letters, and have subjoined remarks upon the Christian religion at the close, because I deem that 鏉窞娲楁荡鍦烘墍 M. Droz, in not 鏉窞鏈€濂界殑姘寸枟浼氭墍recurring to these fundamental principles at the beginning of his work, and in dwelling with so little earnestness upon the hope of the gospel, as an element of happiness, at the close, has left chasms in it which ought to be supplied.
The sect, numerous in my day, in yours, I trust, will have disappeared, who hold that religion
and philosophy are militant and irreconcilable
principles. Such persons are accustomed to brand these broad views of Providence and moral obligation with the odium of impiety. You will hardly need my assurance, that, if I thought with them,鏉窞娲楁荡鍝濂? my right hand should forget its cunning, before I would allow anything to escape my pen which might have the least tendency to impair in your minds the future and eternal sanctions of virtue. I shall hereafter enlarge upon my persuasion, that, so far 鏉窞鍝釜浼氭墍濂界帺 from being in opposition, 鏉窞涓濊璁哄潧 religion and philosophy, when rightly understood, will be found resting on the same immutable foundation. It is because the misguided friends of religion have attempted to sustain them, as separate and hostile interests, in my view, that the former has made so little progress towards becoming universal. It will one day be understood, that whatever wars with reason and common sense, is equally hostile to religion. The simple and unchangeable truths of Christianity will be found to violate none of our most obvious convictions. Truth will reassume her legitimate 鏉窞鐢峰＋绉佷汉楂樼骇鍏荤敓浼氭墍 reign. Piety, religion and morals, our best interests for this life, and our surest preparations for a future one, will be found exactly conformable to the eternal order of things, and the system of the gospel will become universal, according 鏉窞涓濊鎸夋懇瀹炰綋搴?to its legitimate claims. True piety, in my mind, is equally our duty, our wisdom and happiness. To behold God everywhere in his works, to hold communion with him in a contemplative and admiring spirit, to love, and trust him, to find, in the deep and constantly present persuasion of his being and attributes, a sentiment of exhaustless cheerfulness and excitement to duty, I hold to be the source of the purest and sublimest pleasure, that earth can afford.
True philosophy unfolds the design of final causes with a calm and humble wisdom. It finds the Creator everywhere, and always acting in wisdom 鏉窞鐨剆pa and power. It traces the highest benevolence of intention, where the first aspect showed no apparent purpose, or one that seemed to tend to misery; offering new inducements to learn the first and last lesson of religion, and the 鏉窞涓濊qq ultimate attainment of human wisdom鈥攔esignation to the will of God. In vindicating his ways to men, it declares that so long as we do not understand the laws of our being and so long as we transgress them, either ignorantly, or wilfully and unconsciously, misery to ourselves must just as certainly follow as that we can neither resist nor 鏉窞缇庡闄㈡帓琛屾 circumvent them; and that the Omnipotent has forged every link of the chain, that connects our own unhappiness with every transgression of the laws of our nature