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unbelief and in the development of humanity. It is destined to accomplish still more in the same direction. In the nature of things, also, religion must commend itself to a man's intellect before it can take a very strong hold of his sensibilities, or influence in any marked degree his conduct. While, therefore, in the commencement of his spiritual career, the Christian believer should seek, and the Christian teacher endeavor to set forth, correct conceptions of truth, neither of them should fail to enlist, as far as he is able, the sympathies of the heart, or to conform the everyday conduct to the most rigid rules of duty.

But it is time that I pass now to say a few words of the religion of the heart. And by this I mean not the religion of sober, enlightened affection, but of tender, acute sensibilities. What the basis of this is-how firmly or how unsteadily it may rest upon it-is of comparatively little consequence. How the superstructure may be reared, how compactly or how loosely its parts may be united, how imposing or how repulsive may be its appearance, is of equally little moment. The one thing indispensable thereto is an ability to touch and excite the sympathies. To those who constitutionally demand and instinctively accept this form of religion, God appears not as the infinite intellect, but as boundless compassion and unfailing tenderness. The sovereign they lose sight of in the friend; while not unfrequently in their apprehension the divine friendliness degenerates into mere good-nature. strong and elaborate arguments for the Christian faith, or for Christian virtue, or for any who employ such arguments, they have little favor, if not positive dislike. Christianity in their judgment carries its own evidence with itin its power to arouse the emotions of hope and fear, joy and sorrow. What they demand, therefore, is such a presentation as shall thrill and melt the heart; as shall extort the tear of penitence for past transgressions, and the shout of joy for the prospect of future bliss.


The best existing type of this kind of religion that I know of is Methodism, the most emotional of all formsCatholicism perhaps excepted-which Christianity has ever assumed. Hence, for the diffusion or the defence of Methodism, the aid of logical statement and philosophical argument is very seldom invoked. Neither of them is in



the line of its believers' thought or its advocates' endeavor. When the latter do attempt it, the careful observer can hardly fail to perceive that they are out of their appropriate element, and that their words fall on listless and inattentive ears. To the disciple of Wesley, it is of comparatively little consequence indeed whether he is able to give a very good "reason for the hope that is in him" or not. For if unable to defend in any tolerable degree the opinions he cherishes-if completely silenced, as is sometimes the case, by the cunning sophistry of the skeptic, or the fairer arguments of the more intellectual believer-he can lay his hand upon his heart and say, "Here is the evidence that I am right-an assurance which is inwoven with every fibre of my being, and of which no man can deprive me." With persons of this class, religion relates almost wholly to the sensibilities. That it has also a relation to the intellect and the life, they seem to have either forgotten or ignored. Hence it is not from the most highly cultured and the most thoughtful portion of the community, as a general thing, that their ranks are recruited and enlarged, but from those of scanty opportunity and excitable temperament. Hence, also, the occurrence among them of those scenes wherein whole congregations are melted to tears, and swayed by the accents of some sympathetic speaker, as the yellow corn is swayed by the south wind; wherein individuals here and there in the assemblies become apparently dead to all outward things, while others are elevated to such a pitch of enthusiastic joy as not to know whether they are in the body or out of it. "Get the feelings right," say such; "cause them to respond quickly and powerfully to every manifestation of the Father's mercy and the Saviour's love, and the mind will naturally enough rise to essentially correct views of the government of the former, and the life fall into harmony with the precepts and spirit of the latter." Just as though there were not all around, whom whoso is not blind may see, men from whom it is easy to extract the tear of sensibility in the church, or to raise to fever-heat on some special occasion, but who have no worthy conceptions of the principles or method of the divine economy, and whose lives are as barren of all really Christian fruits as the desert of Sahara is of verdure.

But, as I said of the religion of the intellect, so I say of the religion of the sensibilities, let us not despise it. Faulty as it is when not combined with the other elements of Christianity, it has yet done a noble work for the race. Many are the souls, lulled in the arms of sensualism or dead in sin, which it has aroused to some juster ideas of life, and to some keener sense of their responsibilities. One of the greatest religious movements of modern times, indeed, was set in operation by it. I refer to the movement begun by Wesley, Whitefield, and a few others, when the whole Protestant world seemed utterly given over to cant and formalism; a movement which, however much of its original force and spirit it may have lost, is not yet, and will not be for a long time to come, extinct.

And this brings me to speak finally of the religion of the hand, or of practical life. This, unlike the religion of the intellect, but like that of the sensibilities, has little regard for abstract theories or logical arguments. Nay, for any thing and every thing akin to dogmas or dogmatical teaching, it has neither sympathy nor toleration; for these things, and the importance which men attach to them, it reckons among the most unmitigated evils that have ever afflicted the world. According to it, had it not been for creeds and dogmas, all sectarian strife and bitterness would have been avoided, men would have lived together in sweetest fellowship, and the whole world have become an Eden. Judging by the affirmations of its disciples, indeed, one would suppose that the New Testament was composed of either catalogues of vices to be shunned and virtues to be practised, or of certain specific rules for the guidance of man's moral conduct in regard to which there could be no mistake, and that such a thing as a principle was hardly announced therein. But while herein it agrees with the religion of the heart, it disagrees therewith, and accords with the religion of the head, in its neglect of the feelings. For any thing bordering upon enthusiasm, it has no affinity, but a decided aversion. In regard to all religious exercises, its favorite passage of Scripture is, "Let your moderation be known to all men." Very calm, very sedate, very decorous in all their devotions are its disciples. With them true prayer and praise are not offered with the lips or the heart, but the hand, and con

sist in active endeavor to lessen the misery and augment the happiness of the world. Their continual cry is, "Cease prating about mere belief or tender sympathies, and give us good deeds. Show us these, and you show the best,-aye, you show the only evidence that is really worth regarding, of the Christian spirit."

The best illustration of this form of religion is found, I think, in Unitarianism; certainly in Unitarianism as held and administered by some of its disciples and teachers. A favorite topic of declamation with them, therefore, has been the uselessness and harmfulness of dogmas. What are their exact opinions,-whether they have any very well-defined ones upon some of the most momentous of all topics that can engage human attention,-it is not a little difficult to determine. Of every thing like a creed or a formula of faith, they have a profound horror; seemingly not remembering that a creed is nothing more nor less than one's belief, that one's belief is the result of his best thought, and that whoso is not wholly innocent of thinking must, in the nature of things, have some sort of a creed. Coupled with this aversion for dogmas is an almost equal dislike of every thing approximating remarkable fervor of feeling. The zeal and enthusiasm displayed by some of their neighbors they can characterize by no milder epithet than fanaticism. Cold, passionless, preceptive, addressed to the ear of highly-cultured and refined men and women is their teaching, but alas! almost impotent to take hold of the popular heart. "Bring the conduct into harmony with Christ's law," say such; "let the hand be active in deeds of beneficence, in clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and redeeming the slaves of passion and sin, and the intellect and the sensibilities cannot go far or remain long out of the way." As though it were not very possible for one to give all his goods to the poor and his body to the flame, and yet be so destitute of real devotion to God and love to man as to be but sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.

Still by no means worthless is the religion of the hand. That its proclamation has done no little good, and is now needed, is manifest when we consider how liable men are to rest satisfied with mere dogmas or with the experience of some wonderful excitement of the sensibilities. More

than this, any dispensation of religion which does not result in earnest and persistent endeavors for the relief of the suffering, the enlightenment of the ignorant, and the salvation of the sinful, is unworthy a moment's thought. "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit."

Thus much for the religion of the head, the heart, and the hand. I have written not as I desired, but as time and ability have enabled me. How faulty is each of these when separated from the others, must be apparent to every reflecting mind, as each can touch but a segment of our complex and many-sided nature. The truth is-a

truth which so many are ready to acknowledge, but which so few practically heed-they are mutually complementary. Each and all belong to, and harmoniously co-exist in, the religion of him who spake as never man spake; and never shall we behold any adequate expression of that religion, either in theory or life, till men are lifted to a perception and realization of the fact. What the world now imperatively demands is an interpretation of Christianity in which these three elements shall melt into one; a religion whose foundation will endure the closest scrutiny of the intellect, and whose structure no assaults of logic can shake or harm; a religion which the affections of the best hearts instinctively welcome as from heaven, and in whose sweet light and profound peace they are conscious of no unsatisfied want; and a religion which braces the conscience against every attack of temptation, makes the will resolute, and the hand strong for the discharge of every duty. But where, alas! shall we look for such an interpretation of Christianity? Has any church or sect been so fortunate as to discover and announce it? Though holding denominational relations, and shrinking from no responsibilities which those relations legitimately involve, I am constrained to say I think not. Yet having faith in a paternal Providence and in human progress, I am confident the time is coming when Christianity shall assume to the apprehensions of men such a form as I have indicated. The time is coming when it shall be seen and felt to be able to touch every side and thrill every fibre of the soul; when men, loving Jesus, will keep his words, and the Father and the Son will come unto them,' illumining

1 John xiv. 23.

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