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entirely from their connection with the moral attributes of God, and the great principles of his moral government. The redemption of a ruined world by means of the death and resurrection of the Son of God, presents these attributes and principles in a new and more glorious aspect, to all holy and intelligent beings, throughout the universe. It brings to bear upon all minds rightly disposed, whether in heaven or in earth, stronger motives to admiration, gratitude, and trust,—the grand constituent elements of a pure and permanent happiness. It presents new views of God, views to which the mightiest intellects in heaven would never have attained. It would seem to be necessary for the full development of the Divine character. Without it, God might never have been perfectly known; neither his holiness nor his benevolence would perhaps have been so fully appreciated. The revelation of mercy to man has shed a new light around the throne of God, presented a new aspect of the Divine character, and furnished a new reason for wonder, love, and praise.
The entire moral history of man, and especially that part of it which relates to his redemption by Christ, may be regarded in the light of a great moral scheme, the nature and issues of which are, with a benevolent design, subjected to the contemplation of the whole intelligent universe. Angels, we are told, desire to look into it, while “ the manifold wisdom of God” is represented as “known," or made known, by means of it, to principalities and powers in heavenly places;" language which would seem to intimate, that the facts, the moral bearings, and the results of the gospel, have a sphere of influence wide as the vast dominions of the Deity. It was worthy of the Son of God, to assume the nature of man, and in that nature to suffer, bleed, and die, for an object so transcendent, so glorious, as this. And who can tell the extent of the intelligent universe thus affected by “the abounding grace of God?” Perhaps all the millions of human beings that have ever existed, or that shall ever exist, may be only as a drop to the wide ocean, in comparison with the number of those who have never sinned, and yet are not excluded from the benefits of the gospel. Had mankind been left to perish, those holy beings would never have murmured; but they would have wanted those peculiarly high and glowing conceptions of the Divine
VOL. IV.—NO. XIV.
benevolence they now possess in consequence of the death of Christ. If mankind had been saved without a ransom, supposing such a thing possible, then the holiness, and, by consequence, the benevolence of God, would, in their estimation, have suffered an eclipse. Probably the whole universe, with the exception of those that perish, has been benefited by the salvation of man, through the blood and righteousness of the Son of God.
There are treasures of knowledge in the redemption by Christ but dimly seen by mortals, which the loftiest intelligences in heaven contemplate with wonder, and which it will require eternity adequately to develop
But upon a subject like this, our ideas are inadequate and tame. We see darkly, as through a glass. The grand results of redemption appear dim and distant. They lie far beyond us, covered with the shadows of eternity. But in a few years, these shadows will be removed, and the glories of another state will be brought fully and distinctly before our eyes. We shall know even as we are known; and all our previous ideas, elevated and glowing as we may have deemed them, will appear like the feeble and imperfect conceptions of childhood. But the little, that we do know, gives promise of something ineffably great. By means of it, we are admitted to the vestibule of that house not made with hands, where, by the aid of God's word and Spirit, we hear unutterable things, and behold scenes of grandeur and beauty which language cannot describe. O, how do the impressions hence derived tend to humble us; to chase away the miserable vanities of earth; to chasten and subdue the spirit, ennoble its aims, and purify its affections !
Thus, the truth as it is in Jesus, or the knowledge of God's character, as revealed in the gospel, exerts a transforming influence upon the mind. It generates love, and love is the fulfilling of the law. For this reason, the whole circle of gospel truth is denominated light, while the ignorance and delusion of unbelief are denominated darkness. Christ is at once light and life. And what but light and love constitute the light and life of man's immortal soul? To know God is to love him; to love him is to keep his commandment.
“ The grand morality is love of thee."
the case of antich knowledments of
To love him is to fulfil the law. To love him is to be supremely blest. “He that loveth abideth in God, for God is love." "His favor is life, his loving-kindness is better than life." It is heaven!
Thus, it is the great object of the gospel to make men acquainted with God, and to produce sentiments of reverential affection founded upon such knowledge. Whenever this is done in the case of an individual, he hath passed from darkness into marvellous light; in other words, he is “born again," hath passed from death to life, from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God's dear Son.
Hence it is, to a great extent, by false and unscriptural views of the Divine character, that the reign of sin is maintained in the human heart. On the other hand, it is by growing in acquaintance with God, that the Christian grows in grace, in love, purity, and obedience. This idea is beautifully expressed by the apostle, when he says, “But we all with open face, beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The likeness will be made perfect in heaven; for there we shall not see dimly and imperfectly, as in a glass, but “face to face.”
The state of the spirits of just men made perfect is a subject confessedly beyond our comprehension. This much, however, may be said of it, that it is a state of perfect knowledge and perfect love. This will produce a harmony of soul with soul, and, above all, with God. The result will be "peace within and peace without,” a pure, and sublime serenity of spirit, associated with joyous activity. “The service of God” will engage attention “day and night,” while the spirit will pass through new and glorious fields of thought, and rise to new and more magnificent heights of bliss. But "thought cannot picture a world so fair,” and we leave it to the sanctified imagination of the Christian to dwell upon the mysterious and delightful theme, till a scene of glory and happiness is brought before his mind, which words would only shadow. There is no possibility of conceiving any thing more glorious than the reality. Perfect knowledge, perfect love, and perfect bliss, transcend all our conceptions. Here, our brightest visions are dim and puerile; still, they may serve to warm our languid hearts, and prepare them for the more perfect revelations of eternity. Scotus.
our chalit is a staice a hrane
PROGRESS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE.
Democracy in America. By ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE,
avocat à la cour royale de Paris. Translated by HENRY Reese, Esq., &c., &c.
may either which has bee them, for the fullo the
There are two ways of contemplating passing events. We may either look at them as furnishing illustrations of some principle which has been already established in a satisfactory manner, or study them, for the purpose of ascertaining what principle they do exemplify. In the one case, we have a general truth before our minds, of whose reality we entertain no doubt, but which it delights us to see particular instances of, each one suggesting some new thought, adding to our stock of ideas, and furnishing a copious variety of apt illustrations, whenever it shall become our province to teach this general principle to others. The habit of mind, given by this process of thinking, is exceedingly useful; and, if cultivated in a scholarlike manner,-diligence and industry being united to improved taste,—is adapted to make a man a brilliant writer, as well as to give him great colloquial power. A good specimen of a train of thought pursued on this plan, is the address delivered by Gov. Everett, at the opening of the Mechanics' Fair, in Boston. It does not pretend to great depth of reflection, but exhibits a quickness of parts in gathering an array of captivating illustrations relating to one or two general principles, in themselves familiar to us as household words. Of books constructed on this plan, we may mention Alison on Taste, the leading principle of which may be stated to be,—That God has formed the eternal world according to the highest rules of taste; or, to borrow the language of Akenside, to show,
“ With what attractive charms this goodly frame
the the objects mity, adorne observed
In illustrating the truth of this sentiment, that author levies contributions from every department of nature; all the sweet sounds that regale the ear with melody, and all the objects that charm the eye with their beauty, grandeur, or sublimity, adorn his work.
It ought, however, to be observed, that this process of thinking, while it subserves the most valuable purposes, in the way of diffusing knowledge, is not by any means that which calls the intellect to its highest exercise. This is done by the other way of viewing passing events, to which we alluded above, viz., when we set ourselves to the study of objects or occurrences, to see what they teach, or to learn what general principle or law of nature is wrapped up in them, and hid from vulgar observation. This is the process of thinking conducted by the philosopher, and summons the mind to its severest task. It demands the soundest understanding, the calmest judgment, the most patient attention, a very retentive memory, and a thoroughly disciplined imagination. Of this mode of inquiry, modern times have not furnished a fairer specimen, than the work of Tocqueville, upon America. He arrived upon our shores, ignorant, to a great extent, of the practical working of our institutions, and, after a course of patient observation, having treasured up a large amount of facts, began the task of generalizing his ideas, the results of which constitute the treatise now before us.
It is not our purpose to analyze this work, which would be no easy matter, were we to attempt it; nor would it be the most useful plan of a review, were we to succeed. In the following remarks, it is our purpose to show, from our own sources of illustration, the progress of the democratic principle throughout Christendom,—the favorable effects to be anticipated from it,—and then suggest some means suited to give it a right direction.
It frequently happens, and the present is one of those cases, that, owing to the shape of political parties, certain words have acquired an accidental meaning, which the mention of them is sure to suggest to the mind. And so strong is the association formed between these words and their transient signification, that it is nearly impossible to employ them for the purpose of general discussion, because the hearer will be continually reverting to their meaning in caucuses and newspapers. This remark is