Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

quantity, and the very life of large portions of the earth. And these are pictures of the operations of Grace, in the Church and in the Soul.

Atheism is a characteristic of our day. On the sentiments, manners, pursuits, amusements, and dealings of the great body of mankind, there is written in broad characters--without God in the world!

[ocr errors]

I HAVE often had occasion to observe, that a warm blundering man does more for the world than a frigid wise man. A man, who gets into a habit of enquiring about proprieties and expediencies and occasions, often spends his life without doing anything to purpose. The state of the world is such, and so much depends on action, that every thing seems to say loudly to every man, “ Do something"-" Do it”_"Do it.”

PROVIDENCE is a greater mystery than Religion, The state of the world is more humiliating to our reason, than the doctrines of the Gospel. A reflecting Christian sees more to excite his astonishment and to exercise his faith in the state of things between Temple Bar and St. Paul's, than in what he reads from Genesis to Revelation, See the description of the workings of God's Providence, in the account of the Cherubims in the 1st and 10th Chapters of Ezekiel.

The scheme and machinery of Redemption may be illustrated by the water-works at Marly. We consider a part of that complicated machinery, and we cannot calculate on the effects; but we see that they are produced. We cannot explain to a philosopher the system of Redemption, and the mode of conducting and communicating its benefits to the human soul; but we know that it yields the water of life—Civilization, to a barbarian-- Direction, to a wanderer-Support, to those that are ready to perish.

It is manifest that God designed to promote intercourse and commerce among men, by giving to each climate its appropriate productions. It is, in itself, not only innocent, but laudable. All Trade, however, which is founded in Embellishment, is founded in Depravity. So also is that Spirit of Trade, which pushes men on dangerous Competitions. Many tradesmen, professedly religious, seem to look on their trade as a vast engine, which will be worked to no good effect, if it be not worked with the whole vigour of the soul. This is an intoxicating and ruinous mistake. So far as they live under the power of religion, they will pursue their trade for sustenance and provision; but not even that, with unseasonable attention and with eagerness: much less will religion suffer them to bury themselves in it, when its objects are something beyond these: and, least of all, will it leave them to deceive themselves with certain commercial maxims, so far removed from simplicity and integrity, that I have been often shocked beyond measure, at hearing them countenanced and adopted by some religious professors.

Every man should aim to do one thing well. If he dissipates his attention on several objects, he may have excellent talents entrusted to him, but they will be entrusted to no good end. Concentrated on his proper object, they might have a vast energy; but, dissipated on several, they will have none. Let other objects be pursued, indeed; but only so far as they may subserve the main purpose. By neglecting this rule, I have seen Frivolity and Futility written on minds of great power; and, by regarding it, I have seen very limited minds acting in the first rank of their profession-I have seen a large capital and a great stock dissipated, and the man reduced to beggary; and I have seen a small capital and stock improved to great riches.

To effect any purpose, in study, the mind must be concentrated. If any other subject plays on the fancy, than that which ought to be exclusively before it, the mind is divided; and both are neutralized, so as to lose their effect. Just as when I learnt two systems of short-hand. I was familiar with Gurney's method, and wrote it with ease; but, when I took it into my head to learn Byrom’s, they destroyed each other, and I could write neither.

There should be something obvious, determinate, and positive, in a man's reasons for taking a journey; especially if he be a Minister. Such events and consequences may be connected with it in every step, that he ought, in no case, to be more simply dependent on the great Appointer of means and occasions. Several journies, which I thought myself called on to take, I have since had reason to think I should not have taken. Negative, and even doubtful reasons, may justify him in choosing the safer side of staying at home; but there ought to be something more in the reasons which put him out of his way, to meet the unknown consequences of a voluntary change of station. Let there always be a “ Because” to meet the “ Why?"

I SOMETIMES see, as I sit in my pew at St. John's during the Service, an idle fellow saunter into the Chapel. He gapes about him for a few minutes; finds nothing to interest and arrest him ; seems scarcely to understand what is going forward; and, after a lounge or two, goes out again. I look at him, and think, “ Thou art a wonderful creature! A perfect miracle! What a machine is that body! curiously,-fearfully,-wonderfully framed! An intricate-delicate—but harmonious and perfect structure! And, then, to ascend to thy soul —its nature--its capacities !~its actual statel-its designation! its eternal condition! I am lost in amazement!"-While he seems to have no more consciousness of all this, than the brutes which perish!

Sin, pursued to its tendencies, would pull God from his throne. Though I have a deep conviction of its exceeding sinfulness, I live not a week without seeing some exhibition of its malignity which draws from me—“Well! who could have imagined this !" Sin would subjugate heaven,

th, and hell to itself. It would make the Universe the minion of its lusts, and all Beings bow down and worship.

It is one of the most awful points of view in which we can consider God, that, as a righteous

« FöregåendeFortsätt »