BLTC Press Titles

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Christian retirement: or Spiritual exercises of the heart, by the author of 'Christian experience as displayed in the life and writings of st. Paul'.

by Thomas Shaw B. Reade


A God of mercy and of love?
Why dare the Holy Spirit grieve 1

Why far from Christ and heaven remove?

Lord, 'tis the fruit of Adam's sin,

The awful taint which nature bears
Create me all anew within;

Dissolve my flinty heart to tears.

To thee I look, my only Lord;

On Ihee, my trembling soul depends;
Blest Saviour! speak the healing word;

Thy pard'ning mercy never ends.

Then will my heart o'erflow with joy,

My life proclaim its grateful praise,
Till safe in bliss, without alloy,

My soul shall chant celestial lays.


Much of the beauty of Scripture is lost to us for •want of spiritual discernment. The ways of God appear dark, in proportion to the thick film which rests upon our understanding.

The view which the Rev. Hartwell Home has given of the prohibition in paradise, in a note in the first volume of his " Introduction to the Critical Study of the Holy Scriptures," is very important. He says, "that the particular injunction given to our first parents not to eat of the fruit of a particular tree, has been a favourite subject of sneer and cavil with the opposers of revelation."

It is awful to reflect, how weak, polluted worms of earth dare to charge the infinite wisdom of Jehovah with folly. Surely we must say with the Psalmist, "God is strong and patienf—and God is provoked every day.

The following considerations show at once the reasonableness, noliness, and goodness of the law of paradise.

1. As God had made man the governor of this lower world, and crowned him with so many mercies, "it was manifestly proper that he should require some particular instance of homage and fealty, to be a memorial to man of his dependence, and an acknowledgment on his part, that he was under the dominion of a higher Lord, to whom he owed absolute subjection and obedience.

2. "What instance of homage could be more proper, circumstanced as man then was, than his being obliged, in obedience to the divine command, to abstain from one or more of the fruits of paradise?

3. "It pleased God to insist only upon his abstaining from one; at the same time that he indulged him in full liberty as to the rest."

4. This easy and reasonable prohibition "served both as an act of homage to the supreme Lord from whose bountiful grant he held paradise, and all its enjoyments; and was also fitted to teach our first parents a noble and useful lesson of abstinence and self-denial; one of the most necessary lessons in a state of probation; and also of unreserved submission to the authority and will of God; and an implicit resignation to his supreme wisdom and goodness."

5. This test of their obedience, from the nature of it, "tended to habituate them to keep their sensitive appetites in subjection to the law of reason; to take them off from too close an attachment to inferior sensible good; and engage them to place their highest happiness in God alone."

6. This injunction not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, would also tend, "to keep their desires after knowledge within just bounds, so as to be content with knowing what was really proper and useful for them to know; and not presume to pry with an unwarrantable curiosity into things which belong not to them, and which God has not thought fit to reveal."

Now who can seriously meditate upon these valuable considerations, without being affected at the goodness of God in commanding, and at the baseness of man in transgressing, such a reasonable test of his obedience?

This law was truly a law of love; and the breach of it was the highest instance of ingratitude and rebellion.

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