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gress of any general union for a great purpose, had been allowed to mix with this duty; if selfish feelings had been allowed to interfere, they would have distracted that supreme devotion which is required.
This sentiment, sublime and pure as the heart from which it flowed, may serve, I think, in some degree, to illustrate the motives of this institution. For if it were proposed to discover some end towards which the
greatest possible mass of genius, and talent, and virtue might be made to move, some object so elevated as to outstrip the flight of vulgar passion, and yet so level to our capacities as to invite the play and exercise of the finer affections, where should we look for that object? Where is the bright spot which attracts the nobler powers, but forbids access to any unhallowed agents ? What feature is there in the human existence, which fulfils these conditions? Sir, there is one condition which completely answers them, and that feature is its immortality. This is the feature in regard to which we are all equally great or equally little. This is the idea which unites in itself the extremes of awe and tenderness, on the one hand so infinitely tremendous as to vanquish and break down the fierce and rebellious passions-on the other, so infinitely affecting as to wake to the keenest excess, the most holy sympathies, the dearest sensibilities of our common nature.
This is the object round which the best affections may gather themselves and lavish all their energies, while at its base the malignant propensities beat and dash themselves in vain.
And here the Bible Society has taken her stand. On this hallowed ground she has reared her magnificent temple-a temple, as I trust, exempt from decay and dissolution. For those fabrics which we construct of the vulgar materials of common life, the winds scatter them, the foods sweep them away-they sink by their own weight; but this edifice is imperishable as the materials of which it is composed, and eternal, (I speak it with reverence) as that terrible name with which it is inscribed. It is here, beyond the confines of the grave, that the standard has been erected, which shall gather all nations under its shade. Its feet are planted on the precints of the
tomb, but its head ascends to that Heaven to which it conducts our steps. Below indeed it is surrounded with clouds, inveloped in the prophetic dreams of that hope which shall never make ashamed, and the awful obscurities of that faith that dwells within the vail ; but its summit is lost in those regions where hope vanishes in rapture, faith in vision, and where charity is all in all.
Truly then did I say, that this institution was required to accomplish the noble system of our national charities --for now we may trace within the limits of our oryn country, the human existence in every stage of its progress. We may trace its pains and sorrows, its disappointments, its decay, and dissolution. We may trace them, not by fixing our eyes on those calamities them. selves, but by regarding those means which a sleepless and provident benevolence has provided to oppose those calamities, to avert what may be contingent, to mitigate what may be inevitable. We may trace them as trace the windings of some mighty river, by the lofty embarkments which are thrown up to check its fury and repress its ravages. Thus we trace misery by the exertions of benevolence ; pain and disappointment, by the overflowings of sympathy; sickness, desertion, and despair, by the remedies that are supplied, the refuge that is opened, the cheering prospects that are unfolded. We trace decay by the props that are given to the waning strength and the promises whispered to the fainting heart. We trace death itself, not by its horrors, but by the consolations that are scattered over the tomb, by the hopes that are breathed round that slumber of nature, by the gleams of glory that descend to brighten the dark and narrow house. Thus, in whatever view we regard man, whether as the child of hope or of sorrow—whether as a pilgrim in this world, or a denizen of the next ; we are prepared to meet him in every exigency of his condition. As men we provide for the wants of our fellowmen--as rational creatures we provide for the progress and culture of reason-as beings whose rallying word is immortality, we provide for an immortal existence.
I beg pardon for intruding at such length on the patience of this assembly ; but if it were allowable for me, after having taken this general view of the subject, to de
scend into more minute particulars, I think a scene might be unfolded which it would task the proudest imagination of tragic poety to rival or pourtray. Such a description it is beyond my power to attempt; I am sure I shall not be able to do it justice. Permit me however to remark, that amidst the various sorrows that press upon our feelings, there is none more distressing than the sight of calamity without the power of relieving it. There are many afflictions which admit of relief, which can be removed by the exertions of wealth, or soothed by friendship-but there are others which are folded up in the recesses of a broken heart, which no sympathy can reach, no human efforts assuage, and which can be healed only by the hand that gave the wound.
These are the sorrows for which the Bible Society provides. If I were able to trace, and could persuade you to follow me in tracing the progress of one of those holy volumes, which we are met to distribute-If, for example, we could stand by the couch of intense pain ; of pain, which even the voice of friendship is unable to sooth, which seems to shiver the very existence, and looks for relief only in the sad refuge of the grave; if we could here present the sacred volume, and develope its principles, its motives, its consolations; if we could revive in the agonized heart, the remembrance of HIM who from the manger to the cross, was acquainted with grief, and, faniliar only with privation and suffering; if we could awake the recollection of that spotless innocence so reviled ; that ineffable meekness so trampled
upon ; that unutterable charity, so insulted by those i whom it came to save. Above all, if we could awake
memory of those sorrows that saddened the shades ; of Gethsemane, and have made the mournful summit of
Calvary so sacred and precious in the eyes of gratitude ş and devotion ; or if we could visit another scene, and
observe human nature in its lowest stage of degradation; if we could penetrate the cell of the convicted murderer, on whom the law has affixed its brand; if we could mark those feelings frozen into apathy, that haggard countenance over which the passions have ceased to rave, but on which they have left deep the scars of their devasta
the traces of those tears which were wrung by re
morse, and have been dried by despair; those convulsive throbs of heart which shake the whole frame, and give sad omen of approaching fate : if at such a moment, we could at once unfold the volume of life, and with an angel voice proclaim, that even for him there is hope beyond that dark scene of ignorance—that even for him there is forgiveness before the eternal throne-why, sir, would it not be opening Heaven to his view! would not a sudden warmth thrill his bosom? would not that hardness be dissolved, and those fixed eyes melt down with tears of penitense and prayer?
Or, if passing from this scene, we should approach the house of mourning, and observe the widowed mother, now bereaved of her last hope, refusing to be comforted; abandoned like a wreck upon the waters, to the sport of every grief, and forgetting, in the excess of anguish every source of consolation ; if we could lead the mourner to the feet of him who had compassion on the widowed parent, checked the bier of death, and rescued his victim from his grasp ; if we could then open a glimpse of the future, and realize that moment of reunion, which shall abundantly over pay years of separation and anguish ; if in these, and many other instances, which will suggest themselves, I will not say, to the imagination, but to the feelings of every man, we could watch the influence of those sacred writings, which we mav this davbe the instruments of circulating more widely ; if we could mark their effects in individual cases, in weaning from discontent and pain, in calming the troubled spirit, and exalting the depressed and groveling thought, then indeed should we find the amplest motives and rewards for the utmost exertions in this cause.
We are about to return to our ordinary pursuits and pleasures, but in the midst of that career, let us sometimes pause
and recollect, that while we are immersed in business or amusement, these sacred volumes, like the eternal laws of nature, are silently performing their destined functions ; are still continuing their progress, visiting the abodes of vice and contagion-descending into the haunts of poverty and sorrow, cheering the cottage, making glad the solitary place, and brightening the desart with new verdure. We cannot, indeed, trace those effects, we cannot perceive the hopes which are awaken*1 ed, the griefs that are assuaged, the hearts that are bound
up, the consolations which are administered. But there s is an eye that traces them; and one day, perhaps the F page on which these hopes, and griefs, and consolations
are recorded and treasured up, may be unfolded. On that day, we shall not repent, that we have contributed in our humble measure, to supply to millions of our fel. low creatures, the means of consolation in this life, and of happiness in a future state of existence.
A Speech spoken at Trenton, N. 7. by one of the Stu
dents of the Trenton Academy, said to have been composed for that, or a similar occasion, by the Hon. Andrew KIRKPATRICK.
AT a time like this, when we are threatened with dangers from without and divisions from within, will it be thought presumption in a youth like me, to raise his voice in his country's cause? Will it be thought presumption
to call your attention to the source of her calamities, and - to warn you of her impending ruin?
My knowledge, I confess, is small, my experience smaller. In the course of my studies, however, I have been led into the history of ancient times. I have seen Greece, and Carthage, and Rome, rise in succession, and in succession fall. I have learned from the history of a thousand ages, that man is the same in every country and every time that the indulgence of his unhallowed passions, has always led him to the same disastrous end.
The constitution of these United States, has been considered as the greatest effort of human policy and human wisdom. It is fouuded on principles which in themselves are rational and just : upon principles which secure the
While other systems carry in themselves the seeds of dissolution, it was fondly hoped that this was formed of materials which rendered it, i had almost said, eternal.
essential rights of man.