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God of the rolling orbs above!
Were kindled at thy burning throne.
God of the world! the hour must come,
Her incense fires shall cease to burn;
LESSON XXVI.-UNIVERSAL DECAY.-GREENWOOD.
[Marked for Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections.*]
We receive such repeated intimations of decay || in the world through which we are passing;-decline | and change and loss, follow decline and change | and loss in such rapid succession, that we can almost catch the 5 sound of universal wàsting, and hear the work of desolátion going on busily around us. I The mountain | falling I cometh to nòught, and the rock | is removed out of his place. The waters wear the stones, the things which grow out of the dust of the earth are washed away, and 10 the hope of man | is destroyed." Conscious of our own instability, we look about for something to rèst on; but we look in vàin. The heavens and the earth | had a beginning, and they will have an end. The face of the world is changing, dáily and hourly. All animated 15 things grow old and die. The rocks | crumble, the trees fall, the leaves | fáde, and the grass withers. The clouds are flying, and the waters | are flowing away from us.
The firmest works of màn, too, are gradually giving 20 way, the ivy | clings to the mouldering tower, the brier
* The learner having been conducted through the application of the rules for Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections, separately, will now be prepared to study and apply them in conjunction.
hangs out from the shattered window, and the wall-flower springs from the disjointed stones. The founders of these perishable works have shared the same fáte | long agò. If we look back to the days of our ancestors, to the 5 mèn | as well as the dwellings | of former times, they become immediately associated in our imaginations, and only make the feeling of instability stronger and deeper than before. In the spacious domes, which once held our fáthers, the serpent | hisses, and the wild bird | screams. 10 The halls, which once were crowded ' with all that taste
| and science and lábor | could procure,—which resounded with melody, and were lighted up with béauty, are buried
by their own rùins, mocked by their own desolàtion. The voice of merriment, and of wailing, the steps of the 15 busy and the idle | have cèased in the deserted courts, and the weeds | choke the entrances, and the long grass || waves upon the hearth-stone. The works of art, the forming hand, the tombs, the very àshes they contained, are all gòne.
While we thus walk among the ruins of the pást, a sad feeling of insecurity | comes over us; and that feeling is by no means diminished when we arrive at home. If we turn to our friends, we can hardly speak to them || before they bid us farewell. We see them for a few mó25 ments and in a few moments more, their countenances ' are changed, and they are sent away. It matters not how near
I and dear they are. The ties which bind us together || are never too close to be parted, or too strong to be bròken. Tears were never known to move the king of 30 tèrrors; neither is it enough that we are compelled to surrender óne, or two, or many of those we lòve; for though the price is so great, we buy no favor with it, and our hold on those who remain is as slight as èver. The shadows all elude our grasp, and follow one an35 other down the valley. We gain no confidence, then, no feeling of security, by turning to our contémporaries and kindred. We know that the forms, which are breathing around us, are as shortlived and fleeting as those were, which have been dúst | for cènturies. The sensation of 40 vànity, uncertainty, and rúin, is equally stròng, whether we muse on what has long been pròstrate, or gaze on what is falling nów, or will fall so soon.
If every thing | which comes under our notice has
endured for so short a time, and in so short a time | will be no more, we cannot say that we receive the least assurance by thinking on ourselves. When a few more friends have left, a few more hopes | decéived, and a few I 5 more changes | mócked us, "we shall be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb: the clods of the valley shall be sweet unto us, and every man shall fóllow us, as there are innumerable befòre us." All power I will have forsaken the strongest, and the loftiest will 10 be laid low, and every eye will be clòsed, and every voice
húshed, and every heart will have ceased its beating. And when we have gone ourselves, even our memories will not stay behind us lóng. A few of the near and dear || will bear our likeness in their bosoms, till they too have ar15 rived at the end of their journey, and entered the dark dwelling of unconsciousness. In the thoughts of others || we shall live only till the last sound of the bell, which informs them of our departure, has ceased to vibrate in their ears. A stone, perhaps, may tell some wanderer 20 where we lie, when we came here, and when we went aày ; but I even that will soon refuse to bear us rècord: "time's effacing fingers" | will be busy on its súrface, and at length will wear it smooth; and then | the stone itself will sink, or crùmble, and the wanderer of 25 another age will pass, without a single càll' upon his * sýmpathy, over our unheeded gràves.
LESSON XXVII.-ETERNITY OF GOD.GREENWOOD.
[Marked for Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections.]
There is one Being to whom we can look with a perfect conviction of finding that security, which thing about us can give, and which nothing about us can take away. To this Being | we can lift up our souls, 5 and on Him we may rèst them, exclaiming | in the language of the monarch of Israel, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting Thou art GòD." "Of old || hast Thou laid the foun10 dations of the earth, and the heavens | are the work of Thy hands. They shall pérish, but Thou | shalt endure; yea, all of them | shall wax old like a garment, as a vèsture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be
changed; but Thou | art the same, and Thy years | shall have no end."*
Here then is a support, which will never fàil; here is a foundation | which can never be moved the ever5 lasting Creator of countless worlds, "the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity.” What a SUBLÍME CONCEPTION! HE INHABITS ETERNITY, occupies this inconceivable duration, PERVADES | and FILLS | THROUGHOUT || THIS I BOUNDLESS DWELLING. Ages on ages before even 10 the dust of which we are formed was created, HE had existed | in infinite majesty, and ages on ages will roll away after we have all returned to the dust whence we were taken, and still | HE will exist || in infinite màjesty, living in the eternity of his own nature, reigning 15 in the plenitude of his own omnipotence, for ever sending forth the word, which fòrms, suppórts, and governs all things, commanding new-created light to shine on new-created worlds, and raising up new-created generations to inhabit them.
The contemplation of this glorious attribute of Góð, is fitted to excite in our minds the most ànimating | and consoling reflèctions. Standing, as we are, amid the ruins of time, and the wrecks of mortality, where every thing about us | is created and dependent, proceed25 ing from nothing, and hastening to destruction, we rejoice that something is presented to our view | which has stood from everlasting, and will remain for èver. When we have looked on the pleasures of life, and they have vanished away; when we have looked on the works of 30 náture, and perceived that they were changing; on the monuments of árt, and seen that they would not stánd; on our friends, and they have fled while we were gázing; on ourselves, and felt that we were as fleeting as they; when we have looked on every object to which 35 we could turn our anxious éyes, and they have all told us that they could give us no hope, nor support, because they were so feeble themselves; we can look to the THRONE of GOD: change and decay | have never reached THÀT; the revolution of àges has never moved it; the waves of 40 an eternity | have been rushing pást it, but it has re
* When the falling inflection recurs, in succession, as above, it falls lower at each repetition.
mained unshaken; the waves of another eternity | are rushing toward it, but it is FìXED, and can NEVÉR be DISTURBED.
LESSON XXVIII.-TWO CENTURIES FROM THE LANDING OF
[Marked for Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections.]
If, on this day, after the lapse of two centuries, one of the fathers of New England, released from the sleep of death, could reappear on earth, what would be his emotions of joy and wonder ! In lieu of a wilderness, here 5 and there interspersed with solitary cabins, where life | was scarcely worth the danger of presérving it, he would behold joyful harvests, a population crowded even to satiety, | villages, tòwns, cities, stàtes, swarming with industrious inhabitants, hills | graced with temples of devó10 tion, and válleys | vocal with the early lessons of virtue. Casting his eye on the ocean, which he passed in fear and trémbling, he would see it covered with enterprising fleets || returning with the whale | as their captive, and the wealth of the Indies | for their cargo. He would behold 15 the little colony which he plánted, grown into gigantic státure, and forming an honorable párt of a glórious confederacy, the pride of the earth, and the favorite of heaven.
He would witness, with exultation, the general preva20 lence of correct principles of government and virtuous habits of action. How gladly would he gaze upon the long stream of light and renown from Harvard's classic fount, and the kindred springs of Yale, of Providence, of Dartmouth, and of Brunswick. Would you fill his 25 bosom with honest príde, tell him of FRANKLIN, who made thunder | sweet músic, and the lightning | innocent fireworks,—of ADAMS, the venerable sage | reserved by heaven, himself a blessing, to witness its blessing on our nation, -of AMES, whose tongue became, and has become | an 30 angel's,—of Pèrry,
"Blest by his God with one illustrious day,
And tell him, Pilgrim of Plymouth, THÈSE || are THY DESCENDANTS. Show him the stately structures, the splendid 35 benèvolence, the masculine intellect, and the sweet hospitálity of the metròpolis of New England. Show him that