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degrees of knowledge and felicity, and enjoy the same hopes and prospects of a blessed immortality—that God distributes among them all thousands of benefits, embellishing their habitations with the same rural beauties, causing the same sun to enlighten them, the same vital air to make their lungs play, and the same rain and dews to irrigate their ground and ripen their fields to harvest :—that they are all capable of performing noble achievements, heroic exploits, vast enterprises; of displaying illustrious virtues, and of inaking important discoveries and improvements—that they are all connected together by numerous ties and relations, preparing for each other the bounties of nature and the productions of art, and conveying them by sea and land from one country to another; one nation furnishing tea, another sugar, another wine, another silk, another cotton, and another distributing its manufactures in both hemispheres of the globe-in short, that they are all under the moral government of the same omnipotent Being, who “hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth, who hath determined the boundaries of their habitations,” who carries them yearly around the centre of light and heat, and who “gives them rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness.” How various, then, the ties, how sacred and indissoluble the bonds, which should unite men of all nations ! Every man, whether he be a Jew or a Greek, a Barbarian or a Scythian, a Turk or a Frenchman, a German or a Swede, a Hottentot or an Indian, an Englishman or a Chinese, is to be considered as our kinsman and our brother, and, as such, ought to be embraced with benevolence and affection. In whatever region of the globe he resides, whatever customs or manners he adopts, and to whatever religious system he adheres, he is a member of the same family to which we all belong. And shall we feel indifferent to our brethren, shall we indulge resentment and hostility towards them, because they are separated from us by a river, by a channel, by an arm of the sea, by a range of mountains, or by an arbitrary line drawn by the jealousy of despots, or because their government and policy are different from ours? Ought we not, on the contrary, to take a cordial interest in every thing that concerns them—to rejoice in their prosperity, to feel compassion on account of the ravages, desolation, and misery which error and folly, vice and tyranny may have produced among them ; and to alleviate, to the utmost of our power, the misfortunes and oppressions under which they groan? Reason, as well as Christianity, spurns at the narrow-minded patriotism which confines its regards to a particular country, and would promote its interests by any means, although it should prove injurious to every other nation. Whatever tends to the general good of the whole human family will ultimately be found conducive to the prosperity and happiness of every particular nation and tribe; while, on the other hand, a selfish and ungenerous conduct towards other communities, and an attempt to injure or degrade them, will seldom fail to deprive us of the benefits we wished to secure, and to expose us to the evils we intended to avert. Such appear in fact to be the principles of God's moral government among the nations, and such the sanctions by which the laws of natural justice are enforced.
ONE EFFECT OF CONTEMPLATING THE OMNIPOTENCE OF THE DEITY.
One important moral effect which the contemplation of the omnipotence of the Deity has a natural tendency to produce, is, profound HUMILITY. What an insignificant being does man appear, when he compares himself with the magnificence of creation, and with the myriads of exalted intelligences with which it is peopled! What are all the honors and splendors of this earthly ball, of which mortals are so proud, when placed in competition with the resplendent glories of the sky! Even without taking into account the state of man as a depraved intelligence, what is there in bis situation that should inspire him with “ lofty looks,” and induce him to look down on his fellow-men with supercilious contempt? He derived his origin from the dust, he is allied with the beasts that perish, and he is fast hastening to the grave, where his carcass will become the food of noisome reptiles. He is every moment depending on a superior Being for every pulse that beats, and every breath he draws, and for all that he possesses; he is dependent even on the meanest of his species for his accommodations and comforts. Ile holds every enjoyment on the most precarious tenure, -his friends may be snatched in a moment from his embrace; his riches may take to themselves wings and fly away; and his health and beauty may be blasted in an hour, by a breath of wind. Hunger and thirst, cold and heat, poverty and disgrace, sorrow and disappointment, pain and disease, mingle themselves with all his pursuits and enjoyments. His knowledge is circumscribed within the narrowest limits, his errors and follies are glaring and innumerable; and he stands as an almost undistinguishable atom, amidst the immensity of God's works. Still, with all these powerful inducements to the exercise of humility, man dares to be proud and arrogant.
“Man, proud man,
my hand shall destroy them”—to behold the man of rank glorying in his wealth and his empty titles, and looking around upon the inferior orders of his fellow-mortals as the worms of the dust-to behold the man of ambition pushing his way through bribery, and treachery, and slaughter, to gain possession of a throne, that he may look down with proud pre-eminence upon his fellows—to behold the haughty airs of the noble dame, inflated with the idea of her beauty and her high birth, as she struts along, surveying the ignoble crowd, as if they were the dust beneath her feet-to behold the smatterer in learning, puffed up with a vain conceit of his superficial acquirements, when he has scarcely entered the porch of knowledge,-in fine, to behold all ranks, from the highest to the lowest, big with an idea of their own importance, and fired with pride and revenge at the least provocation, whether imaginary or real! How inconsistent the manifestations of such tempers, with the many
humiliating circumstances of our present condition, and with the low rank which we hold in the scale of universal being !
ON TIIE BENEFITS WHICH WOULD FLOW TO THE WORLD, WERE
COVETOUSNESS UNDERMINED, AND AN OPPOSITE PRINCIPLE PREVAILING IN CHRISTIAN SOCIETY.
Were the covetous principle completely undermined, and, consequently, were wealth applied to its legitimate objects, according to the intention of the Creator,—every thing requisite to promote the physical comfort, and the moral and intellectual enjoyment of man in this world, and his preparation for a future state of happiness, might, at no distant period, be speedily effected. Even the physical aspect of the globe might be renovated, and its barren deserts transformed into a scene of fertility and beauty, so that “the wilderness and the solitary place” might be made " to rejoice and blossom as the rose.” Although the inordinate love of money is “the root of all evil,” yet the proper distribution of it, on the foundation of Christian principles, may be pronounced to be the source of all good.
We have already shown, that the almost universal prevalence of covetousness has been the cause of most of the wars and devastations which have convulsed the world, and the source of most of the evils and sufferings under which the human race have groaned in every age. And it might likewise be demonstrated, that the proper application of wealth would go far to undermine, and ultimately to destroy all such evils, and to diffuse among all ranks a degree of happiness and comfort which has never yet been enjoyed in any period, since man first violated the law of his Creator. It is scarcely conceivable, at first view, what innumerable benefits, of every description, might be conferred on our fellow men, and on the world at large, by an application, on liberal and Christian principles, of the riches which we at this moment possess.
Oh! into what a blissful scene might this ruin of a world yet be transformed, were covetousness thoroughly subdued, and were only those who profess to be Christians to come forth with unanimity, and lay down their superfluous treasures at the foot of the cross ! In the short space of little more than half a century to come, we might behold celestial light diffusing its radiance over the most distant and benighted regions of the globe; the idols of the nations abolished; the
savage raised to the dignity of his moral and intellectual nature, and his mind adorned with the beauties of holiness ; the instruments of warfare broken to shivers, and peace shedding its benign influence over the world ; temples erected in every land for the worship of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; the minds of the young irradiated with Divine knowledge, and rising up in wisdom, and in favor with God and man; the principle of crime extirpated, and poverty and wretchedness banished from the earth; the moral wilderness of the heathen world cultivated and adorned with every heavenly virtue and grace; the wastes and wilds of the globe transformed into fertile regions, and arrayed in all the beauties of Eden; the hatred and jealousy of nations changed into benevolence, and a friendly and harmonious intercourse established between all the tribes and families of the earth!
BENEVOLENCE EXPANSIVE AS ETERNITY.
We have every reason to conclude, that moral action extends over the whole empire of God—that benevolence exerts its noblest energies among the inhabitants of distant worlds—and that it is chiefly through the medium of reciprocal kindness and affection that ecstatic joy pervades the hearts of celestial intelligences. For we cannot conceive happiness to exist in any region of space, or among any class of intellectual beings, where love to the Creator, and to one another, is not a prominent and permanent affection.
It is, therefore, reasonable to believe, that those virtuous benevolent characters which have appeared in our world, have been only in the act of training for a short period, preparatory to their being transported to a nobler scene of action, and that their moral powers, Sharp, Clarkson, Venning, Howard, and Wilberforce, are now for ever banished from creation, or that they are expatiating in a higher scene of action and enjoyment, where all their benevolent energies find ample scope, and where every blossom of virtue is fully expanded ?
The exertions which some of these individuals have made in the cause of liberty, in promoting the education of the young, in alleviating the distresses of the poor, in meliorating the condition of the prisoner, and in counteracting the abominable traffic in slaves, will be felt as blessings conferred on mankind throughout succeeding generations, and will, doubtless, be held in everlasting remembrance. And if there is a God, and if wisdom, benevolence, and rectitude form an essential part of his character, we cannot doubt for a moment that such characters are still in existence, and shall reappear on a more splendid theatre of action in the future scenes of eternity.
SAMUEL ROGERS, 1762.
" And thou, melodious Rogers, rise at last,
Assert thy country's honor and thine own."-BYRON. SAMUEL Rogers, one of the most elegant poets of the present century, was the son of an eminent banker in London, and was born in that city about the year 1762. He presents a rare instance of great wealth allied to great talents, untiring industry in literary pursuits, and pure morals. No expense, of course, was spared in his education, and, after leaving the university, he travelled through most of the countries of Europe. On his return, he published, in 1786, an “Ode to Superstition, with other Poems,” which was well received. About six years after, when he had attained his thirtieth year, appeared “The Pleasures of Memory," which was received by the public with universal applause, and at once established his fame as among the best of our modern poets. The subject was most happily chosen, for it came home" to the business and bosoms" of all, and it was executed with exceedingly great care. It has been said that no poem of equal size ever cost its author so many hours to produce. Not satisfied with correcting and recorrecting it again and again himself, he read it to various friends for the benefit of their criticism; and the result is, that it is perfectly finished throughout, each part harmonizing with the other, and every line carefully and tastefully elaborated. “It acquired,” says a writer in the “Edinburgh Review,” “a popularity originally very great, and which has not only continued amidst extraordinary fluctuation of general taste, but increased amidst a succession of formidable competitors. No production so popular was probably so little censured by criticism.