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All of one colour, and an even thread;
“ He sees with other eyes than theirs. Where they
Death, then, was welcome; yet life still is sweet." - The dispute about religion," says accompanying the constitution of mind Young, in one of his prefaces, "may be which it has pleased the Deity to bereduced to this — Is man immortal, stow on us, such reasoners but darken or is he not?'" And he adds_“I am the mystery both of man and of Provisatisfied that men, once thoroughly dence. But this desire of immortality is convinced of their immortality, are not of the kind they say it is, nor does it not far from being Christians." In partake, in any degree, of the character proof, therefore, of that most fun. of a blind and weak feeling of regret at damental truth, he offers arguments merely leaving this present life. “I derived from principles that infidels would not live alway," is a feeling admit, and which appear to him irre- which all men understand—but who sistible—and irresistible they are in can endure the momentary thought of his hands, which are those of a giant annihilation ? Thousands, and tens of
It is melancholy to think that even thousands--awful a thing as it is to in our own day, a philosopher, and die—are willing to do so—“passing one of high name too, should have through nature to eternity.”-nay, spoken slightingly of the universal when the last hour comes, death aldesire of immortality, as no argument most always finds his victim ready, if at all in proof of it, because arising not resigned. To leave earth, and all inevitably from the regret with which the light both of the sun and of the all men must regard the relinquish- soul, is a sad thought to us all-tranment of this life. By thus speaking sient as are human smiles, we cannot of the desire as a delusion necessarily bear to see them no more--and there is a beauty that binds us to life in the joyed, or suffered-still it seems to tears of tenderness that the dying survive-bury all it knew, or could man sees gushing for his sake. But, know in the grave—but itself cannot between that regret for departing loves be trodden down into the corruption. and affections, and all the gorgeous or It sees nothing like itself in what pebeautiful shows of this earth_between rishes, except in dim analogies that that love and the dread of annihila- vanish before its last profound selftion there is no connexion. The soul meditation-and, though it parts with can bear to part with all it loves—the its mortal weeds at last, as with a soft voice — the kindling smile—the garment, the life of the soul is felt starting tear—and the profoundest at last to be something not even in sighs of all by whom it is beloved contrast with the death of the body, but it cannot bear to part with its but to flow on like a flood, that, we existence. It cannot even believe the believe, continues still to flow after possibility of that which yet it may
it has entered into the unseen solidarkly dread. Its loves_its passions tude of some boundless desert. its joys—its agonies are not itself. They Young brushes away all such silly may perish, but it is imperishable. sophistries like cobwebs. Strip it of all it has seen, touched, en
" O death!
« Our doom decreed demands a mournful scene;
“ Undrawn no more !- Behind the cloud of death,
This all-pervading, this all-conscious soul,
heavens. Well are we entitled to If intellect be, indeed, doomed utter. give names unto the stars, for we know ly to perish, why may not we ask God, the moment of their rising and their in that deep despair which, in that setting, and can be with them at every case, must inevitably flow from the part of their shining journey through consciousness of those powers with the boundless ether. While generawhich he has at once blessed and cursed tions of men have lived, died, and are us—why that intellect, whose final buried, the astronomer thinks of the doom is death, and that final doom golden orb that shone centuries ago within a moment, finds no thought that within the vision of man, and lifts up can satisfy it but that of Life, and no his eye, undoubting, at the very moidea in which its flight can be lost but ment when it again comes glorious on that of Eternity ? If this earth were its predicted return. Were the Eterat once the soul's cradle and her tomb, nal Being to slacken the course of a why should that cradle have been hung planet, or increase even the distance amidst the stars, and that tomb illumin- of the fixed stars, the decree would ed by their eternal light ? If, indeed, a be soon known on earth. Our igchild of the clay, was not this earth, norance is great, because so is our with all its plains, forests, mountains, knowledge ; for it is from the mightand seas, capacious enough for the iness and vastness of what we do dreams of that creature whose course know that we imagine the illimitable was finally to be extinguished in the unknown creation. And to whom has darkness of its bosom? What had the God made these revelations ? To a soul to do with planets, and suns, and worm that next moment is to be in spheres, “ and all the dread magnifi- darkness ? To a piece of earth mocence of heaven?” Was the soul framed mentarily raised into breathing existmerely that it might for a few years
ence ? To a soul perishable as the rejoice in the beauty of the stars, as in telescope through which it looks into that of the flowers beneath our feet ? the gates of heaven? And ought we to be grateful for those "Oh! star-eyed science, hast thou wander. transitory glimpses of the heavens, as ed there for the fading splendour of the earth ? To waft us home_ the message of desBut the heavens are not an idle show,
pair ?" hung out for the gaze of that idle No; there is no despair in the gracious dreamer Man. They are the work of light of heaven. As we travel through the Eternal God, and he has given us those orbs, we feel, indeed, that we power thereia to read and to unders have no power, but we feel that we have stand his glory. It is not our eyes mighty knowledge. We can create only that are dazzled by the face of nothing, but we can dimly understand heaven-our souls can comprehend the all. It belongs to God only to create, laws by which that face is overspread but it is given to man to know-and by its celestial smiles. The dwelling that knowledge is itself an assurance place of our spirits is already in the of immortality.
“ Is it in words to paint you? O ye fallen!
Most highly favour'd, most profoundly lost !
“Lorenzo! this black brotherhood renounce ;
Renounce M. Evremont! Ay, and told the angels fell—so by pride man, many a Deistical writer of higher re- after his miserable fall, strove to lift pute now in the world. But how
up his helpless being from the dust ; came they by the truths they did and, though trailing himself, soul and know ? Not by the work of their body, along the soiling earth, and own unassisted faculties—for they glorying in his own corruption, sought lived in a Christian country; they had to eternize here his very sins by namalready been embued with many high ing the stars of heaven after heroes, and holy beliefs, of which their souls
conquerors, murderers, violators of the -had they willed it-could never mandates of the Maker whom they had have got rid -and to the very last forgotten, or whose attributes they had the light which they, in their pride, debased by their own foul imaginabelieved to have emanated from the in- tions. They believed themselves, in ner shrine-the penetralia of Philoso- the delusion of their own idolatries, phy—came from the temples of the liv- to be " Lords of the world and ing God. They walked all their lives Demigods of Fame," while they were long—though they knew it not, or the slaves of their own sins and strived to forget it-in the light of their own sinful Deities. Should we revelation, which, though often dark- have been wiser in our generation than ened to men's eyes by clouds from they, but for the Bible? If in moral earth, was still shining strong in hea- speculation we hear but little—too lit
Had the New Testament never tle-of the confession of what it owes been-think ye that men in their pride, to the Christian religion-in all the though
Philosophy, nevertheless, that is pure “ Poor sons of a day,”
and of good report, we see that “the could have discerned the necessity day-spring from on high has visited of framing for themselves a religion of it.” In all philosophic enquiry there humility? No. As by pride we are is, perhaps, a tendency to the soul's
exaltation of itself-which the spirit tells him that he is obeying God's and genius of Christianity subdues. law! What dismal fear and sudden re. It is not sufficient to say, that a na- morse assail him, whenever he swerves tural sense of our own infirmities will but one single step out of the right do so—for seldom indeed have Deists path that is shining before his feet! been lowly-minded. They have talked It is not a mere selfish terror-it is proudly of humility. Compare their not the dread of punishment only that moral meditations with those of our appals him-for, on the contrary, he great divines. Their thoughts and feel. can calmly look on the punishment ings are of the “ earth earthy ;" but which he knows his guilt has incurred, when we listen to those others, we feel and almost desires that it should be that their lore has been God-given. inflicted, that the incensed power may “ It is as if an angel shook his wings.”
be appeased. It is the consciousness
of offence that is unendurable—not Thus has Christianity glorified Phi- the fear of consequent suffering ; it is losophy ; its celestial purity is now the the degradation of sin that bis soul air in which intellect breathes. In deplores—it is the guilt which he the liberty and equality of that reli- would expiate, if possible, in torgion, the soul of the highest Philo- ments; it is the united sense of wrong, sopher dare not offend that of the sin, guilt, degradation, shame, and rehumblest peasant. Nay, it sometimes morše, that renders a moment's pang stands rebuked before it-and the low- of the conscience more terrible to the ly dweller in the hut, or the shieling good than years of any other punishon the mountain side, or in the forest, ment-and it thus is the power of the could abash the proudest son of Science, human soul to render its whole life by pointing to the Sermon of our Sa- miserable by its very love of that viour on the Mount-and saying, “I virtue which it has fatally violated. see my duties to man and God here!" This is a passion which the soul could The religious establishments of Chris- not suffer--unless it were immortal. tianity, therefore, have done more not Reason, so powerful in the highest only to support the life of virtue, but minds, would escape from the vain deto show all its springs and sources, lusion; but it is in the highest minds than all the works of all the moral where reason is most subjected to Philosophers who have ever expound- this awful power-they would seek reed its principles or its practice. concilement with offended Heaven by
We have been thinking of Night the the loss of all the happiness that earth Fourth—the Christian Triumph. But ever yielded—and would rejoice to in Night the Sixth, and Night the Se- pour out their heart's-blood if it could venth—the Infidel Reclaimed- Young wipe away from the conscience the flies on a high and steady wing through stain of one deep trangression ! the whole argument “ that vindicates These are not the high-wrought and the ways of God to man;" and shows delusive states of mind of religious prodigious power in his elucidations enthusiasts, passing away with the of the great truth, from the constitu- bodily agitation of the dreamer ; but tion of our Conscience and our Pas- they are the feelings of the loftiest of sions.
men's sons—and when the tr bled Conscience! Speak not of weak spirit has escaped from their burder, and fantastic fears-of ahject super, or found strength to support it, the stitions—and of all that wild brood conviction of their reasonableness and of dreams that have for ages been of their awful reality remains ; nor laws to whole nations. Though we can it be removed from the minds of the might speak of them--and without wise and virtuous without the obliteviolation of the spirit of true philo- ration from the tablets of memory of sophy, call upon them to bear testi. all the moral judgments which con. mony to the truth. But think of the science has there recorded. calm, purified, enlightened, and ele- These feelings, then, are all intivated conscience of the highest na- mately connected with the conviction tures—from which objectless fear has which man has of his being an acbeen excluded—and which bears, in countable creature. We believe that its stillness, the eternal voice of God. all his moral actions proceed from What calm celestial joy fills all the good or evil motives—and that there being of a good man when conscience is a great moral law which he recog