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destiny, through divine power and grace, in | rest upon this all-important fact. For why the long succession of interminable ages ? should he have shown such care of man, why

There is evidence even in our constitation should he have bound us by his laws in this that man is for eternity. Witness those world, why should he have been so strict living powers by which we achieve so great in exacting our obedience, above all why performances; by which we bring all things should he himself have made atonement for within the grasp of our understanding ; by our sins by such a sacrifice, had not an which we are every day advancing our su- infinitely higher being been conferred on us premacy over natter, space, and time; and than on anything else upon our globe, were by which we seem indefinitely able to extend not much expected of us, and were it not our knowledge and dominion. They are dis- that our everlasting welfare had to be secured? tinct from those limbs and members of the In the gospel which has been devised for our body, which they use as instruments. The sake we see that not the fleeting present, bat living principle within, the mind, the soul, the endless future is at hazard. Were there no the active part of man, or by whatever name eternity, Jehovah might have left us to ourit may be called, appears to have no element selves. He might have spared the care and of decay. The dissolution of the earthly ta- watchfulness which he has exercised over us, bernacle has no discernible effect upon its and the infinite sacrifice which he has made spiritual inhabitant. The latter often mani- for us. There would be no necessity for the fests much greater energy than before, during hible, nor for revelation, nor any room for the the prostration of bodily strength ; and up to glad tidings of the gospel. But since we see the very period of death it is strong and vi- all these, along with the positive announcegorous. Often, as when the mind remains ment of the fact, no doubt can remain of our active during sleep, it manifests its separate immortality. We are assured that in death existence. Those inward powers, that inward we do not cease to be; that there stretches on living agent, seem therefore independent of before us an unbroken line of existence; that the outward man. So far as we can judge, here we are treading the portals of eternity; they survive the flesh, and are destined to and that, whatever change may take place in make advances onward in the same direction us as we pass from the things seen to the throughout a lengthened period of future things unseen, our future state shall be unbeing. We are led to follow the departing changeable, where death shall reign no more. spirit into the unseen world, to think of it as II. Secondly, what know we of the future? unaffected by the stroke which severed it What is the nature of that eternity which is from the lifeless form it left behind, and to before us? Can we look upon it in any other conceive almost irresistibly, from observation aspect than that of infinite duration, than as a and experience alone, that those thoughts boundless ocean of time, whose further limits which glowed upon the mind shall perish are never reached, and never seen, and which not; that that far-reaching intellectual sight is ever widening behind us? shall see still farther into the secrets of nature, An apostle writes that they are things un and into the immensity of the universe ; that seen which are eternal; but he did not mean that energy, which was here confined, shall to assert that they were altogether unknown; there be able to put forth all its strength; for they have not been unheard of. We have and that those emotions, which were as gleams had some tidings from Jehovah of that spiof sunshine, or as darkening shadows on the ritual world on which we have not yet entered heart, shall be felt far more intensely amid (for what influence should the mere fact of an the glorious and dread realities of this other unknown existence have upon the mind, did life.

we not also have some intimation of the cirThus there are many things which preach cumstances in which we may be placed to us on this subject. There are many therein ?); and we can anticipate with ways in which the testimony of the bible confidence some of those unseen realities is confirmed. But what saith that hea- which the future will disclose. The bible ven-sent book itself, on which all reliance carries us along with it into the ages that are can be placed, and whose authority becomes to come; it opens up beforehand the unfoldevery day, if possible, stronger and more un- ing chart of time, and tells us of those exdoubted? How does it assure us of our fu- traordinary destinies which shall be experiture destiny ? It declares that there is an enced beyond the grave. And, though but eternity which is past, known only to Jeho- very indistinctly they have been revealed, vah, and another which is to come, which enough we know to raise our hopes or fears all that are born into the world of Adam's race for the events of immortality. shall know, for good or evil. And all the Men shall still be men. The individuality dealings of God with us, recorded in the bible, of man shall still remain. Identity of person,

and of character, of thought and feeling, no new ideas, and to run for ever in the same shall mark each son of Adam, and distinguish round. The soul delights in action, and in him, as when on earth, from all his fellows. soaring upward beyond its present height to Not to speak of the present state of departed scan still further into the hidden regions of souls (of which little is certain beyond this, knowledge and of truth. Its element is prothat it corresponds with the righteousness or gression. It is always grasping at the things unrighteousness of that life here), I shall ask above, and leaving those below; always you to extend your view further onward into exercising its unwearied powers in seeking that more distant and defined future which the great Original of all, the fulness of peris to succeed the judgment-day, when the an- fection, from whom its own immortal enernouncement of the text shall be fulfilled. We gies have been derived, to whom they tend. may form some idea of our condition then We feel a strong desire to look behind the from this, that the resurrection of our Lord vail that hides the other world from view, Jesus Christ is the pattern of the resurrection and to search into those unseen realities of his followers. He assumed again the body which have been but obscurely told us. We which lay in the tomb. And, though in some long to see them as they are, and we ever try inconceivable manner changed into that glo- to anticipate the revelations of the future by rious body in which he afterwards appeared, the unsatisfactory visions of the imagination. and which the apostle has left some intima- These are the efforts and aspirations of the tions of in his first epistle to the Corinthians, soul after a higher state of being. These are it continued still to wear the marks its struggles to overcome the fetters which of crucifixion. His human nature now bind it to the earth, to get free from the narremains, though perfected. He has in hea- row circle of its present perceptions, to attain ven the form which he had on earth, it would the light and liberty of eternal day. And seem, even in its outwardly distinctive fea- shall all this be in vain ? Shall its end be tures. And he shall wear it now for ever. disappointment? Shall not the future be The same also shall happen to his people. “As adapted to the employment and development they have borne the image of the earthy, of those internal powers which, cramped and they shall also bear the image of the hea- fettered now, we shall carry hence along with venly." They shall rise as did their Master us, to becoine still more active and more from the tomb. They shall appear before vigorous in the spiritual renovated man, him, sitting on the judgment-seat, as men, and in that more glorious kingdom which the very individual men they were on earth awaits us? How much will be there to learn, before. And their bodies, having pat on to admire, to contemplate, to praise ! How immortality, shall be reunited to their former much to excite the wonder of the enlightened animating spirits, to live with angels and understanding ! How much to employ the with the Lord. It not a new existence faculties of the soul throughout that infinite that is to be expected, but a new and higher futurity which is before it! The things of condition of existence; not another nature, earth, however grand and marvellous io us but the same nature restored to its unfallen here, shall sink to nothing. The eye shall state, and fitted for the heavenly world. behold far greater things than now. The Wherever that may be, or however glorious, mind shall rise to far more vast and more the saved of Adam's race shall be distin- sublime conceptions than ever the thought of guishable among its blessed inhabitants, even inspired genius conceived. The purified gathered perhaps from many and from the and quickened feelings shall be charmed with remotest spheres, as just men made perfect. the beauties of a holy perfect world, and with But how excellent will our nature be, and the sweetness of celestial song, and with the free from all its earthliness, and angel-like in endless glories of the Creator. The bible all its qualities, when we shall worship in the speaks of this better state of being. It reveals presence of the King of kings; and, instead the exaltation and advancement of the saints, of a few short years of childhood, youth, and when introduced into their Father's house, age, we shall hold on our happy course eternal in the heavens. It declares that they throughout the unceasing, everlasting roll of shall see face to face, and know even as also

they are known; that they shall be equal to We are taught, moreover, to expect that the

angels; that they shall share the Saviour's the life to come will be to the Saviour's fol. joy; that they shall have no wants unsupplied, lowers one of perpetual action and advance no desires ungratified. It removes any ment. It were nothing without these, and doubt which might exist as to the condition undesirable. It were hardly to be esteemed we shall be placed in hereafter. It teaches, a progress in the scale of being, to have an in conformity with the suggestions of reason, endless existence, if we were doomed to have the development of our powers, the increase

future ages!

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of our happiness, the advancement of our | felicity, that wondrous exaltation, that growth nature ; but in language which we cannot of the faculties of the soul, that insight into now interpret. And it sums up all in this, things unknown and inconceivable, that pro

eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor gress upward in intellectual and moral exhath it entered into the heart of man to con- cellence of which I have been speaking, the ceive, the things which God hath provided glorious destiny of saved man. God will be for them that love him." We expect, then, their life and light and portion for evermore. that the progress of nations and of individuals The gospel reveals all this, and does so that which

on earth shall have its it may be ours. It places all within our counterpart in heaven; that it shall be there reach. It offers it to every sincere and penimuch more strikingly and permanently mani- tent believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. It fested; that the infant who lcaves this world presses that offer on our acceptance. It betere its eyes have opened upon any of its saith, “ Believe and live.” May none of us kindred, and before it has discerned the love regret that exhortation, or refuse to hear that liness of creation, and before it has received word, or forfeit by neglect the complete and any of its impressions, shall not long be an permanent salvation which it promises. infant, or in ignorance, amid the scenes on But there is another representation of eter high; and that the man who is conversant nity. It is made known to us as a twofold with them shall likewise make advances in state. “The wicked shall go away into all that is excellent and good during the long everlasting punishment, and the righteous existence that is before him.

into life eternal." Character shall not change, Hence it is that the future state of God's neither shall opposite characters be placed people is emphatically called “ life," and hereafter in the same position. Each shall is life eternal :" this is sure to be their have its separate state, where each shall reward. The present state is, in comparison, remain unalterable, except in the direction of undeserving of the name. It is short and its former propensities. There is a decree precarious and toilworn. It is full of pain, which takes effect in all at last, and which disease, misfortune, and unhappiness. We runs in this way: “ He that is unjust, let him are conscious of powers which might be be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him applied to noble purposes and which might be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let produce great results, but we cannot use them him be righteous still;

and he that is holy, as we would. Our energies are cramped by let him be holy still.” The soul of one man the languor of the body; for flesh and blood is as immortal as that of another, his lot as have not the elements of duration or of certain and unchangeable. But how differstrength ; and sin works every where its fatal ent may be their future destinies ! how unlike and noxious contagion, destroying the moral the development of their powers ! how oppohealth. Shall we call this “life” which is the site the termination of their earthly course

, sport of so many enemies? or shall we suffer and the result of their prevailing inclinations! ourselves to be deluded by a name? We Righteousness and happiness are eternal; so see nothing but weakness and imperfection also are ungodliness and misery. The unaround us; and shall we say that this is a believing and impenitent shall be left in condition to be desired, one on which we unbelief and impenitence: the enemy of God ought to rest? No : there is no life here, and of holiness shall be suffered to continue where all things have an end. Life is all his unavailing enmity. They “shall eat", before us: it is only to be realized above. as the scripture saith,“ of their own way, and Life is unceasing existence-being, action, be filled with their own devices”. And what knowledge, holiness, happiness eternal. If we a torment shall wickedness be to itself! say that it is here, it is only as the beginning What a fire are angry passions! What a of it is here. But we shall find it perfect in gnawing worm are a too late repentance, the future world, where there are no hin- envy, and despair! We can hardly conceive drances to its advancement, no limits to its a greater, direr punishment, nor at the same progress, no alloys to its happiness, and no time one more just, than for those who reject termination to its enjoyments. It is of that salvation to be left for ever under the domifuture lite that the gospel bolds forth the nion of those sins, which they would not pat prospect. It declares it to be “the gift of God away from them; to be cast out from the through Jesus Christ our Lord”. It is the presence of that God whose mercy they had possession of his followers. “He that hath slighted, and from that Saviour who shall no the Son hath life: “I give unto my sheep,” more intercede for them; and to have ensaid he, “eternal life; and they shall never larged faculties and powers, only to sink lower perish; neither shall any pluck them out of and lower still into that gulph of wretchedness my hand." Then will be that never-ending from which they can no more have any ex

pectation of being freed. This is eternal, eternity. How earnestly should we fix our death-the opposite of eternal lilc in all eyes on that which is before us! How diliexcept duration. It is not annihilation, nor gently should we improve our spiritual priviinsensibility; but pain instead of pleasure, leges, talents, opportunities, and all the means grief instead of joy, shame and humiliation of grace, in order to our permanent welfare ! instead of honour and exaltation, and that for What reasons have we all to hear and emevermore. Between these who would not brace that gospel in which God addresses us choose, and exclaim with Balaam, “Let me as sinners, and invites us to flee from the die the death of the righteous, and let my wrath to come! It tells us of a way in last end be like his”?

which we may be pardoned, sanctified, and III. In conclusion, how near is this eternity glorified. It discloses the joys and terrors to every one among us! At the farthest of the spiritual world that here we may seek limit of our existence it is not distant. We for and find mercy, that we may become the are always approaching nearer and nearer to faithful followers of the Savio:ır, and that our that everlasting state which is to be un final home may be with his people in the alterably ours. It is always approaching abiding mansions of his Father's house. nearer and nearer unto us. But little sepa. Without that gospel we should vainly hope rates us from that world from which there is for happiness in the state to which we natuno return, and from those unseen realities of rally look forward beyond the grave. It is which I have been discoursing. A week, a the light of the world, to guide them to him day, an hour, a moment, may be all the time who is the Giver of all good, and in whose now left to some for preparation for their presence there is fulness of joy. It is the life change. While I have been speaking im- of all who cordially receive it. mortal souls have passed into eternity. The the man who, through its message, is made soul enters on its future condition as soon as the rich possessor of the light and life and it is parted from the body. It is conscious glory of eternal day. even then of what shall be its after destiny. For there is no repentance in the grave, no change in the spiritual inclinations and affections in their separate state, no possibility then

THE RETURN OF SPRING. of reversing the course and actions of the

BY MRS. H. W. RICHTER. present life, and of altering the doom to which they inevitably lead. Soon soul and One of the signs by which we may be warned body, again united as before, shall together that the shadows on our dial of life are waxing suffer or enjoy the fruits of their former con- lengthy and dark is the change and decrease in duct, world without end. The revelation of those sensations of hope and joy with which we God shall be fulfilled in all its announce

once welcomed the return of spring. Once on a ments. Nor shall it be long until every gleam of the gentle season, the first primrose or

time, we can all remember, how the very first one here present shall have passed into that snowdrop, nay, the humble buttercup, the lengthfuture, which it makes known to us, there to ened day, the buds and the blossons, came over esperience its truth.

our young spirits as something divine. There was Momentous, then, is our position as im- a joy and rejoicing, a buoyancy and hope, in this mortal beings. We cannot cease to be. And season then, which words but faintly express. we stand upon the verge of time, ready to be The clouds of winter were broken ; and through precipitated into an undefined but endless that opening what a beam of gladness warmed existence, of which our present life is but the ture herself was “all music to the ear, and beauty

and renovated our untried, unworn spirits! Nafore-runner, and in which we shall be doomed, to the eye.” Years roll on : why do these early according to our conduct here, to happiness joys no more return? We welcome not spring as or woe. We have entered on a course which once we did; the rebound of energy and hope has no termination, the direction of which comes not to greet it, drinking “the spirit of the depends very greatly on ourselves. We have golden day," in the very triumph and joy of not only to make our way in this world; we broken wings, and thus soliloquizes thought in

existence itself. The once buoyant spirit folds its have also to attend to what is infinitely of sad retrospection : “Even such was the violet's greater consequence to prepare to meet our perfume, thus did the softened breezes blow, and God; to provide for the long bereafter which the morning's breath was all redolent of vernal is revealed to us ; to live in the conviction freshness; so did leaf and flower unfold, when that by securing the welfare of the soul we they ushered in many a past sorrow and bereaveare laying the foundation of the only happi- ment

, which

all their promise and their loveliness ness which shall not be destroyed. The

failed to charm away." No more can we welthings of time must be estimated all with hovers round them, telling of all the year may

come them as once we did; for an ominous whisper reference to the future, and our own condi- bring. “Old experience gradually attains to tion even now by its fitness or unfitness for something of prophetic strain," especially in the sensitive, who retain long impressions. We turn

We turn , ancestors : you look for something of a revival from all the young year is bringing, to all which it of the spirit of the men of past ages. This feeling cannot restore-- the early trust, the unhesitating is not lessened when the name borne by the indi faith in all the fair seemings of life: vanity is all vidual is a name connected with the land which too legibly engraven there, and the sky-tinted is known as the land of chivalry and romance, visions of that dewy morning wax into fast-fading the land of the brave, of lofty daring and " high shadowy outlines. But the angel Hope leaves emprise," which boasts of its noblest blood shed us not; for the bright dream of eternal day rises in the cause of liberty and truth-the land where in more real and distinct " form and pressure” on every hill and vale and glen and mountainthe soul's inward gaze. In nature's very silence tastness tells of some deed of prowess, of the how eloquent the voice which tells that these struggles of the warlike and the brave. unvarying returns of the great Giver's bounty, in It was, I own, with associations like these their ever-recurring forms of grandeur and beauty, floating in my mind I went to see and to hear give sweet assurance of his unchangeable love, the distinguished nobleman to whom I have whose promises secure to his faithful ones an in- assigned the above title ; and I could not forbear heritance beyond this earthly bourne, of which the imagining to myself in what manner or in what fairest things, in these his lowest works,” are form the fierce daring of the warlike chiefs of but faint types and shadows. And though every other days would embody itself now, in these year may take away something dear and precious, peaceful times, if it should revive; what shape and the "old sexton, time,” may bury early that lofty spirit would assume when mirgling, hopes, yet does the soul, in every return of the not with the inailed warriors, but with the wise, gifts so richly given to this beautiful world, repose the good, the thoughtful; when it appeared not with the more calm and trusting certainty on the at the head of daring chieftains or in councils of promised future. For, as that writer, whose clear war, but presiding over and influencing and and profound reasonings have brought peace to directing an assembly met together to promote many minds, has so finely observed, “ As is that objects of high and enduring interest, to diffuse divine power which created the particles of light the light of divine truth, to extend the boundaof such an inconceivable smallness that, although ries of Christ's kingdom upon earth. I could not darted from the sun at the rate of two hundred help fancying to myself what a strange transthousand miles in a second, they strike without formation this would be; what a different thing wounding them (the petals of the most delicate the lofty and chivalrous spirit as it sbone in flower, or the retina of an insect's eye), so are baronial balls of old, and as it would appear in the some degrees of the extent and exactitude of God's Christian assembly that I was now going to join. retributive justice.” And, as is that mighty edu- For I felt there is scope for high and chival. cation of vegetative life by which he calls forth rous feeling in these assemblies too. There is a the "foliage on ten thousand forests, and renews scope for the display of courage and firmness in the plants and fruits and flowers of every zone and abetting the cause of God, which might adorn the region, so is a portion of the unsearchable strength best and the bravest. and exceeding tenderness of divine love.” The

What added to the interest of the occasion was, dark cares of ibis most frail and feverish being die that the same meeting was to introduce to us the away into remoteness and insignificance from well known historian of the Reformation®; him who views like these, and we welcoine the flowery has stirred the hearts of thousands with the recital season, with all its rich and countless bounties, as of events of three hundred years' date, as if they bringing us yet nearer to the land where “one

were of recent occurrence, as if they were a new unbounded spring encircles all.”

told tale ; the man who has himself so much of the spirit of the mighty hero of his tale (for this is the true secret of the spell that his interesting

volume exerts on the mind): if he had not bimself SKETCHES.

imbibed the spirit of Luther, all the genius and

learning and talents upon earth would not have BY THE Rev. DENIS KELLY, M.A.,

accomplished what he has done. I fancied to

myself that the historian of the mediæval ages Minister of Trinity Church, Gough Square, Fleeta and the descendant of mediæval chieftains and

nobles were not unsuitably met upon the same

platform. No. LVII.

Feelings and associations like these made me look with interest to the occupancy of the chair

by one whom I had never seen, and of whose ap" To scorn delights, and live laborious days."

pearance and aspect I had no previous conception. Milton.

I was not long, however, left either to suspense

or to conjecture. At the appointed hour, and as It is difficult to divest one's mind of the associa- it were in a moment, the vacant place was occution connected with high birth, with ancient pied. If pomp and parade and ceremony and lineage and distinguished ancestry. And, when one lordly presence were necessary to produce an imsees an individual bearing a name which shines pression, there was litt in that slight, active, in the historic page, a name with which we have youthful-looking but most intelligent form that been familiar from our youth, one can hardly help now stood before me to produce any striking senidentifying him with the character and the sations. But these are not the indications of achievements of other days. You expect to see in greatness : it is the mind that is the standard of him a sort of representative of a line of illustrious D'Aubigné, in May (I think) 1851.



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