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The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike the inevitable hour :
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
SLOWER AND MORE SOLEMN Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne, In rayless majesty, now stretches forth Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world : Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound ! Nor eye nor listening ear an object finds : Creation sleeps.—'Tis as the general pulse Of life stood still, and nature made a pauseAn awful pause-prophetic of her end.
Haste—the loom of hell prepare;
Hurtles in the darkened air.
Pikes must shiver, javelins sing,
Hauberk clash, and helmet ring.
Each her thundering falchion wield;
Hurry-hurry, to the field.
ON READING AND SPEAKING.
Next to the accomplished speaker stands the good reader; but there must ever be a vast difference between them; and the reader must always be inferior to the speaker. The one gives us the language of his own mind and heart, fresh and pure, which forms itself into words, like a beautiful crystalization; while the other has merely to reflect the ideas and feelings of others. To be able to speak well before an audience, the speaker must have the subject all his own, be master of it in all its particulars, be able to take it up at any point, and to identify it with himself and with his previous modes of thinking and feeling. To read well, it is necessary for the reader to approach the speaker as nearly as possible; he must be able to comprehend most fully his author's meaning, to drink of his spirit, and be enthusiastically interested in his subject. Without this in-reading of mind and heart, all the rules of inflection, modulation, accent, and emphasis, which are given by teachers of elocution, will be utterly worthless; and the student must bear in mind, that, as it generally happens that dancing masters are the worst walkers, so it is sometimes seen that teachers of elocution are by no means the best speakers.
We hold, that the art of public speaking is not to be attained by the rules commonly laid down; and least of all by requiring a youth to commit to memory the orations of Demosthenes or Cicero, or the harangues of Hannibal or Alexander. Instead of his being taught to repeat the language of others, he should be required to attach his own to the ideas that arise in his mind. He should be accustomed, at an early age, to find language for his thoughts; and a very little attention on his part will render the expression of orrect language natural to him,--and if it be natural it will be
powerful and impressive. But the attempt to make a speaker, by merely exercising the memory, and bringing into service a set of dry rules for the accomplishment of this end, is most absurd and farcical. It is an easy task to oblige a pair of young students to recite the colloquys of Brutus and Cassius, Hamlet and the Ghost; but persons so prepared in their youth, should they in after years be called upon to address an audience, would find the rules they have so thoroughly studied, or the numerous examples they have practised, of as little use to them as David's armour. Few of our best actors are able, with all their practice, to deliver a dozen lines extemporaneously, without embarrassment.
What, then, can we do towards giving our pupils propriety of expression, and dignity of manner, should they be called upon to address, or read before, an assembly? Assuredly but little ;-we cannot give mind by a set of rules,-feeling by a set of rules,-nor actions by a set of rules. We can, however, lay down a few general principles concerning the voice, articulation, inflection, and emphasis, which may save the student from any flagrant violation of common propriety; and we can select such specimens of classical composition, as shall develop the organs of language, and exercise the thinking and reflecting faculties. But the soul-stirring speaker, and the soul-stirring reader, can only be produced by the pupil's fully entering into his author's meaning, and by his identification of himself with his subject. Let those who read, therefore, fully comprehend, that, to read a passage correctly, they must understand it; and, having understood it, that they should read it precisely as they would speak. What we read or speak unfelt, is like a painting without light or shade, in which symmetry of parts and good colouring occur; but which, unless raised or brought forward on the canvas, die away upon the view. Spirit and feeling are as necessary to idea as to sight.
MORAL AND RELIGIOUS LESSONS.
By the term Christian, as applied to man, is meant a believer in, and a follower of Christ. The sacred name was first given to the disciples of Jesus, in the year 43 or 44, in the city of Antioch.
The early history, doctrines, mode of worship, rites, and ceremonies, are detailed in the books of the New Testament, compared and illustrated by the moral and prophetical books of the Old Testament: for these two portions of the Holy Scriptures ought not to be separated; the one is proof of the other.
These ancient and most excellent books begin by describing the creation of the world, and informing us of the origin of our first parents, Adam and Eve; their state of innocence and happiness; of their fall and afterpunishment.
The Old Testament opens not only these things to us, but also gives repeated intimations of the merciful intentions of the Creator towards his erring and sinful crea
MORAL AND RELIGIOUS LESSONS.
tures : it likewise informs us of the inward degeneracy of mankind, and of their destruction by an universal deluge; it then treats of the character and conduct of Moses, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or Israel, and his family.
The Old Testament also gives a general history of the Jews, of their laws and statutes as prescribed by God, and dispensed by Moses, Aaron, and their successors, for their regulation and government: ceremonial, as to their sacrifices ; and judicial, respecting economy and discipline; with the sanctions whereby they were enforced and maintained.
The Old Testament affords more clear and ample discoveries of the being and perfections of Almighty God than could have been attained by the mere “light of nature,” or the strongest effort of human reason. In many parts of this history the scenes of the divine providence are most beautifully displayed, demonstrating that God is the moral Governor of the world,—the lover and the regarder of virtue.
The Old Testament, in a very peculiar manner exhibits many “glorious prophecies” and promises of a Messiah, all making way for, and introducing to, the far more glorious dispensation of truth and grace, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Those who embrace his doctrines become, and still are called, Christians. Those who make profession of Christianity, while they entertain sentiments, or observe practices, at variance with the Scriptures, are called nominal Christians; whilst those who not only profess Christianity, but whose principles and practices are similar with the Scriptures, and are styled the disciples of Christ, are true Christians.
All Christians acknowledge the Holy Scriptures to be of divine origin; and admit that, properly understood, they contain the great principles of true religion and sound morality.
All Christians agree in stating that there is but one