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respect on man. He is in constant communication with the truth of God. Nothing stands between him and it. His mind is filled with its noble images, its mighty conceptions, its triumphant hymns, its tender strains. He catches its inspiration. He imbibes its largeness. It is the Bouk which makes man brave and free. The inlaying and infusion of it in his soul turn him to another man. Its saving blessings apart,

its general power is mighty. It reflects itself in the noblest efforts of human genius. Poetry, eloquence,

music, literature, art, borrow unconsciously, if not directly, from its wealth. The Bible is the nation's sun, reflected when not seen. It is the same to the

individual. He sits at the feet of no priest. He sti

pulates not for pardon with his fellow-worm. His

soul, bowed before the Deity, is seen in the attitude of seraphs: but it does not stoop to man. It is erect in its own rights and prerogatives. What would our national character be, were the Bible taken from us?

Were it a sealed Book? Could we only peruse it at the will of a confessor? How changed would be our manners and our feelings! The interdict would para

lyse all that was noble and erect! It would be the reconstruction of that spiritual tyranny before which

the inward independence of the spirit droops! It is in vain to say that the mind of our nation has been most abject when most religious. It was then at a pitch for grave and solemn arbitrement, if it saw itself beset by artifice and overwhelmed with wrong. The


men who loved the Divine Word were, in the hour of their country's peril, the men of steel. They sought peace, but they knew that it might be too dearly purchased. They hated war, but they knew that it was a better alternative than submission to injustice and collusion with dishonour. Reluctantly they called the sword from its scabbard, but, when drawn, they spared not the quarrel. They stood for all that is dear in affection and great in principle. They urged a fearless way. No Italian monk could quell them. They had trodden down the wretched pleas of power and impiety. They reached the true heroic. The Sword of the Spirit flashed from their hands, and they were invincible. Their soul gathered all dint and courage. They could resolve. They could resist. They could die. Truth to them was all. Life had no end, death no reward, but its defence. Reverse this scene. Bring back the age when Revelation was proscribed. Once more set the ban upon it. Chain it to the cloister. Immure it in the cell. And you shall see the fawning upon pretension, the abandonment to dictation, in our countrymen, again. It has appeared, wherever the Bible has been prohibited. A pseudo-Protestantism has mimicked Vatican expurgation. The Bible, we are told, is only capable of proof as the Church—like some Algebraic unknown quantity—warrants it, and is only capable of being understood as the Church interprets it. Its circulation has been scorned and opposed. And what is the result 2 These are the men who repine at our liberty, long for the stagnancy of public thought and opinion, and would sell their country to the basest dotage of superstition, and to the most iron grasp of oppression. The use of religious formulae in the Sabbath instruction of young persons, has not found the same favour with our times, as it did with ages upon which we are wont to look back with respect and admiration. The catechism is supposed to cramp the enquiring mind, to predestine unjustly the ideas and opinions of the future intellect. But does not oral teaching suppose that there is the early initiation of the child into certain sentiments 2 that there are the recommended and enforced sentiments of them who teach them ? Whether it be wrong thus to lead captive the unformed mind, to anticipate and press its future decisions, will be differently adjudged. They who attach little importance to religious speculation, who maintain its indifference, however just, and its innocence, however erroneous, will decry it as illiberal. They who believe that truth is one, that it is inconvertible, that it alone can sanctify the heart, that it may be ascertained, that for a descriptive assertion of it they ought willingly to die, will not shrink from such a charge. If Christianity be a yet unsettled problem, the uncertain gloss ought not to be imposed. But if millions know what it is, and unanimously declare its meaning,-if millions, in circumstances and under influences the most different, declare that they have arrived at this conclusion in the same way, -then do we possess the moral demonstration that it is determinable, that it is a doctrine of fixed certainty. If it be not, if we be left in necessary suspense, if the most we know of it is but a guess, faith is presumption, martyrdom is fanaticism. “Make not thyself over wise; why shouldst thou destroy thyself?” But we have not so learned Christ. We know whom we have believed. We can teach, therefore, with all authority. We can prove out of the Scriptures that these things are so. We digest them into summaries. They are easily remembered. They cleave to the mind in its farthest years. It is still objected, that the dogmas are often beyond the understanding of the young. But are not the rules of grammar and the postulates of geometry? Yet these must be well stored in the memory first, and then experience applies them. The child learns, it may be with little apprehension of the purport, certain definitions of doctrinal truth. These are only now in the custody of his recollection. Reason soon swells as a flowing tide: the channels are prepared to receive it. A stronger light breaks in upon the mind: these indented characters stand forth in its irradiation. A precise proposition is already adjusted, a module of the truth, enabling the judgment to give it a more ready perception, and to retain it in a more compressed form. In after life, these catechetical answers come to us, not as early lessons only, but as ripe thoughts, as weighty reflections, as echoing oracles,-binding youth and age together in the sound words which memory keeps distinct, and which faith makes holy. And when such epitomes of the Christian verity are authenticated by proofs cited from Scripture, the true principle is avouched. What is it? The words of men are worthless and unbinding, but as they are founded on the word of God. The child is directly taught to look into his Bible for the reason and sanction of whatever he repeats. It does not, however, follow, that there should be no synopsis of the gospel. Convenience is much consulted by the practice. The vacant mind is filled. The thoughtless mind is arrested. The indifferent mind is impressed. And the advantages are not all immediately seen. The ideas of men, too much engrossed by other things, are preserved in clearness and consistency: while a reason of the hope that is in them may be more compactly and more pointedly assigned. The devoteeism of the Romish system finds its principal support in this early discipline. The purest Protestant churches, and in their best periods, have always made it their chief care. The Episcopalian community of this country strenuously insists on it as the preliminary of all learning, and as the condition of all privilege. Time was when the Nonconformists would have disowned the family which lived in its neglect. And we have admirable treatises for this end. Sometimes they are found in large volumes, as in Hammond's Practical Catechism, —the Churchman's boast. Sometimes they are put into more didactic forms, as in the Assembly's Cate

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