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work of mercy amidst obscurations and uncongenial influences ; it is reserving and accumulating its glories for the great day of revelation. Earth is all too narrow, the world is all too gross, and time is all too brief, for their matured and perfect manifestation; they demand an infinite field and an eternal day. This earth on which we dwell, these heavens by which we are surrounded, having answered their purpose, are to be dissolved as unworthy of the opening occasion; and there are to be “a new earth and new heavens," which shall endure for ever. This is the home of religion. Here she is to dwell, displaying all her excellence, and dispensing all her favours. Time, change, and death for ever excluded; her subjects eternal, herself eternal ; her dwelling, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. An eternity of bliss is bliss; an eternity of glory is excelling glory!
If an effort were made to bring together these several attributes of glory in one conception, we should have improved apprehension of a subject which by its own grandeur is incomprehensible. Religion visited our world with the purpose of recovering man from misery, guilt, and thraldom. Hell opposed this act of grace; and heaven succoured it. The eyes of the universe were thus turned to our earth, and archangels have contended on this field for the life of man. For a thousand ages the conflict was sustained with fluctuating success; till at length the crisis came, and in one final contest religion prevailed, and rose in triumph over all her foes.
Ah! the glories of that day! A day in which man is presented in the restored and perfected likeness of his Redeemera day in which the life and bliss which were individual, are multiplied in myriads of millions of the human family, and all assembled in one common presence—a day in which Satan, with his hosts, is adjudged, cast down, and tormented-a day in which nature and providence, with all their wonders, shall give place to the higher scheme of redemption, to which they have been the platform and auxiliary—a day in which the Divine perfections shall be revealed in such power as shall shed renewed effulgence through the universe, and fill angels and men with deeper love, and more profound worship—a day in which the whole mind of God and of Christ shall be perfected ; and the peace of heaven, the torment of hell, proclaimed to be eternal. Then pain, crime, and death shall die : and then shall
begin the life of men, the rest of God, the jubilee of the universe. Oh! the glory of that day—the day for which all other days were made!
These stupendous events are to be realized, and realized quickly. We are already walking in the shadows which they have cast before them. The whole framework of nations is heaving with final change. The hand of Providence is silently removing obstacles, and preparing a way and a highway for the ransomed of the Lord; and the finger of prophecy is indicating the night to be far spent, and the day to be at hand. The
man of sin” is rousing himself for the last conflict; and the spirit of all evil is putting on portentous and aggravated forms. The church is awaking to great expectation, and going forth to meet her Lord; the world is looking out with fear and wonder at what is to happen, not knowing whether it shall be for vengeance or salvation ; and there is a voice in the conscience of all men, which, from time to time, is solemnly saying, “ Behold I come quickly!"
My brethren, are these occurrences approaching? Is “the riches of the glory of the mystery,” which was hidden from the foundation of the world, about to be revealed now in the consummation of all things ? As surely as that they are to happen, shall we bear a part in them? Must our eyes look on the glory and the terrors of that great day? What then is comparable in moment to the question, How will it affect us ? Shall we see it with joy, or with grief? Will it be to us the day of confusion, or the day of redemption ?
These questions may be met by another, more practical and more readily resolved, How does it affect us now ? Is it an object of desire, or of dread? Are we thirsting for the coming of the kingdom of God and of heaven ? Are we uniformly proving the sincerity and power of our desires, by labouring to this glorious issue ? Little evidence can we have, that we are rightly affected towards this kingdom, except as it is found in devoted and paramount concern for its advancement. And, supposing that you could be partaker of its honours, though you had not laboured for its establishment, what joy could be yours?
A general, who was committed to a fearful battle with an enemy of superior numbers, sent a despatch to a subordinate
officer, who commanded a considerable detachment at some dis-
head with joy in that day—that great day of the Lord—if you shall be conscious of having done nothing to advance its triumphs ? Oh, give yourself to it—wholly to it—by perfect and persevering devotedness. Pray—labour-sacrifice—bleed for it. Let your prayers be full of hope, and your labour full of joy. He who gives most is the richest—he who suffers most, the happiest. The Lord is at hand; and, if you are faithful, He shall count you worthy to share his triumphs, to sit on his throne, and to reign in his kingdom-His glorious, illimitable, and everlasting kingdom
HINTS ON MENTAL IMPROVEMENT. There never was a period when the rising generation were called upon by more solemn considerations to give diligence to the cultivation of their minds than the present day. We desire again to set before our young friends the importance of this duty. Remember that your minds are formed for improvement, and the materials for cultivation are before you. Let those who are unconscious of the excellency of our intellectual nature, and the pleasantness of knowledge to the soul, despise your pursuit; it is enough for you that God, who has bestowed upon you these high and noble faculties, has given the plainest intimations in his word, that it is his will that these faculties should be cultivated with all diligence, and rise to higher and higher degrees of vigour, expansion, and excellence.
In the prosecution of this object you will find the advantage of laying down rules for your guidance. It is not needful for us here to suggest rules; we would simply urge the importance of acting upon settled principles. We are what our habits are. With the divine blessing we may be almost what we wish to be.
When you have laid down rules for your government, adhere to them with patient energy and perseverance. One of the most important qualifications for an individual who has entered upon a career of mental improvement is patience. Franklin began by making an almanac, and then rose by patient, well-directed efforts through the successive gradations of his wonderful career. We cannot all be Franklins, you say. It is not necessary we should; but as Todd has well remarked in his Student's Guide: “If Franklin had been discouraged by the thought, we cannot all be Newtons, he would never have reached his high station. “I don't know,” said Sir Isaac Newton, “that I have any quality in my mind that distinguishes me from the rest of mankind, unless it is that I have more patience.” It is at the same time important never to be in haste in these duties; haste does harm; it is well to have the mind fixed in an admirable ancient proverb, that—“Truth is the daughter of time.”
Accustom your intellectual powers to constant exercise. Never imagine yourselves to be persons of genius, and plead this as an excuse for mental indolence. Nothing has a greater tendency to enervate the best intellectual powers. The mind must act of itself, or it can never go forward in a course of improvement. We cannot proceed passively. Nothing can produce any influence upon the mind, without its own choice and consent. It is not, therefore, so much the creature as the lord of circumstances. It is the very principle of life to be self-active. Look at the living plant, or the living body, how do they grow and increase? By the workings of their own life; so the mind must put forth its own native energies, and expand and improve by the operations of its own peculiar life, if it expand and improve at all.
Avail yourselves of every help in the acquisition of knowledge. Turn every thing to account. Cultivate the habit of making all that passes
tell upon your intellectual improvement. A cultivated mind ever moves amidst a world of wonders, finding, as our great poet says
“Tongues in trees; books in the running brooks;
Sermons in stones; good in every thing.” Regard not this subject as one of mere speculation, but as of deep practical importance. Despise the notion of becoming mere book-worms; studying only to entertain your minds, or to enable you occasionally to shine in society. Seek that higher
motives than these may animate you, and that you may have nobler objects in view. It is right, we allow, to prize the exalted pleasure afforded by the exercise of the mind, and its increase in knowledge. As the animal life derives enjoyment from the nourishment that is needed to sustain it; so the intellectual life tastes a nobler happiness in imbibing the nourishment it requires. But far above the mere pleasure of acquiring knowledge, be cheered with the thought of the enlarged capacity which it affords for usefulness in the church and in the world.
How strange that the thought should ever have entered the mind of man, that learning is unfriendly to piety! The Bible teaches not so. The Bible holds out every inducement to stimulate us in the pursuit of knowledge, and without considerable knowledge, it is impossible thoroughly to understand that blessed book. Learning has properly been termed “the spouse of reason, the delight of our rational nature;” neither is there any incongruity, but the sweetest harmony, between the highest mental excellence, and the highest spiritual-mindedness. Let improvement, then, be your motto till death, and whilst feast on knowledge here below, may you be training for that happy state of being where your powers shall expand and improve through eternal ages, and where all the mists of prejudice and error, and every thing that here obstructs us in the pursuit of truth, shall have passed away.
I sat down before a girl, blind, deaf, and dumb; destitute of smell; and nearly so, of taste : before a fair young creature with every human faculty, and hope, and power of goodness and affection, inclosed within her delicate frame, and but one outward sense—the sense of touch. There she was, before me; built up, as it were, in a marble cell, impervious to any ray of light, or particle of sound ; with her poor white hand peeping through a chink in the wall, beckoning to some good man for help, that an immortal soul might be awakened.
Long before I looked upon her, the help had come. Her face was radiant with intelligence and pleasure. Her hair, braided by her own hands, was bound about a head, whose intellectual