« AnteriorContinuar »
his net. He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten; he hideth his face; he will never see it." Such is the rumseller; and to him belongs the curse, "Wo unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken."
My young friends, beware how you go near the distiller or the rumseller. Go not in their way, but always look upon their occupations as sinful and dangerous; and, above all, determine now, while young, that neither gold, nor ease, nor want, nor commands, nor threats, shall ever tempt you to engage in this unlawful traffic. Thus doing your duty, public opinion will sooner or later cease to sanction the trade, and our happy country will be free from all the ills and evils of drunkenness. May God hasten that happy day!
"O, may our sympathizing breasts
BENEVOLENCE, my young readers, is that virtue which leads us to sympathize with others, in their sorrows and wants, as expressed in the verse above; to console them, and to render them all the aid we can; in a word, it is the opposite of selfishness. It is a very important part of the character of every one who walks in the "pleasant way." The path of virtue is a path of benevolence; and no one need think of walking in it, who will not exercise this trait of character. Benevolence is also a beautiful virtue; and he who really pos
sesses it can hardly fail of being beloved by his fellow-men.
To encourage us to secure this virtue, let us look at it as exhibited in the characters of those who possess it. We need not search long to find a benevolent being; for God is benevolent. If we look around, we see it in the joyous animals that surround us, in the lily of the field, the waving harvests, and the peaceful river, with its finny occupants; we hear it in the happy song of the birds, and in all the music of nature, and we feel it in the air we breathe. If we turn our eye upward, we read it in the uncounted multitude of beautiful stars that move around their noiseless track, and which we believe to be inhabited by myriads of happy beings, created to love God, and to enjoy him for ever. Or if we turn to ourselves, and look at the wonderful construction of our bodies, we still perceive that our heavenly Father is benevolent, as well as wise and powerful. But how much more gloriously is it displayed in the plan of redemption! When we had exiled ourselves from heaven and from
God, he gave his own dearly beloved Son to die for us, and thus redeem us from death. This is benevolence indeed, worthy of so great and so glorious a Being, and also worthy of the admiration and love all his creatures.
Our Saviour, also, possesses this trait of character in an eminent degree. Behold him on his throne, in heaven, surrounded with angels and archangels, and crowned with eternal honor and glory; see him, again, hanging on the cross, suffering, and bleeding, and dying for man, and, if you can, measure his benevolence. It was the spirit of benevolence that brought him down on his errand of mercy, and encouraged him through all his life of sorrow and suffering, from the manger to the cross. As the poet has expressed it,
"So Jesus looked on dying man,
When throned above the skies;
The Holy Spirit, too, is benevolent. He condescends to take up his abode in our
sinful hearts, to do us good, to make us better, and to prepare us for heaven. He does not shun us because we are poor, and needy, and sinful; but for these very reasons, he is ever ready to guide, and comfort, and assist us, if we will but receive him to our hearts.
Angels are benevolent. The Bible teaches us that they feel a deep interest in mankind, and rejoice greatly over one sinner who turns from the error of his ways. Though we cannot see them, we doubt not they come here as "ministering spirits," to watch over the good man's path, and at last to bear his spirit up to heaven; for
"An angel's wing would droop, if long at rest, And God himself, inactive, were no longer blest."
Benevolence is also sometimes found in man, even to an eminent degree, though we are naturally much inclined to selfishAs an example, take Howard, the philanthropist. His name is associated with every thing almost that is benevolent, and is even used as a part of the title of some benevolent societies. His was a no