« VorigeDoorgaan »
scarcely known they possessed. Yet, alas ! this habit were ever and anon returning upon them, they began became in his case a fatal snare, and proved his utter to ridicule the services of the sanctuary, and to strengthen ruin. Proud of his abilities, and anxious, on every oc- their sinking fortitude by the repeated laughs which these casion, to display his attainments, he sought opportuni- unhallowed jests called forth. How true isit, that evil men ties of exhibiting his wonderful tact in making the and seducers wax worse and worse, deceiving and being worse appear the better cause. His companions and deceived ! They glory in their own shame, and drink in friends seeing the pernicious bent of his mind, with | iniquity as the ox drinketh water. His conduct was, as drew from his company, after in vain remonstrating might be expected, fatal to his reputation in the place of with him upon the unfortunate habit which he was fast his nativity, and he had as much shame left as to make acquiring. If not cured by reproof, one would have him leave it without delay. He had had a prosperous thought he might have been reclaimed, by finding none business, but now it was gone; he had had a good with whom to engage in idle controversy. But evils name, but now he was so infamous, that he could not indulged blunt the best perceptions of the soul, and bear to live among his former companions. Sabbathpride and ambition, when cherished, become ruling breakers' are perpetually deteriorating in character. passions; and just as one class of persons, who were There is an overwhelming load of guilt accumulating necessary to feed these passions, eluded him, another on their heads, and a perpetual evidence gathering on was sought, from whom the desired gratification their own character, shewing that it is not moral prinmight be obtained. And so far did this cherished ciple or piety that keeps them what they are, but a and growing evil cafry him, that the interval be- mere combination of circumstances, the removal, or tween morning and afternoon service on the Sabbath change, of any one of which, might as completely and was employed in this favourite exercise. Then, and effectually break them down, as in the case of this poor especially on Sacramental occasions, he used to join man. On leaving the place of his nativity, he repaired himself to the little groups of pious country persons to the metropolis of Scotland, where, for several years, who, on a fine summer's day, were seen assembled he dragged out a miserable existence. He wrought at his in the open fields to spend that portion of sacred time business for some time, and might have done well, but in recounting what they had heard. It soon became a under the influence of habits of intemperance, all his particular amusement to Mr B. to start some difficulty, feelings and affections were perpetually assimilating to and carry it on till he had put to silence the chief men a lower and a still lower grade of companionship. All in these little companies. Principle became more and labour was at length given up, and those haunts of more vitiated, and every amiable and proper feeling be- wickedness and scenes of dissipation and wretchedness, came still more feeble, as he saw pious parents put to which, alas, are fearfully numerous in our large cities, beblush before their children, by whom they had hitherto came the places of his most frequent and favourite resort. been revered as their leaders and teachers in matters of And who that repairs to these scenes of desolation and Religion. But as right principle and pious conduct are death ever returns ? “ She hath cast down many wounda present reward, so bad principle and ungodly conducted; yea, many strong men have been slain by her: are a present curse, and may ever be taken as forerunners Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chamof coming evil. Sooner or later the sin of such men bers of death,” But now his last, his worst, compawill find them out. God's Word cannot fail, just be- nions must be encountered,—disease, poverty, mental cause God's power cannot fail. Every profane Esau wretchedness, and an untimely death. “ If our transhas the true and all. powerful God against him. gressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in Every one who jests with divine things, and makes a them, how should we then live?" How can the transpractice of desecrating the character of God, and of gressor escape when God maketh inquisition for blood ? trampling on the best feelings of his fellow-men, must “If he that despised Moses' law died without mercy unexpect, if mercy prevent not, to be in his turn made der two or three witnesses, of how much sorer punishthe jest of a God of burning jealousy and eternal justice. ment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath
Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish.” “I trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted will mock when your fear cometh.” " I will laugh the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, when desolation cometh upon you."
an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit These new sources of low gratification, this wicked of Grace." and worthless employment of talents, that might have When laid on the bed from which he never again been turned to a very different use, soon came to an end, rose, he was visited by one of those pious country perand we find him seeking in the ale-house what he could sons whom he had much grieved and offended by his no longer obtain on the sacred hours of the Sabbath, and conduct. From this Christian friend I had the account among the happy little companies of God's dear people. of his sufferings and the state of his mind in the last But where all scoff at divine things, the chair of the stage of his earthly career. This friend had been inscornful is no high place, great dignity; and such a defatigable in see ng him out, and when he found him, clear and indelible impression of this is engraved on no less kind and attentive in visiting him. The bodily our common nature, that the very qualification for which state of Mr B. was loathsome beyond description, but clubs of such profane persons elect their chairman, is his mind was still more wretched even than the body that he excels all his fellows in the iniquities to which was loathsome. His pious friend presented the Lord they are addicted, and that he has ability, boldness, and Jesus to him, in all his freeness and fulness, as the tact to utter the unhallowed jest, in cases where every Saviour of sinners, and able to save to the uttermost all other among them would feel abashed and dispirited. that come unto God by him.” He assured him, “that Horrid ambition! How like the character of Satan, as the blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin.” But the drawn by the immortal Milton, “ Better to reign in poor unhappy man could take no comfort from any thing hell than serve in heaven,” In this new field he soon he said, and found no consolation either in the character attained such notoriety and boldness, as to engage in or work of the Blessed Redeemer. He was, to all apdeeds so impious, that we cannot even think of them pearance, left to eat the fruit of his own doings, and without feeling an inward horror. One Sabbath morn- was filled with his own devices. Remorse and despair ing, when they had risen from their profane revels, they had taken possession of his mind, and the very thought in one band betook themselves to the neighbouring hills of God caused terror, and the very name of Jesus creatto spend the holy day in amusements, with the view ed the greatest uneasiness. His emphatic answer to all of recovering from the inebriation of the past night. that was addressed to him was, “ I know all that as Knowing that it was the Lord's day, they attempted in well as you do, but I can find no relief from it.” Durevery way to ward off the solemn impressions which ing the last visit which his truly Christian friend ever
« For our
paid him, the sufferer begged him not to speak to him opinion of the public, which is generally capricious any more of these things, as he felt as if the flames of and Auctuating, possesses a powerful influence on hell were kindling in his soul already. This was his the great majority of mankind; and though now final attempt to exclude the last lingering rays of the and then, a few daring spirits may be found bidding Sun of Righteousness. What an awful illustration of that passage of the Word of God :-“ If we sin wil. defiance to its decisions, yet these very men are fully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, actuated by the secret wish, that the singularity of there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but a cer- their conduct may ultimately procure that suffrage tain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indigna- in their favour, which they now affect to despise. tion, which shall devour the adversaries."
But what is the approbation of the wisest and the
best of men ? What is the love of an earthly paDISCOURSE.
rent, though endeared by every tie of nature, and BY THE Rev. GEORGE Burns, D.D., bound by every claim of duty ? What is the Minister of Tweedsmuir.
highest estimation of the whole world of mortals, “ God is witness.”_1 Thess. ii. 5.
compared with the smiles of that God, whose Soch was the appeal made by St. Paul in vindica- loving-kindness is better than life?” Men are tion of his conduct as a minister of the Gospel. determined in their judgment wholly by external He, and his fellow-labourers in the same cause, appearances, they frequently overlook secret virtue had been injuriously treated by the Jews, in dif- and unobtrusive goodness, and too often that praise ferent parts of Macedonia. They were charged which is due to the deserving is lavished on the with insincerity and unworthy motives, in their specious but artful pretender to excellence. The attempts to convert men to the faith of the Gos- judgment of God, however, is unerring and impel, and every effort was employed to oppose or to partial. He "overlooks not the meanest or most check the influence of their labours. Impelled, obscure of his servants; he marks the good purtherefore, by the boldness of sincerity and the pose of their hearts ere it ripens into action; energy of Christian zeal, the apostle maintains his and be rewards, with approbation and love, the superiority to every thing disingenuous and un- most secret and inconsiderable office of tenderness worthy; and declares before the searcher of hearts, towards the humblest suffering member of the that, however open his principles and conduct, as Redeemer. He is deceived by no fallacious apan apostle of Christ, might be to the misrepresen-pearances nor outward attractions; he is detertations of weak or designing men, in the eye of mined in his judgment by the motive, and not by Omniscience they could not fail to appear in their the action, and the grounds of his decision being genuine and undissembled colours.
thus sure and infallible, he can never fail to “judge exhortation,” says he, “ was not of deceit, nor of righteous judgment.' The good man, then, uncleanness, nor in guile. But as we were allowed while he acts under the impression of the solemn of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, truth that “ God is witness,” has a constant ineven so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, centive for acquitting himself with dignity, in the which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time thought that a Being, who marks, with the nicest used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak discrimination every lineament of excellence and of covetousness; God is witness."
every feature of deformity, inspects his conduct; It is not intended to view the words of the text he feels himself impelled in his progress to the merely in reference to the circumstances of St. perfection of excellence, by the conviction that the Paul, and of his brethren in the ministry. It is most secret wish of his heart, and the feeblest efproposed to view them in a more extended sense, fort of his life, after resemblance to God, and the as of universal application, and of universal in- enjoyment of his favour, is not unnoticed or overfluence.
looked ; and he is sweetly but powerfully animated 1. Consider the effect which a conviction of in all his Christian labours, by the assurance and the solemn truth that “ God is witness,” is cal- hope that that great Being, who now looks with culated to have on the principles and conduct of the tenderest sensibility on all his weaknesses and good men.
wants, shall, on the great day of final retribution, The
presence of one whom we esteem and love, pronounce the decisive sentence, with all the maand whose good opinion we are consequently jesty of the judge, mingled with all the compassion anxious to obtain, operates as a powerful incen of the father. tive to the performance of deeds which challenge But let us contemplate the effects which are prohis approbation. To a dutiful child, the eye of a duced, by a sense of the divine omniscience, on the beloved parent watching his steps, and prepared to conduct of the Christian, in the opposite conditions sparkle with indignation, or to beam with com- of prosperity and adversity. Not only does it lead placency, according as his conduct is despicable or to the exercise of temperance and self-government, praise-worthy, acts with a powerful and unceasing and to the moderate use of temporal advantages; influence on the whole of his feelings and deport- it likewise enables him to taste the full enjoyment ment in the world. Hence, it has been given as of prosperous circumstances. To men who overa rule, by some ancient moralists, that, in order to look or disregard the presence of God, the events excel in virtue, we should constantly act as if we of life, however pleasing for the moment, appear we were under the immediate inspection of some fluctuating and transient ; and being destitute of great and distinguished personage. Even the that confidence which reposes on a wise and be
nevolent providence, they want provision for a will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face day of adversity, and live in the constant appre- from thee for a moment; but with everlasting hension of a reverse. They dread the vengeance kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord of heaven, which they have done nothing to avert, thy Redeemer.” But perhaps you tremble for the _they tremble at every event of providence, lest it ark of God, clouds and darkness may seem to be should
prove the instrument of their destruction, gathering around your beloved Zion; the commo-every prosperous circumstance in their lot is tions abroad in the earth, with all their desolating mingled with reflections, and with fears, which influence, may threaten, for a time, to arrest the equally conspire to annihilate enjoyment. But splendid march of the Prince of Peace, and to perfrom such sources of disquietude and alarm, the petuate the reign of ignorance and error, of misery man who realises the inspection of God, is hap- and vice, in the universe of God. But behold! pily delivered. To him the face of nature is en- a gleam of hope shoots forth athwart the gloom livened and beautified, for he beholds God in every which shrouds the face of creation! “ God is witthing; the pleasing emotion of gratitude to the
“ He rides in the whirlwind and directs giver, mingles with the enjoyment of the gift; en- the storm." He superintends the diversified lightened trust in the continued protection and agency of human passions, “ making the wrath of favour of God, increases his relish for present ma- man to praise him.” He overrules the opposing nifestations of love,—and the assurance that sources claims of human policy, and the collision of jarring of comfort and happiness will be discovered amid interests, for purifying the moral atmosphere, for the darkest and most discouraging dispensations of leading the nations to humble themselves under providence, disarms futurity of its terrors. the mighty hand of God, for removing corrupt in
But let us suppose the scene reversed,—let us stitutions, which the perverse ingenuity of man suppose the Christian beset with calamities, op- has opposed to the progress of truth, and for sepressed with penury and disease, or called to mourn curing the ultimate and everlasting triumphs of the the loss of friends who soothed his sorrows and
“ Zion said, the Lord hath forsaken me, ministered to his wants. He knows, and rejoices and my God hath forgotten me.” “ Can a woman in the conviction, that “God is witness," that forget her sucking child, that she should not have though he may be neglected by men, he is not compassion on the son of her womb ? Yea, she overlooked by God, that “ a friend who sticketh may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold I doser than a brother,” compassionates all the pe- have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy culiarities of his personal and relative afflictions, walls are continually before me.” and that, though his " friends may be put far from 2. Consider the statement of the text, in its him, and his acquaintances into darkness,” God bearing on the principles and conduct of bad men. still lives to whisper in his ear, while he realises, So much does a sense of shame, and a dread of in bis blessed experience, the gracious promise, “I human punishment, influence the conduct of men, will never leave thee nor forsake thee !” O Chris- that secresy is generally resorted to as a shelter tian! are you the victim of those hidden sorrows for crimes. Concerning the thief and the impure, with which the world cannot sympathise, and is it is affirmed in Scripture, that “ the morning is your spirit ready to sink within you? Be not dis- to them as the shadow of death ; if one know couraged, for yours is “ the joy with which a them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of stranger cannot intermeddle.” « God is witness !” | death;” and the ungodly, of every description, acHe listens to the sigh which escapes from your cording to the same infallible testimony,
« love bosom ; he marks the tear as it drops from your darkness rather than light, because their deeds are eve; “in all your afflictions he is aflicted.” 'Are evil.” Conscience sometimes checks them in their you loaded with the reproaches of the profane ? course, but its admonitions are disregarded, and at behold
“ God is witness!” He observes your suf- length it ceases to reprove. The guilt of sin, as ferings in a good cause, and “ the reproaches of a violation of infinite obligations to God, is overthem which reproach you
him.” Do you looked, and the awe with which the threatened bewail the power of corruption within you? “ God vengeance of heaven should impress the minds of is witness!” He marks every struggle of the men is repelled or overcome. If reputation be spirit for che victory over the flesh, he stands by preserved entire, if the vengeance of human laws you in the hour of conflict, and will, ere long, make be escaped ; or if, in any way, the object in view you“ more than a conqueror through Him that loved can be attained without exposing to the dangers you.” Do you mourn in secret for the abomina- which intervene, every thing is imagined to be tions which are done in the land ? behold! “ God gained. Would this conduct any longer be preis witness !” “ He turneth the hearts of men as sented to our view, if men acted under the conthe rivers of water, their secret sins are in the light viction that “God is witness ?” The consciousof his countenance," and ere long his justice will ness of his inspection and the consequent dread of be triumphantly displayed in the punishment of his frowns, would act as a constant and powerful those who violate his laws. Do you deplore the dissuasive from sin in every form. It would act hidings of your heavenly father's countenance? as a watch on all the thoughts, and words, and “ Hope thou in God, for thou shalt yet praise actions ; it would lead to right conduct, in op
He is witness still ! “For a small mo- position to all the allurements of sense, and all the ment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies hopes of concealment; it would banish vice, in all
such a pure
its debasing and malignant characters, from the connection between the character of God, as preintelligent and moral creation. The reason is sent witness and future judge. The same authoobvious. It removes the causes of evil which lie rity which tells us that God now observes the deep in the human heart ; it commands the prin conduct of men, assures us also, that he shall one ciples of conduct, and directs them in their ope- day bring them to a strict account. Thoughts of ration ; it purifies the fountain of action, and opens evil may pass through the mind, the language of a channel for the streams of virtue and of happi- impiety may be uttered and forgotten, and deeds
of wickedness may elude the keenest vigilance of But it is not merely the simple conviction that men, but these thoughts, words, and actions, are his conduct is observed, which has such a ten- all registered in heaven, and “ God will bring dency to overawe the sinner, and to paralyse the every work into judgment, with every secret thing, energies of his corrupted heart. The character whether it hath been good or whether it hath been of the witness gives to the acting principle ad evil.” What a solemn thought ! that nothing esditional and overpowering force. The represen- capes the eve of Omniscience, and that nothing tations given of the Divine Being in the inspired shall be forgotten or overlooked at the day of record, are every way calculated to impress and to judgment! Eventful period! when every evil alarm the sinner. He is declared to be a God of thought which the heart conceived, every idle holiness, a Being who seeth impurity even in the word which dropt from the lips, and every unhalbrightest angels, and who cannot look upon sin lowed deed which the eye of man never beheld, without detestation and abhorrence. And does shall be disclosed, and proclaimed before assembled
and holy Being contemplate the im- worlds. Characters which have passed from the purity of the sinner's heart, the sins which he earth unsullied even by the breath of calumny,
"9 commits in secret, and the various enormities shall then be exhibited in the most gloomy cowhich disgrace his conduct in active life? What lours, and from the decision of the Judge there a solemn thought! Enough to make the stoutest shall be no appeal. The truth of the representaheart to tremble, and to unnerve the energies of tion which shall then be given, cannot for one the most deep-rooted corruption. Evil thoughts moment be questioned, for the Judge now scans may be indulged, and their guilt may be unknown the most concealed parts of that conduct on which or overlooked,—the language of impurity and pro- | he shall then decide, and his faithfulness and imfaneness may be uttered, and no horror felt for its partiality are equally above suspicion. Tremble, aggravations,—deeds of dishonesty and baseness then, ye ungodly and profane! for an infallible may be committed in secret or in darkness, and Witness, to whom all hearts are open, now follows exutation felt at the thought of their conceal- you with his searching eye, and all your thoughts, ment; but an eye like a flame of fire darts through words, and actions, stand on record till the day of the covering which veils the guilty heart, pene- judgment. “There is nothing hid which shall trates its secret recesses, and detects the impuri- not be revealed, nor covered that shall not he ties with which it is stained,
,-an ear which listens made known.” “ There is a day when God shall to the gentlest whisper that escapes from the hu- make manifest the hidden counsels of the heart ; man bosom, attends to every idle word which when that which hath been spoken in darkness, drops from the lips of depravity,—and a Being to shall be heard in the light ; and that which ye have whom “ the darkness and the light are both alike,” spoken in the ears in closets, shall be proclaimed marks the most hidden deeds of the sinner's life upon the house-tops.” O could I exhibit to your with the most scrupulous care. And shall it not view an impenitent sinner just about to appear in strike terror into the breast of the most daring the presence of the Witness and Judge of his conprofligate in the midst of his misdeeds, to reflect duct, how would it silence for ever the whispers that that God who “ understandeth his thoughts of infidelity! how would it make the illusions of afar off, ” who knoweth every
his tongue, sense to vanish! how would it cover with gloom by whom “ all his actions are weighed," and the gayest scenes of life! I contemplate him against whom his sins are committed, is a Being stretched on the bed of death,-every look heof spotless holiness, armed with vengeance against speaks the agony of his inmost soul,—he struggles all the workers of iniquity, and only prevented by for breath to utter the language of self-reproach the long-suffering patience of his own nature, and self-condemnation,—with the sullenness of from overwhelming them at once with everlasting black despair (for the hour of mercy is fled for destruction! Sin may be palliated so as to lose ever) he yields the contest to the king of terrors, its deformity in the eyes of men, and hopes may and is hurried into the eternal world!
But Oh! be indulged hy the sinner, that the denunciations could we follow him to the land of souls, and conof wrath shall ultimately prove mere empty threats template him standing in the presence of his to keep him in awe; but in the sight of a pure Judge, how still more awful would the sight be ! and holy God, sin must ever “ appear exceeding The throne is erected,—“ the Judge of quick and sinful,” and sooner shall heaven and earth pass dead” is seated on his tribunal,—around him are away, than the justice of the Eternal shall fail to assembled unnumbered worlds,—the poor, seliexecute vengeance on the impenitent oflender. condemned criminal, with shame and confusion of
This naturally introduces another idea on the face, appears before his Judge,—he “ calls on the same branch of the subject, namely, the intimate rocks and mountains to fall on him and cover hin
from the wrath of the Lamb,”_his request is de- 1. It radiates as from a centre, that is, it is sent forth nied, and no shelter is found, the sentence of equally, in all directions, from the shining body. When condemnation is passed, and—but here compassion
a candle, for example, is brought into a room, the ob
jects above, below, and on either side of the flame are
To to human sensibility compels me to stop.
alike illuminated, nor can we discover any part of these behold the spectacle of misery, and to listen to objects on which the rays do not fall
, unless they be the howlings of despair which succeed, would be intercepted by some other body coming in between. too much for human nature to endure ; for it is As a necessary consequence of this property, the intoo much for mortal speech to describe, for hu- tensity or strength of Light is diminished in proportion man thought to conceive. The presence of God,
to the square of the distance to which the object illu
minated is removed from the flame. One candle apas witness, may now be disregarded by a gay and
pears as bright, when brought within a foot of the eye, a thoughtless world, but ere long, his appearance as four do at the distance of two feet, or as nine at the as Judge triumphant, shall command the awe of distance of three. countless myriads, and fill the breasts of ten 2. The rays of Light proceed in straight lines. This thousand generations with one pang of consterna- property may be demonstrated to the eye by causing tion and dismay.
Light to pass through small holes into a dark room filled
with dust. It is also proved, by the fact, that objects Thus, reader, have we called attention to
cannot be seen through bent tubes. the influence which an impression of the divine
3. Light moves with prodigious velocity. It has presence and omniscience is calculated to have on
been ascertained that the rate of its motion is nearly the feelings and conduct of good and bad men. 200,000 miles, (a distance equal to eight times the cir.. Be entreated to lay your heart open to its salutary cumference of the globe,) in a second of time. operation. If a Christian indeed, let it prove in
4. The particles of Light move independently of sur
rounding objects, and of each other. Sounds and odours your experience an incentive to holiness, à zest to
are transmitted through the air ; even electricity, the the enjoyments of prosperity, and a source of con
substance that bears the nearest resemblance to Light, solation and support in the midst of sorrows. If requires a conducting medium; Light alone penetrates the still among the number of those who are living in void of space; and each separate ray continues its course pleasure, and “dead while they live," O be per- unaffected by the stoppage or reflection of those around it. soaded, ere “ the day of your merciful visitation”
5. When Light falls on any object a considerable expire, to “ stand in awe” of Him who sees and portion is absorbed or lost, but the greater part is
reflected. The manner in which this reflection takes hates your conduct, to dread that vengeance which place depends on the nature of the surface on which the is denounced against your evil thoughts and words, light falls. When that is highly polished, as in mirrors, as well as ungodly deeds, to view, in the light of the rays are reflected with such regularity that they a heart-searching witness, the length, and breadth, form a perfect image of the body from which they orianıl depth of your deficiencies, and "to flee for re- ginally proceeded. In this case, it has been observed,
that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of refuge to the hope set before you in the Gospel.”
flection, that is, if two lines are drawn from the mirror,
one to the original object, and the other to the place CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY.
where its image is seen, they form, on opposite sides, No. I.
equal angles with the surface of the mirror. In order
to see the image, the eye must therefore be as far on BY THE REv. JAMES BRODIE,
the one side of the looking-glass, as the object is on the
other. Minister of Monimail.
Mirrors have been in use from the earliest ages. In the account given in Scripture of the work of crea
Before the invention of glass they were simply plates of tion, after the brief and general statement that “In the
metal, highly polished. In the book of Job (chapter beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” we
xxxvii. 18.) the sky is said to be “ strong as a molare informed, that the Lord said, “ Let there be light,
ten looking-glass," in allusion to the solid mirrors then and there was light.”. The sublimity of the language emptoyed. In Exodus xxxviii. 8, we are told, that the here employed, has called forth the admiration, not only Jewish women dedicated their “looking-glasses" to the of Christian authors, but even of Heathen critics, the service of the sanctuary, and that Moses made of them most celebrated of whom speaks of it as the brightest “ the laver of brass and the foot of it of brass." example of the true sublime that he had ever seen.
When a comparatively rough surface is exposed to But if the language merit attention, the fact it describes Light, the rays are reflected irregularly, and instead of is yet more worthy of regard, and a small portion of forming an image, in one particular spot, are diffused in our time will not be unprofitably spent, in considering all directions. Every part that is illuminated becomes the properties of the wonderful substance thus called
a centre, from which Light radiates all around, and thus, into being.
the object is visible from every side. This irregular or The priority of its formation leads us to consider Light diffusive reflection enables us to judge of the form, size, as the primary requisite for the preservation of the pre- and position of all those bodies, which do not themsent constitution of the globe, and, accordingly, science selves emit Light; and by it, more especially, we are has shewn that it is one of the most powerful agents in guided in our labours and journeyings. nature, and that without it, neither plant nor animal
The only natural mirror is the surface of water in a could exist.
calm. There we see a perfect picture of the sky and Its essential nature has not yet been discovered. scenery around, but so soon as the breeze begins to rise, Opinions of very opposite kinds are entertained by the and the surface becomes rough, learned, respecting its origin and propagation, while the laws which it obeys, and the effects which it produces,
Rocks, clouds, and trees, in wild confusion run,
And glittering fragments of a broken sun. are but imperfectly understood. There are, however, certain general qualities which have been fully deter- These observations will enable us to see the force of mined by observation and experiment. Of these, the the Scripture expressions, which describe Adam as made following may be termed its primary properties
“ in the image of God," and the believer as changed
PROPERTIES OF LIGHT.