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pursuing, in the infliction of death upon transgressors, the vindication of the honor and authority of his law. Death is the wages

of sin, and death reigns and triumphs with as much uniformity, and as certainly, in consequence of sin, as physical evil comes on the violation of the laws of nature. Men do not expect a change in the latter;—they see the uniform results that flow from their violation, and whether they will, or not, the instincts of their being command their respect for them. Why then, when age

after age, and generation after generation, they see death sweep over our guilty race, will they anticipate a change in God's moral constitution? The laws of nature have been occasionally changed by miraculous interpositions of divine power, but where is there an example of a sinner ever having escaped from death, save Enoch and Elijah, whom he exempted from the execution of this law of his moral government? What right or reason can the sinner have to hope for escape from the punishment so justly due to his sins? Will God alter his law for his convenience? Where is the pledge or proof the sinner has, that he either will or can do so ? Are we directed to the scheme of redemption? We reply:

The salvation of Jesus Christ never was intended to invalidate in the least degree the authority of the moral law. “I came,” says Christ, “not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it.” By his own example of perfect and perpetual obedience, he has magnified that law, and shown how God and all holy beings regard and honor it. And can it be, that after having set such an example—having labored and suffered so much to vindicate the good and holy law of God, he will grant the sinner permission to violate it, or look with allowance on his sins? He has indeed atoned for our sins, and rendered it consistent for God to forgive those their sins who will repent and turn from their transgressions. But all this does not affect the claim of God's law, or render void our obligations to it. The very design of his redemption is to bring men off from their rebellion, and to establish them in the love and observance of his law-to make all who will accept the proffered pardon zealous of good works, and conscientious in their observance of the commands of God. If, therefore, the sinner has learned to hope in his mercy, and can live in the indulgence of any one sin, or the neglect of

any duty, he is perverting the grace of God into licentiousness. He is expecting what God declares shall never be.

It is indeed true, that the sinner's obedience is not required in order to merit heaven, nor to establish a plea of justification before God, on the ground of personal obedience. But if God offers pardon freely through Christ, and declares that he will justify all transgressors freely through the redemption which there is in him, provided they believe, how can that affect their natural and rightful obligations to do his will? He that says he believes and hopes in the mercy of God for salvation, through Jesus Christ, while he does not conscientiously keep the commandments of God, shows that his mind is blinded, and his conscience defiled. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for God to suffer the wicked to pass to heaven, who claim the privilege of being saved without a diligent, faithful, and conscientious observance of his will.

God affords proof in the experience of every unconverted sinner, that he does not recede from his law, and will not allow him to violate it with impunity. Although he may think, that impunity thus far may afford presumptive ground to hope for it in all time to come, yet will he find his mistake ere long. “Although a sinner do evil a hundred times,” says the wise man, “and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he feareth not before God.” The retributions of a God of justice will overtake him. Of this God furnishes abundant proof long before the hour of awful and signal vengeance.

Take the transgressor, of whatever character, and interrogate him in relation to the thoughts of his mind and the feelings of his heart. What painful forebodings, what agitation and perturbation of spirit! What seasons of gloom and dejection oppress and distress him! To the eye of man, he seems gay and full of glee, but could we enter his heart, what crowds of envyings, and fears, and jealousies, should we find distract him in his retirement! The youthful drunkard does, indeed, as he quaffs his cups, and raises the lewd and lustful song, vainly think himself happy; but when recovering from his debauch, and beginning to reflect on his conduct, who would envy him his feelings? How does his eye drop before the gaze of purity and innocence, and his cheek grow red with blushes, when

reminded of his bacchanalian exploits! How often does remorse torment him, and his conscience fill him with self-reproach, when he reaps the pain which his excess secures in his own body, or the misery which it inflicts on his wife, and parents, or children, whom he has disgraced and degraded by his crimes! His stomach, gorged and sickened by excess, does not more loathe its food, than does he loathe himself. Unhappiness attends him at every step. His friends desert him-his children despise him—his neighbours refuse to trust him—his property slips from his grasp— his debts accumulate and molest him-and the further he pursues his soul-destroying appetite, the more does he sink degraded in his own estimation. What is all this but the voice of God, proclaiming to him, that he cannot thus violate his laws with impunity ?

In like manner, the gambler and seducer, the avaricious and fraudulent, the proud and revengeful, the lustful and unclean, have all their inward woes, at times, when the keen and cutting reproaches of conscience overwhelm them. These are the proofs which God is giving, that his law must be honored, and that he will not compromit its claims. All the misery in the world is the result of its violation. Some wise and gracious design must be had, by a Being infinite in his benevolence, in thus filling the earth with wretchedness. He delighteth not in unhappiness. “He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” He would rather it were otherwise, but it is all intended to show the value he puts upon his law, and how unalterable he will adhere to all its provisions. Thus do the sorrows and woes of men speak to the Christian's faith, and proclaim the Almighty's determination to visit the sinner's iniquity upon him.

The sceptic will probably say, that the disease and wretchedness of the youthful sensualist, result from his violation of those physical laws, which God has ordained for the preservation of the health of the human body; and are to be assigned to natural, and not to moral causes. But the economy of nature, as it has been shown, is subordinate to the moral government of God. He ordained the laws of man's physical constitution, and those which regulate his susceptibility of excitement. And these laws were all intended to promote the great purposes of morality. The natural and uniform result, in due season, of suffering and wretchedness from immoral causes, only shows the wisdom and immutability of God's moral constitution, and how subservient natural causes are made to its great interests. Impenitent men have proof enough of God's respect for his law, in their sorrow and anguish, in the keenness of their self-reproach, and the discontented, fretful state of their minds consequent on their sins. They who live in the habitual violation of the law of God, pursue the very course to subvert the natural economy designed of God, and calculated to promote human happiness; and are, themselves, the authors of their own misery and ruin. Their painful convictions, and secret fears, and torturing reproaches of conscience, and restless inquietude, and dissatisfaction with every thing around them, are but the voice of God, assuring them, that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than one tittle of the law to fail.

MENTAL DIGESTION. To digest signifies to separate the several parts of a compound into distinct receptacles. To digest our food is to separate the nutritious elements from the useless parts, to throw off the latter and to transform the former into the body, as new supplies are required to maintain its identity. Three things are needed to do this—suitable food, a regular appetite, and the power of digestion as first defined. A defect in these occasions weakness -an excess in them produces obesity and worse disorders.

It is just, in like manner, that knowledge by the appetite of reading and the influence of reflection become to the mind the cause of healthful vigour or of bloated disease. Distinction, which is but another word for digestion, is necessary for concocting our ideas, and then, for the regular classing of them, in order to their being brought out by the faculty of memory without confusion and without haste. A strong and a regular appetite for knowledge, with the power of a good digestion, produce correct judgment and pure emotions. These form the man of wisdom and virtue ; that is to say, the real health of the human soul.

There is an atrophy of mind produced by an imperfect state of what we would again call its digestive capacity, or the power of classifying its thoughts. I knew a man who read every word

no

of the Encyclopædia Britannica, but he was not distinguished as a scholar of great mental ability or refinement. The powers of digestion were loaded and oppressed with such masses and mixtures of mental food, that his mind swelled into tumidity rather than grew in vigour. I mean only to say, that continual reading is to the mind what over-eating is to the body. No glutton can be long of a comely or wholesome constitution; mere reader or plodder in books was ever remarkable for good sense ; such a man can neither think, nor speak, nor write well ; and of the two evils, I know not whether it be not almost as well for the mind to be without knowledge, as to retain its ideas in huddled assemblages which produce nothing but whims and wild imaginations.

If our youth would rise to true greatness of mind, they must have books full of pure intelligence, an eagerness to read, and power to reflect. There must be wholesome food, a good appetite, and a vigorous digestion. “ The book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and thou shalt find good success.'

P. S.

THE DURATION OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM. Ah!" said a great captain, when elated by the splendours and acclamations of a triumph which Rome had awarded to him—“Ah! that it would continue !" But it did not continue. It passed away as the pageant of an hour. It is the reproach of all earthly bliss that it cannot continue. Man dies—thrones moulder-nations perish. Yea, this earth, and these heavens, and the stars and sun which glorify them, shall fade and perish like a garment.

There is but one thing with which we are conversant that is an exception, and this is religion. “ The word of the Lord,” and of our salvation, “ endureth for ever.” It shall live when all else expires. It shall not only survive the ruins of the world and nature;

then shall be the period in which it shall culminate in perfect glory. Religion is not of earth, but from heaven. It is here as a visitant from eternity, winning the children of men to the immortality to which it leads. Here it is effecting a

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