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purified without the furnace. The vine | whatever weakens your reason, impairs must be pruned for greater fruitfulness. the tenderness of your conscience, ob- Bridges.
scures your sense of God, or takes off
the relish of spiritual things; in short “GOD ESPECIALLY REMEMBERS HIS TRIED whatever increases the strength and auONES.”
thority of your body over your mind; The word of God, though addressed that thing is sin to you, however innoto all believers, often containeth pas- cent it may be in itself-Anon. sages peculiarly suited to the “chastened” afflicted saint. God is like a friend who
Always, in a case of doubt, choose sendeth a letter to a whole house and
the side which you feel least agreeable. family, but who speaketh in his letter to
Thus you are certain of choosing the some by name, that are dearest to him
right,--and at the same time gain a in the house. -S. Rutherford's Letters.
victory over your own corrupt inclina
tions. There can be no danger from “WHAT IS LAWFUL OR UNLAWFUL FOR indifferent actions thus treated; on the ME TO DO?”
contrary, they give us additional moral Would you judge of the lawfulness or strength. ----Anon. unlawfulness of pleasure, take this rule :
H. H. H.
THE EXECUTION OF JAMES BLOMFIELD RUSH. “Tut man!” was the reply given by spirit; and when his body has been dead one of the witnesses against Rush, when millions of years, and millions more, his she was asked who committed the mur- spirit will still live; it will have to live ders in Stanfield Hall. Lying on her then as long as it has now, and as long couch, wounded by the murderer, she as you have to live; for although your lifted up her hand, pointed to the pri- existence has only lately begun, it shall soner, and said, “ THAT MAN!" Silence, continue as long as the life of God! still and solemn as death itself, pervaded “That man" commenced in youth a the court when the answer was given, course of sin. When he began, his conand every one seemed to feel as if he had science trembled and hesitated; but as heard some unearthly voice pronounce he went on yielding to one temptation his guilt and his doom. “That man" after another, his conscience became was found guilty of the crime with which seared; it “excused" rather than "ache had been charged, and he has now cused" him; and it suffered him to undergone the dreadful sentence, “to be become a fornicator, a liar, and a murhanged by the neck till he is dead !” derer. What he was once, before this You are come to see that sentence ex course was travelled, you may be now; ecuted! and while you are looking on, or you may be guilty of some of his his living and immortal spirit will depart crimes already. Of what sins are you from his struggling and dying body, and guilty ? Remember then, that human enter into that court where God bimself nature is capable of becoming, even in is the Judge; where the secrets of all your case, what it actually became in hearts are revealed; and where you your- him. Sin is a seed which is ever growself will soon appear, to receive the sen ing; the sinner is a traveller making tence which shall welcome you to hea- progress in the downward road; and the ven, or sink you down to hell !
depravity with which we are all affected, "That man” will therefore live for blinds the mind, deceives the conscience, ever--for ever! The death of his body hardens the heart, and damns the soul of will be no interruption to the life of his every man who yields to its temptations, and neglects the great salvation which was found out by man, his most secret the God of mercy has provided : “Let sins were fully known to his own conno man say when he is tempted, I am science, and to God. So are yours. No tempted of God; for God cannot be impenitent sinner can ultimately escape : tempted with evil, neither tempteth he “ Be sure thy sin will find thee out." any man. But every man is tempted There are some sins which go beforewben he is drawn away of his own lust | hand to the judgment-seat, and wait and enticed. Then when lust hath con. there till the sinner himself arrives, when ceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin they bear swift witness against him, and when it is finished bringeth forth death." secure his condemnation. How awful But “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth will then be the public execution of an us from all sin," "He that confessethimmortal soul! How deep and terrible and forsaketh his sin, shall find mercy." will be its sepulchre of despair! How “ Whosoever believeth in him shall not keen will be the torment of the undying perish, but shall have everlasting life.” worm, and the unquenchable fire! And “But he that believeth not, is condemned | how will the last lamentation of Christ, already, because he hath not believed in the chief mourner at his funeral, echo in the name of the only begotten Son of his conscience for ever-" OH! THAT God.”
THOU HADST KNOWN, IN THAT THY DAY, " That man" was at last found out. THE THINGS WHICH MADE FOR THY PEACE; The very means which he had employed BUT NOW THEY ARE HID FROM THINE to enable him to sin secretly, became the
EYES!” means of his detection. But before he
Let falsehood assail not,
Nor envy disprove-
Against those ye love!
BE KIND TO EACH OTHER. Be kind to each other!
The night's coming on: When friend and when brother
Perchance may be gone ! Then 'midst our dejection
How sweet to have earn'd The blest recollection
And memory keeps
Where all she lored sleeps!
Nor change with to-morrow,
Should fortune take wing:
The closer still cling!
The night's coming on,
Perchance may be gone!
Review of Books.
The PhiloSOPHY of RELIGION. By J. D. | nothing less than a reply to the questionMORELL, A.M, 1 vol. 8vo.
What is the rule of faith? By what standLongman and Co.
ard must our conceptions of Christian truth
be tested, that their imperfections may be (Continued from page 251.)
i remedied, and that we may have a right We said, in our former notice of this to regard them as sure and certain, and in volume, that we should probably offer some harmony with the mind of God? As Mr. observations this month on the theory of Morell is necessarily led by the theory religious certitude maintained in it. This which he maintains on the subject of inspisubject is a fundamental one. It involves / ration, to regard the Bible as unfit for being
a basis of certitude to us, he here does his Items of Christian theology" thence arising, best to supply us with another, and we he puts the question, How may we obtain "a have now to consider with what success. certitude on which the most morally earnest We hope our readers bear in mind what we and critically reflective minds will repose stated last month, regarding the distinction with satisfaction and peace ?” We need between the logical consciousness and the not follow him in his discussion of that intuitional consciousness. If they have not theory of religious certitude " which asserts, succeeded in mastering this most abstruse that Christianity is simply a question of idea, we fear we shall hardly succeed in facts ;” nor in his observations on the two interesting them; nor, if Mr. Morell's following, the first of which bases certitude theories be true, will they be able to under- upon the intellect, and the other on tradistand either in what sense the Scriptures tion. It is not till he proceeds to conare inspired, or by what means religious sider the claims of the word of God, and certitude may be obtained. It may aid to reject them for what we shall take those of them, however, who have not yet the liberty of designaring the Christian penetrated so far into the regions of meta consciousness of the age, that we come physical abstraction, to bear in mind, that into more direct conflict with him. As by intuitions (a word Mr. M. often em: 1 we are anxious to do him the fullest jus. ploys), he means what we usually term tice, our readers will hear him explain his conceptions, and often, indeed, uses the one own views : word for the other.
“ The Bible," he says, page 329, “as we The following observations regarding now have it, consists of a collection of certitude generally, though to some they writings, composed at different periods, by may be dry, are yet necessary to introduce men of exceedingly different mind and the subject. In page 299, Mr. Morell character; containing history, politics, prestates, that “ certitude. as arising from the cept, devotion, doctrine, and prophecy." legitimate action of the faculties, may be “ This book being put into our hands, the of three kinds ; it may be purely logical or main question for us to consider is this :purely intuitional, or a mixed result of What is necessary to the due comprehension both.” We have logical certitude when of the Bible, so that it may be, in any sense, the logical faculty employs itself rightly on an authoritative intellectual appeal?” “A any given data. Intuitional certitude is human understanding is necessary at once the agreement of our intuitions with truth. / to grasp and interpret the written word.” While mixed certitude “is that in which «The term understanding, however, thus the testimony of intuition is blended with popularly used, is extremely indefinite. a logical inference or definition." “ The Admitting that reason or understanding is intuitional faculty in man,” he continues, necessary to interpret the word, we have to “is not absolutely perfect, and often our inquire, how much reason, or how much perception of truth is affected by disturbing understanding, is necessary to give us a causes within ourselves.” “ There are some right to view the Bible as a fixed basis of cases, indeed, in which the intuitions we certitude? A thoroughly ignorant man, enjoy are very explicit," and may be pos- | teeming with prejudice, cannot surely be sessed by men universally. “Such are said to derive any great degree of theolothe intuitions of time, space, number, &c., gical certainty from his perusal of the on which the mathematical and mechanical Scriptures.” He then goes on to suppose sciences are grounded.” But it is other the case of a "truth-seeker,” not beset with wise with our intuitions of moral and spi these prejudices—“honest and intelligent” ritual truth. There may be a “colouring" -his "heart and mind alike cultivated ;" in them, or in the expression given to them, | and represents the various difficulties he “derived from the idiosyncrasies of the must encounter in interpreting the Scripindividual,” and “hence the necessity arises tures;- difficulties arising from * his own for our having certain criteria by which”. habits and tendencies of mind," “national our intuitions may be tested. *The three feelings," "educational bias," and from the great criteria which have been ofttimes necessity of his appealing to “professed recognized by philosophical thinkers are critics and theologians” to “settle the text distinctness, uniformity, and universality,” and canon of Scripture with perfect accuWhen an intuition will bear the application | racy;" to “determine in what sense the of these tests, then, observes Mr. M., we | Scriptures are inspired,” and “what are may “regard it as possessing the marks of the true principles of Biblical interpretacertitude--so far, indeed, as human certi tion,” &c., &c., while “ even when this tude can at all exist."
is accomplished, still but small progress is He then proceeds to show the bearing of yet made in coming to fixed results; for these remarks on the case of religious truth. the truth.... has to be brought into a sysAfter adverting to the “ different shades or tematic whole; and to do this some logical phases of the religious life," evolved by “dif- organum is absolutely necessary, wbether ferent communities," and the “different sys- | the Aristotelian, whether the Baconian, or
whether some yet different method of phi- God's word and Spirit, possessed a faith so losophical analysis."
strong, a certitude so unwavering, that it If all this be not sufficient to convince : bas cheered them in the dungeon and susour readers of the folly of seeking religious tained them at the stake. Yet, Mr. Morell certitude from the Scriptures, and to deter affirms, that “we never do obtain a fixed them from ever again attempting it; " let and confiding certitude regarding any reliit only be considered (Mr. M. says) that 'gious truth,., until it has verified its proper ...if we proceed on the hypothesis, that the validity by producing a similar influence mode of obtaining certitude is by interpre- upon others, and until we can apply to it tating the letter (of the Bible) by the aid of the very same criteria," &c. What opporthe individual reason, it is impossible to tunities had Paul of applying these tests to avoid the conclusion that the test of truth his conceptions of religious truth, when “he lies in the reason itself.” This theory, i preached Christ in the synagogues (of therefore, "insensibly merges into the very Damascus), that he is the Son of God?” foundation principle of rationalism.” What Or (if it be said there was miracle in this then, it may be asked, is the use of the case), the Ethiopian, when “ he went on Bible? Mr. M. replies, “surely it is assign- his way rejoicing?" Or Luther, when he ing the very highest place at once to its began to arouse a slumbering nation by value and its power, to ascribe to it a per- preaching the doctrine of justification by petual moral influence over the human faith? In spite of the confident assertion heart; to estimate it as the great means of before us, that we never do obtain certitude awakening the soul of man to the spiritual, otherwise, we veuture to affirm that but world which lies around us on every side; | few Christians have felt the application of to show how it can educate our minds to such tests, especially the criterion of unithe clear intuition of the Divine realities versainty, even in the “ certain sense" Mr. there presented ; and, finally, to recognize Morell afterwards speaks of, to be necessary in it a perpetual canon with which our í to certainty at all. Indeed, his own certifluctuating religious life can ever be com- . tude on this point, though he here so pared. In fine, profess what we may as strongly asserts it, seems to have been so a matter of theory, yet we never do * obtainwavering, that in the following passage, a fixed and confiding certitude in regard to from page 303, he expressly contradicts it: any religious truth until it has entered the “ A given intuition may be so distinct and heart as a spiritual principle; until it has unvarying to an individual mind, that it verified its proper validity by producing a carries with it its own evidence of veracity; similar influence upon others; and until but this will not answer as a ground of we can apply to it the very same criteria by certitude to all mankind..... In this case, which we acknowledge the certitude of any | the individual thus favoured must enjoy his truth whatever within the whole range of own evidence; but the rest of mankind human knowledge.”
must wait the purification and development Now, in commenting on these extracts, of their own power of spiritual perception, we beg to call the attention of our readers ere the intuition can be so expressed as to at the outset to the closing paragraph, in bear the criteria of universal certitude." which Mr. Morell strongly affirms what | We are thus informed in one passage that we cannot help thinking even he himself universulity is necessary as a criterion of must, on reconsideration, admit to be utterly certitude, and in another passage that it is untrue. We grant the statement contained not necessary at all. Such loose and conin the first part of the paragraph at once. tradictory statements, we certainly did not “ We never do obtain a fixed and confiding expect to find in a work on “ The Philosophy certitude in regard to any religious truth, of Religion.” until it has entered the heart as a spiritual In proceeding with our comments, we principle;" but this, we contend, is all that must remind our readers, that in all cases is necessary to certitude. Thousands of of mixed certitude-i. e, logical and intuiour fellow-beings have lived and died pos- tional combined; when the logical faculty sessing no other certitude than that spring- acts rightly, and yet error is manifested in ing from a mind enlightened, and a heart the result - the source of it must be sought renewed by the word and spirit of God. in the intuitions or conceptions with which Far removed from Christian society, they we started in our reasoning. The logical have, through means of a Bible, or a faculty is so much the same in all men, Christian book, acquired some knowledge that it theologians but possessed clear conof religious truth, have felt its power, and | ceptions of the primary truths of Chrislived under its influence. There have been tianity, the theology they would deduce many instances in which individuals, who | from those truths would be perfectly harhave never met with other Christians at all, monious. The endless variations of our have yet, through the simple teaching of theology arise from the diffurent data which
* The italics here, and throughout the extracts. theologians assume. Were these data inare Mr. M.'s.
variably the same, the logical faculty might be employed ad infinitum on them, and yet, As to the difficulties which Mr. Morell in the results, there would be neither clash- enumerates as being in the way of the Bible ing nor contradiction. It is so in mathe- being to us a basis of religious certitude, matical science. Mathematicians having we should like him to tell us if they are the same data to reason from, never come not equally in the way of its “educating into collision. Whatever direction the our minds to the clear intuition of Divine logical faculty may take in its excursions, realities,” and being to us “a perpetual the conclusions of one are always harmo canon.” In order to this, must we not first Dious with those of every other. Now in repair to “professed critics and theolotheology, the difficulty is with our primary gians," that they may “settle the text and conceptions of Christian truth. Were they canon with perfect accuracy,” “ determine but as clear, and uniform, and fully recog. in what sense the Scriptures are inspired," nized as those of mathematical science, and what “are the true principles of Bibli. there would be as constant a harmony cal interpretation," &c., &c. Then would among theological reasoners as there is not “some logical organum be absolutely among mathematical reasoners. We may necessary, whether the Aristotelian,” &c.? therefore regard our future controversy And should we not be in danger here also with Mr. Morell as confined entirely to the of “bringing our own habits and tendenfield of the intuitional consciousness, and cies of mind,” &c., to the work of interpreleave the logical faculty quite out of view. It tation? We put it to Mr. Morell, if these would do its work as well in theology as it difficulties may not be brought with as does in mathematics, could we but present great fairness against the views maintained it with material as well shaped out and as by himself, as against those which he is accurately defined.
combating? The sword which he here Where, then, is this material to be ob employs has two edges, and if with the one tained? How may we acquire clear and edge he wounds his opponents, with the accurate conceptions of those Divine reali other he infliots quite as desperate a wound ties which form the groundwork of our upon himself. theology? And how may their validity But we must hasten on to consider the be ascertained ? In answer to these inqui- basis of certitude which he proposes to us ries, our readers, we doubt not, would at in exchange for the word of God, and the once refer us to the Bible. “It is in his grounds on which he urges its adoption. own word,” they would say, “that God And here he narrows for us very considerteaches us his truth; and if you would ably the ground of controversy, by remindhave certitude as to your conceptions of ing us at the outset that the question is not that truth being accurate, you must com- one of logic, but one of intuition. “The pare them with that word." Now, strange real principles of religious certitude," he to say, this is, in substance, the very reply says, page 342, “can be deduced without which Mr. Morell himself gives us. He much difficulty from the very nature of tells us above, that “the word of God can intuition. Intuition implies a direct gazing educate our minds to the clear intuition of upon truth in its concrete unity. Were the the Divine realities there presented ;” and power of doing so perfect, no farther certiagain, in page 346, that “rightly did the tude would be required..... The power of Christians of the second century consider spiritual vision, however, in man is dim that the utterances” of the first disciples,” and inconstant.” Page 344. “We are contained in “the writings they left behind thus brought to the same great criteria; for them,” “possessed, and ever must possess, we require in Christian conceptions, as in to the church a canonical authority.” And all others, that they should possess clearness, what need we more than this? If Mr. uniformity, and, in a certain sense, univer. Morell grants that “the word of God can sality, to substantiate their full claim to be educate our minds to the clear intuition of regarded as sure and certain."...." All we Divine realities," and that “the utterances”. can justly demand, under the idea of uniof apostles "ever must possess to the church versality, is, that the conception we would a canonical authority,” he yields the whole verify be clearly shown to be one towards question, and might have saved himself the which humanity in its development neceslabour of writing this chapter on certitude. sarily tends, and which is universally testiBut, as we shall see by-and-by, though he fied to by minds sufficiently elevated in their has asserted this, he does not grant it. What | whole moral being to realize it." can we think, then, of his consistency, or Our readers will be able to make out rather, perhaps, of the “distinctness and ) clearly enough, from these extracts, the uniformity” of his own intuitions, when views maintained by Mr. Morell, to which writing the chapter before us? We much we may say, at once, that we have many doubt that they could themselves abide the and insuperable objections. His hypothetest of these two criteria of certitude, and sis, briefly stated, is this : Our minds pos. we are sure they could not bear that of sess the power of gazing directly upon universality.
truth, even upon those spiritual truths