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Shoreditch, 382, 527.

Snodland, 218, 575.

Society for Promoting Christian Know-

ledge, Public Meeting of, 39.

Southport, 383.

South London, 47, 331.

Spain, 38.

Spiritual Philosophy of N. C., 170.

Sunday School Hymn Book, 172.

Sunday School Union, 426.

Swansea, 223.

Swedenborg Society, 169, 326, 374, 569,

Swedenborg's Manuscripts, 516.

Swedenborg MSS. Fund, 475, 528, 575,

Swedish Printing Society, 379, 569.

The Church and the World, 568.

The Pope and the Council, 566.

The Two Religions, 213.

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TIME, while it moves silently and steadily onwards, has yet certain modes of reminding us of its progress; its unceasing course is marked by intervals, not of pause, but of change. The sun moves on so gradually in his annual circuit, that spring and summer and autumn and winter glide almost imperceptibly the one into the other. Yet the vernal and autumnal equinox, the summer and winter solstice, mark the divisions of time which we call seasons and years, while cycles are indicated by other signs. The times and states of our lives, of which these are the periods or the symbols, move on as unceasingly, and pass almost as imperceptibly into one another. Yet there are lines, both natural and conventional, by which we are accustomed to mark the end of one and the beginning of another, and so take note of what might otherwise escape our observation, and make reflections which might otherwise never haye presented themselves to our minds. A point of time, to mark the period of the sun's revolution, which we call a year, is generally observed, and generally made an occasion of rejoicing. This habit has become a kind of second nature, and besides being natural, it is no doubt on the whole useful. Life was no doubt designed to be happy and joyous. It was sin that introduced lamentation, and mourning, and woe; and nothing but sin is even now the real cause of sorrow and sadness. Apart from this, there is nothing that renders it either necessary or useful to hang down the head like a bulrush. It is proper indeed that the natural affections should be tempered and regulated; and this should be done by the influence of religious principle, as well as in compliance with conventional laws of social decorum. Happy will it be for the cause of religion when it


becomes an inward principle rather than an outward law; for when the general mind comes to have a conscience void of offence towards God and man, many of the lines of demarcation which religious pharisaism has drawn between the holy and the profane will be obliterated; Christians will then see that the laws of nature and the laws of revelation are in harmony and correspondence with each other, and that both may be obeyed to their mutual advantage, provided the spiritual be within the natural, to sanctify and direct it. The natural affections, uninfluenced by religion, are liable to excess, both of joy and sorrow, of hope and fear, and the natural understanding, acting under their influence, is liable to take too bright or too dark a view of life and its conditions and circumstances. These opposite feelings and thoughts predominate in different minds; but more or less in every mind at different times; and when one or other obtains the ascendency, there is a kind of paroxysm and consequent excess, arising from the undue intensity of one prevailing feeling. This is to a certain extent the case in spiritual as well as in natural life; but these extremes arise from what is abnormal in us, or from what is peculiar to ourselves as frail and sinful beings, as distinguished from what we derive from the Lord and heaven.

But these alternations of state are capable of being turned to improvement. They enable us to know ourselves, because they bring our tempers and dispositions into play, and afford us the opportunity of judging whether and how far we are the masters or the slaves of our passions. When the active state of feeling has passed away, we are often able, on looking back with a scrutinizing glance, to see that we have been influenced by passions and principles which we believed had no power to exercise an undue influence over us. Perhaps all of us, in reviewing at recurring periods our times and states of life, have cause to lament that they give signs of less improvement than our conscience tells we might have made. More or less all of us 'spend our years as a tale that is told." Yet this does not imply that our experience has been useless. So far as life is spent without any spiritual improvement, its history is an idle tale, which conveys no useful lesson: but all time which improves state has been spent with more or less real benefit to the soul.


Besides the opportunities for personal improvement which such seasons of festivity afford, there are many reflections which the beginning of a new year suggests, many events of which it reminds us.

The beginning of a new year reminds us of the beginning from

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