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from no danger, no toil, no sacrifice, to save his coun. try, and to raise his children to a condition better than his own, — may my name and the name of my posterity be blotted forever from the memory of mankind!
1. Man, it has been said, is a bundle of habits; and habit is second nature. A celebrated Italian poet had so strong an opinion as to the power of repetition in act and thought, that he said, “ All is habit in mankind, even virtue itself.” Butler, in his “Analogy," impresses the importance of careful self-discipline and firm resistance to temptation, as tending to make virtue habitual; so that at length it may become more easy to be good than to give way to sin. “As habits belonging to the body," he says, “are produced by external acts, so habits of the mind are produced by the execution of inward practical purposes,—i. e., carrying them into act, or acting upon them, — the prin. ciples of obedience, veracity, justice, and charity." . . 2. And again, Lord Brougham says, when enforcing the immense importance of training and example in youth, “I trust every thing, under God, to habit, on which, in all ages, the lawgiver, as well as the school master, has mainly placed his reliance;- habit, which makes every thing easy, and casts the difficulties upon the deviation from a wonted course.” Thus, make sobriety a habit, and intemperance will be bateful; make prudence a habit, and reckless profligacy will become revolting to every principle of conduct which regulates the life of the individual.
3. Hence the necessity for the greatest care and watchfulness against the inroad of any evil habit; for the character is always weakest at that point at which it has once given way; and it is long before a principle restored can become so firm as one that has never been moved. It is a fine remark of a Russian writer, that “Habits are a necklace of pearls : untie the knot, and the whole unthreads."
4. Wherever formed, habit acts involuntarily and without effort; and it is only when you oppose it that you find how powerful it has become. What is dono once and again, soon gives facility and proneness. The habit at first may seem to have no more strength than a spider's web; but, once formed, it binds as with a chain of iron. The small events of life, taken singly, may seem exceedingly unimportant, like snow that falls silently, flake by flake; yet, accumulated, these snow-flakes form the avalanche.
5. Self-respect, self-help, application, industry, integ. rity, - all are of the nature of habits, not beliefs. Principles, in fact, are but the names which we assign to habits; for the principles are words, but the habits are the things themselves, — benefactors or tyrants, according as they are good or evil. It thus happens that, as we grow older, a portion of our free activity and individuality becomes suspended in habit; our actions become of the nature of fate, and we are bound by the chains which we have woven around ourselves.
6. It is, indeed, scarcely possible to over-estimate the importance of training the young to virtuous habits. In them they are the easiest formed, and,
when formed, they last for life. Like letters cut on the bark of a tree, they grow and widen with age. * Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” The beginning holds within it the end; the first start on the road of life determines the direction and the destination of the journey. As habit strengthens with age, and character becomes formed, any turning into a new path becomes more and more difficult. Hence it is often harder to unlearn than to learn; and for this reason the Grecian flute-player was justified, who charged double fees to those pupils who had been taught by an inferior master.
7. To uproot an old habit is sometimes a more pain. ful thing, and vastly more difficult, than to wrench out a tooth. Try and reform an habitually indolent, or improvident, or drunken person, and, in a large majority of cases, you will fail; for the habit, in each case, has wound itself in and through the life, until it has become an in'tegral part of it, and can not be uprooted. Hence the wisest habit of all is the habit of care in the formation of good habits. Even happiness itself may become habitual. There is a habit of looking at the bright side of things, and also of looking at the dark side.
8. Dr. Johnson has said that the habit of looking at the best side of a thing is worth more to a man than 2 thousand pounds a year; and we possess the power, to a great extent, of so exercising the will as to direct the thoughts upon objects calculated to yield happi. ness and improvement, rather than their opposites. In this way the habit of happy thought may be made to spring up like any other habit. And to bring up men or women with a genial nature of this sort, a good temper, and a happy frame of mind, is perhaps of even more importance, in many cases, than to per-fect them in much knowledge and many accomplishments.
1. I STAND upon the very peak of Sinai, where Moses stood when he talked with the Almighty. Can this be, or is it a mere dream? Can this naked rock have been the witness of that great interview between man and his Maker ? — where, amid thunder and lightning, and a fearful quaking of the mountain, the Almighty gave to his chosen people the precious tables of his law,- those rules of infinite wisdom and goodness, which, to this day, best teach man his duty toward God, his neighbor and himself?
2. The scenes of many of the incidents recorded in the Bible are extremely uncertain. Historians and geographers place the garden of Eden, the paradise of our first parents, in different parts of Asia; and they do not agree upon the site of the tower of Babel, the mountain of Ararat, and many of the most interesting places in the Holy Land; but of Sinai there is no doubt. This is the holy mountain; and among all the stupendous works of nature not a place can be selected more fitted for the exhibition of Almighty power.
3. I have stood upon the summit of the giant Etna, and looked over the clouds floating beneath it; upon the bold scenery of Sicily, and the distant mountains of Calabria; upon the top of Vesuvius, and looked down upon the waves of lava, and the ruined and halfrecovered cities at its foot; but they are nothing compared with the terrific solitudes and bleak majesty of Sinai.
4. An observing traveler has well called it “a per
fect sea of desolation." Not a tree, a shrub, or blade of grass, is to be seen upon the bare and rugged sides of innumerable mountains, heaving their naked summits to the skies; while the crumbling masses of granite around, and the distant view of the Syrian desert, with its boundless waste of sands, form the wildest and most dreary, the most terrific and desolate picture, that imagination can conceive.
5. The level surface of the very top, or pinnacle, is about sixty feet square. There, on the same spot where they were given, I opened the sacred book in which those laws are recorded, and read them with a deeper feeling of devotion, as if I were standing nearer, and receiving them more directly from, the Deity himself.
J. L. STEPHENS.
And thou hast walked about-how strange a story!
In Thebes's streets, three thousand years ago ;
And Time had not begun to overthrow
Thou hast a tongue,-come, let us hear its tüne ;