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Why, in modern times, do we not take from the Word that sublimity of design and gigantic strength of purpose which made all things bend before the saints, whose praise is in the Word and the church of God? Why have the written secrets of the Eternal become less moving than the fictions of fancy, or the periodical works of idle literature; and their impressiveness died away into the imbecility of a tale that hath been often told ? Not because man's spirit hath become more weak. Was there ever an age in which it was more patient of research, or restless after improvement ? Not because the Spirit of God hath become backward in his help, or the Word divested of its truth; but because we treat it not as the all-accomplished wisdom of God--the righteous setting works of men along side of it, or masters over it-the world altogether apostatizing from it unto folly. We come to meditate it, like armed men to consult of peace, our whole mind occupied with insurrectionary interests. We suffer no captivity of its truth. Faith, which should brood with expanded wings over the whole heavenly legend, imbibing its entire spirit—what hath it become ? a name to conjure up theories and hypotheses upon. Duty likewise hath fallen into a few formalities of abstaining from amusements, and keeping up severities--instead of denoting a soul girt with all its powers for its Maker's will. Religion also hath become a set of opinions and party distinctions separated from high endowments, and herding with cheap popular accomplishments—a mere serving-maid of every day life; instead of being the mistress of all earthly, and the preceptress of all heavenly, sentiments the very queen of all high gifts, graces and perfections, in every walk of life!

To be delivered from this dwarfish exhibition of that plant which our heavenly Father hath planted, take up this holy book. Let your devotions gather warmth from its various exhibitions of the nature and attributes of God. Let the displays of his power overawe you, and the goings forth of his majesty still you into reverend observance. Let his uplifted voice awake the slumber of your spirits, and every faculty burn in adoration of that image of the invisible God which bis word reveals. If Nature is reverend before Him, how much more the spirit of man for whom he rideth forth in his state! Let his Holiness, before which the pure seraph veils his face, and his Justice, before which the heavens are rebuked, humble our frail spirits in the dust, and awaken all their conscious guilt. Then let the richness of his mercy strike us dumb with amazement, and his offered grace revive our hopes anew; and let his Son, coming forth with the embraces of his love, fill our spirits with rapture. Let us hold him fast in sweet communion; exchange with him affection's kindest tokens; and be satisfied with the sufficiency of his grace; and let the strength of his Spirit be our refuge, his all-sufficient strength our buckler and our trust!

Then, stirred up through all her powers, and awakened from the deep sleep of Nature and oblivion of God, which among visible things she indulgeth, our soul will come forth from the communion of the Word full of divine energy and ardour, prepared to run upon this world's theatre the race of duty for the prize of life everlasting. She will erect herself, beyond the measures and approbation of men, into the measures and approbation of God, and become like the saints of old, who, strengthened by such repasts of faith, “ subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens."




The portion of truth which one can for himself examine is so mere a scantling of what is needful for the service of his life, and has in it such instability when not under the helm of authority, human or divine, that men have found it necessary to lay up and patronize a store of common truth, out of which each may be furnished ready to hand when he comes to need it, without the trouble of discovering for himself. This common store consists of the customs established, the opinions popular, the laws instituted, the private duties expected, and the manners approved. These are a grand legacy transmitted from successive generations, the accumulated wealth of the wit and wisdom of our fathers-in which to become conversant we are for nearly a third of our life regarded as under age, wards of our parents, and incompetent in great matters to act for ourselves. If we set any of these traditions aside, following our own inventions or giving scope to our personal freedom, we are eyed with

suspicion or punished as defaulters, and, in capital matters, banished from good society, from our native land, and from life itself. Thus it fares with human kind; they are knit generation to generation. Our fathers bind us, and we shall bind our children. No man is free. All men are constrained by an authority over which they have no control, and are in their turn controlling others who have yet to be.

Let no man, therefore, in the pride of his heart, revolt from the traditions of God as an imposition upon the freedom of his estate. If the wisdom of God take no hand in the ordination of our life, then the wisdom of our fathers will do it all. But for us we shall be the same governed and shackled creatures as before. We may change the place of our residence for a country where God's tra+ ditions are unknown, and thereby change the degree or form of the bondage, but the necessity of it for peace and enjoyment will still remain. We may change our sphere in life to one where God's traditions are trampled under foot, and find a momentary release, but soon the habits of our new condition will become as peremptory as those of the old.-In truth, there is no deliverance. Society is beforehand with us; and along with its beautified fields and happy inventions and manifold conditions of comfort, hands down to us as the price of these a thousand laws and restraints upon the freedom of our conduct.

Such being the hereditary bondage of all ages and of all nations, those are the happiest who

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