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wise care that if ministers of the gospel are to be excluded from the walls of the institution, the gospel itself shall be there; and that all the departments of instruction shall be under the care of christian men, who honor and teach the Bible as the inspired word of God.
Had it been otherwise, the endowment had never escaped from the various perplexities and obstacles that lay in its way; or it must have given rise to an institution that would have done as little
service for sound education as for sound Christi.
anity. It would have been powerful only for evil. “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles ?” Just as soon can the sacred cause of learning be sustained by infidelity. The cold creed can warm the heart to nothing generous and noble. It inspires no sentiments of enlarged forethought and liberality, of love to God or love to man. It can educate the heart only to selfishness and sensuality. If it does not enfeeble the intellectual powers, it distracts and distorts them. If it stimulates them to activity, the action is wild and convulsive, and of course dangerous to the man himself and to all around him. There is no regulating power pervading and controling the whole framework of the soul, and turning it towards truth, as the needle • turns to the pole.
But let the life-giving, life-diffusing influence of Christianity be felt in the cultivation and spread of knowledge, and what a healthful expansion of mind and heart, of thought and feeling do we see. You may plant the most precious seeds in the richest soil ; but if they be under a covering where the rays of the sun seldom, if ever, reach them, their growth will be feeble, sickly and deformed ; perhaps putting forth their pale shoots into every fantastic shape, yet never rising into strength, beauty or fruitfulness. But remove the covering that keeps away the genial light and heat dispensed by the sun in the heavens, and what a verdant healthfulness, what a ripening strength at once appears in the before sickly and imprisoned plant. Such is the influence of the Gospel on the intellect of man in unfolding its powers, and nurturing them to strength and maturity. It is the same word of God, which “ in the beginning,” when “darkness was upon the face of the deep," was heard saying “let there be light, and there was light;" and
which day after day, during the work of creation, brought into activity the various forms of life, till there was produced a finished world, “all very good.” And “as it was in the beginning, it is now, and ever shall be.” Throughout all ages of time it has been the good pleasure of God to “magnify his word above all his name.' Wherever it “has free course and is glorified,"it evokes light from darkness; it disinthralls, unchains, and calls into activity the previously stifled and dormant fac. ulties of the mind. Shame on the small talk of still
smaller men, that call the Bible a sectarian book. It is the book of the human soul, made by Him who made the soul; and so inade in his wisdom, that all its verities correspond with the wants, the wishes, and the happiness of which the soul is most conscious. It is a glass in which man sees himself. It is the voice of God communing with the spirit which he once made in his own image, to wake up its faculties into a resurrection of their once departed strength; and so far as its power is felt, so widely as the book is spread, this effect is seen upon the learned and unlearned. Look at our own age of the world, which is the brightest Bible day it has ever seen. At no previous period has the holy book been carried abroad, so speedily, as if on the wings of the wind; nor have the re. searches of travelers, and the labors of the learned, ever done so much in so short a time to illustrate its pages, as within the last fifty years. And, as if the breeze that bears onward the sacred volume, fanned into brightness the before sleeping embers of intellect; as though the book would instantly repay a hundred fold every illustration its truths receive from the investigations of science; never before did the world see a period of intellectual energy like the present. Man now reads the stars and suns of other worlds above us, till he seems familiar with them as with the planet on which he dwells. He finds his way into the deep recesses of the earth beneath his feet, and brings up from the inines, which grow richer as he goes deeper, exhaustless stores, which ever-improving art fashions and applies to multiply his conforts and gratify his taste. He has subjected the subtle vapor of steam to his dominion, and makes it bear him and his wealth over earth and sea with the speed of an eagle. He makes the very lightning the messenger of his thoughts to distant cities and nations, with a rapidity that outstrips the wind. And then, while science is doing all this for the more happy and powerful of the human family, see what she does for the more bereaved and helpless. She has invented letters that the blind can read, a language that the deaf can understand ; and who shall say that, having, in a sense far from profane made “the blind to see, and the deaf to hear,” she may not also ere long make “ the tongue of the dumb to sing ?"
Let no man say these things are but the fruit of the world's advancement in years, and that it grows wiser because it grows older. The world grows old as fast in China or Africa, as in Europe or America; and what is the fruit of its age in those ignorant and degraded countries! Their inhabitants, generation after generation, have sunk deeper and deeper into ignorance and misery. It requires but a moment's reflection to show all who are willing to see, that this wondrous development of mind in our day is found where you find the Bible, and is found nowhere else. That which "makes us to differ” is, that we have the Bible,