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All the errors, superstitions, and absurdities which have ever prevailed in connection with religion, may be accounted for by the soul's hunger for things to believe. (3) This propensity to believe shows the easiness of the condition on which God has made the salvation of man to depend.

“ He that believeth shall be saved."

Secondly: The thoughtless yielding to this tendency is

immense loss. " The fool rageth, and is confident."

The fool

danger, dreads no harm. He rushes recklessly forward into mischief. (1) He is passionate. Le rageth. Counsels and warnings only irritate him. Advice, cautions, and reproofs, fall on his soul as sparks of combustible matter. They throw his whole nature into a raging flame of passion, (2) He is stubborn. He " is confident.” What does he care about your warnings. Nothing. He despises you, he langhs at them. (3) He is foolish. “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly, and he inherits folly. (4) He is despised. "A

man of wicked devices is hated. The man who has given way to his credulity becomes all this. He is passionate, ignorant of the grounds of his belief, he cannot brook contradiction, his opinions being prejudices, he is stubborn in holding them, and in all this he is “fool. ish" and "hated.”

II. THB CAUTIOUSLY BELIEVING. “The prudent man looketh well to his going." True prudence is indicated by two things-First: A dread of evil. "A wise man feareth." True dread of evil is consistent with true courage. Few, if any, displayed more heroism than Noah, yet, being moved by fear, he prepared an ark, Evil, both physical and moral, is a bad thing in the universe, and it is right to dread it, as we dread poisonous serpents

and ravenous beasts. True prudence is indicated - Secondly: By a departure from evil. “He departeth from evil.” Moral evil is the heart of all evil, and this he forsakes. He shuns it as an enemy to God and the universe. The prudence is indicatedThirdly: By mental greatness. He is dignified with knowledge. He is “ crowned with knowledge." Caution in believing is necessary for three reasons. First: The strength of man's tendency to believe. Secondly: The prevalence of error in society. The damning influence of falsehood on the soul.

(No. CXXII.) THE MAJESTY OF GOODNESS. "The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous."-Prov. xiv. 19, THREE remarks are suggested by the social state indicated in these words; the state in which the wicked are prostrate in reverence and entreaty before the good

I. IT IS A STATE WHICH SELDOM APPEARS TO BE. The wicked generally sit supreme in society, they have done so through all past ages and are doing so now, and that to a great extent, even in what is called “Christian society." The influence, the wealth, the rule of the world, appears to be with the wicked. Evil appears still to be the prince of the power of the social atmosphere. The good seem for the most part to be the destitute, despised, and oppressed. This has always been to reflecting saints one of the greatest difficulties connected with the government of God. “Wherefore doth the wicked prosper," &c. (Jer. xii. 1-3.)

“ But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious of the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Ps. Ixxiii. 2, 3.)

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II. IT
STATE WHICH

bour sinneth: but he that hath meres ALWAYS OUGHT TO BE. It ought

on the poor, happy is he. Do they not

err that devise evil? but mercy and to be First, as a matter of right. truth shall be to them that devise The good alone are the truly dig. good."-Prov. xiv. 20-22. nified, the truly, royal. Their THESE verses indicate certain lineage, their inheritance, their principles which seem everywhere characters, their friendships, their at work in the social system of our engagements are all regal. They world. Here is are kings and priests unto God. I. INHUMANITY. The poor is There is more royalty in the hut here spoken of as “hated," de of a godly pauper, than in all the spised, and injured by those that palaces of unregenerate monarchs. "devise evil." There have always Secondly: As a matter of expe- been men in society, and still are, dience. Indeed, what is right is who hate and oppress the poor. always expedient. The wicked There are many who have procould not even live on the earth fessed great friendship to those in without the good. Unmixed wealth whom they have despised wickedness would soon reduce the in poverty. These are what an earth to a Sodom and Gomorrah. old" expositor calls, “Swallow The good are the salt of the earth. friends, that leave in winter." Governments cannot stand long | Why are the poor thus despised ? that are not fashioned by the prin. First, because of selfishness. There ciples of the good. Evil, there. is nothing to be got from the poor fore, ought to bow before the good. -No money, no patronage, no

III. IT 18 A STATE WHICH IN- fame. Their good word goes not EVITABLY MUST BB. First: Con- for much in the world. Their science necessitates it. Even the opinions are neither quoted not worst men now and here are com- respected. Secondly: Because of pelled by the laws of their moral pride. Pride is a form of selfishnature to render homage to the ness. It is not thought respectgood. Chastity, truth, honesty, able to notice the poor. A poor disinterestedness, moral heroism, relation must be ignored. All where is there a conscience that this is inhuman, and, therefore, bows not to these ? Secondly: sinful. “He that despiseth his Retribution necessitates it. When neighbour, sinneth." In such trials, and sufferings and dangers conduct there is sin -(1) sin overtake the wicked, do they not against the best feelings of our always go for refuge to the good. nature-(2) sin against the siThey will cringe at their“ gate," rangements of God's providence they will fawn at their feet. " Give -(3) sin against Heaven's meus of your oil, for our lamps are thod for developing benevolence gone out."

How did the 260 amongst men. Here is souls bow before Paul, the II. SERVILITY. “The rich hath prisoner, amidst the dangers of many friends." There is a keen the storm on the Adriatic Sea. satire in these words. There are He became the moral commander base-natured people in all society, as the perils thickened.

and their name is "legion," who court the rich. Even in the

religious world there are those who (No. CXXIII.)

will fawn on the man of purse,

and flatter him with adulations. A GROUP OF SOCIAL PRINCIPLES.

Men, though swindlers in heart, "The poor is hated even of his own peighbour : but the rich hath many

are made chairmen of their public friends. He that despiseth his neigh- meetings and presidents of their

religious societies. It is humiliating to see men calling themselves the ministers of Christ, cringing before the chair of the wealthy, and cheering every utterance. The sect churches teen with parasites. A more miserable spirit than this know I not; unchristian, unmanly, most pernicions. Never will Christianity be traly represented, until its disciples shall practically regard intellectual and moral worth united, as the only title to honour and position. The rich hath many friends." Professed friends, for if a man has not the morally excellent and lovable in him, whatever may be the amount of his wealth, the friends he gets will only be the false and the fawning

III, GENEROSITY. “He that hath mercy upon the poor, happy is he," There is mercy for the poor in society. It is seen in the numerous and varied benevolent institutions that crowd Christendom. Those who have this mercy are happy. First: In the approbation of their own consciences. Mercy is an element of happiness.

“It is twice blessed," &c. They are happy. Secondly : In the commendation of their God. “Blessed is he that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble." (Psa. xli. 1.) “He hath dispersed, he hath given to tho poor,

his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn sball be exalted with honour.” (Pså. cxii, 9.)

IV. RETRIBUTION. “Do they not err that devise evil, but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good." Yes, those that have devised evil against the poor will find, sooner or later, that they have greatly erred. They will find that th. measure that they meted unto others is meted back to them. On the contrary, "mercy, and truth shall be to them that devise good.” The liberal devisetb. liberal things, and by liberai things shall he stand. Read the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel ot St. Matthew in order to see the retribution that the unmerciful and the merciful will meet with at last.

“ When the Son of man shall come in his glory,” &c.

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66

The Pulpit and its Handmaids.

PROVIDEXCE-ITS MYSTERIES. The events of Providence appear to tis very much like the letters thrown into a post-bag, and this parcel then sent forth on its destination. The person who carries

communication he bears, or the effects produced by them. And when we look into that repository, it

may seem as if its contents were in inextricable confusion, and we wonder how the letters, parcels, money, periodicals, should eyer reach their individual destinations. But then every letter has its special address inscribed upon it, it has the name and resi. dence of the party, and so it shall ia due time fall into his hands,

"Messenger of joy, Perhaps to thousands, and of grief to

some; To himn indifferent whether grief or joy." Onward he moves, quite unconcerned as to the nature of the

and bring its proper intelligence. course of things, and which fall And what different purposes do out the same day, bring gladness these letters fulfil-what varied to one, and land another in emotions do they excite! This deepest distress. On the occur. declares that friends are in health rence of the same event, you and prospering; this other is the perceive one weeping and another bearer of news of wealth, or of rejoicing. Some of the dispensathe wealth itself; this third tells tions are observed to propagate of somecrushing disappointments, prosperity through a whole come and quenches long cherished munity. And these others, so hopes by the tidings of the utter black and dismal, and of which failure of deep-planned schemes ; 80 many arrive at the same time, while this fourth, with sable carry, as they are scattered, gloon symbols, announces to the wife into the abodes of thousands. that she is a widow, or to the But amid all this seeming conparent that he is childless, or to fusion, every separate event has the child, fondly cherished by the its separate destination. If pestimother, that he is an orphan. lence has only some one person

It is a kind of picture of the devoted to it in a city or commorements of Providence.

munity, that person it will assuWhata crowd of events huddled redly find out, and execute the together, and apparently con- judgment of heaven upon him. fused, does it carry along with If there be a thousand persons it! Very diverse are the objects allotted to it in a district, it will bound up in that bundle, very not allow one of the thousand to varied are the emotions which escape. If, among the numbers they are to excite when opened who are dying, there be one reup; yet how coolly and systema- | garding whom it has no contically does the vehicle proceed mission to seize upon him, that inon its way! Neither the joy nor dividual must remain untouched. the sorrow which it produces causes “A thousand shall fall at thy it to linger an instant in its side, and ten thousand at thy

But, meanwhile, every right hand, but it shall not come occurrence, or bundle of occur- nigh thee." It has a commission, rences, is let out at its proper and will execute it; but then it place. Each has a name inscribed cannot go beyond its commission.

Each has a place to And in regard to every person to which it is addressed. Each, too, whom the event comes, it has : has a message to carry, and a special end to accomplish, and purpose to fulfil. Some inspire it bears a special message, if he hope or joy, others raise only will but read it and attend to it. fear and sorrow. The events

McCosa. which are unfolded by the same

course.

upon it.

GUILT OF MIND.

“The guilty mind
Debases the great image ihat it wears,
And levels us with brutes." HOWARD.

Theological Notes and Queries.

OPEN COUNCIL [The utmost freedom of honest thought is permitted in this department. The reader must therefore use his own discriminating faculties, and the Editor must be allowed to claim freedom from responsibility.)

BAPTISM.

baptized ? And he ordered the Querist.-Apart from the cus- carriage to stop; and they both toms of all sects and the dogmas went down to the water, Philip of all theological schools, what is and the chamberlain, and he the Gospel idea of Baptism ? baptized him.

INQUIRER.

Acts ix. 18. And rising up, Replicant.--In answer to “ In- he was baptized; and, taking food, quirer," we give the following his strength was restored. extract:

“Acts xxii. 16. Rise up, re“The passages in the New ceive baptism; and wash away Testament, which mention the thy sins, calling on his name. Christian rite of Baptism with “ Acts x, 47. Can any withwater, are very few; and they hold water, that these should not show clearly that its nature and be baptized, who received the its use are similar to the natura Holy Spirit, even as we also ? and use of the Initiatory rites of

“Acts xvi. 15. When she was the Jewish system. This would baptized and her family, she enbe antecedently probable; and is treated us, saying. made certain by the entire absence

“ Acts xvi. 33. And he was of the indications of difference, baptized himself, and all belonging which would be given if difference to him, immediately, really existed.

“Acts xviii. 8. And many of “John iv. 1. The Pharisees the Corinthians hearing, believed heard that Jesus made and bap- and were baptized, tized more disciples than John: “Acts xix. 5. On hearing this, though Jesus did not himself they were baptized for the name baptize, but his disciples.

of the Lord Jesus. And when * Acts ii. 38. Repent, and be Paul put his hands on them, the baptized each of you, in the name Holy Spirit came upon them, and of Jesus Christ, for the forgive-they spoke other languages, and ness of your sins; and you will re- prophesied. ceive the gift of the Holy Spirit. "1 Cor. i. 14. I thank God -41. Then they, accepting what that I baptized none of you, but was said by him, were baptized. Crispus and Gaius, that no one “ Acts viii. 12. They were

should say,

that you were baptized baptized, both men and women. for my name.-17. For Christ -16. For not yet had it (the did not send me to baptize, but to Holy Spirit] descended upon any preach the Gospel. one of them; but they had only

“Heb. vi. 1. Instructions on been baptized for the name of the baptisms, and imposition of hands. Lord Jesns.

*. These are the only passages “ Acts viü. 36. See, there is in which it appears from the water; what hinders my being connection that the baptism men

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