« AnteriorContinuar »
Shed’st, forests, hop’st, gifts, hadst, form’d. Thou shed'st a sunshine on his head. The brown forests. Hop'st thou for gifts like these? Or ever thou had'st form’d the earth. I have received presents.
UTTER distinctly all the consonants in the following and similar words in this lesson: majesty, scriptures, sanctity, gospel, addresses, philosopher, subject, enthusiast, instructions, described, disgrace, exactly, rewards, sobriety, midst, friends, fabricate, subject.
1. Sanc'-ti-ty, n. holiness, purity.
Soph'-ist, n. a deceptive reasoner. 2. En-thu'-si-ast, n. one whose imagi- 4. Pre'-cept, n. a rule of action. nation is heated.
Eu'-lo-gi-zed, v. praised, commended. Sect'-a-ry, n. one who separates from 5. Fa-nat-i-cism, n, wild notions of rethe established church.
ligion. Maxi-ims, n. established principles. 6. Ex'-e-cra-ted, p. cursed, denounced. 3. Pre-pos-ses'-sion,n. an opinion formed Ex-cru'-cia-ting,u.extremely painful. beforo examining a subject.
7. Fab'-ric-ate, v. to invent, to devise Ig'-no-min-y, 11. public disgrace. falsely.
THE SCRIPTURES AND THE SAVIOR. 1. THE + majesty of the Scriptures strikes me with astonishment, and the sanctity of the gospel addresses itself to my heart. Look at the volumes of the philosophers, with all their pomp: how + contemptible do they appear in comparison with this! it possible, that a book at once so simple and sublime, can be the work of man!
2. Can he who is the subject of its history, be himself a mere man? Was his the tone of an enthusiast, or of an ambitious scctary? What sweetness ! What purity in his manners! What an affecting + gracefulness in his instructions! What sublimity in his maxims! What profound wisdom in his + discourses
What presence of mind, what sagacity and propriety in his answers ! How great the command over his passions ! Where is the man, where the philosopher, who could so live, suffer, and die, without weakness and without + ostentation !
3. When Plato described his + imaginary good man, covered with all the disgrace of crime, yet worthy of all the rewards of virtue, he described exactly the character of Jesus Christ. The resemblance was so striking, it could not be mistaken, and all the fathers of the church perceived it. What prepossession, what blindness must it be, to compare the son of Sophronius to the son of Mary! What an +immeasurable distance between them ! Socrates, dying without pain, and without ignominy, casily supported his character to the last; and if his death, however easy, had not crowned his life, it might have been doubted whether Socrates, with all his wisdom, was any thing more than a mere sophist.
4. He +invented, it is said, the theory of moral science. Others, however, had before him put it in practice; and he had nothing to do but to tell what they had done, and to reduce their examples to precept. Aristides had been just, before Socrates defined what justice was.
Leonidas had died for his country, before Socrates made it a duty to love one's country. Sparta had been temperate, before Socrates eulogized sobriety; and before he celebrated the praises of virtue, Greece had abounded in virtuous men.
5. But from whom of all his countrymen, could Jesus have derived that sublime and pure morality, of which he only has given us both the precepts and example? In the midst of the most + licentious fanaticism, the voice of the sublimest wisdom was heard; and the simplicity of the most heroic virtue crowned one of the humblest of all the multitude.
6. The death of Socrates, peaceably philosophizing with his friends, is the most pleasant that could be desired! That of Jesus, expiring in torments, + outraged, +reviled, and execrated by a whole nation, is the most horrible that could be feared. Socrates, in receiving the cup of poison, blessed the weeping executioner who presented it; but Jesus, in the midst of excruciating torture, prayed for his merciless tormentors.
7. Yes ! if the life and death of Socrates were those of a sage, the life and death of Jesus were those of God. that the evangelical history is a mere + fiction ? It does not bear the stamp of fiction, but the contrary. The history of Socrates,
, which nobody doubts, is not as well + attested as that of Jesus
Shall we say
Christ. Such an assertion in fact only shifts the difficulty, without removing it. It is more inconceivable that a number of
persons should have agreea to fabricate this book, than that one only should have furnished the subject of it.
8. The Jewish authors were incapable of the diction, and strangers to the morality, contained in the gospel, the marks of whose truth are so striking, so perfectly + inimitable, that the inventor would be a more astonishing man than the hero.
QUESTIONS.- What was the character of Rousseau ? How could an infidel testify thus without renouncing his infidelity? How does Plato's character of what a good man ought to be, correspond with what Christ was ? What differences can you mention between the life and death of Christ, and those of Socrates ? In what country did Aristides, Leonidas, Plato, and Socrates live? What is the character of each ? Is the history of Socrates any better attested than that of Christ ? Why is it inconceivable that the book is a fiction? Suppose it an invention of man; which would be the most wonderful, the inventor or the hero ?
Canst, skin, barbed, slumberdst, laidst, rest. Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons. Thou slumber'd'st not in vain. Thou laidst thy waves at rest. Around him fall dread powers, dominions, hosts, and kingly thrones. When Ajax strives some rocks vast weight to throw. He was distinguished for his conscientiousness. His lips grow restless and his smile is curled into scorn. His limbs were strength'n'd by exercise.
REMARK.— The pathos of the description in the following lesson is its great beauty, and requires an appropriate tone and manner.
PRONOUNCE correctly.-Join, not jine: cover'd, not cor-ud: sac-ra-ment, not sa-cra
ment: pict-ure, (pro. pict-yur) not pic-tshure, nor pic-ter: fig-ure, pro. fig-yur: grand-eur, pro. grand-yur: por-tentous, not por-ten-shus: at-ti-tudes, pro. at-tit-yudes.
2. Pre-ter-nat-u-ral, a. beyond or differ- Sym'-bol, n. a sign or representation ent from what is natural.
of something. Shriv'-el-ed, a, shrunk into wrinkles. E-nun-ci-a'-tion, n. the act of utter3. Prog-nos'-tic, a. showing something to come.
U'-ni-son, n. agreement, harmony. Pas'-sion, n. suffering, the last suffer. 5. Dis-tor'-tion, n. a twisting out of ing of our Savior.
shape. Pa'-thos, n, that which excites feel- Buf'-fet, n. a blow with the fist. ing.
7. Fal-la'-cious, a. deceiving. 4. Mys'-tic, a. sacredly obscure, involv- Ab-rupt'-ness, n. suddenness. ing some secret meaning.
9. Por-tent'-ous, a. foretelling of evil.
1. As I traveled through the county of Orange, my eye was caught by a cluster of horses tied near a ruinous, old, wooden house in the forest, not far from the roadside. Having frequently seen such objects before, in traveling through these States, I had no difficulty in +understanding that this was a place of religious worship
2. Devotion alone should have stopped me to join in the duties of the congregation; but I must confess, that curiosity to hear the preacher of such a wilderness, was not the least of my motives. On entering, I was struck with his preternatural appear
He was a tall and very spare old man; his head, which was covered with a white linen cap, his shriveled hands, and his voice, were all shaking under the influence of a + palsy; and a few moments + ascertained to me that he was perfectly blind. my 3. The first emotions that touched my breast were those of mingled pity and veneration. But how soon were all my feelings changed? The lips of Plato were never more worthy of a prognostic swarm of bees, than were the lips of this holy man! It was a day of the administration of the sacrament; and his subject was, of course, the passion of our Savior. I had heard the subject handled a thousand times; I had thought it exhausted long ago. Little did I suppose, that, in the wild woods of America, I was to meet with a man, whose eloquence would give to this topic a new and more sublime pathos, than I had ever before witnessed.
4. As he descended from the pulpit, to + distribute the mystic symbols, there was a peculiar, a more than human solemnity in his air and manners, which made my blood run cold, and my 'whole frame shiver. He then drew a picture of the sufferings of our Savior; his trial before Pilate; his ascent up Calvary, his + crucifixion. I knew the whole history; but never until then, had I heard the circumstances so + selected, so arranged, so colored. It was all new; and I seemed to have heard it for the first time in my life. His enunciation was so deliberate, that his voice trembled on every syllable; and every heart in the assembly trembled in unison.
5. His peculiar phrases had that force of + description, that the original
scene appeared to be at that moment acting before our eyes. We saw the very faces of the Jews; the staring, frightful distortions of malice and rage. We saw the buffet; my soul kindled with a flame of indignation; and my hands were involuntarily and convulsively clinched.
6. But when he came to touch on the patience, the forgiving meekness of our Savior; when he drew, to the life, his voice breathing to God a soft and gentle prayer of pardon on his enemies, “ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," the voice of the preacher, which had all along faltered, grew fainter, until, his + utterance being entirely obstructed by the force of his feelings, he raised his handkerchief to his eyes, and burst into a loud and irrepressible food of grief. The effect was inconceivable. The whole house resounded with the mingled groans, and sobs, and shrieks of the congregation.
7. It was some time before the tumult had subsided, so far as to permit him to proceed. Indeed, judging by the usual, but fallacious standard of my own weakness, I began to be very uneasy for the situation of the preacher. For I could not conceive how he would be able let his audience down from the hight to which he had wound them, without + impairing the solemnity and dignity of the subject, or perhaps shocking them by the abruptness of his fall. But, no: the descent was as beautiful and sublime, as the elevation had been rapid and enthusiastic.