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doors of your soul are open on others, and theirs on you. You inhabit a house which is well-nigh transparent; and what you are within, you are ever showing yourself to be without, by sigus that have no ambiguous expression. If you had the seeds of a pestilence in your body, you would not have a more active contagion than you have in your tempers, tastes, and principles. Simply to be in this world, whatever you are, is to exert an influence-an influence, too, compared with which mere language and persuasion are feeble. You say that you mean well; at least, you think you mean to injure no one. Do you injure no one? Is your example harmless? Is it ever on the side of God and duty? You can not reasonably doubt that others are continually receiving impressions from your character. As little can you doubt that you must answer for these impressions. If the influence you exert is unconsciously exerted, then it is only the most sincere, the truest expression of your character. And for what can you be held responsible if not for this? Do not deceive yourselves in the thought that you are, at least, doing no injury, and are, therefore, living without responsibility; first make it sure that you are not every hour infusing moral death insensibly into your children, wives, husbands, friends, and acquaintances. By a mere look or glance, not unlikely, you are conveying the influence that shall turn the scale of some one's immortality. Dismiss, therefore, the thought that you are living without responsibility; that is impossible. Better is it frankly to admit the truth; and if you will risk the influence of a character unsanctified by duty and religion, prepare to meet your reckoning manfully, and receive the just recompense of reward."
The Reverend John CAIRD, who comes next in order, is comparatively a young man. Born in Greenock, and attached to the National Church of Scotland, (the old “Moderate" Kirk, from which Chalmers, Candlish, and Guthrie seceded,) he was ordained in 1845, and is now not much over thirty years of age. Almost immediately after his ordination, he attracted attention and preferment. His first parish was at Edinburgh, where his comprehensiveness of intellect; his clear, simple, terse style; and more particularly, his fine metaphysical and psychological perceptions, which he used with great effect in the enforcement of Scripture doctrine, drew before him some of the leading minds of the Scotch metropolis. He now officiates as minister of the Park Church, Glasgow.
But Mr. Caird's present extra-parochial popnlarity is to be attributed to what would be commonly called an “accident.” He had prepared, and had preached on several ordinary occasions of pulpit duty, a sermon on “Religion in Common Life.” Occupying the same general ground as Melville's sermon on
“Panl the Tent-maker," it went beyond that celebrated production in denouncing asceticism ; in proclaiming the sacredness of labor; and in pressing the truth that the work-shop and the study may, equally with the sanctuary, be made the altar of prayer. To this was added the more questionable position that "religion consists not so much in doing spiritual or sacred acts, as in doing secular acts from a sacred or spiritnal motive.” These points were vindicated with masterly power, but at the same time were left, we can not but think, without a dne enforcement of that tremendous proposition which the subject so naturally leads to: WHAT EXCUSE HAVE YE, O MEN OF BUSINESS, IN NEGLECTING CHRIST, WHEN YOUR NATURE IS SO CONSTITUTED THAT THIS BUSINESS IS THE PLATFORM HE HAS ERECTED AS THAT ON WHICH YE MAY BEST MEET HIM?
Now it so happened that the Queen and her family being on a visit, in the summer of 1855, to her Scotch residence, attended a church where Mr. Caird was the preacher. He repeated there the sermon we have just noticed, and which at its former deliveries, had given rise to no very remarkable celebrity. But the Queen and Prince Albert were charmed. The latter is well known to sympathize with German latitudinarians, and the former, whatever may be her personal views, may be pardoned for giving a governmental approval to a system so satisfactory in an industrial light as that which Mr. Caird promulgated. No monastic waste of energy hereno pietistic or mystical simmering away of the juices of the heart and softening of the muscles ! The manuscript was read by the Queen and the Prince aloud in their family, and of course was read, or at least claimed to have been read, by the whole court. Lord Palmerston, who had a short time before told the Scotch Assembly, in answer to a request that he would appoint a fast-day to keep off the cholera, that they had better keep their streets clean, was delighted at receiving from a Scotch pulpit something that he might cite as looking in the same direction. The Times itself, the great organ of English business, thundered forth its approval, and followed up the edict by issuing the sermon in a broadside. Then came a series of editions, great and small, plain and gilt, adapted to.
the boudoir, so as to teach the elegant to work when at their prayers, and adapted to the factory, so as to teach the laborer to pray when at his work. Hundreds of thousands of copies were sold. Five or six thousand dollars of copy-money were received; a sum, however, which was devoted by the author to the endowment of a female industrial school.
The sermon on “Religion in Common Life,” was followed a few months since by a collection of eleven which are now before us. Of these, four are on the evidences of natural and revealed religion; and the best we can say of them is, that they are fair expositions of the arguments they undertake to unfold, remarkable more for perspicuity and felicity of statement, than for force. It is otherwise when we approach what we conceive to be Mr. Caird's particular forte, that is, psychological analogy and illustration. As an example of this, observe the power with which, in the following passage, the self-ignorance of the sinner is explained on the ground of the slow and gradual way in which, in most cases, sinful habits and dispo. sitions are acquired :"
" Apart from any other consideration, there is something in the mere fact of the gradual and insidious way in which changes of character generally take place, that tends to blind men to their own defects. For every one knows how unconscious we often are of changes that occur by minute and slow degrees. If, for instance, the transitions from one season of the year to another were more sudden and rapid, our attention would be much more forcibly arrested by their occurrence than it now is. But because we are not plunged from mid-summer into winterbecause, in the declining year, one day is so like the day that preceded it, the day. light hours contract so insensibly, the chilly feeling infuses itself by such slight increases into the air, the yellow tint creeps so gradually over the foliage-because autumn thus frequently softens and shades away into winter by gradations so gentle, we scarcely perceive while it is going on, the change which has passed over the face of nature. So, again, how imperceptibly do life's advancing stages steal upon us! If we leapt at once from boyhood into manhood, or if we lay down at night with the consciousness of manhood's bloom and vigor, and waked in the morning to find ourselves gray-haired, worn, and withered old men, we could not choose but be arrested by transitions so marked. But now, because to-day you are very much the same man as yesterday-because, with the silent growth of the stature, the graver cares, and interests, and responsibilities of life gather so gradually around you; and then, when you reach the turning-point and begin to descend, because this year the blood circulates but a very little less freely, and but a few more and deeper lines are gathering on the face, than in the last; because old associations are not suddenly broken up, but only unwound thread by thread, and old forms and faces are not swept away all at once by some sudden catastrophe, but only Cropped out of sight one by one-you are not struck, you are not forced to think of life's decline, and almost unawares you may not be far off from its close.
"Now if we know that changes such as these in the natural world and in our own persons take place imperceptibly, may not this prepare us to admit that analogous changes, equally unnoted, because equally slow and gradual, may be occurring in our moral character, in the state of our souls before God? And with many I maintain that it is actually so. There is a winter of the soul, a spiritual decrepi. tude and death, to which many are advancing, at which many have already arrived, yet all unconsciously, because by minute and inappreciable gradations."
The following passage on the anticipatedness of Christ's sufferings as an element of His excessive sorrow, strikes us as extremely fine:
“One of the most obvious of these is, that all His sorrowings and sufferings were loog, ere their actual occurrence, clearly and fully foreseen. They were anticipated sorrows. Every calamity and affliction that awaited Him was disclosed' to Him in all its certainty and severity from the very commencement of His history, and the terrible anticipation of approaching evil accompanied Him through His whole career on earth. This, obviously, is one feature of the mournful history of Jesus, in which He stands alone-one condition of His earthly experience which must have lent a bitterness to His sorrows from which those of all other mortal sufferers are exempt. For need I remind you, what a great alleviation of the troubles and ills of life it is that, in the great majority of cases, they are unforeseen? In the ordinary arrangements of Providence, a veil of obscurity hides from us the threatening aspect of approaching evil, so that the happiness of the passing hour is not damp. ened, nor the severity of present sorrows increased, by the gloomy prospect of the future. Thus even the man on whom life's calamities and afflictions fall the thickest, is permitted to find in the very weakness and ignorance of our nature a refuge from its troubles; for while memory is gradually relaxing its hold of past evils, hope is left free to people the future with all fancied good. May I not appeal for confirmation of this to your own experience? There are few or none now hearing me who are not in greater or less degree acquainted with grief. Whether they came upon you in the form of personal sickness and pain, or of domestic trials and afflictions, or of sad and bitter bereavements, or of disappointments and reverses of worldly fortune, in whatever shape they came, you have all, I doubt not had your sorrows and troubles in life, and not one of you, but, if you live much longer, will in all probability have many more to encounter yet. But I be. seech you to consider how very much it would have added to the severity of any. trial through which you have passed, if you could have fully and certainly foreseen it long before it came. Not to speak of the petty vexations and trials that are matters of daily experience, and the anticipation of which would steal away much of the sunshine of life, think what has been the greatest sorrow of your past ex. istence. Perhaps there are not a few before me who can instantly lay the finger of memory on that spot, so black in the retrospect, where that dire bereavement, or that terrible and crushing blow of misfortune, fell suddenly upon them. Im. agine, then, that it would bave been to have been able, for long years and months before, to foresee its certain approach. With what heart could you have entered into that enterprise, so enthusiastically and perseveringly prosecuted, could you have anticipated the disastrous issue the frustration of your efforts, and disappointment of your fondest hopes ? Or when enjoying sweet intercourse with that much-loved friend, or looking forward, brimful of hope, to years of happiness in his society, what a stern interruption of your happiness and your visions had it beep, if the darkness had rolled away from the future of your life, and the hour been revealed close at hand, when that loved one would be torn from your side! And, need I add, to vivify this thought in your minds, that as with the past, so shall it be with the future experience of us all. There are, I doubt not, more than one or two in this assembly, happy, light-hearted, tranquil it may be, who, if they could but look into the secrets of one little year before them, would find their happiness sadly disturbed. Whom do you love most in this world ? In whose society and intercourse are you taking most delight? Who is that friend, that brother, or sister, or husband, or wife, or child, on whom your hopes and affections are chiefly centered, and from whom you would feel it would be agony to part? What if the irresistible conviction were forced upon your mind that, ere a few months have come and gone, that friend will be by your side no more, the anguish of separation will be gone through, and you will be left alone? Or what if I could single out one, or another, or more, among this auditory, and convey to them, by some mysterious yet irresistible means, the intelligence that on a certain day and month in the coming year they shall be hurried away from life by some painful and humiliating malady? Alas! with such a terrible prescience of evil resting on our souls, there would be fewer light hearts and happy homes amongst us to-night. Perhaps, these or similar events may actually be in reserve for some of us; but we know not what shall be on the morrow.' God has mercifully bid from us the future; and if such calamities await us, they do not disturb our present tranquillity, for they await us unknown."
Following the order adopted by us at the commencement of this notice, we come to the just-published volume of sermons of the late Dr. N. W. Taylor. These sermons, the editors tell us, were written during the period when Dr. Taylor was pastor of the Centre Church, New-Haven, before his entrance on the duties in the discharge of which he so much distinguished himself as a Theological Professor at Yale College. “Many of them” (the sermons here issued) “had reference to a state of deep religions interest in his congregation, with which his ministry was so frequently blessed. They were the productions of his youth, before he had attained the full maturity of his intellectual powers; and in their adaptation to the pulpit, are characterized by a rhetorical style in