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Spiritual Insensibility.

Spiritual Insensibility.

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" Who, being past feeling." Eph. iv. 19.

" Who, being past feeling." Eph. iv. 19.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 09, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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SPIRITUAL INSENSIBILITY. BY THE COUNTRY PARSON. " Who, being past feeling." Eph. iv. 19. IN the wilds of North America, amid vast prairies and trackless woods, there lived, $7 through many centuries, the race of the ^ Red Men. Encroached upon from all sides, hemmed in by settlers from Europe, and de-frauded of their ancient territories, that race of men has almost disappeared from the face of the earth. They were a race of hunters ; unsettled, cruel, and deceitful ; yet not without many features of character which gave them a peculiar interest. Their hospital-ity was inviolate ; and the stern gravity of their man-ners deeply impressed the stranger. But there was one thing about them, in particular, which they cul-tivated with especial care, and which was matter of especial pride : this was their power of absolutely re-pressing the slightest outward exhibition of feeling. If they were glad, they never looked it ; if the most awful misfortune befell them, it wrought not the least change on their iron features and their impassive de-
meanor. From his tree-rocked cradle to his bier, the SPIRITUAL INSENSIBILITY. 113 Indian brave was trained to bear all the extremes of good and evil, without making any sign of what he felt. If he met a friend, the dearest friend on earth ; or if he was being tortured to death at the fiery stake ; he preserved the same fixed, immovable aspect. And you could not please him better than by believing that he was as completely beyond all feeling as he seemed; for he set himself out as " the stoic of the woods," as " a man without a tear." And, indeed, it is curious to think how much, in this respect, the extreme of civilization and the ex-treme of barbarism approach one another. Greek philosophy centuries ago, and modern refinement in its last polish of manner, alike recognize the mute Oneida's principle, that there is something manly, something fine, in the repression of human feeling. A Red Indian, a Grecian philosopher, an English
gentleman, would all be pretty equally ashamed to have been seen to weep. Each would try to convey by his entire deportment the impression that he cared very little for anything. And there is no doubt at all, that it might be unworthy of the grown-up man, who has to battle with the world for his family's sup-port, were his feelings as easily moved as in his child-ish days, or did his tears flow as readily as then. Even the gentleness and freshness of womanly feeling would hardly suit the rude wear of manhood's busy life. And it must be admitted, that the highest pitch of heroism to which man has ever attained, as well as 8 114 SPIRITUAL INSENSIBILITY. the vilest degree of guilt to which man has ever sunk, has been attained, has been sunk to, by the putting down of natural feeling. The soldier volunteering for the forlorn hope, must do that as truly as the desperate pirate who spreads his black flag to the winds. And yet St. Paul was right when he wrote these words of

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