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4Foreign SittiUtgetui.



THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN. There is a spiritual element interfused through the whole material world, and which lies at the source of all action. It ? l,h.IS w,h'^h.I,fts world out ch*°s. and clothes it with light and order. The most ordinary act springs out of the soul and derives character from the soul. It 8eems trifling only because the spiritual origin is forgotten. While on the surface of life all may be calm, but it is staitling to think what mysteries of passion and affection may be beneath. We need not go far, if we will but open our eyes, to wee how the most ordinary acts of men are penetrated by a spiritual element; and where there is. nothing can be either tame or common-place. Nothing, at first sight, is more worldly or unspirited than a commercial newspaper. It deals solely with the affairs of the day, and with material interests. Yet when we come to consider them, its driest details are instinct with human hopes, and fears, and affections; and these illuminate what was dark, and make the dead letter breathe with life. For example, in the daily papers, a middle-aged man seeks employment in a certain kind of business. The advertisement has, in substance, been the same for weeks. For a time, he sought some place, which pre-supposed the possession of business habits and attainments. Then there was a change in the close of the advertisement, indicating that he would do any thing by which he could render himself generally useful to any employer. And this morning there is another change. He is willing to commence with low wages, as employment is what he especially wants. All this is uninteresting enough. Yet what depths of life may lie underneath this icy surface of business detail. It is easy for the fancy to seek out and make the acquaintance of this man. Could we but look through these long Hues of advertise- ments into the heaits of those who have published them what a revelation would there be of human tife Here are partnerships formed and closed; young men entering into business, old men going out of it new inventions and specu- lations; failures sales of household furniture and dwellings. These have been attended by the most sanguine hopes by utter hopelessness, by every form of fear, anxiety, and sorrow. This young man, just entering into business, looks forward with anticipations bright as the morning to his marriage-day This sale of furniture speaks of death, diminished fortunes a scattered family. There is not a sale of stocks which doe' not straiten or increase the narrow means of widows and" orphans. This long column of ship news-a thousand hearts are this moment beating with joy and thankfulness, or are op- pressed by anxiety, or crushed down by sorrow, because of these records which to others seem so meaningless! One reads here of his prosperity another of ruined fortunes; and the wrecked ship, whose crew was swept by the surge into the breakers, and dashed on the rocks—how many in their solitary homes are mourning for those who sailed with bright hopes in that ship, but who shall never return And more than this-could these lines which record the transactions of daily business tell of the hearts which indited them what temptations and struggles would they reveal They would tell of inexperience deceived or protected, of integrity fallen or made steadfast as the rock, of moral trials, in which noble natures have been broken down or built up. Had we the key and the interpretatton of what we here read, this daily chronicle of traffic would be a sadder tragedy than any which Sbakspcre^ wrote. It is the same with all human labour "Ihespiiit giveth life." Were it not so earth would be a dungeon. If toil were only toil, or if it had no object but the supply of one sown bodily wants—to gratify hunger and thirst or to minister to luxurious appetites—if this were all, the la- bour of man would be as the labour of brutes. But all the products of man's labour are but symbols of a spiritual life beneath. To the outer eye, what toilsome drudgery is often- time the life of a mother of a family She labours by day she watches by night her years are worn out in disconnected' trifling occupations. And yet, could we look beneath, when the mind is right, weshoutd find all these details bound to- gether, elevated, hallowed by the spiritual element blended with them. While with housewifely care she goes from room to room, under the labour of her hands grow up, as under sunshine and dew, the affections and virtues of a happy home Thus, ever under the visible is the invisible. Through dead material forms circulate the currents of spiritual life. Deserts rocks, and seas, and shores, are humanised by the presence of man, and becomes alive with memories and affection. There is a life which appears, and under it, in every heart,is a life which does not appear—which is, to the former. as the depths of the sea to the waves, and the bubbles, and the spray, on its surface. There M not an obscure house among the mountains where the whole romance of life, from its dawn to its setting, through its brightness and through its gloom, is not lived through. The commonest events of the day are products of the same passions and affections which, in other spheres, decide the fate of kingdoms. Outwardly, the outgoingsof ordinary life are like the movements of ma- chinery lifeless, mechanical, commonplace repetitions of the same trifling events. But they are neither lifeless, nor old nor trifling. The passions and affectious make them ever new and original, and the most unimportant acts of the day reach forward their results into the shadows to eternity. Open but the eye, and we live in the midst of wonders. The enthusiastic and ardent pine for scenes of excitement. They By to seek them in foreign lands; they bury themselves in the pages of poetry and romance; the every-day world around them seems to them stale, flat, and unprofitable. But it is only in seeming. At our very doors transpire realities, by whose side, were the veil taken away which bides them, the fictions of romance would grow pale. Around us, in light and in darkness, is going on the mystery of life, and passing before us in shadow is the dread mystery of death. Want and prosperity, anxieties which wear out the heart of youth, passions which sink it to the dust, hopes that lift it to the heaven--hid by the veil of custom and the senses—these are alive all around as.- The Token.


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