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Earth's thousand tribes of living things,
He rends the oak, and bids it ride,
To guard the shores its beauty graced ;
See towers of strength and domes of taste;
Fire bears his banner on the wave,
And leaps triumphant o'er the grave.
54. THE PILOT. - Thomas Haynes Bayly. Born, 1797; died, 1839.
O, PILOT' 't is a fearful night, there's danger on the deep; I'll come and pace the deck with thee,-I do not dare to sleep. Go down! the sailor cried, go down; this is no place for thee: Fear not; but trust in Providence, wherever thou mayst be.
Ah! pilot, dangers often met we all are apt to slight,
On such a night the sea engulfed my father's lifeless form;
55. DEATH TYPIFIED BY WINTER.- James Thomson. Born, 1700; died, 1748
'Tis done!- dread WINTER spreads his latest glooms,
How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends
And pale concluding Winter comes, at last,
His guide to happiness on high. And see!
MORAL AND DIDACTIC.
56. INDUCEMENTS TO EARNESTNESS IN RELIGION.—John Angell James.
INDUCEMENTS! Can it be necessary to offer these? What! Is not the bare mention of religion enough to rouse every soul, who understands the meaning of that momentous word, to the greatest intensity of action? Who needs to have spread out before him the demonstrations of logic, or the persuasions of rhetoric, to move him to seek after wealth, rank, or honor? Who, when an opportunity presents itself to obtain such possessions, requires anything more than an appeal to his consciousness of their value to engage him in the pursuit? The very mention of riches suggests at once to man's cupidity a thousand arguments to use the means of obtaining them. What intense longings rise in the heart! What pictures crowd the imagination! What a spell comes over the whole soul! And why is there less, yea, why is there not intensely more, than all this, at the mention of the word religion, - that term which comprehends Heaven and earth, time and eternity, God and man, within its sublime and boundless meaning? If we were as we ought to be, it would be enough only to whisper in the ear that word, of more than magic power, to engage all our faculties, and all their energies, in the most resolute purpose, the most determined pursuit, and the most entire self-devotement. Inducements to earnestness in religion! Alas! how low we have sunk, how far have we been paralyzed, to need to be thus stimulated!
Is religion a contradiction to the usual maxim, that a man's activity in endeavoring to obtain an object is, if he understand it, in exact proportion to the value and importance which he attaches to it? Are Heaven, and salvation, and eternity, the only matters that shall reverse this maxim, and make lukewarmness the rule of action? By what thunder shall I break in upon your deep and dangerous sleep? O, revolve often and deeply the infinite realities of religion! Most subjects may be made to appear with greater or less dignity, according to the greater or less degree of importance in which the preacher places them. Pompous expressions, bold figures, lively ornaments of eloquence, may often supply a want of this dignity in the subject discussed. But every attempt to give importance to a motive taken from eternity is more likely to enfeeble the doctrine than to invigorate it. Motives of this kind are self-sufficient. Descriptions the most simple and the most natural are always the most pathetic or the most terrifying; nor can I find an expression more powerful and emphatic than that of Paul, “The things which are not seen are eternal." What more could the tongues of men and the eloquence of angels say? "Eternal things"! Weigh the import of that phrase, "eternal things." The history of Nations, the eras of time, the creation of worlds, all fade into insignificance, dwindle to a point, attenuate to a shadow, compared with these "eternal things." Do you believe them? If not, abjure your creed, abandon your belief. Be consistent, and let the stupendous vision which, like Jacob's ladder, rests its foot
on earth and places its top in Heaven, vanish in thin air! But if you do believe, say what ought to be the conduct of him who, to his own conviction, stands with hell beneath him, Heaven above him, and eternity before him By all the worth of the immortal soul, by all the blessings of eternal salvation, by all the glories of the upper world, by all the horrors of the bottomless pit, by all the ages of eternity, and by all the personal interest you have in these infinite realities, I conjure you to be in earnest in personal religion!
57. NEVER DESPAIR. - Samuel Lover.
O, NEVER despair! for our hopes, oftentime,
The leaves which the sibyl presented of old,
Though lessened in number, were not worth less gold;
And the rainbow is brightest when darkest the storm;
And when all creation was sunk in the flood,
58. CHARITY.-Thomas Noon Talfourd.
THE blessings which the weak and poor can scatter
Like choicest music; fill the glazing eye
59. THE BATTLE-FIELD. — William Cullen Bryant
ONCE this soft turf, this rivulet's sands,
Were trampled by a hurrying crowd, And fiery hearts and arméd hands
Encountered in the battle-cloud.
Ah! never shall the land forget
How gushed the life-blood of her brave,— Gushed, warm with hope and valor yet, Upon the soil they fought to save.
Now all is calm, and fresh, and still;
Alone the chirp of flitting bird, And talk of children on the hill,
And bell of wandering kine, are heard.
No solemn host goes trailing by
The black-mouthed gun and staggering wain, Men start not at the battle-cry; O, be it never heard again!
Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof,
And blench not at thy chosen lot! The timid good may stand aloof,
The sage may frown, - yet faint thou not!
Nor heed the shaft too surely cast,