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celebrate the Lord's supper is all that is deemed necessary. Two or three months may intervene, during which the soul and its momentous affairs are comparatively neglected. When again summoned to renew their vows over the melta ing memorials of the Saviour's love, they begin to think of some preparation ; but one moment steals upon the heels of another, and the business is deferred until the hour when the inviting bell is calling them to the feast. Then all is agitation and hurry, when all should be calm, collected, and contemplative. They leave to themselves, perhaps, a few moments to extricate the soul from a tumult of cares; and after an ineffectual and superficial attempt at self-examination, they go tremblingly in doubt, or fearlessly in coldhearted presumption.
Such is the character of many who profess to be aiming at the crown of glory. They do not sit in judgment on the internal man, as did David, when he threw open the chambers of his secret soul, and exclaimed, “ Search me, O God, and know my heart ; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” It is mere half-way work with them. Conscience prejudges and condemns. To silence her clamours, it is necessary that they make, at least, a show of self-examination. But when they take up the sacred record, they find so little there which can be honestly appropriated in their favour, that they are obliged, if they would glean anything for their encouragement, to misinterpret and misapply its meaning. When they meet with such a sweeping declaration as this, “ If any man love the world, and the things that are in the world, the love of the Father is not in him,” when their eyes glance at so discriminating a text, they employ a ready sophistry to modify its severity, or avert its application.
There is, recollect, a strong temptation to be partial in this important work. Self-love prompts us to look more eagerly for the favourable than the unfavourable evidence; and gives us a greater readiness in applying the former than the latter. It is an object with our spiritual enemies, to flatter us into and indulge our vain-confident expectations. Thousands are by this means led blind-folded down to ruin.
The superficial Christian seizes the most equivocal evidence. It will not take much to persuade him that all is safe. If a vast amount of scripture is against him, and he can yet find but here and there a single text whose aspect in his case is, to say the least, doubtful, how eagerly will he grasp it, and cast it into the favourable scale! It is with him a principle to be satisfied with the least possible testimony. He will make one text, which he supposes to be in his favour, neutralize a hundred others, which are most unequivocally against him.
The superficial professor seems determined, if possible, to make the Bible speak in his favour. He comes not to that infallible touchstone with a sincere desire to probe his heart, to examine the reason of his hope, and to scrutinize the foundation of his confidence. He comes not with a resolution to make thorough and impartial work; but to make the word of God, like the fabled oracles of Heathenism, speak a language ambiguous and equivocal.
Now, my young friend, be thou of a different spirit. Go into this investigation with a resolution that you will be thorough and impartial. Say to your Bible, “ I will consult thee faithfully, thou infallible book. I will let thy light into the darkest chambers of my heart. The sword of the Spirit shall search the system, and probe my wounded nature in the tenderest part. I will not shrink from the inquisition, but will enter upon it sincerely, and persevere in it through life.”
DUELLING. What is the issue of duelling? Dreadful either way. If the man hath slain his antagonist, he hath perhaps in his person slain his best friend. At least he ceaseth to be his enemy that instant; and the sword hath no sooner pierced his breast, but horror and remorse have pierced his murderer, have stabbed him to the soul! His vanity sinks into wrath and revenge rush into yet greater excesses of sorrow, and self-detestation, and all the distraction of distress. The dreadful deed is no sooner done, than he would give the whole world, nay, he would almost die, to undo it! And doubtless the exchange were in many cases wise, were it possible to be effected ; if this murderer's death could buy off all the horrors of his conscience, and anguish of his remaining life, given up to remorse and misery! since the same hand that fixed a dagger into his brother's breast, did, in that very act, fix a fury in his own; to sting his conscience, and to poison his quiet, to the last moment of his life.
But the greatest terror is yet behind. If this detestable practice ended only in folly and pride, and tumult, nay, if it terminated only in murder and remorse ; if blood could expiate the guilt, or the grave hide it, or misery and distraction atone for it,-possibly something might be said to palliate the horror of it: but when, in all appearance, the issue is yet more dreadful; when the poor wretch is sent down quick to perdition, with all his offences upon his head, and in the very act, perhaps, of the greatest guilt he is capable of committing ; who can bear the horror ? “ For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black.” - Delany.
(Continued from page 232.) Q. Can these combinations, which are so astonishingly precise in their operations and effects, be accounted for on any known principles ?
A. They are said to be the effects of the physical laws of nature, which in correctness of language should, perhaps, be regarded as the operation of that great and glorious Being “who weigheth the waters by measure ;” (Job xxviii. 25;) “ who weigheth the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance.” (Isaiah xl. 12.) It is, however, supposed that electricity is the agency employed.
A. This is a question very difficult to answer. The effects of electricity may be with ease described, and made apparent; but its nature is as yet beyond the knowledge of man. Future days may perhaps discover that light, heat, electricity, magnetism, chemical affinity, &c., are very closely allied to each other,-the agency by which the divine Being worketh all things according to the counsel of his will ; but in our attempts to comprehend, whether the nature of electricity, or the essence of any particle of matter, there is a point beyond which the utmost penetration of man cannot pass. The existence of matter, and the operation of most powerful agencies, as facts, we must be lieve: but of the essence and nature of these agencies we know just nothing, and pride should be hid from man. If the least of the works of God is thus mysterious to man; ah! how much more is He likely to be so, who made and directs the whole !
Q. In what way is electricity supposed to contribute to these combinations ?
A. Sir Humphrey Davy thought that electricity is of two kinds, namely, the negative and the positive; that with the one or the other of these, all bodies are united ; and that the bodies in different states of electricity are ever disposed to combine, by the attraction which these electricities have for each other. Oxygen as a simple body, and all bodies in which this prevails, are united with the negative state of electricity; and other simple bodies are united with the positive. Bodies so constituted have a strong attraction for each other; under this agency chemical combinations and decompositions are regularly conducted, and heat and light result from the union of these electricities.
Q. The connexion between electricity and chemical affinity appears to be very close.
A. It is so: and generally it may be said that as bodies act on each other electrically, they will do so chemically when their atoms or particles have liberty of action. It is also found, that when metals are arranged in the order of their oxidibility,---as follows, for example, zinc, iron, tin,
tive state of electricity, when brought into contact with any that follows in the series ; and in the negative state, when compared with that which precedes it. Moreover, the greater portion of caloric a metal receives, the more its positive state of electricity is increased, and the greater affinity it has for oxygen.
Q. Can you by any simple experiment let me see the operation of this positive and negative electricity?
A. We may hereafter more largely consider this subject; but what you request may be made apparent. Let this very light feather be suspended from the mantel-piece by a silken thread; we now take this small smooth glass tube, and rub it in this silk handkerchief. Lift the tube to the feather: see, for a moment the feather rushes to the tube ; it now flies off, and will not suffer the tube to touch it.
Q. Favour me with the reason.
A. The tube, by friction in the handkerchief, becomes positively electrified, and at first attracted the feather. The electricity communicated could not pass off by the silken thread; and the feather being in the same state of electricity as the tube, both repelled each other. But if the silk handkerchief in which the tube was rubbed, and which is in the negative state, be applied to the feather, it will immediately attract it, until it has communicated its electricity; then there will be a mutual repulsion; as it is a law in electricity, that bodies similarly electrified repel each other; and bodies dissimilarly electrified attract each other.
Q. What is repulsion?
A. That force by which bodies are prevented from coming into actual or close contact. Attraction is said to be “a centripetal force, directed towards some point of a body, or centre of an atom." Repulsion is said to be “ centrifugal force, whose direction is from some point of a body, or centre of an atom.”*
Q. What is decomposition?