Imatges de pÓgina

If, in this cool, dispassionate ing tedious to the seader forbids narrative, where the figures, and us to give a sketch of their difsplendid expressions of poetry ferent theories.* are not admitted, the artless deca Whatever system be adopted, larations, that all the high it was indubitably a terrible day, hills were covered, that the when all nations were destroyed. mountains were covered fifteen This is confirmed by the nature cubits, that all creatures on the of the fact, and the description dry land died, that after a hun- of the Bible. The fountains of dred and fifty days the ark struck the great deep were broken up; on a mountain of Ararat, that the windows of heaven were two months and a half after the opened; clouds gathered; the tops of other mountains became light of the sun was obscured ; visible ; if all these, and other the atmosphere dissolved in rain. expressions, we have quoted, do Doubtless for such a purpose not prove the deluge universal, the sun and the winds would no language can be explicit, no be so directed, as to bring into confidence can be placed in his operation all the waters of the tory or inspiration. Those, who world; the snow of the mounreject the plain, simple narrative tains, the ice of the poles. The of the flood, may as well reject chain of Caucasus, of Taurus, the history of the fall, or the cru- of the Alps, of Atlas, Lebanon, cifixion of Jesus Christ, and scoff and the mountains of the moon, at all religion.

the Andes and Alleganics, yieldStill cavils are made. It ed their snowy robes, and sent is inquired, whence could wa- their roaring torrents to the ter be found to

the plains below. The north and earth so deep? Those, who in south poles, those amazing cupoquire, may perhaps reject the las of ice, whose diameter in winfact, unless they are satisfied, as ler is six thousand miles, dissolve to the means of its being accom- like flakes of snow in a southern plished. They may as well in- breeze, and pour their floods into quire how God created the the swelling oceans. The streights world, or how he can be self-ex- of Behring, of Hudson, Davis, istent and eternal; and if crea- and the opening of the Baltic rise, tion, self-existence, and eternity foam and roar, with new fury; be not explaine so as to be un- their rapid currents, white as the derstood, reject the creation, falls of Niagara. The oceans roll self-existence, and eternity of their billows to the equator. The God. When there is conclu- currents meet; the waters rise ; sive evidence of a fact, it de- they wheel ; awful whirlpools mands our belief, however in- are formed ; counter currents comprehensible it may be. He, tear up the bottom of the deep; who kindled the sun, and crea- the shells, which formed its pave. ted the sea and dry land, would ment round the Antilles, and the create floods to fulfil his threat- Cape de Verd Islands, are driven ening, unless there were other means. Most men are satisfied

* See Whiston, Burnet, Buffon, that water was furnished by nat- St. Pierre, Whitehurst, and Encyclo ural means. But the fear of be- pedia, article, Deluge.


to the plains of Normandy ; those, Some relief would it be could which adhered to the rocks of they sympathize together in this Magellan, are dashed on the hills moment of misery and terror ; of Burgundy; huge banks of nothing but unkindness and remadrepores are tossed on the isle proaches are seen or heard. Inof France ; horizontal layers, the stead of repenting themselves, wreck of fishes, sea weeds, shells, instead of rejoicing at the decorals, and pastes of marble, are liverance of Noah, when by spread over the greater part of the lightning's blaze they have Europe, and form the soil at the a glance of the lordly ark, float. present time. By the same ing in safety on the stormy world, flood the eastern part of the con- they pour their imprecations on tinent is covered with a vegetable him, as a praying hypocrite. But mould three or four hundred feet their hour is come. The billows deep.

rise ; the highest mountains are Terrific darkness, wild uproar, covered; Atlas and Lebanon are and destruction, extend to every overwhelmed as pebbles on the country. Islands of ice, loaded shore. All flesh dies. The sea with white bears, run aground boils as a caldron. The world is amid the palm trees of the torrid a sea without a shore. The inzone ; elephants of Africa are habitants are gone ; they sleep wafted into the fir groves of Sibe, in their watery graves; they ria, and the plains of Carolina. hear not the raging of the temThe bones are found there to this pest. Such are the wages of sin. day. Palaces and cities disap

Philo. pear, wasbed away as dust on the shores. The cottage on the mountain is filled with consterna

REDEEMING THE TIME. tion and despair. The increas

The general meaning of these ing darkness, the howling winds, words may be expressed by the the roaring thunders, the rising

following paraphrase. Save as waters, show them there is no es much time as possible for the best cape. In the midst of day, it is purposes. Buy the fleeting moa disinal night of horror. The ments out of the hands of sin and glare of the lightning shows them Satan, of sloth, pleasure, and the objects of danger and dismay worldly business ; and use them in more tremendous forms. for God. But only one particu, How comforting now would be lar way of redeeming time will that religion, they had always now be considered, that is, con. despised, or even that humanity tracting to a proper degree the they had never cultivated ? Could time of sleep. This has been too they now look up to God, as their little regarded. Many, who are Saviour, and to heaven as their conscientious in other respects, home, they might with admira- are not so in this. They seem cion gaze on the awful scene to think it a matter of indiffer. around them; they might wel- ence, whether they sleep more come the first surge that should or less. Let us, then, attend to burst on the mountain's top. this important branch of Chris.

tian temperance ; What is it to * In China, St. Pierre.

redeem time from sleep? It is


to take only that quantity of to require assistance in walking sleep, which nature requires, and across the room. Supposing it which is most conducive to health necessary in her enfeebled state, of body, and vigour of mind. she often slept eight or nine It is allowed, that one quantity is hours, to the great damage of not suited to all. Bishop Taylor her health. Meeting some obhas assigned, for the general servations on early rising, she standard, only three hours in was induced to make the trial. twenty four. Baxter supposes, By rising one quarter of an hour that four hours will suffice. But earlier every morning, she soon the best observation teaches, that, lessened the time of sleep to six in general, the human body can hours. By persevering in this scarcely continue in health and practice, and in other suitable vigour without six hours. This methods, her strength gradually it is thought, may be properly increased; her complaints, which considered, the

common had long baffled medical skill, standard.

subsided, and health returned. But one and another may say ;

How injurious to the soul, as “ why so particular, and scru- well as to the body, is needless pulous ? what harm is there sleep. Such a waste of precious in lying from ten to six or time is surely a great sin against seven in summer, and from God. How much benefit might ten to eight or nine in win- we derive from a right use of the ter, as most of my neighbours time, which some waste in sleep! do ?” But consider, candid read-“ I take it for granted, (says Mr. er; if you daily spend in sleep Law) that every Christian, who only one hour more, than nature is in health, is up early in the requires, you throw away seven morning. We censure the man, hours every week, which would who is in bed, when he should amount to more than fifteen be at his labour. Let this teach whole days in a year. If you us, how odious we must appear live to the age of fifty, this waste in God's sight, if we be in bed, of time would be seven hundred shut up in sleep, when we should and fifty days, or, making allow- be praising God, and are such ance for the usual sleep, about a slaves to drowsiness, as to neglect thousand days. What an injury our devotions for it." Did not to your worldly substance! How our blessed Lord use to pray much might you do in this time early? Was not devout Anna to promote your temporal advan- day and night in the temple ? tage ! How much might you do Did not the primitive Christians for the benefit of others !

esteem it a sacred duty to be seaSpending unnecessary time in sonable in their devotions? If sleep is injurious to health, espe- you waste unnecessary hours in cially in persons who are subject sleep, and so abridge or prevent to nervous complaints. The your religious exercises; is it great benefit which health re- not a symptom of a carnal temceives from early rising, may be per, and a dangerous state ? illustrated by the following in- Does it not indicate, that you are stance. A young person was not under the influence of that reduced to so low a condition, as lively, zealous, and watchful

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spirit, which appeared in Christ, hibiting the whitened bones of

, and is necessary to the comfort the slain, have but too frequentand usefulness of his followers ? ly strengthened the delusion, by Let these thoughts rouse you, displaying the diadem of the Shake off sloth and dulness. conqueror. Amid this splen“Awake, thou that sleepest, and dour of worship, it comes to call upon the name of Christ, and

pass, that the youth, who has he shall give thee light." And any pretensions to eminence, to prevent your ever indulging even in his own view, looks foragain in needless sleep, solemnly ward, half entranced, to the pe

, consider, how precious time will riod when his brow shall be appear when your last day ar- crowned with laurels, and his rives, and how earnestly you will name become deathless in song. then desire those hours and days, To specify all the ways in which have been wasted in guilty which a desire of applause ex. slumber.

Q. hibits itself, would be to men

tion every action which has been admired, every possession which

has been coveted, not by the FAME,

proud alone, or any other single An unworthy Object of Pursuit. class of men, but by the humble,

as well as the exalted, the sottish, On many subjects the opinion as well as the intelligent. It is of the world is at absolute vari. not requisite that a thing should ance with reason, and the plain- be of any use to mankind, either est dictates of common sense ; present or future, real or apparand, perhaps, in few instances is ent, that it may become an obthis variance more observable, ject of the most ardent pursuit. than in the estimate which is far from it. Things insignificommonly formed of the impor. cant, things despicable, things tance and value of worldly ap- abominable, have been thought plause. It has been coveted, by their possessors, and by macourted, admired, and extolled in ny others like them, to be enevery age and country, by the titled to high respect, and distinpeasant and the clown, as well as guished honour. A few pages the prince and the sage. It has of the Panoplist may be usefulbeen an idol, pronising to the ly employed, in examining some myriads of its followers every of the most common paths thing, which could gratify the of ambition ; for if those heart of man, but bestowing which are most trodden, should nothing; and, in reality, served be proved to lead to disappoint: with the costliest offerings of ment and disgust, the rest, bepeace, health, contentment, and yond controversy, cannot boast a constantly demanding hecatombs better character. of human victims. Poetry, and The female part of our spethe other fine arts, have obsequi- cies seem chiefly to aim at ccously become its high priests : lebrity from the beauty and dress even history and biography, in- of their persons. For proof of stead of deterring men from a this, were any proof necessary, service so unreasonable by ex. I should point your attention in general to places of resort for ed, the folly remains. She peramusement, and other purpo- sonates not now the idiot with a ses. In every public assembly, party-coloured robe, but rather the profusion of female decora. the busy lunatic with his haste, tions, and the eagerness with and bustle, and stupendous prowhich the beauties of the per- jects. Still, multa petentibus deson are protruded upon the spec- sunt multa, is unquestionably the tators, irresistibly evince that motto of the whole tribe, and this many, in this way, aim at dis. alone is sufficient to overthrow all tinction. It might be an un- their pretensions to enjoyment, grateful, but could not be an un- in the object of their pursuit. friendly task to show the folly There is one species of repu. of indulging this passion. To tation aimed at by some of the say that beauty is a possession rich, which is pre-eminently worthy of no regard, would per worthy of animadversion. It is haps be more than the most that of the spendthrift. His chief rigid moralist would be willing gratification must be presumed to assert. But that a being of to be in exciting admiration and immortal powers should take envy; for no inan would ever more pleasure in admiring that hurry through the tediousness of corruptible part of itself, which a dissipated life, were he not enfades even while it is gazed at; couraged hy the thought that the which is constantly exposed to world around him imagined him accident, disease, and decay; happy. How contemptibly im. which must soon become one of potent in mind must he appear, the most loathsome objects in then, how miserably incapable of creation, and mingle with the carrying his own plans into execucommon dust, than in contem- tion, frivolous and unworthy as plating and enlarging the capa- they are, who pursues such a cities of the soul; that those course of conduct as must inevit. things should be the chief ob- ably plunge hiin from his imagine jects of our exultation, which ary height to the depths of real most proclaim our weakness, neglect, scorn and misery. Withseems a truth not at all calculat- out penetration to discover the ed to flatter our penetration or

obvious evils that await him, withour wisdom.

out courage to change his conThat riches should be the duct, or perseverance to continue means by wbich many hope to be in a right course, were it changeminent, is not quite so strange. ed; without magnanimity to meet The immediate importance his fall, or patience to endure it, which they give, the force which he flies from his duns, or seeks Horace declares to be potentius refuge in a prison ; proceeds ictu fulmines, the distresses from from squandering to villany ; and which they appear to rescue, and dies, scoffed at by his companthe flattering comparison which ions, unlamented by bis friends, is made between the possessor and unpitied by the world. and those who surround him, af- Courage demands a high place ford some pretext for the acqui- among those qualities, which so sition. Yet when sought as the confidently promise to elevate way to fame, the mode is change those, who possess them, above

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