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who, having been attacked by disease, have been cured, and so demonstrate to society what our doctors are doing for us; but it is impossible to say how many would have died or fallen into sickness but for the work of the

sanitary reformer. Thus we cannot show so clearly what his value to us is; although some of the truest benefactors of mankind are those the result of whose labours cannot be expressed in accurate statistics.

To the assertion that 'Prevention is better than cure,' all of us give a ready assent; yet how few of us take the trouble to gain the knowledge which is necessary to make our belief in the practical philosophy of the above words of some value to us! Few think of consulting a medical man as to the proper course of life for keeping themselves in good health. If there is any risk to our health in our daily employment, and there is in nearly all employments, how seldom do we acquaint ourselves with those precautions which, if religiously observed, would minimize, if not altogether neutralize, the dangers to which we are daily exposed! We generally wait until we are pulled up by some serious illness before we apply to a medical man, whereas an earlier consultation might have saved us the pain and expense of sickness;-all which proves that our ready belief in the wisdom of the above saying is as yet only theoretical and not practical.

It is not too much to say that most diseases are produced by carelessness, folly and ignorance. Impure air or bad water, adulterated food, excess or defect in eating and drinking, insufficient or excessive exercise-these are some of the most prolific causes of the various 'ills that flesh is heir to.' Where disease is hereditary, a strict attention to the laws of health, if it will not destroy its germs in the constitution, will certainly retard their development, and consequently lessen their danger. Many who have shown.

in youth signs of consumption have been able, by careful regulation of their life, to preserve their health to a good age. A person in vigorous health is most likely to escape infection when any epidemic is prevalent, or, if struck by it, he will throw it off more easily than others, and with less damaging results to his constitution. It is generally the weak who are the first victims of fever, cholera and other infectious diseases-an indisputable evidence of the value of those general conditions of life which keep the constitution in vigour.

It is difficult to make people see that but for the adoption of preventive measures the plague and the cholera would have revisited our land, and with more frightful results. The present conditions of life would have aggravated the mischief terribly. The beneficial results of the sanitary improvements of the last thirty years are general and widespread, though necessarily not capable of that individual illustration which is always most telling; hence the enthusiasm of men is not so easily or quickly kindled. Nevertheless some facts, gathered from the experience of years, clearly prove that since the Government of the country began to look after the sanitary condition of the people, and preventive medicine, or Hygiene, became an acknowledged science, the most remarkable results have been secured.

During the years between 1840 and 1870 the annual death-rate in England stood at the low figure of 22.2 per thousand, and during the first eight years of the last decade it has sunk to 217. In the same period the population of the country nearly doubled itself. Many a small village grew into a prosperous and populous town; for the carrying on of the national industries people were massed together in great commercial centres; all the dangers attendant on an overgrown and crowded population were

multiplied, and yet the death-rate did not increase. Had it not been for the constant efforts of earnest men to procure, as far as possible, for the people who were thus crowded together, good drainage, pure water and fresh air, the increased mortality would have been frightful. When we look at the number of deaths reported under the various heads of small-pox, measles, scarlet-fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, diarrhoea-the six principal zymotic diseases-we find another powerful illustration of the sanitary work of the last few years. For instance, under the head of fever, which includes typhus, typhoid and enteric, in 1865 there were reported twenty-three thousand and thirty-four deaths. In 1875 the number was reduced to thirteen thousand and sixty-three, and in the last report of

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(To be concluded.)




For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you.'-1 PETER I. 24, 25.

WE have here displayed in impressive contrast the glory of man and the glory of God. In both instances this glory is the expression of mind. In one case, the expression, however beautiful, is fleeting; in the other, it standeth for ever. The word flesh comprehends everything that is human, everything that can be included in a popular sense within the glory of man.' The contrast is not drawn between the mind of God and the mind of man, but between the thoughts, purposes and works which respectively come from each; so that neither this text nor the original passage in Isaiah in adopting the word 'flesh' must be understood to refer to the mere mor

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firmament are not lights of revelation. Their glory is inscrutable. But so far as we have learned by a knowledge which has been accumulating for ages, the most imposing of the splendours of creation is a coarse commonplace compared with the human mind. What is it all without mind? Mind, our mind, invests it with beauty and endows it with voice. It is a curious question into which we shall not enter, What are surrounding phenomena in themselves, and separate from the mind that considers them? It is enough for us to maintain that their grandeur, significance and influence are human conceptions. They prove nothing, and they teach nothing, except through human observation and reasoning. Man is, in this sense, the god of this world; and when he is ignorant or doubtful of the existence of any higher being than himself, he worships those forms of power of which he is the creator.

II. This leads us to consider man in his collective might.

As there is nothing in creation so fair as the human form instinct with virtuous intelligence, so there is no object that embodies so perfect an idea of power as human society, men consorting with men, and amongst them maturing the expression of wisdom; subduing to their own will the forces of nature; impressing their fancies upon the surface of the earth; bringing out the grace and ideas of human thought and making them live in visible forms, until nature loses its grossness and becomes itself intellectual, like its master. The fairest earthly region is desolate if man be not found there; and the world, whatever subordinate forms of animation may flit about it, would be a dead world, without a living soul. It is too true that, although human society gives importance to this planet, and the most perfect images of beauty and progress are found in the districts of

man habitation, the footsteps of

men have sown the earth as thickly with curses as with blessing. The creature's power of evil is in equal proportion to his power of good. The angel fallen cannot be less than a demon. Man can lay waste as well as build up; and there is no conceivable horror in the universe, no crisis of disorganization, no collision or wreck of natural forces, no war of elements, no destruction of nature's produce and life, no eclipse of lights, so direful as the ravages of human passions. Any other disorder is simply terrible to the eye; and there is the redeeming thought that what appears to be evil may be some unknown arrangement by which Nature protects herself from greater dangers. But in man's wrong-doing there is mind bent upon wrong, framing mischief by a law; wrong is devised and executed: it is as if a devil were endowed with creative energy and could do what he pleased with light and air and life, investing them with powers to scathe and blight and destroy instead of bless. There is a limit to the ravages of material convulsions; peace is born of storms, and harvests of floods. But what is the assignable limit to human conflicts, and what is the boon that shall recompense the sufferings and bereavements of war?

All this, as we have said, is too true; but if men have disfigured the earth by the wickedness of passion and the infatuation of folly, there is a better intelligence amongst us that rises up against evil; and in no human society is the disorder of vice considered the natural condition of mankind-nay, there is scarcely a human breast in which there is not a protest against it. Human power, therefore, in its highest aspects, is a glory upon the earth; pulling up the thorn and the brier, and planting the myrtle-tree; sending rivers through deserts, until the wilderness and solitary place are made glad by the stir of human enterprise, and beautiful

by luxuriance, order and progress; providing, moreover, for the permanence of the blessings which it brings by linking the present with the past, improving upon the hints and experiences of forefathers, avoiding their mistakes and carrying out their plans. Thus languages and governments and arts are perfected, and society attains a symmetry splendid in its dimensions, its harmony and its strength.

You will see at once how it has come to pass that human greatness, in its individual and collective attributes, being the only example which has been brought home to our senses of the ascendency of intelligence, has become the deity of the world. Away from the illuminations of Heavenly truth, the world's religion is the worship of man. It has been so from the beginning. You see it at once in the ruder imageries of paganism; but you may detect it also in the most carefully-matured systems of faith and morals. In the worship of ancestors, the cultivated Chinese join hands with the aboriginal savages of North America; and the deities of the Hindu Pantheon are exaggerated forms of human intelligence and manners. The philosophy of Europe may smile at the simplicity of the Indian venerating the spirit of his forefather; but he has seen nothing so great as his forefather; and what, I ask, is the essential difference between the ancestral idolatry of the savage, and that adoration of the human intellect which seems to be the religion of modern civilization? The pagan worships the best thing he knows; and his unlettered Muse celebrates feats of skill and strength in the chase and in the battle; and he models his rude heaven upon the pattern of the hunting-ground and the spoils of victory. But when the modern scientist goes no further than man, he goes no further than the savage. He sees man at his best estate, the pagan sees man at

his worst estate, but neither of them sees anything more than man; and to see nothing more than man is to worship him; and to worship him is superstition, by whatever guise we may seek to conceal it.

It is the glory of the Christian faith a distinction shared by no other religion, and by no anti-Christian philosophy-that, when it has presented just views of buman nature, it leads us to that which is infinitely higher than ourselves: to higher purposes, higher words, and a higher Being. It does not depress man in order to make more conspicuous its revelation of God. Nowhere does man receive such honour as the Bible ascribes to the human race. Even the most extravagant eulogies of man-worship are mean praise compared with his rank who was created in the image of God! But, on the other hand, the Scriptures, in the severest modes of warning, commands us to cease from man—that is, not to attempt to find any shelter in any form of power which he may build up, not to follow implicitly any index which he may display in any of the paths of human action: to distrust his word, and even to despise his authority, when he tells us there is no surer oracle than himself. It is impossible to put this lesson more strongly than in the significant words: 'Cursed be man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.' When the Voice of prophecy said to the Spirit of prophecy, What shall I cry?' the Spirit replied: 'All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth;...but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.' There are two qualities of the Divine Word which are brought out by this contrast:

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1. It is unchangeable.

2. It is always being spoken.

1. It is unchangeable. When

God speaks, His words gather up the future, and they have no past; they stand for ever, because they are spoken with a knowledge to which no addition can be made. They are addressed to us. They omit nothing which is necessary for us to know; it is impossible for any contingency in our history to make it needful that they should be supplemented. They do not show all their meaning to one age: if they were to do so, that age would be bewildered by the excess of revelation; by declarations which it would not want, and, therefore, would not understand. The Word of the Lord opens itself to the needs of succeeding generations. Every new phase of history is met by corresponding instructions. The Word of the Lord is not a word enriched by an accumulation of wisdom, but by an accumulation of proof. 'The Word of the Lord is tried' as silver is tried-not in the sense of being purified by trial, but in the sense of abiding a test. A man receiving silver ore ascertains by the process of intense heat the relative purity, he then submits it to another trial to increase that purity; and by repeated experiments he perfects the metal.

The Word of the Lord is like silver ore when it has been purified seven times. We cannot make it more precious, but we prove its worth.

Let any one bring it to the test of meeting his own condition. Let it be a peculiar condition; let it be an unexampled condition; and it shall meet it by a provision exquisitely prepared and abundantly supplied. The word of man is like grass, and the wisdom of man like the flower of grass; it is beautiful in its time, and beneficent in its use the Spirit of the Lord causes it to grow, and the Spirit of the Lord causes it to disappear.

'Our little systems have their day,

They have their day and cease to be;

They are but broken lights of Thee; And Thou, O Lord, art more than they !' There is much in man's wisdom that we would not willingly let die,' much indeed that can never die. The thoughts and fancies of genius enshrined in words of perfect art are carefully treasured and bequeathed from age to age. In addition to their power to charm the taste, they carry with them a certain inspiration which, while it elevates and polishes society, stimulates men to noble deeds; and some of them take their immortality from God Himself; they are instinct with an ancient wisdom that first came from God. But while they teach, and educate, and refine, they do not touch the great needs of the human race.


Try them in temptation. words of man are wise in experience, and, so far, authoritative in warning. They describe your adversary and powerfully depict the humiliation or ruin of defeat; but they put no weapon in your hand, they cheer you by no examples of victory: you must nerve your resolution for the encounter, you must present a brave front and stand firm, you must fix your eye steadily and sternly upon the right, and do it at all hazards. Excellent instructions and exhortations; but they are like the melancholy efforts of a bystander to save by shouting at him an unfortunate boatman, whose boat is already in the rapids of a river, and is quietly and irresistibly obeying the far-down currents that must swing it over the cataract. It was never for lack of moral teaching that we fell again and again under the stroke of our adversary our knowledge was abundantly clear, and every motive was touched that could give authority to knowledge and action to resolution; and yet we were beaten, shamefully and memorably beaten the best human support broke in our hand like a reed, our defeat was as flagrant and as inevit


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