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when the glorious prospects of a better world and the amazing Goodness of Redeeming Love are his theme, he will then be great indeed! He will seem all on fire. His very face will speak a soul of rapture. He will be borne along with a winged ardour of genius, pouring forth a torrent of sacred eloquence, which some will call enthusiasm; but, if it must be so called, it will be the noble enthusiasm of Truth and Reason-a pure and transcendent flame, bearing all down before it, and burning still clearer and stronger to the very last
The fallen and sinful estate of man; the Grace and Goodness of God; the wonders of his Love; Christ crucified; the Purity of His everlasting Gospel; Charity and Virtue; Righteousness, Temperance and a Judgment to come, together with an Eternity afterwards—who, my brethren, that has these subjects before him, would stoop to any thing of trivial moment, or disgrace them by a crude and unworthy management?
May the God of heaven give all of us the grace of His Holy Spirit to manage them as we ought, and conduct us in every other part of our duty
of our duty “ for the edifying the body of Christ*.” Being possessed with a just conception of the dignity of our holy Profession, and a thorough veneration for the Saviour of the world; may we strive, in our several spheres, with an earnest contention of soul, for the establishment of genuine piety, and to make “his ways known on Earth, and his saving health among all Nations."
* Ephes. Chap. 1V. 12.
FIRST PREACHED BEFORE THE TRUSTEES, MASTERS AND SCHO
LARS OF THE COLLEGE AND ACADEMY OF PHILADELPHIA,
PSALM, ï. 8.
Ask of me and I shall give thee the Heathen for thine inheri
tance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
A FULL explanation of this text, compared with sundry others that foretel the final conversion of the Heathen, and seem to have a particular reference to our situation on this Continent, hath been already attempted, before the Episcopal Clergy, in this province, at their late Convention.
Christianity, as then observed, was first revealed in the Eastern parts of the world. Like the sun, there it rose; and, like him, advancing Westward through the nations, diffused Light, and Love, and Joy, wherever it came. At length, it crossed the vast Atlantic; and, in the settlement of these colonies, a way was opened for adding a large inheritance to the kingdom of Jesus, in the remotest parts of the West.
It is true that no great progress hath hitherto been made in this work. There is yet an immense depth of this continent, whose forlorn inhabitants never had any opportunity “ to hear the glad tidings
of Salvation;" and, of those who have been blest with such an opportunity, few, very few, have turned a listening ear to the joyful sound.
But “ the promises of God in Christ are all Yea and Amen*.” A careful examination of His revealed word hath thoroughly fixed our belief that the time will come when the Heathen around us shall be
gathered into his fold, under the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls. Nay many auspicious circumstances in the present situation of things on this continent, already enumerated in the foregoing Sermon, give us reason to expect that the accomplishment of this event is now not far remote. And oh! what a tri. umphant consideration is this, to those who believe the Gospel of Jesus “ to be the power of God unto salvation?"
Now, one of those circumstances, which was but slightly mentioned before, I have at present the most favourable opportunity of considering more at large. It is “ the spirit which displays itself, through these American colonies, for the founding seminaries of Learning; and the great influence which the advancement of the Sciences has on the advancement of Christ's Gospel.”
In order to do justice to this subject, it will be necessary to give same account of the Human Sciences, as well as of the sublime Science of Christianity; to shew the subserviency of the former to the advancement of the latter, and thereby to engage your continued favour and protection towards this infant Seminary. And that I may proceed with the greater precision and clearness, I shall recur to first principles.
* 2 Corinth. ii. 20.
If we consult the constitution of our nature, we shall find ourselves, in every pursuit, actuated by the desire of happiness; and determined to account every thing more or less valuable, as it tends more or less to that end.
Happiness, however, is a complex thing, compounded of many ingredients; and the road to attain it has its labyrinths and windings, not to be travelled, but with caution and foresight. For man, being made up of soul and body, sustains a double relation, and is capable of a double kind of pleasure; there being a variety of objects suited to the variety of his affections, passions and tempers, when in their sound moral state. His happiness, therefore, must evidently depend on making a right estimate of these objects, and maintaining this sound temperament of constitution; so as to pursue each of them with a degree of force commensurate to their respective values, or tendencies to give pleasure.
Hence, then, whatever enables a man to make a right estimate of things, and to frame his conduct accordingly, must be considered as an engine or mean of his happiness, and is to be valued proportionably. It follows, therefore, that those researches which bring him acquainted with himself, the ends, uses and measures of his several powers and movements, together with the ends and uses of the vari. ous objects with which he stands connected, must be a main spring of his happiness; and, in this view, -may be denominated his true Wisdom, the first and
great Philosophy; or that glorious System of Knowledge, which gives him his chief pre-eminence over the brutes, and exalts him to the supreme perfection and highest enjoyment of his nature!
Other Sciences may have their use, as matters of ornament or amusement. But whenever they interfere with this grand Science of Life and Manners, they are to be disregarded as empty trifles; subjects, at best, but of vain curiosity, or unavailing speculation.
I shall, therefore, endeavour to distinguish the True from the False, the spurious parts of Knowledge from those of genuine growth; by pointing out to you the essential branches of this great Master-sci
In doing this, let us never lose sight of the fundamental principle already laid down, namely; that every part of Knowledge, (human knowledge I speak of) derives its value from its tendency to inform usWhat* we are, and whither destined; what our constitution and connexions; and what our duties in consequence thereof.
Whoever sets out on this inquiry will, in the first instance, be struck with the vastness of the undertaking, and the insufficiency of his own abilities. Human nature, and the various natures around it, are a copious subject. Life is short, and each man's own experience too scanty to trace for himself the relations and fitness of things; to examine into all Moral and Physical Qualities; and, from thence, to deduce the Rules of Conduct, and ascertain the true
Quid sumus, et quidnam victuri gignimur.