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occupation, and arrests the atten• change of kind and benevolent tion even of those who are pressing offices. forward in the pursuit of wealth, The Sabbath also frequently of pleasure, and of honour. The unites the family circle which had interruption which this day causes been broken throughout the week. in our ordinary employments, The husband is restored to his recals our thoughts from our own wife, and the children to their personal gratifications, and leads parents; and the endearments of them to the contemplation of our domestic intercourse are enjoyed present duties, and our future in peace and privacy. destinies. At such times con- · În Sunday Schools, we behold science resumes her. empire, and a mighty engine, whose influence the still small voice of religion, in promoting the virtue and haplately drowned in the tumult of piness of society no political ecothe world, is heard and obeyed. nomist is able to calculate. - If the
To the Sabbath may be attri- real substantial prosperity of a buted, whatever degree of clean- state is to be estimated only by liness is found in the lower ranks the comfort, sobriety, and intelliof society. Incessant labour ne- gence of its citizens, the religious cessarily prevents attention to education of youth is the only personal appearance; and were it perennial spring of national fenot for the rest enjoyed on the licity. In our own country alone, Sabbath, and for those habits of more than 100,000 children are neatness which are caused by its taught in these schools the highest public assemblies, the most dis- and best of all knowledge-their gusting squalidness would be the duty to God and man. Were inevitable lot of the labouring the Sabbath abolished, Sunday portion of the community. It is Schools would cease with it: nor solely owing to this institution could any adequate substitute be that our whole population now provided in their room. Education appears every seventh day in clean may, indeed, be furnished at the and decent clothes; and this prac- public expense; but education, tice contributes not less to pro. unaccompanied by a sense of priety of behaviour, than to health moral obligation, instead of reand comfort. The self-respect, straining crimes, would afford new . which the circumstance of being facilities for their commission. It well dressed naturally induces, would be difficult for any governtends to soften the manners, and to ment, and impossible for our own, suppress rudeness and indecorum. to provide religious instruction
This sacred day, by the so- for the young. But in Sunday lemn and affecting duties to which Schools, this great and desirable it is appropriated, spreads a calm object is attained, without the over the ruffled surface of society, smallest encroachment upon the and assuages the angry and selfish rights of conscience, or upon the passions by which it is agitated. principles of our political instituIn the house of God, all meet as tions. In these schools, and in the children of the same Heavenly these alone, is the influence of Father, and the heirs of the same example constantly added to that hopes and promises. They listen of precept; and religion is recomto the same instructions, unite in mended to the youthful heart and the same petitions, and acknow- understanding, by the disinterested ledge the same standard of faith labours of pious and affectionate and practice. A common worship teachers. In these alone is the excites mutual sympathy and attendance of the children not affection, and leads to an inter- merely voluntary but cheerful;
and punishment is unknown as a tioned by civil rulers and human corrective, either of indolence or laws; with multitudes it is custom, misbehaviour. In the remarkable a dream, a play-thing, a charm. fact, that scarcely an instance With most men, a hundred diffehas occurred, either in Great rent definitions would present Britain or America, of the con- themselves, and pass current, viction of a felon who had enjoyed before they could hit upon the the advantages of a Sunday School, only true and adequate one; and we' find a strong and delightful even where that is acknowledged, testimony to the efficacy of this a thousand influences intervene, mode of instruction, in promoting and a thousand impulses assail the peace and good order of so the mind to impede the contem
plation, and prevent the experi(To be concluded in our next.) ence of the only genuine idea upon
this all-interesting subject. It is, ununun
at all events, certain, and every INTERNAL RELIGION.
man may assure himself of the
fact, that true religion is some“The kingdom of God is within yon.”
thing to be found, in its living Jesus Christ.
operation, no where but in the Though few subjects are so much soul of man. I speak not here studied, and so much discussed by to slight the means of producing inankind, as religion; yet it may such effects on man, being well with justice be affirmed, none is so aware that human language has often misunderstood, and so little attributed the name of religion to felt. Whether the ordinary mode that which is strictly either the of explaining and enforcing this sacred means of its production. momentous subject be the best, the formulæ of its truths, or the or whether men really employ the attendants of its being; that we same degree of attention and acute- may apply the term to the system ness in this, as in other purely of Christian truth, to the observintellectual pursuits, I shall not ances of Christian worship, or to now attempt to dispute, though the visible effects and fruits of I conceive the question worthy of good principles. But though I more than a passing thought; but find no fault with the liberty of undeniable is the fact, that a la- speech, which allows any or all mentable degree of error prevails of them to be termed religion, upon the primary and essential I mean to affirm, that there is a principles of religion itself. So stricter sense, and a more correct much so, as to convince any man use of the term, which is but little who looks more than superficially regarded, even in cases where the into the subject, that scarce à most rigid attention is paid to the tythe of what are called religious analysis of the word, as signifying people, have really a clear and either what is to be learnt or what just conception of what the word is to be done. It is, however, as imports. With a vast proportion, in expressive of what is to be felt, all denominations, it is made iden- that the term is most generally tical, either with the forms or the slighted, and yet that is both the opinions, the practices or the feel- strictest and most important use ings of the party. Some place it of the word. Other uses of it in duty and others in faith; some refer only to the appendages, the in orthodoxy and others in virtue. circumstances, the attire of reliWith one man it is mechanical or gion this to its personality. It ritual observances; with another, is essentially the passion of love it is obedience to the system sanc- to God, out of which may germi
nate, and upon which may depend, finite and precise in all its parts as many other states and dispositions some dogmatists would affirm. of mind; but this is the simplest Certainly, in its external acts, both element, the nucleus of all the rest. of charity and devotion, it admits It is defined, and not improperly, not only of variety, but of someto be a principle of new life im- thing almost bordering on contraparted to the soul, formerly dead in riety ; and yet the essential printrespasses and sins; for so re- ciple admits of no variation; it is markable a transformation passes simple, uniform, and immutable; upon the soul, when this new life like its source, like its object, it is breathed into it, that we may, is immortal and divine. The sysindeed, be said to be born again, tem of truth which we call Christo become new creatures, and to tianity, is incalculably valuable, live a new life.
as originating, under a divine imIt is hence a matter of unspeak, pulse, the principle-the life-the able moment to turn the attention passion -- of religion; and in this of the religious to the seat of re- light it may be described as God's ligion in their own hearts, and to accredited system of agency, for its essence, as developed in the as. the production of true piety. The pirations of desire and hope to services of religion are valuable, wards a being of infinite purity as both the aliment which feeds and mercy. The existence of this the principle, and the element in vigorous principle in the soul will which it moves; and the fruits of display itself in a thousand diffe- religion are important, as iudica, rent ways, which it is not neces- tions of the vigour and progress of sary to specify. Even its charac- the principle itself, through the teristics-such, I mean, as shall several stages of its development, clearly ascertain its distinction till it is ripened into maturity, and from counterfeits-it is scarcely removed into closer contact with possible to describe; and it is its primary and supreme object. a thing whose existence is rather But none of these is the principle a matter of consciousness than of itself; and he who takes the shaknowledge. Most, perhaps all, dow for the substance, or the dress its visible effects may be acquired, of a man for himself, commits an but the principle itself can neither error not more palpable, and far be mistaken uor counterfeited; less important, than he who substiand hence it is to the state of the tutes the forms and the circumstanreligious affections, or, more pro- tials of religion for religion itself. perly, to their reality in the soul, But he that has the love of God that the attention ought chiefly permanently and effectually ope-: to be directed. It is every man's rating in his soul, needs consult
first and chief concern to ascertain no other register of his election · their existence; for it is demon- and calling, and can enjoy no bet
strable that whatever other ac- ter or clearer indication of the diquisition we may make of a reli- vine favour, short of heaven. Inyious cast, whatever appendages of deed, this is a spark of heaven's forms or opinions we may connect own fire, a ray of the pure light of with our notion of religion, yet, at the divinity, and a true and gelast, they will be found but the nuine record of God's favour. It is deckings of a corpse, the studied to a man's own breast that he must clothing of a mere frame-work, trace the birth-place and the liome into which the breath of life has of true religion. In the soul's denever been infused. Religion, in light in God, and converse with its abstract principles, is not free his purity and goodness, he may from difficulties, nor is it so de- find the safest testimonial of his
piety, the best exposition of doc- even after diligent and persevering trine, experience, and practice, study, to understand, it may be and the brightest pledge of that safely encouraged; because there eternal rest of the soul in God is then a rational prospect of its which constitutes heaven.. leading to the acquisition of true
knowledge, which is always of
sufficient worth to afford an ample ON THE INSUFFICIENCY OF HU
compensation for all the labour MAN REASON FOR COMPRE
and anxiety with which it is purHENDING THE MYSTERIES OF
sued. But when it would dispose THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT.
any of its possessors to pry into
those parts of the providence of As knowledge is absolutely es- God which are, at least to us, consential to the dignity and happi- fessedly mysterious, and intended ness of every rational creature, a by their great and unerring Audesire to possess it has been deep- thor so to remain, as long as we ly implanted in the mind of man continue in our present imperfect by the hand of his benevolent state, ought it not rather to be supCreator. Man is, in consequence, pressed? To cherish it were usenaturally inquisitive. This fact is less, as it can lead to no adequate too obvious to be denied, since or satisfactory discovery. We do the workings of his curiosity gene- not mean, indeed, to deny that, rally become manifest with the even when employed in such a first dawn of his reason. The way, it might, by severely exerchild is no sooner capable of ob- cising, considerably expand and serving the objects around him, strengthen, the mental faculties. than he longs to know their origin But though we admit this, we, at the and design. Hence arise the nu- same time, maintain that it would merous inquiries he proposes, con- be possible, and therefore prefercerning the phenomena of nature able, for the mind to employ all and the occurrences of life, as they its powers in other inquiries, which, come successively under his no- while they would serve quite as tice. Were parents and teachers effectually to unfold and invigoalways so discreet as to conduct rate them, could not fail to issue the curiosity thus displayed into a in the increase of that substantial proper channel, it would uni- information which is always availformly prove, in some degree, pro- able for practical purposes, and fitable; and to this they should must tend as much to increase the certainly be stimulated by the con- pleasure, as to increase the intelsideration, that, if left to itself, it lectual character, of those who may, and probably will, take a make it the object of their purwrong direction, and prove al- suit. most, if not altogether, vain. : Never should it be forgotten
That there is a vain, as well as that the circumstances of man on a profitable, curiosity, cannot, it is earth, where he is a fallen, and presumed, be justly denied. For consequently a weak and degenealthough the principle is, in its rate, creature, are such as to renown nature, always the same, yet, der it highly imperative upon him as it usually takes its complexion to be quite as modest as he is infrom that which calls it into exer. quisitive. Were these two princicise, it must, of course, in oppo- ples always united, in just proporsite cases, assume these opposite tions, in the breast, and allowed characters. When directed to respectively to exert their proper wards any interesting subject influence, any idle speculations, which it is really possible for man, which might occasionally spring up under the excitement of curi- order? and what peculiar benefit osity, would immediately be ba- can be expected as the fruit of nished by the frowns of modesty, mental cultivation ? For, were at whose bidding pious reve- there no truths to be known but rence and holy admiration would what may be understood by men come and fill their place. But of the weakest capacity, the exmen in general, being under the traordinary powers of the most extyranny of self-love, are much traordinary men; and, indeed, the more apt to indulge arrogance than still greater powers of angels and modesty. This is very evident, archangels themselves, can be of from the well-known fact that no farther use than to form an unmany persons, after having tried important distinction between them for a season, but to no purpose, and creatures of more limited fato understand those incomprehen- culties. sible doctrines revealed in the But God does nothing in vain. Bible, relative to the government Hence, we conclude that angels of God, instead of resolving the must be able to understand what difficulty into their own insuf- men are not, and therefore that ficiency, do not hesitate to pro- human reason cannot be the bighnounce them contrary to reason, est standard of truth. This will and therefore opposed to truth. become further evident, when we Such language is indeed to be de- remember that the decisions which precated, for it certainly does not are formed by the application of become the lips of any human be- this test must always vary, in the ing, let his attainments or preten- same proportion as men differ sions be what they may. It be- from each other in their powers of trays, whenever it is uttered, a discernment and discrimination. want of reflection, as much as of For nothing can be a perfect test modesty.
which does not, in all the circumEvery individual who can af. stances under which it may be apfirm, that whatever is superior to plied, lead to a sure and infallible the reason of man is contrary to result. It is, however, too evident reason, generally considered, must, to be denied, that some men may we are persuaded, be influenced and do understand many things more by feeling than by thought, which to others seem utterly inmore by prejudice than by common comprehensible. On the principle sense. This is, in effect, to main- we are endeavouring to overturn, tain that reason, in the lowest de- the latter might, with perfect congree in which we know it to exist, sistency, question the truth of is the highest standard of truth. those things; but were they to do For, if all that is superior to the so, the former 'would rather pity reason of man is contrary to reason their weakness and assert their in general, and in consequence stupidity, than yield to their untrue, it then follows, of course, doubts. May we not fairly ima. that every thing which exceeds gine that it is with very similar the comprehension of any man, feelings that the higher orders of of any description, however contract- the intellectual world view all that ed his mind may be, so long as the scepticism which men sometimes powers of it are not impaired by indulge, in regard to the ways of disease or age, must be unreasonable God as recorded in his word.” and erroneous !
Those glorious spirits who wait If this, however, were really the continually before the Lord in his case, it might well be asked, what heavenly temple, are doubtless advantage would there be in pos-' frequently occupied in studying sessing a mind above the common his character, his will, and his