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archs of frail humanity—conquerers of the world ; desolators of the earth; scourgers of the human race; murderers of millions. How unlike their laws; the breath of tyrants, the chains of slaves, the iron-barred shackles of man. How unlike their subjects ; governed by fear, quailing with terror, shuddering with dread— obsequious, cringing, miserable, wretched vassals.
In death, the contrast is still more striking. Contemplate the awful terrors, the keen remorse, the fearful dread, the biting anguish, the dreadful death pangs, of the proud Alexander, the ambitious Caesar, and the disappointed Bonaparte. Darkness impenetrable hung over their pathway—no light illuminated their passage to the tomb. With them, their power expired; no subjects obey them now. No rich perfume renders their memory sacred. With the hand of oppression, they inscribed their names, in letters of blood, on the tablet of inglorious fame. At one bold stroke, death struck them, and their mandates, from the calendar of life; nor did the stroke disturb the calm of nature. In the dust they moulder, nor will they rise to resume their robes of majesty, or again wield their iron sceptres over man.
How different the scene on Calvary. The sun in darkness—the moon in crimson—the earth quaking— rocks rending—hell moving—the KING of kings expiring. But how short the triumph—how transient the conquest. Jesus put forth his recovered strength; crushed the sting of death; snatched from the grave the laurels of boasted victory; placed them upon his own brow; burst the cleft rock tomb; triumphed over his enemies; rose, the godlike conquerer ; ascended to his native heaven, amidst the shouts of angelic throngs, who lifted high the eternal gates, and let the KING of glory in. There he lives, enthroned in majesty, swaying, and to sway his mild sceptre over his willing and happy subjects through all time; loved, revered, obeyed, and adored; by the countless millions who have, and shall enlist under his banner of love. Nor is this all. Again will this KING of kings descend to earth, in majesty, fearful, terrible, and exterminating, to his enemies; peaceful, happy and joyful, to his saints. To describe the awful grandeur of that scene, would require an angel's pen, dipped in etherial fire, and more than an angel's hand to guide it.
Let all be prepared for that dreadful day, when
"Man, starting from his couch, shall sleep no more!
The man and woman who is above labor, and despises the laborer, show a want of common sense, and forget that every article that is used, is the product of more or less labor, and that the air they breathe and the circulation of the blood in the veins, is the result of the labor of the God of nature. The time was, when kings and queens stimulated their subjects to labor, by example. Queen Mary had her regular hours of work, and had one of her maids of honor read to her, whilst she plied the needle. Sir Walter Raleigh relates a cutting reply made to him by the wife of a noble duke, at whose house he lodged over night. In
the morning, he heard her give directions to a servant, relative to feeding the pigs. On going into the breakfast room, he jocosely asked her if the pigs had all breakfasted. All, sir, but the strange pig I am about to feed, was the witty reply. Sir Walter was mute, and walked up to the trough.
Washington and his lady were examples of industry, plainness, frugality and economy—and thousands of others of the wealthy, labored in the field and kitchen, in olden times, before folly superceded wisdom, and fashion drove common sense and economy off the track.
The necessity imposed on man to labor, is unquestionably a great blessing, as much as many are opposed to it, and as others flee from it. In those countries, and districts of country, where the greatest amount of labor is requisite to obtain the necessaries of life, we find the most vigorous, healthy, and athletic inhabitants. Where nature has done most for man, in providing for his bodily wants, we find him most destitute of the solid comforts of life. In the highlands of Scotland, on the mountains of Circassia, amidst the hills of Norway, the people are happier, by far more robust, and more energetic, than in effeminate Spain, or degraded Italy. In our own country, rock-bound New England, the long range of the Allegheny mountains, and their numerous spurs and valleys, support a much more hardy race of men, than the sunny South. When the body becomes weakened by indolence, or by luxury, the mind usually suffers with it. The energies become torpid, the intellectual powers are not cultivated, and the whole man becomes enervated for want of action.
Labor in the open air is most conducive to health, and agriculture affords the largest share of happiness, because the most independent of all professions. To raise, gather, and enjoy the fruits of the earth, and attend to flocks and herds, were the employments first assigned to man by our great Creator. Now, the variety is so great, that all who will, may labor in a manner to suit the most fastidious fancy. Immense tracts of land are yet uncultivated, our work shops are numerous, and rapidly increasing, our commerce is courting the markets of every clime. Here, mental labor has an opportunity to expand and spread—and genius here finds a field as broad, more free and congenial, than in any other part of the world. All the powers of body and mind, physical and intellectual, here, more than any where, are put in the juxtaposition of mutual dependance upon each other, and are mutually useful to each other. Manual labor, on the one hand, produces food and raiment for the body; and the increase of wealth; developes the treasures on, and in the earth and water; intellectual labor, on the other, discovers the best means, implements, and plans for producing these, and makes laws, rules and regulations, for the protection of person and property; the advancement of the moral condition of man, and the peace and prosperity of each individual, and the aggregate community.
But few are so ignorant, as not to feel their dependance on those around, above, and below them. This feeling of mutual dependance produces harmony, increases happiness, and promotes social order. All who study their physical organization, must soon discover how helpless man would be without a thumb—the same reasoning will lead them to appreciate the small, as well as the great, in our body politic; one of the fundamental principles of a republican government.
Labor also induces men to be better citizens. Idleness leads to vice and crime. Indolence is no part of ethics or theology, nor is it recommended by pagan or Christian philosophy, by experience or common sense. Man was made for action, noble, sublime, and god-like action. Let him see well to it, that he does not thwart the design of his creation, and plunge headlong into the abyss of misery and wo.
Law is like longitude, about,
Law, as defined in the elementary books, is the clear, translucent stream of justice, flowing freely and smoothly between the banks of wisdom and truth, purified by mercy and equity.
As found upon our statute books, this highway of justice, like some of our rivers, is interrupted in its free course, by individual dams, sand bars, snags, and flood wood; often changing the channel, and causing many a shipwreck. Its sinuosities are too numerous, for instinct and skill combined, to guard against danger at all times.
In our books of reports, the decisions of the high courts, professedly expositors and adjusters of elementary and statute law, are emphatically a labyrinthian maze. In attempting to remove the impediments thrown into the stream of justice by ignorant