Page:God Manifest.djvu/79

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69
SEEN IN MAN'S GOODNESS.

his blessed reward. But though the wish, expressed in the dying words of Howard, cannot be granted, yet the feeling from which that wish proceeded, is in the highest degree to be admired and revered. It was founded equally in truth and in goodness. It showed that he had a just appreciation of man's entire dependence on his God; and, what is far more,—it showed that that truth had passed from his head into his heart, and there had produced its correspondent feeling. It showed that Howard, by inward experience and perception, as well as from the light of revealed truth, had attained the full acknowledgment and consciousness that God is all in all, and man, of himself, nothing; that all man's goodness is but God's goodness in him; that all man's good deeds are but the Lord's good deeds, done through man as a humble instrument. Howard knew and felt, that the benevolent feeling which had warmed his heart, as he entered the prison-doors and descended into the dark dungeon, was the immediate gift, nay, was the very presence of Him who is Benevolence and Love itself;—a presence which had power to cheer the cold and lighten the gloom even of that sad place. He knew that that compassionate feeling was excited within him, or, to speak correctly, was communicated to him, by that Divine Saviour, whose whole life on earth was that of "going about doing good;" and who from His place in heaven still looked down, yearning with the burning tenderness of Divine love to bless all His creatures to the utmost, to relieve all that were afflicted and distressed, to "comfort all that mourn;" and who had merely raised him up and sent him forth as an instrument to accomplish His own merciful purposes.