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of their living principle, into organised substances, and by this mysterious process are fitted for animal nutrition. The vessels of vegetables are so fine in their radicles and leaves, and in the smaller plants, that the particles which they imbibe must be in the most attenuated state. They are injured, like animals, by too great a supply of what they feed on; and hence many plants decline and perish on too rich a soil. Each will grow only on that kind of ground which suits its organs or appointed functions.
.... The kindred nature of all plants is surprisingly shown by the power and effect of their growing and fructifying when grafted on each other-one organisation attaching its vascularity to that of another, and feeding on its sap. The ancients took some pleasure in these experiments; for Plutarch saw, in a garden on the Cephissus, an olive upon a juniper, a peach upon a myrtle, pears upon an oak, apples on a plane-tree, and mulberries upon a fig. In Holland a rose was grafted on an orange-tree ; and, in our times, carnations have been grafted on fennel, and a peach upon a mulberry. So an inhabitant of Lyons inserted, on the same stem, red and white grapes, peaches, and apricots. Such facts prove the absolute similarity in nature of the different classes of the vegetable kingdom. Their general system and principle of life are the same. It is the specific and purposed variation of their organisations which, from the same material elements, causes the specific diversities of their products to appear. No result is a random accident.........Plants have been manifestly designed and framed on the principle of improvability. This also distinguishes the latent powers of their living principle, and its vast superiority over organic matter. It is a truly wondrous faculty, for it is one of the greatest distinctions of man. Animals have it to a certain degree, but very limited, and apparently far less than vegetables. The productivity of animals cannot be increased like that of plants. The human capacity for progression is not more clearly visible than that of which so many vegetables have been found susceptible, that it may not unreasonably be inferred to be a law of their constitution. Very agreeable, but surprising, transformations have arisen from this property. The rose is the product of cultivation. The original plant, from which all the beautiful varieties have proceeded, is considered by botanists to be the common wild brier. Our plums are the cultivated descendants of the sloe ; the peach and nectarine, of the common almond-tree; filberts are the improvements of the wild hazel; the delicious apples whose species may be now reckoned by hundreds, are the cultured successors of the small austere crabs and wildings, which swine will scarcely eat; the original pear is a pretty fruit, as hard and crude. Our corn was once in a state very like grass ; our cauliflowers, cabbages, and other domestic vegetables, are the artificial products of human skill and of vegetable improvability......... It is this undiminishable and undecaying property in plants which may rescue us from that chimerical dread of a superabundant population of the earth, under which we have been labouring for the last thirty years. In nature, the law of population has never exceeded that of the productive power of vegetable life, and never will. All that concerns human beings has been made upon a principle of benevolence. The same principle continues the system and superintends the working, and will always adapt the provision to the necessity, and supply further assistance if new exigencies should require it. But nothing supernatural on this point is likely to be wanted. Cultivated produce has hitherto outrun population in every country, and there is every appearance that it will always do so. Two laws are visibly in operation in nature ; one, that it
shall not produce spontaneously ; the other, that its produce shall be always increasable by human labour and skill. Ordinary, but diligent, exertions of these have hitherto abundantly sufficed for all that has been needed. Local distress may arise from temporary seasons, but never from a failure in the powers of vegetable nature.-Sharon Turner.
SIR HUMPHREY DAVY IN SOLITUDE. “Nature never deceives us," writes this philosopher, during a season of affliction. “ The rocks, the mountains, the streams, always speak the same language. A shower of snow may hide the verdant woods in spring ; a thunder-storm may render the blue limpid streams foul and turbulent : but these effects are rare and transient ; in a few hours, or at least days, all the sources of beauty are renovated; and nature affords no continued trains of misfortunes and miseries, such as depend on the constitution of humanity.........Her fruits are all balmy, bright, and sweet : she affords none of those blighted ones so common in the life of man, and so like the fabled apples of the Dead Sea,-fresh and beautiful to the sight; but, when tasted, full of bitterness and ashes."
In brighter hours Sir Humphrey records the following memorable testimonies :
“I envy no quality of mind or intellect in others,—not genius, power, wit, or fancy ; but if I could choose what would be most delightful and I believe most useful to me, I should prefer a firm religious belief to every other blessing; for it makes life a discipline of goodness, creates new hopes when all earthly hopes vanish, and throws over the decay, the destruction of existence, the most gorgeous of all lights ; awakens life even in death, and from corruption and decay calls up beauty and divinity; makes an instrument of torture and of shame the ladder of ascent to paradise ; and, far above all combinations of earthly hopes, calls up the most delightful visions of palms and amaranths, the gardens of the blessed, the security of everlasting joys-where the sensualist and sceptic view only gloom, decay, and annihilation.”......“ In youth, in health and prosperity, religion awakens feelings of gratitude and sublime love, and purifies at the same time that it exalts. But it is in misfortune, in sickness, in age, that its effects are most truly and beneficially felt; when submission in faith, and humble trust in the Divine will, from duties become pleasures, undecaying sources of consolation : then it creates powers which were believed to be extinct, and gives a freshness to the mind, which was supposed to have passed away for ever, but which is now renovated as an immortal hope ; then it is the Pharos, guiding the wave-tost mariner to his home, -as the calm and beautiful still basins or fiords, surrounded by tranquil groves and pastoral meadows, to the Norwegian pilot escaping from a heavy storm in the North Sea; or as the green and dewy spot, gushing with fountains, to the exhausted and thirsty traveller in the midst of the desert. Its influence outlives all earthly enjoyment, and becomes stronger as the organs decay and the frame dissolves : it appears as that evening star of light in the horizon of life, which, we are sure, is to become in another season a morning star; and it throws its radiance through the gloom and shadow of death."
FRIENDSHIP IN HEAVEN. It may be proper to offer some advice to such as are lamenting their friends, and doubting whether heaven itself will renew such friendship, or so much as need it; or, if such friendship be renewed in heaven, whether the enjoyment of it will be so much the more endearing.
Consider who deprived you of your friend. Was it not God? Did not He that gave him to you take him from you? May He not do what He pleases with His own? Is there any defect of wisdom or goodness, of justice or mercy, in God's disposal of your friend? Or will you ever have rest, but in subunitting to the Divine good pleasure ?
You must not have all your mercies conveyed to you merely by one instrument. Therefore, when one friend has done his part for your welfare, God will send you other mercies by another hand; and it is fit He should choose the messenger, who bestows the gift.
But there are some who doubt whether heaven itself will renew their friendship. To scatter such a distressing apprehension, let the following reasons, for expecting your friendship to revive again in heaven, he attended to.
You cannot think that the knowledge of glorified saints shall be more imperfect than their knowledge was while they were upon earth. We shall know much more, not less, than before. Heaven exceeds earth in knowledge, as much as it does in joy. The angels in heaven have now a distinct knowledge of the least believers on earth, and rejoice in their conversion......... Therefore, when we shall be equal to the angels, we shall certainly know our nearest friends, who will have their share with us in that glory.
And though God be All in all in heaven, yet we shall there not only know, but love and rejoice in, our fellow-creatures. For Christ, in His glorified human nature, will be known and loved by all His members, without any diminution of the glory of His Divine nature. The several meinbers of the body of Christ will, in heaven, be so nearly related to each other, that they must know and love each other, and not be unconcerned in each other's felicity.
The future triumphant state of the church is often described in Scripture as a kingdom, the city of God, the new Jerusalem,—each of which implies a society. As one part of the saints' happiness, they are to come from the east and the west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven ; and, therefore, they shall not only know those great Patriarchs, but shall take peculiar delight in their presence and converse. Besides, love to saints, as well as to God, is a grace that never faileth.
The expectation of loving my friends in heaven principally kindles my love to them on earth. If I thought I should never know them, and consequently never love them, after this life is ended, I should number them with temporal things, and only love them as such. But I now delightfully converse with my godly friends, in a firm persuasion that I shall converse with them for ever; and I take comfort in those that are dead or absent, as believing I shall shortly meet them in heaven ; and I love them with a heavenly love, as the heirs of heaven, even with a love that shall there be perfecte 1, and for ever exercised.-Baxter's “ Converse with God in Solitude."
“RELIGION, THE WEAL OF THE CHURCH AND THE NEED
OF THE TIMES.”
(Concluded from page 1068.)
WARFARE AGAINST INSPIRATION.
The consummating element of the warfare of unbelief with the Bible, is found in its contemptuous rejection of the doctrine of inspiration ; which, even if not self-announced, and steadily maintained by the church through all ages, is an irresistible inference from the nature of the facts and doctrines contained in the Scriptures, together with the purpose of God in giving such records to the world. It is impossible to admit that they may be paralleled by human compositions, or be confounded with the efforts of human genius : they could not answer their ends as declarative and authoritative documents, or, in other words, as the vehicle of supreme law to man, infallible only because inspired. No great questions could be referred to them, as to a last tribunal, unless they were, what St. Paul terms them, “God-BREATHED.” In this glory they stand alone ; nor is it any presumption against this position, that they are stamped by this Divine peculiarity with incommunicableness, as by a sovereign fiat. God has enthroned them in this glorious eminency; and He has not continued the gift in other forms of record, or in the successive generations of the living church, because it was unnecessary.
Religious differences, or even eccentricities, may be left to the action of a catholic love; as glaciers, which defy any other power than the sun of the advancing year, to dissolve them; or as the rugged peaks which scor the power of man, but overhang many a fruitful glen, and furnish many a river-head, which scatters the wealth of commerce and the field over districts thickly peopled. Unity we need; uniformity we do not need. In a free country like England, -densely populated, variously classified, with minds variously conditioned, and tastes as various as pursuits,-one form of religion only, could not obtain ; one only, could not suffice. Nature's own unity goes out in diversity ; nor ought religion to be ridiculed and contemned, save by fools, for the same tendencies. Let this identity be at once owned, and heartily seconded ; leaving it to time, to the progress of society, and, ove all, to the increase of piety, to modify its action or to correct its excesses: but let no party frown it away.........No party church is catholic in principle ; or can become so, in absolute territorial possession. Its star (whatever it may be in local lustre) is not that of “the morning," and will certainly have disappeared long before the sunrise of millennial Christianity over the world.
ACCIDENTAL PHASES OF RELIGION.
Like Israel, it has passed through fire and through water to its present lot in the world. It has experienced every vicissitude which could either corrupt or purify it. It has been put to every test which Providence has permitted, and the powers of evil furnished. It has tasted of every cup, and been familiarised with every estate of earth. Its history has been a strange record of starts, pauses, and retrogressions,—of unfolding glories, and sudden obscurations; but its nature is ever independent of its fortunes, and of its people. As a Revelation of God to man, and His ordinance for
human restitution, it reflects His moral image as it exists, and reposes on the foundations of His administration, which it is intended to unfold and perfect......... It revokes neither promise nor command. It neither deposes law, nor stints grace. Its ordinances are immutably fixed; its aspects are all simply administrative. Exposition, overture, and enforcement are the chartered duties of its ministry ; submission, reception, conforinity, transmission, the great behests upon its people. But what Christianity is as an abstraction, is one thing; and what it is as a human development, another. The same firmament is chequered by varying atmospheric temperaments. Its lofty arch, its marine and azure, its lunar glow, or starry peerings, do not ever show, nor the same sun always look down from his lofty chamber in bridegroom beauty,—but, swathed in haze and cloud, gives mightier demonstration of his prerogatives, than when shining in his strength ; and gathers a deeper, if not so enraptured a homage, from all beneath him, than when his gifts are unrestrained.
REVIVAL AND REFORM, DIFFERENT. Revival is to be distinguished from reform in religion. The first denotes an inward and spiritual effect ; the last, an external restitution. The one is symbolised by the rekindling of the altar's fire, or the restored effulgence of the golden lamp; the other, by the removal of idols and pollutions from the sanctuary. The one is greater than the other, as being the revelation of the Divine glory within the house ; the other is simply the re-consecration of it, or the remodelling of its worship. The one is to the other, as the letter to the spirit,—the body to the soul. The one is preparatory, the other perfecting. The one is a human work, the other exclusively Divine.........
Revival is spiritualism in its strength : it shows little of man, but much of God. It is seen in the beauty of holiness, the deep-toned life of congregational worship, the outbreakings of sanctuary glory; not in the parade of circumstance which men regard as religion, or the monumental effigies which they rear to her praise-confounding these with her living essence. Its very name is alien where orthodoxy is boasted, and prescription pleaded.
THE MANHOOD OF CREATION. The present are not ordinary times ; whether the condition and bearings of the human mind are considered, or the administration of God, in the visible actings of His providence. Long since has He rested from those material and mundane operations,—those grand breakings forth of omnipotency,—the records of which are graven on the whole superfice of our globe. All the warfare and riot of these awful forces His almighty voice has, for ages innumerable, hushed into profoundest peace......... Time runs its course, and the covenant of day and night is unbroken. Even the ages of sensible interposition and physical miracle are, like those of creation, shrouded in the darkness of the distant past ; and beam forth in the record only, as stars in the firmament, awaiting the last morn of millennial times. But the contracted sphere within which Deity is now pleased to operateeven the existing manhood of creation-is, by this very fact, rendered the theatre of greater wonders. The simply circumstantial and preparatory scenes of the world's history are over. The great measures for its recovery have been taken: constitutions of rule for all time have been settled. Everything strange has ceased, and the visibly supernatural been with