Onderstaande tekst is niet 100% betrouwbaar

have had his twenty or his seventy years' liferent of God's universe? Why must such a thing, apart from proof, rise up and claim to himself an cxclusive immortality? Man's majcsty! man's worth! the differencc between him and the elephant or ape is too degradingly small to venture much on. That is not all: instead of looking backwards, now look forwards. The wisest thinkers teil us that there are already on the globe traces of a dcmonstration that the human race is dravving to its close. Each of the great hunian families has had its day - its infancy — its manhood — its decline. The two last races that have not been tried are on the stage of earth doing their vvork novv. There is no other to succeed them. Man is but of yesterday, and yet his race is well-nigh done. Man is wearing out as everything before him has been worn out. In a few more centuries the crust of earth will be the sepulchre of the race of man, as it has been the sepulchre of extinct races of palm-trees, and ferns, and gigantic reptiles. The time is near when the bones of the last human being will be given to the dust. It is historically certain that man has quite lately within a few thousand years been called into existence. It is certain that before very long the race must be extinct.

Now look at all this without Christ, and teil us whether it be possible to escape such misgivings, and such reasonings as these which rise out of such an aspect of things. Man, this thing of yesterday, which sprung out of the eternal nothingness, why may he not sink after he has played his appointed part into nothingness again? You see the leaves sinking one by one in autumn, till the heaps below are rich with the spoils of a whole year's vegetationThey were bright and perfect vvhile they lasted: each leaf a miracle of beauty and contrivance. There is no resurrection for the leaves why must there be one for man? Go and stand some summer evening by the river side: you will see the mayfly sporting out its little hour, in dense masses of insect life, darkening the air, a few feet above the gentle swell of the water. The heat of that

Sluiten