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mistake the nature of the service which the Church, in accordance with Scripture, requires. . . . Be it ours to preserve with anxious care the sacred deposit intrusted to us; and cautiously to guard against its receiving any detriment in our hands. Not a few are now alive to this their holy calling: and avoiding all just cause of offence; uniting the wisdom of the serpent with the simplicity of the dove; that such may persevere, to the benefit of the Church, and the welfare of the nation, is the fervent prayer of him, who desires now to offer his mite as an humble testimonial of his accordance in the good work.' In conclusion, we would entreat our readers to procure this small but interesting work, which is within the reach of all grades of Churchmen; and if they study it carefully, and during the four remaining weeks of Lent, act in conformity with what it points out as the duty of every devout Christian, they will regard the time spent on its perusal as having been occupied in a manner most beneficial to their highest in
Select Pieces. By MARY PYPER. Edinburgh. 1847. Pp. 68.
We have much satisfaction in noticing this unpretending little volume, which contains much more good taste and poetical feeling, than many which are ushered forth into the world with far greater ostentation and pretence. In fact, there is an extraordinary vein of good taste pervading these compositions, which contrasts most favourably with the style of effusions, often proceeding from individuals far more highly gifted with the advantages of education.
The authoress of these simple poems is not one of those on whom the good things of this world have been showered; but she is happy in far more blessed gifts a contented mind, and sanctified spirit. Day after day she is to be found in the temple, offering up her prayers at the morning and evening sacrifice; and on each appointed day, when the holy Eucharist is to be celebrated, there does she, with uninterrupted punctuality, appear. We have noticed this, as exhibiting the consistency of her practice with her sentiments, but more than this remark we do not feel justified in making. As a specimen of these effusions, we quote a piece entitled
THE CHRISTIAN'S VIEW OF DEATH.
Let me go!-The day is breaking,
Let me go!-The day-star, beaming,
Lights me to that land of love!
Let me go!-No more a stranger
Let me go!-Mayheaven's best favour
Fair, but fleeting world, adieu !
Let me go!-My warfare's ended;
Boundless and eternal day!
Let me go!-My Master's chariot
Waits in state to bear me homePurchase of His grace and merit
Hallelujah! Lord, I come!
Now I'm thine, and thine for ever,
Now, amid the sacred splendour
Of the glorious hosts above,
To that God whose name is Love!
In conclusion, we have to observe, that although no publisher's name is appended to the volume, it may be procured at Messrs Lendrum & Co.'s, 29, Frederick Street, the publishers of this Magazine.
Printed by GRANT & TAYLOR, Albany Street, Edinburgh.
CHRISTIANITY NOT INCREDIBLE BECAUSE MYSTERIOUS. (Concluded from page 104.)
'Now I know in part.'-1 COR. xiii. 12.
II. Hitherto I have been employed in evincing the consistency of the seemingly incongruous notions of revelation and mystery, as affections of the same subject. It is now time to turn to the remaining form of the objection, which is, as was formerly stated, That it is unlikely, from what we should by the light of nature gather as to the character and plan of procedure of the Deity, that mysteries of any description, or, at all events, such mysteries as are found in Christianity, should have place in any system of which He is the author.
Now, if by the light of nature the sceptic intends his own hypothesis as to what God must be or do, we deny the authority of any such criterion. On this subject, it is contended, we are unable, by dint of a priori ratiocination, to reach any satisfactory result. Our knowledge of the divine character and administration (so far as derived from unassisted reason), in common with our belief in the divine existence, must, if sound, be the fruit of a wide and cautious induction. We must utterly discard the vain and arrogant imagination of how, were we in God's place, we should be likely to act, a species of conceit from which, if I mistake not, as a perennial source, most infidelity has issued, and be contented to gather, from a careful survey of nature, what are His dispositions, what His method of procedure only inferring what He is likely to do from what we ascertain He has actually done. On this footing the apologist of Christianity is prepared to join issue with the sceptic. If, on accurate VOL. I.
examination, the course of providence and the religion of nature shall be found devoid of perplexity, then will it be owned that the presence of that element in a system professing to emanate from the Contriver of the one, and the subject of the other, affords a solid reason for impugning its claims. But if, on the contrary, the character complained of in this be proved common to those; if the objection apply with no greater cogency to revealed religion than to natural, as directed against which it is confessedly innocuous, the ground of accusation sinks and vanishes. If, further, on comparing the specific difficulties of the two systems, we find these remarkably to tally with each other, there is generated a positive presumption of community of authorship. For mystery, so to speak, being noted as a character of the style of God in the constitution and course of nature,' so far is the appearance of that character in Christianity from militating against its credibility, that this would certainly have been laid open to impeachment by the want of it. Nay more, in the event of such coincidence, the very ground of suspicion becomes transmuted into a proof. The intervention of an ocean has not prevented men of science from entertaining the idea, suggested by a correspondence in the sinuous outline of the coasts, that continents thus widely disparted were, at some remote period, one. Torn asunder, as has been conjectured, in some stupendous convulsion, the counterpart projections and retrocessions of the fissure, the obvious circumstance that, could the sides be made to approximate, no gaps or lacunæ would be left, have been deemed the memorial of their former junction. And so, if the mysteries of natural religion interlock and weld in with the mysteries of revealed, no dubious indication is thus afforded that the systems so detached, and yet so assimilating, form parts of one complicated and majestic whole, of which we cannot but believe, though we know it so imperfectly, that it is worthy of the wisdom of the great Original.
I need not say that in these remarks I have been but treading in the track of two of the Anakim of Theology. The celebrated observation, that he who believes the Scripture to have proceeded from Him who is the author of nature, may well expect to find the same sort of difficulties in it as are found in the constitution of nature,' thrown out sixteen hundred years ago by the greatest thinker of the ancient Church, it was reserved for the last century to see expanded and applied in the incomparable treatise of the most profound of the moderns. The vein which, seemingly unapprised of its value, the
erratic genius of Origen no sooner opened than abandoned, has been wrought, I may add, exhausted, by the sublime industry of Bishop Butler.
That the general analogy of nature is such as would lead us to expect mysteries in a divine revelation, I had occasion to hint at a former stage of the argument. Perplexities thicken on us to whatever region we turn. If we look to inert matter, we are met by the questions,-What are its affinities? What its impenetrability? What and whence its motion? If we pass to organised structures, other problems present themselves, equally hard of solution. To these difficulties, indeed, and the like we are often blind; but the slightest reflection will serve to show that what we are apt to mistake for exhaustive knowledge, is only a confirmed habit of acquiescing ignorance. Could the prerogatives of nature be extended to art; could we see the creations of the painter leap forth from the canvass, or watch the marble warming into life; we should be witnesses of a process not more marvellous, but only less familiar, than the ordinary phenomena of reproduction and nutrition, What shall we then say of the transcendental conceptions of space and time, of cause and effect, of being and its accidents? Metaphysic, whose object-matter is so surpassingly interesting and sublime, may fitly be described as a congeries of mysteries which the repeated efforts at penetration of the highest intellects have long ago ascertained to be inscrutable: it is the science, emphatically, of our own ignorance. That of Mathematics itself is marked by paradoxes which reason first demonstrates and then recoils from, amazed at her own monstrous progeny. Of this class are the doctrines of incommensurables, of finite quantities infinitely divisible, of lines ever nearing which can never meet. But why multiply examples of a fact so patent to all Narrow indeed are the limits which circumscribe our researches. On all hands are we environed with a wall of adamant, which no force of ours can either scale or storm; which laughs alike at the assaults of the feeble and the mighty; which has withstood the massy 'prowess of Plato, Leibnitz, and Locke, the electric onset of Aquinas and Aristotle ;' which has baffled human understanding in its prime and its pride, and on which the energies of an angel's might be lavished in vain.
When the sceptic shall have unravelled these and similar perplexities; when he shall have dragged to light the latent essences of things; when he shall have mastered, in either of its exponent shapes, the idea of proper immensity; when he shall have unriddled the
problems suggested by the reciprocal action of mind and body; when he shall have unveiled to us, not the working, but the principle of gravitation,—that principle which binds all things in its vast embrace, alike the great and the mean; which smoothes the surge, and fetters the wind; which pilots the lightning, and modulates the thunder; which trains the tides to heave in sympathy with their mistress the moon; which binds the sweet influences of Pleiades, and looses she bands of Orion ;' which coerces with equal ease the comet and the atom; which, as if made (should such speech be susceptible of a reverent interpretation) sole sharer by the Deity of His own omnipresence, grasps and steers at the same instant the filmiest stripe of vapour, and strides in power on the nebulæ ;-when the sceptic shall have solved these, which, after all, in comparison are but vulgar mysteries, then, perhaps, may he begin to impugn revelation on the ground of his inability to decipher its contents. Then, but not tilk then for if to him, as to us, all creation be teeming with inexplicable wonders; if there be mysteries in heaven above, and in earth beneath, and in the waters under the earth,'-marvels above, around, and WITHIN him; if he himself, if BEING be a mystery; then will we not bear with the petulance which charges God foolishly,' and would lower its puny plummet to sound the Infinite.
On the vindication, however, of revealed religion, specific analogies may be brought to bear. I pass on, therefore, to give one or two specimens of the strict homogeneity subsisting between the mysteries of the Word and those of the works of God,-between the difficulties charged against Divine revelation, and certain correspondent traits in the constitution and course of nature.'
1. To begin, then, with the subject-matter of the Christian system. By this I intend the things revealed, of which some, on reflection, will be discriminated as mysterious in their own proper nature or individuality, others in their relations, others in both respects. As instances of the first class, I shall name the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the agency of the Holy Spirit; human responsibility, and redemption by expiatory atonement, may illustrate the second; while transmitted corruption and Satanic influence may be cited as examples of the third. My limits permit me to bestow on each no more than a passing glance. This is the less to be regretted that my present object is not so much to apply the general principle elicited to any difficulty in particular, as to evince the possibility of its application to all.