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but did not pursue, yet which when developed, leads to conclusions of the last importance to human condition and destiny. The violation of the primitive moral instincts is accompanied not only by a sense of guilt and shame, but likewise of fear. All is not right, and something bad must come of it. Nor is this fear annihilated by the certainty of earthly impunity. It comes up in the desert solitude, and in the darkness of the night, and seems to prophesy some future unknown retribution. This fear has no reference to any thing in this world, and no account can be given of it except that it is the will of the Deity, that it should spring up in the mind. This fear leads directly to religion, for it is impossible for man to believe that his Maker would deceive him. There must be some reality to which it corresponds, and of which it is the warning. So when a man obeys the moral instinct, particularly if at the expense of sacrifice or danger, faith and hope immediately spring up in his bosom. He feels assured that however present appearances may be against it, the time will come when he shall reap a rich reward. That hope and faith he feels to be the voice of God approving the present and promising the future. That shame and fear is likewise the voice of God, condemning the present, and threatening all ill to the future. These universal and unalterable sentiments of the human heart, reveal the moral attributes of the Deity. That vice is really culpable, is a conviction that we have, merely because it is his will. We cannot doubt it, for a belief in the veracity and goodness of God is equally instinctive and necessary. Our instinctive persuasion of his veracity is the undoubted ground of our expectation that he will reward and punish us. Thus our religious convictions grow out of our moral natures, and thus, the convictions of our moral nature receive an Almighty sanction. He, who made us, made all things. He, who created us, sustains all things. He who made our souls, upholds and guides all their operations. He is the ever present Witness, the Judge and Rewarder.
Here then comes in a new moral power, that of religious conviction, of greater strength than either of the preceding, to enforce the moral instincts and sentiments of mankind, and thus to purify and elevate them. There are besides, certain sentiments in the human
heart which immediately spring up toward this august Being, such as reverence and gratitude, and demand expression. Times are set apart for the purpose, and ceremonies invented. An order of men springs up, consecrated to conduct these ceremonies, to make what may be known of God and our relations to him, the moral and religious nature of man, their peculiar study. At set times, and in various manners, they teach the result of their investigations to the people. In all Christian countries all original investigation on these subjects is rendered unnecessary and is superseded by the possession of a Divine Revelation, in which all the truths of religion are laid down in wiser words than man's wisdom teacheth, and enforced, moreover, by an authority which no human demonstration could possibly attain, the authority of miraculous interposition. Temples are built where God is worshipped, and these truths are statedly taught. Thus the religious element of our nature is brought to act upon the moral with an intensity, which casts all other influences into the shade, and the Pulpit has become the great, the divinely appointed instrument of the elevation and moral progress of mankind.
Such then is the moral nature of man. It contains within itself the elements of the perpetual advancement of the species. It expresses itself in law, public opinion, religious institutions, and these in turn give freedom to his faculties, security to his possessions, control over his baser propensities, and wider and wider command over the resources of nature. Thus it is that politics, morals, and religion are the great topics of human interest. Legislation, education, religious instruction, are the objects which the philanthropist must ever keep in his eye. The Laws, the Press, and the Pulpit,-in them rests the ultimate hope of man. Legislation, Literature, and the Bible,-their influence is progressive and irresistible. They are all parts of one system, devised by Infinite Wisdom, to secure the temporal and eternal well being of mankind. The ministry do not labor alone for human good. The sage in his closet, the philosopher in his laboratory, the philanthropist in the public assembly, the author at his desk, the editor at the press, the judge in the court of justice, the professor in the halls of science, are all co-workers in the same great cause of human comfort, improvement, and happiness.
ON THE PROGRESS AND THE PROSPECTS OF SOCIETY.
A N HE last lecture was devoted
to the investigation of the
tutions as springing out of man's moral nature, because it is man's moral nature alone which makes God known as the Lawgiver, the Judge, and Rewarder. By reason he is made known as the Creator, Preserver, and Benefactor. But these rela