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life and his labours to the fine pursuit of tions of cast and of colour, and spreads its augmenting the science, or the virtue, or ample regards over the whole brotherhood the substantial prosperity of his nation. of the species-a philanthropy, which atOh! could such a man retain all the ten- taches itself to man in the general; to man derness, and fulfil all the duties which home throughout all his varieties: to man as the and which neighbourhood require of him, partaker of one common nature, and who, and at the same time expatiate, in the might in whatever clime or latitude you may meet of his untired faculties, on so wide a field with him, is found to breathe the same of benevolent contemplation-would not sympathies, and to possess the same high this extension of reach place him still high-capabilities both of bliss and improvement. er than before, on the scale both of moral It is true that upon this subject, there is and intellectual gradation, and give him a still brighter and more enduring name in the records of human excellence?

And lastly, I can conceive a still loftier flight of humanity-a man, the aspiring of whose heart for the good of man, knows no limitations-whose longings, and whose conceptions on this subject, overleap all the barriers of geography-who, looking on himself as a brother of the species, links every spare energy which belongs to him with the cause of its melioration--who can embrace within the grasp of his ample desires the whole family of mankind-and who, in obedience to a heaven-born movement of principle within him, separates himself to some big and busy enterprise, which is to tell on the moral destinies of the world. Oh! could such a man mix up the softenings of private virtue with the habit of so sublime a comprehension-if, amid those magnificent darings of thought and of performance, the mildness of his benignant eye could still continue to cheer the retreat of his family, and to spend the charm and the sacredness of piety among all its members -could he even mingle himself, in all the gentleness of a soothed and a smiling heart, with the playfulness of his children-and also find strength to shed the blessings of his presence and his counsel over the vicinity around him;-oh! would not the combination of so much grace with so much loftiness, only serve the more to aggrandize him? Would not the one ingredient of a character so rare, go to illustrate and to magnify the other? And would not you pronounce him to be the fairest specimen of our nature, who could so call out all your tenderness, while he challenged and compelled all your veneration?

often a loose and unsettled magnificence of thought, which is fruitful of nothing but empty speculation. But the men to whom I allude have not imagined the enterprise in the form of a thing unknown. They have given it a local habitation. They have bodied it forth in deed and in accomplishment. They have turned the dream into a reality. In them, the power of a lofty generalization meets with its happiest attemperament in the principle and perseverance, and all the chastening and subduing virtues of the New Testament. And, were I in search of that fine union of grace and of greatness, which I have now been insisting on, and in virtue of which the enlightened Christian can at once find room in his bosom for the concerns of universal humanity and for the play of kindliness towards every individual he meets with-I could no where more readily expect to find it, than with the worthies of our own landthe Howard of a former generation, who paced it over Europe in quest of the unseen wretchedness which abounds in it; or in such men of our present generation as Wilberforce, who lifted his unwearied voice against the biggest outrage ever practised on our nature, till he wrought its extermination; and Clarkson, who plied his assiduous task at rearing the materials of its impressive history, and at length carried, for this righteous cause, the mind of Parlia ment; and Carey, from whose hand the generations of the East are now receiving the elements of their moral renovation, and, in fine, those holy and devoted men, who count not their lives dear unto them; but, going forth every year from the island of our habitation, carry the message of heaven over the face of the world; and in the Nor can I proceed, at this point of my front of severest obloquy are now labouring argument, without adverting to the way in in remotest lands; and are reclaiming anwhich this last and this largest style of be- other and another portion from the wastes nevolence is exemplified in our own coun- of dark and fallen humanity; and are widentry-where the spirit of the Gospel has ing the domains of gospel light and gospel given to many of its enlightened disciples principle among them; and are spreading a the impulse of such a philanthropy, as car- moral beauty around the every spot on which ries abroad their wishes and their endea- they pitch their lowly tabernacle; and are at vours to the very outskirts of human po- length compelling even the eye and the testipulation-a philanthropy, of which, if you mony of gainsayers, by the success of their asked the extent or the boundary of its field, noble enterprise; and are forcing the exwe should answer, in the language of in-clamation of delighted surprise from the spiration, that the field is the world-phi- charmed and arrested traveller, as he looks lanthropy, which overlooks all the distinc- at the softening tints which they are now

every bosom will affirm it-it was nature in the shepherd to leave the ninety and nine of his flock forgotten and alone in the wilderness, and betaking himself to the mountains, to give all his labour and all his concern to the pursuit of one solitary wanderer. It was nature; and we are told in the passage before us, that it is such a portion of nature as belongs not merely to men but to angels; when the woman, with her mind in a state of listlessness as to the nine pieces of silver that were in secure custody,

spreading over the wilderness, and as he may be brought to meet the infidelity we hears the sound of the chapel bell, and as in have thus long been employed in combatthose haunts where, at the distance of halfing. It was nature, and the experience of a generation, savages would have scowled upon his path, he regales himself with the hum of missionary schools, and the lovely spectacle of peaceful and christian villages. Such, then, is the benevolence, at once so gentle and so lofty, of those men, who, sanctified by the faith that is in Jesus, have had their hearts visited from heaven by a beam of warmth and of sacredness.-What then, I should like to know, is the benevolence of the place from whence such an influence cometh? How wide is the compass of this virtue there, and how exquisite is the feel-turned the whole force of her anxiety to the ing of its tenderness, and how pure and how fervent are its aspirings among those unfallen beings who have no darkness and no encumbering weight of corruption to strive against? Angels have a mightier reach of contemplation. Angels can look upon this world, and all which it inherits, as the part of a larger family. Angels were in the full exercise of their powers even at the first infancy of our species, and shared in the gratulations of that period, when at the birth of humanity all intelligent nature felt a gladdening impulse, and the morning stars sang together for joy. They loved us even with that love which a family on earth bears to a younger sister; and the very childhood of our tinier faculties did only serve the more to endear us to them; and though born at a later hour in the history of creation, did they regard us as heirs of the same destiny with themselves, to rise along with them in the scale of moral elevation, to bow at the same footstool, and to partake in those high dispensations of a parent's kindness and a parent's care, which are ever emanating from the throne of the Eternal on all the members of a duteous and affectionate family. Take the reach of an angel's mind, but, at the same time take the seraphic fervour of an angel's benevolence along with it; how from the eminence on which he stands he may have an eye upon many worlds, and a remembrance upon the origin and the successive concerns of every one of them; how he may feel the full force of a most affecting relationship with the inhabitants of each, as the offspring of one common Father; and though it be both the effect and the evidence of our depravity, that we cannot sympathise with these pure and generous ardours of a celestial spirit; how it may consist with the lofty comprehension, and the everbreathing love of an angel, that he can both shoot his benevolence abroad over a mighty expanse of planets and of systems, and lavish a flood of tenderness on each individual of their teeming population.

Keep all this in view, and you cannot fail to perceive how the principle, so finely and so copiously illustrated in this chapter

one piece which she had lost, and for which she had to light a candle, and to sweep the house, and to search diligently until she found it. It was nature in her to rejoice more over that piece, than over all the rest of them, and to tell it abroad among friends and neighbours, that they might rejoice along with her-aye, and sadly effaced as humanity is, in all her original lineaments, this is a part of our nature, the very movements of which are experienced in heaven, "where there is more joy over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance." For any thing I know, the very planet that rolls in the immensity around me may be a land of righteousness; and be a member of the household of God; and have her secure dwelling-place within that ample limit, which embraces his great and universal family. But I know at least of one wanderer; and how wofully she has strayed from peace and from purity; and how in dreary alienation from him who made her, she has bewildered herself among those many devious tracts, which have carried her afar from the path of immortality; and how sadly tarnished all those beauties and felicities are, which promised, on that morning of her existence when God looked on her, and saw that all was very good-which promised so richly to bless and to adorn her; and how in the eye of the whole unfallen creation, she has renounced all this goodliness, and is fast departing away from them into guilt, and wretchedness, and shame. Oh! if there be any truth in this chapter, and any sweet or touching nature in the principle which runs throughout all its parables, let us cease to wonder, though they who surround the throne of love should be looking so intently toward us-or though in the way by which they have singled us out, all the other orbs of space should, for one short season, on the scale of eternity, appear to be forgotten-or though for every step of her recovery, and for every individual who is rendered back again to the fold from which he was separated, another and another message of triumph should be

made to circulate among the hosts of paradise-or though lost as we are, and sunk in depravity as we are, all the sympathies of heaven should now be awake on the enterprise of him who has travailed, in the greatness of his strength, to seek and to

save us.

summation of their history in time, there should be such a movement in heaven; or that angels should so often have sped their commissioned way on the errand of our recovery; or that the Son of God should have bowed himself down to the burden of our mysterious atonement; or that the And here I cannot but remark how fine a Spirit of God should now, by the busy vaharmony there is between the law of sym- riety of his all-powerful influences, be carrypathetic nature in heaven, and the most ing forward that dispensation of grace touching exhibitions of it on the face of our which is to make us meet for re-admittance world. When one of a numerous house- into the mansions of the celestial. Only hold droops under the power of disease, is think of love as the reigning principle there; not that the one to whom all the tenderness of love, as sending forth its energies and is turned, and who, in a manner, monopo- aspirations to the quarter where its object lizes the inquiries of his neighbourhood, is most in danger of being for ever lost to and the care of his family? When the it; of love, as called forth by this single sighing of the midnight storms sends a dis- circumstance to its uttermost exertion, and mal foreboding into the mother's heart, to the most exquisite feeling of its tenderness; whom of all her offspring, I would ask, are and then shall we come to a distinct and a her thoughts and her anxieties then wan- familiar explanation of this whole mystery: dering? Is it not to her sailor boy whom her Nor shall we resist by our incredulity the fancy has placed amid the rude and angry gospel message any longer, though it tells surges of the ocean? Does not this, the us that throughout the whole of this world's hour of his apprehended danger, concen- history, long in our eyes, but only a little trate upon him the whole force of her wake-month in the high periods of immortality, ful meditations? And does not he engross, so much of the vigilance, and so much of the for a season, her every sensibility, and her earnestness of heaven, should have been every prayer? We sometimes hear of ship- expended on the recovery of its guilty powrecked passengers thrown upon a barba-pulation.

rous shore; and seized upon by its prowling There is another touching trait of nature, inhabitants; and hurried away through the which goes finely to heighten this princitracks of a dreary and unknown wilder-ple, and still more forcibly to demonstrate ness; and sold into captivity; and loaded its application to our present argument. So with the fetters of irrecoverable bondage; and who, stripped of every other liberty but the liberty of thought, feel even this to be another ingredient of wretchedness, for what can they think of but home; and as all its kind and tender imagery comes upon their remembrance, how can they think of it but in the bitterness of despair? Oh tell me, when the fame of all this disaster reaches his family, who is the member of it to whom is directed the full tide of its griefs and of its sympathies? Who is it that, for weeks and for months, usurps their every feeling, and calls out their largest sacrifices, and sets them to the busiest expedients for getting him back again? Who is it that makes them forgetful of themselves nd of all around them; and tell me if you an assign a limit to the pains, and the exertions, and the surrenders which afflicted parents and weeping sisters would make to seek and to save him.

Now conceive, as we are warranted to do by the parables of this chapter, the principle of all these earthly exhibitions to be in full operation around the throne of God. Conceive the universe to be one secure and rejoicing family, and that this alienated world is the only strayed, or only captive member belonging to it; and we shall cease to wonder, that from the first period of the captivity of our species, down to the con

long as the dying child of David was alive, he was kept on the stretch of anxiety and of suffering with regard to it. When it expired, he arose and comforted himself. This narrative of King David is in harmony with all that we experience of our own movements and our own sensibilities. It is the power of uncertainty which gives them so active and so interesting a play in our bosoms; and which heightens all our regards to a tenfold pitch of feeling and exercise; and which fixes down our watchfulness upon our infant's dying bed; and which keeps us so painfully alive to every turn and to every symptom in the progress of its malady; and which draws out all our affections for it to a degree of intensity that is quite unutterable; and which urges us on to ply our every effort and our every expedient, till hope withdraw its lingering beam, or till death shut the eyes of our beloved in the slumber of its long and its last repose.

I know not who of you have your names written in the book of life-nor can I tell if this be known to the angels which are in heaven. While in the land of living men, you are under the power and application of a remedy, which if taken as the gospel prescribes, will renovate the soul, and altogether prepare it for the bloom and the vigour of immortality. Wonder not then

that with this principle of uncertainty in How will it go to aggravate the whole guilt such full operation, ministers should feel of our impenitency, should we stand out for you; or angels should feel for you; or against the power and the tenderness of all the sensibilities of heaven should be these manifold applications-the voice of a awake upon the symptoms of your grace beseeching God upon us-the word of salva and reformation; or the eyes of those who tion at our very door-the free offer of stand upon the high eminences of the celes- strength and of acceptance sounded in our tial world, should be so earnestly fixed on hearing-the spirit in readiness with his the every footstep and new evolution of agency to meet our every desire and our your moral history. Such a consideration every inquiry-angels beckoning us to their as this should do something more than si- company-and the very first movements of lence the infidel objection. It should give our awakened conscience drawing upon us a practical effect to the calls of repentance. all their regard, and all their earnestness!


On the Contest for an Ascendency over Man, among the Higher Orders of


"And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."-Colossians ii. 15.

her principles are brought faithfully to bear upon it. Were the characters of modern science rightly understood, it would be seen, that the very thing which gave such strength and sureness to all her conclusions, was that humility of spirit which belonged to her. She promulgates all that is positively known; but she maintains the strictest silence and modesty about all that is unknown. She thankfully accepts of evidence wherever it can be found; nor does she spurn away from her the very humblest

THOUGH these astronomical Discourses | when the soundness and the consistency of be now drawing to a close, it is not because I feel that much more might not be said on the subject of them, both in the way of argument and of illustration. The whole of the infidel difficulty proceeds upon the assumption, that the exclusive bearing of Christianity is upon the people of our earth; that this solitary planet is in no way implicated with the concerns of a wider dispensation; that the revelation we have of the dealings of God, in this district of his empire, does not suit and subordinate itself to a system of moral administration, as ex-contribution of such doctrine as can be wittended as in the whole of his monarchy. Or, in other words, because infidels have not access to the whole truth, will they refuse a part of it however well attested or well accredited it may be; because a mantle of deep obscurity rests on the government of God, when taken in all its eternity and all its entireness, will they shut their eyes against that allowance of light which has been made to pass downwards upon our world from time to time, through so many partial unfoldings; and till they are made to know the share which other planets have in these communications of mercy, will they turn them away from the actual message which has come to their own door, and will neither examine its credentials, nor be alarmed by its warnings, nor be won by the tenderness of its invitations.

nessed by human observation, or can be attested by human veracity. But with all this she can hold out most sternly against that power of eloquence and fancy, which often throws so bewitching a charm over the plausibilities of ingenious speculation. Truth is the alone idol of her reverence; and did she at all times keep by her attachments, nor throw them away when theology submitted to her cognizance its demonstrations and its claims, we should not despair of witnessing as great a revolution in those prevailing habitudes of thought which obtain throughout our literary establishments, on the subject of Christianity, as that which has actually taken place in the philosophy of external nature. This is the first field on which have been successfully practised the experimental lessons of On that day when the secrets of all hearts Bacon; and they who are conversant with shall be revealed, there will be found such a these matters, know how great and how wilful duplicity and darkening of the mind general a uniformity of doctrine now prein the whole of this proceeding, as shall vails in the sciences of astronomy, and bring down upon it the burden of a righ-mechanics, and chemistry, and almost all teous condemnation. But, even now, does the other departments in the history and it lie open to the rebuke of philosophy, philosophy of matter. But this uniformity

stands strikingly contrasted with the diver- paltry and provincial a system as infidelity sity of our moral systems, with the restless presumes it to be. And as I said before, fluctuations both of language and of senti- I have not exhausted all that may legitiment which are taking place in the philoso- mately be derived upon this subject from phy of mind, with the palpable fact that the informations of Scripture. I have adevery new course of instruction upon this verted, it is true, to the knowledge of our subject, has some new articles, or some moral history, which obtains throughout new explanations to peculiarize it: and all other provinces of the intelligent creation. this is to be attributed, not to the progress I have asserted the universal importance of the science, not to a growing, but to an which this may confer on the transactions alternating movement; not to its perpetual even of one planet, in as much as it may additions, but to its perpetual vibrations. spread an honourable display of the Godhead among all the mansions of infinity. I have attempted to expatiate on the argument, that an event little in itself, may be so pregnant with character, as to furnish all the worshippers of heaven with a theme of praise for eternity. I have stated that nothing is of magnitude in their eyes, but that which serves to endear to them the Father of their spirits, or to shed a lustre over the glory of his incomprehensible attributes-and that thus, from the redemption even of our solitary species, there may go forth such an exhibition of the Deity, as shall bear the triumphs of his name to the very outskirts of the universe.

I mean not to assert the futility of moral science, or to deny her importance, or to insist on the utter hopelessness of her advancement. The Baconian method will not probably push forward her discoveries with such a rapidity, or to such an extent, as many of her sanguine disciples have anticipated. But if the spirit and the maxims of this philosophy were at all times proceeded upon, it would certainly check that rashness and variety of excogitation, in virtue of which it may almost be said, that every new course presents us with a new system, and that every new teacher has some singularity or other to characterize him. She may be able to make out an exact I have further adverted to another distranscript of the phenomena of mind, and tinct scriptural intimation, that the state of in so doing, she yields a most important fallen man was not only matter of knowcontribution to the stock of human acquire-ledge to other orders of creation, but was ments. But when she attempts to grope also matter of deep regret and affectionate her darkling way through the counsels of sympathy; that, agreeably to such laws the Deity, and the futurities of his admin- of sympathy as are most familiar even istration; when, without one passing ac- to human observation, the very wretchedknowledgment to the embassy which pro- ness of our condition was fitted to concenfesses to have come from Him, or to the trate upon us the feelings, and the attentions, facts and to the testimonies by which it has and the services, of the celestial-to single so illustriously been vindicated, she launches us out for a time to the gaze of their most forth her own speculations on the character earnest and unceasing contemplation-to of God, and the destiny of man; when, draw forth all that was kind and all that though this be a subject on which neither was tender within them--and just in prothe recollections of history, nor the ephe- portion to the need and to the helplessness meral experience of any single life, can fur- of us miserable exiles from the family of nish one observation to enlighten her, she God, to multiply upon us the regards, and .will nevertheless utter her own plausibili- call out in our behalf the fond and eager ties, not merely with a contemptuous ne- exertions of those who had never wandered glect of the Bible, but in direct opposition away from Him. This appears from the to it; then it is high time to remind her of Bible to be the style of that benevolence the difference between the reverie of him which glows and which circulates around who has not seen God, and the well-accre- the throne of heaven. It is the very benevodited declaration of Him who was in the lence which emanates from the throne itself, beginning with God, and was God; and to and the attentions of which have for so tell her that this so far from being the ar- many thousand years signalized the inhagument of an ignoble fanaticism, is in har-bitants of our world. This may look a long mony with the very argument upon which the science of experiment has been reared, and by which it has been at length delivered from the influence of theory, and purified of all its vain and visionary splendours.

In my last Discourses, I have attempted to collect from the records of God's actual communication to the world, such traces of relationship between other orders of being and the great family of mankind, as serve to prove that Christianity is not so

period for so paltry a world. But how have infidels come to their conception that our world is so paltry? By looking abroad over the countless systems of immensity But why then have they missed the con ception, that the time of those peculiar visitations, which they look upon as so disproportionate to the magnitude of this earth, is just as evanescent as the earth itself is insignificant? Why look they not abroad on the countless generations of eternity;

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