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PLAN OF SALVATION.
MAN WILL WORSHIP-HE WILL BECOME ASSIMILATED
TO THE CHARACTER OF THE OBJECT THAT HE WORSHIPS CHARACTER OF HEATHEN DEITIES DEFECTIVE AND UNHOLY-FROM THIS CORRUPTING WORSHIP MAN HAS NO POWER TO EXTRICATE HIMSELF.
There are three facts, each of them fully developed in the experience of the human family, a consideration of which will prepare the mind for the investigation which follows. When considered in their relation to each other, and in their bearing upon the moral interests of mankind, they will be seen to be of exceeding importance. We will adduce these facts, in connexion with the statements and principles upon which they rest, and show how vital are the interests which depend upon them.
THE FIRST FACT STATED. There is in the nature of man, or in the circumstances in which he is conditioned, something which leads him to recognise and worship a superior being. What that something is, is not important in our present inquiry :-whether it be a constitutional
instinct inwrought by the Maker—whether it be a deduction of universal reason, inferring a first cause from the things that are made—whether it be the effect of tradition, descending from the first worshippers, through all the tribes of the human familywhether any or all of these be the cause, the fact is the same — Man is a religious being --HE WILL
In view of this propension of human nature, philosophers, in seeking a generic appellation for man, have denominated him a “religious animal.” The characteristic is true of him in whatever part of the world he may be found, and in whatever condition ; and it has been true of him in all ages of which we have any record either fabulous or authentic.
Navigators have, in a few instances, reported that isolated tribes of men, whom they visited, recognised the existence of no superior being : subsequent re searches, however, have generally corrected the error -and, in all cases, when it has been supposed that a tribe of men was found believing in no god, the fact has been stated as an evidence of their degradation below the mass of their species, and of their approximation to the confines of brute nature. Of the whole family of man, existing in all ages, and scattered over the four quarters of the globe, and in the isles of the sea, there is scarcely one well-authenticated exception to the fact, that, moved by an impulse of nature, or the force of circumstances, man worships something which he believes to be endowed with the attributes of a superior being.
THE SECOND FAOT STATED.
The second fact, connected as it is, by the nature of things, with the preceding, assumes the highest degree of importance. It may be stated in the following terms:-Man, by worshipping, becomes