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ON A TASTE FOR READING.
we are wedded to the Union, for weal or for woe, as the fondest lover would hug to his heart the bride bound to him in the first bright ardor of young possession. We have not purposed to embark in this venture only to sail on the smooth surface of a summer sea, with hope and pleasure to waft us joyously along; but with resolved spirits, ready to meet, like true men, whatever of danger may descend upon our voyage, and to stand up gallantly for the treasure of honor and faith intrusted to our charge. Rally we, then, to the stripes and stars, as the symbol of glory to us, and the harbinger of liberty to all the nations of the world ! So long as a shred of that sacred standard remains to us, let us cling to it, with such undying devotion as the Christian pilgrims of the Middle Age cherished for the last fragment of the Cross. Let us fly to its rescue when periled, whether by foreign or domestic assault, as they did to snatch the Holy Sepulcher from the desecration of the Infidel!
XIII. – ON A TASTE FOR READING. If I were to pray for a taste which should stand me in stead under every variety of circumstances, and be a source of happiness and cheerfulness to me through life, and a shield against its ills, however things might go amiss, and the world frown upon me, it would be a taste for reading. I speak of it, of course, only as a worldly advantage, and not in the slightest degree as superseding or derogating from the higher office and surer and stronger panoply of religious principles — but as a taste, an instrument and a mode of pleasurable gratification. Give a man this taste, and the means of gratifying it, and you can hardly fail of making a happy man, unless, indeed, you put into his hands a most perverse selection of books. You place him in contact with the best society in every period of history with the wisest, the wittiest - with the tenderest, the bravest, and the purest characters that have adorned humanity. You make him a denizen of all nations a cotemporary of all ages. The world has been created for him.
It is hardly possible but the character should take a higher and better tone from the constant habit of associating in thought with a class of thinkers, to say the least of it, above the average of humanity. It is morally impossible but that the manners should take a tinge of good breeding and civilization from having constantly before one's
in which the best bred and the best informed men have talked and conducted themselves in their intercourse with one another. There is a gentle but per.
fectly irresistible coërcion in a habit of reading well directed, over the whole tenor of a man's character and conduct, which is not the less effectual because it works insensibly, and because it is really the last thing he dreams of. It cannot, in short, be better summed up than in the words of the Latin poet :
“Emollit mo'ros, nec si'nit es'se fe'rūs." It civilizes the conduct of men, and suffers them not to remain barbarous.
SIR J. F. W. HERSCHEL.
NECESSITY OF AMERICAN FREEDOM.
It is my berief, my hearers, that Providence has a great design for this continent, and for our generation. As the Jews of old, as the Apostles, as the Reformers, as our Fathers of 1776, so are we, as a race and as a nation, a peculiar people, and called to a high and glorious destiny. We can not falter. We can not go back. We are shut up to the necessity of attempting great things. We must pluck up courage - - put our trust in God, and go forward. Disciplined for centuries on the shores of the German ocean, and on the rock-bound coasts of Great Britain, our race struck some of its shoots in this land ; and here a people has grown up, having the wisdom of an old and the vigor of a newborn nation, to fulfill this great design.
We speak not thus from vanity. The only reason why it is so is to be found in the inscrutable ways and sovereign will of Heaven. It is our destiny. Our responsibilities are fearful ; but there is nu escape. Our age, our race, our institutions, and the characteristics of our country, physical, intellectual, moral, and religious, — the helplessness and the sufferings of our fellowmen, groaning in chains and under grievous wrongs, — call us to a glorious destiny.
We are hereditary freemen. We have never been in bondage to any man. The blood of the Celts, the Normans, the unconquered Saxons, before whom Cæsar and Charlemagne alike recoiled, mingle their heroic currents alike in our own veins, along with that great barbaric stream, which Rome herself could not withstand. These were our prī-me'val sires. And after them, in our line of succession, came the Puritans, the Covonanters, the Non-Conformists, and the Huguenots; the founders of English liberty, and the men of the continental Reformation from Popery, and the men of ’76:- heritage, descent, and destiny, alike giorious !
A necessity is laid upon us to live as freemen, or not to live
DANGERS OF OUR PROSPERITY.
at all. Whoever else may forsake the sacred cause of liberty, we at least must live where freemen live, or fall where freemen perish!
REV. WM. A. SCOTT, D.D.
XV. - DANGERS OF OUR PROSPERITY. The danger, my countrymen, is that we shall become intoxicated by our amazing physical triumphs. Because, within the inemory of most of us, the lightning has been harnessed to the newsman's car, and the steam-engine has not only brought the ends of the earth into proximity, but has also provided a working power, which, requiring no nutriment, and susceptible of no fatigue, almost releases living creatures from the necessity of toil, because of these most marvelous discoveries, we are in danger of believing that like wonders may be achieved in the social and moral world.
But be it remembered that, in all our discoveries, no substitute has been found for conscience, and no machine to take the place of reason. The telegraph cannot legislate, nor the locomotive educate. The mind is still the mind, and must obey its own higher laws. Our most pressing needs are such as no mechanism can supply. What we most lack is true, earnest, sincere, faithful, loyal, self-sacrificing men. Without these, it is in vain that we extend our territory from ocean to ocean, and quarry gold as we do rocks. These physical accessions, coming so suddenly upon us, do but increase our peril. Adversity we might bear, and be the better for it. But how shall we bear this gush of seeming prosperity ? Seeming, I say, because time alone can determine whether it is real.
If, my countrymen, with all these excitements, we do not become a nation of reckless adventurers, - gamblers, perhaps, would be the proper word, — if we do not cut ourselves entirely loose from our ancient moorings, but still hold fast to our integrity, our very continence will prove that there is still some sterling virtue left. For never was there so much reason for the prayer, “ Deliver us from temptation.” After all our conquests, the most difficult yet remains, - the victory over ourselves. We have now to answer, under untried difficulties, that gravest of questions, “ What constitutes a State ?" And the answer must be like that which was given long, long ago :
“ Not high-raised battlement or labored mound,
Thick wall or moated gate ;
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride.
No; - men, high-minded men,
Men who their duties know,
XVI. - MATERIALISM.
ENCE OF OPINION.
MENTION has been made of the word “ materialism." I hold, sir, a maxim on this matter which personally I have felt of exceeding consequence. It is time the truth had gone forth, to be held as a maxim for evermore, THAT IN PROPORTION TO THE DEPTH OF ONE'S FAITH, IS THE ABSENCE OF UNEASINESS BECAUSE OF DIFFER
Materialism never arises from knowledge ; it is, on the other hand, a certification of deficiency, on the part of the mind cherishing it
. It consists, not in the exposition of any positive knowledge, but in the dogmatic assertion, that beyond the line of such knowledge there lies nothing more.
To deal with materialism, then, what is our course ? Never to deny or undervalue truth distinctly laid down, but to deny that what is known is a limit : that the system pretending to be everything is, whatever its special value, the everything it pretends : not to imagine that man ought not to study the laws of Nature, but to show him that beyond these, toward the region of sunset, there are powers which made and sustain even the entire of nature's fabric- an august Being — even the Father of our spirits — with whom, though the seasons change, and those stupendous orbs rest not in their courses, there is never variableness or shadow of turning.
XVII.- FALSE NOTIONS OF OFFICE.
Sir, it were melancholy, indeed, if the only path to true glory were through official distinction. Were this to become the universal sentiment, I should tremble for the dignity of American character. Far distant be the day when we shall begin to value ourselves chiefly for what is extrinsic and factitious. What sentiment can be more anti-republican ?
I AM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN! Is not this enough to boast of? or must we add, I have a commission I have a diploma 1 carry written certificates of my respectability? Time was when the exclamation, I am a Roman citizen! was a passport every
IMPRESSMENT OF AMERICANS.
where ; and shall we, who acknowledge no aristocracy but that of nature, who respect no charter of nobility but that which the Almighty has given, by stamping us for men; shall we, THE PEOPLE, who call ourselves the fountain of all honor, and those to whom we delegate authority our servants - shall we prostrate ourselves before the images our own fiat has set up
? Away with such a degrading thought! We underrate ourselves as private citizens; we fail in proper self-respect, when we ascribe so much consequence to badges and places. And the evil is most pernicious in its influence upon young men, because their cyes are most likely to be dazzled by the pomp and circumstance of office. It seems to me that patriotism could not breathe a purer prayer than that all our youth might grow up and enter upon life with a determination to respect themselves for what they are intrinsically, and not for what the suffrages of others may make them. The individual man, with his immortal hopes and energies, would then be every thing, and the tinsel glories of station nothing. But now,
* Proud man,
XVIII. - IMPRESSMENT OF AMERICANS.
Sır, the impressment of our seamen by Great Britain is an outrage to which we never can submit without national ignominy and debasement. This crime of impressment may justly be considered - posterity will so consider it — as transcending the amount of all the other wrongs we have received. Ships and merchandise belong to individuals, and may be valued ; may be endured as subjects of negotiation. But men are the property of the nation. In every American face a part of our country's sovereignty is written. It is the living emblem - a thousand times more sacred than the nation's flag itself — of its characcer, its independence, and its rights.
“ But,” say the British, “we want not your men ; we want only our own. Prove that they are yours, and we will surrender them.” Baser outrage! more insolent indignity! that a free-born American must be made to prove his nativity to those who have previously violated his liberty, else he is to be held for ever as a slave! That before a British tribunal a British boarding