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which we are enlightened; to the shadow of a great rock, under which the traveller finds rest and refreshment ;these figures intimate the nourishment, the comfort, the light, and the peace, which He communicates to those who receive Him. But all these blessings are at once represented by the union of the head with the members.
There is, however, another point of view, in which this intimate and endearing relation is exhibited to us in the New Testament, which is not less striking and important;—and I mean that which suggests to us, not only the duties owing by the members to the head, but also the ties by which each member is connected with all the rest. It is on this latter subject, that I am at present desirous to fix the attention of my readers.
"As we have many members in one body," says the apostle already alluded to, "and all members have not the same office so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."* From this analogy, the inspired writer shows the fitness of each individual exercising the peculiar gifts bestowed upon him, so as to promote the interests of the whole. They are, for wise purposes, made to differ; and, just as it would not be for the good of the human body, that it should only consist of one kind of member,—that it should, for instance, be all eye, or all ear, or that it should only possess the feet for walking, and not also the hand for labor, and the mouth for nourishment,- -so it would not contribute to the perfection or usefulness of the spiritual body, that all the members of which it is composed, should only be endowed with one kind of gift, however important.†
But the argument goes further, and alludes to a remarkable peculiarity in the Divine administration, by which certain graces and endowments are bestowed much more abundantly on some individuals than on others. It is natural to wish that all should be perfect in the virtues and acquirements which belong to the Christian character, or to the particular stations which they occupy, and the va
*Romans xii. 4, 5.
See this argument strikingly stated in the twelfth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians.
rious offices which they fill; and doubtless it is our duty to aspire after this perfection. But, whatever may be the case in the world of spirits, it is not intended that the attainment should be actually made in our present imperfect state. It is of importance, therefore, that, while we omit no means which may be within our reach, of rising "to the full stature of perfect men in Christ Jesus," we be peculiarly assiduous in cultivating the particular talent committed to our charge. This the Apostle intimates, when, speaking of the ministers of the Gospel, he says, "Having, then, gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us; whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation; he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness." We are bound to regard any peculiar quality or attainment we may possess, as bestowed upon us for the express purpose of enabling us to exercise a particular department in the body of which we are members; and, just as the very form, position, and mechanism of the hand or the foot point out its peculiar office in the human frame, so the characteristic constitution of our mind, and the special powers which it possesses, as well as the station and relations in which it has pleased Providence to place us, ought to be regarded by us as distinct indications of the peculiar duties which He requires us to perform. While we "covet earnestly the best gifts," we must not neglect to cultivate the "gift which is in us.
In the performance of these duties, we should ever keep in mind the peculiar relation in which we stand to each other, as members of the same body. It is a most intimate relation, and must, if properly appreciated, lead to the kindliest union and sympathy. "No man," says the Scripture, 66 ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it." If we were but to realize to our minds the sentiments and obligations which this analogy implies, a most important progress would at once be made in that principle of Christian love, which is declared to be the end of the commandment," and "the bond of
perfectness." "The eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary and those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon those we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it."
There are some very weighty considerations involved in this beautiful figure, as followed out by the inspired author. If we apply it to the various ranks of society, they are all placed on an equal footing as regards the obligation of Christian love. To the one, indeed, is assigned a more extensive and more important sphere of duty than the other: but the king and the beggar are but different members of the same body, and are therefore united together by a band which places them in the same relation to their Spiritual Head, and on the same terms as regards each other. If we apply it to diversity of talents and endowments, the wise and the simple, the learned and the ignorant, the uncivilized and those who are surrounded with all the lights of knowledge and of science, have no reason either to presume or be discouraged on account of these differences. It may be said of them, as of those who occupy different stations in society, they are but different members of the same body; and as, in the sight of their Divine head, they are only strong or feeble, honorable or dishonorable, in proportion to the manner in which they fulfil the office assigned to them, whatever that may be, in the very same light ought they to be regarded by their fellow members.
This view brings us to a proper understanding of the relation in which Christians stand towards each other, and annihilates all those worldly distinctions by which
mankind are separated from each other in society. It is necessary that these distinctions should exist. Such is the wise decree of Providence; but it is not necessary— it is altogether improper-that they should mutually alienate fellow Christians. In the presence of our Great Head, every earthly distinction should be laid aside; and we should meet in his temple below, standing on the same level, with regard to one another, which we are destined to occupy in his temple above.
HUMAN FOOD.-PROVISION FOR THE FUTURE-SOIL STILL UNCULTIVATED.
WE have seen that, during the four thousand years in which the human race has been in progress, it has not yet reached its maximum of population, with reference to the supply of the necessaries of life, and that although, through the whole course of that long period, they have been always increasing and always pressing upon the means of subsistence, these means have constantly yielded to the pressure, so that the increase has never exhausted the supply; and this remarkable fact is itself sufficient to afford a reasonable conviction, that the same balance which has hitherto been maintained, will continue to the end of time. It is a law obviously impressed on nature, by the Infinite Intelligence which called it into existence; and we may rest assured, that the benevolence which formed the law will not cease to adjust its operation. We may, therefore, safely arrive at the conclusion, previous to all experience and to all reasoning on the facts of the case, that any theory must be false which maintains that this arrangement contains in itself the seeds of its own destruction. But it will be more satisfactory to show, from an induction of particulars, that, so far from the productive powers of Nature, with regard to human food, being nearly exhausted, there is still a field of vast extent which re
mains to be cultivated, and which, taking the power of agricultural improvement as it at present exists, admits of the increase of population for many centuries, even at its recent accelerated progress, without any danger of the demand exceeding the supply.
It is necessary for an increasing population, that there should exist either additional soil to cultivate, or a power of producing additional means of subsistence from the same soil, or both of these requisites conjoined. Let us first examine how the case stands in regard to soil. Is there territorial surface at present on the earth, unemployed, on which an additional population may exert its productive energy? The answer to this question is highly satisfactory.
The present population of our earth has been variously estimated at from five hundred and fifty to a thousand millions. Taking the average medium between these two extremes, we may safely consider the whole amount of the human race now existing on our globe, to be between seven and eight hundred millions. It has progressively risen to this number; and, looking at all history, it cannot be doubted that the earth never contained so great an amount of the human race as it does at this moment. Within the last hundred years, indeed, causes have been operating, and becoming constantly more powerful, which were never before combined, and which all seem to be peculiarly favorable to the continued and rapid multiplication of our species.
Let us consider, then, what proportion of soil on the surface of our earth, would be sufficient to nourish this number of human beings, if cultivated according to the agricultural skill at present exercised in Great Britain. Mr. Turner has the following calculation :-" Our two islands of Great Britain and Ireland, contain twenty-four millions of human beings. Multiply this by thirty, and we have seven hundred and twenty; therefore, thirty times as much space of soil as Great Britain and Ireland comprehend, would be sufficient for the maintenance of seven hundred and twenty millions of human beings, living as our fellow-countrymen generally do. Now, these