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manner in which they tend to illustrate each other. This is one of the principal means of improving the memory; particularly of the kind of memory which is an essential quality of a cultivated mind; namely, that which is founded not upon incidental connections, but on true and important relations. Nearly allied to this is the habit of reflection, or of tracing carefully the relations of facts, and the conclusions and principles which arise out of them. It is in this manner, that the philosophical mind often traces remarkable relations, and deduces important conclusions; while to the common understanding the facts appear to be very remote or entirely unconnected.

5th. A careful selection of the subjects to which the mind ought to be directed. These are, in some respects, different in different persons, according to their situations in life; but there are certain objects of attention which are peculiarly adapted to each individual, and there are some which are equally interesting to all. In regard to the latter, an appropriate degree of attention is the part of every wise man; in regard to the former, a proper selection is the foundation of excellence. One individual may waste his powers in that desultory application of them which leads to an imperfect acquaintance with a variety of subjects; while another allows his life to steal over him in listless inactivity, or application to trifling pursuits.

For rising to eminence in any intellectual pursuit, there is not a rule of more essential importance, than that of doing one thing at a time; avoiding distracting and desultory occupations; and keeping a leading object habitually before the mind, as one in which it can at all times find an interesting resource when necessary avocations allow the thoughts to recur to it. If along with this habit there be cultivated the practice of constantly writing such views as arise, we perhaps describe that state of mental discipline by which talents of a very moderate order may be applied in a conspicuous and useful manner to any subject to which they are devoted. Such writing need not be made at first with any great attention to method, but merely put aside for future consideration; and in this manner the dif ferent departments of a subject will develop and arrange them selves as they advance, in a manner equally pleasing and wonderful.

6th. A due regulation and proper control of the imagination; that is, restricting its range to objects which harmonize with truth, and are adapted to the real state of things with which the individual is or may be connected. We can easily see how much the character is influenced by this exercise of the mind; that it may be turned to purposes of the greatest moment, both in the pursuits of science and in the cultivation of benevolence and virtue; but that, on the other hand, it may be so employed as to debase both the moral and intellectual character.

7th. The cultivation of calm and correct judgment, applicable alike to the formation of opinions and the regulation of conduct. This is founded upon the habit of directing the attention distinctly and steadily to all the facts and considerations bearing upon a subject; and it consists in contemplating them in their true relations, and assigning to each the degree of importance of which it is worthy. This mental habit tends to guard us against forming conclusions, either with listless inattention to the views by which we ought to be influenced, or with attention directed to some of these, while we neglect others of equal or greater importance. It is, therefore, opposed to the influence of prejudice and passion, to the formation of sophistical opinions, to party spirit, and to every propensity which leads to the adoption of principles on any other ground. than calm and candid examination, guided by sincere desire to discover the truth.

ABERCROMBIE.

LESSON CLXXXII.

IMMORTALITY.

Is this thy prison-house, thy grave, then, Love?
And doth death cancel the great bond, that holds
Commingling spirits? Are thoughts, that know no bounds,

But, self-inspired, rise upward, searching out
The Eternal Mind, the Father of all thought,
Are they become mere tenants of a tomb?
Dwellers in darkness, who the illuminate realms
Of uncreated light have visited, and lived?

Lived in the dreadful splendor of that throne,
Which One, with gentle hand, the vail of flesh
Lifting, that hung 'twixt man and it, revealed
In glory throne, before which, even now,
Our souls, moved by prophetic power, bow down,
Rejoicing, yet at their own natures awed?
Souls, that know Thee by a mysterious sense,
Thou awful, unseen Presence, are they quenched,
Or burn they on, hid from our mortal eyes
By that bright day which ends not; as the sun
His robe of light flings round the glittering stars?

And with our frames do perish all our loves? Do those that took their root, and put forth buds, And their soft leaves unfolded, in the warmth Of mutual hearts, grow up and live in beauty, Then fade and fall, like fair unconscious flowers? Are thoughts and pussions, that to the tongue give speech,

And make it send forth winning harmonies;

That to the cheek do give its living glow,
And vision in the eye the soul intense
With that for which there is no utterance;
Are these the body's accidents? no more?
To live in it, and, when that dies, go out
Like the burnt taper's flame?

O listen, man!
A voice within us speaks that startling word,
"Man, thou shalt never die!" Celestial voices
Hymn it unto our souls; according harps,
By angel fingers touched, when the mild stars
Of morning sang together, sound forth still
The song of our great immortality:
Thick-clustering orbs, and this our fair domain,
The tall, dark mountains, and the deep-toned seas,
Join in this solemn, universal song.

O listen, ye, our spirits! drink it in

From all the air. T is in the gentle moonlight;
'T is floating mid day's setting glories; night,
Wrapped in her sable robe, with silent step
Comes to our bed, and breathes it in our ears:
Night, and the dawn, bright day, and thoughtful eve,
All time, all bounds, the limitless expanse,
As one vast mystic instrument, are touched

By an unseen, living Hand, and conscious chords
Quiver with joy in this great jubilee.
The dying bear it; and, as sounds of earth
Grow dull and distant, wake their passing souls
To mingle in this heavenly harmony.

R. H. DANA.

LESSON CLXXXIII.

ON DECISION OF CHARACTER.

ONE signal advantage possessed by a mind of this character is, that its passions are not wasted. The whole amount of passion of which any mind, with important transactions before it, is capable, is not more than enough to supply interest and energy to its practical exertions; and, therefore, as little as possible of this sacred fire should be expended in a way that does not augment the force of action. But nothing can less contribute to vigor of effort, than protracted anxious fluctuation, intermixed with resolutions decided and revoked, while yet nothing causes a greater expense of feeling. The heart is fretted and exhausted by being subjected to an alternation of contrary excitements, with the ultimate, mortifying consciousness of their contributing to no end.

The long-wavering deliberation, whether to perform some bold action of difficult virtue, has often cost more to feeling than the action itself, or a series of such actions, would have cost; with the great disadvantage, too, of being relieved by none of that invigoration which, to the man in action, would have sprung from the spirit of the action itself, and have renovated the ardor which it was expending. A person of decisive character, by consuming as little passion as possible in dubious musings and abortive resolutions, can secure its utmost value and use, by throwing it all into effective operation.

Another advantage of this character is, that it exempts from a great deal of interference and persecution, to which an irresolute man is subjected. Weakness, in every form, tempts arrogance; and a man may be allowed to wish for a kind of character with which stupidity and impertinence may not make so free. When a firm, decisive spirit is recognized, it is

curious to see how the space clears around a man, and leaves him room and freedom. The disposition to interrogate, dictate, or banter, preserves a respectful and politic distance, judging it not unwise to keep the peace with a person of so much energy. A conviction that he understands and that he wills with extraordinary force, silences the conceit that intended to perplex or instruct him, and intimidates the malice that was disposed to attack him. There is a feeling, as in respect to fate, that the decrees of so inflexible a spirit must be right, or that, at least, they will be accomplished.

Not only will he secure the freedom of acting for himself, but he will obtain also, by degrees, the coincidence of those in whose company he is to transact the business of life. If the manners of such a man are free from arrogance, and he can qualify his firmness with a moderate degree of insinuation; and if his measures have partly lost the appearance of being the dictates of his will, under the wider and softer sanction of some experience that they are reasonable; both competition and fear will be laid to sleep, and his will may acquire an unresisted ascendency over many who will be pleased to fall into the mechanism of a system, which they find makes them more successful and happy than they could have been amid the anxiety of adjusting plans and expedients of their own, and the consequences of often adjusting them ill. I have known several parents, both fathers and mothers, whose management of their families has answered this description; and has displayed a striking example of the facile complacency with which a number of persons, of different ages and dispositions, will yield to the decisions of a firm mind, acting on an equitable and enlightened system.

The last resource of this character is hard, inflexible pertinacity, on which it may be allowed to rest its strength, after finding it can be effectual in none of its milder forms. I remember admiring an instance of this kind, in a firm, sagacious, and very estimable old man, whom I well knew, and who is now dead. Being on a jury, in a trial of life and death, he was completely satisfied of the innocence of the prisoner. The other eleven were of the opposite opinion. But he was resolved the man should not be condemned; and, as the first effort for preventing it, very properly made applica

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