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FOR FEBRUARY 1852.
THE IMMORTALITY OF THE AFFECTIONS. PSALM Xxii. 26: Your heart shall live forever.
Is this only read "Your soul shall live forever," how many millions of sermons would have been preached on it in behalf of the Immortality of the Soul, its imperishable worth, its capacities for joy and woe, and its nature as allied to that of the angels. But to treat of the heartthe Affections, the Sympathies, living forever, would not answer the purpose of the popular church; for the dernier resort of the theology of a partial salvation lies in the prospective destruction of a portion of those living chords, over which pass the sorrows of our race, bringing 'thereby a burden to the heart that sinks it sometimes in the happiest hour. Indeed, if it be true that here our affections are never true and orderly till they embrace the race-till they respond to the great principle which underlies all those grand references to the whole world, as where the Savior says, "The field is the World," "Go ye into all the World and preach the Gospel to every creature," and where Paul says, "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise and to the unwise," and hence he was ready to knock at the gates of Rome for entrance to the Gospel, and to preach Christ in the palace of the Cæsars;—if it be true that our affections are never orderly till they harmonize with such a world-embracing love, and they are to live forever, where is the prospect of redemption for a single soul if the Heaven of Partialism be the only Heaven in view?
The heart which has been schooled on earth to love the race, must in view of the duty to hate those whom God hates, find heaven itself a prison of horror. Like the eagle made to soar amid mountain tops, and to gaze the sun in the eye in his meridian glory, but confined in a cage, beats himself against the wires till he must lie down in pain, so the soul that has loved the whole race, and desired and prayed for its redemption, must find itself a chained eagle in the VOL. XX. 36
Heaven of Partialism. That Heaven is but a prison after all. Describe it as you may, it is but as the gorgeous palace in which a true heart pines to go forth to the embrace of some loved spirit who has been banished from the domains. Hence one of our native poets has sung:
"We send these fond endearments o'er the grave; Heaven would be hell if loved ones were not there;
And any spot a heaven if we could save
This is an important subject,-The Office and the Immortality of the Affections. It enables us to apply to the theologies of our times the test which St. John directs to be applied, "Beloved, try the spirits ;" and in this way let us decide which of the spirits abroad in the Christian Church, gives us any comfort in believing the grand sentiment, "Your heart shall live forever."
We use the term heart as synonymous with the affections, as denoting the sensitive portion of our spiritual nature. We divide man into the Head and the Heart in the common language of every day. There is no misunderstanding each other when we say, His heart is better than his head-His heart is right, but his head is wrong. We set up an opposition of the Intellect and the Feelings-the Understanding and the Affections; and we mean that the person we speak of errs rather by deficiency of judgment than from want of right feeling. This is the case with good men who are, in a certain sense, as much in the way of social progress as the wicked. By their ignorance of what is really demanded, and by the force of habit or other causes which keep them away from enlightenment, they do more against God or his truth, than many classes of the wicked. We see this in Nathaniel, who in answer to an invitation to visit Jesus, turned away in disgust because of the bad fame of Nazareth,-" Can any thing good come out of Nazareth?" Nathaniel was a good man. Jesus
The life of the Affections has already wonderfully affected the decisions of the Intellect, and every day we discover some new advance in permitting the betterness of the Heart to help the erring Head. Humanity is put more and more above the forms and laws of men; and while ten thousand opinions and desires of the Intellect perish as shadows from the mountain top, the Heart lives forever-the projects it has devised for the happiness of mankind, are still existing; in new and ever changing forms it may be, but still existing, as the blood sent out by the animal heart in our breast, may be detected now mounting to the sensorium in the brain, and anon coursing its way in the feetnow threatening to burst its dome and fly off
towards heaven, and again swelling the veins that press against the earth as though the living blood would saturate the ground and cry like Abel's to heaven. Your heart shall live forev
Generous humanities never die. What is done for the race in a great love that absorbs localities, that knows not father or mother in its consecration to principles which are the only life of progress, shall never die. It shall live forever to the glory of God. And it is the thought that has been the chief inspiration of the noblest men our race has ever known. It was so with Jesus. He instructed no scribe to write down his words. He sat on the mountain side, and as he spake, the winds came up winding around him from the valleys, lifting his locks from his holy brow and taking from his lips the words of the divinest heart that ever beat in a human breast. He did not command the arrest of those fugitive words-that freely uttered wisdom. He spoke to the ever-living heart, and he doubted not the issue. Nothing opens to our view the heart of Jesus more than this. What a faith was his! What a trust in man! What a verification of St. John's words, " He needed not that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man." He put his heart into those he addressed, and how it has lived! What a fountain of spiritual vitality it is now in the world! What a significance it gives to his own language concerning the drinking of his blood, and how true is his assertion, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and THEY ARE LIFE." As he uttered them, the languid blood of his own heart started with new energy on its round of vitalizing the frame, and even his disciples wondered what refreshment had been given to him; and so if we let the life of his truth dwell in us, i the inward experience of its power to quicken our languid being in times of need, will prevent our asking for proofs of immortality; for we shall feel the all pervading conviction, as though the silver trump of Gabriel proclaimed it for our individual hearing, "Your heart shall live forever."
It is the office of the Affections to give aid to the survey and decisions of the Intellect. It comes into the council of the thoughts, as Lamartine introduced Le Eure to the populace when the strife was wildest and they knew not what to decide upon. "Citizens," said the poet, as he placed the venerable man before the multitude, whose face is the very type of Goodness,-" Citizens, listen! for it is sixty years of a pure life that is about to address you." The heart then
came in to help the throbbing head. What it did that day shall live forever. And in nothing is our race, with all its sinfulness and passion, more jealous than of losing from the page of History such incidents as these. Eloquent speeches may be forgotten; mighty victories may cease to be recorded; greatness of intellect no longer remembered; but a signal act of humanity shall still be repeated, and like our mother's name, we shall never be tired of repeating it. How the heart lives forever is seen even amid the horrors and the carnage of the Battle Field. Some little incident that suddenly brings out the real humanity of a leader, flashes upon the sight of the army like the vision which Constantine said he saw when the Cross appeared in the sky, and the words came out-" By this conquer." The army then knows that they are not led merely by a great general eager for the fame of the victor, to be classed with the Cæsars, Alexanders and Napoleons, but a soul like Washington, whose heart lives forever-that never dies--that never slumbers by reason of selfish ambition, pride or daring. So was it with the late General Taylor. Those memorable words, "I never leave my wounded behind me," will live forever. There was heart in them, a great heart, a leal heart, a heart that made him an honest man, and drew the people to honor him to the neglect of that which it is thought can best sway the multitude-wondrous intellect and great statesmanship.
There is a great lesson here concerning the Office of the Affections. It tells us to set Humanity on its rightful throne. To be loyal to it through weal and woe. To rejoice not in iniquity but in the truth, because love never faileth, and where it once exists, it will never fail. What we do for others, shall return to ourselves in the strengthening of our power to love the Lord our God with all our heart.
Here then comes in the Immortality of the Affections. Here is the question :-Suppose we give the moral culture to our affections which Christianity demands-loving our neighbors as ourselves-setting man above law, humanity above forms, God above father and mother, and living really and truly and continuously for our race, what will be the result? Why, so far as this world is concerned, we shall be interested in every effort to destroy the separating power of erroneous localities and nationalities, and shall long for the time when the nations of the earth shall compose one Brotherhood, as the many waves, or billows of the sea compose but
We shall exult in seeing such strifes as that lately shown in the World's Fair in the Crystal Palace of London-the strife for the peaceful arts of industry, skill, inventive talent, taste, genius. We shall rejoice in every thing that turns away the eye of man and society from the show and tinsel of War, and that interests him in the furtherance of the practical application of the Gospel to the evils in the world-the doing away of bigotry and narrowness, the heaving up of the drag anchor of an iron conservatism, and the bidding "God speed" to the good ship "Reform" on her voyage of discovery and improvement, fearing more to be found among the do-nothings, than among those who do some things wrong. To do out of an earnest heart, exposes one to err; but to remain idle, often results in greater errors. Jesus in the parable of the talent, commended those servants who had made their money productive, without censuring them for not obtaining more, but he did censure the servant who did nothing but fear to do at all. "Your heart shall live forever," and what shall live in it? A narrow or broad love? backward or forward looking affections? If we truly obey the divine requirement, our love will be ever increasing-new developements of man's claims upon us will be opened, and we shall find ourselves interested in every thing which concerns humanity. And when we train our love to regard all ashe would have us to regard them to be as a physician wherever the sinfully sick demand the concern of all God-loving and man-loving souls, we shall have a love that will indeed live forever.
Suppose that we really have such a love swelling our breasts with the expansion of mighty affections; and suppose also that we suddenly die, that is, all that can die-all that is mortal. We pass to the immortal world. We find there the full force of the truth, "Your heart shall live forever." We are admitted into what Partialism calls Heaven. Here we are made to know that vast portions of our race are left in endless sin-some dear to us, and we now are made to KNOW that they are made to suffer and never die. What shall we do with that universal love which we have carried to the Partialist's heaven? It is too big for the place. It beats and throbs against the crystal walls, as the bass of the monster organ would shake the walls and foundations of some small chapel. It bewilders us, and we find ourselves like the Bride in her new home when the sad hour comes which makes the discovery to her "There is no res
ponse here to the great love I brought! How hateful is the place! What a mockery is its splendor!" Beauty may shine from every wall, music peal from every nook, the gorgeousness of wealth be every where displayed, and a thousand forms of ministries to her happiness be ready at her bidding; but what are all these to the heart that asks for a responsive love? If, as in the idea of the story of Mahomet, she could only have fallen asleep, and her heart of great love been taken out, and one with a love corresponding to that of him with whom she was united placed there, she might wake and be happy. But never otherwise. The heart she brought living forever, she must be miserable. To become selfish, indifferent, or to live beyond the restraints of loyal fidelity, could alone give her the semblance of happiness or pleasure.
If love universal be our Duty on Earth, then in order that we may have in prospect a true Heaven, we must see room there to love all mankind with an undying love, for the "heart shall live forever."
Therefore, by the Office and Immortality of the Affections, Partialism is declared an error of the Head, at war with the Heart. We must have Universalism to be stimulated to fidelity in every work of love.
WHERE are they not? Is there one barren place In the wide regions of immensity
Where the sweet smile of beauty never glows,
And fill the soul with rapture, and delight,
Far, from the golden sun-land of the South,
And where the lofty mountains dot the skies Crowned with the thawless snows of ages past, And where the crystal glaciers, bright with gems, Flash back the ardor of the day-god's glance,From the broad, verdant bosom of the West, Veined with its thousand silvery, thread-like
Which dance unchecked along, bright, 'neath the
And pale, and love-lit when the moon looks down To kiss the pure transparence of their waves, And darkened by the frowning gaze of giant woods
Bowered 'mid whose leafy gloom, smiles here and there
Like innocence asleep amid the flowers
To the bright radiance of that golden realm
Go gaze upon a summer sunset, when
Is gathered back in heavy gorgeous folds,
And her pure blush mantles the bending sky, Till earth gives faintly back the rosy tint, And paints its semblance on the pathless air.
Go list as the first warbling, wildwood birds Wake their sweet music to the maiden morn, Whose mist-wreathed feet steal noiselessly Upon the vaulted pave of Heaven, as with her rosy hand
She sweeps the glowing chambers of the West, Gath'ring the last pale gems that fleeing night Shook from her star-crown, as she hastened hence, Decking the broad blue East, with here, and there,
A floating cloud, light as a fairy's dream,
In reading Voltaire's Essay on epic poetry, I was much interested in some criticisms on Milton's "Paradise Lost," and thinking that they might equally interest others, I have translated them for the pages of the "Repository." Mon. sieur Voltaire remarks in his introduction to his criticism—" There are some particulars which are not to be found in the abridged life of Milton which is found in the preface to his work. It is not surprising that after a diligent search of all that concerns this great man, I should have discovered some circumstances in his life that are unknown to the public.
"When Milton in his younger days was traveling in Italy, he saw acted at Milan a comedy entitled Adam, or original sin, written by one Andreino and dedicated to Mary de Medicis, queen of France. The subject of this comedie was the Fall of man. The characters in the drama were-God the Father, devils, angels, Adam, Eve, the serpent, death and the seven deadly sins. This subject, worthy of the absur dity which characterized the stage at that period, was written in a style which admirably corresponded with the design.
"The play opens with a choir of angels, and Michael thus addresses them in the name of his fellows: Let the rainbow be the bow of the violin of the firmament; let the seven planets be the seven musical notes; let time beat exactly the measure; let the winds play the or gan,' &c. The whole piece is written in this style. I would only here hint to the French
who may feel disposed to laugh, that our own theatre at that period was not much better, that the death of John the Baptist,' and a hundred other pieces, were written in this style, while we could not boast of a Paston, Fido, or Aminthus.
"Milton, who took part in the representation, discovered amidst all the absurdity of the piece, the sublimity of the subject, which to common view lay concealed. There are often instances in which a vein of greatness may be traced by a man of genius, when to vulgar minds nothing but the ridiculous is to be seen. The seven deadly sins having a dance with the devil, as in this comedy, is certainly the height of extravagance; but the world rendered miserable by human transgression, the goodness and the vengeance of the Almighty, the origin of our misfortunes and our crimes-these are subjects worthy of the boldest pencil. There is above all in this subject, a mysterious horror, a gloomy and saddened sublimity, which is well adapted to the English imagination. Milton at first designed to make a tragedy of this farce of Andreino, and had actually composed one act and half of another. This fact was made known to me by some gentlemen of letters, who received their information directly from Milton's daughter, who died during my residence in London.
"Milton's tragedy commenced with the soliloquy of Satan found in the fourth canto, when this rebellious spirit, escaping from the depths of hell, discovers the sun, fresh from the hands of its Creator:
O thon, that with surpassing glory crown'd,
"While he was at work with this tragedy, the sphere of his ideas often grew in proportion to his thoughts. The plan became immense under his pen, and at length in place of a tragedy which would have only been fantastical and not interesting, he conceived the idea of an epic poem, a species of writing in which men seem agreed to countenance the absurd under the name of the marvellous.