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the divine assistance; we should intreat the guidance of his Holy Spirit, in removing the veil of prejudice from our hearts, and in softening and subduing them by the mild spirit of the gospel; we should be fervent in our intercessions at the throne of grace for those who differ from us; this would gradually lead us to the exercise of christian charity; and, above all, we should discover deep humility in all our addresses to our Heavenly Father, from the consciousness of our many imperfections; and this would lead us to pass a more favourable judgment upon our brethren.
Again; I would recommend self-government as an important means of guarding against prejudice. A disposition to inquire, with impartiality into the various causes which have led to the adoption of such and such sentiments, and to weigh, with strictness and candour, those we have embraced; and, perhaps, we may find that they differ less from others than we had supposed. Selfgovernment will also lead us to pay the closest attention, and to examine, with the utmost patience, when any point in debate is brought before us, and we are called upon to decide. Possibly, some whom I am addressing will recollect an interesting anecdote recorded of Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the
Great, and who, (though less brilliant in history,) in point of moral attainments, far excelled that boasted conqueror. When he was once presiding as judge at a trial, he sat during the whole examination of the witnesses, leaning with one hand upon one ear; his courtiers thought he was ill; but, upon their inquiring, No," said he, I reserve that ear for the defendant."
Again; reading books, written by all parties, I consider a powerful means of subduing prejudice. Where little time can, consistently with the various avocations of life, be devoted to reading, I would most certainly recommend those writings only to be studied which are of a practical nature; but, where much leisure is enjoyed, and controversy may with propriety be entered into, I would say, "Read all sides." I doubt not there are many Protestants who would scarcely open a book written by a Catholic; I scorn such contracted notions; I read Massillon; I read Bourdaloue; I read, that first of all eloquent and energetic preachers, Bossuet, standards of the papal religion, and I gather what delights me from all. I am animated by their spirit, warmed by their zeal, and inspired with the noblest sentiments by their exalted piety; and shall I slight such a treasure of faith and holiness because written by those
whose creed differs from my own? Far be the ungenerous thought from my bosom. I would admire talents, and venerate piety, wherever found; and rejoice in the assurance, that, in every nation, and in every climate, "he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him."
Once more; free and unreserved conversation with those who differ from us is a means of removing prejudice. We should not only be able to defend the truth of our religion against the attacks of the infidel, but we should be also ready to meet those who differ from us in the lesser diversities of religious opinion. This will have the best tendency on our minds; it will lead us to study our principles; and we should remember, that, though few (comparatively speaking) are called in public to defend their religion, all, at some period of their lives, may find it necessary, in private, to give a reason for their faith and hope. I freely declare, if I have done any good in this metropolis, (and the tear of regret will sometimes flow from the consciousness of having done so little,) if I have done any good, it has chiefly arisen from conversing with various characters, and those who entertain various sentiments. If a person lives to forty or fifty years without ever having been called to converse with a Catholic, how would
he dread such a discourse! But the habit of such an intercourse lessens, and, in time, wholly removes the difficulty.
Finally; let us endeavour to overcome prejudice, by anticipating the period, when all who have served God, and honoured their Saviour, upon earth, however different their sentiments, however various their modes of worship, however diversified their habits, shall meet around the footstool of their Heavenly Father, and join in one universal anthem of thanksgiving and praise!
I once heard a sermon on the subject of prejudice, from a man I am proud to call my friend, the late Dr. Price. It was delivered in this house; and the impression it made upon my mind will cease but with life. “Prejudice," said this truly excellent man, may be compared to a misty morning in October; a man goes forth to an eminence, and he sees, at the summit of a neighbouring hill, a figure, apparently of gigantic stature, for such the imperfect medium through which he is viewed would make him appear; he goes forward a few steps, and the figure advances towards him; his size lessens as they approach; they draw still nearer, and the extraordinary appearance is gradually, but sensibly diminishing; at last they meet;-and, perhaps," said Dr. Price, "the man I had taken for a
monster, proves to be my own brother." Never was prejudice more forcibly delineated.
Your time is expired, or I should gladly have concluded by once more recalling your attention to the words of the text. It might have been pleasant and gratifying to have answered the appeal of Nathaniel: "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" I would say, Yes; the brightest pattern of moral excellence; the noblest example of christian virtues; the fullest concentration of christian graces; the most perfect and unblemished character that ever adorned our earth; and the most illustrious personage who ever visited it, came from that despised city. "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Yes; Athens may boast her Socrates, and Rome her Cato;-Nazareth can boast, what every city upon the globe, from Pekin to Constantinople, from Constantinople to London, would be proud to acknowledge;—it was for years the residence of the Saviour of the world. "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Wait till the morning of the resurrection; then, and not till then, will be manifested the importance of the blessing which arose from thence; saints, bursting from their graves, will join in one universal anthem of praise, while angels will echo the sentiment, Infinite Good came from Nazareth.