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as unholy habiliments, the garments of strife, and appear before his altar in the pure robe of Divine love. Then may he indeed administer an acceptable offering; then will the holy fire descend from on high, and the blaze of God's glory catch up the sacrifice.
The true principle of love will dispose man to unite himself to all who are zealously disposed to honour their Lord and do his bidding; and thus the union of sects and parties, in Christian objects, becomes the finest test of purity of motive and sincerity of heart. Such an union contains in itself as great a moral advantage, as the very act in which the various individuals may be about to engage. That men will ever think exactly alike in speculative points is impossible, from the very constitution of man; and he who would endeavour to make them do so, would be employed in as unprofitable a speculation as the Emperor Charles, and with similar results.
Perhaps there has been nothing more prejudicial to Christianity than the dissensions of the members of her various churches: this has not only given rise to the taunt of the disbeliever, but has tended very much to produce disbelief. What should we think of the piety of a single family, if the father, the mother, the brothers, and the sisters, were in continual argument and disagreement, and spent the greater part of their time in proving each other to be in error. Could we say this is a Christian family? should we think that the religion to which they continually appealed was of divine origin, when the results of its influence were apparently so distressing? Should we not rather be disposed to deem such a religion, suppose we were unacquainted with it, rather to be avoided than embraced? most certainly. And shall we wonder that so many profane disbelievers abound; so many bold scoffers are to be seen; and so many impious denyers of Christ are heard denouncing the faith we profess, and blaspheming the God we worship. How much then does it behove every one, who professes the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," to give up the consideration of the poor little non-essentials, that divide the world and set the good at issue, and join hand and heart in the great work of the moral and intellectual improvement of man.
Disunion acts not only upon the parties who may disagree, but upon the objects to be benefited; for the same means and the same powers, which if applied by a connected and powerful body, would produce a large quantity of good, have a very partial and circumscribed effect when separated and divided, and very often end in the cessation of the benefit altogether. Therefore it becomes a matter for the conscience of the Christian, when he is called upon by his brother, who holds opinions at issue with his own, to unite with him in doing good; he must not only consider how far he may violate his own particular notions, but how far he may become chargeable before Almighty God, of suffering these peculiar notions to blind his eyes to the necessities of his suffering fellow-creatures.
Let us then be zealous to unite with all in the great work of human improvement which is set before us. There should be no impediment to the marriage of true minds. Love looks upon the petty differences among men, as dust upon the mirror; and would brush it off without a
thought, when intent in looking upon herself, to see if she resembles the image of God, once lost, but now to be restored in man. The chain that lifts our souls to heaven, is one of many links; and it is the perfect union of these that makes our stay sure and our hope certain, and enables us to understand the words of Christ-"I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in One.”
THE BIBLE.—BY BERNARD BARTON.
LAMP of our feet! whereby we trace
Our path, as here we stray;
Stream from the Fount of Heavenly Grace !
Bread of our Souls! whereon we feed;
Our Guide and Chart! wherein we read
Pillar of Fire, through watches dark!
When waves would whelm our tossing bark,
Pole-star on Life's tempestuous deep!
Beacon! when doubts surround;
Compass! by which our course we keep ;
Our plummet-line-to sound!
Riches in Poverty! Our Aid
Unshaken Rock, the Pilgrim's shade,
The Soldier's fortress-tower!
Our Shield and Buckler in the fight!
Childhood's Instructor! Manhood's trust!
Old Age's firm Ally!
Our hope-when we go down to dust,
WORD of THe ever-livinG GOD!
WILL of HIS GLORIOUS SON!
Without thee how could Earth be trod?
Or Heaven itself be won?
Yet, to unfold thy hidden worth,
Thy mysteries to reveal,
The SPIRIT which first gave thee forth
Thy Volume must unseal!
And we, if we would rightly learn
The Wisdom it imparts,
Must to its heavenly teachings turn
SPIRITUAL SONGS FOR YOUNG CHRISTIANS.
A MORNING SONG.-BY WILLIAM MARTIN.
Stands jocund on the mountain's brow ;-
Suffer the clouds that linger oft
Like the fair flower, which sun-beams kiss
More bright than that which walks the sea!
When the blithe bee is on the wing,
O'er hill, and mead, and dale, is thrown;
Like the blithe bee, Oh! let me roam
Oh! let me rise with rapture crowned,—
That thou art mirror'd full and true
RELIGIOUS AND MORAL INSTRUCTION IN ENGLAND.
ANY education that has not religious and moral instruction for its basis, is unbeneficial to the individual, inasmuch as it will never produce in him true happiness. And any system of public education that shall exclude religious instruction, or fail to carry it out to its fullest extent, is essentially defective, and ought not to be employed in the training of the young. By religious instruction is meant the communication of the will of God, as revealed in the Old and New Testament, with the whole circle of moral obligations between man and man, as the result of a lively faith working perfect obedience and holiness of life.
That instruction of this kind, in any thing like a systematic and general form, has never been communicated to the people at large, is manifest; and, what is more deplorable, there appears at the present moment a desire in many, and a design in some, to introduce systems of teaching, in which religious instruction is to form no part. Books have been written, and plans have been recommended, from time to time, having a tendency to throw contempt upon religious instruction generally, and advocating what is called moral training without it; reducing human action and the conduct of life to mathematical rules, and leaving out all the high and mighty motives springing from faith and a knowledge of God's will, as things not to be interfered with without danger, or as in themselves unimportant and in no way essential to the formation of character.
Now if Christianity be true, and the sacred oracles contain the will of the Most High, it will be vain to expect that good fruit will be produced where the wrong seed is sown. We already behold, and with pain, that present systems have not produced the good that was anticipated, not indeed from there being no desire in enforcing religious instruction in our public schools, but from a want of judicious plans in carrying that desire into full effect. In our private schools the same desire has not unfortunately been entertained; and in them, from the common day-school up to the respectable academy, and even in the University, religious feeling is generally the least important of all the branches of education. Thus among all ranks of society we observe the existence of feelings directly contrary to the evidence of natural and revealed truth. Men of otherwise great minds, of extensive knowledge, and with reasoning powers of the highest kind, exhibit in their connection with the world actions continually at variance with the estimate we should form of them from our knowledge of their acquirements; and in all the refinement of high life, we find as much sheer ignorance of all that can be said to be the essential constituents of true happiness as in the lower. Physical comforts, sensual enjoyment, the round of midnight pleasure, and external pomp, seem to constitute the all in all of existence; thus life is passed in the perfect inactivity of the higher order of the faculties-and mental exercise and muscular exercise are alike shunned as detrimental; for the purposes of the first the last new novel is considered ample, and for the second a ride in a close carriage in Hyde Park, VOL. I.-Jan. 1835.
among crowds of fashionables is deemed sufficient. Thus we behold the bodily powers in a state of lassitude, the prey to slow disease of various kinds; and the mental ones lax and enfeebled, and only to be excited by something that administers to a morbid sensibility, and revives the animal feelings, without permanently improving the heart. In the lower ranks of society we observe ignorance of the same kind, but not greater than in the upper. This ignorance tends to the deprivation of the physical comforts, of sufficiency of food, and of cleanliness on the one hand; and has the effect to produce every kind of waywardness of disposition, strife, brawling, and violence, on the other. While, in addition, the moral powers not having been called into exercise, nor the religious ones awakened to a sense of duty, vicious habits are contracted which break out in acts of the most fearful turpitude. Thus in the lower ranks of life we behold crime, in the upper ranks vice, and if the balance were fairly struck, it would be difficult to say on which side moral deformity was the most apparent. But this conclusion instantly is formed by the mind, that high intellect and extensive knowledge alone is not more a guarantee for virtue than ignorance. Indeed moral turpitude bears a more determinate and fixed character, and is ten times more deadly in one who has his powers of intellect sharpened by knowledge, than in one who errs from ignorance alone; on the one hand, we behold a man committing an action in opposition to the law, and suffering for it by the law; on the other, we see him circumventing justice and foiling the law. In high life we are compelled to notice the want of heart, in low life we see the want of knowledge. In the educated (so called) we see the assumption of motives never felt, the expression of qualities never possessed, and the proffer of kindnesses which are only polite civilities; and these are defended on the score of their being necessary to enable society to live in apparent harmony and good feeling, and for mutual convenience. The false principle of honour is placed where the holy principle of religion ought to govern, and even virtue itself is professedly regulated by that painted goddess, at whose red altar sit war and homicide. In the grossly ignorant, we behold simply the mastery the animal powers hold over the intellectual, which breaks out from time to time in overt acts of violence and injusticenot pursued as a principle, but as an impulse. In the middle ranks of life, we observe precisely the same bearing, partaking on one side of the refined hypocrisy of the higher, with the strong feeling of the lower class. The feeling of honour is wanting, the proud bearing called nobleness of mind is no longer observed, and the independence of character, which riches demand as its privilege, is no longer seen. As in the upper class virtue is sacrificed to honour, and as in the lower it is sacrificed to passion, so in the middle it is sacrificed to self. The inordinate love of wealth in this class is so great, that every faculty of the soul and all the powers of the body are sacrificed to it. Thousands yearly find a premature grave through the ceaseless anxiety and turmoil which they experience in trade, having the desire to outstrip their competitors in what is termed doing business. The possessors of large capital, which would give them plenty and enjoyment, turn