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whose inspection nothing was too minùte. To know Him, to sèrve Him, to enjóy Him, was with them the great end of existence. They rejected with contempt the ceremo
nious homage which other sects substituted for the pùre 5 worship of the soul. Instead of catching occasional
glímpses of the Deity through an obscùring véil, they aspired to gaze full on the intolerable brightness, and to commune with Him fáce to fàce. Hence originated their
contempt for terrestrial distinctions. The difference be10 tween the greatest and méanest of mankind, seemed to
vànish, when compared with the boundless interval which separated the whole race from Him on whom their own eyes were constantly fixed. They recognized no title to
superiority but His fàvor; and confident of that favor, 15 they despised all the accomplishments and all the digni
ties of the world. If they were unacquainted with the works of philosophers and poets, they were deeply réad in the oracles of God. If their names were not found in
the registers of héralds, they felt assured that they were 20 recorded in the Book of Life. If their steps were not
accompanied by a splendid train of ménials, legions of ministering àngels had charge over them. Their palaces were houses not made with hànds: their díadems, crowns
of glory which should never fade awày! 25 On the rich and the èloquent, on nòbles and priests,
they looked down with contèmpt: for they esteemed themselves rich in a more precious treasure, and eloquent in a more sublíme language, nobles by the right of an
earlier creation, and priests by the imposition of a migh30 tier hànd. The very mèanest of them was a being to
whose fate a mysterious and terrible importance belonged, - on whose slightest action the spirits of light and darkness looked with anxious interest, who had been destined,
before heaven and earth were created, to enjoy a felicity 35 which should continue when heaven and earth should have passed away:
Events which short-sighted politicians ascribed to earthly causes, had been ordained on his account. For his
sake empires had risen, and flourished, and decayed. For 40 hís sake the Almighty had proclaimed his will by the pèn
of the evangelist, and the harp of the pròphet. He had been rescued by nó còmmon delíverer from the grasp of no cómmon fde. He had been ransomed by the sweat of
nó vùlgar ágony, by the blood of nò éarthly sacrifice. It was for him that the sùn had been darkened,* that the rocks had been rènt, that the dead had arisen, that áll nà
ture had shuddered at the sufferings of her expíring 5 Gòd !
Thus the Puritan was made up of twò dífferent mèn, the one all self-abàsement, penitence, gratitude, pássion; the other pròud, calm, inflexible, sagacious. He prós
trated himself in the dust before his Máker: but he set O his foot on the néck of the king. In his devotional re
tirement, he prayed with convulsions, and gróans, and tèars. He was half maddened by glòrious or térrible illùsions. He heard the lŷres of angels, or the tempting
whispers of fiènds. He caught a gleam of the beatific 15 vísion, or woke screaming from dreams of everlasting fire.
Like Váne, he thought himself intrusted with the scèptre of the millennial year. Like Fleetwood, he cried in the bitterness of his soul that God had híd his fàce from him.
But when he took his séat in the council, or girt on his 20 sword for war, these tempestuous workings of the soul
had left nò perceptible trace behind them. People who saw nothing of the godly but their uncóuth visages, and heard nothing from them but their gróans and their
hymns, might laugh at them. But those had little reason 25 to laugh who encountered them in the hall of debáte, or in the field of battle.
The Puritans brought to civil and military affairs a coolness of judgment, and an immutability of púrpose,
which some writers have thought inconsistent with their 30 religious zéal, but which were in fact the nécessary effects
of it. The intensity of their feelings on one subject, made them tranquil on every other. One overpowering sentiment had subjected to itself pity and hátred, ambítion
and fèar. Death" had lòst its iérrors, and pleasure its 35 chàrms. They had their smiles and their téars, their
ráptures and their sòrrows, but not for the things of this world. Enthusiasm had made them stóics, had cleared their minds from every vulgar passion and préjudice, and
raised them above the influence of danger and of cor40 rùption.
* When an emphatic series causes, thus, a succession of falling inflections, the second one in each clause, falls lower than the first.
[Marked for Inflections.) We believe that poetry, far from injuring society, is one of the great instruments of its refinement and exaltation. It lifts the mind above ordinary life, gives it a rèspite
from depressing cares, and awakens the consciousness of 5 its affinity with what is púre and noble. In its legitimate
and highest efforts, it has the same tendency and aim with Christiànity; that is, to spiritualize our nature. True, poetry has been made the instrument of vice, the pànder
of bàd pássions; but when genius thùs stóops, it dims its 10 fires, and parts with much of its power; and even when
Poetry is enslaved to licéntiousness and misanthropy, she cannot whòlly forgét her trúe vocation. Strains of púre fèeling, touches of tenderness, images of innocent happi
ness, sympathies with what is good in our nature, bursts 15 of scòrn or indignation at the hollowness of the world,
passages trùe to our mòral nature, often escape in an immóral work, and show us how hard it is for a gifted spírit to divorce itself whòlly from what is good.
Poetry has a natural alliance with our bést affections. 20 It delights in the beauty and sublimity of dutward nature
and of the soul. It indeed portrays with terrible energy the excèsses of the pássions, but they are passions which show a mighty nature, which are full of power, which
command áwe, and excite a deep though shùddering sym25 pathy. Its great tendency and púrpose, is, to carry the
mind beyond and above the beaten, dusty, wèary walks of ordinary life; to lift it into a pùrer element, and to breathe into it more profound and generous emòtion. It
reveals to us the loveliness of nature, brings back the 30 freshness of youthful fèeling, revives the relish of sím
ple pleasures, keeps unquenched the enthusiasm which warmed the spring-time of our being, refines youthful love, strengthens our interest in human nature, by vivid
delineations of its tènderest and lóftiest fèelings, spreads 35 our sympathies over all classes of society, knits us by
nèw ties with universal lèing, and, through the brightness of its pròphetic vísions, helps fàxth to lay hold on the future life.
We are aware that it is objected to poetry, that it gives 40 wróng views, and excites fàlse expectátions of life, peoples the mind with shadows and illusions, and builds
gination on the ruins of wisdom. That there is a wisdom, against which poetry wárs,—the wisdom of the senses, which makes physical comfort and gratification the su
préme good, and wealth the chief interest of life,—we do 5 not deny: nor do we deem it the least service which
poetry renders to mankind, that it redeems them from the thraldom of this earthborn prùdence.
But, passing over this topic, we would observe, that the complaint against poetry as abounding in illusion and de10 céption is, in the main, groundless. In many poems
there is more of truth, than in many histories and philosóphic theories. The fictions of génius are often the vehicles of the sublímest vérities, and its flashes often open
nèw regions of thought, and throw new light on the 15 mýsteries of our bèing. In poetry the lètter is falsehood,
but the spírit is often profoundest wisdom. And if trùth thus dwells in the boldest fictions of the poet, much more may it be expected in his delinéations of life; for the
présent life, which is the first stage of the immortal mind, 20 abounds in the matérials of poetry, and it is the highest
office of the bard to detect this divine element, among the grosser pleasures and lábors of our earthly being.
The present life is not wholly prosaic, precíse, tàme,* and finite. To the gifted eye it abounds in the poètic. 25 The affections which spread beyond ourselves, and stretch
far into futùrity; the workings of mighty passions, which seem to arm the soul with an almost superhùman energy; the innocent and irrepressible joy of infancy; the bloom,
and buoyancy, and dazzling hopes of youth; the throb30 bings of the heart when it first wakes to lòve, and dreams
of a happiness too vást for earth ; woman, with her beauty, and grace, and gentleness, and fulness of feeling, and depth of affection, and her blushes of purity, and the
tones and looks which only a móther's heart can inspire ; 35 - these are all poetical.
It is not trùe that the poet paints a life which does not exist. He only extrácts and concentrates, as it were, life's ethéreal èssence, arrests and condenses its volatile frd
grance, brings together its scattered beauties, and pro40 lòngs its more refined but evanescent joys; and in this he
does well; for it is good to feel that life is not wholly usurped by cares for subsistence and physical gratificátions, but admits, in measures which may be indefinitely enlarged, sentiments and delights worthy of a higher being.
* A negative sentence, ending with a rising inflection, has the falling slide on its penultimate word or clause.
LESSON XXI.-CAUSES OF
[To be marked for Inflections, by the reader.) What are sufficient causes of war let no man say, no legislator say, until the question of war is directly and inevitably before him. Jurists may be permitted with
comparative safety, to pile tome upon tome of intermina5 ble disquisition upon the motives, reasons, and causes of
just and unjust war. Metaphysicians may be suffered with impunity to spin the thread of their speculations until it is attenuated to a cobweb; but for a body created for
the government of a great nation, and for the adjustment 10 and protection of its infinitely diversified interests, it is
worse than folly to speculate upon the causes of war, until the great question shall be presented for immediate action,-until they shall hold the united question of cause,
motive, and present expediency, in the very palm of their 15 hands. War is a tremendous evil. Come when it will,
unless it shall come in the necessary defence of our national security, or of that honor under whose protection national security reposes, it will come too soon,
too soon for our national prosperity,—too soon for our individual 20 happiness, -too soon for the frugal, industrious, and vir
tuous habits of our citizens,—100 soon, perhaps, for our most precious institutions. The man who, for any cause, save the sacred.cause of public security, which makes all
wars defensive,—the man who, for any cause but this, 25 shall promote or compel this final and terrible resort,
assumes a responsibility second to none, nay, transcendantly deeper and higher than any, which man can assume before his fellow-men, or in the presence of God, his Creator.
LESSON XXII.-FOUNDATION OF NATIONAL CHARACTER.
E. EVERETT. [To be marked for Inflections, by the reader.] Mental energy has been equally diffused by sterner levellers than ever marched in the van of a revolution,the nature of man and the providence of God. Native