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tracting the sting from affliction, and surrounding the mind with the halo of joy, who shall deny their ability to afford happiness, while time and opportunity for meditation are extended?
Go at that season in which the fountains of life leap forth from the dreary bondage of winter--when the invigorating rays of the sun are clothing the earth anew in freshness and beauty-go forth, where the hum of the insect and songs of birds can salute your ears, and when your hearts have drank of the glory, ask them, why their delirium of joy, and their answer will be, that the beauties of the springtide harmonize with the longings of the spirit of man. When the autumn hath come, and the songsters are hushed—when the livery of the season variegates the forests_when the hollow moanings, or the shrill shrieks of the wind, as it goes by, seem to the ear of fancy, lamentations over the decay and departure of earth's beauty-go forth then, and the tattered drapery of earth will fill your minds with meditations, whose tones ring upon the chords of communion between the spirit of man and its Maker.
From the tempest-rocked ocean, in its wildness and grandeur, down to the tiny rill which murmurs in the shadows of the forest, the waters of the earth have their music and glory. When the billow breaks, as if the earth quaked beneath it, with a voice of thunder, the mind is filled with awe-inspiring thoughts of majesty and power—while the reflected stars glimmer in the wavelets of the lake, the soul drinks in beauty —and while the music of the brook rises on the wind, and touches the heart with a sense of its witchery, passion is hushed, and the fervor of chastened feeling assumes dominion over the spirit of man.—Nor is a wintry scene alone cold. When the hoarse winds roar through the leafless tree-tops, although they tell of desolation and death, yet do the under whispering currents discourse of the rejuvenating influences, of the brightness and beauty, of the coming spring—when the hoary habiliments of the old age of the year, shall give way to the splendid vesture of its successor's infancy. And the mountains which raise their ambitious heads into a purer region of sunshine than that at their bases, give us thoughts of grandeur which seem to elevate us above the earth on which we tread.
But the chiefest earthborn happiness of man springs from. his associations with his fellows. In sympathy wedded to sympathy, there is a delight beyond the delirium of the senses. A pure affection is a gleam of perpetual sunshine, beneath whose calm influence hopes arise which may not know
of a dark destiny. The wedded man, whose heart's glad tide mingles in brightness with that of his spirit's beloved whose eye catches each smile that wife or child may give forth from the fulness of their fruition-has an exhaustless fountain of happiness. In the interchange of thoughts, that are echoed, by a trusting heart, he experiences a consummation of joy, which the promise of a kingdom could not cause him to forego.
In friendships, in deeds of benevolence, in communings with the thoughts of the world's worthiest ones, are sources of happiness, pure and ennobling. In the knowledge that you are loved, for your own sake, by those who have won the esteem of your heart, there is a solace which much affliction may not shadow. In ministering at the bedside of sickness, or alleviating the pangs of rooted sorrow, there is a melancholy pleasure, reflected from the thoughtful looks of those to whom our attentions are devoted. In the discharge of moral or religious duties, there is always an accompaniment of joy; it is the recompense of a heaven-approving conscience. In holding converse with the thoughts and elevated motives of good men, the heart rejoices in the conviction, that there is purity whose lustre the mists of evil may not dim. In these, and in all the varied associations of life, founded on principles which the heart approves, there are an infinity of delights which the well regulated mind may appropriate, and which will cherish the disposition to do good, and banquet the thoughts and kindly feelings of man's nature on bliss.
In studying the operations of nature, as manifested in the productions of the earth, there is an incessant and delightful occupation for the refined mind. There are the flowers, the fields, and the forests in their varied beauty, on which thought may almost exhaust itself, forming a lasting and pleasing study. The ways of the sportive insects, and the habits of beasts and birds, are endless themes for intellectual improvement and diversion. Every where, indeed, from the starry eminences to the sand of the sea-shore--from the sublimities of astronomical science, down to the lowest object which is conscious of existence-every where is the voice of nature to be heard, inviting study, and promising a rich reward of profit and amusement.
Even in this hurried outline, we fancy we can discover a wiser answer to the question, "What is happiness?" than in all the vagrant dreams and airy speculations of philosophers. In well regulated life is happiness; and in every direction about us, are sources whence we may derive ample sustenance for its desires. The peasant knows this truth; and the king might know it; for it is ubiquitous in its existence.
T. H. S.
THE WRITINGS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON: Being his Correspondence, Addresses, Messages, and other Papers, official and private, selected and published from the original manuscripts—with a life of the author, notes, and illustrations. By JARED SPARKS. Boston.
Where lay the greatness of George Washington? Men of every land, speakers of every tongue, have united in his praise, and declared him, indeed, a great man: why was this? Not because of his victories; few dream of placing him, as a soldier, with Napoleon: not because he was wiser, as a statesman, than all others; Burke was more philosophic-Fox far more eloquent--Pitt had more energy and resource_Canning more learning; and yet, Washington was a greater man than either. Yea, when the star of our freedom burned but faintly, and the most hoping hushed their fears—even then, when if taken, George Washington might have been hung as a rebel-he was a greater man than any of those we have named. And why? Because the man and his greatness, differ wholly from the soldier, or the statesman, and their greatness. The person who, as a warrior, a politician, a writer, an orator, is greatest in the land, may, as a man, be among the least. The trade of life, that wherein most that are marked, are marked, requires one power, or one class of powers, full and great; but the great man is he whose powers are all full—who eminently lacks nothing in the outline of his character—who, as a whole, most resembles God. That one may be a great lawyer, and yet break balf the laws of God, we all know; but, if he does break those laws, he is not a great man; for he lacks much in the outline of his character; he does not resemble God. As a lawyer, a being of this world, a worm that may die tomorrow, a being without nobility of sentiment or purity of purpose—he is great; as a living soul, with capacities fitted for an eternal life, he is small and poor. Which is of most import, the lawyer or the man? Which is looked up to by the instinct of nature, and the word of God? All know, if all do not say, the man; and where, as in Washington, greatness as a man has been made prominent, and produced vast effects, the world unite in placing it before all professional greatness. George Washington, then, was peculiarly great because he was great throughout: Moreover, he was professionally great, mainly because of his greatness as a man. It was not his military genius that made him master of our forces; he had not, in the French war, shown genius, but he had shown courage, coolness, modesty, diligence, self-reliance,
humanity, and many other qualities which belong to the great man, be his calling what it will. And through our war, it was not the commander, but the man, George Washington, that carried us. Had his virtues been less known, and his character as a man, less relied upon—the army would have melted like ice; and unity of purpose, council, and action, would have been impossible. And as a statesman, the same thing is true; he had nothing of the mere politician, learned in human weakness and folly-nothing of the professed diplomatist who would use men as puppets
in him; he sat in the council as'a man dealing with men; it was not the wisdom of books, of experience, or the promptings of genius, that guided him-it was the honest, heaven-born excellence of his own heart, more than a match for all the arts of a Talleyrand. Weaker men fail when they seek to fight knaves with their own unholy craft; the evil will tempt the good, as the Magician tempted Thalaba in the desert; he will call upon him to trust—not to God, but subtlety; but when, like Thalaba, the tempted an
" Shall I distrust the Providence of God?
Is it not He must save?
If Allah wills it not,
And if, like the Arab, he does trust in the All-Knowing, the plot of the wise will be baffled; for, as the Koran truly says, “God is the best layer of plots."
This distinction between professional, or worldly greatness, and greatness as a man, destined to live forever, and placed here at once as a being growing for another state-and a friend and savior of his fellows-is too little kept in mind by most of us; false notions of greatness are thereby encouraged; we lose sight of the true greatness, and run, self-blinded, after the false. He that gives battle to the dark powers of his own corrupt heart-who meets without fear, and with full faith in God--the demons that dwell within him, and wrestles with them as the hero of Southey strove with the symbolic powers of the cave and desert; who,
" With will relentless, follows still,
Allows"until the myriad-headed and handed foe is conquered—that man is greater in the eye of God, be sure, than any of those bloody victors, over whose steps men pause with wonder, and
almost worship.—But do parents and teachers impress this idea of greatness upon the young? Are we not taught to distinguish too much between good and great men? Or, are those who are going forth in the world, taught to consider goodness and greatness as one? Is the rule of right made the rule by which politicians and statesmen shall act? Does a departure from it damn them? Alas! our questions need no answer.
But the life of George Washington should teach us and our rulers wisdom; it should make us feel that Honesty not only is part of Greatness, but that it is part of policy. Washington was an eminent Statesman, because he was a Christian Statesman; a man governed on all occasions by Christian principle, and never by views of world!y expediency.-Coleridge, in his Statesman's Manual, argues that the Bible contains all political truth; that precepts for every occasion, may be found there. Whether this be true in any other sense, than that the great rules of right and wrong given there, should govern in all political motions, we doubt; but that it possesses much force in that sense, we most wholly believe.- The Statesman differs from the private man only in degree; his object is, or should be, the same—the increase of excellence. And though he works with different means to attain this end, his governing principles must be the same; and as in private matters, so in public affairs--a want of Christian principle is a want of common sense; it is the short-sighted that is the rogue, no other. Had Napoleon used the means placed in his hands for a good end, his fame would have been a thousand fold more desirable than now: his villainy w's shortshightedness--want of genius: it was the folly of the boor who killed his hen that layed eggs of gold. And any statesman who may doubt of the policy of a measure, has but to do right and fear nothing. It is as impossible for wicked legislation to end well, as for private immorality to do so: both oppose the laws of God:--to make evil laws, to do evil acts, and hope to escape punishment, is to think yourself greater than God; to war with Him, and hope to conquer. And he that, as a commander, civil or military, does wrong knowingly, is guilty of this great folly. Like the self-blinded Magicians of Eastern fable—who are the prototypes of power, swayed by ungodly hands-all the selfish work to their own harm, and fall: and to every mere mortal, as to the master of the Genii, might it be said,
« Oh, fool! to think thy human hand