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Make straight in the desert a highway for our God! 2 Every valley shall be exalted,
And every mountain and hill shall be made low:
For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.-
All flesh is grass,
And all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the 3
into the high mountain ;
Lift up thy voice with strength ; 4 Lift it up, be not afraid ;
Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
And shall gently lead those that are with young 5 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
And meted out heaven with the span,
And taught him knowledge,
Behold! the nations are as a drop of a bucket,
liken God? 7 Or what likeness will ye compare unto him ? The workman melteth a graven image And the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, And casteth silver chains. He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation Chooseth a tree that will not rot; He seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a
graven image, that shall not be moved. Have ye not known ? have ye not heard ?
Hath it not been told you from the beginning? 8 Have ye not understood from the foundations of the
earth? It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, And the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers ; That stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, And spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in : That bringeth the princes to nothing ; He maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea—they shall not be planted; Yea—they shall not be sown: 9 Yea-their stock shall not take root in the earth: And He shall also blow upon them, and they shall
wither, And the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. To whom then will
That bringeth out their host by number: 10 He calleth them all by names: by the greatness of his
might, (for that he is strong in power) Not one faileth.
Why sayest thou, O Jacob! and speakest, O Israel!
LESSON CXVI. Pernicious Effects of Gaming.–Nott. 1 I know you do not mean to gamble, nor to advocate gaming. But I also know if you play at all, you will ultimately do both. It is but a line that separates between innocence and sin. Whoever fearlessly approaches this line, will soon have crossed it. To keep at a distance, therefore, is the part of wisdom. No man ever made up his mind to consign to perdition his soul at once.
No man ever entered the known ave. nues, which conduct to such an end, with a firm and undaunted step. The brink of ruin is approached with 2 caution, and by imperceptible degrees; and the wretch who now stands fearlessly scoffing there, but yesterday had shrunk back from the tottering cliff, with trembling. Do you wish for illustration? The profligate gamester's unwritten history will furnish it. How inoffensive its commencement, how sudden, and how awful its catastrophe ! Let us review his life. He commences with play, but it is only for amusement. Next he hazards a trifle to give interest, and is surprised
when he finds himself a gainer by the hazard. He then 3 ventures, not without misgivings, on a deeper stake. That stake he loses. The loss and the guilt oppress him. He drinks to revive his spirits. His spirits revived, he stakes to retrieve his fortune. Again he is unsuccessful, and again his spirits flag, and again the inebriating cup revives them. "Ere he is aware of it, he has become a drunkard ;-he has become a bankrupt. Resource fails him. His fortune is gone ; his character is gone ; his tenderness of conscience is gone. God
has withdrawn his spirit from him. The demon of de4 spair takes possession of his bosom; reason deserts him. He becomes a maniac; the pistol or the poniard closes the scene, and with a shriek he plunges unlamented into eternity.
If an occupation were demanded for the express purpose of perverting the human intellect, and humbling, and degrading, and narrowing-I had almost said annihilating—the soul of man, one
more effectual could not be devised, than the one the gamester has already devised
and pre-occupied. And the father and mother of a 5 family, who instead of assembling their children in the
reading-room, or conducting them to the altar, seat them night after night, beside themselves at the gaming-table, do, so far as this part of their domestic economy is concerned, contribute not only to quench their piety, but also to extinguish their intellect, and convert them into automatons, living mummies, the mere mechanical members of a domestic gambling machine, which, though but little soul is necessary, requires a
number of human hands to work it. And if under such 6 a blighting culture, they do not degenerate into a state
of mechanical existence, and gradually losing their reason, their taste, their fancy, become incapable of conversation; the fortunate parents may thank the school-house, the church, the library, the society of friends, or some other and less wretched part of their own defective system, for preventing the consummation of so frightful a result.
While gaming leaves the mind to languish, it produces its full effect on the passions and on the heart. 7 Here, however, the effect is deleterious. None of the sweet and amiable sympathies, are at the card-table called into action. No throb of ingenuous and philanthropic feeling is excited by this detestable expedient for killing time. Here that mutual amity, that elsewhere subsists, ceases; paternal affection ceases; even that community of feeling that piracy excites, and that binds the
banditti together, has no room to operate; for at this in hospitable board, every man's inter
est clashes with every man's interest, and every man's 8 hand is literally against every man.
The love of mastery, and the love of money are the purest loves, of which the gamester is susceptible. And even the love of mastery, loses all its nobleness, and degenerates into the love of lucre, which ultimately predominates and becomes the ruling passion.
Avarice is always base; but the gamester's avarice is doubly so. It is avarice unmixed with any ingredient of magnanimity or mercy. Avarice, that wears not even the guise of public spirit; that claims not 9 even the meagre praise of hoarding up its own hard
earnings. On the contrary, it is an avarice, that wholly feeds upon the losses, and only delights itself with the miseries of others. Avarice, that eyes, with covetous desire, whatever is not individually its own; that crouches to throw its fangs over that booty, by which its comrades are enriched. Avarice, that stoops to rob a traveller, that sponges a guest, and that would filch the very dust from the pocket of a friend.
But, though avarice predominates, other related pas10 sions are called into action. The bosom, that was once
serene and tranquil, becomes habitually perturbed. Envy rankles; jealousy corrodes; anger rages, and hope and fear alternately convulse the system. The mildest disposition grows morose; the sweetest temper becomes fierce and fiery, and all the once amiable features of the heart assume a malignant aspect!
I do not say that such are the uniform, but I do say, that such are the natural and legitimate effects of ga. ming. The love of play is a Demon, which only takes 11 possession, as it kills the heart. Will nature long sur
vive in bosoms invaded, not by gaming only, but also by debauchery and drunkenness, those Sister Furies,