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things than the sight reveals, and were under far better influences in many respects, in elevating and expanding the mind, than they would have been if confined to the grovellings of sense. Men who have no principle of faith in their nature, who are universally sceptical in regard to its revelations, are like the ancient mariners. In their frail barks they crept along the shore ; always kept some headland or promontory in view anchored in a friendly bay at night ; and never put out into the open sea.

Columbus, with different feeling, turned his prow boldly to the West, and held it steadily in that direction in the faith of “ giving a new world to the kingdoms of Castile and Leon." So faith goes beyond the limits of time and of the

It not only believes in the existence of the worlds which the telescope reveals, but peoples those worlds; not only believes in the existence of that universe which strikes the outward eye as so glorious, but in the existence of a more glorious God that formed them all; not only believes that there is such an atom in creation as this earth, and such a thing as the " human life," but that there is a world to come, and that there is life everlasting.

(4.) One thing more may be said in order to distinguish faith as an element of action. It has a very near relation to hope ; and is, in fact, on the authority of an apostle, the embodiment of hope. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,” Heb. xi. 1. It takes hold of things that are not seen, but which may be as real as though they were ; and of things which are not yet facts, but which may be. A young man hopes for distinction in political life. As a reality, it has as yet no existence. But it may have. It is in his mind's eye as if it were a reality, and he sets it before him as his hopes and desires would prompt; and though far distant, he studies, and struggles, as if it might be so. Demosthenes, when he went into his cave, and tried the strength of his voice by the raging elements of the deep, doubtless had in his mind's eye an image of what it would be to be the first orator of the world. See what faith entered into such a purpose, and into such a conception :-faith in his own powers; faith in the effect of careful culture; faith in believing that formidable obstacles may be overcome ; faith in his countrymen, that they would do honour to him who deserved it; faith in history, that it would transmit his name to future times; faith in all coming generations, that they would receive his name with honour, and transmit it onward. So now in higher things :-faith carries the mind upward and onward; fastens on objects of hope, and turns them into living forms, and allows them to influence the mind: and the view by faith of those superior réalities turns giants here to dwarfs, and mountains to mole-hills, and crowns to baubles, and heaps of hoarded gold to particles of glittering dust, and the palaces of princes to the play-houses of children. Man begins to live for nobler objects; and there comes over the soul the expanding and elevating thought that there is something worth living for, and that he is indeed immortal.

II. Having thus endeavoured to state what this principle is, I proceed to consider, in the second place, its influence as an element of conduct. With an ultimate view of illustrating its influence in religion, and of slowing you that there is much worth living for beyond what the senses reveal, and that it is rational to act in view of that, I will endeavour to illustrate its value under these specifications : :-as prompting to action ; as expanding and elevating the mind; and as indispensable in all just views of religion.

(1.) We may consider it as an element of our nature leading to action. We will look at it now in general, without particular reference to religion. We have seen that it stands in contrast with cold calculation; with what is disclosed by the mere testimony of the senses; with the low and grovelling objects that appeal to the appetites. A man into whose character there enters not the element of faith, is one who has no confidence in the power of truth in meeting and arresting evils ; in the elevation and perfectibility of society ; in the practicability of correcting errors, or of checking and removing individual or organized wrongs; in himself; in his fellow-men; or in God. His mind never ventures beyond a very limited range--that which has come under his own observation, or which is within the compass of a very rigid calculation. Let us look at such a mind, and see what it would accomplish in such a world up there. Winding along, through that forest, may be seen the course of a river-and the opening where it runs shows that it is a broad stream—though on its bosom never yet floated anything but the bark-canoe of an Indian. In all that boundless expanse, there is neither road, nor bridge, nor fence ; neither church, nor college, nor school-house. Yet that man is possessed of faith ; faith in his axe, in his arm, in his skill-in himself, in his growing boy, in his neighbours that will unite with him ; and he believes that all that forest may be felled, and that it may become a fertile field, and that colleges and sanctuaries and cities may smile there; and that on that river the magnificent steamer may glide laden with rich productions from that teeming soil. Many a weary day must indeed be spent, many a hard blow must be struck, before that result shall be reached; but there is more than hope that it may be done, to animate and cheer the woodsman ; there is faith that it will be done; and the forest gives way, and the fields are ploughed and fenced, and houses and all the improvements of art appear in what was the interminable wilderness, as if by magic. Yet there is no magic about it. It is all the result of desire, and hope, and faith,--and corresponding toil.

as this.

a) A sturdy farmer, trained to the use of the axe, and the hoe, and the plough, and with the advantages of an education in a common school, and with some reading to expand his mind, stands on an eminence in the wilds of the West, and looks over a boundless forest. It waves in the interminable distance, and the sun has never yet been suffered to penetrate through that thick foliage to the earth. There is no city, or town, or even log-cabin to be seen. Not even the smoke of the Indian wigwam reveals that any human being is there. But there, an intelligent eye may see the evidence of as rich a soil as the sun ever shone upon; and those valleys may yet be covered with harvests and with flocks; aud houses and mills, villages and towns, may yet spring

(6) A man looks at his country. He greatly loves it--for it is the land of his birth ; his interests are there ; and in every way he desires its prosperity. But he sees it oppressed. It groans under heavy and unjust burdens. There are evils. The unconstitutional claims of the government, the evils of a deficient representation, may be deeply felt; or foreign troops may be quartered on the citizens to awe them. On these things the patriot looks with deep emotion, and with an earnest desire that they may be removed. The man in whose soul the reigning element is doubt, or who is governed solely by the decisions of his senses, would be prompted to no effort for relief, would venture nothing for it. But not thus did men look upon the wrongs of their country in the times of Hampden; not thus did Patrick Henry and John Hancock look upon the wrongs which our own land endured. In those minds and hearts there were no elements of scepticism. There dwelt there in the strongest degree the element of faith. They were moved, not by the love of gain or applause ; they not merely felt that their country was suffering wrong ; they not merely hoped and desired that their wrongs might be removed, --but they had strong faith, unwavering confidence, that it might be done. They had faith in the justice of their cause; in the virtue of their countrymen ; in the valour of men that might be summoned to defend the national rights; in the fathers and mothers of the land, that they would give up their sons to its defence ; in the nations of the earth, that they would approve their course; and in God, that he would be the Friend of the oppressed and the wronged-and whatever liberty there is in England or in this land is the result of such faith.

(2.) We have considered this principle of our nature as an element leading to action. Let us now, for a moment, consider it as an expanding and clevating element of conduct. We might here take the very cases which have already been referred to, and perhaps they would furnish all the elucidation which would be required. But we may vary the illustrations, and while we furnish new confirmations of what has been already said, place the point now before us in a more distinct light. John Howard, born to an ample property, and encompassed by all that was necessary to worldly enjoyment, with leisure for literary pursuits, or for the pleasures of the table or the field, or for the l'efined courtesies of life in England, might have spent his days, as thousands do, with most limited views, and with a heart most selfishly contracted. A sceptic as to the world's improvement; a doubter as to the feasibility of any project to elevate the degraded; a disbeliever in any enterprise that looked to the elevation of the more debased portions of mankind; a man who confined himself to questions of mere calculation,--he might have lived only to improve his estates, and in one narrow circle his ideas might have for ever revolved. But God had endued him with a heart benevolent by nature; and the finger of Providence pointed to an object worthy of its exercise. He was led to look on the prisons of Europe. But how did he look on them? True, there was enough to excite all the compassion of his soul, and such a man would weep over the unpitied wrongs of the prisoner. But he looked on them not only to weep. There was another, and a much higher and more expansive feeling in his bosom than mere compassion. It was faith. It was a belief that those woes might be mitigated, that those wrongs might be repaired, that the condition of the sufferer might be alleviated. What was this? It was confidence in human nature; in man,-in his sense of justice and humanity, when roused to it; in princes and lawgivers--that they might be disposed to do right; in societythat its workings might come nearer to perfection ; above all, in God, that he would show himself the Friend of the oppressed and the wronged ;-and this faith expanded the heart of Howard to embrace the world, and made him what he was. So Clarkson and Wilberforce looked upon injured Africa-not merely with the feelings of compassion, but with faith in the English heart; in the justice of their countrymen, if their sentiments were fairly expressed ; in the sense of right with which God has endowed man; and in the Great Governor of the nations, that he would ultimately crown with success every effort to break the bonds of oppression.

An American youth, educated at a university, and about to enter upon the theatre of life, looks out over the world. He has a heart filled with love to the Saviour, and is desirous of living to do good. His thoughts are turned to the great West. But how many difficulties may be seen there :— difficulties, not so much of poverty, and privation, and toil, and want of the kind of society to which he has been accustomed-but difficulties in saving that vast region from the evil influences that are setting in upon it from all quarters of the world. Far more formidable are those moral difficulties than were the forests, and the unbridged rivers, to our woodsman; and yet with an eye of faith he may look all over that land, and see it in the future, spiritually, as the “ garden of the Lord.” He crosses the mountains with no doubt that there the standard of the Cross is everywhere to be erected; that those lands are to be cultivated by a Christian people; that churches are to be reared, and that colleges and schools are to scatter their rich benedictions all over that immense region. He has faith that this is all to be a Christian land; and he enters upon his work with a higher and more expansive aim than his own country in any other department can furnish. Long, perhaps, he labours under discouragement, and amidst many trials. Worldliness abounds; error reigns; few give heed to his voice; yet he never doubts that “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and that the desert shall bud and blossom as the rose.”

With similar feelings, and at the same time of life, another young man casts his eyes over the heathen world. How dark and degraded it seems ! How many millions, and hundreds of millions of human beings are sunk in idolatry! How sin-most loathsome, and debasing, and revolting-abounds! What scenes of misery open on his view; what cries of distress break on his ear! How long and unbroken has been the reign of death! Who shall elevate the degraded man? Who shall scatter the darkness of the world? It is not in man, he sees, to do it. There is no recuperative energy in the heathen mind to recover it from its low debasement. There are no agencies there at work to bring these evils to an end, and to re-enstamp upon those degraded intellects the effaced image of a holy God. More than in any other department of human action, perhaps, he goes to

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