« AnteriorContinuar »
on earth and places its top in Heaven, vanish in thin air! But if you do believe, say what ought to be the conduct of him who, to his own conviction, stands with hell beneath him, Heaven above him, and eternity before him. By all the worth of the immortal soul, by all the blessings of eternal salvation, by all the glories of the upper world, by all the horrors of the bottomless pit, by all the ages of eternity, and by all the personal interest you have in these infinite realities, I conjure you to be in earnest in personal religion !
57. NEVER DESPAIR. — Samuel Lover.
O, NEVER despair! for our hopes, oftentime,
Then, up! up! never despair !
Then, up! up! — never despair!
Then, up! up! never despair !
CHARITY.— Thomas Noon Talfourd.
Like choicest music; fill the glazing eye
59. THE BATTLE-FIELD. - William Cullen Bryant. ONCE this soft turf, this rivulet's sands,
Were trampled by a hurrying crowd, And fiery hearts and arméd hands
Encountered in the battle-cloud.
Ah! never shall the land forget
How gushed the life-blood of her brave, Gushed, warm with hope and valor yet,
Upon the soil they fought to save. Now all is calm, and fresh, and still ;
Alone the chirp of fitting bird, And talk of children on the hill,
And bell of wandering kine, are heard. No solemn host goes trailing by
The black-mouthed gun and staggering wain; Men start not at the battle-cry;
O, be it never heard again!
Who minglest in the harder strife
Thy warfare only ends with life. A friendless warfare! lingering long
Through weary day and weary year; A wild and many-weaponed throng
Hang on thy front, and flank, and rear Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof,
And blench not at thy chosen lot! The timid good may stand aloof,
The sage may frown, yet faint thou not! Nor heed the shaft too surely cast,
The hissing, stinging bolt of scorn,
For with thy side shall dwell, at last,
The victory of endurance born.
The eternal years of God are hers;
And dies among his worshippers.
Yea, though thou die upon the dust,
When those who helped thee flee in fear, -
Like those who fell in battle here,
Another hand thy sword shall wield,
Another hand the standard wave,
The blast of triumph o'er thy grave!
60. THE DIZZY ACTIVITIES OF THE TIMES. - Edward Everett.
We need the spirit of '75 to guide us safely amid the dizzy activities of the times. While our own numbers are increasing in an unexampled ratio, Europe is pouring in upon us her hundreds of thousands annually, and new regions are added to our domain, which we are obliged to count by degrees of latitude and longitude. In the mean time, the most wonderful discoveries of art, and the most mysterious powers of nature, combine to give an almost fearful increase to the intensity of our existence. Machines of unexampled complication and ingenuity have been applied to the whole range of human industry: we rush across the land and the sea by steam; we correspond by magnetism; we paint by the solar ray; we count the beats of the electric clock at the distance of a thousand miles; we annihilate time and distance; and, amidst all the new agencies of communication and action, the omnipotent Press — the great engine of modern progress, not superseded or impaired, but gathering new power from all the arts – is daily clothing itself with louder thunders. While we contemplate with admiration - almost with awe the mighty influences which surround us, and which demand our coöperation and our guidance, let our hearts overflow with gratitude to the patriots who have handed down to us this great inheritance. Let us strive to furnish ourselves, from the storehouse of their example, with the principles and virtues which will strengthen us for the performance of an honored part on this illustrious stage. Let pure patriotism add its bond to the bars of iron which are binding the continent together; and, as intelligence shoots with the electric spark from ocean to ocean, let public spirit and love of country catch from heart to heart.
61. THE GOOD GREAT MAN. --S. T. Coleridge. Born, 1770; died, 1834.
“How seldom, friend, a good great man inherits
Honor and wealth, with all his worth and pains !
Or any merits that which he obtains."
And calm thoughts, equable as infant's breath;
Himself, his Maker, and the Angel Death.
62. TAXES THE PRICE OF GLORY.- Rev. Sydney Smith. Born, 1768; died, 1845.
JOHN BULL can inform Jonathan what are the inevitable consequences of being too fond of Glory :— Taxes! Taxes upon every article which enters into the mouth, or covers the back, or is placed under the foot; taxes upon everything which it is pleasant to see, hear, feel, smell, or taste; taxes upon warmth, light, and locomotion ; taxes on everything on earth, and the waters under the earth; on everything that comes from abroad, or is grown at home; taxes on the raw material; taxes on every fresh value that is added to it by the industry of man ; taxes on the sauce which pampers man's appetite, and the drug that restores him to health ; on the ermine which decorates the Judge, and the rope which hangs the criminal ; on the poor man's salt, and the rich man's spice; on the brass nails of the coffin, and the ribbons of the bride; — at bed or board, couchant or levant, we must pay.
The school-boy whips his taxed top; the beardless youth manages his taxed horse, with a taxed bridle, on a taxed road ;—and the dying Englishman, pouring his medicine, which has paid seven per cent., into a spoon that has paid fifteen per cent., flings himself back upon his chintz-bed, which has paid twenty-two per cent., makes his will on an eight-pound stamp, and expires in the arms of an apothecary, who has paid a license of a hundred pounds for the privilege of putting him to death. His whole property is then immediately taxed from two to ten per cent. Besides the probate, large fees are demanded for burying him in the chancel ; his virtues are handed down to posterity on taxed marble; and he is then gathered to his fathers, - to be taxed no more.
In addition to all this, the habit of dealing with large sums will make the Government avaricious and profuse; and the system itself will infallibly generate the base vermin of spies and informers, and a still more pestilent race of political tools and retainers of the meanest and most odious description ; — while the prodigious patronage which the collecting of this splendid revenue will throw into the hands of Government will invest it with so vast an influence, and hold out such means and temptations to corruption, as all the virtue and public spirit, even of Republicans, will be unable to resist. Every wise Jonathan should remember this!
63. THE PRESS. - Adaptation from Ebenezer Elliot. Born, 1781; died, 1849.
God said — “Let there be light !”
And fled away:
And cried - « 'Tis day! 't is day!”
O’er daisies white;
And, blushing, murmured — “Light
Then floods of praise
Poured forth her pensive rays.
In glory, bloom!
And darker than the tomb ?
No, by the mind of man!
We will aspire!
Shall see and feel its fire.
By all we hope of Heaven,
Mind, mind alone