The Madness of Mankind

On June 9, 1754, Samuel Finely, an Irish immigrant and Presbyterian minister preached a sermon in Philadelphia titled “The Madness of Mankind”, following the text of Ecclesiastes 9:3: “. . . The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.” Portions of the sermon appear in quotes below.

Lord, save us from the madness of the crowd. Save us from those that promote

Precipitant Conclusions concerning Persons, Things, or Opinions, formed without Evidence, and often in Defiance of Demonstration to the contrary

Protect us from those that behave

As if Prudence and Circumspection were mere Names, and no Power of Deliberation had ever been given[.]  They live at random, and seem to consider Right and Wrong with absolute Indifference. . . .

Help us discern your truth, especially when

Many appear to have false Views of what is advantageous, or hurtful; and draw false Inferences from Actions and Event.

Forgive us for our lack of progress O Lord, and guide us forward.

Amen.

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