« AnteriorContinuar »
with the due rate of interest you will have to pay it, neatly, completely, as sure as you are alive. You will have to pay it even in money, if you live and, poor slave, do you think there is no payment but in money? There is a payment which Nature rigorously exacts of men, and also of Nations, and this I think when her wrath is sternest, in the shape of dooming you to possess money :: to possess it; to have your bloated vanities fostered into monstrosity by it; your foul passions blown into explosion by it; your heart, and, perhaps, your very stomach, ruined with intoxication by it; your poor life, and all its manful activities, stunned into frenzy and comatose sleep by it;-in one word, as the old Prophets said, your soul forever lost by it: your soul, so that, through the Eternities, you shall have no soul, or manful trace of ever having had a soul; but only, for certain fleeting moments, shall have had a money-bag, and have given soul and heart, and (frightfuller still) stomach itself, in fatal exchange for the same. You wretched mortal, stumbling about in a God's Temple, and thinking it a brutal Cookeryshop! Nature, when her scorn of a slave is divinest, and blazes like the blinding lightning against his slavehood, often enough flings him a bag of money, silently saying: "That! Away; thy doom is that!"
45. TIME'S MIDNIGHT VOICE. — Edward Young. Born, 1681; died, 1765.
CREATION sleeps. "Tis as the general pulse
The bell strikes one. We take no note of time,
I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
Where are they? With the years beyond the flood'
How much is to be done! My hopes and fears
How poor, how rich, how abject, how augus,
How complicate, how wonderful, is man !
Though sullied, and dishonored, still divine!
A worm! a god! - I tremble at myself,
Triumphantly distressed! What joy, what dread!
What can preserve my life, or what destroy?
46. THE COMMON LOT.-James Montgomery.
ONCE, in the flight of ages past,
There lived a man; and Who was He?
That Man resembled Thee.
The land in which he died unknown:
That joy and grief, and hope and fear,
The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The rolling seasons, day and night,
The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye
No vestige where they flew.
The annals of the human race,
Their ruins, since the world began,
Than this, THERE LIVED A MAN!
47. THE TRUE SOURCE OF REFORM. Rev. E. H. Chapin.
THE great element of Reform is not born of human wisdom; it does not draw its life from human organizations. I find it only in CHRISTIANITY. Thy kingdom come! There is a sublime and pregnant burden in this Prayer. It is the aspiration of every soul that goes forth in the spirit of Reform. For what is the significance of this Prayer? It is a petition that all holy influences would penetrate and subdue and dwell in the heart of man, until he shall think, and speak, and do good, from the very necessity of his being. So would the institutions of error and wrong crumble and pass away. So would sin die out from the earth; and the human soul living in harmony with the Divine Will, this earth would become like Heaven. It is too late for the Reformers to sneer at Christianity, it is foolishness for them to reject it. In it are enshrined our faith in human progress, confidence in Reform. It is indissolubly connected with all that is hopeful, spiritual, capable, in man. That men have misunderstood it, and perverted it, is true. But it is also true that the noblest efforts for human melioration have come out of it, have been based upon it. Is it not so? Come, ye remembered ones, who sleep the sleep of the Just, who took your conduct from the line of Christian Philosophy, come from your tombs, and answer!
Come, Howard, from the gloom of the prison and the taint of the lazar-house, and show us what Philanthropy can do when imbued with the spirit of Jesus. Come, Eliot, from the thick forest where the red man listens to the Word of Life; - come, Penn, from thy sweet counsel and weaponless victory, - and show us what Christian Zeal and Christian Love can accomplish with the rudest barbarians or the fiercest hearts. Come, Raikes, from thy labors with the ignorant and the poor, and show us with what an eye this Faith regards the lowest and least of our race; and how diligently it labors, not for the body, not for the rank, but for the plastic soul that is to course the ages of immortality. And ye, who are a great number, -ye nameless ones, who have done good in your narrow spheres, content to forego renown on
earth, and seeking your Reward in the Record on High,— come and tell us how kindly a spirit, how lofty a purpose, or how strong a courage, the Religion ye professed can breathe into the poor, the humble, and the weak. Go forth, then, Spirit of Christianity, to thy great work of REFORM! The Past bears witness to thee in the blood of thy martyrs, and the ashes of thy saints and heroes; the Present is hopeful because of thee; the Future shall acknowledge thy omnipotence.
48. THE BEACON LIGHT. -Miss Pardoe.
DARKNESS was deepening o'er the seas, and still the hulk drove on;
49. "CLEON AND I."-Charles Mackay.
CLEON hath a million acres,
ne'er a one have I; - in a cottage, I; Cleon hath a dozen fortunes, not a penny, I; But the poorer of the twain is Cleon, and not I.
Cleon, true, possesseth acres, but the landscape, I;
He in velvet, I in fustian,
Cleon is a slave to grandeur,
richer man am I.
free as thought am I;
Cleon fees a score of doctors, need of none have I.
Wealth-surrounded, care-environed, Cleon fears to die;
- in a daisy, I;
Cleon hears no anthems ringing in the sea and sky.
State for state, with all attendants, who would change? Not I
50. THE PROBLEM FOR THE UNITED STATES. - Rev. Henry A. Boardman. THIS Union cannot expire as the snow melts from the rock, or a star disappears from the firmament. When it falls, the crash will be heard in all lands. Wherever the winds of Heaven go, that will go, bearing sorrow and dismay to millions of stricken hearts; for the subversion of this Government will render the cause of Constitutional Liberty hopeless throughout the world. What Nation can govern itself, if th's Nation cannot? What encouragement will any People have to establish liberal institutions for themselves, if ours fail? Providence has laid upon us the responsibility and the honor of solving that problem in which all coming generations of men have a profound interest, whether the true ends of Government can be secured by a popular representative system. In the munificence of His goodness, He put us in possession of our heritage, by a series of interpositions scarcely less signal than those which conducted the Hebrews to Canaan; and He has, up to this period, withheld from us no immunities or resources which might facilitate an auspicious result. Never before was a People so advantageously situated for working out this great problem in favor of human liberty; and it is important for us to understand that the world so regards it.
If, in the frenzy of our base sectional jealousies, we dig the grave of the Union, and thus decide this question in the negative, no tongue may attempt to depict the disappointment and despair which will go along with the announcement, as it spreads through distant lands. It will be America, after fifty years' experience, giving in her adhesion to the doctrine that man was not made for self-government. It will be Freedom herself proclaiming that Freedom is a chimera; Liberty ringing her own knell, all over the globe. And, when the citizens or subjects of the Governments which are to succeed this Union shall visit Europe, and see, in some land now struggling to cast off its fetters, the lacerated and lifeless form of Liberty laid prostrate under the iron heel of Despotism, let them remember that the blow which destroyed her was inflicted by their own country.
"So the struck Eagle, stretched upon the plain,
51. THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT OF SELF-GOVERNMENT.
We are summoned to new energy and zeal by the high nature of the experiment we are appointed in Providence to make, and the grandeur of the theatre on which it is to be performed. At a moment of deep and general agitation in the Old World, it pleased Heaven to open this last refuge of humanity. The attempt has begun, and is