Imatges de pÓgina
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Christ? His admiration is just and natural. Having drank deep of the inspiration of Christ's religion, he was qualified to speak to its value ; that value was impressed upon his heart, it was enhanced during the course of his apostolic labours, it was lessened neither by the prospect nor the experience of death. May we value it also! May we hold fast the profession of it, and receive from it the blessings of which it is constituted the medium. Enough are the trials in which we require fortitude and prudence; enough are the afflictions in which we need consolation and hope. In these trials and afflictions religion will be found a sovereign-a perpetual aid. And she is ever at our hand to do us good, to bless us, to restrain or to excite, to admonish or to commend, to subdue or to exalt—and thus to be the companion and the monitor of our life. If we follow her dictates, if we act according to her suggestions and make her our friend, we shall receive happiness from her when the world frowns or when it smiles, when adversity enters our dwelling or prosperity gladdens our footstep with its rays. And hereafter, at the consummation of all things, our happiness will be perpetuated; religious hope will be succeeded by enjoyments to which religion will still yield its attractions with which it will still min. gle its sacred delights.

The Voice of the Lord.

We have in the 29th Psalm å vivid description of the effects of the word of Jehovah, chiefly upon inanimate nature. The sacred poet describes, in a sublime and impressive manner, how this word produces those phenomena of the natural world which are of a grand and awful character, referring particularly to the scenes which were dear to the hearts of the sons of Israel and amid which, to their view, the majesty of Jehovah was chiefly unveiled. The Psalm is a majestic outpouring of the spirit of devotion, and attests equally the energy and fire of He: brew poetry, the talent of the Hebrew bard, and the inspiration of sacred truth. We love to hear the praises of the One True and Living God sung to so gifted a lyre. Entering into the feelings of the Psalmist, we shall not confine ourselves to the ideas contained in his noble and highly devotional ode; for the voice of the Lord has been heard in various ways, and in every age of the world, proclaiming his existence and asserting his supremacy, with a grandeur and authority which rivets the attention, and awe the soul to silence. We do not now allude to the awful proclamation to which Moses and the Israelites listened, with speechless wonder, amidst the thunder and lightning of Mount Sinai-to the sublime communications vouchsafed to the Hebrew prophets, to the testimony from heaven, given to Jesus near the waters of the Jordan - This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased,'-nor

to the same grand testimony repeated in his favor on the mount of Transfiguration. It is not only in the extraordinary communications of his spirit that the voice of the Adorable Creator and Governor of the world is heard, but in all the works of his hands. These have a voice which tell us that he exists, which proclaim with immense authority and energyhis infinite power, his consummate skill and wisdom, his overflowing goodness.

Walk into the garden, or the field, or the grove. Look at the varieties of plants which flourish on every side! On the stem and the leaves of each you may look with admiration, and discover in them the work of a master hand. Look at the flowers! The form how various, yet elegant in all; the colors how.rich and glowing, and though few in pumber, yet blended and diversified almost to infinity! Their odour, too! The air is filled with it; and it is wafted along by the breeze to delight the labourer as he applies himself to his task, and to refresh the traveller as he hastens on his way. Press the turf with your

foot-and whilst you admire its, velvet softness, think that every blade of grass and every minute plant which compose it, are formed with a skill that none can rival or imitate. Raise the eye to these trees, which planting their broad and rugged trunks firmly in the ground, lift their branches on high, and weave them out to minute tendrils on which they hang their green and glossy leaves. Here is the oak, justly named the monarch of our woods, the glory and protection of our island. And here the elm towers above it, a stately and majestic tree; whilst the beech inclines its thickly-covered branches towards the 'ground ; and the birch, with its silver bark, hangs its light and graceful wreaths above our heads. Admire the depth and richness of their united tints, and rejoice in the coolness of their shade. And now listen to the carol of the joyous birds as they rustle among the leaves or spring, in the exuberance of their enjoyment, from tree to tree. Even the distant hill smiles in its softened loveliness, and the river winds its course along the valley and glitters with the light from heaven, as if it felt the calm beauty and the happiness which it seems to reflect. And now, tell me, does no voịce come to you from all these interesting objects these graceful, and sweet, and lovely works ? Does not the humblest flower address you? nor the breeze bear to your ear a language from the waving forest? nor the odour of the garden, and the field, and the rapturous song which makes the woods vocal, bring their message to your delighted senses ?Listen, and they will tell you of God. They will bring to you solemn but captivating words of his wondrous skill, his wise and kind arrangement, the order and beneficence of his universal Providence. They will impress upon your minds ideas of infinite perfection, and excite in your bosoms feelings of admiration and love-of pious delight, and ex. hilirating hope. From one and from all his voice, indeed, will come to you, to wake your minds to the consciousness of his sacred présence; and to call upon your souls and all that is within you, to praise and magnify his sacred name.

The works of God, wherever they are seen=and where are they not seen !--speak to the reason of men, appeal to

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their understanding and affections, and urge them to bear continually with them a sense of his presence, and to open their souls to the full inspiration of the glories they behold. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters : who has gazed upon the immense ocean, and not felt the meaning of this sentiment? It is a majestic object; and its changing surface and its ever-varying lines, do not allow the admiration and the interest of the beholder to sleep. Like the life of man, it is soarcely ever a scene of unbroken tranquillity and rest. It is either ebbing or flowing, and its ebb and flow have continued even from the infancy of the world to the present moment, to preserve the purity of its waters,

and the health of the animal and rational world. It seems to sleep at times beneath the glittering radiance of a summer sky, or when the breeze of evening dies upon it and the last rays of heaven touch it with gold; but even then you

hear the soft ripple as it moves the pebbles upon the distant shore. At other times, its whole surface is agitated; lashed into fury by the rising blast, billow rolls upon billow, foaming and roaring in the madness of the storm, and threatens to uproot the earth on which its force is expended. It is the voice of God which thus · speaks. The softest murmur of the deep, and the awful utterings of its fury, bear that voice to the ear of man. They proclaim His Omnipotence who gave to the sea gates and bars, and said to it, in the firmness of his purpose, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come but no further, and here shall the pride of thy waves be stayed.' Whilst we watch this noble element as it stretches itself from the shores of our land, and seems

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