Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

7 Mén-Chrístians! pàuse-the air ye breathe,
Is poison'd by your idol now;
And will ye turn to him, and wreathe
Your cháplets round his brow?
Nay, call his darkest deeds sublime?
And smile assent to giant crime?

EXERCISE 61.

Death of Ashmun.-MRS. SIGOURNEY.

1 (-) Whose is yon sable bìer?
Why move the throng so slow?
Why doth that lonely mother's tear
In sudden anguish flow?
Why is that sleeper laid

To rest in manhood's pride?
How gain'd his cheek such pallid shade?—
I spake, but none replied.

2 (.) The hoarse wave murmured low,
The distant surges roar'd;-
And o'er the sèa in tones of wo

[merged small][ocr errors]

3

-) Ah! well I know thee now,
Though foreign suns would trace
Deep lines of death upon thy brow,
Thou friend of misery's race;-
Their leader when the blast

Of ruthless war swept by,
Their teacher when the storm was past,
Their guide to worlds on high.-

4 Spirit of Power,-pass on!—

Thy homeward wing is free;-
Earth may not claim thee for her son,-
She hath no chain for thee:-
Tòil might not bow thee down,—

-

Nor Sorrow check thy race,—
Nor pleasure win thy birthright crown,—
Go to thy own blest place.-

EXERCISE 62.

Love of Applause.—HAWES.

To be insensible to public opinion, or to the estimation in which we are held by others, indicates any thing, rather than a good and generous spirit. It is indeed the mark of a low and worthless character;-devoid of 5 principle, and therefore devoid of shame. A young man is not far from ruin, when he can say, without blushing, I don't care what others think of me.

But to have a proper regard to public opinion is one thing; to make that opinion our rule of action is quite 10 another. The one we may cherish consistently with the purest virtue, and the most unbending rectitude; the other we cannot adopt, without an utter abandonment of principle and disregard of duty. The young man whose great aim is to please, who makes the opin 15 ion and favor of others his rule and motive of action; stands ready to adopt any sentiments, or pursue any course of conduct, however false and criminal, provided only, that it be popular. In every emergency, his first question is, what will my companions, what will the 20 world think and say of me, if I adopt this, or that course

of conduct? Duty, the eternal laws of rectitude, are not thought of. Custom, fashion, popular favor; these are the things, that fill his entire vision, and decide every question of opinion and duty. Such a man can 25 never be trusted; for he has no integrity, and no independence of mind, to obey the dictates of rectitude. He is at the mercy of every casual impulse and change of popular opinion; and you can no more tell whether he will be right or wrong tomorrow, than you can pre 30 dict the course of the wind, or what shape the clouds

will then assume.

And what is the usual consequence of this weak and foolish regard to the opinions of men?-What the end of thus acting in compliance with custom in opposition 35 to one's own convictions of duty? It is to lose the es

teem and respect of the very men whom you thus attempt to please. Your defect of principle and hollow heartedness are easily perceived; and though the persons to whom you thus sacrifice your conscience, may 40 affect to commend your complaisance, you may be assured, that, inwardly, they despise you for it. Young men can hardly commit a greater mistake, than to think of gaining the esteem of others, by yielding to their wishes, contrary to their own sense of duty. Such con45 duct is always morally wrong, and rarely fails to deprive one, both of self-respect, and of the respect of others.

EXERCISE 63.

Christian Integrity.-HAWES.

It is very common, I know, for young men just commencing business, to imagine that, if they would advance their secular interests, they must not be very scrupulous in binding themselves down to the strict 5 rules of rectitude. They must conform to custom; and if in buying and selling they sometimes say the things that are not true, and do the things that are not honest; why, their neighbors do the same; and, verily, there is no getting along without it. There is so much com10 petition and rivalry, that to be strictly honest, and yet succeed in business, is out of the question.

Now if it were indeed so, I would say to a young man; then, quit your business. Better dig, and beg too, than to tamper with conscience, sin against God, 15 and lose your soul.

But is it so?-is it necessary in order to succeed in business, that you should adopt a standard of morals, more lax and pliable, than the one placed before you in the Bible? Perhaps, for a time, a rigid adherence to 20 rectitude might bear hard upon you; but how would it be in the end? Possibly, your neighbor, by being less scrupulous than yourself, may invent a more expeditious way of acquiring a fortune. If he is willing to violate the dictates of conscience; to lie, and cheat, and tram25 ple on the rules of justice and honesty, he may, indeed, get the start of you, and rise suddenly to wealth and distinction. But would you envy him his riches, or be

Sudden

willing to place yourself in his situation? wealth, especially, when obtained by dishonest means, 30 rarely fails of bringing with it sudden ruin. Those who acquire it, are of course beggared in their morals, and are often, very soon, beggared in property. Their riches are corrupted; and while they bring the curse of God on their immediate possessors, they usually entail misery 35 and ruin upon their families.

If it be admitted then, that strict integrity is not always the shortest way to success; is it not the surest, the happiest, and the best? A young man of thorough integrity may, it is true, find it difficult, in the midst of 40 dishonest competitors and rivals, to start in his business or profession; but how long, ere he will surmount every difficulty; draw around him patrons and friends, and rise in the confidence and support of all who know him?

45

What, if in pursuing this course, you should not, at the close of life, have so much money by a few hundred dollars? Will not a fair character, an approving conscience, and an approving God, be an abundant compensation for this little deficiency of pelf?

50 O there is an hour coming, when one whisper of an approving mind, one smile of an approving God, will be accounted of more value than the wealth of a thousand worlds like this. In that hour, my young friends, nothing will sustain you but the consciousness of having 55 been governed in life by worthy and good principles.

EXERCISE 64.

Watch.-J. MASON GOOD.

1 Life is a sea,—how fair its face,
How smooth its dimpling waters pace,
Its canopy how pure!

But rocks below, and tempests sleep,
Insidious, o'er the glassy deep,
Nor leave an hour secure.

2 Life is a wilderness,-beset

With tangling thorns, and treach❜rous net,
And prowl'd by beasts of prey.

One path alone conducts aright,
One narrow path, with little light;
A thousand lead astray.

3 Life is a warfare,-and alike
Prepar'd to parley, or to strike,

The practis'd foe draws nigh.
O, hold no truce! less dangerous far
To stand, and all his phalanx dare,
Than trust his specious lie.

4 Whate'er its form, whate'er its flow, While life is lent to man below,

One duty stands confest,

To watch incessant, firm of mind,

And watch where'er the post assigned,
And leave to God the rest.

-

5 'Twas while they watch'd, the shepherd swains Heard angels strike to angel-strains

The song of heavenly love:

Blest harmony! that far excels

All music else on earth that dwells,
Or e'er was tun'd above.

6 'Twas while they watch'd, the sages traced
The star that every star effac'd
With new and nobler shine:

They follow'd, and it led the way
To where the infant Saviour lay,
And gave them light divine.

7 'Twas while they watch'd, with lamp in hand,
And oil well stor'd, the virgin band
The bridal pomp descried;

They join'd it,-and the heavenly gate,
That op'd to them its glorious state,
Was clos'd on all beside.

8 Watch! watch and pray! in suffering hour Thus He exclaim'd who felt its power, And triumph'd in the strife.

Victor of Death! thy voice I hear:
Fain would I watch with holy fear,
Would watch and pray through life's career,
And only cease with life.

« EdellinenJatka »