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SANE JAMDUDUM MIHI VISI SUNT MULTI NOSTRORUM SACRA.
THE SECOND EDITION.
- If the Christian Religion be, indeed, what it declares itself, a Revelation from Heaven; if a chief part of its design be to renovate, to purify, and exalt our nature, how mortifying my disappointment,” says a writer, who describes England under the character of a Chinese Travelle, “ when I found myself in the midst of a nation, not without noble instances of learning, indeed, and abilities of every kind, but IMMORAL IN A HIGH DEGREE, and so uninspired with DEVOTIÓN, that its most glaring characters are INDIFFERENCE or CONTEMPT FOR ALL RELIGION.”
If this account be true, it is alarming even to those who, without pretending to much religion, profess a regard for the
welfare of their country; since MachiaVEL, the ORACLE of politicians, declares,
that THERE IS NO SURER PROGNOSTIC OF
RUIN IN ANY STATE THAN TO SEE DIVINE WORSHIP NEGLECT ED OR DESPISED.
Let the following observations, quoted by the Chinese, he applied to a neighbouring nation; and to our own also, if the application shall be found proper and useful.
“ Youth born and brought up,” says the virtuous Bishop BERKLEY, “ in wicked times, without any bias to good from early principle or instilled opinion, when they grow ripe, must be MONSTERS indeed ; and it is to be feared the age of MONSTERS is not far off *.
“Whence this impiety springs, by what means it gains ground among us, and how it may be remedied, are matters that deserve the attention of all those who have the POWER AND THE WILL TO SERVE THEIR COUNTRY. And although many.things look like a prelude to some GENERAL RUIN, although it is much to be apprehended that we shall be worse before we are better, yet who knows what may ensue, if all PERSONS IN POWER would behave themselves like men truly conscious and mindful, that the authority they are clothed with is but a DERIVATIVE RAY FROM THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OF HEAVEN ? This may not a little contribute to stem that torrent which, from small beginnings, hath grown to such a head, and daily gathers force to such a degree, as threatens a general inundation and DESTRUCTION OF THESE REALMS.
* What were Robespierre, Marat, &c. ?