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hind them, as authentic memoirs of their Master's life, narratives compiled with little judgment or selection, from the stories of the day, from facts and fictions in promiscuous circulation. The credulity which swallows these contradictions, while it strains at mysteries, is not the faith which will remove mountains. The Ebionites of antiquity, little as they were famed for penetration and discernment, managed however the affairs of the sect with more discretion than our modern Unitarians: They questioned not the inspiration of the books which they received; but they received only one book · -a spurious copy of St. Matthew's Gospel, curtailed of the two first chapters. You will think it no inconsiderable confirmation of the doctrine in question, that the sect which first denied it, to palliate their infidelity, found it necessary to reject three of the gospels, and to mutilate the fourth.

Not in words therefore and in form, but with hearts full of faith and gratitude, you will join in the solemn service of the day, and return thanks to God," who gave his

only begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and, as at this time, to be born of a pure virgin." You will always remember, that it is the great use of a sound faith, that it furnishes the most effectual motives to a good life. You will therefore not rest in the merit of a speculative faith: You will make it your constant endeavour that your lives may adorn. your profession,— that


your light may so. shine before men, that they, seeing your good works, may glorify your Father which is in heaven."



For the poor shall never cease out of the land: Therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor and to thy needy in thy land. *

SINCE civilized society is unquestionably the life which Providence designs for man, formed, as he evidently is, with powers to derive his proper happiness from what he may contribute to the public good, nor less formed to be miserable in solitude, by want of employment for the faculties which something of a natural instinct prompts him to exert, —since what are commonly called

* Preached at the Anniversary Meeting of the Sons of the Clergy, May 18. 1786.

the artificial distinctions of society, the inequalities of rank, wealth, and power, must in truth be a part of God's design, when he designs man to a life in which the variety of occupations and pursuits, arising from those discriminations of condition, is no less essential to the public weal, than the diversity of members in the natural body, and the different functions of its various parts, are essential to the health and vigour of the individual, — since, in harmony with this design of driving man by his powers and capacities, no less than by his wants and infirmities, to seek his happiness in civil life, it is ordained that every rank furnish the individual with the means, not only of subsistence, but of comfort and enjoyment, (for although the pleasures of the different degrees of men are drawn from different sources; and differ greatly in the elegance and lustre of their exterior form and show, yet the quantity of real happiness within the reach of the individual will be found, upon a fair and just comparison, in all the ranks of life the same,) upon this view of the divine original of civil society, with the inequalities


of condition which obtain in it, and the provision which is equally made in all conditions for the happiness of the individual, -it may seem perhaps unreasonable may seem a presumptuous deviation from the Creator's plan, that any should become suitors to the public charity for a better subsistence than their own labour might procure. Poverty, it may seem, can be nothing more than an imaginary evil; of which the modest never will complain, which the intelligent never will commiserate, and the politic never will relieve. And the complaint, it may seem, can never be more indecent, or less worthy of regard, than when it is used by those who profess to be strangers and pilgrims upon the earth, and to have a balm for all the evils of the present world in the certainty of their prospects in a better country.

Shocking as I trust these conclusions must be to the feelings of a Christian assembly, it may nevertheless be useful to demonstrate, that they have no real connexion with the principles from which they seem to be drawn, that they are not


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