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" In the order of Providence, it depends upon bim to whom God has given faith, whether others around him shall have faith or be without it. If he is true to his faith, if his life is rooted in it, if his words are colored by it, if his tone and temper are constantly informed by this pure and subtle spirit, then he carries with him a sphere of influence by which to produce a like faith in all who are prepared to receive it. God to him is no name, but a reality ; Christ, not an historical Messiah, but a present Saviour; eternal life, no future, but a present immortality. By the contagion of this faith, he awakens like convictions in other minds; and to them also God in the Soul, Righteousness, Eternity, and Heaven come forth from the region of abstractions into that of realities. This is the true key to the kingdom of Heaven; and, in the famous passage to which we give this interpretation, Jesus is impressing the responsibility which rests upon those who have this key of faith in their possession. So surely as they neglect to use it, the door of heaven remains closed. And those who, by the sight of their faith, might have been quickened into a new life, remain, through their negligence, where they were before. This responsibility and privilege belongs not to Peter alone, nor to the Apostles alone, nor to bishops, priests, and preachers alone, but to every man to whose heart, as to that of Peter, God has made a revelation of the reality of spiritual things.” ***
" The work of the Church in the Forgiveness of Sin is twofold. First, by preaching the Law to awaken the desire for goodness, the effort for obedience, and the sense of separation from God; and, secondly, by preaching the Gospel, to produce the knowledge of forgiveness, and to communicate, through its own faith, that faith which will bring pardon. To those who are already seeking for pardon and faith, the Church feel itself to be the appointed and natural agency by which pardon is to be obtained. When the seeker is unable to have faith for himself, the Church should have faith for him. When he is discouraged, the Church should have courage for him. When he would despair, the Church should hope for him. When he cannot pray for himself, the Church should pray for him. For if the Church has faith in forgiveness and in the power of prayer, it should exercise that faith on behalf of those who are unable to exercise it for themselves. And, in point of fact, this is what all sincere and practical Christians actually endeavor to do. In all churches there are those who, by their words and their prayers, endeavor to bring faith to those who need it; and they thus become in reality the means by which it is obtained. But what is wanted is, that the whole Christian Church should understand that these efforts are its legitimate work, and that it should reverently and joyfully accept the great privilege to which its Master bas called it. And also that it should do its work, not occasionally as a doubtful experiment, but in the conviction that it has been made the certain and appointed channel through which faith and forgiveness shall come. When the Christian Church has learned its duties and privileges, it will be able to show to each seeking soul the way of Salvation, and enable him to enter it. It will be able to remove all doubt and all uncertainty as to what each one must do to be saved. As the types and shadows of the Jewish ritual were fulfilled by the realities of the Gospel, so will the Roman Catholic sacrament of confession and absolution be fulfilled by the Church, which has become the medium of communicatiog, not an external and forinal Remission of Sins, but an inward and real Sense of Pardon, For this sacrament, which has come down from the middle ages, will stand as a symbol till it is replaced by the reality,—will remain as a promise till it is removed by the fulfillment of the promise. Men go to the Catholic Church because it seems to offer them a surer outward aid and help. But this belp is formal, technical, not living and human. Something greater and better is needed; and something better, as God lives, shall yet come.
The concluding chapter upon the Results of Forgiveness, is one of exceeding beauty of thought and of style. Objections might justly be made to portions of it. But we have rather felt disarmed of criticism, and disposed to present portions, of which it would be indeed faint praise to say that they are unobjectionable. The chief result of Forgiveness is a new spiritual life.
And by this we mean, not merely a new course of action and conduct, but the formation of a new vital principle. As the temporal life of man or animal consists, not merely in outward actions, but also in an invisible principle, by which those actions are prompted; so the spiritual life consists, not merely in new efforts and actions, but in the possession of a new principle, out of which these actions naturally flow. Therefore Christianity, as to its inward principle in the soul, is constantly described in the New Testament as a life. This eternal life is not merely immortality in the future world, for it is spoken of as a gift specially bestowed upon Christians as the consequence of their faith, (John iii
, 15, vi, 47 ;) nor is it the future happiness of the good hereafter alone, for it is spoken of as something abiding in the soul here, (John vi, 54, 47, 4, 24.) The analogy of the spiritual life to temporal life appears in many particulars. As temporal life begins with our birth, so the spiritual life begins with the new birth. As the temporal life is supported by food, so the spiritual life has its food also, which is the body and blood of Christ ; in other words, his whole human history, his active and passive virtue, his energy to do, and his patience to bear; which must be not merely looked at, thought about, and remembered, but, like the food which we take into the body, become a part of ourselves. As our eartbly existence is divided into rest and labor, repose and action, night and day; so the spiritual life consists of alternations of faith and works, trust and obedience, prayer and labor, quiet waiting and active obedience. In our temporal life we are surrounded by Nature; by sky and earth; mountain, forest, and ocean; drifting clouds, falling rains, the vegetable and animal worlds; and the speaking face of man and woman. In our spiritual life we are surrounded by a Spiritual World of holy truths, gentle affections, farreaching hopes, noble aims, and sympathies wide as the world. As the vital principle of plant or bird shows itself especially in the fact of growth, so one characteristic of the spiritual life is development and progress. The largest definition, perhaps, which can be given of the term life, is DEVELOPMENT.”
“ This new Life in the Soul is, in its essence, Love; and, by means of its organ Faith, renews itself continually from on High. But this Life in the Soul has a twofold character, and acts in a twofold direction. It alternates between labor and rest, effort and repose, activity and receptivity, obedience to the law and trust in the gospel. Christian Goodnese, therefore, differs from the Goodness of Nature in being principle, and from the Goodness of Morality in being spontaneous; and is the purest union and harmony of both kinds. For Goodness in general is of these two kinds, consisting of Intention on the one side, and Character on the other. The Goodness of Morality or Intention consists in effort, struggle, and conflict; and is esteemed great in proportion to the temptation resisted, the trial borne, the obstacle encountered, the difficulty overcome. The Goodness of Nature or Character is not conflict, but harmony; not struggle, but attainment. It consists in natural good tendencies and pure tastes, or in acquired habits of goodness. The Goodness of Intention is meritorious; the Goodness of Attainment is beautiful. We respect the first; we love the second. The absence of one implies guilt; the absence of the other implies depravity. He who does not try to do right and to become good is guilty. He who has no love for goodness, no true, kind, and noble tendencies, is depraved. The seat of the one is the conscience or will; the seat of the other is the instinct or natural tendencies."
“ The essential peculiarity of the Christian Life is, that it is the complete barmony, THE ABSOLUTE SYNTHESIS OF BOTH KINDS OF GOODNESS. It distinguishes them, in order that it may unite them. It is able to unite them, because it has first distinguished them. Christian faith, revealing the high Law of God, awakens the conscience, and rouses the will to effort to overcome all evil. Christian faith, revealing the abounding Love of God, creates new affections, and attracts the soul upward, ascending by its proper motion. The love of God moves us to effort; the effort enables us more entirely to rely upon and realize His love. Faith and
Love and Labor; Prayer and Action ; the Reception of the Holy Spirit, and the Endeavor to impart it,—these follow each other like Day and Night; repose preparing us for labor, and labor for repose. In the Lord's prayer, the clause, Tuy will BE DONE, bas in all ages received a double interpretation; as being either a prayer for all men, that they may obey God; or as being an act of personal submission. Probably it includes both meanings; and so the Christian, in every moment of his Christian life, may unite the sense of responsibility and the sense of dependence, obedience, and love. His aim is, by his every act and his total influence, to advance the kingdom of Christ; but to do this by becoming, in every act, and in bis total influence, the organ by which Christ shall act, the channel through which Christ's influence shall flow."
From a sketch of the history of the Doctrine of Forgiveness, with which the chapter closeš, we give the following concluding extract.
“ The doctrine of justification by faith, proclaimed by Luther, was the vital principle of the reformation of the Sixteenth Century, and again became a new impulse of life to the human race. Its negative work, its work of denial, conflict, and overthrow, is easily seen and measured; but the positive result of Luther's Reformation was faith in the unbought love of God to the human soul; and there is no modern reform, nothing which diffuses comfort, intelligence, power, among the millions, but may be traced to this great spiritual movement of the Sixteenth Century. But now, standing in the midst of the Nineteenth Century, we may ask, Is Not A NEW REVIVAL OF THIS GREAT DOCTRINE NEEDED BY THE CHURCH AND BY THE WORLD! Have not the works of the reformation once more eclipsed its interior principle! One party supposes that the essential principle of the reformation consists in the creeds and opinions held by the Reformers; and another party supposes that it consists in their assertion of the Sufficiency of the Scriptures, and the Right of Private Judgment. Consequently we have a new idolatry of forms; and we worship, in our day, Creeds, the Letter of the Bible, and self-formed Opinions. And so again we cut ourselves off from the current of that inspiring Life which creates creeds, scriptures, and opinions, but is never created by them. Once more we deed to go bebind all these works of our own hands and minds, back to God's free love, which can again make all things new. As, when the Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost, a rushing and mighty wind filled all the house where they were sitting ; so the houses of doctrine and form must be filled by a new inspiration, and God once more shake not the Earth only, but the Heavens ; not the world only, but the Church. The new Revival of the doctrine of Grace will by no means express itself in the old language ; for each age has a newform of application for the same truth. The language of Luther differed from that of Augustine. The language of Augustine differed from that of Paul. The human race repeats evermore the same experiences, and passes through the same errors ; yet the truth each time is attained in a larger and higher form. The human race does not revolve in a circle, but ascends in a spiral ; passing, indeed, again and again through the same errors to the same truths, but passing through them each time on a higher plade. Thus, though no man can predict what form the doctrines of Grace will take in that new manifestation for which our century is waiting, we may be sure that such a manifestation must come. And among its negative results we may expect to see the destruction of Sectarian ramparts, the breaking down of narrow Creeds, the overthrow of a merely polemic Theology, and a merely ecclesiastic Ritual; while among its positive results we may expect the foundation of a new Church collected out of all sects under heaven ; a Church not of the Priesthood por the Clergy, but of the PEOPLE, whose ritual shall consist of action as well as of prayer, of humanity as well as piety; and the central points of whose creed shall be, that GOD IS THE UNIVERSAL FATHER, AND THAT ALL MANKIND ARE BRETHREN."
Art. IV.-THE TRUE SUCCESS OF HUMAN LIFE.
Thoughts for a Young Man; a Lecture delivered before the
Boston Mercantile Library Association. By Horace Mann.
Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields, 1852. Address on the Education of Woman, delivered at the Anni.
versary of the Pittsfield Young Ladies Institute. By RAY Palmer, D. D. Albany: Gray, Sprague & Co., 1852.
The first of these addresses has been so long before the public, and has had so large a circle of bearers and of readers, ihat a detailed description of it would be quite superfluous. It is written with the characteristic rapidity and fervor of Mr. Mann's style, and utters lessons concerning manliness, integrity, and true mental accomplishment, to which every young man may wisely give heed. It is a signal excellence in its author, and it invests his name with an honor more clear and durable than any to be won in the political arena, that he estimates so justly and has advanced so intelligently the education of the young. The name of the enthusiastic and indefatigable Secretary of the Board of Education in Massachusetts will be freshly remembered, when the congressional career of Mr. Mann, for all the services he has rendered in it to liberty and truth, shall have been lost from sight in the swift succession of political events.
The address of Dr. Palmer, on the education of woman, is more recent. It is carefully and gracefully written ; and presents with discrimination, yet with earnestness too, the true import and method of female culture. The evangelical spirit which claims distinct expression at the close, pervades its whole extent. And we have not lately met an address, of the nature and aims of this, that has seemed to us more happily adapted to its occasion, or more replete with just and useful thought. Much reflection on the subject, with the practical observations of one personally conversant with the instruction of young ladies, is evinced and expressed in it.
Leaving these two addresses now, and -following for a time a track of our own, it is our wish to present in this article some thoughts concerning the theme which they severally and differently treat. The form of the article may be naturally enough an answer to the question, In what is attained the true Success of Human Lile, for man or for woman? Epicureanism says—this is the principle that gives essential unity to its
manifold forms— It is in GRATIFICATION;' of the appetites, the desires, the craving for enjoyment, and for rest in that. The great commercial development that distinguishes our times, says, practically and very imperatively, It is in CommeRCIAL Successes ;' in large, swift, and permanent accumulations, of money, power, and mercantile reputation. What says Philo sophy ? and Christianity, as agreeing with, or correcting and exalting her ? In what does the human creature, whom God has fashioned with such exquisite skill, and such expenditure of Divine resources, accomplish the end for which he is designed ? And, of course, at what should the Educator aim, when he seeks, as the minister of God, to form and accomplish this human creature ?
There are two things involved in the real success of man; two things to be sought, therefore, by all who would educate him. The first is, the proper and thorough development of the faculties of his nature ; and the second, the use of those faculties, thus developed, in appropriate, noble, and beneficent action. If we state the whole in a single sentence, it
be thus put: complete Spiritual Development, for the purposes of benign and useful Action, is the only just aim of man or of woman. The statement is an obvious one; older than the catechism; as old as the Bible. Yet it will not harm us, if amid these clamorous and tumultuous times we consider it anew. Indeed, it will be eminently useful to us, if we take from it impressions that shall be serviceable to us in the conduct of our own life, or that shall help and direct us in our influencing of others.
The law that meets us first in life, wherever we observe that, is the law of Development. It is peculiar to life, and coëxtensive with it. Wherever there is matter merely, and the quali. ties that describe that, whether it exist in unorganized masses, or is constructed into forms by chemical affinities, there is no evolution; no process of growth, from a smaller toward a larger. The rock is passive. It knows no increase. It has once been compacted, by the forces of flood or flame that wrought it; and now it abides. But it grows to no new forms, by interior pressure. So the crystal is shaped with beautiful exactness; is suffused with light, or variously and brilliantly with color, according to its law. And perfect it is, within its province; hanging its clear stalactite beneath the arches of the cavern, or shining as the opal, or flaming as the diamond, on the brow that still exalts it with a more imperial lustre. But the crystal never changes, unless to lose this vivid integrity. It grows not at all, nor germinates to new crystals. It is