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Gaming covers in darkness, and often blots out all the nobler powers of the heart, paralyzes its sensibilities to human wo, severs the sacred ties that bind man to man, to woman, to family, to community, to morals, to religion, to social order, and to country. It transforms men to brutes, desperadoes, maniacs, misanthropists; and strips human nature of all its native dignity. The gamester forfeits the happiness of this life, and endures the penalties of sin in both worlds. His profession is the scavenger of avarice, haggard and filthy, badly fed, poorly clad, and worse paid.
Let me entreat all to shun the monster, under all his borrowed and deceptive forms. Remember, that gambling for amusement, is the wicket gate into the labyrinth, and when once in, you may find it difficult to get out. Ruin is marked, in blazing capitals, over the door of the gambler-his hell is the vestibule to that eternal hell, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. If you regard your own, and the happiness of your family and friends, and the salvation of your immortal soul, recoil from even the shadow of a shade, reflected by this heaven-daring, heart-breaking, soul-destroying, fashionable, but ruinous vice.
GENIUS. The man who can analyze Genius, and, as a chemist, in his laboratory, show, to a demonstration, its component parts, or, to speak comparatively, even penetrate its cuticle, or detect its oxygen, may next analyze the wind, put the thunder-cloud in his breeches pocket, and quaff lightning for a beverage. We may think, see, talk, and write upon the triumphant achievements, the magic wonders, and untiring efforts of Genius; but what is Genius ? that's the question-one that none but pedants will attempt to answer. The thing, the moving cause, and the modus operandi, can no more be comprehended, and reduced to materiality, than the spirit that animates our bodies. Metaphysicians, Craniologists, and Physiologists; may put on their robes of mystery, arm each eye with a microscope, each finger with the acutest phrenological sensibility, and whet up all their mental powers to a razor edge, strain their imagination to its utmost tension, tax speculation one hundred per cent., and then call to their aid men who possess this quality, the combined force could not weave a web, and label it GENIUS, that would not be an insult to common sense. Genius is not only mental power, but its essence. The frosts of Iceland cannot freeze it, the fogs of Holland cannot mildew it, the tropical sun cannot paralyze it, the potentates of the earth cannot crush it—in all countries and climes, it springs up spontaneously in various shades, but flourishes most luxuriantly, and with more beautiful symmetry and strength, when nurtured by intelligence and freedom, amidst the social institutions of a Republican form of government, and, next to that, under a limited monarchy. A single glance at the history of American and English Genius, compared with others of modern times, will convince an unbiassed mind, of the truth of this assertion. At one period, Genius exerted its greatest force to promote the science of letters, and revelled in classic lore. Latterly, it has put forth its noblest powers upon the mechanic arts, seized some of the mightiest elements of nature, and made them subservient to man. Mechanical Genius
has reduced time, distance, and weight; in a ratio, that has eclipsed the most visionary projects of its most zealous friends, that were the subject of ridicule not many years ago. The broad ocean, the mighty river, the wide-spread lake, the towering mountain; once formidable barriers to intercourse, are now rapidly passed by the aid of steam, consolidating our own country into a phalanx, and making the nations of the old world our neighbors. To what useful purposes the electric fluid, the atmosphere, the wind, and other elements will yet be converted by Genius ; time only can develope. So versatile is this essence of mental power, that we can form no rules to pre-determine or fix its personal locality, its time of development, its measure of strength, or the extent of its orbit. Like a blazing meteor, it bursts suddenly upon us, as in the darkness of night, illuminates the world, and, like the lightning thunder-bolt, shivers every obstacle that stands in its way. Like the diamond, which differs from all other precious stones, by having the power of refracting and reflecting the prismatic colors; so Genius refracts and reflects the intellectual rays of mind, imparting fresh vigor, lustre, and force. The diamond can never shine, until divested of the rubbish of the quarry, by the hand of the lapidary. In the same manner, Genius must be divested of ignorance, before it can refract and reflect its rays, and the brighter it is polished by intelligence, the more powerfully and brilliantly will it dazzle. How important, then, that the quarry of mind be explored, that none of these precious jewels lie undiscovered in time of life, and be finally lost in death. Lacon has well observed—“A Newton or a Shakespeare, born among savages-savages had died.”
VIRTUE affords the only safe foundation for a peaceful, happy, and prosperous government. When the wicked rule, the nation mourns. Not that rulers must necessarily profess religion, by being members of some Christian church, as desirable as it may be, but they must venerate it, and be men of pure moral and political honesty. Disease and corruption affect the body politic, and produce pain and dissolution, with the same certainty, that they prostrate the physical powers of man. If the head is disordered, the whole heart is sick. If the political fountain becomes polluted, its dark and murky waters will eventually impregnate every branch with the contagious miasma. The history of the past proves the truth of these assertionspassing events afford too frequent demonstration of the baneful effects of intrigue and peculation. Without virtue, our Union will become a mere rope of sand—the victim of knaves and the sport of kingsself government will become an enigma with monarchs, rational liberty a paradox, and a republic, the scoff of tyrants. Let every freeman look to this matter in time. The crowned heads of Europe are watching, with an Argus-eye, every opportunity to weaken our Union. Every year of our prosperous existence endangers their power—the story of our liberty is reaching and enrapturing their subjects—the tenure by which they hold their crowns, is becoming more frail as time rolls onward; and, if we are true to ourselves--if virtue predominates—if the voice of wisdom is obeyed-if patriotism, discretion, and honesty, guide our rulers
our government will increase in strength, beauty, and grandeur; and eclipse Greek and Roman fame.
By our example, we will conquer the world, more effectually, and by far more gloriously, than Alexander did with the sword—by regenerating the minds of the millions upon its surface. But we must practice upon the principle, that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. We are more in danger from internal foes, than from foreign enemies. If we would be truly great, we must be truly good. Virtue, wisdom, prudence, patriotism, and sterling integrity; must actuate, guide, and fully control our leaders, and the great mass of our increasing population. The towering waves of political intrigue and demagogue influence must be rolled back, and the purity of motive and love of country, that impelled the sages and heroes of '76, to noble and God-like action, must pervade the hearts of our rulers, and the people of our nation.
To generous minds,
GRATITUDE is a painful pleasure, felt and expressed by none but noble souls. Such are pained, because misfortune places them under the stern necessity of receiving favors from the benevolent, who are, as the world would say, under no obligation to bestow them free-will offerings, made by generous hearts, to smooth the rough path, and wipe away the tears of a fellow being. They derive a pleasure from the enjoyment of