ePub 版

may be in itself lawful, it may be religious and devout, it may be very discreet and wise policy; but if self be his grand, his ruling object, his spirit will be found to differ essentially from the spirit of angels, and of the just made perfect. The mind illumined by the Spirit of God, sees things as they are, and appreciates them according to their intrinsic worth. It ceases, in some good degree, to regard those that are of no comparative moment, and has learned to estimate those that are of real and permanent importance. And since there is nothing of so much importance as that God should be glorified, the real Christian desires nothing so much as this. God has the first and highest place in his heart. And since he loves every attribute of the divine character, so he desires to behold it in its native beauty. Every new manifestation of the Deity, raises the Creator in his esteem, sheds lustre around all that God is, and all that he does, and often fills his heart with joy unspeakable and full of glory. The people of God may be frequently under the cloud; but let God appear, and the cloud vanishes away; let God be exalted, and they are happy. This is not selfishness. This is the religion of heaven. The religion which springs from selfishness never truly terminates on God. The religion of the Gospel and of heaven neither springs from self, nor terminates in self, but springs from God, and terminates in God. And the man who has the most of this spirit is the most godly man. There are those who see and rejoice that God will be glorified; and there are those that see he will be glorified, and rebel and mourn. And wide, very wide, is the difference between them! No sinful affections will amalgamate with the glory of God. No love, no faith, no submission, no hope, no joy, that has not a stronger affinity to the divine glory, than to any other and all other objects, will stand the test of that day that is to “try every man's work of what sort it is."

Again: If the leading sentiment defended in these pages be true, most certain is it that all holy beings will be happy forever. There is no need of separating the glory of God and the eternal happiness of his people. We will not say that they are identified; for one is the effect, and the other the cause. The eternal, unchangable Jehovah has indissolubly bound the highest and eternal blessedness of all holy beings to the manifestation of his own glory. He cannot be glorified without making those who love him happy; and those who love him cannot be happy, unless he is glorified. If you would make a good man miserable; if you would torture the spirits of the just made perfect with agony, go, tell it in heaven, that God will not be glorified. But if God is glorified, they are safe, they are happy. Nothing can disturb their serenity, nothing diminish their rapture. So long as their highest love terminates on God, and their largest desires on his glory, they shall be gratified to the full. They shall behold his glory, even the glory which the Son had with the Father, before the world was. They shall be filled with all the fullness of God.

And be it also remarked, that with equal certainty will the full manifestation of the divine glory be forever inseparable from the perdition of all the ungodly. If God is exalted, the wicked must die. It is a most fearful truth, that God cannot be glorified, without the perdition of the ungodly. And it is a truth which may well carry death to the hopes of every in. corrigible sinner. If there are those who will sin, and sin incorrigibly, let them know that God is able to glorify himself by it all. Their rebellion shall never disturb God. It shall not disturb one peaceful emotion throughout his holy and happy kingdom. Though they “mean not so, neither in their hearts do they think so;" their incorrigible wrath “shall praise the Lord, and the remainder thereof he will restrain.” The “expectation of the wicked shall perish,” and their "triumphing shall be short.” They shall sink forever under their disappointment and shame. They will eternally rebel and mourn, because they cannot maintain a successful controversy with God. And it will shame them, and it will fill them with despair and rage, that there is One above them who will turn all their iniquity into the means of his own and his people's advancement. This is the Hell to which the haters of God, and the despisers of his Son are destined. And nothing can deliver them from it, but the divine dishonour. No, nothing can exalt them, but what would humble God; nothing list them up, but what would cast him down; nothing save them, but what would ruin him. 0! “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” It will be a direful allotment to stand in the place of that man, on whom the great God undertakes to glorify his justice.

But we turn from this painful subject. Have we not, in view of the preceding illustration, the fullest assurance of the fact, that God will be abundantly and forever exalted? “He is of one mind, and none can turn him; and what his soul desireth, that he doeth.” The Infinite One must cease to be wise, good,

VOL. iy. No, I.-P

114 God himself the ultimate end of all things. and omnipotent, ere he abandons the paramount purpose to glorify himself. His own great mind alone is capable of appreciating the worth and importance of this mighty object. None but himself is capable of fully conceiving it. But his discerning eye has been fixed upon it from the beginning, and will be fixed upon it to the consummation of all things. Here, all his ardent and powerful affections concentrate. The strength, the fervour, the zeal of his combined attributes are engaged, and publicly pledged to propel the magnificent and glorious design.

“God hath made all things for himself.” And when we say this, we utter a grand and awful truth. Whatever of majesty there is in the divine power; whatever of extent and resource in the divine wisdom; whatever of munificence in the divine goodness; whatever of liberality and tenderness in the divine mercy; whatever of terror and dismay in the divine justice; whatever of royalty and splendour in the divine supremacy, shall all be progressively disclosed. Every dark dispensation shall, by and by, be covered with light, and every intricate providence have a satisfactory solution. Every thing shall be laid open. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain made low. The wonderful revolutions in the material, animal, and intellectual kingdoms, the various and unexpected developments of the human character, the successive periods of time, and the revolving ages of eternity shall all be fraught with deep and impressive illustrations of the Deity.

“God hath made all things for himself.” Creation shall yet more and more unfold its wonders, disclosing the hand of Deity. Providence shall yet more and more bring to light his universal agency and care, while under his omnipotent influence, its mighty machinery, like the wheel of Ezekiel, shall move still more high and dreadful to the last. And the great redemption shall yet more and more spread far and wide its glories. The Father shall be exalted. Every knee shall bow before the Son, and every tongue confess to him. Eternal Spirit, so long retired from this apostate world, shall be seen and honoured, and by his own mighty influence on the soul, make impressions of the Deity hitherto unknown. Ages so long pregnant with preparations for the Son of Man, shall bring forth their expected blessings. The benevolent exertions now making in the earth, shall be succeeded by those greater and more extended, and these by greater, till "a little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation-till the Spirit be poured from on high, and the wil. derness become a fruitful field”—till these clouds of mercy, the glory of the age in which we dwell, and the hope of ages to come, shall issue in one extended and long continued effusion of the Holy Spirit-till the earth shall become a temple, and time a Sabbath, and these humble notes, so indistinctly heard from here and there a voice scattered over this wide creation, shall receive the accession of ten thousand tongues, and burst forth in one harmonious Alleluia to Him who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.



In our second volume, page 372, we commenced some remarks on this subject, and took a rapid sketch of the intellectual features of our own age. It was our intention to have resumed the subject before this time, but circumstances beyond our control have compelled us to postpone it until now. Without recapitulation we proceed to say, that the present is an age of strong excitement.

The human mind is actuated by high and powerful excitements, in almost every department of social interest and important concern. If we have not greatly erred in our observation, it forms a prominent characteristic of the age in which we live.

It may seem, at first view, incompatible with intellectual attainments and influence, that feelings should be precipitate, prejudices strong, or energies fitful. The opinion is common that intellectual research is cold, too calculating and wary to admit of tumultuous feelings. In some respects, this sentiment is true. It is true in its application to the individual who secludes himself from social intercourse, and cultivates a severe employment of his intellect. The loftiest exercise of mere intellect may be cold as the polar firmament; and although its rays may illumine a hemisphere, they shed no genial warmth, and excite no emotion. It is also true that intellectual attainments, well directed, have a tendency to prevent a highly excited state of feeling. But more depends upon correct mental discipline than the mere acquisition of knowledge, in regulating an excited state of feeling.

However we may account for the facts, it is undoubtedly true that this is both an intellectual age, and, at the same time, an age of great excitement. It would seem, therefore, that the concession, which we have made to the coldness of intel. lectual pursuits, can only apply to recluse students, never forming a large class of the people, and always unable to give character to the times. They may furnish the standard by which after ages shall estimate that in which they lived, because their writings may live, when the ephemeral notices, furnishing the true indices of the age, have perished. As for any further application of what we concede, the general cultivation of intellect only serves to suppress some of the grosser passions, refining and connecting them with other objects. But this is an important fact in the regulation, pursuits, and happiness of society. It may subserve our purpose to examine a little, this fact, by a few obvious principles of mental philosophy.

There are a few obvious and fixed laws of mental operation, which certainly allow the combination of highly excited feelings with cultivated intellect. Take the universal law, that feelings are the main spring of action, and the general fact, that unless the feelings are excited, nothing can be accomplished; and we have at once the necessity of some emotion, and the first element of strongly excited action. Add to these the social principle, by which men are induced to seek intercourse and unite their attempts, and the selfish propensity by which men are led into collision of feelings; and we have all necessary elements for tumultuous excitement. Another law of mind is, that the feelings are excited only through the medium of the intellect. Objects must be apprehended in order to affect the heart. We can have no feelings toward an unknown or unconceived object; consequently, the character of the medium through which the feelings are affected, must modify and give character in some measure to excited feelings. Ignorant minds may perceive only a single object, and that only in one aspect, calculated to make a strong impression, while cultivated minds take a wide range of thought, and perceive extensively the relations of things. The mind, which can only apprehend a single view of a given object, immediately and strongly associated with its own interests or prejudices, will be strongly excited; and that excitement may be

« 上一頁繼續 »