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And who does not recognise that Ephraim is among them? How plain is it that an intellectual principle is being developed in the church in this our day, which not long ago was utterly unknown to its members! This principle is exercising a discriminating and an elective power which then would have been viewed with alarm, and spoken of as "the church in danger." All who are acquainted with the best-the thoughtful classes of our religious literature, know that great advancement has been made in Biblical criticism, and that great changes have been adopted in Biblical interpretation. For instance, the views once held concerning the early chapters of Genesis are now entirely abandoned by the learned, and although no new interpretations have been authoritatively declared, yet some progress is being made towards the discovery of the truth. Many other points, which for ages have stood immovable in the niches of inflexible orthodoxy, have become the subjects of earnest inquiry and debate, and not a few of them are passing away before the intellect that is advancing. Professors at Oxford and Cambridge, and at other seminaries for theological study, do not hesitate to give free expression to doubts and sentiments for which, a few generations ago, they would have been rewardad with the stake; and yet they are now regarded as open questions,-questions placed in the category of learned inquiry, and received as the result of the intellect which is asking for information and urging inquiry. Authority may say to it-" Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther," but it cannot enforce its dictum. Intellect is bursting the bonds which a mistaken theology has forged for its confinement, and it is making an effort to spring into liberty, and light, and life! And so the men of Ephraim are returning-some of the lost have been found!
We do not attach any higher value to these facts than they deserve. But surely they may be regarded as evidences that a new condition of intellect is being developed even in the professing church, notwithstanding it is hindered in its progress and perplexed in its activity by the dogmatic teachings which are retained. The true church, however, being a Divine institution of spiritual light, must have within it an intellectual principle, in order to accept and appreciate its teachings; and such we venture to say is the constitution and privilege of the New Jerusalem. In this dispensation all that is believed by its genuine members is seen to be a mental reality. That with which the mind has here to do is perceptible, comprehensive truths from the Word of God, and these enlarge, develope, and enlighten it. It is free in its inquiries, free in its utterances, free in its embracings: it is truth that makes it so,-truth which has God for its author, and heaven for its end; and
THE INTELLECTUAL PRINCIPLE OF THE CHURCH.
heaven, we may be assured, is a kingdom of freemen, for "where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty."
The cry of the watchmen on Mount Ephraim is-" Arise ye and go up to Zion to the Lord our God." As the watchmen on this mount represent those of the church who have an enlightened understanding of the truth, so to "arise" denotes the elevation of the will into the activity of goodness; this is the common signification of the term in the Word; and to "go up to Zion to the Lord our God," denotes progression towards that eminent love of which Zion is the type, and by which we may be so conjoined to our Heavenly Father that we may abide in Him, and His Word abide in us; in which case it is promised-"Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John xv. 7.)
But one of the means to this result is, that we must know Him: we cannot love what we do not know. In the Word great stress is laid upon the advantages of this knowledge. It is written—“ Behold, the days come" in which "they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord." (Jer. xxxi. 31-34.) Those who think that God cannot become an object of human apprehension, can have but little faith in the fulfilment of this prediction; and, therefore, upon this point they can be no wiser with a revelation than they would have been without it. But that is a mistake; the promise is intended to be realised, and we believe that the days have come in which the Lord is shewing us plainly of the Father. He whom the text points to as the "Lord our God" is one Lord. (Mark xii. 29.) He is called LORD in reference to His love, and GOD in reference to His wisdom; but these attributes can only be thought of in connection with the idea of a Divine Person, and, therefore, a revelation has been made to teach us who that Person is, and how we ought to think of Him. The Old Testament frequently points to a fuller revelation upon this subject than that which itself contains, and in the New Testament this is brought out with certainty and clearness. Therein we are expressly told that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh; that whoso saw Him saw the Father also; that He and the Father are one; that in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; that He is the true God and eternal life; that He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last; who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. God is in Christ: the Divinity must be thought of as being in the Humanity of Jesus; it is this Humanity which has brought Him forth to view. This is the final-this is the fully revealed idea of the Lord our God, it is an idea
of the Infinite presented to the finite; and who does not see that no other idea can be formed of Him but that Human idea revealed to us in the fact that He became flesh and dwelt among us? This idea of the Supreme is adapted to maintain its truth and loveliness in all the vicissitudes of human thought, and being founded upon His Word, it cannot perish, therefore the church in which it is acknowledged must endure for ever. He is the Father as to His essential Divinity, He is the Son as to His Divine Humanity, and He is the Holy Spirit as to those Divine influences by which He instructs and saves His people.
The Lord Jesus Christ, then, in His glorified Humanity, is the Lord our God, to whom the watchman upon the Mount Ephraim would direct us; He about whom the intellectual principle of the church will be full of interest, light, and love. The more deeply we inquire into this grand truth, the more thoroughly shall we have our faith enlarged respecting it. The knowledge of it began to be disclosed to the church when the intellectual principle of it began to be recovered; they were coeval acts in the Divine Providence. The doctrine was revealed when the Divine Judgment restored the capacities for perceiving it; and with this the descent of the New Jerusalem began. The knowledge of the Lord as the true light which enlighteneth every man who cometh into the world, is the highest, most valuable and interesting knowledge which can engage the attention of humanity on earth; and therefore the restoration of the intellectual principle to the church was a necessity for its reception, and indispensable for its appreciation.
The two general facts to which all these considerations tend, are that a new church has been commenced, with new knowledges concerning God, and with the restoration of an intellectual principle for its comprehension and acceptance. This knowledge and this principle constitute a centre of light and a source of power by which all the other teachings of this church will be influenced and exalted. The extent of this knowledge is by no means so great as it is capable of becoming, nor is the quality of this principle so pure and penetrating as that which will be experienced by society in its higher states of regeneration. They are progressing things, because the humanity to which they are addressed is of a progressive nature, and also because all things of the church are meant by its Divine Founder to aid this progress, and to lead mankind onwards to the security of those spiritual triumphs, and to the enjoyment of those eternal blessings of light, liberty, and love, with which genuine Christianity is intended to inspire its wise and devoted recipients.ΑΜΕΝ.
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE.
WHEN, therefore, we are told that the pursuit of happiness is the purpose of life, the object proposed to us is not definite until this preliminary question is answered,-" What happiness?" Nor does it. suffice to answer-"The greatest happiness of the greatest number," for this definition is, itself, not less in need of explanation. And since happiness refers rather to the consequences of action than to its essential quality, we are required, by such an object, to form an estimate of consequences near and remote, with all that risk of error attached to a fallible reason and a limited foresight. But were these things not so, to set up the pursuit of happiness as the purpose of life lowers the standard that should measure the spiritual and moral stature of men. True it is that no one can be indifferent to the serene delight that goes with him, when goodness is the moving power and wisdom the guide. Were that absent it is possible that goodness might languish for want of its true satisfactions, and the eye of wisdom grow dim, if uncheered by the hues of glory which heaven sheds over all its path. But these delights are conditions resultant from love and wisdom not their objects; and we speak now of that which should be the dominant purpose of a true life, and not of the states of feeling which are its
It may, indeed, be true that genuine happiness constantly evades him who pursues it for its own sake; and that perfect bliss is impossible to one whose chief purpose it is to enjoy, and so to regulate his conduct that he may enjoy. The element of selfishness in such a principle of action even when a course of outward moral rectitude forms part of the means to the end, removes it to a point indefinitely below the Christianity which teaches "to do good hoping for nothing again." And the introduction of that element is a limitation by so much of the capacity of enjoyment. For only in the fullest and freest exercise of our noblest powers of volition and thought is the highest happiness possible. But what we give is the measure of our capacity to receive. And he who without a thought looking backward to himself, pours out his whole powers of affection, thought, and action for others, he it is who can receive in fullest measure a noble, vigorous and abounding life. In him the pulse of a pure and lofty joy bounds highest. He widens, indeed, the sphere of his sympathies, and adds force to the outflow of his life precisely in the ratio in which selfishness is diminished. His
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE.
spirit sends out tentaculæ, as it were, to an ever-widening circle; and if, in the sensitiveness which comes of his vivid life, he feels acutely the sorrows of others, yet is there the large compensation of being able to exult in their joy. He lives not alone his own life; he lives in a sort the lives of all with whom his own life is linked. This is so because, giving no thought to his own happiness, caring not to pursue that which ever flies and eludes the pursuer, he thinks only of the good to be cherished in him and to be done about him. But your hunters after happiness get weariness of soul for the wages of their labour. And this the more as the soul narrows under the cramping influence of that selfishness which is inherent in the principle prompting to this pursuit.
If, however, this new gospel which teaches that we are to seek as the object of life the greatest happiness of the greatest number is condensed into a word that word is "utility." That is to deliver us from the strife of creeds which by the smoke and dust of their conflict darken the ways of plain and honest men. This word is to be the infallible touchstone at once of religion, morals, politics, and law. But we again ask for a definition of this utility which is to indicate infallibly what we are to do and avoid. For to us it appears that the word will convey to various minds ideas of every extent of difference up to the point of absolute opposition. For the conception of the useful like that of happiness is dependent upon the condition of mind and heart; and the words service. and disservice, useful and useless, may stand for precisely the same set of acts and objects when employed by different men.
If an angel were to explain to us his conception of the useful he would, no doubt, express himself in language quite Utopian to the very practical men of our day. He would tell us, perhaps, that life was given that so the love of God might find its satisfaction in the growth of man into His own image and likeness. That man to be receptive of this character must put away all the hindrances which evil and error, in heart and mind, present to its acceptance. That he must cultivate that goodness of heart and honest reception of the truth which will help his development to the full stature he was designed to reach. That life and the things of life are of use to him as they help him not to will, think or do that which he ought not, and to will, think and do that which he ought. That his body, goods, honour, influence, and his whole outward life are only of use as they promote these objects. That all dignities and powers, all riches, health, and outward good, are worthless things if they lead not to this goal and help his progress thither. That life is not, in such case, the less a failure utter and disastrous though the irreparable ruin be hidden beneath the pomp and show of rank and