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It is a very interesting investigation, and one which might fill a volume instead of a few pages, whether we are indeed in a state of mental culture (putting aside our knowledge of real religion, which will always place a Christian country above a heathen one), superior to many an ancient generation? But as this is the least important division of the subject, I pass on to show,-That Mr. Sharon Turner's view of this subject is a decidedly irreligious one.
To the law and to the testimony we are directed to apply in all cases where the soul and its Creator are concerned, and if we refer to this unerring standard we shall find that “ God created man upright; but they sought for themselves many inventions." (Eccles. vii. 29.) It is the omitting the grand scriptural truth of man's utter depravity which renders so worthless the philosophy of many of our first authors.'
They reason from man as he now appears- the blind, the sensual, and the ignorant; and persuade themselves that this was the being whom his Creator pronounced so good. Beauty, no doubt, there is, even in the present state of man, as far as his fellowcreatures are concerned, which, like the fallen and moss-grown pillars of some ruined temple, gives a faint idea of what the building once has been ; but when the relative position of man to God is viewed, all traces of beauty vanish, and we see only the enmity of the creature to the Creator-the, hatred of vice to virtue. Philosophy may dream, in her
1 i would strongly recommend to your readers the perusal of Dr. Wardlaw's admirable Lectures on Christian Ethics, as an excel. lent antidote to much of the vain philosophy, and science falsely so called, of the present day.
distant cloisters, of virtue separate from religion ; but bring philosophy into the crowded city and her dreams must vanish into air. Man is indeed a fallen being, and it is to this bumbling truth that we must constantly return. Literature and science, useful and ornamental as they are, can do nothing towards the improvement of the soul; they may, like luxuriant flowers, adorn the prostrate pillar, but they can never lift its head towards heaven, or even give it a tendency in that direction. And this is proved by the example of Greece and Rome. Athens, the learned and the brilliant, where Socrates lectured and Demosthenes declaimed, was yet sunk in the grossest idolatry; the preaching of Christ crucified was to her foolishness; and, rejecting a God revealed in scripture, she raised, as the trophy of her ignorance, an altar to the unknown God. Rome, the capital of a world, whose laws were of the profoundest policy, and whose senators were of the wisest of the earth, yet, in her religious observances, worshipped deities for whom a Christian child would blush, and committed absurdities in her devotion, which provoke a painful smile.
What shall we say to these things ? Verily, that man by nature knows not God, and nothing which springs from nature can teach him God. If it could, revelation would indeed be useless. No, let us take our Bibles, with all that they contain, and compare them with our own hearts' testimony to their truth, and when we have deeply pondered the record of our fall, let us thank God that he has revealed to us a way of recovery from it. Let us give to literature and science their true place as handmaids to faith ; let us take these records as proving the tenderness, the power, and the bounty of our Father God; but let us never for a moment dishonour Him, by placing the investigations of our feeble minds, or the theories of our darkened imaginations, in the place of those eternal truths, which are able to make us wise unto salvation.
RECOLLECTIONS OF IRELAND.
By the Author of 'A Visit to my Birth-place,' &c.
The infidel who, without reference to that other saying of the wise man, “ The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposal thereof is from the Lord.” maintains without qualification that time and chance happenetb to all, sees nothing beyond the ordinary contingencies of life in the diversities of events and circumstances which attend the lot of individuals who were born perhaps under the very same roof, or distinguished by those respective particularities which would lead us to assign to one the portion that appears in the sequel to become the lot of the other. The Christian, taught by precept and experience that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that the Lord, ruling over all, guides the great machine of human being with the same unerring skill that first called it forth from chaos, sees in the shifting scenes of life, and the alternations of human existence, the viewless and majestic hand that first sent forth our lovely though sin-defaced planet to run its course among the orbs of light, giving to inanimate nature a law that could not be broken. So I thought
as I returned slowly from a house where a gentleman who had once been a most intimate friend of mine, had been visiting. He came from Ireland : that circumstance alone would have made my heart glow to meet him; but more, he came from the abode of my youth-from the home of my childhood ;-no, I could not meet him. All my recollections of Ireland are drawn from later years.; there are some that lie low, low in the heart's secret channel ; I could not draw them forth : man must fulfil as a hireling his day; I am content to do it; a backward glance to the distant years of early youth; to that wildly happy period when I thought the world was all as bright as my own fairy paradise, would unfit me for the task. I would not if I could recal those days, -I would not if I could, again in the depth of our embowering woods revel in the luxuries of a fond and foolish fancy, and deem the mind that thought within me was as bright, as pure, as unsullied as the skies above me; and the world without, which I knew nothing of, as good, as bright as either-I would not, if I could, stand again on our breezy heights, and watch the bright flash of the western sun strike on the white sail that broke the view of the wide-spread ocean; or linger to watch the moon-beams in broken lustre, dance over the rippling tide, and think as I have thought, and feel as I have felt, with all the fulness of untried feelings and all the exuberance of romantic unchecked imagination ; for though if ever the term of happiness may be given to a state of mortal existence, to mine then it might be applied, I would not be thus happy again—it was a blissful delusion, but it was a delusion.—The earth gave and the earth hath taken away, and oh! blessed, for ever