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"WHAT must I do to be saved?" said a trembling jailer to his prisoners, eighteen hundred years ago. Since that time, millions, with tearful eyes, have asked the same question; and even to-day multitudes pause for the reply. The answer given to the jailer was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved;" and the answer given by Paul and Silas then is the answer generally given by Christian clergymen to inquirers now.

Webster says, that "save" means "to preserve from injury, destruction, or evil of any kind." Does believing in Jesus save men in this sense? To believe is to take for true what is told us by another. Will believing that Jesus was born of a virgin; that he performed wonderful miracles; that he died on the cross, or rose again; that he was the son of God, or God himself, or any thing else respecting him, will this preserve men from injury, destruction, or evil of any kind?

What are the evils that afflict mankind to-day, and from which we need to be saved? There is none greater than ignorance: it is the prolific parent of

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innumerable ills- of poverty, crime, and misery-that can never be told. The ignorant man walks through the world blindfolded, but with all the confidence of one who can see. He is always liable to fall down precipices and into pits, and is sure to choose a blindguide. Ignorant parents bring into the world children, that, by virtue of their generation, can never be healthy or wise, but must be a burden to themselves and their friends till death releases them. The ignorant farmer knows not how to treat his land, and his meagre crops only half satisfy the needs of his hungry family. The ignorant king makes the land mourn on account of his folly; and ignorant priests keep the multitudes who trust them constant slaves to grovelling superstitions. Ignorance fills our lunatic-asylums, almshouses, hospitals, and jails: it is, indeed, the fruitful soil in which vice of all kinds flourishes, and produces its baneful crops. Men drink intoxicating drinks, and boys learn to chew tobacco, because they are ignorant of the bad effects of these practices on the human system; and half the licentiousness of the world would be removed, were the perpetrators aware of the suffering that invariably follows.

Will believing in Jesus save us from ignorance? will it reveal to us a knowledge of our physical and mental systems, and their relation to the external world, so that we may reap the enjoyment that springs from a life ordered in harmony with natural law? Then, blessed faith! it shall be the first thing inculcated in the nursery; and a college professor destitute of this will lack the most essential qualification. Locomotives shall carry those who inculcate it on every

train; balloons shall drop the saving creed, printed in all tongues, over all lands; and telegraphs flash the intelligence as wide as the race.

Alas! Jesus himself was ignorant, so ignorant of the effect of the use of intoxicating drinks, that he not only drank them, but, if we are to believe one of his biographers, he even made them for other people to drink. He had such an incorrect idea of the size of our planet, that he supposed he had seen all the kingdoms of the earth from the top of a Syrian mountain; and was so ignorant of the inviolability of natural law, that he believed and taught that prayer could transport mountains from one locality to another. He never seems to have thought that the fabulous stories of the Old Testament were other than divine truths, and imposed them upon his unsuspecting believers. One of the greatest expounders of the Christian faith, that prince of believers, Paul, says that he counted all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of this same Jesus. Writing to the Corinthians, among whom he had preached, he says he determined to know nothing among them, only Jesus and him crucified; and then declares that "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God," and that "the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." It is evident that Paul's belief in Jesus, instead of leading him to increase in knowledge, only led him to despise it. It is true that he recommends believers, to grow in knowledge; but it is the knowledge of Jesus Christ and how much ignorance will such knowledge dispel ? He who grows only in the knowledge of Christ must be ignorant of what it is most important for him to know.

The Christian sentiment of more modern times is represented in one of Wesley's hymns:

Nothing is worth a thought beneath,

But how we may escape the death
That never, never dies.”

That man's mind must be poorly stored with information, who is forever thinking about how he may escape an impossible death.

Take Christians as a body, and how ignorant of natural science they are! They seem to have been influenced by Paul's advice, "Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy;" and it is notorious, that generally, in the same proportion as a man becomes a philosopher does he become spoiled for a Christian. Christianity arose on the world like a baleful star; and the long night of the dark ages set in, that it took the invention of printing and the revival of philosophical literature to disperse. Christianity burned the books of the Greek and Roman philosophers, and would have burned the philosophers themselves, had they been living, and not recanted. When Christians are intelligent, it is where surrounding conditions have made them so, and in proportion to their outgrowth of the original spirit of Christianity. Belief in Jesus, then, does not save from ignorance.

Poverty is a great calamity. When it is so great as to produce hunger, it masters the man, possesses him, and sends him into society a human wolf. When it exists in less degree, it prevents a man from buying books, wearing good clothes, living in a comfortable

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