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course will elevate the mind, and improve the taste of the young; they will grow up with sound principles. The Church will rejoice in hailing them as her friends and supporters. She will bless you for the care you have taken of her unity and prosperity. The great Head of the Church will bless you for the promotion of an object, to accomplish which he shed his blood upon
the cross. But above all, the unity of the Church is to be promoted by most unwearied and anxious efforts after that spiritual life, without which there can be no real concord, - not simply the spirituality of feeling, but the spiritual engagedness of the understanding. The heart subdued by divine grace, renewed daily in its affections, is to be tremblingly alive to the prosperity of the Church, not as to a party for whose success we are solicitous, but as containing those provisions without a careful use of which we cannot grow in grace.” That hearty repentance, that unfeigned belief, that godliness of living, to which she calls us, must be operative as principles, in restraining, regulating, exalting, and animating all the affections of the soul — directing them to him who is her sovereign Head, her Redeemer, her Sanctifier, and her Judge. His grace will never fail to accompany you in this pious work, and in the end you will enjoy that peace which those alone can expect who have faithfully done their duty; and when the gates of the Church triumphant shall unfold, to receive its everlasting worshippers, you and yours will be prepared to enter, and join in the eternal song.
Proverbs xix. 2.-" That the soul be without knowledge is not good."
Of all the maxims and sayings of the wise man, our text is confessedly among the most important. Were we asked in what situation we considered the soul to be in the most imminent danger, we should reply, “To be without knowledge." Then it is that darkness, unsuspicion, timidity, indifference, and all the other concomitants of an empty mind agree, not knowingly, in the indiscriminate admission of error and superstition ; in the unrestrained indulgence of inordinate and sinful affections, and in an obsequious submission to whatever it may become the policy of tyranny to impose. We need only glance at those countries whose millions are consigned to the ignorance of Egyptian darkness,' and all these evils may be seen in revolting luxuriance. Conceive it possible for one of these degraded souls, by some sudden illumination to become vividly sensible of his wretchedness! what would be his feelings? I seem to read them in the consternation of him, who, waking from the dreamy dreadfulness of an incubus, finds himself in the centre of a menagerie, with no iron bars between him and the ferocious animals that surround him. Yes, he would be overwhelmed by the view of his defenceless exposedness to fellow-beings exceeding in rapacity and cruelty the animals of the forest. He would be ready to sink at the discovery of the torpitude of that heart, and the subtlety of those temptations that flatter but to deceive him. For the soul then to be with
out knowledge—knowledge by which to awe the frown of tyranny, and overcome the corruptions that lie in wait to destroy--is not only “not good,” it is most perilous to the dearest interest which it can and ought to cherish. It was from an experience—a rich experience—of the mutual kind offices of wisdom and understanding, that led king Solomon to speak so confidently of their influence to his son ; “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee; to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things : who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness : who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked.” -“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding."
Let us view the subject in a subordinate and supreme sense.
-as it respects the life which is nou. SUPREME—as it respects that which is to come. I. View it in a suBORDINATE SENSE.
It must be obvious to every one who will take the pains to make observation, that the social virtues, which constitute the charm of society, cannot be preserved in harmonious operation without intelligence. Who that has read the annals of the world, can have failed to perceive, that in proportion as useful knowledge has been disseminated, has been the amelioration of vice, and the increase of virtue? Have we not evidence in the improved system, and extended measures of education which have already crowned the nineteenth century ? Some dishonorable exceptions to their goodly influence we admit there have been, and continue to be, but this is where the corruption of the moral faculty has had the mastery; and what does this show ? why the necessity, of course, of implanting a regenerating principle before the force of habit bas rendered the bent of the desires inflexible. “ The foolishness of man perverteth his way.”—“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding."
It is observable also that in nearly the same degree in which an intelligent and amiable intercourse has been encouraged, society has improved, and the social affections have become disinterested and expansive. A society in the whole of its social compact, and in all its domestic relations, actuated uniformly by these elevated dispositions, must surely be desirable to every one: it would remind us of the primitive paradise: we should begin to feel that our conversation was in heaven, or at least impregnated with a heavenly savor. Passers by would be constrained to say of us, “See how these love one another.” Alas! the conflicting interests and fashions of a selfish and deluded world, have, in every city, and town, and village, and family, created a thousand obstructions to such a state, and while the odious principle of selfishness remains, and such an effeminate taste is cherished, or at least, where they are not so far subdued as to be in some happy measure subordinated to nobler principles and more rational customs, we cannot expect to model a society so eminently virtuous and happy.
Blessed be God! they are within our reach. Yes! the glorious Gospel of Christ possesses redeeming virtues, answerable to our most deplorable exigencies. It has long been tested, and the fact is so associated with the experience of all real Christians, that to see individuals who have been “ dead in trespasses and in sins,” yea, grovelling in the sinks of pollution, redeemed from their ignominious course, and led into the paths of holiness and peace, simply by the power of the Gospel, is no uncommon sight. It was the strong impression of the sanctifying power of divine truth, that led the mind of the ever memorable Raikes to project the plan of Sunday School instruction. Led accidentally, one morning, into the suburbs of Gloucester, England, the city wherein he resided, he was struck with concern at beholding a group of children, wretchedly ragged, at play in the street. He asked an inhabitant whether the children belonged to that part of the town, and lamented their misery and idleness. “Ah! Sir," said the woman to whom he was speaking, “could you take a view of this part of the town on Sunday, you would be shocked, indeed, for then the street is