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der another department of this subject. When the objects on which the mind is fixed, are low, debased, and impure; and when they are connected with pride, falsehood, ingratitude, inhumanity and injustice, being destitute of higher conceptions and nobler aims, it conforms all its views and affections to the character of such objects, and, therefore, nothing can flow forth in the conduct but what is immoral and impure. God is the sun of the human soul, and of every intelligent being. Wherever he displays his radiance, there is moral day, spiritual life, and holy energy; and, under his quickening beams, every divine virtue springs up with vigor and beauty. But, where the light of this Divine Luminary is excluded, and the eyes of the understanding shut to its glorious excellencies, darkness and desolation ensue; a moral winter chills every faculty, and the genuine fruits of righteousness can never appear. And hence the world has become little else than a suburb of Pandemonium, the greater part of its inhabitants “being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, maliciousness, envy, deceit, and malignity;” and bearing the character of “backbiters, haters of God, proud, boasters, covenant-breakers, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without natural af. fection, implacable, and unmerciful. Who knowing the judgment of God; that they who do such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” . . . . . Again, covetousness bears another resemblance to idolatry, in that it is essentially connected with ATHEISM. - - - - - ~ Idolatry, strictly speaking, is not atheism; for it recognizes the existence of superior beings as the objects of adoration. But, although in theory, there appears a shade of difference, it is substantially the same, as to all its practical results. For, in banishing the idea of the true God from the understanding and the affections, it virtually deposes the Divinity from the universe; and all the immoralities and enormities which would flow from atheism, were its influence universal, result from heathen idolatry, wherever it abounds. The same thing may be said of covetousness: it is virtually, and to all intents and purposes, a species of atheism. For, if atheism throws off all confidence in God, and trust in his Providence, so does covetousness in all its multifarious transactions. Look at the man whose highest object it is to make a fortune, and to fill his coffers with gold. He devotes his time, his affections, the powers of his understanding, and his acquired knowledge and experience, with a steady and persevering aim to secure this ultimate end. He sits all day long in his shop or counting house, poring, over his ledgers, examining his bills and securities with unremitting attention; devising plans of profit, selecting every mean that ingenuity can suggest, and seizing on every opportunity, however deceitful the means employed, for driving a profitable bargain, and increasing his store. No hopes transport him but the prospect of gain, and no fears torment him but the risk of loss, except, perhaps, the chance of accidents or the fear of death. When he has placed his treasures in proper security, whether in his bags or coffers, in the bank or the stocks, in title deeds or books of registration, he feels himself as independent upon God, and the movements of his Providence, as if a Supreme Moral Governor had no existence. Without such securities, he feels no more dependence on an Invisible Power, than the confirmed and avowed atheist. I appeal to every one who knows the world, and to the consciences of multitudes, if there are not thousands of characters of this description in the church, the state, and every department of the commercial world.' And what is the great difference between sueh dispositions and conduct, and downright atheism? Suppose the idea of a Deity to be a mere chimera, and the notion of his existence forever banished from their thoughts, would their conduct be much altered, or would it be altered in the least 7 except perhaps that they would deem it unnecessary, in compliance with custom, to attend the external forms of worship. Would they be more griping, deceitful or penurious, more eager and persevering to lay up treasures on earth, to add house to

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house and field to field, or trust more confidently in their riches, or feel more independent of a Supreme Being, than they do at present?. It cannot be supposed; for they have already carried these propensities and practices to the highest pitch, which their ingenuity and energies would permit; and therefore, the existence or non-existence of the Deity may be considered, in relation, to such characters, as a matter of mere indifference. Their wealth stands to them in the place of God, on which they depend, and to which they look as the fountain of their enjoyments, and the foundation. of all their future prospects, both for themselves and their descendants. Even although the whole course of nature were deranged, the earth turned into a dry and parched desert, “the windows of heaven” never opened to pour down fruitfulness upon the earth, and, consequently, money cease to be of any utility for procuring the means of enjoyment; still, such are the associations connected with this irrational propensity, that they would cling to gold and silver, and houses and landed property as their darling object, “their high tower and rock of defence.” The same things may be affirmed in regard to those who covet money for the sole purpose of self-gratification, and indulging in luxury and sensual enjoyments. They drink of the streams, but forget the fountain. They store up from the rich abundance of nature, whatever treasures they can collect for contributing to their splendor and giving a relish to the pleasures of their senses; but ... the benevolent operations of HIM “who giveth rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filleth the hearts of men with food and gladness.” They buoy themselves up with the idea that their own wealth and power and influence have procured them these enjoyments, while they regard not the Hand and Power of that Almighty Being who superintends the minutest agencies of the material system, and who “giveth to all, life and breath and all things.” They enjoy the comforts of splendid mansions, and delightful gardens; they relish the juice of the strawberry, the peach, and the nectarine, and regale themselves with the fruit of the vine; but to Him “who giveth them all things richly to enjoy, and to the intimations of his will, they pay no more regard than they do to a breath of wind, or to what is going on in the upper regions of the atmosphere. Now, what would be the difference, in the feelings and practice of such persons, although it could be proved to a demonstration, that a Supreme and Eternal Mind had no existence 1 Although the world had sprung from a fortuitous concourse of atoms, and were going forward through interminable changes without the direction and control of an all-pervading Spirit, and although every individual were to consider himself as a part of an independent system of material existence unconnected with mind or moral error, would there be less of true adoration or gratitude to an invisible Creator, or less reliance on a superintending Providence, in the case of such, than there is at present? Would the hunter after places and pensions be more keen in his aspirations after posts of opulence and honor's Would the gambler be more eager in prosecuting his demoralizing pursuits? Would the pride of rank and dress and equipage be carried to a higher pitch than it now is Would the votary of fashionable dissipation pursue his giddy course with more rapidity and vehement desire? Would there be more horse racing, cock-fighting, hounding, balls, masquerades, and other frivolous and vicious diversions, or less money bestowed by those who are absorbed in such entertainments for the relief of the widow and the orphan, for the propagation of religion, and for the general improvement of mankind? We have no reason to believe that any essential difference would be perceptible in the general pursuits of the worldlings to whom I allude. For, as it is evident, from their governing disposition, and the general train of their conduct, that “God is not in all their thoughts,” that “they live without God in the world,” and that many of them have already “run to the utmost excess of riot,” and licentiousness—so we have no valid reason to conclude, that any considerable change would take place, although they acted on the full belief, that the visible .# and its several ele

mentary parts are all that we have to do with, and all all that exists in the universe.’ In the train of thought and action of such individuals, there is a certain resemblance to the atheism, (if I may so express it) of the inferior animals. “The hart panteth after the brooks of water, and quenches its thirst at the flowing stream; the ox browses on the grass, and lies down and ruminates, till he is satisfied; the lion roars after his prey; the goats clamber among the high hills and rocks, the wild deer gambol through the lawn and forests, and the fowls of heaven wing their flight through the air, and rejoice to perch and “sing among the branches.” . . . In such gratifications and exercises, every sentient being finds its peculiar enjoyment, and looks no higher when its wants are supplied and its senses gratified. The worldling, too, finds enjoyment in the exercise of his physical powers, and in the rich and diversified bounties of nature; and the keenness with which, he rushes forward to participate of his viands, his delicious wines and other sensual pleasures, bears à certain resemblance to that of the inferior tribes when they rush to their peculiar food or beverage and satiate their desires. . But, in both cases, the physical materials of the enjoyment, or the pleasures arising from the adaptation of the senses to the objects of external nature, are all that they recognise ; while the Great Author of their enjoyments is unheeded and unacknowledged. In the one case, it is owing to the want of faculties capable of appreciating the existence and character of a Supreme Benefactor, in the other, to the perversion of rational powers adequate for tracing every comfort to its original source. The one, from the original constitution of its nature, is, so far as we know, incapable of perceiving or acknowledging God; the other “does not like to retain God in his knowledge.” He might raise his thoughts to his Almighty Benefactor, if he chose, and acknowledge his bounty; but he chooses to shut his eyes to the evidences of his unceasing agency and beneficence, and to harden his heart against him. Though he has been endowed with more knowl

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