Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

But thou wilt heal that broken heart

Which, like the plants that throw
Their fragrance from the wounded part,

Breathes sweetness out of woe.

[blocks in formation]

How sweetly flowed the gospel's sound

From lips of gentleness and grace, When listening thousands gathered round,

And joy and reverence filled the place!

From heaven he came — of heaven he spoke –

To heaven he led his followers' way; Dark clouds of gloomy night he broke,

Unveiling an immortal day.

[blocks in formation]

It is not only in the sacred fane,
That homage should be paid to the Most High:
There is a temple, one not made with hands -
The vaulted firmament : far in the woods,
Almost beyond the sound of city-chime,
At intervals heard through the breezeless air ;
When not the limberest leaf is seen to move,
Save where the linnet lights upon the spray;
When not a floweret bends its little stalk,
Save where the bee alights upon the bloom;
There, rapt in gratitude, in joy, and love,
The man of God will pass the Sabbáth noon;
Silence, his praise; his disimbodied thoughts,
Loosed from the load of words, will high ascend
Beyond the empyrean.

LESSON V.

EXERCISES IN ARTICULATION.

u:-cube, tune, duke, feud, dew, new, pew, hue, view ;

tutor, beauty, feudal, tuesday; -repute, abuse, reduce, imbue, pursuit; — institution, opportunity.

On the Swiftness of Time. DR. Johnson. The natural advantages which arise from the position of the earth which we inhabit, with respect to the other planets, afford much employment to mathematical speculation, by which it has been discovered, that no other conformation of the system could have given such commodious distributions of light and heat, or imparted fertility and pleasure to so great a part of a revolving sphere.

It may be perhaps observed by the moralist, with equal reason, that our globe seems particularly fitted for the residence of a being placed here only for a short time, whose task is to advance himself to a higher and happier state of existence, by unremitted vigilance of caution and activity of virtue.

The duties required of man are such as human nature does not willingly perform, and such as those are inclined to delay, who yet intend, some time, to fulfil them. It was therefore necessary that this universal reluctance should be counteracted, and the drowsiness of hesitation wakened into resolve; that the danger of procrastination should be always in view, and the fallacies of security be hourly detected.

To this end all the appearances of nature uniformly conspire. Whatever we see on every side reminds us of the lapse of time and the flux of life. The day and night succeed each other, the rotation of seasons diversifies the year, the sun rises, attains the meridian, declines, and sets; and the moon every night changes its form.

The day has been considered as an image of the year, and a year as the representation of life. The morning answers to the spring, and the spring to childhood and youth; the noon corresponds to the summer, and the summer to the strength of manhood. The evening is an emblem of autumn, and autumn of declining life. The night, with its silence and darkness, shows the winter, in which all the powers of vegetation are benumbed ; and the winter points out the time when life shall cease, with its hopes and pleasures.

He that is carried forward, however swiftly, by a motion equable and easy, perceives not the change of place but by the variation of objects. If the wheel of life, which rolls thus silently along, passed on through undistinguishable uniformity, we should never mark its approaches to the end of the course. If one hour were like another ; if the passage of the sun did not show that the day is wasting; if the change of seasons did not impress upon us the flight of the year; quantities of duration, equal to days and years, would glide unobserved. If the parts of time were not variously colored, we should never discern their departure or succession, but should live thoughtless of the past and careless of the future, without will, and perhaps without power, to compute the periods of life, or to compare the time which is already lost with that which may probably remain.

But the course of time is so visibly marked, that it is even observed by the birds of passage, and by nations who have raised their minds very little above animal instinct. There are human beings, whose language does not supply them with words by which they can number five; but I have read of none that have not names for day and night, for summer and winter.

Yet it is certain that these admonitions of nature, however forcible, however importunate, are too often vain; and that many, who mark with such accuracy the course of time, appear to have little sensibility of the decline of life. Every man has something to do which he neglects; every man has faults to conquer which he delays to combat.

So little do we accustom ourselves to consider the effects of time, that things necessary and certain often surprise us like unexpected contingencies. We leave the beauty in her bloom, and, after an absence of twenty years, wonder, at our return, to find her faded. We meet those whom we left children, and can scarcely persuade ourselves to treat them as men. The traveller visits in age those countries through which he rambled in his youth, and hopes for merriment at the old place. The man of business, wearied with unsatisfactory prosperity, retires to the town of his nativity, and expects to play away his last years with the companions of his childhood, and recover youth in the fields where he once was young

From this inattention, so general and so mischievous, let it be every man's study to exempt himself. Let him that desires to see others happy make haste to give while his gift can be enjoyed, and remember that every moment of delay takes away something from the value of his benefaction. And let him who proposes his own happiness, reflect, that while he forms his purpose the day rolls on, and "the night cometh, when no man can work.”

[blocks in formation]

a:- at, hat, mat, gas, wrap, bade, have, shall; – absent,

action, patent, sample, tarry; - abrogate, amorous, pacify, natural, charity; - abandon, companion, example.

On the Improvement of Time. BONHOTE. To make a proper use of that short and uncertain portion of time allotted us for our mortal pilgrimage, is a proof of

wisdom; to use it with economy, and dispose of it with care, discovers prudence and discretion. Let, therefore, no part of your time escape without making it subservient to the wise

purposes for which it was given ; it is the most inestimable of treasures.

You will find a constant employment of your time conducive to health and happiness; and not only a sure guard against the encroachments of vice, but the best recipe for contentment. Seek employment; languor and ennui shall be unknown: avoid idleness; banish sloth; vigor and cheerfulness will be your enlivening companions : admit not guilt to your hearts, and terror shall not interrupt your slumbers. Follow the footsteps of Virtue; walk steadily in her paths : she will conduct you through pleasant and flowery paths to the temple of peace; she will guard you from the wily snares of vice, and heal the wounds of sorrow and disappointment which time may inflict.

By being constantly and usefully employed, the destroyer of mortal happiness will have but few opportunities of making his attacks; and by regularly filling up your precious moments, you will be less exposed to dangers. Venture not, then, to waste an hour, lest the next should not be yours to squander. Hazard not a single day in guilty or improper pursuits, lest the day which follows should be ordained to bring you an awful summons to the tomb a summons to which youth and age are equally liable.

Reading improves the mind; and you cannot better employ a portion of your leisure time than in the pursuit of knowledge. By observing a regular habit of reading, a love of it will soon be acquired. It will prove an unceasing amusement, and a pleasant resource in the hours of sorrow and discontent; an unfailing antidote against languor and indolence. Much caution is, however, necessary in the choice of books: it is among them, as among human characters; many would prove dangerous and pernicious advisers ; they tend to mislead the imagination, and give rise to a thousand erroneous opinions and ridiculous expectations.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »