« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
wise in. Anger is a perfect alienation of the mind from prayer, and therefore is contrary to that attention,
which presents our prayers in a right line to God. For 20 so have I seen a lark rising from his bed of grass, and
soaring upwards, singing as he rises, and hopes to get to heaven, and climb above the clouds; but the poor
beaten back with the loud sighings of an eastern wind, and his motion made irregular and incon25 stant, descending more at every breath of the tempest,
than it could recover by the libration and frequent weighing of his wings ; till the little creature was forced to sit down and pant, and stay till the storm was
over, and then it made a prosperous flight, and did rise 30 and sing as if it had learned music and motion from an
angel, as he passed sometimes through the air about his ministeries here below : so is the prayer of a good man; when his affairs have required business, and his
business was matter of discipline, and his discipline was 35 to pass upon a sinning person, or had a design of chari
ty, bis duty met with the infirmities of a man, and anger was its instrument, and the instrument became stronger than the prime agent, and raised a tempest and
overruled the man; and then his prayer was broken, 40 and his thoughts were troubled, and his words went up
towards a cloud, and his thoughts pulled them back again, and made them without intention : and the good man sighs for his infirmity, but must be content to lose
the prayer, and he must recover it, when his anger 45 is removed, and his spirit is becalmed, made even
the brow of Jesus, and smooth like the heart of God; and then it ascends to heaven upon the wings of the holy dove, and dwells with God, till it returns like
the useful bee, loaden with a blessing and the dew of 50 heaven.
111. Gray's Elegy.
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
2 Now fades the glimm'ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ; 3 Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
The moping owl does to the Moon complain
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap, Each in its narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. 5 Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
That teach the rustic moralist to die. 6 For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
Nor cast one longing, ling’ring look behind ? 7 On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate ;
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, 9 Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
" Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn, Brushing, with hasty steps, the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn:
That wreaths its old fantastic roots so high,
And pore upon the brook that bubbles by.
11 Hard by yon wood, now smiling, as in scorn,
Mutt'ring his wayward fancies, he would rove;
Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love. 12 One morn I miss'd him on the custom’d hill,
Along the heath, and near his fav’rite tree :
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he ; 13 The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
Slow thro' the church-yard path we saw him borne ; Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
14 Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A Youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown;
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own. 15 Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send ;
He gain'd from heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend. 16 No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of his father and his God.
112. Obligation to the Heathen. Let me never fall into the hands of the man, who, while he refuses to aid the missionary efforts of his brethren, coolly says that he submits the fate of the
heathen to God. Do you call this submission ? Put 5 it to the test ;--does it preserve you equally composed
by the bed of your dying child? While the pressure of private afflictions can torture your soul, call not the apathy with which you view nations sinking into hopeless
ruin,-call it not submission, nor bring the government 10 of God to sanction a temper as cruel as it is common. vine grace.
you, think of
Will the government of God convert the heathen without the means of grace ?
What nation was ever so converted ? It is contrary to the established method of di
“How shall they believe in him of whom 15 they have not heard? And how shall they hear with
out a preacher ?" No, my brethren, missionaries must go among them; and they must be supported. They cannot support themselves; they cannot derive support
from the heathen ; nor can they expect to be fed by 20 ravens. Who then shall sustain the expense if not the
christian world ? and what portion of the christian world rather than the American churches ? and what district of these churches rather than that in which we
are assembled ? and what individuals rather than our25 selves? Heaven has given us the means; we are living
in prosperity on the very lands from which the wretched pagans have been ejected; from the recesses of whose wilderness a moving cry is heard, When it is well with
Indians. This is not ideal; we have 30 received such messages written with their tears.
I have nothing to spare, is the plea of sordid reluctance. But a far different sentiment will be formed amidst the scenes of the last day. Men now persuade
themselves that they have nothing to spare till they can 35 support a certain style of luxury, and have provided for
the establishment of children. But in the awful hour when you, and I, and all the pagan nations, shall be called from our graves to stand before the bar of Christ,
what comparison will these objects bear to the salvation 40 of a single soul ? Eternal mercy! let not the blood
of heathen millions, in that hour, be found in our skirts ! --Standing, as I now do, in sight of a dissolving universe, beholding the dead arise, the world in flames,
the heavens fleeing away, all nations convulsed with 45 terror, or rapt in the vision of the lamb,--I pronounce
the conversion of a single pagan of more value than all the wealth that ever omnipotence produced. On such an awful subject it becomes me to speak with caution.
But I solemnly aver, that were there but one heathen 50 in the world, and he in the remotest corner of Asia, if no greater duty confined us at home, it would be worth the pains for all the people in America to embark together to carry the gospel to him. Place your soul in
his soul's stead. Or rather consent for a moment to 55 change conditions with the savages on
our borders. Were you posting on to the judgment of the great day, in the darkness and pollution of pagan idolatry, and were they living in wealth in this very district of the
church, how hard would it seem for your neighbors to 60 neglect your misery! When you should open your
eyes in the eternal world, and discover the ruin in which they had suffered you to remain, how would you reproach them that they did not even sell their posses
sions, if no other means were sufficient to send the gos60 pel to you. My flesh trembles at the prospect !--But
they shall not reproach us. It shall be known in heayen that we could pity our brethren. We will send them all the relief in our power, and will enjoy the
luxury of reflecting what happiness we may entail on 70 generations yet unborn, if we can only effect the conversion of a single tribe.
113. Infatuation of men with regard to the things of time.
But if no danger is to be apprehended while the thunder of heaven rolls at a distance, believe me, when it collects over our heads, we may be fatally convinced, that
a well-spent life is the only conducter that can avert 5 the bolt. Let us reflect, that time waits for no man.
Sleeping or waking, our days are on the wing. If we look to those that are past, they are but as a point. When I compare the present aspect of this city, with
that which it exhibited within the short space of my own 10 residence, what does the result present, but the most
melancholy proof of human instability ? New characters in every scene, new events, new principles, new passions, a new creation insensibly arisen from the ash
es of the old; which side soever I look, the ravage of 15 death has nearly renovated all. Scarcely do we look
around us in life, when our children are matured, and remind us of the grave; the great feature of all nature,