The decline of faith that produces the decline of truth does not necessarily cripple, but certainly misleads the human mind. God, who is both compassionate and just, denies truth to guilty souls, but does not deprive them of life. He condemns them to error, but not to death. As an evidence of this, every one has witnessed those periods of prodigious incredulity and Of highest culture that have shone in history with a phosphores cent light, leaving more of a burning than a luminous track behind them. If we carefully contemplate these ages, we Shall see that their Splendor is only the inﬂamed glare of the Iightning's ﬂash. It is evident that their brightness is the sudden explosion of their obscure but combustible materials, rather than the calm light pro ceeding from purest regions, and serenely Spread over heaven's vault by the divine pencil of the sovereign painter.
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