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whose nature is corrupt, understand what is perfectly pure and holy?
Man, therefore, cannot, by any exertion of his natural powers, obtain an adequate acquaintance with the doctrines of the gospel. He is not only averse from them, but he is absolutely incapable of receiving them. It will scarcely be denied, that, if these doctrines were properly known, such is their manifest excellence, that they could not fail to guide the conduct of those who hear them. But this, it is evident, is not the fact, whence it results that ignorance is the impassable bar, which prevents the universal operation of the Christian religion upon the hearts and lives of men,
To remove this ignorance is the work of that creating Power, by which man was originally formed. He who has given us natural life, can alone give us spiritual life. His Holy spirit ordinarily commences this work, by exciting a spirit of inquiry, in relation to the things of religion, which will not let the subject of it rest, until he has obtained a knowledge of the object of his search, Henceforth, the gratification which was formerly sought and found, in the things of earth, only, is experienced in a much greater degree, in communion with God, and in anticipations of eternal happi
These new enjoyments, while they moderate indulgence in the pleasure of this world, add to such as are lawful to the Christian, a zest which he never before experienced. Life acquires a new interest from the higher hopes and aims which religion inspires, and a satisfaction, hitherto unknown, is felt in the performance of every duty.
We add an extract from this sermon of Dr. Chalmers as specimens of his style and manner.
Now, we would ask what kind of conception is that which a man of entire faculties may form? Only grant us the undeniable truth, that he may understand how he cannot discern the things of the Spirit, unless the Spirit reveal them to him; and yet with this understanding, he may not be one of
those in behalf of whom the Spirit had actually interposed with his peculiar office of revelation; and then you bring into view another barrier, no less insurmountable than that which fixes an immutable distinction between the conceptions of an idiot and of a man of sense, even that wonderful barrier which separates the natural from the spiritual man. You can conceive him struggling with every power which nature has given him to work his way through this barrier. You can concieve him vainly attempting, by some energies of his own, to force an entrance into that field of light where every object of faith has the bright colouring of reality thrown over it, where he can command a clear view of the things of eternity,—where spiritual truth comes home with effect upon his every feeling and his every conviction,-where he can expatiate at freedom over a scene of manifestation, which the world knoweth not,-and breathe such a peace, and such a joy, and such a holiness, and such a superiority to time, and such a devotedness of all his affections to the things which are above, as no man of the highest natural wisdom can ever reach, with all his attention to the Bible, and all the efforts of his sagacity, however painful, to unravel, and to compare, and to comprehend its passages. And it is indeed a deeply interesting object to see a man of powerful understanding thus visited with an earnest desire after the light of the gospel, and toiling at the entrance with all the energies which belong to him,-pressing into the service all the resources of argument and philosophy,-mustering, to the high enterprise, his attention, and his conception, and his reason and his imagination, and the whole host of his other faculties, on which science has conferred her imposing names, and laid before us in such a pompous catalogue, as might tempt us to believe, that man, by one mighty grasp of his creative mind, can make all truth his own, and range at pleasure over the wide variety of her dominions. How natural to think that the same powers and habits of investiga-. tion which carried him to so respectable a height in the natural sciences will enable him to clear his way through all the darknesses of theology. It is well that he is seeking, for if he persevere and be in earnest, he will obtain an interest in the promise, and will at length find:--but not till he find, in the progress of those inquiries on which he entered with so much alacrity, and prosecuted with so much confidence, that there is a barrier between him and the spiritual discernment of his Bible, which all the powers of philosophy cannot scale,-not till he find, that he must cast down his lofty imaginations, and put the pride of all his powers and all his pretensions away from him,-not till he find, that devested of those fancies which deluded his heart into a feeling of its own sufficiency, he must become like a little child, or one of those babes to whom God reveals the things which he hides from the wise and from the prudent--not till he find, that the attitude of self dependence must be broken down, and he be brought to acknowledge that the light he is aspiring after, is not created by himself, but must be made to shine upon him at the pleasure of another,--not in short, till humbled by the mortifying experience that many a simple cottager who reads his Bible and loves his Saviour has got before him, he puts himself on a level with the most illiterate of them all, and prays that light and truth may beam on his darkened understanding from the sanctuary of God.'
We think our readers will perceive, from the preceding extract, that Dr. Chalmers is a man of no ordinary powers, as a writer. His sentences, it is true, are rather too long, and are sometimes inelegantly formed, by the frequent recurrence of a conjunction, or a dash. His style is flowing, and evinces considerable force of reason, and of imagination, together with a certain elegance of taste, acquired by the study of polite literature.
As a literary composition, we think this sermon bears evident marks of haste. The author appears to have been warmed with his subject, full of matter, and to have written rather for the pulpit, than the press.
(To be Continued.)
ART. VI.-A Treatise on Adulteration of food and culinary poisons; exhibiting the fraudulent sophistications of bread, beer, spirituous liquors, tea, coffee, cheese, &c. and method of detecting them. By Frederick Accum, &c. London, 1820. Republished by A. Small, Philadelphia.
[This little work may, in London, be very useful, and wherever meat and bread are eaten, and wine is drunk, or physic taken must be interesting. We cannot help fearing however, that the distinguished chemist has been labouring unwittingly, io aid of fraud rather more than for its detection. For one reader that is taught how to avoid adulterated food, ten will have occasion to regret that Mr. Accum has furnished the dishonest venders with so complete a manual, and guide in the manufacture of the most cunningly devised poison. It is, however, whether fortunately or not, presented to the American public. And we consult our own ease, and the amusement of our readers at the same time in presenting them with the remarks and analysis made by the editors of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, instead of any detailed observations of our own.
There is Death in the Pot.
II. KINGS-CHAP. VI. VERSE XI.
We bless our stars that a knowledge of the art of cookery does not constitute any part of our acquirements. We are so thoroughly convinced a priori of the disgusting character of its secrets, and the impurity of its details, that we are quite sure a more intimate acquaintance with them would have embittered our existence, and have destroyed for ever the usual healthy tone of our stomach. We inake it a point, therefore, uniformly, to lull our suspicions, and to discuss
any savoury dish that may be placed before ns, without asking any questions about its ingredients. It is really much more agreeable to be allowed quietly to mistake a stewed cat for a rabbit, than to be made post factum, accessaries to the deception. When we have finished our salad, we are by no means anxious to receive any proof, however clear, that it was seasoned with a preparation of whale's blubber instead of Florence oil. And we should consider ourselves under a very trifling obligation to any“ damned good-natured friend,” who should take the trouble of demonstrating that the reindeer tongue, which gives so pleasant a relish to our breakfast, had been recently abstracted from the jaws of some distempered poodle. Misfortunes of this kind, it is impossible for human sagacity to prevent, while they are perhaps too grievous for human patience to bear. Our best refuge, therefore, is our ignorance, and where that alone constitutes our happiness, surely we must agree with the poet, that it is indeed folly to be wise.
Mr. Accum, it appears, is one of those very good-natured friends above alluded to, who is quite resolved not to allow us to be cheated and poisoned as our fathers were before us, and our children will be after us, without cackling to us of our danger, and opening our eyes to abysses' of fraud and imposition, of the very existence of which we had until now the good fortune to be entirely ignorant. His book is a perfect death's head, a memento mori, the perusal of any single chapter of which is enough to throw any man into the blue devils for a fortnight. Mr. Accum puts us something in mind of an officious blockhead, who, instead of comforting his dying friend, is continually jogging him on the elbow, with such cheering assurances as the following: I am sorry there is no hope; my dear fellow, you must kick the bucket soon. Your liver is diseased, your lungs gone, your bowels as impenetrable as marble, your legs swelled like door posts, your face as yellow as a guinea, and the doctor just now as.