Page images

in one direction; and the instant a gush of blood has forced them open they fall down and enclose it in the chamber. From this inner apartment, the blood is powerfully thrust out into the large blood vessel, called the aorta, which dividing into innumerable branches as it proceeds, nourishes the whole of the body. Along all the limbs large arteries flow which divide and subdivide as they flow along, and every part of the body, however minute, is furnished with many little arteries; for if a pin, or a sharp instrument be thrust into any part of the body, blood follows; a proof that some small vessel has been wounded, its side has been pierced, and its contents effused. It is altogether an error to suppose that blood is anywhere to be found, except in these vessels; but they are so minute and numerous as abundantly to supply every part. The important organs of sense are largely supplied.

But if the blood flows altogether in vessels, the question remains to be answered, how is the body nourished by it? How does the body grow in size, whether as it respects height or breadth? The arteries divide like a tree; there is the great trunk, or stem, then there are large branches spreading on all sides; these give off twigs, and they are multiplied and divided again and again. The extremities of these little arteries have open mouths, which, man knows not how, deposite a particle of muscle here and bone there, of fatty substance in a third place, and of skin in a fourth,—always in the right place. The renewal of the skin where a piece is rubbed off is a beautiful example of this; you by and by observe a little jelly-like substance upon the wound this comes from the artery of the skin; soon this hardens, it becomes glossy, and it is a new skin. If a part be bruised, it looks blue for a few days, and

then recovers its colour: this is again another process by which another kind of vessels, the lymphatics, carry away the effused blood of the injured part. The blood furnishes all the secretions of the body, as the tears to the eyes, and every other.

The Author of being has told us (Gen. ix, 4) that "the blood is the life;" but it is not the soul; the mind is not material. How is the connection maintained between the soul and the body, the material and immaterial part of man? We answer, By means of the golden bowl and the silver cord, Eccles. xii, 4. By the former of these expressions commentators generally understand a delicate membrane, of a globular shape, which everywhere surrounds the brain; by the latter, the spinal marrow, from which and the brain beautiful white threads are sent all over the body, and are called nerves. By these we feel; by them the mind conveys its orders to the senses and the limbs, and receives again their reports-these are the messengers from the chambers of the soul. Do you ask where does it dwell? How does it convey its impulse? No man knoweth. "I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

"Our life is fed by thousand springs,

We die if one be gone,

Strange that a harp of thousand strings

Should keep in tune so long."

But this after all is only the casket which contains the jewel; it is only the shell which surrounds the kernel, the covering of immaterial man: "I call it mine, not me; distinct as the swimmer from the flood." "I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

We have a soul capable of knowledge residing in this body, "majestic though in ruins." That soul can examine, can reason, and arrive at conclusions more or less certain. It can compare one subject with another. It can draw inferences. The mines of science and the riches of art are the produce of its labours. It can soar to that which is high, it can wing its flight to that which is afar off; it can penetrate a great deep; valleys are exalted, mountains are brought low before its painful tread. Nay more, the soul can communicate its knowledge: it makes sound the vehicle of sense; and one man, without empoverishing himself, imparts to thousands the riches he has accumulated.

The soul is capable of treasuring up what it has acquired; it has the faculty of memory, the power of recollection: many things are distinctly and almost constantly present to the memory, many more it can recall at pleasure.

The soul can not only examine the world of things which do appear, but it can call up a new world. It has the power of imagination, which travels beyond the visible diurnal sphere. By this we follow the traveller through all his journeys whithersoever he goes.

The soul has a power of choosing and rejecting, approving and disapproving. But alas! it is perverted from youth up. It has, above all, the power of affection, love and hatred. Bodily gratification gives some pleasure, that of the understanding more, but that of the affections most of all.

But why were all these powers given? why was man made in body and in mind the most glorious of the works of God-his body the temple of the Holy Ghost, the shrine of Deity? 1 Cor. vi, 19.

His understanding was given that he might know God; his memory, that he might keep in remembrance all the words of that law which was given him: for in paradise man had no other use for this faculty. His imagination, that when he thought of God, he might lift up his head to the star-paved sky, to the place where he unveils his glory, where he is seen face to face that when he heard the songs of birds or attempted the praise of his Maker, or caught the sound of celestial music from the angels who watched over him, he might imagine the incense evermore offered to the throne of God. His will was given, that he might evermore offer a willing, cheerful obedience to his Maker; and his affections, that he might love him perfectly and serve him acceptably. Man has received a greater proof of divine love than even angels. To save fallen man he sent his Son Jesus Christ our Lord to die for him, to atone for him; to exhibit a spotless example, and to obtain all spiritual gifts for man. In the formation of man and in his redemption, "marvellous are thy works, O Lord: and that my soul knoweth right well." Praise ye the Lord.



"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works," 2 Tim. iii, 16, 17.

THERE are two considerations which go to prove that the "Scriptures" in question must have been the Old Testament. The writings of the New Testament were not then collected into an accessible volume; and some parts of that book, such as the gospel of St. John and the Apocalypse, were not then written. And, again, the apostle congratulates Timothy on his early and intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures; but in the early part of his life no part of the New Testament was committed to writing, therefore it must have been with the Old Testament that he was, from a child, familiar. Whatever is said in the text, therefore, applies especially to that portion of the Scriptures. We propose, however, for a reason to be hereafter explained, to limit your consideration of the passage, in its present application, to the historical and narrative Scriptures of the Old Testament.

We proceed to explain the clauses of the verse seriatim.

I. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God."
A gift supposes generosity on the part of the donor,

« PreviousContinue »