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wharves of Tyre. Bats guard the tombs of the Pharaohs. The spade alone reveals the glories of Nineveh and Babylon. Broken arches of an aqueduct mark the site of Carthage. Rome trades in the memories of her former glory. For aught we can tell the New Zealander may yet sit on a broken arch of London bridge and sketch the ruins of St. Paul's. But even when it is so there hovers over the ancient seats of life and power a halo as deathless as human thought and feeling. The pilgrim from distant lands wends his way thither and peoples the spot with its pristine life. Though “the sun sets at night” yet “glory remains when the light fades away.” With the setting sun
With the setting sun a zodiacal glow streams upward to the zenith, and even through the long winter's night electric fires flash and flicker over the surface of the heavens.
But here is no sunset. It is the quiet afternoon of a luminous day. Wealth and comfort still cling to the place. Business enlivens the streets. Many a sail from the Merrimack whitens the ocean. These schools send forth their perennial stream of youthful intelligence. This public library radiates increasing light. Vigorous manhood still grapples with all the problems of life, and feminine culture enlivens these homes. The stock that has furnished the commonwealth with so many men of mark is still represented here, and the soil itself has not all passed away from the early families. The scattered sons of old Newbury are proud to trace back their lineage through seven generations to the banks of the Quascacunquen, and in their distant wanderings they have heard to-day the mother's call and hasten to the old homestead to keep jubilee together. We have come to rejoice in her serene and healthful joys, to offer our filial salutations, and to witness for ourselves how
“ well she keeps her ancient stock,
We have come, summoned by no spectral drummer to some “midnight review” of the actors in scenes of devastation and carnage, but in the light of noonday, drawn by filial instinct, to honor an ancestry eminent in civic virtues and moral worth. We have not marched hither with grand procession and martial music, but we have quietly gathered, as did they, with prayer and psalm and Word of God. As we crossed Parker River not far from where Washington and Lafayette entered the place we might well have said to the stranger on the train :
As we have trod these streets venerated forms from the distant past came walking by our side. These ancient churches are draped with sacred memories, and to the eye
these modest mansions wreathed with hallowed associations. Could the roll call of the past summon forth
the men and women that are present to the mind's eye — jurists and divines, patriots and philanthropists, scholars and inventors, writers and teachers, distinguished civilians and strong men of business, of enterprise, and of skill, with the wives and the mothers, the daughters and the sisters that formed, cheered, and held them to their high endeavor, what an august assembly would spring forth upon the sight! It is good to be here and to mingle in such company. is well for us on this our festal day — our quarter millennial — gathered from far and near, from all the walks and callings of life, in such an invisible presence, to take each other by the hand and pledge eternal fealty to the truth and the right, and deathless devotion to the high law of duty to God and to man. So shall the perpetual benediction of an honorable ancestry pass down as an heirloom to the remotest generation of their descendants, and many an absent son and daughter of the ancient home shall say :
My heart is at your festival,
THE DIVINE FORCES OF THE GOSPEL.
A SERMON BEFORE THE AMERICAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS, AT NEW HAVEN, CONN., OCTOBER 1, 1872.
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. - 1 CORINTHIANS 2: 1-5.
HE sentiment is completed and compacted by the
same apostle thus:
For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles. — GALATIANS 2:8.
Here is the whole theory of the early success of the gospel. In the acknowledged impotence of human teachings comes “the testimony of God.”
In place of the world's “wisdom" stands the one absorbing knowledge of “Christ crucified.” Instead of merely “persuasive words” of brilliant rhetoric or profoundest logic, all the utterances, both “speech and preaching,” are freighted with the “demonstration of the Spirit.” In the midst of human “weakness, fear, and much trembling ” shines forth the power of God, working effectually in Peter among the Jews, and mighty in Paul toward the Gentiles.
All the surface changes of society leave the fundamental relation of Christ's kingdom to the world unaltered. It is no small privilege to live in a time when Christianity is popular and powerful; when its great Author is the subject of men's fair speeches, and his outward realm includes the great empires; when wealth and fashion throng its costly temples; when its messengers charter the power-press, and London bankers honor the drafts of its missionary boards. But, for all this, the offense of the cross has not . ceased, nor the difficulty of maintaining and spreading a pure gospel diminished. It is in times like these that faith is sorely tempted to surrender unto sight; that science pushes far away the living God; and the power of the Spirit is superseded by the reign of law. At such times the Church and her ministry “breathe in tainted air.” The gospel in solution tends to become a gospel in dilution. Fashion and religion give mutual bonds of good behavior, and the line between the Church and the world fades out in a penumbra. Culture chills fervor; or fervid men exalt peace and union above truth and purity. Christian youth, nursed in luxury, lose the very conception of Christian heroism. It is a time when Robertson and Brooke, in England, can find the whole power of prayer to consist in its influence on the praying heart, and the difference between the inspiration of Wordsworth's “Excursion and of Paul's Epistles to be one of degree and not of kind; when the popular American pulpit sometimes knows not what to say of the men " who believe neither the Old Testament nor the New," but abound in the charities of life ; and when well-meaning Christians