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ticular circumstances, and if, in this state, my religious principles and reflections, though they satisfy my understanding, are unequal to restoring the tranquillity of my feelings ; if my philosophy is insufficient, and all common aid fails me, I have then two methods left, which may bring back my peace. If I were not a christian, even on the ground of philosophy, I might presume, as it is one of its principles, that nothing violent can last long, that when time has been allowed its influence, I shall recorer the cheerful tone of my feelings. Or, being a christian, on the ground of religion, I may hope, that God will do for me what I cannot do for myself, if I earnestly implore his mercy to calm the tumult of my emotions. The assistance I receive, the serenity and peace which are restored, is the answer to my prayer. This is the grace of God, his spiritual favor ; it is that unseen, and often un. known operation of his power, that preserves the human mind, through all the vicissitudes of life, so capable of happiness; and when it is under the habitual influence of religion, renders it so uniformly peaceful and contented."

“Will you pretend to say,” asked Mr Henderson," that a miracle is performed, in favor of those who pray in the manner and circumstances you describe ? and that

peace and happiness are restored to their minds by the immediate operation of God's spirit, and not by strictly natural means ? This is a fallacy to which I can never yield my mind. I am not enthusiast enough to believe this."

“ My dear husband,” replied his wife, “it is not my mind, but yours, which is imposed upon by fallacy. The terms, natural means, and miracle, are both used so indefinitely, they are so obscure and vague, that they are altogether fallacious in their common application. If,

in the case we are speaking of, you intend to express by the term,- strictly natural means,—the mode in which the human mind is always affected in similar circumstances, I will assert that the operation of divine grace in thus producing a desirable state of feeling, when thus earnestly prayed for, is nothing more nor less than strictly natural means. For I fully believe that every sincere prayer offered to God for a proper temper of mind, is followed by the temper of mind desired; and yet I do as fully believe the state of feeling would not have been produced, without the ardent desire and humble petition. Prayer is the appointed means of obtaining the blessing, the condition on which it is promised; and when all these circumstances occur, the effect always follows. Thus it may be called strictly natural means. I do not know any means that separates the mind from the influence of Deity. Nature is only another name to express the common Providence of God; and this effect on the mind through the means of prayer I consider of that kind.”

Mr Henderson then said, “ if you call such an effect of prayer, the operation of natural causes, what do you think produces the effect you call philosophical. Is not that also the operation of natural causes ? and if so, what is the difference between them ?

“My dear husband," said Mrs Henderson, “ does not God preserve and bless us, when we do not ask him ? when we even forget him, and disobey him? He invites us to turn to him and find happiness, by all the variety of events in which his Providence places us. If a painful event induces us to seek him, and ask his gracious influence, we receive it, and our peace is restored. If we do not seek him, he gradually restores our peaceful state

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of mind, but not such peace as prayer brings; and thus prepares us for new incitements. All the train of human events, and all the states of mind resulting from them, are only the varied means used by our Heavenly Father to draw our hearts to him, and conform our spirits entirely to him; by which eternal happiness will be secured to us."

“Then," interrupted Mr Henderson," you mean to say that what is called the philosophical cause, is, in your opinion, only the operation of God on the mind, without any voluntary co-operation of that mind; and what is called spiritual influences, is God's operation on the mind, in co-operation with the earnest and expressed desires of the heart ? »

“Yes, that is what I think, my dear," replied his wife ; “ and I should like to explain my ideas more at large, if you think them worth attending to."

Mr Henderson made no reply, but appearing to listen, Mrs Henderson continued. “ With those persons who never seek the aid of God's grace, who know nothing of religious intercourse with their Maker, God deals in a certain manner, and such as he perceives to be the most effectual in bringing them to the state of mind most conformed to his own, and therefore most capable of rendering them happy. This being the case with the greatest number of human beings, embracing barbarians, semicivilized people, heathens, infidels, idiots, insane persons, and little children, the methods pursued respecting them are the most frequently observable ; so that they who take notice and reason on the circumstances of human life, come at length to the conclusion that God has established certain general laws, by which he chooses to govern the

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world, which they call laws of nature, or philosophical causes ; as if God had delegated to other powers, the conduct of those circumstances, wbich require constant attention and superintendency, while he reserves for himself only the management of those few and extraordinary events, which he deems more important, and requiring greater exertion of divine power. But it is easy to perceive that this mode of reasoning is the effect of man's imperfect faculties, which, not comprehending an idea of Deity, are disposed to circumscribe the attributes of God by their own narrow views.”

This view of the subject seems rational,” observed Mr Henderson.

Mrs Henderson continued. “God deals differently with the class of persons, who come into nearer communication with him by means of religion. They are drawn, by their lively faith in divine revelation, to seek the favor of their Heavenly Father directly. They know, they feel that they are led by his spirit, whenever they do not resist it; and they desire to become more and more conformed to it, and to live by it. They know that they shall be heard by their Maker, whenever they sincerely ask for his assistance and influence. They are convinced they shall be permanently united to God, if they strive to subdue the evil passions and abandon the conduct, which separate them from him, and are truly and earnestly desirous that he should reign in their hearts. To all such persons, and in all their circumstances, God uniformly grants his grace, according to his own divine measure and wisdom; and still, as with mankind at large, effects follow causes, uniformly and constantly; and the reward of spiritual favor, on the urgent request for it, is as much a general mode of operation, as that adopted for the greater number. It is less frequent only because fewer minds are in the state to ask and receive. It is therefore, strictly speaking, as much a natural law as the other.”

“ I like that explanation,” said Mr Henderson. Mrs Henderson's countenance became irradiated, as her husband's mind appeared impressed. She continued. “There are other situations and circumstances of the mind in which a different mode of operation is adopted by God. In this method, God sees fit to manifest himself sensibly to his creatures, either on their minds immediately, or by interrupting his general course. These circumstances, occurring much less frequently than either of the others I have noticed, and indeed, since the Christian era, having apparently not occurred at all, are considered by mankind as the only instances of God's, directly operating on worldly affairs; and accordingly they are distinctly called miraculous. But as such phenomena always occur in the same given situation of men, they ought to be considered as means, as strictly natural as any other mode that God uses to effect his purposes."

“If what is called natural means, and what are called divine interpositions, and what is called miracle, are all equally the methods uniformly pursued by God to reform and elevate the human character, and unite the spirit of man with his Maker, why is it that such different terms have obtained such general use? I wish you to recapitulate a little on this subject," said Mr Henderson.

Mrs Henderson replied. " The different states of the human mind, which God always regards in his dealings with us, require these different methods, to produce the same result, which is union with him and consequent

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