« 前へ次へ »
“I see it, Sir," said Marten.
" When I first came to this house-it may be now thirty or more years since that fair tree was no other than a crab-stock-a healthy and flourishing stock indeed, and one which, in the spring, put forth multitudes of blossoms of a most delicate appearance; but the fruit, Mr. Marten, the fruit was naught, as my old gardener used to say-fit only to be thrown to swine.
“ You understand the process by which this same stock became what it now is, namely, grafting, an art by which a fruitful branch is so curiously and artificially united with that which is unfruitful, that it becomes in a manner one with it; although the old stock retains its original nature under the graft, proving thereby, that if it is able to produce fruits acceptable to those who water and cultivate it, it is only in consequence of that union which has been effected with the fruitful branch.
“ In like manner, as the gardener reduces the original stock to a mere stem, divesting it of all its shoots and branches before he introduces the fruitful branch; so the Holy Spirit separates the individual, with whom he is about to.commence his glorious work, from his old covenant head, and unites him to the new covenant head;
namely, that head which in Scripture is empha. tically called the branch. This spiritual union (to us a mystery) is what is called regeneration, or the passage from the old dead state into a new and spiritual state of being.
“ In entering into this new state of being, the new-born soul receives a set of faculties whereby it is enabled to comprehend spiritual things, and to apprehend those divine instructions which it cannot admit by nature. For the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.'-—Rom. viii. 7.
“ But whereas it takes a length of time before the tree, which has been grafted, is able to bring forth fruits in perfection from the good stock ; and whereas the branches which the old stock is continually throwing out, would, without the care of the gardener, utterly impede and destroy the fruitfulness of the engrafted branch, so the feelings of our old and corrupt nature too often utterly destroy the usefulness, and tarnish the honour of the child of God, rendering it necessary for his heavenly Father to exercise him with many sorrows, and, as it were, to encompass him with thorns, lopping his most flourishing branches, and disturbing his habitation.
"And thus the regenerate are taught to use those divine faculties with which they were endowed in the moment of regeneration, the Holy Spirit sanctifying unto them the exercises of adversity, and fitting them to enter into that glory which was prepared for them from the beginning
“And now, my dear Marten, if I have succeeded in making these doctrines plain to you, you will perceive, that so far from our ever being able to obtain any thing like inherent or natural strength, wisdom, or what you term virtue, by which I understand a sort of sense of morality, which may be depended upon in times of trial, it appears that all which proceeds from ourselves is corrupt, and that if we at any time produce the fruits of good works,
of good works, it can only be through our union with the branch.”
“ Permit me, Sir," said Marten, “to commit what you have said to paper, for your inspection and for my own consideration. I feel that all you have said is perfectly right, but the ideas are all so entirely new to me, that I fear I cannot take them in at once.”
Thus finished this interesting conversation.
A little for all Tastes
Marten being now established at Mr. Dalben's for some weeks, fell at once into the regular routine of the family; and how sweetly each day followed another can only be conceived by those persons who, having God for their guide, understand the harmonious interchange of labour and recreation-intellectual labour, and harmless, useful, and ingenious recreation. As the evenings became longer, more time was devoted to conversation; and then it was that Mr. Dalben finished his outline of history, having brought Marten to that point to which he had already led Henry on an occasion stated above.
This point was the fourth millennium of the earth typified by the fourth day of creation; the account of which is to the following effect :
“ And God said, Let there be lights in the
firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years : and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness : and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
According to our system of types,” added Mr. Dalben, “ the sun is the type of the God incarnate; the moon, of the forms and ordinances and ruling powers of the church ; the stars, of dignities inferior to Christ, shining in the periods of darkness; the heavens, the seat
government; and the dry land, the place of the church, or the field prepared for divine cultivation. Answerable to this, we find, by comparing one history with another, that it was during this millennium that all the great monarchies of the earth arose; - not only all the principal ones spoken of by Daniel, but all the lesser ones mentioned in heathen