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THE DEPARTED FRIEND.
(For the Christian Guardian.) THERE are certain moments in a thing from the experience of the man's life when, whether willing or senses, yet he has in the lacerated not, he is compelled to think of ano- condition of his own feelings a prether world. He may have long been sent evidence of the terrors of death : possessed with a kind of conviction those tears that he sheds, those hopes that the attractive scenes around him that have been frustrated, that crav--the fascinations of pleasure, the ing void in his heart, may assure him glitter of ambition, and the hurry of of the existence of some moral disbusiness—wereof a permanent nature;
order which has called down on our but suddenly the person on whom race a calamity so overwhelming. many of his enjoyments depended, or Nor can the Christian contemplate whom his ambition strove to please, without awe the mysterious separais struck down by death at his side : tion of death, even when it is a fellowand thus an ocular demonstration is believer that has been taken away. given him of that instability of human Though he may believe that his deaffairs he is so inclined to forget. parted friend is now with God, yet in his To-day, perhaps, two friends converse change of condition, blissful though on familiar topics : their opinions are it be, there is something exceedingly the same: their hopes reach forward solemn. The stupendous truths of to the same worldly object : and to- religion, to which many of us have morrow, one only remains : his com- been accustomed from our infancy, panion has fled to some unknown we are too apt at times to treat as country, leaving but a cold corpse familiar and common things; we utter to mock the grasp which it cannot the words "eternity," "heaven,” and return. Between the two a vast gulf "hell,” without attaching to them that is now fixed : though, a short time depth of meaning they contain. Nor, previously, their wishes were blended perhaps, from weak creatures like in an almost perfect union, they are ourselves is it to be expected that our now severed by an infinite difference. thoughts should exclusively dwell on To the one the high places of the these sublime topics: the exhaustion earth, the hoards of wealth, the of mind which an earnest attempt to blandishments of society may still be realize them even for a season proprecious: but for the other, earth's duces, shews that we are not, in this highest joys are crushed into dust : world, capable of bestowing on them her sun shines not for him: her a constant contemplation. When, sweetest sounds reach not his ear. then, these wonderful truths are Go to him now with that eloquent brought palpably before us: when, passage which yesterday you know as it were, a miracle (for is not the he would have longed to read, and cessation of life a miracle ?) is worked what audience will you find ? Play in our presence to convince us of before him that soft air which was what we already held in theory, how wont to melt him into tears, and irresistibly are the reluctant thoughts what response will you now awake ? urged to their consideration! with Surely this wondrous change must what intense energy does the idea of strike even the trifler with dread ; if eternity awaken within us! Yes; a he can persuade himself that life is a feeling of deep awe is occasioned by jest, dares he think so of death? the departure, even, of those whose Even to himself he must feel that the eternal welfare we have no reason to thing is a reality : these silent remains doubt. Even if we can succeed in of his friend speak to him with greater stifling those yearnings of nature emphasis than do the thousands of which still draw us towards the befellow-creatures whom report tells loved object, no more here to be him the earthquake, or war, or famine reached-even if we can brace up our has swept from life. Though of the fallen affection, which like the ivy state of the departed he knows no- rudely torn from its support, lies languidly on the ground-even if we how dieth the wise man? As the can succeed in appeasing that aching fool.” “want of the eyes” which persist in But in this case, we can walk by looking on every side for what is no faith, though not by sight. The longer to be seen- -still the mere con- truths of Revelation survive; and they sideration of the immense distinction teach us to believe that this seeming between ourselves and the departed, victory of corruption is preparing the fills us with emotions of sublimity way for its final defeat. So far, inapproaching almost to terror. А deed, sin has triumphed. The strong friend--a part of ourselves in a intellect for whose expansion space, sense
is placed, disembodied, in the with its unnumbered firmaments, immediate presence of God: we thus seemed a field too narrow-the reseem to be brought into visible generated spirit that pressed to the proximity with the Holy One: we gates of heaven, and returned thence cannot but still think of our friend, laden with blessings which it hastened and we cannot now think of him to scatter on those around the man without thinking of that exalted in his highest development of genius world of which he is become an in- and piety, is thwarted in his operahabitant. How earnestly do we long tions, and at last, apparently subdued to know something of his abode, of by his mortal frame.
Whatever may his employments! We stood, it may be the work on which he is engaged, be, by his dying pillow as the spirit it must for a time be stopped: the took its flight, and would fain have mortal lips must suspend for a while caught sight of the retreating folds even the Redeemer's praises, and of its robes, or have heard some mur- yield to silence and corruption, ere murs from that ocean on which it they can be united to a glorified soul, has launched-those waters which and renew the song for ever. So “no gallant ship" can cross-but no deep a stain of sin has entered into intimation has been given to the our nature, that it is necessary that senses—no whisper has broken the this body should be altogether dissilence into which the pulses of life solved into its original elements, or
pass through some supernatural Of the blessings of real Christianity change, ere it can be fitted to be the to the living, we have evident proofs. habitation of a sinless spirit. When, Is not a conscience calmed by the then, the body has become the prey assurance of forgiveness better than of corruption, sin has done its worst the agony
of remorse? Are not tran- for the Christian. That innate pronea quil desires better than the restless ness to transgression--that lukeimpatience of passion? Is not a warmness in spiritual things--those continual consciousness that we have temporary intervals of doubt, making an Almighty and All-merciful Guar- the heavens, for a time, a mass of dian at our side, better than the idea starless darkness--which may have that we are living in a fatherless tormented him here, will not follow world, left to the caprices of chance, him beyond the grave. For then and liable to be crushed into annihi- cometh thy triumph, O Saviour! The: lation by the unsympathising move- spirit, purified from all taint of iniments of the great machine of the quity, is welcomed by thee : Thou universe? Here, then, we have proofs unfoldest to it ineffable visions of thy that Christianity has rewards to be- love and mercy on which none but stow; and we find them, also, where an immortal could bear steadfastly to disease does not interfere, on the . gaze, and the rescued sinner, beholddeath-bed-in those smiles amid the
ing more clearly the danger whence tears of others, in that august calm, thou hast snatched him, and rising to with which the Christian sinks to his loftier conceptions of thy glory, is rest. But when once the soul has made at length fully conscious that fled, visible proofs seem to cease; for “ where sin abounded, grace did a short time, mortality is victorious : much more abound.” And, at length, and the agonized survivor seeks for will thy victory be complete : death, some sensible support in vain. “And the last enemy, will be destroyed :
have died away.
the arid skeletons, the particles of dust the immortal being that it clothed :) which once were the bodies thou didst she is gone: and whither? Faith die to redeem, will be formed anew into would follow her to a loftier worldmore glorious shapes; and thy whole to some one of those “
many manransomed family be gathered around sions” in our Father's house : and thee in some sheltered and blissful there would I believe that she is beabode, irradiated by thy continual holding the reality of those sublime smiles. There, thou, “the resurrec- verities which have occasionally tion and the life," moving at the head formed the topic of our conversations of that happy company-once subject here below. We have talked of the to trials which thou hast shared, to immortality of the soul, of the gradual sorrows, and tears, and aching hearts, development of man's finer faculties but now hushed to perfect repose, in a more genial atmosphere, of that every wish gratified, every faculty ex- fair country in which our Father ispanding into ever new enjoyments- that country of which the philosopher wilt make them to lie down in green has muttered incoherent sentences, pastures, and lead them beside the and which the poet has struggled, still waters, pastures whose verdure with trembling lips, to describe, but no decay shall tarnish, waters whose which Jesus came to make known, tranquillity no storm can vex. and died to secure for his people.
O glorious inheritance laid up for Now one part of our conversation, at those whom the Saviour has redeemed least, has become true : the antecedent and the Spirit sanctified ! The fever- night which we knew must precede ish heats, the contentions and anxieties the final glorification, has thrown its
have distracted them here, shadow over one of us; may I not will be exchanged for a calm of which humbly hope that the day also has folnature's stillest scenes--the noon-day lowed? One of us has been delivered fields, the evening forest, the scarcely from the bondage of fleshly infirmimoving stream, the cloudless sky ties; may not faith trust that the enafford but feeble images ; before their franchised captive is enjoying the eyes, wearied with vain endeavours glorious liberty of the children of to comprehend the full beauty of God? truth in this twilight state, will be Farewell, then, beloved friend ! outspread a book of knowledge, of though, indeed, for thee this earthly whose mighty contents the accumu- spring is blooming in vain-though lated stores of human learning form the undulating hills, the gay meaonly the opening sentence; but, above dows with their embroidery of silver all, their communion with heaven, and gold, and the gentle river stealing here so often interrupted by sin, will through their midst, unite to form become unbroken and perpetual, and round thy quiet grave a scene of lovethe goal of the Christian's wishes be liness on which thy closed eyes canreached, the constant fruition of God not gaze--yet would I believe that and perfect conformity to his likeness. on thee another spring is smiling For, (says the Apostle,) we know and immortal flowers. Surely One that when he shall appear, we shall mighty to save” stood by thee at be like him, for we shall see him as the final hour, and bore thee to him he is."
self; and now, associated with the These reflections have been forced perfected just with the holy Bradupon me, at this time, by the depar- ford, whose writings consoled the ture of a Christian friend. A few last days of thy pilgrimage, and with days ago, she was conversing with all who loved their Saviour here me: she is now gone : (for that pallid thou hast entered into the joy of thy corpse is but the casket of the jewel Lord.
M. N. that has been taken away, the robe of
THE ROSE OF JUNE.
FLOWER! of ruined earth the glory, ever radiant child of noon,
*"They (the foundations of the new Jerusalem,) appeared adorned with every precious stone, like so many vast and solid rocks of gems lying under the gates. Doddridge's Paraphrase.
HINDOOISM AND ROMANISM COMPARED.
(For the Christian Guardian.) We have endeavoured, in a previous large admixture of that element which number, to point out the close affinity forms the basis of
false religion, that exists between Romanism and an undue exaltation of the powers of Hindooism, as regards the view which unassisted nature. We have seen that each of those corrupt systems takes this Pelagian tendency manifests itof the powers inherent in fallen man. self both negatively and positively; The parallel attempted to be insti- negatively, by limiting, as far as may tuted between them, of course fails, be, the effects of the fall to a mere or rather is defective, in many par- privation of the gift of original rightticulars; as must always be the case eousness, supposed to be conferred when a form of Christianity, which upon Adam as something extraordinhowever corrupt, still retains the great ary, and superadded to his nature ; so objective truths of revelation, is com- that, with this exception, man is made pared with a purely idolatrous system. out to be in no worse a position now The outlines, at least, of the great
than he was when he came from the doctrines of man's original righteous- hands of his Creator; and positively, ness, of the fall, of redemption through by the assertions that in the regenerate Christ, and of regeneration by the there is no longer anything of the Holy Spirit, are visible in the Rómish nature of sin, and that by such the Church; she has not destroyed the law of God may be perfectly fulfilled. foundations of divine truth, but over- We proceed to another point of view, laid them with such a mass of error
in which the two systems may be that they are hardly discernible; but compared, that in which the great they are still there, and may befruid question comes before us, How can too by the diligent inquirer. This man be justified in the sight of God? cannot be said of Hindooism, or vi “Knowing,” says Dr. Duff, “man's any idolatrous religion. Hence ou" guilt, and his consequent desert of comparative view is only inten lei to eternal punishment, we naturally enestablish the fact that in those poin's quire after some all-sufficient atone. in which the Church of Roine has ment for transgression. But instead deviated from Scripture, she las 've- of pointing to the one-atoning sacricome assimilated in spirit to the rii- fice of infinite value--the mysterious gion of corrupt human nature; that all-prevailing sacrifice of the incarnate her peculiarities are nothing but Deity-Hindooism, while it distinctly emanations from the same impure inculates the necessity of expiation source which has given birth to the and atonement, still directs to the false systems of religion prevalent in blood of bulls and of goats, and a the world. We must, in justice, bear
thousand varied tortures which shock in mind, that what are merely cor- and harrow the feelings of humanity : ruptions in Romanism, constitute the and it tells its deluded votaries that very essence of heathenism; that we these be the propitiations for sin, are comparing partial and distorted which satisfy the divine law, and truth with total error; otherwise we mollify and appease its own sanguinshall be in danger of overstepping, in ary divinities!”* It would far exceed our statements, the bounds of truth our prescribed limits to give anyand equity
thing like a minute account of the The Pelagianism of Romanism was Hindoo expiations, boundless as they what last occupied our attention. It are in number and variety; we shall was attempted to be proved that in select one or two specimens which the Romish statements respecting the will be found to confirm Dr. Duff's condition of fallen man, both before and after regeneration, there was a
Duff, p. 213.