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templating! To receive the full impression of this truth, you must cast your eyes on that long and mournful procession, which slowly ascends the capitol hill. You must draw near and inspect the contents of those huge coffins which contain all the earthly remains of once celebrated beauty.--But ah! instead of the brilliant eye, the fair complexion, the winning smile, and the indescribable charm of countenance, you now behold ghastly skulls, mangled limbs, bones and ashes indiscriminate, so that neither age, nor sex, nor colour any longer can be recognized. Let then the pride of beauty cease, and the vain flatterer's incense too,

And what shall we say of the pleasures of the senses, of the gratifications of appetite, of the indulgence of the passions, of the entertainments of fancy, and of the feast of intellect? Hear the answer of an oracle, whose responses are never vague and ambiguous : “ Surely, every man walketh in a vain show.”-“ Verily, every man, at his best state, is altogether vanity.”-“Surely, the are disquieted in vain : They heap up riches and know not who shall gather them.” They make trial of “mirth and pleasure," and behold the end is found to be “vanity.”

" I said of laughter it is mad, and of mirth what doeth it?” They give their hearts to “madness and folly," and the fruit is "vexation of spirit.” The young man rejoiceth, and his heart cheereth him " in the days of his youth, and he walketh in the ways of his heart and in the sight of his eyes,” but considereth not that for all these things God will bring him into judgment. Even “ in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth, sorrow." Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity. But the conclusion of the whole matten is, “ To fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man; For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."

Continuation of Dr. Alexander's Sermon, on burning the

Theatre at Richmond. HOW cold, how dark, and comfortless, is the system of infidelity, to persons overwhelmed with calamity, and suffering under the pressure of heavy affliction! The idea of obscuring and extinguishing the pleasing and necessary light of revelation, was never first entertained by the sons of adversity. This scheme was never intended, nor calculated, to tranquilize the perturbations, and sooth the agonies, of a soul rent with anguish. What consolation does it offer to the bereaved parent, to the disconsolate widow, to the destitute orphan, and to indigent and diseased old age? What relief to the alarmed and struggling sinner, held fast in the grasp of death? To such it presents no brighter prospect than the blackness of despair.

The following narrative may be depended on as substantially correct : “ In a populous town on this continent, a gentleman of some learning and talents, distinguished himself by his zeal for infidelity ; and he was unhappily but too successful in poisoning the minds of many young persons with his libertine principles. In the number of his proselytes was a young lawyer, of good education and promising talents, who appeared confidently to adopt these new opinions, without entering, however, into any careful or impartial investigation of the subject ;-but relying implicitly on the plausible representations and confident assertions of his friend, who assured him in the most positive terms, that Christianity was a fable and religion a dream. This last mentioned gentleman being seized with a mortal fit of illness, his young disciple hastened to his chamber, and accosted him in the following

Dear sir, I have been led by your advice and influence to adopt a system which I am anxious to see proved in this honest hour and trying situation, to which you are come : tell me, I conjure you by our friend. ship, plainly and candidly ; are you satisfied ? Do your sentiments afford you peace and comfort in the near prospect of death ?" The sick gentleman, much agitated, and casting a look of horrid consternation on his young

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friend, exclaimed, “ All is darkness and uncertainty!and in a few minutes expired. The scene left too deep "an impression on the mind of the young lawyer ever to be erased. He renounced the tenets of infidelity from that moment, and began to make himself acquainted with the sacred scriptures, which he found to contain the true secret of a peaceful death, as well as a happy immortality.”

Indeed, so conscious are the abettors of infidel principles, that they are badly qualified to administer consolation to the distressed and dying, that they seldom apply them for the comfort of their friends in these circumstances ; and what is worst of all, they often fail the infidel himself, when he most needs their support ; as witness Voltaire, Diderot, and a host of inferior names. I have, indeed, read somewhere, of an instance of one of these modern philosophers attempting to console his dying wife, by preaching to her the doctrine, that death was an eternal sleep; but the good lady, being better instructed, and entertaining better hopes, rejected the miserable comfort, with pious indignation.

Infidelity was the product of pride and licentiousness combined. Its object was to break down the restraints of conscience, to separate remorse from crime, and to banish fear from the guilty. It never ought to be considered as an evidence of superior understanding or information ; for it has been repeatedly proved that the balance of genius, learning, and worth, were greatly on the side of revelation. And every young man should repel every solicitation to embrace this deadly system, with horror and indignation. For scepticism, once admitted into the soul, may not be so easily cast out, even when we desire it, and stand in need of better consola. tions.

Continuation of Dr. Alexander's Sermon, on burning the

Theatre at Richmond.

WHAT an invaluable gift to suffering humanity, is the Christian religion! It is true, it does not remove our earthly afflictions ; but it mitigates and sanctifies them., It does not make this world a satisfying portion ; but it brings a better world into view. If it strips earthly objects of their fictitious and bewitching charms, it is to prevent our being deceived and seduced by them. If it forbids pleasure, it is, to put us in possession of happiness. If it requires self-denial, it compensates a hundred fold for the pain occasioned, by the peace of conscience, and joy of self-conquest which it inspires. The tears of repentance which it commands, it converts into streams of consolation. It turns our heaviest afflictions to our advantage ; and our greatest losses become our richest gain. It prepares us for exertion and for suffering teaches us how to live and how to die. It is this divine religion which sweetens the coarse fare, and softens the hard bed of poverty: which sooths the anguish of the heart broken with sorrow, and fills up the chasm produced in the mind by the bereavement of beloved friends : --which binds up and heals those wounds in the spirit which no other remedy can reach. Yes; Religion, despised and neglected as it is, is after all, the only sure refuge of the afflicted, and solace of the wretched. It is that alone, which can smooth the rugged path that leads down to the valley of the shadow of death : and which often sheds a cheering light on that gloomy vale of tears. But it does more :- It discovers to us the glory, and brings us to the possession of those happy regions where there are no more sighs and tears ;-where no sad tidings overwhelm the soul ;-where no storms blow-no destructive fires burn--nosickness wastes-no sounds of horrid war disturb the eternal peace : There is the rest which remaineth for the people of God ;-there dwells the society which is completely blessed: There the glorious Fesus, the author and finisher of our faith, having himself “indured the cross, despising shame," now sits highly exalted on his throne of majesty, resplendent with all the glories of Deity, which beam through his face and diffuse happiness among unnumbered millions.

But in order to enjoy the consolations of religion, we must practise its precepts; and in order to practise its precepts, we must experience its power. True religion is not a form, but a living principle within ;---not a name, but an active, energetic influence, which governs the

us.

whole man, and directs his views and exertions to the noblest objects.

Finally, permit me to conclude this discourse, by considering the dispensation which has occasioned our meeting here this day, in the light of a solemn warning. Yes, my hearers, if ever the warning trumpet of a righteous Providence sounded loudly in our ears, it doth this day. The voice of this dispensation is truly alarming. Let no weak notions, of accidents and second causes, keep you from observing the frowns of Heaven, which lower over

Think not that these were “ sinners above all who dwell in this land, because they suffered such things." I tell

you nay: But except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Often, since the ominous and fatal handwriting on the wall caused the proud king of Babylon to shake with terror in the midst of his profane mirth and riot, has the awful transition from the gay scenes of dissipation, to the gloomy shades of death, been made in the period of a single night! Often, have the votaries of pleasure been hurried from the festive board, the merry dance, the opera and play; and what is still more dreadful, from scenes of riot and debauchery, into eternity, to answer for their deeds, before the tremendous bar of God. Receive the warning then, and suffer the word of exhortation. The views and impressions produced by this deplorable occurrence, however painful at the present, may be precious in their effects, and should not be suffered to pass off without originating such resolutions and purposes, as shall become the foundation of a new course of life. You may never in the whole period of your lives, find a season so favourable, to shake off the undue influ. ence of the world, and to break with every darling lust and besetting sin. My last advice, therefore, is, become real Christians. Make religion a personal concern. At: tend to it without delay. “ Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." And may the God of all grace crown the exercises of this day with his blessing, for Christ's sake. Amen.

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