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connection with the supervision which a prison, where its author and builder provides for the verification, miracle was bound with chains of his own reveals the almighty power of God fashioning. But if God has reserved sealing the heritage of truth and the to himself his glorious power and testimony of life. There are some energy of working, then every disthings too volatile, and others too play of it must necessarily be differmassive, to be held in the chains of a ent both from natural operation and definition. Miracle seems to fall buman agency. Where Godhead under the latter class, for although | discovers the necessity for his interthe bulk of earnest Christians are of vention, his action will resemble dione mind concerning the substantial vinity. The life-stream of emanation thing under question, yet as soon as will shine with the glow of the unever they begin to define, they begin create fountain. to disagree. We will not attempt 4. Nature is of necessity the best precise definition, but gradually ap- theatre for the display of supernatuproximate towards the reality of the ral credentials. The abiding spectacase.
cle of nature noiselessly pursuing the 2. Miracle certainly manifests su- will of God through manifest standperhuman and supernatural power : ing ordinances, has great power over that is, energy higher than human man. Greater power than his conpower or natural agency. Still there sciousness testifies to him in ordinary has been, and may be, manifestations periods. As soon as he remarks a of such a character, which are prodi- deviation from ordinary rule--a result gies rather than miracles. Before we accomplished without natural and can say that such a work is a miracle, common means – he is startled and there must be a moral purpose de- | aroused into intense life and intelliclared, and an avowed or evident con- gent observation. Solemnly is the nection betwixt one and the other. | matter pondered in the deeps of the Hence the miracles to which we ap- awakening soul. Why is an order of peal as evidence, were performed at things, So stately and regular, disthe instance of some prophet of God, turbed ? or why do higher spiritual or apostle of Christ, to endorse the law and power reveal themselves to teacher, and establish the divinity of humanity among ordinary phenomehis mission. The connection between na ? Such an answer has always the power of the worker, and the been ready, as served to prove that truth of the testimony, will appear in the mission was urgent and glorious, the sequel.
which put forth such astonishing tes3. After all the objections of the timonials. When God draws near to sceptical, it may safely be declared, man for personal communion, he has that if God ever act in support of tidings for him of profound interest truth, his action must necessarily be and everlasting importance. miraculous. Man cannot transcend 5. Humanity, in a sound condition, his own sphere. Within his own freely acknowledges the conclusiverange his agency can always be recog- ness of such evidence. “ We know nized. So, likewise, the operations that thou art a teacher come from of nature, or ordinary natural law, God, for no man could do the miracan easily be distinguished by their cles which thou doest, unless God uniformity. Must we affirm that the were with him” (John iii.) « The Creator has exhausted himself in his Gods are come down to us in the likeoriginal creation, leaving himself no ness of men” (Acts xiv. 11.) Thus power for independent or immediate from Jewish and Gentile schools — action ? This would be a monstrous from learned and unlearned spectaconclusion, turning the universe into tors—arises the same fulness of con
viction and frankness of testimony. He proved himself an ambassador Nicodemus could perceive both divine from heaven, but his apocalypse was power and divine wisdom-a present terrible as the lightning, which illuGod dwelling in the Great Teacher. minates and destroys at the same The Lycaonians brought oxen array- time. By the time that conviction ed with garlands, and would have of- | penetrated the Egyptian mind, the fered sacrifice to the descended divini- land was well nigh a ruin. Barren ties. Such a dramatic spectacle, fields and mourning houses attested however painful in one aspect, was the dreadful struggle betwixt divine grand in another, as a striking testi- | power and human depravity. Hence mony to the majesty of miracle. The the demonstration of divine power, on necessity for such evidence was no the part of the Christ would not have disease nourished in Roman Judea, been less complete in fact, had his but belonged to the very constitution works been mingled with penalties. of humanity. Hence Moses dared Nevertheless his miracles of benevonot approach the gates of Egypt with- | lence are more efficient in opening out credentials of an acceptable kind. the sluices of the human heart.
6. Miracles were not intended to Where all the grandeur of celestial exercise converting power. We do power comes before us in service of not desire to affirm that they contain love-where the plenitude of supernal ed no moral element, or appealed majesty flows in streams of mercy only to the logical faculty. But prin- and healing to body and spirit—there cipally they served to startle from the the affections and the convictions are slumber of selfishness and bigotry, in unison. The heart endorses the and thus secured a favorable hearing conclusion of the understanding, and .for the truth. Especially was this we bow before a God and a Father. done by those miracles which revealed 8. Miracles have never been desepity and benignity in combination crated by the service of falsehood and with creative and life-restoring impiety. The magicians of Egypt energy. But it was the truth con- were learned jugglers, skilled and cerning a crucified and risen Saviour potent in the science of delusion. who had established a mercy-seat and They are either mythical or monopened the gates of immortality, strous, but speak not with authority which poured fresh life into the soul. from heaven. Indian wonders are The Father was revealed in the life wilder and more hideous than the and death of the Son, as a sin-pardon- awful mother and son whom Satan ing God, opening wide his arms of found watching the gates of hell. compassion to embrace returning The signs which the Papal system prodigals, in the shelter of an eternal has always held forth, were lying home.
wonders. Not true and actual mira7. Manifest benevolence is not an cles in support of their unholy cause, essential character or attribute of but unreal works-legends from the miracle. All God's dealings with brain of the monk, and shams from men are benevolent on a large scale. the twilight of the cloister. Not to Yet severe treatment, austere retri- magian Egypt, nor classical Greece, bution, are an essential element in nor metaphysical India, nor Papal his government. The mission of Rome ; but to Jerusalem, the city of Moses was unquestionably divine, yet God, do we look. There we find the his credentials were not obviously divine associations which unite heaven beneficent. His demonstration of and earth, flooding this lower world power sounded like thunder, peal on with the golden effulgence of the empeal deepening, and darkening into pyrean. We are ready to maintain the glooms of the Red Sea tragedy. I that miracle is hallowed, inviolate
T minek is divine power, /ed with
Ad-man for the working of Satan
9. The miracles of Christ had o the features of reality. There nev was any preparation made for disni but the power was manifested in cret or in public, just as c stances seemed to call for ; journey of life. There tempt made to build upon some dubious gle scintillation, of superhu
but the flood-gates of higher life w
opened wide. and was affluent and v. were upon such as diversity, that the illusion could fin upon. They
to that congregation so richly endow
Wed with gifts, and so deficient in unity, reveal
d spiritual life, and moral beauty, he seali)
s no indicated the time when the miracu
Satan lous gifts would all vanish, leaving thir
the spiritual realities which are deathma
brist had all less as the perpetual inheritance of
There never the people of God. Faith, hope, and de for display, love are abiding, and the greatest of anifested in se- | all is love. It is the girdle, or bond just as circum- of perfection, binding all other attricall for it in the butes and graces into unity-securing
There was no at- | their proper adjustment and harmoto build a reputation nious operation. dubious gleam, or stray
G. GREENWELL. in of superhuman energy ; btes of higher life were
CONVERTING INFLUENCE. wide, and the manifestation fuent and various. The works
such a scale, and in such / QUERY.-Cannot the sinner, by applying his
that the idea of magical / reason and inclination to the scripture, undersion could find nothing to rest stand it; and having understood it, does he - They were so benignant in need to receive aid to appropriate it? In other
words, Is any extraneous aid necessary to pre# and in consequences, that the
pare the mind of a sinner for fully comprehenda of diabolic agency could only | ing and appreciating the great truths contained Wiginate among the utterly vile, in the word of God, so that they may produce abandoned by heaven, and shut out their appropriate fruits ? Or, again, Is not the from the mercies of God. Sharp
word itself, heard, understood, and obeyed, all
that is requisite both to make a man a member sighted and rancorous enemies 01 | of the kingdom of Christ, and to fit him for an Christ were spectators from time to abode in heaven ?
J. R. G. time, but they could find no flaw in his wonders. His works were durable, the subjects operated upon re- ANSWER. — It is certainly immaining open to the scrutiny of all portant that the position which the men for a considerable time. Finally, gospel occupies in the work of conthey were influential on the human version should be clearly understood. mind in all stages and forms of cul- The prevailing error, indeed, of the ture, and in all the situations of life. sectarian community, is to be found
10. The miracles were never de here, upon the very threshold of the signed for continuance. Indeed they divine temple of Christianity, and it derived their influence from their has been one of the aims of the strangeness and peculiarity. As if present reformation to restore the bright angels stood and walked gospel to its original character, as among men, so stood and moved the the power of God to the believer for miraculous works among the common his salvation. operations and results of nature. But In doing this, however, it is necesperpetual miracle would either become sary to guard against the error of the consolidated course of nature - supposing that either the gospel or thus ceasing its supernatural power- the scriptures in general possess an or else, by even standing continually I absolute power-an influence wholly alongside of natural working, it would independent of extraneous circumbe shorn of its influence by its fa- stances, or of the inward condition of miliarity. When the apostle wrote the mind to which they may be ad
dressed. If this were so, every one | the minds and hearts of those adto whom the gospel is preached would dressed. be converted, as a matter of course, It is a matter of familiar observaan unavoidable necessity ; just as if tion, tha: men's minds are really in a die had the absolute power of these different conditions exbibited in making an impression upon metal the parable. The gospel preached to irrespective of its condition as soft or a congregation will convert a part, hard, heated or cold, we would find and will be rejected by a part. Some its perfect stamp upon all the pieces of those converted do afterwards fall subjected to its action. This, however, away, from their own shallowness or we know is not the case with a die. the love of the world. We have The metal must be in a condition thus indubitable facts to convince us suited to its action, else it will receive of the correctness of the view presented no impression. Hence the power of in the parable of the Sower, and to the die is relative, since it depends show us that it depends upon the state upon the state of the metal on which of the mind, when the gospel is preit acts. Just so it is with seed sown. sented, what shall be the effect of such Its power to grow and bear fruit is presentation. Hence it would be an relative, and not absolute. The seed error to suppose that, in preaching the has in itself, indeed, a vegetative gospel, we should take no account of power ; but it is a force in a state of the state of men's minds, or that men's rest, which can be called into activity minds are precisely in the same cononly when the seed is subjected to dition, and equally ready and well the necessary conditions of soil, air, prepared for the reception of the truth. heat, and moisture. This comparison And it would be equally an error to is a scriptural one ; and, as employed imagine that the gospel has the power in the parable of the Sower, precisely of putting the mind into a favorable illustrates my view of the matter. condition, and preparing the heart for We have here four different results its own reception. Yet these would from the sowing of the good seed of seem to be the confused notions which the gospel-yet the seed is the same; many entertain upon this subject. the sower is the same ; the mode of The question is not, Has the word sowing the same in all. To what, alone, “heard, understood, and obeythen, is the difference of result owing ? ed,” power to convert men and fit Evidently to the differences in the them for heaven ? but, Has the word conditions and circumstances of the alone power to make itself “ heard, soil on which the seed fell. It was understood, and obeyed ?” In answer, because the way-side was BEATEN I need only remark that if we decide HARD that the seed could not enter ; this in the affirmative, it will be the because the soil was STONY that it fault of the word that all men have could not gain sufficient root; because not heard, understood, and obeyed. I the soil was INFESTED WITH THORNS fully concur with you, however, in the that its growth was choked ; and sentiment that when the word is heard, because the soil was GOOD that it understood, and obeyed, it has power flourished and brought forth fruit. to make a man a member of the Now the seed did not create the dif- kingdom of Christ and to fit him for an ferences in the soil, and had no power abode in heaven; and this because, in to make the soil good or to prepare faith and obedience, the divine proit for its own reception. The object mises are enjoyed ; among which we of this very parable is to show that find the remission of sins and the gift the power of the gospel is relative, of the Holy Spirit. I also concur and that the results of its preaching with you, that the sinner can, by apdepend on the state and character of plying his reason and inclination to
the scriptures, understand the word disasters which befell her during full and appropriate it. In such proposi- eighteen years, consummated in her tions there is an almost universal af- martyrdom by the command of the firmative agreement among all parties. intolerant and haughty Elizabeth. The controversy has respect to the | On surveying such localities as means by which the sinner is INDUCED these, one cannot but associate with thus to apply his reason and inclina-them the fortunes of those distintion to the word. Why is it that the guished persons whose history is part proclaimed word finds some hearts of theirs. The little Lochleven — so insensible, some partially sensitive, called, as tradition saith, because some surcharged with worldly cares, eleven rivers run into it, or because and some “ good and honest ?” Luke it is eleven miles in circumference, or viii. 15. What has made the latter because eleven species of fish compose “good and honest ?” Not the word, its finny tenantry ; or, perhaps, beassuredly ; for it is their condition cause of all three, is as famous for its prior to the presentation of the word relation to Culdee history as to that
-a prerequisite or preparation abso- of the Stuart royalty. lutely necessary to the proper recep The Culdee establishment of Lochtion of the word, and its subsequent leven, or as sometimes called, THE successful progress. As respects con- | Inch, or ISLAND OF ST. SERF, is reversion, now, this is the real question ferred to amongst the antiquities of to be considered, and for the discussion Kinross in the following manner :of this point, and, as I think, a full
“Before the introduction of Christianity into and fair examination of the whole Scotland, there existed in Britain, south as well subject, I must refer you to my arti- as north, a class of men called Druids, from cles already published.*
whom, by the testimony of Julius Cæsar in his R.
| Commentaries, the Druids of Gaul derived their origin, and who, from whatever source they derived their knowledge, it is recorded,
believed in the immortality of the soul, and in LETTERS FROM EUROPE.
the transmigration of souls. And it was not NO. XXVIII.
| till the beginning of the 3rd century, that, in
Scotland, after the spread of Christianity, this MY DEAR CLARINDA.-On our way
form of worship began to fall into disrepute.
After this, till about the year 302, nothing from Auchtermuchty to Dunfermline,
certain is known, when a number of the early we passed through the village of Kin- | Christians took refugein Scotland from the tenth ross ; from which, while refreshing persecution under the Emperor Dioclesian; and our horse, we walked down to the
about this period, mention is first made of
the Culdees, men remarkable in those days for ancient burial ground, near the re
the sanctity of their lives, the purity of their sidence of an absent Baron : from
worship, and for their knowledge of divine which we had a nearer view of Loch- | truth. leven and its ancient castle, once the “Different explanations have been given of celebrated prison of Mary Queen of
n of the derivation of the name; some giving it
from the Latin, Cultures Dei, worshippers of Scots. The island on which the castle
God; others, from the Gaelic, Gille De, stands is indeed of narrow limits, and servants of God; and lastly, from the Gaelic, was, therefore, a very suitable location Cuil, or Ceal, a cell, a sheltered place, a refor a stronghold, or a prison ; yet it
treat. And if we conjoin the two latter, the failed to secure the person of the royal
explanation is obvious that these were refugees,
servants of God, dwelling in retreats and hiding prisoner. The unfortunate Mary,
places. From these, many parts in Scotland, however, had better continued in this beginning with Kil, such as Kilmarnock, Killonely and sequestered spot, than to winning, Kilbride, &c. derive their name. The have encountered all the dangers and
records of the Culdees have perished, partly
from the lapse of time, but principally because * These articles are now in our possession, it was the interest of their Popish successors and will appear in due course.
that they should not be preserved.