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confidences. They need not forbear. The foundations of the round world have been laid so strong that they cannot be moved.
But let them not think by searching to find out God. Let them not dream of understanding the Almighty to perfection. Let them not dare to apply their tests and solvents, their modes of analysis or their terms of definition, to the secrets of the spiritual kingdom. Let them spare the foundations of faith. Let them be satisfied with what is revealed of the mysteries of the Divine Nature. Let them not break through the bounds to gaze after the Invisible, lest the day come when they shall be ready to cry to the mountains, Fall on us, and to the hills, Cover us.
XXXV. — THE NEW YEAR.
ING out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
Ring out the old, ring in the new;
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going; let him go;
Ring out the grief, that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more ;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor;
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife ;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right;
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
XXXVI. – THE REFORM THAT IS NEEDED.
HORACE BUSHNELL, D. D., was born in Washington, Litchfield County, Conn., in 1804, and was graduated at Yale College in 1827. In May, 1838, he was invited to be pastor of the North Congregational Church in Hartford, which position he still retains. Dr. Bushnell's writings have been mainly on theological subjects, though in his addresses before literary societies he has occasionally touched upon other themes. His productions are remarkable for their spiritual beauty and elevation of style, and an original method of treatment. He is an earnest thinker rather than a rhetorician.
T is getting to be a great hope of our time, that society
is about to slide into something better, by a course of natural progress, — by the advance of education, by great public reforms, by courses of self-culture, and philanthropic practice. We have a new gospel that corresponds, a gospel which preaches not so much a faith in God's salvation as a faith in human nature, an attenuated, moralizing gospel, that proposes development, not regeneration ; that shows men how to grow better, how to cultivate their amiable instincts, how to be rational in their own light, and govern themselves by their own power.
Sometimes it is given as the true problem, how to reform the shape and reconstruct the style of their heads! Alas, that we are taken, or can be, with so great folly! How plain it is that no such gospel meets our want! What can it do for us but turn us away, more and more fatally, from that gospel of the Son of God which is our only hope ? Man, as a ruin, going after development and progress and philanthropy and social culture, and by this firefly glimmer, to make a day of glory!
And this is the doctrine that proposes shortly to restore society, to settle the passion, regenerate the affection, reglorify the thought, fill the aspiration of a desiring and disjointed world. As if any being but God had power to grapple with these human disorders; as if man or society, crazed and maddened by the demoniacal frenzy of sin, were going to rebuild the state of order, and reconstruct the harmony of nature by such kind of desultory counsel and unsteady application as it can manage to enforce in its own cause; going to do this miracle by its science, its compacts, and self-executed reforms !
As soon will the desolations of Karnac gather up their frayments and reconstruct the proportions out of which they have fallen. No; it is not progress, not reforms, that are wanted as any principal thing. Nothing meets our case, but to come unto God and be medicated in him ; to be born of God, and so, by his regenerative power, to be set in heaven's own order. He alone can rebuild the ruin, he alone set up the glorious temple of the mind, and those divine affinities in us that raven with immortal hunger; he alone can satisfy them in the bestowment of himself !
OBLIGATIONS OF AMERICA TO
THE following extract is from an oration delivered at Plymouth, December 22, 1824.
HAT citizen of our Republic does not feel, what
reflecting American does not acknowledge, the incalculable advantages derived to this land out of the deep fountains of civil, intellectual, and moral truth from which we have drawn in England ? What American does not feel proud that his fathers were the countrymen of Bacon, of Newton, and of Locke? Who does not know that, while every pulse of civil liberty in the heart of the British Empire beat warm and full in the bosom of our ancestors, the sobriety, the firmness, and the dignity with which the cause of free principles struggled into existence here, constantly found encouragement and countenance from the friends of liberty there ?
* Pronounced răv'yn. To consume, or waste away.
Who does not remember that, when the Pilgrims went over the sea, the prayers of the faithful British confessors, in all the quarters of their dispersion, went over with them, while their aching eyes were strained till the stars of hope should go up in the western skies? And who will ever forget that, in that eventful struggle which severed these youthful republics from the British crown, there was not heard, throughout our continent in arms, a voice which spoke louder for the rights of America than that of Burke or of Chatham within the walls of the British Parliament and at the foot of the British throne ?
No; for myself, I can truly say that, after my native land, I feel a tenderness and a reverence for that of my fathers. The pride I take in my own country makes me respect that from which we are sprung. In touching the soil of England, I seem to return, like a descendant, to the old family seat; to come back to the abode of an aged and venerable parent. I acknowledge this great consanguinity of nations. The sound of my native language, beyond the sea, is as music to my ear, beyond the richest strains of Tuscan softness or Castilian majesty.
I am not yet in a land of strangers, while surrounded by the manners, the habits, and the institutions under which I have been brought up. I wander, delighted, through a thousand scenes which the historians and the poets have made familiar to us, of which the names are interwoven with our earliest associations. I tread with reverence the spots where I can retrace the footsteps of our suffering fathers; - the pleasant land of their birth has a claim on my heart. It seems to me a classic, yea, a holy land, — rich in the memory of the great and good, the champions and the martyrs of liberty, the exiled her