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THE

POWER OF RELIGION, &o.

CHAPTER I.

Job- -Solomon -Cyrus-Confucius- -Socrates -Stephen the protomartyr- The Apostle Paul

-Ignatius-Polycarp-Louis IX. King of France-Pope Eugenius- -Cardinal Beaufort

-Cæsar Borgia.

SECTION I.

THE PATRIARCH JOB.

This venerable patriarch was so eminent an instance of the power of religion on the mind, under the most trying afflictions, that a short account of him may properly introduce these memoirs.

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In the first part of his days, this distinguished person was “the greatest of all the men of the East.” His possessions were large : his family. was numerous and flourishing ; his own character was fair and blameless: yet this person it pleased God to visit with extraordinary reverses of for

tune. He was robbed of his whole substance. His sons and daughters all perished; and he him self, fallen from his high estate, childless and reduced to poverty, was smitten with sore disease His friends came about him, seemingly with the purpose of administering comfort; but, from a harsh and ill-founded construction of the intention of Providence, in his disasters, they only added to his sorrows, by unjust upbraiding.

In distress so poignant, what was the temper of this good man? Fully persuaded that all blessings come from God, who has a right to withhold or distribute them, as he sees best, he piously exclaims : “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord !"

To his other calamities, this domestic affliction was added, that his wife, who ought to have soothed and alleviated his sorrows, provoked his indignation, by an impious speech. What firmness and resignation are marked in his answer to her ! “ Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What! shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil ?" Though he forcibly felt the deplorable condition 10 which he was reduced, and most pathetically described and bewailed it, yet no doubt of Divine goodness, no murmur against Providence, was suffered to rise in his mind. « In all this Job sinned not with his lips, nor charged God foolishly."

At length, the goodness of that God whom he served, and who had secretly supported him under all his sufferings, broke forth upon him with increased energy; and, like a cheering sun dispersing the surrounding gloom, again gladdened his heart with returning. peace and prosperity. His riches were restored to him two-fold. The loss of his former children was repaired by a new offspring. His name became again renowned in the East; "and the latter end of Job was more blessed than the beginning."

SECTION II.

SOLOMON

Solomon is one of the most interesting and extraordinary characters mentioned in the sacred Scriptures. The advice which this prince received from his father David, a short time before his decease, is very remarkable ; and doubtless made a deep impression on his mind : “ Thou, Solomon, iny son, know thou the God of thy father; and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind : for the Lord searcheth all hearts. If thou seek him he will be found of thee : but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”

This king having made a great and solemn offering to God, soon after his accession to the throne, the Lord was well pleased with his piety and zeal; and desired him to “ask what he should give him.” Humbled under the sense of the goodness of God to him, and of his incapacity to

govern so numerous a people, he declared that "he was but a little child :” and, instead of riches and honour, and length of days, he desired that God would bestow upon him wisdom and knowledge, that he might pru

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