« PreviousContinue »
Pure benevolence, like the dew from heaven, fails gently on the drooping flower, not at the blaze of noon-day, but in the stillness of night. Its refreshing and reviving effects are felt, seen, and admired—not the hand that distilled it. It flows from a good heart, and looks beyond the skies for approval and reward. It never opens, but seeks to heal the wounds inflicted by misfortune-it never harrows up, but strives to calm the troubled mind. Like their Lord and Master, the truly benevolent man and woman, go about doing good for the sake of goodness. No parade—no trumpet to sound their charities—no press to chronicle their acts. The gratitude of the donee is a rich recompense to the donor-purity of motive heightens and refines the joys of each. Angels smile on such benevolence. It is the attribute of Deity, the moving cause of every blessing we enjoy.
BREVITY has been called the soul of wit, perhaps, becąuse it has a short soul, floating in volatile spirits.
In his last public speech, which I heard, the celebrated Red Jacket remarked-My speeches have one good quality—THEY ARE SHORT.
Dr. Cotton Mather placed over the door of his office, BE SHORT. These two words should be placed over the speakers' chairs in our legislative halls, the benches of judges, the tables of authors, and over the clocks of some churches.
In business, punctuality and despatch make short work. Let friendly calls be short. Twice glad, in
formal visits, is coming short of the mark. Let your communications to those who are busy, be short. Hold no man by the button in the street, or in the door-be short. Let your anecdotes and stories be short, Let your credits, if you have any, be short. Let your speeches be short-be sure and stop when done. More noise is made in pouring a little water from a bottle, than when it is full. Let statute laws be short-thenthe sessions of our legislatures will be short. Let pleadings in court, instruments of writing, and opinions of judges, be short—that our books of reports may be short. If you have any bad habits, vicious practices, or bad companions, cut them short, or your happiness, reputation, and money may fall short.
Let the prayers, exhortations, and admonitions of every Christian, be humble, meek, fervent, sincere, earnest, affectionate, and short.
Let the sermons of ministers be nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and short. They may then be profitable ; because pure, simple, and short.
Let the impenitent sinner turn from his sins at once-no delay, life is uncertain and short. This night thy soul may be required—a notice dreadful and short.
Let authors be clear, concise, pointed, comprehensive, independent, and short. Pardon me for feeding you, my reader, with shorts. Graham bread is healthy, and often made of shorts.
'Tis " calumny,"
This picture of Shakespeare, whose body has mouldered in the tomb over two hundred years, has lost none of its strong features by modern improvements in human society. Calumny is the same blighting Sirocco, the same envenomed scorpion, the same damning miasma, as it was when his master hand delineated its dark and fiendish physiognomy. As then, its pestiferous breath pollutes with each respiration—its forked tongue is charged with the same poison—it searches all corners of the world for victims-it sacrifices the high and low, the king and the peasant, the rich and poor, the matron and maid, the living and the dead; but, cursed propensity, delights most in destroying worth, and immolating innocence. Lacon has justly remarked, “Calumny crosses oceans, scales mountains, and traverses deserts, with greater ease than the Scythian Abaris, and, like him, rides upon a poisoned arrow." As the Samiel wind of the Arabian desert, not only produces death, but causes the most rapid decomposition of the body; so calumny affects fame, honour, integrity, worth, and virtue. The base, blackhearted, triple-tongued, Janus-faced, cloven-footed calumniator, like the loathsome worm, leaves, his path marked with the filth of malice, and scum of falsehood,
and pollutes the fairest flowers, the choicest fruits, the most delicate plants, in the green-house of character, Living, he is a travelling pest-house-dying, impenitent, his soul is too deeply stained for hell, and should be driven to that imaginary, elementless blank, beyond the confines of all worlds, shrouded in the darkness of nonentity, there to roam alone, through the ceaseless ages of eternity, without a pain or pleasure to relieve the awful monotony of that dreadful vacuum. 0, reader, never calumniate the name of another-sooner plunge a dagger through his or her heart. So deep does the calumniator sink in the murky waters of deg radation and infamy, that, could an angel apply an Archimedean moral lever to him, with Heaven for a fulcrum, he could not, in a thousand years, raise him to the grade of a convicted felon.
Fair Charity, be thou my guest,
And be thy constant couch, my breast.-Cotton. This golden chain, that reaches from heaven to earth, is much more admired than used—more preached about than practised. It has been remarked by some writer, “Did universal charity prevail, earth would be a Heaven, and Hell a fable.” It is another name for disinterested, lofty, unadulterated love-the attribute of Deity, that moved Him to provide a city of refuge for our fallen, ruined race, when exposed to the vengeance and penalty, imposed by the holy law of God, violated by our federal head. It is placed at the head of all the Christian virtues by St. Paul, the ablest divine that ever graced a pulpit or wielded a pen. It
is the substratum of philanthropy, the brightest star in the Christian's diadem. It spurns the scrofula of green-eyed jealousy, the canker of tormenting envy, the tortures of burning malice, the typhoid of foaming revenge. It is an impartial mirror, set in the frame of love, resting on equity and justice. It is the foundation and cap stone of the climax of all the Christian graces—without it, our religion is like a body without a soul-our friendships, shadows of a shadow-our alms, the offsprings of pride, or, what is more detestable, the offerings of hypocrisy—our humanity, a mere iceberg on the ocean of time—we are unfit to discharge the duties of life, and derange the design of our creation. Was this Heaven-born, soul-cheering principle, the mainspring of human action, the all pervading motive-power, that impelled mankind in their onward course to eternity, the polar star to guide them through this world of sin and wo—the ills that flesh is heir to, would be softened in its melting sun beams, a new and blissful era would dawn auspiciously upon our race, and Satan would become a bankrupt for want of busi
Wars and rumors of wars would cease-envy, jealousy, and revenge; would hide their diminished heads-falsehood, slander, and persecution would be unknown-sectarian walls, in matters of religion, would crumble in dust—the household of faith would become, what it should be-one united, harmonious family in Christ-infidelity, vice, and immorality would recede, and happiness, before unknown, would become the crowning glory of man. Pure and undefiled religion would then be honored and glorified—primitive Christianity would stand forth, divested of the inventions of men, in all the majesty of its native loveliness