Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

taste, embraced it with ecstacy as the means of salva

tion. The idolatrous rites were deserted, the altars 50 overturned, the deities left to themselves to sympathise

with each other in dumb consternation, the lying voice of the oracles was hushed, the deceptive light of philosophy was extinguished, Satan fell like lightning from

heaven, while the ministers of light rose with the num55 ber, the order, and the brilliancy of the stars. Resis

tance only promoted the cause it intended to oppose, and persecution, like the wind of heaven blowing upon a conflagration, served only to spread the flame. In

vain " did the kings of the earth set themselves, and 60 the rulers take counsel together against the Lord.”

The Imperial eagle collecting all her strength, and rousing all her fury, attacked the Lamb of God, till she too, subdued and captivated by the cross, cowered beneath

its emblem, as it Hoated from the towers of the capitol, 65 and Christianity with the purple waving from her shoul

ders, and the diadem sparkling upon her brows, was proclaimed to be the Truth of God, and the Empress of the world, on that very throne of the Cæsars where she

had been so often arraigned as a criminal, and condemn70 ed as an impostor.

What was it, I ask, which, by the instrumentality of Luther, and Melancthon, and Calvin, and Zuingle, dissolved the power of the Beast on the continent of Eu

rope, and drew away a third part of his worshippers, 75 within the pale of a more scriptural communion ? It

was the doctrine of justification by faith in the blood of Christ.

David Brainerd, the apostle of the American Indians, has left upon record an essay to inform the world, that 80 it was by preaching Christ crucified, he was enabled to

raise a Christian church, in those desolate wilds where he laboured, and among a barbarous people devoted to witchcraft, drunkenness, and idolatry.

The Moravian Missionaries, those holy, patient, unos85 tentatious servants of our Lord, have employed with pe

culiar effect these heaven appointed means, in converting and civilizing the once pilfering and murderous Esquimaux. With these, have they also “ dared the ter

rors of an Arctic sky, and directing their adventurous 90 course through the floating fields and frost reared pre

cipices that guard the secrets of the Pole,” have caused the banner of the cross to wave over the throne of everlasting winter, and warmed the cold bosom of the shivering Greenlander with the love of Christ. James.

99. The Fall of Niagara.
The thoughts are strange that crowd into my brain,
While I look upward to thee. It would seem
As if God pour’d thee from his hollow hand,'

And hung his bow upon thy awful front; 5 And spoke in that loud voice, which seemed to him

Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour's sake,
• The sound of many waters ;' and had bade
Thy flood to chronicle the ages back,

And notch His cent’ries in the eternal rocks. 10 Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we,

That hear the question of that voice sublime ?
Oh! what are all the notes that ever rung
From war's vain trumpet, by thy thundering side!

Yea, what is all the riot man can make 15 In his short life, to thy unceasing roar !

And yet, bold blabbler, what art thou to Him,
Who drown'd a world, and heap'd the waters far
Above its loftiest mountains ?- La light wave,
That breaks, and whispers of its Maker's might.

Brainard.

100. Reform in Morals. The crisis has come. By the people of this generation, by ourselves probably, the amazing question is to be decided, whether the inheritance of our fathers shall

be preserved or thrown away; whether our Sabbaths 5 shall be a delight or a loathing; whether the taverns,

on that holy day, shall be crowded with drunkards, or the sanctuary of God, with humble worshippers ; whether riot and profaneness shall fill our streets, and poverty our dwellings, and convicts our jails, and vio

10 lence our land, or whether industry, and temperance,

and righteousness, shall be the stability of our times; whether mild laws shall receive the cheerful submission of freemen, or the iron rod of a tyrant com

pel the trembling homage of slaves. Be not deceiv15 ed. Human nature in this state is like human nature

every where. All actual difference in our favor is adventitious, and the result of our laws, institutions and habits. It is a moral influence, which, with the bless

ing of God, has formed a state of society so eminently 20 desirable. The same influence, which has formed it, is

indispensable to its preservation. The rocks and hills of New-England will remain till the last conflagration. But let the Sabbath be profaned with impunity, the

worship of God be abandoned, the government and re25 ligious instruction of children neglected, and the streams

of intemperance be permitted to flow, and her glory will depart. The wall of fire will no more surround her, and the munition of rocks will no longer be her

defence. 30 If we neglect our duty, and suffer our laws and insti

tutions to go down, we give them up forever. It is easy to relax, easy to retreat, but impossible, when the abomination of desolation has once passed over New Eng

land, to rear again the thrown down altars, and gather 35 again the fragments, and build up the ruins of demol

ished institutions. Another New-England, nor we, nor our children shall ever see, if this be destroyed. All is lost irretrievably, when the land marks are once remov

ed, and the bands which now hold us are once broken. 40 Such institutions, and such a state of society, can be es

tablished only by such men as our fathers were, and in such circumstances as they were in. They could not have made a New-England in Holland. They made the

attempt, but failed. 45 The hand that overturns our laws and altars, is the

hand of death unbarring the gate of Pandemonium, and letting loose upon our land the crimes and the miseries of hell. If the Most High should stand aloof, and cast,

not a single ingredient into our cup of trembling, it 50 would seem to be full of superlative woe. But he will

not stand aloof. As we shall have begun an open controversy with him, he will contend openly with us. And never, since the earth stood, has it been so fearful a

thing for nations to fall into the hands of the living God. 55 The day of vengeance is in his heart, the day of judgment

has come; the great earthquake which sinks Babylon is shaking the nations, and the waves of the mighty commotion are dashing upon every shore. Is this then a

time to remove foundations, when the earth itself is 60 shaken? Is this a time to forfeit the protection of God,

when the hearts of men are failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth? Is this a time to run upon his neck and the

thick bosses of his buckler, when the nations are drink65 ing blood, and fainting, and passing away in his wrath ?

Is this a time to throw away the shield of faith when his arrows are drunk with the blood of the slain ? To cut from the anchor of hope, when the clouds are collecting

and the sea and the waves are roaring, and thunders 70 are uttering their voices, and lightnings blazing in the

heavens, and the great hail is falling from heaven upon men, and every mountain, sea and island is fleeing in dismay from the face of an incensed God ? Beecher.

101. Universal spread of the Bible. It has been well said by a great politician of another country, by Edmund Burke, that "religion is the basis of civil society"--and especially, he might have added,

of a free state. And it has been said by a greater than 5 he, by our own Washington, that “of all the dispositions

and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports." And without pursuing the idea through all its illustrations, (for

which I have not time) what, I would ask, without their 10 genial influences, what is to moderate and chasten that

pride of self-government, that Just of power, which is generated, and inflamed by all our institutions ? What is to prevent our liberty, great as it is, from lapsing in

to licentiousness ? we hold, you know, (and rightly too) 15 that all government is, or ought to be, made and manag

ed for the benefit of the people. And we say that "

we the people” are the sovereigns of the country, the fountain of law and honor ; and we appoint our rulers for

servants, to follow our instructions, and obey our will in 20 all things. And we maintain, (or many do) that we the

people can do no wrong, and that our voice is the voice of God. Here, you see, is absolute power, and it is the nature of absolute power, we know, to corrupt and

inflate its holders, and that whether they be many or 25 few. And what now, I ask you, is to save us from

the abuse of all this power? What is to prevent our free democracy-especially when our country becomes crowded with people, as it will be by and by, even

through our woods and prairies, and our cities are chok30 ed with men, almost stiding each other with their hot

breath-what is to prevent our free democracy from following its natural bent, and launching us all, or those who come after us, into a wild and lawless anarchy ? I

know, that we plume ourselves, and with some rea35 son too, upon that principle of our government, almost

unknown to the ancients, which we are pleased to call our invention, our discovery, though we might more truly and modestly term it our felicity, growing out of our

situation and circumstances, by the good providence of 40 God our elective franchise ; and this, we think, is to

save us from their fates. But what, I would ask our politicians, is to save our elective franchise itself? What is to make it worth having ? What is to make us

choose wise and honest men to make our laws ? What 45 is to execute them after they are made ? What is to

save us the people from the ambition and treachery of our own elected servants ? What is to keep our servants from becoming our masters? And what is to

save us from ourselves—from our own passions and vices, 50 the only formidable enemies of republics; the only

ones at least that we can or ought to dread? Our general intelligence and virtue-the general intelligence and virtue of all classes of our people with the blessing

of God Almighty upon us—and nothing else. But this 55 intelligence and virtue are to be shed abroad, in a great

measure, by the Bible, and the Bible alone. It is quite

« AnteriorContinuar »