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that serious, modest, and somewhat scrupulous temper, which is generally allied to the best graces of Christianity. Yet the reality of those blessed communications which descend in prayer upon the humble and fervent suppliant; is in no manner rendered doubtful by the possibility of mistaking them. These are guaranteed to us by the faithfulness of the Revelation of God; and they have been authenticated, in every age, by the testimony of the most pious and spiritual Christians. Let us earnestly endeavour so“ to watch unto prayer," that we may enjoy also the rational evidence of our own experience. Religion does not merely enjoin duties; it communicates privileges; it imparts blessings. The Apostle of the Gentiles prayed for his converts, “ that they might be filled with all joy and peace in believing ;—that they might abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” St. Peter appealed to the experience of believers," if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” The beloved Disciple declared, “Verily our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” There is a practical conviction of the reality of heavenly things, “a sober certainty of bliss,” which exceedingly differs from that general, though undisputing assent to the great truths of Revelation, with which we are far too willing to rest satisfied. In the ordinary economy of Providence, it is the reward of a diligent inquiry into the will of God, and persevering activity in his service. It is especially the fruit and the reward of Prayer; and if no other duties
or advantages connected themselves with that blessed exercise, this would certainly be sufficient to render it the delight of every experienced Christian. For what can be more truly desirable than to attain to a perception of that light and peace, which in their full measure belong to a higher condition; what more excellent than that occupation which connects the service with the enjoyment of God, the duties of this life, with the glories of a better? :
te sie ihn, ON HUMILITY,
THERE is a passage in the Offices of Cicero, where that extraordinary writer is led by the course of his subject to contrast for a moment, the stern and masculine virtues which the Ancients arranged under the head of Fortitude, with those milder graces which they assigned to the class of Temperance. Meekness, or lowliness of character, was included in this latter description; and the philoso. pher ventures to express a doubt (though it is only a doubt), whether the decided pre-eminence usually attributed to the class of Fortitude, might not be more questionable than moral writers had been accustomed to imagine.
Truth has in general stolen gradually upon mankind; and, like the day, has been visible in imperfect glimpses and flashes of light before the full orb has appeared above the horizon, What the Roman philosopher faintly saw and timidly suggested, (so faintly that it appears in no sensible measure to have influenced his theories ; so timidly that perhaps a similar intimation might be sought for in vain among all his other volumes,) Christianity plainly affirmed, and most distinctly promulgated. And such has been the progress of knowledge in this
department, such is at present the concurrence of opinion among thinking men, that one of the ablest advocates* of Revealed Religion has enumerated among the characteristic features which establish its Divine Original, the declaration of a truth, which, even in au advanced age of the Heathen learning, Cicero barely ventured to intimate.
Of the virtues which the Ancient Philosophy somewhat slighted, aud which Christianity studiously exalts, Humility and Benevolence are certainly the most considerable; in their nature the most excellent, in their operation the most extensive. To the first of these I propose to devote the present paper; and I may perhaps hereafter find an occasion to offer a few remarks on the second.
The moral character which we now agree in attributing to Humility, does not depend exclusively on the discoveries which Revelation has opened ; nor does its value solely rest on the authority of the sacred writings, and the exalted station there assigned to it. This virtue is indisputably a part of Natural Religion. It is a plain result from those truths which were capable of being discovered, as they are plainly demonstrable, without the intervention of miraculous assistance. Every theory, not absolutely atheistical, which admits the existence of a God, and supposes the dependence of the creature on the Creator, necessarily implies the obligation of Humility ; of that modest and lowly disposition,
which these simple and primitive relations render manifestly becoming in a being such as Man. Wbether we consider the immeasurable distance wbich separates us from the great Author of the universe, or reflect on our absolute dependence upon bis bounty : whether we raise our eyes to contemplate the majesty, the power, and the perfections of God; or direot them within and around us, to trace the vestiges of human weakness, and survey the monu, ments of human folly; one sentiment must continually press on every just and reflecting mind ;= a sentiment of self-abasement; a feeling of imbecility; a consciousness of unimportance: a deep and growing amazement at the wonders which surround us; a conviction that God is every thing, and map nothing,
It would have been happy if this truth had been as universally recognized in practise, as it is in theory natural and obvious, The most eminent among the opposers of Revelation have not ordinarily commenced their speculations, wherever they may have ended them, with questioning the existence of God, or the moral government of the universe. These are tenets which the enemies, as well as the advocates of Christianity, have generally treated as indisputable; and though a few of the hardier and more acute disputants, vexed with the consequences which pressed upon them, or confounded by their own presumption, have ventured ultimately to assail the foundations of all Religion, there can be no doubt that a large majority of those who have re