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the mind, like that of Moses who " was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians;” or of Daniel, who “was cunning in all knowledge, skilled in the understanding of science, and had ability to stand in the king's palace; or of Paul, whose strong traits of intellect and whose various attainments, sanctified by the grace and Spirit of God, gave him an eminence, even among the apostles, which will make his influence to shine with the brightest radiance to the latest time.
Let no one, then, attempt the profane task of separating the knowledge of the physical sciences, the knowledge of human nature, and the knowledge of God. They rise, indeed, in importance, one above another; but they are all wedded by the closest and most interesting ties. Look, for example, at the analogies of nature. Surveying the material universe, we find that all the works of God harmonize with each other, and that each is essential to the completeness of the whole. Throughout the planetary systems, every thing is combined and dependent. The very elements of nature are composed of properties which, if even one were missing, would be ruinous. Every separate class of objects, from the most minute to the most grand, is but a successive link in the chain of existence.
The same analogy prevails in the nobler attributes of man. The laws which regulate the agency of matter are applicable to the operations of mind, and to the whole of our complex nature. If God has endowed us with a nature composed of various powers, such as memory, judgment, reflection, imagination, affections, conscience, all these may be cultivated together. For, as the beauty of the natural world consists much in that variety which is produced by objects adapted to different purposes; so does the beauty and happiness of civil society and of individual character, depend, in no small degree, upon the just proportion and general harmony which the different parts of our intellectual and moral nature bear to each other. And thus also, as beauty in painting, architecture or poetry, in natural or artificial scenery, consists much in the parts being so adjusted, as to contribute to that general effect which is the apparent object of the work, so the beauty and utility of a particular character are greatly heightened and enhanced, when all its parts are harmoniously developed, and all are discovered to be subservient to that object for which the great author of life intended them. Moreover, there is a reciprocal influence of mind and morals, and of science and religion, in promoting the power of both. Religious sentiments are to the intellectual, what the sun is to the natural world. Take away these, -and the principle of life which warms and invigorates, purifies and cheers, is destroyed. Mind, it is true, may exist; its operations may go on; but under serious disadvantages. A man who is influenced by pious motive and sanctified affection, will labor, cateris paribus, with double the success of him who is not thus influenced. The intellect of the latter is comparatively wayward and disordered. It has no motive adequate to the development of all its energy. Hence the feebleness of the atheistical philosophy. “They who do not love religion,” says Mr. Burke, “hate it. The rebels to God abhor the author of their being. He never presents himself to their thoughts, but to menace and alarm them. They cannot strike the sun out of heaven; but they are able to raise a smouldering smoke, that obscures him from their eyes.” And what intellect can labor advantageously under such circumstances? How can the mind of man be truly free, but by being relieved of these oppressing clouds ?' Night obstructs its vision, till, made pure, it sees and loves the Infinite Purity which before it hated. Then first the light of glorious day breaks on the soul. Then
“Nature, throwing wide
Religion brightens and strengthens the intellect. Men that were profoundly ignorant of almost every thing, as soon as they know, and know no more, their Bible true”—often evince, in a very short time, the most surprising intellectual advancement. What has brightened and expanded their minds, given them such fertility of invention, such richness of imagination, such correctness of judgment, such power of thought, and such felicity of expression, but religion? This is obvious to all; and whether, therefore, we consult the well known principles of our nature, or our actual observation, the inference will return upon us, that whatever amends the heart improves also the intellectual powers, and that these are not capable of their perfect development and action without religion to bring them out. This is the spring of all intellectual improvement, the source of all mental energy. No one is capable of putting forth all his strength, until having his mind linked with the divine mind, he feels an intimate and filial communion with the Father of spirits; rises in noble independence of all interested and personal aims; regards himself as an accountable and immortal being, and lives not for himself and for time, but for God and eternity. The conceptions of such a mind are clothed in forms which the dimness of an earthly eye cannot see. Glowing, glorious thoughts are there, pervading the soul like sunshine. It travels into the distant, the vast, the infinite, and kindles with the love of the perfect and the pure, the true and the eternal. This principle is superior to all other intellectual incentives. The conceptions of the classic authors rose only to Jupiter and to other imaginary deities,-beings to whom were attributed human passions, infirmities and lusts. Of the future, they had no adequate conception; and consequently, whatever excellencies their writings may have had in other respects, they partook of the grovelling character of their mythology.
They were neither rich nor noble, because they did not recognize the immortality of the soul. If there is an exception to this remark, it is in such men as Cicero, whose "aliquid immensum infinitumque" was the sole secret of the most splendid displays of his genius; and Socrates, to whose extraordinary illumination and independence on the subject of religion, we are indebted for his just and sublime philosophy. But how different is the Christian! He has before his mind the habitual contemplation of an ever-present God, possessed of the most endearing and exalted attributes; a being, whose character gives splendor to all that is fair, subordinates to itself all that is great, and enthrones itself on the riches of the universe. Besides this, he has before his mind eternity, not dimly discovered, but brought clearly to light by the gospel. Thus it is that the intellect, when disengaged from the heavy mists of sensuality, tends upward to its Parent Intellect; the power that pervades it comes from VOL. XI.-NO. XLI.
the Supreme Power ;—the communion which it holds is the communion with the infinite and Eternal One; and the light which it sheds abroad is an emanation from the throne of God. The union of education and religion promotes our happiness. Superior intellectual gifts and attainments are insufficient to procure it. It does not spring from the splendid creations of fancy, or the deep researches of science. But it is the portion of the man who, in cultivating his intellect, subjects it to the discipline of his Creator. Wayward though it be, the power that regulates it is infallible and divine. If he looks to “the Father of lights," its darkness and doubts flee away. If he seeks for hidden treasure, for the choicest gems of literature, he finds them in the page of eternal truth. If he catches the inspiration of the Muse, his harp vibrates with tones of sweeter harmony, when he strikes it to holy themes. Every effort of his mind, when made in dependence upon the Supreme Mind, is adorned with the stamp of beauty and the glow of love.
Learning has borne such fruits in other days
And the attainments of learning are auxiliaries of rational enjoyment. We know, indeed, that happiness may, and, perhaps oftener than elsewhere, does dwell with the humblest cottager,-of whom it may be said that
Knowledge to his eyes its ample page,
Yet we cannot but think that intellectual culture would render a pious cottage still more happy. We have been accustomed to associate an imaginary pleasure with the keeping of flocks and other rural occupations. Some have even contended that happiness is the offspring of ignorance, as ignorance is said to be the mother of devotion. But nothing is more fanciful. Every man's sources of enjoyment are within himself; and, as no change of condition can essentially alter them, it is necessary only that they should be touched aright, to make them send forth their
refreshing streams over the soul. He who keeps the energies of his mind enchained, and the affections of his heart frozen, nor once lays them open to the genial influences of education, can never improve,-can never be truly happy. It is from contact with thoughts and characters elevated above the common standard, that we derive cultivation. Thus the mind is formed insensibly to dignity and virtue. But he who seeks no communion with superior intelligence, whom neither the influences of science nor religion have raised above the low level of sensuality, is a stranger to rational and substantial pleasure. In order, therefore, to be happy, we must add to our virtue knowledge; we must think and investigate. We must improve in every element of Christian character, and every practicable department of useful learning. It is the exercise of our faculties and affections that gives them a healthful tone ;-and our happiness, agreeably to this law of our nature, will be in proportion to the perfection which they attain.
S. P. H.