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Opinions, unsupported by facts, are worth nothing ; we must therefore leave this question as we find it, by stating our conviction that it favors neither one party nor the other.
There can, however, be no doubt that intoxicating wines are frequently alluded to in Scripture, and we think the friends of total abstinence take up an indefensible position when they attempt to argue from Revelation. We say nothing regarding the expediency or non-expediency of these principles.
“A. S.” seems to overlook the important fact that the real question at issue is between moderation and excess ; not between water and wine. We think the individual who kills himself by eating a leg of mutton for a wager, quite as blameworthy as the man who dies in a fit of intoxication; and yet we should be sorry to denounce mutton as unfit for human food.
Oaths. Sir, I shall feel obliged by the opinion of any of your correspondents upon the following question :
Does the Saviour's injunction, “Swear not at all.” (Matt. v. 34,) include judicial oaths ?
We do not think it includes all oaths; for Paul frequently uses a form of speech assimilating very closely to one. (See Rom. i. 9; ix.l; Gal. i. 20,&c.) Whether judicial oaths, as such, are excepted, is, however, quite another question, as even under a Christian government they are liable to great abuse, and much more so where the judicial power is heathen, infidel, or popish. To swear fealty to Mahomet or the pope might be a judicial act, but it could not be justified on scriptural principles.
THE OUTER WORLD.
Jesuits of the day.-- The Rev. J. M. Capes, of St. John the Baptist's Church, Eastover, has addressed a letter to his congregation, which is generally represented as indicating a secession to popery. Though we have too much reason to fear this may be its true meaning, we can find in it no allusion whatever to the Romish church.
“The Lord of the church,” says Mr. Capes, “must be sought in that church which has held the same truth from the beginning, which fulfils the Lord's command, and brings souls to him; which is not divided and distracted by a variety of doctrines and teachers, all claiming to be heard as teachers from God. I now seek for the pure gospel of the grace of God, and for him who gave it, in the bosom of the catholic church; there I know that it is to be found; there, with the assistance of Holy Scripture, I learnt it for myself; there, I know, and see, and feel by a thousand proofs, that our Saviour Christ is present; and there, through his infinite mercy, calling his unworthy servant, I am about to go to him.”
Were this the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, we should heartily rejoice over this determination of Mr. Capes, and wish him God-speed. To quit any church for Christ's sake and the gospel's, for more intimate fellowship with its Glorious Head, for greater usefulness in the Lord's vineyard, for closer and more constant study of the Scriptures, for growth in that charity which rejoices in the truth, for advance in that unity of the Spirit which is the bond of perfectness: in one word, for greater conformity to our Master's image, is indeed the highest form of true nobility and Christian manliness.
But the Jesuit breathes, as we believe, through almost every line of this epistle. Can it be possible that the writer of such a letter has chosen for his Spiritual Head, the very “Man of Sin” himself-has become a convert to the superstitious and idolatrous church of Rome ? If so, he has not joined a church “ the same from the beginning,” or one fulfilling, as he would have us to believe, his Lord's commands. He has not connected himself with the catholic, undivided, apostolic church; but with a political, persecuting community, whose very existence is dependent on its successful suppression of the Word of Life!
Another decision ugainst Puseyism. —Sir H. J. Fust has pronounced judgment in the Rev. F. Oakeley's case, (see page 186,) in his usual clear and straightforward manner. “ It was not necessary," he observed,
to travel through each article of the Church of England. Upon almost all, the church of Rome differed from that church, and as Mr. Oakeley agreed with the former, he could not agree with the latter.” The licence, therefore, of Mr. Oakeley, as minister of Margaret chapel, is revoked, and he is forbidden to perform ministerial duties in that chapel, or in any other church or chapel within the diocese of London, or province of Canterbury, until he shall renounce his present heresies and errors.
PO E T R Y.
A DREAM OF MY MOTHER IN HEAVEN. Ye beauteous stars, in heaven's high dome, your holy vigils keeping, Oh lend your light to guide me where, in death's lone silence sleeping, Alike removed from earth's low cares, and freed from mortal sighing, The lost, the blest, the most beloved - my mother dear is lying ! Long years of weariness and change have passed since last I trod, Revelling in childhood's shapeless dreams, this consecrated sod ; And she, who perished in the hour that gave your suppliant birth, Beneath corruption's withering power, hath mouldered back to earth. She passed from life, and entered on her last and dreamless rest, Ere I was gladdened by her smiles, or cradled on her breast, And mem’ry, to the holy dead, all faithful though it be, Hath not one faintly-lingering trace to bring her back to me. But still within my soul, so long by aching anguish riven, There brighteneth often, as it were, a radiant dream of heaven, And faith doth vision her, as there she bendeth lowly down, With myriads of the saved before the High Eternal Throne ! It seemed as if I saw her once at midnight in my dreaming, And more than mortal radiance was from her white robes streaming, And, in the wreath that graced her brow,there gleamed unnumbered gems, More dazzling bright than ever shone in earthly diadems. Her tender eyes gazed full on me with looks of heavenly love, Her lips were tremulous and pale, and seemed in prayer to move, And then methought I heard her voice, as angel-whispers mild, Give utterance to the holy prayer, “ Lord Jesus, save my child!" Then strains of sweetest minstrelsy came floating on the air, And breathed, as if from God's high throne, an answer to that prayer; For with triumphant voice she said, “ I know thou wilt”—and more Of rapture beamed upon her brow, than brightened there before. And then she smiled, and gazed again in lingering ecstacy, And whispering, as in tones of heaven, “My sweet one, follow me !" Around her glorious spirit-form she wrapp'd her robes of light, Then, soaring heav'n-ward, suddenly, she vanished from my sight. Long years have passed, but not again hath that transporting vision Come from its radiant dwelling-place on so benign a mission; And now from regions distant far, borne by the friendly wave, I come in bitterness to mourn o'er a dead mother's grave !
But hush-this murmuring tongue tho' now all wailingly it speaketh,
J. P. S.
“CHRIST SHALL GIVE THEE LIGHT.” – Eph. v. 14.
When clouds of guilt o'ercast thy soul,
When lost in sin's dark night;
And“ Christ shall give thee light.”
And darkness veils thy sight;
And “ Christ shall give thee light.”
And hope seems vanish'd quite;
And “ Christ shall give thee light.”
No friend to guide thee right;
And “ Christ shall give thee light."
His word of promise bright,
For “Christ shall give thee light."
Upon thy raptured sight,
For “Christ shall give thee light.”
And eager take its flight,
I. C. A.
THE MILLENNIAL MORNING.
BREAKING through the clouds of night,
See! the Morning Star appears! Softly now the rosy light
Pining nature's sadness cheers. Sweeping o'er the illumined plain,
Superstition's phantoms flee; Darkness yields her horrid reign,
Beauteous Light Divine, to thee! Lo! on Israel's freshened fields
Buds the rose of Sharon now ! Every vale its incense yields ;
All the hills their cedars bow.
Blooms the gentile desert fair ;
Its deep solitudes rejoice. Early music fills the air ;
Earth exalts her sweetest voice.
Angels bright the notes prolong,
They who sang creation's birth, In a higher, nobler song,
Hail the renovated earth. Glorious Sun of Righteousness,
Heaven and earth loud anthems raise Thy life-giving beams to bless;
Men and angels hymn thy praise ! Let my
shadowed soul be blest With thy glad and glorious ray! Shed upon my darkened breast, Light of life, immortal day!
S. E. P.
Cloudless each path appears,
Are drawn for future years.