« PreviousContinue »
to have tainted to a serious extent young men in our own country. “I grieve,” says this writer, " to know that it is working its deadly work in this day at our two universities. . I do not mean that either there, or in any part of a land which still calls itself Christian, decided infidelity is avowed or cherished. This must ever be rare ; but what I mean is, that stopping short of open or perhaps conscious infidelity, there is at this time, among the more thoughtful and able of the students in our universities, a large, and, it is to be feared, a growing number of men whose faith, if I may so express it, is in suspense; balancing between assurance and incredulity: not rejecting the gospel, not denying the Lord who bought them, but yet considering everything, even this, as an open question—a question not yet settled-a question on which evidence is still admissible, and therefore still required.”
With such testimony, as to the prevalence of this evil, the writer commits his little work
to the Divine blessing, earnestly praying that, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, it may be the means of guiding some benighted wanderer, not merely to a speculative knowledge, but to a heartfelt acquaintance with that gracious Saviour, whom to know is life eternal.
THE THREE QUESTIONS.
“ The soul, at times, in silence of the night,
Has flashes-transient intervals of light ;
THERE are few individuals who will not, in the passage which we have selected above as
a motto, recognise a train of thought which has at some time, and in some shape or other, passed through their own minds. Absorbed, as we are all apt to be, in the business or pleasures of life, there are moments in our experience when the thoughts of futurity will flash upon us with appalling vividness, and when the questions, What am I? WHENCE CAME I ? WHITHER DO I Go? will demand an answer. Few things are more astonishing, however, than the ease and celerity with which such reflections are dismissed from the mind, and the little attention paid by the generality of our race to the practical results which ought to flow from them. An opposite effect might have been expected to be produced by the most transitory glance at the curious nature of our position in the universe. We find ourselves brought into existence, without any wish upon our own part. We discover that we are not alone in this position, but that millions of beings are in a similar one; that myriads have shared the same nature before us; and that, after we have fretted our brief hour upon life's stage, other myriads will, to all reasonable appearance, follow in our train.