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is induced to comply with the repeated
requests which have reached him, that they
should be given to the press.
That they should be much enlarged in
the course of revision for this purpose, is
almost the necessary result of a review of a
subject so prolific, and so vital to Christian
ANDOVER, MASS., Dec. 1859.
THE STILL HOUR.
OH THAT I KNEW WHERE I MIGHT FIND HIMI
JOB 23 : 3.
"If God had not said, “Blessed are those that hunger," I know not what could keep weak Christians from sinking in despair. Many times, all I can do is to complain that I want Him, and wish to recover Him.'
Bishop Hall, in uttering this lament, two centuries and a half ago, only echoed the wail which had come down, through living hearts, from the patriarch, whose story is the oldest known literature in
A consciousness of the absence
of God is one of the standard incidents of religious life. Even when the forms of devotion are observed conscientiously, the sense of the presence of God, as an invisible Friend, whose society is a joy, is by no means unintermittent.
The truth of this will not be. questioned by one who is familiar with those phases of religious experience which are so often the burden of Christian confession. In no single feature of “inner life, probably, is the experience of many minds less satisfactory to them than in this. They seem to themselves, in prayer, to have little, if any, effluent emotion. They can speak of little in their devotional life that seems to them like life; of little that appears, like the communion of a living soul with a living God. Are there not many closet hours,' in which the chief feeling of the worshipper is an oppressed consciousness of the absence of reality from his own exercises ? He has