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Take, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear;
Take that best gift, which Heaven so lately gave; To Bristol's fount I bore, with trembling care,
Her faded form :- She bow'd to taste the wave, 5 And died. Does youth, does beauty, read the line ?
Does sympathetic fear their breast alarm ?
Ev’n from the grave thou shalt have pow'r to charm.
Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee ; 10 Bid them in duty's sphere as meekly move ; And, if as fair, from vanity as free,
As firm in friendship, and as fond in love.
('Twas ev'n to thee) yet, the dread path once trod, 15 Heaven lifts its everlasting portals high,
And bids the “pure in heart behold their God.”
O! lives there, heaven! beneath thy dread expanse,
The lukewarm passions of a lowly mind;
In joyless union wedded to the dust,
There live, alas! of heaven-directed mien, 10 Of cultured soul, and sapient eye serene,
Who hail thee, man! the pilgrim of a day,
Dust in the wind, or dew upon the flower ! 15 A friendless slave, a child without a sire,
Whose mortal life, and momentary fire,
And, when the gun's tremendous flash is o'er, 20 To night and silence sink forevermore !
Are these the pompous tidings ye proclaim,
Children of Truth, and champions of her cause ? 25 For this hath Science search’d, on weary wing,
By shore and sea-each mute and living thing?
Or round the cope her living chariot driven, 30 And wheeled in triumph through the signs of heaven?
Oh! star-eyed science, hast thou wandered there,
Of blasted leaf, and death-distilling fruit !
Blood-nursed, and watered by the widow's tears,
What is the bigot's torch, the tyrant's chain ? 40 I smile on death, if heaven-ward hope remain!
But, if the warring winds of Nature's strife
This frail and feverish being of an hour,
Swist as the tempest travels on the deep,
Then melt, ye elements, that formed in vain 50 This troubled pulse, and visionary brain !
Fade, ye wild flowers, memorials of my doom !
The foe of tyrants and the friend of man,-
Reposing Virtue, pillowed on the heart !
60 No rapture dawns, no treasure is revealed !
Oh! let her read, nor loudly, nor elate,
106. The Atheist.
cessary for this stupendous attainment ! This intelli5 gence involves the very attributes of Divinity, while a
God is denied. For unless this man is omnipresent, unless he is at this moment in every place in the uni. verse, he cannot know but there may be in some place
manifestations of a Deity by which even he would be 10 overpowered. If he does not know absolutely every
agent in the universe, the one that he does not know may be God.
If he is not himself the chief agent in the universe, and does not know what is so, that which
is so may be God. If he is not in absolute possession 15 of all the propositions that constitute universal truth,
the one which he wants may be, that there is a God. If he cannot with certainty assign the cause of all that he perceives to exist, that cause may be a God. If he
does not know every thing that has been done in the 20 immeasurable ages that are past, some things may have
been done by a God. Thus, unless he knows all things, that is, unless he precludes another Deity by being one himself, he cannot know that the Being whose existence
he rejects, does not exist. But he must know that he 25 does not exist, else he deserves equal contempt and
compassion for the temerity with which he firmly avows his rejection and acts accordingly. And yet a man of ordinary age and intelligence may present himself to
you with an avowal of being thus distinguished from 30 the crowd ; and if he would describe the manner in
which he has attained this eminence, you would feel a melancholy interest in contemplating that process of which the result is so portentous.
Surely the creature that thus lifts his voice, and de35 fies all invisible power within the possibilities of infini
ty, challenging whatever unknown being may hear him, and who may, if he will, appropriate that title of Almighty which is pronounced in scorn, to evince his existence,
by his vengeance ; surely this man was not as yesterday 40 a little child, that would tremble and cry at the approach of a diminutive reptile.
Foster. 107. Duelling And now let me ask you solemnly; will you persist in your attachment to these guilty men? Will you any longer, either deliberately or thoughtlessly, vote for
them ? Will you renounce allegiance to your Maker, 5 and cast the bible behind your back ? Will you con
fide in men void of the fear of God and destitute of moral principle ? Will you intrust life to murderers—liberty to despots? Are you patriots, and will you consti
tute those legislators who despise you, and despise equal 10 laws, and wage war with the eternal principles of jus
tice ? Are you Christians, and by upholding duellists will you deluge the land with blood, and fill it with widows and orphans ? Will you aid in the prostration
of justice-in the escape of criminals-in the extinc15 tion of liberty ? Will you place in the chair of state
in the senate-on the bench of justice, or in the assembly, men who, if able, would murder you for speaking truth? Shall your elections turn on expert shooting,
and your deliberative bodies become an hest of armed 20 men ? Will you destroy public morality by tolerating,
yea, rewarding, the most infamous crimes ? Will you teach your children that there is no guilt in murder ? --will you instruct them to think lightly of duelling,
and train them up to destroy or be destroyed in the 25 bloody field ? Will you bestow your suffrage, when you
know that by withholding it you may arrest this deadly evil—when this too is the only way in which it can be done, and when the present is perhaps the only period
in which resistance can avail—when the remedy is so 30 easy, so entirely in your power; and when God, if you
do not punish these guilty men, will most inevitably punish you?
If the widows and the orphans, which this wasting evil has created and is yearly multiplying, might all 85 stand before you, could you witness their tears ; listen
to their details of anguish ? Should they point to the murderers of their fathers, their husbands, and their children, and lift up their voice and implore your aid to
arrest an evil which had made them desolate-could 40 you disregard their cry? Before their eyes could you
approach the poll and patronize by your vote the destroyers of their peace ? Had you beheld a dying father, conveyed bleeding and agonizing to his distracted
family: had you heard their piercing shrieks, and wit45 nessed their frantic agony-would you reward the sav
age man who had plunged them in distress ? Had the duellist destroyed your neighbor-had your own father been killed by the man who solịcits your suffrage-had
your son been brought to your door, pale in death, and 50 weltering in blood, laid low by his hand-would you
then think the crime a small one ? Would you honor with your confidence, and elevate to power by your vote, the guilty monster ? And what would you think of
your neighbors, if, regardless of your agony, they 55 should reward him ? And yet, such scenes of unuttera
ble anguish are multiplied every year. Every year the duellist is cutting down the neighbor of somebody. Every year, and many times in the year, a father is
brought dead or dying to his family, or a son laid breath60 less at the feet of his parents. And every year you are
patronizing by your votes, the men who commit these crimes, and looking with cold indifference upon, and even mocking the sorrows of your neighbor.- Beware
- I admonish you solemnly to beware, and especially 65 such of you as have promising sons preparing for active
life, lest, having no feeling for the sorrows of another, you be called to weep for your own sorrow; lest
your sons fall by the hand of the very murderer you vote for,
or by the hand of some one whom his example has train70 ed to the work of blood. With such considerations before you, why in the