« PreviousContinue »
I see my fellow mortals perishing for lack of vision, and hear the cry from the millions in India, famishing for the word of life. When I see Ethiopia stretching out her hands unto God, and the isles waiting for his law, and know that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed the gospel of his kingdom to our charge, together with the means and the command to carry it into all the world, I tremble for those who can look coldly on, and hug their bags of gold, pretending to be christians. O, that they would throw off the guise, and act openly on the side to which they belong, and not dishonor the cause of Jesus. Read the command which is from Solomon's lips, “ Honor the Lord with thy substance." “ He that giveth unto the poor, lendeth unto the Lord, and he will repay him." “ The Lord loveth the cheerful giver ;" and many more texts; so that there is no lack of proof on the subject, or any doubt of the strictness of the injunction which is laid on every christian to do all he can to spread the gospel throughout the world.
It appears to me, friend X, that the angel of the covenant stands on high with a crown of glory in his hands, holding it forth as an incentive to encourage his followers to labor zealously in this glorious cause ; that he is calling to you as a professed disciple, to give to the poor and you shall have treasure in heaven; while you, by your answers, refuse his offers, and rake together the dust and straws of the earth, and take them as your chosen portion.
But one thing I tell you, and sooner or later you will find it true, that if you can look on and see (what every believer must see unless he wilfully shuts his eyes,) the plains of Hindostan, white with the bones of the miserable, self-destroyed victims of the modern Moloch of the East, Juggernaut, and the Banks of the Ganges covered with skeletons of infants, whose flesh has fattened the crocodile, and see the smoke from hundreds of altars, and hear the agonizing screams from the unhappy women who are sacrificing themselves at the shrine of superstition, and remain unmoved, without contributing any thing to assist in sending among them the light of the truth, you have no reason to indulge yourself in the vain hope that you are a christian. No;“ your silver and gold shall canker, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you."
X. Why, if what you say is true, 'tis very bad ; but I'm sure I've heard’em say that the East-Indies is the best place in the world to make money; and if that is the case, 'twould be very wrong to give, you know ; for he that gives to the rich shall come to want. I should be as glad to give as any man in the world, but really I have not the means; for I'm paying interest now on a piece of land that I bought six months ago, and must make the first payment on it next week, and where the money is to 'come from I don't know.~ I shouldn't wonder if I should come on the town in ten years myself, in spite of all I can do. Money is so scarce 'tis impossible to get enough to pay my taxes with, without trouble. I wish I could give something ; I feel for the poor heathen ; my heart aches when
hear such stories as you have told, and I hope the missionaries will have all the success in the world. What you say about Solomon, lending to the Lord, &c. I don't construe those passages
ally, as you do; and I always think of what Solomon says in another place, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” But I must go, or I shall be too late in getting my money of that man.-Good night.
What hope is there in his case? None, thought I. He has made religion a mere hobby-horse. God is not in all his thoughts ; like Judas, he has betrayed his master for silver ; and it were better for that man that he had not been born. The DAY OF JUDGMENT will be a terrible day for such men.
Men may bar their doors against the sufferer ; let charity herself plead in vain, and mercy go empty handed away: but he that hath the keys of death and hell, that " openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth,” will unbar their doors, unlock their coffers, and scatter their treasures to the poor and needy, and render judgment without mercy to him who hath showed no mercy."
LOSS OF THE ALBION.
To those of our readers, who have not already heard of the melancholy fate of the Albion, the following brief statement may not be uninteresting.
The Albion was considered the firmest, and in all respects the best packet-ship in the line to which she belonged; and was commanded by the skilful, though now much lamented Capt. Williams of New-York. She sailed from that place for Liverpool on the first of April, under circumstances which seemed to promise a quick and successful passage ; but, melancholy to relate, on the twenty-second of the same month, she was wrecked on the southern coast of Ireland, after almost riding out the gale which eventually drove her upon the shore. She struck the rocks near Kinsale, where she was soon shivered to pieces by the resistless beating of the waves; and of the twenty-eight passengers on board, one cabin, and one steerage passenger only, escaped with their lives; and of the crew, amounting to twenty-four, six hands, and the first mate, were the only ones saved. Among the lost was Alexander M. Fisher, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Yale-College, to whose memory the following lines are dedicated, though they feebly express the respect and affection which dictated them, and which still lives in the bosom of one who has shared the benefit of his instruction.
THE sun had set,--the danger too was o'er ;-
Reverse !-scarce had he spoke, and quell'd their fears,
A moment-and their gallant WILLIAMS says,
Oh! Yale, Thee and thy sons, thy loss deplore : for few Can sympathize ; few know the worth that with This youthful mind has vanish'd from our world.
How dark th' event!-we bow submissive to
With power to scan th' abstruse of science, his
His stay. I leave it with a téar: I leave
The Age of BENEVOLENCE; A POEM, by CARLOS Wilcos, Book I. New Haven, 1822. A. H. Maltby & Co. Printers.
In noticing this incipient work of our author, it is not intended to enter into a full investigation of its excellencies or its faults. This we respectfully leave to an abler pen; and though we know that such a pen is already employed in the task, the laudable desire of giving publicity to a production which we think will be read with peculiar interest, is deemed a sufficient apology for the following remarks.
The subject of the Poem is in its nature interesting, and one on which, it would seem, every contemplative mind must dwell with peculiar pleasure and satisfaction. To look at God only as a sovereign, who “ does all things after the coumsel of his own will, nor gives account of himself to any,” we might well suppose would fill the mind with deep solicitude. Especially would this be the case, if we were shut up in entire ignorance of the other attributes of his character, and debarred from all opportunity of obtaining a knowledge of them. In such a case, our knowledge that there existed a Being who, at his own pleasure, could exert infinite power, while at the same time we knew not how any effort of this power might affect our happiness, or whether its design was to communicate happiness or misery to animated beings, would tend only to overwhelm the mind with feelings of anxiety and alarm. To a mind in this state of solicitude, how consoling must it be to look abroad through all the works of creation and providence, and every where find this power beaming with benevolence, and scattering happiness around wherever it operates; as well in the microscopic insect which takes of all the enjoyment of animated nature, as in the highest orders of intelligent creation. The breast no longer palpitates with the fear, that possibly every source of present enjoyment may soon be dried up or converted into a source of misery, or that every avenue of sense may be converted into an inlet of pain and anguish, merely to gratify the cruelty of malevolence. Every effort of this unlimited power
seen to have a tendency directly the reverse of this, and therefore forbids the indulgence of such a fear.
But if such is the conviction, arising from a view of that exhibition of divine benevolence which is seen in the works of creation and providence, with what irresistable light must it flash through the mind, when, to see the highest exhibition of it which a God of love could make,
-All eyes at once
Of greatness and benevolence combined;
Poured from his heart of overflowing love." This seems to be the point of elevation to which the author of the poem endeavours to raise the contemplation of his readers ;--an elevation from which they might look abroad into the moral as well as the natural world, and gaze at those exhibitions of the divine perfections, which present themselves in every direction, till they were lost in wonder and admiration. It is, indeed, a trite and hackneyed subject, but it is not on this account uninteresting. So many have zealously engaged in the discussion of it, that scarce a point remains on which any thing new can be offered. It requires, therefore, no ordinary effort of genius to discuss it at large, and even escape the charge of pursuing an already beaten path; and much more to present it in such a light that it shall possess the charms of originality. How well the author has succeeded in this respect, we wish each one, after reading, to judge for himself. Should any, however, refuse to give him the credit of originality in his arguments, it is presumed few will deny that lively and animated description is one excellence which he may fairly claim. Many examples might be quoted in confirmation of this remark, but out of the variety of passages which solicit attention it seems difficult to make a single selection, though this is all our limits will allow. The following, though not superiour to many others, contains a description which can hardly fail to present a lively view of the original scene to any one who has ever observed the sports of the timid flock:
In rank pastures graze,
Then to the distant flock at once return." Other passages might be given, which, undoubtedly, in the view of many, would surpass this in beauty ; but we prefer that the book should speak for itself.
When Mr. Wilcox comes to paint the hopes that hang suspended on the cross, his feelings evidently kindle. This wakes the ardour of his soul, and calls into exercise all his latent energies. Here he finds the only sky-light opened, through which the radiance of