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cannot however join in the rant against him which has been raised by a certain party.
"I am going through Foster's Essays. John is a most original thinker. Sometimes, however, he ekes out his thoughts singularly. You know he has long been a favourite with me that I would scarcely allow any one to find fault with him except myself. I am glad to say that my admiration increases. I would put his books into the hands of every reflecting young person. I think he has got much from Pascal.
"Bloomfield's (Greek) Testament still pleases me. The text is beautiful, and the notes are judicious. I am reading the Gospel of John, and perhaps I need not tell you of the enjoyment I realize in tracing the various lineaments of the Redeemer of mankind, as they are pourtrayed by 'the dis. ciple whom Jesus loved.' I have much to regret, but I do hope that my views of God manifest in the flesh,' have lately become more clear and intense. There is a beauty and glory in this mystery which captivates my soul. It is this object which has filled my mind, and preserved its varied powers in their proper balance, or I am persuaded that long ere this I should have been-I will not say what. I think I am laid under peculiar obligations to recommend the Saviour."
4th. "We are very liable to err in estimating men's motives. The springs of human conduct are often so complicated that it is almost impossible to analyze them. If we examine our own motives, we shall often find it difficult to say what was the precise inducement to any given course. Our most selfish actions are seldom altogether selfish, nor our most benevolent deeds altogether disinterested. When the balance is at the equipoise a grain will give preponderance. So it is in those delicate causes which determine human conduct."
ÆTAT. 21] THE DIVINE METHOD OF REWARD.
8th. "The superiority of character which a long and successful contest with difficulties and trials produces, is a reward for such conduct. And it is a reward of the very highest order. It far transcends every other gift which God confers in this world."-The grand purpose contemplated by God toward man is to produce assimilation to Himself. There "are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature." Religious ordinances benefit us only as they elevate our aims and purify our motives. How is it possible for anything really to benefit me further than as it exalts my character? It is only thus the benefit can be permanent. If I am seeking any lower good than exaltation of views, purposes, and experiences, I am seeking that which is transient and unsatisfying. In the future world therefore, as well as in this, it will be found that the highest gifts God can impart are those which most ennoble our natures.
20th. "To be content with vague ideas has a mischievous effect not only upon speaking and writing but also upon conduct. A wise and energetic course of action must proceed from an intellect firmly braced and vigorously exercised."
"Some parts of Divine truth have far too feeble a hold upon my mind, especially those which relate to the punishment of the wicked."
"If I seek to appear better than I am, I am a hypocrite. This is loving the praise of men more than that of God."
"There is a difference between taking up' and 'bearing' our cross; between patiently bearing what is painful when we cannot avoid it, and voluntarily choosing it because it is the will of God."
"In nothing perhaps is the transcendent power of genius
more felt than in the ability to render common thoughts interesting to cause that which has been heard a thousand times to possess the charm of novelty. This is a power requisite for the pulpit."
24th. "Have lost much by not praying more of late. I am certain that by prayer the value of all my studies is much increased."-The experience of every devout student confirms this statement. Many testimonies might be given illustrative of the truth of Luther's well-known aphorism, bene precasse bene studuisse. Doddridge frequently remarked "that he never advanced well in human learning without prayer, and that he always made the most proficiency in his studies when he prayed with the greatest fervency." Dr. Payson says: "Since I began to beg God's blessing on my studies, I have done more in one week than in a whole year before." "The influence of habitual prayer upon his studies," says his biographer, "was so certain and so operative, that the strength of his devotion seems, for the most part, to have been the measure of his progress. By his very near approaches to the father of lights,' his mind received, as it were, the direct beams of the eternal fountain of illumination. In the light of these beams the truths of religion were distinctly perceived, and their relations readily traced. These irradiations from the throne of God not only contributed to the clearness of his perceptions, but imparted a kind of seraphic energy and quickness to his mental operations. From them he derived, not light only, but heat." It must not be supposed, however, that the prayer which accomplishes such results is the mere utterance of words. It is the intimate and loving communion of the soul with God. It is the insatiable thirst to be like God-full of light and full of love. It is therefore the offspring of a heart earnestly bent on knowing and doing the will of God in all things.
ETAT. 21] FUNCTIONS OF THE PULPIT AND THE PRESS. 135
July 5th. "In repressing bad habits provide a powerful antagonist. By this means the pass of danger is guarded by an auxiliary troop."
"Must we not conclude, that the higher powers of the mind, when sanctified, have a greater value attached to their operations than the inferior? It does not always appear to be so; but so it probably is. The influence of the popular preacher is limited to time and place. The press has been the grand instrument in bringing the best efforts of the human mind to bear upon the interests of our race.” -The attempt to determine the respective importance of the pulpit and the press, seems just about as wise as to pronounce on the superior value to the body of the hand or the foot. The writer and the speaker have distinct functions, both indispensable to a nation's welfare. Is not Mr. Hessel's estimate of the press exaggerated? Would it not be as near an approximation to truth as we can perhaps make, to say, that the culture of the nation's intellect is effected chiefly by the press; while its religious feeling is excited and sustained chiefly by the pulpit?
"It is interesting to mark the origin of excellence. It is often humble and unassuming. Those qualities in the human character whose full development has been a blessing to the species, have often failed to attract attention in their earlier manifestations. The germ was doubtless there, but it was not seen by common eyes. The seed of a beautiful flower and of a common weed may bear a close resemblance, but, visible or invisible, the difference is great. That seed contains all the elements of the beauty it is destined to display. A favourable soil and a genial season are of course necessary to its development."
A fact has evidently been the parent of this thought: "You affect to pour contempt upon those who give a serious attention to religion, as if that fact indicated a weakness of
understanding. By what process have you arrived at such a result? Answer the inquiry at the bar of your own reason, ere you be called to answer it before a higher tribunal."
The following aphorisms are chiefly didactic or devotional :
"Let me not despise anything that is good because it is not better. Give to every thing and every person their due meed of praise."
"In the life of every ardent student there is a period fraught with peculiar danger. It is when abandoning early prejudices he launches into free inquiry. Nothing but a constant and devout study of Divine truth can keep the restless and inquiring spirit in a right course.
"It is of vast importance to be at ease-to have all the powers of the mind in a tranquil state of preparation for action. Nothing is so conducive to this as a constant dependence upon Divine aid."
"Endeavour to keep in view that the cultivation of the intellect is not the end of existence-that every other faculty is given for the service of our moral nature. Moral sensibility and power are the great objects at which I must aim."
"It is extremely desirable to form a habit of viewing every object in relation to Eternity. It is well to try every doubtful case before an imaginary tribunal. What shall I think of this a thousand years hence? If this inquiry were solemnly proposed it would give our character a powerful bias."
"Every sentence of nervous writing invigorates the mind, every attempt to cherish and express devotional feeling benefits the heart. O that I could enlist the