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lay bare the lines so long concealed, and decipher its annals for the Church-patient, if perchance a broken line or isolated sentence perplex, to wait, and read on, until all is clear. The profane interpret and perish! Through every field of science and literature, the student may now follow those who are no blind leaders of the blind. Even fiction, abused to mere amusement and sensual excitement, has been made to illustrate and enforce the truths of Him who "spake many things unto them in parables.” The secret of the whole is simple. Knowledge is power; and God, who, when but little knowledge survived the wreck of antiquity, took care to concentrate that little in the hands of his Church, has not now, when the spirit of intellectual inquiry is poured out upon all flesh, left her without a thorough and efficient literature for her defence and allya literature which, from its abode upon what has been deemed the cold and barren summit of learning, amid all the mysteries which gather there, threatening lightning and earthquake to human interests, comes down, like Moses, with glory beaming from its countenance, and the law of God graven on its heart.

To the conversion of a soul, we acknowledge with joy how little of mental power or theoretical knowledge is requisite; but that selfsurrender and reliance on the atonement will suffice for daily pardon and continuous regeneration. We admit too that in some rare instances an unreasoning devotion, like an instinct, fixes its eye on the main truths of the gospel, and goes rapidly forward, unterrified and unseduced from its path. We refer not to these conditions of justification, nor to these few instances, nor to that divine dispensation, which one must have remarked, giving, in accordance with no law apparent to us, a larger measure of grace, or a more powerful impulse heavenward, to some converts than to others equally justified. But we speak of the process and laws by which the spiritual character is matured in classes, and memberships, and communities. Would it be hazardous to say of a young convert, taken at random, that, with his given amount of piety, his progress will probably be as his views? How easily can we refer to some treasured author, whose calm pages gave definiteness and enlargement to our ideas of the Christian scheme, or to a conversation with a friend who saw the error of our thoughts, and whose quiet reasoning removed it, and a new spiritual life burst in upon us. Who would not judge that, with a given amount of piety, a preacher's power to build up the Church into holiness, would be in proportion to his comprehension of the gospel plan in all its relations, and his discrimination of every shade of duty or of sin which so perplexes? There is a power gained in the closet, and a power communicated to the fellow-worshipper as we wrestle in social prayer ; but distinct from this increase of sensibility to heavenly things, is that enlargement of the spiritual horizon which gives more sky to shine in upon the soul. The fact is, that with a Christian of sincere heart, the battle is not 80 much with sin as with error-not so much with the affections, as with the ignorance which clouds the mind. He is perpetually suffering from mistakes and devices of Satan, against which he might have been forewarned. To him spiritual wisdom is spiritual strength.

* The prayer of Ajax was for light.
Through all that long and dangerous fight,
The darkness of that noonday night,
He asked but the return of sight,

To see his foeman's face."

The experience of the individual Christian is like that of the collective Church in the past. He begins by Judaizing or Platonizing. He leans to works without faith, or faith without works. His exclusive thoughts banish from the Trinity the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Ghost, by concentration upon one alone. He becomes a Pelagian in his own strength, or too passive an Augustinian in dependence upon grace. He tends to rationalism, in his views of Scripture ordinances and precepts, or to traditionalism in superstitious reverence for human dictates and forms. The impeded progress, the successive reactions, the one-sided development, so clearly marked in each stage of advancement by the Church, are reproduced in the individual member. But if the Church has thus marked out the true channel of faith and practice, albeit by continued rebounding from the rocks on either side, is it not for our learning? Our whole system of instruction assumes that these theoretical and practical errors may be avoided, and a Christian press forward in the right way, without bruising himself into it by contact with successive errors. Think of a sincere soul serving God amid the mummeries of Romanism, and imagine the light and power which a few words of exposition would pour in upon it. Think how, even among the evangelical denominations of our own land, you can mark the theory giving a peculiar tone to the equal piety of each section, and in proportion as their views are more or less comprehensive in regard to one class of truths or another, they are successful in gathering in true converts, or building them up into a living faith. Consider how far a few generations, mentally capable of apprehending clear instruction and favoured with superior teachers, might prepare the

way for that day, when, trained to a clear vision of heavenly truths, and with little in example to mislead, the child in Christ shall die a hundred years old in spiritual life. With such lessons from the past and the present, is it wrong to aver, that while the conditions of justification are simple, and while some anomalies in spiritual growth do occur, yet, as a prevailing rule, the maturity of a Christian Church under a pious ministry will be in proportion to the clear exhibition and comprehension of intellectual views ? Is it too much to say that we require that breadth and grasp of thought which proceeds only from mental culture ?

Moreover, in personal experience everything depends upon a true conception of our position at the moment of danger, and the prompt recurrence of the corresponding truths. It is easy for a bystander to remember such ideas and repeat such truths as are pertinent; but it is difficult to give caution, or administer rebuke, or bring solace to ourselves, just when we need them most. Now the characteristic of the uncultivated is a natural want of this collectedness and selfinspection, and too often the thoughts which should have shielded against temptation come only in time for condemnation. A friend at such an hour is invaluable. But it is peculiarly the privilege of the cultivated mind to be such a counsellor unto itself, to anticipate the shock, to lay hold upon the lever which“ backs” the moral machinery of the soul, and stems the too hurried current by an internal force. So do we believe it will appear that, other things being equal, a sound intelligence is not only most capable of receiving comprehensive views, but is more competent to apply them opportunely in the exigencies of life.

II. The relation of intelligence to the efficiency of the Church in her coöperation with the world.

The papal dogma that the Church is supreme over all temporal states and legislation, however false and rejected, in reference to any organic Church, is both true and admitted of the spiritual body of Christ. The form has fallen off, but the principle survives in new and recognised authority. Secular councils appeal to the conscience of the Church with a care and deference never yielded to Rome, and it is nothing that the appeal is often unwilling or hypocritical. The leaven is penetrating the institutions and sentiments of the world, preparatory to that last process of spiritual chemistry in which the whole is to be leavened. Every recognition of a true principle in legislation, and every real amelioration in social life, is removing obstacles from the path of the gospel. There is evidently a certain mould of life and sentiment, which the spiritual activity of a renewed world would create, and into which it would grow up and develop, as the tree within its bark. If a false form is applied from without, like an iron bark, it will feel the compression, and yield an imperfect and unsymmetrical development. But in proportion as this outward form is perfect, corresponding to the natural form, or yielding to the swelling growth, will the advance be natural and easy. Just in proportion as the political and social organization of the world, its practical views and moral sentiments take the same form which they would have if religion was the sole power moulding thought and action, or in proportion as they yield unresistingly to her plastic power, she will find a rapid and beautiful expansion. No man can have a perfect Christian character, not only while he neglects known duty, but so long as false education, or confused ideas, permit the presence of spiritual or temporal evil, without his consciousness of its incongruity, his expression of his sensibility, or his energetic action. The Church will never have a perfect character so long as hereditary wrongs against God and man, traditional errors in morals and sentiments, benumb her sensibilities, or form a check to her speaking out and acting out the fulness of the gospel. How gradually have the true principles of civil liberty and the evil of slavery, the spirit of the temperance cause, and of all social ameliorations, been eliminated in the action and reaction of the Church and the State! How much more healthy do we deem the spiritual tone of the American Church, that corrupting and repressing influences of other national laws and habits are removed! Those who control the legislation and social reforms of the day should let the moral result, as well as the moral principle, of legislation be not only an unconscious attainment, but the far-seen and calculated issue of prayerful wisdom. Yet what a wide range of information, what power and habit of comprehensive thought, is thus made requisite. Surely the Church needs the wisdom of the serpent.

Inspired by the example of the Church in the person of some of her noblest sons and daughters, irreligious men are devoting themselves with enthusiasın to the work of moral and social reform. But the awakened spirit, confining itself to mere temporal ameliorations, shows rather an aversion to be identified with the Church, either in principles or enterprise. It may be philanthropy, but it will not be godliness. It goes forth through the Church as through the world, like an Iconoclast of old, and is not over-anxious if it break an arch in smiting an idol. The Church may meet it either by blank denunciations, or, by showing a more excellent way, inay retard the too-hurried movement by simple inertia, as a mere · brake" upon the car of progress; or she may lay down a new track, which leads more securely to the goal. The world is listening, though the Church be deaf and dumb. There is no form of infidelity so seductive as this philanthropic materialism. Its bene

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fits are tangible and inspiring to men who have no conception of a spiritual need, and there is a grandeur in its comprehensive plans and perfect promises which fills the soul with chivalrous enthusiasm. Forgetful that the whole lifetime of Jesus was a preparation for the promise of the Father, and a parable of spiritual things, it exults in entire assimilation to him who made the dumb to speak and the lame to walk, and healed all of whatsoever plagues they had. Even if the Church were uninvaded, yet she must lose her controlling influence, and amid such masses of practical scepticism lie like a sunny isle chilled by surrounding icebergs, which blight though they cannot penetrate. But within the Church there are hundreds smitten with a deep sense of evils long endured, yet shrinking from the leaders most conspicuous in reform, and waiting for better guidance. They must have it, or they will turn from the reiteration of pure principles unapplied to those who show their faith by works. They must not only see what is wrong, but what is right. They must be able to meet sceptical philanthropists on their own ground. They must not only be told that without the pervading, vitalizing influences of religion, this “new-creation” would be a world without an atmosphere; but they must see how their labours may avail beneath the hand of the Creator, and so in patience seem to hear it said: “The evening and the morning are [but] the fifth day," and wait until, in his own time, God shall pronounce it very good. Again, we conclude, how wide the knowledge, how clear the intelligence the Church demands !

III. The relation of intelligence to the efficiency of the Church in aggressive operations.

Both in coöperation with the world and in distinct enterprises, the Protestant Church of this country finds weakness as well as security in her democratic organization-democratic so far as regards practical interests. However the system may guard against small evils, yet it seriously impairs for the time being the power of energetic and far-seeing action. Like the republic, the Church has thrown off the supremacy of both despotism and aristocracy, and resolved all power and responsibility into the hands of the individual ; but, unlike the State, has retained no checks against the results of popular ignorance or indifference. The mass of citizens may know very little about political economy and national expediences; but they must choose delegates, and may choose wise men, to deliberate for them, and their counsels are laws and their estimates are taxes. But the counsels of the Church on practical operations are purely advisory, and her estimates are referred to each member for ratification. The power of the keys may extort gold from the Romish

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