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Heaven's fire is around thee to blast and to burn:
False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my clan:
Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day!
But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
Ah! no; for a darker departure is near;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier;
Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the tale!
So black with dishonor, so foul with retreat.
Though his perishing ranks should be strewed in their gore,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And, leaving in battle no blot on his name,
EXERCISES IN ARTICULATION.
l:— all, marl, earl, isle, leave, lovely, lively, melon, solace, castle, axle, evil, able.
On the Works and Attributes of the Almighty. MOODIE.
CONTEMPLATE the great scenes of nature, and accustom yourselves to connect them with the perfections of God. All vast and unmeasurable objects are fitted to impress the soul with awe. The mountain which rises above the neighboring
hills, and hides its head in the sky-the sounding, unfathomed, boundless deep-the expanse of heaven, where, above and around, no limit checks the wondering eye;-these objects fill and elevate the mind-they produce a solemn frame of spirit, which accords with the sentiment of religion.
From the contemplation of what is great and magnificent in nature, the soul rises to the Author of all. We think of the time which preceded the birth of the universe, when no being existed but God alone. While unnumbered systems arise in order before us, created by his power, arranged by his wisdom, and filled with his presence, - the earth and the sea, with all that they contain, are hardly beheld amidst the immensity of his works. In the boundless subject the soul is lost. It is He who sitteth on the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers. He weigheth the mountains in scales. He taketh up the isles as a very little thing. Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him!
The face of nature is sometimes clothed with terror. The tempest overturns the cedars of Lebanon, or discloses the secrets of the deep. The pestilence wastes the lightning consumes the voice of the thunder is heard on high. Let these appearances be connected with the power of God. These are the awful ministers of his kingdom. The Lord reigneth, let the people tremble. Who would not fear thee, O King of nations! By the greatness of thy power thine
enemies are constrained to bow.
Pause for a while, ye travellers on the earth, to contemplate the universe in which you dwell, and the glory of Him who created it. What a scene of wonders is here presented to your view! If beheld with a religious eye, what a temple for the worship of the Almighty! The earth is spread out before you, reposing amidst the desolation of winter, or clad in the verdure of the spring-smiling in the beauty of summer, or loaded with autumnal fruit;- opening to an endless variety of beings the treasures of their Maker's goodness, and ministering subsistence and comfort to every creature that lives.
The heavens, also, declare the glory of the Lord. The sun cometh forth from his chambers to scatter the shades of night, inviting you to the renewal of your labors, adorning the face of nature, and, as he advances to his meridian brightness, cherishing every herb and every flower that springeth from the bosom of the earth. Nor, when he retires again from your view, doth he leave the Creator without a witness. He only hides his own splendor for a while, to disclose to you a more glorious scene-- to show you the immensity of space filled with worlds unnumbered, that your imaginations may wander, without a limit, in the vast creation of God.
What a field is here opened for the exercise of every pious emotion! and how irresistibly do such contemplations as these awaken the sensibility of the soul! Here is infinite power to impress you with awe; here is infinite wisdom to fill you with admiration; here is infinite goodness to call forth your gratitude and love. The correspondence between these great objects and the affections of the human heart is established by nature itself; and they need only to be placed before us, that every religious feeling may be excited.
EXERCISES IN ARTICULATION.
- man, aim, blame, realm, charm, famine, moment, mammon, solemn, murmur, mental.
The Birth of the Savior announced.
WHEN the Savior of mankind was born in Judea, his birth was attended with no external splendor which could mark him out as the promised Messiah. The business of life was proceeding in its usual train. The princes of the world were
pursuing their plans of ambition and vanity. The chief priests and the scribes, the interpreters of revelation, were amusing the multitude with idle traditions. Jesus lay neglected in the stable of Bethlehem; and the first rays of the Sun of Righteousness beamed unnoticed on the earth. But the host of heaven were deeply interested in this great event. They contemplated, with pleasure, the blessings which were about to be dispensed to men; and from their high abode a messenger descended to announce the dawn of that glorious day, which the prophets had seen from afar, and were glad.
The persons to whom these tidings of joy were first proclaimed were not such, indeed, as the world would have reckoned worthy of so high a preeminence. They were not the wise, the rich, or the powerful, of the earth. That which is highly esteemed among men is often of little value in the sight of God. The rich and the poor are alike to him. He prefers the simplicity of a candid mind to all those artificial accomplishments which attract the admiration of the giddy multitude. It was to the shepherds of Bethlehem that the angel appeared, -to men obscure and undistinguished among their brethren, — who, in the silence of the night, were following the duties of their peaceful occupation, far from the vices of courts and the prejudices of the synagogue.
But the manner in which the birth of the Messiah was announced was suited to the dignity of so great an occasion. At midnight, these shepherds were tending their flocks, and all was dark and still in the fields of Bethlehem; when, on a sudden, a light from heaven filled the plain, and the angel of the Lord stood revealed before them. So unusual an appearance struck them with awe: they knew not with what tidings this messenger might be charged. But the voice of the angel soon quieted their fears: it was a message of mercy with which he was intrusted. Behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.