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lation of our blood ;of the allotted time of our existence in this world, and of the future ;--of our Creator, excepting the inferences drawn from the wisdom displayed in the creation * ;—of the cause of iniquity being suffered to destroy the perfection of His works, and often triumphing in its baneful career over the virtuous and inoffensive, by trampling upon all moral laws of justice ;-of the connection between the mind, the passions, and the body, and of their nature, with the total ignorance of a future state-of all these things we can have only conjecture without a revelation! The subject, therefore, at issue, between the sceptic and the christian, is here placed in a clear view; as that part of our intellectual wants, which is necessary to remove the fears, and essential to afford the com
* Socrates, speaking of the Supreme Being, says, “He who raised the whole universe, and still upholds the mighty frame; who perfected every part of it in beauty and in goodness, suffering none of these parts to decay through age, but renewing them daily with unfading vigour, whereby they are able to execute whatever he ordains, with that readiness and precision, which surpass the imagination of man: even He, the supreme God, who performeth all these wonders, still holds himself invisible, and it is only in his works that we are capable of admiring him!
“ Learn, therefore, not to despise those things which you cannot see : judge of the greatness of the power by the effects which are produced, and reverence the Deity.
“ If there be anything in man, my Euthedemus, partaking of the divine nature, it must surely be the soul, which governs and directs him; yet no one considers this as an object of his sight."Xenophon's Memoirs of Socrates, p. 212.
forts, the casualties of this life require, is found in the Scriptures !_namely, the revelation of the attributes of our Almighty Creator, the duty he requires of us, and our duty towards each other ;-the explanation of our nature, as far as our state in this world requires it, and of the ultimate reward of a better, on certain defined conditions, important proof of the truth of these writings is the explanation they give of our nature, agreeing with the actions we daily perceive in others, and also with our own feelings !—for they clearly define, and separate as dross from gold, or as chaff from the wheat, all the actions of the passions, from the actions of minds uninfluenced by them; and this very important knowledge to correct the judgment, was evidently written, as we are told by Saint Paul, “ for our learning,” that we may know others by their fruits or actions, and the purity or impurity of ourselves by our own!
We, therefore, now refer to the Scriptures as a progressive light of knowledge, beyond the reach of the natural mind to acquire without them, and that removes a veil, which “concealed hidden
mysteries from the beginning of the world.” And the subject being of no less importance to all of us, than the knowledge of ourselves, and of our great Creator; our eternal happiness, or eternal misery, with the change of this world, and the heavens which surround us; it surely is as much our duty, as it is our interest, to bestow all the candour, patience, and attention upon it that so momentous a subject requires; knowing, for our own part, that it carries into the heart the most ample reward, in raising the soul amidst its kindred spirits, above the influence of passions which darken and mislead the judgment. To reject it, therefore, from supineness can only excite the regret of those who know its worth and power; and from the conscious mercy received by themselves, hope, with due reverence, that others may equally participate in it.
OF THE PURITY OF THE FIRST
CREATED OF MAN
KIND;— THEIR FALL FROM IT BY THE SPIRIT OF
IT BEEN FULFILLED.
Every reasonable and intelligent mind admits, there is conclusive evidence in the works of creation of the rule of an All-wise and Omnipotent Being: and the same intelligence must admit, that it rested with Himself the several gradations of his own creatures as we find them : that in creating this world, he must have had an object in view consistent with his wisdom and power; and that it would be revealed to his creatures for their comfort, if their state and limited understanding required it, in the progressive accomplishment of his plan and decrees. And having already shewn the limited knowledge of our natural state, and the misery and fear attending it, without a revelation, we have now to develop that important plan and decrees from the Scriptures, which make manifest for our comfort,—that “ He is just and merciful in all his ways, and holy in all his works” toward In the creation of mankind, the words of God Gen. i. 26. were :-“ Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
“ And the Lord God formed man of the dust of Gen. ii. 7. the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul:” that is, by the breath or Holy Spirit of God, man received a living soul, and that living soul was the image of God.
“ So God created man in his own image, in the Gen. i. 27. image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God Gen. i. 28. said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
It is here evident, that to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, referred to a future period;—that the earth was to be replenished and subdued by the increase of mankind, and in his own image: and the important question then occurs,-how was that object to be attained ?
We have already shewn, that in man there are two principles governing him: a mind with a reasoning power, and passions which at times suspend