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eth the air. But I keep under my body, and maintained error. Why? Because he thought bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, it was truth, and respected it accordingly. He when I have preached to others, I myself should persecuted, because he loved; he was mad, bebe a cast-away."
cause he was zealous; zeal, as I said just now, We have explained the terms and allusions misguided, but zeal, however; a criminal indisof the apostle. His meaning is sufficiently cretion indeed, but an indiscretion, which in a clear. "I keep under my body,” and so on, moral abstraction, may be considered as a virdoes not mean, as some interpreters have it, I tue. halt between hope of salvation, and fear of de- Consider Paul as a proselyle. A man edustruction; an interpretation directly opposite to cated in opinions opposite to Christianity, inthat assurance which St. Paul expresses in ma- fatuated with popular errors, prejudiced with . ny parts of his epistles, and particularly in this ideas of a temporal Messiah, accustomed to , famous passage which we have elsewhere ex- consider Jesus Christ as an impostor, and his plained, “I am persuaded that neither death, religion as a plot concerted by knaves, this nor life, not angels, nor principalities, nor pow- ! man changes his ideas, and his whole system ers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor of religion, and worships the crucified Jesus, height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall, who was “to the Jew a stuinbling block, and be able to separate us from the love of God," to the Greek foolishness," I Cor. i. 23. The Rom. viii. 38, 39. But “I keep under my first lesson from heaven persuades him, the first body;" and the rest means, whatever progress knock at the door of his heart opens it, his I have made in a career of virtue, all my past conversion is affected in a moment. “I went efforts would be useless, should I spend the rest not up to Jerusalem,” said he; “I conferred of my life in idleness and indifference, and I not with flesh and blood,” Gal. i. 16, 17. could not expect, even by the assistance of What a fund of virtue instantly had this man grace, to arrive at glory.
in his heart! Of all characters in life there are Let us now justify this disposition of our few so respectable as that of a real proselyte. apostle, and let us prove this general truth, that A man who changes his religion on pure printhere is no point fixed, at which a Christian ciples, has a greatness of soul above common may stop; that each portion of life has its task; men. I venture to advance this general maxthat to what degree soever we have carried our im, that a man who changes his religion, must sanctification, unless we carry it further, go on be consummate either in virtue or vice. If and persevere, we should act contrary to the he be insincere, he is a wretch; if he be not a spirit and temper of the gospel. This is the wretch, he is a hero. He is a hero if his virtue principal design of this discourse.
be sincere, if he makes generous efforts to 1. Let us first examine the example of St. correct errors imbibed in his earliest youth, if Paul. St. Paul did not think that if he lived he can see without trembling that path of trihereafter in indolence without endeavouring to bulation which is generally opened to such as make new advances, he had any right to expect forsake their religion, and if he can bear all the the benefits of the gospel: no Christian, there suppositions which are generally made against fore, living in indolence, and making no new them who renounce the profession of their advances, ought to flatter himself that he is en- ancestors; if, I say, he can do all this, he is a titled to the blessings of the gospel. In order hero. On the contrary, none but a wretch to perceive this consequence, form a just notion can embark in such an undertaking, if he be of the virtue of our apostle, and consider Paul destitute of the dispositions necessary to sucas a zealot, Paul as a proselyte, Paul as an When such a man forsakes his former apostle, and Paul as a martyr, and you will profession of religion, there is reason to suppose allow he was a great character, a Christian of that human motives have done what love of the highest order; and that if, with all his emi- truth could not do; and that he embraces bis nent virtues, he thought himself obliged to ac- new religion, not because it appears to him quire yet more eminent virtue, every Christian more worthy of his attention and respect, but ought to form the same idea of his own duty. because it is more suitable to his interest. Now
Consider Paul as a zealot. Perhaps you may to embrace a religion for worldly interest is be surprised at our passing an encomium on almost the highest pitch of wickedness. Our this part of his life. Certainly we shall not maxim admits of very few exceptions, and undertake to make an apology for that cruel most proselytes are either men of eminent and barbarous zeal which made use of fire and virtue or abandoned wretches; and as we are blood, and which put racks for arguments, and happy to acknowledge there are several of the gibbets for demonstrations. But the purest life first kind in this age, so with sorrow we are has its blots; and the most generous heart its obliged to allow, that there are a great number frailties. In that fatal necessity of imperfection of the latter. Let St. Paul be judged by the which is imposed on all mankind, there are utmost rigour of this maxim. He was a hero some defiled streams, so to speak, which flow in Christianity. The principle that engaged from pure springs; some people, and the apostle him to embrace the gospel, diffused itself was one, who sin from an excess of virtue. through all his life, and every one of his actions What idea then must we form of this man, and verified the sincerity of his conversion. what shall we say of his virtues, since his vices St. Paul was born for great things; he it was were effects of such an excellent cause? This whom God chose for an apostle to the Gentiles. odious part of his life, which he wished to bury He did not stop in the porch of the Lord's in oblivion, that barbarity and madness, that house, he quickly passed into the holy place; industry to inflame the synagogue, and to stir he was only a very short time a catechumen up all the world, all this, strictly speaking, and in the school of Christ; he soon became a properly explained, was worthy of praise. He | master, a minister, an apostle; and in all these
eminent offices he carried virtne to a higher ministry before him at first, "I will show him pitch than it had ever been carried before him, how great things he must suffer for my name and perhaps beyond what it will ever be prac- sake," Acts ix. 16. Show him how great tised after him. In effect, what qualities ought things he must suffer for my name sake! What a minister of the gospel to possess which St. a motive to engage a man to undertake an Paul did not possess in the highest degree? is office! Now-a-days
, in order to give a great it assiduity? “Ye remember, brethren,” said | idea of a church, it is said, it has such and such he, "our labour and travel, for labouring night advantages, so much in cash, so much in small and day we preached unto you the gospel of tithes, and so much in great tithes. St. Paul God," i Thess. ij. 9. Is it gentlencss?“We saw the ministry only as a path full of thorns were gentle among you, even as a nurse cher- and briars, and he experienced, through all the isheth her children. You know how we ex- course of his life, the truth of that idea which horted, and comforted, and charged every one was given him of his office. Hear the catalogue of you, as a father doth his children, that ye of his sufferings. “Of the Jews five tiines would walk worthy of God," chap. ii
. 7. 11, received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was 12. Is it prudence? “Unto the Jews I became I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them suffered shipwreck; a night and a day have I that are without law as without law, that I been in the deep. In journeyings often, in might gain them that are without law. I am perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils made all things to all men, that I might by all by mine own countrymen, in perils by the means save some," 2 Cor. ix. 20. 22. Is it heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the charity? “I could wish that myself were ac- wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among cursed from Christ for my brethren,” Rom. false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, ix. 3. “I will very gladly spend and be spent in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in for you,” 2 Cor. xii. 15. Is it courage? He fastings often, in cold and nakedness,” 2 Cor. resisted $t. Peter, and “withstood him to the xi. 24–27. Good God! What a salary for a face, because he was to be blamed,” Gal. ii. minister; hunger, thirst, fastings, nakedness, 11. “He reasoned of righteousness, temper- peril, persecution, death! In our case, we can ance, and judgment to come, before Felix and die but once, and virtue considers the proximity Drusilla,"" Acts xxiv. 25. Is it disinterested- of the crown of righteousness, which being ness in regard to the world? “We sought not suspended immediately over the head of the glory of men, neither of you, nor yet of others. martyr, supports him under the pains of marWe speak the gospel not as pleasing men, but tyrdom; but the ministry of St. Paul was a God, which trieth our hearts,” i Thess. ii. 6. perpetual martyrdom; his life was a continual 4. Is it zeal “ His spirit was stirred in him death. “ I think that God hath set forth us at Athens, when he saw the city wholly given the apostles last, as it were appointed to death. to idolatry,” Acts xvii. 16. Then, like the For we are made a spectacle unto the world, prophet of old, he became “ very jealous for and to angels, and to men,” i Cor. iv. 9. the Lord of hosts," 1 Kings xix. 10. Is it to Here we finish the eulogium of our apostle, support the honour of his ministry? “Let a and, by uniting the parts of this slight sketch, man so account of us, as of the ministers of we obtain a just portrait of the man. Do you Christ," I Cor. iv. 1. “We are ambassadors know a greater than St. Paul? Can you confor Christ, as though God did beseech you by ceive virtue in a more eminent degree? Behold us," 2 Cor. v. 20. “ It were better for me to a man fired with zeal, making what he thought die, than that any man should make my glory- the cause of God his own cause, God's enemies ing void,” i Cor. ix. 15. Jesus Christ was the his enemies, the interest of God the interest of model, by which St. Paul formed himself ; " be himself. Behold a man, who turns his attenye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ,” tion to truth, and, the moment he discovers it, chap. xi. 1. When students turn their atten- embraces, and openly avows it. Behold a man tion to the Christian ministry, models of such who, not content to be an ordinary Christian, as have distinguished themselves in this office and to save himself alone, aspiring at the glory are proposed to their imitation. The imagina- of carrying through the whole world for public tion of one, the judgment of another, the gra- advantage, that light which had illuminated vity of a third, and the learning of a fourth are himself. Behold a man preaching, writing; set before them, and from good originals very what am I saying? Behold a man suffering, often we receive bad copies. St. Paul chose his dying, and sealing with his own blood the pattern. His master, his model, his original, truths he taught. An ardent zealot, a sincere his all, was Jesus Christ; and he copied every convert, an accomplished minister, a bleeding stroke of his original, “ be ye followers of me, martyr, learned in his errors, and, if I may be even as I also am of Christ."
allowed to speak so, regular in his mistakes, But, though it is always commendable to and virtuous even in his crimes. Show me in discharge this holy office well, yet it is par- the modern or primitive church a greater chaticularly so in some circumstances; and our racter than St. Paul. Let any man produce a apostle was in such, for he officiated when the Christian who had more reason to be satisfied whole world was enraged against Christians. with himself, and who had more right to preConsider him then on the stage of martyrdom. tend that he had discharged all his duties. Yet What would now be our glory was then his this very man, this Paul, “forgat those things disgrace; assidfity, gentleness, zeal, and all which were behind!" This very Paul was the other virtues just now mentioned, drew“ pressing forward!” This is the man who upon him the most envenomed jealousy, accu- feared he should“ be a cast-away!" And you, sations the most atrocious, and persecutions the "smoking flax," you “bruised reed,” you, most cruel. It was in this light, God set the who have hardly taken root in the Christian
soil, you, who have hardly a spark of love to be perfect as our Father which is in heaven God, do you think your piety sufficient! Are is perfect,” we ought never to cease endeayou the man to leave off endeavouring to make vouring till we are “as perfect as our Father new advances!
which is in heaven is perfect.” Since the Perhaps you may say, the text is not to be gospel requires us to labour to become, by a taken literally, it is the language of humility, transformation of our being, one with God, as and resembles what St. Paul says in another Jesus Christ is one with God, we ought never place, I am the “chief of sinners;”' agreeably to give over our endeavours till we do become to his own direction, that each Christian one with God. Moreover, as we shall never “should esteem another better than himself," in this life carry our virtue to so high a degree and which he calls, very justly, “ lowliness of as to be perfect as our Father is perfect, holy mind.” No such thing, my brethren, you will as God is holy, one with God as Jesus Christ be convinced of the contrary by the following is one with God, it follows to a demonstration, reflections.
that in no period of our life will our duty be 2. We ground the necessity of progressive finished; consequently, we must make conreligion on the great end of Christianity. Form, tinual progress, if we would answer our enif it be possible, a just notion of Christianity. gagements; and consequently there is no point I say if it be possible; for we have an unaccount- fixed in the career of virtue, in which it would able reluctance to understand our own religion. be allowable to stop; and consequently, St. We have all a strange propensity to disguise Paul ought to be understood literally, when he the character of a true Christian, and to keep says of himself, "I count not myself to have ourselves ignorant of it. We have the holy apprehended; I therefore so run, not as unScriptures, and in them the gospel plan of re- certainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth demption before our eyes every day; and every the air. But I keep under my body, and bring day we throw over them a variety of preju- it into subjection, lest that by any means, when dices, which suppress the truth, and prevent I have preached to others, I myself should be us from seeing its beauty. One forms of Chris- a cast-away,” Phil. iii. 13; and consequently, tianity an idea of indolence and relaxation, of all the excuses, of all the pretexts, of all the and, under pretence that the gospel speaks of sophisms, which were ever invented to palliate mercy and grace, persuades himself that he may that slowness with which we walk in the way give a loose to all his natural evil dispositions. of virtue, there are none more frivolous than Another imagines the gospel a body of discip- these—we are not saints, we cannot be perfect, line, the principal design of which was to regu- we cannot put off human nature; for it is belate society; so that provided we be pretty good cause you are not saints, it is because you are parents, tolerable magistrates, and as good not perfect, it is because you cannot put off subjects as other people, we ought all to be human nature, it is on this account, that you content with ourselves. A third thinks, to be ought to make a continual progress in Chrisa Christian is to defend with constant heat tian virtue, that the sincerity, and, so to speak, certain points which he elevates into capital the obstinacy of your efforts may make up for doctrines, essential to holiness here, and to imperfections. salvation hereafter. A fourth, more unjust 3. Our third class of proofs is taken from the than all the rest, supposes the first duty of a fatal consequences of a cessation of our efforts, a Christian is to be sure of his own salvation. suspension of our religious endeavours. Were Each wanders after his own fancy.
it literally true that we could arrive at that It should seem, however, that the more we state of perfection which the gospel requires of consult the gospel, the more fully shall we be us; could we actually finish the morality of convinced, that its design is to engage us to religion it would still follow, that we must aspire at perfection, to transform man, to render make new efforts during our residence in this him as perfect as he was when he came out of world; and that without these our past labours the hands of his Creator, “to renew hiin after would be useless. A man employed in a methe image of him that created him,” to make chanical art prepares his materials, sets about him approach the nature of glorified saints, and, his work, and carries it on to a certain degree. to say all in one word, to transform him into He suspends his labour for a while; his work the divine nature. This is Christianity. This does not advance, indeed, but our artist has at it is to be a Christian; and consequently a least this advantage over us, when he returns Christian is a man called to be “perfect as his to his labour, he finds his work in the same forFather which is in heaven is perfect;" to be wardness in which he left it. Heavenly exerone with God, as Jesus Christ is one with cises are not of this kind. Past labour is often God.
lost for want of perseverance; and, it is a cerThis definition of a Christian and of Chris- tain maxim in religion, that not to proceed is tianity, is justified by all we see in the gospel. to draw back. For why does it every where propose perfection Vice is closely connected with human profor our end, heaven to our hope, God for our pensities. Virtue, on the contrary, is directly model? Why does it teach us to consider the opposite. As soon as you cease to endeavour good things of the world as evils, and the evils to retain what opposes your propensities, naof the world as benefits, human virtues as vices, ture takes its course. You carry within you, and what men call vice as virtue? Why all so to speak, a worker of iniquity, who conthis? All beside the matter, unless the gospel stantly labours at the fatal work of your deproposes to renew man, to transform him, and pravity. This workınan is the old man. He to make him approach the perfect Being: every day gets forward, every day confirms you
From these principles we conclude this. in sin, every day strengthens your attachment Since the gospel requires us to endeavour to Ito sensible objects, every day ties you with
fresh bands to earthly things. If you do not op- chor, and sets sail on that ocean of truth which pose labour against labour, reflection against re- religion sets before him, and he soon finds imAection, motive against motive, progress against mense spaces before him; or to speak without progress, you will be defeated.
a figure, he finds his own virtues so few in In these observations we find an answer to number, so limited in degree, so obstructed in an objection, constantly repeated when we con- their course, and so mixed in their exercise,
demn that perpetual dissipation, that exces- that he easily comes into a well-grounded . sive gaming, and those reiterated amusements judgment, that all he has attained is nothing
which consume the greatest part of your lives. to what lies before him. As he meditates on You perpetually complain, that we overstrain his sins, he finds them so great, so numerous, matters, that we aggravate things, that the so odious, so dangerous, that he cannot compreyoke of Christ is easy, and his burden is light, hend how it is that his heart does, not break, and that we make the one uneasy, and the and his eyes become fountains of tears. As he other beavy. You constantly allege, that re- meditates on the nature of this world, he finds ligion is not intended to put man on the rack, it so vain in its occupations, so puerile in its but to conduct him to reason: that the gospel pleasures, so void in its amusements, its friendis not contrary to a thousand pleasures which ships so deceitful, and its duration so short, society offers us, and that, after all, the things that he cannot comprehend what should detain we condemn are indifferent. I grant, religion him in the world. “As he meditates on the fedoes not condemn pleasures. I grant more, licity of heaven, he finds it so substantial and the pleasures you refer to are indifferent in pure, so splendid and satisfactory, that he cantheir nature, that they have no bad intluence, not conceive what should detain him, and preno treachery, no calumny in your conversation; vent his losing sight of the world and ascendno fraud, no swearing, no sordid interest in ing to heaven. As he meditates on the Creayour gaming, no lax maxims, no profaneness, tor, he finds him so wise, so just, so good, so no immodesty in your amusements; I grant all lovely, that he cannot imagine why liis heart this: Yet, after all, it is a fact, that, as the new does not always burn with flames of love man suspends his work, the old man advances to him. his. It is always true, for example, that when Such is the effect of perseverance in a path a sermon has made some impressions on your of virtue! Accordingly we find the greatest hearts, when the lukewarm are aroused, when saints the most eminent for humility. Abrathe impenitent are terrified, those other objects ham durst not “take upon him to speak unto etiace these impressions; and, though they may the Lord, because he was only dust and ashes," not lead you into the commission of fresh | Gen. xviii. 27. Job, “th he were rightcrimes, yet they make you relapse into that eous, yet would not answer, but made supplifirst state of depravity from which you seemed cation to his judge,” chap. ix. 15. to be emerging.
David “could not stand, if the Lord, should 4. A fourth source of proofs in favour of mark iniquities,” Ps. cxxx. 3. St. Paul did the necessity of progress is, the advances them- not think he had attained, Phil. iii. 12. To selves which are made in the path of holiness. say all in one word, celestial intelligences, who The science of salvation in this respect resem- were never embodied, the seraphim placed imbles human sciences. In human sciences we mediately opposite the throne of God, with see a very singular phenomenon. A man of two wings, ready to fly at the command of the great and real learning is humble, he always Creator, have also four wings to cover their speaks with caution, he pronounces always feet and faces, to express, that their zeal, how with circumspection, he determines a point fervent and Hamning soever, cannot equal what trembling, and his answers to difficult questions that God merits, whom they incessantly admire are not unfrequently confessions of his igno- and adore.
On the contrary, a pedant assumes the 5. Our fifth class of proofs is taken from state of a superior genius; he knows every the excellence of the ministry. St. Paul was thing, and undertakes to elucidate and deter- not an ordinary Christian: he was the minister mine every thing. Both these men are in of the gospel, and the greatness of his characearnest, both are sincere. The learned man ter was to him a ground of humility and difspeaks very sincerely: for, as he has made fidence. great advances in literature, he knows the ex- Although the duties of ministers, and the tent of it; he knows that nature has difficul- duties of hearers, are essentially the same; ties, Providence has depths, religion has mys- though there are not two ways to heaven, one teries: such a man becomes humble as he be for the pastor, and another for the flock, yet, it comes able, and the more he acquires, the more is certain, ministers have more motives to holihe feels the need of acquiring. On the con- ness than other men. trary, a pedant does not even know what learn
What would the people say, if the minister ing is, he stops on the beach, sees a little way, of the pulpit, and the minister of society, were takes that little for the whole, and easily per- two men? If the minister of the pulpit desuades himself that he knows all.
claimed against the vanities of the world, and Thus in the science of salvation, a man of the minister of society were worldly? If the little religion, who has only a languishing re- minister of the pulpit were a man, grave, segard for God, and a few superficial ideas of vere, fervent as a seraph: and the minister of virtue, soon flatters himself that he has done society were a man loose, and full of worldly all his duty, employed all his love, and carried vices: Certainly people would say we sported fervour to its highest degree. A man of lively with their credulity; and many a mouth would and vigorous religion does not stop on the thunder in our ears this cutting reproach, shore, he goes aboard a fast sailer, weighis an- “ Thou which teachest another, teachest thou
not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should | are obliged to quit it; and we die when we are not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that ab- just learning to live. If the famous Theohorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?" phrastus, at the age of one hundred and seven Rom. ii. 21.
years, regretted life, because he just then began Besides, a minister has two works to do in to live wisely, what lamentations must other regard to salvation, his own soul to save, and men make? What then was the design of the souls of his people to save. Each of these God in placing us here? Was it that we should becomes a reason for his own sanctification form and refine society? But how can a soci“For their sakes I sanctify myself,” said the ety composed of creatures transient and imSaviour of the world, “that they also might perfect, be considered as a real and substantial be sanctified,” John xvii. 19. Interpreters un- body of bliss. If it has some solidity and rederstand by this sanctification, that separation ality, when considered abstractly, yet what is which Jesus Christ made of himself for the it in itself? What is it to you: What is it to salvation of his church; but may we not un- me? What is it to any individual member? derstand the word sanctify in the first part of Does not one law reduce all to dust? the proposition, as we understand the same My brethren, there is only one way out of word in the second? “For their sakes I sanc- this labyrinth. One single answer is sufficient tify myself,” is as much as to say, I obey thee, for all these questions. This world is a place not only because, being a creature, I owe thee of exercise, this life is a time of trial, which is an inviolable fidelity, but because, being the given us that we may choose either eternal master and teacher of thy church, I ought to happiness or endless misery. influence it by my own example.
To this belong all the different ideas, which Further, a minister of the gospel has extra- the Holy Spirit gives us of life. Sometimes it ordinary assistance, he is always with God, is a state of traffic, in which eternal reward is virtue is constantly before his eyes, and though given for a cup of cold water only.” Somealmost all other employments in society have times it is a state of tribulation, in which connected with them particular temptations to light affliction, which is but for a moment, vice, the profession of a merchant to self-inte- worketh for us a far more exceeding and eterrest, that of a soldier to cruelty, that of a ma- nal weight of glory.” Sometimes it is a pasgistrate to pride, yet the ministry is itself an sage way, in which we are to behave as inducement to virtue. Such being the impor- strangers and pilgrims." Sometimes it is an tance of our engagements, and the eminence economy of visitation, in which “richness of of our character, who can fatter himself with goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, having discharged all his duties. Who can are opened to us.” Sometimes it is a “race, venture to lift up his eyes to heaven? Who in which “all run, but one receiveth the is not annihilated under a sense of his imper- prize.” Sometimes it is a fight, in which we fections and frailties? “O Lord, enter not into cannot hope to conquer, unless we fight with judgment with thy servant,” Ps. cxliii. 2. courage and constancy.
Finally, The necessity of progressive sanc- To this subject belongs the Scriptural estilification appears by the end which God pro- mation of life. Sometimes it speaks of life as posed in placing us in this world. We are of- mean and contemptible; and at other times, on ten troubled to conceive why God lodged man, the contrary, as great and invaluable. Somea creature so noble, in a theatre of vanity and times it heaps expression upon expression, imuncertainty. What is our life of thirty, forty, age upon image, emblem upon emblem, to or fourscore years, to the immense duration of make us consider it with contempt.
It is “a eternity? How can we reconcile the part we shadow, a vanity, a flower, a grass, a vapour, act here, with the wisdom of him who placed a dream, a tale, a vain show, nothing" before us here; and, if I may speak so, the littleness God. And yet this "vain shadow,” this of the world with the grandeur of its inhabi- “flower," this “
vapour,” this "dream,” this tants? What destination do you assign to "tale,” 'this “show,” this “nothing," the man? What end do you attribute to his Crea- Scriptures teach us to consider as a time for us tor? Why did he place him in this world? Was to "redeem,” as an “acceptable time," as a it to make him happy? But what! can he be 'day of salvation,” as a time after which made happy among objects so very dispro- there will be “time no longer.” Why this portional to his faculties: Are not his fortune different estimation? If you consider life in and reputation, his health and his life, a prey regard to itself, and with a view to the connexto all human vicissitudes? Was it to make him ions we form, the pleasures we relish, the temmiserable? But how can this agree with the poral occupations we follow: if you consider it divine perfections; with that goodness, liber- in regard to sceptres and thrones, crowns and ality and beneficence, which are essential to establishments the most pompous and solid, God? Was it to enable him to cultivate arts you cannot underrate life. On the contrary, and sciences? But what relation is there be if you consider it in regard to the great design tween an occupation so mean and a creature so of the Creator, in regard to the relation it has noble? Besides, would life then have been so to eternity, in regard to that idea which we short? Alas, we hardly make any progress in have given you of it, you cannot value it too arts and sciences, before they become useless highly. This world then is a place of exercise, to us! Before we have well passed out of in- life is a time of trial, given us that we might fancy and novitiate, death puts a period to our choose eternal happiness or endless misery. projects, and takes away from us all the fruits This principle being allowed, our doctrine is of learning and labour. Before we have well supported by a new class of arguments; for be learned languages, death condemns us to eter- it granted that you remember nothing in your nal silence. Before we well know the world, we past life contrary to your profession of Chris