« AnteriorContinuar »
EXTRACT OF A SERMON ON THE MEMORY OF OUR
We are called upon to cherish with high veneration and grateful recollections the memory of our fathers. Both the ties of nature and the dictates of policy demand this. And surely no nation ever had less occasion to be ashamed of its ancestry, or more occasion for gratulation in that respect; for while most nations trace their origin to barbarians, the foundations of our nation were laid by civilized men-by christians. Many of them were men of distinguished families, of powerful talents, of great learning, of pre-eminent wisdom, of decision of character, and of most inflexible integrity. And yet, not unfrequently, they have been treated as if they had no virtues ; while their sins and follies have been sedulously immortalized in satirical anecdote.
The influence of such treatment of our fathers is too manifest. It creates and lets loose upon their institutions the Vandal spirit of innovation and overthrow; for after the memory of our fathers shall have been rendered contemptible, who will appreciate and sustain their institutions? THE MEMORY OF OUR FATHERS, should be the watchword of our liberty throughout the land :—for imperfect as they were, the world before, had not seen their like, nor will it soon, we fear, behold their like again. Such models of moral cxcellence, such apostles of civil and religious liberty, such shades of the illustrious dead, looking down upon their descendants with approbation or reproof, according as they follow or depart from the good way, constitute a censorship inferior only to the eye of God; and to ridicule them is national suicide. The doctrines of our fathers have been represented as gloomy, superstitious, severe, irrational, and of a licentious tendency. But when other systems shall have produced a piety as devoted, a morality as pure, a patriot
ism as disinterested, and a state of society as happy, as have prevailed where their doctrines have been most prevalent; it may be in season to seek an answer to this objection. The same doctrines have been charged with inspiring a spirit of dogmatism and religious domination. But in all the struggles of man with despotic power, for civil liberty, the doctrines of our fathers have been found, usually, if not always, on the side of liberty, as their opposite have been usually found in the ranks of arbitrary power.
The persecutions instituted by our fathers, have been the occasion of ceaseless obloquy upon their fair fame. And truly it was a fault of no ordinary magnitude that, sometimes, they did persecute. But let him, whose ancestors were not ten times more guilty, cast the first stone, and the ashes of our fathers will no more be disturbed. Their swas the fault of the age, and it will be easy to show, that no class of men had at that time approximated so nearly to just apprehensions of religious liberty; and that it is to them that the world is now indebted for the more just and definite views which prevail. More exclamation and invective has been called forth by the few instances of persecution by the fathers of New-England, than by all the fires which lighted the realm of Old England for centuries, and drove into exile thousands of her most valuable subjects.
The superstition and bigotry of our fathers are themes, on which some of their descendants, themselves far enough from superstition, if not from bigotry, have delighted to dwell. But when we look abroad, and behold the condition of the world compared with the condition of New-England, we may justly exclaim, Would to God that the ancestors of all the nations had been not only almost, but altogether such bigots as our fathers were!
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was about ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
After this I beheld, and lo a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb.
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the Elders, and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, saying, Amen Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor and power, and might be unto our God for ever and ever, Amen.
And one of the Elders answering said unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence
came they? and I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them White in the blood of the Lamb: Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path, and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost part of the sea: Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me: even the night shall be light about me. Yea the darkness hideth not from thee but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
ODE TO DISAPPOINTMENT.-Henry Kirke White
Come, Disappointment, come.
Come in thy meekest, saddest guise;
Beneath thy shrine,
And round my brow resign'd, thy peaceful cypress twine.
Though Fancy flies away
Before thy hollow tread,
Hears with faint eye the lingering knell,
By chance appear,
Yet she can smile and say, my all was not laid here.
Come Disappointment, come.
Though from Hope's summit hurl'd
For thou severe wert sent from heaven
To turn my eye
And point to scenes of bliss that never, never die.
What is this passing scene?
A peevish April day!
A little sun, a little rain,
And then night sweeps along the plain,
And all his hopes and fears lie with him in the dust.