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animated Being comprehending all visible things, a manifest God, the image of the cogitable God; this Uranus, one and only-begotten."
The three points on which this theory dimly foreshadows the Johannean, the Christian, cosmology are-the pre-existent and allproducing Divine Nous, the Divine Intelligence; "In the beginning was the Word," and "All things were made by Him:" the spiritual which dominates and directs all material things; the all-prevading, allcontrolling Providence: the opening by an internal way of the immortal soul to the spiritual, and through the spiritual towards the Divine. The theory, however, furnished the materials to Gnosticism and Nihilism, into which it speedily sank. Mr. Sears traces succinctly the historical connection between them, in order that he may the more emphatically contrast with them the "Johannean cosmology," to which he devotes the succeeding chapter. This chapter is really a treatise on "The LOGOS :" it is eminently worthy of careful study. "The transparencies of nature" is the title of an interesting essay intended to show how the material reveals even while it covers the spiritual; and how on this point both Theology and Science are "symphonic." "The Word made flesh" is the title of a further chapter which explains itself. The conclusion to which his investigation of the many evidences of the sole and superior Divinity of Jesus Christ has led the author is irrefutable. "Not any man, however great or greatly inspired, could be thus exalted so as to receive joint honours and worship with the Supreme in any system of pure theism. Not any angel or archangel could be thus exalted, nay, the higher his exaltation the farther away would he be from such homage, for the lower down and farthest from sight would be all that is in himself when ascriptions of glory and dominion were ascending to Him that sitteth on the throne. If Christianity has thus exalted a mere man, however great and good, if it has thus exalted any created being whatever, it is as gross a system of idolatry as can be found among any of the religions of the earth." The same soul-inspiring theme is continued in the chapter on "The LOGOS doctrine."
A chapter on the "Johannean Atonement," another on "Converging Lines," and a last on the "Thrones in Heaven" complete the work— one which will bear reading repeatedly, and which is so full of truth and beauty as to awaken the wish in every reader to become its possessor. Did space permit, very much more might be said: those who wish that more were said will do well to refer to and peruse the book.
LIGHT IN DARKNESS.1
How fair is the vault of the star-spangled heaven!
The crown of the cottage or palace proud dome,
'Tis right that the wealthy with grace and with splendour
Yet love quite as deep, quite as true and as tender,
The children of riches, exalted in station,
And nurtured with all that the world can bestow,
Not so should the poor, with their thin planted pleasures,
Who feel in their offspring they count all their treasures,
Such treasures were ours, such a home was our dwelling,
To sweeten our lives, and make light Labour's load.
Our promising blossoms, expanding in beauty,
While tinging with gold every dark shade of earth.
1 These verses were written for two very dear and worthy Christian friends, whose family of seven, singularly beautiful and attractive children, were all removed to the Spiritual World in their early youth. The writer has reason to believe that under the Divine Hand they were made the means of much consolation, and might have a beneficial effect upon the minds of others similarly circumstanced.
Beguiled and allured with young Love's mirth and prattle,
In soft lisping prayers at the proud mother's knee.
This fast-fleeting glance of a scene pure and fair, Again bursts upon us that tempest appalling
Which filled our sad souls with the wildest despair.
We fondly had dreamed that although fellow mortals
What pencil could picture the deep, direful shadow
Which closed round our hearts with the blackness of doom, While reason reeled helpless beneath the tornado, And all our fair paradise changed to a tomb! The sea of affliction, above madly rolling
In wild stormy passion, was raging at will; Its cruelty spurned at all human controllingBut God and His mercy remained to us still.
Unheeded by us, His strong arm was around us,
Still holding us close through the fierce cruel blast ;
Ye suffering and sad, why thus deeply desponding,
Which thrills though the father, and moves to the core,
That love all Divine, from such evils impending
That Love all Divine, by those sweet chords attractive,
A blissful reunion all sorrows will heal.
Behold surely sheltered, enclosed by those mountains
Or why should the truest heart plaintively mourn,
Let selfish repining and sorrow be banished,
Let joy and tranquillity reign in their room,
That God's wise arrangements are kindest and best.
No. XII. THE BROAD-LEAVED TREES.-(Continued.)
32. THE BOX-TREE (Buxus sempervirens. Nat. Ord. Euphorbiacea). Though in the gardens and pleasure-grounds of England the box is usually no more than a bush, and though we are acquainted with it, most particularly, as a trim green edging to flower-beds, it is capable, when the circumstances of its long life are fairly congenial, of attaining very considerable dimensions, and of reaching the altitude of a tree of, to say the least, the fourth degree. For the trees that dress the earth are like the stars that deck the sky; they may be classed according to their magnitudes as well as by their structure and their products. Hindered by misfortunes or by the act of man, which is often needlessly unjust, they may fail, in a thousand instances, to reach their proper stature, and may perish while only half-grown; but every tree in nature unquestionably has a certain maximum of height and nobleness, which is realized sufficiently often to serve for the proof; and this every true description will always recognize, and every true lover of trees will desire to behold, though the pleasure be years in coming. The fact acquires importance when our minds are engaged upon inquiries such as the present, since it may fairly be assumed that the thought of the writer by whom any particular Scripture tree is mentioned rested, at all events for the time, upon an individual that was complete and beautiful of its kind; and of course we lose the force and emphasis of the allusion if on our own side we think only of a poor example. This particular plant, for instance, the box, though usually seen only as a bush, three to six feet in height, presents, when long established, a stem at least a foot in diameter, and, is twice as tall as a man. At Clifton Lodge, near Shefford, Bedfordshire, there is a box which, when measured in 1865, was found to be close on twenty-two feet high; the general spread of the branches was twentysix feet; and at a yard above the ground the trunk was fifteen inches through. Dimensions like these, in a plant which grows so slowly, imply considerable age; the lease of life in the box is probably, therefore, to be reckoned not by years, but by centuries. Whether large or small, the foliage is always the same; the innumerable oval leaves, about an inch in length, are entire, leathery, and shining, and in
1 Scottish Farmer, April 1865, p. 85.