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A prodigy, that to the world announc'd
Thus the partition wall, by Moses built,
Soon as those signs and prodigies were seen
When the centurion cry'd, In very truth
The recollection of his gracious acts,
They, who with Christ transfigur'd on the mount Were seen of his disciples in a cloud Of dazzling glory, now, in form distinct, Mingling amidst the public haunts of men, Struck terror to all hearts: Ezekiel there, The captive seer, to whom on Chebar's banks The heavens were opened and the fatal roll Held forth, with dire denunciations fill'd, Of lamentation, mourning and of woe, Now falling fast on Israel's wretched race: He too was there, Hilkiah's holy son, With loins close girt, and glowing lips of fire By God's own finger touch'd: there might be seen The youthful prophet, Belteshazzer nam'd Of the Chaldees, interpreter c' dreams, Knowledge of God bestow'd, in visions skill'd, And fair, and learn'd and wise: the Baptist here, Girt in his hairy mantle, frowning stalk'd, And pointing to his ghastly wound, exclaim'd,
Ye vipers! whom my warning could not move
Of every sapless tree, hewn down, condemn'd
THE WONDERS OF NATURE.
OW mighty! how majestic! and how mysterious are Nature's works! When the air is calm, where sleep the stormy winds? In what char bers are they reposed, or in what dungeons confined? But when He, "who holds them in his fist," is pleased to awaken their rage, and throw open their prison doors, then with irresistible impetuosity, they rush forth, scattering dread, and menacing destruction.
The atmosphere is hurled into the most tumultuous confusion. The aerial torrent bursts its way over mountains, seas, and continents. All things feel the dreadful shock. All things tremble before the furious blast. The forest, vexed and torn, groans under the scourge.
Her sturdy sons are strained to the very root, and almost sweep the soil they were wont to shade. The stubborn oak, that disdains to bend, is dashed headlong to the ground; and, with shattered arms, with prostrate trunk, blocks up the road. While the flexile reed, that springs up in the marsh, yielding to the gust, (as the meek and pliant temper, to injuries, or the resigned and patient spirit, to misfortunes) eludes the force of the storm, and survives amidst the widespread havoc.
For a moment, the turbulent and outrageous sky seems to be assuaged; but it intermits its wrath, only to increase its strength. Soon the sounding squadrons of the air return to the attack, and renew their ravages with redoubled fury. The stately dome rocks amidst the wheeling clouds. The impregnable tower totters on its basis, and threatens to overwhelm whom it was intended to protect. The ragged rocks are rent in pieces; and even the hills, the perpetual hills, on their deep foundations are scarcely secure. Where now is the place of safety? when the city reels, and houses become heaps! Sleep affrighted flies. Diversion is turned into horror. All is uproar in the elements; all is consternation among mortals; and nothing but one wide scene of rueful devastation through the land.
The ocean swells with tremendous commotions. The ponderous waves are heaved from their capacious bed, and almost lay bare the unfathomable deep. Flung into the most rapid agitation, they sweep over the rocks; they lash the lofty cliffs, and toss themselves into the clouds. Navies are rent from their anchors; and, with all their enormous load, are whirled swift as the arrow, wild as the winds, along the vast abyss. Now they climb the rolling mountain; they plough the frightful ridge; and seem to skim the skies. Anon they plunge into the opening gulf; they lose the sight of day; and are lost themselves to every eye.
How vain is the pilot's art; how impotent the mariner's strength! They reel to and fro, and stagger
like a drunken man." Despair is in every face, and death sits threatening on every surge. But when Omnipotence pleases to command, the storm is hushed to silence; the lightnings lay aside their fiery bolts, and the billows cease to roll.
DIALOGUE ON PHYSIOGNOMY.
Enter FRANK and Henry.
Frank. IT appears strange to me that people can be so imposed upon. There is no difficulty in judging folks by their looks. I profess to know as much of a man, at the first view, as by half a dozen years' acquaintance.
Henry. Pray how is that done? I should wish to learn such an art.
Fr. Did you never read Lavater on Physiognomy? Hen. No. What do you mean by such a hard word? Fr. Physiognomy means a knowledge of men's hearts, thoughts, and characters by their looks. For instance, if you see a man, with a forehead jutting over his eyes like a piazza, with a pair of eyebrows, heavy like the cornice of a house; with full eyes, and a Roman nose, depend on it he is a great scholar, and an honest man.
Hen. It seems to me I should rather
go below his
nose to discover his scholarship.
Fr. By no means: if you look for beauty, you may descend to the mouth and chin; otherwise never go below the region of the brain.
Geor. Well, I have been to see the man hanged. And he is gone to the other world, with just such a great forehead and Roman nose, as you have always been praising.
Fr. Remember, George, all signs fail in dry weather.
Geor. Now, be honest, Frank, and own that there