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29 Mastity Repailing
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that
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... THE : TRIUMPH OF INNOCENCËS
À VIS I O N.
- EXODUS, XX. 7. HEBREWS, XIII. 4.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judges
It is not my intention, my christian friends, to give any illustration of these words in a regular discourse. I adopt them merely as mottos.
Nor is it my intention, to address to you å sermon. i : What Ishall offeron the present occasion, will be in the form of a vision, supposed to be presented to the mind.
As I would not be misunderstood, allow me to repeat it.
What I shall address to you, on the present occasion, will be a Fiction; in the form of a vision, supposed to be presented to the mind. I shall have nothing to do with either real characters, or real scenes. Those that I shall present before you, will be fictitious; such as the creative power of fancy may call into birth."
I am aware, that this is a material deviation from the usual mode of preaching: byt does it not, at the same time, bear a very near resemblance to that adopted by our Saviour; and adopted by him almost invariably? viz, the parabolic. The parables which he delivered, were fictions; founded probably, in some respects, on facts; but still, in themselves, they were fictions. And as he is our pattern, may we not imitate him? And being a perfect pattern, can we imitate him, and do wrong?
I proceed, therefore, without further preface, to the object before me; only entreat-.. ing your serious and candid attention, to what may at present be delivered.. · Philander was a man of noble and dignified sentiments. He had read much, but he had reflected more. He was a Christian in truth, and in deed; not from education, or from fashion; but from inquiry, and conviction. He had examined the evidence for the Christian Faith; and his own was founded upon a rock. .
Neither washe a Christian in speculation, but in practice. Truly might it be said of him, that“The Kingdom of God was within him." His spirit was modelled by that of his Master's; fervently pious towards God, his hearenly Father; ardently benevolent towards mankind, his brethren, It was his wish, "it was his daily prayer, that the world might be good and happy; all
animated by the christian faith, all possessing the christian spirit; all perfectly united as one perfect family; equally influenced by filial and fraternal affection; equally emulous to promote the glory of God, and the good of each other. But he had the pain to reflect, that, in many respects, it was much the reverse. Selfishness, pride, and tyranny, were the prevailing passions. Hatred, malignity, and persecution, stalked abroad. Truth had lost it's amiable attractions in the sight of men; sincerity was disregarded and trampled in the dust; independence was exchanged for a tempofising spirit; heavenly charity had fled, offended and disgusted, to more innocent abodes; and backbiting calumny reigned in its stead. His heart was grieved and wounded within him: he wished for good, but saw evil; for happiness, but saw misery.
Depressed and overwhelmed by the anguish of his feelings, he retired to his couch; and had it been a prayer of pious resignation, he could have wished to have slept, to awoke no more.
« Tir'd nature's sweet restorer, balmy, sleep, ” soon closed his eyes. Immediately he conceived himself conveyed to a very beautiful Island. Nature had been lavish of her attractions; every prospect charmed the eye,
Standing on an eminence to survey its enchanting scenery, his attention was