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of whose powers and properties you were utterly ignorant? No! With characteristic modesty you confessed the subjects to be above your comprehension; and, feeling your deficiency in respect to the knowledge requisite to qualify you for entering on the abstruser points, you referred them to a future period; resolving meanwhile, by diligence and application, to prepare yourself for receiving further information.
How wise! how just! is the beautiful and striking observation of our Saviour, with respect to this ingenuousness of disposition: "Verily, "verily, I say unto you, that unless *' ye become as little children, ye shall "in nowise enter into the kingdom of "heaven."
Docility, charming as it is in youth, is no less necessary towards the improvement of our riper years.
c 2 When
When with youth we lose all teach* ableness of disposition, our case may indeed be reckoned hopeless; for how shall we then prepare for that future scene, for which the present is meant to educate us? If we become careless or intractable; as the opportunities of improvement increase, the opportunities of improver, inent will to us have been enlarged in vain. We shall remain confined to the narrow space which we had in youth been forced to cultivate; and when the period' arrives in which we must render an account of our transactions, find that the only ac-* quisition we have made, consists in having added presumption to ignorance.
Persevere then, my most engaging young friend, persevere in the path on which you have already entered. So shall you go forward from strength to strength; advancing in wisdom and knowledge, until you arrive at that blessed state where both shall be perfected.
I Have already observed, that the belief in a Supreme Intelligence and in the immortality of the human soul, were doctrines so consonant to reason, and which were so spontaneously adopted by the human mind, as to be termed the religion of nature. I have likewise shewn, that wherever the light of revelation was withdrawn, these first principles were so corrupted by the passions and the imagination, as to be disjoined from all connection with the moral principle.
I come now to lay before you the substance of the knowledge obtained through the medium of divine revelation, an account of which has, by the providence of God, been preserved to us in the Bible. We there find natural religion displayed in all its purity, additional strength bestowed on all that reason had suggested, and additional light given upon points which were of too much moment to be left involved in the uncertainty of conjecture.
By the religion of reason it was taught, that the formation of the world, and of all that it contains, must necessarily be the work of a powerful and intelligent being. The Bible confirms the interesting truth. It gives us a sublime description of the manner in which this world was