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impersonal, transcendental, human impertinence, which patronizes Christianity and humors the idea of a personal God and a heavenly Father, are offered us in the place of the holy, tender, solemn, and awful faith communicated by the inspired and crucified Son of God. We should be ashamed to express, or to feel, any fear of the spread of such folly. It is too flat a denial of the very nature it professes to derive itself from. Our nature is the image of God; but our logical reasonings and deductions from parts of it are not entitled to any such name as the reflections of his being. If there be one thing which is true of human nature, it is the impossibility of bringing its parts, its witness, its testimony (at the present stage of its development), into a congruous and complete harmony. It is full of seeming inconsistencies and incoherencies. Like external nature about it, it is in process of building. We know no more what it shall be than the gigantic and amorphous inhabitants of the cooling globe knew, when the deep covered the whole earth, what this planet was to become. Our nature is full of open questions: it has within it experiences, all of which are real and indisputable, and which seem to contradict each other. Shall we say they do contradict each other because they seem to? Shall we say, because moral evil, of which we are as certain as of our being, seems to contradict the goodness. of God, of which we are equally certain, that it does contradict it? Or shall we modestly affirm both facts, and humbly wait a later and higher intelligence to reconcile what is beyond our present powers?

If there be any thing tedious, insufferable, and humiliating, it is the affectation of an absolute and final solution here below of the whole problem of our being and of God's being! All that vast and tender mystery in which we float is drained away as by some malign spirit, and we are left stranded on the barren sands of logic, and positive, finite knowledge! Safe in the vast, fathomless ocean of God's love and care, we sail by faith and not by sight, until some pilot who insists on hugging the shore of reality, steers us into soundings, and we feel our keel scraping the sands, or, more probably, bumping on the rocks. Does the bird feel more at home in his iron

cage than in the tree-top, swinging and swaying with the breeze? Is man any more content with a creed which he has put together with his reasoning faculties than with one that envelops him as the horizon that encloses his childhood's home? Gracious and blessed are the holy mysteries of the Christian faith; the unstatable nature of Christ, the ministry of the Comforter, the presence above us and yet with us, independent of us and yet native to us, of God's Spirit; the mystery of sin and pardon and redemption; the profound and awful mystery of evil; the authority of the Church; the unity and fellowship of believers with each other and with their Saviour, these are mysteries, not absurdities; simply above reason, not against it. For our part, they are dearer to us than life itself: they are our life. Without them the world would be a prison and existence a burden. They are the inspiration, support, and consolation, and they always have been, of the great body of Christian believers; and they will continue to be so. The pendulum of opinion will oscillate between an absolute dependence on revelation for all our knowledge of God, and an absolute dependence on intuition. We We are, in truth, dependent exclusively on neither: we need both, and we can allow each only such possession of us as is compatible with the presence of the other. Man is in the image of God, but God is still making him, and his chief instrument in the work is his divine Son. God's ways are known by us only so far as it is necessary to us to know them; but all that we do know are but parts of his ways. How faint is the whisper we have heard of him! who can stand before the thunder of his power? To pretend to understand even his moral being to perfection; to put our moral and spiritual nature into his throne, and reason from it as from absolute and complete knowledge, -is blasphemous presumption or silly conceit. Beyond the point of our limited faculties," his ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts." Let us adore what we cannot comprehend! Let us bow down and worship our Creator in the name of his holy child Jesus! Let us cling to the glorious, tender, humane revelation, which is the ladder let down from the gate of heaven, to lift us when our own

wings would weary and give out ere we could reach it! The Church is at the very foot of this ladder; and all the sweet and holy associations, suggestions, and inspirations of an historic Christianity; all the mystic truths, and gleams of celestial light and love, that break out of our symbols and creeds, the precious inheritance from the Christian past, are the angels ascending and descending, to assist our upward journey. This more than Jacob's ladder- this ladder of which Christ's cross and Christ's crook formed the beams and ties is our glorious heritage! Let us not despise it, nor neglect it, nor suffer it to be hidden away or stolen away! Let us use it ourselves with tender gratitude and fidelity, and do our part towards leading to it (for it can never perish nor move away) the feet of our children and our children's children.


Catalogue and Journal of the Eleventh Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. September and October, 1869. 4to, pp. 60.

THE Eleventh Exhibition of the Charitable Mechanic Association held the past month in Boston was, beyond question, the most brilliant and successful that has ever taken place: an index of the highest point which mechanical invention in this country, thus far, has reached. Visiting it was a duty as well as pleasure which every one, whatever his own occupation might be, who would study his age, and know something of one of the greatest forces at work in modern society, ought to have performed. It was a museum, not of the past merely, the strange garments worn by our sires, the relics and abnormal formations picked up in ancient cities, and the wilds of nature, the armor and utensils which barbarous nations may have used, but of the living present, the triumphs of art and genius, the wonders which are now being accomplished in the combination of Nature's forces into struc

tures that almost rival her own attainment; a museum of the world's working force to-day at the very summit of progress, not of the clumsy and castaway tools employed far back in its course. Specimens were there of the finest and most delicate fabrics of the loom; garments, with a maze of stitching which only the swift fingers of the sewing-machine, a seamstress with nerves and muscles of iron and steel, could ever have had the patience to insert; statuary, not to be despised, which a mere lathe, driven by a steam-engine, had carved; locks and bolts, such as might well induce burglars to turn honest men; musical instruments, which needed only touching to break forth into song; myriad utensils, for alleviating the labor and increasing the comfort of our daily household life; rakes and ploughs, reapers and mowers, written over with the promise of a new Eden to be won out of the earth; carriages, alike for adults and children, that seemed almost ready to start off of their own accord; steam-engines, whose finish and exquisite proportions placed them in the ranks of fine art; chromolithographs, which challenged the observer to tell how they differed from the original paintings at their side; photographs, not only of the human face, but of Nature's subtlest features, including that last fleeting wonder of the heavens, appearing only once in a generation, yet imprisoned here for all time, -every aspect of the great eclipse; machinery for cutting, pegging, and sewing shoes so swift, exact, and apparently intelligent, that one almost wondered some of it was not at Worcester the other day demanding its political rights; the great borer that is now solving, at the rate of ten feet a day, the long problem of the Hoosac tunnel; instruments, infallible as any gold-broker of New York, for reckoning up rates per cent; machines, of endless variety, able to take bars of iron, and turn and plane and cut them up into any needed shape as deftly and quickly as though they had been only bits of clay; specimens, in short, of all the countless operations which are going on, far and wide, in the great workshop of modern society. The visitor could hardly help coming out of its glitter and noise and confusion with many of his old notions about the supremacy of intelligent mind a good deal

disturbed. Machines are now produced which rival every department of human skill. No mortal hand can do what is accomplished by their metal fingers. Every motion that can be conceived of, has some way provided for its accomplishment. Combinations are made, by which one thing follows another, each in its exact time and place; bits of machinery coming in and doing their work, and helping each other, and getting out of the way so wisely and ingeniously as to suggest, with startling force, the idea of conscious life. Difficulties and pains and weariness, that bone and muscle encounter, disappear before their iron strength. Every kind of operation, whether it be the heading of a pin for a lady's ribbon, or the turning of a shaft weighing ten or a dozen tons for the walking-beam of a steam-engine, seems to be done with the same ease, patience, and unfailing precision.

What is the moral significance of all these inventions, and of the countless others of which the world is now so full? what the connection that such an exhibition has with man's religious and spiritual growth? These are questions which the visit among them suggests naturally to the thoughtful mind. There seems, at first glance, to be nothing wider apart in this world than religion and machinery, - the gospel of Christ and the steam-engine, the Church and the workshop. The one deals with spirit, the other with matter; the one is of heaven, the other of earth; the one moves with the breath of God, the other with wind and steam and water. We use the word mechanical as the very opposite of what is intelligent, spiritual, dynamic. Poetry, music, painting, sculpture, philosophy, perhaps science, these seem natural associates of faith; but greasy machines, spinning, turning, shoemaking, chandlering, carpentering, what have these to do in the company of such a heavenly visitor? what common aim or principle? And accordingly poets, preachers, artists, and philosophers are put in one class as workers for man's higher being; and mechanics, artisans, inventors in another, that of workers merely for bodily wants.

It is a false distinction, a groundless opposition. Machinery is a gospel worker: its oil a chrism from God anointing it

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