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to her own sculpture, and exercise has thrown the tints of full health into all the composition. The shepherds, as of old, kept their folds, tuned their reeds to pastorals, listened to gurgling brook, to insect hum and high ethereal lay; or turned the eye in rapt wonder to read the book of nature, and to gaze on the hosts of heaven,
Such caught of yore the glorious song,
When sable midnight gleamed with fire;
The music of a heavenly choir. Here man is never maddened by intoxication, nor fevered by excess. Temperance has tuned his mind to sedate calmness, and endowed him with a robust health, that says hearty grace over an anchorite's fare, and finds a piquant zest in the simplest meal. And when the sweet day of active life goes down, evening throws out her softened shades, and wandering feet of love and meditation, fall to the chant of warbling song bird. The night is a sacred one, for the stars never watch a prowling thief, nor bear record against the base assassin. No fiend gropes about with the torch of destruction, to do deeds that devils scarce would dare. Labour is the lullaby, and peace of mind the anodyne, that subdues the mind with soft and holy influences.
How endless are the leaves of nature; how striking its passages; how moving its appeals. In this fair country, such theology was written on every blade, such influence moved on every breeze; but this had not been the prime magnetic mover of their passions, nor the preacher whose sermons had touched their moral sensibilities. The beautiful feet of those who bring glad tidings of good, had travelled down their mountains,-traversed their dales,Righteousness had covered the earth; and thus they had become-A Happy Community.
The first sun beam dissipated my vision, and brought me back to all the realities of the world, as it IS.
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The reader is supposed (by a fiction of the imagination if he pleases so to consider it) to retain in memory the substance of the concluding sentence in the last communication. Should this be the case he will not, now, need to refer to it otherwise than by an easy glance of the mind, to recognise the series of the observations.
This indifference to the supreme interest, as consisting in the practice of virtue, is not confined to any one particular class. It might be considered a happy circumstance, if it were so confined; for then it might be expected that an earnest and energetic co-operation of the exempted classes, would soon be instrumental in reducing that one to the right temper. The inevitable division of society into subordinate sections, has gendered also a corresponding diversity in the circumstances attendant upon each ; a diversity which extends to almost every particular, leaving scarcely any thing in common amongst them (not excepting the recognition of that brotherhood which is the birthright of every human creature) and presenting the vast family of man as divided, with slight local modifications, into so many castes. Not only is this diversity obervable in the condition and manner of life ; it includes also the intellectual development, the modes of thought, and the habits of feeling ; with only here and there a rare and noble exception, in the case of a mind pre-eminently endowed, bursting, by the mere force of its own superior nature,
through the restraints which circumstances had imposed, and ascending with astonishing rapidity and apparent ease, through all the intermediate stages, from the lowest to the highest point in gradation ; where, from the elevation, which, in spite of innumerable obstacles, it has attained, it asserts its rights to whatever is worth possessing in each and all of them. It cannot be said that this difference, in almost every thing of importance, so strikingly characteristic of the various classes of society, extends also to the estimate of the supreme interest. The indifference to what, beyond calculation, most of all concerns the great society of the earth, is the common infatuation of all its ramifications. Here, as in the final allotment, the prince and the peasant, the philosopher and the rustic, the rich and the poor meet together. In a former communication, an exception was admitted in the case of what must be designated, most emphatically, the few. It might, perhaps, be proper in this place, to recur to it in the way of a specific reference. A sentence or two will suffice. The excepted few will be found to comprise some of each of the classes ; but decreasing in the actual, respective numbers, in a ratio from the lowest to the highest. It will be allowed to be a happy and a merciful circumstance for the many that there is this exception, even, although the number of the fraternity composing it is comparatively so small. The effect of the combined influence of virtuous example and effort has been to restrain society within those limits, beyond which lie the regions of inevitable destruction. There is observable in the larger portion a gradual, sometimes rapid, movement towards the dark frontiers whose threatening aspect indicates those fatal regions beyond which the smaller portion has been appointed and empowered by the supreme Ruler, instrumentally to check and restrain! One has not yet to learn, that this style of remark is sure to provoke the laugh of derision in that quarter, where every thing of a serious nature; like certain substances when brought into contact with other substances charged with the electric matter, meet with an instantaneous repulse; or is retained, only, as a topic of profane jesting, and that species of despicable ribaldry, not unfrequently misnamed wit. Be that as it may! so many generations of a depraved race have not passed away, without leaving behind direful examples, that the reduction of this subject to that species of proof, which men of this temper are wont to demand as alone valid in respect to an affair so equivocal, forsooth, as religion and morals, would be a fearful method of convincing even them.
The true notion of virtue, as implied in the nature of the case, and as taught by Revelation, is different altogether from that lax and impalpable system (if indeed it can be called a system) of morals, which combines practical atheism, with the verbal acknowledgement of a supreme Being; which panders to the most absolute selfishness in the name and guise of benevolence; and which admits, when convenient, an easy compromise, in any particular, with the corresponding forms of vice.
Such a virtue as this latter most men and some philosophers will allow, as a very convenient affair, and a thing proper to be inculcated, with the understanding, of course, that since utility is its sole basis, it may be dispensed with whenever circumstances shall be of a nature to shift that basis. But the clear voice of Reason confirms the clearer dictate of Revelation, that the virtue of an intelligent being consists in the fulfilment of all the relations he has been created to sustain. Revelation, with what the enlightened understanding instantly perceives to be an infallible correctness, assigns love as the universal substratum, the great principle of virtue ; and describes the various attributes of a virtuous character as so many emanations, or modifications of that principle; like the colours of the rainbow, which, in each instance, separately, and in the beautiful assemblage, are but modifications of light. The instances are too numerous for specification ; and the recollection of every devout student of the Word of God, will, by presenting examples, render specification unnecessary. The same authority, with characteristic simplicity and comprehensiveness divides the great principle into two branches in respect to the relations of man, as forming the only correct basis and motive of his conduct in reference both to his Maker and to his fellow creatures. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and thy neighbour as thyself: upon these two things hang all the law and the prophets.” A character to be perfect in virtue must be in absolute conformity to this standard ; and a truly virtuous character in its very incipiency, involves, as
the necessary conditions of its being such, the desire and aim and process of becoming so conformed. The ultimate object of the remedial scheme which forms the grand subject of the evangelic cconomy, is the restoration of fallen human nature to this state of absolute conformity; and each successive step of the process conducted under the auspices of that scheme is a movement directly onwards towards that object. Commencing its operation with the elements of character—the springs and motives of action, and diffusing its renewing influence successively, through all the ramifications of the moral nature, it advances with a steady and unswerving purpose until it shall have accomplished the complete transformation. Then, when it has rendered its subject perfect in love it will have been successful in elevating him to a condition of inconceivable purity and happiness. Soham. To be continued.
ECONOMICAL HINTS TO COTTAGERS.
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Who that sees the rustic returning with cheerfulness from his laborious day's work, anticipating the comfort of his neat fire-side and wholesome supper, with a smiling wife and delighted children ready to receive him,—who, that contrasts that poor man with the rich one, who although surrounded by every blessing that heaven can bestow, is dull and listless, indifferent to the endearments of his wife, and the caresses of his children, never cheerful but when some excitement to pleasure arouses him, who, I repeat, will not pronounce the poor man, by many degrees, the most happy of the two, although condemned to labour for his daily bread.—What occasions the difference between these two human beings, who have probably the very same feelings? What but that the rich man is not compelled to work, and therefore will not exert himself till he finds idleness irksome to him.
But I wander from my subject. As I wish to enforce economy in the most minute article, you must not be startled at my descending to what may appear too trifling to require attention, but recollect the universe is composed of atoms, and that God attends to their distribution in every department, “ Not a hair of your head falls to the ground but your Heavenly Father knoweth it” says our blessed Saviour. Are trifles then beneath our consideration ? Never let it be said that we differ from our Creator, or presume to overlook what His providence affords for our gratification and convenience. The more capacious our comprehension, the more likely we are to attend to things high and low. We have but to reflect that the infinitely small, is, to us, much more astonishing than the infinitely great, in fact, it it past our comprehension.
I shall begin with what may appear at first sight incompatible with the duties of a Christian, that is, by recommending you ever to preserve a degree of proper pride; I have already alluded to it in respect to independence, but I now spcak of it as it regards the neatness and cleanliness of your habitation. To have your house in the neatest possible order, to have, as a Scotch Novelist says ;“every thing in its proper place; to have no litter, no dirty corner or drawer, but all so exactly arranged that you could find every article you want without the assistance of a lightto be able at any moment to display every part of your house to any accidental visitor, who, by observing and admiring your neatness and order, might have it in her power to recommend you in some way that might be beneficial to you—this is the pride I would wish you to inculcate next to that of being able to provide for your own support. Strict cleanliness may not appear to you so very esential a requisite in life as it really is, but believe me, not half the fevers and other complaints would Assail the cottage of the labouring classes, if they attended minutely to this very material and practicable consideration. Their beds, in particular, are I fear, seldom or ever sufficiently exposed to the atmosphere; they roll the covering off and on again, without even separating them, and they return to their couch with the satne bad air enclosed around them, in which they have slept the preceding night. This is one certain way of producing infection, which you cannot be surprised should attack them under such circumstances.-A poor woman says ;
“ I have not time to attend to all this trifling,” but would it take up more of her time, if, immediately when she arose, she shook out singly every article of her bed-clothes over the back of a chair, tossed up her bed, and left it to rise while she kindled the fire ? &c. and by that time, if she took care to open her window, her bed would be sufficiently purified, and she could return to it at night with comfort, and exemption from all injurious effects. But allowing that it would take her a little more time, would it not be well bestowed, if it kept off the infection it might otherwise have imbibed ? She ought also never to omit mopping under the bed every morning, and removing every particle of dust as quickly as it collects, and, above all things, to avoid laying any spare blanket, or any article of clothing between the bed and the bedstead. This, I fear, is a very common practice amongst people who are confined for room, and I scarcely know a worse one, for by so doing, it is utterly impossible that their beds can ever be sufficiently purified.
If you have any carpets near your bed, never neglect to shake them out every day; half a moment will suffice for this purpose, and as in small dwellings, your bed-room is frequently not far removed from your fire, dust from thence must necessarily be collected. The only system of economy, I have ever observed in a cottage, has been in respect of firing; that article no doubt, is found very expensive, and I do not wonder at the endeavour to make it last as long as possible ; but still, an amendment might be made even in this respect. The cottager generally has her grate half filled with ashes, whilst the top of the fire is flaming up the chimney ; whereas, if she would keep the bottom of the grate clear with only bright cinders visible, and have the top of the fire close, either with small coals, or, if she choose it, the ashes thrown above the cinders, all the heat which the fire produced would be thrown into the room, and not, as it too generally is, suffered to waste itself up the chimney. This is no small advantage, besides that of the fireside looking so much more neat and comfortable. Except when cooking this might always be the case, and, so far from finding it a more expensive plan than the present one, it would, in fact, be less so, whilst you kept it confined at the top.
I have now come to the chief particular in which I wished to give you a little advice, and that is of making every article of food go as far as it possibly can, and also to improve it. To combine this must be your chief study; and a little practice will make it not only easy, but agreeable to you. It is fortunate, that which the cottager is the fondest of, and what to hard-working people is very wholesome, namely pork is the cheapest and most easily procured of any other animal food. But do they always make the most of this ? On the contrary, how often are you annoyed on passing a cottage, with the smell of bones burning, as well as many other substances This ought never to be the case, for however incredible it may appear to some people, and even ridiculous, bones will digest over and over again, when placed in an iron pan with a little water, covered up close, and set by the side, or on the top of a very slow fire, where it is scarcely suffered to simmer, and produce a soup more nutritious than you could possibly imagine, till experience convinced you.
To be continued.
INCIDENT AT SEA.
" Its very
ONE fine starlight evening, about half-past Eight o'clock, the officer on deck of a transport ship, homeward bound from Rio Janeiro, came into the cabin, and announced that a ship was hailing. All hands immediately came on deck, and the Captain asked the position of the stranger. At that moment, “ Ship ahoy !” was heard, the voice apparently being to windward. A lantern was put over the gangway, the mainsail was hauled up, and the mainyard backed, to stop the vessel's way. No ship was to be seen. “ Silence fore and aft!” ordered the Captain, for the decks were now crowded,-soldiers, sailors, women, children, all were up.
Ship ahoy!” again came over the waves, and “Hilloa !” answers the Captain at the top of his voice. Every one now listened with breathless attention for the next question, expecting that the name of the ship would be demanded, as usual.“ Ship ahoy!” again resounded, and several together answered “Hilloa !” louder than before ; but no notice was taken of the reply, and no sail was in sight. strange!” exclaimed the Captain, “where can she be?” One thought she might have passed them; others suggested it might be a pirate-boat about to board. The captain took the hint, put the troops under arms, cleared away the guns ready for action, and double shotted them. Silence being again obtained, “Ship ahoy!” was again heard, and the voice still seemed to come from the windward. The chief mate then suggested the possibility of some persons being on a raft, and volunteered to go in a boat to ascertain. The boat was lowered, and the two mates, with the boats crew, each armed with sword and pistol, rowed at some distance round the ship.
On the officers' return, they reported that they could neither hear nor see anything. Silence prevailed while they reported this to the captain, every one being desirous to know the issue of the search. Instantly the same “Ship ahoy!” was heard, though much less audibly, and, apparently, at a greater distance than before. The next moment it was heard much louder and closer. A feeling of intense excitement now prevailed in each of the crowd of persons on board the transport. More than an hour had passed since the ship was hove to, every one had repeatedly heard the stranger's hail, coming through the darkness, but nothing had been seen of him, and no further question or answer could be elicited. The screams of the women and children, and the muttering of the men, showed that a superstitious dread of something supernatural and unearthly was creeping over every one. The captain issued orders to shoulder arms, and to make ready the guns.
Just at this crisis, one of the cabin boys, who had been standing near the mainmast, stepped aft, to the chief mate, and said, " Its a fowl in the hen coop, sir, that's a-making that 'ere noise.” The officer indignantly bestowed on him a sound box on the ear for his information, but recollecting that he was an intelligent lad, accompanied him to the hen coop with a lantern; where he saw a fowl lying on its side. He took it out, and placed it on the capstan, and there, in the sight of the whole company, was beheld a poor hen dying of the croup, occasionally emitting a sound “ee-a-aw,” which resembled the words “Ship ahoy!” coming from a distance, as closely as any hail that ever was heard.
Naut. Mag. 1842, p. 409.