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"who went about doing good,” and who faithfully re. proved the wicked. An inspired apostle said to the Thessalonians, "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly.” This must have meant not only the unruly in the Church; but also those out of it. The latter are especially intended. For something more is to be done to unruly members in the Church, than to warn them. Directions relative to them are differently expressed. But the unruly without are to be warned, by the followers of Christ;--warned of their error, their folly and danger. If your neighbor neglect the house of God, warn him, and entreat him to reform. If he violate the sabbath, by journeying, or attending to secular concerns, tell him his fault, and labor with him, to induce him to amend. If you find him contracting habits of idleness, intemperance, profanity, injustice, falsehood, or prevarication, or of any vice, or error; fail not to afford him tender, seasonable and sol. emn caution. Thus labor to recover him. Or you will find all his weight in the scale of Antichrist.
Would all the members of the Church of Christ kindly, piously and perseveringly perform these duties, the Church would be the most powerful moral society in the world. They would cultivate and improve every branch of morality, while they taught and propagated the true principle of morality the love of God in Christ. Great things might thus be done in restraining their fellow creatures from vice. The effects on society would be most beneficial. And we have reason to be. lieve such efforts would be blessed of God, as means of the conversion of many. The Church would then answer to her character, of being Christ's witnesses; unitedly, discreetly and firmly bearing their testimony for him, for the cause of religion and true morality. This would greatly tend to the moral health of commu. nities; and the Church would indeed be the salt of the earth;” and (in Christ)“the light of the world.” If their light did but thus shine before men, others seeing their good works would be led to glorify their Father, who is in heaven.
Is there not much room and occasion for Churches generally to reform, relative to their performance of these duties toward them that are without? Is not their neglect of these duties one sad occasion of the prevalence of those floods of vice and immorality, which threaten to deluge the world? In one solemn description of the events, which lead on to the battle of that great day of God, (transgressing and lying against the Lord, departing away from our God, speaking oppres. sion and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood, so that judgment is turned back, and justice standeth afar off, for truth is fallen in the streets, and cquity cannot enter, yea truth faileth, and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey; Isa. lix, 13--16;) it is added; "And the Lord saw it, and it displeased him, that there was no judgment; and he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor." Does not this imply, that those who were set to intercede for his cause on earth, had become greatly deficient, as to the performance of this duty? The Church, in the way of this deficiency in duty, will per. haps bring upon herself the fiery trials, which she must experience in those days.
Ought not the professing people of God to reform in this thing? Would they not much better stand in their lot, adorn their Christian profession, and glorify God? Would not the Church appcar more like the pillar and ground of the truth?". Would they not present a much more formidable phalanx against the innovations of Antichrist?
And perhaps the people of God might with propriety induce people of stability and good habits, who have not united with the Church, to form into moral societies, or in some way, to lend their aid in the suppression of vice, and in counteracting the attacks of immorality and disorganization. Such an expedient might, no'doubt, be of great benefit against the innovations of antichris. tian influence.
8. Family Religion; and a pious, discreet family gar. ornment.
This is a remedy of the first importance against Antichristian influence. And the want of it is the mischieve ous occasion of much of the evils, which now threaten to inundate the civilized world. It is the order and the promise of God; Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. It was repeatedly given in charge by the God of Israel, relative to the doctrines, duties, and motives of their religion; "Thou shalt diligently teach them to thy chil. "dren, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine "house, and when thou walkest by the way; when thou "liest down, and when thou risest up." How rational, as well as weighty is the following inspired passage, relative to urging on children the things of God! “Which we have heard and known, and our fathers “have told us: We will not hide them from their chil. "dren, showing the generation to come the praises of the . . “Lord:--For he established a testimony in Jacob, and "appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our “fathers, that they should make them known to their "children: That the generation to come might know "them, even the children that should be born; who “should arise and declare them to their children: That “they might set their hope in God, and not forget the "works of God; but keep his commandments.” This is a law of God of prime importance at all times; and especially at this day of innovation and wickedness. When families neglect religion and a godly discipline, how soon do they become receptacles of vice and error; and society will groan under their baneful influence.
Voltaire and his disciples made their highest calculations on corrupting the rising generation, and directing the education of youth. Various of their first arrangemeots was to effect this object. Family prayer, the reading of the Bible, pious parental instructions and examples, the holy sanctification of the Sabbath, with salutary and effectual corrections and restraints, are most important to the proper education of a family. And these are means of the first importance towards withstanding the seductive arts of Infidelity. Happy, if all heads of families properly felt the weight of this
sentiment. They will feel it, when they meet their children in the final judgment! They will feel it in eternity, where the infinitely weighty consequences of their faithfulness, or unfaithfulness will be clearly exhibited before the eyes of the universe.
9. The employing of pious, as well as able instructors of our children.
School instructors have a great influence in forming the sentiments and inorals of our youth. They have a great opportunity to sow the seeds of virtue, or of vice. On this principle, the Illuminees placed great dependence. Among the fatal arts of disseminating their sentiments, getting into their bands the management of reading schools held a high rank. In this way they gradually formed young minds to their views. And unsuspecting youth became an easy prey to their wiles.
The schoolmaster has an influence over the minds of his young charge, which ought never to be unguarded by their parents; nor misimproved by the teacher employed. His exainples, and any remarks made by him, are weighty with the listening pupils, who are accustomed to reverence their instructor. Surely then he ought to be a person of correct religious sentiments and habits, as weli as of good information. And those communities who have enacted strict laws relative to this object, have set an example worthy to be imitated by every part of the world. Would you hire a nurse, who would poison your children? Or is the poisoning of their souls of less importance than that of their bodies? The want of properly guarding this principle, and the exclusion of Bibles, of prayers, and of religious instruction from our schools, have opened a wide door to irreligion and Infidelity; the consequences of which are alarming. And a speedy and thorough reform in this particular, is a remedy of great importance against the present threatening evils.
And due caution relative to the books read by our youih, is a duty of no inconsiderable importance
. It was a t. mark made by a shrewd observer of mankind, “Let me compose the ditties, and I care not who en.
acts the laws of a community.” There is vast weight in this observation. The minds of youth may be imperceptibly perverted by ditties, songs, novels, tracts, and little books for children, (which appear beneath the notice of adults) as well as by subtile publications of more importance. The greatest dependence was placed, by the adepts of the Voltaire school, on this method of disseminating their poison through communities and kingdoms. And it is an avenue of corruption, which ought to be kept closed with cau. tioni.
10. Wisdom and prudence in the choice of our civil rulers.
The framers of the code of Illuminism combined in their object “revolutions, and the doctrines of Atheism." This is a point expressly ascertained by the developement of their scheme; and clearly exhibited in all their operations. And the subtilty of the old serpent is here displayed, to give the most deadly effect to this scheme of his operations against the cause of religion. Virtuous rulers are a terror to evil doers, and they constitute a bulwark to the cause of religion, which the propagators of Infidelity dread; while they naturally conjecture, that they have little or nothing to fear from rulers destitute of religious principles; but that they have much to hope from them. One great object of their scheme would therefore naturally be, to get rid of the restraints occasioned by virtuous rulers; and to bring forward men of the opposite character. In this way republics have been enslaved and ruined. And in many ways, revolutions and tumults aid the cause of Infidelity.
Our rulers proceed from ourselves. And on their character our national weal, or woe depends. The sacred word will be fulfilled, which informs, that When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn: And that The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted. In ancient sacred history we uniformly find, that good rulers were a blessing; and evil ralers were for judgment. The nation of Israel ever