Page images
PDF
EPUB

rope of patriotism snaps, the hook of integrity is broken, the car of government and social order is plunged into the awful gulf of revolution, and often injured, beyond the possibility of repair. When the death knell of our admired republic is sounded, it will be with the grating notes of the clarion of inconsistency.

How important that our public men be consistent, discreet, wise, virtuous. If they are not so, it is the fault of the people, if they do not supply their places by those that are. Upon the virtue and intelligence of the mass, a free government depends. Let consistency, in all things, be practised by our people individually ; we will then insure the prosperity and safety of our free institutions, not otherwise. Each person contributes to form national character. The key stone of the arch of consistency, is pure and undefiled religion. No people can be truly great, unless they are truly good. All history proves the truth of this assertion. True greatness is that which produces the greatest amount of happiness. This is never based on military power, or the pageantry of courts. The ancient patriarchs, and those around them, enjoyed more substantial comfort than the kings of Greece, the emperors of Rome, or the monarchs of modern times, and their vassal subjects.

All power is in the people, and if surrendered to an individual, they enter into voluntary slavery. This is gross inconsistency; the spawn of duplicity, the scourge of slaves, and a national curse. Man came from the hand of his Creator free, and betrays his God by voluntarily surrendering that freedom to man. To make, and maintain laws of social order, is not, as some casuists have contended, a surrender of personal liber

[ocr errors]

ty, when that liberty is predicated on its legitimate foundation - virtue. The arrangements of a social compact, are a consolidation of personal liberty, like the consolidation of money in a co-partnership, for the purpose of increasing, not of diminishing strength. This consolidation of personal liberty, raises the mass of individuals from savage barbarism, to national civilization and freedom, imparting and refining rational enjoyment, and prompting mutual improvement and protection.

That each member may add to the strength of the compact, let the following maxims be observed, as the indexes of consistency.

Remember that contentment is the real philosopher's stone. Shun idleness—it is the parent of poverty—the idle man's brain is the devil's work shop. Avoid intemperance-Bacchus has drowned more persons than Neptune. Bear misfortunes with fortitude-prosperity with meekness. Betray no trust, divulge no secret. Confine your tongue within proper limits, or it may confine you within the cells. Command your temper, or it may place you under the command of the police. Curb every licentious passion, throttle every unholy propensity. Remember that brevity is the soul of wit, business the salt of life, punctuality the life of business, and discretion, the safety valve of action. Equity is the bond of social order, truth the basis of all excellence-let them guide you through life. Enter not into party faction and political intrigue-they are the canker worms of our elective franchise, and the bane of legislation. Practise the golden rule—do not be content with the silver one-do as you are done by, and inost scrupulously avoid the iron rule, to gain the

end regardless of means. Practise charity, love mercy, deal justly, walk humbly, trust in God, obey his precepts, do good and no evil to your fellow men, and BE CONSISTENT TO THE LAST:

CONTENTMENT.

'Tis better to be lowly born
And range with humble livers in content,
Than to be perk'd up in a glistening grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.-Shakespeare.

CONTENTMENT is felicity. Few are the real wants of man. Like a majority of his troubles, they are more imaginary than real. Some well persons want to be better, take medicine, and become sick in good earnest -perhaps die under some patented nostrum. Some persons have wealth—they want more-enter into some new business they do not understand, or some wild speculation, and become poor indeed. Many who are surrounded by all the substantial comforts of life, become discontented because some wealthier neighbor sports a carriage, and his lady, a Brussels carpet and mahogany chairs, entertains parties, and makes more show in the world than they. Like the monkey, they attempt to imitate all they see that is deemed fashionable ; make a dash at greater contentment; dash out their comfortable store of wealth; and sometimes, determined on quiet at least, close the farce with a tragedy, and dash their brains out with a blue pill. Discontented persons live in open rebellion against their great Benefactor, and virtually claim wisdom, more than infinite. They covet, they wish, and wishes are as prolific as rabbits. One

imaginary want, like a stool pigeon, brings flocks of others, and the mind becomes so overwhelmed, that it looses sight of all the real comforts in possession. False theories of human happiness are adopted, com mon sense and reason are paralyzed, a perverse tem per, like cider in the sun, becomes changed to an acute sour; the imagined opinions of others, that they belong to the lower ten thousand, lash their pride into a foaming fury; old fashioned contentment is banished from the domicil, and they start in full pursuit after an Ignis Fatuus, and are led, rapidly, into the quagmire of poverty and want. They barter competence, domestic felicity, and substantial comforts, for ideal good, and obtain, for their labour, the dregs of wretchedness. Let all remember, that a contented mind is a continual feast ; that most of the upper ten thousand are strangers to its enjoyments; that confidence in God and a sweet submission to His will, are the surest sources of happiness, and that Lazarus left his rags for Heaven, and the rich man left his riches, for that place of torment, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

“We want but little here below,

Nor want that little long."

CURRENTS.

In the Baltic sea, there is an upper and under current, running in opposite directions, a fit emblem of the men and customs of our country, in former times, and of the present day; the under current representing the happy simplicity and virtue of our pilgrim fathers, and revolutionary patriots; the upper, the inconsistency of many modern men, times, and practices.

The man who studies the laws and operations of unerring nature, and drinks freely at her crystal fountain, enjoys a happiness, purer and nobler, than that drawn from many of the highly varnished schools of the present luminous era. In the days of Penn, Franklin, and Rittenhouse; industry, a clear head, a matured judgment, and a good heart; with a good share of what the modern literati are pleased to term, a common education, were the best recommendations and surest passports, to public esteem and promotion. Now, in view of very many, a liberal education forms the legitimate stepping stone to the pulpit, the legislative hall, and the temple of fame. The primary landmarks of common knowledge and common sense, are, in view of many, lost, in the blaze of light, shed upon our country, by the luminaries of newly invented systems of science. The under current of practical intelligence, fit for every day use, is sinking deeper and lower, beneath the foaming torrent of the upper current, formed of fashionable and polite literature. A sermon, or a public speech, to be acceptable to some modern ears, not hearts, must be trimmed, like a Parisian bonnet, with all the ribbons of a brilliant fancy, and flowers of rhetoric; good sense and sound logic being a secondary matter. A few roses, culled from the dead, or foreign living languages, render it still more palatable. The waters of theology have become so deep, and so filled with snags and brush wood, that common fishermen can no longer labor with success. A man is no longer fit for the legislative hall, for the bar, or any of the learned professions, unless he has

« PreviousContinue »