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Christianity does not attempt to remove; on the contrary, it sanctifies them, and demonstrates their utility and worth. Equally forbidding us to cherish jealousy and enmity towards one man because he occupies an exalted station, and to despise another because he is unknown, poor, or illiterate, it takes under its protection the meanest as well as the mightiest; and by means of this impartial regard, it eradicates innumerable causes of confusion. Self-interest, an extravagant desire of independence, the hatred of authority, and the fury of unbridled and destructive passions, are the irreconcileable
foes of all order and all association; but Christianity softens and regulates the former, while it opposes the latter with all its might. Justice, kindness, benevolence, and reciprocal affectionvirtues by which the happiness of families and communities is preserved are likewise the grand principles of the Gospel: it forbids the invasion of another's rights, and inculcates respect for the interests of all mankind; it requires every one to cultivate the virtues of his station, and discharge the duties of his calling; it enjoins
an unreserved submission to the obligations imposed by the several relations of life-as those of parent, child, husband, citizen; nothing indeed is excluded from its regard, which embraces with the like solicitude the minute details and the majestic aggregate of human concerns.-Mankind are divided into two great classes, the governors and the governed. These opposites Christianity is careful to bring together, and to reconcile; it charges them who are in authority, "that they be not high-minded, but do good," that they judge righteous judgments," hearing "the small as well as the great;" those who occupy inferior stations, it commands to "be subject unto the higher powers, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake." To the poor it recommends integrity, industry, and content; to the rich it says, "Be rich in good works; give alms of your goods, and never turn away your faces from the poor."
Masters," it says, "give unto your servants that which is just and equal:" "Servants, obey in all things your masters, in singleness of heart." As without government in families no
order can exist in society, the Gospel thus lays down the duties of parents: "Fathers, provoke not your children, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;" and of children: 66 Obey your parents,—honour thy father and mother." Knowing that if once discord finds its way into the married state, all delight is for ever fled, it thus provides by its counsels against such an event:-" Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, giving honour unto the wife as the weaker; and the wife see that she reverence her husband, and submit herself to him."
Time would fail me, Brethren, should I pursue the subject: The Gospel, in its regard for mankind, has omitted nothing: there is no conceivable duty which it has not enjoined; there is no amiable or generous sentiment which it does not encourage; all those passions—selfishness, with its sordid calculations-envy, with its secret projects-revenge, with its perfidious outrages-which harden and consume the hearts of men, and stain the earth with blood and tears,-it wholly subdues; it breaks down that
"wall of partition," with which fear or contempt had surrounded the Jews; it proclaims charity as its fundamental law, and fosters every mild and active virtue: "Weep with them that weep, and rejoice with them that rejoice."-" Bear all things, believe all things, hope all things." "Pure religion, and undefiled, before God and the Father, is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."-" Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love; recompense to no man evil for evil; avenge not yourselves; but if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink." "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not."
Examine, now, the best contrived and most boasted of human institutions, and see whether they are equally calculated to secure the happiness of society. They are all inadequate to their object, all abounding in omissions. Amply provided with the means of punishment, and of protection against evil, the human legislator has neither knowledge nor ability to
enjoin or to reward what is good; and if he attempted it, he would only compromise his authority by exposing his impotence. Study those systems of philanthropy which have been professedly directed towards the general happiness; compare their lessons with those of Jesus Christ-and, if you can, calculate the difference. Conceive, further, a community of Christians following, "line upon line," the precepts of their Master-a community in which friends should be true, and husbands and wives devoted to each other; in which all men should be conscientious in their business and engagements— servants vigilant and faithful, masters forbearing, governors mild, parents judicious, children obedient. Could you find language, let me ask, to describe the peace which, in such a state, would fill men's minds? Would there be aught then wanting to the happiness of society, to the value and the pleasantness of existence? Followers of Jesus Christ, this happiness is within your reach; it depends but upon you, to revive the affecting picture which history has traced of the first ages of the Church:-obey the pre