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keeping the human mind from stagnation, and for eliciting truth. We should, therefore, learn not only to tolerate but to respect the views and predilections of other people, however they may differ from our own.
Arthur. Yet surely we ought to regret it when we think, and are almost sure, that people are in the wrong?
Father. We ought to be very sure of that, indeed, before we even regret it: there are, however, some errors of opinion, which are so injurious in their consequences, and which show such a perversion of mind in those who hold them, that we ought not only to regret but to counteract them by every fair and gentle means in our power. But there are very widely differing opinions, on less essential points, amongst persons of equal piety, learning and genius; and while it is both curious and instructive to observe this, it is, at the same time, most consoling and satisfactory to remark how, in all things most important, the wise and good agree. Observe that large compartment opposite to us, entirely occupied by works on divinity. Doubtless there is much error and much lumber mingled there with what is valuable and true. Yet, with respect to all those amongst these writers who may be fairly called men of piety, what a happy harmony would, after all, be found to exist in their sentiments! There is, indeed, no consideration more satisfactory to the inquiring mind, than this universal agreement of good men, in opinion and experience, on essential points. Nor is there any reflection more impressive than to consider the weight of argument and force of persuasion which their united testimony affords, as to the importance of the subjects on which they write. Thus the very sight of these books preaches silently as persuasive and eloquent a sermon as can be heard from any pulpit.
Arthur. Then, father, it seems one may, by a little reflection, get more good from the outside of a book than many people do from its contents. Father. Why truly, it is more profitable to reflect
without reading, than to read without reflecting. But let
the mind-would not the effect be overpowering!-and yet this would be no false impression, nothing more than the real nature of the case would justify; no more than we should constantly feel if our minds were not blinded with sin, and rendered strangely insensible by earthly objects.
Arthur. But how would it be possible to retain such a strong impression, supposing one could feel it for a moment?
Father. We must remember that, after all, no power of human eloquence, nor all its powers united, would be sufficient to enlighten the darkness of the mind of man. But one ray of light from above-one powerful word from Him who can open the eyes of the understanding, and cause things to be “ spiritually discerned,” will instantly effect the happy, purpose. Therefore, however diligent we might be in using and improving every means for exciting profitable impressions, all would be vain, unless we are perpetually seeking this all-powerful influence. But if we do ask and seek it earnestly, God will assuredly bestow it; even that habitual impression of the superior importance of our future and eternal interests which constitutes a spiritual mind, and which will cause our affections and conversation to be in heaven.
Arthur. There are many books not exactly on religious subjects, that yet are very profitable.
Father. Yes; and this is the case even with the writings of some men who were wholly ignorant of true reli
gion, and which affords, indeed, an additional argument in favor of it. Men of thought, wisdom and genius, in the darkest times, have borne witness to the truth of the divine declaration, that “wisdom excelleth folly, as much as light excelleth darkness.” The laws of God, written in the hearts and consciences even of them who “knew not God,” are thus vindicated and enforced ; so that when, either in thought, word or action, we offend against them, we at the same time oppose the combined sense, wisdom, experience, and the general testimony of all mankind.
Solomon, I dare.say, was never in such a library as this; yet he expresses a sentiment which is very suitable on such an occasion, when he sums up
refleo tions he had been making on the vanity of the world, in this concise sentence :—“Of making many books there is no end :" (he would, indeed, have thought so, if he had lived in these days!)—and he evidently spoke from experience, when he added, "that much study is a weariness to the flesh.” “Let us then,” he says, “ hear the conclusion of the whole matter ;-Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty and the whole wisdom of man."
LESSON CIII. .
M. S. C.-CHARLES SPRAGUE,
I KNEW that we must part-day after day, I saw the dread destroyer win his way; That hollow cough first rang the fatal knell, As on my ear its prophet-warning fell ; Feeble and slow thy once light footstep grew, Thy wasting cheek put on death's pallid hue, Thy thin, hot hand to mine more weakly clung, Each sweet “Good night” fell fainter from thy tongue.
I knew that we must part—no power could save
And we have parted, Mary—thou art gone!
one, one pang the awful change confessed.
last hour be Heaven so kind to meI ask no more than this to die like thee.
But we have parted, Mary—thou art dead!
Sad and more sad each sacred feeling grew,
But not for ever-in the silent tomb,
Clouds are collections of vapor in the air, rendered visible by condensation. They seldom rise very high. Sometimes they rest upon the earth's surface, constituting what is termed fog. Sometimes they are a mile above the surface of the earth, sometimes more ; but they seldom rise higher than two or three miles. Very thin, fleecy clouds, however, sometimes rise to the height of four or five miles. But why do they not rise to the surface of the atmosphere?- The density of the atmosphere rapidly decreases upwards. One half of the whole quantity of