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A MOTHER'S LOVE-HOME. Many of us most of us who are advanced beyond the period of childhood—went out from that home to embark on the stormy sea of life. Of the feelings of a father, and of his interest in our welfare, we have never entertained a doubt, and our home was dear because he was there; but there was a peculiarity in the feeling that it was the home of our mother. While she lived there, there was a place that we felt was home. There was one place where we would always be welcome, one place where we would be met with a smile, one place where we would be sure of a friend. The world might be indifferent to us. We might be unsuccessful in our studies or our business. The new friends which we supposed we had made might prove to be false. The honor which we thought we deserved might be with held from us. We might be chagrined and mortified by seeing a rival outstrip us, and bear away the prize which we sought. But there was a place where no feelings of rivalry were found, and where those whom the world overlooked would be sure of a friendly greeting. Whether pale and wan by study, care, or sickness, or flushed with health and flattering success, we were sure that we should be welcome there. Though the world was cold towards us, yet there was one who always rejoiced in our success, and always was affected in our reverses ; and there was a place to which we might go back from the storm which began to pelt us, where we might rest, and become encouraged and invigorated for a new conflict. So have I seen a bird, in its first efforts to fly, leave its nest, and stretch its wings, and go forth to the wide world. But the wind blew it back, and the rain began to fall, and the darkness of night began to draw on, and there was no shelter abroad, and it sought its way back to its nest, to take shelter beneath its mother's wings, and to be refreshed for the struggles of a new day; but then it flew away to think of its nest and its mother no more. But not thus did we leave our home when we bade adieu to it to go forth alone to the manly duties of life. Even amidst the storms that then beat upon us, and the disappointments that we met with, and the coldness of the world, we felt still that there was one there who sympathized in our troubles, as well as rejoiced in our success, and that, whatever might be abroad, when we entered the door of her dwelling we should be met with a smile. We expected that a mother, like the mother of Sisera, as she “looked out at her window,” waiting for the coming of her son laden with the spoils of victory, would look out for our coming, and that our return would renew her joy and ours in our earlier days.
It makes a sad desolation when from such a place a mother is taken away, and when, whatever may be the sorrows or the successes in life, she is to greet the returning son or daughter no more. The home of our childhood may be still lovely. The old family mansion—the green fields—the running stream—the mosscovered well—the trees—the lawn—the rose the sweet-briermay be there. Perchance, too, there may be an aged father, with venerable locks, sitting in his loneliness, with every thing to command respect and love; but she is not there. Her familiar voice is not heard. The mother has been borne forth to sleep by the side of her children who went before her, and the place is not what it
There may be those there whom we much love, but she is not there. We may have formed new relations in life, tender and strong as they can be; we may have another home, dear to us as was the home of our childhood, where there is all in affection, kindness, and religion, to make us happy, but that home is not what it was, and it will never be what it was again. It is a loosening of one of the cords which bound us to earth, designed to prepare us for our eternal flight from every thing dear here below, and to teach us that there is no place here that is to be our permanent home.
THE TRAFFIC IN ARDENT SPIRITS.
Every man is bound to pursue such a business as to render a valuable consideration for that which he receives from others. A man who receives in trade the avails of the industry of others, is under obligation to restore that which will be of real value. He receives the fruit of toil; he receives that which is of value to himself; and common equity requires that he return a valuable consideration. Thus, the merchant renders to the farmer, in exchange for the growth of his farm, the productions of other climes; the manufacturer, that which is needful for the clothing or comfort of the agriculturist; the physician, the result of his professional skill. All these are valuable considerations, which are fair and honorable subjects of exchange. They are a mutual accommodation; they advance the interest of both parties. But it is not so with the dealer in ardent spirits. He obtains the property of his fellow-men; and what does he return? That which will tend to promote his real welfare? That which will make him a happier man? That which will benefit his family? That which diffuses learning and domestic comfort around his family circle ? None of these things. He gives him that which will produce poverty, and want, and cursing, and tears, and death. He asked an egg, and he receives a scorpion. He gives him that
1 From a sermon delivered but a few weeks after the loss of his own mother.
which is established and well known as a source of no good, but as tending to produce beggary and wretchedness.
A man is bound to pursue such a course of life as not necessarily to increase the burdens and the taxes of the community. The pauperism and crimes of this land grow out of this vice, as an overflowing fountain. Three-fourths of the taxes for prisons, and houses of refuge, and almshouses, would be cut off but for this traffic and the attendant vices. Nine-tenths of the crimes of the country, and of the expenses of litigation for crime, would be prevented by arresting it. Now, we have only to ask our fellowcitizens, what right they have to pursue an employment tending thus to burden the community with taxes, and to endanger the dwellings of their fellow-men, and to send to my door, and to every other man's door, hordes of beggars loathsome to the sight; or to compel the virtuous to seek out their wives and children, amidst the squalidness of poverty, and the cold of winter, and the pinchings of hunger, to supply their wants ? Could impartial justice be done in the world, an end would soon be put to the traffic in ardent spirits. Were every man bound to alleviate all the wretchedness which his business creates, to support all the poor which his traffic causes, an end would soon be made of this employment.
THE BIBLE versus SLAVERY.—THE DUTY OF THE CHURCH. Of all the abuses ever applied to the Scriptures, the most intolerable and monstrous are those which pervert them to the support of American slavery. Sad is it that the mild and benignant enactments of the Hebrew legislator should ever be appealed to, to sanction the wrongs and outrages of the poor African in “ this land of freedom ;” sad, that the ministers of religion should ever prostitute their high office to give countenance to such a system, by maintaining, or even conceding for a moment, that the Mosaic laws sanction the oppressions and wrongs existing in the United States ! * * *
The defence of slavery from the Bible is to be, and will soon be, abandoned, and men will wonder that any defence of such a system could have been attempted from the word of God. If the authors of these defences could live a little longer than the ordinary term of years allotted to man, they would themselves wonder that they could ever have set up such a defence. Future generations will look upon the defences of slavery drawn from the Bible, as among the most remarkable instances of mistaken interpretation and unfounded reasoning furnished by the perversities of the human mind. * * *
Let every religious denomination in the land detach itself from all connection with slavery, without saying a word against others; let the time come when, in all the mighty denominations of Christians, it can be announced that the evil has ceased with them FOREVER; and let the voice from each denomination be lifted up in kind, but firm and solemn testimony against the system ; with no “mealy' words; with no attempt at apology; with no wish to blink it; with no effort to throw the sacred shield of religion over so great an evil; and the work is done. There is no public sentiment in this land, there could be none created, that would resist the power of such testimony. There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour if it were not sustained in it. Not a blow need be struck. Not an unkind word need he uttered. No man's motive need be impugned, no man's proper rights invaded. All that is needful is, for each Christian man, and for every Christian church, to stand up in the sacred majesty of such a solemn testimony, to free themselves from all connection with the evil, and utter a calm and deliberate voice to the world,—AND THE WORK WILL BE DONE.
Who has ever told the evils, and the curses, and the crimes of war? Who can describe the horrors of the carnage of battle? Who can portray the fiendish passions which reign there? Who can tell the amount of the treasures wasted, and of the blood that has flowed, and of the tears that have been shed over the slain ? Who can register the crimes which war has originated and sustained ? If there is any thing in which earth, more than in any other, resembles hell, it is in its wars. And who, with the heart of a man-of a lover of human happiness of a hater of carpage and crime-can look but with pity, who can repress his contempt in looking on all the trappings of war—the tinsel—the nodding plumes-even the animating music-designed to cover over the reality of the contemplated murder of fathers, and husbands, and sons ?
THE GENTLE CHARITIES OF LIFE.
A man's usefulness in the Christian life depends far more on the kindness of his daily temper, than on great and glorious deeds that shall attract the admiration of the world, and that shall send his name down to future times. It is the little rivulet that glides through the meadow, and that runs along day and night by the farm-house, that is useful, rather than the swollen flood, or the noisy cataract. Niagara excites our wonder, and fills the mind with amazement and awe. We feel that God is there; and it is well to go far to see once at least how solemn it is to realize that we are in the presence of the Great God, and to see what wonders his hand can do. But one Niagara is enough for a continent—or a world; while that same world needs thousands and tens of thousands of silvery fountains, and gently flowing rivulets, that shall water every farm, and every meadow, and every garden, and that shall flow on every day and every night with their gentle and quiet beauty. So with life. We admire the great deeds of Howard's benevolence, and wish that all men were like him. We revere the names of the illustrious martyrs. We honor the man who will throw himself in the “imminent deadly breach” and save his country,--and such men and such deeds we must have when the occasion calls for them. But all men are not to be useful in this way—any more than all waters are to rush by us in swelling and angry floods. We are to be useful in more limited spheres. We are to cultivate the gentle charities of life. We are by a consistent walk to benefit those around us—though we be in an humble vale, and though, like the gentle rivulet, we may attract little attention, and may soon cease to be remembered on earth. Kindness will always do good. It makes others happy-and that is doing good. It prompts us to seek to benefit others—and that is doing good. It makes others gentle and benignant—and that is doing good.
THE VALUE OF INDUSTRY.
I have seen the value of industry; and as I owe to this, under God, whatever success I have obtained, it seems to me not improper to speak of it here, and to recommend the habit to those who are just entering on life.
I had nothing else to depend on but this. I had no capital when I began life; I had no powerful patronage to help me; I had no natural endowments, as I believe that no man has, that could supply the place of industry; and it is not improper here to say that all that I have been able to do in this world has been the result of habits of industry which began early in life; which were commended to me by the example of a venerated father; and which have been, and are, an abiding source of enjoyment.
Dr. Doddridge, in reference to his own work, the “Paraphrase on the New Testament,” said, that its being written at all was owing to the difference between rising at five and at seven o'clock in the morning. A remark similar to this will explain all that I have done. Whatever I have accomplished in the way of commentary on the Scriptures is to be traced to the fact of rising at four in the morning, and to the time thus secured which L