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of the Gospel, the confutation of its adversaries, and the glory of its author, we shall be but "as sounding brass, and as a tinkling cymbal." Another inquiry presents itself, and that of the highest importance: What will be the influence of ardent devotedness to those subjects which are indispensable to qualify for the London University, upon the studies of the word of God, and the theology which flows from its pure well-spring? Will not the great demand upon time, and the absorption of bodily and mental strength, abstract fearfully from the time and energies which are absolutely necessary, and are all at best too scanty and feeble, for the claims of "the word of Christ," and "the doctrine which is according to godliness?"

Here, I confess, lies a vast difficulty. But, most respectfully would I suggest two or three considerations which appear to me applicable.

1. The case is one of necessity. An option, safe to the cause of truth and holiness, did not and does not exist. If we had refused to comply with the royal invitation, or if we were now to renounce it, others will not do so. We should leave those opulent and powerful seminaries which support doctrines fatally adverse to "the glorious Gospel of the blessed God," to the enjoyment of advantages which would fearfully tell on the side of error, and to the detriment and disparagement of "the truth which is in Jesus." We should surrender to the irreligious and infidel cultivators of the sciences, and those who are swayed by them, the position, by them held to be indisputable— that there are truths in the comprehension of the natural sciences, which contradict and overthrow the testimony of what we maintain to be the word of God. The only possible means of meeting this appalling inference, is to DENY it, and to PROVE our denial; but that we could never do, without the very scientific knowledge which we should, upon the supposition, be putting away from us. And how sad, how exposing to the most awful perils, would be such conduct in its influence upon our own children, and other reading and inquiring persons! An imperious necessity is laid upon us. If, from ignorance or supineness, we put away the reflection, shall we be guiltless?

2. Under the conviction of this necessity, be it to us welcome or unwelcome, let us use our utmost endeavours to inculcate upon our pupils the requirements of HIM whom they are set apart to serve, as enforced by these peculiarities in their situation; that they set Him always before them, that they maintain a tender sense of his presence, that they watch, strive, and pray, to live under the influence of evangelical motives, that they redeem their time to the utmost by a wise economy in its distribution, and diligence in its application. Vital piety will wonderfully help effort. Experience and observation show us that those students who have much to do, and who strenuously labour to do it, succeed in any separate branch much better than those who, under the apprehension or the pretext of being overwhelmed

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with work, decline some branches of study. I have always found to be the best divines, those young men who have approved themselves the most diligent and successful in the literary, mathematical, and philosophical departments, provided only, what can never be too much insisted upon, "the heart be kept with all diligence"-"right with God."

3. I would submit to my honoured brethren, that, if the term of academical residence can be adjusted so that our young men shall be qualified to matriculate at Somerset House in their first year, and shall take their bachelor of arts degree in two years more, they may then employ the remaining part of their term, not less than two years, in the almost exclusive study of Bible-interpretation, Divinity, and Church History. If this can be accomplished, it will leave, as the last impregnation of the mind, and therefore the most penetrating and powerful, "the words of faith and sound doctrine, thoroughly furnishing them unto every good work."


THE religion of the Bible has strange and wonderful properties. It can do for man what nothing else within the whole compass of his knowledge can do. It can produce in him effects the most opposite; and awaken in him sentiments and emotions which seem to be incompatible and contradictory. It can excite fear and hope; it can inflict the deepest wounds, and pour into them a healing balm; it can kill and make alive; it can place him in a land of darkness, as darkness itself, and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness; and then, conducting him as it conducted the three disciples, to some mount of transfiguration, or raising him as it raised the apostle, to the third heavens, afford him visions and revelations of the Lord, too bright to be sketched, too sacred to be uttered. It produces these opposite effects on different individuals, in similar circumstances-for example, of trial. Each during the process passes through a painful ordeal; but how different the operation,-the issues! The one, slow of heart to believe, is injured, hardened, consumed by the fire; the other, refined and saved. Indeed, afflictions to the righteous are often more afflictive than to the wicked; and the same troubles that to the latter are so overwhelming as to lead him to curse God, or tempt him to lift against his own life a rash and presumptuous hand, are to the former still more keen and withering; and yet while his

* I regret that, from a fear of requiring too much time, I declined saying three. From the experience of forty years, I have found, at Homerton, four years scarcely enough for going through the divinity lectures, with their allied branches.

friend or neighbour perishes in his affliction, he derives from it, through the singular power of the religion of the Bible, nourishment and support, life and joy.



But the religion of the Bible, not unfrequently, in the experience of the people of God, brings near together these two opposite states; so that trial and deliverance, the deepest affliction, and the highest and purest pleasure; the strongest bias and inclination to evil, and the consciousness of holy and elevated principles of resistance, are often found to co-exist in the same mind, or to follow each other in quick succession. The tempted soul in its agony, triumphs; the troubled spirit is full of consolation: he whose bones are out of joint, whose heart is like wax, melted in the midst of his bowels, is strong in the Lord and the power of his might; and he who can command but a morsel of bread and a cup of cold water to meet the cravings of nature, has meat to eat which the world knoweth not of, that satisfies his soul as with marrow and fatness. That paradox of the spiritual life, so well known to the apostle of the Gentiles, and so strikingly described by his pen, is thus realised by every disciple, who understands what he affirms, when, in language unintelligible to the world, he says, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair: ".... we are as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as sorrowful, and yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." The lips that said, "I called my servant and he gave me no answer.... my breath is strange to my wife .... All my inward friends abhorred me, and they whom I loved are turned against me; my bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh"-in the same moment exultingly declared, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." He who affirms of himself, "The sorrows of death compassed me; and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The cords of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me; "-records his inward peace, his accompanying hope and confidence, by adding, "The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted." He who beheld the terrible judgment of the Lord falling upon his guilty countrymen; and, as he saw the fig-tree without a blossom, and the vine without fruit; the labour of the olive fail, and the fields yield no meat; the flocks cut off from the fold, and no herd in the stall,—was so painfully affected by the coming distress, that his belly trembled, his lips quivered at the voice that announced it; rottenness entered into his bones, and he trembled in himself that he might rest in the day of trouble: strangely, sweetly, beautifully adds, "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."

This, then, is the fact. The good man may have sorrow upon sorrow, and at the same time be happy; grief the most intense may co-exist in his bosom with the purest and richest joys; while flesh and blood are racked by pain and tortured to agony, the mind may be so filled with Divine thoughts, the soul so ravished by spiritual delights, that he may welcome his affliction, be reluctant to exchange his lot for that of the proudest and most prosperous worldling, and be thankful that he is counted by God worthy to suffer. Nor is this conjunction of opposite mental states infrequent. The nominal Christian, the disciple, who overcome of evil would fain serve God and mammon; as well as the man who has never made trial of the religion of the Bible, may be unable to comprehend it but it remains true. : Not only was it so with Job, with David, with Habakkuk, with Paul,-it is so still; and that saint, noble alike in character and in blood, but the single member of his illustrious house, who has dared to be on the Lord's side; and who, for his faith, is followed by the scorn and pursued by the hate of the sons of rank and fashion ;—that tenant of the cottage or the hut, whose outward condition excites our deep commiseration; who has not for years quitted that bed of sickness; who often at night has not known whence the morning meal would come ;-those Christian parents, whose sons so lately were before them, as plants growing up in their youth; and their daughters as corner-stones polished after the similitude of a palace,-their heritage from the Lord, and the bow of their strength,-but of whom, one by one, they have been bereft by insidious disease, till they are left to go down alone in sorrow to the grave;-the experience of such, and of a thousand others in our day, illustrates the spiritual paradox we refer to; and could we penetrate the secrets of their bosom, would show that where sufferings abound, consolations may abound also; and that "the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" -whose glory the natural man sees not, whose power he feels not ;are more than sufficient to countervail the bitterest griefs that man is heir to; "and for the spirit of heaviness' to clothe him with "the garments of praise."

And if there are those acquainted with the religion of the Bible, in whose experience this sorrow has not always attended this rejoicing, the reason we apprehend is to be found, not in that religion so much as in themselves. We sometimes suffer ourselves to be so absorbed or surprised by trial, that the eye through its tears cannot see, nor the mind in its turbulence receive those truths of the Bible which were designed to mitigate its woes. The joy of which we speak does not come at random,-it is no casual or indiscriminate gift; it is not for every man, nor every Christian man, to possess irrespective of his fitness for it. It is a solace for sympathetic minds; an inheritance for prepared hearts. Much in some cases has to be done before it is

in our power to appreciate or possess it. It is there for every man that can receive it; but if we persist in counting our trials, fiery though they be, a strange thing; if we find fault with God for afflicting us; if we continue to lust for the possessions which he has seen fit to take away, or to cleave to the sins for which he would correct us, we disqualify ourselves for the joy of the Lord, and have no room for it in our hearts. It is while we look, not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, and only then, that it is congenial to us, and can shed its rich and hallowing influences on the spirit. We sometimes expect it to come in a way in which it is not promised; we require the removal of our sorrows, and refuse the Divine gift on any other terms; or look for it as something to be mysteriously or preternaturally infused into our minds, and made to awaken deep and strong emotion there. But while God has so clearly promised peace to those that are in trouble; it is in no case as its mere attendant; afflictions must prepare us for the promised joy; work out for us the hoped-for glory; they must first humble us, bring us to repentance, crucify us to the world, wean us from sin, mortify our pride, our covetousness, our anger, our malice, and all our members which are on the earth; they must awaken opposite desires, lead us to other sources of happiness, and make way for truth and the God of truth in the heart. The joy of the Lord consists not in emotion, however strong-in excitement, however intense; it has an adequate cause, its measure is broad, and its foundations deep. Is it sweet?-it is also enlightened. Is it fervid and gladsome?-it is likewise pure and enduring. It cometh from above. It counterbalances our sorrows, and by its own Divine and spiritual properties diminishes their intensity. Should it transport us and fill us with extasy, it might stand excused; it is from everlasting to everlasting.

Whence does it arise? What are its exciting causes? Let us take the prophet's account already quoted: "I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Let us suppose a man who knows God, who has attained to accurate and exalted conceptions of the character of God, who has been taught to contemplate God as his God, the God of his salvation; who loves him, who feeds him, who defends him, who has engaged to guide him with his counsel and afterwards to receive him to glory; and we ask whether that man, whatever earthly sorrows may compass him about, has not enough to fill his soul with gladness; so that the overflowing of the waters shall hardly affright him, or the kindling of the fires give him pain?

I will rejoice in the Lord. Not in the heavens, with their sun, moon, and stars, still marching on as they have marched for ages in their career of silent glory; nor in the earth with its seas and its dry land, its valleys and its hills, its corn, wine, and oil, given as they are for the support and delight of man; not in philosophy, rich as are her

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