תמונות בעמוד

which is most manifest in the optic nerve. * The organs of respiration are acted upon by the air, which gives us breath, and without which the system of life cannot long subsist.

“Thus it appears that life is preserved in the three several departments of the animal economy by the three elementary principles which govern the world. The heart is the proper residence of fire ; not of burning, but of vivifying fire. The head is the seat of light, which acts most sensibly in the organs of sight; but is diffused from the brain to all parts of the body. In the lungs is the proper residence of air ; the inspiration and respiration of which assist in the circulation of the blood : and if the heart be considered as a cistern, the lungs may be considered as a pump continually at work upon it. you

* Light considered merely as the mean of vision, may affect only the optic nerve; but considered in its scriptural sense as the efflux of the sun, and called 778 from its fluidity in opposition to 7w17 stagnation, it may affect the whole nervous system, and be to that system what air is to the lungs, or vivifying heat to the blood.

+ Eccles. xii. 6. which contains a striking allegorical description of the system of the nerves, blood-vessels, and organs of respiration, in the human frame, and of the offices of the heart and lungs. See Parkhurst on the root ya, &c.; and Dr. John Smith's Pourtrait of Old Age; wherein is contained a sacred anatomy both of soul and body; being a paraphrase of the six former verses of the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes. 1666." commenting on ver. 6. the Doctor proves that the Harvoan doctrine of the circulation of the blood, &c. was well known to the wise king of Israel, who was the author of Ecclesiastes,


“The three powers of nature are no where more conspicuous and wonderful than in the body of man; and what is still further to our purpose, they act together in unity; all conspiring to the same end, and keeping up one and the same life: neither of these can produce its effect without the other two. What can air do in the lungs, when the blood is no longer fluid with heat? And what will these two avail, unless there be sensation in the nerves ? that is, unless light gives information to the body, as information gives light to the mind.”

In the operations of spiritual life, as it existed in the soul of Adam before his fall, I can conceive of no priority or posteriority of action in the threefold agency by which it was produced and maintained. The life-giving influence of the Spirit, with the light and love which accompany it, were doubtless contemporaneous, and co-operative. But in the re-communication of that life to the dead soul of a sinner, there seems to be, at least in the first instance, a progressive order of operation. It is so in the recovery of suspended bodily vitality. The lungs are first set in motion by the re-introduction of vital air ; sensation is restored, occasioning agony to the patient in the conflict between life and death ; and at length circulation being renewed by warmth in the region of the heart, the vital heat is again conveyed to the extremities, so that the common demonstration of a healthy state re-appears in freedom of respiration, general sensation, and usual comfort. And is there not something analogous to this in the restoration of spiritual life? The Spirit of God excites commotion in the torpid conscience, quickening it to perform its appointed office. Information respecting the evil of sin and its remedy, is conveyed to the mind by Ilim who is emphatically called “THE LIGHT OF LIFE;"* and thus “the love of God the Father,"


* John viii. 12. What can the meaning of this phrase be, unless there exist a connexion between “ light” and “ life" as between cause and effect? That the light which Christ “the sun,” or wow, the light “ of Righteousness,” (Mal. iv. 2.) sheds on the soul, is not mere information but vital influence; cannot be doubted by those who enjoy it. It is connected with spiritual and eternal life; nay, it is that life. John xvii. 2. And surely analogy must imply that the material light, to which spiritual light is compared, must also be essential to corporeal life and health. Light however, as essential to life vegetable and animal, must be contrasted, not with the occasional and comparatively attenuated state, of the atmosphere during the night time of our hemisphere, or when the mean of vision is withdrawn; but with the gross darkness which preceded the production of light at the creation. To health and vigour, indeed, light as distinguished from common darkness, is indispensable, at least with respect to vegetable life. I was much struck with the account given by Capt. Parry, in the narrative of his expedition for the discovery of a North West passage, of the sallads which he raised by the fire in his cabin, during the period that all light from the heavens was excluded from it. It was perfectly white, or colourless. But as soon as a little light could with safety be admitted into the room, the plants turned their heads towards the part whence it came, and gra


the vivifying power of which is life here and health in the upper world, “is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost given unto us.” The life and health of the soul thus restored consist in the enjoyment of “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost."

Happy, my dear friend, was the state of our first parents before their fall. But how is the crown fallen from our heads! How is the fine gold become dim. Blessed be his name who has provided for our renewal “in the image of him who created us !” The nature and necessity of spiritual regeneration are so clear, that the former requires no further explanation, and that the latter needs not to be confirmed. “Ye must be born again.” If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” But oh! what a prospect opens before the regenerate soul in that future state for which grace is preparing it in the hospital of the Church below! Here, (if I may

dually, as light was more freely admitted, assumed their natural and healthful hue.

When St. John, chap. i. 3. asserts that in Christ, the Word,

was life, and that the life was the light of men;" he attributes to him vital influence as inherent in Him, and which is derived from Him, as a similar physical efflux, possessing a correspondent vital energy, flows from the sun. What is “ the light of life," but vivifying light; as the attribute of “ quickening" is elsewhere ascribed to water and bread.

again recur to analogical language) here, though life is restored and the soul breathes, with what obstructions has its respiration to contend! There it will breathe freely; for disease will be removed, and the atmosphere be suited to the full exercise of the functions of life. Here, though spiritual sensation exists, yet how blunted are its operations! There, its vision will be clear and distinct; its taste will be unvitiated, and a source of continual delight; its ear will receive and enjoy the song of thanksgiving; the odour of the Redeemer's name will be for ever fresh, and its effect perpetual extacy; while in the full possession of spiritual health, the soul will engage without weariness or interruption in the service of the Triune author of all its blessedness. The heart of the regenerate sinner is, even now, the seat of love to God, “because God hath first loved us." But how languid is that love! how often is its operation almost imperceptible, like the pulse during a paroxism of faintness. But there such paroxisms will be unknown. We shall “love the Lord our God,” JEHOVAH our ALEIM, with all our hearts, and minds, and souls, and strength. And I see no reason for denying that, during the eternity that is before us, the capacity of enjoyment, and the ability to love and praise, will be for ever increasing; as the source of that enjoyment and the object of that ability will eternally be disclosing itself to the enlarging minds of the beatified

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