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convenient,” we have lessened the reverence due to constituted authorities, or slackened the bonds which hold society together; ours is the blame, when the hurricane is abroad in the world, and doing its work of mischief.
The course of events in this country has now, for a number of generations, for a long reach, as it were, of the stream of time, run smooth, and our political duties have been proportionally easy; but it may not always be so. A sudden bend may change the direction of the current, and open scenes less calm. It becomes every man, therefore, to examine his principles, whether they are of that firmness and texture as suits the occasion he may have for them. If we want a light gondola to float upon a summer lake, we look at the form and gilding; but if a vessel to steer through storins, we examine the strength of the timbers, and the soundness of the bottom.
We want principles, not to figure in a book of ethics, or to delight us with “grand and swelling sentiments ;” but principles by which we may act and by which we may suffer. Principles of benevolence, to dispose us to real sacrifices; political principles, of practical utility; principles of - religion, to comfort and support us under all the trying vicissitudes we see around us, and which we have no security that we shall be long exempt from. How many are there now suffering under
such overwhelming distresses, as, a short time ago, we should have thought it was hardly within the verge of possibility that they should experience!. Above all, let us keep our hearts pure, and our hands clean. Whatever part we take in public affairs, much will undoubtedly happen which we could by no means foresee, and much which we shall not be able to justify; the only way, therefore, by which we can avoid deep remorse, is to act with simplicity and singleness of intention, and not to suffer ourselves to be warped, though by ever so little, from the path which honour and conscience approve.
Principles, such as I have been recommending, are not the work of a day; they are not to be acquired by any formal act of worship, or manual of devotion adapted to the exigency; and it will little avail us, that we have stood here, as a na: tion, before the Lord, if, individually, we do not remember that we are always so.
MR. GILBERT WAKEFIELD'S
EXPEDIENCY AND PROPRIETY
PUBLIC OR SOCIAL WORSHIP.
in swarming cities vast,
MR. WAKEFIELD'S ENQUIRY.
There are some practices which have not been defended because they have never been attacked. Of this number is public or social worship. It has been recommended, urged, enforced, but never vindicated. Through worldliness, scepticism, indolence, dissatisfaction with the manner of conducting it, it has been often neglected; but it is a new thing to hear it condemned. The pious and the good have lamented its insufficiency to the reformation of the world, but they were yet to learn that it was unfriendly to it. Satisfied with silent and solitary desertion, those who did not concur in the homage paid by their fellowcitizens were content to acquiesce in its propriety, and had not hitherto assumed the dignity of a sect. A late pamphlet of Mr. Wakefield's has therefore excited the attention of the public, partly, no doubt, from the known abilities of the author, but still more from the novelty and strangeness of the doctrine. If intended as an apology,