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cious folly, and tamely expose yourselves to be caught in the same snare? If
consideration, or any firmness left, avoid temptations, for which you have found yourselves unequal, with as much care as you would shun pestilential infection. Break off all connexions with the loose and profligate. “When sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Look not on the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup; for at the last, it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Remove thy way from the strange woman, and come not near the door of her house. Let not thy heart decline to her ways; for her house is the way to hell. Thou goest after her as a bird hasteneth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.”
By these unhappy excesses of irregular pleasure in youth, how many amiable dispositions are corrupted or destroyed! How many rising capacities and powers are suppressed! How many flattering hopes of parents and friends are totally extinguished! Who but must drop a tear over human nature, when he beholds that morning, which arose so bright, overcast with such untimely darkness; that good humor which once captivated all hearts; that vivacity which sparkled in eyery.company; those abilities which were fitted for adorning the highest station, all sacrificed at the shrine of low sensuality; and one, who was formed for running the fair career of life' in the midst of public esteem, cutoff by his vices at the beginning of his course, or sunk, for the whole of it, into insignificancy and contempt! These, O sinful pleasure! are thy trophies. It is thus, that cooperating with the foe of God and inan, thou degradest human nature, and blastest the opening prospects of human felicity.
JUDAH'S PLEA FOR HIS BROTHER BENJAMIN, BEFORE
JOSEPH IN EGYPT.
time, we answered without reserve, and according to the strictest truth, all the questions which you were pleased to put to us concerning our family. We acquainted you, that we had a father, heavily laden with
years, but still more heavily with misfortunes; a father, whose whole life had been one continued struggle with adversity. We added that we had a brother peculiarly dear to him, as the children born towards the end of their life generally are to old men, and who is the only one remaining of his mother; his brother having come in early youth to a most tragical end.
You commanded us, as the proof of our veracity and innocence to bring that brother unto you; and your command was delivered with such threatenings, that the terror of them accompanied us all the way back to our country, and embittered the remainder of our journey. We reported every thing minutely to our father, as you directed us. Resolutely and long, he refused to intrust us with the care of that child. Love suggested a thousand causes of apprehension upon his account. He loaded us with the bitterest reproaches for having declared that we had another brother.
Subdued by the famine, he at length reluctantly consented; and putting his beloved son, this unhappy youth, into our hands, conjured us by every dear, every awful name, to guard with tenderness his pre- . cious life; and as we would not see him expire before our eyes in anguish and despair, to bring him back in safety. He parted with him as with a limb torn from his own body; and in an agony of grief inexpressible, deplored the dreadful necessity which separated him from a son, on whom all the happiness of his life depended.
How then can we appear before a father of such delicate sensibility? With what eyes shall we dare tu look upon him, unless we carry back with us this son of his right hand, this staff of his old age, whom, alas! you have condemned to slavery? The good old man will expire in horrors dreadful to nature, as soon as he shall find that his son is not with us. Our enemies will insult over us under these misfortunes, and treat us as the most infamous of parricides.
I must appear to the world, and to myself, as the perpetrator of the most horrid of crimes, the murder of a father; for it was I who most urgently pressed my father to yield. I engaged by the most solemn promises, and the most sacred pledges, to bring the child back. Me he intrusted with the sacred deposit, and of my hand he will require it. Have pity I beseech you, on the deplorable condition of an old man, stripped of his last comfort; and whose misery will be aggravated by reflecting that he foresaw its approach, and yet wanted resolution to prevent it.
If your just indignation must needs have a sacrifice, here I am ready, at the price of my liberty or of my life, to expiate this young
man's guilt, and to purchase his release! Grant this request, not so much for the sake of the youth himself, as of his absent father, who never offended
but who venerates your person and esteems your virtues.
Suffer us not to plead in vain for a shelter under your right hand, to which we flee, as to an holy altar, consecrated as a refuge to the miserable. Pity an old man, who during the whole course of a long life, has cultivated arts becoming a man of wisdom and probity, and who, on account of his amiable qualities, is almost adored
by the inhabitants of Syria and Canaan, though he professes a religion, and follows a mode of living totally different from theirs.
EXTRACT FROM THE PLEA OF THOMAS MUIR,
ESQ. AT HIS CELEBRATED TRIAL IN SCOTLAND.
Gentlemen of the Jury,
my past life. Nothing shall tear from me the record of my departed days. The enemies of reform have scrutinized, in a manner hitherto unexampled in Scotland, every action I may have performed, every word I
may have uttered. Of crimes, most foul and horri. ble, have I been accused: of attempting to rear the standard of civil war; to plunge this land in blood, and to cover it with desolation. At every step, as the evi. dence of the crown advanced, my innocency has brightened. So far from inflaming the minds of men to sedition and outrage, all the witnesses have con. curred, that my only anxiety was, to impress upon them the necessity of peace, of good order, and of good morals.
What then has been my trime? Not the lending to a relation a copy of Mr. Paine's Works; not the giving away to another a few numbers of an innocent and constitutional publication; but for having dared to be, according to the measure of my feeble abilities, a strenuous and active advocate for an equal representation of the PEOPLE, in the HOUSE OF THE PEOPLE; for having dared to attempt to accomplish a measure, by legal means, which was to diminish the weight of their taxes, and put an end to the profusion of their blood,
From my infancy to this moment, I have devoted myself to the cause of the PEOPLE. It is a good cause. It will ultimately prevail. It will finally triumph. Say then openly, in your verdict, if you
do condemn me, which I presume you will not, that it is for my attachment to this cause alone, and not for those vain and wretched pretexts stated in the indictment, intended only to color and disguise the real
motives of my accusation. The time will come, when men must stand or fall by their actions; when all human pageantry shall cease; when the hearts of all shall be laid
open to view. If you regard your most important interests; if you wish that your consciences should whisper to you the words of consolation, rather than speak to you in the terrible language of remorse, weigh well the verdict you are to pronounce. As for me,
I am careless and indifferent to my fate. I can look danger, and I can look death in the face; for I am shielded by the consciousness of my own rectitude. I may be condemned to languish in the recesses of a dungeon: I may be doomed to ascend the scaffold. Nothing can deprive me of the recollection of the past; nothing can destroy my inward peace of mind, arising from the remembrance of having discharged my duty.
ON THE STARRY HEAVENS.
far the mist extensive orb that our eyes can any where behold. It is also clothed with verdure; distinguished by trees; and adorned with a varieiy of beautiful decorations. Whereas, to a spectator placed on one of the planets, it wears a uniform aspect; looks all luminous, and no larger than a spot. To beings who dwell at still greater distances, it entirely disappears.
That which we call, alternately, the morning and evening star; as in one part of her orbit, she rides foremost in the procession of night; in the other, ushers in, and anticipates the dawn, is a planetary world; which with the five others, that so wonderfully vary their mystic dance, are in themselves dark bodies, and shine only by reflection; have fields, and seas, and skies of their own; are furnished with all accom