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out the past, and to begin a new account with them, and to receive them as though they had not sinned at all.
But the renewal of this sacrifice and ceremony every year, shows, as the apostle says, how ineffectual it was in putting away sin, or the disposition to it. There was no moral power in the form,--nothing that could affect or win the heart. The live goat led into the wilderness could no more take away sin, than the blood of the slain goat. They were simply an acknowledgment of the righteousness of the law, and of the obligation to obey it.
And here again the argument of Paul in Hebrews takes effect, and by contrast shows the superiority of Christ's sacrifice. He removes, puts away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and does it effectually,~not by exhibiting the sternness of the lawgiver, or the unyielding rigor of the law, but by displaying the infinite and everlasting love of the Father. And this is not for one people only, but for the whole world. He is "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” Not in part, but entirely ; for 6 the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin." Not for a year only, but for all time; for 6 after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, he for ever sat down on the right hand of God; and we are sanctified once for all through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.”
So greatly superior is the sacrifice and atonement of our great High-Priest and Saviour; and so marked are the special differences, notwithstanding the general resemblance, between the priesthood of Aaron and of Jesus.
And to the glorious result set forth in this epistle, all Scripture points. The prophet declares it in the very passage which represents him as bearing our iniquities; for, says the man of God, “ he shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied, ::.. the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
Nothing will satisfy the Lamb of God but the putting away of the sin of the world, for “ he gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity," and "he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." And this is the pleasure of the Lord which shall prosper in his hand : “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell ; and having made peace by the blood of his cross, by him
to reconcile all things unto himself.” Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In whom we have redemption, through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him."
Thus the pleasure and the purpose of the Lord, the sacrifice and atonement, the travail, desire, and satisfaction of Christ, and the deliverance of all souls from sin, unite all on one point, and shed the splendors of the celestial world on the love of God to man, as displayed in the perfected plan of universal holiness and happiness.
T. B. T.
Elements of Character.
1. The Elements of Character. By Mary G. Chandler. Second Edition. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, and Company. 1854.
2. Christianity the Perfection of True Manliness. By Rev. E. H. Chapin. New York: Henry Lyon, 548 Broadway. 1858.
3. Graces and Powers of the Christian Life. By A. D. Mayo. Boston: Published by Abel Tompkins, 38 Cornhill. 1853.
4. The Christian Household. \ By Rev. George S. Weaver. Boston: A. Tompkins and B. B. Mussey & Co. 1854.
We intend no review of the works placed at the head of our page, but simply desire to intimate concerning them, that they contain much pertinent matter bearing upon the theme of this article. It may be allowable,
. however, to say of the first of these books which is lia. ble to be least known to our readers that it aims at a distinct mapping out of the faculties, and an analytical statement of the elements of character, with intimations of the order and proportions to be observed in building up the edifice. The groundwork of its philosophy is thus disclosed, in the opening of the essay on “ The Human Trinity: “ Man being created in the image and likeness of God, we must of necessity find in him a finite organization corresponding with the infinite organization of the Creator. In the Infinite Divine Trinity, there are the Divine Goodness or Love, the Divine Truth or Wisdom, and the Divine Operation, or the manifestation of the other two in and upon the universe : in other words, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the human, finite trinity, we have, corresponding with these, affection, understanding, and use, or eternal life. In the just training of character, if we first learn to understand the capacities and relations of affection, thought, and life, and look within our own natures until we learn to comprehend how every thing pertaining to our being belongs to one of these departments, we shall better appreciate the difficulties to be overcome before we shall be willing to make every thing that we do the honest outbirth of every thing that
Pretence and hypocrisy, subterfuge and falsehood, will then disappear, and life will become the adequate expression of symmetrical character." 2
1 The reader will understand that these Trinitarian terms are used in the Swedenborgian sense. We let them stand, though we do not ap
2 The idea of what constitutes a symmetrical character, is elsewhere stated in the following language: “The virtues all lock into each other. They cannot stand alone. Like the stones of an arch, no one of them can be wanting without making all the rest insecure. That character alone is trustworthy in which each virtue takes its relative position, and all are held in place and confirmed by the keystone of a living faith in the great central fact, that there is a God of infinite goodness and truth, whose commandments are the laws of life in this world and the world to come.” The direct sources of character are thus epigrammatically announced : " In our religion, thought gives us faith, imagination gives us hope, and affection gives us charity.” The process by which the abstractions of the intellect are transmuted into the verities of the heart, is stated as follows: "Thought is an uncreative power, and gives form to nothing. Imagination is a more positive power, and can impart form to every thing in thought. Thought acts subjectively, while imagination is more objective in its operations. Thought is, by VOL. XII.
From this principle the leading ideas of the book are developed. Its basis is doubtless philosophical; and with its treatment and conclusions we are, in the main,
well pleased. The spirit of the work is genial, animating, noble. It could only have emanated from a heart mellowed by Christian experiences, expanded in the amplitude of universal benevolence, and adorned by the fairest womanly graces. Much might be said in praise of its style, notwithstanding some repetition and redundancy. It is clear, flowing, direct, and pungent,—often fixing the mind to a fact by a trenchant epigram, or rousing the imagination by a felicitous metaphor. Its subtle analysis is not the least of its merits. It shows the author possessed of a sagacious perception of motives that no sophistry can elude, and of a critical instinct that finds the relations of things intuitively. In fine, the book is worthy of a place among the best of recent religious publications. itself, a pure abstraction; passing into the imagination, it becomes a positive reality, and in the affections a vital reality.” “The motive power of man is affection. What he loves he wills, and what he wills he performs. Our character is the complex of all that we love.”—pp. 19, 101, 77, 106.
3 As an instance of the just discrimination and acute perception evinced throughout the volume, I quote the following from the prelimi
I nary essay : Many persons confound reputation with character, and believe themselves to be striving for the reality of the one, when the fantasy of the other alone stimulates their desires. Reputation is the opinion entertained of us by our fellow-beings, while character is that which we really are. When we labor to gain reputation, we are not even taking the first step towards the acquisition of character, but only putting on coverings over that which is, and protecting it against improvement. As well may we strive to be virtuous by thinking of the reward of heaven, as to build up our characters by thinking of the opinions of men. The cases are precisely parallel. In each we are thinking of the pay as something apart from the work ; while, in fact, the only pay we can have inheres in the doing of the work. Virtue is its own reward, because its performance creates the kingdom of heaven within us, and we cannot attain to virtue until we strive after it for its own sake.
.. There is a transient and permanent side to all our mental attributes. Take, for instance, manners, which are the most external of them all. So far as we habituate ourselves to courtesy and good-breeding because we shall stand better with the world if we are polite than if we are rude, we are cultivating merely external habit, which we shall be likely to throw off as often as we think it safe to go without it, as we should an uncomfortably fitting dress; and our manners do not belong to our characters any more than our coats belong to
We propose to treat of the elements of character, with especial reference to manhood, not affecting any metaphysical profundity, but merely indicating those qualities that obviously compose the perfect man. Of course, we do not here speak of the perfect man in the sense of absolute faultlessness. Human imperfection is everywhere apparent, and everywhere acknowledged. By way of distinction, we call that man perfect who best fulfils the law of duty,who is truest to the requirements of his position, and who evolves the largest good from his pecu. liar circumstances. We call him perfect who steadfastly aspires toward the summit of life, -the uniform direction of whose thought is heavenward, the prevalent temper of whose heart is humane. We call him perfect who acts by principles instead of impulses, who will not sacrifice a public good to secure a private advantage, and who has an instinctive conviction that it is wiser to do God's will in every emergency, than yield to the caprices of the world, either for its terrors or its bribes. Such men there are, distributed through society, the braces that support, the bands that bind, the civil mechanism of the world. For upright, Christian men in society, are what oaken timbers and iron clamps are in a building; they give strength and stability to the structure. Take from the community those in whom the element of honor, the power of religion, and the sentiment of humanity, are most largely developed, and we should lapse, doubtless, into a moral condition not far removed from actual barbarism.
We are rarely fortunate enough to find a man in whom our persons. This is the transient side of manners. If, on the contrary, we are polite from an inward conviction that politeness is one of the forms of love to the neighbor, . . . . and because politeness is a trait that we love for its own inherent beauty, our manners belong to the substance of our character,—they are not its garment, but its skin; and this is the permanent side of manners.
In the same way, every personal accomplishment and every mental acquisition has its Iransient and its permanent side. So far as we cultivate them to enrich and to ennoble our natures, to enlarge and to elevate our understandings, to become wiser, better, and more useful to our fellow-beings, we are cultivating our characters,—the spiritual essence of our being; but these very same acquisitions, when sought from motives wholly selfish and worldly, are not only as transient as the clothes we wear, but often as useless as the ornaments of a fashionable costume.”—pp. 11, 12.