« AnteriorContinuar »
other considerations laid aside, ed for what are denominated the this is abundantly sufficient to smaller kinds of offences. From compel the greatest exactness. theirelevated situation in life, their A contempt of the laws is a for example is dreadfully contagious. midable enemy to government But if those, who think that the itself; an enemy, which is the possession of property licences more dangerous, as it cannot be and sanctions their crimes, were met; which declines all fair and properly humbled at the foothonourable war, and vanquishes stool of justice, their example by the magic of popular preju. would no longer contaminate sodice. A little relaxation in the ciety. And if the lower classes distribution of justice makes way of the people saw that no man for more ; a few despised regu- was superior to the laws, they lations prepare the mind to de- would acquiesce with much spise the rest, till the whole code greater alacrity in proper rebecomes the object of neglect straints, and all ranks would and ridicule. A statute-book of much more heartily engage in contemned laws is fit only for in- sacrificing individual gratificascriptions on the tomb of depart- tion to the public welfare. ed government. It is a volume Whoever is in the least acof satires more poignant than quainted with the state of morthose of Juvenal or Persius ; als in our country, cannot but satires on the legislators, the
confess that much depends upmagistrates, and the people ; on the execution of the laws. satires, which not only cause a
Who does not know that namomentary vexation, but inflict tional calamities are the legitupon the general happiness a imate offspring of national vice severe and lasting wound. and abandonment ? And who
Again, it is necessary to the will not acknowledge that our harmony of society, that the ex- itation ought to be purified from ecution of the laws be uniform sin, that the judgments, which and impartial.
If the adminis- hang over us, and which we so tration of justice is unsteady ; justly deserve, may be averted ? if it vibrates from erfergy and Look around for yourselves, and rigour, to laxness and indolence, consider this matter. Take a and is at one time scrupulously view of the fashionable vices only exact, and at another foolishly which now prevail; of those negligent; nothing permanent practised by the great, the splenand salutary can be expected. did, the honourable, in situations And if a dignified impartiality where temptation ought to meet does not characterize the judi- with a firm and an indignant recial proceedings, it is most plain pulse ; and then judge what are that there can be no confidence the crimes perpetrated by those in the rulers, and that govern- who are debased through the exment will become the object of ample of superiors ; who are distrust and aversion.
unenlightened by education, unYet it is a notorious and glar- influenced by a fear of disgrace, ing fact, that in no country un- and destitute of every restraining der heaven, are the rich punish- principle. Vol. II, No. 7.
Contemplate the extensive purpose of obtaining a divorce, prevalence of profaneness. See and the adulterers suffered to go the earnest endeavours of wicked at large, delested indeed by good men to dishonour the name of men, but unpunished for their God; to invent blasphemies hith- crimes, and totally unnoticed by erto unthought of; and to gain the magistrate. See the seducer themselves laurels in the war practising every fiend-like artiagainst Heaven. Flear curses ul- fice ; committing deliberate, retered by children unconscious of iterated perjury, destroying the their meaning ; and see the hopes and happiness of brothers, hoary driveller, with one foot in sisters, and parents; and enhanchis grave, muttering execrations ing his guilt by offering up others against his Maker and Preserver. with himself at the shrine of View the drunkard, forfeiting all pollution. In a part of the world claim to human society, destroy where the gospel has been ing his intellectual powers, and preached from generation to gencommitting a sure though lin- eration; among a people more gering suicide ; a suicide, de- favoured by Heaven than any stroying at the same time his other from the fall of man to the body and his soul. Listen 10 present time, brothels are instithe midnight orgies of the gam- tuted, supported, defended. Rise ing table, where robbery is le- up, O Babylon, thou mother of galized by the tribunal of hon- harlots, and blush for our enor our, where cheating is elevated mities. Thy crimson abominainto a liberal profession, and tions whiten into innocence, when where the grand strife is, who compared with the more aggrashall decoy most adventurers, vated offences of a Christian and sacrifice them to the rapa. land. ciousness of the banditii. See In this state of things, when the Sabbath, which ought to be a every honest man wishes that the cay of rest, of worship, and of laws should have all possible effiinstruction in holy things, con- cacy, much dependence must be verted into a day of sloth, placed upon our rulers. Image a day of visiting, a day of un- ine to yourselves all our counhallowed amusement, a day trymen, who hold offices in the of feasting and riot, and, pre- magistracy, assembled, from the eminently, a day of sin. See President of the United States, men among our Senators, Judges to a Justice of the Peace, or a and Governors, foolish and mad Grand Juror, and addressed on enough to go openly and shame, this important subject by some lessly to murdering each other venerable civilian, like a Hale, or in a duel ; and all this under a Mansfield, skilled equally in laws, whicia profess to guard life law and in human nature. as a thing sacred, and under a “ My friends, and country. religion, which proclaims "peace men,” would he not say ? " on earth,” and declares, that great diligence, that in all your - whoso sheddeth man's blood, behaviour, your example be such by man shall his blood be shed.” as may be considered a safe patSee adultery proved in our
in our tern for imitation. Transgrescourts, time after time, for thesion of the laws in a magistrate,
is like open wickedness in a min- the holy thing with polluted ister of the gospel ; it prevents hands. You had better withdraw all the good he might otherwise like cowards from the performhave done, and produces evil ance of your duty, than imprewhich no repentance, no exer- cate upon yourselves that divi ne tions, can repair.
vengeance, which you are prede"When obliged to inflict pun- termined to deserve. ishment, let it be seen that jus- s. Consider yourselves as altice occupies the first place in ways responsible to your country. your breast, and a dignified clem- Tho’she may not be able to detect ency the second ; act the part of and punish, you are still respona friend, and a father, not of an sible. You are entrusted with illiberal, unfeeling tyrant. a charge of more value than any
“ Neither covet nor avoid pop- worldly possession ; a charge of ularity. Be apt to distrust your incalculable importance to the own talents in governing, when present generation, and to pos brought into competition with terity : you are to purify the those of your neighbours. If public morals ; you are to guard they are better qualified to hold our youth against the numerous places of trust, be willing that temptations, which lie in wait to they should be preferred. Al devour them.
Like the great ways remember that the man Roman magistrate, consider your who is elevated by the intrigues country as addressing you in the of a faction, is never respected most solemn and impressive by his friends, nor by his ene- manner. Let each one of you mies ; and what is worse, he hear the “ quid agis, Marce seldom does his duty as a wise Tulli," as applied to himself, and and faithful magistrate.
let him ponder well how he shall “Never fall into the foolish return a satisfactory answer to çrror of considering less impor. this most sacred demand of his tant offices as dishonourable. country. View the man, who does this, “ Above all, consider your. as possessed of a weak mind, selves as responsible to God. and as worthy of no office, of no He instituted civil government ; confidence. Rectitude of con. he has given rules for the reguduct, and a just sense of dignity, lation of your conduct ; he has will render any office honoura. appointed you his vicegerents on ble.
earth ; and as your conduct shall “Remember your respective prove, so will be your allotments paths of office. Meditate upon in the day of retribution. If them by night and by day. Con- you connive at iniquity; if you sider the engagement into which violate your oaths; it you barter you have entered, as it really is ; your salvation for a “ mess of an engagement which Jehovah, pottage," for a miserable gust of the Lord God of Hosts, is called present popularity ; if you enlist to witness, Resolve to act agree- under the arch revolter, and assist ably to this momentous obliga- in withdrawing men from alletion. If this be not your inten- giance to God, destruction is tion, stand off. “ Prócul, O pro- even now uncovered to receive cul, este profani.” Touch not you. But if you strive to co-op
erate with the divine will; if you must some time be found, is a conscientiously endeavour to pre- truth, which we all know, but vent crimes with all your might, which all neglect, and perhaps you will obtain the applause of none more than the speculative good men in this world, and, in reasoner, whose thoughts are al. the world to come, the approba- ways from home, whose eye tion of God."
C. Y. A. wanders over life, whose fancy
dances after motions of happi. ness kindled by itself, and who
examines every thing rather than LETTER OF THE CELEBRATED his own state, DR. JOHNSON, ON HIS WIFE's
Nothing is more evident than that the decays of age must ter:
minate in death. Yet there is March 17, 1752, 0. S.
no man (says Tully) who does DEAR SIR,
not believe that he may yet live NOTWITHSTANDING the warn- another year; and there is none ings of philosophers, and the who does not, upon the same daily examples of losses and principle, hope another year for misfortunes, which life forces his parent, or his friend ; but the upon us, such is the absorption fallacy will be in time detected ; of our thoughts in the business of the last year, the last day, will the present day, such the resig- come ; it has come, and is past nation of our reason to empty The life, which made my own hopes of future felicity, or such life pleasant, is at an end, and the our unwilļingness to foresee gates of death are shut upon my what we dread, that every calam- prospects ! ity comes suddenly upon us, The loss of a friend on whom and not only presses as a burden, the heart was fixed, to whom but crushes as a blow,
every wish and endeavour tendThere are evils, which happen ed, is a state of desolation in out of the common course of which the mind looks abroad, nature, against which it is no impatient of itself, and finds reproach not to be provided. Anothing but emptiness and hor: flash of lightning intercepts the ror. The 'blameless life, the traveller in his way ; the con- artless tenderness, the native cussion of an earthquake heaps simplicity, the modest resigna; the ruins of cities upon their in- tion, the patient sickness, and habitants ; but other miseries the quiet death, are remembertime brings, though silently, ed only to add value to the yet visibly, forward, by its own loss; to aggravate regret for lapse, which yet approaches un- what cannot be amended ; to seen, because we turn our eyes. deepen sorrow for what cannot away ; and they seize us unre. be recalled. sisted, because we would not arm These are the calamities by ourselves against them, by set- which Providence gradually disting them before us.
engages us from the love of life. That it is vain to shrink from Other evils fortitude may repel, what cannot be avoided, and to or hope mitigate ; but irrepara: hide that from ourselves, which ble privation lçaves nothing to
exercise resolution, or flatter ex- refuge in religion. When we pectation. The dead cannot re- have no help in ourselves, what ters, and nothing is left us here can remain, but that we look up but langtishment and grief. to a higher and greater power?
Tet, such is the course And to what hope may we not of nature, that whoever lives raise our eyes and hearts, when long must ouuive those whom we consider that the greatest he loves and honours. Such is Power is the best? the condition of our present ex- Surely there is no man, who, istence, that life must one time thus afflicted, does not seek suclose its association, and every in- cour in the gospel, which has habitant of the earth must walk brought life and immortality to downward to the grave alone and light! The precepts of Epicuunregarded, without any part- rus, which teach us to endure ner of his joy or grief, without what the laws of the universe any interested witness of his make necessary, may silence, misfortunes or success.
Mis- but not content us. The dice fortunes, indeed, he may yet tates of Zeno, who commands feel, for where is the bottom of us to look with indifference on the misery of man! But what is abstract things, may dispose us success to him, who has none to to conceal our sorrow, but canenjoy it? Happiness is not not assuage it. Real alleviations found in self-contemplation ; it of the loss of friends, and rationis perceived only when it is re- al tranquillity in the prospect of iected from another.
our own dissolution, can be reWe know little of the state of ceived only from the promise of departed souls, because such Him in whose hands are life and knowledge is not necessary to a death ; and from the assurance good life. Reason deserts us at of another and better state, in the brink of the grave, and gives which all tears will be wiped no farther intelligence. Rev- from our eyes, and the whole elation is not wholly silent; soul shall be filled with joy. " there is joy among the angels Philosophy may create stubin heaven over a sinner that re. bornness, but religion only can penteth ;” and surely the joy is give patience. communicable to souls disentan
San. Johnson. gled from the body, and made
Let hope, therefore, dictate, what revelation does not confute,
For the Panoplist. that the union of souls may still remain ; and that we, who
LIST OF BOOKS RECOMMENDED are struggling with sin, sor
BY DR. TAPPAN TO THEOLO. row, and infirmities, may have
GICAL STUDENTS. one part in the attention of those Messrs. Editors, who bare finished their course,
Will it not be grateful to those, and are now receiving their re- who cherisk the memory, and afi
prove the sentiments of the late These are the great occasions PROFESSOR TAPPAs, to know the phich force the mind to take
course of reading, which he re