Page images
PDF
EPUB

mon arts of the blackleg, are reduced to the keenest penury among us; yet thousands of others, like the infatuated devotees of Juggernaut, throw themselves before the wheels of this car of hell, and are crushed to poverty.

The calendar of crime, the penalties of the criminal code, the various punishments that are so certain and frequent, from the small fine up to the gallows; are sufficiently familiar to all to be avoided; yet the voice of experience is unheeded by thousands, and their career of crime is only arrested by death.

The whirlpool of wild and precarious speculation has often been gorged with ruined adventurers; yet other multitudes follow in their wakes, regardless of the lessons of experience, posted up in hand bills by the constable, sheriff, and auctioneer; at every corner, in glaring capitals. A thirst for gain inspires a blind confidence; they make a desperate leap after fortune-jump over low-water mark into the maelstrom, and sink to rise no

The fatal consequences of crime and error, gleaming beacons thickly placed along the shores of time to warn against peril, are unheeded by millions; and many who survive one shipwreck, in despite of experience, again rush into the same danger, and are lost.

Through all the multiform concerns of life, the human family is constantly taking lessons in the school of experience, and paying dearly for them; but obstinately refusing to profit by them. This fond mother may warn, reason plead, wisdom woo, common sense demonstrate; but all to no purpose. Self conceit, blind confidence, carnal desires, pampered appetite, tyrannical habit; all combine and bind the captive with

more.

chains, that require an Almighty hand to break their ponderous links.

Reader! the evils uncorrected by experience, and their consequences, that have now passed in rehearsal, you must admit, involve, in one common ruin, wealth, health, reputation, and all the sources of human hap-. piness, and endanger, perhaps may ruin, the soul.--Do you ask the remedy !-RELIGION.

.F A ME AND GLORY.

Though fame is smoke,
Its fumes are frankincense to human thoughts.—Byron.

FAME, like money, should neither be despised or idolized. An honest fame, based on worth and merit, and gained, like large estates, by prudence and industry, deservedly perpetuates the names of the great and good. We have a species of spurious fame, some call it glory, that either dies with the incumbent, or is ungrateful to the memory. Genuine fame is a better undertaker than physician, and deals more in epitaphs than prescriptions. Transient fame, or glory, requires as much, and more difficult labor to acquire it, because the offspring of ambition. :

Lacon has truly observed, in substance, The road to glory would cease to be arduous, if it were well trodden. Those who seek earthly glory, must always be ready to take and make opportunities for advancement-take and make paths to travel in. Some practise simulation and dissimulation-leap and creep, like Cæsar; kiss the ground, like Brutus; soar aloft and and stoop, to conquer-any thing to insure success.

Brennus threw his sword in the trembling scale to turn it; Nelson snatched the laurels from the hesitating hand of victory, and placed them on his own brow. Cromwell did not wait to strike, until the iron was hot, but made it hot by striking. Some can rule the storm of mind when raised—but few have lived, who could both raise and rule it.

No glory or fame is both consolatory and enduring, unless based on virtue, wisdom, and justice. That acquired by wild ambition, is tarnished by association -time deepens the stain. We read the biography of Washington with calmness and delight; that of Bonaparte, with mingled feelings of admiration and abhorrence. We admire the gigantic powers of his intellect, the vastness of his designs, the boldness of their execution; but turn, with horror, from the slaughter-fields of his ambition, and his own dreadful end. His giddy height of power served to plunge him deeper in misery; his lofty ambition increased the burning tortures of his exile; his towering intellect added a duplicate force to the consuming pangs of his disappointment. His fatal end should cool the ardor of all who have an inordinate desire for earthly glory.

There is a higher, purer glory, enduring as eternity, which is more worthy of immortal souls, than any thing earth can give. That glory is within the reach of all, and is not dependent on the caprice of the multitude. To obtain it, we have only to enlist under King Immanuel, fight manfully the good fight of faith; he will enable us to triumph over every foe, and will reward us with palms of victory, and a crown of immortal glory.

FANATICISM.

Alchymists may doubt
The shining gold their crucible gives out;
But faith, fanatic faith, once wedded fast
To some fond falsehood, hugs it to the last.--Moore.

The great misfortune of fanatics has been, in all ages of the world, to embrace falsehood rather than truth; sophistry rather than sound logic; some new revelation of man, rather than that of divine authority. With charity and mercy, they hold no communion; forgiveness is no part of their creed; persecution is their Moloch. They have shed rivers of blood under the pretence of serving God, and under the banner of the cross. The Crusades were an illustration of the awful consequences of fanaticism. They were six in number, undertaken for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Mahometans. The first was undertaken in 1096, and was excited by Peter the Hermit, and Walter the Moneyless. All Europe was in commotion, and seemed determined to exterminate the Turks at one bold stroke. An army of over one million marched to Jerusalem, took it by storm, and spared neither sex or age. Notwithstanding this victory, most of this immense army found a premature grave in Asia, and the remnant that returned, brought with them the pestilence, leprosy, and smallpox. A second crusade was undertaken in 1145, by Lewis VII. of France; a third, by Richard I. of England, in 1190; a fourth, by Philip II. of France, in 1204; a fifth, by Lewis IX. of France, against Egypt, in 1248; and the sixth, by the same king, against Tunis, in 1270, where he was

killed. The loss of life, in these crusades, is variously estimated by different historians, but by none, less than thirty millions—a sad commentary upon human nature, a solemn warning against blind zeal and infatuating fanaticism.

Fanatics are inexorable to all entreaties for mercy ; all who are not with them, they treat as enemies; considering all heterodox, who do not embrace their dogmas. Fanaticism arrays father against son, mother against daughter; disregards all the ties of consanguinity, all the bonds of former friendship, and all whom it cannot control, endeavors to destroy.

Each set of fanatics are right in their own conceit, and detest all who think differently. The intelligence of the present day has stopped the effusion of blood among Christian nations by fanatics, and dispelled much of the darkness of fanaticism-but among the nations who still sit in gross darkness, it has lost none of its original features. The Turk would consider the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina polluted, was a Christian to step his foot in either. The Tartar believes the lama to be immortal, and to eat certain parts of him, heaven is secured. The inhabitants of Mount Bata believe, the eating of a roasted cuckoo makes a saint; and all these would sacrifice those who believe differently, if in their power.

The Mormons and Millerites of our time and country, have drunk largely at the fountain of fanaticism, and most of our religious sects have a slight tincture of it-enough to sometimes ridicule what they conceive to be error in others, instead of preaching nothing but Christ, and him crucified. As pure and undefiled religion increases, when charity shall become the crown

« PreviousContinue »