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single feature of Christ, or elicit any of those characteristics which distinguish the truly converted from the ungodly and the sinner!
In proceeding, however, with the analogy before us, let it be here particularly observed, that, after the Ambrotype plate has been duly subjected to the action of the lens, and after its sensitiveness to further impressions has been removed, the eye of the beholder is, as yet, unable to perceive the image or likenes which has been formed. There is upon the plate a perfect picture, painted by the unerring pencil of Light, yet it is almost, if not altogether, invisible to the eye, and hence requires to be “ brought out," or made apparent by immer. sing and gently moving the plate for sometime in a chemical solution, which, gradually dissolving and removing all obstructions, and de. veloping the lights and shades, at length reveals the latent impressions in all their fullness and beauty.
Amongst all the wonderful and interesting processes of the differ. ent arts, there is not one which seems to me so singularly beautiful and striking in its results, as the one of which I am now speakingthe bringing out or development of the picture on the Ambrotype plate. You see the artist gently moving beneath the surface of a solution, transparent as water, a plate of glass, upon which you can at first barely discern an obscure and apparently defective ontline. This, by degrees, is more distinctly visible; you begin to imagine that there is really a drawing; you can distinguish presently some features of a portrait, but they are as yet apparently detached or dis. torted. Still, as the plate is moved beneath the gently undulating liquid, the different portions assume juster relations; the films which obstructed vision are dissolved; new features are revealed; you dis. tinguish a likeness; you perceive that the lights now rapidly brighten -the shades deepen—the plate assumes an indiscribable lustre, and presents to you at last, upon its suface, an image of one, perhaps, most dearly loved, so exact, so truthful, so brilliant, so beautiful and life-like, that you almost think it is about to speak to you!
Whether it be the rapidity of the process, as compared with the slow operation of painting, which tells of human feebleness and toil; or the consciousness that here the light of heaven itself has been the immediate artist; or the sudden revelation of a speaking portrait, where, a few moments before, there seemed but a blurred and filmy surface, that leads the mind to overlook the human and material agencies at work; certain it is that one seems here admitted to witness a divine creation-the production, from seeming nothingness, of a real and veritable humanity; or at least the exquisite and actual peneillings of the Limper of Nature, in the perfect delineation so soon accomplished in our presence.
As in the Ambrotype, so in the renovation of the soul. The image of the Redeemer may be impressed upon the heart through the gospel, and the sensibility of the heart to worldly idols may have been destroyed, and yet that image may be as yet invisible to men. As, in the Ambrotype, we know there was a perfect image, which, though unseen by us, was plainly apparent to the light that drew it; so, in conversion, the divine likeness may be renewed in the human soul, yet remain, for a time, invisible to all but God. And, hence, we may derive a sweet and grateful consolation in regard to the young, and those who are speedily called from earth, after they have made the Christian profession, and before they have exhibited to the world the Christian character. They had not yet had time and opportunity to develop the features of that divine image impressed upon them, so that it could be perceived by men, but it was, nevertheless, visible to God, to whom "secret things" belong; “who bringeth light out of darkness;" “who quickeneth the dead, and ealleth those things which be not as thongh they were," and who, in a future world, will bring forth that glorious image to the view of the assembled universe, in tints of beauty from the throne of heaven.
ចន ៖ But in those "who remain," and in whom the divine features of Christianity are by degrees revealed to the world, how noble and interesting a spectacle is exhibited! With what deep anxiety must the lofty spiritual beings who interest themselves in the affairs of mortals, contemplate those life-trials; those struggles of the human soul with the malign spirits of darkness; those temptations of the flesh and vietories of faith ; those strivings after holiness; those doubts and fears ; those heart-searchings; those agonies, and reproaches, and tribulations; those cares, anxieties and toils, which, in the skilful hand of an Ali Wise God our Saviour, are made the means of clearing away the films of error, and of developing the beauty of that divine image which has been impressed upon the heart, and the power of that divine life which pervades the renewed and regenerated soul! If it be so charming an illustration of the beauty of the art and the skill of the artist, to bring out into full relief the secret impressions of the Ambrotype, how striking an evidence is it of the transcendent glory of that celestial art, and of the exquisite ability of that Divine artist, by whose mysterious agency, the "new man,” the "hidden man of the heart," the living, acting, speaking image of Christ, is developed in its celestial beauty, in this lost, and ruined, and frail humanity! Oh! how divine the power; how infinite the wisdom; how ineffable the goodness, which thus evolves the spiritual from the natural; the heavenly from the earthly; the deathless from the dying! And with what earnest solicitude should the believer contemplate this divine
SERIES IV.–VOL. VI.
work, and with what grateful readiness should he yield up his entire nature to those transforming agencies, by which he is renewed and sanctified, that he might say with an apostle, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."
And what motives to patience, to diligence, and to perseverance, may he not draw from the reflection that he is thus permitted to glorify God on earth from the thought that the toils and labors of earth are to the Christian soul but means of developing to man those inward graces which else were visible to God alone; and that it is in the exemplification of the Christian virtues in his daily walk in all the relations of life, that he manifests the work of Divine grace upon his heart, and shows that Christ is, indeed, "formed in him, the hope of glory"! These, truly, are the instrumentalities through which the D vine artist brings forth to public view and admiration, the glorious traits and perfections of Him that is “Chief among the ten-thousands," and “ fairer than the sons of men;" and though these may be very partially revealed in some, and as yet imperfectly in all, there is yet the grateful assurance that the process will eventually be completed, and that the imaged glory of the Divine character will at last be revealed in "the glorious manifestation of the sons of God." How joyfully should Christians, then, endure these trials of their faith, "more precious than gold, which perisheth," since it will be “found unto praise, and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Carist;" and though the world” may know them not, and men, in many instances, may fail to recognize their true character, or perceive, beneath the film of frail humanity, the divine beauty that is there concealed, they can themselves forever rejoice in the consciousness of that inward spiritual PRESENCE which is to abide with them forever-an earnest of future glory.
And, finally, as the perfected Ambrotype is carefully encased in a framework of tasteful elegance, for preservation and display; how appropriate is it that the redeemed, who have been created anew in righteousness and true holiness," and bear, in its full development, "the image of the heavenly,” shall be forever surrounded with the glory appertaining to that divine nature of whieh they have been made partakers; and that, enclosed in settings of imperishable beauty, they should be admired and cherished in the "eternal mansions"!
REMEMBER, that every person, however low, has rights and feel. ings. In all contentions, let peace be rather your object than triumph.
lue triumph only as the means of peace.- Sidney Smith.
THE “AMBIGUOUS SIGNAL"-EXPLAINED.
[The following communication we lay before our readers without note or comment at present. Just returned from the Anniversary of the Bible Union, we find so much business on band, connected with College and other relations, we must defer this and other communications till a more convenient season.A. C.]
Brother Campbell-When I received your kind letter, some three weeks
ago, acknowledging the receipt of my communication entitled, "Independency's Legitimate Offspring," and read your friendly suggestions, my first emotion was one of regret, that probably I had ta. ken, without intending it, an undue advantage of the very high estimation in which, until you were pleased to express it in your letter, I knew not that you held me. Upon seeing, however, in the Angust number of the Harbinger, my article—that is, the part of it you have spread upon your pages, together with your accompanying remarks, that feeling became somewhat mingled with surprise. Though I will not insist that it was not your right, yet I cannot but think, that an editor exercises his largest liberty in suppressing almost all of a communication except its introduction. And in this case I feel confident, that it would be manifest to any reader of my entire article, that the writer certainly deemed the part suppressed of greater public importance than the part which appeared. Had I been consulted in reference to its mutilation, I think I would have said, rather let no part appear.
I regret that you felt it necessary, for the information of your distant readers, to give the description of me which appears in your first and second paragraphs; for I am conscious it is incorrect. And I still more regret, that on account of the great pressure of your engagements, you did not read my whole article, for it seems the main design of my effort has been misunderstood, as the following passa.. ges from your accompanying remarks, very clearly show:
" It seems, in our correspondent's view, that any association within an association, raising funds to educate young men for the ministry, is the first born child, male or female, of Independency!"
“ Bat now, after this exordium, an occurrence in Kentucky is made the subject of review, of criticism, if not of censure; not, indeed, in reference to these principles in whole or in detail, but to a specific prudential arrangement, as necessary to the supply of evangelists, pastors or teachers, or functionaries of some name, to meet the wants of the age, under the caption of INDEPENDENCY'S LEGITIMATE OFFSPRING, This seems to be merely a prudential measure, but is, as. I understand hy now being exposed to public censure as an illegitimate child,
though a literal offspring of independency; while both the text and the sermon, like many others, apply to another subject.”
Truly, “te text and the sermon" were wholly on “another subject;" for, in the "correspondent's vision,” it was not at all the “association for raising the funds," but, the self-perpetuating, irresponsible board of trustees, created by the charter for the management of the funds, which was the burthen of my text and my sermon. Not the “prudential measure, as necessary to the supply of evangelists, pastors and teachers, or functionaries of some name, to meet the wants of the age," but the prudential (?) arrangement of a self-perpetuating board of managers, acting under a charter containing a human creed, passed by the Legislature of Kentucky, purporting to express the distinctive faith of our denomination. It was the attempt to avoid the necessity of recognizing, or, of bringing forth a representative assembly of the churches, which cansed Independency to bring forth among us the first regularly published authorilative human creed. This is the LEGITIMATE OFFSPRING OF INDEPENDENCY, in which alone I spoke in term of censure.
Your excellent remarks, therefore, on the importance of the minisfry, the pastorship, “the episcopate, the eldership of the Christian church,” cannot be considered as an argument needed in my case, since I believe in all of it; and was a member, in good faith, of the committee of the last State Meeting, which brought in a report commendatory of the great work of supplying the churches, and the various fields now opening to the harvest, with workmen that need not be ashamed.
I am inclined to think, as some of your remarks seem to intimate, that Independency derives much of its estimable character from being supposed to hold the position of the most direct antagonism to civil and religious despotism. But unless we intend to trifle with the real meaning of terms, and play upon the vulgar prejudices by mere sound, and by an arbitrary use of the word, it really has no force in the question at all. Though “we Americans are much in love with all that is independent, because our political and ecclesiastie ancestors fought some hard battles onder this armorial,” still, in its common, as well as in its political sense, it describes and distinguishes no particular form of government whatever; and it is a true and legitimate use of the term to say, the Russian Empire, and the Kingdom of Great Britain, are as independent of each other, and of us, as we are of either of them. This was its current use in the American colonies in '76: that we as a people should be independent of foreign rule, and should, here at home, exercise our right to frame a government of various coordinant powers, in harmony with our own views of the rights of man