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their money. They are under a strange mis- are the colors, how fragile the form. In a few take. It is true that the calf is worshiped, but years the roses of the cheek will have faded, the only worshiped because he is of gold. If the fair, polished brow, will be indented with wriorich man would acquire the consideration and kles, the stately form will be bent, and all outrespect of the world, the best method to accom- ward charms perish. Perhaps this reflection plish it is to show that though his fortune is will stimulate them to acquire charms that are large, his soul is larger. Let him be meek in not so transient. The beauties of the mind, the converse, modest in behavior; let hiin "mind still greater beauties of the heart, “the scent of not high things but condescend to men of low the roses that hangs around the ruined vase," as estate." Let bim use the means that have been Thomas Moore charmingly expresses it-these put into his hands in aiding the worthy, reliev- may be successfully cultivated. In this respect ing the necessitous, patronizing merit and im- all can be beautiful. There is no need of cosproving by liberality the condition of the coun- metics, nor rouge, or similar nostrums to hide try in which he is placed. Fortune thus dis- the ravages of time. If we improve the underposed of, does not so much adorn the man, as standing, discipline the affections, woo the three the man adorns the fortune; and it is a happy most lovely graces, a kind disposition, a pure thing when it falls into hands that instead of spirit and an affectionate heart, we may defy making it pander to pride and uselsss luxury, the attacks of time and “count his darts as make it to dispense blessings all around. . stubble.” And when finally the great destroyer
LEARNING is another thing of which some are shall come, he can only claim the earthy part. proud, but it is mostly confined to that class who He may pull down the old building, but the tenhave but a very moderate share of the commod- ant has left it. His perquisites are flesh and ity. They generally make a show of it, as deal- blood and earth born passions; but all that is ers in small articles hang up the best part of spiritual, good and heavenly, is not to be detheir stock in the windows, to invite the custom- stroyed; it is only transferred. It passes off to er to their shops ; but if he is tempted to go in, be improved and sublimated till it is perfected he finds the shelves empty. True learning in immortality. These, then, are the beauties united to good sense, does not puff up with com- we should covet, and then, when form and fea. placency of feeling that it knows so much, but ture shall be consigned to the dull earth and go rather induces humility from the consideration out in night, these fadeless charms shall increase that so much remains unknown. To those in splendor; charm shall be added to charm, and who are unhappily intoxicated with “shallow beauty to beauty, so that like the stars they shall draughts,” we know no better remedy than that shine in the firmament forever. prescribed by Pope, "drink deeper."
And now we have arrived at the last article in the catalogue, BEAUTY. It is a delicate thing to handle, and we will put on our kid gloves. That elegance of form and comeliness of feature
SPRING. are very attractive, it is in vain to deny, and none but an ogre would be savage enough to [This communication comes from the correspondfault them; and when there is a corresponding
ent whose article on Prayer appeared in our
last. This was written under the influence of beauty within, so that the expression of the soul
a hope of recovery from invalidism, after being shines out upon the features, we see the most confined in bed and to one position in bed, five perfect specimen of divine workmanship that
years. Ed.] the earth affords. But in all this there is certainly no cause for pride. The merit of the pic
Sweet Spring! in my childish days I loved ture is not in the canvass or the colors, but in
Thy pleasant face to see, the artist who lays them on. Let this reflection
When through the changing woods I roved
With wild and careless glee ; come home to all who are disposed to feel the
And plucked the flowers by murmuring brooks swellings of pride on the score of personal charms. Let them remember that they are the
Meandering free and clear,
Or dwelt awhile in sequestered nooks image, the marble that bears the form, but that
The wild birds songs to hear. He who framed and fashioned it, and to whom they are indebted for its symmetry, must have Aad when bright Hope, to the future borne all the praise. Next let them reflect how frail On Fancy's dazzling wing,
C. F. LE FEVRE.
In the zenith of youth resplendent shone,
I loved thee still, fair Spring ; But never appeared so passing fair
As now, thy varying smile, Thy breath seems perfume wafted near
From Ceylon's fragrant isle.
The notes of thy feathered minstrel's song
Ne'er seemed so sweet before,
His glad lay o'er and o'er :
OF Winter's sterner reign,
On my weary bed of pain :
Or watched from my window the drifting sleet,
Or the Sun's pale, cheerless ray? But now thy welcome return I greet
With grateful thanks, sweet May !
Resume their verdant hue ;
Are bursting forth anew.
While the earth was enwrapt in winter gloom,
With wasting pain opprest,
Remained no place of rest ;
Revives my drooping heart,
The joys thou canst impart.
Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, and of the duties we, his children, owe to each other; as file ! led with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit-as the Word of God.
We profess so to regard the Bible. We rejoice that all may possess the sacred book. That the humblest and poorest have access to its priceless treasury, and that it has a place in every dwelling, and is forbidden to none who seek to read its pages. We bless the labors of those who send the Word of Life to the destitute and ignorant, and who thus testify their conviction of its worth and preciousness. We beliere the Bible is the great instrument of the civilization, the regeneration and salvation of man; that the Gospel is the way, the truth, and the life; the light of the world, the best gift of God to man.
We profess to believe this. But have we not need to ask ourselves if we believe as we ought? Can one say and realize the great truth—“The Bible is a Revelation of my God unto me-of the Infinite and Eternal Spirit of truth and holiness unto my soul! God has thus spoken unto meas truly as if he had sent an angel from His presence, commissioned to bear to my waiting spirit the message of His love and mercy, His grace and salvation. The Bible is full of wis. dom and instruction, of counsel and reproof, of light and guidance, of cheering promises and sufficing consolation for me. lam thankful unto God for this inestimable boon. By it, God still and ever speaks to me. It is holier and diviner than all other teaching-purer than all institutions and creeds—the uncorrupted and undefiled stream from the fountain of living waters fast by the throne of God."
Are the authority and value of the sacred Scriptures realized among us as they would be, could they be possessed only by a few at a great cost, or we were but seldom permitted to behold them; or, rather, do we not practically regard them as the property of the race, the Revelation of God to the world, than as our own personal possession, and an immediate communication of the Divine Will unto us? And is it not true, that the commonness of the Scriptures has detracted from the reverence in whicb they should be held ? If the position assumed by the Protestant would be true, they are the highest source of spiritual wisdom; and it is not only our pritilege, but our duty, to read and study them by the aids of such powers and means as God has given us. That the Bible is not so read, and studied, and interpreted, we know. "It is not a familiar book to many; nay, we know, that to
some, who claim the Christian name, it is al. having read some portion of the Bible, do not most a sealed volume; and we fear that many now read it, because they have no time or incliprofessing Christians seldom peruse its pages. nation; or because it teaches them nothing new, And that it is a book of daily study even to the or is dull and uninteresting; or they have no devout, may well be questioned.
taste to become biblical students, or much of it Such is the light in «which the reading of the is merely ancient history, and unimportant in Scriptures is regarded by many, that it is con- this age of the world; much of it is quite obsosidered a Christian profession must be made be- lete or improper to be read, and the greater part fore one shall be entitled to read then habitual. is unintelligible, and quite incredible and mystily or frequently. By many, the belief is enter- cal. It is well enough for the piously disposed tained, that if they have not made a Christian to read the Bible; but as they make no pretenprofession, they are absolved from all reading of sions to piety, they hold themselves excused. the Scriptures; or, they satisfy their consciences By these persons, the authority of the Old Scripwith the occasional or incidental, and indifferent tures is considered quite problematical. The or desultory reading, heedless alike of the por- New Testament is all that is needed in their tion they peruse, or the significance and teach- view, but the inspiration of the writers they are ing of the language they repeat.
very far from being ready to adinit. Some of it Some, having a regard for the well being of they can believe, but it teaches, they think, vachildren, justify the use of the Bible in schools, rious and conflicting opinions and doctrines, and but think it should always be read without ex- they regard its language as so vague as to suit planation or commentary, as if it were the sim- equally all sects and creeds; they have neither plest and most intelligible of all books; and, at the desire nor ability to determine its true meanthe same time, abstain from reading it them- ing, and would rather abandon the book to theselves, as if it were peculiarly adapted to youth-ologians and professional students, keeping it in ful minds, and they had quite outgrown its their dwellings, however, in rich binding, though teachings.
it is unopened and unread by them, and might Others seek its pages, and turn them over as well lie upon their tables in effigy, or be printwith a frequent assiduity, but only to extract ed in an unknown language. It is considered texts to sustain their theological views, and to as a book of reference, never referred to. A good exercise their ingenuity and research in finding book, but they find better. And some of these supposed proofs of their preconceived doctrines who thus ignore the Bible, think there is a great and theories.
danger to be apprehended of becoming Bible And there still are those who examine the worshipers and idolators; that the study of it Holy Book only to dissent from its teachings leads to careless controversies and disputes, fosand discover discrepancies and contradictions- ters the spirit of uncharitableness and self-rightonly to explain its marvellous miracles by some eousness; induces a bigoted and superstitious rationalistic theory, and to strip it of what they reverence for the text of the sacred Book, and conceive to be its errors and crudities. These produces an incalculable evil and mischief. will teach us how the most astounding Chris- Theological controversy is full of acrimony and tian miracles are simple and natural occurren- acerbity, they tell us, and any peculiar doctrines ces, magnified by the credulity and ignorance of avail little. The standard of morality is about the narrators; and they will not hesitate to the same in all churches, and they think the true question the authority of the record when the wisdom consists in a calm self-possession, selfstatement of the facts will not yield to their sys- reliance, and an easy indifference to the whole tems of interpretation. These will tell us how subject. These are governed by the lights of namuch more perfect guides than the Holy Ora- ture and reason, and think faith and prayer and cles are to be found in what they call Spiritual the study of the Scriptures, are quite vain and Intuitions and impulses, in what they errone- profitless. ously conceive to be their own unaided percep- And there are those who think the reading or tions and discernings. And some of these claim study of the Bible is quite incompatible with also to be especially entitled to the Christian mercantile pursuits, and an active business life; name, aod even rank themselves among the who suspect the weakness of the intellects of most zealous of the advocates of the religion of those who love to study the Scriptures, and hold Christ and his Apostles.
them as quite feeble minded and imbecile, well We fear we must add still another class who, meaning and harmless, but with no faculty for trade-no skill in bargaining and selling, in get- are at heart sceptical as to the character of the ting gain or doing business; this class devote Bible, and its whole authority and genuineness. themselves to their callings, and hold man to be We believe that it is optional with us to read a kind of money-getting animal, or money-ma.
the Bible or not-to believe it or not--to obey king machine, and believe that tact and policy, its precepts or not-and we know that the Holy shrewdness and economy, industry and self-in- Scriptures are not attractive and inviting to us terest, are indispensable to success, and the —that they are no resource for us in our leisure highest of human attainments, the best of vir- hours; and least of all things have we desigued tues, the true ends and objects of life and being. any systematic method of reading, or appoinied
But we are not of any of these. We believe any season to be devoted to this specific purthe Bible to be a Revelation to man of the Fa- pose. Religious insensibility, spiritual sloth, ther's will, His immutable truth and wisdom, engrossing worldliness, moral apathy, false pbithe holiest and most precious boon vouchsasedlosophy, coldness of heart, scepticism and practo us; the richest treasure possessed by man; tical infidelity, are the causes why the Bible is better than fine gold and precious stones; the disregarded and neglected. These are the true wealth of all lands and the seas; the unexhaust- reasons (startling as the assertion may be) why ed and inexhaustible treasury of the riches of the Bible is not prized and studied as it should grace and mercy, of peace and blessing; the be. soul's most immediate and imperishable posses. It is doubtless true, that some of the prevalent sion. We believe this! Do we? We profess to disinclination, not to say aversion, to the read. believe it, we hope we believe it. We some- ing of the Scriptures, may have arisen from false times believe that we believe it; but does our
culture; from the forbidding gloom which in. action warrant our profession? Do we know what
vested the Scriptures in early life, or from the is the revealed will of God concerning us? Have unconcern and neglect of parents or those who we read and understood the precious teachingsguided our education. The Bible may have been of the Holy Scriptures, and manifested the a task book in childhood, bringing now po pleas. soundness of our faith by the thoroughness of ant memories or associations to os; or it may our reading ? Or rather are we not still unper- have been often spoken of with levity and irrer. suaded of the authority and excellence of the
erence; the infection of evil example may hare Bible, and do we not now need (above all things deadened our sensibilities and perverted our else) a full persuasion and conviction of these
judgment; but, whatever the cause, one thing truths which we so unhesitatingly and inconsid- remains undeniable and conclusive, viz., that erately admit? Do we not need to examine the the neglect of the Scriptures is proof of religious proofs of the authenticity of the Scriptures, and insensibility, if not of indifference and irreligion. gain some clear and definite conception of their
But we ought to read the Bible; that is advalue and office? Or perhaps the subject is dis
mitted ; and the question presents itself. How tasteful and uninviting to us, and we are ready shall the Bible be read? What course shall be to confess that we take no especial interest in
adopted to make oar reading profitable and effithe subject, and doubt the necessity of any in- cacious ? How can we best pursue the study of vestigation ? Are we not ready to say that we
the Scriptures? The need and value of this study grant the point, we admit all that is claimed,
cannot be doubted if we have any desire to at. but we do not perceive that the admission im
tain to a religious life, and a Christian faith; poses any further duty upon us, or increases our
for it is evident that the most fruitful cause of responsibility and obligation. The Bible is a
the lukewarmness of faith is that it has not been Revelation, indeed, but its moral and spiritual self-sought, and self-attained. It has been teachings are simple, and 'well apprehended, and
wrought out for us, and is not wrought in us; its essential doctrines are few and comprehensi- the faith of many is a dead faith without works; ble by all. We decline only its critical or la- without hope or blessing; an acquiescence to bored examination, and doubt if it would be the prevailing doctrines without examination or practicable even if it were desirable.
question, granted to escape personal scrutiny Why should we thus deceive ourselves, and and conviction-a faith, not of one's own soul, attempt to impose upon others? We do not read but of the church, of the age or latitude in which our Bibles habitually, because we are insensible the man's lot is cast, or of his spiritual adviser. to religious influences-because, notwithstand- It appears to be an inexplicable mystery, how ing our ready admission and acquiescence, we one can believe that the Bible is a Revelation from God,—that Jesus is the Christ, -that He Jesus unto us, until we sit at his feet with dohad the words of eternal life, and that the prophi- cile hearts, and commune with him, the gentle, ets and evangelists were moved by the Holy loving, and lowly, and walk in his footsteps as Spirit, and yet be indifferent to their teaching faithful and humble disciples. If we would have and precepts. The faith of another cannot be. the spirit of the Master, we must, so to speak, come ours by any imputation or transfer, any seek his companionship and instruction; we more than his knowledge or mental acquisition must often meditate upon his life and example ; or experience, his virtue or character can be read the wondrous story of his sufferings, death, ours. Nay, it is the faith that moulds and and resurrection ; and thus, by communion with stamps the character; and of all things, nothing him, become partakers of his faith and fidelity, so much needs to be personal and individual, having his image formed in us the hope of glory. self-accomplished and self-possessed, as faith. And let us not think we can ever, even with Faith is the first want of the soul. Without it, the most assiduous and patient study, exhaust life is devoid of purpose or progress-an inextri- the treasures of the Bible, or becorne the mascable maze and confusion; inexplicable, devoid ters of its wisdom. Let us not think that we of meaning, and a dread, dark and fathomless can easily fathom the depth of the fervor and problem and mystery. How shall a true faith devotion of the old Hebrew bards and prophets, be gained ? What are the reliable sources of or the single hearted faith of the early disciples. faith? Where and bow shall it be sought? Who | Let us not think to ineasure the stature of Christ, can teach us? Has the Ordainer of the lot of or outgrow his teaching, or the example of his man ever given to his creatures any key to the spotless and unblemished holiness. Nor let us mystery of existence ? ever manifested himself think that Jesus is inaccessible and unapproachexcept by the general teaching of Nature and able, and stand in awe before his immaculate Providence ? Has He ever granted the prayer of purity and perfection; but think rather that to the human heart, and empowered or commis- no one can we go more freely in our need and cioned any to alleviate its sorrows, and estab- sorrow, than to him who was a man of sorlish its hopes, and satisfy its yearnings and as- rows, and acquainted with grief,” who was perpirations ? Whither shall we go for strength and fected through suffering, and who tasted the bit. guidance, for consolation and counsel, for light terest cup ever offered to human lips, and drank and blessing? These questions, and such as of the cup his Father gave him, saying, “Not these, will arise in every mind which looks be- my will, but Thine be done." Do we ask now yond the present, and is not utterly engrossed in how the Bible shall be read? What are the uses the immediate objects of sense and the world of the study of the Bible? Why should we inaround it. Nay, it is inconceivable that they culcate a love and reverence for the Scriptures ? should not at times come up unbidden from the Why should we submit to its guidance and teachdepths of every human soul with fearful reality ing? Why should we feel it to be a duty to search and power, demanding an answer, and impera- its holy pages that we may appropriate its trea. tively claiming to be heard. And by many we
sures of spiritual life and blessedness? doubt not these questions have been silenced We fear that the reading of the Bible is often and banished only after a stern struggle and sore wearisome and profitless because of the unmeaninward conflict-a conflict which is as painful ing and mechanical manner in which it is read as defeat, and which has bushed the strife only -read without thought--without a desire to for a season, leaving the enemies of our peace know its truth--without comprehension of its still unvanquished and undisınayed, retiring on- significance- without preparation or headly to gather new strength, to summon new en- without the spirit of docility or prayer; read ergies, and returning at length to subdue and
without love or faith, or any effort to realize its triumph.
great facts, to conceive of the scenes and events The Gospel and Christ offer us the God-given it narrates. It has a meaning deeper than meets answers we seek. Here we find a balm for ev. the eye, an interpretation of the spirit. It speaks ery sorrow, a support for every trial, strength to us in the unavoidable imperfection of human for every temptation, a shield from every evil, language; often in bold, poetic utterance, or and salvation from every sin. But the Bible is gorgeous, oriental phraseology; often in simple no talisman without we read it, imbibe its holy and unadorned forms of child-like speech. Now spirit, and obey its teachings. And Christ is no it comes in a lofty strain like a majestic anthem, VOL. XX.
swelling with many voices and instruments;