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then encaged and surrounded by a multitude, that hath the roll of thunder, the sight of a next, as Faithful stands at the martyr stake, mountain, the rising and the setting of the thence as Christian and Hopeful appear, all sun in open heavens, the vegetation and through the course up to the Dark River, and growth of plants or the singing of birds in beyond it, does the cunning tool of the en- the sky. In the heart of Bunyan, well pregraver delineate the pilgrims. These pictures pared by tribulation, already had Nature and the clear type and broad page, weather planted germs of beauty, of pathos and of · stained, of the old editions, lent a charm to sublimity, which grew, strangely enough, in the story as when a little boy we read it, seat- the confinement of a jail. In such soil, so ed by the window on a cloudy Saturday af- prepared, always grow the strongest plants ternoon, or at the fireside on a winter eve- and the rarest fruits. There is, therefore, no ning. Over and again we perused the account difficulty in accounting for the vigor of his of Vanity Fair, of Christian's fight with style when the book was new or for its presApollyon and the gloomy passage through the ent heartiness, now that the work has become dreadful valley, fiend-haunted, opening to the an old one. Sooner will the pyramids fall fires of Hell. We loved, too, to linger on the than the productions of such a mind. banks of the Jordan of death, looking up to The employment of dialogues or colloquies the hills where Christian and Hopeful had was
was common among the writers of the sevengone, and like Bunyan, when those pearly 1 teenth century. By the use of these, Bunyan gates were closed, “I wished myself among
avoids the tiresomeness of a narrative and them.”
succeeds in conveying truth in an engaging The journey of Christiana with Mercy and manner. Those pages are read with most her family is as beautiful and as entertaining,
avidity in any work whose matter is broken but, from the nature of the subject, not so
| up into this form or into short paragraphs. striking as the account of Christian and his
Few readers have patience to grope through a companions. We love and respect courageous
dense array of thoughts, especially if they be Great Heart, and wish that he may accom- I darkened by figurative language.
darkened by figurative language. : pany us when we go on pilgrimage.
Dissenting preachers made much use of the Conceived in an earnest mind, in their style language of the Bible, especially of the Old these works are earnest and forcible. Here Testament. In the Journal of the Pilgrims, lies the motive : the operation sacceeds. quotations abound from the threatenings of Grammarians deal only with modes of ex- | God, applied by them to wicked acts of the pression ; colleges teach little more. With-ehurch. Bunyan, in addition to his knowlin the man abides that deep, energetic moving edge of the scriptures, possessed a deep unof the soul which is as fire and water to the derstanding of human nature and a power of working of machinery, as winds to the mo- imagination which gave effect to his writing. tion of the ocean, as solar heat to winds. Overflowing from his heart, his thoughts Bedford jail, the den wherein Bunyan laid reached and affected the hearts of others. him down to sleep, was not filled with the A spirit of benevolence pervades the whole influences of inspiration, as are the scenes and of his writings. He had learned the failings circumstances of nature. The employment of Christians. He knew Mr. Fearing, Desof lace knitting had in it little of that power pondency and Much - Afraid, Ready - to - Halt to inspire moving thoughts, living creations, I and Feeble - Mind. He had fought with
Apollyon in the valley and had conquered, “ If the world, which God sets light by, is as Christian did, when almost overcome. He counted a thing of that worth with men, what knew every step of the way from the city of is heaven that God commendeth!” Destruction to the brink of the river over “Everybody will cry up the goodness of which there is no bridge, and he loved his men ; but who is there that is, as he should Master so well that he would feed his sheep. be, affected with the goodness of God?" Many a man, as he has read, has trembled, “We seldom sit down to meat, but we eat hoped, rejoiced, at the lessons which the good and leave. So there is in Jesus Christ more man teaches.
merit and righteousness than the whole world The book is so common, and so often read, bas need of." that extracts seem to be useless. I shall, John Bunyan seems to have been a man of however, quote a few short passages which much emotion, naturally impulsive, distrustmay have escaped some readers.
ful and somewhat rash. These qualities, 1. The use of all means.
doubtless led him into the commission of “ You see the ways the fisherman doth take
many flagrant sins, chiefest of which was proTo catch the fish : what engines doth he make! fane swearing. After his conversion he evinced Behold now he engageth all his wits;
la tender conscientiousness, kindness and char
la tender conscientiousness, kindness an Also his snares, lines, angles, hooks and nets; ity, which seemed to contrast with his former Yet fish there be, that neither hook nor line, character, though not to be inconsistent with Nor snare, nor net, nor engine can make thine: his previous life. He never ceased to feel the They must be groped for, and be tickled, too, effects of his sinful conduct. Or they will not be catched, whate'er you do."||
The accounts of his life prefixed to his Pil2. Hidden merit.
grim's Progress, state that he was born at ** If that a pearl may in a toad's head dwell, Elstow, near Bedford, England, 1628, of poor
And may be found too in an oyster-shell; parents; through trials, dangers, by convicIf things that promise nothing do contain
tions, was led to choose the right path, became What better is than gold ; who will disdain,
a preacher, was imprisoned in Bedford jail for That have an inkling of it, there to look
refusing to conform, and died August 12, That they may find it?"
1688, at the age of 60, from a fever caused by The Author's Apology.
exposure to inclement weather when returnAmong the sentences uttered by Interpre- ing from a visit to restore peace to a divided ter for the edification of Christiana and her family. Many of his works, which are nucompany are bold, beautiful and truthful merous, are well known. thoughts.
The earnestness and the plainness of Bun3. Sentences.
yan's style are now rarely found. This age “One leak will sink a ship, and one sin needs less weak fiction and more bold, honest, will destroy a sinner."
direct writing, which shall not only thrill and - He that forgets his friend, is ungrateful affect the reader, but shall also increase the unto him; but he that forgets his Saviour, is vigor of his mind and open his eyes to realiunmerciful to himself.”
ties. A reform does not come in a day. “ If a man would live well, let him fetch .
J. W. 0. his last day to him, and make it always his company-keeper.”
UNOCCUPIED moments are dangerous.
For the Schoolmaster,
The Gold Miner.
For the Schoolmaster.
BY J, SWETT.
FROM A CONVERSATION BETWEEN A AND B. In a glen of the Sierras, where a rapid river rolled From the wild Nevada's summits rich offerings of gold,
| A. The degeneracy of man is seen not On the banks where he had toiled for many a weary day, Parched with the burning fever a dying miner lay.
merely in each feature of his physical and
moral nature, but his intellect, also, bears “ Come closer to me, mother, put your hand upon my
ny witness to the deplorable truth. To consider brow,
the savage who employs the mighty resources As you kissed me when we parted, my mother, kiss me now ;
of an immortal mind in sustaining an existLife's dream is almost over, it shall waken soon in joy, ence little superior to that of the beasts around My mother, bless me softly, as you blessed me when a him: to speak of those who, even in Christboy."
ian lands, have no appetite for the feast set beHe died – alone and friendless, but in his fevered dream tore them, no desire to improve the invaluable A mother, like an angel, came beside that golden stream; | treasure which God has given : would be But the heartless hands of strangers, as the sun sank
treading the beaten path along which thouin the west,
sands of the great and good have sarlly strayWithout a tear, without a prayer, consigned him to his
ed. Let us then, for a few moments, contem
plate anvther aspect of our mental degradaWherever in this western land has rolled the living tide of emigrants with golden dreams, the mounds lie side
tion which has seldom or never been viewed. by side ;
It is our mental sloth. An hereditary indoIn Nevada's rugged gorges, in every mountain glen, lence is the disease of every mind; and when On hill-side and by river, are graves of noble men.
one has hasted through the outer courts of The wild flowers bloom above them in beauty every knowledge to the inner tabernacle of thought, spring,
| he nevertheless feels the weakness of his mind, Sweet offerings of Nature's hand which friends may not, indeed by nature, but by the habits of all never bring.
those who have preceded him. This condiBut far away, in other lands, fond eyes grow dim with
tion of intellect is evidently not what our And vainly wait the coming of the loved of other years. Maker intended. With memory to store up
treasure, with reason to combine into new The stars drift up the mountains into depths of azure skies
forms of truth, with a world — nay, almost a And gaze upon the lonely graves like watchful spirit
universe --- within the grasp of the senses, it eyes,
was designed that man should constitute creaBut far away, in eastern lands, the bright stars gazing tion's noblest work, but in neglecting his natthere,
ural gifts, man is below those animals which Look down on faces watching in tearful midnight prayer
are commonly said to belong to the “ lower In the western El Dorado, beside the mountain streams,
orders.” Was it intended that he should be The hearts of weary men, at night, turn homeward in
so weak and blind, laboring years for knowl. their dreams,
edge, and drinking in thought as a medicine But far away, across the sea, how many hearts are breaking
rather than a beverage ? No. There is a deFor those who sleep beside those streams the sleep that gree of mental rapidity, of which few can knows no waking.
speak from experience; but which we may FEATHER RIVER, California.
attain, for our intellectual nature, as we be
hold it in ourselves, in history, and in the ob- must suppose it to be divested of those propvious design of its creator, tells us that this erties which fix a limit to the speed of mateis possible.
rial operations, and preclude unlimited velocB. True is it that mankind bear upon the ity and perpetual motion. intellect the stamp of degradation. It is ap- ' B. I will not dispute that your view of the palling to contrast what man might be with mind's future is at once the most noble and what he is. But not to consider for the pres- reasonable, but it is my opinion that our present the disadvantages which would follow if ent mental speed is as great as in our present the majority of human beings thought and state can be attained. You seem to forget acquired more rapidly, I must beg leave to that we are not now disembodied spirits. disagree with you concerning the possibility while you asserted that the action of matter of greater speed with mental operations of is controlled by its inherent properties, you beings constituted like ourselves. I doubt appeared not to remember that in this world not that, when men shall be disencumbered they govern also the operations of mind. from clay, they will possess more perfectly This is the great objection to your theory. developed powers ; to say, however, that man Thought wastes brain ; great exertion procan, either in his present or future state, per- duces fatigue. If this be so, it becomes evi. form intellectual labor with inconceivable dent that our present intellectual rapidity is rapidity, and without labor, is elevating him most in accordance with the laws arising from to the level of Deity. Let us not, in contem- our physical constitution. plating the soul's majesty, forget that we are But to what a result does this fancy of finite beings.
yours lead. While you give man such subA. Bla-phemous and irrational would it lime powers, you would so degrade him as to be thus to raise ourselves; but that is not my say that he has never used them. Let us be idea. The mind in its future state of bliss,– wise, and observing the development of his will it be as feeble and slothful as it is now ? intellect in the past and present, consider the While it shall go on imbibing the infinite per ordinary standard as most proper in this life. fections of its Creator, the labor of thought, A. To see the absurdity of your last rewhich to the disembodied spirit is intense de- mark, let us apply it to morals and health. light, will transcend our present irksome ef- Shall we say, because men sin and are sick, forts, while it will excel them in rapidity. that they can never hope for anything better; What I said was correct and rational; since, or shall we place before them a perfect health while God knows all things, the soul shall and morality which may be theirs if they will spend eternity in vain to grasp his attributes, but fully obey the laws of their being ? and study his works.
| I agree with you that, in our present existI admit this to be a supposition ; but can ence, there is a limit to the speed of our pow. we imagine for the soul a more blissful or ers, but I must insist that this is so far above adoring future than in drinking from Infinity's the ordinary standard, so near perfection, that exhaustless springs ? Whence comes, now I few if any have ever attained it. our idea of specd, and of its limit? Is it not First, let me appeal to your own experifrom matter? There is a certain harmonious ence. Ilave you ever found a limit to your and healthful regularity with which all things powers? Do not your most laborious efforts move, but if we would conceive of spirit wel become easy and rapid : Do not your great
est expenditures of labor correct you of men that he once completed a comedy before breaktal sloth, and suggest a perfection beyond fast; but what time he arose, and when he which you probably never will attain ? If partook of his morning meal is not stated. this be so, I think you must allow that the B. Your examples are all of those whose limit which you wisely supposed to exist, is minds by nature transcended all others. All farther distant than you at first imagined. men are not geniuses.
B. You have correctly remarked concern- A. True; yet these instances indicate that ing my experience, but I am not aware that the speed of the mind may be increased; for many have ever arrived at any remarkable de- men are all alike constituted. The mental acgree of mental speed. Until such instances tivity which in those cases is consistent with can be adduced, my opinion must remain un- bodily health, may be without detriment exchanged.
ercised by all. The gift, I allow, was theirs A. History furnishes many examples. | by nature ; but there are few endowments of Though rare, they yet show the nature of the genius which labor may not earn. Why are mind ; just as the diamond tells us what car- some souls sent into the world in full and bon is in a crystallized state.
complete development, if it be not to show by Instances of rapid thought are seen in the way of example the majesty which the mind lives of many mathematicians. Newton, 1 by its own efforts may win for itself? when he first entered Cambridge, neglected Instances of rapid acquiring are numerous. Euclid. Regarding his propositions as mere Sir IIumphrey Davy could, in youth, read axioms, he immediately commenced the higher pages at a glance, and acquaint himself perbranches of mathmatics.
fectly with their contents. One of the most B. But Newton, in later life, regretted his
regretted his remarkable instances which now occurs to me neglect of Euclid.
is the case of the distinguished Florentine AnA. Ypsbut for what reason. He thought tonio Magliabecchi. He was not only the it presumptuous in a youth like him to dis- | most i
most learned man of his time; but probably card a work to which time and genius had
the greatest student of books that ever lived. done equal honor.
This person had a shorthand method of acHistory furnishes many examples of rapid
quiring knowledge. composition. The majority of celebrated |
I think speed in reading attainable by any writers have been able to compose with speed, one of ordinary copacity. I often find myByron possessed unrivalled facility in writing; self able to read entir
iting. self able to read entire sentences at a glance, often completing a long poem at a sitting, and to anticipate oach member of a complihave read hundreds of anecdotes, illustrating cated period to its close. the great speed attained in composition. When you first learned to read, you spellMany of our best and most popular poems ed each word separately. ·Now you comprehave been impromptu. A distinguished mod hend words and phrases at sight. Is it neern novelist employs two amanuenses, thus cessary to stop here. I think it in our power, dictating two works at a time. Inder the in- by practice, to read longer combinations of fluence of a large quantity of brandy, Thomas / words -- even pages, at a glance. Paine wrote with surpassing speed, and, with-| B. I acknowledge now that while there is out correction, sent it to the printer. Lopez a limit in our present state, it is so distant de Vega was a remarkable instance. It is said that ew have attained it; lut, though our