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seem to get. The more and more you associate with others the more inexhaustible their rich natures become.
And the second point is, that when Culture takes possession of a man, it will beget in him an indefinable something which becomes the source and fountain of all his power and influence among men. It was said of Lord Chatham that those who heard him "felt that there was somthing finer in the man than anything which he said." As Emerson sings:
"Not from a vain or shallow thought
The thrilliing Delphic oracle;
Out from the heart of Nature rolled
The burdens of the Bible old;
The litanies of nations came,
Like the volcano's tongue of flame,
Up from the burning core below,—
The canticles of love and woe:
The hand that rounded Peter's dome
And groined the aisles of Christian Rome
Wrought in a sad sincerity;
Himself from God he could not free;
He builded better than he knew ;-
And, thirdly, the fruits of Culture are such as St. Paul mentions as the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. They are not ab extra qualities, but ab intra. No truly cultured man possesses these, but they possess him. If I understand St. Paul rightly, self is to be annihilated and absorbed by these high qualities, love, joy, peace. One feels a difference in passing from the society of small men to the society of great men. In the one case, you will hear Theology, Philosophy, History, Science; but you hear, after all, principally the man who talks through these. In the other case, it is not the great man who talks to you, but Theology, Philosophy, History, Science, that talk through him. And now I will notice but one thing more,
and that is Simplicity. What does that word not comprehend? If anything bears witness to a deep and varied Culture, that thing is simplicity, and we know and recognize it when we see it. Archbishop Trench has a discussion of what it means to be simple. "Why," asks he," should simple be used slightingly still?... The simple is one properly of a single fold;
and indeed, what honor can be higher than to have nothing double about us-to be without duplicates or folds? Even the world which despises simplicity does not profess to admire duplicity or double-foldness." That is the idea; Culture is to make us single-folded, so that from whatever side we may be approached our identity will be recognized and our simplicity verified.
INFANT CONSECRATION TO THE LORD.
BY REV. GEORGE B. RESSER.
And when the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were fulfilled, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord.
-Luke 2: 22.
THE circumstance related in the passage cited above brings to our attention the subject of Infant Consecration, a subject which ought to be full of deepest interest to all persons who hold the type of faith that we do. Upon this very subject, it is true, there are widely differing opinions among the followers of the Lord; and it has given rise to heated discussions which have oftentimes not been characterized by the beautiful charity which is required of all who profess the Christian name. Therefore it might seem to be the part of wisdom for those who are conscious of such undesirable consequences having arisen in the past, to leave untouched the cause by which they were produced.
But there are obvious reasons why such a course, instead of being for the furtherance of true peace, may be simply a purchasing of quiet, at the cost of true Christian principle upon one side or the other. The correct idea of essential unity among believers in Christ does not make it absolutely necessary that we all at once grasp, or apprehend, divine truth after the same fixed mode. Such a perfect agreement should be our ultimate aim, of course; but that does not imply that we must all reach it by exactly the same road. True unity is always characterized by multiplicity, in religion, as well as elsewhere;
and it is no disparagement to divine truth, that its multiplied phases are distinctly brought to view by different susceptibilities upon the part of those to whom it addresses itself: this can only result in the greater glory of God, if we who profess to love Him, instead of working solely for the ascendancy of our own opinions, are actuated by a sincere desire for expanding knowledge; whilst at the same time we have all our thoughts and acts bathed in that deliberate wisdom and charity which appeared so clearly in the life of Christ, our perfect Pattern and Example.
Under the influence of these remarks we ought to be able to reflect for a few moments upon the theme: "Infant Dedication to the Lord." There is always a certain appearance of unfairness about carrying on an argument against one's opponents when they do not have the same opportunity that you do to present their side of the case; and in the present instance we may do credit to our cause by simply endeavoring to rationalize for ourselves the faith which we hold with regard to an irresponsible child's relation to Christ and His saving work; to answer some questions which may arise in our own minds concerning the matter.
First, then; with the strong indications which there are here and there in the Word of God, that the Sacraments and Ordinances established in the Church of Christ imply a conscious act of faith upon the part of the individual as necessary to a reception of their benefit, upon what ground do we justify the administration of any of these to a child less than a year old, for instance; because it must be presumed that that child cannot perform a conscious act, in the proper sense? The question deserves careful consideration, because there is involved in it the important truth, that the mystery of salvation, in its highest scope, is not something in which God alone works upon us as passive, but requires our co-operation. And yet, our belief in the possibility of infantile participation in the great mystery is not, by any means, a thing humanly wrought out, but claims to refer itself to no less than a divine authority.
The first sanction of this kind that we take for the belief is to be found in the Covenant made with Abraham, the Father of the Faithful. The central feature of that Covenant was, that each male child that was born of the chosen people was to be brought into a distinct relation to God, by the rite of circumcision, at the age of eight days; and every one of them that was not thus consecrated to Him, was to be regarded as cut off from the privileges and benefits of the Covenant. Now in the days of Abraham, children at the age of eight days had no more self-consciousness, or any other consciousness, than our children at this day have. They knew no more about the relation into which they were being introduced; they had no manner of choice of their own as to the benefits which they were to receive from the institution, or the obligations which it imposed upon them; nevertheless, the requirement that they should thus be brought into special relation to God was not a legislation of Abraham, as a religious expediency, but a direct command of God Himself.
But what shall we say if the thought suggests itself to our minds, that the benefit of the Covenant made with Abraham was mainly national in its character; or, at most, it was only typical of better things to come? We answer, that the whole structure of God's covenant engagement with Abraham will not admit the interpretation, that it concerned only national distinction, or temporal good, but was, from beginning to end, according to the teaching of our Saviour, the promise of grace and mercy; in other words, of spiritual, heavenly blessings.
Then, as to the second part of the suggestion, the better the order of things of which the Abrahamic Institutes were typical, the more broad, comprehensive, or extensive they must be. I suppose we would universally admit that the statute law of our land which establishes an individual's inalienable right to an inheritance and possession of property is intrinsically very much of an advance upon that one which merely secures him the right of suffrage, or of voting; is of inestimably greater meaning and benefit to him; and one of the reasons for this