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and holiness, as shall draw forth delight from all who shall be partakers of his love, and recipients of his mercy!
H. F. Burder. THE EXPULSION FROM PARADISE.
High in front advanced, The brandish'd sword of God before them blazed, Fierce as a comet; whereat In either hand the hastening angel caught Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast To the subjected plain; then disappear'd. They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld Of Paradise, so late their happy seat, Waved over by that flaming brand; the gate With dreadful faces throng'd, and fiery arms. Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon; The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide: They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way.
SAD EFFECTS OF SIN. In our bodies, what seeds of weakness, distress, and decay! The first proofs that we possess life are the cries of pain and suffering, inarticulately uttered by the infant just entered into the world. How often does even that infant agonize and expire in the cradle! If he passes into childhood, how many pains does he undergo! how many fears, how many sorrows! How frequently is he carried, while a child, to the grave! Should he arrive at youth, what a train of new evils is he obliged to encounter; and in how many instances does the canker-worm or the frost nip the blossom, and wither it beneath
the fond eye of parental love! Should he become a man, sickness, pain, and sorrow, still follow him through every course of life, and not unfrequently infix their fangs in his heartstrings; while death, always watching for his prey, descends when he is least aware, and seizes and bears away the miserable victim. Should he live to old age, his strength declines, his face is furrowed with wrinkles, and his head whitened with hoary locks. His body bends towards the earth, from which it was taken; and, exhausted by suffering, he resigns his breath, and is conveyed to the dark and narrow house, devoured by worms, dissolved by corruption, and changed into his original dust.
His mind, in the mean time, the sport of evil ungovernable passions, is ignorant, wild, wayward; the seat of a thousand errors, weaknesses, and follies. With its follies its sins keep, at least, an equal pace. Selfishness, in many forms, all of them odious, distresses the parental eye even in infancy. In childhood, in youth, in manhood, it is seen in new varieties of operation, and new appearances of deformity. Pride and ambition, avarice and sensuality, pollute and debase the man in the early stages of life ; and all increase their savage, brutal control as he advances in his progress. At the same time, envy, fraud, deceit, violence, and cruelty mould him into a monster, and scarcely permit us to believe that he was once formed in the image of God. Where is now the mild, benevolent, equitable dominion exercised by our great progenitor over his happy empire? Where the peace between man and the inferior inhabitants of the earth? The chief traces of his footsteps through the animal world are oppression, blood, and death.--Dwight.
DANGER AND DELIVERANCE OF MAN.
Man had apostatized from God; had yielded to the seductions of the great Deceiver; had pursued a career of the most daring rebellion against the Majesty of heaven. The divine warnings he had disregarded; the divine goodness he had most ungratefully abused; the divine laws he had wilfully violated; the penalty of death, in all its fearful extent, he had incurred. Was there any encouragement, under these awful circumstances, to hope for exemption from the threatened curse, or deliverance from impending ruin? The justice of Him who sitteth on the throne of heaven, required sin to be visited with punishment. The perdition of the sinner is inevitable, unless some expedient be devised which can satisfy the claims of justice, while it opens a way for the exercise of mercy. But such an expedient the most vigorous efforts of reason are in vain employed to discover. Dost thou doubt ? Make fairly the experiment. Retire into thine own bosom, and ask, Can God justify the ungodly? Thy reason abashed declines to answer; while the voice of conscience pours accusations into thine ears, and her finger points to the wrath to come. Flee from thyself, and thy fellowsinners, whose reason is as dark, and whose conscience is as guilty, as thy own. Explore the works of the Creator. Thou wilt see order, beauty, magnificence; but not a trace of pardon. Go down now to the abode of those rebel spirits, who kept not their first estate. Ah! here are only chains of darkness, and vials of wrath! Hasten hence, and consult the angels who surround the throne. Ask them if thou mayest hope for more lenity than the apostates of their own family. Ask them if the Holy One can save thee without prejudice to his glory. The heavenly hosts cannot solve the problem. Silence seals up their lips of love; and thou, thy soul unsatisfied, thy doubts redoubled, must return and pass the time of thy sojourning, alternately shivering with the ague, and burning with the fever, of despair.
But to this “horror of great darkness” we are not abandoned. A light breaks in upon this gloom. It is a light from heaven. It is “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.” To the astonishment of earth and heaven, the Son of God becomes the sacrifice for sin—the substitute for the guilty! Such is the dignity of his person, such the merit of his obedience, such the value of his atoning blood, that the honour rendered to divine justice is more gloriously conspicuous than ever before in the annals of the universe. The triumph of justice introduces the reign of mercy ; he who is “glorious in holiness,” proclaims himself, “merciful and gracious; keeping mercy for thousands ; forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin.” If, in the investigation of nature, we trace in every production of creative power wisdom worthy of God, still the “ glory which excelleth,” irradiates the economy of redemption. “Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" H. F. Burder.
THE DYING INFIDEL. DEATH, with all the gloomy scenes attendant upon a dying bed, is to him merely the commencement of doubt, fear, and sorrow. The grave, to him, is the entrance into a world of absolute and eternal darkness. That world, hung round with fear, amazement, and despair-overcast with midnight melancholy, with solitude desolate of every hope of real good, opens to him through the dreary passage of the grave. Beyond this entrance he sees nothing, he knows nothing, he can conjecture nothing, but what must fill his heart with alarm, and make his death-bed a couch of thorns. With a suspense scarcely less terrible than the miseries of damnation itself, his soul lingers over the vast and desolate abyss; when, compelled by an unseen and irresistible hand, it plunges into an uncertain and irreversible doom, to learn by experience what is the measure of woe destined to reward those who obey not God, and reject the salvation proffered by his Son.
THE FOLLY OF ATHEISM.
Dull atheist! could a giddy dance
Of atoms, lawless hurld,
So harmonized a world ?
Why do not Arab's driving sands,
The sport of every storm,
Or gorgeous temples form?
Presumptuous wretch ! thyself survey,
That lesser fabric scan;
The god—the reptile man.