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NATURE AND EFFICACY
By VICESIMUS KNOX, D.D.
MASTER OF TUNBRIDGE SCHOOL,
"»f the Christian religion be, indeed, * what it declares itself, a Revelation from Heaven; if a chief part of its design be to renovate, to purify, and exalt our nature, how mortifying my difappointment," fays a writer, who describes England under the character of a Chinese Traveller, "when I found myself in the midst of a nation, not without noble instances of learning indeed, and abilities of every kind, but immoral in a high' degree, and so uninspired with devotion, that its most glaring characters are Indifference Or
CONTEMPT FOR. ALL RELIGION."
If this account be true, it is alarming even to those who, without pretending to much religion, pretend to a regard fox the a welwelfare of their country; for Machiavel, the Oracle of politicians, declares, that
THERE IS NO SURER PROGNOSTIC OF RUIN IN ANY STATE THAN. TO SEE DIVINE WORSHIP NEGLECTED OR DESPISED.
Let the following observations, quoted in the' Chinese Fragment, be applied to a neighbouring nation; and to our own if the application shall be found proper and usesul;
* Youth born and brought up," fays the virtuous Bishop Berkeley, " in wicked times, without any bias to good from early principle or instilled opinion, when they grow ripe must be Monsters indeed; and it is to be seared the Age Of MonSters is not far off*.
«« Whence this impiety springs, by what means it gains ground among us, and how Ax may be remedied, are matters that deserve the attention of all those who have she power and the will to serve their country. And although many things look
* What were Robespierre, Marat, See.