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dered in the schools, in an abstract and detached manner. The fact then is too certain. Let us attend to the principal causes of it.

Four principal causes may be assigned: 1. A party spirit. 2. A choice of teachers. 3. A hurry of business. Above all: 4. A love of pleasure. As we shall take the liberty of pointing out the causes of this malady, we shall also prescribe the remedy,' whether our most humble remonstrances regard the people, the pastors, or even the magistrates, whose noblest office, as well as most sacred and inviolable duty, it is to watch for the support of the truth, and the government of the church.

1. The first cause we have assigned is A party spirit. This is a disposition that cannot be easily defined, and it would be difficult to include in a definition of it even its genus and species: It is a monstrous composition of all bad genuses and of all bad species: It is an hydra that re-produceth while it seemeth to destroy itself, and which, when one head hath been cut off, instantly produceth a thousand more. Sometimes it is superstition, which inclines us to deify certain idols, and, after having formed, to prostrate ourselves first before them. Sometimes it is ignorance which prevents our perceiving the importance of some revealed truths, or the dreadful consequences of some prejudices, which, we had embraced in childhood. Sometimes it is arrogance, which rashly maintains whatever it hath once advanced; advanced perhaps at first inconsiderately, but which will afterwards be resolutely defended till death, for no other reason but because it hath been once asserted, and because it is too mortifying to yield and say I am wrong, I was mistaken. Sometimes it is a spirit of malice and barbarity, which abhors, exclaims against, persecutes, and would even exterminate all who

dare contradict its oracular propositions. Oftener still it is the union of all these vices together. A party-spirit is that disposition which invenoms so many hearts, separates so many families, divides so many societies, which hath produced so many excommunications, thundered out so many anathemas, drawn up so many canons, assembled so many councils, and hath been so often on the point of subverting the great work of the reformation, the noblest'opposition that was ever formed against it.

This spirit, which we have faintly described, must naturally incapacitate a man for considering the whole of religion: it must naturally incline him to take only by bits and shreds. On the one hand, it contracts the mind: for how can a soul that harboreth and cherisheth all the phantoms which a party-spirit produceth, how can such a soul study and meditate as religion requires? On the other hand, a party-spirit depraves the heart and eradicates the desire of knowing religion. A man animated with the spirit of party directeth all his attention to such propositions of religion as seem to favor his erroneous opinions, and irregular passions, and diverts it from all that oppose them: his system includes only what strengthens his party, it is exclusive of every thing that weakens or opposes it.

This is the first cause of the malady. The remedy is easily discovered. Let us divest ourselves of a party-spirit. Let us never determine an opinion by its agreement or disagreement with what our masters, our parents or our teachers have inculcated, but by its conformity or contrariety to the doctrine of Jesus Christ and his apostles. Let us never receive or reject a maxim because it favors or opposes our passions, but because it agrees with or opposes the laws of that tribunal, the basis of which are justice and truth. Let us be fully convinced

that our chief study should be to know what God determines, and to make his commands the holy rules of our knowledge and practice.

2. The second cause of the evil, that we would remove, is, A choice of teachers. In general, we have three sorts of teachers. The first are catechists, who teach our children the principles of religion. The second are ministers. The third prepare the minds of young people for the ministry itself.

The carelessness, that prevails in our choice of the first sort of teachers, cannot be sufficiently lamented. The care of instructing our children is committed to people more fit for disciples than masters, and the meanest talents are thought more than sufficient to teach the first principles of religion. The narrowest and dullest genius is not ashamed to profess himself a divine and a catechist. And yet what capacity does it not require to lay the first foundations of the edifice of Salvation! What address to take the different forms necessary to insinuate into the minds of catechumens, and to conciliate their attention and love! What dexterity to proportion instruction to the different ages and characters of learners! How much knowledge, and how many accomplishments are necessary to discern what is fundamental to a child of twelve, and what is fundamental to a youth of fifteen years of age! What one child of superior talents cannot be ignorant of without danger, and what another of inferior talents may remain innocently acquainted with! Heads of families, this article concerns you in a particular manner. What account can you

render to God of the children with whom he hath

intrusted you, if, while you take so much pains, and are at so much expence to teach them the liberal arts, and to acquaint them with human sciences, you discover so much negligence in teach.

ing them the knowledge of salvation? Not only in a future state ought you to fear the punishment of so criminal a conduct; you will be punished in this present world. Children ignorant of religion will but little understand their duty to their parents. They will become the cross, as they will be the shame and infamy of your life. They will shake off your yoke as soon as they have passed their childhood, they will abandon you to the weaknesses, infirmities,, and disquietudes of old age, when you arrive at that distasteful period of life, which can be rendered agreeable only by the care, the tenderness, and assiduity of a well bred son. Let us unite all our endeavors, my dear brethren, to remove this evil. Let us honor an employment, which nothing but the licentiousness of the age could have rendered contemptible. Let us consider that, as one of the most important trusts of the state, one of the most respectable posts of society, which is appointed to seminate religious principles in our children, to inspire them with piety, to guard them against the snares that they will meet with in the world, and by these means, to render them dutiful in childhood, faithful in conjugal life, tender parents, good citizens, and able magistrates.

The pastors of our churches make a second class of teachers. I know, that all our sufficiency is of God; 2 Cor. iii. 5. that, though Paul may plant, and Apollos water, God only giveth the increase; that holy men, considering the end of the ministry, have exclaimed, Who is sufficient for these things? 1 Cor. iii. 6. Yet, the ordinary means, which God useth for the conversion of sinners, are the ministry of the word, and the qualifications of ministers, for faith cometh by hearing, Rom. x. 17. Now this word, my brethern, is not preached with equal power by all; and though the foundation which each

lays be the same, it is too true that some build upon this foundation the gold and sprecious stones of a solid and holy doctrine, while others build with the wood, hay, and stubble, 1 Cor. iii. 12. of their own errors, the productions of a confused imagination and a mistaken eloquence. And as the word is not preached with the same power, so it is not attended with the same success.

But when the word proceeds from the mouth of a man whom God hath sealed, and enriched with extraordinary talents, when it proceeds from a man, who hath the tongue of the learned and the wisdom of the wise, as the scripture speaks: Isa. 1. 4. when is proceeds from a Boanerges, Mark iii. 17. a son of thunder, from a Moses, mighty in words and in deeds, Acts vii. 22. who maintains the dignity of his doctrine by the purity of his morals, and by the power of his good example, then the word is heard with attention; from the ear it passeth to the mind, from the mind to the heart, from the heart to the life it penetrates, it inflames, it transports. It becomes a hammer breaking the hardest hearts, a two-edged sword, dividing the father from the son, and the son from the father, dissolving all the bonds of flesh and blood, the connections of nature, and the love of self.

What precaution, what circumspection, and in some sort, what dread ought to prevail in the choice of an office, which so greatly influences the salvation of those among whom it is exercised! There needs only the bad system of a pastor to produce and preserve thousands of false notions of religion in the people's minds; notions which fifty years labor of a more wise and sensible ministry will scarcely be able to eradicate. There needs only a pastor sold to sordid interest, to put up, in some sort, salvation to sale, and to regulate places K

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