Sidor som bilder

preparatory work that has been done. The seed is buried; but it will not be lost. Future years will see it springing forth in rich luxuriance, sending abroad its branches by the rivers, and trailing its ripe clusters along the hills, giving shade to the weary, and refreshing cordials to those that are ready to perish. And they who have sown it in tears shall reap in gladness, when they receive their Master's plaudit--" Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

We could willingly linger upon this theme. It opens around us visions of the latter days, which it is refreshing to the eye and the heart to rest upon. The considerations which have been suggested seem almost to annihilate the weary distance which must elapse between prophecy and fulfilment, and to set us on the verge of the Messiah's universal kingdom. We already see the nations coming from afar, “their silver and their gold with them,” and thronging to the Saviour, “as clouds, and as doves to their windows." We hear the voice of “harpers, harping with their harps,” as “the ransomed of the Lord” return to Zion, with “songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.” We listen for the voices in heaven, - "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” We look abroad upon a world redeemed, renewed ; upon a church, purified, glorified, saved; reflecting from every part the lineaments of its glorified Head. We perceive the results of prayers, labors, self-denials for Christ's sake, watchings, fastings and tears. We rejoice in what we have given, and done, and said in behalf of this sublimest of causes. We witness the prayer fulfilled

" Come, Lord, and, added to thy many crowns,
“ Receive yet one,-the crown of all the earth,-
“ Thou who alone art worthy”-

and we are satisfied. God has fulfilled our desire, and our eyes behold it. Who, in view of these things, can refuse to join in the lay of the Christian poet

“ Time has nearly reached its sum;
“ All things, with thy Bride, say—Come ·
" Jesus, whom all worlds adore,
“Come and reign for evermore.”

It is due to the work, named at the head of this article, to say that it forms a beautiful octavo volume, with fine paper, and an attractive page. The editor has used to very good advantage the materials within his reach, and given a fair portrait of a most worthy man. The volume is distinguished by little that is very exciting; but it bears upon every page the marks of strong intellect, a spirit of acute discernment, and of Christian zeal and effort springing from convictions of duty and of right.



To those whose position enables them to judge rightly, it seems surprising that the intellectual and moral nature of man, and consequently the education which belongs to each, should have been oftentimes forced to so wide and unnatural a separation. We believe that intellectual and moral improvement are and ought to be inseparably one. In educating the intellect, we should labor yet more to improve and benefit the heart. Many good men have indulged prejudices against the education of the intellect, because of its liability to abuse. It has oftentimes been abused. Undoubtedly, a vicious person who is well versed in the philosophy of mind, acquires a very dangerous power. Knowledge gives power, which is injurious ar beneficent, according to the manner in which it is used. Physical strength is dangerous, if guided only by brute impulse; but infinitely more so, under the direction of a perverted mind. And he whose moral nature is so depraved that he has cast off fear, and adopted the motto attributed by Milton to the great spiritual foe of man, " better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven,"-may, if his sagacity and education be sufficient, become another Satan in crime; he may exert the most terrific influence in the community or the world in which he dwells.

But is the liability of any blessing to be perverted an argument against its usefulness? Who would say that our limbs or senses are either worthless or pernicious, because they may be rendered instruments of evil? And who shall say that the legitimate tendency of intellectual education is to inflate a man with pride, or to nourish skepticism, or to abridge his usefulness? The fact is far otherwise. The man who possesses a cultivated intellect, if he be also truly religious, will be more humble, and at the same time more useful;—just as the possession of limbs and senses, developed and trained according to their nature, enables us the better to discharge the duties of life, and to fulfil the design of our Creator.

If we consult the character of those studies which usually form the course of education, we shall find them to consist chiefly in the study of God and nature, and of ourselves. In such studies there is every thing calculated to enlarge the conceptions, to inform the understanding, and to improve the heart.

“ The men whom Nature's works can charm,
With God himself hold converse ; grow familiar
Day by day, with his conceptions, act upon his plan,
And form to his the relish of their souls."

In like manner, religion and the study of nature exert a reciprocal influence upon each other.

Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taste

His works. Admitted once to his embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before ;


shall be instructed, and thine heart,
Made pure, shall relish with divine delight,
Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought."

What, then, can there be incongruous, between the study of nature and the admiration of nature's God? What inconsistency in investigating the phenomena of mind, and submitting the result, with humility, to him who made it ? Or what so reasonable, as to task to the utmost our intellectual powers, and then to surrender them, weak and imperfect, to the great source and centre of all minds, their only point of rest?

Where this reciprocal cultivation is carried on, there is generally found a beautifully proportioned and well-balanced character. The greatest power is thus imparted to the mind, like that of Moses who " was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians ;" or of Daniel, who “was cunning in all knowledge, skilled in the understanding of science, and had ability to stand in the king's palace;' or of Paul, whose strong traits of intellect and whose various attainments, sanctified by the grace and Spirit of God, gave him an eminence, even among the apostles, which will make his influence to shine with the brightest radiance to the latest time.

Let no one, then, attempt the profane task of separating the knowledge of the physical sciences, the knowledge of human nature, and the knowledge of God. They rise, indeed, in importance, one above another; but they are all wedded by the closest and most interesting ties. Look, for example, at the analogies of nature. Surveying the material universe, we find that all the works of God harmonize with each other, and that each is essential to the completeness of the whole. Throughout the planetary systems, every thing is combined and dependent. The very elements of nature are composed of properties which, if even one were missing, would be ruinous. Every separate class of objects, from the most minute to the most grand, is but a successive link in the chain of existence.

The same analogy prevails in the nobler attributes of man. The laws which regulate the agency of matter are applicable to the operations of mind, and to the whole of our complex nature. If God has endowed us with a nature composed of various powers, such as memory, judgment, reflection, imagination, affections, conscience, all these may be cultivated together. For, as the beauty of the natural world consists much in that variety which is produced by objects adapted to different purposes; so does the beauty and happiness of civil society and of individual character, depend, in no small degree, upon the just proportion and general harmony which the different parts of our intellectual and moral nature bear to each other. And thus also, as beauty in painting, architecture or poetry, in natural or artificial scenery, consists much in the parts being so adjusted, as to contribute to that general effect which is the apparent object of the work, so the beauty and utility of a particular character are greatly heightened and enhanced, when all its parts are harmoniously developed, and all are discovered to be subservient to that object for which the great author of life intended them. Moreover, there is a reciprocal influence of mind and morals, and of science and religion, in promoting the power of both. Religious sentiments are to the intellectual, what the sun is to the natural world. Take away these, -and the principle of life which warms and invigorates, purifies and cheers, is destroyed. Mind, it is true, may exist; its operations may go on; but under serious disadvantages. A man who is influenced by pious motive and sanctified affection, will labor, cateris paribus, with double the success of him who is not thus influenced. The intellect of the latter is comparatively wayward and disordered. It has no motive adequate to the development of all its energy. Hence the feebleness of the atheistical philosophy. “They who do not love religion,” says Mr. Burke, “hate it. The rebels to God abhor the author of their being. He never presents himself to their thoughts, but to menace and alarm them. They cannot strike the sun out of heaven; but they are able to raise a smouldering smoke, that obscures him from their eyes.” And what intellect can labor advantageously under such circumstances? How can the mind of man be truly free, but by being relieved of these oppressing clouds ?' Night obstructs its vision, till, made pure, it sees and loves the Infinite Purity which before it hated. Then first the light of glorious day breaks on the soul. Then

“Nature, throwing wide
Her veil opaque, discloses with a smile
The author of her beauties; who, retired
Behind his own creation, works unseen
By the impure, and hears his word denied.”

Religion brightens and strengthens the intellect. Men that were profoundly ignorant of almost every thing, as soon as they know, and know no more, their Bible true”—often evince, in a very short time, the most surprising intellectual advancement. What has brightened and expanded their minds, given them such fertility of invention, such richness of imagination, such correctness of judgment, such power of thought, and such felicity of expression, but religion? This is obvious to all; and whether, therefore, we consult the well known principles of

« FöregåendeFortsätt »