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the poetry and eloquence of the Greeks remain unrivalled.

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In conceding this, we must, by fair inference allow, also, that many of the sister arts, such as painting and music, were advanced by them to the same degree of excellence. But if we inquire what these " mighty minds" produced, on the most interesting and momentous of all subjects, that of Religion, we shall have the most striking instance of the weakness and inadequacy of human reason. Not to notice the presumptuous folly of pretending to discover the events of futurity from the flight of birds, the drawing of lots, the inspection of the viscera of animals, and other silly expedients ;-so fanciful and absurd were their tenets, so superstitious, foolish, and impure was their worship, and so shamefully profane, and corrupt, were many of their festivals, rites, and ceremonies, that there is scarcely an untutored peasant, who has only seen a slight glimmering of the glorious light of the Gospel, that would not condemn the whole accumulated mass of their follies and superstitions, as totally unworthy of the practice and belief of rational creatures.

Here let us pause for a moment, and ask if he would not form the same opinion, were he to


contemplate the actions and the creed of those wretched and abandoned men, who, even now, forgetting the God that created and redeemed them, endeavour to set up idols of their own, and labor, with frantic zeal, to propagate the miserable tenets of atheism and infidelity?

Sensible of these evils, but unable to correct them, that distinguished Sage in the annals of antiquity, who is said to have "wooed philosophy from heaven, to dwell with men, and form their manners, not inflame their pride," told his disciples, that some supernatural communication, and divine authority, were necessary to teach men the essential doctrines, and duties of religion because, when, from the habit of tracing effects to their causes, by the exercise of reason, and contemplating the wonderful works. of creation," they knew God," as the apostle observes, "they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."

In the fulness of time, therefore, our merciful Creator," who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in times past unto the fathers, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his { Son." The books of the Old Testament, written for the most part by Moses, and the prophets,

from the dictates of divine inspiration, together with the books of the New Testament, as composed by the evangelists, and the holy apostles, form that sacred and invaluable treasure of divine truth, which we call the Bible; and which we might well regard as "the wisdom of God, and the power of God."

These, then, are "the things written aforetime for our learning," or "instruction ;" and when we consider the authority from which they emanate, their intrinsic excellence, and remem, ber that they alone "can make us wise unto salvation," not to "read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them," must betray the most sinful negligence, and the most stupid insensibility.

Let us, therefore, as a subject not unsuitable for our meditations, at this holy season, comply in some measure with that devotional course, which our excellent Liturgy points out, and briefly consider some of the treasures, which the divine wisdom and mercy have disclosed to us. We shall then be more fully convinced, that "All scripture, given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, and thoroughly. furnished unto all good works."

The book of Genesis is the oldest in the world; and reveals to us many things, which otherwise we could have never known. If opened, for the first time, without any reference to religious opinions, by the cosmogonist, for philosopher, the geologist, or historian, it would be deemed, of all others, the most interesting and valuable, as well as the most curious, instructive, and authentic. It gives the only credible account of the creation, and origin of the human race. It states the fact of the primeval innocence of our first parents, and gives an account of their probation and their fall, in a narrative wisely contrived to throw a sacred veil over the mysterious subject of moral evil, as connected with the prescience of God, and the free-agency of man ;-a subject that may well be regarded as one of the numerous things, which the powers of the human mind are at present utterly unable to comprehend.

The history of the patriarchs, from Adam to Noah, when the world was destroyed, in consequence of the wickedness of mankind, by the universal deluge ;-the renovation of the human race from Noah's family, the cause of the confusion or diversity of languages, and the dispersion of his family, from whom the ancient king

doms of the world evidently derived their names, and origin; these are all matters of authentic and historical record, some traces of which, indeed, we find mutilated, or disfigured, in the pages of heathen poets and philosophers; but which we can no where read in their genuine truth and simplicity, except in the first and ve nerable book of the Holy Bible.

The interesting history of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the solemn covenant of the Almighty with the father of the faithful, and the prophetic blessings pronounced on his family,—the twelve sons of Jacob, from whom the twelve tribes of Israel descended,-together with the very interesting and pathetic story of Joseph, ending with the settlement of his family in Egypt, and the predictions of his venerable father just before his death, are also striking features in the inspired narrative, and are intimately connected with subsequent events, in that wonderful connection which subsists throughout the whole history of human redemption.

The conversion of the succor and protection, which the Israelites first experienced from the Egyptians, into a state of the most abject slavery and bondage, is well known; and their miraculous deliverance by Moses has been justly

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