Imágenes de páginas

Exercise 5.-To Illustrate Rule 5, page 31.

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were éye-witnesses, and ministers of the wórd; it seemed good to mé also, having had perfect understanding of all things even from the very first, to write unto thee, in order, most excellent Theóphilus, that thou mightest. know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed.

When the gay and smiling aspect of things has begun to leave the passages to a man's heart thus thoughtlessly unguarded; when kind caressing looks of every object without, that can flatter his senses, have conspired with the enemy within to betray him, and put him off his defénce; when music likewise hath lent her aid, and tried her power upon the passions; when the voice of singing men, and the voice of singing women, with the sound of the viol and the lute, have broke in upon the soul, and in some tender notes, have touched the secret springs of rápture; -that moment, let us dissect and look into his heàrt; and see how vàin, how weak, how èmpty a thing it is.

So when the faithful pencil has designed
Some bright idea of the master's mind;
When a new world leaps out at his command,
And ready nature waits upon his hand;
When the ripe colors soften and unite,
And sweetly melt into just shade and light;
When mellowing years their full perfection give,
And the bold figure just begins to live,—
The treacherous colors the fair art betray,
And all the bright creation fades away!

Exercise 6.- To Illustrate Rule 6, page 32.
Methinks I see a fair and lovely child,
Sitting composed upon his mother's knée,

And reading with a low and lisping voice
Some passage from the Sabbath; while the tears
Stand in his little eyes so softly blue,

Till, quite o'ercome with pity, his white arms
He twines around her néck, and hides his sighs,
Most infantine, within her gladdened bréast,
Like a sweet lamb, half sportive, half afraid,
Nestling one moment 'neath its bleating dàm.
And now the happy mother kisses oft
The tender-hearted child, lays down the book,
And asks him if he doth remember still

A stranger who once gave him, long agó,
A parting kiss, and blessed his laughing eyes.
His sobs speak fond remembrance, and he weeps
To think so kind and good a man should die.

Death found strange beauty on that cherub brów,
And dashed it out. There was tint of rose
On cheek and lip; -he touched the veins with icé,
And the rose faded. Forth from those blue eyes
There spake a wishful tenderness, -a doubt
Whether to grieve or sleep, which innocence
Alone can wear. With ruthless háste, he bound
The silken fringes of their curtaining lids
Forever. There had been a murmuring sound,
With which the babe would claim its mother's éar,
Charming her even to tears. The spoiler set

His seal of silence. But there beamed a smile
So fixed and holy from that marble brów,
Death gazed and left it there;—he dared not steal
The signet-ring of Heaven.

O unexpected stroke, worse than of Death! Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus leave Thee, native soil, these happy walks and shades, Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend, Quiet though sad, the respite of that day, That must be mortal to us both. O flowers, That never will in other climate grow,

My early visitation, and my last

At even, which I bred up with tender hand,
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names,
Who now shall rear you to the sun, or rank

Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower, by me adorned
With what to sight or smell was sweet, from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure

And wild? how shall we breathe in other air
Less pure, accustomed to immortal fruits?

Exercise 7.-To Illustrate Rule 7, page


Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Charity is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseèmly; seeketh not her own; is not easily provoked; thinketh no èvil; rejoiceth in the truth; beàreth all things; believeth all things; hópeth all things; endureth all things.

Inspiring rites! which stimulate fear; rouse hope; kindle zeal; quicken dullness; increase discernment; exercise memory; and inflame curiosity.

Exercise 8.-To Illustrate Rule 8, page 33.

The high value of mental cultivation is another weighty motive for giving attendance to reading. What is it that mainly distinguishes a man from a brùte? Knowledge. What makes the vast difference, then, between savage and civilized nations? Knowledge. What forms the principal difference between men, as they appear in the same society? Knowledge. What raised Franklin from the humble station of a printer's boy to the first honors of the country? Knowl

edge. What took Sherman from his shoemaker's bench, gave him a seat in Congress, and there made his voice heard among the wisest and best of his còmpeers? Knowledge. What raised Simpson from a weaver's loom to a place among the first of mathematicians; and Herschel, from being a poor fifer's boy in the army, to a station among the first astrònomers? Knowledge.

But, considered simply as an intellectual production, who will compare the poems of Homer with the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments? Where in the Iliad shall we find simplicity and pathos which will vie with the narrative of Moses, or maxims of conduct to equal in wisdom the Proverbs of Solomon, or sublimity which does not fade away before the conceptions of Job or David, of Isaiah or St. John? But I cannot pursue this comparison.

If, notwithstanding, so great results have flowed from this one effort of a single mind, what may we not expect from the combined efforts of several, at least his equals in power over the human heart? If that one genius, though groping in the thick darkness of absurd idolatry, wrought so glorious a transformation in the character of his countrymen, what may we not look for from the universal dissemination of those writings, on whose authors was poured the full splendor of eternal truth? If unassisted human nature, spell-bound by a childish mythology, has done so much, what may we not hope for from the supernatural efforts of preeminent genius, which spake as it was moved by the Holy Ghost?

Ask them, What insolent guard paraded before their gates, and invested their strong holds? They will answer, A Roman legionary. Demand of them, What greedy extortioner fattened by their poverty, and clothed himself by their nakedness? They will inform you, A Roman Quæstor. Inquire of them, What imperious stranger issued to them his mandates of imprisonment or confiscation, of banishment or death? They will reply to you, A Roman Consul. Question them, What haughty conqueror led through his city their nobles and kings in chains; and exhibited their countrymen, by thousands, in

gladiators' shows, for the amusement of his fellow-citizens? They will tell you, A Roman General. Require of them, What tyrants imposed the heaviest yoke, enforced the most rigorous exactions, inflicted the most savage punishments, and showed the greatest gust for blood and torture? They will exclaim to you, The Roman people.

Are not my people happy? I look upon the past and the present, upon my nearer and remoter subjects, and ask, nor fear the answer. Whom have I wronged? What province have I oppressed? What city pillaged? What region drained with taxes? Whose life have I unjustly taken, or estates coveted or robbed? Whose honor have I wantonly assailed? Whose rights, though of the weakest and poorest, have I trenched upon? I dwell where I would ever dwell, in the hearts of my people.

Exercise 9. To Illustrate Rule 9, page 34.
Hear me, rash màn! on thy allegiance hear me.
Silence, ye winds,

That make outrageous war upon the ocean;
And thou, old òcean, still thy boisterous waves;
Ye warring elements, be hushed as death.

[ocr errors]

If, when three days are expired,
Thy hated trunk be found in our dominions,
That moment is thy death.

You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am armed so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me, as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me;
For I can raise no money by vile means;

I had rather coin my heart,

And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile tràsh,
By any indirection. I did send

« AnteriorContinuar »