« EelmineJätka »
given in detached parts, and often criminally perverted by the word of the priest. And then, as if infatuated to emulate the degraded and judicially punished state of the Israelites, when under the wrath of God, they actually prepare the people for that woful darkness described in Isaiah xxix. 10% 14. “ For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers, hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed. And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”.
• It is indeed,' Henry answered, “a melancholy proof of the delusion to which the minds of men may be subject. It is even so in their public worship and liturgy—the same fatal sign attaches to them, and the unknown tongue is made the mockery of prayer, to which the people are taught, indeed, to say, Amen, but without understanding; for to them, except the few that may be learned, it is the language of barbarians.
One would think this very chapter, 1 Cor. xiv. might put them to shame.'
We know,' said Mrs. Reynolds, in a tone of sweet compassion, that it is possible for people to pray with the spirit, even under such circumstances ; for the Holy Spirit himself can touch their hearts, and pray from within them,“ with groanings which cannot be uttered.” But it is an unjustifiable bondage to put the people under, and to deprive them of the blessings of a fruitful understanding. Charity makes one glad to think we may apply that part of the subject to them in the 14th verse of 1 Cor. xiv. If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. However they ought, did they but know the scripture, to be roused to an indignant renunciation of the bondage, with, “ What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding Also.”
Little Edmund had been passing the time of this long conversation by occasionally listening, especially when his mamma was the speaker; though much engrossed by the kindly confidence of my dog, who had laid his head upon his knee, allowing him to caress him ; but, upon the motion of Mrs. Milbanke to take leave, the dog remembered me, and came to my feet.
Edmund was not willing to part with his new friend; and trying to induce his return to him, snapped his little fingers in entreaty, saying, ‘Come, poor dog, come!'
The dog answered him by going up and licking his hand. . 'Ah! little Edmund,” I said, 'my dog understands your language; but I remember a Spanish gentleman once using the same endeavour with him, but in vain, for he spake to him in a language he did not understand.'
• What did he say?' Edmund inquired.
• Quite contrary to our mode, he said, “Hist! bist !' making a hissing sound at the same time, by prolonging the S; and the dog, instead of going to him, ran away from him.'
. He should have said, 'Come! Come!'
* And so he should, dear boy, but he had forgot he was addressing an English dog.'
This remark occasioned a smile, and Henry said, • It is worth our observation though, how remarkably a dog can discriminate the feeling with which words are spoken to them, and detect a want of fondness for them, however many words you may use.
Excuse me,' he said, “ if on so grave a subject, I venture to say, that to them words or tongues, without accompanying benevolence, are as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.'
Our time was expired, and, with mutual good feeling, for the profitable hour we had spent, we separated, to continue our meditations upon the practical power of the subject we bad endeavoured to investigate, and Mrs. Milbanke said, as she offered her hand to each at parting,
* I trust I have this day received an edifying communication, and that I have learnt one thing at least, which is calmly and patiently to meditate on the scripture, endeavouring to interpret spiritual things with spiritual.'
• Forget not, then, dear friend, I answered, 'to look to the Great Interpreter himself, the Holy Spirit, who is promised to us as the Guide unto all Truth.' John xvi. 13.
SKETCH OF ELIZABETH
*Lov'd while on earth, not less beloved though gone,
It is very curious and interesting to look abroad into creation, and to observe the wonderful and immense diversity of the objects which present themselves on every side. We are surrounded by creatures, of every form and colour, each imbued with distinct propensities, and pursuing different habits, yet all possessing the same grand principle of life. Then there are the endless varieties of the vegetable world, from the most majestic forest tree, down to the minutest flower or weed; yet all nourished by the same air, sustained by the same earth, and preserved by the same almighty hand.
Till we examine these things closely, we fancy that numbers of them are precisely similar to each other; but when viewed with attention, we find that there are no two creatures, no two trees, no two plants-nay more, no two leaves, with which the earth, or the trees are covered-between which some striking dissimilarity does not subsist. The species, the general form, the characteristic resemblances are there, but still there is an infinite and endless variety ; each one is, as it were, a separate creation, something that God thought of, looked upon, brought into being.
These observations apply with equal force to God's intelligent family. We observe amongst them the grand national distinctions of character; we remark the broad line of separation which exists between the inhabitants of the wild and mountainous, and those of the fertile and cultivated parts of the earth ;-we mark the wandering and unsettled propensities of the inhabitants of the desert, and the fierce and savage habits of other tribes;-the indolence of those who dwell in sultry climes, and the active and enterprising spirit of those who live in the more temperate parts of the earth. Viewing human beings thus in masses, the inhabitants of whole nations seem to resemble each other as nearly as the trees of a forest, or the insects of the air. Bat a closer examination soon convinces us of our mistake.
The eye rests again on smaller sections, which, like the patches of colouring over a landscape, appear to be but of one tint, when viewed from a distance. These are the family groups through which there generally runs a mental resemblance, as discernible as likeness in persons, let the characters be ever so dissimilar in other respects. Yet let us take them one by one, and we find that, like the leaves of Indian grass, no two are absolutely similar.
Thus, through all the works of God, we may trace a wonderful diversity, and yet a beautiful uniformity, which bespeaks the same great Master hand.