« السابقةمتابعة »
with scorn upon this simple method of humanizing savages, let them do the like "with their enchantments," if they can;—till then they must bear the discredit of being unable, or the guilt of being unwilling, thus to benefit their fellow-men. Meanwhile, it becomes those, who are themselves not even attempting any thing, at least to be silent, while humble believers will behold, in that success which accompanies the efforts of the feeblest agents in this good work, "the great power of God."
THE LAST DAY.
To every thing beneath the sun there comes a last day,—and of all futurity this is the only portion of time that can in all cases be infallibly predicted. Let the sanguine then take warning, and the disheartened take courage; for to every joy and every sorrow, to every hope and every fear, there will come a last day; and man ought so to live by foresight, that while he learns in every state to be content, he shall in each be prepared for another, whatever that other may be. When we set an acorn we expect that it will produce an oak: when we plant a vine we calculate upon gathering grapes: but when we lay a plan for years to come, we may wish, and we can do no more except pray, that it may be accomplished, for we know not what even the morrow may bring forth; all that we do know beforehand of any thing is,—that to every thing beneath the sun there comes a last day. From Adam to Noah sixteen centuries elapsed, during which men multiplied on the earth, and increased in wickedness as in number, till to the forbearance of mercy itself there came a last day, and wrath in one flood of destruction swept away a whole world of transgressors.—The pollutions of Sodom and Gomorrah long insulted the Majesty of Heaven; but a last day came, and the Lord raised fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest, that overthrew them for ever, erasing the very ground on which they stood from the solid surface of the globe. The children of Israel groaned for ages under the yoke of the Egyptians; a last day came, the bands of iron were burst asunder, and the Red Sea, the eastern wall of their prison-house, opened its flood-gates to let the redeemed of the Lord pass through, but closed them in death on their pursuers, like the temple of Dagon pulled down upon the heads of the Philistines. — For almost two thousand years the law and the covenant of works, delivered from Mount Sinai, were honoured and violated by the same rebellious and stiff-necked people, who deemed themselves the elect of God to the exclusion in perpetuity of all kindreds beside; but a last day came, the sceptre departed from Judah, the Holy City was made an abomination of desolations, and the covenant of grace, universal and everlasting, was proclaimed to all mankind. In profane history we read similar lessons of mutability, similar evidences of the uncertainty of every day except the last day. The walls of Babylon were built to outstand the mountains, which they rivalled in grandeur and solidity; a last day came, and Babylon is fallen. If you ask—"Where is she ?" —"Where was she?" will be the reply; for she has so fallen, that there remains of her unexampled magnificence no more vestige on the soil by which she can be traced, than of a foundered ship on the face of the ocean, when the storm is gone by, and the dolphins are bounding among the billows, and throwing out their colours to the sun.—Greece, among the nations like the Pleiades among the stars, a small and beautiful sisterhood of states, flourished in arts and arms without a rival in her own age, and without a parallel in succeeding times; but her last day came, and Greece is gone to decay, unutterable decay; yet she lives in her ruins amidst the moral desolation of Turkey, and she lives in her glory on the pages of her poets, historians, and orators; yea, and she shall live again in her sons, for the last day of their enslavement is at hand. Rome was seven hundred and fifty years growing from infancy to maturity; she stood through half that period more in splendid infamy; her last day came, and then she sunk under such a weight of years and trophies, that her relics have buried in their dust the seven hills, on which in her prosperity she had glorified herself and lived deliciously, saying in her heart, " I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow." Rome was mortal; there can be no revival from her degradation: the last of the Romans perished a thousand years ago, among the millions of barbarians with whom the Roman people were at length indistinguishably and inseparably amalgamated. Rome and Babylon have been equally identified in perdition as in name by the " sure word of prophecy;" and the metropolis of modern Italy is no more the one, than Bagdad is the other: a different race possesses each, and their glory or shame in ages to come can never again affect the character of the generations gone by, whose last day stands irreversible in the calendar of time. It is not so with Greece, her posterity was never cut off. — Our own country has experienced as many vicissitudes of government as have here been recounted from the annals of the world; to each of these there came a last day: her own last day is not yet come; nor, while she continues preeminent in virtue, intelligence, and enterprize, need we fear its arrival. Taking the middle age of life as the standard of the present generation, those who are arrived at that period have themselves been living witnesses of more new eras and last days, in which the destiny of nations was implicated, unravelled, and re-woven more strangely and disastrou,sly, than were wont to occur in whole centuries of ordinary time. , The- , French, Revolution brought on the last day of ihe amiquiue-J despotism of the Bourbons; many hist clays cut off, as suddenly as by strokes of the guillotine, the ephemeral ;constitutions; fjw,t fpllpwed; till ;^M ton's, 1} path, bridging his r""way frog* l^e^fl ^rtjft,wit|i,h.is"-wa,c,e petrific struck,- andjg*ed^he,jai;ring, jumbledi elements of the political chaos, and seemed for a while to have established an immovable throne on the razed founjjpt^ps.qf sveriy.iOjhej^n- Europe; but a List dap, to fjis empire, camev ahd,wafted him, as passive as a c,Jqud,; ,ov,er, ,\h.e., ocean to St. Helena*,., &. ];«*,<%, to, hJvUfe,came: also, and