Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

But, if pity inspire thee, renew thy sad lay;

Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to moum: O soothe him, whose pleasures, like thine, pass away

Full quickly they pass_but they never return. “Now, gliding remote, on the verge of the sky,

The moon, half extinguished, her crescent displays · But lately I marked, when, majestic on high,

She shone, and the planets were lost in her blaze. Roll on, thou fair orb, and with gladness pursue

The path that conducts thee to splendor again: But man's faded glory no change shall renew!

Ah fool! to exult in a glory so vain ! u 'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more;

I mour, but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you ; For morn is approaching your charms to restore,

Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew. Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn:

Kind nature the embryo blossom will save: But when shall spring visit the mouldering urn!

O when shall it dawn on the night of the grave !" 'Twas thus, by the glare of false science betrayed,

That leads to bewilder, and dazzles to blind, My thoughts wont to roam, from shade onward to shade,

Destruction before me and sorrow behind : "O pity, great Father of light,” then I cried,

Thy creature, who fain would not wander'from thee: Lo, humbled in dust, I relinquish my pride;

From doubt and from darkness thou only canst free.” And darkness and doubt are now flying away:

No longer I roam in conjecture forlorn.
So breaks on the traveller, faint and astray,

The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn.
See Truth, Love, and Mercy, in triumph descending,

And nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom !
On the cold cheek of Death smiles and roses are blending,

And Beauty immortal awakes from the tomb.,

LESSON LXXVI.

Hymn to the Stars.-MONTHLY REPOSITORY

Ay, there ye shine, and there have shone,

In one eternal ‘hour of prime,' Each rolling burningly, alone,

Through boundless space and countless time Ay, there ye shine, the golden dews

That pave the realms by seraphs trod; There, through yon echoing vault, diffuse The song

of choral worlds to God. Ye visible spirits! bright as erst

Young Eden's birthnight saw ye shine On all her ficwers and fountains first,

Yet sparkling from the hand divine ;
Yes, bright as then ye smiled, to catch

The music of a sphere so fair,
Ye hold your high, immortal watch,

And gird your God's pavilion there.
Gold frets to dust,—yet there ye are ,
Time rots the diamond,—there ye

roll In primal light, as if each star

Enshrined an everlasting soul !
And does it not-since your bright thronge

One all-enlightening Spirit own,
Praised there by pure, sidereal tongues,

Eternal, glorious, blest, alone ?

Could man but see what

ye

have seen, Unfold awhile the shrouded past, From all that is, to what has been,

The glance how rich! the range how vast The birth of time, the rise, the fall

Of empires, myriads, ages flown,
Thrones, cities, tongues, arts, worships,-all

The things whose echoes are not gone.
Ye saw rapt Zoroaster send

His soul into your mystic reign; Ye saw the adoring Sabian bend

The living hills his mighty fane !

Beneath his blue and beaming sky,

He worshipped at your lofty shrine,
And deemed he saw, with gifted eye,

The Godhead in his works divine.

And there ye shine, as if to mock

The children of a mortal sire.
The storm, the bolt, the earthquake's shock,

The red volcano's cataract fire,
Drought, famine, plague, and blood, and flame,

All nature's ills, and life's worse woes,
Are nought to you: ye smile the same,

And scorn alike their dawn and close.

Ay, there ye roll-emblems sublime

Of Him, whose spirit o'er us moves,
Beyond the clouds of grief and crime,

Śtill shining on the world he loves :
Nor is one scene to mortals given,

That more divides the soul and sod,
Than yon proud heraldry of heaven-

Yon burning blazonry of God!

LESSON LXXVII.

Religion the only Basis of Society.--CHANNING.

RELIGION is a social concern ; for it operates powerfully on society, contributing, in various ways, to its stability and prosperity. Religion is not merely a private affair; the community is deeply interested in its diffusion; for it is the best support of the virtues and principles, on which the social order rests. Pure and undefiled religion is, to do good; and it follows, very plainly, that, if God be the Author and Friend of society, then, the recognition of him must en. force all social duty, and enlightened piety must give its whole strength to public order.

Few men suspect, perhaps no man comprehends, the extent of the support given by religion to every virtue. No man, perhaps, is aware, how much our moral and social sentiments are fed from this fountain ; how powerless conscience would become, without the belief of a God; how palsied wonld be human bent vutenço, were there not the sense of a higher benevolence to quicken and sustain it; how suddenly the whole social fabric would quake, and with what a fearful crash it would sink into hopeless ruin, were the ideas of a supreme Being, of accountableness, and of a future life, to be utterly erased from every mind.

And, let men thoroughly believe that they are the work and sport of chance; that no superior intelligence concerns itself with human affairs; that all their improvements perish forever at death; that the weak have no guardian, and the injured no avenger ; that there is no recompense for sacrifices to uprightness and the public good; that an oath is unheard in heaven; that secret crimes have no witness but the perpetrator; that human existence has no purpose, and human virtue no unfailing friend ; that this brief life is every thing to us, and death is total, everlasting extinction; once let them thoroughly abandon religion; and who can со or describe the extent of the desolation which would follow !

We hope, perhaps, that human laws and natural sympathy would hold society together. As reasonably might we believe, that, were the sun quenched in the heavens, our torches would illuminate, and our fires quicken and fertilize the creation. What is there in human nature to awaken respect and tenderness, if man is the unprotected insect of a day? And what is he more, if atheism be true ?

Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man. Ap. petite, knowing 110 restraint, and suffering, having no solace or hope, would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws. Virtue, duty, principle, would be mocked and spurned as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self-interest would supplant every other feeling; and man would become, in fact, what the theory of atheism declares him to be,-a compan. ion for brutes.

LESSON LXXVIII.

Punishment of a Liar.--BIBLE. Now Na'ăman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable ; because by him the Lord had giveu deliverunce unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour; but he was a lěp'er. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive, out of the land of Israel, a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mise tress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria ! for he would recover him of his leprosy.

And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said, Go to, go ; and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talenta of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now, when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.

And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? Wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.

And it was so, when Elisha, the man of God, had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes ? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came, with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Ab’ănă and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned, and went away in a rage.

And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it ? how much rather, then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

« AnteriorContinuar »