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rekindling that flame of devotion which the return of the profligate Charles Stuart to our throne had almost extinguished?-We answer again,―The disciples of this doctrine. And again we must ask,Who gave existence to the most powerful states of the New World, and were the donors there of those best of all gifts, a free government, and a pure Christianity?—Is not the answer nigh thee, even in thy mouth? And, above all, who have they been, who, in ancient times, or in modern times, have been every where derided as the pure, the precise, the sanctimonious, the righteous over-much; pointed at, as being of holier aim than their neighbours; railed at, as those who would shake both hemispheres with the voice of their cry, and by the energy of their labours, in what they regard as the cause of humanity, religion, and their God? We need not say who they are, who have been all this, who have endured, and done all this. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God. By their fruit ye shall know them.
ON SPIRITUAL INFLUENCES.
And chiefly Thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
What in me is dark
It is a part of our faith as Christians, that there is an influence, or commerce, subsisting between the human mind in its present state, and minds which belong to other regions of existence. This interesting tenet is one of the greatest importance; and is not only clearly deducible from scripture, but derives support from some of the most obvious analogies of nature and providence, and from much in the general sentiments and practice of mankind. We shall first offer a few remarks, that may serve a little to illustrate the Reasonableness and Meaning of this doctrine; and, having noticed what is immediately taught in scripture with regard to it, we shall advert to certain Rules of inspired wisdom, by which it behoves us to try the spirits,
supposed to have influence over us, whether they be of God,
I. The works of God are distinguished by their variousness, and not unfrequently present the boldest contrasts. But these works, amid all their varieties, are capable of being classed, and may be placed in much of the order which we denote by the word system. There are certain links of sameness, connexion, and influence, which constitute their manifest relation to each other. Even those placed in strongest opposition, are thus made to unite, in some degree, by means of others, which intervene like the parts of a chain. Thus the vegetable kingdom approaches gradually toward the animal kingdom; and animals are allowed to become very nearly assimilated to the human species. And besides this perceptible approximation of the great departments of nature toward each other, there is a law of mutual dependence and contribution, if we may so speak, which pervades the whole, each work of nature, depending for support on other works, and having to contribute to the support of others in return. It is not meant that they should stand alone or fall alone. The ocean cannot say to the land, I have no need of thee; nor the land to the ocean, I have no need of thee. Thus it is with the earth and heavens, the winter and summer; with the vegetable world, and the animal world; with the bodies of men, and with the minds that dwell in them.
The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea,
In humid exhalations, and at even
Nor does the poet consider this ascending influence as terminating with the material, or the inanimate.
One Almighty is, from whom
The universe is thus placed before us as a vast system of influence and association, ascending from one class of kindred objects to another,-passing from the earth to its productions, thence to all the creatures that live upon it, and still upwards to man, their chief, whose nature would seem to render him the obvious link between the material and the spiritual-earth and heaven. His soul, his intellectual nature, has nothing strictly in common with it here. In its leading properties it stands altogether
apart, possessing an elevation of its own; and as we meditate on its transcendent capabilities, we feel constrained to look still higher,-to a world of spirits, as to its home. Thus the mind itself, and every thing in the great machinery of visible existence, harmonize with the doctrine of scripture, which not only teaches that there are spiritual natures beside our own, but that there is an actual commerce between those natures and ours-influences, both good and evil, constantly descending upon us from such sources, for the purpose of affecting our present character and future allotment. It assures us that the chain of connexion observable in the natural universe, is the resemblance of that which pervades the universe of rational beings, ascending from man to more exalted natures, and failing not until it has reached the noblest of those thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, who lay down their resplendent crowns, and prostrate all their greatness in the immediate presence of the Eternal! Thus it may be, that
Millions of spiritual natures walk the earth,
Reason suggests that our natural life is sustained by the divine hand, through the medium of visible means; and it testifies, no less distinctly, to the propriety of believing that the mind may be equally influenced from that same power, through the use of means suited to its nature:-in other words, that the God in whose hand our breath is, holdeth our