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heart, and the disciple of Christ is assured that the best service of God is the service of mankind. In short, there cannot be other than a sense of security, and a composed countenance of peace, felt and experienced throughout society, when those principles of religious knowledge are generally and practically received, which hold up plainly before the face of every man, his duty to his Maker, to his neighbour, and to his own self.
Then there is that separate, individual peace, which takes up its dwelling in the hearts of all those who have been taught of the Lord; a peace, holy, heavenly, profound, which the world cannot give, because it is above the world, and independent of it; the peace of a quiet conscience, of a regulated mind, of innocent hopes, of calm desires, of the love which embraces humanity, and the trust which reposes on Heaven; a gentle river, running through the life, imparting beauty, pouring out refreshment, and lending its grateful moisture to the most hidden and attenuated roots and threads of sentiment and feeling, clothing the sands with verdure, and sprinkling the lonely places with sweet flowers. Add this peace of each single bosom to that general peace which pervades the community, and how truly may it be called great!
I deny not that a nation may become powerful, victorious, renowned, wealthy, and full of great men, even though it should neglect the education of the humbler classes of its population; but I do deny, that it can ever become a happy or a truly prosperous nation, till all its children are taught of the Lord.
To say nothing of the despotisms of the east, look at the kingdoms of Europe, with their battles, and their alliances, and their pompous and gaudy ceremonies, and their imposing clusters of high titles and celebrated names; and, after this showy phantasmagoria has passed away, mark the condition of the majority, observe their superstition, their slavishness, their sensual enjoyments, their limited range of thought, their almost brutalized existence; mark this, and say whether a heavenly peace is among them. Alas! they know not the things which belong to their peace, nor are their rulers desirous that they should know, but rather prefer that they should live on in submissive ignorance, that they may be at all times ready to swell the trains of their masters' pride, and be sacrificed by hecatombs to their masters' ambition.
Far different were the views of those gifted patriarchs who founded a new empire here. They were determined that all their children should be taught of the Lord; and, side by side with the humble dwellings, which sheltered their heads from the storms of a strange world, arose the school-house and the house of God. And, ever after, the result has been peace,-great, unexampled peace; peace to the few, who gradually encroached on the primeval forests of the land, and peace to the millions, who have now spread themselves abroad in it from border to border. In the strength and calm resolution of that peace they stood up once, and shook themselves free from the rusted fetters of the old world; and in the beauty and dignity of that peace they stand up now, self-governed, orderly, and independent, a wonder to the nations.
If a stranger should inquire of me the principal cause and source of this greatness of my country, would I bid him look on the ocean widely loaded with our merchandise, and proudly ranged by our navy? or on the land where it is girdled by roads, and scored by canals, and burthened with the produce of our industry and ingenuity ?--would I bid him look on these things as the springs of our prosperity ?
Indeed, I would not. Nor would I show him our colleges and literary institutions; for he can see nobler ones elsewhere. I would pass all these by, and would lead him out by some winding highway among the hills and woods, and, when the cultivated spots grew small and infrequent, and the houses became few and scattered, and a state of primitive nature seemed to be immediately before us, I would stop in some sequestered spot, and, directed by a steady hum, like that of bees, I would point out to him a lowly building, hardly better than a shed, but full of blooming, happy children, collected together from the remote and unseen farm-houses, conning over their various tasks, or reading with a voice of reverential monotony, a portion of the Word of God; and I would bid him note, that, even here, in the midst of poverty and sterility, was a specimen of the thousand nurseries, in which all our children are taught of the Lord, and formed, some to legislate for the land, and all to understand its constitution and laws, to maintain their unspotted birthright, and contribute to the great aggregate of the intelligence, the morality, the power and peace of this mighty commonwealth.
Importance of Science to a practical Mechanic.
G. B. EMERSON.
Let us imagine for a moment the condition of an individual, who has not advanced beyond the merest elements of knowledge, who understands nothing of the principles even of his own art, and inquire what change will be wrought in his feelings, his hopes, and happiness, in all that makes up the character, by the gradual inpouring of knowledge.
He has now the capacity of thought, but it is a barren faculty, never nourished by the food of the mind, and never rising above the poor objects of sense. Labour and rest, the hope of mere animal enjoyment, the fear of want, the care of providing covering and food, make up the whole sum of his existence. Such a man may be industrious, but he cannot love labour, for it is not relieved by the excitement of improving or changing the processes of his art, nor cheered by the hope of a better condition.
When released from labour he does not rejoice; for mere idleness is not enjoyment, and he has no book, no lesson of science, no play of the mind, no interesting pursuit, to give a zest to the hour of leisure. Home has few charms for him; he has little taste for the quiet, the social converse, and exchange of feeling and thought, the innocent enjoyments, that ought to dwell there. Society has little to interest him; for he has no sympathy for the pleasures or pursuits, the cares or troubles of others, to whom he cannot feel nor perceive his bonds of relationship.
All of life is but a poor boon for such a man; and happy for himself and for mankind, if the few ties that hold him to this negative existence be not broken. Happy for him if that best and surest friend of man, that messenger
of good news from heaven to the poorest wretch on earth, Religion, bringing the fear of God, appear to save him.
Without her to support, should temptātion assail him, what an easy victim would he fall to vice or crime! How little would be necessary to overturn his ill-balanced principles, and leave him grovelling in intemperance, or send him abroad on the ocean or the highway, an enemy to himself and his kind !
But, let the light of science fall upon that man; open to
him the fountain of knowledge. A few principles of pha losophy enter his mind, and awaken the dormant power of thought. He begins to look upon his art with an altered eye. It ceases to be a dark mechanical process, which he cannot understand; he regards it as an object of inquiry, and begins to penetrate the reasons, and acquire a new mastery over his own instruments.
He finds other and better modes of doing what he had done before, blindly and without interest, a thousand times. He learns to profit by the experience of others, and ventures upon untried paths. Difficulties, which before would have stopped him at the outset, receive a ready solution from some luminous principle of science.
He gains new knowledge and new skill, and can improve the quality of his manufacture, while he shortens the process and diminishes his own labour. Then labour becomes sweet to him; it is accompanied by the consciousness of increasing power; it is leading him forward to a higher place among his fellow men. Relaxation, too, is sweet to him, as it enables him to add to his intellectual stores, and to mature, by undisturbed meditation, the plans and conceptions of the hour of labour.
His home has acquired a new charm; for he is become a man of thought, and feels and enjoys the peace and seclusion of that sacred retreat; and he carries thither the honest complacency, which is the companion of well-earned success. There, too, bright visions of the future sphere open upon him, and excite a kindly feeling towards those who are to share in his prosperity.
Thus his mind and heart expand together. He has become an intelligent being, and, while he has learned to esteem himself, he has also learned to live no longer for himself alone. Society opens like a new world to him; he looks upon his fellow creatures with interest and sympathy, and feels that he has a place in their affections and respect. Temptations assail him in vain. He is armed by high and pure thoughts. He takes a wider view of his relations with the beings about and above him. He welcomes every generous virtue that adorns and dignifies the human character. He delights in the exercise of reason.
He glories in the consciousness and the hope of immortality.
Story of Rabbi Ak'iba.--Hurwitz's HEBREW TALES.
COMPELLED, by violent persecution, to quit his native land, Rabbi Akiba wandered over barren wastes and dreary deserts. His whole equipage consisted of a lamp, which he used to light at night, in order to study the law; a cock, which served him instead of a watch, to announce to him the rising dawn; and an ass, on which he rode. The sun
was gradually sinking behind the horizon, night was fast approaching, and the poor wanderer knew not where to shelter his head, or where to rest bis weary limbs. Fatigued, and almost exhausted, he came at last near a village. He was glad to find it inhabited, thinking, where human beings dwelt, there dwelt, also, humanity and compassion.
But he was mistaken. He asked for a night's lodging. It was refused. Not one of the inhospitable inhabitants would accommodate him. He was, therefore, obliged to seek shelter in a neighbouring wood. “It is hard, very hard,” said he, “not to find a hospitable roof to protect me against the inclemency of the weather; but God is just, and whatever he does is for the best."
He seated himself beneath a tree, lighted his lamp, and began to read the law. He had scarcely read a chapter, when a violent storm extinguished the light. “What !” exclaimed he, “must I not be permitted even to pursue my favourite study! But God is just, and whatever he does is for the best.”
He stretched himself on the earth, willing, if possible, to have a few hours' sleep.' He had hardly closed his eyes, when a fierce wolf came and killed the cock.
66 What new misfortune is this !" ejaculated the astonished Akiba. “My vigilant companion is gone! Who, then, will henceforth awaken me to the study of the law? But God is just; he knows what is good for us poor mortals.”
Scarcely had he finished the sentence, when a terrible lion came and devoured the ass. " What is to be done now?” exclaimed the lonely wanderer. “My lamp and my cock are gone-my poor ass, too, is gone-all is gone! But, praised be the Lord, whatever he does is for the best.” He passed a sleepless night, and, early in the morning, went