« PreviousContinue »
to the bowers of Eden, put on the deceptive mask of the wily snake; sang the siren song of untasted pleasures within the reach of the happy pair ; infused his polluting breath with theirs; seduced them from allegiance to their King; destroyed their innocence by inducing disobedience; stamped the indelible stain of sin on their purity, with ink infernal ; infused his own vile passions in their nature ; planted the poison of mortality in their bodies ; sowed the seeds of thistles, briars, and thorns in their garden; snatched the flowers of bliss from Paradise ; cut the silver cord of all their joys; stripped them of happiness, and left them naked; hiding, and writhing in bitter agony and keen despair. Ruin ensued, Jehovah frowned, the earth was cursed, the rebels fled, heaven mourned, angels wept, Satan smiled, hell rejoiced. The deed was done, man had fallen.
Thus were our first progenitors betrayed and seduced from the duty they owed to their Creator; all the miseries of their fall rushed upon them and their progeny ; their created powers in full vigor, but poisoned with the miasma of hell; with a clear perception of good and evil, and with full power to choose between them, a natural impulse inclined them to the latter; the most cogent reasons pressed upon them to still love God and return to him for succor; but their hearts were charged with rebellion and enmity against him, and his government; and they at once commenced weaving a garment of self righteousness to hide the shame of their degradation. But all was vain—they were doomed culprits, and could neither hide their shame, or flee from impending wrath. They were arraigned-had no excuse were condemned—the sentence of death was passed
-the sword of justice drawn—when Mercy interposed. The sword was stayed-her plea was heard—the Eternal Son gave his bond for the penalty-Man was spared, and again became a probationer—not in his native innocence, but by faith in the glorious Redeemer and Mediator, could ultimately be restored to his original purity and bliss.
Hence we find Man the cap stone of the climax of paradoxes; a complex budget of contradictions; a heterogeneous compound of good and evil; the noblest work of God, bespattered by Lucifer; an immortal being, cleaving to things not eternal; a rational being, violating reason ; an animal with discretion, glutting, instead of prudently feeding appetite ; an original harmonious compact, violating order and revelling in confusion. Man is immortal without realizing it; rational, but often deaf to reason; an animal, transgressing the law of appetite ; a combination of noble powers, waging civil war, robbing, instead of aiding each other ; yet, like the Siamese twins, compelled to remain in the same apartment. They were created allies, to promote their own happiness and the glory of their king ; but Beelzebub, the first rebel against heaven, has made them conspirators. Appetite is lead astray by pleasure; they first stupify, then dethrone reason; immortality becomes paralyzed, and loses sight of things eternal-stupified reason and voracious appetite run riot, and depose the soul, all these fall in the ditch together, the natural consequence of violating the laws of common sense, reason, and revelation.
Notwithstanding his ignominious fall from original purity, a way has been provided, by which man can be restored to his native dignity, and again repose in the
sunbeams of God's love. The Eternal Son cancelled the bond given for the redemption of our race, at the time and place appointed; by giving his life, a sacrifice for its payment. He has opened a fountain in the house of King David, where every stain may be washed away. He has opened the gushing streams of the waters of life, where all may freely drink and live. The noble powers of man are left, but associated with bad company. We have only to separate these-keep ourselves unspotted from the world, close in with the terms made by Mercy, and all will yet be well.
With his nature polluted as it is, so important was man considered by JEHOVAH, that all Heaven was moved to devise the plan of his restoration. 0, Man, look within, and see the wonders, the powers of thy immortal soul. Through the long vista of history, a single glance carries us back to the time of our creation. Our minds, with the rapidity of light, encircle the globe, measure the stars, grasp the arcana of nature, and find a resting place, only in the contemplation of the great I AM. We are heirs of glory, why cling to earth, and turn our backs on our legal inheritance ? Forbid it reason, forbid it heaven, forbid it Almighty God.
The treasures of the deep are not so precious
Locked up in woman's love.—Middleton.
Poet Middleton and his Lady Love, were probably among the few happy pairs, contemplated by the Indian Philosopher, who believed souls were made in heaven,
to meet and match on earth; but often got separated on their way down, and got mis-matched, and of course were rendered miserable. I believe, with the poet, that if a woman can succeed in locking a man in her love, and keep the key, and make him stay locked, their earthly bliss must be precious. But once out, he is as hard to get in, as an untamed bird, escaped from a cage.
The marriage institution is the bond of social order, and, if treated with due respect, care, and discretion; greatly enhances individual happiness, and consequently, general good. The Spartan law punished those who did not marry; those who married too late; and those who married improperly. A large portion of the evils that have defaced the original organization of the patriarchal age, have resulted from the increase of celibacy, often caused by the imaginary refinements of the upper ten thousand. There are other causes that have stripped the marriage institution of its ancient simplicity, and rendered its pure stream turbid in places. Among the Patriarchs, before there were any rakes, parents never interfered, the young pair made the match, and the girl always married the man of her choice, an indispensable pre-requisite to a happy union. Latterly, especially among the rich and great, the parents make the matches, and marry portions of money, or noble blood, together, instead of their children-mutual esteem, the foundation of happiness, is a secondary concern. Fashionable circles; gay life; levees among the great; watering places; and wealth, or an appearance of wealth; often cheat the young into Matrimony, without any love in the pot, and without the aid of parental authority, the very circumstance tbat should induce it; for, as society now
is, it is often proper that the experience of parents should prompt them to interpose to prevent, but never to enforce marriage. We have many polished knaves in modern times, who make it a profession to betray innocence, and sacrifice virtue-demons, that have been vomited out of hell, to serve the devil. Marriages, not based on mutual esteem, often produce connubial infidelity, always unhappiness. A few discreet men seek for wives, some seek for nurses, more seek for beauties, and a larger portion seek for money in hand, or in expectancy. Fashion and habit have also thrown much mud in the stream of matrimony, since the time our hạrdy and happy pioneers settled this country. Then, the girls and boys were permitted to eat and grow fatnow, they are often moulded after the wasp, body and mind. Then, they took their lessons in the kitchen and field; now, in the drawing room and anti-work societies. Formerly, they made and wore homespun; now, our country is drained of specie to supply more costly, and less comfortable and durable wearing apparel Then, the girls were educated for wives, and the boys for men of industry-now, the former are educated to make a show, the latter, to make a dash. Then, the spinning wheel was sweet music—now, it is vulgar. Domestic felicity, old-fashioned economy and industry, have been strangled together, by fashion and habithence, we have fewer happy marriages, and more divorces, than in times of yore. All are not angels, that angels seem.
Marriage, properly engaged in, enhances the consequence of those who enter into it, by inspiring confidence in the surrounding community. Figure one only counts a single unit, make it as big as you may-put another