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that knowledge as for hidden treasures; when we see the spirit* of man's mind CHANGING ; when we see the subtle life of human understanding undergoing a total restoration or conversion ; when, perhaps, we notice one who, beneath the pressure of life's common load, was lately sinking weary, vexed “about many things,” joyless, hopeless, exhausted ; when we observe such an one“ turning unto God,” and from a patient, unprejudiced, and earnest search and contemplation of a certain volume, receiving a persuasion of far more than earthly power—a conviction far mightier than e'er was one of earthly strength; that that volume can only be the written word of Him who ruleth over all! When we see that the inquirer, who adheres to the great, the just, although the simple rule which that volume holds forth, invariably and without exception, be he learned or unlearned, high or low, rich or poor, of whatever land, nation, or clime, always believeth that that volume is of God,-always believeth in Jesus CHRIST “ the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,"f-approaches unto Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are therein :
of John i. 29.
See Eph. iv. 23.
When we see the understanding gradually renewed;" the soul raised above all earthly troubles; healed by an unseen hand ; borne up beyond the reach of circumstance and pain, upon the wings which virtue brings to thought; when age receives a second youth, spiritual life a second birth,—when “old things are passed away, and all things are become new;"*_.
Who is there who will not kneel to contemplations such as these ?
The mind of man is bowed to earth, before these simple truths, as a reed before the wind though stiff impiety, in devilish pride, may hold the knee unbent.
X...Infidelity,t the thin cloak of crime, cannot conceal even its own shame : the shame which is lighted up for the world's
and disgust, by the brightness which emanates from the truth which we contemplate, as we watch how our God is the “ rewarder of them that diligently seek him." -- How it is that he who crieth after knowledge, and lifteth up his voice
* See 2 Cor. v. 17.
+ " Where is the wisdom of attacking a religion whose essence is to enforce every virtue, and to condemn every vice ?"-See Memoirs of Jacobinism, vol. i. p.
362. See Appendix P.
for understanding,-seeketh her as silver, and searches for her as for hidden treasures, understands the fear of the Lord, and finds the knowledge of God.
XI...It would be prudent in him who sets up his horn against the hope of christian men to reflect on one particular declaration made in the volume which is the object of his jest, or the aim of his spite :
“ There is a sin unto death:"*-a sin, “ which will not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”op
Let him compare the joyous hope and peace of christian faith with the powerless wretchedness of unbelief, and ask himself this question ;-Has not the latter the appearance of being what the former professes itself to be, the earnest of that which is to come ?
Does not the insanity in which unbelief to such an extent remains, compared with the approximate soundness of mind, so characteristic of the true Christian, look like a testimony as to the source of the denunciation against the sin which shall not be forgiven ? Has this no appearance of a verification of the words—“I am the light of the world : he 1 John v. 16.
* Matt. xii. 32.
that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."*_“If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.”op
Has not the state of the “adversaries'” mind the semblance of the shadow of eternal death? Has not the sweet peace of christian life the appearance of reward ?
XII...Let us conclude. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding All things which we can desire are not to be compared to her. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness: and all her paths are peace.”S
She “ crieth without,” alas ! “she uttereth her voice in the streets :"_" she standeth at the top of high places, calling unto the sons of man: saying, Blessed are they that keep my ways: blessed is the man that heareth me.”—“ Whoso findeth me findeth life :" “ but he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul : all they that hate me, love death !"||
Ponder, then, my brethren, d’er nature's volume-search the Scripture of truth!
† John viii. 24.
* John viii. 12.
See Heb. X. 27; Acts viii. 23. § See Prov. iii. 13.
ll Prov, viii.
“ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy work!There is neither speech nor language : but their voices are heard among them! Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world.”*
“Ask of the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee! Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee:"p the same truth which the voice of thine own spiritI is ever whispering to thee, namely, “ in whose hand is the soul of every living thing :'S who it is “that judgeth the earth;"|| who it is who rewards those “ who diligently seek him.”
The Scripture of truth confirms the inductions we make from our contemplations of the natural world : reveals all that is needful for weak and sinful man to know : and is “able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in CHRIST JESUS."
Therefore, for our creation, for our preservation, and all the blessings of this life, we bless and praise the Father of all mercies !
* Psalm xix. 1.
See Psalm cxxxix. 14. || Psalm lviii. 11.
+ Job xii. 7,8.