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I would use no motives but those which would make men feel the native charm of Christian character, and the native repulsiveness and slavery of sin. I know of no hell to threaten but evil, no heaven to paint but goodness. But, if a man once feels that goodness is the most desirable object, the only desirable object in the universe, he will find in the process of salvation, when Christ is taken as his ideal, sufficient occupation so long as he remains a moral being.
The nature of salvation has been so distorted by the church; its simplicity and naturalness have been so completely overlooked ; and the kind of agency which we bear in it has been so mistaken, that it is thought to be a very uniform work, almost mechanical,-a mere compliance with certain conditions which are the same to every soul. So far is this from being true, the work of salva. tion with no two souls will be exactly similar. There are of course the indispensable preliminaries, repentance for sin, a spirit of prayer, and zeal, which are the same with every soul. Without them there can be no deep religious life in any heart. But these are the beginning of salvation. The work to be done by their aid, in order that the process of salvation may continue, is very different with different souls. When a man seriously asks himself" What must I do to be saved ?!' the true answer will be, Conquer your most seductive temptations, wrestle steadily against your principal weakness, bring up the level of your life, by stopping the peculiar outlet through which your virtue leaks away; fortify your character on the side of your prevailing poverty and need. Salvation is health of soul ; it is the completeness of inward culture; it is that vigorous condition of the heart, when it naturally produces the ripe graces and fruits of life.
If self-scrutiny shows a man that his prevailing tone of being is sensual, that he dwells on the level of the animal nature, conscious only of its pleasures, striving only for its good, then his work is plain and hard. He must raise the whole tenor of existence. He must learn to live in a better air. He must feel that the mire of sense is not the sphere of the spirit of man. He must wring his spongy nature clean of its muddy contents, that it may absord the purifying life of God. In the hearts of others, avarice and worldliness obstruct the progress of salvation. If a man's time is wholly engrossed in business, or in the pursuit of worldly honor, it is very plain what he must do to be saved. He must learn what salvation is; that it is to become citizen in a higher kingdom than that of the senses and time; that it lies in reversing the method of his life, and in turning to the heart and mind as the sources of welfare and joy; in arranging his habits so that his deepest interest will be in culture and beneficence, not in gold; and in making the interests which are highest in reality, the highest in his regard.
There are not a few who expect salvation from the regular observance of religious exercises, as a work distinct from common duties, the discharge of a debt to God. Of course, we believe in, and would inculcate a regular observance of religious exercises ; but they are powerless, so far as salvation is concerned, unless the life is quickened and mellowed in consequence of them. A man whose stated prayers are cold and formal, and repeated from a stern sense of duty only, is not saved until the spirit of prayer visits his soul, until his verbal petitions are slight utterances of his living gratitude or consciousness of need, and his character becomes transparent with the light of love. The envious man must feel his envy melt into generous sympathy in order to be saved. The passionate man must put his foot on a capricious temper. The selfish man must banish self-interest as a ruling passion, and offer his heart as the organ of disinterested goodness. The bigot in theology, who vainly thinks that he has found salvation in a form of faith, and who assumes a haughty tone and a complacent superiority over those who profess a different belief, must learn that a heart of charity for all, and a spirit of universal love is his deep need ; and that the manner of his entrance into the kingdom of heaven must be through the broken wall of his exclusiveness and isolation.
" Except ye be converted and become as little children ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven;" for the king. dom of heaven is the region of humility, self-sacrifice, and holiness. Repentance is the commencement of the process; the work is effected when the sins to which we usually yield are conquered, and we are pure and free.
To grow by patient discipline into the virtues which have been consecrated by Christ's experience; to be just and honest from religious motives in our intercourse with all; to attain the patience that bears all trials, the trust that sees a hidden good in gloom, the charity that receives the race into its folds ; in a word to dwell now in the very air and bliss of heaven, this is salvation, the only salvation we can experience here or ever.
And what is it all, under whatever forms we may describe it, but to bring the heart into lowly communion with the Father, and to fill it with His ever-flowing, allembracing love? We master the highest phase of our subject, when we see that salvation does not consist in doing something, or in getting at something, but in being something. It cannot be determined by inspecting what we perform, but in seeing what we are. The more we study Christianity and the laws of inward life, the more will that rich saying of the beloved disciple glow upon the page of the New Testament "He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God; for God is love." To dwell in love is to be completely saved. And this is the object of all effort. The problem of life is this,—to rise through culture into nature; to put ourselves rigorously to the service of duty, even when it may be irksome, that duty may at last become our joy; to obey patiently until obedience becomes attraction, and labor play. A power returns into us from every good deed we do, even if it was hard to do it, and adds to our inward life. The highest reward of duty is, that it raises our character and enables us afterwards to act more readily from impulse, with spontaneous delight. The best result of study is, not the learning we amass, but the wisdom we acquire. The best effect of beneficence is the benevolence which it increases. And thus good deeds increase and purify our goodness. The more we discipline ourselves, the deeper channels do we open within us for the pulsation of God's spirit through. We are saved not by getting happiness, but by becoming holy. The payment for what we do is always what we are.
As God looks upon the moral universe, spirits range themselves under his eye, in groups, according to their qualities of heart, the purity of their ruling love, the tex
degreeries of stages, approach, or recethe purity of
ture of their being. According to the purity of their ruling love, do they approach, or recede from Him. Life is a series of stages. Heaven and hell are differences of degrees. Eternity is the onward sweep and developement of the life of time. “In the Father's house are many mansions." The spiritual world is a vast hierarchy of ranks, where the place of each is determined by internal excellence. Men are attracted to God by the purity of their hearts and their inward affinity with Christ. There is no favor in his government. A rigid mathematics determines our destiny. God does not lift any spirit into heaven, and condem any sinner by an arbitrary decree. At every moment, we are saved in proportion to the nearness which our natures will permit us to approach the throne; we are lost in proportion to the distance, to which by the gravity of inward evil, we must sink and remain.
T. S. K.
1. Select British Eloquence : embracing the best Speeches entire of the most Eminent Orators of Great Britain for the last two centuries ; with Sketches of their Lives ; an Estimate of their Genius, and Notes, critical and explanatory. By Chauncey A. Goodrich, D. D., Professor in Yale College. New York: Harper & Brothers, &c. 1852. 8vo. pp. 947.
We can speak of this work in no terms but those of the highest praise. Whether we regard the plan on which it is formed, or look at the excellence of the selections, or consider the judgement and good taste evinced in the Notes and Biographical Sketches, it appears to us unequalled by any other publication of the kind that we have seen, among those which are intended for popular use as well as for the regular study of eloquence. We learn, from the Preface, that the volume is not the fruit of a casual purpose and hasty preparation, on the part of the Editor. It grew up, and was matured, out of his long experience in teaching as Professor of Rhetoric in Yale College. His object, in the course, was, as he expresses it, “to
show the leading characteristics of the great orators of our language, and the best method of studying them to advantage; ..... not only to awaken in the minds of the class that love of genuine eloquence which is the surest pledge of success, but to aid them in catching the spirit of the authors read, and, by analyzing passages selected for the purpose, to initiate the pupil in those higher principles which (whether they were conscious of it or not,) have always guided the great masters of the art, till he should learn the unwritten rules of oratory, which operate by a kind of instinct upon the mind, and are far more important than any that are found in the books.” The work before us has been gradually formed on the lectures of one of the courses which he pursued for the purposes thus described. The body of it is composed of select Speeches entire; but these are accompanied with historical illustrations, and critical remarks, which serve as an Apparatus to a ready understanding and appreciation of the whole, at the same time that they do not overload the text.
The names of the great orators and statesmen, whose best speeches are given, will be to our readers a guaranty of the character of the selections : One, of Sir John Eliot (1628 ;) One, of the Earl of Strafford, (1641 ;) One, of Lord Digby, 1641;) One, of Lord Belhaven, (1706 ;) Two, of Sir Robert Walpole, (1734 —;) One, of Mr. Pulteney, (1729;) One, of Lord Chesterfield, (1743 ;) All, of Lord Chatham's, including “eight never before published in this country;" Four, of Lord Mansfield ; Nine of Junius's Letters; Six Speeches of Burke, with extracts from his writings; Four Speeches of Mr. Grattan; One, of Richard Brinsley Sheridan ; Six, of Charles James Fox; Three, of William Pitt ; Nine, of Lord Erskine : Three, of Mr. Curran; One, of Sir James Mackintosh ; Four, of Mr. Canning; and Five, of Lord Brougham.
To such as wish to furnish themselves with a convenient collection of the choicest productions of eloquence in our language, we recommend this volume. It can hardly be perused, even by the most dull and insensible, without improving and elevating their taste. We recommend it to the careful study of all who would cultivate the true style of public speaking, and especially of those who would aim at the highest and noblest kind of popular address. If compared with much that is lauded among us, it will present to them, at once, the contrast between puerile, gewgaw, or dawdling declamation, and genuine manly eloquence, that works conviction, not only at the instant, but long after the speaker is dead, and that commands the admiration of all ages. We commend it to the attention of candidates for the Christian ministry; for we may say, in the words of the Editor, that, “nothing is more desirable, at the present day, than a larger infusion, into our sacred eloquence, of the freedom, boldness, and strength, which distinguish our secular oratory.” If the preacher has a laudable ambition in his calling, let him, above all things, disregard the