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