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66 Put on,
tresses ; and rejoicing at their progress in the ways of boli.
Resignation to the dispensations of his providence is another accompaniment of love to God. À calm and quiet yielding of ourselves to his disposal, a disposition to acquiesce in the divine will, under suffering, is an eminently excellent manifestation of love to God. To be continually murmuring and repining, and impatient under the allotments of his providence, are entirely inconsistent with the existence of this divine affection. It is impossible for those who are labitually discontented with the divine government, to have love for the Supreme Disposer of events; for this discontentment is just the expression of a mind dissatisfied with the divine character, and it is utterly impossible to love a being with whom we are dissatisfied.. But they who are governed by this elevating principle, yield themselves up to the will of their heavenly Father, and regard every dispensation as the appointment of his infinite wisdom and goodness. . Many are the trials which we are called upon to endure in our journey up through this world; but, under the influence of this heavenly principle, we will be able to recognize in them all the hand of a kind and a gracious providence. Are we visited with adversity, sickness, reproach, or bereavements ?--love will lead us to trace them all up to the appointment of Him who makes all things work together for good, to them that love him. Often have we seen the icy hand of death 'suddenly and unexpectedly snatching away a dearly-beloved mother from the embrace of a tender husband, and the fond endearments of an affectionate offspring ; yet they have possessed their souls in patience; they have bowed with humble submission under the calamity; not because they were unaffected with the deepest distress by the afflictive dispensation, but because they were under the influence of a divine affection, an affection which mitigates every sorrow, alleviates every distress, calms the troubled mind, and preserves it tranquil and composed, amid all the trials of time.
Such, then, do I conceive to be the nature and influence of love to God. Let each of us put the question to himself, Has this principle obtained an introduction into my heart? Do
I take complacency in all the excellencies of God's character ? Is gratitude excited by the contemplation of his goodness ? Do I take delight in his bappiness ? Does filial fear characterize all my approaches into his presence? Does my soul desire God for its portion ? And do I afford to others and to myself sufficient evidence of the reality of the existence of the affection, by my living in obedience to his law,---growing in conformity to his likeness, exercising brotherly love towards all who bear his image,-and submitting with meekness and resignation to the kind disposals of his providence ? Let us long for the production of this divine principle in every heart. It is a principle the most amiable, the most reasonable, the most sublime, the most expansive, and the most elerating, that animates the mind of a human being possessed of it, and we are fitted by it for associating with the holy and the virtuous of every region throughout the expanse of creation :-possessed of it, we can rise in lofty abstraction above every thing that is earthly and grovelling, to participate in the exercises and enjoyments of the inhabitants of heaven,possessed of it, we have within us the spring of every moral activity, the source of all true happiness here, and of pure and unningeed happiness hereafter. But without it, we are enemies to God, degraded from the rank of our intellectual being, -destitute of real enjoyment in this life, and exposed to endless misery in the life that is beyond the grave. Reader, God is now saying, in language familiar to you,“ lovest thou me ?" Are you able, by an appeal to the divine omniscience, to respond, “ Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.”'
THE BLIND PREACHER.
BY THE LATE WILLIAM WIRT, ATTORNEY-GENERAL IN
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
“It was one Sunday, as I travelled through the County of Orange, that my eye was caught by a cluster of horses tied near a ruinous old wooden honse in the forest, not far from the-road-side. Having frequently seen such objects before, in travelling through these States, I had no difficulty in understanding that this was a place of religious worship.
“ Devotion alone should have stopped me, to join in the duties of the congregation; but I must confess, that curiosity,
to hear the preacher of such a wilderness, was not the least of my motives. On entering, I was struck with bis preternatural appearance. He was a tall and very spare old man; his head, which was covered with a white linen cap, bis shriv. elled hands, and his voice, were all shaking under the influence of a palsy; and a few moments ascertained to me, that he was perfectly blind.
The first emotions that touched my breast were those of mingled pity and veneration. But how soon were all my feelings changed ! The lips of Plato were never more worthy
a prognostic swarm of bees, than were the lips of this holy man! It was a day of the administration of the sacrament; and his subject was, of course, the passion of our Saviour. I had heard the subject handled a thousand times : I had thought it exhausted long ago. Little did I suppose that, in the wild woods of America, I was to meet with a man whose eloquence would give to this topic a newer and more sublime pathos than I had ever before witnessed.
66 As he descended from the pulpit to distribute the mystic symbols, there was a peculiar, a more than human solemnity in his air and manner, which made my blood run cold, and my whole frame shiver.
“ He then drew a picture of the sufferings of our Saviour ; His trial before Pilate ; His ascent up Calvary ; His crucifixion ; and His death. I knew the whole history; but never until then had 1 heard the circumstances so selected, so arranged, so coloured! It was all new; and I seemed to bave heard it for the first time in my life. His enunciation was so deliberate, that his voice trembled on every syllable ; and every heart in the assembly trembled in unison. His peculiar phrases bad that force of description, that the original scene appeared to be at that moment acting before our eyes. We saw the very faces of the Jews; the staring, frightful distortions of malice and rage. We saw the buffet :
soul kindled with a flame of indignation ; and my hands were involuntarily and convulsively clenched.
“ But when he came to touch on the patience, the forgiving meekness of our Saviour; when he drew to the life, His blessed eyes streaming in tears to heaven; His voice breathing to God a soft and gentle prayer of pardon on His enemies,— Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,'—the voice of the preacher, which had all along faltered, grew fainter and fainter, until his utterance being entirely obstructed by the force of bis feelings, he raised his handkerchief
to bis eyes, and burst into a loud and irrepressible flood of grief. The effect is inconceivable. The whole bovse resounded with the mingled groans, and sobs, and shrieks of the congregation. It was some time before the tumult had subsided so far as to permit him to proceed. Indeed, judging by the usual, but fallacious standard of my own weakness, I began to be very uneasy for the situation of the preacher; for I could not conceive how he would be able to let his audience down from the height to which he had wound them, without impairing the solemnity and dignity of his subject, or perhaps shocking them by the abruptness of his fall. But, no: :-the descent was as beautiful and sublime as the elevation had been rapid and enthusiastic. The first sentence with which he broke the awful silence, was a quotation from Rousseau :
Socrates died like a philosopher ; but Jesus Christ, like a God.? · I despair of giving you any idea of the effect produced by this short sentence, unless you could perfectly conceive the whole manner of the man, as well as the peculiar crisis in the discourse. Never before did I completely understand what Demosthenes meant by laying such stress on delivery. You are to bring before you the venerable figure of the preacher ; his blindness, constantly recalling to your memory old Homer, Ossian, and Milton, and associating with his performance the melancholy grandeur of their geniuses ; you are to imagine that you
hear his slow, solemn, weN-accented enunciation, and his voice of affecting, trembling melody; you are to remember the pitch of passion and enthusiasm to which the congregation were raised ; and then the few minutes of portentous, death-like silence, which reigned throughout the house; the preacher, removing his white handkerchief from his aged face, (even yet wet from the recent torrents of his tears,) and slowly stretching forth the palsied band which holds it, begins the sentence, Socrates died like a philosopher,'—then pausing, raising his other hand, pressing them both, clasped together with warmth and energy to his breast, lifting his
sightless balls' to heaven, and pouring his whole soul into his tremulous voice, but Jesus Christ, like a God! If be had been in deed and in truth an angel of light, the effect could scarcely have been more divine. Whatever I had been able 10' conceive of the sublimity of Massillon, or the force of Bour- ' daloue, bad fallen far short of the power which I felt from the delivery of this sinuple sentence....
" If this description give you the impression, that this in. ' comparable minister had any ihing of shallow theatrical trick
in his manner, it does him great injustice. I have never seen,
other orator, such a union of simplicity and majesty. He has not a gesture, an attitude, or an accent, to which he does not seem forced by the sentiment he is expressing. His mind is too serious, too earnest, too solicitous, and, at the same time, too dignified, to stoop to artifice. Although as far removed from ostentation as a man can be, yet, it is clear, from the train, the style, and substance of his thoughts, that he is not only a very polite scholar, but a man of extensive and profound erudition. I was forcibly struck with a short, yet beautiful character which he drew of your learned and amiable countryman, Sir Robert Boyle:-he spoke of him, as if his noble mind had, even before death, divested herself of all influence from his srail tabernacle of flesh ;' and called him, in his emphatic, though certainly extravagant language, a pure intelligence, the link between man and angels.'
INTERMARRIAGES WITH ROMAN CATHOLICS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN. SIR,-—A very distressing circumstance has occurred, during the last week, with regard to a member of my congre. gation, who is now beyond the reach of pain; and I feel imperatively called on to bring it before your readers, especially the unmarried portion of them, that it may be a warning to them, in the solemn affair of marriage.
W. D., an interesting young man, and a native of Scot. land, came to this town, some time ago, to follow his trade in one of our factories. He was, by profession, a Presbyterian ; though I fear he was not well instructed in the peculiar doctrines of our Church. In an evil hour, he formed the resolution of joining himself in marriage to a member of the Romish communion. Against her moral character, or her affection as a wife, I have nothing to say; but she was bigotedly attached to the errors of Popery. From the time of his marriage, he did not attend the house of God with any degree of regularity. I met him in the course of my pastoral visitation, living thus in the neglect of the outward ordinances of religion on the Sabbath. And, alas ! though there are many gratifying exceptions, yet there are not a few of his countrymen, who, when they cross the channel, seem to act, upon the Lord's day, as if they had left their religion in their native land. At my first conversation with him, there seemed to be a mutual