Imágenes de página

There's music in the depth of night,

When the world is still and dim,
And the stars flame out in their pomp of light,
. Like thrones of the cherubim !


Religious Contemplation of the Works of God.-Moodie.

CONTEM'PLATE the great scenes of nature, and accustom yourselves to connect them with the perfections of God. All vast and unmeasurable objects are fitted to impress the soul with awe. The mountain, which rises above the neighbouring hills, and hides its head in the sky; the sounding, unfathomed, boundless deeps the expanse of heaven, where, above, and around, no limit checks the wondering eye; these objects fill and elevate the mind-they produce a solemn frame of spirit, which accords with the sentiment of religion.

From the contemplation of what is great and magnificent in nature, the soul rises to the Author of all. We think of the time which preceded the birth of the universe, when no being existed but God alone. While unnumbered systems arise in order before us, created by his power, arranged by his wisdom, and filled with his presence, the earth, and the sea, with all that they contain, are hardly beheld amidst the immensity of his works. In the boundless subject the soul is lost. “ It is he who sitteth on the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers. He weigheth the mountains in scales. He taketh up the isles as a very little thing. Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him!”

Pause for a while, ye travellers on the earth, to contem'plate the universe in which you dwell, and the glory of him who created it. What a scene of wonders is here presented to your view! If beheld with a religious eye, what a temple for the worship of the Almighty! The earth is spread out before you, reposing amidst the desolation of winter, or clad in the verdure of the spring; smiling in the beauty of summer, or loaded with autumnal fruit; opening, to an endless variety of beings, the treasures of their Maker's goodness, and ministering subsistence and comfort to every creature that lives.

The heavens, also, declare the glory of the Lord. The sun cometh forth from his chambers to scatter the shades of night, inviting you to the renewal of your labours, adorning the face of nature, and, as he advances to his meridian brightness, cherishing every herb and every fiower that springeth from the bosom of the carth. Nor, when he retires again from your view, doth he leave the Creator without a witness. He only hides his own splendor for a while, to disclose to you a more glorious scene ; to show you the immensity of space filled with worlds unnumbered, that your imaginations may wander, without a limit, in the vast creation of God.

What a field is here opened for the exercise of every pious emotion! and how irresistibly do such contemplations as these awaken the sensibility of the soul! Here is infinite power to impress you with awe; here is infinite wisdom to fill you with admiration ; here is infinite goodness to call forth your gratitude and love. The correspondence between these great objects and the affections of the human heart, is established by nature itself; and they need only to be placed before us, that every religious feeling may be excited.


Criminality of Intemperance.-H. WARE, Jr.

I do not mean to say, that the habit of intemperance is ever formed without temptation, or persisted in without what may be thought an excuse. The temptation is gradual, and insinuating; the habit is formed insensibly. It is an established custom for men to drink while they labour. The poor man is taught, absurdly, to think a glass necessary for his strength; he finds another necessary for good companionship. He cannot go abroad without finding a lure invitingly held out beneath the license of the law. Before he is aware of it, a certain stimulus has become necessary to his constitution. If he try to amend, he is pressed by this necessity, and, in a manner, compelled to maintain the vice; though he would give the world to renounce it. And

where, we are asked, is the sin in all this? Is there not rather a call for compassion than for censure?

Undoubtedly there is a call for compassion ; for deep and earnest compassion. So there is in the case of every sin, when we reflect on the circumstances of trial and temptation. The case of the drunkard is not, in this respect, different from that of other criminals. The man who, impelled by want, or the unprincipled habits of a bad education, robs on the high way, is driven by as imperious a necessity as the drunkard. The temptation is as strong, the habit is as irresistible.

The sudden passion of the murderer is as irresistible as the appetite of the tippler. The cherished revenge of the assassin is as strong an incitement as the cherished thirst of the intemperate. But who, in these cases, excuses the crime because of the temptation ? Who thinks it a palliation of the offence, that the state of the offender's mind and heart is such as necessarily to lead to it?

Who excuses the two-fold crime of David, because of the greatness of the lust by which he was drawn away and enticed? Compassionate, therefore, as you please, the con

ition of the miserable man who is the slave of intemperate habits; but remember that, after all, his apology is but the same with that of other criminals, and quite as strong for them as for him.

Indeed, may we not fairly go further, and say, that there are some circumstances which bring a peculiar aggravation to his guilt? When we consider the powerful dissuasives from this sin, is there not an aggravation in that state of mind, which is not at all affected by them? When we reflect on the misery it occasions, must there not be a singular guilt in that deadness of mind, which allows one coolly to produce that misery, without any malice or bad intention? How thoroughly must the good affections be palsied, and the moral sense destroyed, when this brutalizing enjoyment has become more desirable to a man, than all the rich pleasares which flow from home, friendship, health, and reputation !

What an enormity of sin must he have to answer for, who has depraved himself so far, that, when all the felicities of a rational and social being are put in the one scale, and those of a beastly self-indulgence in the other, he chooses the last, strips himself of decency and honour, puts out the light of reason, flings off the attributes of a man, and rushes into all the wickedness of voluntary insanity, disgusting idiocy, and profane beastliness disgraces his friends, beggars his family, initiates his children in the dispositions and pathway of hell, -becomes the corrupter of youthful purity, and a public teacher of debauchery--with no disposition to engage in good pursuits, and no power to attend to the things which concern his peace, or to take one step toward the salvation of his soul !

What can be said of such a man, but that his present and eternal ruin are complete! Earth curses him, while he is upon it; and beyond it he can see no prospect but that of the blackness of darkness. A drunkard cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven.

I am aware that many are ready to start back with incredulity and displeasure, when we speak of the eternal ruin of any human being: and rightly, if it be denounced by human wrath with insufficient authority. But, in the present case, let any considerate man reflect on the nature of this vice, and consider how it deforms and brutalizes the whole man; how it destroys the intellectual faculties; how it palsies the moral affections; how it unfits for duty, incapacitates for improvement, disqualifies for the pure and elevated sentiments of devotion, and renders one as little capable of religion as of reason ;-does he not perceive that it is impossible for such a man to relish the pure, intellectual, spiritual joys of heaven? and that his future prospects are, therefore, fearful and dark ? If

pure affections, penitent humility, and devout habits, be essential to its bliss, has he not dreadfully ruined the hope of his soul ? If preparation be necessary, has he not refused his happiness, by refusing to be prepared ? Does not reason take up the language of scripture, and repeat, with earnest conviction, A drunkard cannot inherit the kingdom of God?

[ocr errors]



“Outvenoms all the worms of Nile."-Shakspeare.

Who has not heard of the rattle-snake or copperhead! An unexpected sight of either of these reptiles will make

even the lords of creation recoil: but there is a species of worm, found in various parts of this state, which conveys a poison of a nature so deadly, that, compared with it, even the venom of the rattle-snake is harmless. To guard our readers against this foe of human kind, is the object of this communication.

This worm varies much in size. It is frequently an inch through, but, as it is rarely seen, except when coiled, its length can hardly be conjectured. It is of a dull lead colour, and generally lives near a spring or small stream of water, and bites the unfortunate people, who are in the habit of going there to drink. The brute creation it never molests. They avoid it with the same instinct that teaches the animals of Peru to shun the deadly coya.

Several of these reptiles have long infested our settlements, to the misery and destruction of many of our fellow citizens. I have, therefore, had frequent opportunities of being the melancholy spectator of the effects produced by the subtle poison which this worm infuses.

The symptoms of its bite are terrible. The eyes of the patient become red and fiery, his tongue swells to an immoderate size, and obstructs his utterance; and delirium, of the most horrid character, quickly follows. Sometimes, in his madness, he attempts the destruction of his nearest friends.

If the sufferer has a family, his weeping wife and helpless infants are not unfrequently the objects of his frantic fury. In a word, he exhibits, to the life, all the detestable passions that rankle in the bosom of a savage; and, such is the spell in which his senses are locked, that, no sooner has the unhappy patient recovered from the paroxysm of insanity, occasioned by the bite, than he seeks out the destroyer, for the sole purpose of being bitten again.

I have seen a good old father, his locks as white as snow, his steps slow and trembling, beg in vain of his only son to quit the lurking place of the worm. My heart bled when he turned away; for I knew the fond hope, that his son would be the staff of his declining years," had supported him through many a sorrow.

Youths of Missouri, would you know the name of this reptile? It is called the Worm of the Still.

« AnteriorContinuar »