Page images

of them is a real friend. Sunshine friends are the green flies of society.

Instruction by precept is tedious, by example, more effectual and short.

Life consists not in mere existence, but in spending our time in doing good here, that we may be forever happy hereafter.

Take special care what, and to whom you speak of any individual.

Fools and obstinate people make lawyers rich ; the wise keep out of the law labyrinth.

Help yourself and heaven will help you ; every man is the architect of his own fortune.


O cursed lust of gold, when for thy sake,
The fool throws up his interest in both worlds,
First starv'd in this—then damn'd in that to come.-Blair.

A JUDICIOUS writer has well remarked, that avarice is the father of more children than Priam, and, like him, survives them all. It is a paradoxical propensity—a species of heterogeneous insanity. The miser starves himself, knowing that those who wish him dead, will fatten on his hoarded gains. He submits to more torture to lose heaven, than the martyr does to gain it. He serves the worst of tyrannical masters, more faithfully than most Christians do the best, whose yoke is easy and burden light. He worships this world, but repudiates all its pleasures. He endures all the miseries of poverty through life, that he may die in the midst of wealth. He is the mere turnkey of his

own riches—a poor fed and bad clothed slave, refusing proffered, unconditional freedom. He is the cocoon of the human race-death ends his toils, and others reel off the glossy product of his labors. He is the father of more miseries than the prodigal—whilst he lives, he heaps them on himself and those around him. He is his own and the poor man's enemy,--money is the tomb of all his passions and desires,-his mind is never expanded beyond the circumference of the almighty dollar. He thinks not of his immortal soul, his accountability to God, or of his final destiny. He covets the wealth of others, revels in extortion, stops at nothing to gratify his ruling passion, that will not endanger his dear idol. He is an Ishmael in community,—he passes to the grave without tasting the sweets of friendship, the delights of social intercourse, or the comforts of a good repast, unless the latter is got by invitation, when abroad. The first voluntary expenditure upon his body, during his manhood, and the first welcome visit of his neighbours, both passive on his part, are at his funeral.

If we would enjoy the comforts of life rationally, we must avoid the miseries of avarice, and the evils of prodigality. Let us use the provisions of our benevolent Benefactor without abusing them, and render to Him that gratitude which is His due. Banish all inordinate desires after wealth-if you gain an abundance, be discreetly liberal-judiciously benevolent, and, if your children have arrived at their majority, die your own executor.

[ocr errors]


Be thou my star in reason's night,
Be thou my rock in danger's fright,
Be thou my guide mid passion's way,
My moon by night-my sun by day.-Milman.

THE highest eulogy we can pronounce upon this book of all books, is, to take it for the man of our counsel, and the polar star of our lives—not merely to admit and laud its superior excellency, and let it remain on the shelf, until ANATHEMA MARANATHA, can be written in the dust upon its lids, and criminally neglecting to aid in giving it to the millions, who are groping in papat and heathen darkness. Divine in its origin, written by the pen of inspiration, dipped in the burning indignation of God against the wicked, on the one hand; and in the melting fountain of his love, for the good, on the other; the sublimity of its language caps the climax of Rhetoric. As a History of that grand epoch, when God said, “Let there be light; and there was light," it stands alone, clothed in the 'majesty of Divinity. As a Chronicle of the creation of man, after the moral image of Deity, of his ruinous fall, and of his subsequent mad career, it must remain unrivalled. As a Chart of human nature, and of human rights and wrongs, and of the character of the great Jehovah, its delineations, in precision, fulness, and force of description; far exceed the boldest strokes and finest touches, of the master spirits of every age and clime. As a system of Morals and Religion, every effort of man, to add to its transcendent beauty, or omnipotent strength, is presumption, and as vain, as


an attempt to bind the wind, or imprison the ocean. As a book of Poetry and Eloquence, it stands, in lofty grandeur, towering above the noblest productions of the most brilliant talents, that have illuminated and enraptured the classic world. As a book of Revelation, it shed a flood of light upon the wilderness of mind, that added fresh lustre and refulgence to those of Reason, Philosophy and Science, that had guided mankind to that auspicious, glorious era, when it burst upon the astonished world. As a book of Counsel, its wisdom is profound, boundless, infinite. It meets every case in time, and is the golden chain that reaches from Earth to Heaven. It teaches us our native dignity, the design of our creation, the duties we owe to our God, ourselves, our families, our parents, our children, and our fellow men. It teaches us how to live and how to die. It points the finally impenitent to their awful doom-it arms the Christian in panoply complete snatches from death its poisoned sting, from the grave its boasted victory, and points the soul to its crowning glory-a blissful immortality beyond the skies.


Soft peace it brings wherever it arrives,
It builds our quietą" latent hope revives,"
Lays the rough paths of nature smooth and even
And opens in each breast a little heaven.—Prior.

PURE benevolence is one of those amiable qualities of the human breast, that imparts pleasure to its possessor, and those who receive the benefits bestowed. It is of a modest and retiring nature, and renders its gifts more valuable, by the delicacy with which they are conveyed. Those who most merit and need the aid of the benevolent, are usually possessed of fine feeling. The subjects of real misfortune, they are easily wounded, and dread the approach of those who carry a speaking trumpet in one hand, to proclaim the gifts. they have bestowed with the other, forgetting the injunction of our blessed Redeemer, not to let one hand know the alms that are bestowed by the other.

I know some men who have refused cold bread and meat to a hungry man, yes, child and woman too, when they came famishing and alone to their doors, who never refuse to place their names very conspicuously upon paper subscriptions, especially if those subscriptions are to be published in some newspaper or printed document. They are like dorsiferous plants, that bear their seeds on their leaves, instead of in a capsule. Such men have the same claim to benevolence, as the devil has to preach religion; the donations of the former are as offensive to Heaven, as the sermons of the latter. They may both do good, but the one, being based on selfish pride, and the other on duplicity, neither the man nor the devil, are entitled to any credit for such unhallowed acts. It is well that the recipients and hearers are usually strangers to each. I know others, whose benevolence all oozes out of their hearts in whining sympathy, and rolls off at the end of the tongue. They feel deeply for the misfortunes of others, and say to them, be ye fed, warmed, and clothed, but from their abundance, do not contribute one cent, like too many who make pretensions to piety, but produce no more fruit than a hemlock tree, that has been seared with lightning.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »