« ZurückWeiter »
ISAIAH viii. 20.
11, EXETER HALL;
AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.
We have now arrived at the close of another year, and are reminded that the December Number of our little Periodical will require a Preface.
To what can our attention be so well drawn as to a revision of the past year; to mark what effect events have had on the interest of that cause and those principles to which our efforts are devoted; and to a consideration by each one of our own friends and readers, of his own individual position, with reference to the change which, sooner or later, awaits him, and every child of Adam. Who can say how far distant may be the period, when time shall be no more to them? It is well to hold converse with our past hours; to muse on all God's wondrous works, and those most wonderful, the working of his Holy Spirit in the soul of man. Oh! how sublime is the contemplation which then unfolds itself to our view, when raised on the wings of Faith we soar above “this visible diurnal sphere ;"—hold communion with the Father of our spirits ;-enjoy a foretaste of heavenly blessedness ;-and catch a glimpse (though but a faint one) of those glories which shall be revealed ? Then how passing human estimate and comprehension seem the unsearchable riches of Christ Jesus : how do we learn more to aspire after those treasures which the world can neither give nor take away ; how low and dim and vile, appear the pomp and pride and glory of this world! Then, as it were, placed upon an eminence from which the field of this world's conflict is seen before us, we can estimate things by their relative importance. God and man-earth and heaven-time and eternity-are brought together before the soul; and when we leave the mount of contemplation, we bring with us the heavenly effects of the renovating atmosphere in which we have been.
What a hallowed and hallowing effect has this upon the soul! It exalts the peasant above a prince - a mechanic above the mere philosopher ;-it makes philosophers acquainted with more than human wisdom, and gives to kings and princes so to wear their earthly crowns, as those aspiring after crowns of glory which fade not away. It ennobles, whilst it debases; and exalts, even whilst it humbles. It makes us at once to feel our dependence, and our independence-it shows us our weakness and our strength. It debases us to a sense that we are but dust and ashes and impurity in the sight of the holy, the heartseeing God; and it ennobles, because it reminds us that this worm of earth, may yet be a saint in glory—that the Almighty has breathed into the clayey tenement a living soul, whose existence must be lasting as eternity :-thus it exalts while it humbles. It makes us to feel our nothingness when alone-our omnipotence when the omnipotent God is on our side ; our dependence upon Him, and our independence of all beside when the Lord of Hosts is with us :—thus it is, we can say with Paul, “ When we are weak, then we are strong. I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.”
We have thought it well thus to occupy part of the space allotted for our Preface: and we trust our readers will take it in good part. We have done so under the entire conviction that personal religion is invariably the foundation of all true exertion, and future usefulness. It is the centre and moving spring, and forms so essentially a part of the individual possessing it, that his