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enhances its importance, without diminishing the certainty of its historic verities. If Americans should be perpetuated distinctively as such for two thousand years, and keep up without failure, the observance of the Fourth-of-July and the reading of the Declaration, would it not be an irresistible argument at that advance period of time in favor of the historic events commemorated thus on the Fourth-of-July, and which we know to be verities, and not fables or myths ? An argument of the same kind is easily constructed out of our holy sacrament, but I need not dwell on it.
And finally, it is, in every way, proper to have our resting places in the wilderness—our monumental piles, in remembrance of God's mercies. It is thus that we honor Him, encourage His people, and strengthen our own faith. In traveling through the wilderness, or across a dreary desert, it is some relief to find signs, or traces, or proofs, that other human beings, like ourselves, have gone successfully through the same; just so, as we are journeying on through the world, we may draw great comfort from the monuments that God's people have left behind, proclaiming His faithfulness and loving-kindness. These monuments are stones of help-Ebenezers, where we should raise our notes of praise, and shout back encouragement to the weary and fainting that are behind—but all our way is not desert. Here and there a table is spread for us in the presence of our enemies. Here and there an oasis is found for refreshment and social intercourse. Here and there mountain hights are gained, from which we may see the promised land. The church of God is not always in storms. There are periods of gladsome sunshine.
GLORY BEGUN BELOW.
Believers have some sweet interchanges of joy amid their warfare. The grapes of Eschol, in rich clusters, are sometimes found in the desert way, even before they enter upon their endless triumph.
"The men of grace have found
Glory begun below,
From faith and hope may grow.
The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets,
Or walk the golden streets.
Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry,
To fairer worlds on high.”
FLOWERS FROM THE TOMB.
" That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not one life shall be destroy'd,
Or cast as rubbish to the void,
LORD Bacon had more confidence in the justice of posterity, and of distant nations, than in his own times. And time, that proves all things, has justified his confidence. It is a curious fact, and, in some degree, an illustration of his opinion, that we are much more indebted to the tombs of Egypt, than to the sculptures of its other public buildings, for a knowledge of the occupations, customs, and domestic life of its ancient inhabitants. The same remark is true of the ancient Persians. From themselves we have scarcely anything, except their monumental inscriptions, and they were lost—buried under the whirring sands and rubbish of centuries—until within a few years; yet it is to these inscriptions, and to foreigners, that we are indebted for our knowledge of the Persian Xerxes and Cyrus.
As life shows itself in living, so do true principles flower into practice. Every truth revealed in Holy
Scripture, has a practical tendency. The doctrines of the Bible are not mere abstract dogmas, to be retained, in all the clearness and coldness of moonlight, in the head, but warm, living, life-giving, like the grace of God, which teaches us to live godly, denying all worldly lusts. It is God's plan, in His word, to teach us principles—the system of Divine truth the most suitable for us to know-by examples. There are several ways of teaching moral and religious truth, namely: The dogmatic, or scholastic method; and the scientific, or inductive; and, thirdly, the illustrative method, or teaching by examples. If the first chapter of the
. Bible had begun with the proposition logically stated, after the manner of the schools: There is a Supreme Being, whose name is God; and then, if the proofs had been arranged in orders and classes, we should have had the existence of God stated and proved in a dogmatic manner. But this is not the method of the Bible. It begins by assuming that there is a God, and describes some of His works. So far, however, as we are taught, by the sacred writers, to argue from effect to cause, from the works and revelations of God, that there is a Supreme Being, just so far we are taught, in the Bible, to find the existence of God proven by scientific reasoning. But it is plain, to all who read the word of God, that its manner of teaching truth is chiefly by examples. The historical and inductive method of unfolding Divine truth, is the one chiefly pursued by the sacred writers, and, to most minds, this is the most interesting and convincing method that can be pursued. The scholar learns to write more easily by seeing his master write, and then by copying after him, than by