mune with their own hearts and with God in proportion to their temptations from their religious and secular business. In short, they walk with God. The secret, then, of this mighty influence that reaches to the ends of the earth, that makes the heavens bow, and its richest blessings come down, is, spiritual Reflection. How great the effects ! how simple the cause! If Jeremy Taylor were speaking upon the subject, (it was a favorite topic with him,) he would, perhaps, say, So have I seen a pebble dropped upon the bosom of a lake, and from its deep retirement, the little circles, rising one by one, have stretched their pliant natures in wider undulations : and mingling their sympathetic and tremulous motions, the surface was swayed as with a soft compliance, and the imaged firmament yielded its awful form to the momentary joy!


There is a disposition amongst certain good men at the present day, to undervalue mind and intellectual attainments in the clergy. They may not be conscious of the tendency of their remarks, but to others it is very apparent. When we hear a minister indulging in such remarks, we feel that he is doing great injury. To those of our Christian brethren in colleges and seminaries, who feel the importance of a cultivated intellect, and great attainments in the sublime work of the ministry, and strive for their own sakes and for the sake of their fellow men to increase their acquisitions, such a disposition is discouraging because it makes them feel that they will be suspected by their brethren of intellectual pride. When we read an exhortation addressed to ministers to beware of too great an attention to the understanding, and too great a desire for knowledge, we feel as if the danger pointed out had a sufficient antidote in the natural indolence of men. In such a day as this, when the labors of the clergy are so greatly increased by the numerous demands of benevolent and religious enterprises upon their time, and temptations are strong to forsake the study and trust upon the Sabbath to extemporaneous effort, any such advice is decidedly injudicious. Let exhortations to the cultivation of the heart be as solemn and as frequent as possible, but in the present state of learning and of mind amongst us, let not one word be said in disparagement of intellectual culture. We fear that such disparagement has its origin in a great untruth, viz. : that the Bible is unfavorable to intellect and mental cultivation. Because the cultivation of the heart is always made the grand

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requisite for success in the ministry, the inference seems to be, that the man who feels rightly and with the greatest fervor, is the most eminent of the servants of God.

In regard to this opinion, the following reflections may not be irrelevant.

We read in one of the Gospels, that upon a most interesting occasion, there was leaning upon Jesus's bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. It is a very common impression, that it was merely the softness of John's character which made him beloved of Christ. A moment's reflection will show that this supposition is incorrect. His writings are characterized by the invariable attendant of the highest genius, simplicity. In the introduction of his gospel, we hardly know whether to admire the greatness of the truths, or the proof they give, by the simplicity with which they are expressed, of a superior mind. They are like the firmament.

A common observer looks upon the stars with a feeling of pleasure; and though they are systems of worlds upon which he gazes, and not merely shining points, and their intervolving courses, high and dreadful, are beyond the wisdom or power of an angel, and fill the astronomer with awe, yet to the peasant, the only effect is a simple and calm emotion. Look at a few passages in the first chapter of the gospel of John. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Every Christian, however humble, receives some idea from these words; but to those who can penetrate their depths of wisdom, the impressions are as different as those of the astronomer and the peasant. Yet there is no display of mystery there ; so that we feel that the mind which was so constituted, that, with the Spirit of God directing its natural powers, it could express itself in this manner, was of no inferior order, and that it was not feeling merely which gave it pre-eminence. Then consider the book of Revelation, and we shall not wonder that the author was a man whom Jesus loved. It is not to be forgotten, that this disciple, on some occasions in the early part of his acquaintance with Christ, manifested an impetuous temper. When Christ was on his way to Jerusalem for the last time, he sent messengers before him to a village of the Samaritans, in order to make preparations for a short residence amongst them. But it is said the Samaritans did not receive him, because his face (or purpose) was as though he would go up to


Jerusalem. The Samaritans were the deadly enemies of the Jews; and because Christ purposed to visit Jerusalem, that hated city, they declared that he should not pass through their village. What a fiend-like spirit! what an insult to Jesus! “Lord,” said James and John, “ wilt thou that we command fire to come down out of heaven and consume them, even as Elias did ?” The beloved disciple, it seems, was not by nature one of those soft and inoffensive spirits, who never wake up from a monotony of feeling; nor was he amiable merely from a want of force of character. Without doubt he had many a struggle with his temper. Christ found it necessary on this occasion to rebuke him, and told him he knew not what manner of spirit he was of. The power of self-discipline, by which so great a change was afterwards effected in his character, is itself a proof of a great mind—for, do we not oftentimes excuse persevering obstinacy or passion, by saying, The man has a weak mind? The power of selfdiscipline, although the duty of every one, is unusual to any great degree, except in the case of uncommon mental abilities. The wise man extolled this power above that of military prowess : “ Greater is he that ruleth his own spirit, than he that taketh a city.” The impression is too often made from the pulpit, that if men will only feel, with strength and fervor, they are eminent Christians. They accompany with this the belief, that Christ makes no account of intellect, or mental attainments, in his estimate of character. Because, without piety, these are useless, it is also inferred that they can add nothing to the value of a pious heart! It seems to be forgotten that Christ made the mind, both of man and angel, of throne, dominion, principality and power. In his own likeness made he it.

Can we suppose, then, that Christ is indifferent to that which is the glory of all his works? We cannot believe that He, the Author of all beauty, can love a soul whose powers are out of proportion, so much as one whose intellectual part is joined with moral qualities in a proper manner, and the whole warmed with high emotion, without which, indeed, no mind is of the highest order of greatness. To look upon one whose soul consists of nothing but emotion, cannot excite an equal pleasure. If, as we are told, in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," can he love an ignorant Christian so much as one who, with as good a heart, possesses intelligence, and is conformed to the

rules of right reason in all his mental actions ?


In the realms of pure intellect and of pure feeling, he doubtless is foremost amongst the ranks of the seraphim, whose powers of mind, enkindled by love, shed the greatest lustre upon the heavenly hosts; for such an one most perfectly reflects the true character of the Godhead. We may depend upon it, then, that Christ loves intellect as really as he loves susceptibility to impression : or, in other words, intelligence is as great a requisite for a perfect character as emotion. While it is useless without piety, it gives piety a tenfold value. We would inquire, if it is not the duty of ministers to hold up this truth, with prominence, before men. Are there not many Christians, and are they not the occasion of grief, whose piety consists in temporary fervors; whose zeal grows out of animal feeling, and is of necessity like morning clouds ? But would a Christian ensure the love of Christ? Add, then, to your virtue knowledge, and grow not only in grace, but in the knowledge of Christ. How many there are, who live on transient feelings—who make no regular and systematic efforts in the attainment of true knowledge-read no wise and holy books, and neglect, to a great degree, the book of God; but if a feeling occasionally floats into their mind, which makes them happy, they think that they are growing in grace! The neglect of true knowledge is the occasion of many of the difficulties in the church, which are ascribed to a want of piety. When excitements arise upon any subjects, in a church, those who have an unenlightened piety, (a strange, but frequent contradiction in terms,) and have not accustomed themselves to reflection, are oftentimes like the chaff, which the wind driveth away. Living out of themselves, and dependent, as they always have been, upon the popular feeling, they have no inward strength. Such an one is always wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason. How infatuated are they, in thinking that Christ will promote them to high places in his esteem, or make them "rulers over


many cities ?”

But it

may be said that we here set up as a condition of Christ's peculiar favor, something which a multitude of his followers cannot reach. We are referred to those whose inferior mental abilities render them incompetent to large attainments, or to correct mental discipline.-We know that there are those to whom a sovereign God has given only one talent. But is the parable forgotten, in which several servants received each one pound, and when their Lord inquired how much they had gained, that one of them with his pound had gained ten, another two, while another had made no increase? Our reward will be proportioned to our improvement of that which is allotted us. The discipline of many, doubtless consists in their being intrusted with only one talent, and their humility exhibited in their willingness to improve one to the utmost, will entitle them to the peculiar favor of Christ. But if it still be urged that we make a distinction amongst the followers of Christ unfavorable to those who have been denied by their Creator the possession of superior powers, we admit that it is true; and while the fact of such difference must be seen and acknowledged by all, it can be referred only to the sovereignty of an All-wise God. For his pleasure we are and were created. The righteous will shine as the firmament, but amongst them many will be advanced to greater glory than others, while the inequality will not occasion envy or any kind of unhappiness, as here, because each glorified spirit will take as much pleasure in seeing another spirit above him, as if he were himself in that rank of glory. Said a good man, in the spirit of heaven,

“Give me a place at thy saint's feet,
Some fallen angel's vacant seat;
l'll strive to sing as loud as they

Who sit above in brighter day.' -There comes, then, from the subject, a powerful appeal to every human being. God has intrusted you with a mind in whose structure he sees his own beautiful handiwork. Let it be your endeavor to improve it to the utmost, that your Lord at his coming may receive his own with usury. Beware of that disproportionate cultivation of the feelings to the neglect of the noble powers and faculties of your nature which is the result of indolence. The measure of your heavenly happiness is to depend upon your sanctified powers and attainments. Would not such a mind as that of Sir Isaac Newton, which was able to comprehend the whole material heavens, be qualified for greater pleasure at the future revelation of the wonders of the universe, than the soul of a common Christian? And if saved, would he not in consequence of his severe study, and his attainments in knowledge, be more eminent in heaven, provided that his love to God had been in proportion to his discoveries of His works? And yet how often is the mind of man addressed in a strain of depreciating and (we had almost said) canting reflections,

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