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tendency, are unsubstantial are transient as the shadow of the dial.
While ascending the path of moral improvement, though desti tute of those talents, which secure wealth and renown, man is little lower than the angels; they wait to receive him. As the fatal fruit was torn from the tree of knowledge the ground was cursed, the elements were distracted, the angel of death walked on the wings of the wind, the quiver of divine wrath poured its arrows into the bosom of man. Man caught the contagious principles of uproar and confusion. Famine, plague, and pestilence, are minor evils less terrible, than man to man. This depravity must be restrained and cru. cified, or man is undone. What
essential advantage then have
or the narrative of a voyage to fill the stores of the merchant; such are those acquisitions, which have no moral tendency. Who then will adopt that mode of education, which merely decorates the person, amuses the fancy, or enchants the senses; but does not mend the heart?
Is it fancy or do I hear unbaptized philosophy exclaim, "the days of the monks and fasts are returning. Relics and beads, hermits and pilgrims, will again overwhelm society."
To this I only reply, do not all the liberal sciences, the useful or fine arts, tend to mend the heart, to purify the affections, to produce strong convictions of God, of providence, and our infinite obligations? I ask the child of science, whether his studies have not a tendency, to restore man to his lost glory and his God. Do not you learn from history the scripture doctrine of human depravity? Is not the history of man the history of malignant passions and of crimes? In the revolutions of families and empires, are you not taught the uncertainty of earthly glory, the excellence of virtue, the misery of vice, the justice of divine Providence? From history do you not learn, that atonement for sin is a natural idea of man, or that being first revealed, it has by tradition been conveyed to all the nations of the world? Have not sacrifices, and even human sacrifices, been offered in every country of the globe? The doctrine of atonement then is a spontaneous dictate of the heart, or a revelation from God.
From history we also learn how natural to man is the doctrine of a mediator. When na
tions are at war, when sovereigns negotiate, the agency of a third power is often introduced. This third power offers itself the mediator between hostile nations, and peace is restored. The dignity of both parties is supported. The votaries of the grand Lama, and the disciples of Boodh, whose religion is professed by more than half the human race, wor. ship their visible deities only as mediators with the one, invisible God. So does history confirm essential doctrines of revelation, and improve our moral feelings. Does not Geography show the wisdom and goodness of God in adapting means to ends; in accommodating the climate to the inhabitants, or the inhabitants to the climate. In the frozen regions of the north, where the earth yields her produce with a sparing hand, our waters are enriched by the finny tribes, and men have hearts of iron, to encounter the cold, to toil in the earth, to sail the stormy sea. In the south men have neither courage nor strength; but the earth yields them a spontaneous support, and their trees are pleas. ant habitations. Saul abode under a tree in Ramah, and Deborah dwelt under a palm tree. By means of rivers and seas, what is wanting in one country is supplied from another. By means of traffic men are not only rendered more comfortable; but their characters are improved. CivilCivil ization, refinement, and a spirit of Liberty, are promoted by commerce. Hence tyrants are never the friends of commerce; as a mean of preparing their subjects to be crushed, and patiently to endure the deadly yoke of despotism, they begin by embar.
rassing and destroying commercial enterprise. The page of Geography shows that the Fa ther of all dispenses his favors with an impartial hand in the different climates of the world. The contemplation of this natur. ally excites love, and joy, and praise.
I need not enlarge. I need not remark, that the precise laws of crystallization, the symmetry of the angles, prove a designing agent, and display the wisdom of God. I need not remark that the canals of plants, which convey the sap to the dif ferent parts are in exact propor. tion to the space, which is to be' nourished. Are not the upper and visible side of every leaf on the trees adorned with a beautiful polish, while the lower without a polish, displays the work? As the architect or cabinet maker gives beauty and ornament to the upper and more visible parts of his works, while the joints and ruder parts are concealed; so is it with every plant of the field, every leaf of the forest.
Minerals, so useful and necessary to civilized man, are all disposed in strata or veins, nicely lodged in magazines. Were the iron, and coal, and other miner. als of the world, scattered here and there, and every where, the loss would be immense. Every branch of natural history presents grateful views of God. Did not the warlike elephant, and terrible rhinoceros in summer drop their covering, they would suffocate and perish in the burning sands of Africa. Did not the camel, the ship of the desert, carry within him a cistern of water, he could never traverse the thirsty plains of the
East; their merchants would never divide the riches of the caravan. The rein deer laughs at the cold of Lapland; because he is muffled in the warmest fur. The arctic birds sport on their mountains of snow, for God has wrapped their feet in the richest down. "He tempers the wind
to the shorn lamb."
"The serious mind adores the mighty hand, That ever busy wheels the silent spheres. An undevout astronomer is mad."
Who can recollect, that the world, as Job says, is hung upon nothing, that the planets are worlds like the one, which we inhabit, perhaps vocal with the songs of immortal felicity; that the sun is the fountain of light to a system of worlds; that the stars are so many suns, giving light and splendor to countless millions of worlds: that the bold. est imagination can fix no limits to the works of God, or say, "Yonder world terminates the work of creation." Who can thus reflect and not bow before the great Eternal, and in silent wonder "muse his praise ?" But we forbear. The astonishing wonders of the electric fluid, the various mysteries of chemistry, the holy transports of music, with a numerous retinue of sciences, the handmaids of religion, we pass by in silence. Philosophy opens a temple of divine wisdom, which none but the hallowed ministers of science can describe. To them I resign my feeble pen. Let ignorance and enthusiasm boast of their visions and lights within, our way to heaven is the path of knowledge and science.
Von. II. New Series.
By learning the object of education, the reader is assisted in deciding between the merits of different modes or systems. The seaman by knowing the port of his destination, knows the point, which he is to sail. If he be al Jured by hope of advantage, or driven by tempests in a thou sand directions, he can instantly reassume his course. He that does not know the point of his the destination may traverse ocean, till his ship decays with So those, who have not a specific object in education may wander from science to science, without order, and with little advantage. Those, who remem. ber that the grand design is to prepare immortals for the skies, will know what mode to adopt. They instantly see how ruinous to human hopes, how fatal to the eternal interests of children, how malignant in its nature is that atheistic system, which recommends the neglect of religious instruction, till the child has lived more than twice seven are Bad habits years. then formed, the chains of spiritual death are rivetted, and too late perhaps the hand of deliverance is offered. But to analyze different systems is no part of my design; but from a general principle to make several deductions. I only set the compass and ascer tain the general course to be pursued, without proceeding on the way to mark the devious paths. That system of educa tion is to be chosen, which most efficaciously recovers man from his apostasy, which most hopefully elevates him among the
(To be continued.) 3 S
The Remedy for Duelling: a Sermon delivered before the Presbytery of Long-Island, at the opening of their session, at Aquebogue, April 16th, 1806. By Lyman Beecher, A. M. Pastor of the church in East Hampton. First published by request of the Presbytery: republished by subscription. New York, Williams & Whiting. 1809.
THOUGH Duelling is a crime which does not infest society in New England, and though there is little cause for apprehension that it will ever become prevaJent here, yet most of our read. ers, we presume, have deeply lamented the existence of so dreadful a scourge in the other parts of the United States. Amidst the examples of the great, the connivance and participation of rulers, and the stupid admira. tion with which vast multitudes have gazed on these deeds of blood, all the tender ties of human nature, and all the sanctions of law, divine and human, have been treated with equal contempt. While envy and revenge have immolated their hecatombs, and murder of the most flagitious kind has been transformed into a brave, and honorable defence of reputation, men of real principle have looked around them to discover, if possible, some remedy for so tremendous an evil.
In this state of things, the discoverer or the improver of any plan, by which the exertions of
the good can be combined, and the opinions of the wise set in array against the practices of the unprincipled, deserves to be hail. ed as a benefactor to mankind. To this high honor, if we are not mistaken, the author of The Remedy for Duelling has attain. ed. The plan which he has proposed, and to the elucidation and enforcement of which his whole sermon is devoted, is simply this: That every voter who disapproves of duelling, should invariably withhold his suffrage, in our popular elections, from any man whom he has good reason to believe to be a duellist in
principle or practice. We do not give his words, in the foregoing sentence, but the scope of the discourse, as it appears on perusal. When we speak thus honorably of Mr. Beecher, on account of the plan developed in his discourse, we are aware, that many well informed men through the country have always disapproved of elevating duellists to office; that this disapprobation has been often expressed in conversation, and sometimes per. haps in print; and that duelling is habitually numbered among our national sins. But Mr. Beecher advances further. He considers a regular and sys. tematic opposition to duellists, when candidates for office, as the great, the efficacious, and the only hopeful method of sup. pressing the crime; and he brings it home to the conscience of every voter, as a partaker in the guilt and the mischiefs of duelling, un
less he uses his right of suffrage for this salutary purpose. The subject is presented in a great variety of lights; objections are answered very satisfactorily, and with perfect ease; and conviction is forced upon the under. standing and the conscience, at every stage in the reasoning. The sermon is an exhibition of most persevering argument. The speaker holds you fast, and will not let you go unconvinced. When you think he has done, he arrests you again and again, with an additional host of powerful arguments and motives.
The style is, in a few instances, hardly correct. It is, however, always spirited to a high degree, and often indignant at the miser. able sophistry by which duelling is attempted to be defended. The word jeopardy is improperly us. ed as a verb.
Sarcasm and irony are frequently well employed; but in the following cases rather injudiciously. After proving, in a well written paragraph, (p. 13.) that education cannot excuse du. elling, the author concludes by saying, "And when they mur. der, elevate them not to posts of honor, but to the gallows." The other instance to which we allude is found, p. 24, after a description of the alarming progress of this crime, as proved by the general preparation to use the pistol, in some parts of our country. "Expertness in firing the pistol is a qualification of indispensable attainment, and the Sabbath is often devoted to the most christian employment of learning to shoot expertly."
Our readers will probably be gratified with a brief analysis of this sermon. The following ar
guments are introduced, under distinct heads, to prove the great point under consideration.
"1. The elevation of duellists to power is an act directly opposed to the precepts of religion.
"2 The duellist is a murderer; and were there no excluding sentence in the word of God, our own abhorrence of the crime should exclude from confidence these men of blood.
"3. A regard to our own safety, as well as respect to the authority of God, and an abhorrence of murder, should withhold our suffrage from the duellist."
Under this head the feebleness of the restraint which honor imposes is considered. We quote
a few sentences.
"Hence the honor of a duelling legislator does not restrain him in the least from innumerable crimes which affect most sensibly the peace of society. He may contemn the Savior of men, and hate and oppose the religion of his country. He may be a Julian in bitterness, and by swearing cause the earth to mourn. passion a whirlwind--in cruelty to tenants, to servants, and to his family, a tiger. He may be a gambler, a prodigal, a fornicator, an adulterer, a drunkard, a murderer, and not violate the laws of honor. Nay, honor not only tolerates, but in many instances it is the direct and only temptation to crime.
4. The system of duelling is a system of absolute despotism, tending directly and powerfully to the destruction of civil liberty.
"5. The inconsistency of voting for duellists is most glaring.
6. To vote for the duellist is to assist in the prostration of justice, and indirectly to encourage the crime.
"7. The contempt with which duellists treat the opinions and feelings of the community, is a reason why we should cease to confide in them.
"8. Withhold your suffrage from the duellist, and the practice of fighting duels will speedily cease.”
We cite, as a fair specimen of the author's reasoning, a page under this division.
"The reason why men of honor,
(falsely so called,) pay homage to the law
of honor, is because the maxims of this ghastly code are, among a certain class of