« PreviousContinue »
ascribed to the spirit of protestant christianity. It is from the influence of this spirit, that the sublime astronomy of La Place has not been, like that of Galileo, condemned as heretical. It is to protestant christianity, that you owe the English Bible; a volume that has done more to correct and refine the taste, to elevate the imagination, to fill the mind with splendid and glowing images, than all the literature which the stream of time has brought down to the present age. I hope I am not laying an unhallowed hand upon the ark of God, if I presume to recommend the Bible to you as an object of literary enthusiasm. The Bible ! - Where in the compass of human literature, can the fancy be so elevated by sublime description, can the heart be so warmed by simple, unaffected tenderness! Men of genius! who delight in bold and magnificent speculation, in the Bible you have a new world of ideas opened to your range. Votaries of eloquence! in the Bible you will find the grandest thoughts clothed in a simple majesty, worthy of the subject and the Author. Servants of God! I need not tell you that the glories of immortality are revealed in language, which mortal lips had never before employed! But I forbear. The Bible is in your hands; and even now, while I am speaking its praise, “ it is silently fulfilling its destined course;" it is raising many a heart to the throne of God.
THE TRUE SOURCES OF NATIONAL GREATNESS.-Harper.
When France shall at length be convinced that we are firmly resolved to call forth all our resources, and exert all our strength to resist her encroachments and aggressions, she will soon desist from them. She need not be told what these resources are; she well knows their greatness and extent; she well knows that this country, if driven into a war, could soon become invulnerable to her attacks, and could throw a most formidable and preponderating weight into the scale of her adversary. She will not, therefore, drive us to this extremity, but will desist as soon as she finds us determined. If our means of injury and of repelling her attacks were less than they are, still they might be rendered all-sufficient, by resolution and courage. It is in these that the strength of nations consists, and not in fleets, nor armies, nor population, nor money : in the "unconquerable will —the courage never to submit or yield.” These are the true sources of national greatness; and to use the words of a celebrated writer," where these means are not wanting, all others
will be found or created.” It was by these means that Holland, in the days of her glory, triumphed over the mighty power of Spain. It was by these that in later times, and in the course of the present war, the Swiss, a people not half so numerous as we, and possessing few of our advantages, have honorably maintained their neutrality amid the shock of surrounding states, and against the haughty aggressions of France herself. It was this that made Rome the mistress of the world, and Athens the protectress of Greece. When was it that Rome attracted most strongly the admiration of mankind, and impressed the deepest sentiment of fear on the hearts of her enemies? It was when seventy thousand of her sons lay bleeding at Cannæ, and Hannibal, victorious over three Roman armies and twenty nations, was thumdering at her gates. It was then that the young and heroic Scipio, having sworn on his sword in the presence of the fathers of the country, not to despair of the republic, marched forth at the head of a people, firmly resolved to conquer or die ; and that resolution insured them the victory. When did Athens appear the greatest and the most formidable ?
was when giving up their houses and possessions to the flames of the enemy, and having transferred their wives, their children, their aged parents, and the symbols of their religion, on board of their fleet, they resolved to consider themselves as the republic, and their ships as their country. It was then that they struck that terrible blow, under which the greatness of Persia sunk and expired.
GRATEFUL TRIBUTE TO THE HEROES OF THE REVOLU
It is my pleasing duty, my fellow-citizens, to felicitate you on the establishment of our national sovereignty; and among the various subjects for congratulation and rejoicing, this is not the most unimportant, that heaven has spared so many veterans in the art of war; so many sages, who are versed in the best politics of peace; men, who are able to instruct and to govern, and whose faithful services, whose unremitted exertions to promote the public prosperity, entitle them to our firmest confidence and warmest gratitude. Uniting in the celebration of this anniversary, I am happy to behold many of the illustrious remnant of that band of patriots, who, despising danger and death, determined to be free, or gloriously perish in the cause. Their countenances beam inexpressible delight; our joys are increased
by their presence; our raptures are heightened by their participation. The feelings, which inspired them in the “times which tried men's souls,” are communicated to our bosoms. We catch the divine spirit which impelled them to bid defiance to the congregated host of despots. We swear to preserve the blessings they toiled to gain, which they obtained by the incessant labors of eight distressful years ; to transmit to our posterity; our right undiminished, our honor untarnished, and our freedom unimpaired.
On the last page of fate's eventful volume, with the raptured ken of prophecy, I behold Columbia's name recorded; her future honors and happiness inscribed. In the same important book, the approaching end of tyranny and the triumph of right and justice are written in indelible characters. The struggle will soon be over; the tottering thrones of despots will quickly fall, and bury their proud incumbents in their massy ruins.
“ Then peace on earth shall hold her easy sway,
And man forget his brother man to slay.
The eye of pity shall be pained no more,
NECESSITY OF A PURE NATIONAL MORALITY.-Beecher.
The crisis has come. By the people of this generation, by ourselves, probably, the amazing question is to be decided, whether the inheritance of our fathers shall be preserved or thrown away; whether our Sabbaths shall be a delight or a loathing; whether the taverns, on that holy day, shall be crowded with drunkards, or the sanctuary of God with humble worshippers; whether riot and profaneness shall fill our streets, and poverty our dwellings, and convicts our gaols, and violence our land; or whether industry, and temperance, and righteousness, shall be the stability of our times : whether mild laws shall receive the cheerful submission of freemen, or the iron rod of a tyrant compel the trembling homage of slaves. Be not deceived.
The rocks and hills of New-England will remain till the last conflagration. But let the Sabbath be profaned with impunity, the worship of God be abandoned, the government and religious instruction of children neglected, and the streams of intemperance be permitted to flow, and her glory will depart. The wall of fire will no longer surround her, and the munition of rocks will no longer be her defense. The hand that overturns our laws and temples is the hand of death unbarring the gate of Pandemonium, and letting loose upon our land the crimes and miseries of hell. If the Most High should stand aloof, and cast not a single ingredient into our cup of trembling, it would seem to be full of superlative wo. But he will not stand aloof. As we shall have begun an open controversy with him, he will contend openly
And never, since the earth stood, has it been so fearful a thing for nations to fall into the hands of the living God. – The day of vengeance is at hand; the day of judgment has. come;
the great earthquake which sinks Babylon is shaking the nations, and the waves of the mighty commotion are dashing upon every shore. Is this, then, a time to remove the foundations, when the earth itself is shaken? Is this a time to forfeit the protection of God, when the hearts of men are failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are to come upon the earth? Is this a time to run upon his neck and the thick bosses of his buckler, when the nations are drinking blood, and fainting, and passing away in his wrath? Is this a. time to throw away the shield of faith, when his arrows are drunk with the blood of the slain ? to cut from the anchor of hope, when the clouds are collecting, and the sea and the waves are roaring, and thunders are uttering their voices, and lightnings blazing in the heavens, and the great hail is falling from heaven upon men, and every mountain, sea, and island, is fleeing in dismay from the face of an incensed God?
NO EXCELLENCE WITHOUT LABOR.-Wirt.
The education, gentlemen, moral and intellectual, of every individual, must be, chiefly, his own work. Rely upon it, that the ancients were right—Quisque sue fortune faber—both in morals and intellect, we give their final shape to our own characters, and thus become, emphatically, the architects of our own fortunes. How else could it happen, that young men, who have had precisely the same opportunities, should be continually presenting us with such different results, and rushing to such
opposite destinies ? Difference of talent will not solve it, be-
-Pluck bright honor from the pale-faced moon,
And drag up drowned honor by the locks"
23. RELIEF OF THE SOLDIERS OF THE REVOLUTION.-Sprague.
Sir,—The present provision for the soldiers of the revolu.. tion is not sufficient. Even the act of 1818 was less comprehensive than it ought to have been, It should have embraced.