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With him who is the sum of all my joy :
"Thou canst not, wilt not cause me to resign
How would this earth become a wilderness
"I could not walk alone without his voice
His tender love to guide my drooping heart,
"Let it but come in any other form,
And every murmur hush,—but oh not this,
And was she heard?-The summer sun looked down
As fallen earth can picture. Calm and still,
Became absorbed in his all-trifling task.
Watching with trembling earnestness o'er both,
Though shaded o'er with sorrow, was a look
Of high and holy communing with God,
A husband's love; but she had found a God.
"My Father, Thou hast taught me now
Hast bowed my rebel spirit down
"Hast taught me that there is a pang
""Tis well, 'tis well! for now I know
"Yes, I have been content to rest
Would raise my thought above.
"Meeting that vacant eye, I mourn
The jewel once shrined there,
Yet feel that Thou hast answered thus
My own rebellious prayer.”
L. E. P.
THE FOUND AND EATEN WORD.
JEREMIAH XV. 16, 17.
THE intrinsic value of everything is known by putting it to the proof. The dross falls off by the test to which it is subjected, and there remains behind the fine gold.
The present day is one that subjects everything to the crucible. Every age has its characteristics, and the age in which we live has this as its prominent feature. The veneration of bygone years, the reverence bestowed by ancestral worth, the eulogia of mature judgment, enlarged understanding, and exalted intellect—all is as nothing in the estimation of modern thought. Everything must yield to the crucible of criticism, as if it had never before been tested. Such pleas characterised the years gone by, but are now regarded as among the littlenesses of a childhood state, or the weaknesses of times that had not the courage or the manliness to speak out. We are in the age of manhood when it
is noble to doubt and manly to deny; when the imbecility of bygone years has given way to intellectual vigour, and elevated understanding, and a higher tone of religious thought!
The assumption of all this is startling. Such pretensions demand an adequate basis and credentials which cannot be gainsaid. When the age in which we live is put in contrast with every preceding one for its superior character as to religious and intellectual thought, the least we can ask is that its claims be well supported, that it will stand the fiery ordeal of criticism in a way which no other age has stood it. With such pretensions this demand is only fair. We shrink not from criticism when applied to God's Word. If indeed it be what it claims to be-God's Word-then indeed it should not shrink from impartial criticism; it should rather lay itself open to it. On every side, from every quarter, we invite it. Only let it be fair; let it be impartial; let us stop where we cannot reconcile; and, instead of consigning to the region of human fallibility, let us wait for more light. Only in our criticism let us stop where reason suggests we cannot decide for want of that light. Only let us treat the Book of Revelation as we treat its counterpart, the Book of Nature. We ask no more than this; we ask not less. To ask more would be to manifest that fear that would put forth its hand to touch the ark. To ask less would be to yield the palm to modern
prejudice and partiality, to a fettered reason and a contracted heart.
How has the Bible been examined by modern critics? Its effect on the nations of the earth in civilising, socialising, and elevating man, morally, intellectually, spiritually; its effect as manifested in every country where it has found its way, and in our own country especially, in giving an exalted character to its system of education, a healthier tone to its morals, and making this country the greatest and noblest in the world; its effect on the hearts of men in making them real and true men, in giving them strength in the hour of trial and, above all, victory in the hour of death,-all this has been forgotten-nay, ignored. The Bible, in the hands of modern critics, has had no credit for this. The question has not been asked, "Is not a book that has produced, and is producing, such effects manifestly from God? Has not such a book marks of an origin not of man? Did ever book speak like this book?"
How has the Bible been criticised? Have these men said, "There are difficulties in nature inexplicable, heights insurmountable, contradictions apparently irreconcilable, and if nature be the work of an infinite mind it must ever be so to finite understandings; and therefore, if the Bible have for its Author the God of nature, we must expect to meet with similar difficulties in it?" This would