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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.



How fair is the vault of the star-spangled heaven!
How bright man's abode stretched below far and wide!
How wondrous the gifts which a good God has given,
To bless life's last ebb, or its full flowing tide!
Yet best above all that is genial and gracious,

The crown of the cottage or palace proud dome,
To the young and the old ever peerless and precious,
Is the peaceful, the pious, the calm happy home!

'Tis right that the wealthy with grace and with splendour
Domestic affection's retreat should surround;

Yet love quite as deep, quite as true and as tender,
Should still in the dwelling of labour be found.
The heart's adoration from high frescoed ceilings
Will rise in sweet accents more nicely refined, .
But through the rough thatch toiling Piety's feelings
Will float with as grateful a sense on the wind.

The children of riches, exalted in station,

And nurtured with all that the world can bestow,
May sometimes even feel, in their high elevation,
The want of parental affection's warm glow.

Not so should the poor, with their thin planted pleasures,
So easily reckoned, so few and so rare,

Who feel in their offspring they count all their treasures,
Their own precious jewels, their everyday care.

Such treasures were ours, such a home was our dwelling,
So grand in humility, Love's blest abode;
Each season new joys and new prospects revealing

To sweeten our lives, and make light Labour's load.
The bright morning sun on our pathway while beaming
We hailed with delight as our personal friend,
His far-stretching glory at eve's final gleaming
To us its last glance of adieu seemed to send.

Our promising blossoms, expanding in beauty,
With gladness surrounded our homestead and hearth,
Enlivened each care, and made sweet every duty,

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,
No task seemed too heavy, no struggle too rude,
We lightly esteemed the rebuffs of life's battle,
And adoringly wondered how God was so good.
Spellbound by its beauty, affection still lingers
And dwells with delight on that season now gone;
While grief-stricken Memory's fond busy fingers
Repaint and retouch all its charms one by one.
The soft tiny feet are still running before us,
The little arms eagerly round us still cling,
And infant songs' harmony gently floats o'er us,
More sweet to our ears than will seraphs e'er sing.
We hear once again, with the parents' deep yearning,
The glad joyous shout of their young sportive glee;
We see once again the loved faces upturning

In soft lisping prayers at the proud mother's knee.
But close as a shadow on this fond recalling,

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
Like autumn leaves fell at our side on each hand,
Death on his dark message through less favoured portals
Would pass and leave scatheless our fair little band.
But sad disappointment our souls smote with anguish,
While powerless to help, when he turned on his prey,
When beneath his dark pinions our sweet flowerets languish,
Till at last one by one they were all borne away.

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 ;
Unsought for by us, His sweet mercy had found us,
Exhausted and torn, in the bleak desert waste.
And soft as Love's whisper, o'er each wounded feeling,
His voice found a way to the dull, heavy ear;
The soul-soothing balm of fair Gilead brought healing,
And peace with the Heavenly Physician drew near.

Ye suffering and sad, why thus deeply desponding,
The clear lights of life yet resplendently burn;
Faith's heavenly vision, the darkest cloud rending,
Reveals love renewed and refined past the urn.
Shall blessings so precious, so countless in number,
Through long years of life which already have fled,
Not teach you God's goodness can never know slumber,
But flows on perpetual through sunshine and shade!
Whence sprang to existence the pure holy feeling
The mother's warm heart which abundantly fills,
A thousand sweet traits every moment revealing,
As on the fair babe her affection distils?
Or whence that untiring, unselfish devotion,

Which thrills though the father, and moves to the core,
But from the clear depths of Divine Love's vast ocean,
Whence man's best affections unceasingly pour?

That love all Divine, from such evils impending
As mere human guardians in vain seek to ward,
Removes your fair offspring, where Heaven defending,
Provides and maintains an invincible guard.

That Love all Divine, by those sweet chords attractive,
Would draw the fond parents to kindred's appeal,
Where safely secured by its mercy protective,

A blissful reunion all sorrows will heal.

Behold surely sheltered, enclosed by those mountains
Which God's love as sunlight is bathing in gold,
Midst flower-vestured valleys, by clear living fountains,
Your little lambs safe in the Good Shepherd's fold.
Say why should the purest affection then suffer,

Or why should the truest heart plaintively mourn,
Or what can earth's choicest and best pleasures offer,
To tempt you to wish they should ever return?

Let selfish repining and sorrow be banished,

Let joy and tranquillity reign in their room,
Nor let the true Christian, by wisdom admonished,
Seek longer the living in Death's silent tomb.
Though Time's bitter trials are hard of endurance,
Yet lightly they lean on the calm, trusting breast
Which has the celestial, eternal assurance


That God's wise arrangements are kindest and best.




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.

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