strength which distinguishes many animals, unfurnished by nature either with weapons to resist, or speed to escape from, their attacks, care for his safety alone would lead him to unite himself in close alliance with others of his species. The years of childhood and old age are conditions in which he must of necessity depend upon others; and in claiming during these periods of infirmity, sustenance and protection from his fellow men, he must consent in the days of his own strength to anticipate and deserve them. Though well nigh the most helpless of all the animal creation, no longer a weak, isolated existence, he has been constituted the lord of this lower world. Instead of being the prey of ravenous beasts, he holds the brute creation in fear and servitude; instead of being exposed to the tempest, his dwelling bids defiance to the winds; and when the hunger, want, and
debility which he has succoured in others, become his own lot, his past services return to him at the hands of his fellows, though it be after many days. But not alone from his physical nature is he impelled to seek the society of his species. His moral and intellectual faculties determine him no less strongly to a social state, and pre-eminently fit him for it. Some of the noblest faculties of his soul, as well as some of the most amiable and exalted of his natural affections could be exercised only in such a condition. Benevolence, complacency, gratitude and heroism would all lie dormant, if he were an isolated being. Next to the pure fountains of spiritual joy, the most delightful sources of his enjoyment are those for the first time unlocked when he meets his fellow man. Isolated man can scarcely be said to have the capacity for lofty thought, or great achievement. The noble efforts of human power and genius, of which there are so many monuments in our world, have been made under the strong encouragement, the powerful incentive of society. Led by these impulses, and guided by the light of nature alone, man has no doubt made vast progress in the arts of social life. He has founded empires, builded cities, collected armies, and has framed laws for their government and guidance. Literature and the arts have flourished in a greater or less degree of splendour, and a beneficial, though imperfect code of morality has crowned the work of his mind and hands, and raised it to the highest elevation which his own unaided powers have permitted.
Still however the structure is incomplete. It rests on no sure foundation, and is also imperfectly cemented and fitted together. The elements of which it is compounded are of such conflicting qualities, that they can be brought into harmony and perfect union,
only by the all-pervading influence of a pure system of morality, founded on pure religion. To be sensible of this, it is necessary to take a glance at the various relations of human life where no supernatural revelation has ever been made. And here permit me to remark, this is the only method of ascertaining the appropriate influence of a supernatural revelation upon the social institutions. What was the state of human society before the Bible was given to men ? What has been its condition since, and what is it now? There are evils in the social state ; but had they no existence before a supernatural revelation was known? In what condition did the Scriptures find the social institutions? In what condition are these institutions found at the present day, where the Bible has never been known, or heard of ? Infidels have charged not a few of the social calamities in the world on the introduction of Christianity. But I cannot help thinking, that if they did not feel an interest in rejecting the sacred Scriptures; if these holy oracles did not so severely reprove their wickedness and rebuke their pride ; and if they were not either profoundly ignorant, or obstinately perverse, they would never resort to so dishonourable and disingenuous a mode of reasoning. The true questions in such a discussion are, has human society ever been well organized without the Bible?-Have the social rights and obligations been any where understood and respected, where the Scriptures have had no existence ?-And where they have been best understood and respected, and their various relations have been peaceful and happy, has the Bible disturbed this organization, trampled on these rights and obligations, and rendered men contentious and miserable? We are bold to say that an enlightened and honest answer to these inquiries will do honour to