« ZurückWeiter »
own soul! Sensual philosopher, supreme sensualism was his last desire in his agony! Contemplate Madame Roland, the strong-hearted woman of the Revolution, on the cart that conveyed her to death. Not a glance toward Heaven! Only one word for the earth she was quitting: “O Liberty, what crimes in thy name are committed . " Approach the dungeon door of the Girondins. Their last night is a banquet, — their only hymn the Marseillaise! Hear Danton on the platform of the scaffold: “I have had a good time of it; let me go to sleep.” Then, to the executioner: “You will show my head to the People; it is worth the trouble !” His faith, annihilation; his last sigh, vanity
Behold the Frenchman of this latter age ' What must one think of the religious sentiment of a free People, whose great figures seem thus to march in procession to annihilation, and to whom death itself recalls neither the threatenings nor the promises of God! The Republic of these men without a God was quickly stranded. The liberty, won by so much heroism and so much genius, did not find in France a conscience to shelter it, a God to avenge it, a People to defend it, against that Atheism which was called glory. All ended in a soldier, and some apostate republicans travestied into courtiers. An atheistic Republicanism cannot be heroic. When you terrify it, it yields. When you would buy it, it becomes venal. It would be very foolish to immolate itself. Who would give it credit for the sacrifice, — the : ungrateful, and God non-existent? So finish atheistic Rev
27. THE SAVIOUR'S REPLY TO THE TEMPTER.—John Milton. Born, 1608; died, 1674.
Thou neither dost persuade me to seek wealth
Is yet more kingly: this attracts the soul,
I call, upon those whom I address to stand up for the nobility of labor. It is Heaven's great ordinance for human improvement. Let not that great ordinance be broken down. What do I say ? It is broken down; and it has been broken down, for ages. Let it, then, be built up again; here, if anywhere, on these shores of a new world,—of a new civilization. But how, I may be asked, is it broken down? Do not men toil? it may be said. They do, indeed, toil; but they too generally do it because they must. Many submit to it as, in some sort, a degrading necessity; and they desire nothing so much on earth as escape from it. They fulfil the great law of labor in the letter, but break it in the spirit; fulfil it with the muscle, but break it with the mind. To some field of labor, mental or manual, every idler should fasten, as a chosen and coveted theatre of improvement. But so is he not impelled to do, under the teachings of our imperfect civilization. On the contrary, he sits down, folds his hands, and blesses himself in his idleness. This way of thinking is the heritage of the absurd and unjust feudal system, under which serfs labored, and gentlemen spent their lives in fighting and feasting. It is time that this opprobrium of toil were done away. Ashamed to toil, art thou? Ashamed of thy dingy work-shop and dusty laborfield; of thy hard hand, scarred with service more honorable than that of war; of thy soiled and weather-stained garments, on which mother Nature has embroidered, midst sun and rain, midst fire and steam, her own heraldic honors ? Ashamed of these tokens and titles, and envious of the flaunting robes of imbecile idleness and vanity ? It is treason to Nature, — it is impiety to Heaven, – it is breaking Heaven's great ordinance. ToIL, I repeat— toil, either of the brain, of the heart, or of the hand, is the only true manhood, the only true nobility: 29. LABOR IS WORSHIP.-Frances S. Osgood. Born, 1812; died, 1850.
Laborare est orare—To labor is to pray.
PAUSE not to dream of the future before us;
Labor is life : T is the still water faileth;
Labor is rest from the sorrows that greet us,
Lie not down wearied 'neath Woe's weeping-willow !
Labor is health ! Lo! the husbandman reaping,
Droop not, though shame, sin and anguish, are round thee!
—o30. MORAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE FRIENDLY TO FREEDOM.–Rev. E. H. Chapin.
No cause is so bound up with religion as the cause of political liberty and the rights of man. Unless I have read history backward, – unless Magna Charta is a mistake, and the Bill of Rights a sham, and the Declaration of Independence a contumacious falsehood, – unless the sages, and heroes, and martyrs, who have fought and bled, were impostors, – unless the sublimest transactions in modern history, on Tower Hill, in the Parliaments of London, on the sea-tossed Mayflower, — unless these are all deceitful, there is no cause so linked with religion as the cause of Democratic liberty.
And, Sir, not only are all the moral principles, which we can summon up, on the side of this great cause, but the physical movements of the age attend it and advance it. Nature is Republican. The discoveries of Science are Republican. Sir, what are these new forces, steam and electricity, but powers that are levelling all factitious distinctions, and forcing the world on to a noble destiny ? Have they not already propelled the nineteenth century a thousand years ahead 2 What are they but the servitors of the People, and not of a class? Does not the poor man of to-day ride in a car dragged by forces such as never waited on Kings, or drove the wheels of triumphal chariots? Does he not yoke the lightning, and touch the magnetic nerves of the world? The steam-engine is a Democrat. It is the popular heart that throbs in its iron pulses. And the electric telegraph writes upon the walls of Despotism, Mené, mené, tekel upharsin I There is a process going on in the moral and political world,—like that in the physical world,—crumbling the old Saurian forms of past ages, and breaking up old landmarks; and this moral process is working under Neapolitan dungeons and Austrian Thrones; and, Sir, it will tumble over your Metternichs and Nicholases, and convert your Josephs into fossils. I repeat it, Sir, not only are all the moral principles of the age, but all the physical principles of nature, as developed by man, at work in behalf of freedom. “Live and take comfort. There are powers will work for thee; , Air, earth, and skies : —
There is not a breathing common thing
That will forget thee; —
Goodness and love, and man’s unconquerable mind.”
ALL are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Cease, then, nor ORDER Imperfection name, –
THE products of the whole world are, or may soon be, found within our confederate limits. Already there had been a salutary mixture of blood, but not enough to impair the Anglo Saxon ascendency. The