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wisdom of man. This, too, is the feature which distinguishes Universalism from the system of the day. They propound hypotheses and speculations, and leave man's future, dark, uncertain, and cheerless. Universalism announces a glorious immortality for man, as the destiny of our race, and the truth of God, beyond all doubt or uncertainty. And here is the “hiding of its power.” Take this away, and you remove the tower of its hope. If the day shall ever come when it shall cease to utter this great truth, its glory will depart; and if its ministry shall tuin from this, it will lose the right arm of its power.
This, and this only, can reach the heart, and meet the wants of the human soul. I grant, that in the day of prosperity, when the skies are bright, and the earth is green and beautiful, theories may charm, philosophy may amuse, and the tinsel and ornament of the words of man's
dazzle the eyes, and captivate the affections, for a season. But full well do I know, that, in the day of our calamity, when the heavens are dark, and the earth dim — when affliction's great deep is broken up, upon us
the hearth-stone is desolate, and the heart bleeds and breaks, as its idols are taken away — then does the soul turn away frométhe follies of men, as from the deceitful mirage, that cheats the traveller upon the arid waste of the desert, and run with eager haste to drink the water that gushes from the Rock of Ages. Then does the fainting spirit feel, that it needs a firmer hope, and a holier trust, than man can give, and that it can be satisfied with nothing short of a “thus saith the Lord.”
I look around upon this congregation, and ! pon this place, so hallowed by the sacred memories of the past. I see the habiliments of mourning are here, testifying that death has been at work. Familiar faces, that in former days were wont to greet us here, are here no more. Even the watchmen upon the walls of our Zion are falling, and the old soldiers of the cross are leaving the battle-field, for the crowns and the harps of heaven. And shall we who remain play with toys, or seek to amuse the world with visions and fancies of man? Nay; for the eternal realities of the universe are around us, and with these we have to do. The soul that is in us crieth out
unto God, and the prayer that comes up from the centre of its being is, “ Lord, give us thy truth.” Blessed be his name, the answer to that prayer comes in the Gospel of Christ, — that Gospel which is not after man, but is taught by the revelation of him of Nazareth — that pearl of priceless value — that cordial to the wounded, bleeding heart — that balm to the smitten spirit. God help us to hold it fast, and say with the Poet:
6 Should all the forms that men devise,
faith with treacherous art, I'd call them vanity and lies,
And bind the Gospel to my heart.”
COMING TO GOD.
BY REV. A. G. LAURIE.
O that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat."-JOB xxiii. 3.
So exclaims Job under the pressure of his great calamity. The successive and crushing disasters, so dramatically related, which had rapidly brought him down from the height of prosperity and enjoyment, and overwhelmed him with wretchedness, though all of them, immediately traceable to merely material agencies, were clearly and truly recognized by him, if not as the operations of divine grace, at least, as the ordinations at a Divine Providence. Unlike too many of ourselves, with all the advantages of a Christian instruction, Job could look through and
beyond the action of intermediate and secondary causes, to him who is the prime cause of all; and whether the occurrences of his life were conducted through a prolonged series of visible media, or were the results of those viewless forces, whose effects are more readily seen to be the workings of Omnipotence, he felt good and evil, the prosperity of his former, and the various misery of his subsequent state — to be attributable finally to God? “ Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil ? ” is the response to his wife, in which he at once vindicates God's justice, and acknowledges His sovereignty.
This distinct and direct apprehension of God, as the Author and Conductor of all the
arrangements of the world, is undoubtedly, to some extent, to be attributed to the imperfection of physical science in the early ages. The Indian of our own Continent, the partially civilized man in all lands where a Deity is owned and worshipped, feels himself in closer contact with God by the absence of all those interposing processes of which he knows nothing, than the partially instructed resident of a more enlightened land.