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if it be false, I have a hope that will buoy me up, under all the trials of life; and if death be annililation, I have the advantage of you still!-But there is something so exalted in religion that he who can reject it, must deliberately sit down and acknowledge his own degradation. After all, that ought to be preferred, that leads to the best conclusion, I mean in respect to the present life. Hume, the historian, died jesting, whilst the school-boy whistles as he crosses the church-yard to bear up his courage!-Lord Shaftesbury begged that if in the hour of death, and under the weakness of nature he should disavow his infidel principles, his words should go for nothing; and shortly after he rushed into the presence of God by his own hands. The nurse that accompanied Voltaire in his dying moments, when she was sent for to attend the bed of another, who was at the point of death, enquired if the sufferer was an infidel; saying, she would not visit such another scene for all the world! How ought an infidel to die on his own principles? Let us draw aside the curtain, and hear his soliloquy ! "I am a dying man, my physicians have given me up, and I cannot hope for recovery; the sighs and the tears of my friends avail me not; yet they have nothing else they can offer me; it is not a trifling play, it is not a religious book, but it is death that now preaches to me. I feel I know not what shivering and cold damp seize my frame, I feel that I am in a dying state, I am more like a corpse than a living body, and better dead than alive. Whither am I going? What will become of my body? My God, what a frightful spectacle I am; I see the dismal shroud, I hear the tolling bell, I see the subterraneous abodes, the charnel house, and worms devour my carcase; but what will become of my soul? I am ignorant of its destiny; I am tumbling headlong into eternity; I cannot describe the dreadful uncertainty which I now feel; I see heaven the place of glory and blessedness, I see it as a place which my crimes forbid me to enter:-I see hell and already hear the groans of the damned, the smoke of the bottomless pit chokes my words, and wraps my thought in suffocating confusion."-Now I appeal to any man, if an infidel dies, ought he not to die with some such a soliloquy as this!-But the christian can open his eyes, on all the future, and if it has a contrary influence on his mind, he can say with self satisfaction, "I know in whom I have believed, and that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him, until that day."-But as I am trespassing on your time, I will notice in the last place, that I have a messuage from God unto the HYPOCRITE!-Yes, astonishing to tell, there are those in the profession of religion, who would go even further than the preacher himself, who have a name to live, whilst they are dead,” and who put on religion as a cloak. If such there be in this assembly, he can descant on the beauties of religion, he can occupy my situation and expatiate with the same facility on the glories of heaven, and on the wrath to come!-I am almost ready to despair

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of any essential change in such a character, but still would point him to Jesus, and before I sit down, would say to him, and every other description of character in this assembly, whatever may have been your former, or whatever is your present character, if you feel the claims of Jesus, if you are convinced that religion is the road to glory, I would say unto you, come banish your fears and trust in His glorious invitation. The ministers of Christ and all his faithful servants would invite you to seek that salvation, which alone can make you happy; He will not reject you, who shed His blood for you on Calvary! No! "whosoever thirsteth, therefore let him come, and take of the water of life freely !”—Amen.

THE SUBSTANCE OF
A Sermon

DELIVERED BY THE REV. JOHN BROWN, AT SAINT PHILip's, REGENT STREET, ON SUNDAY, August 1, 1835, in AID

OF THE FUNDS OF THE OPHTHALMIC INSTITUTION.

1 CORINTHIANs, xii. 26.—“ And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be honored, all rejoice with it."

You are aware that contributions are this morning to be solicited on behalf of a very valuable institution. I have no doubt many of you have made yourselves acquainted with the nature of its claims on your benevolence; I shall, therefore, proceed to illustrate the text, by showing some of the obligations which are inseparable from that state of mutual dependance, in which, by the wise ordination of God, mankind have always been placed as regards each other. In Scripture, prayer and alms-giving are constantly associated, for reasons which are sufficiently obvious. What is prayer but an appeal to the Giver of all good, without whose bounty we were all equally destitute, and not able either to distribute or enjoy the least of those advantages of which our suffering fellow-creatures are deficient.

In primitive times we read that the Day of Prayer was always the Day of Charity; those who were rich gave according to their profusion, and those who were poor, having nothing to give, laboured with their hands to support those amongst them who were indigent or afflicted. To them no sacrifice of ease or convenience was too great, having known the marvellous love of God, who for them had given his Son to be crucified. Being themselves, in all spiritual things, poor and blind and lame, they rightly considered it one of the first of duties to administer to the wants of the necessitous, in obedience to him who had paid for them a price greater than gold or silver.

Although we live in times distant from these occurrences, when Christ crucified was literally before the eyes, and his own words in the hearts of Christians-in times when contention has infused an alloy into the pure spirit of religion, so that the operation of the mind is less simple in reverting to the great pattern of humility and beneficence-yet should not the effect be the same? Can we take any other view of the innumerable mercies of God than did these Christians? Is any miracle greater than the power of lifting up our hands as we have done in the house of God this morning? Can we draw a breath without feeling that the power exists by the inspiration of God? Can we look on the beauty of his works, as exhibited continually to our minds through the medium of sight, and forget that he gave us this delightful and wonderful faculty? 1 say, can we do this, and hesitate to administer all in our power to those who, in the dispensations of his providence, have a less portion of those common but important blessings.

It will be unnecessary for me, in addressing myself to the minds of the thinking and observant, to go far back to shew that whatever be the station or abilities, or the luxuries or the wants of mankind, all are of one family, and not only does this connection exist by nature and in reference to our common origin, but in proportion as society and refinement increase, and the duties and interests of mankind become more complicated, so much more do we become mutually dependant and our obligations increase towards our fellow-creatures, and so much more should it raise our hearts in gratitude to that God, whose bounty and mercy is in such fullness to his erring children. Not only does God not spare the continued supplies which are necessary to our existence and enjoyment, but we are each of us receiving every moment such evident proofs of his care and mercy towards us, that were it not that his power is equal to his goodness, we might suppose that we were individually the only objects of his favour and protection, and that none but ourselves were to be provided for.

Great is the wisdom and goodness of God, and wonderful his providence! He, who has created and who upholds system upon system of worlds, revolving and performing, according to the most complicated laws of motion, their continued and undeviating course, has also contrived, in reference to us, that though the pride, the self-will, and all the natural evil that is in our hearts, form a perpetual interruption to the moral and physical organization of his providence, yet there is no diminution in all he provides no breaches of his law can efface the unalterable beneficence of God, or turn aside the benevolence of His intentions towards

us.

God, who has ordained that all should be dependant on Him for the reception of these blessings, has also ordained that, as far as relates to the distribution and enjoyment of them, we shall be mutually dependant on each other; " and whether one member

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suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." This dependency may be compared to a representation in Mosaic-let but the meanest piece in size or colour be removed, and the whole picture is deformed, and its beauty and accuracy destroyed. Thus in life, no man can fulfil his destiny who lives to himself, whatever be the sphere of his exertion, however large or small the amount of his usefulness to the community to attain happiness he must connect his feelings and his interest with the interest of those with whom he is placed.

In the times of the patriarchs, when nations were divided into families, we find that one cultivated the ground, another followed the chase and brought home the food, which was prepared by a third, and so on; the employment was divided, and no one thought of or was permitted to live to himself, and had his inclinations prompted him, the attempt would instantly have failed; nor could it be done now without the same results to society, though not so immediately felt by the individual himself.

History furnishes us with many examples of the effects and the punishment of selfishness, it never was intended that man should be a monopolist; but I need not enlarge on the sin of attempting to live for ourselves. The great and glorious truths of our religion furnish arguments and examples, from the smallest to the greatest, of the indispenable nature of charity and benevolence— "without charity all else is as a dead letter." But let us come at once to the amazing benevolence of God, as shown in giving his own son as a sacrifice for our sin, that by his stripes we might be healed.

What is the love, or the benevolence, or the disinterestedness of the best among us, compared with the love of God? "God so loved the World as to give His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not Perish, but have everlasting Life;" in His compassion for human misery, He has established an institution where none can be refused who apply for His mercy,-where no disease can baffle the remedy He has prepared,—where none are too poor, too destitute, or too insignificant, to claim His healing and restoring power;-apply, then, to this provision of the love of God, and let us pray that His Holy Spirit may be given us that we may be able to walk in the steps of Him, who, when He was upon the Earth, went about doing good. Let us never forget that while we have not His spirit, we are all under the condemnation of the Law; "the wages of Sin is Death," but the gift, the free gift of God, is eternal life. There the same danger threatens all, the same means of escape are open to all, the same God is over all, blessed for ever!

In appealing to you on behalf of this institution, I may be asked, why I direct your Charity to this particular object. I wish not to deny the claims of other institutions; blessed be God, he has put

it into the hearts of many to let their usefulness flow into various channels-let us see the advantages that belong to one, and our sympathies will be excited towards others. Let me speak for a moment in reference to the Royal Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital:-it appears, that since the year 1817,-26,087 persons have been relieved,—did you think there had been so much blindness? and can any of you reckon on the certainty of retaining the use of that precious organ, the Sight?

This disease (Ophthalmia) was, it is believed, brought into this Country, by the British Soldiers, who were afflicted with it while crossing the sands of Egypt; risking their lives and destroying their health for our comfort.

Of these persons relieved, many would have been a burden to the community, from the dreadful affliction of blindness preventing them from earning the means of subsistence, who are now enabled comfortably and respectably to do so. I refer you to the particulars that are supplied to you for further details, and to the example of the many noble and munificent patrons; to the arguments that have been drawn from the sacred volume, recommending that volume as the all-important guide of our actions; and amidst all our endeavours for the good of our fellow creatures, may we not loose sight of its value !-but constantly endeavour to second the wish of a late august patron of this institution, who was himself afflicted many years with the disease for which this institution offers a cure to the meanest persons of the realm,—He hoped the time might come when every child in his dominions would be able to read the bible.-AMEN.

FRAGMENT FROM THE

WRITINGS OF BISHOP HALL.

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I can wonder at nothing more than how a man can be idle ; but of all others, a scholar; in so many improvements of reason, in such sweetness of knowledge, in such variety of studies, in such importunity of thoughts: other artizans do but practise, we still learn; others run still in the same gyre to weariness, to satiety; our choice is infinite; other labours require recreations; our very labour recreates our sports; we can never want either somewhat to do, or somewhat that we would do. How numberless are the volumes which men have written of arts, of tongues! How endless is that volume which God hath written of the world! wherein every creature is a letter; every day a new page. Who can be weary of either of these? To find wit in poetry; in philosophy, profoundness; in mathematics, acuteness; in history, wonder of events; in oratory, sweet eloquence; in divinity, supernatural light, and holy devotion; as so many rich metals in their proper mines; whom

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