Page images

SECTION V. a Ex-tend, eks-tènd', to stretch Per-ish, per'-ish, to die, to be deenlarge,

stroyed. b En-sue, en-sů', to follow, pursue. d Prin-ci-pal, prin'-se-pål, chief,


Earthquake at Catanea. 1. One of the earthquakes most particularly described in history, is that which happened in the year 1693; the damages of which were chiefly felt in Sicily, but its motion was perceived in Germany, France, and England. It extendeda to a circumference of two thousand six hundred leagues; chiefly affecting the sea coasts, and great rivers; more perceivable also upon the mountains than in the vallies.

2. Its motions were so rapid, that persons who lay at their length, were tossed from side to side, as upon a rolling billow. The walls were dashed from their foundations; and no fewer than fifty-four cities, with an incredible number of villages, were either destroyed or greatly damaged. The city of Catanea, in particular, was utterly overthrown. A traveller who was on his way thither, perceived, at the distance of some miles, a black cloud, like night, hanging over the place.

3. The sea, all of a sudden, began to roar; mount Ætna to send forth great spires of fame; and soon after a shock ensued, with a noise as if all the artillery in the world had been at once discharged. Our traveller being obliged to alight instantly, felt himself raised a foot from the ground; and turning his eyes to the city, he with amazement saw nothing but a thick cloud of dust in the air,

4. The birds flew about astonished; the sun was darkened; the beasts ran howling from the hills; and although the shock did not continue above three minutes, yet near nineteen thousand of the inhabitants of Sicily perished in the ruins, Catanea, to which city the describer was travelling, seemed the principals scene of ruin; its place only, was to be found; and not a footstep of its former magnificence was to be seen remaining.


SECTION VI. a Ex-is-tence, ég-zis'-tense, statejc Pre-des-tine, pré-dés’-tin, to de. of being.

cree beforehand. b Sig-nal, sig'-nál, eminent, memo- d Void, võid, vacant, a space. rable.

e A-byss, å-bls', depth without bot.


f Course, korse, race, passage, 1h Su-pe-ri-our, sů-pe/-ré-år, higher,
g Coun-te-nance, kðản'-19-nanse, preferable.
form of face, confidence of mien.

1. In the progress of the Divine works and govern-
ment, there arrived a period, in which this earth was to
be called into existence. When the signal moment, pre
destined from all eternity, was come, the Deity arose in
his might, and with a word created the world. What an
illustrious moment was that, when, from non-existence,
there sprang at once into being, this mighty globe, on which
so many millions of creatures now dwell!

2. No preparatory measures were required. No long circuit of means was employed. “ He spake; and it was done: he commanded; and it stood fast. The earth was at first without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep." The Almighty surveyed the dark abyss; and fixed bounds to the several divisions of nature. He said, “ Let there be light; and there was light."

3. Then appeared the sea, and the dry land. The mountains rose; and the rivers flowed. The sun and moon began their course in the skies. Herbs and plants clothed the ground. The air, the earth, and the waters, were stored with their respective inhabitants. At last, man was made after the image of God.

4. He appeared, walking with countenances erect; and received his Creator's benediction, as the Lord of this new world. The Alinighty beheld his work when it was finished; and pronounced it good. Superior beings saw with wonder this new accession to existence. “ The morning stars sang together; and all the sons of God shouted for joy."


SECTION VII. a Spec-u-la-tive,spek'-ku-la-tiv,the-th At-tempt, åt-témt', an attack, es. oretical, not practical.

say, to try. b In-vet-er-ate, in-vét -tér-áte, old, i Com-pla-cen-cy, köm-pla'-sén-sė, obstinate.

pleasure civility. c Re-side, ro-zide', to live, to dwell. k Af-fa-bil-i-ty, åf-fá-bild-le-te, easi. d Foun-tain, foán -tin, a spring, ness of manners. original.

1 Op-press, úp-près', to crush, over. e Be-nig-ni-ty, be-nig-ne-te, gra power. ciousness, kindness.

m In-ter-ces-sor, in-t-r-sés'-sůr, me f Na-tive, nå -tiv, natural, original. diator. & Im-port, im-port, to imply. In A-bode, å-bode', place of resi


Charity: 1. CHARITY is the same with benevolence or love; and is the term uniformly employed in the New Testament, o denote all the good affections which we ought to bear owards one another. It consists not in speculativea ideas of eneral benevolence, floating in the head, and leaving the eart, as speculations too often do, untouched and cold. seither is it confined to that indolent good nature, Shich makes us rest satisfied with being free from inveterateb malice, or ill will to our fellow-creatures, without , prompting us to be of service to any.

2. True charity is an active principle. It is not properly a single virtue; but a disposition residing in the heart, as a fountaind whence all the virtues of benignity, candour, forbearance, generosity, compassion, and liberality, flow, as so many native streams. From general good-will to all, it extends its influence particularly to those with whom we stand in nearest connexion, and who are directly within the sphere of our good offices.

3. From the country or community to which we belong, it descends to the smaller associations of neighbourhood, relations, and friends; and spreads itself over the whole circle of social and domestic life. I mean not that it imports a promiscuous undistinguished affection, which gives every man an equal title to our love. Charity, if we should endeavour to carry it so far, would be rendered an impracticable virtue; and would resolve itself into mere words, without affecting the heart. ,

4. True charity attemptsh not to shut our eyes to the distinction between good and bad men; nor to warm our hearts equally to those who befriend, and those who injure us. -It reserves our esteem for good men, and our complacency! for our friends. Towards our enemies it inspires forgiveness, humanity, and a solicitude fot their welfare. It breathes universal candour, and liberality of sentiment. It forms gentleness of temper, and dictates affability of

5. It prompts corresponding sympathies with them who rejoice, and them who weep. It teaches us to slight and despise no man. Charity is the comforter of the afflicted, the protector of the oppressed,' the reconciler of differences, ihe intercessorn for offenders. It is faithfulness in the friend, publick spirit in the magistrate, equity and patience in the juilge, moderation in the sovereign, and loyalty is the subject.



6. In parents, it is care and attention; in children, it is reverence and submission. In a word, it is the soul of social life. It is the sun that enlivens and cheers the abodes of men. It is like the dew of Hermon," says the Psalmist, " and the dew that descended on the mountains of Zion, where the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for ever more.”


SECTION VIII. a Pros-per-i-ty, prðs-per'-e-té, suc- d Vit-i-ate, vish'-e-ate, to deprave, cess, luck.

spoil. 5 Re-doub-le, re-dub-bl, to make e Fru-it-ion, frå-ish'-ån, enjoyment, double.

possession. c Fan-tas-ti-cal, fån-tås'-te-kål, im- f Sus-te-nance, süs'-téenånce, supaginary, whimsical.

port, victuals. Prosperitya is redoubled to a good man. 1. None but the temperate, the regular, and the virtuous, know how to enjoy prosperity. They bring to its comforts the manly relish of a sound, uncorrupted mind. They stop at the proper point, before enjoyment degenerates into disgust, and pleasure is converted into pain. They are strangers to those complaints which flow from spleen, caprice, and all the fantasticalo distresses of a vitiated' mind. While riotous indulgence enervates both the body and the mind, purity and virtue heighten all the powers of human fruition.e

2. Feeble are all pleasures in which the heart has no share. The selfish gratifications of the bad, are both narrow in their circle, and short in their duration. But prosperity is redoubled to a good man, by his generous use of it. It is reflected back upon him from every one whom he makes happy. In the intercourse of domestick affection, in the attachment of friends, the gratitude of dependa ents, the esteem and good-will of all who know him, he sees blessings multiplied around him, on every side.

3. “ When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: because I delivered the poor that cried, the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing with joy." I was eyes to the blind, and feet was i to the lame: I was a father to the poor; and the cause which I knew not I searched out."

4. Thus, while the righteous man flourishes like a tree

planted by the rivers of water, he brings forth also his fruit in its season: and that fruit he brings forth, not for himself alone. He flourishes, not like a tree in some solitary desert, which scatters its blossoms to the wind, and communicates neither fruit nor shade to any living thing: but like a tree in the midst of an inhabited country, which to some affords friendly shelter, to others fruit; which is not only admired by all for its beauty; but blessed by the traveller for the shade, and by the hungry for the sustenance it hath given.



SECTION IX a Ex-emp-tion, égz-êm'-shảin, im- f Pol-i-ticks, pol-le-tiks, the sci

munity, freedom, from imposts. ence of government. 6 In-val-u-a-ble, in-vål -ú-å-bl, pre-g Un-ea-si-ness, in-d'-ze-nés, troucious, inestimable.

ble, a state of disquiet. c Philos-n-phy, f-lès-6-f!, knowl-bh Med-i-ta-tion, méd-e-ta'-shủn, edge natural or moral.

thought, contemplation. d E-mit, t-mit, to send forth, to is- i Rel-ish, rel-ish, taste, liking, de

light, to like. e Ex-tract,éks-tråkt', to draw out of.!

On the beauties of the Psalms. 1. GREATNESS confers no exemptions from the cares and sorrows of life: its share of them frequently bears a melancholy proportion to its exaltation. This the monarch of Israel experienced. He sought in piety, that peace which he could not find in empire; and alleviated the disquietudes of state, with the exercises of devotion. His invaluble Psalms convey those comforts to others, which they afforded to himself.

2. Composed upon particular occasions, yet designed for general use; delivered out as services for Israelites under the Law, yet no less adapted to the circumstances of Christians under the Gospel; they present religion to us in the nost engaging dress; communicating truths which philosophye could never investigate, in a style which poetry can never equal; while history is made the vehicle of prophecy, and creation lends all its charms to paint the glories of redemption.

8. Calculated alike to profit and to please, they inform the understanding, elevate the affections, and entertain the imagination. Indited under the influence of him, to whom ail hearts are known, and all events foreknown, they suit mankind in all situations; grateful as the manna

« PreviousContinue »