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If, then, there were a system which professed to be able to renew our nature, and to restore us to our original purity, we should most confidently expect that the disciples of such a system should follow virtue, not from any selfish principle, but simply and solely for her own sake. There is such a system, by which these expectations have been fully realized,-even the system of evangelical Christianity. We know that it has been asserted, that here, too, self-love is the actuating motive; that the disciples of this system are influenced in their conduct by the hope of reward, and the fear of punishment; but if we rightly understand this system, the assertion is most false. It is true that the evangelical system makes its first appeal to our self-love, or otherwise it could not have been adapted to depraved and selfish creatures; but it is equally true that the virtue to which it leads, is of the most pure and disinterested nature. The way in which this is accomplished, is, we think, well illustrated, in the case of that young man who was couched for a cataract in the beginning of the last century, and whose case so much interested the philosophers of Europe. To induce him to submit to the operation, his friends told him of the loveliness of scenery, and of the pleasure to be derived from gazing on beautiful objects.-Such reasoning had no effect, he could form no conception of beauty; they were in fact addressing a special affection which did not exist. An appeal was made to his self-love, he was told of the advantages to be derived from reading, and this we are told, proved effectual. And thus it is that the gospel addresses itself to man. It might tell him of the loveliness of virtue, and the deformity of vice; and well do we know that such reasoning

would prove utterly powerless. True, he has a faculty for perceiving moral beauty, just as the blind man has an eye; but as in his case, too, there is a thick film spread over it. True, the most depraved of our race can distinguish virtue from vice, and perceive a rightness in the one, and a wrongness in the other, just as many blind people can tell the light from the darkness; but just as they cannot perceive that harmonious variety of color and shade which constitutes the loveliness of natural scenery; so cannot the unrenewed mind perceive that which is so emphatically termed the beauty of holiness. The same appeal which proved effectual in the case of him who was blind, is also effectual in the case of fallen man,-an appeal to self-love. The Bible can tell him of the future punishment of sin, and to the whispers of his own conscience it can add the voice of its authority, in telling him that he is a sinner:-it can constrain him to cry out, "What shall I do to be saved?" and to such a question it can give a most satisfactory answer. If he is thus led to accept of its terms, he no sooner does so, than the film which obscured his moral vision is removed. He is now in some degree restored to the lost image of the Godhead, and can therefore perceive an independent beauty in virtue, and an independent deformity in vice. It is not now, we conceive, from the hope of heaven, or the fear of hell, that he is virtuous;-it is because he loves holiness, that he follows after it;

-it is because he hates sin that he flees from it; -his attachment to the one, and his recoil from the other, will still continue to strengthen: and even now, all weak and imperfect as they are, do they proceed from a principle similar to that which determines the choice of Deity himself.

Little do they understand the evangelical system who urge against it the plea that the virtue of its disciples is a virtue of selfishness. So far is this from being the case, that let but self-love be the principle that regulates our conduct,―let but the hope of reward, and the fear of punishment be all that prompts us to virtue, and the reward itself will never follow. Some there have been, who from this principle have refrained from many of the vices, and even from many of the innocent enjoyments of life,-who have been ingenious in inventing self-torments here, that they might escape eternal punishment hereafter; but yet, is the character of such virtue, and the final judgment which shall be passed upon it, most truly described by the poet, when he exclaims,

"What is all righteousness that men devise?
What, but a sordid bargain for the skies?
But Christ as soon would abdicate his own,
As stoop from heaven to sell the proud a throne."

While engaged in these interesting exercises of his academical course and in the prosecution of his plans of usefulness he was called to sustain a painful trial, in the death of his youngest brother. Nothing of this kind had before occurred within his knowledge, in the family. He was suddenly summoned to Perth; and after spending a few days by the dying bed of his brother, and endeavoring to interest his mind in religion, he returned to St. Andrew's, as the nature of the complaint left very uncertain how long his brother might continue. On being informed of his death he wrote to his father and mother, as follows:


St. Andrew's, January 17, 1825.

My dear Parents;

It is a remark which I have somewhere heard, that God tries to bring us to himself by mercies; but if this has not the effect, he makes use of trials. Like the affectionate father of rebellious and disobedient children, he tries to win us by his love; and it is only our obstinate perseverance in our own ways which forces him to use the rod. It is true, that our very afflictions are signs of God's love towards us; for, "whom he loveth he chasteneth." But it is equally true, that they are signs of his displeasure. We, as a family, have long been favored with every blessing; and it becomes us to ask, if we have been as grateful and as obedient as became the children of so many mercies. A serious review of the past, will make us wonder that our Father has been so long-suffering; that he has withheld his chastening hand so long. It becomes us, then, to repent of our unthankful and repining disposition, and to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.

It is a joyful thing, that, in the time of affliction, God does not hide his face from us, nor remove us far from him. But it is the very end of all our trials to bring us to himself by drying up our channels of happiness, to lead us to the spring from whence those channels were supplied; by breaking the cisterns which we have hewed out for ourselves, to lead us to the fountain of living


I think I may say, "it has been good for me to be afflicted;" it has driven me to the Bible, and to a throne of grace, as the only consolations; and

never did the truths of the gospel appear more precious. My Christian friends here have been very attentive to me, and seem to have sympathised with me in earnest.

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This is certainly a warning to each of us, to be also ready; a solemn exhortation to be active in the cause of Christ; and whatever our hand finds to do, to do it with all our might; knowing that there is no knowledge nor device in the grave whither we are fast hastening.

I am anxious to know what impression this solemn event has made on the minds of my yet remaining brother and sister. Death can sometimes affect the soul which has been unmoved by the most solemn admonitions, and the most impressive eloquence. I am very sorry that it is out of my power at present to write to them.

The ways of God are very mysterious. Had I been here during the Christmas holidays, I could, in all probability, have got a situation, which would have enabled me to support myself, and even, in a year or two, to have given you some assistance. It was a situation as tutor in a very pious family in England. I had been recommended as a fit person for the place, but as it had to be occupied immediately, it was given to another, who is there by this time. From all the accounts I got of it, seemed a place where I could have been very happy; and I could not help feeling disappointed. But it is a happiness to think that it is a gracious Father that overrules all things; and that he does all things well.

Your very

affectionate son.

P. S. Give me a more full account of the latter part of my poor brother's illness,

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