صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

is written, that ye may not be pulled up for another, one against another.”—That was St. Paul's creed, and that which he recommends to the church of Rome, to prevent pride, and faction, and schism.

BEAUTIES OF THE PSALMS.

Tue fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands and lose their fragrancy; but these unfading plants of paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily heightened ; fresh odours are emitted, and new sweets are extracted from them. He who hath once tasted their excellencies, will desire to taste them yet again ; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best.

LY OF INFIDELITY IN ATTEMPTING TO DESTROY THE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE.

And is it possible that you (Paine) should think so highly of your performance, as to believe, that you have thereby demolished the authority of a Book, which Newton himself esteemed the most authentic of all histories; which, by its celestial light, illumines the darkest ages of antiquity ; which is the touchstone whereby we are enabled to distinguish between true and fabulous theology, between the God of Israel, holy, just, and good, and the impure rabble of heathen Baalim ;

which has been thought, by competent judges, to have afforded matter for the laws of Solon, and a foundation for the philosophy of Plato;—which has been illustrated by the labour of learning, in all ages and countries ;-and been admired and venerated for its piety, its sublimity, its veracity, by all who were able to read and understand it ? No, sir; you have gone, indeed, through the wood, with the best intention in the world to cut it down; but you have merely busied yourself in exposing to vulgar contempt a few unsightly shrubs which good men had wisely concealed from public view ; you have entangled yourself in thickets of thorns and briers; you have lost your way on the mountains of Lebanon ; the goodly cedar trees whereof, lamenting the madness, and pitying the blindness of your rare against them, have scorned the blunt edge, and the basc temper of your axe, and laughed unhurt, at the feebleness of your stroke. The Bible has withstood the learning of Porphyry, and the power of Julian; to say nothing of the Manichean Faustus. It has resisted the genius of Bolingbroke, and the wit of Voltaire: to say nothing of a numerous herd of inferior assailants; and it will not fall hy your force. You have barbed anew the blunted arrows of former adversaries ; you have feathered them with blasphemy and ridicule; dipped them in your deadliest poison ; aimed them with your utmost skill; shot them against the shield of faith with your utmost vigour; but, like the feeble javelin of aged Priam, they will scarcely reach the mark---Will fall to the ground without a stroke.

THE GUILT OF NEGLECTING THE BIBLE.

But amidst the unnumbered talents that are distributed on earth, there is one which, in point of real value, holds a pre-eminent and distinguished place. That talent is—the Record of Heaven-the Gospel of the Son of God. It is by virtue of this talent we are taught the relative importance of every other one, and are brought to fix the paramount claims of the Divine Author of all our mercies. Awful, indeed, is the responsibility which this bestowment involves ! It were better never to have been born, than to be guilty of abusing it. Salvation slighted, will issue in the final overthrow of our happiness—in the eternal ruin of our souls. The possession of this talent heightens the value, and augments the responsibility of every other one. It sheds light on all the relations of time, and exhibits them in their solemn connexion with eternity.

SHORT SENTENCES.

The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying.

God has given us four books :—the Book of Grace, the Book of Nature, the Book of the World, and the Book of Providence. Every occurrence is a leaf in one of these books. It does not become us to be negligent in the use of any of them.

One way of reading the Bible with advantage is to pay it great homage; so that when we come to any part which we cannot connect with other passages, we must conclude that this arises from our ignorance, but that the seeming contrarieties are in themselves quite reconcilable.

A sagacious discerner would think every letter of the Lamentations, and part of the prophecy of Jeremiah, written with a tear; every word, the sound of a breaking heart; and the writer a man of sorrows, who scarce ever breathed but in sighs, or spoke but in groans.

FAITH.

The true faith of our religion is in that state of mind which a distinct apprehension of our present relations to God, and their future consequences, beyond all importance of worldly things, hath arrested and impressed. That the angry Almighty became a man, that Himself might be our Saviour from destruction, is the paramount relation, and on which the very present existence of the world depends; and, therefore, well may the faith of our religion be distinctively termed faith in Christ,—the same impressed mind where the trembling and humility of men escaping from destruction, as the little bird flies low and coweringly and with a half chirrup of gladness from the hand of the fowler, are just passing into joy unbounded ; where together, in the hope and fear of futurity, they become parts of the same love. And love is exalted, -an admiration, a gratitude, -to the point, where, in all our actions, we would beware disregard to his injunctions who hath become our Redeemer; and more, would sacrifice all for his glory.

SELF-ESTIMATION REPROVED.

WE

may

walk forth with the beauty of earth beneath our feet, and the star of heaven in our eye; and our souls consent to the loveliness of organized nature; and our hearts overflow with silent worship of the Great Author ;--but this is not enough; and there is neither power of instruction, nor example, nor hope, nor fear, sufficient, in such exercises of moral intellect, to raise the prostrate world from its debased conditions. There is a better calculation in Chris. tianity for poor man, above the pity or contempt of vain intellects, or the generous efforts of the more truly wise. It waits for no conditions of wisdom or greatness. It takes not the bold speculator on the heights of natural religion first by the hand, nor hails him the greatest favourite of Heaven. It defies his calculations of merit. It oversteps the control of circumstances. The dungeon and the lazar-house, and the purlieus of lowest humanity, it searches for the contrite heart; and raises it to a higher gratitude than of natural religion, and the capacity of a greater moral worth. A rainbow on the dim tears of the penitent, and an immortal hope in his heart;he rises above the anxieties of low care and his former sins, a new man, more sublime, in his change, than Brutus of old when he threw aside his idiocy and disenthralled Pome. It is the re

« السابقةمتابعة »