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effort of human genius, what of that Geometer whose instinct solves unconsciously the mazy movings of these labyrinthine hosts?
And what must be his logical power, whose name is WORD,* to whom all facts are naked, all contingencies conspicuous ? What his powers, would he but deign to speak, of conversation, description, eloquence, oratory, to whom all times, persons, characters, events, are as
What his power of imagination, of ideal creative fancy, who makes the clouds his chariots, and walketh upon the wings of the wind; who painted the universe with hues of glory? What, in one word, the power to fascinate, entrance, yea, overwhelm in rapt enthusiasm the listening and beholding soul, of that eternal whole of genius which inspires the countenance of Him who liveth and was dead, and who is alive for evermore?
But still further we are won by the emotive traits of earthly friends. When, united to beauty and genius, we discover the signs of a heart tender and true, ready to beat responsive to every pulse of genuine feeling, ready to sympathize, quick to bestow, ready to gush forth and mingle in every stream of pure emotion; when, above all, we find the affinities of such
a heart turned subtly toward ourselves, and begin to be conscious in our soul of a received adoration, then the empire over the affection is consummate; then the deep tides of the human bosom rise, and go over all their banks, and rise as, for earthly objects, they can but once. If, unbereaved, they meet an equal tide, they roll deep and joyous through the channel of life; otherwise the refluent wave sweeps back, and the soul exhibits but a bare and sandy beach. Such is the alternative of earthly idolatry, such its hazard.
But here the Christian learns by grace to say, " There is none on earth I desire beside thee.” For who but He who glisters in our firmament like the tremulous morning star, whose intelligence is beyond the sum of genius; who but He can love with a love stronger than death, which many waters can not quench, nor floods drown?
Who but He has a soul prompt to every emotion of pity, of sympathy, exuberant in goodness? He who wept at the grave of Lazarus, who bore our sins, whose heart was broken by our incredible contumely!
There was a tide of love, shoreless and unfathomable, and on its wave He was borne into life. That love rose to its height out of the
deep abysses of His nature; but at the highest what did it meet? When it sought our answering love, it met the howls, the hisses, and the buffets of a sacrilegious mob; the scourge, the crown of thorns, the cross, the deep abyss of death, the malice of all hell.
That was the love that Jesus loved, and all to the guilty, faithless - soul! a love which, once requited, will roll down all blissful through the middle channels of eternity. . - A love, to know the length, and breadth, and depth, and height whereof is the beginning, middle, and end of all religion.
Ah ! let the spirit be but assisted to receive the fullness of this love shed abroad within, and it can not consent to compare therewith the love of any earthly idol.
But if such be the comparison of Jesus with the most ideal beauty, genius, and affection of earth, of course there is nothing else left on earth to compare him with. Place all the diamonds of Golconda
the brow of one of God's creatures, master-pieces of his handy-work, and one glance of love from out the dark eye beneath were worth them all. The whole earth is but dross compared with love. Yea, “if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would be utterly conteinned.” But if earthly friends can not, without degradation, be compared with the world beside, how much less Jesus, that heavenly friend, so infinitely their superior!
Neither will heaven ever reveal aught to reverse this superiority. 66 Whom have I in heaven but thee?" Not even the departed, the loved and lost, can stand between the spirit and her Lord. Now the visions of Jesus are few, faint, and far between. The mists, miasms, , and damps of earth rise murky. The treacherous heart lingers near some lower shrine. Bewildering clouds beset the view. But oh! in the resurrection dawn, when heaven is all abroad and Jesus shall appear, all heaven will contain but only Him! No cloud between, no lower shrine. Beholding with open face the glory of the Lord, we shall be changed into the same image from glory to glory. Then, at last, will the guilty, wandering exile of earth, an exile from Eden no longer, panting no more with weariness, soiled no more by sin, exclaim, “I am satisfied, for I am awaked in thy likeness !!
But perhaps these pages may meet the eye of some unhappy wanderer on those sad confines between day and night, where doubt divides Christianity from Atheism. Perhaps such
one may be ready to turn from what is here written as a mere rhapsody. Beloved friend, listen to a simple closing confession. Once the writer of these pages wandered in those thankless realms where you now abide. From early Christian instruction, and hopes, and prayers, he passed out into the outer climes of doubt, nay, of utter disbelief and strong denial. He sounded all the deeps of fatalism, pantheism, atheism. Years he wandered there. And, reader, you will understand him when he testifies that in all those regions happiness is not to be found.
After a series of internal changes, so gradual as to defy chronicling, he turned, benighted, to Jesus, whose character, considered purely as a work of art, he had, through all those wanderings, admired as perfect-against whom he had uttered no word of blasphemy. He prayed hypothetically, that Jesus, if real, would answer. He commenced those studies which eventuated in the writing of these chapters. He said to himself, “ If Christ be a reality, I will give him the opportunity to show it.” He sought to imbue his mind with the New Testament.
The result was, O friendly reader, he found Christ was real. He had compassion, and answered so faint and faithless a cry! He taught