Imagini ale paginilor

-ying imbeded as it does, amidst so much surrounding greatness, shrinks into a point that to the universal eye might appear to be almost imperceptible.

3. But does it not add to the power and to the perfection of this universal eye, that at the very moment it is taking a comprehensive survey of the vast, it can fasten a steady and undistracted attention on each minute and separate portion of it; that at the very moment it is looking at all worlds, it can .ook most pointedly and most intelligently to each of them; that at the very moment it sweeps the field of immensity, it can settle all the earnestness of its regards upon every distinct hand-breadth of that field; that at the very moment at which it embraces the totality of existence, it can send a most thorough and penetrating inspection into each of its details, and into every one of its endless diversities? You cannot fail to per-. ceive how much this adds to the power of the all-seeing eye.

4. Tell me, then, if it do not add as much perfection to the benevolence of God, that while it is expatiating over the vast field of created things, there is not one portion of the field overlooked by it; that while it scatters blessings over the whole of an infinite range, it causes them to descend in a shower of plenty on every separate habitation that, while his arm is underneath and round about all worlds, he enters within the precincts of every one of them, and gives a care and a tenderness to each individual of their teeming population.

[ocr errors]

5. O! does not the God, who is said to be love, shed over this attribute of his, its finest illustration! when, while he sits in the highest heaven, and pours out his fulness on the whole subordinate domain of nature and of Providence, he bows a pitying regard on the very humblest of his children, and sends his reviving spirit into every heart, and cheers by his presence every home, and provides for the wants of every family, and watches every sick-bed, and listens to the complaints of every sufferer; and while, by his wondrous mind, the weight of universal government is borne, O! is it not more wondrous and more excellent still, that he feels for every sorrow, and has an ear open to every prayer!




1. THE man who is so conscious of the rectitude of his intentions, as to be willing to open his bosom to the inspect.or. of the world, is in possession of one of the strongest pillars of a decided character. The course of such a man will be firm and steady, because he has nothing to fear from the world, and is sure of the approbation and support of Heaven. While he who is conscious of secret and dark designs, which, if known, would blast him, is perpetually shrinking and dodging from public observation, and is afraid of all around, and much more, of all above him.

2. Such a man may, indeed, pursue his iniquitous plans steadily; he may waste himself to a skeleton in the guilty pursuit; but it is impossible that he can pursue them with the same health-inspiring confidence and exulting alacrity, with him who feels at every step that he is in the pursuit of honest ends by honest means. The clear, unclouded brow, the open countenance, the brilliant eye which can look an honest man steadfastly, yet courteously, in the face, the healthfully beating heart, and the firm, elastic step, belong to him whose bosom is free from guile, and who knows that all his motives and purposes are pure and right.

3. Why should such a man falter in his course? He may be slandered; he may be deserted by the world; but he has that within, which will keep him erect, and enable him to move onward in his course, with his eyes fixed on heaven, which he knows will not desert him.

4. Let your first step, then, in that discipline which is to give you decision of character, be the heroic determination to be honest men, and to preserve this character through every vicissitude of fortune, and in every relation which connects you with society. I do not use this phrase, "honest men," in the narrow sense merely of meeting your pecuniary engage

ments, and paying your debts; for this the common pride of gentlemen will constrain you to do.

5. I use it in its larger sense of discharging all your duties, both public and private, both open and secret, with the most scrupulous, Heaven-attesting integrity; in that sense, farther, which drives from the bosom all little, dark, crooked, sordid, debasing considerations of self, and substitutes in their place a bolder, loftier, and nobler spirit; one that will dispose you to consider yourselves as born, not so much for yourselves, as for your country and your fellow-creatures, and which will lead you to act on every occasion sincerely, justly, generously, magnanimously.





[The following dialogue is founded upon the fact that Christiern, or Christian II., king of Denmark, attempted to make himself master of the throne of Sweden, but was defeated and expelled from the country by Gustavus Vasa, a Swede, of royal descent, who afterwards became king of Sweden.]

Gustavus disguised as a peasant.

Gustavus. Ye men of Sweden, wherefore are ye come?
See ye not yonder, how the locusts swarm,
To drink the fountains of your honor up,

And leave your hills a desert? - Wretched men!
Why came ye forth? Is this a time for sport?
Or are ye met with song and jovial feast,


To welcome your new guests, your Danish visitants ?
To stretch your supple necks beneath their feet,

And fawning, lick the dust? Go, go, my countrymen,
Each to your several mansions, trim them out,
Cull all the tedious earnings of your toil,

a Fictitious names for men of Sweden. b Dalecarlians, citizens of Dalecarlia, a prov. Ince of Sweden.

To purchase bondage.-O, Swedes! Swedes!
Heavens are ye men, and will ye suffer this?
There was a time, my friends, a glorious time!
When, had a single man of your forefathers
Upon the frontiers met a host in arms,
His courage scarce had turned; himself had stood,
Alone had stood, the bulwark of his country.
Come, come on, then. Here I take my stand!
Here, on the brink, the very verge, of liberty;
Although contention rise upon the clouds,
Mix heaven with earth, and roll the ruin onward,
Here will I fix, and breast me to the shock,
Till I, or Denmark, fall.

Sivard. And who art thou,


That thus would swallow all the glo
That should redeem the times? Behold this breast!
The sword has tilled it; and the stripes of slaves
Shall ne'er trace honor here; shall never blot
The fair inscription. Never shall the cords
Of Danish insolence bind down these arms,
That bore my royal master from the field.

Gust. Ha! Say you so, brother? Were you there-O, grief!
Where liberty and Stenon fell together?

Siv. Yes, I was there. A bloody field it was,

Where conquest gasped, and wanted breath to tell
Its o'er-toiled triumph. There our bleeding king,
There Stenon on this bosom made his bed,
And rolling back his dying eyes upon me,
Soldier, he cried, if e'er it be thy lot
To see my gallant cousin, great Gustavus,
Tell him

for once, that I have fought like him, —— And would, like him, have


Gust. O, Danes! Danes!

You shall weep blood for this. Shall they not, brother?
Yes, we will deal our might with thrifty vengeance,
A life for every blow, and, when we fall,

There shall be weight in 't; like the tottering towers
That draw contiguous ruin.

Siv. Brave, brave man!

My soul admires thee. By my father's spirit,

I would not barter such a death as this

For immortality! Nor we alone
Here be the trusty gleanings of that field,
Where last we fought for freedom; here's rich poverty,
Though wrapped in rags-my fifty brave companions;
Who, through the force of fifteen thousand foes,
Bore off their king, and saved his great remains.
Gust. Why, captain,

We could but die alone;
My fellow-laborers, too
Shall we not strike for it?

[ocr errors]

with these we'll conquer.
What say ye, friends?

Siv. Death! Victory, or death!
All. No bonds! no bonds!

Arnoldus. Spoke like yourselves-Ye men of Dalecarlia, Brave men and bold! whom every future age

Shall mark for wondrous deeds, achievements won

From honor's dangerous summit, warriors all!
Say, might ye choose a chief?

Speak, name the man

Who then should meet your wish?

Siv. Forbear the theme.

Why would'st thou seek to sink us with the weight
Of grievous recollection! O Gustavus!

Could the dead awake, thou wert the man.

Gust. Didst thou know Gustavus?

Siv. Know him! O, Heaven! what else, who else was worth

The knowledge of a soldier? That great day,

When Christiern, in his third attempt on Sweden,

Had summed his powers, and weighed the scale of fight
On the bold brink, the very push of conquest,
Gustavus rushed, and bore the battle down;
In his full sway of prowess, like leviathan,

« ÎnapoiContinuă »