Hide Articles List

16 articles on this Page

[No title]

Summer Song.

•♦ Uses of Recreation.

+» Folly and Fear.


..— Life. --


. A Materialistic Age.

♦ The Nature of Devotion.


♦ The Nature of Devotion. In devotion there is this great peculiarity—that It is neither the work or the play of our nature, but is something higher than either—more ideal than the one, more real than the other. All human activities besides are one of these two things—either the mere aim at an external end, or the mere outcome of an inner feeling. On the one hand, we plough and sow, we build and navigate, that we may win the adornments and securities of life; on the other hand, we sing and dance, we carve and paint, that we may put forth the pressure of harmony, and joy, and beauty breaking from within. Mechanicai toil terminates in a solid product, graceful art is content with simple ex- pression; but religion is degraded when it is reduced to either character. It is not a labour of utility; and he who looks to it as a means of .safety, to ingratiate himself with an awful God, and bespeak an interest in a hidden future, is an utter stranger to its essence; his habits and words may be cast in its mould, but the spark of its life is not kindled in his heart. When fed by the fuel of prudence, the fire is all spent in fusing it into form, and the finished product is a cold and metal mimicry, that neither moves nor glows. Nor is religion a simple gesture of passion; and to class I ,it with mere natural language, to treat it as the rhythmical delirium of the soul, working off an irrepressible enthusiasm, is to empty it of its real meaning and contents, and sink it from a divine attraction to a human excitement. The postures and movements and tones which simply manifest the impassioned mind are content to go off into space, and pass away; they direct themselves no whither; they have no more object than a con- vulsion they ask only leave to be the last shape of a feeling that must have way; and, be the inspiration what it may, they close and consum- mate its history. But he who prays is at the beginning of aspiration, not at the evaporating end of impulse; he is drawn, not driven; he is not painting himself upon vacancy, but is surrendering himself to a Presence real and everlasting. If he flings out his arms, it is not in blind paroxysm, but that he may embrace, and be embraced; if he cries aloud, it is that he may be heard; if he makes melody of the silent heart, it is no soliloquy flung into emptiness, but the low-breathing love of .spirit to Spirit. Devotion is not the play even of the highest faculties, but their deep earnest. It is, no doubt, the culminating point of reverence; but reverence is impossible without an object, and could never culminate at all, or pass into the Infinite, unless its object did so too. In every case, we find that the faculties and susceptibilities of a being tell true, and are the exact measure of the outer life it has to live; and just as many and as large proportions as it has, to just so many and so great objects does it stand related; so that from the axis of its nature you may always draw the curve of its existence. Human worship, there- fore, turning to the living God, as the infant's eye to light, is itself a witness to Him whom it feels after and adores it is the image and shadow of heavenly things;" the parallel 0 chamber in our nature with that Holy of Holies whither its incense ever ascends. JAMES MARTINKAU.


A Thomas Ellis Scholarship.

Wearisome Verbosity.

. Education of Children Bill.

.. The Teaching Profession.

UniDcrsitp College, ABERYSTWYTH.