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of our moral excellence, of the proper performance of our duty, and of our final acceptance.
Our gratitude to the Deity is to be manifested by mental and verbal acknowledgment, and by the obedience of our lives to the divine law.
We would not surely think ourselves justified in giving no intimation, either to ourselves or to others, of incalculable and ever increasing obligations. We would not live for years on the domains of God, indebted for our daily sustenance to his bounty, and not send one poor thought to acknowledge our fealty at his throne, If we were to dismiss the form of giving thanks, it is to be feared that the feeling of gratitude itself would soon follow of its own accord. By prescribing to ourselves a frequent confession of dependence and obligation, a thankful disposition is cherished, and kept alive, if not actually created. "The breath of praise fans the flame of gratitude."
But the best proof which we can give that we are sensible of our obligations to the Almighty, is our obedience to his commandments, and the performance of our duty. This is the great test of the sincerity of our gratitude, without which all forms and professions are but empty pretence. A son proves himself grateful to his father for the care, support, protection, and instruction which he has received from him, by observing his injunctions, by consulting his wishes, and by making such an improvement of his opportunities as to become an honour, and not a disgrace to the kind hand which furnished them. Our Heavenly Father requires a similar return. He has given us capacities, and he demands their exertion; faculties, and he looks for their cultivation; opportunities, and he calls
for their improvement; privileges and means, and hẻ expects that they will be imparted. What is the value of feeling, if it be not brought forth into action? Where is the truth of our gratitude, if it be not manifested in our benevolence, and our virtue? Why do we thank God for his mercies to us, if we show no mercy to our brethren? And how can we dare, with a downcast face, and a humble voice, to confess that the Almighty Giver has poured out upon us comforts and blessings innumerable, and then go away, and act as if we had forgotten that in the whole world there was a single demand on our sympathy, our charity, or our labours?
Nothing can be more true, than that praise belongs to the Creator, and that thanksgiving is due to him from the creatures whom he has endowed with thought, affections, and language. But it is equally as true, that one drop of oil to the wounds of human suffering, one mite to the treasury of human happiness, is infinitely more expressive of our gratitude, and infinitely more acceptable in the sight of Heaven, than all the barren, though perhaps loud and solemn acknowledgments, which mind can frame, or tongue can utter.
GOD IS GOOD.
GOD is good! Each perfumed flower,
All things proclaim that God is good.
I hear it in the rushing wind;
Each little rill that many a year
Has the same verdant path pursued,
Joins in the song that God is good.
And swells the chorus, God is good.
Sing his praise with light renew'd;
In rays of glory, God is good.
The moon that walks in brightness says,
Unitarian Address to the Bishop of Norwich.
On the third of October, the Eastern Unitarian Society presented an address to the venerable Bishop of Norwich, thanking him for "his uniform attachment and marked devotion to the cause of religious liberty." After the address had been read by the Rev. Mr. Madge, and presented to the Bishop, his lordship replied in the following words;—
Having always considered the favourable opinion of wise and good men as the best reward which, on this side of the grave, an honest individual can receive, for doing what he deems to be his duty on all occasion ́, I cannot but be highly gratified by the approbation of so respectable a body of my fellow Christians as those are, an address from whom has been this moment read to me. I am most certainly a very sincere,, though a very humble, friend to the cause of religious liberty, and have uniformly been so from the first moment I was capable of distinguishing "Quid sit pulchrum, quid turpe, quid utile, quid non.”
In early life, an attentive, perusal of the immortal works of Locke and Hoadly, and particularly the arguments of the former in 'behalf of toleration, and of the latter on the expediency of repealing the test and corporation acts, deeply impressed upon my mind this important truth, 'chat every penalty, every disability, every restriccion, every inconvenience even, to which any good civil subject is exposed, merely on the score of his religion, is in its degree persecution; because, as Great Lord Mansfield justly observed, "conscience is not controllable by human laws, nor amenable to human tribunals," actions, not opinions, being the province of the magistrate. Such is, as it seems to me, the clear voice of reason; and revelation, I am sure, confirms this voice, when it enjoins persons in authority to "restrain," with the civil sword, "evil doers," and still more decidedly, when it warmly expostulates with those who are fond of interfering in matters of conscience; "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth." Let us, then, be content to leave our fellow Christians
to stand or fall by the judgment of our common Lord and Master, to whom both we and they must hereafter give an account; and in the mean time, should we, upon reflection, regard it as a duty to convert others to our own peculiar opinions, let us never cease to remember that reason and argument are the only weapons of spiritual warfare. And even in the use of these, we shall do well constantly to bear in mind, that revealed religion was graciously vouchsafed to man, “non disputandi causa, sed ita vivendi."
Second Annual Report of the Baltimore Unitarian Book Society.
THE Second Anniversary of the Baltimore Unitarian Society for the distribution of books, was held the 25th of December, at the First Independent Church. A discourse, suited to the occasion, was delivered, and after the religious services of the day, the secretary communicated the following
In making a statement to the society of their last year's proceedings, the managers are gratified with being able to express a high satisfaction at the success of their labours. According to such means and opportunities as were in their power, they have endeavoured to promote the objects of the Society. Books and tracts have been circulated in various directions, and in those places especially, where the greatest benefit may reasonably be expected. By publication, exchange, and