« PreviousContinue »
longs,-a wide tract of solid gold, -the jewels and the ingots will find their way to the great centers of civil. ization, where cultivated mind gives birth to the arts, and freedom renders property secure.
Edw. Everett, Mass., 1794-1865.
Never speak anything for a truth which you know or believe to be false. Lying is a great sin against God, who gave us a tongue to speak the truth and not falsehood. It is a great offense against humanity itself,—for where there is no regard to truth there can be no safe society between man and man. And it is an injury to the speaker; for besides the disgrace which it brings upon him, it occasions so much baseness of mind that he can scarcely tell truth or avoid lying, even when he has no color of necessity for it; and, in time, he comes to such a pass that, as other people cannot believe he speaks the truth, so he himself scarcely knows when he tells a falsehood.
Sir Matthew Tale, England, 1609-1676.
11. God in Nature, There is a God! The herbs of the valley, the cedars of the mountain bless Him; the insect sports in His beam; the bird sings Him in the foliage; the thunder proclaims Him in the heavens; the ocean declares His immensity. Man alone has said, “There is no God!" Unite in thought at the same instant the most beautiful objects in nature. Suppose that you see, at once, all the hours of the day, and all the seasons of the year,-a morning of spring, and a morning of autumn,-a night bespangled with stars, and a night darkened by clouds,-meadows enameled with flowers,-forests hoary with snow,-fields gilded by the tints of autumn,—then alone will you have a just conception of the universe!
F. A. Chateaubriand, France, 1768-1848.
12. The Beautiful. Beauty is an all-pervading presence. It unfolds in the numberless flowers of the spring. It waves in the branches of the trees and the green blades of grass. It haunts the depths of the earth and sea, and gleams out in the hues of the shell and the precious stone.
The ocean, the mountains, the clouds, the heavens, the stars, the rising and setting sun, all overflow with beauty. The universe is its temple; and those men who are alive to it cannot lift their eyes without feeling themselves encompassed with it on every side.
Now, this beauty is so precious, the enjoyments it gives are so' refined and pure, so congenial with our tenderest and noblest feelings, and so akin to worship, that it is painful to think of the multitude of. men as living in the midst of it, and living almost as blind to it as if, instead of this fair earth and glorious sky, they were tenants of a dungeon. An infinite joy is lost to the world by the want of culture of this spir. itual endowment.
W. E. Channing, R. I., 1780-1842.
13. Resolution. It is interesting to notice how some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage, and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles. Nature seems to delight in disappointing the assiduities of art, with which it would rear dullness to maturity, and to glory in the vigor and luxuriance of her chance productions. She scatters the seeds of genius to the winds, and though some may perish among the stony places of the world, and some may be choked by the thorns and brambles of earthly adversity, yet others will now and then strike root even in the clefts of the rock, struggle bravely up into sunshine, and spread over their sterile birthplace all the beauties of vegetation.
W. Irving, New York, 1783-1859.
Without labor what is there? Without it there were no world itself. Whatever we see or perceive, in heaven or on earth, is the product of labor. The sky above us, the ground beneath us, the air we breathe, the sun, the moon, the stars,—what are they? The product of labor. They are the labors of the Omnipotent, and all our labors are but a con. tinuance of His. Our work is a divine work. We carry on what God began. What a glorious spectacle is that of the labor of man upon the earth! It includes everything in it that is glorious. Look around and tell me what you see, that is worth seeing, that is not the work of your hands and the hands of your fellows,—the multitude of all ages.
Wm. Ilowitt, England, 1795–.
13. Universal Education.
Education must bring the practice as nearly as possible to the theory. As the children now are, so will the sovereigns soon be. How can we expect the fabric of the government to stand if vicious materials are daily wrought into its framework ? Education must prepare our citizens to become municipal officers, intelligent jurors, honest witnesses, legislators, or competent judges of legislation,-in fine, to fill all the manifold relations of life. For this end it must be universal. The whole land must be watered with the streams of knowledge. It is not enough to have, here and there, a beautiful fountain playing in palace gardens; but let it come like the abundant fatness of the clouds upon the thirsting earth.
II. Mann, Mass., 1796-1859.
16. Goodness of God in Creation.
Were all the interesting diversities of color and form to disappear, how unsightly, dull, and wearisome would be the aspect of the world! The pleasure conveyed to us by the endless variety with which these sources of beauty are presented to the eye are so much things of course, and exist so much without intermission, that we scarcely think either of their nature, their number, or the great proportion which they constitute in the whole mass of our enjoyment. But were an inhabitant of this country to be removed from its delightful scenery to the midst of an Arabian desert-a boundless expanse of sand, a waste, spread with uniform desolation, enlivened by the murmur of no stream, and cheered by the beauty of no verdure; although he might live in a palace, and riot in splendor and luxury, he would find life a dull, wearisome, melancholy round of existence; and, amid all his gratifications, he would sigh for the hills and valleys of his native land, the brooks and rivers, the living luster of the spring, and the rich glories of the autumn. The ever-varying brilliancy and grandeur of the land. scape, and the magnificence of the sky, sun, moon, and stars, enter more extensively into the enjoyment of mankind, than we, perhaps, even think or can pos. sibly apprehend, without frequent and extensive investigation. The beauty and splendor of the objects around us, it is ever to be remembered, is not necessary to their existence, nor what we commonly intend