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THE LIFE OP GOD IN THE SOUL OF MAN.
IMMORTALITY. When I think of myself as existing through all future ages-as surviving this earth, and that sky-as exempted from every imperfection and error of my present being, -as clothed with an angel's glory-as comprehending with my intellect, and embracing in my affections, an extent of creation, compared with which the earth is a point;—when I think of myself—as looking on the outward universe, with an organ of vision that will reveal to me a beauty, and harmony, and order, not now imagined—and as having an access to the minds of the wise and good, which will make them in a sense my own ;-when I think of myself—as forming friendships with innumerable beings, of rich and various intellect, and of the noblest virtueas introduced to the society of heaven-as meeting there the great and excellent, of whom I have read in history—as joined with the “just made perfect,” in an ever-enlarging ministry of benevolence and especially, as having an immediate intercourse with God, such as the closest intimacies of earth dimly shadow forth;—when this thought of my future being, comes upon me, whilst I hope, I also fear, the blessedness seems too great; the consciousness of present weakness and unworthiness, is almost too strong for hope.
But when I look round on the creation, and see there the marks of an Omnipotent Goodness, to which nothing is impossible, and from which every thing may be hoped-when I see around me the proofs of an Infinite Father, who must desire the perpetual progress of his intellectual offspring—when I look, next, at the human mind, and see what powers a few years have unfolded, and discern in it the capacity of everlasting improvement;-and, especially, when I look at Jesus, the Saviour of Man, and the Conqueror of Death, who has gone before us to his father and our Father,-- I can and do admit the almost overpowering thought, of the everlasting life
svrowth-and felicity of the human soul.--Channing.
O listen man !
His reign of peace upon the earth began.
Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
Bending one way their precious influence;
Or Lucifer that often warn’d them thence,
As never was by mortal tinger shook ;
As all their souls in blissful rapture took :
At last surrounds their sight
That with long beams the shamefaced night array'd;
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display'd,
But when of old the sons of morning sung,
And the well-balanced world on hinges hung;
If ye have power to touch our senses so;
And let the bass of heaven's deep organ blow,
Orb’d in a rainbow, and, like glories wearing;
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering;
THE ESSENCE AND PERPETUITY OF CHRISTIANITY.
The largest amount of historical belief can do no more than bring us in discipleship to the feet of Jesus, and awaken the feeling of the moral beauty, the inherent sublimity, and the natural
authority of Christianity.
The imperfect media through which the incidents of the Advent are transmitted to our knowledge, may render it difficult to obtain assurance as to many of its external facts; but they leave no doubt as to that grand central figure, in which all that is august and tender in the religion is collected and impersonated. To look upon that form, blending the majesty of the prophet with the sweetness of the child; to hear that voice of grace and truth, revealing the open secrets of the heart, and, with the ease of self-renunciation, giving precepts that have the depth of prayer; to watch the vicissitude of his mind, the flush of early hope, the shade of deepening grief, the light of constant trust; to follow him to the beach, the village home, the leper's haunt, the temple courts, the upper room, the moonlit mount, the cross, the skies; and to feel, as he speaks to the various lot and many-colored guilt of men, the penetration of his simplicity ;-if this be not enough to bring us to his feet, we are not his sheep, nor can we know his voice. Nothing surely can have authority with us, save that which touches the seat of all authority,—the conscience. Hence it should be our devout study to harmonize the teachings of Christ with the moral intuitions of the mind, to show how they raise us to a consciousness of duty and capacity unfelt before, to clear away the confused rivalry of other images, and make it apparent that in all human history, he stands at the unapproached summit, the mingling point of the ideal and the real. "We should learn to regard all minds as of one race, variously partakers of one inspiration, melting at their upper margin-beyond the centre of their will—into the all-comprehending Spirit, that holds them “ as the sea her waves.” And such are their affinities together, that the highest which we see carries us on to a higher, in whom we believe : and this is Christ, the image and representative of God. This appreciation of Jesus, resting upon intrinsic personal ascendency of soul, being once secured, the historical limitations of his life,-its human coloring with the sentiments of a nation and a time,-sie outside its religious office,-its relation to our faith and trust: they become simple matters of secular criticism, and the temporary form of the first Christianity is harmonized with its essential perpetuity.
Rey. J. MARTINEAU.
THE CONSTELLATION OF URSA MAJOR.
Ages have rolled their course, and time grown gray;
The cloud-capp'd towers—the gorgeous palaces—
What does not fade? The tower that long had stood
PEACE IN GOD.
Hath surged and wailed for ages to and fro;
As in and out its hollow moanings flow;
Sweep desolation o'er this mortal plain;
Borne by the whirlwind from the ripened grain ;