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to every object that approaches its automaton. Once deeply rooted in the human breast, the focal heat of religion may pour its rays upon it, without affecting it, any more than the sun does the banks of perpetual snow, on the highest peak of Mont Blanc.
Let parents guard their children against selfishness, and its froward offspring, Suspicion. They are enemies to common humanity, and all the amiable qualities of the heart; repugnant to social order, adverse to religion and the most refined enjoyments of the human family. With these two ulcers, a grain of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Once deeply rooted, they become the coffin and the sepulchre of the noblest powers of the immortal soul; the chilling tomb of all that renders life desirable, and nerves man to look calmly on that hour, when he must say farewell to his loved ones, bid adieu to earth, grapple with the king of terrors, and, through faith in Jesus, triumph over death and the grave; and ascend to realms of enduring bliss beyond the skies.
"BRIDLE THE TONGUE."
This little member of our physical organization, designed by our Creator for none but useful purposes; is often the source of immeasurable mischief and the keenest regret. Unless constantly held and guided by the bridle of prudence, the bit of discretion, the curb of charity, the martingal of wisdom, and a skillful postilion; it runs at random like a wild colt, and, in a moment of levity or passion, may commit a serious
trespass on our neighbor-one that may not readily be repaired. It may be in the flower garden of his reputation, in the wheat field of his friendship, or in the department of his domestic affairs—no matter where, a trespass is a wrong—if committed by our cat, we are answerable for it—if by our tongue, it is much more serious and less excusable.
It is declared in Holy Writ, that the tongue is an unruly member and cannot be tamed—that it is full of deadly poison, that its words are sometimes smoother than oil, yet are they drawn swords—that it separateth very friends, and that the words of the talebearer are as wounds; which descriptions are no high encomiums on its good qualities.
We have a variety of tongues that are permitted to run at large by their owners; many of whom are bankrupt, and are not able to render any remuneration for trespasses committed, and go unwhipped of justice. These tongues are a nuisance in society, and stamp their owners with lasting disgrace.
The tongue that feeds on mischief, the babbling, the tattling, the sly whispering, the impertinent meddling; all these tongues are trespassing on the community constantly. The fiery tongue is also abroad, and being set on fire of hell, scatters firebrands among friends, sets families, neighborhoods, churches, and social circles in a flame; and, like the salamander, is wretched when out of the burning element. The black slandering tongue is constantly preying upon the rose buds of innocence and virtue, the foliage of merit, worth, genius, and talent; and poisons, with its filth of inuendoes and scum of falsehood, the most brilliant flowers, the most useful shrubs, and the most valuable trees, in
the garden of private and public reputation. Not content with its own base exertions, it leagues with the envious, jealous, and revengeful tongues; and, aided by this trio, sufficient venom is combined to make a second Pandemonium ; and malice enough to fill it with de
They can swallow perjury like water, digest forgery as readily as Graham bread, convert white into black, truth into falsehood, good into evil, innocence into crime, and metamorphose every thing which stands in the current of their polluted and polluting breath.
There are other tongues that are not so pernicious, but which need correction. The scolding tongue often produces mischief, and always disturbs the harmony of a family. It sours the disposition of its owner, destroys good government, injures children, and makes bad servants. A petulant scolding teacher in a school, is worse than the night-mare. A storm of words engenders hatred in the pupils—this destroys respect—in the absence of love and respect, their improvement is more than problematical.
Some well-disposed tongues are prone to say too much, and weary us with continuous speaking, forgetting to stop when they have said enough. In the private circle, such persons often render themselves disgusting, by monopolizing all the conversation, seeming to forget that others have ideas of their own, and tongues to express them. If a company of these persons happen to meet, and their tongues all start on a gallop together, as they generally do, the history of Babel is at once forced on the mind of a reflecting person. In our convivial meetings, and in moments of anger, we are all prone to say too much.
Persons who have, or what is worse, think they have,
a talent for repartee; are in danger of saying too much. Those who form too high an estimate of big I, are sure to run into this error. Those parents, who think their geese are all swans, can talk of nothing but the rare qualities of their own children ; their domestic concerns; their conjugal affection; and thus often awaken contempt, perhaps jealousy, in the bosom of a neighbor. Young men often make a mistake, by talking instead of listening. Some old men would talk you into the middle of next year, if you would waste time in hearing them.
To censure the ladies for saying too much, would be cruel ; but they must pardon me for admonishing them not to defile their pretty mouths with any of the vile tongues above alluded to it would be horrible deformity, blended with native loveliness a violation of the laws of nature, and a stain upon the sex.
Many public speakers say too much for their own credit, the edification of those who hear them, or the good of our common country. Legislative sessions are prolonged in this way, our courts are extended, vast amounts of money wasted, and less good produced, than if we had no speeches in the halls of legislation and justice. If men are affected with the lingo mania, let them seize, without flourish, upon the strong points of the subject to be discussed-stop when they have said enough-they will then sooner acquire the celebrity they desire, save to the treasury large sums of money, and prove, more conclusively, that they love their country, and respect themselves and their constituents. Let us bridle our tongues, and keep our hearts with all diligence, and be careful not to offend in word, deed, or action.
To appreciate small things properly, is a point not well attended to by the mass, and is the attainment of close observation and a refined discernment. The eyes of some are so large, that they disdain to look at, much less analyze, the small threads that make up the warp of human life; and are careless observers of its filling. Others view every thing through a microscope, and spend so much time in looking, that they take no time for analyzing, and run into an extreme, that is no more to be applauded, than the carelessness of big eyes. The medium course is free from the quagmires of the former, and the thorny asperities of the latter. Time is made up of seconds—they should be prized and improved as well as minutes, hours, and days. The man who misspends the one, is prone to waste the other. The boy who is encouraged to spend pennies for gewgaws, too often acquires a habit that ruins the man. He is taught to place a value on things that have no intrinsic worth-his taste and fancy become vitiated, and his judgment led astray. Mature age sometimes corrects combined trifling errors, contracted in childhood and youth—but habit often proves too strong to be conquered. Parents should remember, that the warp of human life is made up of numberless small threads, and that a coarse filling, carelessly interwoven, may ruin the texture of the fabric of the minds of their children, and all should reflect, that the web is not complete, until death takes it out of the loom and that wisdom, prudence, virtue—in short, that a good life, is the only filling that will give a smoothness to