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Nestled the lowly primrose. Childless dames,
The Elevated Character of Woman.—Carter
The influence of the female character is now felt and acknowledged in all the relations of life. I speak not now of those distinguished women, who instruct their age through the public press. Nor of those whose devout strains we take upon our lips when we worship. But of a much larger class; of those whose influence is felt in the relations of neighbor, friend, daughter, wife, mother.
Who waits at the couch of the sick to administer tender charities while life lingers, or to perform the last acts of kindness when death comes? Where shall we look for those examples of friendship, that most adorn our nature; those abiding friendships, which trust even when betrayed, and survive all changes of fortune? Where shall we find the brightest illustrations of filial piety? Have you ever seen a daughter, herself, perhaps, timid and helpless, watching the decline of an aged parent, and holding out with heroic fortitude to anticipate his wishes, to administer to* his wants, and to sustain his tottering steps to the very borders of the grave?
But in no relation does woman exercise so deep an influence, both immediately and prospectively, as in that of mother. To her is committed the immortal treasure of the infant mind. Upon her devolves the care of the first stages of that course of discipline, which is to form of a being, perhaps, the most frail and helpless in the world, the fearless ruler of animated creation, and the devout adorer of its great Creator.
Her smiles call into exercise the first affections, that spring up in our hearts. She cherishes and expands the earliest germs of our intellects. She breathes over ua her deepest devotions. She lifts our little hands, and teaches our little tongues to lisp in prayer. She watches over us, like a guardian angel, and protects us through all our helpless years when we know not of her cares and her anxieties on our account. She follows us into the world of men, and lives in us and blesses us, when she lives not otherwise upon the earth.
What constitutes the centre of every home? Whither do our thoughts turn, when our feet are weary with wandering, and our hearts sick with disappointments? Where shall the truant and forgetful husband go for sympathy unalloyed and without design, but to the bosom of her, who is ever ready and waiting to share in his adversity or his prosperity. And if there be a tribunal, where the sins and the follies of a froward child may hope for pardon and forgiveness, this side heaven, that tribunal is the heart of a fond and devoted mother.
Finally, her influence is felt deeply in religion. "If Christianity should be compelled to flee from the mansions of the great, the academies of philosophers, the halls of legislators, or the throng of busy men, we should find her last and purest retreat with woman at the fireside; her last altar would be the female heart; her last audience would be the children gathered round the knees of the mother; her last sacrifice, the secret prayer escaping in silence from her lips, and heard, perhaps, only at the throne of God"
For thou wast born of woman, thou didst come,
And not by thunders strewed
Was thy tempestuous road;
The heavens were not commanded to prepare
A gorgeous canopy of golden air;
Nor stooped their lamps th' enthroned fires on high;
A single silent star
Came wand'ring from afar,
The earth and ocean were not hushed to hear
From all the cherub choirs,
And seraph's burning lyres Poured through the host of heaven the charmed clouds along, One angel troop the strain began,
Of all the race of man,
By simple shepherds heard alone,
That soft Hosanna's tone.
And when thou didst depart, no car of flame
Nor didst thou mount on high
From fatal Calvary,
Nor o'er thy cross did clouds of vengeance break,
A few dim hours of day,
The world in darkness lay,
And when thou didst arise, thou didst not stand
But thou didst haste to meet
Thy mother's coming feet,
Contemplation of the Starry Heavens.—Chalmers.
There is much in the scenery of a nocturnal sky, to lift the pious soul to contemplation. That moon, and these stars, what arc they? They are detached from the world,
and they lift }rou above it. You feel withdrawn from the earth, and rise la lofty abstraction above this little theatre of human passions and human anxieties.
Tne mind abandons itself to revery, and is transferred, ni the ecstasy of its thoughts, to distant and unexplored regions. It sees nature in the simplicity of her great elements, and it sees the God of nature invested with the high attributes of wisdom and majesty.
But what can these lights be? The curiosity of the human mind is insatiable, and the mechanism of these wonderful heavens has, in all ages, been its subject and its employment. It has been reserved for these latter times to resolve (his great and interesting question. The sublimest powers of philosophy have been called to the exercise, and astronomy may now be looked upon, as the most certain and best established of the sciences.
We know that every visible object appears less in magnitude as it recedes from the eye. The lofty vessel as it retires from the coast, shrinks into littleness, and at last appears in the form of a small speck on the verge oftho horizon. The eagle with his expanded wings, is a noble object; but when it takes its flight, into the upper regions of the air, it becomes less to the eye, and is seen like a dark spot upon the vault of heaven. The same is true of all magnitude. The heavenly bodies appear small to the eye of an inhabitant of this earth, only from the immensity of their distance.
When we talk of hundreds of millions of miles, it is not to be listened to as incredible. For, remember that we are talking of those bodies, which are scattered over the immensity of space, and that space knows no termination. The conception is great and difficult, but the truth is unquestionable.
By a process of measurement, we have ascertained first the distance, and then the magnitude of some of those bodies which roll in the firmament; that the sun, which presents itself to the eye under so diminished a form, is really a globe, exceeding, by many thousands of times, the dimensions of the earth which we inhabit; that the moon itself has the magnitude of a world: and that even a few of those stars, which appear like so many lucid points to the unassisted eye of the observer, expand into large circles, upon the application of the telescope, and are some of them much larger than the ball which we tread upon and to which we proudly apply the denomination of the universe. * * * *