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daily. I was very anxious about it. This made me ask questions I should not otherwise have thought of. But the very questions were put down as infidelity. Often, in the company of professing Christians, I have not dared to make free inquiries. This looked like a fear of truth, and as if they distrusted their own religion. I remember delivering once some lectures on Physical Education, to which some one replied on behalf of Christianity, as if my views impugned it—as if the science and the religion could not both be true.”
Worthy of deep consideration are these remarks. The conduct of professors is narrowly observed. If there is any indication that they themselves do not firmly believe, or are not influenced by their faith, the effect cannot but be injurious. Instead of manifesting alarm when startling discoveries are made, and denouncing such inquiries as having an infidel tendency, Christians should ever be among the most earnest friends of free inquiry. They have nothing to fear from the fullest investigation. They are not called upon to descend from the high elevation of an established truth, to prove its reconcilableness to every new hypothesis. Let philosophers first settle among themselves what is the truth in any science, and Christians need be under no alarm that it will be at variance with the Bible. The God of revelation is the God of nature. He cannot contradict himself.
science, the more fully it has been investigated, has the more clearly confirmed the sacred Scriptures. It is only a limited and imperfect knowledge which suggests discrepancies.
Our interpretations of both the great books of God may be false, but the declarations themselves cannot be. A deeper philosophy or a sounder criticism will ever prove an additional bulwark of the truth. To shun the philosopher as a foe to religion, and to feel alarm at the progress of scientific discovery, manifests a very defective faith. “He that believeth shall not make haste.”
Still more important is a consistent life. Men judge of a system more by the actions of its adherents, than the nature of its doctrines. Not that such reasoning is always legitimate. Advocates of liberty may themselves be tyrants, and eulogists of virtue be votaries of vice. Christianity, estimated by the character of its Author, and the tendency of its doctrines, would still be a religion of love, though all its disciples were murderers. The inconsistency proves a false profession, not necessarily an ineffective or injurious creed. Still, the inference, being easy and plausible, is general; and if the holiness of professed Christians is influential in favour of their religion, the effect of a contrary character will generally be the reverse. When those who are regarded as converted men manifest a violence of temper, a rudeness of
demeanour, an unkind and unforgiving spirit, a grasping and covetous disposition, a' meanness and unfairness in their dealings, from which many men of amiable temper and a keen sense of honour, though without any profession of piety, revolt; is it not likely that the latter will be encouraged to think lightly of a religion which seems productive of so little fruit? Or, if the true distinction is made, must not such inconsistency tend to deter from “ that confession of Christ before men” which is expressly enjoined, as it is calculated to confer important benefits on the individual himself, on the Church, and on the world?
name the name of Christ," and not “depart from iniquity”—to pay the homage of the lip, but “in works to deny Him," is an insult to God, and an injury to man, too seldom considered in this age of profession. It is only when Christians are “living epistles, known and read of all men,” —when the visible preaching of the church corroborates the oral preaching of the pulpit, and the daily life of its members presents a manifest transcript of the principles of its great Head, that any extensive and permanent effects are likely to follow from the publication of the Gospel. Whatever the learning or the eloquence which may characterize it, preaching must ever be essentially defective, unless the whole church, as with a mighty, consentaneous voice, responds by its obvious acts to the word spoken. Then, and not till then, will that word, as of old, “have free course and be glorified.”
Tuesday, 16. On awaking, he said, “Read to me something about heaven.” Having listened to Bunyan's incomparable description of the passage of the pilgrims through the river, and their entrance into the celestial city, he said, “It's not half so beautiful as I have pictured it to myself.”. Various selections from the Bible, and hymns descriptive of the heavenly state, called forth frequent expressions of the delight he felt in the prospect of soon realizing it.
His son-in-law mentioned his intention of having a mural tablet placed over his seat at church, and said the inscription should record that he was the friend of the working man, adding, after a pause, “and that your whole trust was in Jesus.” To this he earnestly responded, “O yes ! say that --be sure you say that !”
N.—“Then you are anxious for Christ to be extolled ?"
Dr. G.—“O yes !—that's it, that's it!”
How well he had learned that truth which none can experimentally know but by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, “In me dwelleth no good thing”! In conformity with his wish that Christ should be extolled, the tablet bears the following inscription:
IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM GORDON, M.D., F.L.S.
BY A COURSE OF VARIED PHILANTHROPY
AND BY SELF-DENYING DEVOTION TO THE CAUSE OF SOCIAL
PROGRESS, IN THE ZEALOUS ADVOCACY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF
LIBERTY, EDUCATION, PEACE, AND TEMPERANCE,
HAVING EARNED FOR HIMSELF THE DISTINGUISHED TITLE OF
THE PEOPLE'S FRIEND,”
HE RESTED FROM HIS LABOURS, FEB, 7, 1849, AGED 47 YEARS.
AFTER MANY YEARS OF ANXIOUS INVESTIGATION,
HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE ONLY TRUE PHILOSOPHY
WAS THE RECEPTION OF THE GOSPEL IN THE SPIRIT OF A CHILD.
FAULTLESS IN THE ESTIMATION OF THOSE WHO KNEW HIM BEST,
HE CONFESSED HIMSELF TO BE THE
CHIEF OF SINNERS,"
FINDING SOLID PEACE, AND TRIUMPHING OVER DEATH,
BY SIMPLE RELIANCE ON HIM WHO SAID,
"COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT LABOUR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN,
AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.".
To W., a pious working man, who had always manifested great respect for him, and who called this morning to bid him farewell, he said, “ You see me better than you ever saw me before, Mr. W. I have sought the same Saviour you serve. I have asked Him to forgive my sins, and He has done so. He will present me to the Almighty. I am going a very delightful journey, to a very happy home, where I shall meet only with the wise and the good. And to be with Jesus ! I would