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BY II. C. BLINN.
tent, Might was Right. In this respect it BIBLICAL. NO. 1.
may bear a close relation to all ancient history. Babylon was filled with its deeds of
barbarism and religious licentiousness. CarThe Bible is certainly a wonderful book. thage with its savage deity was a city of horIt is now the book of the christians, sacred to ror. Greece with its mythology and corruptthat order while all other publications may be ing religious influences was not, certainly, in denominated profane.
advance of the Jews. Its impartial history of God's people from Cassell speaking of the writings of Moses, the time that Abraham left Babylon to the says, “ Such a code of laws as is embodied prophecy of Malachi, embracing a period of in this portion of Sacred Writ, is nowhere to some 3,600 years, is a work over which hun- be found in the jurisprudence of any other dreds and thousands never become weary, nation under heaven. Never had laws their while its exhortations, admonitions and prom- basis in such profound wisdom, never were ises have served, no doubt, to make a large they as benevolent in their character, and per centage of those who have carefully read never so salutary in their influence.” it, better men and women than they would A testimony like this, in favor of a work have been without it.
that was written some three thousand years, Theodore Parker says of this sacred book, in the past, should enlist the careful attention “This collection of books has taken such a of every reader. hold on the world as no other. The litera- While a diligent study of the Bible may ture of Greece, which goes up like incense reveal to us conditions not in harmony with from that land of temples and heroic deeds, our views of righteousness, it may at the has not half the influence of this book from same time afford us many useful lessons, for a nation alike despised in ancient and modern the journey of life. No one thinks of throwtimes. It is read of a Sabbath in all the ten ing away all his books and papers because thousand pulpits of our land. In all the tem- two or more chapters in each may not agree ples of Christendom is its voice lifted up, with his understanding of religious and sciweek by week. The sun never sets on its entific knowledge. He would dwell upon gleaming page. It goes equally to the cot- that which appeals to the better qualities of tage of the plain man and the palace of the the mind, and allow the other to fade away. King. It is woven into the literature of the So read the Bible. scholar, and colors the talk of the street." It is readily admitted that the New Testa
This sacred book of the protestant order ment or Covenant was written by a very difof Christians so far as it has preserved an ac- ferent class of men, and that the inspiration count of the manifestation of God's work of the work was is much beyond that of the among men, free from the errors of transla- old Testament, as the mission of Jesus Christ tors and revisers, inay with all propriety be was in advance of the Mosaic law. This designated the scriptures of truth. It is said holds us directly, pleasantly and intelligently to contain the best record that has been pre-in correspondence with its doctrine of God's served of the creative work of God and has love to man. It foreshadows a dispensation also furnished us with the historical account of glad tidings, of peace and of brotherly and religious experience of the Hebrew na- love to which we as yet remain strangers. tion. From its great antiquity and the rever- Unlike the old Testament dispensation the ential regard in which the book is held, no testimony of Jesus dwells upon the spiritual other publication, under present circum- education of the mother and children as well stances, can take its place.
as of the father. It gives us the outline of It can be no argument against the book, the life of Jesus, who walked with God very that it admits of war and slavery and many differently from either Enoch or Noah. A other things which the present state of socie- careful study of this part of the Bible and a ty condemns. It is the history of an infant discipline of the mind to its best instruction age, of a barbarous age, when to a great ex- would transform men and women into mes
sengers of love, into angels of God, and this was by this sectarian work that the most inworld into a Paradise of peace.
consistent ideas relative to the goodness of Many persons have the idea that the Bible God have been established, creeds been formis a verbal inspiration from God and hence ed and an arbitrary worship formulated. It every word and every letter is mysteriously is quite certain that if the Scriptures were correct, and those who could not accept this all consumed, the Word of God would ever chimerical view have been denounced as un- remain the same, and that those who are led believers in the Bible, as schismatics and as by the spirit of God would be denominated heretics.
the sons and daughters of God. Although the Bible may give a very vivid Canterbury, N. II. account of the manifestation of God among men, and of the visitation of the Holy Spirit,
TRUST. yet it is as true that the Scriptures are only historical and do not contain that Spirit. - The Word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, and a dis
Tile wing of an angel cerner of the thoughts and intents of the
May shade for a time,
At which thou would'st neither heart." But the book or Bible can never hold any such place.
Complain nor repine, That part of the Scriptures which com
Well knowing the spirit prises the Law and the Prophets was held as
Of God lieih near
And thou hast no reason a sacred book by the Jews, as is the whole Bible by the Protestants of to-Jay,-- the only
For doubt or for fear. guide. It was examined with great diligence Ilow gracious to trust to ascertain whether Jesus was a true de
Though thy sky seems o'ercast, scendant from the house of David or wheth
The heavens remain er he was an impostor.
Through the tempest and blast; Jesus took the opportunity on several oc- Even so all thy good casions to rebuke this narrow, bigoted idea,
Shall securely remain by saying to theni, "Ye search the scriptures Through every tempest, for in them ye think ye have eternal life!!
Through sorrow and pain. and then as much as to say to them, --low very
Canterbury, N. 11. stupid! If you read the scriptures correctly you would readily see that "they testified of
DUTY me.” Paul was no less emphatic and denominates the word on Sinai the ministration of death, engraven on stones, for “the letter killeth, ” but that his brethren were the de. "STERN daughter of the voice of God! clared episties of Jesus Christ, written not ( Duty! if that name thou love with ink, but with the spirit of the living God.
Who art a light to guide, a rod,
To check the erring, and reprove; To denominate the Bible the " Word of
Thou who art victory and law God” and the only rule by which man should When empty terrors overawe, walk originated among an arbitrary sectarian Give unto me made lowly wise, class of religionists to prevent others from
The spirit of self-sacrifice. accepting the ever present revelation of God.
To couscientiously regard my highest The two great christian denominations, the conception of truth ; by rendering obeCatholics and Protestants have each a trans-dience thereto as a line, or path of duty lation of the Bible, which they are pleased to
regardless of the issue, was a lesson eardenominate the only, true Word of God, while they look upon each other as antichris
ly impressed upon my understanding tians, and upon the Bible not of their own or- with few rose-colored tints to gild the der as a false and spurious translation. It setting of the pearl to my then ideal,
JOANNA J. KAIME.
rather than practical view of life. As have thereli pledged loyalty to the vital I advanced in years however, the bene- principles which constitute us a living fit derived from giving heed to this io- church. We are bound by all that is junction has been of inestimable value, high and holy in our profession to walk and I venture to assert that as persons circumspectly and unselfishly with an are guided by this inflexible rule or law, eye single to the glory of that being who they will accomplish a corresponding has called us out of “nature's darkness” amount of work in that field of labor or a generative life into his “ marvelous wherein their energies are directed.
In- light” or the work of regeneration. deed little good would have been
66 All that defiles or makes a lie” sbould achieved had not this stern and unyield-be consumed by honest confession and ing principle incited to action the world's genuine repentance. great benefactors. Had the human tri
Let us as Brethren and Sisters of one umphed at the cross when Jesus was
household awake to a deeper sense of called to meet its ignomiuy, who can say our spiritual duties, to our God, to each the tide of progress would not have other, and to the whole human family, rolled backward (if that were possible) believing that we shall all find sooner until another instrument was found able or later, “ The path of duty is the only for the sacrifice? Had Ann Lee when path of safety.” called to her noble mission halted to
Canterbury, N. n. * confer with Aesh and blood] ” where would her name and honor be to-day but
THE FUTURE LIFE. with the multitude who bave been - weighed and found wanting" because unwilling to be as “ clay in the hands of We must not believe in two places the Potter"-unwilling to forego carth- only hereafter, heaven and hell. It is ly appetites and inclinations in deference not likely that all are to go either into to a higher law, and this as clearly re- perfect joy or unmitigated vealed to their understanding as to the This is a very crude and irrational nohonest earnest seeker after righteous- tion, founded on the literal interpretation ness.- Where rests the responsibility to- of some phrases of Scripture which our day that so many are found in our Com- prosaic theologians have not had imaginmunities singularly blest with a knowl- ation enough to understand. God has edge surpassing the wisdom of this made this world intinitely diversified world and yet indifferent to the sacred withi every degree of being-a long trust committed to their charge, while scale of musical gradations. Is God's the earnest few, who are lost to personal law in this world a law of variety, and considerations are working with more is his law in the other world a law of than human energy for the wholesome monotony? Has lie a million different growth upon which rests the mainte-conditions for his creatures here, and nance and perpetuity of our virgis Or- only two there? Believe it not ! The der.
other world is, no doubt as full of vaAll of us who have placed our names riety as this. It has an outward nature as supporters of our Covenantal relation | as rich in air, earth, water, light, fire,
F. W. EVANS.
sorrow. " What if earth
plants, vegetables, as this, our old fa- into a particular home there, suited to miliar world ; only more graceful, more us, and which we are suited for. It is lovely, more various, more sublime, said of Judas that “he went to his more tender. So, long ago, Milton place,” the place that suited him, the wrote:
place where he belonged, the place where Be but the shadow of heaven, and things therein it was best for him to go. So the AposEach to the other like, more than below is thought?” tle Paul went to his place which suited
The old theory was based on the parable of the Sheep and the Goats. It was
him, the place where it was best for him nferred that there are only two classes to go. All this is not only scriptural,
but reasonable ; so reasonable that Jesus in the other world, saints and sinners ;
seems to think it almost unnecessary to only two places, heaven and hell. But while each parable teaches some one
tell us of it. “In my Father's house special truth, all truth is not put in- are many mansions; if it were not so, I to each parable.
The particular truth would have told you.” taught by the - sheep and goats" is, that
We are also told that while a good
deal of what we learn in this life will those who have heard of Jesus—the Gentiles, or heathen—will be judged ac
pass away, much will remain. cording to their fidelity to the law in know in part, and we prophecy" (that
that their hearts, which is a law of univer- is, teach) in part ; but when
which is perfect is come,
then that which sal love. The essential difference be
But tween men is that they are selfish or un
is in part will be done away."
there selfish. This parable declares that all
are three great elements of spirit
ual life which remain : faith, hope, and generous, unselfish people are essential
love. ly Christians, whether they ever heard of Christ or not.
The faith which abides is not any parBut Jesus says explicitly, and with. ticular creed or belief; but it is that out a parable, that there are many differ- confidence in God, that trust in univerent conditions in the other world, as in sal law, in the order of the universe, in this. The law of degrees prevails there a pervadiny, providing intelligence, in a as here.
If we expect all to go into one blessed fatherly love, which is at the place when we go into the other world root of all intellectual activity, all intelI think we shall be mistaken. There is lectual progress.
This faith is the a special place for every one to be born - substance of things hoped for, the evithere, as there is here. Every child dence of things not seen.” It is the born into this world comes into a home spring of all thought, reaching out from of its own ; has its own father and moth- the known to the unknowo. We go iner, brothers and sisters, its own nation, to the other world believing there is country, town, language; he is born in there plenty to know, that the laws of the country or city, among the moun- nature are infinite and inexhaustible ; tains or by the sea, into the home of a and that this faith is to abide in us farmer, a mechanic, a minister. One proves that the other world is like this little child is born in Spain, one in In- world in its inexhaustible opportunities dia, one in New England. Each of us, for knowledge. There, as here, there as we pass into the other world, will go will be infinite variety, boundless adap
tations, facts of observation for the fore you, who have eyes of discernment, able senses, beauty for the imagination, prob
to see your needs better than you can discovlems to be studied, deeper mysteries of er them yourselves; be obedient to their
counsels which we believe will always accord science. There will be something cor-, with your inward convictions, if you seek to responding to sunlight, to stars and know your duty. Gentleness of manners is moon, to oceau aud mountain, to forest a beautiful quality in the character of young and meadow, to summer and winter. persons-not superficial manners, put on and This little world has not exhausted the taken off according to your associations; but
cultivated from motives of principle. creative power of God. We here see
Persons that are truly humble are always but the border of his works, and listen mild in their ways; not given to idle converto but a faint whispaer concerning him. sation and loose habits, but reverential to suMt. Lebanon, N. 1.
periors, to sacred places and subjects. This reverence grows from real love of virtuous
principles; unless you cultivate this in your Letter Hox. daily life you cannot bring forth its fruits.
Herewith accept our best love for the prin
ciple, and as we all increase in the beautiful Shaker Village, N. H. gifts of the spirit, the interest will daily acMy Dear Young FRIENDS ;-Feeling de- cumulate until the bond will fortify us against sirous that you may find a permanent in the strongest elements of the world. crease in faith and good works, we thought, Be truthful, simple, obedient, gentle, kind perhaps, an expression of our interest in you and enduring, these virtues will adorn you all, througli the medium of the Letter Box, above rubies, pearls or diamonds. might be a source of encouragement.
Your Sister and Friend, We are pleased with the degree of earnest
E. Martin. ness manifested in desiring to become true christians by those whom we best know, in
THE COVERED BRIDGE. our own church and trust that all of the class addressed in our homes, from Maine to Kentucky are at heart seeking to do just right. Tell the fainting soul and the weary form But do not rest satisfied or yield the strife,
There's a world of the purest bliss, until you wear the clear impress of virgin That is linked as the soul and form are linked, souls, until by obedience to godly principles,
By a Covered Bridge with this. you become beautified and adorned with the Yet to reach that realm on the other shore graces of simplicity, truth and purity, know
We must pass through a transient gloom, ing no will of your own, but subject in all
And must walk unseen, unhelped and alone, things, that no temptation of a worldly na
Through that Covered Bridge—the tomb. ture may have power to allure your minds from the blessing of all blessings—purity of But we all pass over on equal terms,
For the universal toll spirit.
Keep near to the fountains of life, and they Is the outer garb which the hand of God will overflow to nourish you. Walk in the
Has flung around the soul. vale of humility, with a spirit of warfare Though the eye is dim and the Bridge is dark, against all haughtiness and vanity, that you
And the river it spans is wide, may “grow in favor” with God and his peo- Yet faith points through to a shining mount ple. Now is the most acceptable time of life
That looms on the other side. to make strong the foundation of a christiar. To enable our feet in the next day's march character.
To climb up that golden ridge, See to it that you do not build upon the We must all lie down for one night's rest, sand. You are blest with faithful guides be- Inside of the Covered Bridge.-Selected.
BY DAVID BARKER.