Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

ses.

race, it is melancholy to observe how large 1 suit of a stag or a hare ! Yes, a man, a raa portion of men have devoted their talents tional being, and a company of dogs, chaand their property to illegitimate purpo- sing a little timorous, helpless animal !

My friends, what have been the The hungry savage must seek his food principal objects of pursuit, among men of among the wild beasts ; but what sort of wealth and distinction, in every nation and sport is this for a civilized man? in every period of the world ? In the rude Go to the cock-pit, and see gentlemen ages of society, tribes of men have almost of education and property, spending their always been making war upon each other, time and money, in the very rational enfor dominion and plunder. Disdaining the tertainment of seeing one fowl spur and cultivation of the earth as an employ tear to pieces another. Is this the business ment fit only for women and slaves, they of man? have considered that glory was to be ac Go to the race-ground, and behold quired only in the field of battle, and pro- whole counties collected to see which of perty to be sought in depredations on their two horses can run a few feet or a few inneighbours. And whatever modificationsches further than the other in a given time, may have been introduced into the modes and note the sums of money laid upon the of warfare, by refinement and the union issue of the mighty contest! Is this the of men in kingdoms and empires, war still business of man, and the proper use of wears its savage character. It almost al money ? ways springs from savage principles, the 'Go to the circus, and behold an immense love of power or glory, and the love of plun- concourse of rational beings, assembled, der-And what a large proportion of the to see a man ride round in a circle, standpopulation of every kingdom and state, is ing on two horses, or standing on one leg, constantly employed in manufacturing and or leaping upon a horse at full speed! It using instruments of destruction! What this the business of man? an enormous amount of money is annually Go to the gaming table ; behold a cir. appropriated to purchase arms and provi- cle of gentlemen, and of ladies too, insion, and to hire men to destroy lives tensely employed, for hours together, to and property—to slaughter, impoverish, win money from each other, by dexterity subdue or enslave those who are brethren or by fraud--or see the bold adventurer, of the same family! Yes, men, rational stake his fortune and the subsistence of his beings, the offspring of a common father, family, on the cast of a die, or a stroke possessed of the same powers and rights, of a mace ! Is this the proper employment entitled to the same privileges and bles- of rational beings, and the legitima te use sings, capable of the same enjoyments, of money ? and destined to the same end ; are often Then go to the theatre, and witness the exerting their utmost powers, and wasting proud distinction of a player-the bursts their substance, to inflict misery on their of applause bestowed on the man who own species! Is this the business assigned can most exactly dress, and speak,

and to man by his Creator ?

act, and laugh, and strut, like the person And what is the state of civil society, he represents-who can best mimic a in peace, and among ren not personally prince, a fop, or a clown! Is this the engaged in the work of havoc and desola- proper employment of man? tion ? Is not the pursuit of pleasure, pow To complete a view of human folly, go er, and distinction the principal employs to a bull-baiting-yes, a bull-baiting, in ment? And when men have acquired rich- a civilized, a Christian country! and what es, wrung perhaps from the toils and op- is the entertainment, and who the spectapression of their fellow men, and are able tors? Why, princes and nobles, gentlemen to riot in luxury, and

and ladies, assembled by thousands, to see “ Roll the thundering chariot c'er the a rational being tease and fight a bull! ground,"

What sort of employments are these for

intellectual beings ? What is the loss of to what purposes has their wealth been ap- time and the expense of money, in these plied ? How large a portion of it has been diversions ? Sufficient perhaps, every year squandered on the most contemptible to convert a wilderness into a garden, or sports, and the most degrading vices ! See to Christianize a whole empire of pagans! a prince, a nobleman, a gentleman, for My friends, men have wandered from none but gentlemen are entitled to the the path of their duty--they have abanprivilege-See him mounted on his steed, doned the employment assigned to them with a pack of hounds, leaping ditches, by their Maker. Let men of wealth and and hedges, and five-barred gates, in pur: distinction resume their proper employ.

ment, and instead of leaving the cultiva- distresses of his brethren ; to cherish the tion of the earth to peasants, and slaves, virtues and restrain the vices of society ; let them devote their time, and their capi- to multiply the rational enjoyments of life ; tal to agriculture ; let them enrich their to diffuse the means of education, and the country by their improvements, and dig- blessings of religion ; and to extend his nify the occupation by their influence and benevolence and charities to the whole huexample.

man family. In a word, the duty, the The proper business of man is to enlarge whole business, of man, is, to yield obethe powers of his mind by knowledge, and dience, to bis Maker; and just in proporrefine it by the culture of moral habits ; to tion to that obedience, will be the private increase the means of subsistence and com- happiness, and the public prosperity of a fort; to supply the wants and alleviate the nation.

[blocks in formation]

“ He that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days,

and at his end, shall be a fool."

IT is the privilege of a peri- , and although the position laid odical writer, not only “ to catch down, may admit of some excepthe manners living as they rise," tions, they rather go to confirm but to select his motto where he than to destroy the truth of it. chooses. The subject of my sixth Riches, in the common accepta. Paper, was suggested by reading tion of the term, is understood to a portion of sacred writ, and my mean a superabundance of temtext is the language of an inspired poral possessions. When they penman.

happen to fall into the hands of The sentiment is introduced by a good and benevolent man, by a figure, as is very common with fair and honourable means, it not the charming, and we may say, only augments his happiness, but captivating writers of the East. it enables him, to diffuse it amongst He compares the man who “get- his neighbours. The tears of punteth riches, and not by right,” to gent sorrow are wiped away by a "partridge who setteth upon her his benevolent hand, and the eyes eggs and hatcheth them not;" that refused them from excess of

grief, are made to swim in tears, which once existed is almost de of joy. The manner of bestow. stroyed ; and its destruction has ing his numerous favours, enhan- been effected by the grasping ces the value of them. Shrinking and grinding hands of those who from that ostentation which indu- "getteth riches and not by right." ces many to pour out their wealth The sordid miser, has always in in public donations, that their his neighbourhood many whose names may be blazoned abroad losses, sickness, and misfortunes in public prints, he seeks out the render them unable to retain the secret recesses of human misery ; little property out of which a comand the children of wretchedness petence might be produced. He and sorrow, are relieved by him, has others, who with a laudable without knowing from what boun- view to advance their estates tisul hand the relief came. Truly, have contracted debts. With the such benevolence iz 6 twice bles- fawning, hypocrisy of a Shylock, sedit blesseth him who gives and the “ money changers” pretend him who receites." I can al. to advance the helping hand of most see the spirit of JEREMIAH friendship ; and, in the artless. Wadsworth, the Howard of ness of honest worth it is acceptConnecticut, descend, and claim ed. From that moment commenthis imperfectly drawn character ces the slavery of many of our woras his own. I can almost hear thy and industrious farmers, merhundreds of voices in unison, pi- chants, manufacturers, and mesing up and calling him blessed." chanics, in the middling and humI can hardly repress my vexa

blerwalks of life. Heis compelled tion at the capricious whims of not only to mortgage his whole esfortune, that she does not always tate, but he is put under bonds for bestow her favours upon such his “good behaviour”—that is, to men-nor can I find language suf- bow submissively to all the wishGciently indignant to describe the es of his Jewish creditor.

The host of avaricious misers, who vicissitudes of this changing world compose the reverse of this cha- often render them unable to meet racter.

the demands against them. But Although in Connecticut, there at the very period, when a little is a more equal distribution of pro- forbearance would enable them perty than in many portions of the to rise above the army of calami. world, that happy mediocrity ties that have assailed them, their

[ocr errors]

destruction cometh upon them not by right,if it is not true. like an armed man.' The man with a jesuitical cant, he will tell who "getteth riches and not by you, that he has bestowed some right," with his adamantine heart, of these " riches" in charitable places himself at the head of a and pious uses. procession of sheriffs and con “ Impious purity, and pure imstables, and advances to the habi. piety !!” What! are the benevotation of the debtor. The furni- lent principles of charity, and the

sublinie doctrines of christianitys ture of the young and interesting wife, the gift of an indulgent to be supported by departing from parent, is forced from their apart- the plain dictates of the one, and vio ments. The cow and the swine lating the perfect principles of the

other ? Charity not only “ covers are often surrendered to save some

a multitude of sins,” but it soothes article of less value.

the sorrows of the sorrowing. In a short time the man who "getteth riches," has the little well Christianity not only commands

us“ To do as we would be done by: cultivated farm, and the neat and commodious habitation, attached upon an exchange of circumstan

ces, but it also enjoins upon men, to his already over-grown estate at half its value the personal themselves.”

66 To love their neighbours a's property of the former proprietor is sacrificed under the hammer

And now, ye, who “getteth of the sheriff—and to complete

riches, and not by right,” let me

ask you, if you wonder why you the scene of depredation and

should often leave them in the sorrow, the husband is torn from

midst of your days?

It is not the arms of his weeping wife and beseeching children--immured in for me to trace the judgments of

heaven. a dungeon-and may there be kept as long as the means of his rc

• Let not this weak and erring hand

Presume thy bolts to throw, lentless creditor, enables him to

Nor deal damnation round the land

On each I judge thy foe.” expel him from his home, his But to me, it appears like just friends, and the scenes of his retribution treading upon the former industry, usefulness and heels of outrageous transgression. happiness.

The last and most dreadful deThis is no coloured scene—it nunciation against him “who is plain, unvarnished truth. Ask getteth riches, and not by right,” the man " who getteth riches, and is that, “ at his end he shall be a

a

fool.The life that began and winds of heaven, in the 6 midst was spent in extortion and oppres- of the days” of the miser ; and sion, is to end in folly and idi- when he shall have become 66 ocy! Let then the wise decree be fool” by his own cruelty, let the executed. Let then, “ riches” “ slow unmoving finger of scorn". which were acquired “not by be perpetually pointed at him. . right,” be scattered by the four

P.

THE SOCIAL COMPANION.

June 30th, 1819...... Paper VII.

“Oh! come, and let us worship.”

My motto is selected from a, tion of their solemnity, can be Portuguese Hymn. It has the so- communicated by language. De . lemn simplicity of a Scots Peasant, scription lags behind reality, and so admirably described by BURNS, its powers are feebleness itself. in his “Cottager's Saturday night."

The reader must imagine a caThere are feelings of devotion, pacious hall, crowded with a silent as well as those of joy and hilari- motionless, and thoughtful assemty, which set the powers of de- bly of both sias--Upon the walls, scription at absolute defiance. We at proper distances, are suspendremember the impressions made ed lamps trimmed and burning. upon us, at the time, but it is in The messenger of divine truth envain to revive them in our own ters the room, tottering under the hosoms, or to make others feel as debility of years, disease, and apwe felt when we enjoyed them. proaching death. Every eye in

This remark is made from call- the assembly is fixed upon him. ing to recollection an“ Evening He ascends a platform, a little eleMeeting," conducted by one of vated above the level of the floor, the most shining lights upon the upon which is erected a small, walls of Zion, the late Doctor plain desk. Supporting his trembNATHAN STRONG, of Hartford. To ling frame upon it, he reads an those who never saw this emi. hymn appropriate to the subject nent divine officiate upon these of his evening address. While the occasions, no adequate concep-laudience are singing it, he seems

« AnteriorContinuar »