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nite ideas respecting them, no one will deny; but when our habitual views of truth, are of this nature, there is an end of all feeling on the subject. There is another remark, which may here be made. When a man prefers examining the geological structure of a mountainous region, to the contemplation of its grandeur; he only prefers the acquisition of knowledge to the enjoyment of an elevating emotion ; but as the objects of his examination are external, and have no connexion with the emotions of bis mind, his insensibility is no obstacle to his progress. But with regard to moral subjects the case is far different; the feelings destroyed by metaphysical investigation, are the very objects to be investigated, for their moral quality is their essence. If this be weakened or destroyed, there is nothing left; and a man in this state is no more qualified to speak on these subjects, than the deaf to discourse on music. This is the reason that metaphysicians so often advance doctrines, which the whole world know to be false, because they contradict the strongest moral feelings of the soul. Will the mass of pious people ever be brought to believe, that God is the author of sin ? that man is not free, and consequently not accountable ? that sin is not a moral evil, but mere imperfect developement? or the still more horrible opinion, that God himself, is merely the blind instinctive principle, which animates and constitutes the universe, of which neither moral nor intellectual qualities can be predicated? Yet metaphysicians teach all these doctrines. Look around you, brethren, and see if these things be not so. As far as my observation extends, it is the uniform tendency of such speculations to deaden the moral sensibility of the soul. Beware then of unhallowed speculations on sacred subjects. Bring all your doctrines to the test of God's word and of holiness. Go with your new opinions to the aged children of God, who have spent years in close communion with the Father of lights. Propose to them your novel doctrines, should they shock their feelings, depend upon it, they are false and dangerous. The approbation of an experienced Christian of any purely religious opinion, is worth more, than that of any merely learned theologian upon earth.
Finally, lean not to your own understanding. If there be any declaration of the Bible, confirmed by the history of the church, and especially by the recent history of European churches, it is that he that leaneth to his own understanding is a fool.” When men forsake the word of God, and profess to be wise above that which is written, they inevitably and universally lose themselves in vain speculations. Look at the state of things, when every man is following the light of his own reason. Each boasts that he alone has the truth, and yet each is often a miracle of folly to every man but himself.* True, such men are often men of great intellect; but can mere intellect perceive moral truth? Can man by wisdom find out God ? can he find out the Almighty unto perfection ? No man knoweth the Faiher but the Son and he to whom the Son shall reveal him. Submit yourselves, therefore, to the teaching of him, in whom “are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." It is only when thus taught, that you will be able to teach others also.
One word more-keep as you would your hold on heaven your reverence for Jesus Christ. Reverence for the Redeemer of sinners, is the very last feeling which deserts a falling Christian, or a sinking church. When all other evidence, and all other arguments for the Bible had lost their force, this solitary feeling has held up the soul from sinking into infidelity and thence into perdition. When this is lost, all is lost. The soul that is insensible to the glory of the Son of God, is “as a tree twice dead and plucked up by the roots.”
* Nihil tam absurde dici potest, quod non dicalur ab aliquo philosophorum.-CICERO.
Φάσκοντες είναι σοφοι έμωράνθησαν.-PAUL..
A KEY TO THE PH Ε Ν Ο Μ Ε Ν Α
Communicated for the Biblical Repertory.
THE BIBLE, A KEY
PHENOMENA OF THE NATURAL WORLD.
The stupendous fabric of the universe, part of which we see, and part of which we ourselves are, cannot but become an object of earnest contemplation, to the inquisitive mind. The great majority of men, it is true, pass through life with, out reflection. Their intellectual powers are so little cultivated, and they are so much occupied with objects of sense, and in making provision for their immediate and pressing wants, that they never attempt to raise their minds to the contemplation of the wonderful works by which they are surrounded: but accustomed from infancy to behold these objects, they excite no surprise, and seldom call forth a single reflection. There have always been, however, among nations enjoying any degree of civilization, men of minds more cultivated than the rest, and more disposed to investigate the causes of those phenomena, which they continually beheld. These sages, when they looked upon the heavens and the earth, upon themselves and other organized and living beings, have been led to inquire, whence all these things? Have they always existed ? or have they been produced I To those who have been conversant with the truth all their lives, it may seem, that it would have been an easy thing, for any rational mind to ascend, at once, from the creature to the invisible Creator: but we cannot readily conceive of the perplexity and darkness which surround