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appeared a great degree of timidity are much the more powerful in
While we are careful to avoid Several inferences arise from the falling into a notion of the omnipo, foregoing narratives.
tence of bodily structure, or disorderFirst: The more we become ed function upon the manifestations acquainted with the phenomena of of mind, and especially upon human the nervous system, the more are motives; let us be desirous of taking we lost in wonder and admira. the chaste light of Christian charity tion at the secret mechanism by to guide our way in the examination which these movements are accom- of those motives. None sees the plished.
heart, but God only; and may we Secondly: Disorders of the ner be desirous of leaving judgment in vous system, and especially those His hands, who knoweth the end which are occasioned by any dis- from the beginning. turbance of the function of volition, From the whole of this discussion are peculiarly such as will be reco we draw an inference unfavourable verable by nervous excitement; by to the existence of modern miracles, powerful impressions acting vehe. because their limits seem to be mently upon the brain or nervous confined to those cases in which system.
any powerful excitement of the Thirdly: These impressions may nervous system would supersede its be bodily or mental, but the latter morbid tendencies and disordered
function, but to .possess no influ. whose names we have mentioned, ence over the darker shades of or or of whom we have ever read or ganic malady and structural altera- heard? But the same cannot be tion or disorganization.
truly said of men of other kinds of (To be continued.)
sentiment. They are, in regard to religion and holiness, little better at one time than at another, Take
them when you will, in the middle AMERICAN CRITIQUE ON WILBER of life, or in old age, they are not, FORce's PRACTICAL VIEW. so far as man can see, much im(Continued from p. 92.)
proved in spirit. Their hearts do
not seem to be more in heaven; "In the third place, this is the only their affections do not appear to kind of religion which perceptibly be more spiritual ; their devotedadvances the soul in the life and ness to God and His interests doeslikeness of God. They who sen not seem increased. Call to mind sibly commune with God, and keep instances of the customary sort of their hearts alive to the excellency religion – think of tliose whose reliof divine things, from day to day, gion is of this kind--and consider cannot but become more and more
whether these remarks are not exassimilated to those glorious objects. emplified in their conduct. Do they These objects, operating upon sus. present themselves to our thoughts, ceptible and affectionate minds, must as Christians advancing in the life make upon them their own impres- of God? Are they evidently holier sion and image; and that image must
men now than some years ago ? Do at length become too resplendent in we feel more confident of their final the spirit and life, to leave it doubt- salvation at this moment, than we ful whether there has been progress did when they first professed conand growth in grace. Men of spi- version ? Is it more certain nowritual religion, therefore, must be more certain to themselves or to any advancing, as time passes, towards others—that they will be saved, than the measure of the stature of a per it was then ? Alas! it is well if the fect Christian. In their views, feel. probability of their final salvation ings, and conversation, they must is not diminished. Professed Chrisbe rising nearer and nearer to the tians who have not a spiritual and just made perfect.' The beauty of affectionate religion, often degeneholiness must be gradually bright- rate, but seldom improve. It is not ening upon them; and their affinity praying, or reading, or hearing that and relationship to heaven, must be profits the soul, but just feeling becoming increasingly manifest. It towards the objects with which the must be so, by the very laws of such soul converses, or should converse, intercourse as they maintain with in prayer, reading, and bearing. heavenly objects: and that it is so, These exercises are nothing except in fact, no one can be ignorant, as sensibility pervades and animates These men, of whatever country or
them. It is by sensibility that God age, do advance in moral worth and and our own spirits come into union loveliness, as they advance in years. and fellowship. It is by sensibility, Time invigorates them in all the that our souls mingle with the inviprinciples, and beautifies them in sible things of the sanctifying Spirit. all the graces of holiness. Even Two lifeless masses are not more while their outward man perishes? inoperative on each other, than the -while the animal vivacity and
unseen world on the human characvigour of their earlier years decay,- ter, if sensibility towards that world they are renewed in the inward is wanting.
is wanting. We may speak, and man, day by day.' Was it not thus read, and think, but we shall never with all the spiritually minded, be made better, if we do not feel.
UD wh lu
“ Now when we remember what intrinsic strength and efficiency, be the Scriptures teach concerning the incomparably superior to every other. essential progressiveness of true “But not only have the men of this grace in the heart,– that it is as the religion more strength, they are also little leaven which leaveneth the more disposed to use their strength whole lump ;' and join with this the than others. It is a false notion of fact, that professed Christians who spiritual-mindedness, that it inclines are not spiritual in their feelings do men to a secluded and inactively not visibly advance in the divine contemplative life. It had not this life, can we rest satisfied with a tendency in Christ and his apostles, religion like theirs ? Is it by any or the prophets; the influence of means certain that their religion whose untiring labours is felt over will save the soul ?
the world to this day. Spiritual“ In the fourth place, spiritual re mindedness ever promotes a livligion is far more useful than any ing and efficient benevolence duly other. Usefulness depends on three awake and active. From the secret things ; power, readiness to use it, place of the Most High in which it and using it in a proper manner; dwells, it looks abroad upon the senand no kind of religion includes sual world with a self-sacrificing, these things in so eminent a degree, self-devoting compassion, like that as the spiritual religion of which we of our blessed Saviour ; and is ever now speak. There is more power ready to go forth in his spirit and in this than in any other sort of strength, to every work of faith and religion. Knowledge is power in love. Customary religion, and even religious concerns as well as every principles of natural kindness, have other; and there is no religion so led men to practise some forms of favourable as this, to the acquisition benevolence; but it is spiritualof Divine knowledge. Men may be mindedness that has cared for the led to pursue such knowledge by bodies and souls of men curiosity, ambition, and other mo- largest scale, and has wrought mitives; but the attainments so made racles of mercy and love, the record will be superficial, when compared of which will endure longer than the with the illumination shed down sun and the moon. from the Holy Spirit, into the mind “Butthe religion here recommendand heart of the spiritually discern- ed is pre-eminent, as we have already ing and inquiring Christian. How said, not only in power and in aptisure and substantial, how deep and tude to use that power, but in the exendearing, is the knowledge of the cellence of the manner in which it spiritually-minded, in comparison uses it. It is both in labours more with theirs who know every thing abundant, and in wisdom and proin speculation only! And ordina- priety of action more perfect. It rily, their knowledge is greater as does its work aptly, skilfully, pruwell as of a better kind. They me- dently, with a spirit congenial to its ditate more on the Scriptures, they ends; a spirit of ineekness and love, reflect more, they pray more; and and dependence on God. In the the relish for Divine things which highest instances and sorts of beneinclines them to do so, makes them volent labour, men of little spirituquick of spiritual understanding, and ality would not find themselves in thus becomes the means of a more their proper element. The unsuitrapid growth in Divine knowledge, ablenes of their spirit and manner than would otherwise be possible, would make their work irksome, and And as the religion of which we mischief might be the result. How treat, joins to greater knowledge, much out of place do such men find greater grace and holiness, which themselves under remarkable effulikewise is the highest kind of sions of the Holy Spirit; when the power,-it must, in respect to its accessions to the happiness of the
universe are as the clouds, and as religion, too, may not be prepared when doves fly to their windows.' for that day. The hope which now It is spirituality alone that can make supports him, may fail him then. He men “as polished shafts' to the con. will then need other evidences of the sciences of their fellow-men, at such Divine favour, than those on which
It is only this, indeed, he is accustomed to rely-evidences which can ensure a right and suc which may not be afforded him then, cessful way of fulfilling any of the as they are not sought for now. But offices of the holiest and noblest the spiritual Christian is not thus order of well-doing. These things forlorn in heart when his time of demonstrate the superior usefulness
The feeling towards of the spiritual kind of religion. Ob. God expressed by the Psalmist, servation also confirms this conclu. · Whom have I in heaven but thee ? sion. One spiritual Christian in a and there is none upon earth that I church is often more useful than an desire beside thee,' having been hahundred ordinary professors. How bitual with him even in the days of many hundred Christians of the com- prosperity, he will not be desponding mon kind, would be required to and heart-smitten now; for God, make, in point of usefulness, one his chosen portion, remains the same, Baxter, or Edwards, or Martyn! and his delight in God is the same These, it is true, were men of power
also. And how small a loss can ful minds; but it was their superior befal that person, how litile can he spirituality that made their power be injured by any calamity in the the means of exalting the ages in whole creation, whose happiness was which they lived. There were other not in the creation, but in its infinite professed Christians of minds as Author ? Besides, if there is a man powerful and of learning as great as to whom the Father of compassion theirs, who did very little towards will shew himself especially gracious advancing the cause of holiness in in the hour of need, that man doubtthe world. If our readers then less is the spiritually minded Chriswould pass their days in the most tian. Who is an heir of the prouseful manner, if they would give mises, if he is not ? Whom, if not the church and their generation the him, does God love and delight in ? greatest reason to bless God for their There may be room for doubt existence, let their religion be of whether other sorts of professed the spiritual kind.
Christians—all other sorts—may not “This kind of religion, in the fifth be deceivers or deceived; but who place, will best sustain us under evil. doubts his piety who lives a spiritual He who is accustomed to converse and heavenly life? Such persons, affectionately and delightfully with then, are assuredly the children of God to lay open his heart to God, whom God will not forsake in the influence of His 'excellent times of trouble. The night of their glory' and of eternal objects, will affliction shall be as the brightest acquire a capacity of enduring evil, and best of their prosperous days. altogether peculiar to himself. His They shall glorify God in ‘passing frame of spirit, and the blessed through the fire ;' their end shall be ness of that intercourse, make him peace, and they shall depart, leaving in a manner invulnerable to evil. mankind impressed with the cerThe day of evil to the man of the tainty, that whoever may find their world is insupportable; because, be- hope of ultimate happiness disapsides his unholy spirit, he has no pointed, these men were more fit for counterbalancing good in prospect. heaven than for earth, and have Past prosperity cannot be recalled; passed through the gates into the the future is unknown, and may be
city of God. worse than the present. The un “ These are some of the considespiritual, unexercised professor of rations which shew what manner of
persons we all should be, who call at rest: man may exemplify it: it ourselves by the name of Christ. is a religion for man, and a religion But there is one objection wliich we which every man is bound to exemfear will weigh more with some per- plify. It should be considered by sons than all these considerations, those who make this objection, that however solemn and conclusive. It they are limiting, not merely the is this, that the religion we recom- physical capability of man, but the mend, is not a practicable one. resources of the Holy One himself. It
may do perhaps for a very few The question as to practicability-peculiarly favoured and peculiarly the true question-is, not whether I, situated persons, like clergymen, but in my own strength shall succeed in it will not answer for the generality practising this religion, but whether of mankind-it is too refined, too the Spirit and grace of God can enelevated, too difficult a religion for able me to practise it. We are not the mass of the people. It is not, we to do any thing in reliance on our suppose, the import of this objec- own strength, which truly would fail tion, that this is a different religion us, even for the exercise of a good from that which the Scriptures teach. thought. On the contrary, we are Ofthe scriptural certificate to this re- warned against self-confidence as ligion, let all mankind judge. If there the certain way to be ruined, and is a religion on earth that corre are directed to him for strength in sponds to the very religion of the whom it hath pleased the Father Bible, it is unquestionably this. What that all fulness should dwell;' and but this was the religion of Abraham certain it is that destruction awaits and Moses, of David and Daniel, of us, if we do not go to Him, and put Paul and John ? Other religions may our exclusive trust in the provision not be scriptural, but no one can doubt made for us in Him. The question whether this religion is either scrip- is this, Is there not a sufficiency for tural or true. The evidences of its ge us in all the fulness of the Godhead ? nuineness are like the sun's meridian Can we not do all things included in beams. The conscience of the world this religion through Christ strength. decides that it is genuine--the relic ening us? Is there a man on earth gion of the Bible-the religion of God whom Christ cannot strengthen to the religion which God has reveal- live the life of a spiritual Chrised to man as the sure way to heaven, tian? Let this be demonstratedBut bas God bound his creatures to an let the arm of the Almighty be short. impracticable kind of religion ? Or ened—and then may it be affirmed has he prescribed a religion for all that the religion we contend for is the world, which cannot be prac. not a practicable religion. The truth tised by more than one man in a is, that the generality of professed million ? If then the objector means, Christians never strive for, never aim that the religion which, beyond all at, this kind of religion. It is not others, has the best claim to be re in their hearts deliberately to purceived as the religion of the Scrip- pose and intend that this religion tures, is strictly and in plain truth shall be theirs. They content them an impracticable religion to the bulk selves with what is customary; and of mankind, his objection is profane this for the most part, as to religious and reproachful to the Divine good- duties, is that which expediency or ness and wisdom, and can hardly personal convenience may dictate. find a welcome lodgment in any What labours, what pains-taking do other than an unholy breast. No! they practise, to keep themselves in The fact that this religion is prac- the love and fear of God all the day ticable by one man, proves it to be long? What care do they exercise practicable by any and every other not to grieve the Holy Spirit ? man. If any one man has ever ex What aspirations of soul have they emplified this religion, the matter is for eminent holiness of heart ? What